ImageSkills are divided into three main groups: Combat skills, Tactical Skills & General skills. Combat & Tactical skills are determined through opposed checks against the foes the heroes encounter and interact with. General skills sometimes are used for opposed checks, but more often they are used against a fix difficulty check to determine success or failure. The following gives a general idea of how to attribute check difficulties for unopposed skill checks:
  • DC 05: Easy
  • DC 10: Straightforward
  • DC 15: Doable
  • DC 20: Achievable
  • DC 25: Challenging
  • DC 30: Arduous
  • DC 35: Extreme
  • DC 40: Incredible
There are many useful things to know about skills in the DDSE system:
  • Skill ranks can never exceed the character's Skills progression category.
  • Skill Rank Progression: Every new character level, skills can be improved by spending skill points. See the Rules section for the full mechanics and details on how to increase skill ranks as the character progresses.
  • Specialties: Specialties constitute a subset of a skill, available for specific uses of the skill. Using a skill specialty that the character does not possess results in a -5 penalty to the skill check.
    • Purchasing Speciaties: Each specialty costs a single skill point to learn. There are no free specialties. To learn a specialty, the character must have at least 1 skill rank invested in the skill first.

Combat Skills

ImageCombat skills replace the typical base attack bonus ratings of characters. Combat skills are used when performing martial and magical attacks. These skills cannot be improved with the Skill Focus feat, and no class provides training for them. Their maximum rank is equal the character's current level. Each skill has it's own specializations, they are provide in parenthesis beside each skill:


This skill is used to determine who acts first during combat.
  • Related Ability: Dexterity
  • Specialties: Melee Combat, Ranged Combat, Mounted Combat

Melee Combat

You swing your weapons at foes in close combat.
  • Related Ability: Strength
  • Specialties: Axes, Basic, Chain, Crushing, Heavy Blades, Light Blades, Natural, Picks & Hammers, Polearms, Spears, Unarmed
    • Even if you are proficient with a weapon group, you do not automatically gain the skill specialty for that group.

Ranged Combat

You engage your foes in combat from afar.
  • Related Ability: Dexterity
  • Specialties: Bows, Crossbows, Slings, Spears, Thrown, Wands
    • Even if you are proficient with a weapon group, you do not automatically gain the skill specialty for that group.


You channel seething magical energies through your body.
  • Related Ability: Constitution
  • Specialties: Arcane, Divine, Infusion, Universal
    • Dispelling & Counterspelling attempts use the specialty of the spell effect they are attempting to cancel/prevent.
    • Special: In order to invest ranks in the Spellcasting combat skill, you must have the Magic-Sensitive feat.

General Skills

ImageGeneral skills are used mostly outside of combat. The maximum rank a character can possess in any general skill is equal to half his current character level, round down. The feat "General Skill Focus" can be purchased to improve each respective skill by providing a +5 feat bonus. Class training also grants a class bonus to general skills that stacks with this feat bonus.


Whenever physical activity is required, the Athletics skill comes into play. More about agility then strength, these physical exertions allow the characters to surmount challenges and obstacles.
  • Related Ability: Dexterity
  • Specialties: Acrobatics, Balance, Climb, Endurance, Fly, Jump, Lift, Run, Swim, Tumble
    • Acrobatics
      • Move while avoiding enemies.
      • Bypass obstacles using your environment.
      • Perform difficult feats while moving.
    • Balance
      • Tightrope Walking.
      • Walk on ledges.
      • Stand on an unstable surface.
    • Climb
      • Climb up an abrupt slope without falling.
      • Climb down an abrupt slope without falling.
    • Endurance
      • Avoid becoming fatigued or exausted.
      • Determine amount of time a physical activity can be maintained.
      • Determine number of rounds breath can be held while underwater.
    • Fly
      • Ride a flying mount.
      • Determine flight maneuverability during magical flight.
      • Perform a flight maneuver.
    • Jump
      • Jump horizontally.
      • Jump upwards.
      • Running jump.
    • Lift
      • Lift a gate.
      • Hold a weight up.
    • Run
      • Sprint a short distance.
      • Outrun an opponent.
      • Catch up to a target.
      • Jog a long distance.
    • Swim
      • Stay afloat in turbulent waters.
      • Determine swimming speed.
      • Reduce damage taken from high dives.
    • Tumble
      • Fall without taking damage, or reducing falling damage.
      • Tumble away from opponents, avoiding attacks of opportunity.
      • Tumble through opponents, avoiding attacks of opportunity.


