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5E Free +2/+1 ASI instead of racial ASI?

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
You could import in how 13th Age does it. Race gives a +2 that you can apply to a choice to two ability scores that fit that class. Class gives a +2 that you can apply to a choice of two ability scores that makes sense for the class. You can't apply them both the the same ability score.

So a halfling (+2 DEX or CON) barbarian (+2 STR or CON) could end up +2 STR & CON, +2 DEX & CON or +2 STR & DEX, while a dwarf (+2 CON or WIS) paladin (+2 STR or CHR) could end up with a +2 STR & CON, +2 STR & WIS, +2 CON & CHR or +2 STR & WIS), depending on how you wanted to play them.

In other words, you always can have the right ability for your class because the class gives an ability score, but it's still more likely that a halfling will be more DEX then a dwarf.
 

Greenstone.Walker

Registered User
This proposition essentially looks like everyone is a variant human without the feats.
Agreed. The abilities the races have are there to distinguish them from humans, to model racial generalities (elves are always graceful, dwarves are always tough), and to encourage tropes (dwarves wear armour and use axes, elves don't wear armour and use thin swords).
 

Saelorn

Explorer
Sure, but presenting the setting is NOT writing the rules for making PCs. You can have legolas elves and gimli dwarves in your setting even when those tropes are mechanically poor for them.
If you think that the rules for making a character do not reflect the reality of the setting, then that's another issue entirely. Let it suffice to say that a setting which claims to support these tropes, while making them mechanically poor options, suffers from serious consistency problems.
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
You could import in how 13th Age does it. Race gives a +2 that you can apply to a choice to two ability scores that fit that class. Class gives a +2 that you can apply to a choice of two ability scores that makes sense for the class. You can't apply them both the the same ability score.

So a halfling (+2 DEX or CON) barbarian (+2 STR or CON) could end up +2 STR & CON, +2 DEX & CON or +2 STR & DEX, while a dwarf (+2 CON or WIS) paladin (+2 STR or CHR) could end up with a +2 STR & CON, +2 STR & WIS, +2 CON & CHR or +2 STR & WIS), depending on how you wanted to play them.

In other words, you always can have the right ability for your class because the class gives an ability score, but it's still more likely that a halfling will be more DEX then a dwarf.
Something similar was actually part of the 5e playtest, as well.

Sent from my SM-G900P using EN World mobile app
 

Bacon Bits

Explorer
In my world, there was quite a large catastrophe. People of any race that allowed themselves to be pigeonholed into only 1 skill (Smart, strong, face, etc.) died from not being flexible enough to handle the new world in its entirety. The ones who remain come from flexible enough bloodlines that they can reasonably turn out however my players want them.
OK?

I'm not arguing you shouldn't change attribute bonuses because flavor is immutable. I'm saying attributes were chosen because of flavor and not because of game balance concerns. You'll notice that I responded to someone who started out saying, "From a pure balance issue [...]," and was arguing that the bonus choices were made due to balance concerns.

And, I mean, if you change the flavor of the races you're already not playing the standard races. So who cares what their ability bonuses are? If your Elves behave like Vulcans and your Dragonborn behave like Klingons, they probably have significantly different abilities.
 

Horwath

Explorer
IMHO, best solution I see is alow any player when he creates the character that he can "sell" one of the +2 racials for a feat.

That way even half orc wizard cas start with 16 int if he chooses a feat that grants +1 int and has dedicated 15 in his point buy. For sacrifising racial +2 strength.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
I mean, no, they probably wouldn't make a race with +2 Int and free medium armor proficiency. However, I would say that the Mountain Dwarf subrace is unique in that it's benefit overlaps relatively poorly with it's ability scores (only Rogue really benefits). The majority of subraces are quite the opposite. High Elves get +1 Int and an extra cantrip. Wood Elves get +1 Wis, Mask of the Wild, Elf Weapon Training, and Fleet of Foot and make excellent Rangers and Druids. Gnomes get +1 Dex or +1 Con to pair with the natural +2 Int, both secondary abilities for Wizards, and one gets a bonus cantrip and the other gets Artifacer's Lore.
An extra cantrip is more useful to characters who aren't wizards, though, and weapon training is useless for rangers since they already have proficiency in everything. While lore may have been the primary design criteria, and balance secondary, I'm certain that there were some design decisions made in the name of balance.

It's still probably not a big deal, since strong examples are few and far between, but this thread is only about the balance issues. Lore concerns are beyond the purview of this discussion, as established in the opening post.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
The OP asked for any thoughts on his house rule. So you are wrong. This thread is not only about balance concerns but instead any and all concerns related to his house rule.

An extra cantrip is more useful to characters who aren't wizards, though, and weapon training is useless for rangers since they already have proficiency in everything. While lore may have been the primary design criteria, and balance secondary, I'm certain that there were some design decisions made in the name of balance.

It's still probably not a big deal, since strong examples are few and far between, but this thread is only about the balance issues. Lore concerns are beyond the purview of this discussion, as established in the opening post.
 

Ragmon

Explorer
I have not done it yet, as my group does not play all that often. As it is, they don't care about what class is meant for which race, so the most I can say is that this will make it easier for them to do what they were going to anyway.
Oh yea, I just noticed, you said, "going to be doing this", my bad.
 

Ragmon

Explorer
Fantasy racial stereotypes are ludicrously important to widespread acceptance of a game. If you have a standard fantasy setting with Legolas-style elves and Gimli-style dwarves, then anyone in the world is already up-to-speed, and there's zero barrier to entry. That's why the standard exists, and why it remains popular.

As you deviate from the expected norms, the barrier to entry rises precipitously. A setting full of gnome berserkers and half-orc wizards is going to give prospective players some pause.
I agree completely. But that can be done without mechanically hindering people who want to play outside the stereotype box.

That and if the ASIs were removed completely, would that erase all the stereotypes? No they would stay cause the stereotype is established in the fuff.
 

Ragmon

Explorer
5e is very forgiving in playing "off type" R/C combos. You can be perfectly adequate. But archetypes exist for a reason. If I want to play a half orc wizard, it's BECAUSE it's a "rarity". I want to play ip hos uniqueness. If there are no archetypes, then there is nothing unique, either.
Yea, but how about instead of being adequate, the outside-the-box/"fun" choices are moved up to just as good as the generic, stereotype choices?

The rarity is not an issue cause the ASI choice doesent really effect the DM and his world, most likely its populated with stereotypical NPCs anyway, and if the DM want a unique combo then he/she will make it anyway.


Sure, but presenting the setting is NOT writing the rules for making PCs. You can have legolas elves and gimli dwarves in your setting even when those tropes are mechanically poor for them.

Right now, elves and dwarves are getting weapon proficiencies and armor proficiencies that make them legolas-like and gimli-like even if they don't choose fighter as their class (and it probably doesn't have any effect on character classes that don't prioritize the appropriate stats). The thing is that this only really helps world-building, and if you're world building, you just make more dwarves and elves fighters, you don't worry that the elven potter doesn't get longbow on his list of weapons. As long as the generic monster entry for 'elf' gives him stats for a longbow, elves will be typically armed with bows.

So given that, it matters not a whit if you let PCs choose where their +1 and +0.5 stat modifiers go. They could always have bucked the stereotypes, and now you just make it less painful... and it doesn't change your setting one little bit.
Exacta-mundo. :)
 

Saelorn

Explorer
The OP asked for any thoughts on his house rule. So you are wrong. This thread is not only about balance concerns but instead any and all concerns related to his house rule.
Fair enough. I guess I interpreted the phrasing of the OP differently than some.
 

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