An idea I'm considering re: attribute checks

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So I've been toying around with an idea in my head but wanted to throw it out there to see what others thought. I'm thinking of adding in a houserule so that if a character has an attribute that is 18 or higher they get advantage on all checks using that attribute. This of course wouldn't apply to attacks and damage. Instead I'm thinking that when it comes time for someone to bash a door down the bulked up fighter with an 18 strength would get advantage as opposed to the rogue in the party with their 12 strength. All other rules would still apply so a rogue with an 18 dex that is trying to sneak and is trained in sneak would get to roll advantage on d20 roll and the skill die roll.

Any thoughts? I have a small concern about it becoming overpowered but I think when you get an attribute to that point you should be almost guaranteed a success. 
It's an interesting idea, and I could see somepeople houseruling this, but someone would already have an advantage for that 18 (not D&D next defined "advantage") by having a +4 modifier as opposed to a lower modifier for a lower score.
You have to be careful about "always on" advantage.  Advantage doesn't stack, so if you give a character advantage on all strength checks, automatically, just for having an 18 stat, he no longer has any incentive to do anything to grant him advantage.  
Instead I'm thinking that when it comes time for someone to bash a door down the bulked up fighter with an 18 strength would get advantage as opposed to the rogue in the party with their 12 strength.


The rogue only gets a reroll (using Skill Mastery) on skill checks in which he is trained. What skill is he using to get a reroll on breaking down a door? Or is he blowing one of his Ace in A Hole uses to break down the door?

I'm just wondering why this is an issue. The rogue has either built himself to be a door-breaker by training in some sort of door-breaking Skill, in which case, you should let him do it, or he is spending one of his limited uses of Ace in the Hole.
So I've been toying around with an idea in my head but wanted to throw it out there to see what others thought. I'm thinking of adding in a houserule so that if a character has an attribute that is 18 or higher they get advantage on all checks using that attribute. This of course wouldn't apply to attacks and damage. Instead I'm thinking that when it comes time for someone to bash a door down the bulked up fighter with an 18 strength would get advantage as opposed to the rogue in the party with their 12 strength. All other rules would still apply so a rogue with an 18 dex that is trying to sneak and is trained in sneak would get to roll advantage on d20 roll and the skill die roll.

Any thoughts? I have a small concern about it becoming overpowered but I think when you get an attribute to that point you should be almost guaranteed a success. 




Advantage against whom? What brief circumstance gives him advantage?  Having strength 18 isn't a brief circumstance.


Bashing down a door isn't a skill that you train, so you are testing raw strength.  Since positive strength modifier is 0-5ish, use d6 to make your roll check.  DC of 4 is easy and DC 10 is very hard.  You suceed if d6 + strength mod >= DC.
I could see 19 or 20, simply because humans can have an 18 at level 1. It would make that race even more powerful in comparison to others at low levels. Another possibility would be to break from the standard ability score bonus on skills. Have 18+ increase faster (like an 18 or 19 would jump to +5). Another other idea would be to let that advantage apply as long as the PCs aren't in immediate threat (combat or trap or something similar)
In the end, if it works for your table, rock it.
"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
Instead I'm thinking that when it comes time for someone to bash a door down the bulked up fighter with an 18 strength would get advantage as opposed to the rogue in the party with their 12 strength.


The rogue only gets a reroll (using Skill Mastery) on skill checks in which he is trained. What skill is he using to get a reroll on breaking down a door? Or is he blowing one of his Ace in A Hole uses to break down the door?

I'm just wondering why this is an issue. The rogue has either built himself to be a door-breaker by training in some sort of door-breaking Skill, in which case, you should let him do it, or he is spending one of his limited uses of Ace in the Hole.



I didn't mean the rogue would normally get advantage on that check, what I meant was in that example the warrior would get advantage because of his exceptionally high strength whereas the rogue would not.

Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.

