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D&D 5E Ability Score Increases (I've changed my mind.)


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Changelings get their bonus even if they are in human (or other innocuous) form. Which contradicts your theory.
Again, see generalities. You cannot use attributes on a case by case, specific by specific, instance. This is especially true for charisma. It's generalized.
No, the logic isn’t flawed. It’s a fine interpretation, and is mostly consistent with the published information. But it’s just one possible interpretation. That’s great if you prefer it, but you can’t (logically) present it as fact to support your argument
Not trying to win an argument, but present a side. This is why I said your field of vision is narrow. I am trying to show you a different vantage. Apparently, I may have done that. ;)
All of which is why Charisma can only be an intrinsic but abstract “strength of character” and not anything on your list. Those outward signs might partially reflect Charisma, but they can’t cause it. You’ve got cart and horse backwards.
So attributes are purely cause ---> effect to you? The scar doesn't help intimidation, it is how the person carries the scar? If this is the case, then I am going to start a heated argument about strength, and how just the simple fact of longer limbs, generates immense power. And dexterity, how age greatly affects balance, etc.
You always make good points. And I appreciate them. But, the design of attributes is general. This is the reason so many players can give backgrounds or reasons as to why the stats are the way they are. They are generically general, in the most general sense. Charisma can come from a haircut if your player wants it to be. It can come from a race. It can come from being a novelty. It can come from being tall and intimidating. That is why attributes can be used for any skill. DM's choice. It is also why many of the skills that use the same attribute are incredibly different.
Don't pull the curtain back too far.
 



Again, see generalities. You cannot use attributes on a case by case, specific by specific, instance. This is especially true for charisma. It's generalized.

But you can use it in a specific, case-by-case way if you define Charisma as something like "spirit" or "essence". Or, at least, you can do so as well as you can with the other attributes. It's only if you believe it consists of how others perceive you that you need to do gymnastics with generalities.

Not trying to win an argument, but present a side. This is why I said your field of vision is narrow. I am trying to show you a different vantage. Apparently, I may have done that. ;)
Ah, sorry to disappoint but I was not failing to perceive your interpretation, I was just rejecting that approach as a general explanation.

So attributes are purely cause ---> effect to you? The scar doesn't help intimidation, it is how the person carries the scar? If this is the case, then I am going to start a heated argument about strength, and how just the simple fact of longer limbs, generates immense power. And dexterity, how age greatly affects balance, etc.

You always make good points. And I appreciate them. But, the design of attributes is general. This is the reason so many players can give backgrounds or reasons as to why the stats are the way they are. They are generically general, in the most general sense. Charisma can come from a haircut if your player wants it to be. It can come from a race. It can come from being a novelty. It can come from being tall and intimidating. That is why attributes can be used for any skill. DM's choice. It is also why many of the skills that use the same attribute are incredibly different.
Don't pull the curtain back too far.

All we know for sure about the attributes is how they impact game mechanics. You are absolutely free to come up with any explanation you wish for your attributes (haircut, scar, etc.), but if those explanations aren't consistent with the mechanical effects then your explanation is flawed. I might say that my halfling has 20 strength because he was bitten by a radioactive spider. So he doesn't look strong, but he is. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how that explanation is contradicted by any game mechanics. But if I say my 20 strength is really just indicative of my expertise with my sword it fails to account for the fact that I can also carry a heavy load, swim/jump/climb well, etc.

If you start from the premise that my 20 Charisma is because I am strange and alien to some people, it fails to explain a number of mechanics. You are, of course, free to play that way (and just handwave away the inconsistencies...I do that all the time), but as a general explanation of 5e that the rest of us should accept, it is...lacking.
 
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I do not have my 5e PHB, but I always thought that
Intelligence is the capacity to learn things fast and to retain knowledge and how to apply it to various problems.

Wisdom is the capacity to understand emotions, discern motivations and to learn from past mistakes.

Charisma is a measure of your strength of personality and it enables you to convince others that you're either an ally or treath. It never had anything to do with physical beauty or ugliness.
 

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Charisma is a measure of your strength of personality and it enables you to convince others that you're either an ally or treath. It never had anything to do with physical beauty or ugliness.

This is what I think, too. Although there needs to be some sort of mystical/magical/spiritual aspect to it, for class abilities and spell castling to make sense.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Charisma in 5e seems to have taken on a bit of an "Essence" and/or "Spirit" attribute, IMO, along with the traditional "strength of personality."

I really have been very tempted to break wisdom in half, give the spiritual strength part to charisma and keep the awareness aspect as separate. It just makes a lot of sense with how close charisma is with strong spirits.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Wisdom is the capacity to understand emotions, discern motivations and to learn from past mistakes.

I see it, but I would like to seperate being able to read emotions and being able to shift how people feel and empathize with them. I've known plenty of people who are very kind and always help others feel good, but have had a hard time realizing that someone was struggling. Meanwhile, I also know a few people who can always tell, but don't really care about the emotions of others.

Charisma is a measure of your strength of personality and it enables you to convince others that you're either an ally or treath. It never had anything to do with physical beauty or ugliness.

Nitpick and point of order, I do believe that Charisma evolved from Comeliness (I don't know if they existed side by side or if comeliness was renamed as it expanded) but there was a time where it had almost everything to do with physical beauty. It doesn't anymore, and it was a short period, but the connection did exist in the past.
 

Nitpick and point of order, I do believe that Charisma evolved from Comeliness (I don't know if they existed side by side or if comeliness was renamed as it expanded) but there was a time where it had almost everything to do with physical beauty. It doesn't anymore, and it was a short period, but the connection did exist in the past.
Comeliness was a separate stat. It existed (as an optional rule) specifically because charisma didn't track beauty. It was just later (wisely) decided that tracking beauty wasn't something that was needed, so it was completely dropped.
 

