5E I feel like there is a problem with ability score bonuses.
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    I feel like there is a problem with ability score bonuses.

    It's a feel thing so I could be wrong.(even if it wasn't I could be wrong too)

    I am almost always on the DM side of the screen but I have noticed something common to almost al PC's. They have a 16 or better, usually better, in their main attack stat. This is true regardless of the method for character generation. I don't know why it bothers me or if it should but when every scorcerer is charismatic, every wizard intelligent every, rogue nimble and every barbarian strong and always within a 4 point threshold it messes with my chi (eg. qi).
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    But players love it, because it means you're actually good at what you 'do'.
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    Why would you want it to be different?

    A sorcerer's magic is powered by their force of personality. Why wouldn't they have a high Charisma?
    Wizards are studious magic users. It stands to reason they'd want to be as intelligent as possible.
    A weak barbarian isn't going to get as much use out of their rage ability.
    And so on.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseblood View Post
    It's a feel thing so I could be wrong.(even if it wasn't I could be wrong too)

    I am almost always on the DM side of the screen but I have noticed something common to almost al PC's. They have a 16 or better, usually better, in their main attack stat. This is true regardless of the method for character generation. I don't know why it bothers me or if it should but when every scorcerer is charismatic, every wizard intelligent every, rogue nimble and every barbarian strong and always within a 4 point threshold it messes with my chi (eg. qi).
    I wonder if you'd have the same problem if the "main attack" bonuses were divorced from the stats entirely. Like, every character applied just a class bonus to those sorts of things, and the ability scores never affected attack or damage rolls, spell DCs, number of spells prepared, etc.

    Every character would be even more uniform in combat than you're taking issue witn right now, but then sorcerers wouldn't be all highly charismatic and rogues not all nimble, etc.

    Is that more appealing or less?
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    There's very little to no incentive for a player not to choose the highest ability score for the most relevant stat to the character, given the ability to do so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseblood View Post
    It's a feel thing so I could be wrong.(even if it wasn't I could be wrong too)

    I am almost always on the DM side of the screen but I have noticed something common to almost al PC's. They have a 16 or better, usually better, in their main attack stat. This is true regardless of the method for character generation. I don't know why it bothers me or if it should but when every scorcerer is charismatic, every wizard intelligent every, rogue nimble and every barbarian strong and always within a 4 point threshold it messes with my chi (eg. qi).
    It is that way since first edition!
    At this obscure time Wizard were intelligent, Paladin have Strength and high charisma, and Thieve have the best dexterity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    There's very little to no incentive for a player not to choose the highest ability score for the most relevant stat to the character, given the ability to do so.
    Not only that, but the game even recommends that you do so. The "Quick Build" section for the barbarian suggests that you put your highest stat in Strength, while the bard's says to put it in Charisma, and the cleric's says to put it in Wisdom, and so on.
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    Part of it I think is how we have become conditioned to look at characters. We almost always come at it Class-first. Meaning that whenever someone asks "What are you?" It's always "I'm a Fighter." Or "I'm a Cleric." Never "I'm an herbalist trying to catalogue all the plants in the kingdom." Or "I'm a knight in service to my Lord." We don't use our race, or our background, or our bond, or any other description of who we are or what is most important to us or what we are adventuring for. It's always "I'm a Paladin." "I'm a Monk."

    As a result... we end up with how you are seeing things, which is "All Sorcerers are charismatic!" Or "All Druids are wise!" When in point of fact... it's never been the fact that you are a Druid that makes you wise... it's the the fact that because you are wise, you become a druid.

    Why aren't there many charismatic Wizards? Because you needed to be extremely intelligent to be able to become a Wizard. Your high intelligence is what drove you to the wizardly arts. So while you might also have a mid to high charisma... it's your intellect that made you become a Wizard. But if you grew up focusing on your charisma, you probably were more likely to use your personality to become a Bard. Or you were more likely to be able to use your personal presence and authority to stand up to a patron to make a pact with them and become a Warlock.

    That being said... there's also no reason why you couldn't change the main ability score for your spellcasters. This is especially true of the Cleric and the Wizard, as they are influenced from the beginning from their Domain or their School... and both of those can make sense to use different ability scores as their primary stat. I mean just off the top of my head...

    Domains:
    Arcana - INT
    Forge - INT
    Grave - WIS
    Knowledge - INT
    Life - WIS
    Light - CHA
    Nature - WIS
    Tempest - CHA
    Trickery - INT
    War - CHA

    Schools:
    Abjuration - WIS
    Conjuration - CHA
    Divination - INT
    Enchantment - CHA
    Evocation - INT
    Illusion - INT
    Necromancy - WIS
    Transmutation - CHA

    If you decide you want to vary things up with the ability score to the class... just use a listing like this. I don't think you'd want to do it with all the classes, as many of the classes/subclasses don't lend themselves necessarily to differing ability scores. I mean, all bards seemingly should use charisma as their stat, and the the different types of Lands of a Land druid do not imply any reason why they would be INT or CHA instead of WIS (Oh, you're from the coast? Then of course you're charismatic!)

    But the wizard schools and the cleric domains absolutely can imply which of the three mental ability scores could/should be more important. Knowledge domain is INT! Enchantment school is CHA! Many of them are fairly obvious (and you can then assign the others to keep them thematic and relatively equal in number, like the life & death domains/school assigned to WIS.)

    I'm actually thinking about doing something like this in my next campaign, since I do like the idea of using only the four Basic classes. And this would give me a way to do so while not turning CHA into the dump stat it used to be, and to vary up the types of Clerics and Wizards we would see.

    But the biggest thing is to just stop thinking "Class first" for whom your character is. No longer "Oh, I'm a Monk? Then of course I'm Dexterous and Wise!" But rather... "I grew up extremely wise for my age and was always agile, and thus I joined a monastery when I became of age to focus my mind and body on enlightenment."
    Last edited by DEFCON 1; Tuesday, 14th November, 2017 at 09:57 PM.
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    Easy fix. Only use stats for attribute checks, and for everything else--class based abilities, attack bonuses, and spell DC's; just use a +3 bonus at 1st level, upgraded to +4 at 4th Level, and +5 at 8th (and topping out there);

    So all fighters will start with their +5 attack bonus, every sorceror a DC13 spell DC, but they could play around with their stats then, and gain bonuses to tertiary abilities.

    Play around with it, see how you like it. There's probably a more elegant way to express it, but it's all just math.
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    My players don't mind good ability scores. On my side of the screen just about anything goes. On their side of the screen there is pressure. Social pressure because your party and the DM expects you to....XYZ because you're that class. Natural desire to succeed at adventuring which requires successful outomes on ckecks.

    Salamandyr you're right. I might give something like that a go.

    Funny that it doesn't change much except lower the importance of ability score allotments. The idea makes me feel better.

    Great stats overshadows your experience until you're higher level than I have ever been as a player. The part that's irksome to me stats are a given experience is earned.
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