Untrained; Trained; Expert; Master; Legendary problems?


General Discussion


People seemed concerned about the the bonuses given by an individual whom is Trained, an Expert, a Master, or Legendary at a particular set of things.

Some of the bonuses come down to only being 5% better than the previous version, and in the case of a higher level, a higher level "trained" person could be better at a skill than a lower level "expert; master; legendary."

I found one way to kind of help curb this "problem," and would love some feedback on this idea.

Now my history with tabletop goes back to 2nd edition in 1999, I've played D&D 3/3.5, Pathfinder, and now 5e.

I am used to large arbitrary numbers, and I am used to easy to use low numbers. I can count backwards, I can count forward.

I prefer smaller numbers (just because I can do the math, doesn't mean I want to). I also prefer to count forward (that is right, Thac0, take that!).

So what if we did this, to smooth out the training and what bonuses it provides?

You do NOT gain proficiency points (or whatever you want to call it) toward your rolls, you ONLY gain points through what level you're trained.
Untrained: -1, and you can not add your ability score modifier to the roll.
Trained: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 1, 5, 9, 13, and 17.
Expert: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18.
Master: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19.
Legendary: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.
When you're trained in higher level training you also benefit from the lower level training. The amount of training isn't about having the higher level bonus right away, it is about gaining bonuses and learning faster.

Try it, I guarantee it will work, be satisfying, and easy. And it isn't like the character will stop progressing at higher levels with low-level training, they will just progress slower than someone who is more trained.


OK. I'm at least interested.

So now show us an example of a hazard that uses a skill check to defeat. Make the hazard appropriate for 8th level characters. And make it somewhat challenging to characters that have expert proficiency, while still being possible but rather difficult for characters that are only trained, and be potentially feasible for characters who are untrained. All with just the one hazard.

Also, in this system, are you able to use a skill roll in place of a saving throw? (for example a spell that allows either a reflex save or an acrobatics check for reduced effect) Or would that cause one or the other option to completely outshine the other?


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I am also intrigued give me a few examples of this in "action" please.


Slit518 wrote:

...

Untrained: -1, and you can not add your ability score modifier to the roll.
Trained: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 1, 5, 9, 13, and 17.
Expert: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18.
Master: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19.
Legendary: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.
When you're trained in higher level training you also benefit from the lower level training. The amount of training isn't about having the higher level bonus right away, it is about gaining bonuses and learning faster.
...

Can I suggest the following reformulation:

Untrained: same as yours
Trained: +1/4 x Level to skill, tool etc, rounded up
Expert: +1/2 x Level to skill, tool etc, rounded up
Master: +3/4 x Level to skill, tool etc, rounded up
Legendary: +Level to skill, tool etc

This saves you from having to look up a table or sum up a dozen numbers just to work out your proficiency bonus. The only numerical difference is that under mine an Expert gets their increments at 3, 7, 11, 15, 19, while yours gives it at 2,6,10,14, 18. Your total bonus at expert increments rapidly from 1-2, 5-6 etc and then leaves a gap from 3-4, 7-8 etc while mine increments every 2 levels, which is a much smoother progression and therefore probably better.


breithauptclan wrote:

OK. I'm at least interested.

So now show us an example of a hazard that uses a skill check to defeat. Make the hazard appropriate for 8th level characters. And make it somewhat challenging to characters that have expert proficiency, while still being possible but rather difficult for characters that are only trained, and be potentially feasible for characters who are untrained. All with just the one hazard.

Also, in this system, are you able to use a skill roll in place of a saving throw? (for example a spell that allows either a reflex save or an acrobatics check for reduced effect) Or would that cause one or the other option to completely outshine the other?

I agree this sounds interesting, but you probably already know the math given won't work, especially at higher levels with a 15 point difference between trained and legendary. But the increase rate could be reduced to allow the math to work out. Using Snowblind's modified method:

Untrained: same as yours
Trained: +Level x 1/8 rounded up
Expert: +Level x 1/4 rounded up
Master: +Level x 3/8 rounded up
Legendary: +Level x 1/2 rounded up

For a level 8 that is -1/1/2/3/4 and at 20 it's -1/3/5/8/10.


You asked for an example on 8th level characters having to face a hazard.

