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D&D 5E Let us "fix" Expertise!

Slit518

Explorer
As we know Expertise in 5th edition is double your Proficiency bonus.

Normal Proficiency is from 2 to 6, while Expertise is from 4 to 12.

Expertise messes with the Bounded Accuracy a bit, but, can always be adjusted if the DM is so inclined. But that is another subject.

What are some ways to "fix" Expertise?
  1. Get rid of it all together?
  2. Roll a 1d4 with all Checks that have Expertise?
  3. A flat bonus or +2, for example?
  4. Advantage on all Checks that have Expertise?
  5. Advantage that can be used Once a Short Rest on all Checks that have Expertise per Skill?
  6. Advantage that can be used a number of times equal to your Proficiency modifier on all Checks that have Expertise per Skill?
  7. Some other idea?
 

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Stalker0

Legend
Probably the most "5e" way to do it is to provide advantage all the time. Again, greatly increases consistency without a true increase in power.

Now personally that is actually a decent nerf, advantage is not that hard to get on skills when you need it a good portion of the time, so there are many cases where expertise would become superfluous. But hey, having something on all the time is always cool, so that is a factor.
 


aco175

Legend
A smart bonus is likely best. A rogue with expertise in stealth gets +2 instead of double helps at low level, but is not that big at higher levels. Problems are DCs are higher at higher level whether the DM makes things tougher on purpose or not. This can/should be countered with having a greater chance to overcome it and the fun factor of being a high level PC and being able to do cool things.

Example of the rogue with expertise in stealth at low level being good and then at high level not having the extra 6 points and having only 2. Would the DC stay at 20 for something hard of would the DM challenge them and set the DC at 25 since they are high level and the guard is not a mook, but the elite king's guard with better perception. Maybe an opposed check is not the best example, but you get the idea.

Another idea is like what @Stalker0 is saying in that advantage is basically a +5 bonus and do away with the prof bonus. You could limit that to a number of times per day or leave it all the time.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Probably the most "5e" way to do it is to provide advantage all the time. Again, greatly increases consistency without a true increase in power.

Now personally that is actually a decent nerf, advantage is not that hard to get on skills when you need it a good portion of the time, so there are many cases where expertise would become superfluous. But hey, having something on all the time is always cool, so that is a factor.
I think part of the point of expertise is to have some true increase in power. Reliable Talent comes along later to increase consistency.
I'm not really convinced a change is necessary, but one way of doing so that might be a good 5e-esque alternative would be to pick skills that would receive +1d4 on their checks, somewhat akin to Guidance, rather than doubling the proficiency bonus.
 



Stalker0

Legend
I think part of the point of expertise is to have some true increase in power. Reliable Talent comes along later to increase consistency.
I'm not really convinced a change is necessary, but one way of doing so that might be a good 5e-esque alternative would be to pick skills that would receive +1d4 on their checks, somewhat akin to Guidance, rather than doubling the proficiency bonus.
Yeah to be clear, I think expertise is just fine, I really don't see the problem myself.

My only issues are various items that give like a +5 bonus. Those are broken, but magic items are optional for a reason, they are buyer beware.
 

What exactly is the problem with expertise?
That the rogue very seldom fails? That his ability to sneak is extremely reliable?

Actuall I think reliable talent is a bigger problem. Together with expertise it makes the game less fun. +17 max from attribute + expertise is still within the bounds (you can roll as low as 18, which can be beat by someone who has no proficiency and an 8 in the relevant attribute).
 

Yeah to be clear, I think expertise is just fine, I really don't see the problem myself.

My only issues are various items that give like a +5 bonus. Those are broken, but magic items are optional for a reason, they are buyer beware.
Instead of the +5 bonus I would favour permanent advantage. That would not break the bounds as you can't double dip.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Please let us know what you are trying to fix, you haven't described a problem with it yet. Unless maybe it was the size of the bonus for very high level play.
 

Mort

Legend
What exactly is the problem with expertise?
That the rogue very seldom fails? That his ability to sneak is extremely reliable?

Actuall I think reliable talent is a bigger problem. Together with expertise it makes the game less fun. +17 max from attribute + expertise is still within the bounds (you can roll as low as 18, which can be beat by someone who has no proficiency and an 8 in the relevant attribute).

