D&D 5E Let us "fix" Expertise!

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think some perspective is good. A +14 vs a +17. Grand pronouncements about the effects of the difference between a +14 and a +17 are way overblown.
Then what's the problem with Expertise? Why nerf something that isn't a big deal?
I don't. I find less bonus bloat preferable because it tends to open up more skills checks for more characters than just the specialist.
Expertise isn't bonus "bloat", and loaded language like that doesn't exactly foster genuine and respectful discussion.
Expertise doesn't stop anyone from making any check. If your players don't make checks unless they're the best in the party at the activity, they're still going to do that when someone has +2 or +3 over them. Instead, what Expertise does is allow the low strength character to be good at athletics, or the low int character to be knowledgable or good at investigation, etc, and allow for the characters who are genius tier experts at a thing, in a simple and meaningful way.
If I had to segway from a +bonus for expertise, i'd suggest to treat it like mini reliable talent. You can treat rolls of 4 or less as a 5.
That would be incredibly unsatisfying, IMO. I think most players would not enjoy that. Even a "reroll 1s" would be more satisfying than that. Or roll 2d10 rather than 1d20, or almost anything else I can think of to increase the frequency of successful checks.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The mighty d20 itself is a bigger threat to bounded accuracy. Even a level 20 with +5 attribute and expertise can potentially contribute less than the mighty d20, and the d20 is available at 1st level!
yeah in a game this swingy, expertise is about as "bounded" as you'll get without something complex, or wholly unsatisfying for most players.

The d20 is just incredibly swingy.

I really wish, sometimes, that dnd had gone with 3d6, instead.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Yes, and this IMO is one of the biggest issues with d20 systems.

For myself, I feel experience (and ability) should account (potentially) for more than the die that is rolled. But, like many things, I seem to be in the minority on this issue. 🤷‍♂️
I hear that 3d6 is a good alternative to d20, since the probability follows a bell curve instead of a flat line. If that's one of the biggest issues with bounded accuracy, maybe give it a try for a gaming session and see if it helps?
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I hear that 3d6 is a good alternative to d20, since the probability follows a bell curve instead of a flat line. If that's one of the biggest issues with bounded accuracy, maybe give it a try for a gaming session and see if it helps?
We actually did 2d10 for a while and were pretty happy with that. It isn't a bell curve, but still groups the average results more towards the middle instead of having it be linear like the d20.

But thanks for the suggestion. 3d6 is nice in the sense it does have the same average of 10.5, as the d20.
 

What I would do is completely remove the bonuses from Expertise. The Expertise abilty does not increase your bonus on any skill it is applied to. Instead what it does is it adds another 'tier' of capability to the skill. So you now have Unproficient, Proficient, and Expertise as tiers of skill knowledge.

When you are performing an action that may require a use of a skill, the DM can use the tiers when determining how to adjudicate it. Expertise would allow use of a skill in situations where it may otherwise not warrant it or even allow a character to succeed without needing a roll. This gives the DM the ability to take into account the level of skill a character has in determining if a roll is needed and provide a context for increasing depth of capability based on Expertise.
Bolded for emphasis. This idea has merit.
Lots of great brainstorming on this thread.
 

Horwath

Hero
Yes, and this IMO is one of the biggest issues with d20 systems.

For myself, I feel experience (and ability) should account (potentially) for more than the die that is rolled. But, like many things, I seem to be in the minority on this issue. 🤷‍♂️
Yeah,

biggest problem of any d20 system is the d20.
It's just too unreliable.

also DC's of 10,15,20,25,30,35 might work in 3.5e where you can increase a skill every level by +1, but in 5e where you get +1 every 4 levels and even with expertise you get +1 every 2 levels, that kind of spread is too much.

