Wednesday 15 July 2015

LL/5e Mashup: Skills

As I mentioned on Google+, I've been thinking about how it might look to take some of the bits I like about D&D 5 into a simpler rules system like Labyrinth Lord. One of my favourite bits of the new edition is the simple skills / proficiency system. This forms a foundation for some other stuff, so I'll lay that out first.

Skill Checks
1d6 based, like LotFP. All characters have a base 1 in 6 chance of success.

  • Relevant ability score above 14: +1 in 6 chance of success.
  • Relevant ability score below 7: -1 in 6 chance of success.
  • Proficient: +1 at 1st level, +2 at 5th level, +3 at 10th level, +4 at 15th level.
  • Difficulty: easy tasks may increase, difficult tasks reduce the chance of success (as the referee wishes).
I've never been a fan of the d20 system, so in considering a skill system suitable for bolting onto Labyrinth Lord, I knew immediately that I'd be looking for something else. I went for a d6 based skill system for several reasons: its precedent in the basic rules in the form of rolls to hear noises or find secret doors, surprise, etc; its use in LotFP, which I'm familiar with and have always admired. You could bolt on another system easily enough; you just need to make sure the proficiency bonus progression and any bonuses granted by other abilities match it.

List of Skills
Arcana (detect magic -- 1 turn)
Awareness (surprise / notice hidden)
Engineering (stone stuff, dwarves are proficient)
Lore (legends, history)
Nature (knowledge, connection with animals)
Religion (detect divine or infernal influence -- 1 turn)
Search (find secret doors / hidden things)
Sleight of hand

  • I chose to split athletics into climbing and swimming as a nod to the traditional thief, who's great at climbing but whom I don't see as great at other athletic activities.
  • The uses of arcana and religion to detect magic or cosmic influence are house rules I've used for years in LL. They seemed to fit these skills perfectly.
  • I've chosen a list without any "social" skills. You could add them back in, if you like. The exact list doesn't really matter that much.


  1. With social skills, I can see proficiency bonuses applied to reaction rolls, to situations that apply. Although, LL's reaction rolls are 2d6-base -- making adjustments less effective than a d6 roll -- and bonuses would become minuses, given the derangement of the table.

    1. Yes, that could work well. I'd perhaps phrase it as another type of proficiency (in addition to skills, tool, weapon, and armour proficiency) which gives a -1 bonus to reaction rolls given certain conditions. This might be things like: when trying to intimidate or deceive someone, when encountering an animal, etc. Could be quite flexible.


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