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Killing the sacred cow: playing D&D with only 4 abilities instead of 6. And returning to 3 saves instead of 6.

Satyrn

First Post
You can learn languages and tools through downtime training, while skills are limited to races, classes, and feats. But there's nothing that implies one skill equals two tools. In fact, the Skilled feat has you pick skills or tools on an even basis.
okay. I wasn't implying that one skill equals two tools, either.

I was going with the customizing background guidelines that equate tools with languages, and skills as separate. I maybe should have said that skills are more distinct, rather than stronger.

Although it's exactly because tools can be learned during downtime that it's a clearly stronger choice to take skills over tools at all opportunities (powergaming-wise, at least).





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Zardnaar

Legend
3 saves instead of 6 is a good idea IMHO, happy with the 6 abilities.

The 1999 AD&D intro set had 1 save I kind of liked that.
 

Satyrn

First Post
How would you assign class saving throws?

Fighter: Strength, ??
Cleric: Willpower, ??
Rogue: Dexterity, Cunning
Wizard: Cunning, Willpower

Just looking at the 4 classic classes, Rogue and Wizard seem fairly obvious but I'm not so sure about Fighter and Cleric. On the other hand, I could see giving each class only a single set proficiency saving throw in this system and then allowing the player to choose a second.

There isn't a cunning save under the proposed system. A character probably only needs one proficient save (except for the monk, maybe, but that's because I'm thinking of 3e's legacy)
 

Horwath

Hero
How would you assign class saving throws?

Fighter: Strength, ??
Cleric: Willpower, ??
Rogue: Dexterity, Cunning
Wizard: Cunning, Willpower

Just looking at the 4 classic classes, Rogue and Wizard seem fairly obvious but I'm not so sure about Fighter and Cleric. On the other hand, I could see giving each class only a single set proficiency saving throw in this system and then allowing the player to choose a second.

single save per class, same as current classes "strong" save.

Strength: fighter, barbarian,

Dexterity: Rogue, ranger, monk, bard,

Willpower: Cleric, druid, paladin, sorcerer, wizard, warlock,

Cunning: no spells target cunning so no saves proficiencies.

Resilient feat would add one prificiency without ability bonus.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
Or even one? "Awesomeness". Settle once and for all whether or not your character is better than your friend's!

At that point really why even have stats at all? We could just make D&D into one of those games that doesn't even use dice.
 


S

Sunseeker

Guest
Why even have a game? We could just sit in our basements for four to six hours drinking and eating pretzels with friends.

Sounds like a date to me. My place or yours? *wink*

In reality though, I don't think 6 stats are too many or too few, I just think noone has ever bothered to balance them. The game basically relies on Dex and Int, everything else is essentially a dump stat at this point. Dex is both evasion and armor. It is statistically superior to meat. Intelligence is skills and knowledge, which will get you further than wisdom or charisma any day.

I'm playing 3.5 and FFG Star Wars right now and both use a 6-stat system. Though FFG Star Wars has combined Str and Con into Brawn, they added the "agility" of mental stats: Cunning. The biggest difference I've found is that it reads like FFG has made a much more resounding effort to include non-combat roles as viable options. To this end, almost every stat has 3 skills. Int gets several more, but typically any given class only gets a few of them, there is no "Lore Bard" or "Knowledge Cleric" who knows everything about everything.

Before D&D drops the 6-stat system, I'd like to see them do away with the "-10, divide by 2" system. Next up, they really need to rebalance the skills that use the stats in question. Either provide options like bringing back Endurance or allow for more customization like letting me use Str or Con for Athletics or letting me use Wis or Cha for my Will saves. If D&D does drop the number of stats is has (which it won't but for a thought exercise, lets go with it) it would be better off moving to a 3-stat system. "Brawn" for all the "RAWR ME STRONG!" sort of stuff covering both physical strength and physical meat. "Aptitude/Skill" for both physical and mental agility (Agi & Int) and "Personality" for Wis & Cha.

There's nothing wrong with a 6-Stat system. D&Ds problem is just that they're not making any real effort to balance things out to make less useful stats more useful and too-useful stats less useful. But that's what people want and frankly I think we'd get a reaction to any D&D that tried to do so much like we got to 4E; people expect super-sneaks and CoDZilla from D&D. A D&D that doesn't provide that to them won't be seen as D&D.
 
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S

Sunseeker

Guest
No, man, I'm already on the next level. I don't even have a basement.

And suddenly, you are now this to me:
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I don't like constitution because no one is willing to have it be low. I keep seeing 12s and 14s, then one 16. It's never someone's highest stat, and never someone's lowest stat.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

In the game I'm running, I told my players "Don't roll, don't use point buy. Honestly choose the scores that best fit your character concept." I still got plenty of 14s in Con... even for the scrawny scholar. Everybody is so afraid of having less HP...
 

Horwath

Hero
In the game I'm running, I told my players "Don't roll, don't use point buy. Honestly choose the scores that best fit your character concept." I still got plenty of 14s in Con... even for the scrawny scholar. Everybody is so afraid of having less HP...

