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D&D General How do you like your ASIs?

What do you like to see in your character creation rules?

  • Fixed ASI including possible negatives.

    Votes: 27 19.9%
  • Fixed ASI without negatives.

    Votes: 5 3.7%
  • Floating ASI with restrictions.

    Votes: 8 5.9%
  • Floating ASI without restrictions.

    Votes: 31 22.8%
  • Some fixed and some floating ASI.

    Votes: 19 14.0%
  • No ASI

    Votes: 35 25.7%
  • Other (feel free to describe)

    Votes: 11 8.1%

  • Total voters
    136

clearstream

(He, Him)
Again, and I've said the exact thing before, it's both. Floating ASIs are a (small) power creep, but worse in combination with other options, and that's one,
I was thinking this over. It seemed to me that for many pages this thread was held hostage to accusations and anxieties about power creep. Yet no one has been able to say exactly how power is crept? If I want +2 on Dex, I can choose elf, or I can apply 2 points from my floating ASI. The only difference is that with fixed ASIs, choosing dragonborn is incompatible with starting with +2 on Dex: my character concept is prevented.

but it also degrades the perception of races, in particular for people expecting certain views from the genre fiction, books/movies/shows and in particular D&D ones (books in general)
Ironically, an important motive for moving to floating ASIs is because fixed ASIs degrade the perception of some races, especially in reflecting some real world stereotypes.

It still makes the choices more significant.
I have found in play that choice of race feels more significant when any concern about ASIs is entirely off the table. I've observed players thinking about what they truly want to play, without being sabotaged by other concerns.

And once more, there is a difference between making reasonable choices and badgering your DM to allow an option because you want that sweet +3 for no other reason than because it's more than +2.
As this thread is about voting on the official method (@Sabathius42 perhaps you could confirm that?) badgering a DM about an option is not at issue. It is further not at issue because without badgering at all they could always have just chosen the race that gave them the ASI they wanted.

All the combinations already exist in the game, and they all make reasonable characters, everyone tells you this. Honest people then also say that they want the +3 because otherwise their character does not feel heroic/powerful enough for them, and that's fine if the DM and table agree. And that's the end of the story.
Seeing as I can honestly say that isn't the case for myself and folk I play with, perforce you speak here only of yourself and perhaps players you play with. Or let's put it another way: suppose I concede that you have that belief (which I surely should). How can you possibly show me that it is a justified, true belief? As often happens with instances of JTB, we will founder on what counts as justified. Seeing as you don't have any rigorous way to prove how I feel, or how those who I play with that you have no contact with feel, you will be relying on a justification from your own experience without most likely anything in the way of clinical study to support it.

What feels like a justified, true belief from your viewpoint is not a justified, true belief from my viewpoint. And you possess nothing persuasive that can alter that. (Hence you end up trapped into repetition.) One way to move that forward is that we can suppose that there is a possible world in which what you say is true, and then we can talk about what that world looks like, even though we aren't justified in claiming we are in that world. We can then look at the other possible world, where what you believe turns out not to be true, and think about what that world looks like.

This is more or less what I am doing. I am saying that a similarity between the set of such worlds with fixed versus floating ASIs is that if I want, I can have a +3 in both of them. So your anxieties about the motives of players choosing that +3 is a very weak divider between those possible worlds. As @TwoSix has to my mind shown, it doesn't matter whether they are using fixed or floating ASIs, if their character wouldn't feel heroic/powerful enough to them, they can remedy that in worlds that have fixed ASIs just as much as in ones that have floating.

And this is where I can switch to pragmatism, and notice that a consequence of being in such possible worlds as have floating ASIs is that a player about whom you would have that anxiety, is able to play any race at all. While in the 'fixed' worlds, they can play only races that have their needed ASI. And for players who don't have that motive - which at the very least we can agree might exist - it doesn't matter which world they were in.

(Just for clarity, I am speaking of four possible worlds - all the combinations of motivated/not-motivated by power with fixed/floating ASIs.)
 
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Lyxen

Great Old One
Insulting other members
I was thinking this over. It seemed to me that for many pages this thread was held hostage to accusations and anxieties about power creep. Yet no one has been able to say exactly how power is crept? If I want +2 on Dex, I can choose elf, or I can apply 2 points from my floating ASI. The only difference is that with fixed ASIs, choosing dragonborn is incompatible with starting with +2 on Dex: my character concept is prevented.

Once more, no, it's not, unless your character concept is having a +3 in your main stat, which is a pure power consideration. You are confusing the concept with the build, the character personality, history, background and roleplay with its technical efficiency.

Ironically, an important motive for moving to floating ASIs is because fixed ASIs degrade the perception of some races, especially in reflecting some real world stereotypes.

No, sorry, it's not. This is a false argument that I'm really tired with, it has absolutely zero basis in fact, it's only fanatics claiming this on behalf of others to stir trouble. And the best proof of this is that the Floating ASIs have gotten these annoying people out of WotC's back when in fact they have addressed nothing in terms of the orcs in particular, which proves that it's just (cleverly done) deflection tactics against political manoeuvering that has nothing to do with the game. For example, now that the wave has passed, WotC has completely dropped the word lineage from its latest publications, and is back to "race" as the official name for the PC options.

I have found in play that choice of race feels more significant when any concern about ASIs is entirely off the table. I've observed players thinking about what they truly want to play, without being sabotaged by other concerns.

As these concerns are purely about power, it just proves my point around here. And sorry, it's only sabotaging if a +1 somewhere is critical, which is demonstrably totally false in terms of enjoyment and survivability. It's just in terms of self-image and wanting to be more powerful.

As this thread is about voting on the official method (@Sabathius42 perhaps you could confirm that?) badgering a DM about an option is not at issue. It is further not at issue because without badgering at all they could always have just chosen the race that gave them the ASI they wanted.

And then, they would have sacrificed a character concept in the name of power, there is a name for that, powergaming. If they really like the concept, they will play it, and increase their stat later if they think it's the right development path. Nothing mandates that at level 1.

Seeing as I can honestly say that isn't the case for myself and folk I play with, perforce you speak here only of yourself and perhaps players you play with. Or let's put it another way: suppose I concede that you have that belief (which I surely should). How can you possibly show me that it is a justified, true belief? As often happens with instances of JTB, we will founder on what counts as justified. Seeing as you don't have any rigorous way to prove how I feel, or how those who I play with that you have no contact with feel, you will be relying on a justification from your own experience without most likely anything in the way of clinical study to support it.

Look, you have provided zero proof of what you claim, and the only thing you are saying is that your friends and you want it, obviously because not having a +1 somehow prevents you from enjoying what would otherwise be a perfectly enjoyable, viable and efficient character. Hence, it's all about the power of the +1, for your friends and you.

I'm not judging here if it's your preference, just be aware that it's simply about the power. If you had all characters with 14s and 15s, I'm pretty sure the adventures would play exactly the same way. Why would they not, even a full character life is not sufficient for the law of great numbers to really kick in, and it has ZERO value for a given shot considering the swinginess of a d20.

What feels like a justified, true belief from your viewpoint is not a justified, true belief from my viewpoint. And you possess nothing persuasive that can alter that. (Hence you end up trapped into repetition.) One way to move that forward is that we can suppose that there is a possible world in which what you say is true, and then we can talk about what that world looks like, even though we aren't justified in claiming we are in that world. We can then look at the other possible world, where what you believe turns out not to be true, and think about what that world looks like.

The difference is that what I say is factually true and actually supported by many people around here in terms of actual statistics and impact on the ga's . And a number of proponents of floating ASIs say it plainly, it does not feel that the character has the proper power without a 16. And I have no problem with that, they just plainly say it "my character would be OK without it, but I expect a certain level of power".

