Get Some of These Skills

2007 October 18
by Stupid Ranger

Continuing in the spirit of sharing some of my favorites, I thought I’d share some of my favorite skills. My favorites vary by class, of course, because some skills are really more useful for specific classes, such as Perform for Bards or Sleight of Hand for Rogues. The majority of skills can be useful to nearly everyone, if you only have a handful of skill points, here’s where I would spend them:
1. Spot & Listen – It’s a draw on these… While obviously not the same, they are each so useful it’s hard to pick one. Whether Spotting the oncoming enemy or Listening to the sounds of approaching battle, these two skills can help you identify dangerous situations. Of course, they can be used for non-combat situations, like being able to overhear that juicy bit of gossip about the mayor’s missing daughter or noticing that shiny coin over in the corner. Even though these are cross-class skills for the majority of classes, I still spend the extra points to have some good ranks in these two.

2. Tumble – a hidden gem all the way down at the bottom of the list. Again, it’s cross-classed for the majority of classes, but it’s a handy trick to have if you constantly find yourself in the midst of melee but you’d really prefer to be much further away. If you can Tumble successfully, you can maneuver your way out of melee without provoking attacks of opportunity.

3. Knowledge – a little Knowledge never hurt anyone, and depending on your class or backstory, having a little bit may go a long way. My personal favorite is Arcana; I like having that extra insight into those things magical. I don’t usually spend a lot of points here, but having one or two gives you a chance to at least roll the dice on that little bit you do know. Of course, so classes benefit from lots of Knowledge, such as Bards, Clerics, Wizards & Sorcerers, so you may want alter your ranks in Knowledge based on your class.

4. Concentration – for me, it’s a must for my spellcasters… not because I plan to cast spells in melee, but if I need to, I have a little better chance of success. Anything you might do that would provoke an attack of opportunity will require a Concentration check, and let’s face it, you hate being disturbed when trying to cast your big spell.

5. Climb & Swim – I try to take a couple of ranks in these if I’m wearing armor that has a check penalty. There’s nothing less frustrating (not to mention embarrassing) than lying sprawled on your back because you couldn’t climb up a rope or ending up half-drowned because you got bogged down crossing the river. Armor is great for battles, but to give yourself a fighting chance with these skills, try taking enough ranks to balance out that penalty. If you think you might want to use Balance, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand and Tumble, you should consider taking a couple of ranks, as these skills incur the same armor check penalties.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Dave The Game permalink
    October 19, 2007

    I would be very surprised if some of the skills you list on the same lines weren’t combined in 4e (thankfully)

    I played an Elven Pirate once, and was upset I only got to use my Swim and Profession (Pirate) skills once each.

  2. Stupid Ranger permalink
    October 22, 2007

    That would have been so disappointing!

    In my experience, skill use has depended on whether the DM was fluffy or crunchy. But I would have preferred to use a Profession (Pirate) more than once!

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS