Monks with Expertise Dice? No thank you.

It seems that Expertise is the new "go to" foundation for martial classes.  I think this is a sad cop out and leads to the problems of blandness and class overlap.  Not to mention the multiclassing issues.  Fighter/Rogue?  Rogue/Monk?  2d4 is better than 1d6.  Fighter/Rogue/Monk gets you 3d4 which is better than 2d6, etc.

Lets take Monk off the ED train and exploit what monks are best at: Movement and Combos.

Lets give monks extra movement.  Say 5' per level.  Then make combo actions cost movement*.

Flurry of Blows Combo is now: Spend 20' of movement to make an extra attack.
Whirlwind Strike is now: Spend 20' of movement to turn your attack into an attack against all enemies in range.
Hurricane Strike is now: Spend 10' of movment to empower a hit to also knockdown/knockback an enemy.

Then it also naturally feeds into monk defenses.
Deflect Missiles: When a ranged weapon is used against you, you may "spend" 10' movement to gain +1 to AC against the attack.  You may spend up to your max movement to increase your AC further up to a max of +X.**  
Retaliate: When a melee attack misses a monk they may spend 20' of movement to deal half attack damage to the attacker.**
Disengage:  Spend 25' of movement to double the distance you can travel while disengaging.

Add it directly to non-combat skills.  Spend movement to jump higher/further.  Spend movement to gain bonuses to balance or climb.

*Arbitrary numbers used here to show how the mechanic would work, exact numbers would require balance and testing. 
**Movement spent in this way is deducted from your movement during your next turn.

The net effect is that monks become defined by their mystical unarmed strikes, flavorful discipline based defenses, and truly insane amounts of movement based combos.

Fighter/Monk now becomes a meaningful foundation for a dervish/"tempest".
Rogue/Monk is now a foundation for a cat burglar (skill focus) or ninja (assassination focus).

Obviously I haven't gone into depth as to the consequences of additional full actions in 5e.  Perhaps extra attacks are made with disadvantage or some other penalty.  The point is, ED is a scaling resource that has almost no monkly flavor.  Movement, on the other hand, has Monk flavor in spades.  It also meshes with playing a monk by allowing the PC to adapt to the flow of combat differently than a Fighter.  A fighter is versatile in discreet increments of random intensity.  The monk becomes versatile in variable increments of fixed intensity.

Additionally, you can then group "combos" into Monastic Traditions and create a monk theme or focus.  All monks may share some benefits, but the whole thing about being a monk is spending your whole life mastering a single technique at a time.  Do I need a buffet of "maneuvers" to chose from?  Or does the monastery i've chosen naturally focus my efforts?  Monk schools can then be modified like specialties.

Ready, set, flame! 
I think this is a sad cop out 


So, because something is awesome and works well, using it for more things is bad.

Uh...
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
While I was annoed at first that the Fighter's unique feature is egtting passed out to other martial classes, Expertise Dice are actually one of the most interesting ideas they've introduced to D&DNext so far. If they can place it into other classes without trying to force it where it doens't belong, and we do get some non-XD mechanic for martial characters, I see no issue with it.
I think having a third "Expertise" class is more of a reason for caution.  The 4E Virtual Tabletop Beta and the Book of Vile Darkness movie, these were sad cop outs.  I think 4E suffered from having too similar class progression.  Everyone got new things in exactly the same way and same order.  ANd depending on your role you got a healing, marking, or damage mechanic.  That did lessen with Essentials and the Rise of Themes.  But I still feel that right now, the Rogue and Fighter don't feel unique enough because they both use maneuvers.  I haven't used the Monk yet, but per the last L&L its supposed to push how maneuvers are used.  I

I think we need to hear from more people who are playing both rogues and fighters.  If you're not you should be.  Are people houseruling sneak attack, or giving Parry out for free?  At my game I've had to do both of these things to make it feel right.

Vampire Class/Feat in 2013!

I prefer Next because 4E players and CharOpers can't find their ass without a grid and a power called "Find Ass."

I think this is a sad cop out 


So, because something is awesome and works well, using it for more things is bad.

Uh...

Good edit.  The email notice of response had you asking for my suggestion as if the entire body of my post wasn't one.  I was so confused! 

I love expertise dice.  I don't think using them outside of Fighter is bad. However, do you think using them as the class-defining combat mechanic of every martial class is good?