I could see 19 or 20, simply because humans can have an 18 at level 1. It would make that race even more powerful in comparison to others at low levels. Another possibility would be to break from the standard ability score bonus on skills. Have 18+ increase faster (like an 18 or 19 would jump to +5). Another other idea would be to let that advantage apply as long as the PCs aren't in immediate threat (combat or trap or something similar) In the end, if it works for your table, rock it.



Humans can start with a 20, all other races can start with a 19.  The only case where that isn't true is with the default array, which I doubt the majority of groups will be using.
Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.

This has been a common complaint about how ability score bonuses interact with checks -- specifically, that high scores don't do enough.

One of the best solutions I've seen to this problem is to roll 2d10 or 3d6 for ability checks instead of 1d20, which makes bigger bonuses (and penalties) have a bigger impact.  The alternative is to use different ability score modifiers for checks than are used for attacks and such, such as score - 10 = check modifier (so a 14 would get +4 on checks, but still just a +2 on other stuff); it's kind of a toss-up which one is more of a divergence from "core," but I prefer the former method, as it requires only picking up different dice rather than tracking additional numbers.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

Seerow, you're right. I always encourage standard array at my tables. Oddly, I forgot about the traditional way.
"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
Hmmm.... yeah I don't think I like it.  It trivializes the Barbarian's advantage on strength checks, and it also puts ability scores way way above training.  

At max, skill dice will add an average of +6.5 to a check.  At max an ability will add +5.  This seems like a pretty decent balancing point.  I would actually like skills to be far more impactful than ability scores, but that is not something Next seems interested in.  As a DM you can always determine advantage for certain checks, so if you want your fighter to be great at smashing doors, you can make it so.  Putting it in RAW would be a mistake though.  

There are several circumstances you could use for this scenario.  

Item, Portable Ram:  
Two characters can use a portable ram to break down a door.  One character makes the check using his strength score, while the other provides 'Help' (granting advantage) without requiring a check.  A character with an 18 or higher strength can use a portable ram by himself to gain advantage on the strength check to break down a door.

Feat, Destructive:  
Prerequisite:  Strength 16
You gain advantage on strength checks made to break objects and doors.  In addition, you may add your skill die to the damage you deal when sundering an opponents weapon/armor.


Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.




Hey did you read my suggestion to you?   Because positive Strength Bonus range from 0-5ish, use d6 to make your ABILITY check.   Don't use d20 because d20 tests skills that scale with level which range from 1-20.

Use your case for example:  Strength 18 means strength modifier 4.

According to the formula,  You succeed if 1d6 + strength modifier >= DC 

if DC = 4, you succeed on a roll of 1 or higher
if DC = 5, you succeed on a roll of 1 or higher
if DC = 6, you succeed on a roll of 2 or higher
if DC = 7, you succeed on a roll of 3 or higher
if DC = 8, you succeed on a roll of 4 or higher
if DC = 9, you succeed on a roll of 5 or higher
if DC = 10, you succeed on a roll of 6 or higher
if DC = 11, you automatically fail.

So against a mere door which should be an easy test (DC 5 or less, based on the lowest DC of 3 with is the mid point of d6) you break the door with 100% success rate.  Problem solved.

Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.

This has been a common complaint about how ability score bonuses interact with checks -- specifically, that high scores don't do enough.

One of the best solutions I've seen to this problem is to roll 2d10 or 3d6 for ability checks instead of 1d20, which makes bigger bonuses (and penalties) have a bigger impact.  The alternative is to use different ability score modifiers for checks than are used for attacks and such, such as score - 10 = check modifier (so a 14 would get +4 on checks, but still just a +2 on other stuff); it's kind of a toss-up which one is more of a divergence from "core," but I prefer the former method, as it requires only picking up different dice rather than tracking additional numbers.




 I like Myth and Magics system. They broke the d20 mechanics up a bit but not like the old AD&D mechanics. Put simply.

Skill checks.

7-3
8. -2
9. -1
10. +0
11. +1
12.+2
13. +3
14. +4
15 .+5 

etc  all the way to +15 at 25. DCs are more or less capped at 20 although an optional rule can kick them up t 25. 

 Bonuses to combat, saves etc do not kick in to 14 though.

