D&D 5E Proficiency vs. Ability vs. Expertise

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Very cool, we have done something similar, but with a 3-tiered (low, medium, high) Proficiency bonus system (the High bonus caps at +8, so, with abilities capping at +4, a total of +12).
I like your Expertise deal, we're still playing with ideas for Expertise, nothing is quite satisfying yet (so many ways to go).

Yeah, I remember commenting on how one of your proficiency tiers was similar to our progression. It reminds me of the different BAB in SWSE.
 

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Mycroft

Banned
Banned
Yeah, I remember commenting on how one of your proficiency tiers was similar to our progression. It reminds me of the different BAB in SWSE.

Fantastic game, but we get a much better experience when omitting BAB and +Heroic level from Defences in SWSE. Classes get an attack bonus (+1 to +4), in the same way they get class defence bonuses.
While I really like 5th Ed's proficiency bonus, it works great, I just prefer a bit of granularity for weapon attacks, and saving throws.
 

Esker

Hero
LOL, oh yeah! Gotcha. Well, that isn't a big deal, just shifts the linear RAW line one point. But it does put the new method slightly lower than RAW for expertise, so that is good at least.

Yes, exactly. It lowers the success rates with expertise that you perceive as too high, but in a way that preserves its value, since for some difficulty levels, non-experts are lowered a bit more. All the problematic examples you've given of expertise making things less fun (like stealth) have to do with the floor being too high, not the ceiling. So why are you proposing or endorsing solutions (like your yellow curve, or the reliable talent variants in your summary list) that actually raise the floor while lowering the ceiling? You haven't given any examples where the existing ceiling being higher is a problem.
 

Esker

Hero
Here's another proposal I've been working on that may be more to your liking. The idea is to grant skill-specific features for the skills that the rogue or bard chooses expertise in. In some cases where the skill is already fairly niche, I left double proficiency alone. Some of these are borrowed from your proposals. In addition, certain subclasses would get additional features for free, whether or not they chose the skill as one of their expertise picks.

Acrobatics:
* Whenever a condition or ability that restricts your movement allows you to use an action to make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to escape, you can choose to make the check as a bonus action instead.
* Whenever you are required to make a Strength (Athletics) check, you may choose to make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check instead.

Athletics:
* Whenever a condition or ability that restricts your movement allows you to use an action to make a Strength (Athletics) check to escape, you can choose to make the check as a bonus action instead.
* Whenever you are required to make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check, you may choose to make a Strength (Athletics) check instead.

Deception:
* When you attempt to deceive another creature using a Deception check contested by another creature's Insight, creatures proficient in Insight do not get the benefit of proficiency when contesting your check, and creatures not proficient in insight have disadvantage on their check.
* (Assassin, Mastermind, 3rd level): Gain proficiency in deception. If you are already proficient in deception, your proficiency bonus is doubled whenever you make a deception check to present a disguise or a forgery as genuine, or when passing yourself off as someone else.
* (Mastermind, 17th): When you make a Deception check as part of your Soul of Deceit feature, double your proficiency bonus for that check.
* (Whispers Bard, 6th): When you make a Deception check using your Mantle of Whispers feature to pass off your shadow disguise, double your proficiency bonus for the check (this is in addition to the +5 bonus already granted by Mantle of Whispers)

Insight:
* When you attempt to detect another creature's deception using an Insight check, if that creature is proficient in deception, they do not get the benefit of that proficiency when contesting your check, and creatures not proficient in deception have disadvantage on their check.
* (Inquisitive, 3rd): Whenever you make an insight check that qualifies for your ear for deceit or insightful fighting features, your proficiency bonus is doubled for that check.

Perception:
* Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any Wisdom (Perception) check you make to detect the presence of secret doors or traps.
* If an illusion allows you to make an Intelligence (Investigation) check to determine the nature of the illusion, you can choose to make a Wisdom (Perception) check instead. If you are already proficient in investigation, your proficiency bonus is doubled when you do so.
* Creatures proficient in stealth do not get the benefit of that proficiency when trying to hide from you.

