November 10th, 2014


The Wonkiness of Tool Proficiency

During Saturday night's game, I had a dickens of a time trying to explain to hantamouse what exactly he was rolling when attempting to use his thieves' tools. He kept looking for Disable Device or Open Locks/Disable Traps etc., and the wording of the Expertise blurb on his character sheet wasn't helping. He knew that he got "+7" to his rolls with the thieves' tools, but not why [1], which is kind of an important detail when it comes to figuring out how it changes later.

And I gotta say, I feel his pain. When I was first going through the rules, I couldn't figure it out either. Basically, "tool proficiency" is a skill by another name, why not just put it in the skill list? I still haven't found a good answer. One blog I found suggested that they wanted a mechanic that would require the presence of the thieves' tools to pick locks, without adding the mechanical complexity of a +2 circumstance bonus for "having the required tools."

Seriously? XD Why go through all that confusion? Why not just include good ol' Disable Device (or even the anemic 4E "Burglary" skill), and say that using it without tools gives you Disadvantage? Done and done, without adding a whole new and confusing mechanic.

Thoughts, anyone?

-The Gneech :cool:

[1] Proficiency bonus +2, doubled for expertise to +4, +3 Dex bonus.