This is more or less what I am doing. I am saying that a similarity between the set of such worlds with fixed versus floating ASIs is that if I want, I can have a +3 in both of them. So your anxieties about the motives of players choosing that +3 is a very weak divider between those possible worlds. As @TwoSix has to my mind shown, it doesn't matter whether they are using fixed or floating ASIs, if their character wouldn't feel heroic/powerful enough to them, they can remedy that in worlds that have fixed ASIs just as much as in ones that have floating.

And here we are, these are people who openly say that they want more power, and they will do it even in a world with fixed ASIs, even if it means modifying the character concept. It's a power option, Q.E.D.

And this is where I can switch to pragmatism, and notice that a consequence of being in such possible worlds as have floating ASIs is that a player about whom you would have that anxiety, is able to play any race at all. While in the 'fixed' worlds, they can play only races that have their needed ASI. And for players who don't have that motive - which at the very least we can agree might exist - it doesn't matter which world they were in.

(Just for clarity, I am speaking of four possible worlds - all the combinations of motivated/not-motivated by power with fixed/floating ASIs.)

And if it's the case at your table that you are mostly motivated by power and that floating ASIs are the best way for you to manage that, I'm happy for you that you have found the solution.

At our tables however, we have mostly storyteller/roleplayers, and very few powergamers, but it's those people who still cause some difficulties now and then if unchecked. For example the strongest case that we have is also the only multiclass (coincidence), a gloomstalker/assassin optimised for first strike and who not only dumped charisma but also insisted on a Bhaalspawn background. The problem is that this player is also a bit of a loudmouth negotiator and it took a while for him to admit that his over-optimised first striker was absolutely inept at social interaction, with no charisma, no social skills and a Bhaalspawn's "Supernatural Infamy". After failing most of his checks and his companions (in character) being annoyed at missed alliances and opportunities telling him to shut up when talking to important people (actually, it was the fact that he was not acting optimally for the group that I think finally got to him), he finally blew an ASI to get a feat and at least some social skills, which he now uses carefully.

But that guy is clearly a spotlight hogger who will do anything, technically or roleplayingly, and he needs to be controlled, and we do this by severely controlling the options and the opportunities for power gap, amongst other things.

He is also a very good friend, and also the powergaming DM that I have spoken about. The good thing is that we are always clear at our tables about all of this, but, I suspect a bit like you, he is just incapable of playing a character that is not powerful enough in his eyes. And his eyes only, because he has no idea what the stats of the others are. Of course, he is perfectly capable of a bit of reverse engineering, but it has its limits and as no-one else wants to discuss that, the trouble stops there.

The only difficulty in his campaigns, is that he does a lot of projection on the PCs of his players, and gives us extra powers and powerful items that we don't really need, which means that the combats get really swingy, as most of us are loath to use all these tricks all the time, but when the situation is bad, suddenly it's a powerfest that he cannot really control. Most of us prefer a more stable game, but his adventures and campaigns are great, so we do with the extra gifts...
 

I'll continue to resist gaslighting and hold you to account for your actual words.

To the topic at hand, it feels like we've strayed from wanting fixed ASIs because it's essential to capture the feel of different races, all the way to there is no real mechanical difference between fixed and floating.


Is the concern truly power creep at heart, and not representing expectations about different races mechanically? If a player is concerned about power, I feel we still haven't seen expressed persuasively what it is about fixed ASIs that prevents them pursuing it?
If the player is truly pursuing power and power only. Fixed ASI force him to choose only the race that will give his character the stats that he wants for his character. Some races might come with a negative aspect (bad reputation to fight/overcome) depending on the world and DM's style. This might prevent a power gamer to actually pick the "perfect" race and make him choose an other one (or not). Floating ASI makes some races extremely good at everything. No need to double check, to care about reputation, or simply put, floating ASI are simply doing the reverse of what people claim they do. They lessen the actual amount of races played. I am aware of 5 tables that use floating ASI and guess what? In four of them parties are made up entirely of Mountain Dwarves, Half Elves, a few VHumans and Half-orcs. Do you see the pattern?
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
If the player is truly pursuing power and power only. Fixed ASI force him to choose only the race that will give his character the stats that he wants for his character. Some races might come with a negative aspect (bad reputation to fight/overcome) depending on the world and DM's style. This might prevent a power gamer to actually pick the "perfect" race and make him choose an other one (or not). Floating ASI makes some races extremely good at everything. No need to double check, to care about reputation, or simply put, floating ASI are simply doing the reverse of what people claim they do. They lessen the actual amount of races played. I am aware of 5 tables that use floating ASI and guess what? In four of them parties are made up entirely of Mountain Dwarves, Half Elves, a few VHumans and Half-orcs. Do you see the pattern?

