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D&D 5E Idea that will most players will hate, but I think addresses a mechanical issue in game

jasper

Rotten DM
Over the years I have seen I have no idea how many arguments about Dex being the god stat. I don't disagree.
There are also umpteen arguments about stats/abilities/what not tied to Str or Dex.

I propose something, that will infuriate most players, for all kinds of reasons.

Some weapon attacks require both a modicum of Strength AND Dexterity. In the real world, a top swordsman (not talking fencers), or archer, needs both.
So what happens if I said to my players:

"OK, when you use your Long Bow, you use your Dex and Prof to Hit, but you add (or subtract) your Str modifier for damage."
This concept can be applied to a myriad of the published weapons, though not all.
Anybody who has wielded a sledgehammer in the real world, or tried splitting wood, understands it not all about Strength.

Now, the cons to such an idea are not limited to the following:
1. More complexity for the players and DM, and we know that new age players hate complexity.
2. Dex, or Str, is no longer a dump stat, which will irritate most martial class players.
3. Martial class chars are taking the hit, while this has no impact on casters.

But...this is far more realistic, and the arguments about creating optimized chars loses some of its value.
Does this also mean that the base damage value of martial weapons has to be altered, to compensate for the inherent nerf to martial chars? Yes.
There are multiple cascade effects.
In the real world does New York City have a job opening for dragon pooper scooper? OR a dragon hunting license? And when is wererat season in NYC?
1. Yea I am 58 and now new age.
2. no comment
3. no comment.
How about this. Add another two columns to the weapon chart, Min str Min dex. If the pc don't qualify they can't use the weapon.
 

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Undrave

Hero
That's a fun idea. However, only directly offensive spells (damage/debuff) are based on attributes at all. All utility, buffing, support, healing, and the like gain no modifiers based on ability scores. How would we want to incorporate those?
Give them prerequisites then. You need this much INT/WIS/CHA to use this spell.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Give them prerequisites then. You need this much INT/WIS/CHA to use this spell.
I had thought about that. But for the spells to be low enough for half-casters (and 1/3 casters for INT) to be able to cast them, then we also have issues where full casters can pump up off ability scores just a bit and get a much wider selection of spells.

Which also brings up that part of the Wizard's class balance is that it doesn't have a lot of power from features but has the widest spell list. I wouldn't want others to be able to grab that just for a moderate investment in INT. But subclasses like Arcane Trickster and Eldritch Knight still need to get access to spells without a crazy INT investment.
 

I had thought about that. But for the spells to be low enough for half-casters (and 1/3 casters for INT) to be able to cast them, then we also have issues where full casters can pump up off ability scores just a bit and get a much wider selection of spells.

Which also brings up that part of the Wizard's class balance is that it doesn't have a lot of power from features but has the widest spell list. I wouldn't want others to be able to grab that just for a moderate investment in INT. But subclasses like Arcane Trickster and Eldritch Knight still need to get access to spells without a crazy INT investment.
There is no reason that particular spells are off-limits to all but the most dedicated/smart/devout/wise of their class. I would say that 1/2 and 1/3 casters would not qualify for a number of spells. I have zero issue with saying "an Arcane Trickster at 13th level does not have access to Fireball", though at 13th level, a Rogue would not care.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
There is no reason that particular spells are off-limits to all but the most dedicated/smart/devout/wise of their class. I would say that 1/2 and 1/3 casters would not qualify for a number of spells. I have zero issue with saying "an Arcane Trickster at 13th level does not have access to Fireball", though at 13th level, a Rogue would not care.
This particular discussion is that non-directly offensive spells don't have an ability aspect and we were brainstorming the gating on those. So we're never talking about fireball. We are talking about utility, support and buff spells, which is exactly the type of spells we want half-casters and 1/3 casters to be able to access -- that's among their primary spell usage.
 

Over the years I have seen I have no idea how many arguments about Dex being the god stat. I don't disagree.
There are also umpteen arguments about stats/abilities/what not tied to Str or Dex.

I propose something, that will infuriate most players, for all kinds of reasons.

Some weapon attacks require both a modicum of Strength AND Dexterity. In the real world, a top swordsman (not talking fencers), or archer, needs both.
So what happens if I said to my players:

"OK, when you use your Long Bow, you use your Dex and Prof to Hit, but you add (or subtract) your Str modifier for damage."
This concept can be applied to a myriad of the published weapons, though not all.
Anybody who has wielded a sledgehammer in the real world, or tried splitting wood, understands it not all about Strength.

Now, the cons to such an idea are not limited to the following:
1. More complexity for the players and DM, and we know that new age players hate complexity.
2. Dex, or Str, is no longer a dump stat, which will irritate most martial class players.
3. Martial class chars are taking the hit, while this has no impact on casters.

But...this is far more realistic, and the arguments about creating optimized chars loses some of its value.
Does this also mean that the base damage value of martial weapons has to be altered, to compensate for the inherent nerf to martial chars? Yes.
There are multiple cascade effects.
I just gave bows the Finesse property. That way both realism (Str contributing to hit and damage) and common media concepts (the archer of the group often being relatively weak physically) are catered for.

I assume that when obtaining bows, characters get one suitable for their strength, and magic bows adjust automatically.

If you would rather separate out abilities, as your suggestion, you could do the same to spellcasters: Int contributes to spell attack rolls and number of spells known. Charisma grants a bonus on spell damage rolls, and Wisdom increases spell DCs.
 

I just gave bows the Finesse property. That way both realism (Str contributing to hit and damage) and common media concepts (the archer of the group often being relatively weak physically) are catered for.

