Character Skills Overview
In Dungeons & Dragons Online, Characters can learn Skills based on their Class and the base intelligence + intelligence Tome used on their character. Skills can be active or passive, and are also modified based on other statistics a player has. Some are class specific, allowing you to invest only invest 1 skill point for 1 rank increase, while other skills that aren’t require you to invest 2 skill points for 1 rank increase.
Choosing what skills are employed by your character is very important as a Fighter or Barbarian who can’t intimidate will be less effective at holding monster aggression while a Cleric who can’t concentrate will have difficulty landing healing spells when party members need it. Care should be taken then when deciding what skills you will want your character to employ; which will lead to some consideration as to how much intelligence one might want to have, or what skills one may want to invest less in.
Character Skills Summary
In total there are 20 skills that can be taken by a character, they are as listed and described below:
Balance – Passive Skill – Modified by Dexterity
Class Skill: Bards, Monks, and Rogues
Description: Allows your character to get up faster when knocked prone.
Comment: This is a very important skill as being on the ground will hurt your armor class, and prevent you from doing anything other then saving to get back up. Important at pretty well all levels in the game for all character classes, therefore it is advisable to invest in this skill and items that will increase your Balance Skill. A Balance Check is made every 2 seconds while on the ground.
Bluff – Active Skill – Modified by Charisma
Class Skill: Bards, Rogues, and Sorcerers
Description: Your character draws the attention of a monster, making it vulnerable to sneak attacks for a few seconds. A line of site is not needed for use of this skill and can be used while sneaking. Mobs will search or come after you without alerting other monsters. This skill will not work on animals or low intelligence creatures.
Some NPCs may be bluffed when a character converses with them.
Comments: While this skill has some use for soloers, in terms of pulling mobs away from their packs so that they may whittle down an enemies numbers, the skill is generally viewed as a weak one in a party environment. This is due to the animation time involve in using the skill, and the ability to use skills such as Diplomacy or Intimidate with NPCS. As such, the skill is usually not taken by most characters. There is a 6 second cool-down on this skill.
Concentration – Passive Skill – Modified by Constitution
Class Skill: Artificers, Bards, Clerics, Favored Souls, Monks, Paladins, Rangers, Sorcerers, and Wizards
Description: Concentration allows a character to continue casting spells without interruption when under attack. Characters who are attacked while casting spells make a concentration check to determine if an attack interrupts their spell casting or not.
The skill also determines how much Ki a Monk will have upon entering a dungeon, how much Ki will be recovered at a rest shrine, and also determined you minimum store of Ki when replenishing it in battle.
Comment: Any character who plans to focus on casting spells in combat, or is a Monk, should invest heavily in this skill, and items to increase the skills effectiveness. Additional some classes might consider taking Combat Casting or Skill Focus: Concentration if they aren’t feat starved. Paladins, Rangers, and to some extent Bards might forgo this skill if they only plan to use their spell points for the most part, out of combat.
Diplomacy – Active Skill – Modified by Charisma
Class Skill: Bards, Clerics, Paladins, and Rogues
Description: This is an area of effect skill that will make monsters attack your party members before attacking you, for a short period of time. Essentially when the skill is successful, you will be the last target monsters will attack.
Some NPCs can be negotiated with when a character converses with them.
Comment: This skill is somewhat useful when you would rather mobs attack the Paladin or the Monk rather then you. This skill will make nearby monsters ignore you while there are other targets in your party to attack. It should be noted though that it they could attack anything from the Fighter to the Cleric. Characters with lower hit points or armor will generally take this skill to improve their survivability. There is a 6 second cool-down on this skill.
Disable Device – Active Skill – Modified by Intelligence
Class Skill: Artificers and Rogues
Description: Allows the character to make an attempt at disarming a trap.
Comment: If you’re a Rogue or Artificer, then one of your primary functions is to disable the traps that will wipe the party. After using the Search skill to locate a trap and its accompanying trap box, a Rogue with thieves tools can move to disable it. All Artificers and Rogues should invest in this skill and have an accompanying item to boost their performance for when it comes time to disable a trap. When attempting to disarm a trap, you roll a d20 dice, which is added to your current modified rank for Disable Device. If this value is lower by 1-4 points, you fail to disarm the trap, but can try again. If the value is lower by 5 points or more, the panel will explode and you won't be able to make another attempt. You require Thieves Tools to use the skill, and one tool is consumed in any attempt. Skill cannot be used until trained.
Haggle – Passive Skill – Modified by Charisma
Class Skill: Artificers, Bards, and Rogues
Description: Allows the character to sell items for more at vendors, and get discounts on items bought from vendors.
Comment: This is a great skill if your money conscious and looking for a little bit more bang for what you sell or buy. Many people will make a Bard and pour the skill points into this skill, and the Bard Haggle enhancements to do so. However, this isn’t a skill worth getting if you are only planning to run a server for Turbine Points. In any case, this is a popular skill among Bards, and some Artificers or Rogues with excess skill points.
