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

To me, that explains the steps between non-proficient to proficient and proficient to expertise, but not the jump from non-proficient to expertise.
5e does not have different skill levels. "Expertise" is not a skill level in 5e. It is the name of rogue ability that allows them to add double proficiency bonus to certain skills. They have it because they are a Rogue, not because they are better at a skill.

The other thing that happens frequently is the retcon. In Doctor Who: The Pyramids of Mars Sarah Jane Smith is suddenly an expert marksman, even though she had never shot anything at all in any earlier episodes. Who is to say that a character hasn't had that skill all along, but just has never used it before?
 

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5e does not have different skill levels. "Expertise" is not a skill level in 5e. It is the name of rogue ability that allows them to add double proficiency bonus to certain skills.
OK. I can ask the question a different way. We have three level ability: 1) No proficiency bonus, 2) proficient bonus, 3) double proficiency bonus. How does one jump from 1 to 3 without first passing over 2?

Now, we can say that a character can skip from 1 to 3 because all three are made-up abstractions. However, at least in my game, those made up abstractions represent something tangible (competence/training). Abstraction is fine - necessary, even. But dissociating the abstraction from what it represents feels like a step in the wrong direction.

They have it because they are a Rogue, not because they are better at a skill.
Wait, what? Do we call a person a program computers because he is a computer programmer or does calling someone a computer programmer allow him to program computers? Personally, I think the former is the better explanation.
 

OK. I can ask the question a different way. We have three level ability: 1) No proficiency bonus, 2) proficient bonus, 3) double proficiency bonus. How does one jump from 1 to 3 without first passing over 2?
No, look at it this way. A level 3 scout gets +4 to their survival rolls.

A multiclassed character who gains Expertise at level 13 suddenly has a +5 to skill rolls - a bigger jump. The same applies to any character who learns a new skill at level 13+ - their ability increases by a larger amount than the scout at level 3.
Wait, what? Do we call a person a program computers because he is a computer programmer or does calling someone a computer programmer allow him to program computers? Personally, I think the former is the better explanation.
Neither is true. I can program computers but am not a computer programmer. I know computer programmers who are not very good at programming. The thing that makes them a computer programmer is what it says on their job description.
 

No, look at it this way. A level 3 scout gets +4 to their survival rolls.

A multiclassed character who gains Expertise at level 13 suddenly has a +5 to skill rolls - a bigger jump. The same applies to any character who learns a new skill at level 13+ - their ability increases by a larger amount than the scout at level 3.
I think that's a valid perspective. Nicely explained.

Neither is true. I can program computers but am not a computer programmer. I know computer programmers who are not very good at programming. The thing that makes them a computer programmer is what it says on their job description.
I would say you are a computer programmer then, regardless of your job title. Likewise, I might (somewhat arbitrarily) decide the second man/woman is not a computer programmer, despite what others call him. One's position in society might be computer programmer, but I don't regard someone's position in society as who that person is, so much as what he/she is called.
 

Warpiglet-7

Explorer
This is probably an issue for newer players.

backgrounds can foreshadow.

roleplay can be fine too. How much will +4 to rolls for a skill be noticed over level 1 and 2? i think it’s less jarring if people foreshadow with background, brief character history or feat for variant human.

If you roleplay a city rat rogue and suddenly decide to do things outside...I guess yeah. I would direct people to look ahead a bit and telegraph their choice or make it an option.

heck, even an urchin in a remote logging or fishing town would pick up some outdoor experience.

if you have little history written the character could talk about their experience and do a little retcon. I don’t think it need be a big jarring thing.

finally, if it’s a newb learning the game handwaving some oversights is par for the course. Emergent play is cool and it’s not always going to be that tight.

expectations about backstory and future choices should be sufficient for experienced players. They can foreshadow, really new people are just learning the dice. Imperfection is a given.
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
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);.
Sailor makes a lot of sense - but not as in an "ocean" saloir, but as a "river man" - someone familiar with canoes, shallow trading vessels on rivers, etc. Marsh people too. In Yoon Suin, the Lamarakhi. Maybe a coastal fisherman, or a smuggler.
 

