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Building Blocks 40: Skills 6

Skills 6:

Move Silently

Ability Modifier: dexterity

Active/Passive: passive – being sneaky causes you to roll this check.  Activated by using the “sneak”feat

Class skill for: bard, monk, ranger, and rogue

Untrained use? Yes

Armor check penalty? Yes

Racial and feat modifiers: halflings +2

Stealthy +2

What it represents: your ability to move without being heard when you don’t want to.

How it affects gameplay: when sneaking your move silently skill is used against monsters’ listen checks to determine if you are heard.  You can get an idea of how stealthy you’re movements are by watching your feet.  If you see a red sound wave graphic emanating from your feet as you move then you are making noise that could potentially be heard.

Special considerations: distance and terrain can play a role in how quiet you are.  Monsters farther away will have greater difficulty hearing you move but when you get closer you become easier to hear.  Some ground is easier to move quietly on while some terrain (like shallow water) is harder to move through unnoticed.

This skill is typically used in conjunction with the “hide” skill.  If a monster has already noticed you, sneaking will have no effect.

Who likes it: rogues in general and stealth builds in particular.  Also, kids going for the cookie jar and teenage girls who have fathers with high intimidate skills.

How much should you have? Assassin rogues will need at least some move silent so that they can effectively perform assassinations.  Rogues typically have plenty of skill points to accommodate this.

Some players enjoy using stealth tactics and there are several quests where stealth is encouraged and extra Optionals exist.  Such builds will of course take as much stealth as they can get.

Most gameplay moves to quickly for a large amount of stealth though and most players simply use invisibility in place of it for similar results.  There are some tactics that utilize sneaking to pull monsters without pulling other trash, however in most of these cases even a character without hide or move silently can achieve the desired results.

 

Open Lock

Ability Modifier: dexterity

Active/Passive: active – a lock that opens itself is a lousy lock.

Class skill for: artificer and rogue

Untrained use? No

Armor check penalty? No

Feat modifiers: nimble fingers +2

What it represents:  your ability to pick and open locks

How it affects gameplay: many chests and doors are locked but can be opened by using this skill.  Unlike disable device, there is no critical fail for attempting to pick a lock.

Special considerations: many quest specific doors cannot be picked, typically to prevent players from skipping portions of a quest and their associated objectives.  Other doors can be picked but also have a key. Some chests can also not be picked.  These are typically chests associated with bosses and once they are dead the chest can be opened.

In order to use this skill you must have thieves tools in your inventory. If these tools have a +# on them that is applied to a bonus for your skill check.  The tools closest to the upper left inventory slot of the first tab of your inventory will be used for this check. Inventory slots proceed to the right along each row, then to the next row below and then continuing on to the next.

The spell knock can also be used to open locks though typically the resulting roll (based off of caster level) cannot reach the same heights as someone using the skill fully trained.

Who likes it: trappers and builds that splash rogue or artificer for other reasons.

How much should you have? Open lock is typically considered an extension of trapping skills even though it isn’t used for traps.  For this reason it’s expected that a trapper can also open locks.  Trappers generally have plenty of skill points and will max out their open lock in addition to carrying an item with the highest open lock they can find (note that generally this item is kept as a swappable item since you don’t need it during combat).  Boosts to skill checks can also be helpful here: (greater) heroism and skill action boosts are the most common.

Most locks are pretty easy to pick however.  Builds that splash artificer and rogue will often take ranks in open lock even if they can’t max it out and even if they don’t take trapper skills.  Even a modest amount plus items will open most doors and chests that are locked, though there are some high DC locks out there.  However, these builds consider the skill open lock to be a bonus and take what they can afford.

Most non trappers or trapper splashes will ignore this skill.  If its needed for a quest players generally just find a trapper, someone with the knock spell (even a wand works in many cases), or they resort to using a bell of opening.  Or, heaven forbid, they find the key or skip the lock.

 

Perform

Ability Modifier: charisma

Active/Passive: passive – the act of performing triggers the roll.

Class skill for: bard

Untrained use? Technically yes you can perform without being trained. However, you need to be able to sing to gain most of the benefits for this skill, which requires you to either be a bard or be in the fatesinger destiny.

Armor check penalty? No

What it represents: your ability to entertain others.  In PnP there are a variety of sub skills for various disciplines of performance, but in DDO there is only the 1 skill and it specifically relates to a bard’s singing and lute playing which generically represents all bards performing ability.

How it affects gameplay: perform is critical for determining, along with bard level, which songs a bard can play. There are bard level and perform skill requirements to be able to play their various songs.

Songs with a save (fascinate being the most widely used) use a perform skill check to determine the save DCs.

In update 19 perform started increasing sonic spell power at the rate of 1 to 1.

Special considerations: the perform skill requirements to be able to play different songs is only met through ranks in the skill.  Other modifiers do not apply.  These requirements are equal to the maximum ranks achievable at each level where the song could first be obtained as an ability.

Mindless monsters cannot be affected by fascinate.

Who likes it: bards. Also entertainers (well most entertainers, some enjoy being entertaining through a lack of skill, ie much YouTube)

How much should you have? If you are a bard, max it.  Bards get fascinate at level 1 and it can be an immensely effective crowd control ability.  Unless you are splashing into bard (which is very rare) this should be a skill you max, even if you are only a level 14 bard say.  Bards get lots of skill points (6 per level).  Fascinate will save your life.  And the other songs are good too.  If you can’t find an item that is useful with perform on it, consider finding an item to swap in for monsters with a high will save.

The addition of sonic spell power is a nice bonus, but there are very few sonic spells in the game, most don’t do a terribly large amount of damage, and only bards have perform as a class skill.  It’s a rare bard that actually cares about sonic spell casting other than using greater shout as a method of crowd control.  Even then, bards do so many other things much better than damage casting using their sonic spells.  But hey, you are a bard so max perform anyways and enjoy the sonic boost.

If you aren’t a bard this skill doesn’t concern you, move along.

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