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

Scars Unseen

Adventurer
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.
I think when you get to the point where you have to edit the entire equipment table to justify changing the way a single rule is applied, you've either hit the point where the justification for your house rule is thin to the point of translucency or that you need to reassess what it is you want from weapons and just house rule the whole thing.

Frankly, I don't see the justification for the house rule as offered beyond "I want." If we're talking about how strength might apply to bows, I can certainly see an argument being made for damage assuming one were using a bow with heavier draw than normal, but even if one were to apply similar logic to the attack role, I don't see an argument that would convince me that a bow could be just as accurately aimed by someone with low dex as high.

If the goal was "what can I change that let's strength focused characters take the bow as a valid choice," I'd probably offer the following: first, add a weapon property called "strong pull" that allows the character to add either their dex or str to their damage roll, whichever is higher. Second, I'd add to the feat "sharpshooter" the following: "when using a bow with the 'strong pull' property, the character adds their strength modifier to the attack roll in addition to their dex modifier."

It gives a clear benefit, requires some player investment (but gives even more benefit in return), and doesn't make things confusing by ignoring the meaning of words as well as the obvious intent behind them.
 

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I think when you get to the point where you have to edit the entire equipment table to justify changing the way a single rule is applied, you've either hit the point where the justification for your house rule is thin to the point of translucency or that you need to reassess what it is you want from weapons and just house rule the whole thing.

Frankly, I don't see the justification for the house rule as offered beyond "I want." If we're talking about how strength might apply to bows, I can certainly see an argument being made for damage assuming one were using a bow with heavier draw than normal, but even if one were to apply similar logic to the attack role, I don't see an argument that would convince me that a bow could be just as accurately aimed by someone with low dex as high.

If the goal was "what can I change that let's strength focused characters take the bow as a valid choice," I'd probably offer the following: first, add a weapon property called "strong pull" that allows the character to add either their dex or str to their damage roll, whichever is higher. Second, I'd add to the feat "sharpshooter" the following: "when using a bow with the 'strong pull' property, the character adds their strength modifier to the attack roll in addition to their dex modifier."

It gives a clear benefit, requires some player investment (but gives even more benefit in return), and doesn't make things confusing by ignoring the meaning of words as well as the obvious intent behind them.
I think I am on board with you.
Though I will never get enough players to actually play such a game, I can envision something like this, in the very limited scope of bows:

Short Bows: Dex Bonus to hit, Str bonus added or subtracted from damage, to a max or min of +2 or -2.
Long Bows: Require Min Str of 12 to use. Dex bonus used to hit, Str bonus added to damage (up to a max of 2, sort of like Dex with Breastplate)
Great Bows: Base d12 for damage, has the Reload Feature as per X-Bow. Require Min Str of 14 to use. Dex bonus used to hit, Str bonus added to damage (no limit on max).

Those numbers are up for discussion, as I can see many would never use a Great Bow, even if they had the stats, because of the Reload limitation. We all agree that in the Real World, bows don't gain a Str bonus once a person meets a minimum level of Strength to Draw the string, but I think some abstraction is needed.
 

I think you have the absolute on the wrong side. Not that we cannot have it as part of the expected math, but that we don't need it as part of the expected math. The absolute moved from "you must have it or you suck" to "you don't need it, but may have it and be special" in 5e.

If every PC is required to have +X weapon/implement and +X to AC and saves, that's a problem. Any character without it, who lags behind, is penalized. We saw this in 4e where there was a constant gear treadmill and it was called - rightfully so - videogam-esque.

But if the math doesn't require it then people without it don't lag behind, but the characters that do have it have something special and it feels special. And it doesn't even need to be the same type - the character with +2 Plate will feel super defended while everyone else is okay, while the heroine with the +2 greatsword will love it.
See, in my experience if one character has something like that, everyone has to have something similar, which leads to the party outweighing their character level, which leads to the DM having to continually ramp up combat to compensate. I love items too, so I'm not sure how to deal with this other than to put more work on the DM.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
See, in my experience if one character has something like that, everyone has to have something similar, which leads to the party outweighing their character level, which leads to the DM having to continually ramp up combat to compensate. I love items too, so I'm not sure how to deal with this other than to put more work on the DM.
This isn't ever per se about having magic items. It's about requiring all characters to have magic weapons/implements and magic defenses with pluses, and those pluses growing over time, as they are calculated into the math for being able to hold your own.

With how 5e does it, it doesn't assume bake in that every character will have those 2-3 items per person (some people dual wield, or weapon+cast). So if you have one it's cool and special, not just like what everyone else has. And also not a treadmill that you need to upgrade to a higher plus on schedule to keep up with the expected math. And all of the non-plus items are still available.
 

This isn't ever per se about having magic items. It's about requiring all characters to have magic weapons/implements and magic defenses with pluses, and those pluses growing over time, as they are calculated into the math for being able to hold your own.

