January 25, 2013

D&D Next: Skill Dice

As I read and reread the December Playtest update for DnD Next, Skill Dice were the idea I had the most problems with.  I like uniform mechanics in my RPGs and I hate it when Combat is one system and Skills are another.

This was exacerbated as I read various Special Abilities and Maneuvers that used Skill Dice.  I kept wondering why the particular skill mentioned wasn't called out?  What was wrong with WotC?  I was pretty close to just walking away from DnD Next.

And then I realized the problem wasn't the rules, it was me.  I was overthinking it.  Your Skill Die is equal to X, depending on what level you are.  If an ability calls for it, you don't have to worry about a Skill, just the Skill Die.  It was beautifully simple.

Then, when making checks, I could just call for say, a Dex Check and mention the Skill Die if they were trained in Z.

Also, when making a Skill Check, there was visual cue during the roll that the PC or NPC was trained in a skill.  The Die told you.

And for new players, I've found having the Skill Dis a concrete separation from the Attribute and helps them understand and more importantly want to use those Trained Skills.

I still like uniform mechanics, but I can't argue that the Skill Die works.

Good job, WotC.