Since the time Dungeons and Dragons was first published, the game has had huge fandom. Kids, teens, and even adults alike can go on playing this game for hours, days, and also months. For people who do not know this game, it might be surprising to hear the long hours everyone spends in the game. Did you know that a person named Robert Wardhaugh has been playing a single campaign for almost 39 years now? That is right, 39 years? Boy, that’s one serious fan, wouldn’t you say? Coming to the main point that we are here for, we are going to talk about Expertise 5E.
What is Expertise 5E?
So what exactly is Expertise 5e in terms of Dungeons and Dragons? What should one know about this feature? People who have recently started playing Dungeons and Dragons might have often come across the term Expertise. Every character in a game has a certain skill set and along with that, as the game progresses the character levels up and so do their 5E skill expertise. In DND, there is a way to increase the proficiency bonus of skill and that is Expertise.
The sad thing is that this class ability is only available for Rogues and Bards to grow their proficiency bonus to times 2. Only these two classes can use Expertise in 5E to double their proficiency bonus. While this is a pretty great feature, what makes it so special when it comes to DND 5E? The Expertise 5E is so talked about because the 5th edition of DND has a bonus cap for skills. This bonus cap, which is +10 prevents a character’s ability from crossing +10.
This is the reason why many players multiclass, just to get this skill, which is understandable but not always recommended. While multiclassing sounds fun and all, it isn’t necessary for every character. Certain characters may not be good at some skills, and you may want to fill in those skill gaps, in such scenarios it is worth multiclassing. Otherwise, you can just stick to the skills you have and work on them.
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What Are the Strengths and Downsides of Expertise 5E?
Given below are some advantages that you can get by adding Expertise 5E and also mentioned a few limitations of it.
Pros of Expertise 5E
- The obvious one is the option to double your proficiency bonus.
- Any skill like casting, constitution, primary, or secondary skill can be upgraded using Expertise 5E.
- +6 is added to the ability check after doubling your proficiency.
- Expertise is the best option for passive checks on abililty, for after level 17.
- When compared to Advantage, Expertise in 5E provides better chance of success.
Cons of Expertise 5E
- Expertise is available only for Bards and Rogues classes.
- Not that useful for ability checks for lower levels.
These are some of the pros and cons of Expertise 5E in DnD. Some players may have different opinions on this, but hey, certain factors may differ in the game according to players. While we are on the subject of the DnD game, why not also talk about what TTRPG is, and a little more about the D&D itself.
What is TTRPG?
A TTRPG is one of those few types of games that allow players to go berserk with their imagination. So what does that really mean? Table Top Role Playing Games(TTRPG) is a simple yet a little complex game where all you need is your imagination, and some set of rules. In TTRPG games, you imagine a world and create characters by assigning them certain roles and skills.
You play the game by describing actions performed by your character in the game, but these actions should stay true to your character. Then the Game Master(GM) and the rules of the game define if that action works or not. A player can perform any action as long as it stays within the rules of the game and the character’s portrayal. Every player’s action determines the story and outcome of the game.
Some of you might also have heard of items like pen and paper or the usual tabletop RPG, which has nothing to do with the game, but just to differentiate it from the other RPG games. Now you might think that TTRPG usually requires a table, pen, and paper to play with. Yes, but that’s not always true for every game. Games like DnD previously required pen & paper to play, but the recent version 5E can also be played without them.
These games can last from a few hours to a few years, which depends on the players and the kind of campaign they are playing. Players carry out missions, and complete challenges to level up and progress in the game. There might be a final mission/boss to finish the campaign or the story can be improvised to last for years. Again, it all depends on players. One such game that has become a pop-culture staple is Dungeons and Dragons.
Dungeons and Dragons
As I have mentioned earlier, Dungeons and Dragons or popularly called DnD has become a pop culture phenomenon. It is a TTRPG which is a fantasy game where players drop in a fictional land they imagine and set certain rules to play the game with their designed characters. Players should create characters and rules before they start the game. Then record these details to stay true to them throughout the campaign.
