Ability Score Blues

HighTemplar

First Post
@OP: It's easy there are two ways of bulding a character

1: power based(aka optimal, powermongering...)
"I want my guy to be really strong , effective, and impressive"

2: roleplaying based
"I want my stats to define my character, and to each mean something individually"

Once you figure that out, just go by priorities.
"I need a high Str more than I need a high AC" Then you're sacrificing a lot of HP in order to hit more and deal more damage.
If what you want is to hit more, do more damage, and not sacrifice your AC, then you're asking for a lot, and in getting that, you will undoubtedly become retarded in every other aspects of the game (HP, will saves, low skills...)

Are we strapped? yeah we are, but every RPG straps people with stats lol.
 

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Tony Vargas

Legend
And ... how many of those bonus-providing powers do nothing if you miss?
Divine Glow and Tactical Presence don't require that you hit to grant thier bonus.

Furious Smash is a weapon-keyword attack against a non-AC defense, so it's generally more likely to hit than the others.

Aid Another requires a very easy hit roll, and flanking doesn't.

Most powers that inflict an defense-reducing condition work on a hit, but some function on a miss, as well. One that comes to mind because our paladin has it is Radiant Delirium, which dazes even on a miss.


At wills that grant an attack bonus can be spammed until you hit, then you pull out something bigger. Or, you can set up a 'resonance' with such at-wills, with two characters giving eachother bonuses to hit on thier bonus-granting attacks.
 

Doctor Proctor

First Post
there are many one time bonuses which will far outshine your stat bonus...

Actually, a good one that I can think of is the Fighter's Combat Superiority bonus. Let's look at the point buy costs to see what I mean...

To buy the following you will pay:
14 - 5 points
16 - 9 points
18 - 16 points

Now, looking at a Fighter he gets a bonus to his AoO's from his Wis mod. If you buy an 18 in Strength and then bump that to 20, you get the extra +1 to your attack roll for a total of +5 to attack rolls...but at the cost of an additional 5 points over the cost of a 16. Your bonus if you're using a non-sword weapon would be a total of +8 (+5 for abil mod, +2 for prof, +1 for weapon talent).

But now you have no Wisdom bonus, so you're a big threat in terms of AoO's. Essentially, you have the same chance to hit if an enemy moves past you as if you were attacking them directly, which is a +8. However, that attack will be a melee basic, rather than an At-Will.

Now, if you point buy a 16 for a cost of 9 points and then bump it up to an 18 in Strength for a total of +4 to your attack rolls. This comes out to a +7 to attack rolls (+4 for abil mod, +2 for prof, +1 for weapon talent). The 18 only cost you 9 points though, rather than 16, which means you have an extra 5 points to play with. With that, you can buy a 14 in Wis score, which for a Dragonborn doesn't have a racial mod and would've been a 10.

This means that now you get a +2 to AoO's on top of your normal modifiers, so that's a total of +9. You're now more likely to hit your AoO's than your normal attacks, which means it's now riskier for a monster to run past you than it is to stand and fight you directly. You'll do more damage with your At-Wills of course, but you'll be less likely to land them.

What does all this mean though? Basically, as a Fighter, it means you just became more sticky. Enemies will be less likely to try to get past you because of your AoO bonus, and thus you can keep away from the squishies. Even if they do decide to take their chances and get past you though, you have an extra +1 to your AoO's versus the 20 Strength build, which means you're more likely to hit on your AoO's than the 20 Strength build. And if you do manage to hit them, then you will interrupt their movement and still keep the enemy out of your back row.

The net gain here is that you're doing a better job of being a "Defender" and using your class abilities. This is why secondary and tertiary scores can be important. From this point on in leveling you can pretty much ignore your Wisdom score and just keep that little +2 (Eventually a +3 because of the tier ability increases that do +1 to all ability scores) around to give you that extra bump...essentially it's like you have combat advantage any time someone tries to slip by. With the 20 Strength build you might end up not pumping Strength during some levels in order to increase your other ability scores. Or even if it's not Strength, you second point per level would be spread pretty thin between other potential scores like Constitution and Dexterity.
 

Danceofmasks

First Post
At wills that grant an attack bonus can be spammed until you hit, then you pull out something bigger. Or, you can set up a 'resonance' with such at-wills, with two characters giving eachother bonuses to hit on thier bonus-granting attacks.

Sure, you could do that, but just as an example:
I'm playing a str 20 cleric for LFR, and I'd use a dagger as often as I'd use my morningstar.

Missing minions is teh pointless, so dagger is far superior, as well as granting priest shield bonus.
Granting a +5 bonus via righteous brand is so utterly broken, it's almost always worth trading +3 (average) to damage for +1 to hit.
Although, my static bonus of +5 to damage makes the D4 seem not so small.

I need not spam my bonus granting power, I'm hitting at about 75%.
Each hit I land (on a non-minion) equals a +25% probability of hitting for an ally, with which they can (confidently) use their encounter/daily powers with.

