D&D (2024) Dexterity too good?

In the TSR era Dexterity was nothing like as overwhelming. For that matter in the 3.0/3.5 era if you were a dex-type you couldn't drop Str at low-medium levels; you didn't come with Weapon Finesse and ranged damage used Str.

And in the 4e era Int would cover for Dex on the saving throws and AC (and Cha for Wis on saves). So Dex was marginally better but only marginally.

5e is the most dominant Dex has ever been.
Now you shift the goal post. We were talking about secondary stats.
And dex and con were very important in AD&D. Only fighting types needed strength. Others would only get +1/+2 for hit/damage at most.
 

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I prefer DEX-based characters because I like the idea of dancing across the battlefield, dodging blows while landing my own. ;) I just can't see myself being a tank. 😋
You do you. I'm glad that dex primary characters work out in 5e in ways they basically didn't before 4e, and if they worked as badly as they did in AD&D but in a system so cinematic as to use consequence-free hit points I'd be advocating for them.

But a Dex 16 rogue would look a lot more interesting and nimble if the party wizard, barbarian, and cleric weren't all Dex 14.
 


Now you shift the goal post. We were talking about secondary stats.
And dex and con were very important in AD&D. Only fighting types needed strength. Others would only get +1/+2 for hit/damage.
I'm not shifting the goalposts. Dexterity in the TSR era was, as I explicitly said, nothing like as overwhelming as a secondary stat. If my memory serves me if you had a Dex of 14 in the TSR era you had a reaction modifier of 0, an AC adjustment of 0, and a missile attack adjustment of 0. And it didn't affect your saves. You'd only get any bonus at all from having Dex as a secondary stat if you had a 15.

And everyone used weapons. But the important secondary stat (and one unlike Dex and Con that actually did meaningful things before a stat of 15) was Charisma.

And the 3.X issue was that Str was a more important secondary stat.
 

That is something to think about. Maybe having mage armor not allowing dex to AC? Or changing the calculation to 12 + int. And as a class feature, nit a spell?
This is why I've introduced new armour types to 5e. The wizard's one is Heavy Robes; AC 11 but you don't get a dex bonus or penalty (meaning Mage Armour sets you to AC 14). There's also the more historically accurate than D&D armours of
  • Reinforced leather light, AC 13 (no dex modifier)
  • Coat of Plates, medium, AC 15 (disadvantage on stealth, no dex modifier)
  • Lamellar, medium. AC 15 (no dex modifier),
  • Brigandine over a chain hauberk, medium, AC 16 (disadvantage on stealth, no dex modifier).
Yes, the Dex 14 types are all a point of AC higher than this. But that's a significant investment to get there.
 

I'm not shifting the goalposts. Dexterity in the TSR era was, as I explicitly said, nothing like as overwhelming as a secondary stat. If my memory serves me if you had a Dex of 14 in the TSR era you had a reaction modifier of 0, an AC adjustment of 0, and a missile attack adjustment of 0. And it didn't affect your saves. You'd only get any bonus at all from having Dex as a secondary stat if you had a 15.

And everyone used weapons. But the important secondary stat (and one unlike Dex and Con that actually did meaningful things before a stat of 15) was Charisma.

And the 3.X issue was that Str was a more important secondary stat.
And for strength it only started at 15 too. Same for con. My eperience seems to differ greatly from yours.

Charisma did not play a big role at our table. So maybe it really depended on how the DM made use ofndifferent abilities...
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
And for strength it only started at 15 too. Same for con. My eperience seems to differ greatly from yours.

Charisma did not play a big role at our table. So maybe it really depended on how the DM made use ofndifferent abilities...
Yeah I've played AD&D for years, and even the best DM I know never actually rolls for NPC reactions. He sort of eyeballs the player's Charisma and Comeliness*, largely ignoring the systems involved and decides how an NPC reacts.

*Yes, seriously.

As for Str vs. Dex in AD&D, Strength wins. Accuracy and damage bonuses are worth their weight in gold*. Oh sure, you can get a small bonus to ranged attacks with Dex, and a 5-20% AC adjustment isn't nothing, but armor is far superior (though I won't argue armor + dex is nice).

*I mean think about it, how do you get bonuses to hit in AD&D? Ability scores, magic weapons. How do you get AC bonuses? Magic armor, magic shields, Rings and Cloaks of Protection, Bracers of Armor, Ioun Stones, Cloaks of Displacement, Robes of the Archmagi, Boots of Speed, et. al.). On a long enough timeline, you can have a guy with AC -10 wearing nothing but a barbarian loincloth!

The issue here is how AD&D handles high ability scores. For most players, even with a 16, the benefits can be marginal, and the real benefit is possibly getting the 10% xp boost for your class. It's difficult to talk about ability scores until you're looking at 17-18 because of how massive the benefits can be, thanks to Gary's "lightning bonus round" approach to ability scores.

For a Thief, a 17 Dexterity is like gaining a free Thief level! For a Fighter, a 17 Con is 9 more hit points over the course of their career. And of course, someone rocking an 18*91 Strength is a best in combat, likely one shotting Orcs like they're nothing.

So for any melee character, you want Strength. You want lots of Strength. Because the benefits are explosive and immediately noticeable. Strength can also let you wear heavy armor, carry lots of treasure, perform heroic "impossible feats" and even bust down magically locked doors if you have enough of it!
 


MGibster

Legend
Please no. I don't want to pretend to care about logistics. Bag of holding becomes starting equipment just to avoid tracking it.
I can't remember the last time I had a player in D&D abuse encumberance. Come to think of it, I can't remember ever having a player in D&D abuse encumberance. The way D&D works, a character with a low Strength most likely doesn't have a Class that can benefit from or use heavy armor or carry a lot of weapons. In the games where I sometimes do have to consider encumberance, it's most often modern games where players make Strength a dump stat and then pile on all the armor and modern weaponry they can.

I certainly don't miss the old days when we used to maticulously calculate how much a few thousands gold pieces weighed along with other treasures to determine how much we could haul out of the dungeon.
 

Homebrewery and/or the DMsGuild is where it is at.
Sadly, after 5 editions of the game, the team at WotC has been unable to crack the unevenness of the 6 Attributes/Abilities, whatever you want to call them, and they mostly rely on DMs to fix the issues that are beyond them.

That said, people are not strict enough in their games on Encumbrance and I imagine Attunement, but those only move the dial on fairness so far.
 

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