Performance:
* Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any Performance check you make.

Persuasion/Intimidation:
* If you spend at least one minute observing a creature, your proficiency bonus is doubled for any persuasion (intimidation) check you make to influence the creature.
* When making a persuasion (intimidation) check to convince another creature of something, if you succeed on a Wisdom (Insight) check with a DC of 10 plus the creature's Charisma modifier, you gain advantage on the check. Alternatively, one of your allies can make the Insight check on your behalf to grant you advantage, provided they can communicate their insights with you before you make your persuasion (intimidation) attempt.
* (Swashbuckler, 3rd): You can give yourself a bonus to your initiative equal to your Charisma modifier plus your proficiency bonus.
* (Swashbuckler, 9th): Gain proficiency in Persuasion. If you are already proficient in Persuasion, when you make a Charisma (Persuasion) check as part of your Panache feature, your proficiency bonus is doubled for that check.

Sleight of Hand:
* Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any Sleight of Hand check that you make.
* (Arcane Trickster, 3rd gets this for free on checks that use their mage hand if they have SoH proficiency. If not they get SoH proficiency at 3rd.)

Stealth:
* You have advantage on stealth checks when in dim light or darkness. You get this benefit even if you are in dim light and creatures you are hiding from have darkvision.
* If you are successfully hidden from a creature, you can attempt to make another stealth check to stay hidden while you approach them.
* Creatures proficient in perception do not get the benefit of that proficiency when determining whether they detect you.
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Yes, exactly. It lowers the success rates with expertise that you perceive as too high, but in a way that preserves its value, since for some difficulty levels, non-experts are lowered a bit more. All the problematic examples you've given of expertise making things less fun (like stealth) have to do with the floor being too high, not the ceiling. So why are you proposing or endorsing solutions (like your yellow curve, or the reliable talent variants in your summary list) that actually raise the floor while lowering the ceiling? You haven't given any examples where the existing ceiling being higher is a problem.

Well, stealth versus NPC perceptions (passive or not) is an example where inflated numbers due to expertise make the game less fun or challenging for us. RAW expertise also can put numbers high enough that others have little to no chance to challenge it.

I suppose part of it is because bounded accuracy was supposed to keep things reigned in enough so even at higher levels, weaker challenges could still be a challenge. We just aren't seeing that with skills with expertise, and we are only a level 9.

I have to look at your other post now and then probably head to bed soon. We'll chat more tomorrow. :)
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Here's another proposal I've been working on that may be more to your liking. The idea is to grant skill-specific features for the skills that the rogue or bard chooses expertise in. In some cases where the skill is already fairly niche, I left double proficiency alone. Some of these are borrowed from your proposals. In addition, certain subclasses would get additional features for free, whether or not they chose the skill as one of their expertise picks.

{snip}

Ok, so really quick. Some I like, some I don't.

Removing your target's proficiency in opposed checks basically gives you an edge equal to their bonus. For instance, if you have expertise in Stealth (no bonus for expertise) and have a +7 (4 prof, 3 DEX) against a target with Perception +5 (3 prof, 2 WIS). If I understand it, you are removing the 3 proficiency, reducing them to only WIS +2. This gives you a +7 vs. +2 edge (5 difference) instead of +7 vs. +5 (only 2 difference). Thus, the end benefit for "expertise" would be a 3 point swing. I don't think this is moving in the direction I want to go since it basically gives you a similar boost to the RAW. Now, if the target lacks proficiency to oppose you, you are just as "good" as if they did. I am not sure how the logic of that is supposed to work.

While it is not as "exciting", limiting the ceiling is one reason why I like advantage. While it increases the average result, a nat 20 is still the best you can get.

I like ideas like hiding even from creatures with darkvision (akin to Skulker feat IIRC). Also moving while hidden, and even maybe attacking and remaining undiscovered.

