A Possible Idea For Proficiency Bonus


General Discussion


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My understanding is that a D20 roll currently has 4 permanent bonuses.

D20 + Level + Ability Modifier + Proficiency Bonus + Item Bonus

Level is a relative constant when rolled by characters of equal level. This leaves 3 factors separating a minimally and maximally effective character's roll, not counting temporary buffs and such.

The lowest a character can have:

-1 (8 ability score, never raised) + -4 (untrained) + 0 (no item bonus) = -5

The highest a character can have:

+7 (24 ability score, start at 18 + raise 4 times + stat boosting item) + +3 (legendary) + 5 (the best item bonus) = +15

This creates a potential range of 20, from -5 up to +15. This doesn't actually assure an opposing roll can always go either way, since you can't roll 0 on a D20, but keeping this "same level" range in check seems to be a design intent for P2E.

Acknowledging this, I suggest widening this range 1 more point to make room for a proficiency bonus redistribution:

Untrained: -2
Trained: 0
Expert: +2
Master: +4
Legendary: +6

Range: 8

This has the benefit of increasing the importance of each proficiency level, and also the drawback of increasing the importance of each proficiency level. It depends on how you view the state of proficiency at present. DCs would be increased 1 point on average, maybe 2, to compensate.

This could widen the space to grant higher proficiency levels through feats. For example, maybe a late game general feat for expert proficiency with a weapon group undermines the fighter's weapon expert identity, by reducing their lead over most alternatives below +3. With the above, the fighter has a +4 lead even when others have taken such a general feat.

In turn, this opens up room for characters to express competence in a weapon group or a saving throw by choosing a late game general feat to reach expert, without having to pick a certain class. Master proficiency could be provided with deep investment in a relevant dedication, and still have legendary tied closely to main class as is now.

Would this be a good idea?


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I think so. If the math plays out about the same, but makes proficiency FEEL more impactful, I'm all for that.


Mind you, I'm not against the idea.
And I know that theorycrafting is something most of us love to do, but I think that suggesting different numbers to the developers is not very useful: they are looking for feedback about what is working and what is not, an analysis of the reason why is welcome, but they will surely come up with their own solution if they acknowledge that there is a problem somewhere.

Dark Archive

I prefer the difference between Untrained and Trained to be larger than the difference between, say, Trained and Expert or Master and Legendary. Firstly, people with no training should be significantly less likely to succeed on the same task as someone with training (if they're even allowed to attempt it), and a difference of +2 doesn't quite hit that mark. Second, the larger the difference between Untrained and Trained is the more valuable INT and options which grant Trained in a skill become.

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