Skill Mastery

Okay so as I understand it, you regain your Expertise Dice everyone round.

This means a 10th level rogue will be adding 3d10 (so likely 7-8) to every single time he uses a trained skill... so likely every single trap he disables, every door he unlocks, ervery pocket he picks.... is there -ever- a chance of failure with such high odds?

Better yet, a dextrous rogue, will be hitting the neigh impossible DCs on a regular basis... not so neigh impossible anymore.

Don't you think this manouevre is a tad broken?
Yes. I hope it gets toned down a little somehow.

Perhaps Skill Mastery could allow you to spend an expertise die to gain advantage on a check using a  trained skill instead. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

You do know that it only adds the highest die roll. so even if you roll 3d10 you only take the highest one. This will still equate to a lower average.

This still doesnt stop you rolling a low number it just adds it to the check, thus if you had a stealth check +4 dex +3 trained + 5 (average) skill mastery this is only +12 bounus, which might look alot but you reach this bonus at first level in 4e, you can still fail a Dc 20 -25 easily.

Also while in combat you may need the ED to do other maneuvers so, would you spend that many die on one skill check, its unlikely.

You also must take into account the higher level the harder the DC so even a specilaised rouge could fail to hit the higher DC's.

The rouge is leaning alot more towards the skill monkey area in this playtest, and only time will tell if it is overpowered or usefull.


Or Skill Mastery could be a feature letting Rogue improve 2 trained skills instead of one every other levels ? Or alternatively  improve 1 trained skill at every level instead of every other level.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Could the rogue decide to roll 1 expertise die...if he rolls a low roll and does not succeed...can he then decide to use another?   This could add some tension to the game.  

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When you are rolling 3d10, chances are you will get atleast around an 8 on the result. Adding 8, plus 3+ skill training, plus dex modfier... means you will almost always score over 20 DC on trained skill checks, kind of takes the suspense out of disarming traps in my opinion.

It works at low levels (1d4), but as you get more and higher expertise dice, it gets out of hand.
Yes Slygamer, you're correct. As is, Skill Mastery is even more broken than it was in the previous playtest packet. The high-level Rogue will beat impossible DCs on every try, and there will be no use for the other characters to even try to contribute. So much for "bounded accuracy" and "everybody gets to help somehow"...
You do know that it only adds the highest die roll. so even if you roll 3d10 you only take the highest one. This will still equate to a lower average.

This still doesnt stop you rolling a low number it just adds it to the check, thus if you had a stealth check +4 dex +3 trained + 5 (average) skill mastery this is only +12 bounus, which might look alot but you reach this bonus at first level in 4e, you can still fail a Dc 20 -25 easily.

Also while in combat you may need the ED to do other maneuvers so, would you spend that many die on one skill check, its unlikely.

You also must take into account the higher level the harder the DC so even a specilaised rouge could fail to hit the higher DC's.

The rouge is leaning alot more towards the skill monkey area in this playtest, and only time will tell if it is overpowered or usefull.





The problem with this line of thinkning is that it assumes we will commonly see DC's of 20 or higher. When I was complaining about limited skill selection a few packets ago I was told that most DC's are within range for an untrained PC to reach. That means all but the most difficult tasks would probably fall 20 or lower, since they assume +5 for a highly talented but untrained PC. Add skill training and most people's highest possible bonus is +8. A 10th level rogue has a range of +9 to +18 on a skill check using their best stat. Can we honestly say that we can challenge a player who has a bonus of +8 the same as a player who can achieve a bonus of +13 without trying? If we need DC's of 23 for it to be only an average challenge to one player, then difficult tasks jump to DC 30 or higher, unreachable by any other character.

It'd be similiar to saying fighters get plate armor and greatswords at level1, everybody else fights with a dagger for the entire game. Have fun Undecided
The current Skill Mastery pretty much breaks the whole point behind bounded accuracy.

So does Iron Will, Great Fortitude and Lightning Reflexes... anytime you get caught doing a save out of combat, obviously you will add all your expertise dice, therefore +11 to str/con saves as a 10th level fighter with great fortitude and 16 con... its too high.
Yes Rogues are broken outside combat and crap inside combat.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 Fear is the Mind Killer  

I would probably house rule that you can only use 1 die/check if it became a problem. It says in the DMG that you should only force players to roll if the result is random or hard to calculate through logic. Having an ability that removes all the tension from the die rolling means you shouldn't make them roll at all.



This seems like another one of those obvious problems that will get fixed in the next big update.

The current Skill Mastery pretty much breaks the whole point behind bounded accuracy.

So does Iron Will, Great Fortitude and Lightning Reflexes... anytime you get caught doing a save out of combat, obviously you will add all your expertise dice, therefore +11 to str/con saves as a 10th level fighter with great fortitude and 16 con... its too high.



