What is Up With Expertise Dice at Level 10?

For some reason, Expertise makes a MASSIVE jump at level 10 from 2d8 (2-16) to 3d10 (3-30). At first I thought this was a typo. 2d10 would fit better with the progression and be more balanced. But then they released the Monk class, and there it is again, 3d10. Is this a mistake?
Its a good thing we they got rid of the jab
I think you meant (3-30), but I tend to agree. It's a huge jump. It gets into the territory of creating a 'quadratic fighter' problem. I think the main problem is that deadly strike and parry (and other maneuvers that total all dice) should probably still be limited to the highest result of the dice you roll. Even with that limitation, I don't think the dice should go above d6 if we're going to let maneuvers add numerical bonuses to skill and ability checks and defenses and other mechanics that should be limited by bounded accuracy. I think it would be much better to just use d6s, starting at 1d6 and ending with 5d6, and having each maneuver use the highest of Xd6 for the result. Like most maneuvers would use the single highest die you roll, but deadly strike and parry would use the highest two dice, and sneak attack could use the highest three dice you roll. Or something.
I think you meant (3-30), but I tend to agree



Oops! Fixed.
I agree that it seems like too much of a jump, but mostly I dislike the variation in rolling 3d10.  Something like 1d6 every two levels would work much better in a number of ways, but they seem to be ignoring that obvious solution for now.
The metagame is not the game.
Keeping it d6s would solve alot of issues.

That, or they could do something like this:

1. 1d4
2. 1d6
3. 1d6
4. 1d6 + 1d4
5. 1d6 + 1d4
6. 2d6
7. 2d6
8. 1d8 + 1d6
9. 1d8 + 1d6
10. 2d8        

I don't see any reason why the dice have to be the same size. 
Personally, I don't have a problem with the sudden jump so much as how irregular it is. It starts off 1d4, then goes to 1d6 the next level and stays as d6s until level 8, and then jumps another die type two levels later. And the dice numbers aren't any more regular, gaining a second die at level four and a third at level 10. I suppose that there might be a pattern if the fourth die is at level 19, but until we've got rules for the higher levels...
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A jump is not a problem for me per se, rather the cheer number and size of the dice. To get essentially a constant on hit effect of a whooping 3d10 every round seems totally through the roof compared to previous editions I've played. What it will land on at lvl 20 I dare not think of.Smile It also makes the melee damage output difference between classes with and without this feature huge. 3d6 at lvl 10 seems a lot more reasonable to me.


Whatever comments, opinions or feedback I expressed above, I'd like to point out I'm excited about D&D Next and have faith in the dedication of the developers and the quality of the final product! Jonas Kallberg "A DM only rolls the dice because of the noise they make" - Gary Gygax, unsourced
I would like to see this progression for ED:

1 1d6
2 1d6
3 2d6
4 2d6
.
.
.
9 5d6
10 5d6
 

 Any Edition

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" /> That, or they could do something like this:

1. 1d4
2. 1d6
3. 1d6
4. 1d6 + 1d4
5. 1d6 + 1d4
6. 2d6
7. 2d6
8. 1d8 + 1d6
9. 1d8 + 1d6
10. 2d8        

I don't see any reason why the dice have to be the same size. 



Yeah I like this idea. Given how they've set it up, the dice actually don't have to be the same size. It also fixes the problem of being able to add extra dice and improve existing dice without having the values totally explode.
The interval between steps will always increase as the dice increase.  It's part about having both the die size and the number of dice increase.

When Wizard spells are doing handfuls of d6's at a time, 3d10 ceases to be unreasonable.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I want to add my vote that the dice don't have to be the same size. The problem for me isn't the large potential max (all the math I've done or I've seen done indicate that there is a decent level of balance), it is the long stretch with no advancement. The way many of the maneuvers are currently designed, going from 1d6 to 2d4 is a decrease in power. That means that both the number of dice and the size of the dice need to be constantly increasing to avoid potentially getting worse as you level up. Because of that, the advancement is forced to be a little strange to avoid getting too powerful too quickly.

To make the most of the system I think one of two things needs to happen: 1. Use a progression similar to the one FallingIcicle suggests. 2. Rewrite the maneuvers so that increasing the average is always an increase in power. This might be accomplished by changing it so instead of saying 'add only the highest dice result' it says, 'the result cannot exceed X.' Or maybe just 'divide the result by 2 (round down).' Or some other, more clever way of limiting the benefit while still letting 2d4 be better than 1d6.

