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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Expertise Bonuses (Variant) (Magic Item replacement) (PEACH)

    Expertise Bonuses

    This system exists as an alternative to the traditional +1 swords, Belts of Giant Strength, Cloaks of Resistance, and the like. When building a character using these rules, the GM should reduce the amount of treasure found by roughly 30% percent, and never place the items being replaced by this variant.


    This variant introduces a new type of bonus, called the Expertise bonus. This represents a character's inherent skill and talent, and stacks with all bonuses except for other expertise bonuses, enhancement bonuses, and resistance bonuses.



    Cost per rank
    Bonus Type Cost per Rank
    Weapon Use 4
    Defensive Mastery 2
    Heroic Resistance 1
    Paragon 3
    Skill Mastery 2

    From 3rd level onwards, a character gains 2 points/level to spend on Expertise bonuses, and may select from the following. These points do not have to be spent all at once, but once spent cannot be changed barring GM fiat. At 11th level and 16th level, if the character does not possess the ability to cast spells of 5th and 7th level, respectively, they increase the number of points gained each level by 1, to 3/level at 11th, and 4/level at 16th.

    Weapon Use: +1/rank Expertise bonus to hit and damage with a chosen weapon*. You may only take 1 rank per four hit dice you possess, minimum 1. A character possessing the Improved Unarmed Strike feat may gain this bonus on his or her unarmed strikes.
    Defensive Mastery: +1/rank Expertise bonus to AC with chosen suit of armor or shield*. You may only take 1 rank per four hit dice you possess, minimum 1.
    Heroic Resistance: +1/rank Expertise bonus to all saves. You may only take 1 rank per four hit dice you possess, minimum 1.
    Paragon: +2/rank Expertise bonus to chosen ability score. You may only take 1 rank per six hit dice you possess, per ability score.
    Skill Expertise: +2/rank Expertise bonus to chosen skill. You may only take 1 rank per four hit dice you possess, minimum 1.


    *This may be used with a different weapon, armor, or shield by taking a 1-rank penalty while using it. You may change your chosen item after an 8-hour rest by practicing with the new weapon, armor, or shield for an hour. You may change any and all relevant instances of these abilities when you do so.



    The costs of these bonuses should be reduced for certain types of characters- any character with three or more levels in a class or classes with proficiency in all martial weapons should reduce the cost per rank for weapon use by 1, any character with three or more levels in a class or classes with at least 10 class skills (excluding sub-skills, such as the various Knowledge skills) should reduce the cost per rank for skill expertise when applying it to their class skills by 1, and any character with three or more levels in a class or classes proficient in all forms of armor and shields should reduce the cost per rank for defensive mastery.

    GMs should apply other reductions as they see fit, based on the overall character.

    =================


    Opinions? This is a rough-work for a homebrew project I'm working on, but since it's applicable to other parts of the systems, I figured I'd toss it up to get some review.
    Last edited by The-Mage-King; 2014-03-31 at 03:46 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: Expertise Bonuses (3.P) (Variant) (Magic Item replacement) (PEACH)

    This is awesome and I love it.

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    Default Re: Expertise Bonuses (3.P) (Variant) (Magic Item replacement) (PEACH)

    I love the idea! I can definitely see myself using this as a DM.
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    Default Re: Expertise Bonuses (3.P) (Variant) (Magic Item replacement) (PEACH)

    Level 20 character has 40 points.

    +5 weapon costs 20 points. +5 armor costs 10 points. +5 resistance costs 10 points. You have no points left over for stat boosting.

    For comparison, those 3 things as items would normally cost about 100,000 gold. About 1/8th of a 20th level character's wealth.

    Skill Expertise: You can get at most +26 to a single skill, by spending literally all of your expertise points on it. By comparison, a +30 skill item would normally cost 90,000 gold.



    Stuff in general seems overpriced. Skill Expertise is particularly bad. There is no exponential gains/costs (compare to wealth, which increases exponentially), and thus no incentive to diversify your abilities much at all beyond the hit dice limits imposed.

    This also hurts martially focused characters more than anyone else. Casters happily take their free save and stat boosts and never look back. Mundanes who want to get their Weapons, Armor, Shield, Saves, and Stats boosted are basically screwed. Not to mention mundanes tend to be more MAD, and being able to grab cheap +stat items for secondaries is a pretty big deal, which you just made completely ineffective.


    Now if you gave every class their own Expertise progression... that'd be a nice start. Fighters/Rogues/Monks getting something like 8 points per level, Wizards/Clerics/Druids cut down to 1 point per level.

    If you really want it to be the same for everybody, then give everybody all of the bonuses for free. The bonuses (other than the skill bonuses) really aren't optional, they're fundamental and assumed in the math of the game, and every character that wants those bonuses should just get all of them capped for their hit dice.
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    Default Re: Expertise Bonuses (3.P) (Variant) (Magic Item replacement) (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Level 20 character has 40 points.
    Nope. Only 36.

    +5 weapon costs 20 points. +5 armor costs 10 points. +5 resistance costs 10 points. You have no points left over for stat boosting.

    For comparison, those 3 things as items would normally cost about 100,000 gold. About 1/8th of a 20th level character's wealth.
    True. But you wouldn't flat-out buy a +5 sword, or suit of armor, would you? You'd get a cheap bonus to allow other effects, and spend your gold

    Skill Expertise: You can get at most +26 to a single skill, by spending literally all of your expertise points on it. By comparison, a +30 skill item would normally cost 90,000 gold.
    And is considered to be underpriced generally, correct?

    Stuff in general seems overpriced. Skill Expertise is particularly bad. There is no exponential gains/costs (compare to wealth, which increases exponentially), and thus no incentive to diversify your abilities much at all beyond the hit dice limits imposed.
    I generally wanted to be sue wasn't TOO cheap at first.