1) Homogeneity of mechanics doesn't make sense.  Clerics don't use the Arcane Spellcasting mechanics because their power doesn't come from studying the underlying magic of the universe, it comes from devotion to a particular god who has a domain.  Rogue abilities are supposedly based on talent and techniques, not discipline or study, so spellbooks and domains don't make sense for them.

2) Monks aren't unarmed Fighters.  Rogues aren't skill-checking Fighters.  Monks and Rogues, conceptually, have plenty to differentiate them from Fighters.  4E had the obnoxious habit of having a bajillion powers that did the same thing, and the Sneak Attack + Deadly Strike dilemma is already showing that Expertise Dice will produce the same results.

3) Lets fulfill the hyperbolic slippery slope fallacy.  If it works so well, why not use it for everything?  Spend an expertise dice to cast a prepared spell.  Roll expertise dice to add damage or healing to an at-will spell.  Just because it "could" work everywhere doesn't mean it belongs everywhere.

All I'm saying is Expertise dice are now the defining combat mechanic of 3/5 "core" classes (as of this playtest).  And it's starting to make my spidey-senses tingle.  What's that age old wisdom?  If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail?

There's plenty of room for innovative game mechanics that preserve uniqueness between core classes without recycling mechanics (even if the mechanic in question is quite good).
Using movement for combos actually would give you the opposite of what you wanted, and allow for some rather strange things to happen.

First of all, instead of making a more mobile class, spending movement would make them less likely to move as standing still they can attack and defend better. Also using the 5ft per level (which I understand is an arbitrary number, but it is also the smallest possible increment to use when dealing 5 ft squares) gives a level 10 monk an additional 50 feet of movement, for a total of 75 to 80 feet of movement. Divide by 5, 16 squares in one move, 32 if they double move. I believe this would be the largest movement speed ever seen in DnD and is only 1/2 of the final total by level 20. It might not break the game, but it would make it child's play for the monk to get wherever he needed to be, and then he would simply stand there and use his massive movement number to power-up offence and defence.

Exerpertise dice work perfectly fine for the monk, who also has ki, in fact my only class expertise situation to complain about is the rogue. I works for monks and fighter's and will probably work well for paladins and ranger's too
Using movement for combos actually would give you the opposite of what you wanted, and allow for some rather strange things to happen.

First of all, instead of making a more mobile class, spending movement would make them less likely to move as standing still they can attack and defend better. Also using the 5ft per level (which I understand is an arbitrary number, but it is also the smallest possible increment to use when dealing 5 ft squares) gives a level 10 monk an additional 50 feet of movement, for a total of 75 to 80 feet of movement. Divide by 5, 16 squares in one move, 32 if they double move. I believe this would be the largest movement speed ever seen in DnD and is only 1/2 of the final total by level 20. It might not break the game, but it would make it child's play for the monk to get wherever he needed to be, and then he would simply stand there and use his massive movement number to power-up offence and defence.

Exerpertise dice work perfectly fine for the monk, who also has ki, in fact my only class expertise situation to complain about is the rogue. I works for monks and fighter's and will probably work well for paladins and ranger's too

Thanks!  That's the kinda feedback I was looking for.

The double move thing does get rediculous.  Embarassed 

Back to the drawing board!
I really think wizards should be the only class that gets spells.  That should be their thing!!  Silly right!!

Let martial classes have expertise just as said above make sure the classes still have other stuff too.  The monk seems a good example of mixing the two at the moment
Actually the expertise dice work very well for the monk. Even better then the rogue.

Personally I think that it should be common for all of the 'martial' classes.  The fighter should however get larger dice than the other classes.
Good edit.  The email notice of response had you asking for my suggestion as if the entire body of my post wasn't one.  I was so confused! 

I love expertise dice.  I don't think using them outside of Fighter is bad. However, do you think using them as the class-defining combat mechanic of every martial class is good?

1) Homogeneity of mechanics doesn't make sense.  Clerics don't use the Arcane Spellcasting mechanics because their power doesn't come from studying the underlying magic of the universe, it comes from devotion to a particular god who has a domain.  Rogue abilities are supposedly based on talent and techniques, not discipline or study, so spellbooks and domains don't make sense for them.

