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    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default How I Use Skills (UPDATED)

    Player Intent Credit: TheAngryDM
    The only rule a player needs to learn before playing is how to declare intent:
    Preceding any action the player describes his Intent (the desired outcome of his actions), and his method (his approach to achieving the outcome). Once described in full, the DM decides whether the action can be attempted, whether it succeeds automatically, or warrants a dice roll, and which ability score would be used to make said roll. If the action would fail automatically, the DM is likely to give a warning before the action is attempted. If the action is a success the player either accomplishes his desired outcome or makes progress towards it. If the action fails, the player suffers costs or risks associated with the roll. Even then, the DM can apply consequences based on the player’s specific method.

    Skill Proficiencies
    Features that give skill proficiencies can be applied to any skill of your choice. Tools have been combined with the skill system. Skills are setting-specific, and there is no reason why a player wouldn’t be able to create a skill of his own, specific to his character.

    List of Skills
    • Deduction
    • Knowledge
    • Investigation
    • Leadership
    • Medicine
    • Non-Expertise Skills
      • Alchemist Supplies
      • Smith’s Tools
      • Herbalism Kit
      • Poisoner’s Kit
      • Finesse Tools

    • Stealth
    • Speechcraft
    • Spellcraft
    • Stunt
    • Performance

    Example Custom Skills

    • Terrify
    • Forbidden Lore
    • Magic Item Knowledge
    • Monster Hunting
    • City Secrets

    Using Skills
    In 5e, skills come into play after the DM has asked a player for an ability check, either in response to player intent or an in-game event. When the DM asks you for an ability check, you get a chance to add your proficiency bonus to the check by explaining how applying one of your trained skills might increase your odds of succeeding.

    Player: Can I search the body for some valuables?
    DM: Sure, make an Intelligence check for me.
    Player: I am trained in investigation, can that help me look for hidden pockets other might miss?
    DM:Absolutely, you can add your proficiency bonus to the check.

    This skill represents your ability to reach conclusion using information readily presented to you.
    Can I tell if his lying from his facial expressions and body language?
    Can I discern the creature’s type based on its appearance?
    Do I assume the creature is within our ability to defeat in combat?
    Does my character think this room is safe?

    When adding knowledge to your intelligence check you are essentially rolling for “has my character spent time studying this subject, and can I apply it to this scenario”.
    Can I gain this person’s favor by reciting his favorite poem from memory?
    Can I make sense of what they’re saying, although they are speaking a different dialect?
    Can I recall any information about wererats, such as iconic traits or weaknesses?
    Does my character know if this berry is safe to eat?
    Have I seen these strange markings anywhere before?

    The investigation skill revolves around using clues given to you by your DM to find hidden details.
    You said something was up with these stairs, can I examine them more closely to see if there’s a trap?

    Your ability to command and lead others. It encompasses the ability to inspire others through spoken word, dramatic gestures, bearing, and force of personality.
    Can I intimidate him to apply the frightened condition?
    Can I motivate, rally or inspire these people?
    I want this person to trust me and my judgement.
    Can I increase the effectiveness of a group such as followers or hired workforce?
    Can I convince a hired mercenary to keep on fighting instead of fleeing?

    Medicine is a vital skill amongst adventurers, and you should never leave camp without a healer’s kit. Although it cannot be used to directly heal a creature, it can be used to increase its natural healing. When attempting a medicine check without a healer’s kit, you do so with disadvantage. Utilising a healer's kit requires the use of both your hands and an action. Some lingering injuries can be treated via a successful medicine check.
    Can I stabilize a dying creature?
    Can I allow a creature to use one hit die to regain hit points?
    Can I allow a creature to make a saving throw against an ongoing effect.
    Can I maximize one character’s hit dice results during a breather or a short rest?

    The art of stealth and sleight of hand requires practice, dedication, and awareness of your surroundings.
    Can I move silently?
    Can I move between covers without being seen?
    Can I manipulate an object without being noticed?

    The art of the silver tongue not only requires composure vocabulary, but also knowing what specific angle works best in each scenario.
    Can I befriend, flatter, calm, charm or deceive?

    This skill represents your character’s ability to maneuver his body in various difficult situations.
    Can I move through a space occupied by a hostile creature?
    Can I vault past a hostile creature to avoid provoking an opportunity attack?
    Can I ignore an environmental effect that would limit my movement speed?
    Can I climb, swim, jump or balance?
    Can I make a back-flip and swing from a chandelier?

    This skill represents your character knowledge of the Art, in any shape or form, and how magically attuned your senses are.
    Can I detect a strong magical presence?
    Can I Identify the spell he is about to cast?
    Can I cast the spell from this scroll, despite it being of a higher level than I would be able to cast, or from another class’ spell list?
    Can I cast a non-damaging cantrip I haven't learned?
    How much do I know about magic items?

    Although one might consider an instrument, storytelling or other performance arts a trivial skill for an adventurer, you might find out it’s quite the opposite. Not only can you impress and bring life to a party, you might be able to use it to help your allies rest better or distract someone with your performance.
    Can I keep the attention of a crowd?
    Can I gain popularity by performing at the tavern?
    Can I help my allies rest better?
    Can I impress this noble with my song?

    Non-Expertise Skills
    Tools are a bit different from other proficiencies, mainly due to a character not being able to gain expertise with them. They are not as diverse as skills, but grant access to actions that are impossible without them, such as picking a lock, brewing a potion or gain access to a specific downtime activity.

    Alchemist’s Supplies
    As a part of a long rest, you can use your alchemist’s supplies to make create Acid, Alchemist’s Fire or any mundane concoction such as Oil, Perfume or Soap at half its market price, or maximize the effectiveness of one Healing Potion.

    Smith’s Tools
    As a part of a long rest, with access to your tools you can repair metal objects, or create any small mundane metal or wood object.
    You can craft as a downtime activity, gaining a significant discount on any item you craft.

    Herbalism Tools
    As a part of a long rest, you can use your Herbalism Tools to create antitoxin and healing potions at half its market price, as well as mundane salves. You can also craft Greater Healing Potions as a downtime activity.

    Poisoner’s Kit
    As a part of a long rest, you can use your Poisoner’s Kit to create a Basic Poison at full market value.

    Finesse Tools WIP
    Finesse tools is common name for any tool that requires good finger dexterity, attention to detail and sensitivity. This include lockpicks, carver’s tools, engraver’s tools, tinker's tools and more.

    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-08-17 at 06:31 AM.

    Spoiler: How to Make Custom Monsters

    The damage column shows total damage output on hit over an entire round, and is modified based on factors like recharge, AoE etc.

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