I see it, but I would like to seperate being able to read emotions and being able to shift how people feel and empathize with them. I've known plenty of people who are very kind and always help others feel good, but have had a hard time realizing that someone was struggling. Meanwhile, I also know a few people who can always tell, but don't really care about the emotions of others.



Nitpick and point of order, I do believe that Charisma evolved from Comeliness (I don't know if they existed side by side or if comeliness was renamed as it expanded) but there was a time where it had almost everything to do with physical beauty. It doesn't anymore, and it was a short period, but the connection did exist in the past.
Charisma never was for physical beauty alone.

Comeliness was added much later in the OA and shortly after the UA. It was so badly received that comeliness was dropped in subsequent editions.

From the OD&D Moldvay Basic
Charisma: "Charisma" is a combination of appearance, personal charm, and leadership ability.

1e added: Charisma is the measure of the character's combined physical attractiveness and personnal magnetism. A generally non beautiful character can have a very high charisma due to strong measures of the other two aspects of charisma. (the third aspect here is leadership, as charisma was very important for hirelings and henchmen).

I should add, that my earlier comment on charisma was for 5ed only.
 

This is what I think, too. Although there needs to be some sort of mystical/magical/spiritual aspect to it, for class abilities and spell castling to make sense.
Yep, charisma as casting ability is weird for some classes.

I would have liked to see charisma as a prerequiste for certain classes but a prerequisite with no bearing on casting.
Example: I've always seen warlock constitution based casters because they need to chanel the power their patron gives them. The prerequisite in charisma would have been to have "convinced" their patron to give them powers. Something akin to witchcraft in the middle ages.

Palladins would have been the same, a prerequisite in charisma because they need to have a strong personnality, to be shinning examples of knighthood. But they would use wisdom for their spells. (I know, Palladins are no longer attached to a god... a terrible mistake IMHO).

The only two that would need charisma would be the bards and sorcerers. These make sense. But for these, I would have imposed an other stat as a prerequisite. Constitution for sorcerers as they do channel their inner power to casts spells. Intelligence for bards as they need that for almost all their other class abilities related to knowledge.

But we are in an era that do not require "prerequisite" so...

Note: For me a prerequisite would a 14. And if you wanted to multiclass in these, it would take a 16. That would mean a lot of commitment to multiclass in those so that a single dip would not be that great. But this would also required point buy or rolling as the standard array isn't perfect for this kind of shenanigan.
 

I really don't feel one needs to overthink things like the Elvish language. Elves usually speak Elvish, humans speak Common. Does this make sense, shouldn't there be countless different languages among both humans and elves? Sure, there should, but this is just a convenient baseline for an adventuring game. If you want to track more languages you can easily invent such for your setting. It just means that unless you increase the number of languages the characters know, there might be a lot of communication difficulties when the characters travel around the world.
That is probably the typical response and what I usually do. But it seems that if you can hand wave the worldbuilding implications of something like language that racial/floating ASI would similarly be a non-problematic adjustment? Does the latter seem more important because it's tied to more dice rolls?
 

Scribe

Hero
That is probably the typical response and what I usually do. But it seems that if you can hand wave the worldbuilding implications of something like language that racial/floating ASI would similarly be a non-problematic adjustment? Does the latter seem more important because it's tied to more dice rolls?

For me, because its tied to what I will call 'everything' while clearly its not everything.

Basic Tropes. - External to the game.
Descriptions. (Based on tropes) - World building aspect.
Rules. - The crunch.

Language hardly has that same weight, even if within a 'real' context, it would be extremely important, and more so in any fantastical day to day dealings.

In a game where you want to be able to have diverse parties, and very few people will be professional or hobby linguists, it probably doesn't make sense to lean into that aspect of world building.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That is probably the typical response and what I usually do. But it seems that if you can hand wave the worldbuilding implications of something like language that racial/floating ASI would similarly be a non-problematic adjustment? Does the latter seem more important because it's tied to more dice rolls?
Player characters are exceptions in most every way imaginable this seems much ado about nothing to me
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
In 1e Charisma did include physical appearance. It was even a trope by some older players to refer to a sexy woman as having an "18 Charisma". Comeliness tried to split off the concept.

By 5e today, Charisma is strictly a mental ability unrelated to physical characteristics.

But 5e Charisma does apply to artistic style, and this sense to visual appeal. A character might not be traditionally goodlooking, but a high Charisma can make the appearance look cool, dignified, stylish, and so on.
 


That is probably the typical response and what I usually do. But it seems that if you can hand wave the worldbuilding implications of something like language that racial/floating ASI would similarly be a non-problematic adjustment? Does the latter seem more important because it's tied to more dice rolls?
It is more important as the difference actually matters. Languages are perfectly interchangeable. Also I think that the language names in PHB can just be placeholders like GP and SP are for money. Perhaps in your setting Common is known as the Trade Speak, elves speak Elennidin (which has remained remarkably linguistically stable over several millennia due the long elven lifespan) and people pay with Gold Sovereigns and Silver Marks.

Also, in my current campaign I actually did away with tracking individual languages, and instead we have linguistic skill, which you can roll when trying to decipher ancient scripts or trying to communicate with denizens of a faraway land. I don't know if that's so great solution either, but at least that way we can pretend that realistic linguistic complexity exists in the fiction without the tedium of actually bothering with a detailed mechanical representation of it.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That is where the standard array comes in. The standard array IS what makes the players' characters unique in the first place. Not the ASI.
The world sees an atypical being it does not see where this came from nor care that they might be slightly more atypical than another atypical one of a different lineage..... ie much ado about simulation in a non-simulation
 

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