2) Monks aren't unarmed Fighters.  Rogues aren't skill-checking Fighters.  Monks and Rogues, conceptually, have plenty to differentiate them from Fighters.  4E had the obnoxious habit of having a bajillion powers that did the same thing, and the Sneak Attack + Deadly Strike dilemma is already showing that Expertise Dice will produce the same results.

3) Lets fulfill the hyperbolic slippery slope fallacy.  If it works so well, why not use it for everything?  Spend an expertise dice to cast a prepared spell.  Roll expertise dice to add damage or healing to an at-will spell.  Just because it "could" work everywhere doesn't mean it belongs everywhere.

All I'm saying is Expertise dice are now the defining combat mechanic of 3/5 "core" classes (as of this playtest).  And it's starting to make my spidey-senses tingle.  What's that age old wisdom?  If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail?

There's plenty of room for innovative game mechanics that preserve uniqueness between core classes without recycling mechanics (even if the mechanic in question is quite good).



1) I have to apoligize for giggling a little here. Clerics do use the arcane spellcasting system with only minor tweaks. Don't believe me? Look at the wizard's spells per day list and the cleric's. There are no differences on those tables. Other than replacing "studying" with "praying" (and being a college student I don't see the difference here at all Tongue Out) their spell preparation is nearly identical. In fact, other than three things their magic systems are identical. The first and most obvious is that spells are not lost when a cleric casts, only the slot is used up. Second, clerics do not lose concentration when taking damage. Finally, wizards cannot cast in armor. What makes the biggest difference is not the mechanics of the sytem used, but the abilities within the system. Now, sorcerers and warlocks seem like they might use completely different systems, but clerics and wizards are fighting from the same set of rules.

2) I agree that deadly strike and sneak attack are bad as they stand. Way too similiar. However, the monk renews my hope in the manuver system with some very unique capabilities. Hurrican Strike and Iron Root Defense are unlike most other manuvers. As long as the system offers each class solid and unique choices then there won't be any issues. If they don't I won't blame the system, I'll blame poor design of abilities. If we can have enitre books of unique spells I'm sure we can come up with 30 or 40 unique manuevers, heck the community has already written seven different sneak attacks to replace the one we have.

3)You are right, just because it can be used for every single class doesn't mean it should be. However, if all magical classes are using the same basic framework for their abilities why shouldn't martial classes use the same basic framework for some of their abilities. Give all martial classes a manuever system and all magic classes a spellcasting system. And before people start railing about the homogenization of the classes hear me out. All martial classes should logically be able to do some similiar things. After all if we somehow took a Marine, a Seal, a KGB officer, a SS soldier, a Spartan, and a Knight and compared them, there would be some basic things they could all do in a very similiar manner. If all martial classes get a manuever system and something else then they all feel like they are better fighters than the spellcasters and they also (if the "something else" is done properly) will feel different from each other. This could work out very very well... or die in a horrible firey crash, but I'm a bit of an optimist.

I don't see this as a recycling of a mechanic, I see this as something completely new that helps a long-standing problem in DnD. How do we make the martial characters feel as awesome and complex as the spellcasting characters. Manuevers might revolutionize DnD, but let's stay cautiously optimistic... just in case they mess it up
I don't mind this at all. I think Expertise Dice are a great general resource to be used by martial classes. It makes them easy to balance but it's flexible enough to express a wide variety of class abilities. Likewise with Spells. Likewise with Psionics.

I do agree they should delineate the martial classes a touch more but that's easy enough. Give the rogue more skill options and a separate sneak attack mechanic (they have already hinted at this in interviews), the monk, honestly, for a first draft I thought was surprisingly solid the whole ki power and flurry blows mechanics combined with the passive resistances made it substantially different from the fighter and rogue and overall, it was much more developed than the Sorcerer and Warlock.

The main place they need to focus their efforts is (ironically) giving the fighter something else to define itself as a class.
Okay, so... before ED were given to rogues I made a post hoping ED would become the martial mechanic. To me, slots say magic/spells (regardless of divine or arcane), and ED say martial techniques (one could call FoB a combo...). I'm hoping psionic, primal/natural, and shadow all get their own mechanics. I could get a player who is used to playing a rogue or a fighter and say, "Hey, do you want to try something a little bit different? Check out this monk." I like the transferrence of knowledge and mechanics.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
I am just focusing on a single part, because it invalidates everything else:

2) Monks aren't unarmed Fighters.



