Is expertise badly designed?

@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
I'm not quite sure what you're arguing against here. I'm not arguing that they're good, anymore than I'm arguing that the current system is good. I'm just pointing out that even the designers recognise that the current system is so modular and vestigal as to be easily chopped out.

The part that's load bearing is that it's necessary to have some way of adding proficiency to checks. You can do that with ability score proficiency or you could do that with the 4 skills from Microlight D20, or you can use 13th age backgrounds (pick 3 rather than the one in the DMG and the system works much better - also make them more specific). You could also bring back the entire skill list from 3.0. It doesn't matter how the PCs get proficiency to rolls, only that they have some way to get it.

The table on page 237 that lays out what each Ability is used for highlights this. The game is interested in whether you use Charisma for X, or Dexterity for Y. It has very little interest in what skill is appropriate to be laid on top of it.

At some point I suspect it was considered making skills entirely optional (Or well more optional than the options in the DMG make them).
 
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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.
I still don't see the logic behind stealth (charisma); but I'm a bit sceptical about intimdation (Strength) also.

It seems to me that the Barbarian with the big axe doesn't really need to roll the dice to be scary - he just is and that should be taken into account - and if he's facing off against someone who isn't fazed by a big barbarian with an axe, it probably is Charisma. (I'm actually more dangerous than I look)
 

Anoth

Adventurer
I still don't see the logic behind stealth (charisma); but I'm a bit sceptical about intimdation (Strength) also.

It seems to me that the Barbarian with the big axe doesn't really need to roll the dice to be scary - he just is and that should be taken into account - and if he's facing off against someone who isn't fazed by a big barbarian with an axe, it probably is Charisma. (I'm actually more dangerous than I look)
Intimidation strength just makes alot of sense to me. If I see a 250 pound man with muscles threatening to rough me up in a dark alley. I would be scared. Now when I was 20 years old i was too stupid to be scared. But
 
Intimidation strength just makes alot of sense to me. If I see a 250 pound man with muscles threatening to rough me up in a dark alley. I would be scared. Now when I was 20 years old i was too stupid to be scared. But
Well yes. But does he have to roll? Or is the scary part the fact that you're in a dark alley with a 250 pound man?

I think it's important to remember that this is a system that doesn't reward rolling. If the party has just slaughtered 8 goblins and the Barbarian is standing over the last one with a bloody axe saying "tell us wihere the loot is?" would failure be interesting? (Because either way it would be reasonably likely).

I guess you could argue that an unintimidated goblin may have the wherewithal to lie, while on a success the goblin wouldn't lie at all...but in both cases the Barbarian has succeeded on the don't hurt me part of the threat automatically. I think I'd still use Charisma in that circumstance but give the Barbarian advantage (for being a great hunk of muscle with a bloody axe standing over a small goblin). (Or maybe the goblin makes a Hard DC 20 Will save)

But this is an example where it somewhat works, I've played in games where Strength (Intimidation) has been used and it has often seemed to lead to strong characters rolling (and sometimes failing) in situations where the dice probably should not have been rolled at all.

But a lot of this has to do with the fact that, under the system, you use ability scores to perform actions not skills.

The question is therefore not, when you use intimidate can you add Strength? but When you make a Strength roll can you sometimes add intimidate? From this perspective intimidate seems less intuitive.

On the other hand. When you try to move silently it's clear that you roll Dexterity, but when moving through a crowd and trying to blend in, you're not moving silently so it seems less obvious that you would use Dexterity instead of something else. This is a situation where the broad skill seems to create a feedback loop that leads to the boundaries of the Ability becoming blurry, (Deception and Persuasion are similar).
 
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Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
You still aren't getting it. You are thinking there are only two people in an urban environment and ignoring all of the other people who will react to the bizarre actions of someone trying to move stealthily using the same skills they use for moving stealthily in a forest/cave/etc. It's impossible to be unseen in a crowd because you are in a crowd, it's a different skillset to move about in the crowd without disrupting it or loiter in plain sight in a way that nobody cares enough to think twice about. If you start moving around central part/time square/etc on a busy day like you would trying to stealthily get the drop on the other team in a paintball match forest... people are going to stare, point, & react in ways that are not natural for the crowd in those places.. in short you have effectively stealthily put up a bright neon sign because you applied the wrong skill... That stealth is still great for sneaking through a warehouse after hours, sneaking onto a docked airship, so on & so forth.
A dexterity check still applies without or without Stealth proficiency, its about avoiding notice of your target and slipping through a crowd. You can still stand behind things, walk non-chalantly and avoid bumping into people. You'd be surprised what you can get away with in a crowd as far as slightly odd behavior goes.

I think you're still missing my point though. If Stealth works in a warehouse for a rogue, stealth works in a forest for a rogue. The same process applies. Replace barrels with bushes and columns with trees. Shadows still need to be used, line of sight still needs to be blocked.

That isn't an issue with the way Expertise interacts, its a problem with the perception that a rogue should be somehow be less able hide in the wilderness because some variety of ranger happens to be good a being sneaky in the wilderness. The rogue regardless of origin can still be stealthy using the same skill set in a forest or a mountain as in the slums and urban jungle.

@Anoth All of this is still related to expertise stealth because stealth is badly overly inclusive & as a result expertise stealth invalidates all other approaches.[/QUOTE]

It generally doesn't though. I'd still use the Dexterity (Stealth) for a crowd because moving unseen in a crowd is still something that requires dexterity. Now its about slipping your way past the crowd and keeping yourself behind other people while still able to see who you actually want to be hidden from. Stealth happens to be a relevant proficiency, but I could see somebody suggesting Deception or Perception depending on the situation.

