log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Proficiency "Dice": Do you (or have you) use them?

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
I've been thinking some about the idea of switching to the proficiency die instead of a flat bonus and was curious if anyone actually used them? (or if you've tried them but don't use them currently?)

Thanks for any feedback on this. :)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Bawylie

A very OK person
Tried it. It didn’t catch with the players. I even put the die on the character sheet where the proficiency bonus goes. I was still constantly reminding them.

Too much effort for too little payoff.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I used it during the playtest. I liked them a lot, but the players didn’t care for the swinginess. Players tend to want to perform reliably better in the areas they chose to specialize in. And human biases make the moments where you rolled a one on your proficiency die and just failed more memorable than the moments where you rolled the maximum number and succeeded by a lot.

You know what is fun though? Call them “expertise dice” and have rogues roll them in addition to their proficiency bonus for their expertise skills instead of doubling proficiency bonus on them.
 



Stalker0

Legend
Sadly, I am more concerned about them having to add the die roll to the d20 all the time.

Was that also an issue for you?

So while I never tried this per say, I did have several fights were bless was involved (which is a +1d4 to attacks and saves, so a very close proximity).

I found in general, way too much effort for its benefit. Some players would forget, some would roll the d20 first, then roll the d4 (which slows things down over time when you do that a lot). And then there is the extra math, yes its not a lot, but when its occuring on every roll it is something....versus a roll already on their sheet with all numbers added that they just use.

I respect 5e's desire not to include a lot of bonuses, but I do think in general, I will take a bonus over a small die roll any day.

PS: I should note that because of my experiences, I actually houseruled bless to a straight +2 bonus, precisely to remove the little headaches I saw it cause).
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
PS: I should note that because of my experiences, I actually houseruled bless to a straight +2 bonus, precisely to remove the little headaches I saw it cause).
Yep. We do the same thing to avoid the dice rolling.

I like the concept of proficiency dice, but I am afraid the application will be to cumbersome.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Yep. We do the same thing to avoid the dice rolling.

I like the concept of proficiency dice, but I am afraid the application will be to cumbersome.
Honestly I think the main benefit of proficiency dice - decoupling proficiencies from abilities - can easily be done with proficiency bonuses anyway.
 


Benjamin Olson

Adventurer
It's one of those things that really appeals to me but that I can't really particularly justify the additional step of beyond "I like rolling dice". I've never convinced a group to take much interest, though maybe if I really emphasized that they would be statistically a half point better at most their rolls they would feel differently. I'm also not really that keen as DM because it would throw a level of on-the-fly complexity on reading monster statblocks and I am already devoting that mental energy to adjusting them for more important balance concerns or to have different enemies in a group use different equipment, or whatever.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
How does proficiency die do that? As I understand it, you still use your ability modifier, you just roll a die instead of adding a flat proficiency bonus.
You roll the d20 and add your ability modifier. Then, if you have a relevant proficiency, you roll your proficiency die and add the result. Doesn’t matter what ability you’re making the check with.

Again, you can do this with proficiency bonus too. I do. But not having total Ability (Skill) modifiers already written on the sheet does make it a little easier for players to grok.
 

I personally love the concept, but I can't get my players to accept it. I don't know why they don't like it.

I used it during the playtest. I liked them a lot, but the players didn’t care for the swinginess. Players tend to want to perform reliably better in the areas they chose to specialize in. And human biases make the moments where you rolled a one on your proficiency die and just failed more memorable than the moments where you rolled the maximum number and succeeded by a lot.
Many people talk about the "swinginess" of it, but in reality it reduces the overall swing of the result. By rolling 2 dice you statistically move towards the center of both (such as 7 being the most probable result on 2d6). Thinking of the swinginess of the proficiency die is completely forgetting the massive swinginess of the d20 built into the game.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Many people talk about the "swinginess" of it, but in reality it reduces the overall swing of the result.
This was one of the reasons I was considering trying it.

You could take the ability score bonus and apply the same concept:
+1 = flat +1
+2 = +d4
+3 = +d6
+4 = +d8
+5 = +d10

So, if you have +3 proficiency and +2 ability, you would roll d20 + d6 + d4.

It creates a "flattened" bell-curve:
1601036202721.png
 

I personally love the concept, but I can't get my players to accept it. I don't know why they don't like it.


Many people talk about the "swinginess" of it, but in reality it reduces the overall swing of the result. By rolling 2 dice you statistically move towards the center of both (such as 7 being the most probable result on 2d6). Thinking of the swinginess of the proficiency die is completely forgetting the massive swinginess of the d20 built into the game.
What? It increases the range of possible results and the swinginess of d20 remains exactly the same. If we were talking about replacing d20 with 2d10 or something like that then you'd have point.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Its my favorite way of handling proficiency, but my players dont like the extra steps.

I personally love the fact that it adds another layer of options when homebrewing new rules or players option.

  • Add proficiency die to X (damage, healing received etc)
  • Dis/Advantage on the proficiency die when X.
  • Proficiency die de/increases by one step when X.

It also make Magic a little more wild, since even your Spell DC will fluctuate. Pretty fun if the magic of your setting is less controlled and ''safe'' than in basic 5e.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I feel like in general most players conflate their skill bonuses with intrinsic abilities and bonus dice with extrinsic, temporary abilities, and they don't like that psychological association to be messed with.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I personally love the concept, but I can't get my players to accept it. I don't know why they don't like it.


Many people talk about the "swinginess" of it, but in reality it reduces the overall swing of the result. By rolling 2 dice you statistically move towards the center of both (such as 7 being the most probable result on 2d6). Thinking of the swinginess of the proficiency die is completely forgetting the massive swinginess of the d20 built into the game.
I know, but it feels swingy to the players when they sometimes roll very high or low on the proficiency die. Yes, statistically proficiency die has a slightly higher average result, but it doesn’t feel consistent, and how a mechanic feels is often more important than how the math actually bears out.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked proficiency dice. But my players never cared for it.
 

I know, but it feels swingy to the players when they sometimes roll very high or low on the proficiency die. Yes, statistically proficiency die has a slightly higher average result, but it doesn’t feel consistent, and how a mechanic feels is often more important than how the math actually bears out.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked proficiency dice. But my players never cared for it.
It doesn't feel consistent because it isn't! The player intuition is completely correct in this regard. d20 + d8 is more random than d20 +4. This should be pretty clear.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
It doesn't feel consistent because it isn't! The player intuition is completely correct in this regard. d20 + d8 is more random than d20 +4. This should be pretty clear.
There is a difference between random and swingy. A d20 is linear (as you know) and you have just as much chance to roll a 10 as a 1.

But rolling (and adding) two or more dice, you are more likely to get the middle results--thus making the extremes less likely and removing the swinginess.

The flattened curve in my previous post demonstrates this.
 

There is a difference between random and swingy. A d20 is linear (as you know) and you have just as much chance to roll a 10 as a 1.

But rolling (and adding) two or more dice, you are more likely to get the middle results--thus making the extremes less likely and removing the swinginess.

The flattened curve in my previous post demonstrates this.
Technically true but misleading. The extremes are not less likely in practice with the proficiency die method. With d20 + d8 results 2, 3, 4, 25, 26, 27 and 28 may be unlikely, but with d20 +4 they're impossible. And I may not be a maths genius, but possible is definitely more likely than impossible! The fact remains that the proficiency dice makes the results less predictable and a lot of people don't want that.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top