This skill determines how alert to his surroundings a character is, and to detect and notice things that others might miss.
  • Related Ability: Wisdom
  • Specialties: Listen, Search, Sense Deception, Sense Magic, Spot
    • Listen
      • Listen through a door.
      • Detect incoming enemies.
      • Notice unusual sounds while sleeping.
    • Search
      • Find cover for yourself & others.
      • Find concealment for yourself & others.
      • Search for something specific.
    • Sense Deception
      • Detect a bluff or lie.
      • Detect a disguise.
      • Detect an ulterior motive.
    • Sense Magic
      • Sense magic in an item, person or place.
      • Notice a magical disturbance when a spell is cast nearby.
    • Spot
      • Become alert to approaching enemies.
      • Notice something without looking for it.


This skill is used whenever creating items or attempting to repair them.
  • Related Ability: Intelligence
  • Specialties: Alchemy, Armors, Constructs, Jewelry, Leatherwork, Maps, Poisons, Stonework, Weapons, Woodwork
    • Alchemy
      • Brew potion
      • Concoct special substances (see Equipment section).
    • Armors
      • Create medium or heavy armor.
      • Create shields.
    • Constructs
      • Craft the body of a Warforged being.
      • Craft the body of a Golem.
      • Provide first aid to a damaged construct.
      • Provide extended care to a recovering construct.
    • Invention
      • Assemble a weaponry invention.
      • Assemble a transportation invention.
    • Jewelry
      • Create necklaces, rings, brooches.
    • Leatherwork
      • Create light armor.
      • Create leather items.
    • Maps
      • Create a map of an area.
      • Create a map of a dungeon.
      • Copy an existing map.
    • Poisons
      • Confect poisons.
    • Stonework
      • Construct building.
      • Construct fortification.
    • Weapon
      • Create weapons.
    • Woodwork
      • Construct buildings.
      • Create wooden items.


Deception is a skill that is used to deceive and mislead other characters.
  • Related Ability: Charisma
  • Specialties: Bluff, Disguise, Intimidation, Lie, Forgery
    • Bluff
      • Feint an attack during combat.
      • Fast-talk your way past problems.
      • Convince someone through false claims.
    • Disguise
      • As someone else of your race.
      • As someone of another race.
      • As someone of a different size.
    • Intimidate
      • Shake an opponent's resolve.
      • Convince someone to cooperate.
      • Convince a foe to surrender.
    • Lies
      • Mislead others.
      • Resist interrogation.
      • Concoct an alibi.
    • Forgery
      • Replicate a signature.
      • Forge a document.
      • Imitate a design


ImageThis skill covers most types of dealings when interacting with other characters.
  • Related Ability: Charisma
  • Specialties: Charm, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Interrogation, Perform, Persuade
    • Charm
      • Seduce someone.
      • Improve relations with someone.
    • Diplomacy
      • Affect a political decision by appealing to a relevant leader.
      • Improve relations with a group or organization.
      • Cover up an ally's blunders.
    • Gather Information
      • Find out about available quests in a given area.
      • Find out information about a specific event, person or thing.
      • Gather evidence as part of a criminal investigation.
    • Interrogation
      • Extract valuable information through questioning.
      • Extract valuable information through threats.
      • Extract valuable information through torture.
    • Perform
      • Sing.
      • Tell stories.
      • Dance.
      • Play musical instrument.
    • Persuade
      • Convince through rational argumentation.
      • Convince through emotional inspiration.
      • Convince through bribery/rewards.