I would agree to this, but I don't think this will be a huge issue because you would have to choose one of these over another maneuver. There's plenty of people on these forums saying "Drop IW, GF, and LR because no one will ever take them". With this, it makes it seem much more like a problem on paper, less in practice.
My two copper.
The current Skill Mastery pretty much breaks the whole point behind bounded accuracy.

So does Iron Will, Great Fortitude and Lightning Reflexes... anytime you get caught doing a save out of combat, obviously you will add all your expertise dice, therefore +11 to str/con saves as a 10th level fighter with great fortitude and 16 con... its too high.



I would agree to this, but I don't think this will be a huge issue because you would have to choose one of these over another maneuver. There's plenty of people on these forums saying "Drop IW, GF, and LR because no one will ever take them". With this, it makes it seem much more like a problem on paper, less in practice.




I agree with this. Lets say a level 10 fighter is fighting a dragon. The dragon breaths acid on him, so the fighter dumps all 3d10 dice into his save, and so he makes the save easy. Now he rushes in to attack with two attacks. He likely will hit once, but now he has no expertise dice for extra damage, he just does regular weapon damage.

Or switch it around, fighter charges in first, hits and spends expertise dice. He does say, a d12+3d10+6. Pretty good hit! Dragons turn, dragon breaths acid, uh oh, fighter needs to make a reflex save based off a 13 (+1) dex vs DC 16 with no specialty dice to spend. Now its the fighters turn to hurt....Or, you could spread your dice around, maybe saving one of those d10s for later for your saving thorw or parry, and using only two d10 to for extra damage.

With rogues, it is some what similar when in combat. The real issue is using skill mastery when you are out of combat, for traps or open locks. It says in the dm packit, typical lock is dc 16, elaborate lock is dc 19, and dwarven lock is dc 22.  Given this,  level one rogue would have +3 for training, +3 from dex, for a plus 6 total. That gives him a 50 percent chach to pick typical lock before adding a 1d4 (5-20 percent bonus) specialty die. The dwarven lock would require a roll of 16 or only a 20 percent chance, before adding in a single d4.

At 10th level, the rogue could max out their skill at +8, probably have +5 from mod, for a total of +13. This is an 85 percent success against typical lock and roll of 9, or, 45 percent chance to pick dwarven lock before adding in the specialtie dice. Rolling a d10 gives you any where from a +5 percent to +50 percent bonus. Rolling all three and taking the best d10 means you probably get a 40 percent bonus, giving something like an 85 percent chanch to pick the dwarven lock. 

So, at high levels, most skills will be trivial. Maybe they should just re-word skill master to limite your use of specilaty dice to one die. Then, you would usually get a 25 percent bonus instead of a 85 percent bonus at 10th level. That gives you a 70 percent chanch to pick a dwarven lock at level ten, on average, instead of 85 percent. 

Of course, a 10th leve rouge having near automatic success for even the most difficult of tasks is nothing new for the game. I remember having an 8th level rogue in 3.x that routinly rolled between 29-31 for move sliently and hide. In older editions where theif skills were percntile based, by 9th level, you had 80-90 percent success on almost all skills. In 4th ed, since most standard dcs were quite low compaired to the skill bonus, it was also easy to pass skills (for example open lock at level one would likely have a +5 mod, plus another +5 for being trained. So, you had +10 to your rolls and most lock dcs would be 13-15. So, you only needed to roll betwen 3 or 5 on a d20, for a 85-75 percent chanch of succes, or, 50 percent chance of success against a dc 20 lock, and this is at level one. Since everything in forth 4th ed scaled with level, those numbers would hold pretty consistantly.)

So, rogues being awsome at their skills at high level is not anything new and because of this, I have a feelign it works pretty well (yeah, it eventually makes wizards knock spell obsoleate but he can memorize other things). 


Now that I think about it, in playing DnD basic, Adnd 2nd, 3.0 and 3.x, and 4th ed, every edition rogues got to a point of near auto success at high level, and it never broke the game. Every class, by level 10, seemed to have a nich in which they were totally awsome. The thing to keep in mind is that 10th level is very powerful, so we should expect the classes to be able to do very powerful things. I think if anything, we could just limit the use of skill mastery to one die but I would like to play test high level play before I can know for sure which way to go. 

 
Well at level 10 a rogue has +5 Max from ability score and +5 from level.

So base a 10th level rogue is rolling +4-+10 to a skill. Best case is d20+10. This results in a roll 10-30. Fair enough for a level 10 character.

Now Skill Mastery grants a rogue 3 chances to roll 1-10 an add the best to the roll. I think this averages to 7.5. So now a rogue can roll from 17-38 on a skill roll. Now is this okay?

