An alternative to Expertise Dice that is not encounter-based.



I like the idea of expertise dice in its concept: a way to represent the Fighter's mastery of different forms of combat in a general manner and unified mechanic. But I dislike that ED is an encounter-based resource. Basically because I dislike encounter-based abilities in general.

The debate about encounter abilities has been going around for a long while... Is it a good way to balance more powerful abilities? Why can my fighter make this attack once and then no more? Why does he become "tired" and can't use it anymore but can use other encounter abilities still? And so on...

The idea here is not to discuss whether encounter abilities are good or not, but just to offer one possible alternative for Expertise Dice that is not encounter based, for those who don't like encounter-based stuff. An "optional module", if you like.


It's quite simple, actually, and plays a similar role as the traditional Fighter's Specialization, but not limited to a bonus damage. Instead, more broad to encompass different types fighters who specialize in different fighting techniques. Kinda like Expertise Dice as is.

•You start out with a +1 Expertise Bonus at 1st level.

•At every 5 levels, this bonus increase by +1. (The number of levels may be different, just picked a number here.)

•At every X levels, you choose one type of combat-related roll to apply this bonus. Examples include:
  -Attack rolls with one type of weapon (axes, swords, bows, etc).
  -Damage rolls with one type of weapon.
  -Maneuver rolls for one type of maneuver (Trip, Disarm, Push, etc).
  -AC against 1 attack in the round.
  -Etc...

•You decide how you spend your Expertise Bonus on a round-by-round basis, at the begining of your turn. Of course, only from the options available to you, the ones you picked at each X levels as mentioned above.

•Optionally, you need not spend the entire bonus in one thing. But can divide it between two or more combat options you chose for Expertise.

•Each bonus is for 1 roll or defense against 1 roll only. So if you picked "bonus damage with axes" and have a +2 total bonus, you can either spend this +2 in one axe damage roll in the round, or +1 in two axe damage rolls in the same round (provided you can somehow make two attacks).

•Expertise Bonus becomes then a tactical choice the Fighter makes every round inside the scope of his areas of combat expertise. Should I go for offense? For defense? A balance between both? Should I focus in one type of maneuver I know, like disarming this foe?


The general idea is simple. The Fighter gets better at the type of combat technique he practices while leveling. He "specializes" in some forms of combat. And during combat he adapts his technique according to necessity, provided he has mastery of that particular weapon or move or maneuver.


It need not be used for pure attack rolls only. It could also fit in themed archetypes, sub-classes or whatever you want to call it.
For example:
-A gladiator type of fighter could use his Expertise Bonus on a Charisma check to cheer the arena crowd, and gain some sort of inspirational bonus if successful.
-A military leader type could somehow give his Expertise Bonus to rolls made by his troops.
And so on...


Well, it's an idea...
Surely it needs refinement but it's one way to rework Expertise as not an encounter based resource.
 
Well, I'm glad you're pitching ideas.  Any creative impulse to better the edition is very appreciated, by me at least.

But adding 1's and 2's to rolls every round as a class mechanic?  At least last packet I got to roll dice.  So that I could... add my numbers... to my, y'know.  Other numbers. 

One of the original design principles of this edition was to do away with stacking, static, inconsequential bonuses.  On top of that, the Fighter is supposedly meant to be the simple, plug 'n play class.  Those two together tell me we might want to look in a different direction for Fighter mechanics.

So you like dice, but dislike encounter frequency, huh?  Well, this is a direct port from an older packet, but what about taking another look at once per round ED?

All those old maneuvers are picture perfect, except for deadly strike.  No straight damage boosts, and none of the mildly pathetic AC and attack bonuses from this packet either.

Parry is a great defensive option and it's easily balanced by glancing blow and cleave.  That gives you the appealing offensive/defensive swing.

From there, the sky's the limit.  Maybe disarm and knock prone are worth 2, or even 3 dice?  Plunder ideas from ToB, get creative.

It's not the "dice" from the Expertise ability that I like. It's the idea of a broad, generalist mechanics that reflects superior mastery of chosen areas of combat to focus (offense, defense, maneuvers, etc). I think this fits the Fighter's broad class concept very well, opposed to having lots of specific abilities that may or may not fit the concept of many fighter ideas.

I honestly don't see a problem with stacking bonuses. It's actually a simpler and faster mechanic to deal with than rolling more dice (which will need the same math but still add even more variable numbers on each roll).

What I agree isn't pleasant or easy to handle... is those hundreds of small circumstancial pluses and minuses throughout the rules (+1 TH for this, -2 Dex for that, +4 AC for this) that you ended up having to memorize or constantly consult the book. Adv/Disadv if done right, I agree, is a good way to handle that in a much simpler way.

But for a class ability that should be basically the one ability modifying the Fighter's rolls I don't see a problem at all. So the player fighter has a bonus he may choose to add or not to add in a roll... end of story... it's not like you have lots of bonuses from lots of factors to keep constant track of.

As long as the fixed modifier to a roll is something constant... for example when you know you have a +4 for your climbing rolls because you have +4 from the climb skill... I see no big deal in having this modifier. It's a pretty easy to handle system. And not very different from adding +1d6 from the skill or from a class ability. It's the same ammount of variables to memorize, and the same ammount of math to make on each roll (in both cases not a big complex equation, in any case).

It's those variable and circumstancial small modifiers that were troublesome to keep track of sometimes. 


Also... adding a bunch of d6 into your rolls every round would make the Expertise ability insanely overpowered. I reduced it from d6s to +1 bonuses to balance the change from an encounter resource type of ability to a round-by-round basis ability.

These small modifiers I gave my round-based version of Expertise aren't really too different from older editions' Specialization (where the Fighter would get +1 on To Hit and +2 on damage). Except you gain the bonuses more gradually, and they aren't limited to TH and Damage only. You can use them to reflect your Fighter being good in a number of chosen combat techniques, allowing for more diverse fighters.


Besides... latest packages already seem to have dropped the whole "no static modifiers" idea anyway...  **shrug**




BUT... if you really can't stand a fixed modifier, another idea would be to use instead a starting d3 bonus in one roll at every round, and raise that to a d4... d6... with leveling. This alternative has some downsides, though...
-> A d3 every round at 1st level could be a bit too powerful.
-> Even a d8 at higher levels, if added every round, could already be too much for the Bounded Accuracy standards.
-> You can't divide the bonus throughout more than one roll, but have to use the one die in one roll only always. 
A better solution to the simple fighter is this:

The Warrior: the warrior is like the fighter but had only 1 class feature (aside from deadly strike). This feature is +X to all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and strength checks. X = 1 + 1/6 your level (max +4 at 18).
Okee dokee, I get where you're coming from.

GIVEN that we have maneuvers that alter the outcomes of ability checks or weapon attacks, adding 1d6 to rolls every turn is overpowered.  I agree.

But check it, all those old maneuvers from the August packet (most recent one with at-will XD I believe?) specifically didn't do this.  It was a bit of subtle genius that I appreciated.

But I never appreciated it enough until I saw the 3/20 fighter.  (I can almost swear Mearls is trolling us with that guy!  If that garbage is still around by the next packet, well...  Then we know he isn't, I guess.)

Anyway.  Damage was mitigated by the XD roll.  Under specific circumstances (remember, say no to deadly strike!) damage was added by the XD roll.  That all plays well with bounded accuracy, and is NOT overpowered at all.  Then you can start swapping out the die for discrete abilities...  free 5 foot shift, push an enemy 5 feet, sneak in an attack when you spend your action drawing your weapon or something.

There was real potential for vertical growth!  Maybe if you spend 2 dice, roll 'em both and add only the highest to the damage of an attack?  That's deadly strike but gutted for balance; it's an inefficient use of dice but gives the fighter that all-out swing for the fences if he wants it.  Spend 3 dice?  Your attack just targetted each enemy adjacent to you.