If they choose to do option 2, I would like to see something like this (spread out over 20 levels):

1d4
1d6
2d4
2d6
2d8
3d6
3d8
3d10

The should just scale number of dice with level, and leave the size of the die to be set by the individual maneuver.
The metagame is not the game.
The should just scale number of dice with level, and leave the size of the die to be set by the individual maneuver.



I really like this idea, it would allow for more granular tuning of maneuvers and also allow them to cap bonus's to skill checks to prevent auto - wins.

It would be as easy as saying "sneak attack = 1d6, deadly strike = 1d4" to bring the rogue back into balance.
The metagame is not the game.
To fix the rogue, they should fix the rogue, not break everything else.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
The thing is, universal 3d10 is already broken, in tiny pieces.  The positive reception is only because people find it preferable to previous alternatives, but that doesn't mean it is actually a good mechanic.

Replacing it with amorphous dice would make for a better game mechanic in general, and merely fix the rogue as a side effect of that.
The metagame is not the game.
I would like to see this progression for ED:

1   1d4
2   1d6
3   1d6
4   2d6
5   2d6
6   3d6
7   3d6
8   4d6
9   4d6
10  5d6
 


This. (Though edited above in italics for my preferences. Or something similar. I do like the 1d4 at first level being an exception to the d6 formula...)

I am a fan of keeping it at d6s, just providing more of them. Not just for the flexibility of the character being able to performing more maneuvers in any given round (you can potentially do a handful of "minor" things with 5 XD dice), but also to keep bounded accuracy viable.

With d8s and d10d, DCs are far more likely to be effortlessly cracked. Keeping the bar at potentially a +6 max (since you are adding only the highest die rolled), you can keep a slightly tighter lid on DC limits.
Shouldn't high DCs start to become cracked at higher levels?  Isn't that the point of high-level play? Casters have been doing it for decades, why not let everyone else do it too?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Um... Because I didn't say "start to be cracked"? I said "effortlessly cracked"? I think that's a big difference.

A 10th level rogue who wants to throw all 5d6 at a skill check will still most likely be hitting the peak DCs. But capping it at +6 (vs. +10) as a potential bonus holds the range a bit more in check. That's all.
That has much more to do with the rest of the skill system than the expertise dice themselves.  The DCs and bonuses are arbitrary - they can be as high as they need to be to make things work.

Designing the expertise dice around skills is the wrong way to do it.  The skill numbers are more easily adjusted because they're self-contained to the skills sytem, whereas the dice numbers affect lots of things that aren't skills.  Set the dice progression first, and then adjust skills as needed.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I wouldn't say that the dice affect "lots of things" that aren't skills.  Currently, they add to ability/skill checks (where they do not function well), or they add to damage (or damage prevention), or the die size doesn't matter because you're spending it all at once. 

Since the issue comes down to fixing half of the ED system, or overhauling skill DCs entirely, the ED system seems like the obvious choice - especially since the skill system is shared equally between martial classes and spellcasters, and any change to DCs would affect all classes equally.
The metagame is not the game.
Mand12:
Except that bounded accuracy must remain realistically within the framework of ability score bonuses, what potential trained skill bonuses provide, and the DC ranges they should be interacting with.

On top of that, you toss in Skill Mastery, and now you need to keep its potential realistic within the system already set above.

That, and my other point of more/small dice seems more fun for me as a player because I can do more with them in a turn if I chose to. And if not, my deadly strike (or whatever) is still around the same ballpark for total result).
I wouldn't say that the dice affect "lots of things" that aren't skills.  Currently, they add to ability/skill checks (where they do not function well), or they add to damage (or damage prevention), or the die size doesn't matter because you're spending it all at once.


Monk maneuver adds to speed.  Several add to saving throws.  One adds to initiative.

And the list of things you can use dice on can and should grow.  Picking something now that restricts design choices later is not a good plan.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Mand12:
Except that bounded accuracy must remain realistically within the framework of ability score bonuses, what potential trained skill bonuses provide, and the DC ranges they should be interacting with.


No.  Bounded accuracy does not mean this, though I understand why you might think so.  It does not mean that the bonuses are constrained to a narrow set, just that it doesn't follow an assumed progression.

"keeping bonuses small" is not what bounded accuracy does, nor what it is supposed to do.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Monk maneuver adds to speed.  Several add to saving throws.  One adds to initiative.

And the list of things you can use dice on can and should grow.  Picking something now that restricts design choices later is not a good plan.

Saving throws and initiative are ability score checks.  Tying all uses of Expertise Dice to identically increasing die size only further restricts their possible use - by allowing die size to vary with maneuver, you open a much greater variety of options, because they no longer need to be numerically equivalent along their different metrics.

