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

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
Well, in the real world you are absolutely right. Unfortunately, D&D is a game. At some point you have to realize that the "normal" poeple of a race have 10s everywhere and a 11 and 12 in two stats. Having the standard array makes a character quite exceptional already. From a +0/1 ability bonus to a total +5/7 is quite a step in the exceptional don't you think? This is a 500% to 700% increase.

Even the 4d6 method makes for quite exceptional individuals. At some point, the goal of the game is about heroes struggling to make better world or simply to save it. At which point do heroes become super heroes?

One other thing to consider, the stronger the characters, the stronger the challenge they will have to face. And this will lead to a much more swinging game where the scales will easily tips in either a surprise TPK or becomes simply too easy to offer a real challenge if the DM does nothing to adjust the challenges.

The game is balanced as is for the tier 2 to 3 but becomes trickier the higher you get. Fixed ASI gives character advantages and balance these with disadvantages on various classes. No one argues that wearing medium armor is quite a step for a wizard. This why dwarven a wizard starts with a maximum of 15 in intelligence. With floating ASI this balance is thrown to the four winds and nothing prevents your dwarven wizard from taking it a step further and take heavily armored as a feat on level 4. With fixed ASI, it would be a major throwback as it would mean being behind by two points. A 5% sacrifice is not that big of deal. But a 10% one is.

But maybe I have been a DM for so long that a players' perspective is becoming an alien thing to me. On the other hand, almost all my current players share my view on this...
 

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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Well, in the real world you are absolutely right. Unfortunately, D&D is a game. At some point you have to realize that the "normal" poeple of a race have 10s everywhere and a 11 and 12 in two stats. Having the standard array makes a character quite exceptional already. From a +0/1 ability bonus to a total +5/7 is quite a step in the exceptional don't you think? This is a 500% to 700% increase.

Even the 4d6 method makes for quite exceptional individuals. At some point, the goal of the game is about heroes struggling to make better world or simply to save it. At which point do heroes become super heroes?

One other thing to consider, the stronger the characters, the stronger the challenge they will have to face. And this will lead to a much more swinging game where the scales will easily tips in either a surprise TPK or becomes simply too easy to offer a real challenge if the DM does nothing to adjust the challenges.
It could if it was actually that significant. I feel there may be much more extensive issues over shadowing. Like having 6 saves most of which will never be trained pretty much makes everyone / anyone a potential sitting duck.
The game is balanced as is for the tier 2 to 3 but becomes trickier the higher you get. Fixed ASI gives character advantages and balance these with disadvantages on various classes.
I feel 5e balance is kind of slap dash as it stands, being used to 4e and this seems a very small difference in real terms the game has imbalanced feats and subclasses and many other things.
 

It could if it was actually that significant. I feel there may be much more extensive issues over shadowing. Like having 6 saves most of which will never be trained pretty much makes everyone / anyone a potential sitting duck.

I feel 5e balance is kind of slap dash as it stands, being used to 4e and this seems a very small difference in real terms the game has imbalanced feats and subclasses and many other things.
6 save is the mean by which the designer made sure that every character would have a weakness somewhere.

4ed was a special case where everything was balanced to the Nth level. I really liked this edition but it was not everyone's case. I do not want to start an edition war but 4ed was so balanced that every classes felt more or less the same.

Sometimes, as strange as it seems, there is balance in imbalance...
 


Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Sometimes, as strange as it seems, there is balance in imbalance...
Again the edition is slap dash and this is a small imbalance you seem to think is overwhelming in importance and its overwhelmingly less than feat and subclass imbalances.

I really think your opinion of 4e balance is nonsense but its also not the subject so quit pretending its not edition warring while spouting the tropes of that.
 

