View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Possible Variant: Racial Skills Can Upgrade to Expertise?

Grey Watcher
2017-01-26, 11:59 PM
So, this is less of a full homebrew and more of an idea I'm batting around:

A lot of races have "You are trained in ." What effects would this have if you threw in some language like "If you acquire proficiency in [SKILL] from some other source, you may use double your proficiency modifier when making ability checks."

Now, handing out Expertise willy-nilly is a bit much, so I figure there's probably some balancing scale type stuff you can (and should) do to make up for it: for example, this might help mitigate the Ubiquitous Darkvision problem. Non-Drow Elves lose Darkvision (and Drow might scale back the radius to standard), but can easily gain Expertise in Perception, which would help them be able to see things in low light without introducing a new category of seeing in the dark. Some other things, like not having literally every race with a Strength bonus also having Powerful Build (yes, it's a ribbon, but it does get thrown around a lot, even among races that aren't scraping the border with Large size (Firbolgs, Goliaths).

I'm not sure, this idea is sort of half-formed in my head. But I figured I'd share it and everybody could rip it apart as a terrible idea. :smalltongue:

Fair note, I would [I]not use the Skill+Skill=Expertise formula for anything other than racial skills. It just seems like the idea that "As an Elf, I've got really sharp eyes and ears" is undercut when the human town guard-turned-adventurer is just as good (albeit at the opportunity cost of a skill). Whereas "the absentminded Elven scholar being just as good as the trained human guardsman" and "the trained Elven guardsman is only rivaled by the Human thief who has heightened his senses to the very limit to avoid capture" feels to me like it hits nearer the mark.

I dunno, like I said, wonky, half-thought out at this point, but that's the gist.

2017-01-27, 01:52 AM
I think it deserves a look, at least; heck, I'd consider replacing the "pick another skill if you're already proficient" rule with this one. Take it for a test drive and see how things change, as I will the next time I'm in the DM's chair...

Grey Watcher
2017-01-27, 12:41 PM
Of course, maybe this alone wouldn't need anything dropped, since you'd essentially be sacrificing one skill known to gain expertise in one skill, so I'm not sure.

2017-01-30, 12:09 PM
I don't think it would be too bad of an idea, actually. It's already been mentioned that you would essentially be doubling up a skill to get a better bonus, meaning you lose out on versatility. I think it sounds awesome on paper, and definitely deserves playtesting.