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It follows the distribution of skill points in D&D 3rd edition. The rogue has the most trained skills in D&D 4th edition because it also had the most skill points in D&D 3rd edition (8 per level; 3e had more individual skills than 4e). This in turn goes back to the original thief class as it appeared in the supplement Greyhawk (1976), which was ...


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Your assessment is correct. Class balance and skill balance are the two major factors. If we assume that the designers aimed to make balanced classes, then making a class better at something means it has to be worse at something else. Skills are just one part of how classes are different, a class that is good at one aspect (combat? spell variety? hit die?) ...


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