Why Ridiculously High Skills Ranks are Awesome

Dude, having super high skill values is super fun in D&D! Here’s why:

  1. It’s great for skill challenges: Having an abnormally high skill value or two is awesome for skill challenges, where you will make a hard DC every time. Some skills, like Perception and Diplomacy, are used frequently in skill challenges making for tons of guaranteed or near guaranteed successes. However, even if a skill isn’t often a primary skill, you can still often find creative ways to work it in.
  2. It’s surprisingly easy: With a good combination of background, race, and primary ability score, you can easily squeeze an extra +4 above an already high skill rank! For example, my level 16 bard is a half elf and took the artisan background to pump his diplomacy from an already high 20 to an awesome 24! With the bard encounter power that adds 5 to diplomacy once per encounter, that shoots up to a 29! And that’s without any item bonuses, which are readily available for a few thousand gold.
  3. It gives you a lot of clout when roleplaying: There’s something about beating the Hard DC of a skill check by 10 that starts to make even outrageous claims sound plausible. It is very fun to be able to throw your weight around when roleplaying and really affect the game world.
  4. It saves you from embarrassing situations: While it spices things up from time to time, a really low roll at the wrong moment can be kind of a downer.  Need to roll a 5 or higher to jump over that pit? A low roll can leave you struggling to climb out for a couple of rounds. Did you just finish making an awesome in game speech? A low roll (even with a bonus for roleplaying) can leave you with little to show for it. Ridiculously high skill ranks make these embarrassing skill rolls a thing of the past!
  5. It really defines your character: A ridiculously high skill rank can really help define your character in the game world and in the minds of other players. If you’ve got super high stealth then everyone will definitely start to see you as the party scout and give you chances to demonstrate your skills. If you’ve got a really high History, you’ve got good grounds for claiming you’re a respected historian in the game world who other scholars look to for help.

4 Responses to “Why Ridiculously High Skills Ranks are Awesome”

  1. paul paul says:

    Interesting. I thought this was going to be about how 4e skills were broken, but it kind of half-convinced me that their brokenness is a good thing.


  2. Rory Rory says:

    HaHa, I’m on the fence as well! It’s kind of thing where as a player it is super fun to have broken skills, but as a DM trying to craft a really cool adventure, it is tough to make a balanced encounter that relies heavily on skill rolls.

  3. katre says:

    I always wanted to play an Epic 3.5 game, just for the chance to try the DC 80 Epic Use Rope ability to animate a rope nonmagically.

  4. Rory Rory says:

    Haha, the epic DCs looked pretty awesome. I also liked that if you were badass enough in Acrobatics probably (maybe Athletics) you could run up a waterfall and that sort of thing!

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