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Why don't everything scale by proficiency bonus?

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
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.
Because the majority of the time, the rolls you make will be against foes. Count the rolls in any D&D session. Rolls in a single combat will vastly outnumber the number of rolls against static DCs.
 

Paul Farquhar

Explorer
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 do. In order for someone to become really good at something, they have to dedicate most of their time and effort to that thing. Which means they have no time left to learn other things, which far from improving might even deteriorate.

Or they can choose to develop general competency at the expense of not being the best at any one thing.

I happen to think that adventurers acquire both specialization and some general competency at the same time.
I don't see any reason why that should be the case.

A Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none character who is quite good at a wide range of things but doesn't excel at any one should be a valid character choice. If you make all characters broadly competent you remove the option for a player to choose to create a character whose broad competence is their main feature.
 
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Fenris-77

Explorer
[MENTION=6795602]FrogReaver[/MENTION] - I can't think of a good reason why an adventurer should get a general bonus to every skill based on level. If you want general competency you can spread your ASIs out over the stats and you're good. Broad competence or specialization, your choice, plus a range of medium options in the middle, and it's already baked into the rules.

Don't take this the wrong way, but is what you're actually after a general competence that doesn't have to come at the expense of any optimizing for class stats and abilities? More pointedly, broad competence that doesn't impact your ability to get one or two stats to 20 by 20th level plus the feat tree necessary to max out your DPR?
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
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.
I strongly disagree with "for different level foes it’s a big deal". There are four level points over all 20 levels where IF you are crossing that gap, there's a +/-1 to the die.

In order to have a +/-2 a 5-8 level difference, which comes up exceedingly rarely.

So much of the time there's no mod since they are within the same 4-level grouping as you. Occasionally there's a +/-1.

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
Yes, if you rebuilt the system you can make it do what you want. I had answered within the scope of just adding proficiency to everything with out existing rules; rewriting the system would need an answer in that context instead.
 

CleverNickName

Adventurer
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.
I don't think so, no. I doubt that every master violinist is any better at flying a fighter jet than they were when they took their first music lesson. I doubt everyone who earns a blackbelt in karate is also getting medals in marksmanship and prizes in academia, either.

It makes sense to me that only certain features advance with proficiency.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
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)
That is probably my goal, Characters feel much less heroic scale in 5e than in the previous edition (exception maybe being spell casters as they level) where yes you got both attribute advancement and feats and powers and they didnt interfere with one another, everyone had action points similar to an action surge every other fight and second wind and so on. (the feats were lower impact feats that let you fine tune more but there was not competition between the two choices. )
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
Lots of the people who earn blackbelts in Karate also can't really even do Karate, so there's that.:heh:

I think there's some solid opinion here showing that people would like the option to add new skills as characters level, rather than having to spend portions of ASI advancement to up the connected stat. Really it's just a matter of deciding how one wants to accomplish that in a given campaign.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
That is probably my goal, Characters feel much less heroic scale in 5e than in the previous edition (exception maybe being spell casters as they level) where yes you got both attribute advancement and feats and powers and they didnt interfere with one another, everyone had action points similar to an action surge every other fight and second wind and so on. (the feats were lower impact feats that let you fine tune more but there was not competition between the two choices. )
If you pair a feat with every ASI I don't think you'll run into balance issues between characters and they certainly will feel more heroic. You will have to adjust challenge rating for monsters, but that's probably a price you're more than willing to pay. In you shoes I might also look at taking some of the miscellaneous class abilities and re-branding them as feats to add to the mix. Stuff like unarmored defense, danger sense, expertise, that sort of thing. Maybe not those specifically, but something. There's been some solid discussion on the board about splitting some powerful feats in half and removing the stat increase from others to balance them all out, which is something else you could look at for what you want to do.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
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.
I was asking him why he is imagining that the mayors cellar door is leveling up to match the characters its an intentional silliness that was never advanced by the game just people wanting to diss it.... when the advancing numbers are about what actually challenges you and considered significant to the action, they are where the story tension comes from even if you have background elements that help you feel the awesome.

The ogre who could knock you around before is now too desparate to do big moves and goes down with one stroke when you are high level.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
If you pair a feat with every ASI I don't think you'll run into balance issues between characters and they certainly will feel more heroic. You will have to adjust challenge rating for monsters, but that's probably a price you're more than willing to pay.
Yes monsters seem to need more interesting moves for the most part anyway.
In you shoes I might also look at taking some of the miscellaneous class abilities and re-branding them as feats to add to the mix.
Making character design more flexible, yes?
Stuff like unarmored defense, danger sense, expertise, that sort of thing. Maybe not those specifically, but something. There's been some solid discussion on the board about splitting some powerful feats in half and removing the stat increase from others to balance them all out, which is something else you could look at for what you want to do.
Thanks that does sound interesting.
 

akr71

Explorer
Lots of the people who earn blackbelts in Karate also can't really even do Karate, so there's that.:heh:

I think there's some solid opinion here showing that people would like the option to add new skills as characters level, rather than having to spend portions of ASI advancement to up the connected stat. Really it's just a matter of deciding how one wants to accomplish that in a given campaign.
LOL! I was going to use karate as an example instead of the 'showing my co-worker the same thing repeatedly.' I've been studying karate for a little more than 2 years and I'm still baffled by the number of people who get to their black belt (sometimes brown) and just ghost. Like that was the goal. No, that's just the beginning - you've now learned enough basics to actually start learning karate!

