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Is it possible to double your proficiency bonus twice?

Do features that allow you to add twice your proficiency bonus, under some other name, stack with Expertise?

I Roll To Seduce The Dragon! (or, Do doublings of proficiency bonus stack?)

These three questions have the same answer and ask (essentially) the same thing: does expertise stack with some other feature that also doubles proficiency?

But they do use different examples/features for that. The oldest one (the dragon one) uses Dragon Ancestry, another one uses Favored Terrain from Ranger and the most recent one uses the Stonecunning from Dwarves.

While, in the core, they are the same question, they could as well be three different questions

  • "Does Favored Terrain stack with Expertise?"
  • "Does Dragon Ancestry stack with Expertise?"
  • "Does Stonecunning stack with Expertise?"

bonus: Do Bard and Rogue expertise stack? - "Does Expertise stack with Expertise?"

While obviously redundant (again, same answer, independent of the feature that is (not) stacking with expertise), they could be considered... Different? And if they are duplicates, which one should be the "original" which all others are linked to?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Ignoring for the moment the question of what's a duplicate of what, I Roll To Seduce The Dragon is the best-titled question on the stack, hands-down. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Nov 18 '18 at 21:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that I have acted on the answer I gave and undone/redone the duplicates accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Nov 27 '18 at 14:58
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They are all duplicates

The way we treat duplicates currently is outlined in this Meta:

We close Question A as a duplicate of Question B when all of these are the case:

  • It's the same question, or Question A is already covered obviously as a subset of Question B. Obvious here means I can tell at a glance it's there.
  • Question B has an obvious answer to Question A. Obvious here means I get a straightforward answer without hard searching — a couple of sentences buried in the middle of a post, or an answer which only sort of implies an answer to Question A, doesn't count as obvious.
  • There is not some strong compelling reason to covering Question A alone, separately from Question B. (If the above bullet points are met this rarely happens.)

Depending on what question is considered to be the duplicate (see below for my recommendation), this set of questions easily meets all three bullets of the above criteria for closing as duplicate. Specifically, the answer to each of these questions is a quote of the same simple rule that applies to all such cases. Thus, they do meet our criteria for duplicate closure and there is no compelling reason to leave them separate.

Conceptually, each one of them is asking about some feature or features and how it stacks with Expertise. We know the answer to this and it is a general rule that covers all such cases. As such, there is nothing about any feature that could give us a different answer besides referencing this rule. And indeed all the answers simply reference this rule. Thus, they are duplicates because their core issue is the same and the only thing that is different is the minor details which don't affect the answers at all.

The most general one is probably the best dupe target (duplicates should be reversed)

Do features that allow you to add twice your proficiency bonus, under some other name, stack with Expertise? is probably the best Q&A to dupe the others to (full disclosure I do have my answer on this one). This is because it is the only one to ask about the concept in general and not about specific features. It gives an example in the text but the question itself applies to all features that might stack with expertise. As such it is an umbrella that could cover all the other questions. This aligns with the first bullet point of the previous quote easily making all of the other questions a subset of this one.

That being said, a simple one line edit to any of the other questions would give the same effect (though at the cost of slightly changing the querent's intent).

Future Q&As will be judged on their own merit

Just because all of the current Q&As that you listed should be duped together does not mean that all future questions will be. There could be a feature that does not apply to this rule or a new rule or feature could come out which changes things. Either way, we need to apply expertise when judging closures to understand what the actual core of a question is.

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Imagine an (admittedly extreme) situation where we have a generic 'what do I do if I disagree with something that happens at the table' question, with the answer 'talk to your GM'. Now, there are some users who believe that any question that can be answered with a variant on 'talk to your GM' should be marked as a duplicate. However, there is such a wide variety of possible questions that could have this answer that doing so would be plain wrong as it stops you providing a specific answer to the specific problem the question is asking about.

Now, I know I've deliberately chosen an exaggerated example here, but I believe it demonstrates why we need to be extremely careful. The problem with marking such questions as duplicates is that we lose the ability to provide specific detail in answers that is in response to the different circumstances/examples given in each of the questions.

For this reason, my personal view is that unless answers and questions are close to exactly the same, they shouldn't be marked as duplicates at all. Otherwise we end up with a bunch of generic answers with question variants linked to them as duplicates that make it impossible to provide specific details to help each question.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm tired, and this might not be worded in the clearest way, but I wanted to get an answer out as this issue has been gnawing at me for a little while now. \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Nov 18 '18 at 22:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm kind of confused, our current policy is to close something as a duplicate only if the questions are the same, but your entire answer seems predicated on the assumption that they are closed based on the answers. Am I missing something here? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Nov 18 '18 at 23:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm with Rubik here. What I am saying is that the question in their core is the same, they just change the specific feature being asked, but answering any of these questions answer all of them in a very direct and obvious way. The other extreme is having questions like "I have 16 Str, how much is my damage modifier using a longsword?" and then another question "I have 18 Str, how much is my damage modifier using a longsword?" and then "I have 20 Str, how much is my damage modifier using a longsword?" and saying these are different questions (and amazingly they have different answers!) \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Nov 18 '18 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose We can sometimes close questions as duplicates of a collected canonical question. Consider that if we acquired D&D 5e questions of the variety "How do I attack with a sword?", "How do I attack with a morningstar?", "How do I attack with a club?", it would be OK to close them all as a duplicate of "How do I attack with a weapon?" They have different surface details but the core question is the same for all of them and anyone looking for information about those will easily find their answer in the canonical question. (Whether that's true here I'll leave to all y'all to judge.) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 19 '18 at 11:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener I get that, but I'm not sure that is what Wibbs is saying. It might be unintentional poor wording (or I might be misunderstanding) but the example Wibbs gives in the first paragraph could not happen according to our current policies. We would not close a question as a duplicate just because they both have the answer of "ask the DM". That seems to show a misunderstanding of how dupes work. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Nov 19 '18 at 14:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose In fact that looks to be the point Wibbs is making: Wibbs is explaining that while some users may believe we should close on that basis alone, we should not do this (“doing so is plain wrong”). \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 19 '18 at 14:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think what I'm trying (and clearly failing) to describe is the metric I believe we need to use to judge how similar questions need to be for them to be closed as duplicates. If closing a question as a duplicate prevents an answer from giving information specific to the question, then it shouldn't be closed. The moment you close a question as a dup, you prevent this, as it is assumed the 'root' question's' answers have all the information required \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Nov 19 '18 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I'm not doing is passing judgement on this specific situation, as I don't have sufficient expertise on the system and its questions \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Nov 19 '18 at 14:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose There's no documentation I'm aware of to refer to. That's just our community rule of thumb for when we close as duplicate & when we don't. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 19 '18 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener yeah I just learned that by trying to find it. Is there any good Q&A which gives a good overview of our current stance in words or is it mainly in the ether? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Nov 19 '18 at 15:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ This might be that Q&A. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 19 '18 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wibbs was that a pun. \$\endgroup\$ – Stackstuck Nov 19 '18 at 17:58

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