D&D 5E Has anyone tried or theorycrafted a Joe / Jane average party?

Quartz

Hero
The idea: everyone starts with a 10 in all their stats. Now apply racial modifiers (variant human allowed). That's your starting PC. Then pick class, skills, background, etc. As you gain levels you may pick feats or stat increases as normal. How about starting with 11 in all stats?

Has anyone tried it? Has anyone theorycrafted it? How do the various classes compare?

(This was sort of inspired by the Prodigy class thread.)
 

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Agametorememberbooks

Explorer
Publisher
Another idea might be to have the group be entirely focused around stealth and sneakiness. Always having to get the drop on their enemies, tactically think through surprise rounds and giving advantage as much as possible.

Allow the (optional) flanking rule for a +2 to attack bonuses to help out the melee types while leveraging tactical choices.
 



Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
There are some interesting old rules - it seems either from UA or maybe Greyhawk Adventures - that were for building zero level PCs. What was interesting at the time was it was possible to get skills outside of a class - to make a character who, while he was part of the militia, also had spell casting or thieving skills.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Another idea might be to have the group be entirely focused around stealth and sneakiness.

Well, that depends - if you are using 10s for PC stats, but normal MM-style stats of the opponents, there's a problem. The party generally won't be able to sneak - their bonus to stealth won't be high enough to beat the opponents' passive perception.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
I would only do this if backgrounds and classes offered a bump as well. Also, you could do a revised standard array (12, 11, 11, 10, 10, 9) and point-buy with just 12 points (allowing average of 10s, but you could min/max a 12, 12, 12, 8, 8, 8). This was an idea we played around with for a while.

For example, guard has STR 13, DEX 12, CON 12, INT 10, WIS 10, CHA 10, as a 2HD creature with 11 hp.

To have a fighter PC begin with lower scores and only match hp if CON is 12 (using the only ASI +2 from race), would seem a bit too Joe IMO.

Now, if the Solder background offered +1 to STR, DEX, or CON, and the Fighter class offered +1 CON and +2 to STR or DEX, in addition to the racial +2/+1, for instance, you could "build" your PC. This would give you a +2 (STR/DEX), +2 (any), +1 (S/D/C), +1 (any), and +1 (CON).

But otherwise, just all 10's really wouldn't be very appealing personally.
 
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HammerMan

Legend
The idea: everyone starts with a 10 in all their stats. Now apply racial modifiers (variant human allowed). That's your starting PC. Then pick class, skills, background, etc. As you gain levels you may pick feats or stat increases as normal. How about starting with 11 in all stats?

Has anyone tried it? Has anyone theorycrafted it? How do the various classes compare?

(This was sort of inspired by the Prodigy class thread.)
A few years back we all took the comnor monster stat block applied a race to it (it was pre Tasha so no floating stats) and ran a 0th level scenero that we didn’t track xp for. It was a lot of fun.

I’m not quite remembering if we were allowed to start with any profs or if it was in game we learned them but I remember my elf was the party fighter since I had long and short swords from race… now that I think I started with prof in perception too. Then as we played we picked up “things” during down time training rules including level 1 class features, and a second HD

You don’t know fear of kobolds and rats until you play a con 10 1d8 not maxed elf
 

HammerMan

Legend
Well, that depends - if you are using 10s for PC stats, but normal MM-style stats of the opponents, there's a problem. The party generally won't be able to sneak - their bonus to stealth won't be high enough to beat the opponents' passive perception.
Yes and no. At 1st level the d20 roll is more important then anything.

Yeah a 20 dex rogue with +9 stealth is awesome but realistically the 10 dex one with expertise still has a +4
 

bloodtide

Adventurer
I've done this a couple times......but it REALLY depends on the players and the DM.

If you play a typical by-the-book easy slow paced casual game....it won't matter much. Even when the characters fail rolls all the time, the DM will just alter reality to make it not so bad.

The average game can work if you play Old School style: just ignore that silly sheet and try actions in the game. Though this needs a DM open to that idea.

Lots of DM's are stuck in video game mode: You can ONLY unlock the door with a DC open lock roll, NOTHING else. The type of DM that would not let a PC chop down/through a wooden door or climb in a window.

And you need the players on board too. You don't want the roll players. "ok, so we can't roll to open the door....well, guess we just sit there and do nothing."

Average characters work great if all the players work together and have real team work......but they have to do that first. And want to do that.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Yes and no. At 1st level the d20 roll is more important then anything.

Yes, that's the problem. The d20 is very swingy. So, you cannot depend on it to help you succeed.

Yeah a 20 dex rogue with +9 stealth is awesome but realistically the 10 dex one with expertise still has a +4

Unless the entire party is rogues who took expertise in Stealth, that's not gonna save the entire party trying to sneak.

And do remember - I posited that this is using standard, unaltered monsters - so the target numbers they are aiming for are as if it is a standard group.
 

Why?
So the fighter is just as wise as the cleric? The wizard just as strong as the barbarian? No variation in stats between the characters? Sure, this might prove a roleplaying challenge for a bit, but why? I just don't see it as being a beneficial over any other stat creation method.
 

beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
The idea: everyone starts with a 10 in all their stats. Now apply racial modifiers (variant human allowed). That's your starting PC. Then pick class, skills, background, etc. As you gain levels you may pick feats or stat increases as normal. How about starting with 11 in all stats?

Has anyone tried it? Has anyone theorycrafted it? How do the various classes compare?

(This was sort of inspired by the Prodigy class thread.)

No, I've never tried that. The closest we've ever come to that is running 0 (zero) level characters.
 


Average people have some strengths and weaknesses, so you might allow high stats balanced out by low ones, which would be a different game.

White Wolf had 'mortals' games, where the abilities were 6/4/2 instead of 7/5/3 and skills were 11/7/4 instead of 13/9/5 if I remember right, so some version of this has been done.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I feel like this would be fun to do for a pre-adventure story featuring local villagers or guards... They could encounter the threat, explore the upper levels of a dungeon, etc, before the characters get to the scene. Then the players switch back to their main characters for the real adventure.

For example, if the adventure is going to involve a dungeon inhabited by a rebel group of Dwarf necromancers, you could first have the players roll up "average" people exploring the ruins for treasure, encountering crazy dwarven undead, and trying to survive.

Then they could be the NPCs who ask the characters for help!
 


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