Skills on Sunday - Meditative Focus This is from D&D 2nd Edition and uses a system of skill ranks and ability bonuses to confer the ability. Ranks 1; Attribute WIS; Bonus +1; Group Ps; Source The Complete Psionics Handbook https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/16891/PHBR5-The-Complete-Psionics-Handbook-2e
Skills on Sunday - Aberrant Dragonmark This is a feat from 5e. You have manifested an aberrant dragonmark. Determine its appearance and the flaw associated with it. You gain the following benefits:
Increase your Constitution score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
You learn a cantrip from the sorcerer spell list. In addition, choose a 1st-level spell from the sorcerer spell list. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level. Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before you can cast it again. Constitution is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
You can increase the power of your aberrant spells at the risk of your own vitality. When you cast a spell with your aberrant mark, you can use one of your Hit Dice to increase the spell’s level by 1. Immediately after you cast the spell, roll the Hit Die. You take damage equal to the number rolled.
Source: Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron. https://www.dndbeyond.com/feats/aberrant-dragonmark
Skills on Sunday - Victorious Smite from D&D 4e. This is an 11th level Encounter Attack Power for War Chanters. Striking your foe, you call an ally to your side to attack the same target.
Encounter ✦ Arcane, Weapon; Standard Action - Melee weapon; Target: One creature; Attack: Charisma vs. AC; Hit: 1[W] + Charisma modifier damage.
Effect: As a free action, an ally within 5 squares of you can shift 3 squares and make a basic attack against the target with a bonus to the attack roll and the damage roll equal to your Constitution modifier.
Skills on Sunday - Intimidation from D&D 2nd Edition. Slots Required: 1; Ability: Strength/ Charisma; Check Modifier: 0/0; Source: The Complete Thief's Handbook (pg. 19). It's interesting that in 2e Intimidation was not a skill introduced until this specific sourcebook for thieves, and then it was focused on those PCs with the Thug background.
Skills on Sunday - Detect Deception is a 1st Edition skill based on Wisdom. This is the ability to recognize deceptive behavior in an NPC. This does not reveal the truth or falsehood of specific statements, the motivations of the speaker, or the exact nature of the deception. This skill only warns the character to distrust the deceptive NPC. The DM makes the skill roll for the character, informing him of the result. The skill does not work on player characters.
Skills on Sunday - From D&D 5e Persuasion - When you attempt to influence someone or a group of people with tact, social graces, or good nature, the DM might ask you to make a Charisma (Persuasion) check. Deception and Persuasion are often confused, but the general rule of thumb is this: use persuasion when you are acting in good faith, to foster friendships, make cordial requests, or exhibit proper etiquette. And use deception when you want to hide the truth or mislead others, either through your words or your actions. If you want to persuade two nobles fighting each other to find a peaceful solution, that is persuasion. If you want to pass yourself off in disguise, that is deception.
Skills on Sunday - From D&D 3e/3.5e Summon - A creature with the summon ability can summon specific other creatures of its kind much as though casting a summon monster spell, but it usually has only a limited chance of success (as specified in the creature’s entry). Roll d%: On a failure, no creature answers the summons.
Skills on Sunday - From 2nd Edition D&D Prestidigitation. This was at one time not a spell but a skill that someone could use in order to do simple parlor magic and illusions. It was more akin to the magic you would find at a Penn & Teller show than the magic you will find in Undermountain beneath the City of Waterdeep. http://people.wku.edu/charles.plemons/ad&d/nonweapon.html
Skills on Sunday - From D&D 5e - Feat: Observant (Quick to notice details of your environment, you gain the following benefits: 1. Increase your Intelligence or Wisdom score by 1, to a maximum of 20. 2. If you can see a creature’s mouth while it is speaking a language you understand, you can interpret what it’s saying by reading its lips. 3. You have a +5 bonus to your passive Wisdom (Perception) and passive Intelligence (Investigation) scores.) https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/phb/customization-options#Feats
Skills on Sunday - From D&D 5e Feat: Polearm Master (You gain the following benefits: 1. When you take the Attack action and attack with only a glaive, halberd, quarterstaff, or spear, you can use a bonus action to make a melee attack with the opposite end of the weapon. This attack uses the same ability modifier as the primary attack. The weapon’s damage die for this attack is a d4, and it deals bludgeoning damage. 2. While you are wielding a glaive, halberd, pike, quarterstaff, or spear, other creatures provoke an opportunity attack from you when they enter the reach you have with that weapon.) https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/phb/customization-options#Feats
Skills on Sunday - From 2nd Edition - Amethyst Dragon (ability modifyers) http://people.wku.edu/charles.plemons/ad&d/races/minmax.html
In several of the editions of D&D they expanded Skills, Powers, Abilities, and Feats beyond the normal range. Primarily this started in 3e and 3.5e, but it was also prevalent in 4e where mechanically all PCs received powers at each level that could include at will powers (use as many times as you want), encounter powers (use once per encounter) and daily powers (use once per long rest).
