Finished the next chapter of the 4E Essentials Rules Compendium, the one on Skills.
But anyway, it's out of the way. 4E, like most successors to 3E, has pared down the number of skills, combining similar ones into one bigger skill. So "Athletics" covers running, jumping, swimming, climbing, and the like. "Thievery" covers most of your typical Thieves' Tools operations (find and remove traps, open locks) with Pick Pockets. 3E's Knowledge skills are for the most part now subskills of other areas. "Nature" covers survival and Knowledge: Nature, and IIRC Handle Animal.
So they've made improvements on the skill set, and the system. Automatic level bonus (1/2 level, round down) to all skills, and training gets you a +5 bonus to that skill. Much easier than trying to assign skill points. I'm sure this is a big benefit when designing NPCs. Skills were one of the worst things about NPC/monster design in 3E.
Still, it was pretty dry reading. Glad it's over with. And if we have another skill challenge in Enzo's game tomorrow, I'll have a much better idea of what that entails.
12 hours ago