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D&D 5E New Stat Generation Method (From a Dream I Had)

So I had a dream that I was creating a new character using the following stat generation method:
  • You get a 20 in a single stat.
  • All other stats are set to 8.
  • You have six additional points to spend.
Now, I can't account for the logic of my dreams, but one thing I found interesting is that since you can't have a stat higher than 20, this method encourages people to make unusual race-class combinations, since your stat bonus would essentially be wasted in your prime requisite. Also, chances are you're going to be starting with multiple penalties, meaning you'll start off really good in what you do, but significantly poorer in everything else.

I don't think I'd actually use this in a campaign, but the dream got me thinking about it.
 

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ART!

Hero
It would be a way to kind default the awesomeness level of your game to say "you all start with a [awesome number] in one ability score!" Like you say, now the players don't have to think (as much) about getting the ability score that's most important for their class/build as high as possible, freeing up their math and thinking.
 

Maestrino

Explorer
So your "array" would likely become 20 12 10 8 8 8, turning into maybe 20 14 11 8 8 8 (or put the odd score wherever) after racial modifiers.

So you could run a stout halfling wizard with a 20 INT, 14 DEX (for the AC), 11 CON, and then fairly terrible STR, WIS, CHA. (Or put a 10 in WIS for perception, leave 9 in CON, and rely on Halfling Luck for CON saves until you can pick up Resilient (Constitution)...)

That could actually turn out some pretty interesting characters...
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I'd probably make it an 18, the rest 8, and 9 floating points. That way the racial adjustment is always usable but doesn't change the ceiling of the character, and results in an even amount of stat points if desired, except for humans and half-elves.

One rule I've been messing around with is that racial stat adjustments either give a +1/+2 or set your modifier to +1/+2 (a 12/14 in the stat) if the modifer is lower. I think that would be interesting in a high variance stat array like you've suggested, although I would lower the floating points to compensate (probably to 6).
 

Esker

Hero
I like the idea of taking ASIs to your main stat off the table so that people can just pick up fun feats without agonizing over the opportunity cost of the missed ASI. I also like the idea of shaking up the tired sameness of the obvious race/class combinations. I'm not sure I like the inevitability of every character having (at least) 3 8s.

Something I have toyed with but never implemented is replacing ASIs with a budget of 6 points, where raising a stat up to 15 costs 1 point per increment, between 16 and 18 costs 2 points, and raising it above 18 costs 3 points. Full feats cost all 6; half feats cost 3 and no longer come with +1 to a stat, and you can spend the other 3 on ability scores where you like, or take a second half-feat.

One thing this does is make it easier to "catch up" if you pick a race that doesn't get a bonus to your main stat. For example, suppose I want to play a mountain dwarf wizard. I start with 15 INT, 14 DEX, 14 CON, 13 WIS, 10 STR, 8 CHA. At level 4 I can bump my INT to 18 if I spend my full allotment, and now I'm mostly caught up with where, say, a high elf would be (they could start with 16 INT, 16 DEX, 13 CON, 12 WIS, 10 STR, 8 CHA), then at level 4 bump INT to 18, CON to 14 and WIS to 13; they're identical in stats now to my mountain dwarf except for their higher DEX; but I get to wear medium armor.
 

Esker

Hero
Another thought: replace racial bonuses with a fungible point pool (six for standard +2/+1 races) and "more favorable prices" for their key stats.

For example, the base price to raise a stat up to 13 is 1 point per point; 14 to 16 costs 2 points each; 17 to 19 is 3 points. If your race would normally get +X in a stat, instead the price jump boundaries move up by that amount: elves can raise DEX up to 15 (instead of 13) for just one point per point, and to 18 (instead of 16) for two. High elves can raise INT from 13 to 14 for just one point, but 14 to 15 still costs 2; etc.

So, as a high elf rogue, I could if I wanted to get DEX to 15 for 7 points, to 18 for another 6, spending 13 of my 33 total points. I could then get CON to 14 for a total of 7 (I'm now up to 20). INT to 14 costs me 6, and I have 7 left over, which is just enough to get WIS to 14, leaving STR and CHA at 8. So I get 18/14/14/14/8/8.
Or I could even sacrifice some INT and/or WIS to start with 19 DEX, perhaps to set myself up for a half-feat at level 4.