Actually, yes, they are.  In fact, that has been their ONE defining feature in each D&D incarnation to have a Monk, after which they are loaded with crap and junk, to make them seem 'mystical' or 'Zen', when in reality people just used them for their unarmed ability.  Now to mention that the AC problem hits them the hardest as players don't want them to wear any armour.

The issue for the Monk is actually two fold, the first is the AC as Dodge Problem.

The second thing is skills.  Because fighters have ALWAYS gotten the shaft (Yes, I get it, back when D&D began, it was still Nerds vs. Jocks and it was assumed that the beat stick was a Jock, and Nerds always believed the Jocks were dumb brutes...  Because it made them feel better at being shoved into the Nerd Tribe, unlike the Jock Tribe where one was invited to be a part of) in terms of actual skills.  Usually getting the least amount, and most of them being typically physically oriented.

When in reality the Fighter should have as many skills as anyone except maybe the Rogue. 
1) Homogeneity of mechanics doesn't make sense.  Clerics don't use the Arcane Spellcasting mechanics because their power doesn't come from studying the underlying magic of the universe, it comes from devotion to a particular god who has a domain.  Rogue abilities are supposedly based on talent and techniques, not discipline or study, so spellbooks and domains don't make sense for them.


There is no such thing as "arcane spellcasting mechanics."  There are spellcasting mechanics, and both clerics and wizards use them.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Okay, so... before ED were given to rogues I made a post hoping ED would become the martial mechanic. To me, slots say magic/spells (regardless of divine or arcane), and ED say martial techniques (one could call FoB a combo...). I'm hoping psionic, primal/natural, and shadow all get their own mechanics. I could get a player who is used to playing a rogue or a fighter and say, "Hey, do you want to try something a little bit different? Check out this monk." I like the transferrence of knowledge and mechanics.



When ED mechanic appears I thought that it cold become the martial mechanic like spell slots are to spellcaster classes, but now I'm not so sure. Right now ED mechanic works well to Monk (because it model well most monk habilits), but not to Rogue and apparently is less problematic to use a different mechanic for the Rogue than trying force it to belong in ED mechanic.

I am just focusing on a single part, because it invalidates everything else:

2) Monks aren't unarmed Fighters.



Actually, yes, they are.  In fact, that has been their ONE defining feature in each D&D incarnation to have a Monk, after which they are loaded with crap and junk, to make them seem 'mystical' or 'Zen', when in reality people just used them for their unarmed ability.  Now to mention that the AC problem hits them the hardest as players don't want them to wear any armour.

The issue for the Monk is actually two fold, the first is the AC as Dodge Problem.

The second thing is skills.  Because fighters have ALWAYS gotten the shaft (Yes, I get it, back when D&D began, it was still Nerds vs. Jocks and it was assumed that the beat stick was a Jock, and Nerds always believed the Jocks were dumb brutes...  Because it made them feel better at being shoved into the Nerd Tribe, unlike the Jock Tribe where one was invited to be a part of) in terms of actual skills.  Usually getting the least amount, and most of them being typically physically oriented.

When in reality the Fighter should have as many skills as anyone except maybe the Rogue. 



I didn't notice this until right now, but the fighter is getting fewer skills than any other class. Wizards and Clerics get a knowledge skill, monks get 2 skills from a list, and rogues get 4 additional skills. While fighters get nothing.

So fighter's will have 3 skills while every other class will start with somewhere between 4 and 7... that needs to be fixed.
Where do people get this idea that every class needs its own mechanic?  Has there ever been an edition like that?

4E - everyone has AEDU
3.x - spell slots for the casters, basic attacks (modified by feats) for everyone else
AD&D - minimal spell slots for the casters, and everyone makes basic attacks
The metagame is not the game.
I am just focusing on a single part, because it invalidates everything else:

2) Monks aren't unarmed Fighters.



Actually, yes, they are.  In fact, that has been their ONE defining feature in each D&D incarnation to have a Monk, after which they are loaded with crap and junk, to make them seem 'mystical' or 'Zen', when in reality people just used them for their unarmed ability.  Now to mention that the AC problem hits them the hardest as players don't want them to wear any armour.

The issue for the Monk is actually two fold, the first is the AC as Dodge Problem.