    This also hurts martially focused characters more than anyone else. Casters happily take their free save and stat boosts and never look back. Mundanes who want to get their Weapons, Armor, Shield, Saves, and Stats boosted are basically screwed. Not to mention mundanes tend to be more MAD, and being able to grab cheap +stat items for secondaries is a pretty big deal, which you just made completely ineffective.

    Now if you gave every class their own Expertise progression... that'd be a nice start. Fighters/Rogues/Monks getting something like 8 points per level, Wizards/Clerics/Druids cut down to 1 point per level.
    I prefer to not give bonuses specifically based on classes. Thus, the suggestion of "Reduce costs for [Weapon prof] or [Skill list]", and not for Fighters specifically.

    I suppose some things could use a cost reduction...


    If you really want it to be the same for everybody, then give everybody all of the bonuses for free. The bonuses (other than the skill bonuses) really aren't optional, they're fundamental and assumed in the math of the game, and every character that wants those bonuses should just get all of them capped for their hit dice.

    Are they, though? Weapon and armor wise, I disagree. Plenty of 20th level characters run around with +1 Effect, Effect, Effect weapons and armor.


    Though yeah, I admit, +stats and saves are practically required.

    Perhaps those prices could afford to be dropped a bit.

    Maybe bump up to 3/level from 11-15, and 4/level for the rest, while slashing a few costs.

    Resistance going down to 1 point springs to mind... As does making Skill drop to 2 points, and boost to +3....
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    Default Re: Expertise Bonuses (3.P) (Variant) (Magic Item replacement) (PEACH)

    Are they, though? Weapon and armor wise, I disagree. Plenty of 20th level characters run around with +1 Effect, Effect, Effect weapons and armor.
    They do, but only if they've got a Cleric/Wizard backing them up with Greater Magic Weapon/Magic Vestments. Everybody who cares will have the +5 Weapons/Armor, it's just a question of where they get it from. I was under the impression you were trying to shore up the issues inherent in the system, not make the party more reliant on casters to provide basic number buffs.

    Nope. Only 36.
    Yeah I missed it only applies from third level onwards. So that's even worse.

    And is considered to be underpriced generally, correct?
    I don't know who says that because in a real game I've almost never seen anyone buy a skill item higher than +10 or so. There's just not much benefit from pumping skills up to extremes, and what you've accomplished here is to make it even less attractive because it's directly competing with your fundamental boosts to things you need, rather than competing with utility.

    I prefer to not give bonuses specifically based on classes. Thus, the suggestion of "Reduce costs for [Weapon prof] or [Skill list]", and not for Fighters specifically.
    Reducing costs by a point isn't going to make a big difference. And it still doesn't solve that weapon/armor users want literally twice as much out of the system than casters do. Casters want saves and stats. Mundanes want everything on your list. You are punishing the people who need punishment the least by lumping these things together as you have.

    If you do go with the plan of boosting how many points you gain at higher level, I'm going to still recommend you limit it to the people who don't get 9th level spells. The guys with the spells either don't want/care about it (Wizard), or don't need it (Cleric, Druid).
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    Default Re: Expertise Bonuses (3.P) (Variant) (Magic Item replacement) (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    They do, but only if they've got a Cleric/Wizard backing them up with Greater Magic Weapon/Magic Vestments. Everybody who cares will have the +5 Weapons/Armor, it's just a question of where they get it from. I was under the impression you were trying to shore up the issues inherent in the system, not make the party more reliant on casters to provide basic number buffs.
    Fair enough point. That goal's basically what I was aiming for, though it's more a framework for something I was planning to do, put out here to make things smoother for anyone who wants it.


    Yeah I missed it only applies from third level onwards. So that's even worse.
    Yeah, I figured that 3rd level was about when yous started needing +1 weapons and the like as a default. So no points before then.

    I don't know who says that because in a real game I've almost never seen anyone buy a skill item higher than +10 or so. There's just not much benefit from pumping skills up to extremes, and what you've accomplished here is to make it even less attractive because it's directly competing with your fundamental boosts to things you need, rather than competing with utility.
    Then it probably needs a buff to make it more attractive. Or to be removed for something a bit more useful...

    Reducing costs by a point isn't going to make a big difference. And it still doesn't solve that weapon/armor users want literally twice as much out of the system than casters do. Casters want saves and stats. Mundanes want everything on your list. You are punishing the people who need punishment the least by lumping these things together as you have.

    If you do go with the plan of boosting how many points you gain at higher level, I'm going to still recommend you limit it to the people who don't get 9th level spells. The guys with the spells either don't want/care about it (Wizard), or don't need it (Cleric, Druid).
    By both reducing costs and upping points, it should work out fairly well. Running the calcs on a melee-type with thous, if I also make the "Reduce costs if you're proficient in X" part of the main rules, I can give him the weapon, armor, and res bonuses, with a +6 to a stat for a total of 34 of about... 46 points. Enough to grab another few stat bonuses, or a skill or two.

    You do have a point, though. Perhaps "You do not gain these increases in Expertise points/level if you can cast spells of X level" added on with the changes?
    Last edited by The-Mage-King; 2014-02-28 at 03:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Expertise Bonuses (3.P) (Variant) (Magic Item replacement) (PEACH)

    Tossed on those patches I mentioned yesterday. Further opinions?
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    Default Re: Expertise Bonuses (3.P) (Variant) (Magic Item replacement) (PEACH)

    I'm going to add to the chorus of "this is an awesme idea", but I would have to agree with Seerow that some price rebalancing will need done. That said, still a very neat concept for campaigns where character skill is more important than gear.
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