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More uses for ability scores?

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Thanks. Like I said there nothing inherently wrong with doing it the other way, but it would change the nature and feel for magic use quite a bit in many cases. I agree that finding a universal and elegant solution would be best. I'll continue to think on it as well and maybe one of us will come up with a good mechanic.
What if you do not add your proficiency to your spell attack bonus, making it maximum of 1d20+5 (+/- magic items)? In 4e non-weapon attack (implement attacks) did add a weapon proficiency bonus to the attack roll.
 

Charlaquin

Explorer
What if you do not add your proficiency to your spell attack bonus, making it maximum of 1d20+5 (+/- magic items)? In 4e non-weapon attack (implement attacks) did add a weapon proficiency bonus to the attack roll.
That might work. It would still leave spells generally more likely to successfully affect the target than they are by default, but not by as much. At 13th-16th level your prof bonus would finally catch up with the discrepancy, and at 17th-20th you’d Actually have a harder time landing spells. But most games aren’t likely to go that high.

I mean, the ideal version of attacker-always-rolls, if you want that, would be to keep spell attacks as 1d20 + mod + prof and make ability defenses 14 + mod (+ save prof if you have it). That would perfectly replicate the probabilities of success in 5e and just change who does the rolling, which sounds like was an appealing idea to you. But then we’re back to square 1 on making odd-numbered ability scores matter.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
What if you do not add your proficiency to your spell attack bonus, making it maximum of 1d20+5 (+/- magic items)? In 4e non-weapon attack (implement attacks) did add a weapon proficiency bonus to the attack roll.
The real issue is that the current system only moves 5% per two points (because a 14 and 15 DEX offer the same modifier), as where going with straight ability scores is a 1 point per 5% change. If you remove proficiency bonus (or keep it a static +2) that might work, but then very high ability scores would be impossible without something to assist the spellcaster.

Keep in mind this also raises the point of normal attacks against AC. Why is the base AC 10? Because the base "normal" DEX is 10. If you implement such a system for casting, why not use it for combat? Armor could work as damage reduction (which is more realistic). I guess it all comes down to nailing exactly what you want to accomplish.

That might work. It would still leave spells generally more likely to successfully affect the target than they are by default, but not by as much. At 13th-16th level your prof bonus would finally catch up with the discrepancy, and at 17th-20th you’d Actually have a harder time landing spells. But most games aren’t likely to go that high.

I mean, the ideal version of attacker-always-rolls, if you want that, would be to keep spell attacks as 1d20 + mod + prof and make ability defenses 14 + mod (+ save prof if you have it). That would perfectly replicate the probabilities of success in 5e and just change who does the rolling, which sounds like was an appealing idea to you. But then we’re back to square 1 on making odd-numbered ability scores matter.
Using the modifier instead of the ability score is good, but still gets away from the point of the OP: how to use the raw scores and not the modifiers for everything. I know this is a slightly different issue, so maybe that isn't part of it, but if it is you're getting away from that issue. As you said, it takes you back to square one...
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Ok, next time a run a regular 5e game (I run AiME for the moment) I'll try this:

Spell attack roll: 1d20+spellcasting stat (no prof.) against the target's specified statscore. Ongoing effects are tested at the end of the creature's turn with a flat d20 against a DC 11. Save proficiency from classes is not a thing. Paladin aura bonus are bonus to the flat d20 roll for ongoing effects. Advantage on a save gives instead disadvantage to the attacker against specified stat.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Ok, next time a run a regular 5e game (I run AiME for the moment) I'll try this:

Spell attack roll: 1d20+spellcasting stat (no prof.) against the target's specified statscore. Ongoing effects are tested at the end of the creature's turn with a flat d20 against a DC 11. Save proficiency from classes is not a thing. Paladin aura bonus are bonus to the flat d20 roll for ongoing effects. Advantage on a save gives instead disadvantage to the attacker against specified stat.
Edit: This makes me think: I'll also need to give an attack roll to ''save'' traps and some diseases/poisons.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
Here's an idea: let the players make all rolls. If they are casting, allow them to attack, if they are the target, let them save. This way they are always more engaged. You could do the same thing for attacks. If they are attacking, they roll to hit. If they are being attacked, they roll to defend. If you want to give the players the edge, let them win all ties regardless of which side (attack/defend) they are on.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
Here's an idea: let the players make all rolls. If they are casting, allow them to attack, if they are the target, let them save. This way they are always more engaged. You could do the same thing for attacks. If they are attacking, they roll to hit. If they are being attacked, they roll to defend. If you want to give the players the edge, let them win all ties regardless of which side (attack/defend) they are on.
I have done this with multiple systems for decades and in two (now three) 5e based campaigns as well. The NPCs are always the passive scores and the players rolling for each resolution.

