I think it is time I lay this out clearly since people obviously don't "get it" based on the current votes. Just to make it clear how bad the current implementation of the skills system is I just made a rouge and went through the trouble of listing every single Talent they can take that gives something other than Athletics as it's skill reward. I will list what the Talent does, what Skill it gives, and how much of that Skill it awards. Bear in mind if you see a Talent that gives say 1 Survival and nothing else that is because the other Skill it gives is Athletics and Athletics doesn't matter.
Why doesn't Athletics matter? Because out of 46 total skills a Rogue can pick (by the way Rogue's only get 1 Skill Fighters don't) 28 of them give Athletics, that's right, roughly 61% of skills gives Athletics. So trust me, you can build any kind of Rogue you want and odds are good you can and will fit Athletics in there somewhere. I would also add that there are only 24 Talents that gives Skills that aren't "just Athletics" and even some of those still give +1 Athletics like I already mentioned. That's right. There are more Talents that give Athletics than there are all other Talents combined.
Why make this point using a Rogue? Because Rogues are supposed to be the "Skill" character based on most peoples expectations. So without further ado, here is the list of every skill you can pick as a Rogue that will award something that isn't Athletics.
Snake's Reflexes - Gives bonus Reflex Defense - 1 Stealth
Bear's Fortitude - Gives bonus Fortitude Defense - 1 Survival
Bull's Will - Gives bonus Will Defense - 2 Lore
Cautious Attack - + Deflection but lowers Attack Speed - 1 Survival
Envenomed Strike - damage over time on attack - 1 Survival 1 Stealth *
Deep Pockets - Gain 2 extra Quick Slots - 2 Survival
Gunner - Reload speeds are faster - 2 Mechanics *
Dangerous Implements - Wands and such do more damage but user takes damage too - 1 Lore
Graceful Retreat - Grants bonus defense against Disengagement Attacks - 1 Stealth *
Scion of Flame - Increases Burn Damage Threshold and and Damage - 1 Survival 1 Lore
Heart of the Storm - Increases Shock Damage Threshold and and Damage - 1 Survival 1 Lore
Spirit of Decay - Increases Corrode Damage Threshold and and Damage - 1 Survival 1 Lore
Secrets of Rime - Increases Freeze Damage Threshold and and Damage - 1 Survival 1 Lore
Backstab - + Melee damage from Invisibility - 2 Stealth *
Potent Potions - All potions have longer Duration and Heal more damage - 2 Survival
Accurate Traps - Traps are more Accurate - 2 Mechanics
Powerful Traps - Traps do more Damage and have longer Duration - 2 Mechanics
Quick Switch - Reduced Recovery Time when switching weapons/spells - 1 Lore
Lore Keeper - Gives more Lore - 4 Lore
Expert Mechanic - Gives more Mechanics - 4 Mechanics *
Stealthy Scout - Gives more Stealth - 4 Stealth *
Expert Survivalist - Gives more Survival - 4 Survival
Wound Binding - Allows for a "modest" amount of Health Healing on Self - 2 Survival
Field Triage - Allows for a "modest" amount of Health Healing on Others - 2 Survival
I put Asterisks beside the Talents I would ever actually consider taking just for reference. Bear in mind I would obviously only take Gunner if I was a ranged Rogue, or Backstab (the one Rogue unique skill) if I was a melee Rogue. So I would never even take all the Asterisk marked skills on one character because they don't work well together. Meanwhile you will notice Talents like Two Weapon Fighting, Savage Attack, Penetrating Shot, Bloody Slaughter, Weapon Focus, etc etc are all missing because they only award Athletics. In fact just to get my jollies I will let you know that if you decide to make a "Master of the Bow" character there is only one Talent you will even consider that doesn't just give +2 Athletics and that's Gunner. God Lore is even worse off if you look at this list, I sure hope casters get a ton of Talents we aren't seeing listed here .
Obsidian said they didn't want us to make "Skill" characters who were only good outside of combat that we dragged around for picking locks and removing traps. However that is exactly what this skill system change did, it created Skill characters who are sub optimal in actual combat and emphasized Skill use over actual ability in battle.
EDIT: Oh in defense of the system I did forget as you level up there is a couple more skills that become available to Rogues that are good and give stealth. Of course they are Rogue only and 1 of them still manages to give +1 Athletics.
Edited by Karkarov, 02 November 2014 - 05:05 AM.