The second thing is skills.  Because fighters have ALWAYS gotten the shaft (Yes, I get it, back when D&D began, it was still Nerds vs. Jocks and it was assumed that the beat stick was a Jock, and Nerds always believed the Jocks were dumb brutes...  Because it made them feel better at being shoved into the Nerd Tribe, unlike the Jock Tribe where one was invited to be a part of) in terms of actual skills.  Usually getting the least amount, and most of them being typically physically oriented.

When in reality the Fighter should have as many skills as anyone except maybe the Rogue. 



I didn't notice this until right now, but the fighter is getting fewer skills than any other class. Wizards and Clerics get a knowledge skill, monks get 2 skills from a list, and rogues get 4 additional skills. While fighters get nothing.

So fighter's will have 3 skills while every other class will start with somewhere between 4 and 7... that needs to be fixed.



Agreed.  I think that Fighters (ironically) should get the equivalent skills of Athletics and/or Endurance for free, and then given a choice of other skills, including Knowledges that pertain to either military and/or kingdoms.

Let the Rogue be the street guy, the Fighter should know heraldry, or local laws, or lay of the land in a general sense.

Ironically, the average Fighter is considered a professional soldier, and in a fantasy setting it's often assumed that means mercenary work of some sort, and other than the Bard, that makes the average level one fighter potentially the MOST travelled type of character.  So they should have a LOT more skills.

I've struggled with the debate on expertise dice.  I've come to the conclusion, though, that expertise dice are fine as long as the maneuvers that are fueled by them give the class a unique feel compared to other expertise dice using classes
I personally love ED but agree we need more manuevers differentiating the ED classes.  The problems with the Rogue has been acknowleged but the Monk is a great example of the potential of ED.  I sleep well knowing we will eventually be given more maneuvers. 
I am on the fence for expertise and manuevers. It seems kinda silly in a way to spend points each round for feats that the fighter would gain via level in 3.0/3.5. I do like the aspect of using expertise dice to affect die rolls. That is solid. I am afraid that giving expertise dice to all martial classes will take the shine off of fighters. I reall think this could be a problem especially with rangers & paladins who would have some hybrid system of expertise plus spells. It runs into the old arguement of previous editions of fighters having the best armor, attacks and hit points being confronted by the other fighter subclasses getting an "expertise +" class features which in my mind will lead to the fighter lobby complaining that once again they are being left behind. Expertise is a great feature. For ONCE in D&D history let the fighter have one thing to call his own. Rogues and monks and others need to find something else to do besides poach the fighter concept of expertise and dilute it down with their own abilities.
I like the concept of experise dice in general.

I also think it's a good idea for martial classes to get expertise dice as their class mechanic, and magic classes to get their own spell mechanics.
Having said that, less overlap of manevuers is a must.
Epic fantasy action adventure! - free ebook
I like the concept of experise dice in general.

I also think it's a good idea for martial classes to get expertise dice as their class mechanic, and magic classes to get their own spell mechanics.
Having said that, less overlap of manevuers is a must.

This.  Have to strongly agree here.  One thing I will say is that a tiny bit of overlap is ok and perhaps even preferable.  Its ok for fighter and rogue to have parry, for example.  To me, it would be kind of strange(in a bad way) if basic maneuvers were too class exclusive.  That said, that is where it should end.  From there, there should be a respectable selection of maneuvers that give their respective class some unique mechanics and a unique feel



So fighter's will have 3 skills while every other class will start with somewhere between 4 and 7... that needs to be fixed.



No, it doesn't. They need to excel at fighting and be the best at it. The fix is not making every other martial class be just as good with less hit points and more skill points.



So fighter's will have 3 skills while every other class will start with somewhere between 4 and 7... that needs to be fixed.



No, it doesn't. They need to excel at fighting and be the best at it. The fix is not making every other martial class be just as good with less hit points and more skill points.




Why is it that fighters can only be good at fighting? When I think fighter I think soldier or mercenary, both of which while being highly skilled combatants are also highly skilled in other areas. The expertise system is no longer unique to the fighter, their only unique features currently are a handful of manuevers, proficiencies, and a second attack at level 6. I want fighters to be viable outside of combat as well as inside. An additional skill or two won't bring them on par with the rogue, but it will give them as many skills as the wizard, which is accetable I would think.
Its fine if the sum of the rogue is equal to the sum of the fighter and the fighter is greater at combat.  The biggest question is how exactly one would propose to do that.  The fighter need not be universally better fighting, just better as a whole.  The rogue does need to be viable in combat and gifted in some way that the fighter isn't, though.  Otherwise, the rogue is just an inferior skill monkey.  Sneak attack CAN actually be made to have greater damage potential than anything the fighter has due to the fact that it is circumstancial and still have the fighter coming out as the superior combatant by a fair margin. 