Anyway, tomorrow. :)
 

Esker

Hero
Well, stealth versus NPC perceptions (passive or not) is an example where inflated numbers due to expertise make the game less fun or challenging for us. RAW expertise also can put numbers high enough that others have little to no chance to challenge it.

I suppose part of it is because bounded accuracy was supposed to keep things reigned in enough so even at higher levels, weaker challenges could still be a challenge. We just aren't seeing that with skills with expertise, and we are only a level 9.

Right, but all of that is about the floor being too high, not the ceiling. That's exactly what the new system I proposed fixes: it keeps weaker challenges from becoming certainties, but instead of weakening expertise straight up, it shifts its benefits away from said weaker challenges and toward the bigger challenges. In contrast, several of the fixes you say you're receptive to (the variations on reliable talent, the extra proficiency die on low rolls instead of high ones, etc.) would make the problem you just described worse, while needlessly (as far as I can tell, since you haven't explained otherwise) lowering the ability of rogues and bards to occasionally roll really high.
 

Esker

Hero
Removing your target's proficiency in opposed checks basically gives you an edge equal to their bonus. For instance, if you have expertise in Stealth (no bonus for expertise) and have a +7 (4 prof, 3 DEX) against a target with Perception +5 (3 prof, 2 WIS). If I understand it, you are removing the 3 proficiency, reducing them to only WIS +2. This gives you a +7 vs. +2 edge (5 difference) instead of +7 vs. +5 (only 2 difference). Thus, the end benefit for "expertise" would be a 3 point swing. I don't think this is moving in the direction I want to go since it basically gives you a similar boost to the RAW. Now, if the target lacks proficiency to oppose you, you are just as "good" as if they did. I am not sure how the logic of that is supposed to work.

The logic is that the benefits weighted toward the bigger challenges (creatures with perception proficiency). One of the problems you noted is that so few creatures have proficiency in perception. So let's make expertise grant static benefits vs those creatures (i.e., that don't scale as you level), but scale vs the minority that do. So you get more or less the RAW benefit only against the most perceptive creatures, and something else against the rest.
 

Ashrym

Hero
For a while, since I've been into 5E really, I have been annoyed by the contributions relatively of proficiency bonus, ability modifiers, and expertise. To me, proficiency should trump ability and expertise in the long run, but RAW we see proficiency barely beat out ability score modifiers (+6 max vs. +5 max). And expertise, available only to two classes with some archetype exceptions, equal to proficiency makes it too good IMO.

We currently play with the house-rule that proficiency caps out at +8, ability scores at +5 (was also +4 but we reversed it for simplicity since monsters and such are based on +5 progression), and expertise at +4 (+2 at low levels, +3 a mid, and +4 at higher). The potential maximum is still +17, so it works with the current system. I would like to see proficiency progress up to +11 or 12 even, lower ability scores to +4, and maybe make expertise a flat +2 bonus, and I might do this but I wonder if it would mess things up...

Now sure, the game plays fine RAW and with a practical cap at 30. So, I understand the purpose for bounded accuracy and all, but it makes me wonder if they bounded it too much?

Has anyone else had issue with the +6 vs. +5 vs. +6 system? Do you think it should be weighed differently? I am sure a lot of people haven't, and that is great for you, so I am more interested in people who do have issues with it. ;)

I'm happy with natural ability being about as important as skill (+5 vs+6). I prefer keeping the bonuses lower because it tones down the "don't even try if you don't have the bonus" mentality, which was the intent.

This is actually important regarding checks and monsters, who don't usually have proficiency bonuses and specifically rely on ability score modifiers.

I would point out rangers get expertise simulated regarding favored stuff and is also available via the prodigy feat.

QQ: Have you tried the proficiency dice method? That gives potential proficiency bonuses higher than standard proficiency. Using expertise to roll twice and take the better of the two rolls allows the feature to still have a benefit but reduces it's effectiveness relative to just proficiency.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
So, I think I might be on to something! It would require reworking some DCs, etc., but I like the "feel" of it.