The game was actually inspired by one of those miniature war games where players use miniatures war toys on a model battlefield. Though it was derived from these games, it is quite different from them as it is all about imagination and deciding your story, character, and every other aspect. The first version of DnD was published n 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc(TSR).
They were the publishers for this game till 1997. Later a subsidiary of Hasbro named Wizards of the Coast started publication in 1997 and has been the sole publisher of the game. Previously, DnD was considered a nerd game and wasn’t “cool”. Now, the story is different. It’s no more a nerd game and the game has new players worldwide. As of 2019, there are more than 40 million people who are playing this game. You can say that the game has found new life, not to say that it was ever dead.
One more interesting and crucial thing about DnD is that in its world of fantasy, there are many classes and races. You already know the Bards and Rogue, just like these classes there are others like Clerics, Wizards, Barbarians, Druids, Monks among many others. When it comes to races, other than the obvious humans, there are Dwarves, Elfs, Dragonborn, Tiefling, halflings, Half-Orcs, Gnome, Half-elf, and Orcs of Exandria.
The game has become so popular that there is a new movie in the works for 2023, and the project is being helmed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. With stars like Hugh Grant, Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and talented actors like Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, and Sophia Lillis hope this iteration wipes out the disappointing previous trilogy.
In DnD, while playing a campaign, there are times when there is an internal conflict between players. So they can decide to move out from the campaign and forge their own, some players may join that traitor or decide to stay loyal. Even though they have split from the campaign, they can decide to join back in if the DM agrees. This can also make up for an interesting plot point in the campaign and is plausible since the players make the story. While it is possible, the whole thing can be a mess if the DM cannot properly make it work.
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What Classes Can Use Expertise 5e in DnD?
If you have read till here then you already know that there are only two classes in DnD that can use Expertise. Bard and Rogue are the only two classes who have access to use d&d expertise. Of the two classes, The Rogue can use this skill right from the start at level 1. Unlike Bard who has to reach level 3 to use d&d Expertise. Other classes do not have this option because they cannot use other class skills.
The Bard and Rogue classes can get any skill and double their proficiency for that skill. This makes them eligible to use Expertise and it is also one of their class features, so you can also call them factotums. Both classes can use Expertise in their own class or other class skills if you are multiclassing. Right at level one, a Rogue can choose any of their 2 skill proficiencies which doubles their proficiency bonus with every skill check.
Similarly, the same thing can be done with Bard where you can choose two proficiencies, but this time at level 3. For Rogue, you can choose two more proficiencies after you level 6. Now I know I said that other classes cannot use Expertise but there is one way for other classes to use Expertise. That s through Multiclassing. Some people might not prefer to use the Rogue Bard Multiclass 5E technique because it limits the character’s level.
While that may be the case, it still is the best option for players using other classes to make use of Expertise dnd 5e. Let us also talk a little more about these two classes, Bard and Rogue.
People who like to sneak and stab in the dark will choose Rogue. The character is stealth-based and is capable of pulling smart tricks during combat. Its sneak attacks cause extra damage. Rogue is also considered/called thieves which is evident by some of their skills like disarming traps, lockpicking, etc. The proficiencies of this character include light armor, a long sword, hand crossbows, thieves ‘ tools, and a few other simple weapons.
With each starting level, Rogue abilities/features grow along with their proficiency bonus. At level 1, the character has a proficiency bonus of +2 with features like Sneak Attack, Rogue Expertise 5E, and Thieves cant. Each level adds new features like Cunning Action, Roguish Archetype, Uncanny Dodge, etc. After certain levels, the proficiency bonus increases from +2 to +3 and so on till +6 on level 20.
At level 20, you get the Stroke of Luck feature and sneak attack with 10d6. They are skilled fighters when it comes to stealth attacks but those attacks are only good for once. You get high damage from them by using sneaking, using short-burst attacks, and sniping. They have a good skill list and all these easily are available pretty early. This means after you reach level 8, there isn’t much to do about this character’s abilities except to multiclass.
