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

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
With advantage able to stack, turning expertise into an always-on source of advantage is definitely more viable than it would be otherwise. From a class power perspective I might even rather have advantage than the bonus, at least at the levels that see the most play, since I usually invest at least a little in the stats associated with the skills I take expertise in, and so having a 50/50 shot of rolling a nat 15 or better is usually going to do the job, especially with the boosted proficiency bonus.

As for stealth, take a level 5 rogue with 18 DEX. I don't remember whether level 5 proficiency is still +3 for you, but if so, that's a +7 with advantage on stealth rolls. So you need a natural 7 to hit a passive perception of 14, which is 88% success with advantage. Under RAW, the stealth bonus would be +10, so you'd need a 4, but no advantage, so that's 85% success. Pretty similar; you've actually boosted those stealth checks slightly. Against a passive perception of 11, you go from 100% success down to 98%. Still not dramatic, but at least there's a chance (although leaving the RAW bonus alone and making nat 1s auto-fail would be 95%).

I do like that advantage is worth more to you when it's a harder check (assuming you're on the good side of 50%), whereas the flat bonus is just flat. Against our cloud giant friend with their 17 in perception, +3 gives 70%, advantage gives 80%. Even against the conclave dryad's 19, you go from 60% to 70%. So against pretty much every realistic perception number, you're increasing the success rate; at least at level 5. I guess later on as expertise would have been worth more, it will even out or flip, and I guess that much is what you want, really.

So as a stealth rogue, I'd play at your table with that rule. I'm still a little confused about why you want to make that particular change given the problems you said you had, but at least it shouldn't make your rogue players grumpy.

Even with an "off"-skill like Perception, where my rogue is likely to have only a +1 or +2 ability score, noticing a Pixie with her +7 to stealth would give me a 50-60% success chance under RAW, but a 58-70% chance under your new rule, assuming I'm making an active check vs an average roll by the Pixie. (I haven't done the math for the actual contested roll, so it'll be different from this in reality.

The only feature that immediately comes to mind that this significantly devalues is the Inquisitive's Ear for Deceit, where you treat any insight roll below 8 as an 8 when trying to detect deceit. Insight is basically a mandatory expertise pick for an Inquisitive, but with advantage, you're so unlikely to roll below an 8 anyway that the feature is nearly useless. Would you consider leaving double proficiency in as a subclass feature when using that specific type of insight check (maybe give the choice between double proficiency and advantage on a given roll)?

Glad you like most of it. The stealths are pretty similar and I am not totally pleased by that, but so far this is the best (i.e. simplest and

As for the last item about Ear for Deceit, and some others that might not benefit from advantage as much, I am more likely to double ability score modifiers (limited normally to +4) than doubling proficiency (since ours goes up to +8). If not ability, than maybe half proficiency, rounded up, which would still be limited to +4...
 

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Esker

Hero
As for the last item about Ear for Deceit, and some others that might not benefit from advantage as much, I am more likely to double ability score modifiers (limited normally to +4) than doubling proficiency (since ours goes up to +8). If not ability, than maybe half proficiency, rounded up, which would still be limited to +4...

Ah, right, with souped up proficiency bonuses, it probably needs adjustment. I'd rather see half-prof. rounded up than using ability scores, since I'm probably not putting ASIs into Wisdom as an Inquisitive, double ability mod is worth +1 or +2 at most, and won't scale. Remind me when proficiency gets bumped up in your new system?

What about half-proficiency rounded up, with the floor increased to 10 (which is simpler to keep track of anyway)? Then they get a bit more benefit early, and the cap is the same as RAW.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Ah, right, with souped up proficiency bonuses, it probably needs adjustment. I'd rather see half-prof. rounded up than using ability scores, since I'm probably not putting ASIs into Wisdom as an Inquisitive, double ability mod is worth +1 or +2 at most, and won't scale. Remind me when proficiency gets bumped up in your new system?

What about half-proficiency rounded up, with the floor increased to 10 (which is simpler to keep track of anyway)? Then they get a bit more benefit early, and the cap is the same as RAW.

Our proficiency progression is +2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8.

I thought about half proficiency as well since that limits the boost to +4, but I would probably keep it rounded down LOL!

Last session we tried the expertise = advantage and other ideas I posted. I worked really well, but the other main "rogue" player wasn't there (another played controlled his character) so I have yet to report his reaction.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Quite honestly 4th edition Skill and Utility Powers is what seems needed they allow you to do spikey or specialized things associated with a skill while keeping general usage normal. Fleeting ghost was a Roguish one which allowed hiding while moving at no penalty. Acrobatics had one that allowed one to recover from being prone without mobility loss. Some are the re-roll a failure but some are use a different attribute for something than you normally might (one might allow you to use Dexterity for medicine checks of a certain type and we could call it acupuncture or surgical adroitness). I just think things like that have way more flavor than number crunching
 
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