You want me to demonstrate one that an Expert character can do, but also a Trained character can do sometime.

By 8th level a -
Trained character will only have a +2 to what they are "Trained" in.
Expert character will only have a +4 to what they are an "Expert" in.

A character's stat bonus can range from -1 to +4 at 1st level, and with an ability boost at 5th level the +4 modifier wont change, as scores above 18 can only be raised by 1 point anyway.

So, let me take the average of all the potential ability array,
-1 + 0 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 9
9 / 7 = 1.29 (rounded)

So we'll say the average bonus a character at level 8 may have on a stat is between +1 & +2, we'll take that into consideration.

The average roll of a d20 is 10.5

The DC we'll look at is 16, which you'll need a +6 to pass that check 50% of the time on average.

Level 8 Expert
-1 modifier = +3 to d20 roll = 35% chance to pass
0 modifier = +4 to d20 roll = 40% chance to pass
+1 modifier = +5 to d20 roll = 45% chance to pass
+2 modifier = +6 to d20 roll = 50% chance to pass
+3 modifier = +7 to d20 roll = 55% chance to pass
+4 modifier = +8 to d20 roll = 60% chance to pass

Level 8 Trained
-1 modifier = +1 to d20 roll = 25% chance to pass
0 modifier = +2 to d20 roll = 30% chance to pass
+1 modifier = +3 to d20 roll = 35% chance to pass
+2 modifier = +4 to d20 roll = 40% chance to pass
+3 modifier = +5 to d20 roll = 45% chance to pass
+4 modifier = +6 to d20 roll = 50% chance to pass

You see? The Expert has a decent percentage of passing over the Trained, but not overwhelmingly so, but not underwhelmingly so either.


I edited my above post, but that didn't work, so -

Snowblind wrote:
This saves you from having to look up a table or sum up a dozen numbers just to work out your proficiency bonus. The only numerical difference is that under mine an Expert gets their increments at 3, 7, 11, 15, 19, while yours gives it at 2,6,10,14, 18. Your total bonus at expert increments rapidly from 1-2, 5-6 etc and then leaves a gap from 3-4, 7-8 etc while mine increments every 2 levels, which is a much smoother progression and therefore probably better.

This was my first pass at the idea.

Switch the Expert and Master progression levels, and it might be more smooth then.

But as of now, I wouldn't see it breaking the game as is.

WizardsBlade wrote:
I agree this sounds interesting, but you probably already know the math given won't work, especially at higher levels with a 15 point difference between trained and legendary. But the increase rate could be reduced to allow the math to work out. Using Snowblind's modified method:

Not everything requires a roll.

If a task is impossible, why have them roll it?
A Trained person will not be able to forge a blade as good as a Legendary smith, so why does it matter if the math adds up?
The Legendary smith can worry about hitting that DC of 30 or 40, while the Trained smith can only dream of such things.
(I used smithing as an example)

I feel for this to work perhaps DCs should cap.

Reasonable character DC would probably be 10 + skill level + average modifier bonus.

Since stats have no cap it seems, a high DC shouldn't matter, you can expend spells and consumables to buff yourself up if you really want to match or beat that DC.

I like this formula, I think as a community we can expand upon it, and make it work. And maybe Paizo will take it into consideration.

Try it out in your games, lower default DCs (their's is used to mimic their current system). And if it works out well, let me know.


I like it, but if applied to weapons it makes everyone significantly weaker than the Fighter

I mean, I really love this change!

As long as other melee classes like the Barbarian get a flat damage buff to make up for the lower crit/hit rate, the game will still be balanced... and classes will also feel different, which is great imo


So my big problem is attack rolls. Some people are going to be massively more proficient in their weapons than others- at level 3 a fighter has master weapon proficiency whereas the Barbarian (whose job is hitting things) has to wait for level 13 to get expert.

If you wanted to do a system like this you would have to make weapon/armor proficiency work differently than skill proficiency, which I am not sure is a good idea.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
So my big problem is attack rolls. Some people are going to be massively more proficient in their weapons than others- at level 3 a fighter has master weapon proficiency whereas the Barbarian (whose job is hitting things) has to wait for level 13 to get expert.

This can be fixed by adjusting the base damage per swing so that despite the proficiency difference, the final DPR is about the same


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But consider hypothetically a level 12 fighter and a level 12 barbarian, with the same strength and the same weapon.

