D&D 4E 4E Races, Post-Essentials: Flexibility, You Say?

Mallus

Legend
I agree it's a player issue, not a system one. Optimizers will optimize. Which invariable leads to a small number of "ideal" builds, ie mechanically similar characters. So it goes.

Also, my advice for making a great character is this: give 'em a great and memorable personality. Make them a good character in the fictional sense. You can have a party of mechanically identical PC's who are each diverse, interesting and fun to play (my group could do this easily).
 

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FireLance

Legend
The 4e 'treadmill' makes any difference in attack bonuses quite noticeable, yes. If you're a little behind at 1st level, you're a little behind at 30th. At the highest levels, even with feat taxes, or anytime they're overlevelled, the monsters pull ahead and such differences become more noticeable.
People go to all kinds of lengths to get a +1 to-hit. It absolutely is quite a significant difference, especially for a class/race combo who's main limitation was limited accuracy (favoring +2 weapons and usually starting with a 16 in attack stat).
Let me come at the issue from a slightly different angle. :p

If a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls becomes significant enough to be noticeable in actual play, then the DM needs to do a better job.
 

tyrlaan

Explorer
The 18 vs 16 argument boils down to a difference of 5% to hit. That 5% means that the guy with the 18 (all other things being equal) will score one more hit per twenty attacks than the guy with the 16. How many rounds does the average combat go? I'm guessing a lot less than 20. Which means that 5% advantage comes into play once every, what 3 or 4 combats? Is this really that huge of an advantage that anyone should be seriously worrying about it?

We can talk about the extra damage getting pumped out as well. Yes, Mr. 18 is dealing 1 extra point of damage per attack. If Mr. 16 and Mr. 18 advance the same stat the same way all through their careers, then Mr. 18 will still only be doing 1 more point of damage per attack at 30th, just like he was at 1st. That 1 point of damage might feel kind of nice at 1st level when damage expressions are on the lower end, but at 30th I'll make the safe bet that 1 extra point of damage doesn't feel all that significant.

Talking about percentages blurs the edges a bit and makes things sound a lot worse than they are. Maybe that guy with the 18 is dealing out 15% more damage, but that 15% more damage is 1 extra point per hit plus one extra hit per 20 attacks.

Maybe this level of granular difference matters to you. And if it does, I hope everyone at the table you play at feels similarly or someone is bound to get frustrated. Me personally, I just don't see this as something worth sweating over. But then that means everyone at the table I play at hopefully feels the same way or someone is bound to get frustrated.
 

Aust Diamondew

First Post
I tend to like more flexible races, but I tend to allow fewer races in my games. Which, if one wants to cover most ability score pairings, requires more flexible ability scores. I've experimented with flexible ability scores in my past games I've run. My solution for dwarven ability scores was +2 con and +2 wis/int (dwarves are good artificers/warlords), it was tempting to go with strength but that is simply too good when combined with dwarven weapon training. It'll be interesting to see what, if anything they do to resolve that issue.
 

interwyrm

First Post
I don't want to play a stumpy little pantscrapper. If I'm going to play a fighter, I'll stick with warforged or goliath regardless of whatever slight mechanical benefit dwarves have.

Optimization is important, but it's not so important to everyone that this sort of change will cause dwarven overpopulation.
 

hafrogman

Adventurer
The 18 vs 16 argument boils down to a difference of 5% to hit.

...

Me personally, I just don't see this as something worth sweating over.
It's especially not worth sweating over when you realize that it's not even a question of +5% to hit vs. nothing. If it's not going into your attack stat, that +2 is usually going somewhere. A defense, HP, skills, whatever.

From what I've seen of the confirmed and hypothesized changes, the strongest races are just getting the added versatility of a bad stat set up with regards to defenses. Str/Con just means that one of those bonuses does nothing to your fort defense and your will suffers in turn.
 

Until races go back to being required stat minimums like in BD&D rather than stats bonuses, this will always be an issue.

I'd love it if we got rid of racial stat modifiers completely, and while we're at it, eliminate stat increases as you level up.

I don't see how either really benefit the game, and in fact, mess things up. 3-18 was traditional...18 Strength was _impressive_. Now, 18 strength means you're being slightly typically less good at what you do.
 

jbear

First Post
I prefer the flexibility personally.

But, now down to serious business. If we know about the dwarf, and on another thread someone said Halflings get CON. Here someone suggests elves get INT. But the big question is... what do humans get? If the box is in stores, someone must know. And if the answer is nothing (which I fear it is)... is that fair?
 

Spatula

Explorer
I prefer the flexibility personally.

But, now down to serious business. If we know about the dwarf, and on another thread someone said Halflings get CON. Here someone suggests elves get INT. But the big question is... what do humans get? If the box is in stores, someone must know. And if the answer is nothing (which I fear it is)... is that fair?
That was covered in a recent DDI editorial, I think. Humans get a choice of a racial encounter power (+4 to hit as a free action), or... something else, I don't recall what.

EDIT: the encounter power can be taken in place of the extra at-will that humans normally get (as some of the essential classes don't have at-will attack powers).
 
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S

Sunseeker

Guest
I would support getting rid of stat bumps altogether. Give everyone a +2 to any two stats, or give no one stat bumps.

I'd love to see this, just out of the sheer fact that it allows more flexibility to role-playing your character.
 

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