One thing, though, is the improvement of sneak attack isn't going to fix the rogue completely.  It will certainly help, though.  Some deceptive and dirty fighting maneuvers that fake out, disable, or poison foes may be appreciated
It sounds like a lot of people here are okay w/ martial's mechanic being ED. While some overlap on basic maneuvers makes sense, there should be more class differentiating abilities.
Going on what RS said for rogues, I could see some cool extra options for sneak attack when both conditions are met. Some ideas +1ED, reduce speed by 10 for a round, grant adv for the next attack vs. The target, make the target attack w/ disadv on its next attack, cause it to bleed (or freely apply a poison when doing a both sneak attack).
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
I like the ED mechanic, especially with monks.  Obviously, this early in the playtest, there are tweaks that need to be made.  

What if they were to take any of the maneuvers which require one to expend a ED to cause an effect without a roll out and made those class features or feats?  Then the manuevers which require a random roll of one or all of your ED may feel a bit more special.  But I understand the simplicity of the system as it is, due to players wanting to combine class features with maneuvers to enhance thier basic attack.  


So fighter's will have 3 skills while every other class will start with somewhere between 4 and 7... that needs to be fixed.



No, it doesn't. They need to excel at fighting and be the best at it. The fix is not making every other martial class be just as good with less hit points and more skill points.



Yes it does.  It means that the Fighter player will have nothing to do in a non-combat situation.  And some less than mature players will then want to attack everything just so they could be doing something.

Fix it. 


So fighter's will have 3 skills while every other class will start with somewhere between 4 and 7... that needs to be fixed.



No, it doesn't. They need to excel at fighting and be the best at it. The fix is not making every other martial class be just as good with less hit points and more skill points.



Yes it does.  It means that the Fighter player will have nothing to do in a non-combat situation.  And some less than mature players will then want to attack everything just so they could be doing something.

Fix it. 



You did not understand my post. particularly this part, "The fix is not making every other martial class be just as good with less hit points and more skill points."

Notice I never mentioned in there the fighter shouldn't get an out of combat role. It was that non-fighters shouldn't get all the combat abilities of a fighter. Your tone indicates you meant to disagree with me, but you actually supported my argument.

 
Yes it does.  It means that the Fighter player will have nothing to do in a non-combat situation.  And some less than mature players will then want to attack everything just so they could be doing something.

Fix it. 



You should look into the backgrounds. Being a fighter with a background as a spy or as a thug, for example, gives you options in town and additional skills to build on.
I think maybe instead of expertise the Monk should do more with ki. Let it get the usefulness out of ki that Fighters get from expertise. I've always thought that should be a primary feature of the class instead of an afterthought.
 
Yes it does.  It means that the Fighter player will have nothing to do in a non-combat situation.  And some less than mature players will then want to attack everything just so they could be doing something.

Fix it. 



You should look into the backgrounds. Being a fighter with a background as a spy or as a thug, for example, gives you options in town and additional skills to build on.


Except every other class gets out of combat utility from the word go without needing to waste their background on it.

Think of it this way. What can a Fighter with the Spy background contribute out of combat that a Wizard with the Spy background can't?


Think of it this way. What can a Fighter with the Spy background contribute out of combat that a Wizard with the Spy background can't?



Mighty Exertion, which is awesome. It isn't quite as good as Skill Mastery, but it is close. It grants you all the benefits of Skill Mastery any time you need to make a Strength check, whether you are trained or not. So, that Fighter spy might not be able to cast Knock twice a day, or Fly twice a day, but he can climb the walls of the castle in the middle of a gale, the kind of gale that would force a wizard to make a Constitution check or lose its concentration (thus falling), and have a better chance of making it to the trapdoor at the top (thus infiltrating the castle) than the flying wizard. He can also jump from rooftop to rooftop with ease, or drive a carriage like James Bond. 

Honestly, the claim that the fighter is worse than everyone else in terms of out of combat skills is not true. He does get less trained skills. But, his primary out of combat utility power works whether he is trained in the skill he is trying to use or not. The only character who gets the exact same thing as the fighter, but better, out of combat is the Monk. And, the fighter has a better DPR and potential AC than the Monk...

