Give Phyrra some kind of bonus to Sleight of Hand

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As a wizard, Phyrra's dexterity is not a priority. She currently has a 10 Dex stat (+0 modifier). Dungeons and Dragons rules use this stat to calculate Armor Class, ranged attacks and reflex saves. It makes sense that Phyrra wouldn't be extraordinary at these things. However, this same stat is also applied to areas that use a very different set of skills. Does someone who can sneak around silently necessarily have superior reflexes? Is a locksmith experienced in picking more difficult to hit in combat? I would argue "no" in both cases. Additionally, the main purposes of this stat clash with its association to the Sleight of Hand skill.

Phyrra has been practicing stage magic for her whole life, under the guidance of her father who performed it as a career. Her experience with stage magic goes back farther than her time with actual magic. She was trained, not self-taught. Now, almost a century later, she should be pretty good at sleight of hand.

Does this mean she should have high dexterity? No. She is not particularly hard to hit, she has no practice aiming a bow, etc. But it seems criminal to apply her skill at those things to her sleight of hand, something she should by rights be incredible at by now. Though her background gives her proficiency in Sleight of Hand, it's still held back by her entirely mediocre Dex modifier.

This disconnect has already affected roleplaying negatively. Real magicians, those who have spent years perfecting their craft the way that Phyrra has, don't have to worry too hard about screwing up a trick. Obviously mistakes happen, but they're incredibly rare due to the years of practice. They perform shows for an audience, live on stage. They walk up to people on the streets and work their art without worrying about making themselves look stupid. Phyrra doesn't have this level of security in her stage magic.

Exactly once in the campaign, Phyrra has attempted a magic trick. A very simple trick, one of the first that a magician will learn: making a coin disappear. A trick she's known for almost a century and practiced regularly as part of her fundamentals. The die was cast, and she fucked it up.

Not only did this experience make almost no sense with her character, it made me afraid to roleplay this part of her. Phyrra as a character is a skilled magician, but at the moment the numbers on her character sheet don't support this. If I continued to have her perform, I would run the serious risk of continuing to fail checks and tarnishing her reputation and character. It would be more accurate to her character and more fun if her Sleight of Hand better represented the huge number of hours she's put into honing it with the help of her father, who had mastered it. At the moment, if the group desperately needed someone skilled in sleight of hand, it would make more sense to turn to Dayquil than the practiced magician. While other dexterity-based tasks don't make sense for Phyrra to excel at, I don't think it's a stretch to say that the professional stage magician should the best one at sleight of hand.

I've created an AnyDice query comparing Phyrra's current Sleight of Hand rolls to those of two solutions to this problem I've thought of: Advantage to Sleight of Hand checks, or a flat bonus to that skill (arbitrarily chosen here as +2, effectively doubling the usual proficiency bonus). It also shows Dayquil's Sleight of Hand as a reference point.

Let's examine a Sleight of Hand skill check with a DC of 10. This is an "easy" check according to the Player's Handbook. Currently, Phyrra has a 65% chance of passing this check. Not even two thirds! Dayquil's chance is slightly better, at 70%. If Phyrra's Sleight of Hand proficiency were doubled, her chance of passing the check becomes 75%, which is more palatable but still feels low. Finally, were Phyrra given advantage to her Sleight of Hand, the odds become 87.75%. Realistically, this is still low, but it strikes me as a much better balance between what makes sense and what's fun in the game.

In conclusion, I think it would be more fun and encourage more roleplaying if the rules of the game were relaxed slightly so that she could improve her Sleight of Hand.

If nothing else, you could do it as a reward for putting in the effort for this dope thing I did?

Thank you.



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