Why don't everything scale by proficiency bonus?

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
Maybe or maybe your telling me he didn't learn enough about his own religion in 20 years to even get a +1 bonus...
If he didn't take proficiency in it at some point during that 20 years, why would he learn more? Not like he put any actual effort into it.
 

jgsugden

Adventurer
Bob the cleric DOES learn more about religion. He just doesn't learn more about religion trivia. He is not a religion scholar. He just worries about the stuff that is right in front of him, not the stuff that fills those countless books.

For example, Bob goes on an adventure at 2nd level and encounters a strange idol. He rolls a religion check and gets a result of 8 - meaning that he does not recognize it. They then meet the monster cleric that worships at that idol and it calls down spells in the name of its God, Umberlee. Bob now realizes that idol was for Umberlee. Maybe he notes it in a notebook.

5 levels later, Bob encounters the symbols on that idol again. He knows what they mean, now. No roll necessary.

Bob learns from his practical experiences... he just hasn't picked up book smarts about religion.
 

Horwath

Explorer
I see no reason to for thing to get better if you didn't practice it. Or in game mechanics; spent some character resources to improve it.

But, my only problem with 5E is that there is only one way of customizing your character after lvl1, and that is ASI.

And everything is molded into it; Ability boosts, skill training, tool training, bonus languages, feats.
And people being people, will pick only the best that there is from limited amount or resources they have. And that is 90% primary ability to 20, one or two (over)powerful feats and maybe boost secondary stat.


ASI should be breaked down in: Bonus feats, bonus skills, bonus tools/languages, ability boosts
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I see no reason to for thing to get better if you didn't practice it. Or in game mechanics; spent some character resources to improve it.

But, my only problem with 5E is that there is only one way of customizing your character after lvl1, and that is ASI.

And everything is molded into it; Ability boosts, skill training, tool training, bonus languages, feats.
And people being people, will pick only the best that there is from limited amount or resources they have. And that is 90% primary ability to 20, one or two (over)powerful feats and maybe boost secondary stat.


ASI should be breaked down in: Bonus feats, bonus skills, bonus tools/languages, ability boosts
There are three ways though: ASI to any ability score, feat, and multiclassing. It’s late, I may be forgetting others.

And while yes, most people use an ASI to their primary stat, that’s their choice to do so. The game gives you an option of being better at a pool of skills by applying ASI to any stat. If you dont apply it that way, well, that’s your choice then, but Bob the fighter CAN get better at lore or perception by putting his ASI into the appropriate stat.
 

Horwath

Explorer
There are three ways though: ASI to any ability score, feat, and multiclassing. It’s late, I may be forgetting others.

And while yes, most people use an ASI to their primary stat, that’s their choice to do so. The game gives you an option of being better at a pool of skills by applying ASI to any stat. If you dont apply it that way, well, that’s your choice then, but Bob the fighter CAN get better at lore or perception by putting his ASI into the appropriate stat.
ofc, it is their choice...but, if +2 to primary ability is better in 9/10 situations, then there is no reason to have other options.

That is why I am for separate resource pool for feats, skills, tools/languages, ASIs and general pool for anything.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
There are three ways though: ASI to any ability score, feat, and multiclassing. It’s late, I may be forgetting others.

And while yes, most people use an ASI to their primary stat, that’s their choice to do so. The game gives you an option of being better at a pool of skills by applying ASI to any stat. If you dont apply it that way, well, that’s your choice then, but Bob the fighter CAN get better at lore or perception by putting his ASI into the appropriate stat.
ofc, it is their choice...but, if +2 to primary ability is better in 9/10 situations, then there is no reason to have other options.

That is why I am for separate resource pool for feats, skills, tools/languages, ASIs and general pool for anything.
It is always the player's choice. You can max out your strengths or shore up your weaknesses. As a player, I am always happy to shore up any weaknesses my characters have. In 5E I am very happy with my primary stats at 16. It isn't max, obviously, but it is "good enough" that my character can overcome the challenges she faces.

