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5E The Scout Rogue - how did it work out?


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dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
I feel like it punishes players who take Nature and Survival as skills at first level or suddenly grants them expertise at 3rd.
Neither Nature nor Survival are rogue skills, so you are only getting them through backgrounds if at all. Since backgrounds are completely customizable, if you plan to go Scout just take different skills for your background--problem solved. :)

I've gone ahead and just added this to my house rule document:

Scout. The Survivalist ability now reads, “When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in the Nature, Perception, and Survival skills if you don't already have it. If you already had proficiency any of those skills, it instead gains expertise, which doubles your proficiency bonus for any check that uses that skill.

Would you consider that a fair trade?
Oh, no! No, no, no, no, no! :(

This is WAY too good! Now you want to allow rogues access to another expertise and it is Perception?!?

I mean, really, Survival is a good skill but IME Nature is pretty useless or redundant when you have Survival.
 

Neither Nature nor Survival are rogue skills, so you are only getting them through backgrounds if at all. Since backgrounds are completely customizable, if you plan to go Scout just take different skills for your background--problem solved. :)


Oh, no! No, no, no, no, no! :(

This is WAY too good! Now you want to allow rogues access to another expertise and it is Perception?!?

I mean, really, Survival is a good skill but IME Nature is pretty useless or redundant when you have Survival.
Really? I call for many more Nature and Survival check than Perception checks. Must be a difference in DMing style. Perception is a pretty worthless skill in my game.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Really? I call for many more Nature and Survival check than Perception checks. Must be a difference in DMing style. Perception is a pretty worthless skill in my game.
If you say so. shrug

Perception governs a lot in 5E and is why stat blocks actually have a passive perception listing--it is used that much.

So, are you saying you have rogues who routinely (due to the style of your game) want to take Nature and Survival as background skills at level 1? Because otherwise they get expertise in both at level 3...
 

If you say so. shrug

Perception governs a lot in 5E and is why stat blocks actually have a passive perception listing--it is used that much.

So, are you saying you have rogues who routinely (due to the style of your game) want to take Nature and Survival as background skills at level 1? Because otherwise they get expertise in both at level 3...
As a DM, I try to be as clear as possible in my descriptions. I don't try to trick or fool my players. If there are arrow slits in the wall, I'll include the holes when I describe the corridor. Sometimes they're arrow slits. Other times, a pressure plate on a tiled floor will release poison gas through them - or they might release water to flood the hallway. The holes might be an entrance to the den of a poisonous snake. That den might contain treasure. The holes aren't interesting unless the players can interact with them - so its easier just to tell the players they exist. Then the players can discuss among themselves what the holes mean.

The only time I use Perception is for surprise, which isn't often.

* * *

If a player wants to become a scout, I would expect that player to take a related background. Suddenly jumping from "has never set foot in a forest" to "wilderness expert" doesn't float my boat.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
As a DM, I try to be as clear as possible in my descriptions. I don't try to trick or fool my players. If there are arrow slits in the wall, I'll include the holes when I describe the corridor. Sometimes they're arrow slits. Other times, a pressure plate on a tiled floor will release poison gas through them - or they might release water to flood the hallway. The holes might be an entrance to the den of a poisonous snake. That den might contain treasure. The holes aren't interesting unless the players can interact with them - so its easier just to tell the players they exist. Then the players can discuss among themselves what the holes mean.

The only time I use Perception is for surprise, which isn't often.
Sure, being descriptive is great, but perception can also be used for other things:

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If a player wants to become a scout, I would expect that player to take a related background. Suddenly jumping from "has never set foot in a forest" to "wilderness expert" doesn't float my boat.
Fair enough, but I would be more inclined to make certain background makes sense with class before subclass. Anyway, there are many backgrounds which would make sense for the scout subclass that don't have either Nature or Survival (or maybe just Survival);.

Backgrounds with neither:
Hermit
Soldier

Backgrounds with Survival:
Folk Hero
Outlander

And even more if you use those from SCAG.

Anyway, all I am saying is the Survivalist feature is pretty good as is, so I don't see any need to make it better. If you do, that's fine for your group but IMO it would only make me that much more likely to take the Scout subclass than I already am LOL! :)
 


Sure, being descriptive is great, but perception can also be used for other things:

View attachment 126161
In all of those situations, I would simply tell the players what they see/hear without a chance of failure. If there is something to be heard behind a door, I tell the players. If there is something to be seen, I tell the players. If there are signs of an ambush, I tell the players. If they're eavesdropping, they overhear the conversation, but they also might be caught (Stealth check). What I don't tell them, is how to interpret that information. The players can do that themselves.

Fair enough, but I would be more inclined to make certain background makes sense with class before subclass. Anyway, there are many backgrounds which would make sense for the scout subclass that don't have either Nature or Survival (or maybe just Survival);.

Backgrounds with neither:
Hermit
Soldier

Backgrounds with Survival:
Folk Hero
Outlander

And even more if you use those from SCAG.