10th level fighter and you've got 5 dice?  Spend 1 to push your enemy back into a clump of enemies, spend 1 to shift into position adjacent to all of them, and spend 3 to bushwhack the lot.  There's a 4e fighter power that does that...  Probably a few of them do.

Okay, why did I even explain all of this?  Oh yeah, d20 rolls.  We don't add our expertise dice to d20 rolls, that's just silly.  Even worse?  It's BORING.

The August packet fighter was pretty darn bare-bones, and yes a lot of it is indeed plus or minus damage:  The Class.  But just stick Gladiator or Knight or Warlord (!) fighting styles on there, you'll get exciting things happening real fast.  Spend a die to challenge an enemy to a duel.  Spend a die to kick him in the boin loins, grant disadvantage on his next attack or something.

Kick him in the boin loins.

Boin loins.

I don't see what a "simple fighter" has to do with this topic, but I'll indulge you in any case...

Don't like your idea for a simple version of a Fighter. It lacks customization and makes all fighters the same. Simple rules don't have to mean you don't get choices. And more choices doesn't mean more complex rules. It's how the rules are made that made the whole be simple or complex.

In any case... the idea of the topic is only to make an alternate, round-based, version of the Expertise feature. Not make the Fighter simpler or more complex. 

This discussion is getting interesting, Ironblue, but I'm in a bit of a hurry here. I'll read your last post tomorrow.

Cyall ! 
Oh yeah, d20 rolls.  We don't add our expertise dice to d20 rolls



I'm not sure I see what you're getting at, exactly, in regards to damage and rolls... Are you saying you liked that Fighter from older packets with the dozens of d6s added to damage every round? I really disliked that version... and also the whole Martial Dice thing was a general system (although the Fighter had his peculiar uses) for all martial type characters. Give those mechanics only to the fighter and it's nearly impossible to balance the numerical values with other classes in their current state.


But... the trade off from Expertise/Martial Dice to "extra actions" or more complex actions, as you suggested, and as we see in the packets (for example spending X dice to hit an extra target in the round), I find quite interesting.

It can, though, work just as well with the +X bonus per round I proposed. You said something like "Spend 3 ED to hit all targets in front of you," but it could aslo be something like "Spend +3 from your Expertise Bonus to hit all targets in front of you."


You got me thinking into a possible better way to tackle this, though:

•The Fighter gains of "Expertise Points" every X levels (could be the same rate as current ED, or not).

•By themselves these "points" do nothing, they're just a measure of the Fighter's capacity to do more in combat. More actions, or better actions.

•As you level in the class, you get to choose ways to spend those points in combat.

•You could, as you said for example, spend X points to hit more than one target. Or you could spend 1 point to gain a "lesser action" like shoving someone back, or taking a small move. Or spend X points to make a "parry" roll and try to fend off one attack.

The basic Expertise Points by themselves are not inherently tied to any bonus to d20 rolls, or damage rolls, neither by granting a fixed +1 nor a d6. As said, they're only a reserve of points to do a little more every round beyond the regular actions.

•BUT... you could have one ability or two that allows you to spend X expertise points to gain a bonus on a specific roll or damage. For example, spend 3 EP to gain +1d6 on the rolls for a maneuver of choice (like Disarm), or spend 3 EP to gain +1d4 on a regular To Hit rolls with a weapon of choice... (actual values gained would have to be thought through for balance purposes, of course).

•Since each action made with Expertise, or bonus gained, has a "cost" in EP, you could balance more powerful options simply by setting a high "cost". If the ability to strike everyone in front of you, for example, or to add +1d4 to 1 attack roll every round, is too powerful for low level Fighters... by setting a 3EP or 4EP (whatever the actual values are), you could have that only Fighters around level 5 or 8 or 10 would using those.



Conclusion:
I think this is more or less what you were suggesting too, if I understood it right.
You get to keep the Expertise choices of the Fighter on a round-by-round basis, but it's not inherently tied to adding +1s or +d6s to rolls. Instead it plays more with the idea of "more actions" or "better actions".

Although maybe one ability or two could grant a bonus at certain level (to reflect for example the ability of the Fighter to be better at applying maneuvers like Trip and Disarm than other less-specialized warriors). For regular Attack Rolls and Damage rolls it could be questionable, but I like the notion of giving the Fighter a choice of having and edge in these kind of maneuvers.

I like that idea too. And we do have a few things following this line of thought already in the packets, trading the Expertise Dice for something else.

Although if we assumed that idea as the basic principle for Expertise (instead of adding a d6 or +1 to rolls) I don't see why call it Expertise "Die", really. Maybe just call it Expertise, or Expertise "points" and it's that value that states how much you have to improve your actions.

Also, by assuming this is the basic functionally for Expertise instead of adding to rolls, the "trade-dice-for-this" abilities we already have could be reviewed, made more interesting, and balanced by use on a round-by-round basis, giving the Fighter a more overall tactical approach to combat, instead of sporadic "boosts" of activity.


I like where this is going. This idea has potential...


According to the latest L&L, we will have a few different types of fighters.

One with expertise dice.
One who just get's flat bonuses.

Possibly a few other variations as well. 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I'm not sure I see what you're getting at, exactly, in regards to damage and rolls... Are you saying you liked that Fighter from older packets with the dozens of d6s added to damage every round?

Man, repeat after me, we are going to CHINESE SCHOOL this thing.

Say no to Deadly Strike.  Say no to Deadly Strike!  It's pretty simple.

-Say yes to Glancing Blow.  If you miss an attack but roll a 10 or something, you get XD damage.  No problem.
-Say yes to Cleave.  If you hit an attack, you get XD damage to one adjacent enemy.  Doesn't work on misses.
-Say yes to...  Oh, I don't know, Vicious Strike.  When you make an attack, give yourself disadvantage on the attack.  If you hit, you get weapon damage and XD damage against that enemy.

Conditional, situational damage bonuses.  Spending reactions on damage mitigation from Parry and Protect.  These things are okay, and I'm telling you, they ain't overpowered.  Not compared to what casters are doing at the same level.

As long as there is no obvious, dick simple damage option that overshadows every other maneuver, that older packet fighter is amazing!  He does everything he needed to from levels 1 to 5, and there was plenty of implied potential for more fighting styles and maneuvers.

You like Expertise Points, and that's just fine.  I like the system you're putting together, and as Mello mentions there will have to be both, because some players like dice and some like not more dice.  Module territory for sure.

But understand that At-will Expertise Dice work fine, as they can be used for variable numeric modifiers AS WELL as a discrete point-based resource.  One die is just as spend-worthy as one point, with the added bonus that it can also be used to modify certain (conditional, situational) numeric values.
The debate about encounter abilities has been going around for a long while... Is it a good way to balance more powerful abilities? Why can my fighter make this attack once and then no more? Why does he become "tired" and can't use it anymore but can use other encounter abilities still? And so on...

None of these complaints actually apply to expertise dice, though. They're not overly powerful (if anything the opposite), you can use the same ability multiple times, and even take a moment to catch your breath to use them more, and running out of dice means you're too tired to use any encounter abilities.
would this force the fighter to once again pick one weapon or type of weapon at the start of the game and stick with it forever? because that always seemed boring to me. Although i do like having the fighter's tactical choices be per round rather than per encounter (although given the typical length of 5e encounters it may not matter), i really ought to reread the fighter section to compare this to the existing expertise stuff.

"Trying to run gritty gothic horror with 4e is like trying to cut down a tree with a hammer, likewise trying to run heroic fantasy with 1e is like trying to hammer a nail with a chainsaw."

 
 

 This is what i get when i hit the Quote button:  http://community.wizards.com/%23

 

  


Well, any type of Weapon Specialization bonus can lead to that. I think it all boils down to how great is the bonus you gain with the weapon. The traditional +1 TH and +2 Damage from specialization is good enough that you'll want to stick to your chosen weapon most of the time, but not that much of a big deal that you'll never want to pick another weapon, I suppose. Find a slash-resistant creature and you might want to pick your mace instead of the axe you specialized on.