If I had any less than 20 str, I would be teh suck in comparison.
 

Sure, you could do that, but just as an example:
I'm playing a str 20 cleric for LFR, and I'd use a dagger as often as I'd use my morningstar.

Missing minions is teh pointless, so dagger is far superior, as well as granting priest shield bonus.
Granting a +5 bonus via righteous brand is so utterly broken, it's almost always worth trading +3 (average) to damage for +1 to hit.
Although, my static bonus of +5 to damage makes the D4 seem not so small.

I need not spam my bonus granting power, I'm hitting at about 75%.
Each hit I land (on a non-minion) equals a +25% probability of hitting for an ally, with which they can (confidently) use their encounter/daily powers with.


right, in this case you have a +5 bonus for you and you give a +5 bonus to an ally... in this case a 20 in your main stat is justified... if you avoid powers which need better secondary scores... in this case 20 strength may be the best option...

If I had any less than 20 str, I would be teh suck in comparison.

yes you would suck then... +4 to hit is just terribly weak...

...switching to a dagger midcombat to kill minins seems a bit... dubious...
 

mattdm

First Post
I think this is one of those issues where perception is overshadowing reality at the moment.

Of course, having a high primary stat is very useful...but is having high secondary stats less so?

I think as people experiment with different character builds, they will start seeing that dropping their primary stat a bit to get a nice big bump to some other stats might be just fine...but people are going with the basics first, big primary stat.

Yeah, this.

After playing for a while, I'm convinced that some of the more balanced point buy arrays we were throwing around a few months ago are still great choices in most cases. If you don't have racial bonus in your primary stat, 17 14 14 10 10 8 is a pretty good value — the 17 goes up to an 18 at 4th level, where someone who traded the 17 for an 18 at the cost of reducing one of those 14s to an 11 raises their 18 to a 19 for no tangible benefit.
 

Mengu

First Post
If I had any less than 20 str, I would be teh suck in comparison.

This is because you're getting some wild synergy between your bonus to hit, damage, and the bonus to hit you grant with an at-will power. The granted bonus on Righteous Brand should have been either a straight +2 like Lance of Faith, or Wisdom Bonus to make it MAD like most other secondary effects. Using the same stat for both encourages a more polarized stat distribution like you have chosen.

A dragonborn avenging Paladin with a Str 20 Con 11 Wis 14 Cha 12 would suffer in quite a few areas such as HP's, number of healing surges, value of healing surges, breath weapon damage, damage from divine challenge, bonus to divine mettle, charisma based powers, future armor specialization, where the same character with Str 18 Con 14 Wis 14 Cha 15 would have some benefit in all those areas for the sacrifice of a point of attack bonus, damage bonus, and fortitude defense.

A 20 is not always an optimal choice, and is often not the most survivable choice. Defensive characters should usually have something other than a 20 in the primary stat. For an offense or utility character, a 20 can sometimes be a decent option if it gives multiple benefits such as your example of the strength cleric, or say an elf archer ranger who gets nice attack, AC and Reflex all from a 20 dex, while the stat boost to Wisdom puts him at a 16 for a great bonus to the secondary stat as well.
 

Danceofmasks

First Post
right, in this case you have a +5 bonus for you and you give a +5 bonus to an ally... in this case a 20 in your main stat is justified... if you avoid powers which need better secondary scores... in this case 20 strength may be the best option...

If you miss, your secondary does nothing.
You're going to use your primary as a bonus to hit and damage on the vast majority of rolls in combat.
Prioritising secondaries even as high as half that of your primary = fail at charop.
 

Danceofmasks

First Post
A 20 is not always an optimal choice, and is often not the most survivable choice.

If your party takes an extra round to defeat an elite, or a pair of brutes 'cos you're doing less damage, or soldiers 'cos you're missing .. it costs you extra pain.
That extra round means an additional extra round for the next couple of mobs .. in a large battle, it could mean for your "survivability build party," your foes get 20+ additional actions.
The number of additional actions your enemies get determines your survivability.
It's a cumulative effect. Each action they get costs you resources. Even if you win one fight, unless you're kitted out for laying waste, you may lose the next .. 'cos ... you're not going to get that much better at laying waste between encounters.
 

Cadfan

First Post
Danceofmasks- That's a nice argument, and its even true, but it doesn't mean that you should favor attack bonus in every possible situation.

Look, the reason that no one is going to agree with you is because, while important, attack bonus doesn't automatically win in every single possible tradeoff regardless of what's being traded off, how much of it is up for ante, and the overall context of the class. You're taking a position that's way too extreme.

Some classes get a lot of benefits from secondary stats. Others don't. Some classes have multiple secondary stats, all of which are at least somewhat important. Others don't. The balancing act of trading off between your various stats isn't the same in every case.
 

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