How can I sculpt a tiling detail?

Hi Blender community,

I’m in need of some pointers for a model that I’m working on. What I’m trying to do is make a new skin for a game that I plan to submit through Steam Workshop. Just making a new texture seemed like a pain since I’m awful at texture painting in Blender. So I figured why not take the low poly model, make a high poly sculpt, and bake the maps to make the new skin.

Problem is I’m trying to make parts of the mesh look like dragon/pangolin scales. I’ve tried using texture masks like these… but this didn’t get the results I was looking for. I considered bumping up the poly count to use a displacement modifier but making the masks is super tedious with 100k+ verts in edit mode. I’m also a fan of a YouTuber by the name of SupremeFunk. He did some cool stuff in Zbrush that could be useful for this project as seen here…

So I guess the TL:DR is
Is it possible to do the same thing in Blender as seen here
And is it possible to convert a mask made in sculpt mode to a vertex group?

All ideas/suggestions are welcome!

Try this instead

While that isn’t the workflow I wanted to use with this project, I think I may have to do something like that. It gave me a pretty decent idea. Thank you.