D&D 5E D&D Q&A: 09/27/2013

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I really liked the idea of customizing, with 3 feats or stat gains (+1/+1, can't stack), or a mix of stats and feats of your choice. The default can be the current setup, with this being the optional rule.

I think would be a VERY intriguing design paradigm.

All races get a base +1/+1 to two stats (humans included).

The remaining racial features are split up into two groups (whose split makes sense) and these are "racial feats". Most likely, I'd say that inherent racial traits become one "racial feat" (most of the physical stuff like vision, keen sense, stand your ground etc.) and then the learned and society traits (like skills and added weapon profs) become the second "racial feat".

The Basic game gives the races the +1/+1 pair, and the two racial feats. However, for those tables that don't like certain types of racial traits (like I know many people think that societal racial traits should be removed from the game), the table can agree to instead give another +1/+1 to ability scores just like a normal feat exchange.

For humans... they would get a pair of +1/+1s like the other races, and then perhaps two normal feats (one of which has to be either Athlete or Loremaster, to denote their better skill use). And then like the others, they can exchange the feats for additional pairs of +1/+1s.

This balances all the races out, and removes the necessity of all six +1s to humans across the board.
 

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Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
This would be fun, but there'd be a lot of fiddly bits, and the balance isn't there.

Consider the Athlete/Loremaster requirement you suggest. Both of those also give a +1 to a stat -- which means that there exists a potential for +2/+1 (cf. Half-Orc) in strength and Intelligence.

Also, by giving proficiency in three STR or DEX skills (when the game only has 4 total) Athlete ensures a huge advantage for commonly rolled skills (Acrobatics and Athletics).

Ultimately, those are small points, and can be fixed by tweaks to the existing rules.

The bigger issue, is the assumption that +1 to six abilities is equal to +1 to two abilities, three times. It isn't. Because each class has abilities that will benefit it more than others, and because every character has a class, the first +1 to two abilities is disproportionately more powerful than the third.

This means that instead of +1 to all abilities, a balanced solution (might be) +1 to two abilities, and one feat (or racial package). But that's hard to reverse engineer to produce a "simple" option. As I said, fiddly.

Further, Racial packages for Elves and dwarves and Halflings are pretty rich, for half-elves not so much. But with the half-elf there is a choice for where one of the bonuses go. You're paying pretty dearly for that, I feel. But that's fine, as long as the logic is applied across the board. If you want to allow humans a feat choice as an option, then more reasonable would be (I suggest) EITHER +1 to all stats (simple option), OR +1 to two stats of player's choice, and one feat.
 

Zaruthustran

The tingling means it’s working!
I guess I'm in the minority, or at least the minority of people sharing an opinion on the subject: I like the blanket +1 for humans. They don't have any fancy powers or extra abilities, but they're generally the most capable.

This jibes with the default, Tolkienesque fantasy world where humans are the dominant race. Most populous, biggest civilization. The whole "the age of elves has passed, this is the age of humans" thing. It always bothered me in 1e and 2e where elves were clearly better at everything, and lived for a thousand years, yet humans were the dominant race. Sure, blah blah fertility rate, blah blah ambition, but it just didn't make sense.

With a +1 to everything, the dominance of humanity makes sense. It matches up with humans being all about unconstrained potential, versatility, adaptability. I like it.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
This would be fun, but there'd be a lot of fiddly bits, and the balance isn't there.

You're absolutely right in that the balance isn't there. I was just thinking off the top of my head as I was writing, so didn't really consider what all the races actually get for racial traits and whether they split up evenly or whatnot (nor did I bother looking at Athlete or Loremaster to see what they actually got). So yeah... you'd have to do a good amount of rewrite/adaptation to the racial traits as they stand in order to get each race to have two packages of "stuff" that is worthy of a feat.

Truth be told, I dunno how feasible it would be or not... but it certainly would grant the flexibility that many people would look for.
 

am181d

Adventurer
It doesn't really matter if you give some one race +6 to stats and another +2 to stats or if you give one race +2 to stats and another -2. (Assuming you can't put more than +/- 1 to a stat). The delta is still 4.

But in the current model, the delta is 1.
 

Warunsun

First Post
I guess I'm in the minority, or at least the minority of people sharing an opinion on the subject: I like the blanket +1 for humans. They don't have any fancy powers or extra abilities, but they're generally the most capable.

Lots of us are perfectly happy with the human race getting the blanket +1 to abilities for the same reason you mentioned plus the simplicity of it. I can't say for certain but I wouldn't be surprised if we aren't the minority but the majority. Internet forums have a strong verbal minority bias. You obviously don't complain if you like it and folks seldom post to say something is just right.
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
Lots of us are perfectly happy with the human race getting the blanket +1 to abilities for the same reason you mentioned plus the simplicity of it. I can't say for certain but I wouldn't be surprised if we aren't the minority but the majority. Internet forums have a strong verbal minority bias. You obviously don't complain if you like it and folks seldom post to say something is just right.
Yes, even though I have the opposite opinion on this very issue, you raise a valid point. I posted a poll about this topic some time ago, but it is doubtful that the results (which were strongly against those modifiers) were representative of EN World membership.

The fact that this rule has remained "stable" throughout the public playtest phase, but it has been recently mentioned as being subject to review (likely for inclusion of a variant) makes me think that it might be liked by a majority, but disliked by a sizable non-negligible minority.
 

Klaus

First Post
Yes, even though I have the opposite opinion on this very issue, you raise a valid point. I posted a poll about this topic some time ago, but it is doubtful that the results (which were strongly against those modifiers) were representative of EN World membership.

The fact that this rule has remained "stable" throughout the public playtest phase, but it has been recently mentioned as being subject to review (likely for inclusion of a variant) makes me think that it might be liked by a majority, but disliked by a sizable non-negligible minority.

Or that every suggestion for fixing the human needs to interface with the skill system, which has been the most in flux.

As for "simplicity", giving humans an Ability Score Increase (+2 to one score, or +1 to two scores, or take a feat) is very simple, while remaining versatile, customizeable and coherent with the in-gamer story.
 

Gundark

Explorer
I guess I'm in the minority, or at least the minority of people sharing an opinion on the subject: I like the blanket +1 for humans. They don't have any fancy powers or extra abilities, but they're generally the most capable.

This jibes with the default, Tolkienesque fantasy world where humans are the dominant race. Most populous, biggest civilization. The whole "the age of elves has passed, this is the age of humans" thing. It always bothered me in 1e and 2e where elves were clearly better at everything, and lived for a thousand years, yet humans were the dominant race. Sure, blah blah fertility rate, blah blah ambition, but it just didn't make sense.

With a +1 to everything, the dominance of humanity makes sense. It matches up with humans being all about unconstrained potential, versatility, adaptability. I like it.
Yeah , me too
 

Dalamar

Adventurer
I like the human ability modifiers for their simplicity. It's just that I don't like the fact that it makes the humans, as a race, as graceful as elves, as tough as dwarves as strong as dragonborn, etc. The flavour created by the ability score modifiers doesn't suit me and, I suspect, many others.
 

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