Back to the topic though - class Saving Throws can be baffling sometimes. Why does a monk get Strength & Dexterity? Why does a fighter who plans to be an EK not have the option of Intelligence? I would entertain each class getting proficiency in one Save and choose a second. I would also entertain allowing the player to choose the Resilient Feat more than once, providing they choose a different stat.

I'm a pretty open DM - if the player can justify why they want something changed, I will consider it. I want my players to be happy and want to play. My own play style, however, is that I like my character to have weak spots to lean into. The uncertainty makes it fun for me.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I also think having even the subtle over all competence of 1, 2 and 3 at tiers 2 3 and 4 is a heroic trope. The strangely incompetent in one area for humor is another
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
I'd be happier about picking saves if the saves were all created equal, but the really aren't. Maybe give each class one of the strong three and let them pick from the weaker three. Or even chose one from each list.
[MENTION=82504]Garthanos[/MENTION] - if you gave each of those tiers +1 (for a range from +1 to +3) I don't think you'd be breaking anything. I don't think it's as interesting as adding specific skills, but that's a matter of personal taste.
 

dave2008

Adventurer
Surely the level 20 wizard is a bit better with a longsword than the level 1 wizard, but such isn't actually the case.

Thoughts?
I think this example demonstrates why it wouldn't work to add prof to everything (similar to how 4e did it). I definitely would not expect a wizard who has never used a longsword to suddenly be 50% better a using a longsword when he/she reaches lvl 20. That, to me, would be a mistake.

I do think some method of partial proficiency would be nice for parts of the game (saving throws maybe). But I think full proficiency is to much. Also, if I am being honest with myself, I don't like the idea of gain proficiency in something I haven't trained at. I get the idea that to simplify the game you provide a blanket improvement rather than give everyone a bunch of feats/skill points/whatever to "train," but it just isn't my taste.

Maybe a middle road would be a lessened proficiency bonus (max out at +3) and then expertise is for those who have really trained?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I'd be happier about picking saves if the saves were all created equal, but the really aren't. Maybe give each class one of the strong three and let them pick from the weaker three. Or even chose one from each list.
But as to save they are very much the combat arena and arguably the reason 4e defenses were collapsed to three ref, fort, and will was about making them created about equal you could still use feats to shore up ones where you lacked attribute focus.

if you gave each of those tiers +1 (for a range from +1 to +3) I don't think you'd be breaking anything. I don't think it's as interesting as adding specific skills, but that's a matter of personal taste.
Its definitely a subtle tweak less impactful as you say.

I think your adding a skill relates directly to the idea of separating out non-combat character design resources in general from the combat oriented ones and most definitely I would be putting specific skill training/proficiency as an option in that set

4e had skill powers that highlighted skills applied in big bold ways generally in combat but a few were definitely just general use cases. In efffect you can see them as "trade a resource for reliable use" of something a DM might just let you do if unreliably.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Another "no" vote here. There are really two things here as to why:

1. As others have mentioned, you don't get better at skill X by becoming an expert at skill Z. That makes no sense.
2. People seriously underestimate how hard it is to become proficient at something. It takes more than a few swings to know how to use a sword properly. Everyone seems to look at something and say, "I can totally do that! That's not too hard!" But when they actually do, they are in for a surprise. I can't count the number of times I see people who tried rock climbing thinking they would be all super good right away and within minutes their arms are burned out. Even the big strong guys. It's all about technique and practice to build up the right muscles and flexibility. Or people who think woodworking is pretty easy and then can't put together a right angle to save their life, let alone a tight mortise and tenon. Being good at something requires a lot of learning and conditioning, and muscle memory. That takes a lot of time.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
A quick summary of some things I've gleaned from this thread before I head off to a long day at work:

1. I like the idea of each class having one save that is specified and allowing the player to choose the second. Fighters might get Strength by default, but could then pick Wisdom or Charisma or whatever instead of ALWAYS having to take Constitution. I will probably encourage a house rule that a character must choose one of the two listed by class, but can choose the other to be any save.

2. Adding a skill, tool, kit, or language at the ASI levels is good and expands the skills characters can learn in a simple way. The option of a one-time per skill +2 bonus for "semi-expertise" might be included (I have to get it a bit more thought). Instead of a skill, etc., proficiency in a specific weapon or armor can also be learned.

3. Generally adding a level-based variant to all skills or saves probably isn't a great idea after further consideration. There are way to many skills in real life to assume anyone would get better at them all simply because the are moving on through life. Using idea #2 above will allow of someone to improve if they want to.

I'm sure there's more, but that's it for now. :)
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
So you all don’t believe that the level 20 adventurer tends to be naturally more perceptive than the level 1?

That the level 20 fighter hasn’t gotten a little smarter in his adventures (defining smart as more knowledge)

now theres some skills that that are a bit of a stretch. But It seems very strange to say this is a typical
 

Saelorn

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.
That's not optimization. That's specialization. You're allowed to account for efficiency when optimizing a system.

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.
I honestly can't tell whether or not you're being serious here. But in any case, no, 5E is not a good system. It has obvious and glaring flaws that are immediately apparent to anyone who looks. Tool proficiency is one. The ambiguity between applicable saving throws is another issue. Modifiers that routinely fall out of the operable range of the d20 are another. The inconsistent mess behind HP and healing is just the nail in the coffin.

No, 5E is not a good system. Not even close. It's borderline playable, with judicious house rules. I can, and have, done better. At this point, it would be hard for anyone to do worse.
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'.
Appeal to authority is only valid if the authority is trustworthy. If I trusted the designers to learn from any of the mistakes of the past, then you might have an argument. As it stands, the "guardians of the game" are not good or trustworthy people.
 

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