On the other hand, it would cost a half-orc rogue 17 points to buy DEX to 18, but only 6 to get CON to 14, leaving them with 10. Maybe they spend 6 on STR, which with their racial "discount" gets them to 14 leaving them with 12 WIS, 8 INT and 8 CHA. They wind up with the same DEX, CON and CHA as the elf, but swap STR and INT, and slightly lower WIS, for a line of 18/14/14/12/8/8. Slightly lower stats overall as a result of picking a race that doesn't line up as naturally with what the class prioritizes, but the net deficits are in places where it's less glaring than the main stats.

So now, every race has the same starting cap of +4 in a stat, which can be obtained by anybody; but if it's not one of their race's prime stats they pay a premium that gets reflected in lower off-stats. So you still have an incentive to align your race with your class, but the difference isn't as stark as being behind in your main stat. That seems a more even trade when weighted against another cool racial feature you want.
 
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Horwath

Hero
I like the idea of taking ASIs to your main stat off the table so that people can just pick up fun feats without agonizing over the opportunity cost of the missed ASI. I also like the idea of shaking up the tired sameness of the obvious race/class combinations. I'm not sure I like the inevitability of every character having (at least) 3 8s.

Something I have toyed with but never implemented is replacing ASIs with a budget of 6 points, where raising a stat up to 15 costs 1 point per increment, between 16 and 18 costs 2 points, and raising it above 18 costs 3 points. Full feats cost all 6; half feats cost 3 and no longer come with +1 to a stat, and you can spend the other 3 on ability scores where you like, or take a second half-feat.

One thing this does is make it easier to "catch up" if you pick a race that doesn't get a bonus to your main stat. For example, suppose I want to play a mountain dwarf wizard. I start with 15 INT, 14 DEX, 14 CON, 13 WIS, 10 STR, 8 CHA. At level 4 I can bump my INT to 18 if I spend my full allotment, and now I'm mostly caught up with where, say, a high elf would be (they could start with 16 INT, 16 DEX, 13 CON, 12 WIS, 10 STR, 8 CHA), then at level 4 bump INT to 18, CON to 14 and WIS to 13; they're identical in stats now to my mountain dwarf except for their higher DEX; but I get to wear medium armor.

I also hate that ASIs are tied with feats in a common resource pool.

That was a poor choice in design.

There should be feats, ASIs, skills boosts across levels and 4th general category that can be used for any of those 3.

I.E. 2 ASIs, 2 feats, 4 additional skill proficiencies and 2 ASIs or Feats spread over 20 levels.

Also one variant that I made was removing ASIs and using only feats and removing racial ability boosts.

Then ALL would start with same ability array.

18,16,14,14,12,10,

or if you want more epic fantasy;
20,18,16,14,12,10
or a little less powerful;
16,14,12,12,10,8
 

Esker

Hero
@Horwath, one of these days I'll post the revised skill system I've been working on. It dovetails with a modified ASI system as well.

The basic idea is there are two hierarchical levels of skills; you pick a certain number of "broad" proficiencies and a certain number of "specialties" within those categories (for example you can be proficient "Rhetoric", specializing in Persuasion, Deception or Coercion. Alternatively you can be proficient in "Performance", which includes a "pretense" specialization that serves as a less verbal form of deception.

Also, each skill use is based on two ability scores instead of one: Both rhetoric(deception) and performance(pretense) use CHA, but deception also uses INT whereas pretense also uses WIS. And the proficiency/expertise bonus is replaced by multipliers on your ability score bonuses (not proficient uses the average of your two modifiers; full proficiency uses the sum; half proficiency is the higher of the two modifiers plus half the lower; etc.).

Then, you get points to spend either on ability scores or increasing your skill multipliers at every even character level (and the prices rise with each successive increment, as in the statgen methods I just posted, such that it's pretty cheap to raise low stats). The goal is to create more variety in skill profiles (instead of clerics all picking WIS skills, wizards all picking INT skills, etc.), more gradation in proficiency, consolidate proficiencies for some of the less common checks, and break up some of the overpowered skills (like stealth and perception).
 

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