A weakness only casters can exploit yeah nope/ does everyone have vulnerabilities to one martial maneuver? or another nope never happen its very swingy imbalance in favor of casters surprise the revenge of the nerds edition.
Grab attack and trip attack comes into mind. Shove with shield but to name only three
All have the potential of forcing concentration checks and put a caster at risks and a melee character has a lot of chance to not be affected at all. Yeah casters are clearly advantaged....🙄
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Sometimes, as strange as it seems, there is balance in imbalance...
Not really you are just claiming something else balances a focused area of imbalance. That rarely works as you cannot control the frequency of the assumed other area. For instance 1e considered it balance that a caster got nearly nothing to contribute for several levels (unless they won the spell lottery then the game of DM vs caster began early) and were awarded later by over shadowing others except and individual game table often never hit all the levels and instead only felt imbalance.
 

Again the edition is slap dash and this is a small imbalance you seem to think is overwhelming in importance and its overwhelmingly less than feat and subclass imbalances.

I really think your opinion of 4e balance is nonsense but its also not the subject so quit pretending its not edition warring while spouting the tropes of that.
You are talking to someone that has been defending 4ed quite heavily on this forum. Being honest in the strength and weaknesses of an edition is not the se as bashing it.

And for 5ed imbalanceds.
There not as imposing as they were in 3ed and 3.5ed. I vividly remember the infamous CODZILLA. 5ed is quite far from that. Very very far.
 


Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
And for 5ed imbalanceds.
There not as imposing as they were in 3ed and 3.5ed. I vividly remember the infamous CODZILLA. 5ed is quite far from that. Very very far.
CODzilla were definitely ridiculous and this is not the ediition where the Druids bear makes the fighter superfluous.
However they put +1 to 3 on an optional game feature things work fine with one person having a +1 item and someone else not (even in 4e) which makes it basically double the impact (ok not always if you count versatility) but still.
 

Not really you are just claiming something else balances a focused area of imbalance. That rarely works as you cannot control the frequency of the assumed other area. For instance 1e considered it balance that a caster got nearly nothing to contribute for several levels (unless they won the spell lottery then the game of DM vs caster began early) and were awarded later by over shadowing others except and individual game table often never hit all the levels and instead only felt imbalance.
If you never played at those levels I can understand your position but we played those levels and it was quite fun. So yes, the "balance" was a poor one but it was an attempt nonetheless. Remember that RPG were in their infancy and a lot was yet to be fully understood.

So yes, one imbalance can be balanced by something else. It is also a matter of how many house rules you have and IF you took their repercussions onto account when implanting them. So far, 5ed is the closest we have for a balanced game where every classes feel unique and can contribute equally to the game. No other edition can claim that. Even if I much prefer 1ed, I can admit the 5ed is better designed than my favourite one.
In order, 1ed, 5ed and 4ed. 2ed was not going far enough and 3.xed went overboard with casters.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
If you never played at those levels I can understand your position
I am not thinking I would like playing a high level mage while the party played sidekick and the thief was obviously useless.
but we played those levels and it was quite fun. So yes, the "balance" was a poor one but it was an attempt nonetheless. Remember that RPG were in their infancy and a lot was yet to be fully understood.
I played low levels as a mage and higher levels as a fighter tadah.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
So yes, one imbalance can be balanced by something else. It is also a matter of how many house rules you have and IF you took their repercussions onto account when implanting them.
House rules sort of smoke screen things.
So far, 5ed is the closest we have for a balanced game where every classes feel unique and can contribute equally to the game. No other edition can claim that.
II think even the best melee character in 5e is probably a caster (Paladin)

The Paladin is also more versatile outside of combat because of spells.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
So far, 5ed is the closest we have for a balanced game where every classes feel unique and can contribute equally to the game.
I also think making mechanics arbitrarily different purely for the sake of seeming difference itself like using dice for one classes short rest resource and pts for another's or giving them different names (and scales) is also a pretense for artificial differences to make you feel something is unique regardless of them being functionally the same

I get it though roleplaying is about illusion.
 