Heal – Active Skill – Modified by Wisdom
Class Skill: Clerics, Favored Souls, Paladins, and Rangers
Description: Allows the character to use a Healing Kit on an incapacitated non-Warforged party member and bring them back to 1 hit point. At rest shrines it also grants all non-Warforged party members and the character an increase in hit points regained from resting when the character is in the vicinity of the rest shrine.
Comment: This skill is generally viewed as being a waste of skill points and is generally not taken by most characters. Generally it is believe that one can simple cast a Cure or Heal spell on an incapacitated party member instead of trying to use Heal on them, and generally it is a better idea to do anyway. It is also viewed the hit point increase from this skill is negligible as well. Finally, Clerics, Favored Souls, and Paladins are already strapped by skill points, and they have other skills to consider taking.
Hide – Passive Skill – Modified by Dexterity
Class Skill: Bards, Monks, Rangers, and Rogues
Description: While sneaking the character has a better chance to move about without being seen by monsters.
Comment: If you take this skill, take Move Silently as well, as even unseen you can still be heard. For those who plan to use Sneak to move about, one will have to invest in this skill to do so effectively. Duly note however that taking Hide and Move Silently means that’s 2 other skills you can’t take. Some players may opt just to take this skill and not Move Silently if they wish to lure some mobs while sneaking, where the mobs who would hear you would slowly follow you until they either find you, or your reveal yourself.
Intimidate – Active Skill – Modified by Charisma
Class Skill: Barbarians, Fighters, Paladins, and Rogues
Description: Your character attempts to grab the aggression of nearby monsters, making them attack you instead of your party members.
Comment: Taken by most Fighters and Barbarians, this is a skill that is entrenched in making your character a better tank. If the monsters aren’t attack your party members, they can be free to hopefully pick them off one by one, or unleashes spells without having to make concentration checks. When using the skill, a d20 dice is rolled and added to the modified rank for Intimidate. If this value is higher then the intimidate value for the mob your trying to intimidate, you will draw their aggro and keep it for a short duration. Your characters size category and what your trying to intimidate will factor in to your attempt. If you try and intimidate something bigger then you, you suffer a -4 penalty for each size category larger then you. The opposite is of course true, with a +4 bonus against monster smaller then you, for each size category that they are smaller. There is a 6 second cool-down on this skill.
Jump – Passive Skill – Modified by Strength
Class Skill: Barbarians, Bards, Fighters, Favored Souls, Monks, Rangers, and Rogues
Description: Allows the character to Jump Higher.
Comment: You may not be Superman, capable of leaping tall buildings, but with Jump you should be able to reach higher platforms or ledges that you might not otherwise be able to reach without the skill. You can also use it for increased mobility, allowing you to throw spells on the move or jump over enemy monsters. This skill can be boosted by the Jump spell, but even with that spell, people will try to invest at least a little bit of skill points into Jump, or find items to boost the skill. The skill will max at a modified rank of 40, after which no additional increase will increase the amount you will jump.
Listen – Passive Skill – Modified by Wisdom
Class Skill: Barbarians, Bards, Monks, Rangers, and Rogues
Description: Your character is able to hear the sounds of monsters attempting to sneak around, and other subtle noises.
Comment: The skill is slightly useful, you may not be able to see the monsters but you will know they are their. It also lets you know about hidden objects that might be around, like a monster behind a door. This skill works best with ranged characters, as you can simply just aim in the direction of the enemy and fire, and then you will know where they are. Since Barbarians and Bards don’t get Spot as well, just having it can stop you from being ambushed. You also may be prompted with DM text as well if your Listen skill meets the criteria in certain instances.
Move Silently – Passive Skill – Modified by Dexterity
Class Skill: Bards, Monks, Rangers, and Rogues
Description: While sneaking the character has a better chance to move about without being heard by monsters.
Comment: The Companion skill to Hide, basically as stated above, you need this skill so that monsters won’t hear you. It should come without surprise that without Hide, monsters might not hear you, but they might see you. Also the note again about 2 skills you can’t take as was stated under the Hide comment. Characters who make use of the Invisibility spell may consider getting this skill as even while Invisible, you can still be heard.
Open Lock – Passive Skill – Modified by Dexterity
Class Skill: Artificers and Rogues
Description: Allows your character to attempt to unlock an object, like doors and chests.
Comment: Not as important as Disable Device, this skill allows an Artificer or Rogue to attempt to unlock what is locked, allowing for access to other areas of quests, or to more loot in chests. A spell called Knock renders this skill less useful, and unlike Disable Device you can’t fail to pick something. Nonetheless it's a skill you will want to invest some of his skill points in, and it is usually easier to pick something then to knock it. Skill cannot be used until trained.
Perform – Passive Skill & Bard Specific – Modified by Charisma
Class Skill: Bards
Description: Allows your character to improve its fascination skills, and to unlock certain Bard Songs.