Here it is, and Esker can check the numbers (if you have time), otherwise I will do it tomorrow.

1. Roll 2d10 for checks (maybe even attacks and saves...)
2. You get your proficiency die based on the variant system.
3. You get an expertise die based on proficiency as well.
4. Choose the best two roll results from all the dice rolled.
5. Add your ability modifier and other bonuses.
(6. If you have advantage, you roll 3d10. If you have disadvantage, you only roll 1d10. (Still thinking about this...))

So, if your proficiency bonus is +4, you get to roll a d8. If you have expertise, you roll another d8.

Using the +4 example, suppose you rolled a 2d10 and got 3 and 9. You are proficient so roll a d8 and get a 7. The 7 replaces the 3! Instead of 12, you get 16.

Now, add expertise. Supposed your 2d10 were 2 and 5 (blah! :( ). You roll the d8 for proficiency and the d8 for expertise and get 6 and 8! These are better than the d10 rolls, so your total is 14, not 7.

For proficiency +6, you are rolling d12s and can get totals above 20, even without bonuses.

I also like this because without proficiency, you roll only the 2d10 and must take those numbers. Also, at lower levels, the d4s can help sometimes, but you aren't that good yet and the low die-type represents that well. Finally, you are only adding two dice at any time, the quick glance to pick out the higher numbers is easy even for the mathematically challenged.

A variant of this that is easier to work out is:

1. Roll 2d10.
2. Roll variant proficiency die.
3. Roll expertise die if available. If expertise is better than proficiency roll, you use expertise roll.
4. Add the 2d10 and the proficiency roll (OR expertise if it is better).
5. Add other bonuses.

Honestly, I don't like the second idea as much, but it might work out better and not need adjusting DCs and ACs, etc.

Anyway, I will probably be thinking about this and unable to sleep now. LOL!
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
So, I think I might be on to something! It would require reworking some DCs, etc., but I like the "feel" of it.

Here it is, and Esker can check the numbers (if you have time), otherwise I will do it tomorrow.

1. Roll 2d10 for checks (maybe even attacks and saves...)
2. You get your proficiency die based on the variant system.
3. You get an expertise die based on proficiency as well.
4. Choose the best two roll results from all the dice rolled.
5. Add your ability modifier and other bonuses.
(6. If you have advantage, you roll 3d10. If you have disadvantage, you only roll 1d10. (Still thinking about this...))

So, if your proficiency bonus is +4, you get to roll a d8. If you have expertise, you roll another d8.

Using the +4 example, suppose you rolled a 2d10 and got 3 and 9. You are proficient so roll a d8 and get a 7. The 7 replaces the 3! Instead of 12, you get 16.

Now, add expertise. Supposed your 2d10 were 2 and 5 (blah! :( ). You roll the d8 for proficiency and the d8 for expertise and get 6 and 8! These are better than the d10 rolls, so your total is 14, not 7.

For proficiency +6, you are rolling d12s and can get totals above 20, even without bonuses.

I also like this because without proficiency, you roll only the 2d10 and must take those numbers. Also, at lower levels, the d4s can help sometimes, but you aren't that good yet and the low die-type represents that well. Finally, you are only adding two dice at any time, the quick glance to pick out the higher numbers is easy even for the mathematically challenged.

A variant of this that is easier to work out is:

1. Roll 2d10.
2. Roll variant proficiency die.
3. Roll expertise die if available. If expertise is better than proficiency roll, you use expertise roll.
4. Add the 2d10 and the proficiency roll (OR expertise if it is better).
5. Add other bonuses.

Honestly, I don't like the second idea as much, but it might work out better and not need adjusting DCs and ACs, etc.