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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.
I completely agree with this. Where it falters is character creation. If you don't have generalities, then ASI needs, to quote you, mental gymnastics. Several backgrounds will not work either. Heck, several feats won't work. There are even times where specific class powers won't work - unless you use generalities.
Ah, sorry to disappoint but I was not failing to perceive your interpretation, I was just rejecting that approach as a general explanation.
Fair enough.
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.
Again, this is limited vision. Notice how you define it as only one or the other. You don't define it as: my charisma comes from me being novel, my haircut, and the essence of how I carry myself.
I mean no disrespect by this, but do you not see the difference? One allows a player to create their character with a high charisma the way they want. Your way limits them to either: it's essence and spirit or some explanation that during the course of the game won't make sense in a given circumstance. (Which, by the way, is every mechanic in the game. ;) )
Hence, generalities.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Grab attack and trip attack comes into mind. Shove with shield but to name only three
Does everyone have vulnerability to strength targeting attacks? for instance how many monsters do?
There is no guarantee of a vulnerability that a fighter could even select an attack look for. We are talking about a broad offensive advantage and not a defensive one. Fighters can attack on only 2 fronts and even confronting the str vulnerability requires getting past the AC or am I miss remembering? Ie that vulnerability may be rather defended from the fighter.

We already established that everyone has several defensive flaws. (if you can target them)
 
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Again, this is limited vision. Notice how you define it as only one or the other. You don't define it as: my charisma comes from me being novel, my haircut, and the essence of how I carry myself.
I mean no disrespect by this, but do you not see the difference? One allows a player to create their character with a high charisma the way they want. Your way limits them to either: it's essence and spirit or some explanation that during the course of the game won't make sense in a given circumstance. (Which, by the way, is every mechanic in the game. ;) )
Hence, generalities.

I do think I see the difference, but it's possible I don't understand your point.

I think it's fine...more than fine, awesome...to create a character with high charisma (or low charisma) and describe your character as having been disfigured as a youth when a black dragon hatchling breathed on him. Yes, that raises questions of why facial scars let you prepare additional spells, but that's where you can just handwave away the internal inconsistencies and just play the game.

All I'm saying is that the person (and table) who accept this have made a choice for their own game, and one can't leap from there to a general principle about what Charisma is in the game. Which clearly, based on its mechanical implementation, is something intrinsic to the character and not how that character is perceived by others.
 

Actually, one more example: I was in a game once with a guy playing a sorcerer who expressed his spell mechanics as a deck of cards. Every time he cast a spell he described the card he pulled from the deck and threw at his target (or whatever he did with it.)

Now, obviously there are all kinds of problems with claiming that this is the actual spell mechanic. The two things just don't map to each other. But, that's ok...he was sensible enough to not try to take advantage of the incompatibilities. He played the deck of cards thing so that it did map to the rules. But that doesn't mean that he could (logically) use his interpretation to argue about what the rules represent.
 

I do think I see the difference, but it's possible I don't understand your point.

I think it's fine...more than fine, awesome...to create a character with high charisma (or low charisma) and describe your character as having been disfigured as a youth when a black dragon hatchling breathed on him. Yes, that raises questions of why facial scars let you prepare additional spells, but that's where you can just handwave away the internal inconsistencies and just play the game.

All I'm saying is that the person (and table) who accept this have made a choice for their own game, and one can't leap from there to a general principle about what Charisma is in the game. Which clearly, based on its mechanical implementation, is something intrinsic to the character and not how that character is perceived by others.
I understand your point. I think wholeheartedly you understand mine. We just disagree on the actuality of it all. That's cool. Personally, yours is more logical. Thanks for the discussion. It is appreciated.
(PS - You are always someone I seem to agree with. For better or worse. ;) But I truly do appreciate your argument because it doesn't resort to name calling. Thank you.)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Why does that get you? The structure of real-world racism is that specific differences in appearance (mostly skin color) index all sorts of other real differences, when in fact that is not the case. What fantasy potentially does that is problematic is create differences between humanoid beings then actually associate those differences with underlying difference.

Would you find interesting humanoid creatures that look the same but have very different underlying abilities? That's a space not as explored in fantasy, aside from changelings.
Whichever way you want to slice it, racial ASIs are far less potentially "racist" than differences in skin color, ear shape, eye shape, size, etc. It's getting up in arms at the small stuff and they being perfectly fine with the big stuff.
 

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