Does she have proficiency in deception? intimidation? Nope. Nope. What about Charisma saves? No, again. So if I find applying my ASI to Charisma (if it is even, like a 10) is a good thing to gain a +1 to saves and skills she wants to be better at. Or if it is odd, I take Resilient and apply it to Charisma, not only gaining a +1 to those skills she is not proficient in but also she gains proficiency in that save, which is great.

Would boosting her Intelligence to 18 be better? Probably since she is a Wizard primarily, but then she never improves in things were she is vulnerable. It all boils down to your philosophy.

Finally, as to the OP, let's take something more real to life for me, personally, and that's Athletics. When I was younger, I did a lot of sports and would probably have had a STR of 12 or 14 for a +1 or +2 mod. Despite being active in sports, would I have had proficiency in it in general? Maybe, but there were a lot of others who were MUCH better than I was so I would be inclined to think I didn't have proficiency if they did, you know?

Well, now I am older and I've learned some new sports over the years, sure, but am I any better at the stuff I used to do? Nope. Why? Because I haven't applied myself to it and practiced over the last 20-25 years. If anything, I am sure my Strength HAS gone down and now would like be only a 10 or maybe a 12, and since I haven't kept up with those sports, I am not even as good as I once was.

If you don't have a system for skills degrading, I don't think it makes sense to have a general system to improve them "overall". At best, I think a skill swapping system makes more sense. Perhaps with each ASI you can swap proficiency from one skill you do know to one skill you don't know. Maybe after a few levels you realize proficiency in Animal Handling hasn't been useful for your Fighter, and wish you had perception? Well, swap them out. This way, you aren't spending resources to learn a new skill or waste an ASI, etc. but it allows you to focus the resources you already have into where you want them.

It would definitely help IMO because I've seen numerous times where players regret skill choices and wish they had others as their characters grow and change.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I'm 45 years old. I am no better today than I was at 18 at many, many things. For example, I am not better at weaving, golf, archery, swimming, tumbling, playing the piano, etc... I could go on for 60 pages listing all of the things I don't do any better than I did 27 years ago.
Because you're still 1st level. ;)

On on even a less serious note, I'm better today at dodging fireballs and lightning bolts than I was 27 years ago.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You would have thought he would pick up something channelling divine power but I think its like real life ... zealots only know about their own religion and there isnt really much to know. Its heathens that study lots of religions.
I've known a number of Rabbis and Preachers who not only studied other religions, but enjoyed meeting with leaders of other religions and engaging them in discussions. It's really interesting to hear them talk about it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
But there is is no reason he should be more knowledgeable about religions and religious history and myths just by virtue of having travelled and gotten in some fights.
Sure, but that applies to most of the things that he does have proficiency in. I've had fighters use one and only one type of weapon from level 1-20(not in 5e yet, but the 5e is no different), but he got better in all of them. The same with some of the skills.

There's no reason he should get better in those things with proficiency that he's not practicing at all just by virtue of having traveled and gotten into some fights.
 

jgsugden

Adventurer
Because you're still 1st level. ;)
Considering what I've been through, I have enough experience to be 20th level by now.

On on even a less serious note, I'm better today at dodging fireballs and lightning bolts than I was 27 years ago.
I'd love to see your evidence of this.... I can stop by sometime with some explosives and some modified tesla coils. :)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Considering what I've been through, I have enough experience to be 20th level by now.
Pics of monsters you've killed or it didn't happen buddy!

