I often wonder why D&D always failed in putting together a nice and elegant skill system, especially since the seeds for such system where present in the game since 1974. So I decided to extrapolate the skill system from the LBBs, and merge it to the BX edition (or Labyrinth Lord). You may find this simple little system to work perfectly with Swords & Wizardry, if the universal attribute modifiers house rule is used (see Ability Modifiers moreover).

There are six categories for skills:
  • Breaking doors
  • Listening at doors
  • Locating mechanical traps
  • Locating secret doors
  • Hiding
  • Surprise
As a general rule, characters succeed at a skill check with a 2 in 6 chance. Since the basic assumption of D&D when it comes to dice is that you better roll high, characters succeed in a skill check if they roll 5 or more on a six-sided die. (From here on, 5+.)

Racial Modifiers
The skill check is modified according to the character race:
  • Elves get a +1 at Locating secret doors
  • Dwarves get a +1 at Locating mechanical traps
  • Halflings get a +1 at Hiding
  • Humans get a -1 at Listening at doors

Armor Modifiers
The skill check is modified according the character's armor:
  • Chain mail: -1 at Hiding and Surprise, +1 at Breaking Doors
  • Plate mail: -2 at Hiding and Surprise, +2 at Breaking Doors

(Optional) Ability Modifiers
Every skill refers to a particular Ability and is modified accordingly:
  • Breaking Doors: Strength
  • Listening at doors: Wisdom
  • Locating mechanical traps: Wisdom
  • Locating secret doors: Intelligence
  • Hiding: Wisdom
  • Surprise: Dexterity

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