With how 5e does it, it doesn't assume bake in that every character will have those 2-3 items per person (some people dual wield, or weapon+cast). So if you have one it's cool and special, not just like what everyone else has. And also not a treadmill that you need to upgrade to a higher plus on schedule to keep up with the expected math. And all of the non-plus items are still available.
Sure, but if one player has something "cool and special", everybody else is rightfully going to want something special too. And as time goes on and PCs go up in level, they're going to want "more" special things. Sometimes I think DMs are the driving force behind the low or no magic gear idea. PCs generally just want more power, on par with other PCs.
 

It's power creep to give strength based PCs a decent option for ranged attacks?
Yes, by definition.
Str characters are better in melee than dex based ones.
But then other people have that backwards and I guess adding finesse to bows does not hurt that much and it makes the choice between dex or str a style. For fairness sake we should also add finesse two handed weapons and better light and medium armor.
 

Frankly, I don't see the justification for the house rule as offered beyond "I want." If we're talking about how strength might apply to bows, I can certainly see an argument being made for damage assuming one were using a bow with heavier draw than normal, but even if one were to apply similar logic to the attack role, I don't see an argument that would convince me that a bow could be just as accurately aimed by someone with low dex as high.

If the bow is built for your strength, it certainly helps aiming, because the arrow is faster and can be shot in a more streight line. Being dextrous does help too.

But If I were rebalancing bows, I would add point blank range of 30 ft beyond where you don't add modifiers to damage. And with a strong bow, you may use strength to hit and otherwise dex.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Sure, but if one player has something "cool and special", everybody else is rightfully going to want something special too.
Yes. And they are going to get it. Everyone gets magic items! It just doesn't need to first be math-adjuster items before they get cool things. This paladin might have a +1 Plate, that Barbarian has Winged Boots, the rogue has a Headband of Intellect that boosts their INT to 19, and the other rogue has a Vicious Rapier, which has no pluses but does bonus damage on a crit as well as counting as a magic weapon for overcoming resistance/immunity.

And as time goes on and PCs go up in level, they're going to want "more" special things. Sometimes I think DMs are the driving force behind the low or no magic gear idea. PCs generally just want more power, on par with other PCs.
And they will get more. There's a great resource in Xanathars (pg 135 I think) showing magic items number by rarity by level range.

Or are you arguing that the only "special" magical items are the ones with plusses?
 

Yes. And they are going to get it. Everyone gets magic items! It just doesn't need to first be math-adjuster items before they get cool things. This paladin might have a +1 Plate, that Barbarian has Winged Boots, the rogue has a Headband of Intellect that boosts their INT to 19, and the other rogue has a Vicious Rapier, which has no pluses but does bonus damage on a crit as well as counting as a magic weapon for overcoming resistance/immunity.


And they will get more. There's a great resource in Xanathars (pg 135 I think) showing magic items number by rarity by level range.

Or are you arguing that the only "special" magical items are the ones with plusses?
No, although mechanically speaking they are clearly the most obvious. I'm saying all magic items with a mechanical benefit to anything a PC does make that PC more powerful. That needs to be accounted for, and telling people that magic items aren't necessary isn't a good solution for most tables. I've never been in a game where players didn't want magic items. Again, that seems like a DM curated world sort of thing.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Yes, by definition.
Str characters are better in melee than dex based ones.
But then other people have that backwards and I guess adding finesse to bows does not hurt that much and it makes the choice between dex or str a style. For fairness sake we should also add finesse two handed weapons and better light and medium armor.
Technically it is power creep, but I look at it as trying to balance the scales a bit because dex is far too good. Dex based PCs already have better initiative, better stealth, better dex saves which are likely the single most common saving throw in the game for PCs.

About the only thing a dex based build misses out on is on the high end of AC and even that is typically only a 17 AC for dex builds vs 18 AC for strength at higher levels. Two-handed weapons do a tiny bit more damage overall, but even GWM is, by far, overshadowed by sharp shooter.

I don't think the game is balanced when 1 PC can hit a squirrel at 200 yards with no disadvantage while the other has to get within 10 yards and can only throw 1 per turn while the archer can fire 6 with an action surge. Most bow hunters will tell you that the effective range is around 30-60 yards. Draw weight has quite a bit to do with range and of course shooting a stationary target is significantly further.

So I make bows versatile. If throwing, you can throw as many as you have attacks. You can call that power creep, and I guess it is. For me? It's called better game balance.
 

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.
A weapon with the "Finesse" property can use either Str or Dex.
That is literally what I wanted bows to be able to do.

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?
Generally finesse means "with skill". There is just as much skill and control involved using Str for a weapon as Dex. The word already wasn't a very good fit for the games mechanic named after it, so using that word to represent the games mechanic it already did wasn't an issue for us.