The metagame is not the game.
IMO the best ED should be:

  1. 1d6
  2. 2d6
  3. 2d6
  4. 3d6
  5. 3d6
  6. 4d6
  7. 4d6
  8. 5d6
  9. 5d6
10. 6d6       

all d6 and nice and steady progression.
Except that d6s suck, and are objectively the worst dice in the polyhedral set.

If you try to argue this you're wrong, it's that simple.


@Saelorn:

Yes, there's greater variety of options, but you sacrifice the simplicity of the mechanic.  Having to check to see what die you use is going to be a pain, having a nice handful that you use for everything is simple, yet there is still enormous depth and potential as far as options go.  It just requires being careful with the system math, which they need to be doing anyway.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
And the list of things you can use dice on can and should grow.  Picking something now that restricts design choices later is not a good plan.


I could argue the opposite. With the likelihood of growing options, keeping a handle on the die size allows for more open design choices. You don't have to worry about something tossing a +10 (or more if the dice size continue to grow past 10th level) because that may be too much for whatever it is you want to do.

Lots of d6s, on the other hand, sets a consistent framework wherein you can open the gates of creativity to come up with all kinds of things while not worry that it may break with giant dice.

Example: Want to exceed a limit of +6 with a particular feature, but not let them "keep all the dice"? Have the new maneuver allow you to keep any 2 of the dice rolled. Now you are approaching a cap of +12 for something, but still not the +30 of "total all dice".

And again, a fighter with 5d6 can potentially do more "things" in a round versus having 3d10. Yet if he wants to toss it all into bonus damage, his cap remains the same (and average virtually as well). If anything, his curve is a bit better for consistent hurtage dealing.
Keeping it d6s would solve alot of issues.

That, or they could do something like this:

1. 1d4
2. 1d6
3. 1d6
4. 1d6 + 1d4
5. 1d6 + 1d4
6. 2d6
7. 2d6
8. 1d8 + 1d6
9. 1d8 + 1d6
10. 2d8        

I don't see any reason why the dice have to be the same size. 


This looks like Earthdawn's step system. I really, really like that system. In fact, I'm tempted to just rip the step chart straight out of the book and apply it to expertise dice except that the number of dice you roll shrinks sometimes. Doesn't really make sense to take dice away... Still this is cool.
Except that d6s suck, and are objectively the worst dice in the polyhedral set.

If you try to argue this you're wrong, it's that simple.




Laughing

actually, the d20 is the worst...

Tongue Out

Mand12:
Except that bounded accuracy must remain realistically within the framework of ability score bonuses, what potential trained skill bonuses provide, and the DC ranges they should be interacting with.


No.  Bounded accuracy does not mean this, though I understand why you might think so.  It does not mean that the bonuses are constrained to a narrow set, just that it doesn't follow an assumed progression.

"keeping bonuses small" is not what bounded accuracy does, nor what it is supposed to do.


But it absolutely is and does. For it to work.

The whole point of bounded accuracy is that DCs remain flatter over the span of a campaign. And the world feels truer for it.

A barred iron door is still potentially a challenge to open at 10th level as it is at 1st. Sure, at 10th, the PCs have access to a great many more things that may tilt them over the edge to "likely". But it's not longer necessary to have doors become magically reinforced adamantine just because the PCs leveled.
Yes, there's greater variety of options, but you sacrifice the simplicity of the mechanic.  Having to check to see what die you use is going to be a pain, having a nice handful that you use for everything is simple, yet there is still enormous depth and potential as far as options go.  It just requires being careful with the system math, which they need to be doing anyway.

You're right in that they need to strike a balance between simplicity and function.  The question is where to draw that line, and I would rather that line be much closer to the function end of the scale, since we're already dealing with round-to-round partial allocation of a dice pool, and anything resembling simplicity has long since stopped being an option.

The metagame is not the game.

For Rogue and Monk, I agree with the whole all d6s thing. For Fighter and other hard hitting classes, like potentially Ranger, I would like to see the larger die kept. Not this crazy jump from 2d8 to 3d10, that just looks silly, but something that would result in a higher damage potential than the d6s but with fewer dice.

Hell, I wouldn't mind seeing other odd forms of die progression. Like only 1dX but have a static bonus that's added to the number to make that one ED pretty decent. (DON'T give that class skill mastery obviously.) Or only one large die then a couple of d4s or d6s to go with it.


Seriously WotC, if you're going to give a bunch of classes ED, mix it up a bit. I know it's silly to say it is boring and uninspiring when a bunch of classes follow the exact basic mechanic when the details make them feel different. But I can't help it, I like my curiosity to be poked just by looking at basic mechanics.

