I am a bit confused about skills in 5e. It seems to me that there are no more skills, and no more ranks. So for instance you no longer have acrobatics that you can add points to add you level. Am I missing something, can characters really not improve as they level, except by putting points in ability?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you read through the PHB? \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Jan 11 '15 at 7:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! (Please take a look at the tour and the help center; they're a useful introduction to the site.) Are you perhaps really asking something more like "How does a PC improve skills?" Right now, this question just sounds like "I'm surprised that this different game is different," and I expect that's not what you meant to say. Unfortunately, it's difficult to know what you meant to ask about without guessing. So we like to ask, so we can know instead. :) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 11 '15 at 9:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I suspect that Jacek was trying to find some familiar territory in the rules of 5e regarding skills, and upon finding something so drastically different from 3.5e it was slightly difficult to understand. I wrote my answer with the assumption in mind that Jacek was basically asking "How do characters develop their skills over time," or "How do characters improve their skills." \$\endgroup\$ – Javelin Jan 11 '15 at 9:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/46305/… \$\endgroup\$ – Dyndrilliac Jan 11 '15 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is exactly right Javelin, it seemed very strange and couldn't find the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Jacek Perry Jan 12 '15 at 5:34

Players no longer place skill points in their skills. They do improve over time though, as the relevant ability score increases and the character's proficiency bonus increases over the levels. Because the proficiency bonus grows as well, a character will improve skills with which they are proficient over time. The character growth here is marked by their general increase in proficiency, which is applied to all ability checks for skills, all saves and all attacks with which they are proficient.

I believe the idea behind the proficiency bonus is that while a first level fighter is good at hacking away at something, a wizard is just as good at hitting someone with a spell attack. They are both good at what they do, whatever that might be, and they both improve at the same rate because the proficiency bonus is determined by total character level.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's worth noting that replacing the BAB (Base Attack Bonus) and Skill Ranks with the Proficiency Bonus both have the same effect which is much less book-keeping compared to 3.5, and reinforces the stream-lined nature of 5E play to cut unneeded complexity from the game. \$\endgroup\$ – Dyndrilliac Jan 11 '15 at 15:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ AHA! Thank you! I must have missed that. Re-read the skill section 4-5 times and never noticed that part. Thank you very much! \$\endgroup\$ – Jacek Perry Jan 12 '15 at 5:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I haven't played 5E yet so it is very difficult for me to have any real opinions. However I thus far am liking it. My focus on Skills has to do with a program I am writing to help me DM (I love using Computers to do the silly stuff for me). \$\endgroup\$ – Jacek Perry Jan 12 '15 at 5:36

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