In any case I always prefer a more "broad" type of specialization. For example, specializing in "axes" instead of only "the greataxe".

But... from the benefits originally proposed for this varant of the expertise only the bonus To Hit and bonus Damage would work as weapon specialization. Everything else (maneuver bonus, parrying, adding lesser actions to the round, etc) would not be weapon-choice dependant. In any case if you dislike specialization you may just rule that everything works for any weapon.
This basically looks like the original Expertise Dice concept, which was fantastic -- that is, that fighters would gain dice and increase the size of those gained dice as they leveled. The only difference is that it still doesn't offer any fun abilities that do much. I know "dead" is the best condition, but obviously Fighters won't be that engaging if all of their mechanics are directly about imposing the "dead" condition -- one of the best ways to provide lateral improvements (and in a bounded system, that's important) is to make direct conflict easier to set up in circumstances where it normally gets tough (like when enemies spread out, or you're far away, or they're behind cover, and so on).

So, these points would be great if Fighters get features like "spend a point, you can use your action to charge" and "spend a point, you can vault over an obstacle without slowing your movement." One of the strongest dynamics of tactical assessment in D&D Next that I've seen was the monk's choice of spending expertise dice on Flurry of Blows or Step of the Wind, for the Monk. Making an engaging expertise system like this should be about presenting options that give the player choices about how to approach every situation that feels fun and meaningful.
Spend a die to kick him in the boin loins, grant disadvantage on his next attack or something.

Kick him in the boin loins.

Boin loins.

Sure. Spend two dice, though, and you can choose to keep your action and just distract him -- or do the attack with it, and he falls over stunned. Spend three dice, and you gain magical powers of ice and snow, enough to freeze him solid when he ultimately, inevitably flinches. And of course, a fourth die would enable you to cry "Peace Out!" in intimidating fashion as you use your magic beard to fly away.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Sure. Spend two dice, though, and you can choose to keep your action and just distract him -- or do the attack with it, and he falls over stunned. Spend three dice, and you gain magical powers of ice and snow, enough to freeze him solid when he ultimately, inevitably flinches. And of course, a fourth die would enable you to cry "Peace Out!" in intimidating fashion as you use your magic beard to fly away.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have finally found the niche for the Fighter class!  Leveling class benefits include, but are not limited to:

-Uncontrollable growth of facial hair.
-Lecherous disposition toward princesses of every variety.
-Degenerate bodily aroma.
-The ability to create your own castle(!), populated with your personal army of loyal brain-damaged penguins henchmen.

It is the Fighter class, I am telling you, 100%.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have finally found the niche for the Fighter class!  Leveling class benefits include, but are not limited to:

-Uncontrollable growth of facial hair.
-Lecherous disposition toward princesses of every variety.
-Degenerate bodily aroma.
-The ability to create your own castle(!), populated with your personal army of loyal brain-damaged penguins henchmen.

It is the Fighter class, I am telling you, 100%.

Sounds like half the fighters I've ever encountered! And it's traditional, what with giving a castle and henchmen. Grognards and newcomers alike will appreciate this movement towards a more resonant archetype, which clearly better embodies the Fighter's tradition than its present iteration. What's more Fighter-y than magical items, sociopathic behaviour and a defensive disposition?
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Just give Fighters +level/2 (round up) to all rolls in combat.  It isn't a balance problem.

Currently, they seems to be trying for an air-breathing mermaid problem, where Fighter option-choices are more about removing options than adding them. 
-Say yes to Glancing Blow.  If you miss an attack but roll a 10 or something, you get XD damage.  No problem.
-Say yes to Cleave.  If you hit an attack, you get XD damage to one adjacent enemy.  Doesn't work on misses.
-Say yes to...  Oh, I don't know, Vicious Strike.  When you make an attack, give yourself disadvantage on the attack.  If you hit, you get weapon damage and XD damage against that enemy.

I like these ideas.

I would change your Vicious Strike to: grants Advantage on the attack; if both attack rolls would hit the target, then add XD dice to normal weapon damage.

EDIT: I like this better because getting Advantage is what would enable the possibility of a better hit, which would be represented by the extra damage. Getting better results (than are possible with a normal hit), with some sort of Disadvantage, just seems weird.
-Say yes to Glancing Blow.  If you miss an attack but roll a 10 or something, you get XD damage.  No problem.
-Say yes to Cleave.  If you hit an attack, you get XD damage to one adjacent enemy.  Doesn't work on misses.
-Say yes to...  Oh, I don't know, Vicious Strike.  When you make an attack, give yourself disadvantage on the attack.  If you hit, you get weapon damage and XD damage against that enemy.

I like these ideas.

I would change your Vicious Strike to: grants Advantage on the attack; if both attack rolls would hit the target, then add XD dice to normal weapon damage.



Yes, that's a great mechanic!  Buuuuuut...  I had kind of wanted that to be the new sneak attack.  Because the current sneak attack is dumb (there is more dumb in my sig about this).

More brainstorm is appreciated about fighters and XD though.  Maybe Brash Strike?  Next attack made against you has disadvantage, add XD damage?

Thing is we really want to keep the plus damage effects minimal if the resource is reverting to at-will.  Require a much greater expenditure of dice...  In that wise, I kind of like it literally costing 2 dice for every 1 that gets added to damage.

What Caeric said above about charging and vaulting and so on is right on point.  More utility, more awesome.
Okee dokee, I get where you're coming from.

GIVEN that we have maneuvers that alter the outcomes of ability checks or weapon attacks, adding 1d6 to rolls every turn is overpowered.  I agree.

But check it, all those old maneuvers from the August packet (most recent one with at-will XD I believe?) specifically didn't do this.  It was a bit of subtle genius that I appreciated.

But I never appreciated it enough until I saw the 3/20 fighter.  (I can almost swear Mearls is trolling us with that guy!  If that garbage is still around by the next packet, well...  Then we know he isn't, I guess.)

Anyway.  Damage was mitigated by the XD roll.  Under specific circumstances (remember, say no to deadly strike!) damage was added by the XD roll.  That all plays well with bounded accuracy, and is NOT overpowered at all.  Then you can start swapping out the die for discrete abilities...  free 5 foot shift, push an enemy 5 feet, sneak in an attack when you spend your action drawing your weapon or something.

There was real potential for vertical growth!  Maybe if you spend 2 dice, roll 'em both and add only the highest to the damage of an attack?  That's deadly strike but gutted for balance; it's an inefficient use of dice but gives the fighter that all-out swing for the fences if he wants it.  Spend 3 dice?  Your attack just targetted each enemy adjacent to you.

10th level fighter and you've got 5 dice?  Spend 1 to push your enemy back into a clump of enemies, spend 1 to shift into position adjacent to all of them, and spend 3 to bushwhack the lot.  There's a 4e fighter power that does that...  Probably a few of them do.

Okay, why did I even explain all of this?  Oh yeah, d20 rolls.  We don't add our expertise dice to d20 rolls, that's just silly.  Even worse?  It's BORING.

The August packet fighter was pretty darn bare-bones, and yes a lot of it is indeed plus or minus damage:  The Class.  But just stick Gladiator or Knight or Warlord (!) fighting styles on there, you'll get exciting things happening real fast.  Spend a die to challenge an enemy to a duel.  Spend a die to kick him in the boin loins, grant disadvantage on his next attack or something.

Kick him in the boin loins.

Boin loins.



I'm beginning to agree with that thread that suggested IronBlue be in charge. Maybe we can commission a homebrew from you?

More brainstorm is appreciated about fighters and XD though.  Maybe Brash Strike?  Next attack made against you has disadvantage, add XD damage?

