D&D (2024) 2024 Player's Handbook Reveal: Feats/Backgrounds/Species

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Re: playing a character that isn't as much of a contributor to the party.
@mellored, I wish I had the chance to play soemthig like this one day.
 

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CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Re: Everybody starting with 16 int her prime stat.

Let me preface this by saying that I don't do optimization. I don't care about the difference between a 15 and a 16. I don't let "suboptimal" get in the way of a character concept. In fact I might seek suboptimal as part of the concept. I don't care for enabling minmax or charop. I don't even like these forms of play. Yet, I stand with most of the people here who don't like this change and come from the charop side of play.

My main argument is, if something can't be used for charop, it can't be used for meaningful creative expression either. That is even if we could weed out all charop potential, we shouldn't because we'd lose all potential for customization in the process. I find that unacceptable.

I like having control over my character. Yes, floating bonuses can be used for charop, but they can also be used for choosing less optimal or even entirely bad, and that choice is mostly invisible. Having them coupled to backgrounds, means there are optimal backgrounds for each class, and background choice is very visible, which means that well-meaning optimizers -and controlling optimizers- will easily have a reason to pester me for my character choices. And I have been pestered by both fellow players and DMs over my choices in the past. It has even costed me games because how I dare choosing a suboptimal class/race combo with a suboptimal weapon choice that I'm not proficient with and choosing to not use floating bonuses to patch the choice but instead to focus on somthing else?
yes this, a thousand times this,
 

Everyone is visually looking more like reskinned humans. Orcs are the most obvious, but it even seems to be the case for all the others too.
Two canon aspects of D&D orcs are relevant here which a lot of people don't know or have forgotten:
  • 10% of half-orcs could pass as human. That goes back all the way to the 1e PHB: "some one-tenth of orc-human mongrels are sufficiently non-orcish to pose for human." (The wording became a little less gross when it was restated in 2e.) Half-orcs, especially those looking less orcish were far more likely to be adventurers or to be met outside of orc tribes. So we should expect them to appear in more art.
  • "Half-orc" is a phrase (at least in the Forgotten Realms) which wasn't usually used to describe someone. On a cultural level, if they had orc blood, they were usually simply called "Orc." If you're looking at an "Orc" in art, it's impossible and largely irrelevant to discern whether you're looking at a supposedly 100% orc – especially considering how prolific in interbreeding as they are described.
There is a milieu of confusion about Orcs in the Realms which stem from the cultural impact of World of Warcraft around us, personal histories at D&D tables which aren't canon, and the myopic focus on the Sword Coast in the canon novels.

Not all Orcs in Faerûn even worship the Orcish pantheon. For example, there are something like 1-2 million in northwest Chessenta/Akanûl (depending on the time period you're looking at) which adopted largely human cultural values and gods, dating back to 2e's Old Empires and forward into 4e. A lot of people would say Orcs are one big unchanging trope of violent tribal culture and subservience to Gruumsh, and that's just not true in the Realms.

So when I see an Orc with more human characteristics, I know I'm seeing a D&D Orc individual, not a WoW-adjacent Orc trope.
 

Scribe

Legend
They've had floating ASIs since Tasha's, but found that it was counterintuitively not resulting in more varied sets of character statblocks. Most people were putting them in the same places - implicitly, whatever they're class was good at - which is why they decided to tie them to backgrounds (albeit with more flexibility than how species-locked ASIs were handled previously).

Well imagine that....


Captain America Lol GIF by mtv
 

ECMO3

Hero
This is a half-truth, and didn't claim it wasn't true at all, so you're putting words in my mouth, and that's just going to cause confusion.

WIS is only strong or useful at all if you ALSO have access to:

A) Perception (and preferably but less importantly Insight)

B) Proficiency in WIS saves.

Otherwise it's hugely worse than CON as a secondary, and worse than DEX for anyone who isn't wearing heavy armour.

I would strongly disagree about Wisdom being worse than Constitution, especially in levels 1-10. Failing a Wisdom save is usually more disruptive than failing a constitution save as they often cause incapacitation or worse. Constitution saves usually cause poisoned or restrained which are less detrimental and they often take an effect on a hit, making dexterity a first line of defense to mitigating them.

A good Wisdom helps a lot for saves, at high level this is less useful without proficiency, but at level 5 the difference between a -1 and a +2 is huge, then add all the skills it is used for on top of that. This is a lot better than the 15 hit points the trade in Constitution gives you.


I mean, how many WIS saves do you make in a long campaign? 20? 50? And how many times is you AC rolled against? 200? 1000?