14/15. +1
16/17. +2
18/19 +3

etd. 18 co gives you a +3 to hit and damage with stength, +3 to hit with misslile wepaons and AC/ref saves with dex, +3 on fort saves and hit points per level with con etc. 


 Its the same idea as D&DN it just works better and captures the old school feel very well. 


Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.




You aren't the only one who came across the problem of ABILITY check.  Read this DM David Blog:  http://dmdavid.com/tag/in-dd-next-ability-modifiers-are-too-small-for-the-ability-check-mechanic/
 
The solution is to use the appropriate dice size when making roll check.   There are actually two types of test, the SKILL test which use d20, and the ABILITY test which use d6.
 
There is also the persistence rule.  You could argue that making a Strength check to break down a door represents one attempt within the 6 second round timeframe.  If you allow second attempts, you have an 18 str character passing the check 75% of the time on the first attempt.  Getting the door down in one hit certainly adds to the surprise factor of busting into a room.  A weaker character might take more attempts to bust through.

You could also add conditional modifiers.  Like doubling their strength mod if the character takes a runing start at the door but dealing 1d6 damage to him if he fails to break it.... then you have a situation where an 18str fighter can run at a door and bust through 95% of the time, taking no damage, where a strength 10 rogue will still fail 45% of the time and take some damage for bashing his little body on a door.

My answer to this will generally be, improvise.  Make house rules.  If you want a certain narrative element, put it there.  I understand the distaste that BA and the skill system leave, I don't much like them myself.  The D20 range never gets eclipsed in DDN like it did in previous editions.  If you want higher skill  impact, have players roll a d10 and cut the dcs in half, or double ability score bonuses for skills, or roll 2d10 added to put checks on a bell curve.


Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.




You aren't the only one who came across the problem of ABILITY check.  Read this DM David Blog:  http://dmdavid.com/tag/in-dd-next-ability-modifiers-are-too-small-for-the-ability-check-mechanic/
 
The solution is to use the appropriate dice size when making roll check.   There are actually two types of test, the SKILL test which use d20, and the ABILITY test which use d6.
 



Also, if there are two kinds of tests, the SKILL test which uses d20 to test skills that scale with level that range from 1-20, and the ABILITY test which uses d6 to test ability modifiers which range from 0-5ish, what was WOTC thinking when they created  the skill test in DDN?   According to them, all skill tests are based on abilities, not skills.   I beg to differ.  There are actions which don't rely on training like breaking down a door or walking across a rickety bridge, and there are actions which rely on training like picking a lock or setting a trap.  WOTC needs to rethink their skill test design.   







Hey did you read my suggestion to you?   Because positive Strength Bonus range from 0-5ish, use d6 to make your ABILITY check.   Don't use d20 because d20 tests skills that scale with level which range from 1-20.

Use your case for example:  Strength 18 means strength modifier 4.

According to the formula,  You succeed if 1d6 + strength modifier >= DC 

if DC = 4, you succeed on a roll of 1 or higher
if DC = 5, you succeed on a roll of 1 or higher
if DC = 6, you succeed on a roll of 2 or higher
if DC = 7, you succeed on a roll of 3 or higher
if DC = 8, you succeed on a roll of 4 or higher
if DC = 9, you succeed on a roll of 5 or higher
if DC = 10, you succeed on a roll of 6 or higher
if DC = 11, you automatically fail.

So against a mere door which should be an easy test (DC 5 or less, based on the lowest DC of 3 with is the mid point of d6) you break the door with 100% success rate.  Problem solved.




This is a note about the need to rethink automatic failure on a roll of 1 if different sided dice are to be used to make roll checks.   If rolling a 1 means a fumble, then there is going to be a lot of fumbles when d6's are used.



Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.




How about using the base stat to make checks like that?  A "normal" door would require the player to roll equal to or less than their PC's strength score to  break it down; for a "tough" door, maybe less than or equal to Str-5; a "flimsy" door Str+5 (meaning a PC with 15 or better strength would automatically break it down); etc.


Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.




How about using the base stat to make checks like that?  A "normal" door would require the player to roll equal to or less than their PC's strength score to  break it down; for a "tough" door, maybe less than or equal to Str-5; a "flimsy" door Str+5 (meaning a PC with 15 or better strength would automatically break it down); etc.




Because now you have a weird scenario where sometimes rolling low is good and sometimes rolling high is good, that sort of thing is likely to add confusion.

You could in theory get the same thing by saying d20+stat (rather than stat mod) against base DC 21 (increase or decrease based on difficulty of the task as normal), but then you're running into weirdness in that you have a bigger modifier on your untrained checks than you have on your trained checks. if you decide to make add full stat the normal mechanic, well now training is practically useless next to the much bigger stat modifier (not that it wasn't practically useless already as it was). If you boost the value of training to compensate, well now we have something workable but bounded accuracy is way out the window at this point.


Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.




How about using the base stat to make checks like that?  A "normal" door would require the player to roll equal to or less than their PC's strength score to  break it down; for a "tough" door, maybe less than or equal to Str-5; a "flimsy" door Str+5 (meaning a PC with 15 or better strength would automatically break it down); etc.




Because now you have a weird scenario where sometimes rolling low is good and sometimes rolling high is good, that sort of thing is likely to add confusion.

You could in theory get the same thing by saying d20+stat (rather than stat mod) against base DC 21 (increase or decrease based on difficulty of the task as normal), but then you're running into weirdness in that you have a bigger modifier on your untrained checks than you have on your trained checks. if you decide to make add full stat the normal mechanic, well now training is practically useless next to the much bigger stat modifier (not that it wasn't practically useless already as it was). If you boost the value of training to compensate, well now we have something workable but bounded accuracy is way out the window at this point.



Yeah, it does add some wierdness, and I'm not saying this would be used for anything to which a skill could apply, maybe just for contests which would only ever be raw ability.  Then again, we could come up with a chart of percentage chances to bend bars and lift gates based upon the strength score....and express a thieve's rogue's abilties in percantages based on level, modified by race, dex, and armor... Wink

IDK, but there are issues with using the attribute modifier plus d20 paradigm in some instances.


Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.




Hey did you read my suggestion to you?   Because positive Strength Bonus range from 0-5ish, use d6 to make your ABILITY check.   Don't use d20 because d20 tests skills that scale with level which range from 1-20.

Use your case for example:  Strength 18 means strength modifier 4.

According to the formula,  You succeed if 1d6 + strength modifier >= DC 

if DC = 4, you succeed on a roll of 1 or higher
if DC = 5, you succeed on a roll of 1 or higher
if DC = 6, you succeed on a roll of 2 or higher
if DC = 7, you succeed on a roll of 3 or higher
if DC = 8, you succeed on a roll of 4 or higher
if DC = 9, you succeed on a roll of 5 or higher
if DC = 10, you succeed on a roll of 6 or higher
if DC = 11, you automatically fail.

So against a mere door which should be an easy test (DC 5 or less, based on the lowest DC of 3 with is the mid point of d6) you break the door with 100% success rate.  Problem solved.




I did read your suggestion but I have to admit, I'm not entirely clear on what it is you're proposing. If I'm reading it right you suggest treating Easy tasks as a DC of 3. This would mean that anyone with a +2 or higher bonus would automatically succeed on an easy task. Now following that logic the progression would go something like this right?

DC 4 - easy
5 - Moderate
6 - Hard
7 - Very Hard
8 - Formidable
9 - Nearly Impossible

This means if I have an 18 strength I only need a 5 or higher to achieve something that would be considered "nearly impossible"? 


Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.




Hey did you read my suggestion to you?   Because positive Strength Bonus range from 0-5ish, use d6 to make your ABILITY check.   Don't use d20 because d20 tests skills that scale with level which range from 1-20.

Use your case for example:  Strength 18 means strength modifier 4.