The fighter is fine, and he is currently getting quite a bit of out of combat utility. From his class. Mighty Exertion is a class feature. I really don't think he needs more. 
I think maybe instead of expertise the Monk should do more with ki.




I do not like the mention of Ki at all with the monk, the word "Ki" is too culturally specific, monks in D&D are not all from the Orient (east Asia).


But the orignal idea for the D&D monk IS.  It's so culturally specific that it hurts the game in my opinion.  But people seem to believe that Shaolin Monk analogs have to be super warriors with funky powers, so shoehorned they go.


Think of it this way. What can a Fighter with the Spy background contribute out of combat that a Wizard with the Spy background can't?



Mighty Exertion, which is awesome. It isn't quite as good as Skill Mastery, but it is close. It grants you all the benefits of Skill Mastery any time you need to make a Strength check, whether you are trained or not. So, that Fighter spy might not be able to cast Knock twice a day, or Fly twice a day, but he can climb the walls of the castle in the middle of a gale, the kind of gale that would force a wizard to make a Constitution check or lose its concentration (thus falling), and have a better chance of making it to the trapdoor at the top (thus infiltrating the castle) than the flying wizard. He can also jump from rooftop to rooftop with ease, or drive a carriage like James Bond. 

Honestly, the claim that the fighter is worse than everyone else in terms of out of combat skills is not true. He does get less trained skills. But, his primary out of combat utility power works whether he is trained in the skill he is trying to use or not. The only character who gets the exact same thing as the fighter, but better, out of combat is the Monk. And, the fighter has a better DPR and potential AC than the Monk...

The fighter is fine, and he is currently getting quite a bit of out of combat utility. From his class. Mighty Exertion is a class feature. I really don't think he needs more. 



I agree, but Mighty Exertion is a manuever and takes up one of those prescious slots. It is possible a fighter may never get that ability as they chose different manuvers. The same can be said of the wizard and his spell choices, but I would like the fighter to have an option or two on top of Mighty Exertion, after all being so tied to one stat means Dex-based fighters might not choose it at all. The Rogue as well, though they all get Skill Mastery up front.
4e Psionics, the Monk and the failed Ki Power Source, the late 3.5e Book of Nine Swords, the Warlord and 4e Martial classes; all these showed the fundamentally thin line between Martial classes, the Monk, and Psionic classes (though Psionic classes could also be taken to the level of casters, with Psions, but like with the Shaman vs the Barbarian, we have two thematically similar classes, but in terms of they way they use their power, it's castery vs fightery). 

Monk schools of martial arts by DEFINITION imply the Martial Power Source – it's martial arts.  There IS something that's not wholly physical here, a school of thought and spiritual power, and that's the Ki we're talking about (though you could equally say it could be a religious font of power, and I'd say many parts of the Monk class as written here is flawed – I'd like to see a Monk sub-class tied to the Divine classes, or a Monk sub-class tied to the Psionic classes for different takes on where the Monk gets its power through discipline).  But fundamentally, the Monk has honed its body through some sort of martial practice, and expertise dice is a genius way to represent martial fighting styles.  I love the expertise dice, and it really makes martial classes feel distinct from weapons-focused classes from other power sources, like the Sorcerer from an early playtest (though it seems that class, while it will return, might not be called the Sorcerer when it does), or of course the Cleric, which has distinct weapons-focused sub-types, and hypothetically, the Paladin or the Ranger or the Bard, all of which might fight with weapons at times.  These classes DON'T have Expertise Dice, because they're NOT martial heroes.  They are weapons users, but fundamentally get their power in other ways.  That said, it's possible that they will go down the road of giving them minor expertises, rather than having arcane or divine or primal "parries" – many fighting skills they might use seem familiar to martial maneuvers. 

That said, I really liked the idea of the Paladin not getting the power behind his sword from martial training, but from night-long vigils of prayer to his gods or vigils to keep himself chaste and devoted to the strictures of his vows: he may not be physically strong, but his faith gives him power.  Similar to the Bard – the arcane magic of storytelling and song guides the Prescient's arrows, and the Valorous' blows.  Rangers are in an awkward place where I could fundamentally see them break from this and be truly a gish between druidic-magic and martial expertise dice and maneuvers, because of their mixed origins.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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