I'd love to see your evidence of this.... I can stop by sometime with some explosives and some modified tesla coils. :)
I think I'll pass on that. I'm secure in my knowledge. :p
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I've known a number of Rabbis and Preachers who not only studied other religions, but enjoyed meeting with leaders of other religions and engaging them in discussions. It's really interesting to hear them talk about it.
Nods agree that's not actually uncommon in judaism from my understanding as well (there is also many people who are jewish atheists). I also met a christian pastor who was pretty much an anarchist but I did use the word "zealot" perhaps like the ones who are spreading measles in NYC.
More to topic the fantasy world cleric is in a world of "real" pantheons and I do find it most likely one of them deepening religious lore more because more because religion would be the mostly likely vehicle for learning to channel divine power ie by learning divine will.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
More to topic the fantasy world cleric is in a world of "real" pantheons and I do find it most likely one of them deepening religious lore more because more because religion would be the mostly likely vehicle for learning to channel divine power ie by learning divine will.
I agree. When you live in a world where you know for a certainty that the other religions are as real as yours, you are less likely to to ignore them. It's easy in the real world for someone to just discount the others as false and focus on the one true way.
 

Jer

Adventurer
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.

...

Thoughts?
The answer to the question that is the title of your post (i.e. why isn't everything scaled by proficiency bonus) is "because 4th edition did it the way you suggest and it was one of the things people complained about that they adjusted for 5th edition". There's an argument to be made that some folks weren't complaining about the idea of advancing all of the skills by the same amount, just the range of advancement made the numbers too big and adjusted the difficulties by what they thought were ridiculous amounts (i.e. 1/2 level is too much, 1/4 level as per 5e would be fine), but it's certainly the case that many were complaining about the idea of advancing all skills by the same amount period.

As to why there were complaints about it - you can see it in this whole thread. Everyone has a different idea of how character skills should work. Some of us see character progression in D&D as overall competence as "adventurers" and think that all of the "adventuring skills" (i.e. the skills that we bother to track on a character sheet and make die rolls for) should advance as the character levels up. Others see the skill list as a set of individual expertises and see no justification for advancing all of them because it breaks their suspension of disbelief in how the world works, or their view of their own character's abilities, or something along those lines.

Personally I'm in the "D&D is about adventurers and adventurers are special" camp and think that all of your skills should go up as you level up and the skills you're trained in should give you an added bonus (if I were designing the game it likely would have been advantage on skill checks you were trained in and figuring out how to make that work). I think that's probably because for me skills were a tacked-on afterthought to the game I was brought up playing (skills didn't show up in AD&D until I had been playing the game for a few years, and didn't show up in my then preferred BECMI rules until well after that) and they continue to feel that way to me in pretty much every edition of the game. Also because I've played plenty of classless skill point games over the years and if I want to play a game like that I will - if I want to play a class/level system then the class and the level should be what matters, not some distribution of skill points. But that's not how they went with 5e, so I just roll with it.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
I feel like the underlying issue that's causing a lot of static here is that some people want to see their character's skills and whatnot improve, just not at the cost of their ability to optimize their core class stats and feat tree. As mentioned there are a number of ways already in the rules to improve skill levels and generally broaden a characters base. Are those additional skills going to be used as often as a fighter's melee attack or a Warlock's Eldritch Blast? Obviously not, but that's the choice - broad or deep. I'm a min-maxer at heart, and I feel the sting of passing on that 20 or even delaying it, but if you really think your character needs skills X and Y there are ways to acquire them already. One feat gets you three skills, which should cover most characters needs to cover what they feel they are missing.

We all know this, so why did I bring this up? It's about changing as little as possible to shunt the game in the direction you want. The bigger the hack the larger the chances of imbalance and unintended consequence. I'm not afraid to implement big hacks to the rules, nor would I counsel someone else not to, but they are a lot of work. So if the only issue is skill access, then my first thought would be to do some gentle surgery rather than laying about me with my rules chainsaw. If we call access to one skill the equivalent of 1/3 of a feat (a weak feat admittedly) than gives us a reference point. So how about this:

Limited Proficiency: At every ASI step a character also gains skills in addition to the +2 stat bonus. They may choose to add proficiency in a class skill, or limited proficiency in a non-class skill. Limited proficiency may be taken multiple times and stacks. The first limited proficiency grants a character +2 in that skill, which replaces the character's level based proficiency modifier. The second limited proficiency modifier grants normal proficiency, and the character may now use his level-based proficiency modifier with that skill. A third selection of limited proficiency grants an additional +2 modifier to skills checks that does stack with the characters general proficiency modifier. Any skill taken during character creation is considered equivalent to two selections of limited proficiency, and thus can benefit from a third limited proficiency to grant the additional +2 bonus.

