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Unearthed Arcana: Get Better At Skills With These Feats

The latest Unearthed Arcana from Jeremy Crawford and again featuring guest writer Robert J. Schwalb introduces a number of feats which make you better at skills. Each increases the skill's primary ability score, doubles your proficiency bonus, and gives you a little bonus ability. "This week we introduce new feats to playtest. Each of these feats makes you better at one of the game’s eighteen skills. We invite you to read them, give them a try in play, and let us know what you think in the survey we release in the next installment of Unearthed Arcana."

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Russ Morrissey

Comments

unknowable

Explorer
But, that's the point here. You can already do that. 1 level of rogue and POOF you have multiple skills with expertise. Getting expertise in Althletics is already very, very easily achievable.

Has it been a problem? Are people constantly sending Agony Aunt style letters to WotC complaining about how grappling and expertise is broken? Three years of 5e on these boards, and I'm not recalling a single instance of anyone complaining about this.

So, gaining Expertise through a feat is about the same cost as taking 1 level in rogue (after all, you gain quite a suite of goodies with 1 level of rogue) and fits a LOT better with many character concepts where a level in rogue makes no sense.

The mechanical arguments here don't make any sense to me. We've HAD this for three years already and it hasn't been a problem. Why is it suddenly a problem now? Up to, what 9th level (Books are not here), we're talking a +3 bonus to a single skill. Even at 20th level, we're talking a +5 bonus. That's it.

If your game breaks because someone has a +5 to a skill, I'm thinking that there might just be larger problems at the table.
Feats don't tend to interrupt class progression.

And multiclassing to rogue or bard requires a character to have the prerequisite stats to do so -laughs-.
Saying there is no difference is incorrect.

As it is, athletics can be a damn powerful ability to grant expertise to combat wise. Not hugely unbalanced but something I would rather be reserved for different more interesting feats that deserve it.

Personally I would still like rogues/bards have expertise exclusively and then make these abilities be prof+1/2prof rounded up instead.
it creates a third tier of bonus, allows people who already have a skill to get a boost and gives WotC more room to add power to the auxiliary bonus abilities that they cannot do at the moment because expertise has such a large impact on challenge DCs in the game and giving more would make the feats too reliably good.

Remembering that the concept of a feat is meant to be something that allows a character to specialize/branch out into a new area of mechanics where the ASI is meant to be the wide benefit option.
 

Ovinomancer

Explorer
But, that's the point here. You can already do that. 1 level of rogue and POOF you have multiple skills with expertise. Getting expertise in Althletics is already very, very easily achievable.

Has it been a problem? Are people constantly sending Agony Aunt style letters to WotC complaining about how grappling and expertise is broken? Three years of 5e on these boards, and I'm not recalling a single instance of anyone complaining about this.

So, gaining Expertise through a feat is about the same cost as taking 1 level in rogue (after all, you gain quite a suite of goodies with 1 level of rogue) and fits a LOT better with many character concepts where a level in rogue makes no sense.

The mechanical arguments here don't make any sense to me. We've HAD this for three years already and it hasn't been a problem. Why is it suddenly a problem now? Up to, what 9th level (Books are not here), we're talking a +3 bonus to a single skill. Even at 20th level, we're talking a +5 bonus. That's it.

If your game breaks because someone has a +5 to a skill, I'm thinking that there might just be larger problems at the table.
"I haven't seen it" != doesn't exist.

I don't get the reference "Agony Aunt".
It's a Terry Pratchett's Discworld reference. The Agony Aunts kept a semblance of order in the Shades, a dangerous slum in the city of Ankh Morpork (London analog), by being more terrifying and brutal than everyone else. All while being sweet looking old ladies.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
But, that's the point here. You can already do that. 1 level of rogue and POOF you have multiple skills with expertise. Getting expertise in Althletics is already very, very easily achievable.

Has it been a problem? Are people constantly sending Agony Aunt style letters to WotC complaining about how grappling and expertise is broken? Three years of 5e on these boards, and I'm not recalling a single instance of anyone complaining about this.

So, gaining Expertise through a feat is about the same cost as taking 1 level in rogue (after all, you gain quite a suite of goodies with 1 level of rogue) and fits a LOT better with many character concepts where a level in rogue makes no sense.