Here's my thinking about expertise dice-based maneuvers, assuming expertise dice increase both in size and number:



  • Any bonus to damage cannot be simply rolled and added. We've seen that road. It led the fighters to this. The solution needs to be simple (perhaps dividing by 2, as you offered).

  • Stealing from Ironblue: NEVER. ADD. TO d20s. Also don't date robots.

  • Maneuvers should occasionally (not always, but occasionally) be multi-faceted, like Step of the Wind was. The multiple facets should also, where applicable, be quadratic (for lack of a precise term) in nature -- that is, putting iterative dice into it gives you effects you couldn't achieve by repeating the same activity with fewer dice in the same maneuver. Part of the value in this is that it creates the effect of feat chains without creating the feat cost.

  • Maneuvers need to be designed such that at any given moment, you have the power to approach a scenario in several ways -- and you have the luxury of choosing that. I cite the dialogue between Flurry of Blows and Step of the Wind; I DM'd for a friend who played a Monk during that wonderful packet, and he always enjoyed the interplay between how many dice he should spend on moving and how many dice he should spend on acting. Every class with maneuvers and dice should have this.


What are all your thoughts on those four criteria? Does that sound like a good approach? Any other criteria?
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
I'm beginning to agree with that thread that suggested IronBlue be in charge. Maybe we can commission a homebrew from you?

You bet your samasaroni you can.  I've already redesignated a few of my subroutines to accomplishing this task.  And I won't even accept a commission!

WE ARE IRONBLUE.  WE LIVE TO HOMEBREW AND GET LAID, NOT GET PAID.

Also don't date robots.

You drive a hard bargain, but the terms are acceptable.

I don't know that I have any other criteria.  Quadratic maneuvers are something I will have to puzzle over, but it seems balanced on an internal logic at first brush.  It will help to clearly define a standard or baseline by which we can measure the relative worth of an expertise die, and whether or not subsequent dice should be worth more, less, or the same amount.

1 die:  Push target 5 feet.
2 dice:  Push target 10 feet.

Versus

1 die:  Push target 5 feet.
2 dice:  Push target 15 feet.

Versus

1 die:  Push target 5 feet.
2 dice:  Push target 10 feet, and grant advantage to next attack made against that target.

There are some ways we could approach dice as a unit of measurement.  If we just let Fighters mix and match effects willy nilly, we might end up with a system more conducive to creativity and flexibility than a wizard's magic...  If we kind of hardcode in specific effects and increase the utility of each maneuver but reduce the overall flexibility of how they chain together, it feels (perhaps) more like realistically practiced fighting moves.  I don't know which way appeals to the core identity of the fighter more.
I don't know that I have any other criteria.  Quadratic maneuvers are something I will have to puzzle over, but it seems balanced on an internal logic at first brush.  It will help to clearly define a standard or baseline by which we can measure the relative worth of an expertise die, and whether or not subsequent dice should be worth more, less, or the same amount.

1 die:  Push target 5 feet.
2 dice:  Push target 10 feet.

Versus

1 die:  Push target 5 feet.
2 dice:  Push target 15 feet.

Versus

1 die:  Push target 5 feet.
2 dice:  Push target 10 feet, and grant advantage to next attack made against that target.

"Quadratic" isn't really the right term for it. Maybe "compound" is. As for those three examples, I think I'd lean towards the third one. Though I do cringe whenever I see advantage or disadvantage. I like that system, but in its present state there's an inundation of options for it and the system isn't deep enough for there to be meaningful options thereby. Advantage plus advantage is just advantage. And advantage plus advantage plus disadvantage is just a wash. Bleh.
There are some ways we could approach dice as a unit of measurement.  If we just let Fighters mix and match effects willy nilly, we might end up with a system more conducive to creativity and flexibility than a wizard's magic...  If we kind of hardcode in specific effects and increase the utility of each maneuver but reduce the overall flexibility of how they chain together, it feels (perhaps) more like realistically practiced fighting moves.  I don't know which way appeals to the core identity of the fighter more.

That's a good question. The spirit of the fighter is one of improvisation and storytelling -- do maneuvers represent the parts of the story where the fighter breaks the mould and does something awesome? Or are they a more engaging (if more time-consuming) form of the monotony? If maneuvers could be combo'd, would that notion of combo be the offspring of the tradition of improvisation? I'm personally as much an advocate for fighters as the traditional improviser as they are the awesome maneuver-user. Different modules or subclasses, I guess.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Okay, we've strayed pretty far from the original purpose of this thread, so I'm only going to do this once.  A preview:

FIGHTER

Ability Adjustment: +1 to your Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution score
Starting Hit Points: Your Constitution score
Hit Die:  1d10 per fighter level
Hit Points:  1d10 (or 5) per fighter level gained
Armor and Shield Proficiencies: All armor and shields
Weapon Proficiencies: All weapons

            Attack      Expertise       Combat
Level   Bonus      Dice                Surge                Class Features
1          +1            1d6                  1/day                Combat Expertise, Combat Surge, Fighting
                                                                             Style, Maneuvers (2)
2          +1            1d6                  1/day                Maneuver (1), Style Benefit
3          +1            2d6                  1/day                -
4          +2            2d6                  1/day                Maneuver (1), Style Benefit
5          +2            3d6                  2/day                Deadly Strikes (2)
6          +2            3d6                  2/day                Maneuver (1)
7          +2            3d6                  2/day                Style Benefit
8          +3            4d6                  2/day                Maneuver (1)
9          +3            4d6                  2/day                -
10        +3            4d6                  3/day                Deadly Strikes (3), Maneuver (1)

Level 1:  Combat Expertise
Listen, as a fighter you are often the butt of jokes.  You got no skills, at least not the marketable kind like your super successful jerk half-brother the rogue.  It’s like life is just easy for him, but not you, oh no.  You had to struggle and fight to survive.  And what do you know; you turned that pig-headed single-minded murderous nature of yours into a full on skill set!  A staggering lack of creativity like that deserves to be rewarded, you think.  As a result, you are a downright expert at killing people.

You gain a single expertise die, a d6.  You can spend expertise dice to use a combat maneuver that you have mastered. A maneuver involves either rolling the die or simply expending it.

You must be able to take actions to spend an expertise die. At the start of each of your turns, you regain all of your spent expertise dice. As you gain levels you gain additional dice, as noted on the Fighter table.

Level 1:  Combat Surge
Sometimes being the strongest and best at killing people just isn’t enough.  It’s times like these when you need to surge.  You get your best surges off the cool, refreshing taste of Fighterade, the juice so rad it’s like a kick to the ‘nads.  This allows you to achieve unheard of feats of strength and stamina, but the downside is all the tiresome corporate sponsorship you have to deal with.  When you surge, try to mention Fighterade at least once by the time 10 minutes have passed.  Just say something like; “This short rest was brought to you by Fighterade, registered trademark of Fightard, Inc.”  That’ll keep the lawyers off your back.

Once per day, you can use a combat surge on your turn.  During that turn, you can take a second action, and in addition you can either:

-Recharge one expertise die you have already expended this turn.
-Roll one hit die and regain that many hit points.

At 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th level, the number of times per day that you can use a combat surge increases by one, and the number of expertise dice or hit dice you may recharge or roll increases by one.  You may only ever use a combat surge once per turn.

Level 1:  Fighting Style
You are just an incredibly slick and styling dude.  You have styles for miles, and when you get riled it’s like bitches be lining up in single file just to pile in and get a taste of your wiles.  You don’t really know what any of that means, but you’ve practiced it in front of the mirror so much you can rattle it off on command by now.  We’ll see who’s laughing when the Bard challenges you to a rap-off this time.  Yeah, just try it again and see what happens you little womanizing dishrag.

