D&D General Levels of Mastery

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I know. My point was made with that assumption. d20+d8 provides a bell curve rather than a flat distribution.
Okay. Your wording implied adding several dice.
But the mechanic of an increasing die is at odds with a goal of preserving bounded accuracy.
Not really. Sure, the maximum goes up, but the most common outcomes stay within existing numbers. Expertise basically does the same thing, with less granularity.
What are you thinking for rate of progression? If you assume eventual d12's, that's five steps. I'd guess (ballpark) that a non-expert class should be able to max out at least one skill but probably not two - so if you (playing a fighter or sorcerer) start at d4 in four skills, you should get 4-7 bumps, yes? 4 bumps would be the same as "when your proficiency bonus goes up," but if you only get one skill per bump it might not end up where you want.
That’s in the ballpark of what I’m thinking, yeah.
Obviously rogues get a lot more, with bards and rangers in second place. Some subclasses might get extras (cleric domains get free bums to relevant skills) and some classes might favor certain skills (ie barbarians get free bumps to athletics)
Yep.
On the other hand, one of the downsides of 3e's skill sysytem is it ends up feeling like a false choice - theoretically you could choose to spread your skills out but in practice it was almost always better to just max however many skills.
Eh IME that is a white room problem. In play, again IME, people don’t think that hard about where they’re putting thier skill ranks.
 

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greg kaye

Explorer
...
Basic = Roll as normal.
Expert = Allow the character to "take 10" on any check with the skill.
Master = Allow the character to "take 12" on any check with the skill.

Or something like that.
The way I'm thinking to run it would be to let 5e characters invest a proficiency into a skill multiple times.

Proficient = 1 allocation of a proficiency bonus for 1 times your proficiency modifier;
Expert = 2 allocations of a proficiency bonus (or roguish or bardic expertise) for 2 times your proficiency modifier;
Master = 3 allocations of a proficiency bonus (or 2 allocations of a proficiency bonus and roguish or bardic expertise) for 3 times your proficiency modifier;

I think that the current 5e rules are flawed in that they can potentially allow a rogue or a bard to be better at arcana, nature, religion, or survival than a wizard, druid, cleric or ranger.

Fine, bards and rogues become good with skills, but other classes can become good with skills too.

I also see the bard's Jack of all Trades as being opposed to the achievement of skill mastery, though I'd still allow a bard opportunity to master performance.

How would it work, after level 4, to award a skill, language, musical instrument, tool, or vehicle proficiency with each level?
 
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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
That may be true, but when considering bounded accuracy, the maximum is important. We all know the stories of the player that rolled insanely well on and did the impossible.

There's a big difference between "my best result is a 28" and "my best result is a 30". Skill checks don't have consumable costs most of the time, so if a player rolls enough times they will hit those 30s eventually. And once the DC of "practically impossible" becomes "absolutely doable once in a while" it changes the narratives.

I'm not saying that's bad, but it is an important factor that the average doesn't take into account.
Okay. Even a +2 to the maximum is still fairly small potatoes overall. This isn't as strong as Advantage in the vast majority of cases, especially if it's meant to truly replace something like Expertise, as stated in the OP. It would start out behind, only become potentially more than existing Expertise at d8, and cap out at an absolute maximum of double the existing Expertise at d12. IOW, the first two ranks should definitely be worth less than Expertise, and even the maximum rank is still worse than actual Expertise 5/12ths of the time (about 42%.)

Like, I get it that it's not nothing. But it's also definitely weaker than a large static value a lot of the time, especially since it sounds like the good Doctor does not intend for it to scale naturally, the player must in fact invest resources into advancing it.

A one step increase to this die bonus on a single skill is absolutely not even half a feat, let alone a full one. Even taking into account that it could potentially give up to +12 eventually.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Okay. Even a +2 to the maximum is still fairly small potatoes overall. This isn't as strong as Advantage in the vast majority of cases, especially if it's meant to truly replace something like Expertise, as stated in the OP. It would start out behind, only become potentially more than existing Expertise at d8, and cap out at an absolute maximum of double the existing Expertise at d12. IOW, the first two ranks should definitely be worth less than Expertise, and even the maximum rank is still worse than actual Expertise 5/12ths of the time (about 42%.)

Like, I get it that it's not nothing. But it's also definitely weaker than a large static value a lot of the time, especially since it sounds like the good Doctor does not intend for it to scale naturally, the player must in fact invest resources into advancing it.
Precisely. Either opportunity cost because you get X mastery ranks to spend every Y levels depending on your class, or level gate how high mastery you can have and inject a mechanic by which you earn mastery ranks in game and can spend downtime training them.

Either way, it’s not an automatic increase to every skill you have mastery in.
A one step increase to this die bonus on a single skill is absolutely not even half a feat, let alone a full one. Even taking into account that it could potentially give up to +12 eventually.
Yep. I still might take feats out of the ASI, and your class gives ASIs and Mastery Ranks as you level, but feats are based on character level.

I’m also looking at Vocations, which are class/feat features that give mastery in multiple skill or tools, and Xanathar’s style benefits when using those skills or tools. maybe a background feature.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Not really. Sure, the maximum goes up, but the most common outcomes stay within existing numbers. Expertise basically does the same thing, with less granularity.

I still do not understand the value of "granularity" in this context, especially when not coupled with player choice.

Eh IME that is a white room problem. In play, again IME, people don’t think that hard about where they’re putting thier skill ranks.

If they don't, why do we think they value granularity?
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
@Umbran I may have communicated poorly in the OP.

The player will be choosing where to spend their mastery ranks. The Rogue might have 3 mastery ranks to spend at level 6. They can add those ranks to any proficiency they have, other than weapons.

Might allow fighters to gain ranks with weapons…

But regardless, the granularity is player facing and player controlled.

Ya know, like older D&D skill systems, but not quite as granular as they are.
 

You could do +1d6 with each level of mastery, taking the highest roll. You are likely to gain +6 to the skill check ~50% of the time with four dice. A +5 result would occur ~80% of the time. I know you mentioned you didn't want a dice pool, but this might be a way to demonstrate improvement of skill with a reasonable ceiling.
 

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