Moving on from my last post: skills.
Pathfinder has a broad selection of skills, but I find the skill point allocation far too fiddly.
5e also has a good selection of skills, which is more concise. But most of my players find the skill proficiency mechanic too limiting.
M20 has far too few skills (4!!!), but I like the idea of overlapping skills that, by default, allow easy picking of the related attribute at the time of skill rolling intriguing.
If I base my skill list off 5e, then I can (for instance) collapse Acrobatics & Athletics into the one skill, and just call for STR or DEX as appropriate. Or CON, in the case of endurance feats.
So, what do I consider the minimum? I’ll use the M20 skills as a base, and build up from there.
Physical: Athletics, Ride/Handle Animal (one skill)
Subterfuge: Stealth, Disable Device, Sleight of Hand. These, I feel, are the core trinity of rogue skills.
Knowledge: this is a tricky one, because some of the skills under this are Knowledge X skills, but there’s also Healing, and perhaps Survival. Crafting? Maybe that can take a leaf out of 5e’s book…
Communication: Persuasion, Deceit, Intimidation. Again, core trinity. But I miss the Gather Information of old, which is just a CHA check in 5e. I’m gonna borrow the Streetwise skill from Savage Worlds: it can cover Gather Information, but also a rogue’s ability to find contacts, or a fighter’s knowledge of his home town’s back alleys. It’s versatile, and that’s what I want.
Here’s my list so far:
-Animal Handling (as in 5e, this covers riding as well as training, etc)
-Crafting (specialties: Poison, Smithing, Carpentry, Masonry, etc)
-Deceit (Ye olde Bluff, but with a more generic name)
-Intimidation (this doesn’t just have to be CHA based – INT and STR are also options, based on the situation)
-Knowledge (specialties: Arcana, History, Nature, Religion. Streetwise covers K.Local, which I always felt was missing from 5e, and you can take others if you really want to)
-Perception (WIS based for Spot checks, INT based for investigation rolls. This way the rogue doesn’t get shafted by needing another whole new skill)
-Persuasion (like Intimidation, this can be INT based for logical arguments or CHA based for passionate pleas)
-Sleight of Hand (I was just gonna fold this into Stealth, but there’s way more applications than just picking pockets)
-Stealth (ye olde Hide in Shadows and Move Silently)
-Survival (for tracking, foraging, navigating, etc)
I wonder if there’s anything crucial that I’ve missed?
Now, for skill mechanics.
At character creation, you can pick a number of skills (by class: Fighters 2, Casters 4, Rogues 6) to be proficient in. Proficiency bonus is equal to 1/2 level, rounded up (so that 1st-level characters get some bonus). In addition, all characters can (when levelling) choose to gain a skill point to allocate to any skill. Rogues can get 2 skill points instead.
DCs will probably be on the 5e scale, as I don’t really want +20s on any kind of roll.