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


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mellored

Legend
in literature and hypotheticals you can manufacture any scenario you need to make even the weakest character matter and protect them with the thickest of plot armour, in gaming those scenarioes cannot be manurfactured a fraction as easily and more often than not in gaming that weak character just ends up dead or a resource drain on the other characters who need to babysit them from dying to the standard enemies.
In game, adding another character turn the army of 1000 into an army of 1200. Go ahead and manufacture a story reason for that.

In real life, adding another player to the table means more friends, even if the party wipes.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I think all this discussion about a 3 Constitution is disingenuous. RAW that is not realistic. To start with you can move your scores around and someone with a 3 is probably not going to put that in Constitution. They will probably put it in Intelligence or Charisma. You also always have a +1 from race, so you can make it a 4 even in this very unrealistic scenario where you roll a 3.

That said, even if you have to play a character with a 4 Constitution, it is possible you just need to really drive your character build to compensate for this. I think you need to play a full caster with access to False Life or Armor of Agathys. Either of those spells cast at max level will give you temp hit points to compensate for your very low hit points. Then powergame every other aspect of your build. With an otherwise fully optimized Wizard, playing a Hill Dwarf or a Human with tough I think you will be ok at most levels. Pick up a level of Cleric if you can for medium (or heavy) armor without losing your highest level slot.
 
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Remathilis

Legend
If your point was that it's never going to happen, you're welcome!
So your stance is "there are no unviable characters in D&D because the rules don't allow you to make one." Then I agree. Point buy, 4d6, and average HP have made it that statistically speaking unlikely to make a character with ability scores and low HP, I agree with you 100% and that is by intention.

If your stance is "even if you do somehow create a character that has exceptionally bad scores and HP, that character is still viable." Then I disagree. For the reasons I outlined.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So your stance is "there are no unviable characters in D&D because the rules don't allow you to make one." Then I agree. Point buy, 4d6, and average HP have made it that statistically speaking unlikely to make a character with ability scores and low HP, I agree with you 100% and that is by intention.

If your stance is "even if you do somehow create a character that has exceptionally bad scores and HP, that character is still viable." Then I disagree. For the reasons I outlined.
You just agreed that the rules don't allow you to make an unviable character, so I don't see a point in arguing that a character that the rules don't allow you to make would be unviable if you made one.

I mean, I suppose the DM could work with the player to have such a PC made, but that would only really happen in a group where things like that are done and not an issue with the other players. You don't have to worry about groups like that.
 

Remathilis

Legend
You just agreed that the rules don't allow you to make an unviable character, so I don't see a point in arguing that a character that the rules don't allow you to make would be unviable if you made one.

I mean, I suppose the DM could work with the player to have such a PC made, but that would only really happen in a group where things like that are done and not an issue with the other players. You don't have to worry about groups like that.
Well, the original discussion that prompted that was about 3d6 in order, which led to my comment about having to play an unviable character (one whose scores won't let them live long) in order to die in game OR can I just scrap those rolls there and start over right there. Which lead lots of people to claim there is no such thing as an unplayable character regardless of how bad you roll.

But as you have pointed out, the rules in 5e shield players from having a character whose scores were that bad. And I find that as a pure win.
 

To be clear Wisdom is more important at low level, above level 16 (where I have played 6 different characters in campaigns and more in one shots) Wisdom proficiency is pretty important.

I am currently playing 4 regular games per week, I have played numerous characters with a 10 Constitution and 10 or 12 is the "normal" Constituition I play with in a point buy game. On point buy I have never played with higher than a 14 unless I got a boon to boost it from the DM and I normally only play a Rune Knight or Damphir at 14 and that is because their subclass abilities and natural attack respectively key off Con.




Wisdom is far more debnilitating generally, Constitution is used for some paralyzation (less often than Wisdom) and rarely on a stright up save. Normally you need to get hit first and then you make your Constitution save as opposed to Wisdom which is usually just a save right out of the gate. All the petrification conditions I know of in game require multiple failed saves, the first of which causes restrained (like I said).



No it doesn't. At 5th level a +2 COnstitution is 10hps. That is not even a single hit while you are paralyzed.