Choose one of the following:

Knight
Suggested Maneuvers:  Jab, Parry, Protect
Suggested Specialty:  Guardian
Level 1:  Skills
You gain the ride and sense motive skills.
Level 1:  Knight’s Challenge
You can spend an expertise die to issue a challenge to an enemy that can see or hear you.  You can sustain this challenge as long as you wish, but while doing so you cannot use that expertise die for any other purpose.  While this challenge is active, you have advantage on all attacks made against that target.

Gladiator
Suggested Maneuvers:  Cleave, Knock Down, Shift
Suggested Specialty:  Reaper
Level 1:  Skills
You gain the intimidate and perform skills.
Level 1:  Gladiator’s Flair
Once per turn, you can exult in the glory of blood you have spilled.  When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points or fewer with your attack, spend a reaction to exult.  If it is glorious, you gain a bonus expertise die, which you can only spend on your following turn.  If your next turn ends and you have not spent this die, you lose it.

Warlord
Suggested Maneuvers:  Glancing Blow, Jab, Push
Suggested Specialty:  Field Medic
Level 1:  Skills
You gain the administer first aid and recall military lore skills.
Level 1:  Warlord’s Command
Once per turn, you can spend an expertise die to direct the actions of a friendly creature that can see or hear you.  You can sustain this direction as long as you wish, but while doing so you cannot use that expertise die for any other purpose.  While under your command, that target has advantage on one attack roll it makes every turn.

Level 1:  Maneuvers
No one knows how to maneuver like you do.  You are a dance machine, except instead of getting jiggy with it you kind of tend to just kill people.  So I guess that makes you a death machine?  You don’t care.  You think you’re really great at dancing too, and when you’re a death machine if you think you’re really great at dancing it behooves everyone else to agree profusely with you.  Yep, don’t see any dissent around here.  Excellent.  Let’s get down tonight.

Choose two of the following.  At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, choose one more:

Brash Strike
You don’t just hit a dude, you flip out all over his junk and don’t even care.
Benefit:  Once per turn when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can spend expertise dice to deal additional damage.  For every two dice you spend in this fashion, roll both and add only the highest to the total damage you deal.

Cleave
You can carry your momentum forward from an attack, carving through one foe into the body of another.
Benefit: Once per turn when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can spend expertise dice to deal additional damage to one creature adjacent to your target.  Roll any expertise dice you spend in this way, and the adjacent creature takes damage equal to the result.

Glancing Blow
Even when your strike is only a glancing blow, you find a way to damage your opponent.
Benefit: Once per turn when you miss a creature with a weapon attack but roll at least an 8 on the d20, you can spend expertise dice to turn the miss into a glancing blow. Roll any expertise dice you spend in this way, and the target takes damage equal to the result. The damage is of the same type as the attack, but the glancing blow has none of the attack’s other effects and is not considered to have hit.

Jab
You can make quick, shallow attacks even when you focus your attention on other things.
Benefit: When you take an action other than making a melee or a ranged attack, you can spend a single expertise die to make a melee or ranged attack against a creature within range during that action. If you hit, instead of rolling damage normally, you roll the expertise die and use its result for your damage.

Knock Down
The force of a blow, whether from an axe or an arrow, in just the right spot can cause a creature to stagger and fall.
Benefit: When you hit a creature with a weapon attack and that creature is no more than one size category larger than you, you can spend a single expertise die to also knock that creature prone.  If you spend a second die on this maneuver, roll that die.  The target takes additional damage equal to the result rolled.

Parry
You can use your weapon or shield to turn aside an attack, reducing its impact on you.
Benefit: When you are damaged by an attack while you are wielding a weapon or a shield, you can spend expertise dice as a reaction to reduce the damage.  Roll any expertise die you spend in this way, and subtract its result from the damage against you.  If the damage drops to 0 or lower, you are still subject to any other effects of the attack.

Precise Shot
You have expert aim, allowing you to make even the most improbable shots.
Benefit:  When you make a ranged attack against a creature that has half cover or three quarters cover, you can spend a single expertise die.  Roll the die, and add its result as a bonus to your attack roll.  If the target has half cover, the maximum bonus from this die is +2. If the target has three-quarters cover, the maximum bonus from the die is +5.

Protect
By splitting your attention between your opponents and your allies, you can intervene with a weapon or a shield when one of your friends would be harmed.
Benefit:  When a creature next to you takes damage from an attack while you are wielding a weapon or a shield, you can spend expertise dice as a reaction to reduce the damage.  Roll any expertise die you spend in this way, and subtract the result from the damage against the creature.  If the damage drops to 0 or lower, the creature is still subject to any other effects of the attack.

Punish
You keep a watchful eye on your friends, and stand ready to defend them at a moment’s notice.
Benefit:  When a friendly creature next to you takes damage from an attack while you are wielding a weapon, you can spend expertise dice as a reaction to make a melee or ranged attack against the creature that attacked them. If you hit, instead of rolling damage normally, you roll the expertise die and use its result for your damage.

Push
As you strike with a weapon, you can use a combination of your attack’s precision and the leverage of your strike to drive a target back.
Benefit:  When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack and that creature is no more than one size category larger than you, you can spend a single expertise die to push that creature up to 10 feet away from you.  If you spend a second expertise die on this maneuver, roll that die.  You can then push that creature up to 15 feet away from you, and if that creature comes into contact with any hard surface or another creature during that movement, you deal damage equal to the result rolled.

Shift
You can adopt a more nimble stance, focusing some of your effort on stepping into safe spots on the battlefield.
Benefit:  When you take an action to make an attack, you can spend a single expertise die to move up to 10 feet before or after the attack. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks.

Level 5:  Deadly Strikes
Benefit:  Once per turn, when you attack, you can either roll extra damage or target multiple creatures as part of that attack.  Choose up to two creatures within range and divide up to two of your damage dice between them.  You may then make an attack roll against each target and roll damage for each attack.

You can target up to three creatures and roll the damage dice three times starting at 10th level.

Level 8:  Unstoppable
Benefit:  You have advantage on saving throws against effects that would result in a complete or partial loss of control of your character.

Okay, clearly I phoned it in with the fighting styles.  Also, I've been in a pretty silly mood all day, plus busy with work so that explains the... helpfully descriptive fluff that you'll find here and there.

I didn't stray too far from the August packet with any one class feature, but made a few alterations to support scaling expertise dice, added oodles and oodles of maneoodles to the class table 'cuz that was one thing the fighter needed a little more of, and did...  I dunno, some other stuff.  I like the subtle change to combat surge.  Oh, yeah fighting styles will get more stuff uplevels...  Think saving throw bonuses and similar passive benefits.

This will require much more pruning and creativity and a good night's rest to make all the styles and maneoodles to make errybubby happy.

I won't say I agree with your current proposed Fighter there as a whole already.
There are still things in there which I would like to handle in different ways if I were making the Fighter.


But this here you proposed, as an example, is exactly the kind of stuff I was talking about, how I'd like the Fighter maneuvers to be handled in the class:

Push
As you strike with a weapon, you can use a combination of your attack’s precision and the leverage of your strike to drive a target back.
Benefit:  When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack and that creature is no more than one size category larger than you, you can spend a single expertise die to push that creature up to 10 feet away from you.  If you spend a second expertise die on this maneuver, roll that die.  You can then push that creature up to 15 feet away from you, and if that creature comes into contact with any hard surface or another creature during that movement, you deal damage equal to the result rolled.

Which means...
Anyone can try to Push an enemy in combat. There's no reason why a person can't at least try that.
But when the Fighter who is exceptionally trained in that Pushes someone, he can do more than simply drag the guys 5ft. In your example, he can damage as well as push with the same attack. And maybe even cause more damage by slamming the target against a wall.

But it doesn't mean only the Fighter can push people. Which wouldn't make any sense at all, since any person can try to push someone else.
On the first post I had proposed working with Adv/Disadv for maneuvers, and also as a way to represent the difference when a trained fighter uses them.
And it can still be implemented, regardless, but this kind of stuff, like adding damage to a maneuver, is also interesting. Like we were discussing earlier in this post about fitting two actions into one, more or less.