More than you make concentration saves and it is worse when you fail them. Wisdom proficiency is pretty much mandatory above level 16 for any character if you want to actually be in control of it. Meanwhile I played characters from level 1-20 with a 10 Constitution and never had much problems.

HP and AC are more directly useful to every single character (and saying they aren't is just not realistic).

AC yes, hit points no, or more specifically the hit points you get from a higher constitution no. Pushing Constitution just doesn't give you enough hit points to matter, especially with how available healing and temporary hit points are and how minimially debilitating even being at 0 hit points is as long as a party member has healing word.

Also Wisdom drives how much YOU will be surprised regardless of other characters perception. That again is more valuable than the few hit points you get.

The only build that really needs to drive hit points high is someone who wants to tank with a low armor class - like a typical Barbarian. While those characters do "need" a high Constitution, that is not an optimal way to fill that role. Getting a screaming high AC and saves so you won't easily be incapacitated is a far more effective way to do that.

Failing a save against something like Hold Person while you are tanking is going to drain all those constitution hit points in a New York minute.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
It should be noted that you are starting the argument from the base of an adventurer - not the general public. Therefore, everything you are saying is invalid. The commoner, and by that I mean blacksmith, carpenter, merchant, sailor, farmer, etc. has a 10 intelligence. That is the average. So, anyone with a 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, or 16 is above average. Spend two points in the point buy, and the urchin is starting out of average intelligence. Spend 3 and they are above average for the population as a whole.
So this is not class essentialism. It might be some adventurer problem where some players will have a problem having a 15 (way above average) instead of a 16 (way above average).

The idea that one class can have better abilities than someone from another class is a biased, prejudiced view. You can rationalize it all you want and maybe you are right, but that does not make it any less prejudice.
 

Keep in mind my point such a character is more a liability than a boon. If your PC is going to spend most combats on the floor bleeding out, soaking up the actions and healing that could be used to support characters who act actually fighting the monsters, I question why that character is there. The character OB1 and I discussed in 5e is minimally viable as a healbot, but isn't contributing meaningfully beyond that. If your joy is to be a walking, talking potion of healing, that's fine. But don't be too surprised if the other players stop wasting their actions to stabilize you after the 30th time you go down in round one to a fireball or critical hit.
I really don't grasp the concept of "characters pulling their weight".

We are back to: the game is as hard as the DM wants it to be. It is no computer game. If the DM nitices, that encounters are too hard, they can adapt.
Look, I can't convince you that playing a character with all 3s isn't possible. I'm saying though it's not the enjoyable experience people who advocate for rolled scores say it is. If it was, Gary wouldn't have wasted space creating 12 alternative ways to generate ability scores in the DMG and UA, one of which becoming the default method in all subsequent versions of rolling (4d6).
Probably for most people yes, but it is not the end of the world. Worst case, the character dies and yoyu roll up a new one.
All I'm saying is if you play a character that sucks and can't contribute meaningfully, don't be surprised if I don't waste precious resources to save them.
Which could be fine if it was a situation where wasting it kills you, but worrying if it was easy to save them.
 
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I also want to briefly hit this from the other side. A game I am currently in we all rolled for stats, and we all rolled GODLIKE stats. After the +2/+1 my character is sitting at a 16, 16, 16, 13, 19, 12 and I know another party member started with at least two 18's before the mods, and I think currently has two 20's.

We barely notice.

Legitimately, we are not running around like gods among men. I've occasionally referenced my character's unusually high strength for a cleric, and I've taken advantage of having a decent dex score since I'm playing a trickery cleric and ended up defaulting into being the rogue of the group, but none of us feel we aren't challenged or that the game is too easy. Heck, we nearly TPK'd in our last fight.

I know people are going to claim that this means we wouldn't notice the low scores either, but that's actually wrong. I've played in games with someone who decided to play with consistently low stats... and we all noticed it. We were very aware that they just had a worse chance of success than most of the rest of the party. They did consistently fall short, their spells did consistently fail to land. In another game we just had our sorcerer one-shot because at level 3 they have only 14 hp. They rolled a crit to avoid being kidnapped and warned us of an ambush, then was instantly dropped before they could do anything else. No one else in the party is that fragile, including the wizard.

I know it seems counter-intuitive to people. But a 16 seems to be the pivot point in the math. I've seen multiple characters who had multiple scores above that number, and other than the occasional "oh, the wizard broke down the door... neat" it is hardly noticeable. And I have seen multiple characters without a 16 in any score, struggle and grasp at straws to not burden the party. Yes, it is a one point difference, but it seems to actually matter to the math of the game. Maybe it is just my games, maybe it is just my sample size, but it does seem to actually make a significant difference. And a character with no score higher than 10? No one is interested.
Yes, we noticed that too. A 16 is desirable. But if you start with a 15 and raise it at level 4 with a half feat, that is ok. At that point, either both have taken the half feat and the difference is not noticable anymore or you are +1 behind but your character is more interesting because you took a feat.
 

