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Why don't everything scale by proficiency bonus?

Fenris-77

Explorer
It does bother me that adding skills is no longer a part of character advancement outside of taking a feat. One of the things I enjoyed about 3.5 was adding skills to my character. I'm also not a big fan of mechanical reasons for chosing backgrounds, for example to make sure you get stealth or perception.

Why not just add a new skill alongside the standard four ASIs? Every class gets those so it's even across the board, and it has the merit of not needing to change anything else about the rules. Heck, why not just make every ASI stats plus a new a skill - the fighter could use the help anyway.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Maybe something like:

When you use a non-proficient skill, tool, language or weapon in a pertinent ways and succeed at a roll with a DC of 12 (or AC 12 in the case of weapon) or more, mark 1 TXP (training experience) for this specific thing. A character becomes proficient in a skill, tool, language or weapon when it collect 15 (?) TXp for a particular proficiency.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
In the previous edition you were allowed you to retrain many character things .... swapping one for another as part of advancement. This allowed you to hone your build as your character went along could swap out one skill focus for another for instance but you still gained in general capacity along side that.
I never played 4E (or Pathfinder or whatever). I played a little 3 and 3.5, but stopped for several years before jumping back into 5E. I wouldn't mind the swap idea if they implemented one.

It does bother me that adding skills is no longer a part of character advancement outside of taking a feat. One of the things I enjoyed about 3.5 was adding skills to my character. I'm also not a big fan of mechanical reasons for chosing backgrounds, for example to make sure you get stealth or perception.

Why not just add a new skill alongside the standard four ASIs? Every class gets those so it's even across the board, and it has the merit of not needing to change anything else about the rules. Heck, why not just make every ASI stats plus a new a skill - the fighter could use the help anyway.
That's not a bad idea either. If your character starts with 4 skills (default for most classes) and you get 5 ASI's, you could finally finish with 9 skills. But if you opted for a feat instead of the ASI, would you lose the skill? I would think not.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
That's not a bad idea either. If your character starts with 4 skills (default for most classes) and you get 5 ASI's, you could finally finish with 9 skills. But if you opted for a feat instead of the ASI, would you lose the skill? I would think not.
My initial thought would be no, you don't. I don't see any earthly reason it would be unbalancing to give the classes additional skills as they progress, and in some ways it actually makes great sense because stuff that's not tied to a good stat only really feels like a 'proficient' skill when your level based bonus is higher. I'm also not upset with the idea of allowing a character some mini version of expertise instead of a new skill, although then you're potentially stepping on the toes of some class abilities. Maybe a +2 that doesn't stack with stat bonuses for characters that want to be extra good at something that doesn't match up with their stat build. I think we all know that tying each skill to one stat and one stat only is a little artificial, and this would help with that.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
It does bother me that adding skills is no longer a part of character advancement outside of taking a feat.
One of the things I enjoyed about 3.5 was adding skills to my character. I'm also not a big fan of mechanical reasons for chosing backgrounds, for example to make sure you get stealth or perception.
Feats were a much smaller resource in 4e, probably also in 3.x in 4e you got a lot of them so it was a bit less of an issue where as in 5e they are huge some pretty cool too.

Still it would be better if Combat and other arena feats and ability gains were separated completely.

Why not just add a new skill alongside the standard four ASIs? Every class gets those so it's even across the board, and it has the merit of not needing to change anything else about the rules. Heck, why not just make every ASI stats plus a new a skill - the fighter could use the help anyway.
ASI stats being instead of feats bothers me a bit I think Because feats differentiate characters more it makes me I feel like I am trading distinction for competence.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
But you can take nothing but feats instead of ASIs. It's not like you're forced to take the stat increases, and you get some stat increase from a lot of feats anyway. I don't really see your problem, nor am sure how this dovetails into the conversations about adding additional skills alongside the ASI/feat. Maybe you could give an example of what you mean...
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
Consider this. Your Character at level 1 and your character at level 20. Should your character not always be better at nearly everything he does as a level 20 character than when he was a level 1 character. However, this isn't manifested in non-proficient skills or saves. The level 1 fighter with 10 wisdom and no perception proficiency is typically as good as the level 20 fighter at that skill. Why? Does it really make sense for that to be the case? Can the same be said for other skills? What about saving throws? What about non-proficient weapons. Surely the level 20 wizard is a bit better with a longsword than the level 1 wizard, but such isn't actually the case.
If everything scales, nothing scales. If both you chance to succeed and your target both go up by the same number, there's no relative change. It's like as if there's no scaling.

So if everything scaled, you wouldn't get better at anything when you go up in level. Adding +6 to attack and +6 to AC would just wash. Adding +6 to your save DC and +6 to all saves would be a wash. Adding proficiency to targets has the practical effect of doing the opposite of the goal of getting better.

Giving two saves out of six gives some differentiation between classes and puts more tactics into spell selection.