That's more or less the direction I would like to see the Fighter going.
Hmm, that's a good point.  That would make a solid principle to follow for any in-game task you want to encourage under the improvisational nature of roleplay.  And we ain't just talking combat stunts here, it makes sense applied to skills, wielding weapons, using rogue tools, and all else.

-Anybody can try anything with an Ability Check.
-Anybody with a little training can add 1d6 (or 1 or 2 or 3!) to their Ability Check.
-Anybody with a little class-based expertise can perform this action competently, as part of an attack, or under stressful and dangerous conditions.

And then from there you've got things like skill focus, skill supremacy, weapon focus, and so on.  But what happens to Martial Feats, you ask?  The trash heap of iniquity, I respond!  No seriously, everybody should be able to feat into these things.  Combat Expertise the feat:  You gain a 1d6 expertise die and 1 maneuver of your choice.  From the list of general maneuvers.  That might be a very pared down list with things like push and knock down on it.  A far more elegant solution than individual martial feats and bonus fighter feats, I maintain.

You have disadvantage when wielding a weapon you aren't proficient with, correct?  Maybe you have disadvantage when trying a maneuver you haven't trained.

Or, to look at it another way, if training in skills grants you a 1d6 or a static modifier to your ability checks, maybe proficiency with weapons should do the same.  Return of proficiency bonuses, another balancing factor for weapons.  Maybe that's all the reason we need to get rid of class based attack bonuses.

What can I say, I have a crush on bounded accuracy.
Cool mock-up class, Ironblue. Certainly more interesting than the Fighter that we have in the playtest right now.

Which means...
Anyone can try to Push an enemy in combat. There's no reason why a person can't at least try that.
But when the Fighter who is exceptionally trained in that Pushes someone, he can do more than simply drag the guys 5ft. In your example, he can damage as well as push with the same attack. And maybe even cause more damage by slamming the target against a wall.

But it doesn't mean only the Fighter can push people. Which wouldn't make any sense at all, since any person can try to push someone else.
On the first post I had proposed working with Adv/Disadv for maneuvers, and also as a way to represent the difference when a trained fighter uses them.

Bleh to advantage and disadvantage, but yeah. I agree with that otherwise, on the whole. Fighters should be "regular stuff, but better," but that "better" should become "way, way, way better" pretty quickly.
You have disadvantage when wielding a weapon you aren't proficient with, correct?  Maybe you have disadvantage when trying a maneuver you haven't trained.

I'm not entirely clear on what you're saying. It sounds like you're suggesting that maneuvers can be performed when you aren't trained in them. That would be a bad idea, in particular with disadvantage as a penalty. There are so many ways to get advantage (and nullify disadvantage) that it's not much of a penalty.
Or, to look at it another way, if training in skills grants you a 1d6 or a static modifier to your ability checks, maybe proficiency with weapons should do the same.  Return of proficiency bonuses, another balancing factor for weapons.  Maybe that's all the reason we need to get rid of class based attack bonuses.

What can I say, I have a crush on bounded accuracy.

Careful, dude: I hear she's a bit of a drama queen.

I'm slow-cooking my own RPG, and in that RPG I draw no distinction between the rules for being trained in a weapon and the rules for being trained in stealth -- training is training is training (is training). But in D&D, is that a good idea? And if we're talking about applying skill dice to attack rolls, that's a whole other kettle of problem-fish. D&D Next is already kinda frustratingly arbitrary, with such small numbers on a d20 system; if a level 20 fighter has the possibility to only have a +6 to attack (+5 from strenghth, 1 on the die) while the level 1 fighter can get +7 or more... it's just even swingier.

Unless, of course, the designers actually design some features that fix that. Like, wouldn't it be cool if Fighters all got a feature that allowed them to reduce the damage they took in fights that scaled based on their skills as a Fighter? Now there's an idea.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
It was a jump-off point to the idea I was really interested in, which was expanding skill dice to cover all kinds of training.  But I kind of botched the implementation.  Here, let me reconfigure it:

This is just hypothesis, mind you, hear me out!  Ability Scores no longer apply to attack rolls or save DCs.  The class bonus to attack and spellcasting remains (buffed up a point perhaps), AND all weapons and spell effects gain an additional balancing point:  Their own attack bonus.  That way we actually avoid the problem you perceive above.  As you gain levels, you get more accurate as a matter of course, and every attack you choose has it's own built-in accuracy or inaccuracy to balance it's relative damage or other effect.

Ability Scores are defenses, and their modifiers still matter for damage, for power riders, and for all out of combat checks and saves.

Why.  Why do this?  I forgot, but it made me excited at conception.  Ultimate Bounded Accuracy, I guess.

Anyway, that's besides the topic at hand.  The RPG system you describe sounds like it could be made to be very level-headed from the ground up, quite unlike D&D.  The problems you identify are right on point.  I guess I've been slowly putting in my own solutions in the blog.  Here they are, a few universal rule changes:

On Actions in Combat
Block:
When you wield a shield you are proficient with in your off-hand, you can use your reaction to block an incoming attack.  Roll your skill die and subtract its result from the damage against you.  If the damage drops to 0 or lower, you are still subject to any other effects of the attack.
 
Two­ Weapon Fighting:
When you wield two light melee weapons you are proficient with, you can use your reaction to make an attack with your off-hand weapon.  You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of this attack.  Alternatively, you may use your reaction to block as though you were wielding a shield.

On Heavy Weapons
Heavy:
A heavy weapon’s size and bulk make it too large for a Small creature to use effectively. Small creatures reduce the damage die on all attacks made with heavy weapons by one step.  In addition, when rolling for damage with a heavy weapon, all creatures add their strength modifier twice to the result.

On using your Skill Die
Whenever you make an ability check related to one or more of your skills, roll your skill die once and add the number rolled to the check’s result.

Your skill die starts as a d6. When you reach 7th, 12th, and 17th level, improve your skill die from a d6 to a d8, a d8 to a d10, or a d10 to a d12.

In addition, when you reach 2nd, 7th, 12th, and 17th level, you can either train in a new skill or choose a skill trick you qualify for.  In short, you decide whether you want to broaden your character’s expertise or become even better at the skills you already have.

On Skill Training, Weapon Proficiency and Redundancy
Gaining Skills
A skill can be chosen only once.  If you gain training in a skill you already have training in, you may instead take the bonus feat Skill Focus for that skill.  If you get training in a skill you have Skill Focus in, you may take the bonus feat Skill Supremacy for that skill.  Finally, if you get training in a skill you have Skill Supremacy in, you may learn a Skill Trick associated with that skill.  Treat each area of knowledge of the recall lore skill as its own, separate skill for the purposes of training.

Specialist Specialty (teehee)
Level 1:  Skill Training
Level 3:  Skill Focus
Level 6:  Skill Supremacy
Level 9:  Skill Trick

Skill Supremacy
Prerequisite:  Skill Focus feat
Benefit:
  Choose a skill you chose for the Skill Focus feat.  When you gain advantage on a check associated with this skill, you roll 3d20 and take the highest result.
Special:  You can select this feat multiple times, but you must choose a different skill each time.

Weapon Proficiency
If you make an attack roll using a weapon with which you lack proficiency, you make the attack roll with disadvantage.  If you gain proficiency with a weapon you are already proficient with, you may take the bonus feat Weapon Focus for that weapon.  If you gain proficiency with a weapon you have Weapon focus for, you may take the bonus feat Weapon Mastery for that weapon.  If you gain proficency with a weapon you have Weapon Master for, you may learn a maneuver from the general list that can be used with that weapon.