Orc shoots at PC, player rolls d20 + AC vs orc attack's threat DC.

PC casts Command at Orc, player rolls d20 + spell's save DC vs Orc's Wisdom DC.

As GM, I just have the static DCs on the NPC notes. I never touch a die.

I even have them roll their own damage.

Works great as they are seen as the "active" every time.

I call it PAR - players always roll.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I have done this with multiple systems for decades and in two (now three) 5e based campaigns as well. The NPCs are always the passive scores and the players rolling for each resolution.

Orc shoots at PC, player rolls d20 + AC vs orc attack's threat DC.

PC casts Command at Orc, player rolls d20 + spell's save DC vs Orc's Wisdom DC.

As GM, I just have the static DCs on the NPC notes. I never touch a die.

I even have them roll their own damage.

Works great as they are seen as the "active" every time.

I call it PAR - players always roll.
Would you mind giving us the method you use to calculate the Threat DC of a creature? Is a very interesting idea.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
Would you mind giving us the method you use to calculate the Threat DC of a creature? Is a very interesting idea.
I would think you would use 10 + attack bonus? or maybe 11 + attack bonus... Actually, I think 11 + attack bonus would work better for the mechanics.

The AC mod could be AC - 10 and you add d20, sort of like a saving throw.

Maybe 5ekyu has other ideas though.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
I would think you would use 10 + attack bonus? or maybe 11 + attack bonus... Actually, I think 11 + attack bonus would work better for the mechanics.

The AC mod could be AC - 10 and you add d20, sort of like a saving throw.

Maybe 5ekyu has other ideas though.
Take the creatures attack bonus and add 22 to get the threat DC.
For the crearure's resistance, the same number 22 + their save bonus.

Remember, like all std checks, the PC rolling vs DC, getting equal to the threat DC is success for the PC - PC is "missed" or spell succeeds. (That's where the stray 2 in the 22 comes out of, the fact that ties go to the roller.)

Odds end up exactly the same as the regular output in system, no chsnges.

So for example
PC with AC 16 and +6 attack roll and spell DC 12 vs Orc with AC 18, an attack bonus of +7 and a save bonus of +1.

Normal rules
Orc attacks PC with d20+7 vs AC 16 and ***hits the PC*** on 9 or better (60%) if the orc rolls a nat 1 auto-miss (I add a bit more descriptive) and on a roll of nat 20 the hit crits.

PAR
Orc attacks PC with threats DC of 29 (22+7). PC makes "armor roll" d20+16 and ***avoids or blocks the hit *** on a 13 or better (40%). On a roll of nat 1, the attack crits. On a roll of nat 20, auto succeed snd add narrative flourish.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
I like the lower numbers instead, but that is simply personal preference. You can achieve the same thing by:

"So for example
PC with AC 16 and +6 attack roll and spell DC 12 vs Orc with AC 18, an attack bonus of +7 and a save bonus of +1."

Orc attacks and has Threat Class (TC?) of 12 + bonus, or 19 (if you want the PC to win all ties, make it 11 + bonus). The PC resists with d20 + Armor Class bonus (calculated as AC -10), in this example d20 +6.

This -10 shift on 5ekyu's numbers keeps things within the same levels as normal DCs. If an orc attacked someone, a DC 19 (or TC, whatever) makes sense, but a 29 is way high compared to other things that have a DC 29-type level.

Either way works. I'm going to recommend trying it with our group tomorrow... at least to playtest. We'll probably go with the PC wins all ties and use 11, not 12, just to give the heroes a slight edge.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
I like the lower numbers instead, but that is simply personal preference. You can achieve the same thing by:

"So for example
PC with AC 16 and +6 attack roll and spell DC 12 vs Orc with AC 18, an attack bonus of +7 and a save bonus of +1."

Orc attacks and has Threat Class (TC?) of 12 + bonus, or 19 (if you want the PC to win all ties, make it 11 + bonus). The PC resists with d20 + Armor Class bonus (calculated as AC -10), in this example d20 +6.

This -10 shift on 5ekyu's numbers keeps things within the same levels as normal DCs. If an orc attacked someone, a DC 19 (or TC, whatever) makes sense, but a 29 is way high compared to other things that have a DC 29-type level.

Either way works. I'm going to recommend trying it with our group tomorrow... at least to playtest. We'll probably go with the PC wins all ties and use 11, not 12, just to give the heroes a slight edge.
The reason I chose to use the full numbers is for ease of player-side. Especially for online systems and most character sheets, things like AC are prominently displayed. DC for dpells as well. So the only place that 22 vs 12 hits is on my side as GM and that's fine.

But yeah, if you arent using any pre- gen stuff for sheets and such, you could go any way and work fine. But I wanted to make it as easy as possible for the players.
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
My ability scores make excellent bookends. Especially Charisma.