As for things like non-proficient skills and non-proficient weapons, that's how they kept it meaningful to be proficient or not. You only add your Proficiency bonus to things you are Proficient in. Differentiation where people get to stay good at what they train in. There would effectively be no skill system if your non-proficient skill got your proficiency bonus because your choices would be meaningless. It would all be ability score plus proficiency.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
My initial thought would be no, you don't. I don't see any earthly reason it would be unbalancing to give the classes additional skills as they progress, and in some ways it actually makes great sense because stuff that's not tied to a good stat only really feels like a 'proficient' skill when your level based bonus is higher. I'm also not upset with the idea of allowing a character some mini version of expertise instead of a new skill, although then you're potentially stepping on the toes of some class abilities. Maybe a +2 that doesn't stack with stat bonuses for characters that want to be extra good at something that doesn't match up with their stat build. I think we all know that tying each skill to one stat and one stat only is a little artificial, and this would help with that.
Maybe instead of full skill proficiency, with each ASI you could grant a character a +2 skill. They could apply this once (as the mini-expertise) to a skill they are already proficient in OR to a skill they are not proficient in. With enough +2 mini-boosts, they could also eventually become proficient.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
If everything scales, nothing scales. If both you chance to succeed and your target both go up by the same number, there's no relative change. It's like as if there's no scaling.
Why ever would you imagine that? If I am up against the mayor's cellar door it is somehow scaled number? No that isn't how it works

The things you are overcoming need to be more awesome too not just bigger numbers ... so why arent my skills allowed to do the same thing after all in combat I am taking down a swarm of Orcs (a squadron) at high level Or in humongous Dragon with attacks.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
ASI stats being instead of feats bothers me a bit I think Because feats differentiate characters more it makes me I feel like I am trading distinction for competence.
Your response above quoted me, but it wasn't me you should have quoted it was Fenris-77, unless you meant to quote me, in which case you had the wrong quote. :)
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
If everything scales, nothing scales. If both you chance to succeed and your target both go up by the same number, there's no relative change. It's like as if there's no scaling.

So if everything scaled, you wouldn't get better at anything when you go up in level. Adding +6 to attack and +6 to AC would just wash. Adding +6 to your save DC and +6 to all saves would be a wash. Adding proficiency to targets has the practical effect of doing the opposite of the goal of getting better.

Giving two saves out of six gives some differentiation between classes and puts more tactics into spell selection.

As for things like non-proficient skills and non-proficient weapons, that's how they kept it meaningful to be proficient or not. You only add your Proficiency bonus to things you are Proficient in. Differentiation where people get to stay good at what they train in. There would effectively be no skill system if your non-proficient skill got your proficiency bonus because your choices would be meaningless. It would all be ability score plus proficiency.
Right. Scaling in this context is just the level based scaling. The bonuses for You and the npc of the same level as you will just cancel out so effectively no advantage. But for different level foes it’s a big deal.

Of course this must be built upon a system where characters that are good at say swinging a long sword like a fighter get some additional benefit to swinging the long sword over a wizard of the same level
 

jgsugden

Explorer
Some people were content with Basic. That's no reason why everyone else should be stuck with that. If you can't criticize, then you can't optimize.
Optimization is inefficient.

Optimization is the act of making the absolute best out of a particular thing. You're trying to perfect it. However, there is going to be a point where putting effort into improving that particular thing will have a greater incremental cost than incremental benefit. Losing that last pound that your body could lose without dying, for example, is rarely going to be worth the effort when trying to 'lose as much weight as I can'.

5E is a very good system. While not perfect, it is at a point where most (if not all) of the effort I see to 'improve', 'fix', 'adjust', etc... it are inefficient uses of time. If that time were instead spent playing the game, planning sessions, or doing something unrelated to D&D, it would likely be time that generated more benefit than arguing over whether a wizard should inherently be better at Medicine after years of adventuring.

I truly believe that there are very few people out there that are actually getting anything close to 'optimal benefit' through these posts on rules that either rehash arguments discussed many times over the years, or discuss something that has not been worth bringing up, yet.

This is not Basic. This is not AD&D. This is a game that has been honed through trial and error over 5 decades and is very well constructed at this point. Not perfect - but good enough that it is smart to trust the guardians of the game to decide what does, and does not, need to be 'fixed'.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
If everything scales, nothing scales. If both you chance to succeed and your target both go up by the same number, there's no relative change. It's like as if there's no scaling.

So if everything scaled, you wouldn't get better at anything when you go up in level. Adding +6 to attack and +6 to AC would just wash. Adding +6 to your save DC and +6 to all saves would be a wash. Adding proficiency to targets has the practical effect of doing the opposite of the goal of getting better.

Giving two saves out of six gives some differentiation between classes and puts more tactics into spell selection.

As for things like non-proficient skills and non-proficient weapons, that's how they kept it meaningful to be proficient or not. You only add your Proficiency bonus to things you are Proficient in. Differentiation where people get to stay good at what they train in. There would effectively be no skill system if your non-proficient skill got your proficiency bonus because your choices would be meaningless. It would all be ability score plus proficiency.
This is an excellent point actually and was inherent to the treadmill effect in prior editions.