Anyway, I will probably be thinking about this and unable to sleep now. LOL!
If I may, this looks very close to just using the proficiency die optional and then changing expertise to having advantage on your proficiency die. This would keep the d20 and not change the base DC schema. It would give a significant boost for having expertise, but lower the usual benefit compared to non-expertise.

It would make checks more random, though.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
If I may, this looks very close to just using the proficiency die optional and then changing expertise to having advantage on your proficiency die. This would keep the d20 and not change the base DC schema. It would give a significant boost for having expertise, but lower the usual benefit compared to non-expertise.

It would make checks more random, though.

The second option is precisely that, really, but given my lack of sleep at the time I didn't realize it! :)

Expertise would grant advantage on the proficiency roll (you are rolling two dice and taking the better result). It is a simple way to implement expertise.

Another option is to use an expertise die. Keep proficiency static (ex. +4) and roll the variant die (ex. d8). If the die result is better, you use that, otherwise you use the static proficiency.
 

Esker

Hero
The second option is precisely that, really, but given my lack of sleep at the time I didn't realize it! :)

Expertise would grant advantage on the proficiency roll (you are rolling two dice and taking the better result). It is a simple way to implement expertise.

I actually modeled that one in the course of calibrating my earlier suggestion. I rejected it, because it makes expertise really weak: it's actually worse than a flat +2.

I would really appreciate a clear articulation of what game problem you think you're solving by lowering the maximum possible roll obtainable with expertise (as a primary goal, not as a side effect of lowering the minimum possible roll), since you haven't given one anywhere in this massive thread, and there's a disconnect between the reasons you give for making a change and the kinds of solutions you're endorsing vs rejecting.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I actually modeled that one in the course of calibrating my earlier suggestion. I rejected it, because it makes expertise really weak: it's actually worse than a flat +2.

I would really appreciate a clear articulation of what game problem you think you're solving by lowering the maximum possible roll obtainable with expertise (as a primary goal, not as a side effect of lowering the minimum possible roll), since you haven't given one anywhere in this massive thread, and there's a disconnect between the reasons you give for making a change and the kinds of solutions you're endorsing vs rejecting.

Yeah, I just did the math myself and it is worse than a flat +2. Shoot! :)

If that is what you've gotten then I suggest you stop worrying about it. I've explained it many times and yet you keep asking me to repeat myself. I will do it one more time as clearly as possible:

Expertise inflates numbers so DCs are no longer challenges and thus reduce the fun because hard and more difficult tasks become routine, sometimes to the point of being near automatic. The greatest offender is Stealth vs. passive (or even active) perception as I have outlined repeatedly, although there are others.

My goal: reduce the impact of expertise on numbers so higher values cannot be achieved through it. Offer alternatives that makes expertise viable in other ways and create more options for players.

By increasing proficiency to +8, DCs can still be reached (even if at less probability) and now without expertise, allowing other classes to excel if they choose to, thus removing the illogical and poorly-thought-of idea that rogues and bards should be able to reach higher numbers more easily than others.

Doubling proficiency is a simple mechanic which leaves other characters feeling inadequate (Ranger: I'll scout the caves! Party: Let the Rogue do it, he is better. Wizard: I'll decipher that rune! Party: Let the Rogue do it, he is better. etc.). Rogues and Bards are already pretty balanced without the expertise mechanic as is. Offering Bards more skill proficiency slots makes so much more sense. Giving Rogue unique features does as well. There are other ways they can still be "skill monkeys" instead of just reaching higher numbers. In earlier editions when rogues got more skill points, they were still capped at the same maximum as other classes IIRC (I could be wrong, it has been years!).

I hope that is clear enough.

While I appreciate your contributions immensely, I feel like you are doing them with one hand tied behind your back (and no expertise in acrobatics to escape!) because you like the idea that these classes can hit numbers higher than others without either an archetype feature or dipping into rogue. I don't (obviously) and there is no justification for it other than "let's give these guys something no one else can do." So, why should they? Rogues can still fight, and in their own way nearly as well as the other battler classes. Bards GET spells and other features already! So, why should they get something else?