The mechanical arguments here don't make any sense to me. We've HAD this for three years already and it hasn't been a problem. Why is it suddenly a problem now? Up to, what 9th level (Books are not here), we're talking a +3 bonus to a single skill. Even at 20th level, we're talking a +5 bonus. That's it.

If your game breaks because someone has a +5 to a skill, I'm thinking that there might just be larger problems at the table.
Right, I agree that Expertise in Athletics is not game breaking, and I would prefer to be able to get it without Multiclassing. That's been the point of all my posts in this thread.

So I'm a little confused that you would quote me, start your reply with "But", and then proceed to argue in favor of the things I've already been arguing in favor of.
 

unknowable

Explorer
Regarding expertise, +6 at level 17(and by extension 20), not a +5 bonus at level 20. Not sure how someone made that mistake.

But this aside. If we assume a maxed stat.
+5, then prof +6
expertise is a 55% increase of bonus when maxed, it is hardly negligable (which is why we want it generally :p)

It makes a DC30 (the highest assumed DC) go from being a 10% chance to being a 35% chance. And because of how advantage scales.

Max prof ADV = 19% chance to hit DC30
Max prof expert ADV = 58% chance to hit DC30

This is before applying things like bless or the stupidly broken elven advantage feat from the latest playtest. Which would increase the odds to a 72% chance.

My point here isn't that expertise is bad or broken, just countering the argument that a "mere" +6 bonus is going to have little impact on a game where a DC of 30 is the intended roof. I turns near impossible tasks into totally feasible every day attempts, a part of why I was quite comfortable with it being a major class feature for two classes.

It's a Terry Pratchett's Discworld reference. The Agony Aunts kept a semblance of order in the Shades, a dangerous slum in the city of Ankh Morpork (London analog), by being more terrifying and brutal than everyone else. All while being sweet looking old ladies.
Well, that was just a reference to the old "Agony Aunts" from way back, the modern equivalent is your Cosmo Q&A/letterbox section.

But yeah an Agony Aunt is someone you write into with complaints and they attempt to give you advice.
 
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Chaosmancer

Villager
Feats don't tend to interrupt class progression.

And multiclassing to rogue or bard requires a character to have the prerequisite stats to do so -laughs-.
Saying there is no difference is incorrect.

As it is, athletics can be a damn powerful ability to grant expertise to combat wise. Not hugely unbalanced but something I would rather be reserved for different more interesting feats that deserve it.

Personally I would still like rogues/bards have expertise exclusively and then make these abilities be prof+1/2prof rounded up instead.
it creates a third tier of bonus, allows people who already have a skill to get a boost and gives WotC more room to add power to the auxiliary bonus abilities that they cannot do at the moment because expertise has such a large impact on challenge DCs in the game and giving more would make the feats too reliably good.

Remembering that the concept of a feat is meant to be something that allows a character to specialize/branch out into a new area of mechanics where the ASI is meant to be the wide benefit option.

I'll agree multi-classing is more disruptive to class progression, but also gives you more than just expertise. Rogue comes with a skill and sneak attack in addition to the expertise.

Also... Rogue mutli-class only requires a Dex of 13, that isn't that unusual for a lot of classes. In fact, I think most characters have a dex of 12-14 as a matter of course. Like a barbarian who wants to use unarmored defense, or anyone who wants good initiative or dex saves.

Not saying it is a guarantee, but it isn't a big barrier either.

After all standard array is 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8

And Dex is rarely a dump stat, and I've rarely seen charisma used for dumping anymore either.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
It's a Terry Pratchett's Discworld reference. The Agony Aunts kept a semblance of order in the Shades, a dangerous slum in the city of Ankh Morpork (London analog), by being more terrifying and brutal than everyone else. All while being sweet looking old ladies.
Not quite. The term "agony aunt" existed long before Pratchett punned on it. It's another term for an advice columnist (Dear Abby, Ann Landers, etc.).
 

cmad1977

Explorer
I'm not super keen on them but as usual I don't think this sort of thing would break my game.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Hussar

Legend
Both [MENTION=7706]SkidAce[/MENTION] and [MENTION=6855149]Prakriti[/MENTION] have it right. Advice column.

And, it's not so much of a case of I haven't seen it. It's I can't find ANY evidence of it. At all. If expertise was this major deal, you'd think that we'd have seen a few threads over the years complaining about it. But, pretty much nothing. It's passed muster with hardly a whisper.