According to the formula,  You succeed if 1d6 + strength modifier >= DC 

if DC = 4, you succeed on a roll of 1 or higher
if DC = 5, you succeed on a roll of 1 or higher
if DC = 6, you succeed on a roll of 2 or higher
if DC = 7, you succeed on a roll of 3 or higher
if DC = 8, you succeed on a roll of 4 or higher
if DC = 9, you succeed on a roll of 5 or higher
if DC = 10, you succeed on a roll of 6 or higher
if DC = 11, you automatically fail.

So against a mere door which should be an easy test (DC 5 or less, based on the lowest DC of 3 with is the mid point of d6) you break the door with 100% success rate.  Problem solved.




I did read your suggestion but I have to admit, I'm not entirely clear on what it is you're proposing. If I'm reading it right you suggest treating Easy tasks as a DC of 3. This would mean that anyone with a +2 or higher bonus would automatically succeed on an easy task. Now following that logic the progression would go something like this right?

DC 4 - easy
5 - Moderate
6 - Hard
7 - Very Hard
8 - Formidable
9 - Nearly Impossible

This means if I have an 18 strength I only need a 5 or higher to achieve something that would be considered "nearly impossible"? 



What else would you consider it if rolling a 5 or more on a d6 is not nearly impossible?   You understand correctly.  You just need to digest the concept a bit more.  Simply replace the d20 that you are used to with a d6.  The actual DC's would have to be adjusted of course.

The parallel DC of 3 using d6 is DC of 10 using d20.  They are both the lowest DC setting for their respective dice.   DC of 3 is extremely easy to beat using d6 the same way DC of 10 is extremely easy to beat using d20.   Yes a STR modifier of +2 would automatically beat a DC of 3 using d6, just as a Attack Bonus of +9 (level 9 fighter with 10 strength or level 5 fighter with 18 strength) would automatically beat a DC of 10 using d20.   You understand correctly.


What else would you consider it if rolling a 5 or more on a d6 is not nearly impossible?



You say "Nearly Impossible" I see "Doable 33% of the time, 50% of the time if you have 20 in the attribute".

Though I'll admit it makes the difference in what a high stat and low stat character can do stand out a lot more.  
What else would you consider it if rolling a 5 or more on a d6 is not nearly impossible?



You say "Nearly Impossible" I see "Doable 33% of the time, 50% of the time if you have 20 in the attribute".

Though I'll admit it makes the difference in what a high stat and low stat character can do stand out a lot more.  




Drayven27

Consider too that Drayven27's character has 18 strength which is like Conan the Barbarian strong.   So having to roll 5 or more on a d6 to break a "Nearly Impossible (DC 9)" to break door is appropriate.  For weaker characters, such an attempt would be nearly impossible indeed if not absolutely impossible.  

 


Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.




You aren't the only one who came across the problem of ABILITY check.  Read this DM David Blog:  http://dmdavid.com/tag/in-dd-next-ability-modifiers-are-too-small-for-the-ability-check-mechanic/
 
The solution is to use the appropriate dice size when making roll check.   There are actually two types of test, the SKILL test which use d20, and the ABILITY test which use d6.
 


I had this blog earlier: 
Better Skills Checks

I suggested ability score + d10.

Less random.

Shows a significant difference between a 15 str and an 8 str.  d20 + ability modifier is far to swingy.

d20 +2 (3-22) and d20 - 1 (0-19) are incredibly similar.  d10 + 15 (16-25) and d10 + 8 (9-18) gives a distinct advantage to the higher score.
What about 2d4+stat, with a base DC of 5 for an average task.


This gives you a base range of 2-8 with a slight bell curve, averaging at 5. The hardest possible task achievable would be a DC13, which is achievable 6.25% of the time with a 20 primary stat.
What about 2d4+stat, with a base DC of 5 for an average task.


This gives you a base range of 2-8 with a slight bell curve, averaging at 5. The hardest possible task achievable would be a DC13, which is achievable 6.25% of the time with a 20 primary stat.




Yep, not too bad.  Considering that ability modifiers don't actually range from 0 to 5.  More like -1 to 6 usually.  The point is use appropriate die when mamking roll checks.    


Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.




You aren't the only one who came across the problem of ABILITY check.  Read this DM David Blog:  http://dmdavid.com/tag/in-dd-next-ability-modifiers-are-too-small-for-the-ability-check-mechanic/
 
The solution is to use the appropriate dice size when making roll check.   There are actually two types of test, the SKILL test which use d20, and the ABILITY test which use d6.
 


I had this blog earlier: 
Better Skills Checks

I suggested ability score + d10.

Less random.

Shows a significant difference between a 15 str and an 8 str.  d20 + ability modifier is far to swingy.

d20 +2 (3-22) and d20 - 1 (0-19) are incredibly similar.  d10 + 15 (16-25) and d10 + 8 (9-18) gives a distinct advantage to the higher score.



d10 would work too.  It's a lot better than d20 when making ability checks.  Now we are getting down to aesthetic.  There is room for maneuver here, and the DM get to decide which appropriate die to use. 
What about 2d4+stat, with a base DC of 5 for an average task.


This gives you a base range of 2-8 with a slight bell curve, averaging at 5. The hardest possible task achievable would be a DC13, which is achievable 6.25% of the time with a 20 primary stat.



I like 2d4 actually, because it's distribution is a triangle which is a proto-bell shaped distribution.   Outcomes then to gravitate toward the middle.   
 
I had this blog earlier: 
Better Skills Checks

I suggested ability score + d10.

Less random.

Shows a significant difference between a 15 str and an 8 str.  d20 + ability modifier is far to swingy.

d20 +2 (3-22) and d20 - 1 (0-19) are incredibly similar.  d10 + 15 (16-25) and d10 + 8 (9-18) gives a distinct advantage to the higher score.




Let's not forget that d20 has a niche too.  This is what I was going to propose which is related to your blog a bit:

Use d20 for long range combat,
       d12 for close range combat,
       d10 for open melee combat, 
       d8 for restricted space combat, and
       d6 for tunnel combat.





My house-rule on ability checks:

If you're not in combat (or otherwise in peril) you automatically succeed on any check with a DC = to your ability score. If the DC is higher than your ability score, you may roll the check with advantage ( for taking your time and setting it all up right). Apply skill die as appropriate.

If you are in peril or combat, you roll the ability check as normal (and skill die if appropriate).

I don't like calling for rolls all the time.

A very strong character who says "I bash down the door" just gets to - no roll as long as the DC is equal to or lower than his strength.

-Brad



I did read your suggestion but I have to admit, I'm not entirely clear on what it is you're proposing. If I'm reading it right you suggest treating Easy tasks as a DC of 3. This would mean that anyone with a +2 or higher bonus would automatically succeed on an easy task. Now following that logic the progression would go something like this right?

DC 4 - easy
5 - Moderate
6 - Hard
7 - Very Hard
8 - Formidable
9 - Nearly Impossible

This means if I have an 18 strength I only need a 5 or higher to achieve something that would be considered "nearly impossible"? 




I have figured out what you are trying to say.  You are wondering why a character of with strength 18 would be able to break a “Nearly Impossible” to break door (DC 9) by rolling 5 or 6 on a d6.


Remember that DC is a standard for the middle of the range modifier.  Look at the formula of how you got DC of 9.  3 (middle of the range) + 6 (maximum roll) = 9.   That says that with the middle of the range modifier of 3, you would need to roll a 6 on a d6 to break a DC 9 door.


With strength of modifier 4, which is above the middle of the range, your character should have an easier attempt than having to roll a 6 on a d6.  He would need to roll a 5 or 6 to be exact.


I hope that’s clear.  






Ultimately what I'm trying to "solve" is that if you have an 18 strength and need a 10 to break down a door you have a 25% chance of failure. That seems pretty high to me for someone with exceptionally high strenght. Especially when you consider that a character with a just above average 12 would only have a 40% chance of failure for the same check.




No need for a houserule you may need to walk back later, just don't ask for a check to the high Str character for a regular door.

D&D Next... waiting and seeing...