You can say this, but you would be wrong, remeber you save every single turn.

We can put this into whiteroom against a weak opponent:

a 6th level fighter with a +7 attack, 17 AC and a Longbow with a 0 wisdom save fighting a Wizard with an AC of 21, dex of 16 who casts hold person with a DC of 15 and uses booming blade with a dagger when the fighter is held and recasts after a save at the end of the fighters turn.

In that whiteroom with the Wizard winning initiative the fighter with a 0 wisdom save, +2 Con and 52 hit points will last on average 12.5 rounds against that Wizard and will deal 10 damage total to the Wizard over that 12 rounds.

In that same Whiteroom with a +2 Wisdom save and 40 hit points the Fighter will survive 13 rounds and deal 18 damage on average over those 13 rounds.

That is against a single enemy with a weak melee attack. Give the Wizard some allies and it tilts even further away from the fighter.



Stopping actions is pretty meaningful. Every round the PC is held that is damage she is not doing or enemies she is not controlling. But that is the reason I used an example with a weak melee attack in the example above.

I agree if there are a lot of enemies to take advantage it is instantly fatal regardless of hit points, and this underscores my point - the extra hit points you get from Constitution are not very meaningful.



They don't. If they are optimized it is better to have more hit points than less, but they are not necessary. A high AC beats a high Constitution every time and more hit points can both be replenished and added relatively easy through magic.

I have played a ton of 5E and most of it in the last 5 years has been played with characters with a 10 or 12 Constitution, many of them tank builds and they did fine. Have you actually tried playing multiple 10-12 CON characters in a level 1-20 game like I have? If you have not tried it maybe you are the one who should retract your statement.

This is going to be even more true in the new rules where using potions will be a bonus action. Part of this now is that being at 0 hit points is actually better than being paralyzed or incapacitated from a spell or effect, because it is a lot easier for your allies to fix.

Here are two examples of a character with a 10 and 12 Constitution who I played to level 20. These are not the best examples, but these are the best I have character sheets for online. Both of these PCs could tank well.


This is pretty amazing to me.

Your example is just bizarre and appears to be the most contrived situation possible. How does the Wizard have 21 AC? That's a completely implausible value at L6-ish unless they're spamming Shield. Why do they have Booming Blade, something usually only taken by melee specialists? (It also undermines your claim that you were going for "realistically weak" melee attacks) How are they able to cast Hold Person likely 6+ times? This is not something that really happens in games. And in both cases in your example, the Fighter does basically nothing! It doesn't even support your contention that WIS is meaningfully better even in this contrived and very strange scenario you've created, because both ways, the Fighter is a dead man. In one he dies in 13 rounds, in the other he dies in 12.5 rounds.

That's against someone who he can't hit because their AC is too high, and who is basically specialized in killing him. Even there, +2 WIS doesn't meaningfully improve his situation. In fact, it looks like you're proving my point - in the most contrived possible scenario, where you're controlling all the variables, and you've set up everything to maximize the value of WIS, it's still very close to even.

Over an entire campaign, especially with the improvements to healing spells in 5E, having more HP is going to be more useful.

One thing I agree on is that a lot of CON-save paralysis and petrification and similar requires a to-hit roll first (albeit not all of it). However, it's also more common as a result, more likely to be AOE (from monsters), and in some cases has nastier effects. For example, Gorgon breath is a CON save when you're initially hit (no roll to hit) where you are Restrained if you fail. And you get another save at the end of your next turn to break that - but if you don't, you're Petrified - which is literally worse than being dead until 9th level or higher! If you hit 0 HP from Hold Person crits, the spell breaks, then you can be yoyo'd by heals etc. Even if they kill you whilst you're down, you can L3 Revivify'd after the fight. But Petrification? Nope. No solution until L5 Greater Restoration.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
It's always been a case in D&D

  • Offensive PCs are ability dependent
  • Support PCs are not ability dependent
  • Defensive PCs are only dependent in Dex or Con
  • Control PCs are ability dependence Is determined by the addition
With 3 ability choices the only style of PCs that might have issues in picking their background or offensive ones.
 

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