Is expertise badly designed?

tetrasodium

Adventurer
Sometimes that just happens. Like, I'm playing a rogue in a game right now, and she's plenty stealthy. But the wizard's familiar can fly and also won't attract attention if seen in most circumstances, because it's just a bird. So when there's scouting to be done, we send in the familiar--but in a different party, I might be doing all the scouting.

I don't think it's a flaw of the game; it's just one of the quirks of how two features happen to overlap.
There's a lot of room to fault how the disposable drone familiars work in 5e too ;)
 

Esker

Abventuree
The concept of CHA and Stealth IMO actually oppose each other. CHA is your personality, confidence, or "putting yourself out there", etc. and Stealth is about "pulling back, hiding, being unobtrusive".
Hmm... it seems to me CHA is about being able to control how you are perceived.
 

Anoth

Adventurer
You can do what you want. I personally don’t like the idea of taking away from my stealth characters who are investing to be the stealth character by making them have a high dex and cha. Just my opinion.
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
Hmm... it seems to me CHA is about being able to control how you are perceived.
As I said, if you are trying to "blend into the crowd" then CHA is fine, but as you said it is about how you are perceived... in other words "seen", which is not stealth IMO, but then becomes about deception.

That's my take, like it or leave it. :)
 
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Esker

Abventuree
One compromise is to roll more dice, but still have a binary success, replace d20 with 2d10 or 3d6, for instance, which have similar averages, but normal distributions.
As @NotAYakk insightfully pointed out in another thread, replacing d20 with 3d6 is mostly equivalent to just doubling bonuses and stretching out DCs, which would be another way to reduce the impact of luck. Though one thing that is kind of neat about replacing a single die with multiple dice when it comes to expertise that isn't captured by rescaling is that it redistributes the value of getting an extra bonus to your roll depending on what your bonus is already and the DC you're trying to hit: normally the difference between untrained and trained is the same as the difference between trained and expert, regardless of the DC (unless you're at an extreme where you're already at ceiling). But if you use 2d10 or 3d6, you introduce diminishing returns of extra bonuses for tasks that start out as easy, whereas you actually make an additional bonus worth more for a task that starts out as moderately difficult.

I kind of like that aspect of it, personally, since it means that the expert is mostly gaining when trying to perform tasks that would be somewhat challenging for a proficient character, but doesn't saturate easy tasks into foregone conclusions quite as much.
 

Esker

Abventuree
As I said, if you are trying to "blend into the crowd" then CHA is fine, but as you said it is about how you are perceived... in other words "seen", which is not stealth IMO, but then becomes about deception.

Thanks my take, like it or leave it. :)
Yeah, I wouldn't object too loudly to using deception for that, but I think of deception as presenting as something different than you are (whereas persuasion is about accentuating your charm, and intimidation is accentuating your power). There isn't a charisma skill that's about suppressing your interestingness, per se; whereas stealth is about blending in in some sense.

But I really like to find reasons to combine skills with other ability scores, so I'm predisposed to things like this.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
There's a lot of room to fault how the disposable drone familiars work in 5e too ;)
That was just an example of a situation where abilities overlap, nothing to do with familiar mechanics specifically.

Here's the thing: either you have complete and total niche protection, which means that the party will simply be at a huge disadvantage in certain situations when they don't have certain classes--or you have some overlap (at least for important stuff), which means that sometimes you'll have two people in the party who can do the same thing and the one with even a tiny advantage will chosen to do it 99% of the time.
 
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Esker

Abventuree
One idea that has occurred to me as a "fix" for Reliable Talent is to replace the hard floor of 10 with "roll both 3d6 and 1d20, take the higher." I haven't done the calculations to see what the exact impact would be, but it would make your rolls more "reliable" than without the ability, in that it cuts down on the chance of low rolls without eliminating them entirely, while not raising the chance of high rolls as much as granting advantage would. Plus you can stack it with advantage, and apply disadvantage without canceling the ability entirely.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
Hmm... it seems to me CHA is about being able to control how you are perceived.
then your looking at things like intimidate, persuade, courtly etiquette, some trade skill*, or similar not "stealth"