FrozenNorth

Adventurer
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.
I agree with you. And because I’m lazy, when a Scout takes Survivalist, if they already have Nature or Survival (and I would expect most have at least one), they get Expertise in Nature and Survivalist, and Proficiency in 1 or 2 other skils.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
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.
That’s really interesting! I do the same with my descriptions of the environment, but I still found myself calling for Perception checks quite often, when I still called for skill checks. These days I call for Wisdom checks, but I still do that pretty frequently.
 

I'm confused as to why background needs to be an indicator of intent towards a subclass. Can a farmhand not become a Evoker Wizard because they weren't studious growing up? No sages become Champions?
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I agree with you. And because I’m lazy, when a Scout takes Survivalist, if they already have Nature or Survival (and I would expect most have at least one), they get Expertise in Nature and Survivalist, and Proficiency in 1 or 2 other skils.
I'm even lazier: since I care a lot for the first few level play experience but dont like how some archetypes gives proficiency in stuff that changes how a class works at level 3, I allow my players to take an advance on some ''extra proficiency'' lvl 3 features at 1st level.

So a valor bard could decide at level 1 that at 3rd he'll take the college of valor and gain the medium and martial weapon proficiency at 1st level.

I more of an honor system, but it works well.
 

I'm confused as to why background needs to be an indicator of intent towards a subclass. Can a farmhand not become a Evoker Wizard because they weren't studious growing up? No sages become Champions?
Sure. The farmhand gives up farming and apprentices as a wizard for a few years. The sage was rubbish at his studies, but he wasn't someone to pick a fight with. That's fine.

What I wouldn't accept would be: "Yesterday, I found his spell book in my uncles attic. Now today I'm a wizard."
 

Sure. The farmhand gives up farming and apprentices as a wizard for a few years. The sage was rubbish at his studies, but he wasn't someone to pick a fight with. That's fine.

What I wouldn't accept would be: "Yesterday, I found his spell book in my uncles attic. Now today I'm a wizard."
That would eliminate a lot of literature that inspired, or was inspired by, D&D
 


I would ignore every instance of "if you don't already have it", which the character generator in dndbeyond actually does (did the last time I checked) too.
The general rule is that you get a different skill if you already have it.
Some subclasses seem to forget that general rule.
An important point!

If a skill gained is redundant, then pick ANY skill. It completely opens up the list of choices. And it is actually better to get a redundant skill because of this.

After Xanathars, the list of options to choose from, should probably expand to include any tool proficiency.

So if the level 1 Scout already has Nature and Survival proficiencies, then when they reach level 3, they can choose ANY two skills or tools.
 

Undrave

Hero
On another note, how smooth is the transition between rogue and scout at level three? I've always banned the scout sub-class because I worry the transformation is too jarring. On the other hand, I'd really like to be able to offer it to my players in the new world I'm creating.
Why not just use the Outlander background? Seems like it would bridge the gap well?
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Thank you for the input. Are you in a wilderness heavy adventure? If not, does it impact a lot?
A fair amount. I would say over all we are probably about 45% dungeon/installation, 35% wilderness, and 20% city. All three of which can involve exploration, which the Scout is good at.
 

I've been theory-crafting a Scout using the UA Tracker feat for a while. Seems like an obvious pairing, if you're going the Not-A-Ranger route.

I'm thinking Wood Elf with Outlander, as well, but that may be a bit TOO obvious...
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I've been theory-crafting a Scout using the UA Tracker feat for a while. Seems like an obvious pairing, if you're going the Not-A-Ranger route.

I'm thinking Wood Elf with Outlander, as well, but that may be a bit TOO obvious...
Wood elf outlander way of the kensai monk. KI? what Ki? you call upon the stars, the moon, the fireflies... You're basically Legolas :p
 

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