D&D 5E Let us "fix" Expertise!

Argyle King

Legend
This severely nerfs the Rogue class. The difference between expertise and proficiency in tier 2 goes from +3 to +1.

If it were up to me, I would rewrite most of the numbers that 5E currently uses, but that would require a new edition.

The difference from a 1d4 (2.5 average) and a 1d6 (3.5 average) is +1, so the rogue still ends up with a boosted chance of success. Also, the rogue gets a chance at a higher possible maximum.

All of that is on top of sneak attack and the variety of other things the class gets as a whole.
 

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Reviving an old thread.
My idea - thoughts? problems?

Untrained = 1d20 + Ability Mod
Trained = 1d20 + Proficiency Mod + Ability Mod
Expertise = 1d20 + Proficiency Mod + Ability Mod (minimum 10 + Ability Mod)

Replace Reliable Talent with some other class feature from some of the splatbooks.
 

jgsugden

Legend
If you want to fix something, you need to understand what is broken about it.

Let's start by providing an example where a game session or adventure was ruined by the presence of expertise, or we otherwise had a significant negative outcome. Does anyone have one? I have yet to see one. I see plenty of times when a PC is very effective due to expertise whn attempting to do something, but I have yet to see it be problematic. The ability 'busting' bounded accuracy is a feature of expertise - not a bug.
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
Expertise is a big deal for the characters that have it, and ... I don't see that as a problem. Characters who are skill based succeeding at skill checks is, as far as I can tell, how the system is intended to work.

I generally feel that DCs are set too high, and playing a low level game now I see lots of failure that requires the DM to act to move things forward in the case of checks that are necessary to move the game forward.

Playing a character with Expertise feels like I can make a real contribution to move the game forward.
 

If you want to fix something, you need to understand what is broken about it.

Let's start by providing an example where a game session or adventure was ruined by the presence of expertise, or we otherwise had a significant negative outcome. Does anyone have one? I have yet to see one. I see plenty of times when a PC is very effective due to expertise whn attempting to do something, but I have yet to see it be problematic. The ability 'busting' bounded accuracy is a feature of expertise - not a bug.
'Busting' bounded accuracy is an issue in my games. I'm not a fan of grapple rolls heading into the mid 20's.
 

Expertise is a big deal for the characters that have it, and ... I don't see that as a problem. Characters who are skill based succeeding at skill checks is, as far as I can tell, how the system is intended to work.

I generally feel that DCs are set too high, and playing a low level game now I see lots of failure that requires the DM to act to move things forward in the case of checks that are necessary to move the game forward.

Playing a character with Expertise feels like I can make a real contribution to move the game forward.
This is not one of my concerns - my DCs are set nicely within the 10-20 range and the PCs are level 13. The only time where 20 is exceeded - is on contested rolls.
 

Stormonu

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.
Meanwhile, the wizard's been casting invisiblity since 3rd level - possibly with silence on top of it.
 


Mort

Legend
Supporter
And at the same time, invisibility does not replace sneaking but enhances it.

I stand my point, reliable talent is overkill.

Has it ever actually caused a problem in one of your games? What was the problem?

Every time I've run high level games (which is rare but I just ran a session for 15th level characters this last Friday), it hasn't been the least bit overkill. The rogue had 2 situations where it mattered. The wizard, in the same session, banished a foe that could have been a BIG problem and forcecaged another one that would likely been even worse.

I suppose it could get a bit cheesy with grappling - but since you need 11+ levels of rogue to do it that's a HUGE investment for such a payoff.

So I like it as a mid-high level ability.
 

Has it ever actually caused a problem in one of your games? What was the problem?

Every time I've run high level games (which is rare but I just ran a session for 15th level characters this last Friday), it hasn't been the least bit overkill. The rogue had 2 situations where it mattered. The wizard, in the same session, banished a foe that could have been a BIG problem and forcecaged another one that would likely been even worse.

I suppose it could get a bit cheesy with grappling - but since you need 11+ levels of rogue to do it that's a HUGE investment for such a payoff.

So I like it as a mid-high level ability.

No. But I still don't like it. That is my preference. I don't mind it either. I just don't like it.
 

jgsugden

Legend
'Busting' bounded accuracy is an issue in my games. I'm not a fan of grapple rolls heading into the mid 20's.
But how does it break the game? If a player has invested in being really good at grappling, spending a feat, a rogue level, etc... to get to be abkle to do it well ... is it a problem that they are really good at it versus most foes?

