5 Skill D&D

ThinkDM

Why have 18 skills when you can have FIVE?

Give your players more agency over the narrative implementation of their skillsets by conjoining skill groups and highlighting alternate ability score associations.

Design Philosophy

Alternate Ability Skills

There’s a great variant rule in the Player’s Handbook that tells DMs to call for skill checks with alternate ability scores. For example, a player can roll an Intimidation check by adding their Strength modifier to their proficiency bonus, instead of the usual Charisma modifier. Not only does this make a more favorable roll for the strong-not-suave character, it paints a better story of how that character goes about their business.

Alternate Ability Skill Checks

The problem is that D&D’s tools are not designed to support this style of play. Players don’t think of skills modularly because the skill bonus is already pre-calculated on their character sheet. So, they get stuck in using their skill in the same…

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