I like the idea of the expertise die based on the variant rule. You have a 50/50 chance the expert will roll above proficiency, thus gaining a bonus for that check. If you want it slightly better, maybe make it a d6 or d8 at first, and escalate it like superiority dice, to a maximum of a d20 even? I don't know, I would have to do the math on that as well to see if it works or grants too much benefit IMO. In fact, a superior dice mechanic similar to Battlemaster might work well, allowing expertise a limited number of boosts per short rest. I am not personally in favor for that option because I dislike the bookkeeping of superiority dice, but it is an option perhaps worth exploring.

EDIT: Here is a run modeling Skill Expertise after the battlemaster:

Skill Expertise

At 1st level (3rd for Bards), you gain skill expertise and learn tricks to enhance your skills and expertise dice to increase your chances of success.

Tricks. You learn two tricks of your choice, which are detailed under "Tricks" below. These tricks enhance skill checks in some way. You can only use one trick per skill check.

You learn two additional tricks of your choice at 6th level (10th for bards). [Maybe more at higher levels as well?]

Expertise Dice


You have four expertise dice, which are d6s. An expertise dice is spent when you use it. You regain all of your expended expertise dice when you finish a short or long rest.

When you make a skill check, you can choose to expend an expertise die and add the result of rolling the expertise die to your skill check.

You gain another expertise die at 7th level (11th for Bards) and one more at 15th level (18th for Bards).

Improved Skill Expertise


At 10th level, your expertise dice turn into d10s. At 18th level, they turn into d20s.

Tricks

(use your imagination LOL! You can't expect me to do it all. ;) )
 
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WaterRabbit

Explorer
A few posters have mentioned that Bard and Rogues being better grapplers than fighters rub them the wrong way. It might be worth looking at using Pathfinder's Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB) and Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD) rules to handled grappling and shoving.

Basically CMB = Proficiency Bonus + STR Mod + Size Mod + Misc which is added to a d20 roll versus CMD. CMD = 10 + Proficiency Bonus + STR Mod + DEX Mod + Size Mod + Misc. This takes is out of a skill contest to basically just attack rolls so Expertise would not apply.

One could also change the Grappler feat to instead of having advantage to having double proficiency, in essence baking Expertise into the feat. Or allowing the DEX to be used in CMB instead of STR.

This also has the advantage of being able to quickly apply to creatures (other than having to figure out their proficiency bonus).

While Size Mods aren't in 5e, either the PF mods could be used or drop them and just give advantage to the larger combatant.
 

Mycroft

Banned
Banned
A few posters have mentioned that Bard and Rogues being better grapplers than fighters rub them the wrong way. It might be worth looking at using Pathfinder's Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB) and Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD) rules to handled grappling and shoving.

Basically CMB = Proficiency Bonus + STR Mod + Size Mod + Misc which is added to a d20 roll versus CMD. CMD = 10 + Proficiency Bonus + STR Mod + DEX Mod + Size Mod + Misc. This takes is out of a skill contest to basically just attack rolls so Expertise would not apply.

Yeah, Grapple checks could just be d20 + proficiency bonus + Str mod vs. 11 (or 12) + proficiency bonus + Str or Dex mod.
Much better than the current way, IMO.
 

Swapping Expertise to a dice rather than a flat bonus sounds like a good idea. It would allow Rogues to hit even higher DCs, but also make them less reliable at the lower-level of DCs where the problem seems to lie.
Bardic inspiration dice have a similar effect, even stacking on top of current expertise, however they have not been mentioned as a problem at all.
 

Esker

Hero
I've explained it many times and yet you keep asking me to repeat myself.
...
The greatest offender is Stealth vs. passive (or even active) perception as I have outlined repeatedly, although there are others.