Yep, it's funny how quickly, in certain circles, "diversity" becomes "just another elite". :)
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
If the player is truly pursuing power and power only. Fixed ASI force him to choose only the race that will give his character the stats that he wants for his character. Some races might come with a negative aspect (bad reputation to fight/overcome) depending on the world and DM's style. This might prevent a power gamer to actually pick the "perfect" race and make him choose an other one (or not). Floating ASI makes some races extremely good at everything. No need to double check, to care about reputation, or simply put, floating ASI are simply doing the reverse of what people claim they do. They lessen the actual amount of races played. I am aware of 5 tables that use floating ASI and guess what? In four of them parties are made up entirely of Mountain Dwarves, Half Elves, a few VHumans and Half-orcs. Do you see the pattern?
Sounds like the tables are all strict powergamers or have grim DMs.

Vuman was the strict powergamer race of choice. Almost nothing any race offers as a nonAbility increase beats a skill and feat in raw power.

And quite frankly, being able to use Floating ASI to defy race relations, reputation, and intangibles is a sign of poor world building and a huge criticism I have for many published or xeroxed settings.

If you make race not matter as a world designer then it is hard for me to care about floating ASI race powergaming
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
If the player is truly pursuing power and power only. Fixed ASI force him to choose only the race that will give his character the stats that he wants for his character. Some races might come with a negative aspect (bad reputation to fight/overcome) depending on the world and DM's style. This might prevent a power gamer to actually pick the "perfect" race and make him choose an other one (or not). Floating ASI makes some races extremely good at everything. No need to double check, to care about reputation, or simply put, floating ASI are simply doing the reverse of what people claim they do. They lessen the actual amount of races played. I am aware of 5 tables that use floating ASI and guess what? In four of them parties are made up entirely of Mountain Dwarves, Half Elves, a few VHumans and Half-orcs. Do you see the pattern?
Are they using the TCoE rules that allow moving ASIs? So that Mountain Dwarves get +2/+2 wherever they like, and Half Elves get +2/+1/+1?
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
If the player is truly pursuing power and power only. Fixed ASI force him to choose only the race that will give his character the stats that he wants for his character. Some races might come with a negative aspect (bad reputation to fight/overcome) depending on the world and DM's style. This might prevent a power gamer to actually pick the "perfect" race and make him choose an other one (or not). Floating ASI makes some races extremely good at everything. No need to double check, to care about reputation, or simply put, floating ASI are simply doing the reverse of what people claim they do. They lessen the actual amount of races played. I am aware of 5 tables that use floating ASI and guess what? In four of them parties are made up entirely of Mountain Dwarves, Half Elves, a few VHumans and Half-orcs. Do you see the pattern?
I mean, I was using Floating ASIs before Tashas's made it cool, and my last party contained:

A standard human (Not VHuman)
Soulborn (a homebrew race)
Half-elf
Simic Hybrid
Vedalken
Goblin
Halfling

I mean, I am a powergamer, and I'm telling you straight up that I'm now playing non-elite races because the floating ASI allows me to.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
No, sorry, it's not. This is a false argument that I'm really tired with, it has absolutely zero basis in fact, it's only fanatics claiming this on behalf of others to stir trouble. And the best proof of this is that the Floating ASIs have gotten these annoying people out of WotC's back when in fact they have addressed nothing in terms of the orcs in particular, which proves that it's just (cleverly done) deflection tactics against political manoeuvering that has nothing to do with the game. For example, now that the wave has passed, WotC has completely dropped the word lineage from its latest publications, and is back to "race" as the official name for the PC options.
Thank you for restating your beliefs and position. I will take a break now from engaging with you now. Our views are worlds apart.
 


