D&D 5E Odd-numbered ability scores

There are those who have observed that in 5E as written, there's really no point in having an odd-numbered ability score. 16 and 17 Int are exactly the same, and the same applies to every other ability score except Strength (because encumbrance and armor weights). I find that unaesthetic and have been trying to come up with a way to differentiate odd ability scores.

Here's my idea (not playtested, since I just had it):

Odd-numbered ability scores give an extra +1 to ability checks.

Strength 13 gives +1 to Strength saving throws and attack rolls but +2 to Strength checks. Dex 15 gives +2 to attack rolls and AC but +3 to Stealth and initiative. Etc.

Simple and, I hope, elegant. Players will still want even-numbered abilities as much as possible because, let's be honest, combat is the crunchiest part of the system--but you no longer have to feel like putting a 17 in Strength is a waste of a +1 that ought to be moved somewhere more optimal.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad



Coredump

Explorer
There are those who have observed that in 5E as written, there's really no point in having an odd-numbered ability score. 16 and 17 Int are exactly the same, and the same applies to every other ability score except Strength (because encumbrance and armor weights). I find that unaesthetic and have been trying to come up with a way to differentiate odd ability scores.

Here's my idea (not playtested, since I just had it):

Odd-numbered ability scores give an extra +1 to ability checks.

Strength 13 gives +1 to Strength saving throws and attack rolls but +2 to Strength checks. Dex 15 gives +2 to attack rolls and AC but +3 to Stealth and initiative. Etc.

Simple and, I hope, elegant. Players will still want even-numbered abilities as much as possible because, let's be honest, combat is the crunchiest part of the system--but you no longer have to feel like putting a 17 in Strength is a waste of a +1 that ought to be moved somewhere more optimal.

That is my plan also, except I will only apply it to skills with proficiency.
 


Blackwarder

Adventurer
I assume that you are looking on this from the POV of 1st level characters and if that is the case that I completely disagree, odd numbered ability scores are fine, if only for the fact that by 4th level you can bump two abilities up to an even numbered ability score with a bigger bonus.

My 2 cents.

Warder
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
Not a bad idea so people don't feel off about odd ability scores. There have been times in the past where I've allowed someone to shift a point from an odd ability score number to make another odd ability score even if they don't ever plan to raise it. Makes things more efficient. I don't bother any longer. Just doesn't seem necessary.
 

I assume that you are looking on this from the POV of 1st level characters and if that is the case that I completely disagree, odd numbered ability scores are fine, if only for the fact that by 4th level you can bump two abilities up to an even numbered ability score with a bigger bonus.

Not really, in fact the issue becomes worse at higher level because you have finer control of the granularity. How many 8th level PCs do you see with two odd ability scores? That's right, not very many, because it feels like a waste. Additionally, at high level there are magic items you can potentially find which set your ability score to 19. Why 19? Why not 18? What's the difference?

I want there to be a difference. Otherwise you might as well just divide all ability scores by 2 and let them go from 1 to 10.
 
Last edited:


Lezta

Explorer
I have to admit, the disparity between odd and even scores has been a bugbear of mine since 3rd ed. I'm tempted to look into my own solution for this. Minigiants 'features' seems like a good idea, even if they're only minor things.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top