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.
As for the rest of the earlier paragraph and this post: - I'm not sure if I have upset you somehow in (presumably) a different thread, but I assure you I didn't intend to.
Yes, by definition.
Str characters are better in melee than dex based ones.
But then other people have that backwards and I guess adding finesse to bows does not hurt that much and it makes the choice between dex or str a style. For fairness sake we should also add finesse two handed weapons and better light and medium armor.
I've not seen a need to do that for either balance or realism purposes yet.

It brings up STR-based characters at range to where Dex-based characters are in melee, but DEX has so many other subsidiary benefits that evening the score there doesn't seem to have overbalanced anything.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
No, although mechanically speaking they are clearly the most obvious. I'm saying all magic items with a mechanical benefit to anything a PC does make that PC more powerful. That needs to be accounted for, and telling people that magic items aren't necessary isn't a good solution for most tables. I've never been in a game where players didn't want magic items. Again, that seems like a DM curated world sort of thing.
Yes, and what does this have to do with the discussion?

No one is telling anyone magic items aren't needed or necessary. In the slightest. I was vocal about giving characters items, I really don't know where that statement is coming from.

We are not discussing that magic items don't help characters, either. This was purely a discussion "are plus X magic items required for all characters because the designers factored them into character advancement math to deal with on-level challenges".

Please, you've strayed to some other point that we aren't talking about.
 

Yes, and what does this have to do with the discussion?

No one is telling anyone magic items aren't needed or necessary. In the slightest. I was vocal about giving characters items, I really don't know where that statement is coming from.

We are not discussing that magic items don't help characters, either. This was purely a discussion "are plus X magic items required for all characters because the designers factored them into character advancement math to deal with on-level challenges".

Please, you've strayed to some other point that we aren't talking about.
Fair enough. Magic items are absolutely not required by the math (they, in fact, skew the math in 5e). I do feel, however, that they are functionally required for the full enjoyment of most tables.
 

cowpie

Explorer
I streamline initiative by doing partial group initiative. Both sides roll initiative with a DEX mod, and then half the winning side goes, then half the losing side, back and forth.
When everyone rolls initiative, the highest roll represents the whole party's initiative. This lets DEX help the whole party, but lowers the individual impact of DEX on specific characters.
 

Nefermandias

Adventurer
In my experience, 5E players don’t want realism and don’t want challenges and don’t want anything less than perfectly optimized characters. The majority of 5E players seem to want fantasy superheroes or demigods from the start.
They also find absurd the idea that character death is a natural part of the game.

Just look at how many Reddit threads we get every day with players complaining about their characters getting killed and even more threads with DMs asking for "help" to not TPK their parties with some published module.
 

Technically it is power creep, but I look at it as trying to balance the scales a bit because dex is far too good. Dex based PCs already have better initiative, better stealth, better dex saves which are likely the single most common saving throw in the game for PCs.

About the only thing a dex based build misses out on is on the high end of AC and even that is typically only a 17 AC for dex builds vs 18 AC for strength at higher levels. Two-handed weapons do a tiny bit more damage overall, but even GWM is, by far, overshadowed by sharp shooter.

I don't think the game is balanced when 1 PC can hit a squirrel at 200 yards with no disadvantage while the other has to get within 10 yards and can only throw 1 per turn while the archer can fire 6 with an action surge. Most bow hunters will tell you that the effective range is around 30-60 yards. Draw weight has quite a bit to do with range and of course shooting a stationary target is significantly further.

So I make bows versatile. If throwing, you can throw as many as you have attacks. You can call that power creep, and I guess it is. For me? It's called better game balance.
I don't take the bait and agree that it is A solution to the perceived problem.
 

Undrave

Hero
They also find absurd the idea that character death is a natural part of the game.
'cause they're invested. Why is that a bad thing??

We're FAR from the time where Bob the Fighter could die and be replaced in 5 seconds by his brother Bob II. Character generation takes a while, story is important to players and all that investment feels wasted if your character just die. Especially if its just because of a single bad roll.
 

Nefermandias

Adventurer
'cause they're invested. Why is that a bad thing??

We're FAR from the time where Bob the Fighter could die and be replaced in 5 seconds by his brother Bob II. Character generation takes a while, story is important to players and all that investment feels wasted if your character just die. Especially if its just because of a single bad roll.
Didn't say anything about bad or good. It is what it is.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
'cause they're invested. Why is that a bad thing??

We're FAR from the time where Bob the Fighter could die and be replaced in 5 seconds by his brother Bob II. Character generation takes a while, story is important to players and all that investment feels wasted if your character just die. Especially if its just because of a single bad roll.
More’s the pity. Makes for an incredibly boring game when the PCs have infinite plot armor. When combined with the need for all the kewl powers and never failing at anything and never being challenged, it’s a wonder there’s still any game or dice left. Should just be a DM sitting there telling the players how amazing, perfect, and awesome they are. Makes the games where the dice are only used to determine how much the PC’s succeed by make a lot more sense.
 

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