I'm still not seeing any convincing argument that a +2 modifier vs a+3 modifier has any noticeable, meaningful impact on gameplay at levels 1-3 despite claims of being "gimped" or "disadvantaged" compared to other party members. The d20 is just too random, IMO, for a 5% difference to truly be highlighted. Heck, if it does become "noticeable", just swap out that dang d20 that has missed by 1 one too many times and bring out a new one with better mojo. Amirite?

On a slightly related note, IMO, no other player at the table should be commanding others in the the design and play of their character. Yes, it is a cooperative party and we're all going to play in good faith. If Chris wants to play the high Charisma wizard from the start, let's go with the flow and not demand Chris do otherwise pretending that if Chris doesn't comply the character is (potentially) going to be the downfall of the party and, more importantly, the fun at the table. I mean, I suppose if the session zero consensus is actually to create the most powerful party possible (where "most powerful party possible" is defined as one which has the highest ability scores in the main stat for each given class), then fine, let's do that. But I would surmise that it is not a safe default assumption of how the game must be played. Talking it out at session zero is key.

All that said, detaching ASI from race is not a bad idea. I think I might enjoy a ruleset where the ASI at chargen is +1 for class, +1 for background, and +1 floating (with max +2 to any one ability score).
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I'm still not seeing any convincing argument that a +2 modifier vs a+3 modifier has any noticeable, meaningful impact on gameplay at levels 1-3 despite claims of being "gimped" or "disadvantaged" compared to other party members. The d20 is just too random, IMO, for a 5% difference to truly be highlighted. Heck, if it does become "noticeable", just swap out that dang d20 that has missed by 1 one too many times and bring out a new one with better mojo. Amirite?
I've already shown how it's only 1 single point of additional damage in the few hits during a fight, and 1 time out of 20 attacks(3-4 combats) you will hit an extra time for normal damage. It's trivial, but some people like or feel the need to eek out little bonuses.
 

I've already shown how it's only 1 single point of additional damage in the few hits during a fight, and 1 time out of 20 attacks(3-4 combats) you will hit an extra time for normal damage. It's trivial, but some people like or feel the need to eek out little bonuses.
Yes - this is what I'm talking about. Trivial =/= noticeable and meaningful to gameplay. Do you see any other examples that are non-trivial?

And, so we're clear, I'm not casting judgement on what people "like" or "feel". I'm asking pointedly about noticeable and meaningful effects on gameplay.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Yep. See the problem with TCoE now?
I agree with you that the TCoE rules for reassigning racial ASIs is broken: it greatly over-rewards a few race picks making those so desirable as to visibly warp the meta around them. I believed that this thread was limited to considering floating ASIs, not Tasha's specifically. I understand "floating ASIs" to mean - as per the Feywild races -

Ability Score Increases
When determining your character’s ability scores, increase one of those scores by 2 and a different score by 1, or increase three different scores by 1. Follow this rule regardless of the method you use to determine the scores, such as rolling or point buy. The “Quick Build” section for your character’s class offers suggestions on which scores to increase. You’re free to follow those suggestions or to ignore them. Whichever scores you decide to increase, none of the scores can be raised above 20.

Were we talking about TCoE specifically all along, then you would have my agreement. I think though, that we are talking about floating ASIs as quoted above.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Yes - this is what I'm talking about. Trivial =/= noticeable and meaningful to gameplay. Do you see any other examples that are non-trivial?