You can do what you want. I personally don’t like the idea of taking away from my stealth characters who are investing to be the stealth character by making them have a high dex and cha. Just my opinion.
The same applies in reverse and not just charisma characters the overly broad & inclusive set of trappings applied to stealth & persuade/deception "[Your]" stealth character is stomping on the arcana character wanting to pose as a magewright responsible for servicing a sharn lift, lamplighter, etc or a caracter skilled in cooking tools/mason tools/carpenter tools/etc from posing as a member of the kitchen staff/a mason called in to shore up the basement's drainage after that bog rainstorm cause the staff was worried about the wine cellar/the carpenter called in to make some improvements on the wine racks before the mason shows up to check the drainage/etc... but none of those characters are valued because persuade & deception cover -all- of those things

@Don Durito yea the dmg has "3 different proficiency alternatives to the current skill system", but all of them are pretty poorly thought out & suffer from the sort of overly inclusive with one a less developed version of what exists in fate freeport without the fat fractal & even the fate community tended to find it better to use a more considered set of skills to choose from
no really
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The other two are background & personality trait efficiencies, both of which are aspects that would be called things like high concept aspect or flaw/trouble in fate but lack the compel type functionalities & miss the mark of what aspects are by applying them so broadly as skills. There's also the fact tat so ,many spells & abilities destroy that sort of thing

Fate core has 18 skills & the ability to add more specialized ones along with all the variants that have their own skill arrays. These systems suggest even less than 5e itself & more like Fate acelerated's six... but FAE is more useful for plot/stpryboarding than playing a game because it's too simplified
 

Esker

Abventuree
In case anyone is interested, here is a graph of the success rates produced by my proposed modification for Reliable Talent (either using 3d6 or 4d4), compared to RAW Reliable Talent on the one hand and advantage on the other.



If you need a bit over 10 to succeed, the modified reliable talent is similar to advantage, whereas the regular reliable talent doesn't help you at all if you need more than 10. But it doesn't help you as much as advantage when trying to do something really difficult. It always seemed weird to me that the feature creates this huge gulf in difficulty between tasks that are only 1 DC apart.
 

Esker

Abventuree
then your looking at things like intimidate, persuade, courtly etiquette, some trade skill*, or similar not "stealth"
What roll would you call for when trying to blend in to a crowd? I don't see that Dexterity has anything to do with it, personally.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker
What roll would you call for when trying to blend in to a crowd? I don't see that Dexterity has anything to do with it, personally.
Charisma(Stealth). It's no more strange than Strength(Intimidation), and it gives both the Party Face and the Party Sneak a fair shot.
 

Anoth

Adventurer
I think intimidation (strength) is very different than stealth (charisma). But I think there is already a rule in the PHB allowing DM’s to use different attribute for a skill if they choose. So it should be no big deal if a DM and his players are cool with it.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker
I think intimidation (strength) is very different than stealth (charisma). But I think there is already a rule in the PHB allowing DM’s to use different attribute for a skill if they choose. So it should be no big deal if a DM and his players are cool with it.
It's mechanically identical, and it only seems strange if you've never seen an actor choose to not project.
 

miggyG777

Explorer
One idea that has occurred to me as a "fix" for Reliable Talent is to replace the hard floor of 10 with "roll both 3d6 and 1d20, take the higher." I haven't done the calculations to see what the exact impact would be, but it would make your rolls more "reliable" than without the ability, in that it cuts down on the chance of low rolls without eliminating them entirely, while not raising the chance of high rolls as much as granting advantage would. Plus you can stack it with advantage, and apply disadvantage without canceling the ability entirely.
Why not just roll a d20 with advantage?
 

Esker

Abventuree
Why not just roll a d20 with advantage?
Check out the graph above. For one, applying advantage boosts your likelihood of getting a high roll more than this does, while mitigating the risk of a low roll less, making it farther away from the intent of the feature. For another, this can stack with advantage or disadvantage.
 

Esker

Abventuree
Seemed to me as though some people were advocating Charisma(Deception). and others were advocating Dexterity(Stealth). Neither of those seems entirely apt.
Somebody proposed Charisma(Stealth) above, which I thought sounded right, but others disagree.
 

miggyG777

Explorer
Check out the graph above. For one, applying advantage boosts your likelihood of getting a high roll more than this does, while mitigating the risk of a low roll less, making it farther away from the intent of the feature. For another, this can stack with advantage or disadvantage.
Interesting, it adds a little more complexity though with the extra dice. I am always thinking about whether the trade-off would be worth it.
 

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