Skill mastery works fine at lower levels when the dice are small but wonks at later levels.

Orzel suggestion. Rogue expertise dice never increases past 1d6 but they get more of them.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Zard signs off on Orzel suggestion. If they need identical ED for fighters and rogues 5d6 at levle 10 seems about the same as 3d10.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 Fear is the Mind Killer  

DC does not go up with level. it is a stationary thing.
@NightsLastHero

That is the issue. The Ability Mod + Skill Mod barely stays in bounded accuracy. A Dex 20 rogue rolls d20+13 before Skill Mastery vs DCs of 25 as the maximum.

Quite frankly the level based bonus and the maneuver bonus are redundant.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

What's been in my mind, and I think others from what I saw, was skills, at least partly. I said in another thread there's too many, but Skill Mastery is beyond broken to me. I honestly think it would better for rogues to have advantage on all trained skills when they're not in combat. I think that would simplify things and demonstrate how the rogue gets the upper hand with skills, but it has an element of realism, too. Easier to pick a lock when you can focus than during a ruckus.

I'm not keen on maneuvers because I think it's fighter domain, but if it's kept, there should offensive maneuvers and defensive ones. Offensive maneuvers might involve some sort of debuff in exchange for X number of Sneak Attack dice, or longer range for Sneak Attack (if WotC does the 30 ft. thing), or increasing Sneak Attack by one die size. Something like that I'd suggest making the defensive maneuvers as methods of making Sneak Attack easier, like getting advantage on a missed OA, or maintaining advantage until your next turn with a crit, or what have you. Just anything to make them seem more opportunistic and manipulative.

After that, a static +1 bonus every three levels to something would be nice. I was thinking Dex saves, AC vs. OA's, an OA attack bonus, just something that's helpful but can't be used too often.
How about these alternatives?


Skill Mastery:


When you make a check of which one of your trained skills applies, and you roll 9 or less. You can spend expertise dice to change the result to 10.


 


Skill Mastery:


When you make a check of which one of your trained skills applies, and you dislike the result, you can spend expertise dice to re-roll but must accept the second result.

@NightsLastHero That is the issue. The Ability Mod + Skill Mod barely stays in bounded accuracy. A Dex 20 rogue rolls d20+13 before Skill Mastery vs DCs of 25 as the maximum. Quite frankly the level based bonus and the maneuver bonus are redundant.




Of course, one thing to keep in mind is that if the rogue puts all his skill bonus from level into one skill, the he will be awesome with that one skill but all other skills will still be the same level as they were at level one. 

If I put all my ranks in stealth to be awesome at stealth, then my pick locks would something like a +8 (+5 fromdex and +3 from skill bonus). In this case, the tenth level rogue has a slim (30 percent chanch) chance to pick the dwarves lock without skill mastery and the expertise dice. So, basically, awesome in one skill means you suck at all your other seven.

Conversly, a rogue could spread his bonuses out evenly as he levels. This would set each skill at a +4 by level eight, with two points left over for level 10. So, at tenth level 10 6 skill are only one point better than they were at level one, and two skills would be two points better than the we're at level one. So some skills will be a total of plus 9 and others +10 (this assuming all skills are going off of a 20 ability mod wich most likely the wont. Not all 8 skills are going to be dex based, but whatever). So, for dc 22 we have 35 percent success for 6 skills and 40 percent success for two skills without Skill mastery. Throw in skill master and you get 42 and 48 percent for a dc 22 at level ten. 

This sounds pretty good to me. You have a choice of  about 85 percent success with one skill and 37 percent for all other skills for dc 22 at level 10, or chose to get a spread of 42-48 for your all your skills for a dc 22 at level 10, or something in between. So, I think the skill mastery works just fine.


EDIT: not all your skills would be minimum at level ten. I forgot you cwould have two points left over to add to other skills. But still, the point is, most of r other skills will stink if you put all your points into one skill. 
Or Skill Mastery could be a feature letting Rogue improve 2 trained skills instead of one every other levels ? Or alternatively  improve 1 trained skill at every level instead of every other level.


This is kind of what I was thinking. Skill Mastery applying to just 1 skill then adding another skill every even level.

Skill Mastery applying to every skill you have is too much for me.  It makes me feel like I'm wasting potential by not taking Superior Skill Training a bunch of times.
The best solution is still a cooldown period for ED. Make it so that ED recharge at a rate of one per turn in combat (maybe 2 at higher levels) and at a rate of 2 per hour in a resting situation (again, more at higher levels).

That way people have to think about how they use their dice rather than just mindlessly throwing them all at every challenge. You CAN toss 10 dice into a Spot check and win it easilly, but you'll be crippling yourself in the next fight if you do so.