I would strongly disagree about Wisdom being worse than Constitution, especially in levels 1-10. Failing a Wisdom save is usually more disruptive than failing a constitution save as they often cause incapacitation or worse. Constitution saves usually cause poisoned or restrained which are less detrimental and they often take an effect on a hit, making dexterity a first line of defense to mitigating them.

A good Wisdom helps a lot for saves, at high level this is less useful without proficiency, but at level 5 the difference between a -1 and a +2 is huge, then add all the skills it is used for on top of that. This is a lot better than the 15 hit points the trade in Constitution gives you.




More than you make concentration saves and it is worse when you fail them. Wisdom proficiency is pretty much mandatory above level 16 for any character if you want to actually be in control of it. Meanwhile I played characters from level 1-20 with a 10 Constitution and never had much problems.



AC yes, hit points no, or more specifically the hit points you get from a higher constitution no. Pushing Constitution just doesn't give you enough hit points to matter, especially with how available healing and temporary hit points are and how minimially debilitating even being at 0 hit points is as long as a party member has healing word.

Also Wisdom drives how much YOU will be surprised regardless of other characters perception. That again is more valuable than the few hit points you get.

The only build that really needs to drive hit points high is someone who wants to tank with a low armor class - like a typical Barbarian. While those characters do "need" a high Constitution, that is not an optimal way to fill that role. Getting a screaming high AC and saves so you won't easily be incapacitated is a far more effective way to do that.

Failing a save against something like Hold Person while you are tanking is going to drain all those constitution hit points in a New York minute.
This is just laughable. There's no actual argument here. The idea that having vastly less HP is fine because "above level 16" (a range no-one plays in) WIS saves are common is hilariously nonsensical. Even enough CON to get +1 HP is a gigantic boost to real-terms survivability - If you have a d6 HD, that's about 30% more HP per level (ignoring the L1 max HP, but we can factor that in if you want to be difficult - you'll be doing the maths though). d8, it's still about 25% more. d10, 20% more, and so on (also it's slightly less of gain with fixed HP/level, but only slightly - what like 5% less?). +2 or more is amazing.

I've played enough 5E to know HP are absolutely vital when stuff gets real. +WIS isn't terrible - it'll be far ahead of INT, CHA and STR if those aren't primaries for you (for combat survival specifically), though probably not DEX due to Initiative. But the idea that WIS saves are something that happen constantly and always has terrible consequences is failed is utter bollocks - most sessions pass with zero player-side WIS saves - and even those that happen are rarely Hold Person or the like, but like with CON, usually for lesser effects. CON is used for plenty of equally-fatal effects too - like Paralysis and Petrification. Ironic too that you attempt to call out Hold Person as something where WIS is better - realistically, if have say +2 WIS instead of +2 CON, you only have a 10-15% (it's not a straight number like a lot of people here mistakenly because they can't calculate how it actually works) higher chance to save, so still are quite likely to fail, and you probably have 20-30% less HP than the CON PC. And HP is the only defence that really works at that point. So over say, 100 incidences of Hold Person being cast on a PC, I daresay the CON PC will survive more than the WIS PC. We must admit it is impossible to calculate because it's fully situational (Hold Person is meaningless if no enemies are in position, physically and Initiative-wise, to take advantage, and probably instantly fatal regardless of HP if several are).

What we can say saving-throw-wise is that CON, DEX and WIS saves are by far the most common. Of these DEX is usually to avoid or reduce damage where CON and WIS are more often to avoid conditions. INT, CHA and STR are drastically less common for saves and show 5E never really got around to redistributing saves (maybe that'll change in the new MM but I doubt it - they are decreasing how many actual spells monsters use which if anything might lower WIS and DEX slightly).

The idea that tanks don't need CON unless they're Barbarians is just not even arguable though. That's such a bad claim that you should retract it.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Nonviable is subjective. I'd play them, and they would be sickley as all get out.

Are there many point buy/standard array DMs out there who wouldn't let a player take 3d6 in order as long as what was rolled didn't exceed the point buy/standard array?

If so, feels like the ability to play a low stat character with rolls guiding the class choice could still be a thing.

A difficulty could be that at some tables the other players might treat that character like an inept amateur on a pro-sport team instead of just part of the variability of an IRL friends group. I imagine that would vary by table and the goals of the game.
 
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