You might think that bards are just some poets found in taverns, bars, or singing in courts. That may be true in general, in Dnd, that is much more than that. Bards are fighters as they can use magic and can handle themselves in combat. They are the other class that can use Expertise 5E. Their magic is performed using their musical performance. They use arcane magic to handle threats and battle, but in previous editions of the game, they used divine magic.
The support character of the bard is obviously based on folklore, Nordic stories like the one called Pied Piper of Hamelin. Apart from that, there are a few other inspirations for the character like Norse Scald, Celtic Fili in the earlier versions, and in the later version, it is Alan-a-Dale, Will Scarlet, and 2 others. In DnD, the character starts with features like Bardic Inspiration and Spell Casting with 4 known spells.
In the next level, Jack of All Trades and Song of Rest. Just like Rogue, Bard also receives a +2 Proficiency bonus in the beginning. By level 20, Bard will have 22 known spells, 4 known Cantrips, and 9 spell slots. At the 3rd level, you can choose from skill proficiencies to increase your proficiency bonus for any 2 proficiencies with an ability check. You can do this again after you reach level 10.
They are good at casting different kinds of spells that can cause disruption, support you, and provide buffs. While they are good at combat with their spells, they are easy to kill as well. All you need is a d8 hit, and they are dead. Find out more about them from this gamesout info.
Different Versions of DND
Since 1974, multiple versions of the game have been published. As you know, the earlier versions till 1997 were published by TSR, after that Wizard of the Coast published them. The very first version of the game contained only 3 classes that were cleric, magic-user, and fighting-man, a few monsters, and 4 races. The booklet was released by Gary Gygax in 1974, which was inspired by J.R.R Tolkein’s books. This was the first D&D edition.
After 3 years, he released Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Same game but updated with more rules and features. Along with that he also released 3 other rulebooks for the game. By the end of the next decade in 1989, the 2nd edition was released. In this 2nd edition, multiple changes were made to the game including its combat system. A few other changes were made to the game to attack a bit younger audience. This 2nd edition was then updated and released in 1995.
Similarly, a few more additions were followed by adding new stuff to the game and tweaking the rules. In 2014, the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition was released along with multiple handbooks and guides for players and DMs. Many new addition and changes were made to the game in the 5E, along with the Expertise 5E.
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If you are new to the world of DND then you might have a little difficulty in understanding all the stats, skills, gameplay, and many other things. Don’t let that intimidate you though, this is one hell of a game that is unlike any other kind of RPG. Everyone who ever wants to escape to a world of fantasy, this is your doorway(because there is no such thing as Narnia). So get your DND starter kit read up on all the instructions, gather your friends, and make up a character to get started. At some point you will need help to understand what Expertise in 5E is, that’s when you read this article to find out all about it.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
The last version of DND that was released was the 5th Edition. This one was released with a lot of changes and additions to the game. While this edition is good, it has its flaws. There are certain things like removal of traits for monsters, no animal companion, multiclassing is nerfed, and a few other things. All this makes the 3.5 Edition the best one, as it doesn’t have such flaws and provides the best RPG experience.
Expertise is a feature of D&D that allows players to double the skill proficiency of a character. Unlike Advantage which isn’t useful for higher-level characters, Expertise provides a +6 increase in level.
Only two classes Bard and Rogue can use the Expertise feature to double their skill proficiency.
Some of these changes like no more THAC0(To Hit Armor Class Zero), skill points replaced by proficiency bonus, no exotic weapons(bummer), and many other changes have been made in the latest edition.
- 1 What is Expertise 5E?
- 1.1 What Are the Strengths and Downsides of Expertise 5E?
- 1.2 What is TTRPG?
- 1.3 Dungeons and Dragons
- 1.4 What Classes Can Use Expertise 5e in DnD?
- 1.5 Different Versions of DND
- 1.6 Wrapping Up
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)