And, so we're clear, I'm not casting judgement on what people "like" or "feel". I'm asking pointedly about noticeable and meaningful effects on gameplay.
Yes, let's consider Charisma for a bard - 12 versus 14 versus 16 (I don't know why everyone is so focused on that one cut-off, there is nothing more special about 16 over 14, than 14 over 12 - they're all obtainable from the core game's recommended generation methods with either fixed or floating ASIs.)
  • Bardic inspiration will be 1 use/rest, 2 uses, 3 uses. So 14 has 200% of the uses of 12. 16 has 150% of the uses of 14.
  • Features that use bardic inspiration, like cutting words or mantle of inspiration, are all impacted.
  • Charisma is also the bard's spellcasting ability, so their spells will have better DCs. Say a foe would save 8/20 times, with 12 they save 7/20, with 14, 6/20, with 16, 5/20. 7/8 is a 12.5% change. 5/6 is a 16.7% change, in number of times that a foe saves out of the number of times they would have saved otherwise.
  • Same impact on the high-value Persuasion skill, and because the social interaction system uses thresholds, sometimes this will be the difference between not possible, to possible.
  • The bard with gain 1, 2, or 3 spells in mind.
I find it visible in gameplay at the table, the difference between Bards with 12, 14, 16 or for that matter 18 or 20 in Charisma. But the ASIs will typically allow the modifiers of two abilities to be bumped upward. So the half-elven bard might also experience a reasonable improvement to their Dexterity, which will mean similarly better initiative, attack, damage, armor class, and perhaps a key skill like Stealth.
 

I agree with you that the TCoE rules for reassigning racial ASIs is broken: it greatly over-rewards a few race picks making those so desirable as to visibly warp the meta around them. I believed that this thread was limited to considering floating ASIs, not Tasha's specifically. I understand "floating ASIs" to mean - as per the Feywild races -



Were we talking about TCoE specifically all along, then you would have my agreement. I think though, that we are talking about floating ASIs as quoted above.
I do believe that all floating ASI methods are to be considered. At some point, dwarves, elves and other races not related feywild were mentioned. I am also aware of a table using exclusively TCoE method of +2/+1, 1 skill and one feat for all races, be they established or not. This prevents a lot of the power gaming, if not removing it entirely but the cost is that all races are now simply a matter of aesthetic. The rubber mask syndrome mybside so much dread is pretty much established at that table. But they seem to like it that way so far...
 

Yes, let's consider Charisma for a bard - 12 versus 14 versus 16 (I don't know why everyone is so focused on that one cut-off, there is nothing more special about 16 over 14, than 14 over 12 - they're all obtainable from the core game's recommended generation methods with either fixed or floating ASIs.)
I appreciate your analysis.
+2 vs +3 is the discussion point because without ASI the most a PC could have in their main stat at character generation is 15 (+2 mod) and with ASI they could have a 16 or 17 (+3 mod). Presumptions include point buy (or standard array) and putting your high score into your main stat.

  • Bardic inspiration will be 1 use/rest, 2 uses, 3 uses. So 14 has 200% of the uses of 12. 16 has 150% of the uses of 14.
So an additional BI per long rest between +2 and +3 - that could be noticeable in the course of an adventuring day.

  • Features that use bardic inspiration, like cutting words or mantle of inspiration, are all impacted.
1 extra use of these things per long rest. That checks.

  • Charisma is also the bard's spellcasting ability, so their spells will have better DCs. Say a foe would save 8/20 times, with 12 they save 7/20, with 14, 6/20, with 16, 5/20. 7/8 is a 12.5% change. 5/6 is a 16.7% change, in number of times that a foe saves out of the number of times they would have saved otherwise.
Not sure if I follow your math here. The difference between saving against a DC 12 vs a DC 13 is exactly 5% (assuming an enemy had to roll to save). My argument is that this is just not noticeable in gameplay if it happens on average 1 out of 20 times. The enemy is far more likely to fail or succeed handily than fail/succeed by 1.

  • Same impact on the high-value Persuasion skill, and because the social interaction system uses thresholds, sometimes this will be the difference between not possible, to possible.
Again, just 5% difference between +2 and +3 - when rolls are even required. Your possible/not possible threshold is DC of 22 vs 23 which is approaching very difficult territory. Good thing to save that BI for!