As for expertise, yes I would assume the player would want to use that as much as possible, given that they clearly want to have a stealth character? Would I be a problem if a fighter had GWM and wanted to use his greatsword to fight all of the time? What about a wizard wanting to cast a fly spell rather than jumping over a pit? These are resources the player has invested and wants to use to play the game. I fail to see how being marginally better at Stealth than another character is a problem, especially with the way the hiding rules actually work.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
moving unseen in a crowd is still something that requires dexterity.
Not at all, I keep telling you this and giving you examples of how it doesn't but you just keep repeating it like it's some unquestionable truth. Grab one of those motorized carts & visit costco on a busy weekend. Push a food cart up to many work sites & watch how far you get while you still have hotdogs/sandwitches/etc. buy or Print out a verizon/att/etc shirt, add a proper hat, clipboard & lineman set... people will fall all over themseles to escort you int secure areas then wander off while you check readings & argue on your cellphone or walkie talkie with someone. Show up with a clipboard,l, hardhat, & tapemeasure at a construction site & don't do anything dangerous while taking notes & wandering around, watch how fast "I'm just doing the survey for $ActualPerson at the code office" makes you invisible. Wander around a hotel barefoot in pajamas, moving with purpose... act a little drunk stoned orconfused if questioned. Walk into a walmart dressed like a security guard from loomis & leave in a chevy lumia after being given a bag with 75k in it. Walk into a store dressed like a vendor & walk out with 16cases of beer between customers... so on & so forth.

All of these kind of things should fall under int & wisdom skills that don't exist or int/wis+skills that do exist but don't account for these kinds of things. The result is that expertise stealth & expertise persuade/deception are absurdly powerful & badly applied too often while walling off characters who are skilled in things that allow this kind of activity.
 

Anoth

Adventurer
Well yes. But does he have to roll? Or is the scary part the fact that you're in a dark alley with a 250 pound man?

I think it's important to remember that this is a system that doesn't reward rolling. If the party has just slaughtered 8 goblins and the Barbarian is standing over the last one with a bloody axe saying "tell us wihere the loot is?" would failure be interesting? (Because either way it would be reasonably likely).

I guess you could argue that an unintimidated goblin may have the wherewithal to lie, while on a success the goblin wouldn't lie at all...but in both cases the Barbarian has succeeded on the don't hurt me part of the threat automatically. I think I'd still use Charisma in that circumstance but give the Barbarian advantage (for being a great hunk of muscle with a bloody axe standing over a small goblin). (Or maybe the goblin makes a Hard DC 20 Will save)

But this is an example where it somewhat works, I've played in games where Strength (Intimidation) has been used and it has often seemed to lead to strong characters rolling (and sometimes failing) in situations where the dice probably should not have been rolled at all.

But a lot of this has to do with the fact that, under the system, you use ability scores to perform actions not skills.

The question is therefore not, when you use intimidate can you add Strength? but When you make a Strength roll can you sometimes add intimidate? From this perspective intimidate seems less intuitive.

On the other hand. When you try to move silently it's clear that you roll Dexterity, but when moving through a crowd and trying to blend in, you're not moving silently so it seems less obvious that you would use Dexterity instead of something else. This is a situation where the broad skill seems to create a feedback loop that leads to the boundaries of the Ability become blurry, (Deception and Persuasion are similar).
Somethings can be auto success with no chance of failure or roll needed
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
Somethings can be auto success with no chance of failure or roll needed
It can be, but d&d lacks anything akin to Fate's taken out/conceed mechanic that would cover the example @Don Durito gave, so expertise in a couple skills like stealth/persuade/deceive are able to steamroll every other skill off the table into irrelevance in most any situation where they could both apply. Without anything as explicit as fate's gold & silver rules, a couple variant rules across phb & dmg leave a lot of gm's thinking that such a thing as not requiring a roll in that situation should never happen given that phb178 says intimidate is a charisma based skill & athletics is the only strength skill. The lack of examples for each ability with the skills similar to how fate skills all have trappings for attack/defend/overcome/create an advantage like so
 
The Monster Manual has an interesting rule for damage on critical hits - you use average damage and then add one dice roll. So an attack that does 5 (1d6+1) on a hit does 5+1d6 on a critical hit.

Perhaps a similar idea for Expertise? Add another die roll so that the extremely high results come out less often.

If you have Expertise then you add your proficiency bonus then add a die roll (perhaps as per the die variant skill checks in the DMG).

So, the high-level bard in my last game who had Expertise in Deception and was therefore making Charisma (Deception) rolls at d20+15 (before magic items) would be rolling that check at d20+10+1d6.
 
This was suggested on the other thread I started.
I doesn't really work out to much of a difference. If you add the proficiency die instead of a flat number for expertise, the average result will actually be slighty higher (by 0.5), and sometimes the total number will be even higher than with expertise.

Unless you keep it simple and add a D6 and keep it as a D6 through the whole life of the charcter (which could work, I can't see any real reason why Expertise needs to scale) but in that case wouldn't it be easier just to add a constant flat number?

Another possibilty would be use the proficiency die variant but roll the proficiency die twice and only keep the highest one. However, this would be a pretty big nerf to Expertise (which I personally don't mind, but players might rebel).

You could also make that extra proficiency die a limited resource, which you can spend to add the extra proficiency die after the initial roll (a bit like superiority dice) so it would be you have X expertise dice per short/long rest.
 

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