Weapon Master Specialty
Level 1:  Weapon Proficiency
Level 3:  Weapon Focus
Level 6:  Weapon Mastery
Level 9:  Combat Maneuver

Weapon Focus
Benefit:  Choose a weapon with which you have proficiency.  When you attack with this weapon, the damage die for that weapon increases by one step:  d4 to d6, d6 to d8, d8 to d10, d10 to d12, and d12 to 2d6.
Special:  You can select this feat multiple times, but you must choose a different weapon each time.

Weapon Mastery
Prerequisite:  Weapon Focus feat
Benefit: 
Choose a weapon you chose for the Weapon Focus feat.  When you attack with this weapon, the crit range for that weapon increases by one step:  20 to 19-20, and 19-20 to 18-20.
Special:  You can select this feat multiple times, but you must choose a different weapon each time.

On Setting a DC
Trivial (DC 7):
In normal circumstances, a DC of 7 or lower represents a task that is so easy that it is not worth an ability check.  An adventurer can almost always succeed automatically on a trivial task.
Easy (DC 10):
An easy task requires a minimum level of competence or a modicum of luck to accomplish.
Moderate (DC 13):
A moderate task requires a slightly higher level of competence to accomplish.  A character with a combination of natural aptitude and specialized training can accomplish a moderate task more often than not.
Hard (DC 16):
Hard tasks include any effort that is beyond the capabilities of most people without aid or exceptional ability.  Even with aptitude and training, a character needs some amount of luck—or a lot of specialized training—to pull off a hard task.
Very Hard (DC 19):
Only especially talented individuals need even try their hand at very hard tasks.
Formidable (DC 22):
Only the most highly trained, experienced, and talented individuals have a chance at success at a formidable task, and even they probably need mundane equipment or magic items to aid them.
Nearly Impossible (DC 25): Tasks of this difficulty are so challenging that only demigods and their peers can succeed without assistance.


It's not perfect, but I feel it's gradually sort of tamping down on the natural idiosyncracies in D&D.
It's not perfect, but I feel it's gradually sort of tamping down on the natural idiosyncracies in D&D.

Lots of cool stuff, there. The DCs are an "unsolvable" sort of problem -- that is, if we just used a d12 or a d10 instead of a d20, then things would be less swingy. But that's not gonna happen.

Otherwise, that all looks neat. I like the idea of shields being a matter of active participation, since that's actually how shields work. Skill tricks are always good. Solving redundancy (rather than ignoring it, which Wizards of the Coast always seems keen on) is good.

Using ability scores as defenses would simplify a whole lot. Would that include removing AC? Have Dexterity do the heavy lifting, with Constitution and armour-imposed Damage Reduction for the rest?
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Hah!  In my dreams.  No, there have been many decent alternatives to AC proposed, some with DR, some without...  None of them have particularly jumped out at me.

I'm sort of trying to keep AC right where it is, because that's one thing that felt really right about playtesting this latest packet.  Hitting and missing monsters in the bestiary was pretty spot on, though let me be frank:  I am no math guy.  All I have is my anecdotal evidence.  As a matter of fact, the current band of monster ACs is what inspired me to just cut down all DCs by like 2 points.  Go check out the bestiary and just scroll that jazz, noting down every AC number you see.  It's very interesting.

If our 'target' numbers, AC and DC, keep playing the same damn music they have since the '70s haha I mean are right in that 10-20 range, then all we have to do is tweak the d20+modifier bits of the system until they fit right.  Of course, the d20 is always going to be the elephant in the living room, but that's kind of the charm.  More than +10 is obviously too much on the modifier side of the equation.

Warning:  I'm about to dump a hot load of speculative and unsubstantiated design theory down on this B.  Sorry in advance.

You been warned
As I see it, an attack roll, a skill check, an ability check or whatever else has got three possible modifying points:

-Ability Modifier: from +1 to +5
-Class Bonus: from +1 to +5
-Proficiency Bonus:  Anything from +1d6 to +1d12, or in my dream +2 to +5 (prof. bonus from 4e weapons but more range to account for more diversity)

Now, each of those modifying points has its own idiosyncracies, but the very first important take away is this:

The bounded accuracy system can only handle TWO of those three at any time.  For ease of comprehension, they ought to be the same two.

Now, some points of interest about each:

Ability Modifier is the one the designer has far less control over.  Especially if those terrifying ability score bump feats get implemented, but lets pretend the world isn't ending in fire.  It's also, perhaps for the exact same reason, the one players tend to have the strongest bond with.  I don't think I've ever met a PC who wasn't at least a little proud of his +4 attribute, for instance.  When the playtest first launched, it had one of the most refreshing ability score arrays I'd seen in a while, but I guess that's because I was hot off the heels of 4e.  Nothing higher than a 17 huh?  Rounded scores everywhere?  It was excellent.  This was bolstered by some utterly inspired moves in early packets to decouple (bzzt, buzzword) ability scores first from skills, then from tasks themselves.  Sometimes you had to be strong to jump.  Sometimes you had to be agile.

IF the ability modifier is picked as one of the core accuracy modifiers of this edition, I would insist that ability score bump feats never see the light of day, and it would be like five christmases at once if, finally, ability scores were decoupled completely from attacks and all else.  Sometimes you need to be quick to swat a giant bat out of the air with your greatsword.  Sometimes you need to be strong to punch your arrow through a knight's armor.  I understand that's controversial, but just imagine!  A MAD world for everyone!  Haha.  Probably not gonna happen though.

Class Bonus.  The designer has a bit more control over this one.  Multiclassing springs to mind, that and the horror of adding fractions.  I won't beat this one to death because I think it's fairly reigned in.  If we had Ability Mod + Class Bonus, I'd probably do away with ability score bump feats (notice a trend) and be sure to bump class bonus up by maybe a point.  Maybe not even though.

And Proficiency Bonus.  This is personally what I want to see implemented.  Notice that with Ability Mod + Class Bonus, it works great for attack rolls (and save DCs I guess), but suddenly you have to come up with something else for skills (or not skills, if you're not using skills.  Guh.  Modules) and I would prefer that we have a set formula for all calculations in the system.  I suppose Class Bonus would be perfect if you added it to all the skills the class let you train, though.  And then you applied that bonus to your background skills too?  Whatever.  Ability Mod + Proficiency Bonus is preferable.

Every skill you have trained has a proficiency bonus, and so does every weapon.  I see it playing out one of two ways:

-All trained skills are at +4 and all weapons get somewhere from +2 to +5, depending on the damage and attributes it has.
-All trained skills AND proficient weapons get the skill die, scaling automatically from 1d6 to 1d12.

I think the latter is better.  Every single calculation in the game is the exact same.  1d20 + Ability Mod + 1d6 and up.  You get a lesser bell curve effect in there, AND it's very easy to remember.  Roll two dice, add your mod.  You lose an opportunity to differentiate weapons though.

Is that not high enough for the Average DCs as presented?  13 and 14 ought to be fairly easy marks to hit, around 65 to 70%.  Perhaps this is best done with a slightly higher ability score array, though (again) no gorram +1 ability feats.

Anyway, that's what I want.  AC and DC are equivalent and always contested against Ability Mod and Proficiency Die.  Currently we have Ability Mod and Class Bonus, but for other things Proficiency Die, so despite my wild ramblings this is simpler, I promise. 

The idea here is not to discuss whether encounter abilities are good or not, but just to offer one possible alternative for Expertise Dice that is not encounter based, for those who don't like encounter-based stuff. An "optional module", if you like.

LOL I have to say I see things differently than you. I'd like to see the option to get rid of ALL dailies and change them into encounter abilities. I think there should be options for making everything one way or the other (all daily or all encounter). Hopefully we'll see those options that'll let us play the game as we'd like it.

rastapopoulos, I've seen your requests for a Fighter who gets multiple attacks and uses those attacks as essentially a resource - use one attack to attempt a parry, use two to disarm both of the target's weapons, use one to trip him, and the last one just for a regular attack, or what ever other combination you can think of. First of all, I love this idea, and it would be really cool to see something similar in Next.