Would it make you feel any better if it went 2d8, 3d8, 3d10?

You don't actually change the fundamental quadratic nature.  Yes, the interval between steps increases with level.  This is fine.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition

For Rogue and Monk, I agree with the whole all d6s thing. For Fighter and other hard hitting classes, like potentially Ranger, I would like to see the larger die kept. Not this crazy jump from 2d8 to 3d10, that just looks silly, but something that would result in a higher damage potential than the d6s but with fewer dice.

Hell, I wouldn't mind seeing other odd forms of die progression. Like only 1dX but have a static bonus that's added to the number to make that one ED pretty decent. (DON'T give that class skill mastery obviously.) Or only one large die then a couple of d4s or d6s to go with it.


Seriously WotC, if you're going to give a bunch of classes ED, mix it up a bit. I know it's silly to say it is boring and uninspiring when a bunch of classes follow the exact basic mechanic when the details make them feel different. But I can't help it, I like my curiosity to be poked just by looking at basic mechanics.




the all d6 could be just BASE ED value.

i.e. rogue SA could be 2d6 per ED spent,
fighters brutal strike could be 1d10 per spent die,
"insert some class" precise strike could be +1 bonus per die spent to attack roll,
paladins martyr blow could be 3d6 per die damage bonus but you would suffer 1d6 per die spent damage yourself.
Ranger could extend bow range by 50% for every ED spent
Barbarian could add +1d12 per ED after critical strike.
dodge maneuver could add +1 AC per ED spent,

etc...


the all d6 could be just BASE ED value.

i.e. rogue SA could be 2d6 per ED spent,
fighters brutal strike could be 1d10 per spent die,
"insert some class" precise strike could be +1 bonus per die spent to attack roll,
paladins martyr blow could be 3d6 per die damage bonus but you would suffer 1d6 per die spent damage yourself.
Ranger could extend bow range by 50% for every ED spent
Barbarian could add +1d12 per ED after critical strike.
dodge maneuver could add +1 AC per ED spent,

etc...

At that point, just make it points. You're not helping anything by calling it 1d6 when 1d6 =/= 1d6 all the time.
the all d6 could be just BASE ED value.

i.e. rogue SA could be 2d6 per ED spent,
fighters brutal strike could be 1d10 per spent die,
"insert some class" precise strike could be +1 bonus per die spent to attack roll,
paladins martyr blow could be 3d6 per die damage bonus but you would suffer 1d6 per die spent damage yourself.
Ranger could extend bow range by 50% for every ED spent
Barbarian could add +1d12 per ED after critical strike.
dodge maneuver could add +1 AC per ED spent,

etc...

At that point, just make it points. You're not helping anything by calling it 1d6 when 1d6 =/= 1d6 all the time.



I kinda like 1d6 for skills, reduced damage, and saving throws.


I kinda like 1d6 for skills, reduced damage, and saving throws.


Saving throws are another reason why I think holding XD to d6s is a good thing. For similar reasons to bounded accuracy with skill DCs, saving throws need to fit into the same framework and range. A +6 cap feels a bit more right than upwards or +10 (or maybe more).
I don't object to the dice bump but they need to adjust deadly strike so that it only applies the highest of the dice rolled.  This way it builds better into multple attacks and encourages the fighters to use breadth instead of tanking damage all the time.  I agree with the problems applying d10s to savoing throws though.
the all d6 could be just BASE ED value.

i.e. rogue SA could be 2d6 per ED spent,
fighters brutal strike could be 1d10 per spent die,
"insert some class" precise strike could be +1 bonus per die spent to attack roll,
paladins martyr blow could be 3d6 per die damage bonus but you would suffer 1d6 per die spent damage yourself.
Ranger could extend bow range by 50% for every ED spent
Barbarian could add +1d12 per ED after critical strike.
dodge maneuver could add +1 AC per ED spent,

etc...

At that point, just make it points. You're not helping anything by calling it 1d6 when 1d6 =/= 1d6 all the time.

I kinda like 1d6 for skills, reduced damage, and saving throws.

You can still have that, just say the points you spend count as d6s for those maneuvers. Saying you spend Xd6 dice to get Xd10 for one maneuver or Xd12 for another is just complicating something more then it needs to be.

By the way, I'm not saying this should be done. I prefer having the dice you spend be the dice you use. All I'm saying is if you were going to detach the dice spend from the dice used, like you were suggesting in your previous post, then you should just call them points instead of dice to avoid cognitive dissonance.