Heroes are supposed to be effective. As a DM, we're better off celebrating when PCs are effective, right? That is what makes players feel like their PCs are heroes, not playthings in the DM's story.
 


But how does it break the game? If a player has invested in being really good at grappling, spending a feat, a rogue level, etc... to get to be abkle to do it well ... is it a problem that they are really good at it versus most foes?
Ah but they will still be good against most foes.
They have a +10 on Athletics, with a minimum of 15 with my house-ruled Expertise. That equates to a 75% chance of getting higher than moderate difficulty (DC 15). Furthermore in social encounters, I don't want a PC having +15 on persuasion checks. And there are many more examples.

I generally like a healthy dose to a challenge. Furthermore I use success with consequence, fail forward...etc
So my issue is not the failed skill checks stop the story.
Heroes are supposed to be effective. As a DM, we're better off celebrating when PCs are effective, right? That is what makes players feel like their PCs are heroes, not playthings in the DM's story.
And they are effective at my table. The numbers above illustrate that they are not playthings.
But I personally don't see the fun in rolling to see if someone got a 1 or 2. If those are the chances - I say just go passive, auto success. Like I said my DC skill range is set 10-20.
 

In my opinion, some DMs just need to accept that the PCs become really incredibly powerful at higher levels, and ordinary challenges that were difficult at the lower levels become trivial. A level >17 rogue is near god-like in its stealthing. Just accept that. A bard may convince anyone they want with a +17 on Deception or Persuasion.

At those levels, you need to build drastically different challenges. If you have a normal town as the setting, such a party practically owns the place as soon as they set foot in it. The rogue has access to every nook and cranny, and the bard will rally all the peasants.
 

jgsugden

Legend
In my opinion, some DMs just need to accept that the PCs become really incredibly powerful at higher levels, and ordinary challenges that were difficult at the lower levels become trivial. A level >17 rogue is near god-like in its stealthing. Just accept that. A bard may convince anyone they want with a +17 on Deception or Persuasion.

At those levels, you need to build drastically different challenges. If you have a normal town as the setting, such a party practically owns the place as soon as they set foot in it. The rogue has access to every nook and cranny, and the bard will rally all the peasants.
This. 100%. This can't be said enough.

A lot of DMs have an idea for D&D that is based around what PCs can do at levels 1 to 9. When PCs start to get to abilities that make the challenges of levels 1 to 9 trivial, the DMs think the game is broken. It is not. It has evolved. The DM needs to adapt the game to the PCs.

This is a bit of a challenge because players do not necessarily have the full spectrum of high power abilities and may have gaps in what they can do. It is on the players to come up with inventive solutions to solve those gaps. It is up to the DM to encourage those creative solutions and to help move the story forward in a positive AND sensible way.

A 1st level Human Rogue with a 16 strength and the Grappler feat can have a +7 to their grapple checks. Against a 10 strength enemy they win their grapple check 80% of the time. They give up an attack to establish the grapple, so they start off down one attack on the enemy, and they're giving up 2 handed damage to grapple - and they're restrained when the enemy is restrained. It makes them very good at what they do - but that is a heavy investment to get to that level of capability. They should be very effective at it.
 

Sometimes designers mess up and its not oh the DMs don't know what they doing after level 9.
Often times the higher levels are not play-tested thoroughly enough, but hey - lets lay the blame at the DM's who actually do playtest the game. :rolleyes:

When monster revisions come out for both the current and last edition, I wonder if it was the DMs' fault for making PCs to powerful. When you break your own Bounded Accuracy concept, that is just bad design. You can disguise it all you want with let's celebrate PCs successes - this isn't what it is about. Here is a novel idea bad math can simply be bad math. It ain't about a whole group of people who all just don't know what they're doing...
 
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Vaalingrade

Legend
Interesting. You prefer the up-scaling as in the 4e system, right?
Actually, I prefer 3e skill points for the job. My design values are both showing improvement by level, but also customizability. Sometimes you don't want to be the expert, just not a failure, so you should be able to not max a skill if you don't want.
3e's sin was waaaaay too few skill points in every class with a skill list that was over-speciated.
 

Shadowedeyes

Adventurer
Without commenting on the skill system directly, yes Expertise allows for some high modifiers to a skill roll, but at high levels that competes with high level spells, which can do super crazy things. A min 15 on a roll is, in comparison, kinda weak in my opinion. Your experience may vary I suppose.
 

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