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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Default [Classic D&D/OSR] Proficiency bonus

    Hola all,

    As many of you know, there are a lot of things about D&D 5e that I love, and am trying to adapt for a more Classic-level (BXECMI/ OSR) game. Dis/advantage is a definite, as is the magic (spell-slot) system.

    One of the things I like, and would also like to adapt, is the proficiency system. In 5e, each character gets a proficiency bonus based on his/her level. Level 1-4 get a +2; 5-8 get +3; 9-12 get +4; 13-16 get +5; and 17-20 get +6. Classes are proficient with certain weapons, skills, and attributes, and the proficiency bonus is added to all proficient attack rolls, skill rolls, attribute checks and saving throws (which are attribute-based).

    I really like how this on single, simple mechanic drives so much of the game; and I think it would make things flow a lot more smoothly than constantly looking up tables or calculating THAC0. There are issues: higher level characters really never get any better than 1st level characters with non-proficient weapons, skills and saves; and fighters really aren't any better than other characters with the same proficient weapons. I know there are ways around these, and am looking into those as well (like giving a fighter-type an additional +1 for attacks).

    How/do you think such a mechanic might be best adapted for a more Classic-level game? I'm considering dropping the bonus by 1 at each tier (so 1-5 instead of 2-6). And/or spreading each tier out to 5 levels instead of 4 (so +1 to +4 bonus). I'm also considering how it might work with BECMI's 36 levels. A 36th level character could end up with a +7 bonus; is that game-breaking?

    Please share your thoughts?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: [Classic D&D/OSR] Proficiency bonus

    The quick, dirty, and sane way to deal with attack rolls and AC is to simply convert them like OSE: "(19 - Old AC) = New AC" and "(19 - THAC0) = Attack Bonus".
    At the very least, that might be a good starting point to stat thinking about a Proficiency Bonus system.

    A proficiency bonus for only things that are not attack rolls should be very easy to do, though.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    NW PA
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    Male

    Default Re: [Classic D&D/OSR] Proficiency bonus

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    Hola all,

    As many of you know, there are a lot of things about D&D 5e that I love, and am trying to adapt for a more Classic-level (BXECMI/ OSR) game. Dis/advantage is a definite, as is the magic (spell-slot) system.

    One of the things I like, and would also like to adapt, is the proficiency system. In 5e, each character gets a proficiency bonus based on his/her level. Level 1-4 get a +2; 5-8 get +3; 9-12 get +4; 13-16 get +5; and 17-20 get +6. Classes are proficient with certain weapons, skills, and attributes, and the proficiency bonus is added to all proficient attack rolls, skill rolls, attribute checks and saving throws (which are attribute-based).

    I really like how this on single, simple mechanic drives so much of the game; and I think it would make things flow a lot more smoothly than constantly looking up tables or calculating THAC0. There are issues: higher level characters really never get any better than 1st level characters with non-proficient weapons, skills and saves; and fighters really aren't any better than other characters with the same proficient weapons. I know there are ways around these, and am looking into those as well (like giving a fighter-type an additional +1 for attacks).

    How/do you think such a mechanic might be best adapted for a more Classic-level game? I'm considering dropping the bonus by 1 at each tier (so 1-5 instead of 2-6). And/or spreading each tier out to 5 levels instead of 4 (so +1 to +4 bonus). I'm also considering how it might work with BECMI's 36 levels. A 36th level character could end up with a +7 bonus; is that game-breaking?

    Please share your thoughts?
    5e's Proficiency system will begin to break down for your monsters IF you use the 5e points standard. The problems will start around 5th level and continue to grow using 5e's progression. The simple fix is to change the numbers so bonuses match up more closely to older D&D and AD&D Level power scaling. for example:

    Level 0 = 0
    1st Level to 2nd Level = +1
    3rd Level to 5th Level = +2
    6th Level to 9th Level = +3
    10th Level to 14th Level = +4
    15th Level to 20th Level = +5

    In addition, IF you are keeping the 5e limit of 20 on characteristics, you might change Characteristic/Attribute bonuses to something like:

    1 to 3 = -3
    4 to 6 = -2
    7 to 9 = -1
    10 to 12 = 0
    13 to 15 = +1
    16 to 18 = +2
    19 to 21 = +3

    If you are using RAW Characteristic, use whatever table is provided by the game.

    This should allow you to play an OSR game using 5e's base mechanics (AC, Proficiency, Characteristic Bonuses, etc...).

    For Proficiency, 5e's system is VERY GOOD and beats AD&D2e's roll under system by a mile. IF you want to use 5e's Proficiency, use the following system to help you integrate the bonus and penalty system from OSR. This Proficiency system applies to weapons as well as "skills."

    NONPROFICIENT: -2 on the task. Ability bonuses may offset this penalty.

    BASIC PROFICIENCY: No penalty but you will not improve in your chance to do a thing because you don't train enough. Ability bonuses apply as a form of "natural talent."

    ENHANCED or MARTIAL PROFICIENCY: You get your Proficiency Bonus AND any ability bonuses added to any roll. Your Proficiency will increase as you Level up.

    Since there are NO FEATS in OSR games, here is a cool way to add a FEAT or Special CLASS ABILITY to them. Have the player select the FEATS you have prepared for their Class. IF the FEAT is a skill-like FEAT, have them just roll a Proficiency check to succeed in using it (I do this with Spellcasting in my games). IF the FEAT is related to COMBAT (Disarm, Trip, Distract, Outmaneuver) have them roll a Proficiency check die [D20] WITH the attack roll die. Set the DC as either the monster's AC OR add to this DC based on the monster's resistances or bonuses (INT or WIS bonuses, for example). IF the attack roll fails, so does the Special Combat Maneuver. IF BOTH rolls succeed, the maneuver also works on the monster and it is Tripped, Distracted, or Disarmed!

    IF you'd like to try an "off the shelf" OSR that uses 5e mechanics, I'd suggest you look at FIVE TORCHES DEEP. This RPG is a very good blend of OSR and 5e.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    In my library

    Default Re: [Classic D&D/OSR] Proficiency bonus

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    A proficiency bonus for only things that are not attack rolls should be very easy to do, though.
    I mean, for noncombat stuff you can literally pull the 5e Proficiency rules out, drop them into anything B/X related, and they'll just work. You have caused massive issues for the Thief, but as long as nobody's playing one it'll work. I do recommend letting Thief abilities lean towards the improbable in that case.

    Plus if you want high is good AC both Lamentations of the Flange Princess and Basic Fantasy use it, although on southerly different scales. Although LotFP is slowly moving away from B/X, it's main delay on a full new magic'system send to be getting that referee book out.
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