View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Replacing Proficiency / Expertise bonus with dice

2016-04-10, 04:59 AM
So, a thing I've been thinking about:

what if instead of a +2/+3/+4/+5/+6 progression of Proficiency bonus every 4 levels, your Proficiency bonus was a dice roll?

At level 1-4, your Proficiency die is 1D4.
At level 5-8, your Proficiency die is 1D6.
At level 9-12, your Proficiency die is 1D8.
At level 13-16, your Proficiency die is 1D10.
At level 17-20, your Proficiency die is 1D12.

This keeps the average bonus equivalent to the flat Proficiency bonus, but allows for the possibility of higher and lower rolls.

It also provides some intriguing possibilities:

- If you use fumble rolls, a critical failure now means a natural '1' on both your 1D20 *and* your Proficiency die, which means that critical failures are less likely to occur as you gain skill.
- A critical hit ('20' or sometimes '19') is no longer *necessarily* also the highest roll you can get, so it's possible to have hard-to-hit enemies for which a hit, if it happens it all, is guaranteed to be a crit.
- Instead of "double your Proficiency bonus", Expertise can now mean "roll two Proficiency dice and add the higher to your check". Likewise, class features which let you add half your Proficiency bonus to a check can now mean "roll two Proficiency dice and add the lower to your check"

What do you think, Sirs?

Final Hyena
2016-04-10, 07:18 AM
DMG page 263

2016-04-10, 11:11 AM
DMG page 263

To elaborate, this already exists. On that page in the DMG. But, assuming you don't own a copy, it's cool that you thought of it on your own. It's a nice idea-just one that already was thought of.

2016-04-11, 01:23 AM
To critique the actual concept instead of acting like a Luddite...

I would dislike the swing of this. I think that the purpose of proficiency dice is to *lower* the inherent swinginess that comes with a d20. The idea, to me, is that as I become more powerful I become more reliable in my abilities.

I would note as well that the average of a d4 is 2.5, not 2, and the average of a d6 is 3.5, not 3. This is a correction, not a critique.

I dislike the swinginess of d20s so much that I may use 2d10 in my games. I'd much prefer a skew toward the average to my awesome barbarian musclemaster failing to break down the wooden door for twelve seconds because I rolled a two twice in a row.


2016-04-12, 05:00 PM
Hrm. I think that if I go with this, I should normalize all class feature dice (such as the Fighter's Superiority dice, Monk's extra hand-to-hand damage, Barbarian's extra rage damage, Bardic Inspiration dice, etc.) to the same scale as Proficiency dice.

2016-04-13, 05:54 AM
I think that superiority dice are based around combat, a system for which d20s work marginally well (combat is unpredictable). I don't think that superiority dice and such should be more predictable than a proficiency bonus.

I do respect the drive to shuffle things around, I just think that it doesn't work well conceptually in this case.

2016-04-13, 08:57 AM
This would also slow down the game a bunch with spellcasters, since you'd roll for save DC every time they cast a spell

2016-04-13, 03:22 PM
This would also slow down the game a bunch with spellcasters, since you'd roll for save DC every time they cast a spell

Well, I'm already using something like 4E's static defenses + attacker always rolls anyways.