D&D 5E Let us "fix" Expertise!

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.
It is ok, that the rogue runs around with high stealth.
I think where my reliable talent will be an improvement is in different skills like perception. There the rogue probably has a lower ability score, so the floor is quite a bit lower but still reliable.
 

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Dausuul

Legend
Nope, can't agree. From where I'm standing, proficiency and expertise bonuses on skill checks are too small. Way, way too small.

Imagine a person who's never driven a car, never taken driver's ed, no training at all. Take that person, plunk them behind the wheel, show them the pedals to make it go, and send them down the interstate. What are the chances that they reach their destination without a wreck? If you put that chance at 50%, you're more optimistic than I am.

Now, take a typical driver--not a race car driver or a long-haul trucker, just Joe Average Commuter--and send them down the interstate. What are the chances that that person makes it safely? If you say 95%, you are asserting that the typical commuter (two trips per day, 5 days a week) wrecks their car twice a month! I'd hate to see insurance premiums on the D&D highway system.

But think about what this means in terms of the d20 scale: If the average trained driver has a 95% chance to make a check that the average untrained driver fails 50% of the time, that implies a proficiency bonus of +9. That's just proficiency, not even expertise (expertise would be a professional driver of some kind).

Proficiency bonuses in D&D are laughably tiny. And yet people keep complaining and wanting them to be even smaller! Bounded accuracy is designed for combat, where the attack roll is just one component of a much larger system. It makes no sense for skills.
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
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.
Exactly. So the places where you can stack - such as Expertise - are a big deal. Since we know this is the case, we should preserve it.

Pointing out how rare and therefore important it was to make an exception in the case of expertise only underlines thet it is something the designers think needs to stack with expertise.
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
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.


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.
Have to disagree hard.

My rogue 1 with expertise in Investigate might have a +4 to the untrained wizard with a +3. If the wizard trained in it we've got +5. Most campaigns end (source: DnDBeyond & WotC surveys) at 10th so the highest proficiency is +4. Going from non-proficient to proficient is +2 to +4, going from proficient to expertise is +2 to +4, lowest standard array is -1, highest with racial and ASI/feats by 10th is +5 - so a 6 point variation. In other words, expertise over the vast majority of normal play is right in line.

And yes, skill monkeys primarily have it. Extra attack is also only open to some classes. Differentiation between classes is just fine.
 



Stalker0

Legend
Exactly. So the places where you can stack - such as Expertise - are a big deal. Since we know this is the case, we should preserve it.

Pointing out how rare and therefore important it was to make an exception in the case of expertise only underlines thet it is something the designers think needs to stack with expertise.
However, expertise also breaks the core Bounded Accuracy, and if we are operating under the OP's assumption that this is "bad", we should not try to switch it to another mechanic that does the same thing.
 


billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
However, expertise also breaks the core Bounded Accuracy, and if we are operating under the OP's assumption that this is "bad", we should not try to switch it to another mechanic that does the same thing.
I'm not sure it's bad to have a few characters able to break those bounds with a few things. It's kind of the exceptionalism that works for fantasy. Moreover, it's not completely whackadoodle, over the top exceptionalism.
 

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