The problem I see with this approach is that multiple attacks can slow down combat. Now I know they don't for everyone. Some people can easily grab a handful of dice, declare which enemy each die is targeting, and do the mental math very quickly. But others are not so quick at this, and at any rate, the devs seem to have decided mtiple attacks should be kept to a minimum.

But what about the deadly strike dice? They could be used much to the same effect as the multiple attacks as a resource approach. What if at level 1, fighters got an expertise feature that allowed them to attempt maneuvers like disarm, knockdown, and parry, as part of an attack. Then whenever they gain additional deadly strike dice, the expertise feature also improves, and allowes them to attempt a number of additional maneuvers equal to their deadly strike dice as part of an attack that benefited from deadly strike. Similarly, when they use their multiattack feature, each of those attacks also allows the fighter to attempt a maneuver as part of that attack.

Not sure if this would be enough on its own to replace expertise dice, but it could at least give the fighter some interesting choices to make each round, and make a simpler, all at-will fighter a bit more interesting for those who like making tactical choices every round. With a few more bonus features in the same style, I think it might just be possible to make a fighter that is simple, interesting, AND powerful in play.

Come to think of it, I'm saving this idea, cause it would make a really fun house rule.
And for those who really love their fighters ultra simple and versatile and don't mind relying on DM adjudication, why limit yourself to predefined maneuvers? Allow an improvised action as part of each attack with an additional improvised action for each die of deadly strike! I could have a BLAST with that character! Especially with the option to use feats to take 4E style powers on top of that!
Oh, another thought: fighting stances that, when the fighter is in them, apply riders to their attacks. For example: shield plow stance. Must have a shield equipped to enter this stance. While in this stance, each time you hit with an attack, you can shove the target back five feet. If you have not used all of your movement, you can also advance five feet after the attack.
I think I've never been so disappointed as when Martial Dice went away. A universal mechanic for melee classes that also allows for unique powers (or maneuvers as it were). But, I would be happy if even just the fighter got at-will Expertise Dice back, with NO DEADLY STRIKE, added utility and variety to his repertoire on a per round basis. Fighters fight, no perfecting of mind and body, no harnessing of rage, no divine boosts. They focus on battle technique, and the number, variety and availability of maneuvers to Fighters should reflect that.

But I do really want Martial Dice to come back all around.
I think I've never been so disappointed as when Martial Dice went away. A universal mechanic for melee classes that also allows for unique powers (or maneuvers as it were). But, I would be happy if even just the fighter got at-will Expertise Dice back, with NO DEADLY STRIKE, added utility and variety to his repertoire on a per round basis. Fighters fight, no perfecting of mind and body, no harnessing of rage, no divine boosts. They focus on battle technique, and the number, variety and availability of maneuvers to Fighters should reflect that. But I do really want Martial Dice to come back all around.

You and me both. I wanted maneuvers expanded and given some teeth not removed and forced into a limited pick at some class levels... Oh well.

rastapopoulos, I've seen your requests for a Fighter who gets multiple attacks and uses those attacks as essentially a resource - use one attack to attempt a parry, use two to disarm both of the target's weapons, use one to trip him, and the last one just for a regular attack, or what ever other combination you can think of. First of all, I love this idea, and it would be really cool to see something similar in Next.

The problem I see with this approach is that multiple attacks can slow down combat. Now I know they don't for everyone. Some people can easily grab a handful of dice, declare which enemy each die is targeting, and do the mental math very quickly. But others are not so quick at this, and at any rate, the devs seem to have decided mtiple attacks should be kept to a minimum.

But what about the deadly strike dice? They could be used much to the same effect as the multiple attacks as a resource approach. What if at level 1, fighters got an expertise feature that allowed them to attempt maneuvers like disarm, knockdown, and parry, as part of an attack. Then whenever they gain additional deadly strike dice, the expertise feature also improves, and allowes them to attempt a number of additional maneuvers equal to their deadly strike dice as part of an attack that benefited from deadly strike. Similarly, when they use their multiattack feature, each of those attacks also allows the fighter to attempt a maneuver as part of that attack.

Not sure if this would be enough on its own to replace expertise dice, but it could at least give the fighter some interesting choices to make each round, and make a simpler, all at-will fighter a bit more interesting for those who like making tactical choices every round. With a few more bonus features in the same style, I think it might just be possible to make a fighter that is simple, interesting, AND powerful in play.

Come to think of it, I'm saving this idea, cause it would make a really fun house rule.

I like this basic proposal but the issue is just doing "MOAR DAMAGE!" is the best option the majority of the time. To actually make non-damage options competitive and see regular use, the damage bonus from deadly strike needs to be be fairly small such as +2 or +1d4 per dice/point used.

I would also like Action Surge replaced by a class feature fighters gain at low levels (either 1st or 3rd depending on how the adventurer tier thing shapes up) where X times per day they can gain bonus deadly strike dice on an attack.

 
Oh, I didn't mean performing maneuvers INSTEAD OF damage from deadly strike. That would just be the same thing as MDD only you don't get as many. I meant doing them IN ADDITION TO the extra damage. Think like the disarming attack feat, where you get to make a disarm attempt as part of your attack and still do damage. The fighter could get features like that for free, and get to use one such maneuver with each attack, and if the attack is a deadly strike, use one extra maneuver as part of the attack for each extra die.

The whole reason they told us MDD got turned into Deadly Strike was because people didn't like having to chose between doing cool things and doing damage. So why not decrease the number, and allow you to do both? You still make the choice of what cool thing(s) to do, but you don't have to give up damage to do them.
I like all the brainwaves coming from you, Devils-Advocate.  They are very tasty waves...

But I think a better solution is to firmly segregate the damage scaling resource from the cool stuff resource.  Let fighters have their own separate pool of expertise dice whose only application is defense, utility, and situational offense.  Deadly strike (or deadly strikes, as I've come to call it, because I just smushed it together with multiattack to make one far more elegant rule) remains a rigid scaling bonus that never has to compete for the same conceptual space as expertise dice.

I mean, that is exactly what you are advocating for (devilishly, I presume), but you can control the rate expertise dice scale at without having to compensate for rising deadly strike dice.  Never shall the twain meet kind of thing.

I would also like Action Surge replaced by a class feature fighters gain at low levels (either 1st or 3rd depending on how the adventurer tier thing shapes up) where X times per day they can gain bonus deadly strike dice on an attack.

Yeah that's a great thought.  Combat Surge-aroo!
Oh, I didn't mean performing maneuvers INSTEAD OF damage from deadly strike. That would just be the same thing as MDD only you don't get as many. I meant doing them IN ADDITION TO the extra damage. Think like the disarming attack feat, where you get to make a disarm attempt as part of your attack and still do damage. The fighter could get features like that for free, and get to use one such maneuver with each attack, and if the attack is a deadly strike, use one extra maneuver as part of the attack for each extra die.

The whole reason they told us MDD got turned into Deadly Strike was because people didn't like having to chose between doing cool things and doing damage. So why not decrease the number, and allow you to do both? You still make the choice of what cool thing(s) to do, but you don't have to give up damage to do them.

Ah ok. So, something like maneuver points or maneuvers per round? That could even be a separate column in the fighter class table for ease of use.

The Combat Surge class feature could then allow the fighter to take a swift activation to gain bonus maneuver points on his turn equal to, say, his Con mod.
I think I would prefer to have Expertise Dice be at-will for, like Ironblue said, defense, utility and situational offense (trips, bullrushes, etc), and have Deadly Strike be a per-encounter or daily resource. I don't think arbitrarily increasing melee classes' damage to match spellcaster output is the right way to do it. If spellcaster damage output is so far ahead that you have to add d8's to melee output EVERY ROUND, maybe you should instead reduce spellcaster damage output. Not sure how it would balance out, but that's just how I feel about it.
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