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Back to Fighters and background skills, I guess that we don't have a detailed breakdown of which skills are on that list yet, and maybe that's part of the reason folks disagree so strongly on whether or not the bonus ranks will really help the Fighter with skills.
I think being able to give your Fighter a little extra personality without sacrificing Perception and such seems nice. I could also imagine mechanical benefits though. For instance, if Craft is a background skill this would make it a lot easier for a Dwarf Fighter to invest in Master Craftsman, which seems like an iconic choice to me. Putting max ranks in a Craft skill would be a pretty big investment for somebody who probably only gets 1-3 skill ranks per level, but if you have extra ranks to put in Craft skills anyhow it would be less of a sacrifice. With the new variant multiclassing maybe you'll also be able to pick up bardic performances, qualify for Discordant Voice with 10 free ranks in Perform, and do some sort of dwarven smithing chant during battle, maybe something like:
"As fer ye goblins I'll hit in the head
I'm swinging me hammer to make ye all dead!
I'll cave in your skulls as I'm drinking me brew
Cuz smithin and killin are things that I do!
I'll slay your whole tribe and I'll do it today
You'll soon know the truth of these things that I say!"
I'd bet there are other potential uses out there, and I wouldn't be surprised if Unchained creates even more. Even if it somehow turns out that the Fighter is a big loser in Unchained and unexpectedly emerges even further "behind the curve" than he went in I think I'll still probably like the variant rule for background skills. Even classes with lots of skill ranks like Bards and Rogues might be a little more interesting if every rank weren't chosen to maximize its effect on exploration and combat. That's not to say that they always are now, but if they're not you're often "giving up" something to have that extra RP tidbit.