Base all skills on 3d6 instead of d20 to get more reliability. And rework DC's

DC 5 -> DC 5
DC 10 -> DC 10
DC 15 -> DC 15
DC 20 -> DC 18
DC 25 -> DC 21
DC 30 -> DC 24
DC 35 -> DC 27
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
biggest problem of any d20 system is the d20.
It's just too unreliable.

also DC's of 10,15,20,25,30,35 might work in 3.5e where you can increase a skill every level by +1, but in 5e where you get +1 every 4 levels and even with expertise you get +1 every 2 levels, that kind of spread is too much.
Yep. The issue was the reduced the bonuses from up to +20 or more for proficiency/skill to just +6, but kept the d20.

Frankly, I prefer the larger bonuses and would like to see bounded accuracy capped at 40 instead of 30. The ratio of proficiency to ability of 20 to 5 much better represents how skill should trump ability than the mediocre 6 to 5 in 5E.

I know why they wanted bounded accuracy, but as I have said repeatedly in the past they went too far IMO.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Yep. The issue was the reduced the bonuses from up to +20 or more for proficiency/skill to just +6, but kept the d20.

Frankly, I prefer the larger bonuses and would like to see bounded accuracy capped at 40 instead of 30. The ratio of proficiency to ability of 20 to 5 much better represents how skill should trump ability than the mediocre 6 to 5 in 5E.

I know why they wanted bounded accuracy, but as I have said repeatedly in the past they went too far IMO.
PF2 still uses the d20, but uses high enough numbers that level and proficiency will trump the d20 unless you're facing a narrow bound of challenges right within your level range.

A level 10 master will pretty much always beat a level 1 journeyman unless there's a lot of shenanigans going on.
 

Horwath

Hero
PF2 still uses the d20, but uses high enough numbers that level and proficiency will trump the d20 unless you're facing a narrow bound of challenges right within your level range.

A level 10 master will pretty much always beat a level 1 journeyman unless there's a lot of shenanigans going on.
with d20 it does not matter if you use a number treadmill like PF2 or bounded accuracy of 5E. from 1 to 20 with equal chance of every number it's just too much random spread for skills.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
with d20 it does not matter if you use a number treadmill like PF2 or bounded accuracy of 5E. from 1 to 20 with equal chance of every number it's just too much random spread for skills.
No, there's some difference. With 5e bounded accuracy, a level 1 character still has a decent chance to hit a level 20 character with an attack or spell. With PF2, a level 1 character has no chance at all to hit a level 20.
 

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
Without magic items, a level 20 Greatsword Fighter can have the same AC as a level 1 sword and shield Fighter (Plate vs Chain Mail and shield). It barely scales up if you don't go out of your way to do it.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
No, there's some difference. With 5e bounded accuracy, a level 1 character still has a decent chance to hit a level 20 character with an attack or spell. With PF2, a level 1 character has no chance at all to hit a level 20.
which is precisely what makes bounded accuracy superior.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
which is precisely what makes bounded accuracy superior.
I prefer the more limited power scaling of 5e, but "superior" is a little more normative than I like. PF2's scaling simply supports a different kind of fiction; it gives me more of a vibe of xianxia/cultivation stories.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
While I think +1 per level is a bit much, a progression which maxes out at +12 or so works well IMO. So, +2,+3,+3,+4,+4,...,+11,+11,+12.

Then with the +5 for ability you have +17. And expertise might just add half proficiency or something?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I prefer the more limited power scaling of 5e, but "superior" is a little more normative than I like. PF2's scaling simply supports a different kind of fiction; it gives me more of a vibe of xianxia/cultivation stories.
The PF2 style scaling is more limited. You can use very simple optional rules to make a ssytem like 5e support stories where PCs become untouchable by lesser mortals, but going the other direction requires much more work.
 

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
Doesn't PF2 have an optional rule that doesn't add level to proficiency? Should make it more similar to 5e, number-wise.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Doesn't PF2 have an optional rule that doesn't add level to proficiency? Should make it more similar to 5e, number-wise.
That is just changing the game to bounded accuracy. You could do the opposite with 5e just as easily.

Without changing the basic system being used, it's easier to add a tier bonus to your numbers, or add a rule that NPCs whose CR is equal to your proficiency bonus or lower just die when you attack them, or something like that, is easier than figuring out a simple way to buff low level enemies and make them better able to threaten high level PCs.
 


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