I assume that when obtaining bows, characters get one suitable for their strength, and magic bows adjust automatically.

If you would rather separate out abilities, as your suggestion, you could do the same to spellcasters: Int contributes to spell attack rolls and number of spells known. Charisma grants a bonus on spell damage rolls, and Wisdom increases spell DCs.
Now, though I realize that adding the Finesse property to Bows is pretty innocuous, it is another example of Power Creep. It is simply an addition, without any tradeoff required.

As for the whole Int/ Wis/Cha thing for spells, all options are on the table there.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Now, though I realize that adding the Finesse property to Bows is pretty innocuous, it is another example of Power Creep. It is simply an addition, without any tradeoff required.

As for the whole Int/ Wis/Cha thing for spells, all options are on the table there.
It's power creep to give strength based PCs a decent option for ranged attacks?
 



Scars Unseen

Adventurer
Bows are dex only currently. Finesse means you can use dex or strength.
Wat.

Okay, let me get this straight. The proposal here is to add finesse to a weapon that currently is dex only (it was late when I posted, so I didn't pay attention to the exact weapon being modified), and that somehow, by being a weapon that can now be "finessed," it would then be subject to strength modifiers as an option where it wasn't before.

Please tell me this hasn't been confirmed as RAI. Because that is possibly the dumbest interpretation of that weapon property I can think of. Did no one look up what the word "finesse" meant before they came up with that? Yeah, I get that 5E is sometimes not great with the way it words its rules, but common sense here, people. Please?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Wat.

Okay, let me get this straight. The proposal here is to add finesse to a weapon that currently is dex only (it was late when I posted, so I didn't pay attention to the exact weapon being modified), and that somehow, by being a weapon that can now be "finessed," it would then be subject to strength modifiers as an option where it wasn't before.

Please tell me this hasn't been confirmed as RAI. Because that is possibly the dumbest interpretation of that weapon property I can think of. Did no one look up what the word "finesse" meant before they came up with that? Yeah, I get that 5E is sometimes not great with the way it words its rules, but common sense here, people. Please?
There are only so many words and "versatile" was used to describe weapons such as longswords that could be used either one handed or two handed. Finesse is currently only applied to melee weapons, think of it as "melee weapons usually rely on strength but here's some that can also use a lighter touch and can use dex".

Doesn't matter what we think though, you just have to look at the rules under Equipment > Weapons > Weapon Properties.
 

Scars Unseen

Adventurer
There are only so many words and "versatile" was used to describe weapons such as longswords that could be used either one handed or two handed. Finesse is currently only applied to melee weapons, think of it as "melee weapons usually rely on strength but here's some that can also use a lighter touch and can use dex".

Doesn't matter what we think though, you just have to look at the rules under Equipment > Weapons > Weapon Properties.
It kind of does matter what we think if we're talking about applying it to situations it wasn't designed to be applied to. It just seems kind of rules lawyery to try to claim that it technically works due to the way it's worded while conveniently avoiding the fact that it isn't a property that is applied to weapons that are dex by default. You might as well try to apply it to spells while ignoring that it's a property for weapons.
 

Undrave

Hero
It kind of does matter what we think if we're talking about applying it to situations it wasn't designed to be applied to. It just seems kind of rules lawyery to try to claim that it technically works due to the way it's worded while conveniently avoiding the fact that it isn't a property that is applied to weapons that are dex by default. You might as well try to apply it to spells while ignoring that it's a property for weapons.
Applying it to bows is already a house rule, it's not particularly wild to streamline the definition of 'Finesse' to simply 'you can pick STR or DEX when using this weapon"

It's just a keyword, it doesn't mean anything.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
I consider the XBE/SS/GWM/PAM feats to be reasonable level of feat power, but there are plenty of weapons and fighting styles that don't have support.

So I made similar quality feats for those.

Both my Sword and Bow feats let you add both Strength and Dexterity to damage rolls (among other things).

The Archer feat doesn't overlap with XBE, and the Sword feat doesn't overlap with PAM, so there is plenty of "power space" for them to do things like that.

Adding a secondary attribute to damage makes having a decent score in that secondary attribute valuable. A 14 strength/20 dex duelist character with a rapier does 1d8+9 instead of 1d8+7, a 17% damage boost, nothing to sniff at. The archer does 1d8+7 instead of 1d8+5, a 21% increase (less with SS).

(I also let monks add both their dex and strength to their monk attack damage, for similar reasons).
 



Undrave

Hero
I think that when your house rule makes the game less comprehensible, it's a bad house rule. "It doesn't mean anything" doesn't really work when the word means the opposite of what you're trying to make it mean.
I mean the keyword could be anything else, here it's just repurposing a keyword that has an understood meaning.

You could simply see the house rule as making ALL weapon STR-based and Finesse being for exceptions, which includes bows.

Crossbow would then be moved to the special cases like the net.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
The Monk is MAD enough as it is :p Instead, let them add WIS to grappling checks.
I don't mind the monk being MAD.

Ignoring the common "back 10" problem of almost all non-casters, monks are decent.

The "add str to damage" means that a "low" investment of 12 strength is worth a tiny amount of extra damage; a modest investment of 14 a bit more. It also means that a monk that chooses a dex/strength build (Tortle! Or Mage armor.) and neglect wisdom makes a different still viable character than a dex/wisdom monk.

The issue with MAD is when it is compared to a SAD PC without the assumption that the MAD PC will have significantly lower stats in the stats in question and weaker "secondary" stats like Con (or Dex in some builds), not MAD itself.
 

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