So, granting expertise as a feat shouldn't be an issue. I mean, we're talking about very high level characters who've not only burned one of their very limited feats, but also a couple of ASI's on whatever that feat is for, just so they can reliably do something that isn't all that powerful to begin with. I mean, for most of the lifespan of a PC, we're talking about a +3-4 to a single skill. Umm, yay?
 

Ovinomancer

Explorer
Both [MENTION=7706]SkidAce[/MENTION] and [MENTION=6855149]Prakriti[/MENTION] have it right. Advice column.

And, it's not so much of a case of I haven't seen it. It's I can't find ANY evidence of it. At all. If expertise was this major deal, you'd think that we'd have seen a few threads over the years complaining about it. But, pretty much nothing. It's passed muster with hardly a whisper.

So, granting expertise as a feat shouldn't be an issue. I mean, we're talking about very high level characters who've not only burned one of their very limited feats, but also a couple of ASI's on whatever that feat is for, just so they can reliably do something that isn't all that powerful to begin with. I mean, for most of the lifespan of a PC, we're talking about a +3-4 to a single skill. Umm, yay?
"I haven't seen it, trust me on this" != doesn't exist.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
Sure.

I just don't find the game fun anymore if it devolves into grappling every monster to kill it.

Which is what the rules lead to, since a specialized grappler will easily outdo any beast he's able to at all grapple.

To me D&D is about axing monsters in the face.

I need the rules for grappling to be ungenerous enough to not overshadow the regular combat routine.

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
So axing something in the face is "better" than grabbing something and axing it in the face for your preferences, therefore the game should not give people who like the later options which might "overshadow" your preferences if they spend their limited resources on it (though people could already do this with bard or rogue levels and it's never caused a problem before)?
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
So axing something in the face is "better" than grabbing something and axing it in the face for your preferences, therefore the game should not give people who like the later options which might "overshadow" your preferences if they spend their limited resources on it (though people could already do this with bard or rogue levels and it's never caused a problem before)?
I used enough "I" and "me".

Baseless accusation ignored.

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
I used enough "I" and "me".

Baseless accusation ignored.

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
What's baseless about it, and how was that ignoring it?

You said you had preference X. Rather than saying, "And therefore I won't use this option in my game" you said, "I need the rules for grappling to be ungenerous enough to not overshadow the regular combat routine."

My read of that is you don't want the rules to include this option at all, as opposed to you not wanting to use this option but being OK with others using it.

Sure seems like my "accusation" was well founded. Am I reading that wrong, and if so, could you please clarify?
 
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Hussar

Legend
"I haven't seen it, trust me on this" != doesn't exist.
Where's your evidence? Six WotC mega modules and no DC inflation. Hundred plus modules on DmsGuild and no inflation. Three years and thousands of posts and threads and no complaints.

Are you seriously arguing that you've identified a problem that no one else has seen?
 

Ovinomancer

Explorer
Where's your evidence? Six WotC mega modules and no DC inflation. Hundred plus modules on DmsGuild and no inflation. Three years and thousands of posts and threads and no complaints.

Are you seriously arguing that you've identified a problem that no one else has seen?
DC inflation in printed modules wasn't your argument before (we can just scroll back to the threads I responded to). If that's what you meant, instead of there being no complaints about expertise in general or grappling in specific, then, sure, there's no DC inflation in printed material.
 

Corwin

Villager
DC inflation in printed modules wasn't your argument before (we can just scroll back to the threads I responded to). If that's what you meant, instead of there being no complaints about expertise in general or grappling in specific, then, sure, there's no DC inflation in printed material.
The point, if I may, seems to be that there is no DC inflation while simultaneously expertise has been in existence the entire time. Countless characters, benefiting from expertise for years, against those consistently static DCs. Where are all the complaints and problems with expertise braking 5e?
 

Ovinomancer

Explorer
The point, if I may, seems to be that there is no DC inflation while simultaneously expertise has been in existence the entire time. Countless characters, benefiting from expertise for years, against those consistently static DCs. Where are all the complaints and problems with expertise braking 5e?
Well, as I've shared complaints about expertise at ENW before, in other threads, and been joined by others, all I can say is, around.
 

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