Note that under this rule, classes that have more than 5 ASI advances also get more than 5 limited proficiency selections.

I like this because it's giving out essentially half a skill as a straight bonus that applies evenly across the classes (fighter and rogue aside). It's the equivalent of something like 1/6th of a feat, so shouldn't be too game changing, and also provides a mechanic for skill specialization outside the aegis of the Expertise special rule, and also isn't as effective as Expertise, so we aren't stepping directly on a class ability (plus the rogue and bard have access anyway). Characters gain skills as they level, which should make that half of the crowd here happy, but we've avoided general leveling bonuses, which should make everyone else happy. Personally, I like this enough that I'm going to start using it, so at the very least, thanks all for helping me work out a solid hack for my own game.:cool:
 
The answer to the question that is the title of your post (i.e. why isn't everything scaled by proficiency bonus) is "because 4th edition did it the way you suggest and it was one of the things people complained about that they adjusted for 5th edition".
I guess that's the elephant in the room, yeah.

5e took a lot of thing 4e did very well, but overtly, and kept traces of them that didn't work nearly so well, but were less obvious.

Proficiency is one of them.

And, yes, granting scaling across the board would be obvious, and thus have invited renewed edition warring. But not really that different. The big change from past eds to 4e was not the magnitude of scaling or the blanket nature of it, but the parity. Prior to 4e, saves had scaled at different rates, skills (when they existed) at different rates, and especially, Attack Matrixes/THAC0/BAB at very different rates. 4e equalized all that. A Fighter's sword attack and the wizard's dagger attack scaled at the same basic rate, the fighter no longer had this widening advantage in combat as you leveled.

That's by far the most significant aspect of what 4e did with scaling - and 5e retained it.


But, another thing is that the scaling is pretty limited...

There's an argument to be made that some folks weren't complaining about the idea of advancing all of the skills by the same amount, just the range of advancement made the numbers too big and adjusted the difficulties by what they thought were ridiculous amounts (i.e. 1/2 level is too much, 1/4 level as per 5e would be fine)
And 5e /certainly/ addressed that, really hard, with BA.

So tossing in /just/ the scaling (not the whole proficiency bonus, just the scaling part that kicks in after 1st), with everything would prevent characters from getting relatively /worse/ as they advanced, but wouldn't otherwise have a huge impact.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
I'm not fond of Realism, in general. Call it fidelity, or verisimilitude or consistency... ;)
I think its unnecessary, but the OP was couched in terms of realism and making sense, so I'm engaging with it on the basis that this is the case, and in those terms.

...but, really, there's no reason characters shouldn't get broadly better at coping with adventuring challenges (like all saving throws, at a minimum), just like they get a lot better at surviving being beaten on with sticks, even if they take no damage at all for levels at a time (ie HD).
Ability scores are a bit more biological than skillful. Strength and intelligence and Wisdom are the easiest to envision raising with level. Dexterity, con and charisma are the hardest for me. Especially con.

But more importantly, the ability scores aren't strictly coupled with skills - what I mean by that is that when you raise an ability score your skill bonuses increase. However, when you increase your skill bonuses your ability scores don't increase.
That's the point: Most of the "generic adventuring tasks" that others are saying adventurers would improve at given their daily regime, are ability checks, not skill checks.
Some may not even involve applying proficiency from a skill to, such as carrying gear, 12-hour marches, trying to make a good impression with the locals etc.
Isn't every system concerned with some level of 'realism' in the abilities, skills etc that are used?
Different systems draw the line in different places. The OP seemed to be saying that it was an issue for them that characters' generic capabilities did not improve as they spent time exercising them, on the basis of realism rather than game balance, player engagement etc.
 

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