Comment: Perform allows you to use your Bardic Songs, each song requiring a certain base rank (not modified) to use. For a Bard, you need to have at least 18 ranks in Perform for the highest Bard Support Song you can use, Inspire Heroics. Past 18 ranks will really only help you if you want to try and fascinate monsters or charm them with your Songs. Whether you are just using songs for buffing, or if you are fascinating them will determine if you should invest past 18 skill points or not as a Bard, however it is suggested that one max it.
Repair – Active Skill – Modified by Intelligence
Class Skill: Artificers, Fighters, Rogues, and Wizards
Description: Allows the character to use a Repair Kit on an incapacitated Warforged party member and bring them back to 1 hit point. At rest shrines it also grants all Warforged party members and the character if he is a Warforged, an increase in hit points regained from resting when the character is in the vicinity of the rest shrine.
Comment: Repair like Heal is viewed as being a waste of skill points. It is also only good for Warforged characters in the party. On the bright side, Wizards are one of the classes that get Repair, and being a class that needs high intelligence, might just get the skill because it is something to invest excess skill points into.
Search – Active Skill – Modified by Intelligence
Class Skill: Artificers, Rangers, and Rogues
Description: Allows the character to find hidden objectives like doors and trap boxes. Some traps that are too difficult to find and may only be found by Artificers and Rogues.
Comment: Useful for finding the Hidden Door, but primarily it is used to find traps and accompanying trap boxes by Artificers and Rogues. This skill is less important to other classes because a spell called Detect Secret Doors can be used in its place. A Rogue or anyone else looking for a trap however should invest quite a bit in this skill if not max it out entirely. Traps with a Search Difficulty Check of 20 or more can only be found by Artificers and Rogues. There is no die roll associated with this skill - Search is what it is. Unless an Artificer or Rogue character knows what Search DC is needed for Trap Panels throughout the game, it never hurts to have your Search as high as possible.
Spot – Passive Skill – Modified by Wisdom
Class Skill: Artificer, Monks, Rangers, and Rogues
Description: Your character is able to see outlines of monsters attempting to sneak around, and hidden objects like traps, trap boxes, and secret doors. Some traps are too difficult to find and may only be found by Rogues.
Comment: This is skill compliments Listen in letting you detect hidden enemies, but it does a better job because you see a dark outline running around. More importantly however is that it can allow you to detect traps so Artificers and Rogues will commonly have quite a bit of this skill. In terms of getting Listen or Spot, many characters will opt for this skill if Listen isn’t their only class skill. Traps with a Search Difficulty Check of 20 or more can only be found by Artificers and Rogues. Additionally like Search, there is no die roll associated with this skill - Spot is what it is.
Swim – Passive Skill – Modified by Strength
Class Skill: Barbarians, Bards, Fighters, Monks, Rangers, and Rogues
Description: Your character is able to swim faster and hold its breath longer when its swimming in Water.
Comment: This skill is believed to be one of the more worthless skills in game. Where your character needs to swim is far and in-between, and with underwater action items, holding your breath isn’t a problem. The only real use for this skill will come from quests like the ‘The Crucible’ if at all. Generally only characters that would specialize in such quests would take this skill
Tumble – Passive Skill – Modified by Dexterity
Class Skill: Bards, Monks, Rogues
Description: Allows your character to roll or do back flips, rather then hop about. Also decreases damage taken when falling down without permanent Feather Fall items on or when under the effects of a Gravitational spell. Skill cannot be used until Trained.
Comment: Tumble is noted as being one of those skills you want to have at least 1 positive modified rank in, so that you can move out of the way or ray spells and other attacks, or just moves quicker in conditions that would normally slow you down. Tumble doesn’t necessarily make you move faster then running, but with a high enough rank you do start to move faster then if you were to just run at normal speed. With 31 modified ranks or higher you start to do flips when tumbling to the side or backwards, and at 36 modified ranks or higher you do flips when tumbling forward. Note that effects like slow, crippling, and other quests that reduce your character's speed and movement will prevent you from being able to use the skill.
Use Magic Device – Passive Skill – Modified by Charisma
Class Skill: Artificers, Bards, and Rogues
Description: Allows your character to use Magical Devices and wear Magical items you would normally not be able to use. Skill cannot be used until Trained.
Comment: This is noted as being one of the best skills in game, if your character is Charisma based or is an Artificer, Bard, or Rogue then it is usually suggested you look into it. Example, that Halfling only Shortsword, your Human Bard can use if his Use Magical Device skill is high enough. Also good when using a class specific wand on another class, like a Rogue using Raise Dead Scrolls. Better yet, you don’t necessary need to have the exact Use Magical Device rating since you get a dice roll added to your Use Magical Device Check. Give strong consideration if you are going to choose another skill over this one. When attempting to equip a race specific, alignment specific, or class specific item, there is no die roll involved - Use Magical Device is what it is. However, when attempting to use a magical item, a d20 roll is added to your Use Magical Device score.