I've been looking through the rules for Skill Mastery, and feel a little unsatisfied. I am a believer that skill masters should be better than those with three skill trainings, but I don't think the rules bear that out.
Has anyone else noticed this?
Here's how it breaks down to me.
The three benefits to Skill Mastery are:
1. The ability to ignore rolls against Simple (0d) and Easy (1d) checks, except in rolls against opponents. Said rolls are assumed to succeed with 1 success.
This doesn't strike me as a bonus to someone already rolling three expertise dice. Even if your ability is rated at two, the three expertise dice by themselves are usually enough to handle a 0-1 difficulty roll. On top of that, you are leaving out the chance to get boons, sigmar's comets, or crazy strings of exploding successes.
This seems like someone's houserule to streamline play, and would be a fair trade for someone with max trainings. I fail to see, though, how this is better than max training. Maybe on some outlier roll that is 0d, but with 10 misfortune it would be handy, but for most rolls a master wouldn't be any better off than a fully trained character.
2. The ability to not roll any expertise dice and instead take 1 sigmar's comet.
This is another one that seems balanced against 3 expertise dice rather than being better than it. With three expertise dice, you have a slightly lower than 50% chance to get a single comet result, but you also have a significant chance to get multiple successes, boons, or multiple comets. Again, it is a good even trade for three expertise dice, but Mastery should be better than that.
There is one case that this ability shines, and that is with enhance cards. This ability still works even after expertise dice have been traded in for enhance card effects. As long as you still have 1 die to give up, you can have your free comet. While this is definitely a bonus over max training, it only works in certain circumstances, and assumes that in those cases that you actually can use an enhance card, you want to dump all your expertise dice.
3. Access to certain higher level action cards.
This one is clearly a benefit, but by itself isn't really much for the advance.
So we are left with 2 benefits that are situational at best, and otherwise statistically the same or worse than having three trainings. Masters should be actually better than those less trained, but I don't think the rules currently reflect this. Most of the benefits seemed to be balanced against rolling 3 expertise dice, rather than being an upgrade.
I am currently thinking of the following solutions/changes:
- Allow skill masters to ignore rolls of up to Average (2d) difficulty, taking 1 success, except against opponents.
- Allow one expertise die to be converted to a single comet.
I think both of these show a benefit to skill mastery, but aren't so powerful that they would imbalance the game.
What are your thoughts, community? Does anyone else see this as an issue? Does anyone have any better solutions?