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Ability Score Blues

WalterKovacs

First Post
and 1 of 20 dailies/ap fail because of that missing +1 to hit. and some of you say a feat is worthless if it comes to play only in 1 of 20 encounters... that is absolutely ridiculous...

some arguments for an 18 or even a 20 in a main stat are convinicing... but not this one... maybe the 1 square you shift your opponent farther because of your secondary stat beeing higher can make your life much easier... maybe the extra +1 bonus to attack all of your comrades get because you chose to have a higher intelligence will be more important...

in general, i would say: the best for you is what fits your character concept best...

(maybe you want that low wisdom score because you dont want to be wise... maybe your cleric needs 18 strength, because he wants to defend his faithful with a hammer...)

if you personally think, the 18 is important for your character, then put it there... i would do the same, but i wouldn´t pretend that it is frustrating to have a lower score in my main stat, because of a 5% chance that it could matter...

It would actualy be the +1 dmg for (nearly) every hit that would be the bigger difference than the to hit chance. The to hit number change has more to do with perception [those times it misses, you notice it]. In general, you'll remember the times you missed by one more than anything else.

Feats, unless you really want certain powers, aren't that great in terms of determining stats. The secondary benefits are a bit part of it. A character like the warlord, has amazing effects based on int and charisma, with str only determining damage/to-hit. That, in particular, is one where you'd never go for 20 in str, because you hit, but miss out on the reason you want to hit.

On the other hand, a strength based cleric has an at-will that gives a str based bonus to another character, so focusing on str only could work ... or a wisdom based cleric gets tons of benefits out of high wisdom, not only increasing damage output, but also healing ability and maxing wisdom can be good.
 

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It would actualy be the +1 dmg for (nearly) every hit that would be the bigger difference than the to hit chance. The to hit number change has more to do with perception [those times it misses, you notice it]. In general, you'll remember the times you missed by one more than anything else.

Feats, unless you really want certain powers, aren't that great in terms of determining stats. The secondary benefits are a bit part of it. A character like the warlord, has amazing effects based on int and charisma, with str only determining damage/to-hit. That, in particular, is one where you'd never go for 20 in str, because you hit, but miss out on the reason you want to hit.

On the other hand, a strength based cleric has an at-will that gives a str based bonus to another character, so focusing on str only could work ... or a wisdom based cleric gets tons of benefits out of high wisdom, not only increasing damage output, but also healing ability and maxing wisdom can be good.

Yes, you are right with everything you say. But my response was adressed to "failing an attack because of the low low score of 16 is so frustrating"...

... on the other hand: a +1 to damage is really low compared to 2 or 3 damage dice... so it will usually have the same effect as a miss: you fail to drop a foe because with your 10 hits out of 20 swings you only reduced your enemy to 5 hp instead to -5 hp...

so in the end the +1 damage is about as effective as the +1 to hit... doing less for your accuracy of dailies and doing more for autodamage attacks and area attacks with 0 or 1 [w]...
 

Ximenes088

First Post
I can't see how a +1 to hit isn't going to get completely lost in the noise of a well-coordinated party. If your warlord's winding up to throw a Lead the Attack on the solo BBEG, your party shouldn't be plinking at the bad guy, they should be doing Aid Another actions to make dead certain that hit lands. Any party with so much as two other melee types can confer a +4 to hit on any ally who really needs to hit with a power. Stack on the combat advantage a coordinated party can be expected to give, and dailies really shouldn't be missing. Having a 16 or an 18 at that point makes exceedingly little difference.
 

WalterKovacs

First Post
Yes, you are right with everything you say. But my response was adressed to "failing an attack because of the low low score of 16 is so frustrating"...

... on the other hand: a +1 to damage is really low compared to 2 or 3 damage dice... so it will usually have the same effect as a miss: you fail to drop a foe because with your 10 hits out of 20 swings you only reduced your enemy to 5 hp instead to -5 hp...

so in the end the +1 damage is about as effective as the +1 to hit... doing less for your accuracy of dailies and doing more for autodamage attacks and area attacks with 0 or 1 [w]...

Of course, that is where the problem arises with diversifying stats for feat options ... especially the magical feat options. The double 13 restriction is damage based, and thus you are giving up damage to qualify to get ... more damage.

The armor/shield based feats are almost entirely related to getting you about a +1 to AC with each increase [and going to scale at least gets rid of your armor penalty ... which again is a "1 in 20" matter].
 

jbear

First Post
It would actualy be the +1 dmg for (nearly) every hit that would be the bigger difference than the to hit chance. The to hit number change has more to do with perception [those times it misses, you notice it]. In general, you'll remember the times you missed by one more than anything else.

Feats, unless you really want certain powers, aren't that great in terms of determining stats. The secondary benefits are a bit part of it. A character like the warlord, has amazing effects based on int and charisma, with str only determining damage/to-hit. That, in particular, is one where you'd never go for 20 in str, because you hit, but miss out on the reason you want to hit.

On the other hand, a strength based cleric has an at-will that gives a str based bonus to another character, so focusing on str only could work ... or a wisdom based cleric gets tons of benefits out of high wisdom, not only increasing damage output, but also healing ability and maxing wisdom can be good.
personally I would never choose to point buy an 18, I'm always going to prefer two 16's that bump to 18 with racial bonuses. So In my case the only difference we are talking about in this case is a +1 in attack less than what I would have if I were a genasi sword mage as opposed to a warforged. So as others have pointed out... A genasi is 5% more effective at hitting than, in this case, a warforged. And if, as you claim its a question of perception... well if you can't change the problem, change your perception towards the problem... words from the pen of someone far wiser than me.