Under the OP's schema the fighter will add +9 to hit from proficiency and the Barbarian will add +3. How on earth do you set monster armor class so that the Barbarian *can hit* while the Fighter isn't critting every round (sometimes twice)?

At level 13 the fighter will add +13 to their attack from proficiency and the Barbarian +7.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

...

Under the OP's schema the fighter will add +9 to hit from proficiency and the Barbarian will add +3. How on earth do you set monster armor class so that the Barbarian *can hit* while the Fighter isn't critting every round (sometimes twice)?
...

You don't. You would need to completely revamp weapon and armor proficiency for this to be viable.


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I feel like a big benefit of PF2 though is that "you don't have to learn 3 different sets of rules for weapons, armor, and skills" though.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like a big benefit of PF2 though is that "you don't have to learn 3 different sets of rules for weapons, armor, and skills" though.

You sort of do though. You might not have different rules when it comes to the particular bonuses you get, but you gain/increase proficiency in weapons, armor and skills in different ways.

Anyway, you don't need to break the symmetry of UTEML. You would "just" have to change how classes get armor/weapon proficiency, and probably shuffle a whole bunch of other things around to avoid dead levels and such.


I have classes start with either Untrained; Trained; Expert in whatever it is they start in.

Your next level up whether it be from Trained to Expert or Expert to Trained would be obtainable at level 10.

Your third level up whether it be from Expert to Master or Master to Legendary could either be level 18, or perhaps only purchasable as a feat option, I haven't decided yet.

So for example, the Fighter could be an Expert in weapons right off the bat, yet a Barbarian could be Trained, but deal more damage when raging and what not. And the disparity to hit wouldn't be that large.

So when the Fighter would become a Master, the Barbarian would become an Expert.


Anymore input from other folks who have not seen this thread as of yet?


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I have no idea why the whole UTEML is even a thing. Seems so arbitrary, and out of left field, also, Expert and Master are basically synonyms for each other.
Legendary seems like an interesting concept, sort of like Epic, was hoping it would open up for some seriously mythic action.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Expert and Master are basically synonyms for each other.

I feel like connotationally those are different. When one is an expert on something, their knowledge of a subject is both deep and broad, whereas when one is a master of something their knowledge of it is comprehensive.


Slit518 wrote:

People seemed concerned about the the bonuses given by an individual whom is Trained, an Expert, a Master, or Legendary at a particular set of things.

Some of the bonuses come down to only being 5% better than the previous version, and in the case of a higher level, a higher level "trained" person could be better at a skill than a lower level "expert; master; legendary."

I found one way to kind of help curb this "problem," and would love some feedback on this idea.

Now my history with tabletop goes back to 2nd edition in 1999, I've played D&D 3/3.5, Pathfinder, and now 5e.

I am used to large arbitrary numbers, and I am used to easy to use low numbers. I can count backwards, I can count forward.

I prefer smaller numbers (just because I can do the math, doesn't mean I want to). I also prefer to count forward (that is right, Thac0, take that!).

So what if we did this, to smooth out the training and what bonuses it provides?

You do NOT gain proficiency points (or whatever you want to call it) toward your rolls, you ONLY gain points through what level you're trained.
Untrained: -1, and you can not add your ability score modifier to the roll.
Trained: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 1, 5, 9, 13, and 17.
Expert: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18.
Master: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19.
Legendary: +1 to your skill; tool; weapon; saves; spell casting proficiency at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.
When you're trained in higher level training you also benefit from the lower level training. The amount of training isn't about having the higher level bonus right away, it is about gaining bonuses and learning faster.

Try it, I guarantee it will work, be satisfying, and easy. And it isn't like the character will stop progressing at higher levels with low-level...

No thank you.

I don't want to return to the PF1 days where low skill classes got shut out. I like +Level to Everything.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Expert and Master are basically synonyms for each other.
I feel like connotationally those are different. When one is an expert on something, their knowledge of a subject is both deep and broad, whereas when one is a master of something their knowledge of it is comprehensive.

That's cutting the cheese pretty thin, but, I guess so; Expert, Maestro, Adept, Pro, Maven, Ace, etc, are all synonyms of Master (of a craft, etc).

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