I'm explicitly asking you not to repeat yourself, since all the examples you've given (such as the stealth example) are about expertise yielding success rates in the 70-100% range. But those are instances where moderate tasks become easy (if we grant that a 10-25% detection rate is low), not where hard tasks become a bit less hard. But instead of addressing why giving rogues and bards a feature that makes the really hard merely hard is a problem, you keep repeating yourself about medium difficulty tasks becoming routine or near automatic. But then the solutions you endorse boost the low end of skill rolls, which makes tasks that were moderately difficult with proficiency and routine with expertise into tasks that are automatic with expertise. Which is the opposite of what you say you want.

Let me quote you for a moment:

Did you know that the typical rogue with expertise in RAW (assuming some reasonable boosts to DEX over his career) needs only an average of 5.6 (4.6 ties) on his check to beat foes with a CR equal to his level (or in the case of CRs 21+, when he is level 20)? Let's round that up to an even 6, so there is only a 25% chance the rogue will be noticed. This is looking at over 2000 foes, by the way.

Now, you might think, "Well, that's fine, he has expertise, after all." True, but for any rogue who plans on being stealthy, he will most likely have expertise in it, meaning more likely than not he won't be spotted at all. And of course, against the majority of foes that won't be considered hard or deadly (CR equal to the rogue), the number he needs is lower.

So, the rogue with expertise needs a roll of about 6 under RAW to succeed. Assuming a bonus of around +12 or +13 that corresponds to a DC of about 18 or 19. So what happens if you replace the boost to the bonus currently granted by expertise with proposal #7 or #8 in the list you said you were considering? Now, they don't get the +4 from expertise, so they need a 10, but the minimum result is now... 10. So they've gone from succeeding 75% of the time to 100%. On the other hand if you rework expertise using the 2d10+proficiency die+second proficiency die only on higher natural rolls as I've proposed, the proficient character is about break-even with RAW, and the expert character is a bit lower, as you can see on the graph I posted. If instead you use the gold curve you made that you said looks more like what you want, you've boosted both the proficient and expert characters at those DCs, but you've boosted the expert by more. So now the expert is succeeding something like 90% of the time.

Do you see now why I say that the proposals you're endorsing are at cross-purposes with the problems you identify?

Doubling proficiency is a simple mechanic which leaves other characters feeling inadequate (Ranger: I'll scout the caves! Party: Let the Rogue do it, he is better. Wizard: I'll decipher that rune! Party: Let the Rogue do it, he is better. etc.).

The rogue can't have expertise in everything. If there's a ranger in the party who wants to be a scout, then during session zero, they should express that, and then if there's also a rogue in the party, they can fill a different niche: maybe the face with a side of trap-monkey, taking persuasion, deception, insight and thieves' tools. If a rogue takes expertise in arcana (even takes arcana in the first place), they're probably doing that because there isn't a wizard in the party and they figure somebody should be good at it. Etc. Don't blame the game mechanics for players choosing to build characters with a high degree of overlap.

Rogues can still fight, and in their own way nearly as well as the other battler classes. Bards GET spells and other features already! So, why should they get something else?

A while back I asked whether you were on board with replacing expertise with something that enabled the rogue and bard to retain their distinctive identity as skill-monkeys, and you said you were as long as it addressed the particular problems you had with expertise. But when you counter my questions and suggestions about how to replace expertise with something that feels equally powerful with it, you say things like this which make it seem that all along you just wanted to weaken the rogue and bard. If you'd said that from the outset I would have stopped participating in the discussion long ago, since that's a project I have no interest in.

Here is a run modeling Skill Expertise after the battlemaster:
...

I like the idea of tricks -- this is more or less the approach I was taking with my second proposal -- but you've got to fill in the details. I came up with some things for a few skills, but for others there didn't seem to be anything obvious. Also the rogue is very much designed as a resource-management-free class (I think the only thing in any subclass that has limited uses is the arcane trickster's spell slots), so I strongly suggest making the expanded skill options the kinds of things that can be done at-will.
 


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