  • The bard with gain 1, 2, or 3 spells in mind.
The bard does not prepare spells. They know what they know and can cast them according to their spell slots.
This argument would apply to a Wizard, Cleric, or Druid, though - although number of prepared spells is driven far more by caster level as play progresses. A one spell difference in prepared spells due to a +2 vs +3, I would argue, is not meaningful at low levels where spell slots are the main limiter.

I find it visible in gameplay at the table, the difference between Bards with 12, 14, 16 or for that matter 18 or 20 in Charisma. But the ASIs will typically allow the modifiers of two abilities to be bumped upward. So the half-elven bard might also experience a reasonable improvement to their Dexterity, which will mean similarly better initiative, attack, damage, armor class, and perhaps a key skill like Stealth.
The question was: do you see a noticeable and meaningful difference in gameplay at the table between a +2 and a +3 modifier. The answer, after my critique of your analysis, seems to be: "sorta" in that the Bard has 1 fewer BIs to dole out (or use to fuel other abilities).
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yes, let's consider Charisma for a bard - 12 versus 14 versus 16 (I don't know why everyone is so focused on that one cut-off, there is nothing more special about 16 over 14, than 14 over 12 - they're all obtainable from the core game's recommended generation methods with either fixed or floating ASIs.)
  • Bardic inspiration will be 1 use/rest, 2 uses, 3 uses. So 14 has 200% of the uses of 12. 16 has 150% of the uses of 14.
  • Features that use bardic inspiration, like cutting words or mantle of inspiration, are all impacted.
  • Charisma is also the bard's spellcasting ability, so their spells will have better DCs. Say a foe would save 8/20 times, with 12 they save 7/20, with 14, 6/20, with 16, 5/20. 7/8 is a 12.5% change. 5/6 is a 16.7% change, in number of times that a foe saves out of the number of times they would have saved otherwise.
  • Same impact on the high-value Persuasion skill, and because the social interaction system uses thresholds, sometimes this will be the difference between not possible, to possible.
  • The bard with gain 1, 2, or 3 spells in mind.
I find it visible in gameplay at the table, the difference between Bards with 12, 14, 16 or for that matter 18 or 20 in Charisma. But the ASIs will typically allow the modifiers of two abilities to be bumped upward. So the half-elven bard might also experience a reasonable improvement to their Dexterity, which will mean similarly better initiative, attack, damage, armor class, and perhaps a key skill like Stealth.
I don't find that stuff noticeable at all. All these percentages that look high(ie 20-25%, 200%, 16.7%) are bumping up small numbers, not large ones. It's not going from 50 to 100, it's going from 2 to 3 uses of an ability, or 6.5 damage to 7.5 damage, 1 or 2 additional failed saves out of 20 casts(multiple combats), and so on. It's not generally going to be noticeable.
 

All that said, detaching ASI from race is not a bad idea. I think I might enjoy a ruleset where the ASI at chargen is +1 for class, +1 for background, and +1 floating (with max +2 to any one ability score).
By way of comparison, in PF2, everyone starts with a 10 in all stats. Races give two fixed +2, one floating +2, one fixed penalty, except humans, which have two floating +2. You get a fixed +2 to you main stat from your class. Your background provides a choice between two +2, and after that, you get four floating +2 that you can apply where you wish. Your aren’t allowed to stack bonuses from a same source.

Overall, I’m not that much of a fan of the system, as it has the effect of restricting race AND background (plus it prevents you from getting an 18 in anything except your main stat).
 

By way of comparison, in PF2, everyone starts with a 10 in all stats. Races give two fixed +2, one floating +2, one fixed penalty, except humans, which have two floating +2. You get a fixed +2 to you main stat from your class. Your background provides a choice between two +2, and after that, you get four floating +2 that you can apply where you wish. Your aren’t allowed to stack bonuses from a same source.

Overall, I’m not that much of a fan of the system, as it has the effect of restricting race AND background (plus it prevents you from getting an 18 in anything except your main stat).
It does a good job if you think of the starting ability scores coming from your training rather than being innate to the person before training began. It's more of a life-path system.
 

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