Why ever would you imagine that? If I am up against the mayor's cellar door it is somehow scaled number? No that isn't how it works

The things you are overcoming need to be more awesome too not just bigger numbers ... so why arent my skills allowed to do the same thing after all in combat I am taking down a swarm of Orcs (a squadron) at high level Or in humongous Dragon with attacks.
That being said (from above), characters do get better because, while some challenges scale many don't. At 10th-level, you might be fighting a monster that would have demolished you when you were 1st, but you might also be mopping the floor with its orc-henchmen which pose little threat to you now.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
Optimization is inefficient.

Optimization is the act of making the absolute best out of a particular thing. You're trying to perfect it. However, there is going to be a point where putting effort into improving that particular thing will have a greater incremental cost than incremental benefit. Losing that last pound that your body could lose without dying, for example, is rarely going to be worth the effort when trying to 'lose as much weight as I can'.

5E is a very good system. While not perfect, it is at a point where most (if not all) of the effort I see to 'improve', 'fix', 'adjust', etc... it are inefficient uses of time. If that time were instead spent playing the game, planning sessions, or doing something unrelated to D&D, it would likely be time that generated more benefit than arguing over whether a wizard should inherently be better at Medicine after years of adventuring.

I truly believe that there are very few people out there that are actually getting anything close to 'optimal benefit' through these posts on rules that either rehash arguments discussed many times over the years, or discuss something that has not been worth bringing up, yet.

This is not Basic. This is not AD&D. This is a game that has been honed through trial and error over 5 decades and is very well constructed at this point. Not perfect - but good enough that it is smart to trust the guardians of the game to decide what does, and does not, need to be 'fixed'.
how about you stop crapping on the things I enjoy? Let’s start there.

I enjoy tinkering with systems and trying to improve them. The very act of doing that is an enjoyment for me. So stop telling me that is bad wrong fun
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
Maybe instead of full skill proficiency, with each ASI you could grant a character a +2 skill. They could apply this once (as the mini-expertise) to a skill they are already proficient in OR to a skill they are not proficient in. With enough +2 mini-boosts, they could also eventually become proficient.
Maybe first you get the +2, second you are proficient, and third you are proficient and get the +2. Three buys to take a character from not proficient to 'expert' (or whatever we want to call it) seems fine and it wouldn't happen before 12th level.

I'd be ok just giving out proficiency at ASI steps, but this approach works well too and changes less about the current system. I'd also be ok with people adding a tool proficiency this way too. I know you can train that in downtime already, but not every campaign has the necessary downtime.

I'm also very comfortable giving the classes with more than 5 ASIs more than five skill boosts, the fighter especially.
 

akr71

Explorer
I totally agree with you. IF you bring back the age chart where your stats physical stats decrease with age bracket and mental stats increase with age bracket. Until Venerable age bracket. Then every thing decreases. This would overrule the various ageless features classes get.
That's an interesting idea! To be honest, I was surprised that this wasn't a thing in 5e. I skipped from 1e to 5e, so I don't know when it was taken out.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
But you can take nothing but feats instead of ASIs. It's not like you're forced to take the stat increases, and you get some stat increase from a lot of feats anyway. I don't really see your problem, nor am sure how this dovetails into the conversations about adding additional skills alongside the ASI/feat. Maybe you could give an example of what you mean...
The whole thread is about general competence and arguably an ASI is a means of gaining the general competence ... one which might actually make more sense than having a general competence proficiency of some sort. They end up being competing resource choices for players. But if you get an ASI and a feat you get general competence that targets what you do better. (though broad competence like the half proficiency idea could go along side that)
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
The whole thread is about general competence and arguably an ASI is a means of gaining the general competence ... one which might actually make more sense than having a general competence proficiency of some sort. They end up being competing resource choices for players. But if you get an ASI and a feat you get general competence that targets what you do better. (though broad competence like the half proficiency idea could go along side that)
So you're advocating for an ASI and a feat at each current ASI step? That's a huge power boost for characters, way way more than just giving out some additional skills. That doesn't make it a bad idea, but it's really high impact, especially when you're talking about the core feats that govern combat and spell casting (GWM, SS, EA, WC, etc)

If you want general competency there are easier ways to do it. Just make the Bard feature Jack of All Trades a feat and go home happy. Problem solved.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
So you're advocating for an ASI and a feat at each current ASI step? That's a huge power boost for characters, way way more than just giving out some additional skills. That doesn't make it a bad idea, but it's really high impact, especially when you're talking about the core feats that govern combat and spell casting (GWM, SS, EA, WC, etc)

If you want general competency there are easier ways to do it. Just make the Bard feature Jack of All Trades a feat and go home happy. Problem solved.
Thats assuming you think there should even be a trade off to acquiring some general competency instead of having it be automatic with level. I happen to think that adventurers acquire both specialization and some general competency at the same time.
 

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