ImageThis all encompassing skills allows characters to recall specific information on an extremely diverse range of topics.
  • Related Ability: Intelligence
  • Specialties: Arcane, Area, Cosmology, Dungeoneering, History, Navigate, Nobility, Pilot, Religion
    • Arcane
      • Knowledge of magic items.
      • Knowledge of ancient magic.
      • Knowledge of important magic users.
    • Area
      • Knowledge of a specific point of interest.
      • Knowledge of a specific city.
      • Knowledge of a specific country.
      • Knowledge of a specific continent.
    • Cosmology
      • Knowledge of the planes.
      • Knowledge of the stars.
      • Knowledge of the moons & planets.
    • Dungeoneering
      • Knowledge of underground creatures.
      • Knowledge of underground environments.
      • Knowledge of dungeons, ruins & keeps.
    • History
      • History of lost civilizations
      • History of existing civilizations
      • Timeline of general events.
    • Navigate
      • Plot a course.
      • Predict Weather.
    • Nobility
      • Knowledge of important houses & organizations.
      • Knowledge of heraldic symbols.
      • Knowledge of important individuals.
    • Pilot
      • Pilot a vehicle.
    • Technology
      • Design a weaponry invention.
      • Assemble a transportation invention.


This skill determines your general understanding of magic and your ability to detect the signs of it's use.
  • Related Ability: Intelligence
  • Specialties: Announce Power, Hide Sensitivity, Identify Spell, Prestidigitation, Tricks
    • Announce Power
      • Make the extent of your magical powers evident.
    • Hide Sensivity
      • Prevent others from detecting your ability to use spells.
    • Identify Spell
      • Determine the exact type of spell being cast by someone.
    • Tricks
      • Utilize Enspelled combat maneuvers


Stealth covers the wide range of activities that attempt to prevent others from detecting the character.
  • Related Ability: Dexterity
  • Specialties: Conceal, Hide, Move Silently, Stalk
    • Conceal
      • Dissimulating something on yourself.
      • Make an object difficult to find.
    • Hide
      • Prevent others from noticing you.
      • Use the shadows to disappear from the sight of others.
    • Move Silently
      • Approach someone without them noticing you.
      • Walk past others without being detected.
    • Stalk
      • Follow someone in a public/open place without being noticed.


ImageThievery is the secret trade of rogues everywhere. It's many facets provide a powerful array of tools to assist them in their activities.
  • Related Ability: Intelligence
  • Specialties: Appraise, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Open Locks, Sleight of Hand, Use Magic Device
    • Appraise
      • Determine the value of things.
      • Determine the risk of a situation.
      • Determine the function of things.
    • Disable Device
      • Disable a trap.
      • Sabotage a device.
    • Escape Artist
      • Break free from bondage
      • Squeeze through tight places.
      • Free yourself when grappled or grabbed.
    • Open Locks
      • Unlock doors & chests.
    • Sleight of Hand
      • Do magic tricks with your hands.
      • Pick someone's pocket.
    • Use Magic Device
      • Use scrolls even if you are not qualified to cast spells.
      • Activate magical items without knowing their trigger key.

Wilderness Aptitude

This skill relates to the general activities that one is expected to know when traveling outside the comforts of civilization.
  • Related Ability: Wisdom
  • Specialties: Handle Animal, Heal, Ride, Survival, Track
    • Handle Animal
      • Domesticate a newborn animal.
      • Tame a wild animal.
      • Calm a panicked/frightened animal.
      • Improve relations with an animal.
      • Train a domesticated animal.
    • Heal
      • Stabilize a dying creature.
      • Provide first aid to a wounded creature.
      • Provide extended care to a recovering creature.
    • Ride
      • Ride a normal mount.
      • Ride a flying mount.
    • Survival
      • Knowledge of wilderness creatures.
      • Hunt in a wilderness area.
      • Find comestible vegetation.
      • Start a fire.
      • Locate a shelter.
    • Track
      • Track a creature.

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