That is because 14 con is somewhat mandatory.

I currently play 4th level high elven monk with 12 con.

I have 27HP and AC 15. Guess who gets into "red" HP after 1st swing at it?

Problem of constitution is that is 100% passive score. It is just extra slab of HP you get and nothing else.
 

Caliburn101

Explorer
Better to leave them as they are and just adjust saves to a two-stat formula on the following scale of both stats added together;

16 or less: -2
17-19: -1
20-23: +0
24-26: +1
27-28: +2
29-32: +3
33-36: +4
37-40: +5 etc.

Willpower Save (Wis & Cha)
Fortitude Save (Str & Con)
Reflex Save (Dex & Int)

The same can be done for Skills as well - many make more sense when combined - Athletics (Str & Dex); Perception (Wis & Int); Sleight of Hand (Dex & Int), and some can be simply doubled up where more suitable - such as History (Int & Int).

It also works better for weapons and initiative - more common-sensical;

Melee Attacks (Str & Dex)
Ranged Attacks and Initiative (Dex & Wis)

Hit Points make more sense too;

HP Bonus (Str & Con)

Spell DC's and attack bonuses as well...

Wizard and Warlock (Int & Cha)
Sorcerer (Cha & Wis)
Cleric and Druid (Wis & Int)

This way of doing things makes all classes MAD and reduces dump stat allocation. It also makes more sense of monsters CRs - which are weak against optimised characters using the core rule system as is.

I am going to work on this and come up with a complete alternative core system I think - I want to rework stuff anyway for making d20 work well with S&S and more gritty higher fantasy game worlds - mixing it up with modified versions of the current alternative HP and Healing rule options available.
 
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Horwath

Hero
Better to leave them as they are and just adjust saves to a two-stat formula on the following scale of both stats added together;

16 or less: -2
17-19: -1
20-23: +0
24-26: +1
27-28: +2
29-32: +3
33-36: +4
37-40: +5 etc.

Willpower Save (Wis & Cha)
Fortitude Save (Str & Con)
Reflex Save (Dex & Int)

The same can be done for Skills as well - many make more sense when combined - Athletics (Str & Dex); Perception (Wis & Int); Sleight of Hand (Dex & Int), and some can be simply doubled up where more suitable - such as History (Int & Int).

It also works better for weapons and initiative - more common-sensical;

Melee Attacks (Str & Dex)
Ranged Attacks and Initiative (Dex & Wis)

Hit Points make more sense too;

HP Bonus (Str & Con)

Spell DC's and attack bonuses as well...

Wizard and Warlock (Int & Cha)
Sorcerer (Cha & Wis)
Cleric and Druid (Wis & Int)

This way of doing things makes all classes MAD and reduces dump stat allocation. It also makes more sense of monsters CRs - which are weak against optimised characters using the core rule system as is.

I am going to work on this and come up with a complete alternative core system I think - I want to rework stuff anyway for making d20 work well with S&S and more gritty higher fantasy game worlds - mixing it up with modified versions of the current alternative HP and Healing rule options available.

I had the same idea;

casting stats could also be

Wizard/druid/ranger: int+wis
Sorcerer: cha+con
Cleric/paladin;wis+cha
Warlock/bard: int+cha,

But I would rather see less stats with more impact.
 

Staccat0

First Post
See, I think we're one short. Perception should be an ability score and a save (notice traps, detect poison). It should be your combat mod with ranged weapons too.
 

Sounds like a lean towards a skill based system like Runequest/Call of Cthulhu.

Problem em is a lot of unpicking of especially spells, rewriting the MM...big job.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I actually like the Approach the pc game Pillars of Eternity took. Each ability score has more bearing on the player regardless of class. It would probably be a bear to design in a tabletop game since you down't have a program doing on the fly calculations for you, but it does make for many varied builds even within the same class.

Probably just wishful thinking on my part.
 


I actually like the Approach the pc game Pillars of Eternity took. Each ability score has more bearing on the player regardless of class. It would probably be a bear to design in a tabletop game since you down't have a program doing on the fly calculations for you, but it does make for many varied builds even within the same class.

Probably just wishful thinking on my part.

I agree. It's a shame that D&D has a habit of having every class focus on a couple of abilities specifically, rather than encouraging the use of all abilities for all classes. There's very little reason for example to build a sorcerer with a high strength, and I wish there was, because it would open up way more build variety.
 

Horwath

Hero
I agree. It's a shame that D&D has a habit of having every class focus on a couple of abilities specifically, rather than encouraging the use of all abilities for all classes. There's very little reason for example to build a sorcerer with a high strength, and I wish there was, because it would open up way more build variety.

when in 4E, dragon sorcerers gained bonus spell damage from strength in addition from charisma, and chaos sorcerers got the same bonus from dexterity.

But if the HP is tied to strength then sorcerers with their d6 HDs cant afford to have 8 str.
 

See, I think we're one short. Perception should be an ability score and a save (notice traps, detect poison). It should be your combat mod with ranged weapons too.
I've thought the same thing, except then the "willpower" elements of Wisdom can just be folded into Charisma.
 

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