Also in the case of the warforged sword mage his extra points in strength combining with his Int modifier damage leave him doing exactly the same damage as a genasi that would have the higher Int but the lower Str, in at least one of his At-wills.

The OP puts forward the question whether a Warforged Swordmage is a valid character option; in my opinion it is. Some races are slightly more adequate for certain classes. Seems normal and understandable to me. But where a warforged lacks in his primary stat he can make up for it where his strengths lie, i.e being near impossible to finish off, being able to not breathe, a bit more staying power, hard hitting OAs etc., all those things that probably attract the OP to that race in the first place.

And with in the scope of the game couldn't a character with a slightly lower intelligence than some of his fellow sword mages make it his game obsession to find and implant himself with a more optimal brain component to raise Int or search the history annals in search of clues to find a headpiece that raises Int? There are so many ways to tinker and balance and make the game what you want it to be, it just seems like feeling trapped within the choices of an optimal race seems like an inabilty to think outside the box.
 

Of course, that is where the problem arises with diversifying stats for feat options ... especially the magical feat options. The double 13 restriction is damage based, and thus you are giving up damage to qualify to get ... more damage.

The armor/shield based feats are almost entirely related to getting you about a +1 to AC with each increase [and going to scale at least gets rid of your armor penalty ... which again is a "1 in 20" matter].

actuall i never said anything about qualifying for feats that boost damage... at least i think so...

the +1 AC is another thing: if a +1 bonus comes up more often, its worth more... and if you are surrounded by minions or attacked at range, a +1 bonus to AC is quite good... if your character fokusses solely on attacks and does many of them (like a wizard does with area effects against minions) the 18 or 20 in your main stat can be worth all the points you need to pay...

its like the bard´s old inspire courage... the +1 bonus to hit and damage on the 4 or 5 attacks from the ranger + those 5 attacks all of the other characters made in a single round made a big difference in the long run. In 2 rounds you can be quite sure your bonus was making the difference on one attack and adding to damage on all other hits...

As a rule of thumb: you need about 20 rolls on average to see your +1 bonus make a difference... this is where you should fokus on getting that little thing...
(hint: ranger with at least 2 attacks per round would not waste it... a defender instead should rather think about his AC)
 

Stalker0

Legend
Yes, you are right with everything you say. But my response was adressed to "failing an attack because of the low low score of 16 is so frustrating"...

Missing with a big power is frustrating, but you have to consider the counterbalance.

A warlock for example with higher int and lower charisma might hit a little less often, but for some powers everytime he hits he gets a stronger effect.

A cleric with sacred flame that has decided to give up a little wisdom for more charisma will hit less 1 out of 20 times, but all the other times he does hit he gains a bigger bonus.

My argument at this point is that it is WAY too early in 4e to make a blanket statement like, "18 in your prime stat, or your crap". There's always a benefit to a higher primary stat, but there is a cost with it, and for some they would rather not pay the cost.
 

Missing with a big power is frustrating, but you have to consider the counterbalance.

A warlock for example with higher int and lower charisma might hit a little less often, but for some powers everytime he hits he gets a stronger effect.

A cleric with sacred flame that has decided to give up a little wisdom for more charisma will hit less 1 out of 20 times, but all the other times he does hit he gains a bigger bonus.

My argument at this point is that it is WAY too early in 4e to make a blanket statement like, "18 in your prime stat, or your crap". There's always a benefit to a higher primary stat, but there is a cost with it, and for some they would rather not pay the cost.

If you had read more than that one sentence, you quoted out of context, you would have seen that my posts support your counterbalance argument. But i don´t think it is way tooo early to judge... the statement "less than 18 in your main and you are crap" was never true and will never be true (2nd edition fighters excluded...)
 

Danceofmasks

First Post
It was not true in 3e, where you could buy a hitroll.
Heck, I played a sorc for years that started with 15 cha 'cos save DCs were irrelevant for the spells I took.
In 4e, less than 18 is sub-optimal.
 

It was not true in 3e, where you could buy a hitroll.
Heck, I played a sorc for years that started with 15 cha 'cos save DCs were irrelevant for the spells I took.
In 4e, less than 18 is sub-optimal.

Of course less than 20 is sub-optimal... as it was true in 3rd edition too(with 18 char you had more spells per day... even when you took only spells which didn´t allow saving throws...)
actually less than 20 in your main attribute(s) and less than 18 in the rest is suboptimal... but it is nearly impossible to roll...

and if you use point buy, it is impossible... the question is always: what is more suboptimal: 20 in main 10 in all other stats, or is 16,16,14,12,10,10 less suboptimal... and without knowing the character I seriously can´t tell you which is worse...

and actually: it doesn´t matter at all... if noone tries to break the game by imbalancing characters (like focus only in attacks, neglecting defense totally...) all people should have fun...
it usually stops beeing fun, when the DM doesn´t find monsters which can stand the alpha strikes and don´t wipe the party when the alpha strike fails...
this is a serious problem in 3.5 at higher levels when the DM doesn´t say no to many many players options... including saying no to many magical items...
actually this is the way wizards and sorcerers are balanced in editions before 4th edition... a major design flaw once you hit level 7...
 

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