How about this: your score is your new critical roll? That gives PCs with low scores something to look forward to.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
Would you mind giving us the method you use to calculate the Threat DC of a creature? Is a very interesting idea.
I think this is a complete system. I think I got all the numbers right so it works with the exact same probabilities as the present rules.

Normal player rolls (no change)
Attack Roll: Normal
Spell Casting Attack Roll against AC: Normal
Resist Spell Roll by Save: Normal
Resist Trap/Effect by Save: Normal

Players now rolling against the opponents' threat or spell attack, to impose their spell effect on target, or to impose their trap/effect on target:

Defense Roll. When the player is attacked by an opponent. DC equals 12 + attack bonus. Player’s bonus equals AC – 10. A natural 1 is a critical hit.
Spell Defense Roll by AC: When the player is attacked by an opponent's spell. DC = 12 + spellcasting modifier. Player's bonus equals AC -10. A natural 1 is a critical hit.
Spell Casting Effect Roll: When the player tries to impose a spell effect on a target. DC = 12 + save bonus. Player rolls d20 + (spellcasting modifier -2).
Trap/Effect Roll: When the player tries to impose a trap or other effect on a target. DC = 12 + save bonus. Player rolls d20 + (trap/effect DC - 10).

The last roll for Trap/Effect is for things like if a character uses a poisoned blade against a target. Instead of the target (e.g. the DM) rolling a saving throw against the poison's DC 15, the player would roll the poison's effectiveness/strength (DC 15 - 10 = +5) against the target's save DC (12 + save bonus). So, it the target has Con save +4, the DC for the player's roll would be 16. The player would roll d20 +5 with a total of 16 or better indicating the target is affected by the poison.

I'm sure if I missed anything, someone will tell me. ;)
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Here's an idea: let the players make all rolls. If they are casting, allow them to attack, if they are the target, let them save. This way they are always more engaged. You could do the same thing for attacks. If they are attacking, they roll to hit. If they are being attacked, they roll to defend. If you want to give the players the edge, let them win all ties regardless of which side (attack/defend) they are on.
That occurred to me shortly after my first look at 4e.

It seems like a fine idea, there's nothing wrong with It mathematically...

.... but I never did get around to trying it.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
That occurred to me shortly after my first look at 4e.

It seems like a fine idea, there's nothing wrong with It mathematically...

.... but I never did get around to trying it.
The only thing I don't like is how spells are separated into two groups: attack spells and affecting spells, one versus AC and the other gets saves. I would prefer to retool spells so they are save only, reserving AC for combat only. Since spells are usually light of sight, you focus the spell energy at the target and the save represents the target avoiding (or lessening) the effect.

I am writing house-rules for AC and to remove armor from AC, granting it damage reduction instead. But this is already getting away from the OP and I don't want to derail it farther.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
The only thing I don't like is how spells are separated into two groups: attack spells and affecting spells, one versus AC and the other gets saves. I would prefer to retool spells so they are save only, reserving AC for combat only. Since spells are usually light of sight, you focus the spell energy at the target and the save represents the target avoiding (or lessening) the effect.

I am writing house-rules for AC and to remove armor from AC, granting it damage reduction instead. But this is already getting away from the OP and I don't want to derail it farther.
Only thing I would wonder is are you also removing the non-AC features for martial classes - the ones that produce saves or ability checks- so that each class is basically opposing one type of "defense"?

Removing the choices from the mage thst give them "vs AC" really limits them and also makes certain types of creature exceedingly potent foes.

That some RPS dedign would seem equally "good" for the other classes too, right?
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Something I've been toying with is using the Constitution score to handle "out of combat" knocking out situations. Reducing a guard to 0 HP just to knock them out doesn't fit my vision of how sneaking PCs can take them out (without killing them).

Instead I have the PC make a Strength ability check (with advantage if they have a cudgel or something) against the creatures Constitution score (disadvantage if the creature has some kind of helmet). The relative sizes of the creatures also play a part of course.

On success the creature is knocked out for a minute.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Something I've been toying with is using the Constitution score to handle "out of combat" knocking out situations. Reducing a guard to 0 HP just to knock them out doesn't fit my vision of how sneaking PCs can take them out (without killing them).

Instead I have the PC make a Strength ability check (with advantage if they have a cudgel or something) against the creatures Constitution score (disadvantage if the creature has some kind of helmet). The relative sizes of the creatures also play a part of course.

On success the creature is knocked out for a minute.
I like this.

I will also steal something from 4e and use the Con score to calculate the PCs starting HP. Something like Con score + class HD average. My players are really casual players and have difficulties with playing efficiently (while being reckless in their move), so a little more HP at low level will help them survive a little more.
 

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