Reliable Talent is a BIG get - requiring 11 levels of rogue. 11th level is SUPPOSED to be big for classes.

And I like the concept of the 11th level rogue just not worrying about low rolls on stuff he's good at.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Probably the most "5e" way to do it is to provide advantage all the time. Again, greatly increases consistency without a true increase in power.
Eh, I can't argue against this being a 5e-type solution but can't argue for it being a good solution either.

Permanent advantage means you never need to try for advantage, never can benefit form help from someone else skilled, etc. Someone with expertise in stealth can't benefit from an elven cloak. It a poor solution from an in-world and narrative perspective, as well as an overlapping mechanics perspective. I can't argue against it because they've done it in several places, but that doesn't make it good as a ubiquitous solution.
 

Reliable Talent is a BIG get - requiring 11 levels of rogue. 11th level is SUPPOSED to be big for classes.

And I like the concept of the 11th level rogue just not worrying about low rolls on stuff he's good at.
Yes. But I don't like it.
It means the rogue always rolls at least a 23 at that time for sneaking... That is way overkill in most cases.
I'd rather have something like the brabarian feature that lets you replace a roll with your strength score, but for all attributes. That makes it also quite reliable.
 

Stalker0

Legend
It a poor solution from an in-world and narrative perspective, as well as an overlapping mechanics perspective.
However, that is baked into many of the core tenants of 5e. 5e rallies against stacking in many many places.

You can have X, you can have Y....but you cannot have X + Y. Its the same reason enhance ability does nothing if you have some one to help you, the same reason being prone doesn't reduce my attack if I'm already in darkness.

We have already taken that narrative leap in so many places in 5e....so there is no "narrative perspective" that makes this a poor solution. I respect that people may grate on that notion in 5e....but this solution is well well well within the narrative already laid it.
 

Mort

Legend
Until high levels, we speak about max +4 bonus... That is also not so much... 20% increased chance of success...

If we're talking about reliable talent- THAT's where I'd put advantage on the roll (and personally ALSO keep the floor of 10) that would make high level rogue's truly stand out without sending numbers into the stratosphere.

As for Expertise - I like it enough where it is. Advantage would provide a big advantage at low levels, and less of one at high level -which would work but I think advantage can't be the solve for EVERYTHING sometimes nice bonuses work to differentiate skill too!
 

Stalker0

Legend
Yes. But I don't like it.
It means the rogue always rolls at least a 23 at that time for sneaking... That is way overkill in most cases.
I'd rather have something like the brabarian feature that lets you replace a roll with your strength score, but for all attributes. That makes it also quite reliable.
Well in that case the rogue would just have a 20 on its stealth all the time, not that much less, and still how high than the vast vast majorities of passive perceptions out there.

I can say having run a stealth focused rogue in my game....I have learned two things:
  • If the rogue wants to stealth they will basically be hidden, they will almost never fail.
  • The key is to control when stealth works.... 5e allows for many circumstances where stealth just fails, doesn't matter if you have a 50.
 

Slit518

Explorer
Expertise is just a mechanic. "Fixing" implies a problem. What is the problem you want to fix?
What exactly is the problem with expertise?
Please let us know what you are trying to fix, you haven't described a problem with it yet. Unless maybe it was the size of the bonus for very high level play.
The "problem" with Expertise are a few things.
  1. It disrupts bounded accuracy (Should a DC be higher than 30, which is marked "near impossible?).
  2. It is only available to a select few (Bard; Rogue, well, that was true until Tasha's came out, assuming the DM uses Feats and allows the Tasha's book).
  3. There is a large disparity between someone with base Proficiency and Expertise, your Proficiency modifier going up every several levels would be a show in your character's "skill" with that particular thing going up -- let's say from Apprentice to Grandmaster. I don't see how Expertise helps that. You're already going to be an Expert somewhere along that path to begin with.

As for Expertise - I like it enough where it is. Advantage would provide a big advantage at low levels, and less of one at high level -which would work but I think advantage can't be the solve for EVERYTHING sometimes nice bonuses work to differentiate skill too!
Advantage would be bigger at higher levels as well, because your Proficiency Bonus increases gradually, as well as your Ability Modifier, assuming the Skill uses a Stat you increase.
 

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