For other editions like 2e, I’ve just decided to expand this to random stats. In this case, the randomness is the set of stat modifyers for the Amethyst Dragon: +5 Str, +3 Int, +1 Wis, +2 Cha, -3 Dex
Skills on Sunday - From Pathfinder - Perform https://roll20.net/compendium/pathfinder/Skills:Perform#content
Perform is a Charisma-based skill that lets the PC tell stories, do feats of tumbling or parlor magic, sing songs, engage in public oratory and otherwise try to “win the room” with a performance of some kind. As with everything in Pathfinder there are circumstance modifiers, bonuses, penalties, and a myriad gradients of success that can earn anything from a meager pittance to a pretty good living depending on the city.
Skills on Sunday - From 3e/3.5e - Profession http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/skills.htm
This is one example of how 3.5 tried to micromanage everything and turn it all into dice rolls. If a PC has a non-adventuring life doing some kind of profession—such as a bard who runs an inn when his group is not adventuring—then that can almost always be done a combination of role play and simply the DM determining the local reputation of the innkeeper as an adventurer and modifying the income appropriately.
Back in the day, I used to play bards all the time, and running inns was my favorite non-adventuring profession. I would turn each inn into a museum of my character’s adventures, displaying tacky and sometimes exotic or frightening mementos of our party’s adventures on the walls of the common room where my PC could boast of stories of the adventures and point to the evidence to prove they were true. But in 3.5 they wanted to turn that all into crunchy dice rolls so you could experience boons and busts that may or may not have anything to do with stories the DM had planned or may or may not reflect what is going on in his or her campaign world. To me, this is just the kind of thing that doesn’t need to be in a game system, but it’s there for people who want it.
Skills on Sunday - Balance from 3e/3.5e http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/skills.htm
Balance lets you walk on treacherous surfaces. As with most things in 3rd edition and 3.5e, balance has a boatload of crunch. There are degrees of failure that impact everything from movement speed to falling, and other factors that account for circumstances like trying to balance while fighting or trying to balance while running.
Skills on Sunday - Song of the New Dawn from 4e https://dnd4.fandom.com/wiki/Song_of_the_new_dawn
This is a 4e bard power that allows the caster to call down a radiant attack on an enemy. Interestingly, it doesn’t completely spare allies from damage, but it gives allies a chance to roll twice and take the highest roll in order to save against the damage.
Skills on Sunday - Forgery from 3e/3.5e http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/forgery.htm
Forgery allows the character to create copies or false documents given enough time, skill, and the correct materials. So in order to forge a letter or set of orders from a noble, the character needs to have access to the correct paper, inks, quills, and seals that the noble uses, and then needs to succeed on a skill check to accurately mimic the handwriting and match the style of the person they are attempting to emulate.
As with all other skills in 3e and 3.5e, there is plenty of crunch and there are many variables that impact the roll to see if the forger succeeds or fails.
Skills on Sunday - Tumble from 3e/3.5e http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/tumble.htm
And here’s the crunchiest crunchmaster version of D&D. Tumble is a skill that gains limitations on use depending on training, proficiencies with any armor being worn, and how movement speed is impacted. There are also bonuses and penalties to the checks based on the type of terrain, and there are synergies with other skills in the system, as well as enhancement bonuses to other checks if you wind up loading up your character with rank upon rank of this skill. In 3e and 3.5e every skill requires at least one spreadsheet, and that may have to be linked to spreadsheets for other skills depending on what you’re trying to do. No wonder people said that 3.5e was D&D for Accountants.
Skills on Sunday - Silk Making from AD&D http://members.tripod.com/Lord_Eadric/profs.html
Silk Making was a skill back in the days of Advanced D&D that came out of the Oriental Adventures sourcebook. Silk Making was a non-weapon proficiency or skill that you could gain, and the roll was a Dex -2 roll if you were proficient. So this was a pretty rare and difficult skill to master, and it’s the kind of thing that very high level characters with access to lots of magic that would boost a particular skill would indulge in pursuing.
But this is a skill that some would desire because in early versions of D&D, armor made out of silk had a natural healing property that gave a form of limited regeneration to characters that wore armor made from the stuff. So once you invested the time to begin manufacturing silk armor, it could be pretty lucrative.