Anyway, all I am saying is the Survivalist feature is pretty good as is, so I don't see any need to make it better. If you do, that's fine for your group but IMO it would only make me that much more likely to take the Scout subclass than I already am LOL! :)
Sure. Nevertheless, I still think jumping form unskilled to expert is strange.
 


dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
In all of those situations, I would simply tell the players what they see/hear without a chance of failure. If there is something to be heard behind a door, I tell the players. If there is something to be seen, I tell the players. If there are signs of an ambush, I tell the players. If they're eavesdropping, they overhear the conversation, but they also might be caught (Stealth check). What I don't tell them, is how to interpret that information. The players can do that themselves.
Obviously that is your prerogative as a DM, but IME much of those things would require a perception check. The idea is two people listening at a door, one with perception and one without, the PC with perception is more likely to pick up more of the conversation, etc.

Sure. Nevertheless, I still think jumping form unskilled to expert is strange.
I can understand that. I agree I think it would be fine if the feature granted proficiency, and IF you are already proficient, you would get expertise. But, as rarely as we use Nature (hardly ever) and Survival (often, but Perception is used more in general), granting expertise isn't a huge deal.
 

Obviously that is your prerogative as a DM, but IME much of those things would require a perception check. The idea is two people listening at a door, one with perception and one without, the PC with perception is more likely to pick up more of the conversation, etc.
I discovered while playing 3.5 that perception (spot/listen/search) checks make the game less fun. More information, results in more player agency. Since then, I have all characters automatically succeed. I've always been happy with the results.

I can understand that. I agree I think it would be fine if the feature granted proficiency, and IF you are already proficient, you would get expertise. But, as rarely as we use Nature (hardly ever) and Survival (often, but Perception is used more in general), granting expertise isn't a huge deal.
Really? I use Survival to check if the gets lost in the wilderness (checked once when exiting each hex). Getting lost makes finding food and water an imperative. In my game short rest = 8 hour, long rest = 5 days. So magicking up food and water isn't always possible.

The good news about getting lost, is that the players discover things they otherwise wouldn't. Nature is good skill to have when encountering unknown wilderness.
 


The thing about synonyms is they have similar meanings, not identical meanings - otherwise there would be no point in having different words. Inexperienced is very different to inept.
Agreed. Nevertheless, one does not suddenly become an expert in something. In D&D, we have three levels of training, non-proficient, proficient, and expert. How would one go from being a non-proficient computer programmer to an expert programmer without first becoming a proficient one?
 


dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Really? I use Survival to check if the gets lost in the wilderness (checked once when exiting each hex). Getting lost makes finding food and water an imperative. In my game short rest = 8 hour, long rest = 5 days. So magicking up food and water isn't always possible.

The good news about getting lost, is that the players discover things they otherwise wouldn't. Nature is good skill to have when encountering unknown wilderness.
Well, with longer rest times that would impact things some.

The funny thing about the wilderness is either you are looking (rather randomly) for someplace you don't know where it is or traveling to a place you know and more often than not following a road or trail (thus not likely to get lost).

But experiences differ. If perception has so little value in your game, does adding it to Survivalist really have that much impact? Seems like a just some icing on the cake, a cake that is already pretty tasty IMO.
 


Well, with longer rest times that would impact things some.

The funny thing about the wilderness is either you are looking (rather randomly) for someplace you don't know where it is or traveling to a place you know and more often than not following a road or trail (thus not likely to get lost).

But experiences differ. If perception has so little value in your game, does adding it to Survivalist really have that much impact? Seems like a just some icing on the cake, a cake that is already pretty tasty IMO.
The roads in my world usually lead to boring places. The interesting places require off-road travel.

Perhaps, I'll have to wait and see if/when someone chooses that subclass, then adjust accordingly.
 

No? What is your alternative interpretation?
Proficient is the only official term used in game.

But characters suddenly become proficient in all sorts of things they couldn't do before as they level up, many much more impressive than knowing the difference between the tracks of a bear and a wolf. Look, I can suddenly build a robot dog/blow things up with my mind/move twice as fast. Why is becoming good in a skill so different? The assumption with all class abilities is it is something characters have been working on as they go along. In 1st edition the process of levelling up took weeks of gametime. That it happens apparently instantly in 5e is a continent fiction we buy into to make the game flow faster.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Perhaps, I'll have to wait and see if/when someone chooses that subclass, then adjust accordingly.
Always a good strategy. We've had lots of house-rules that seemed to help or made sense but ultimately we dropped because they just weren't necessary to the game or really added to the fun.
 

Proficient is the only official term used in game.

But characters suddenly become proficient in all sorts of things they couldn't do before as they level up, many much more impressive than knowing the difference between the tracks of a bear and a wolf. Look, I can suddenly build a robot dog/blow things up with my mind/move twice as fast. Why is becoming good in a skill so different? The assumption with all class abilities is it is something characters have been working on as they go along. In 1st edition the process of levelling up took weeks of gametime. That it happens apparently instantly in 5e is a continent fiction we buy into to make the game flow faster.
To me, that explains the steps between non-proficient to proficient and proficient to expertise, but not the jump from non-proficient to expertise.
 

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