D&D 5E Possible Changes to Rebalance the Ability Scores

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I'd prefer that Initiative not be tied to any particular ability score.

Make initiative a flat d20 roll; feats and abilities could still exist to modify the results of the roll.
I'm not totally against that, but I still think that some people should be inherently more battle ready than others (Wizards, Rogues, Druids would normally be better than Barbarians, Warlocks, and Paladins in my suggestion).
 

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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Make it a skill, make it INT based. Classes that fight get proficiency for free, classes that are fast get to add a different ability or get Expertise.
I could see that working, but I do think that Dexterity and Wisdom should be used for Initiative.
Tools and languages I can definitely see working here. Skills is awkward, because as in 3.X you get the situation where being smarter makes you better at everything simply because you have more skill points-- Fighters don't get enough skill points to max out Climb, Jump, Swim, Balance, and Intimidate unless they are high INT humans.
IMO, that fits. A champion fighter with a -2 to Intelligence shouldn't be as good at learning skills (including Athletics, Acrobatics, and others) as an Eldritch Knight with a +3 to Intelligence.
I don't mind this, but it makes Dwarves the best Sorcerers unless you're using the new ASI rules.
Which I will be. Also, there are Leonin, Genasi, and other races that get bonuses to Constitution.
I am all about these. Friendly reminder that in 3.X, Concentration was actually a skill, and it was CON based. I frequently ruled that the Endurance feat was a skill, and that Concentration was a separate skill combined with Autohypnosis from Expanded Psionics Handbook.
Yes, I realized that after I wrote this post. I would probably make Concentration be a skill again.
This has the added benefit of making classes that are proficient in Constitution saves extra hard to kill-- and you look at those classes, Fighter, Barbarian, Sorcerer, high-level Monks (others I'm missing?) that is entirely appropriate.
I agree. It helps make the classes that are supposed to be good at surviving actually be better at surviving than other classes.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Endurance was a skill in 4E. It was probably removed in 5e because it tended to be reactive and therefore Constitution saves made it redundant.
That's why in my post I gave ways that could differentiate it from Con saves. Constitution saving throws happen when something happens to your body that isn't supposed to happen (freezing, turned to stone, etc), while Endurance would be a feat of durability that you choose to do (lifting something heavy, swimming long-distance, etc).
 

d24454_modern

Explorer
I feel like there should be consistency in how the rules work. That's why I think it'd be bad if the second HD modifier is different for all the classes.

I think it'd be easier to just add an Agility (AGI) stat and separate out all the Dexterity based skills.
 

That's why in my post I gave ways that could differentiate it from Con saves. Constitution saving throws happen when something happens to your body that isn't supposed to happen (freezing, turned to stone, etc), while Endurance would be a feat of durability that you choose to do (lifting something heavy, swimming long-distance, etc).
The question is do these really happen often enough to justify having a skill? I say this as an endurance athlete who really likes playing characters who are good at endurance and did so quite often in 4e and still for all that found it very hard to actively make use of the skill. If I want to get into a town I might use Persausian to bribe the guards, or Deception to lie to them, Athletics to climb the wall or Stealth to sneak in. I might even use History to remember that the ancient builders built extensive underground aqueducts. How do I use Endurance to get into the town?

And the difference is tenuous anyway. Do I roll Endurance or a Con save to deal with freezing cold weather?
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The question is do these really happen often enough to justify having a skill? I say this as an endurance athlete who really likes playing characters who are good at endurance and did so quite often in 4e and still for all that found it very hard to actively make use of the skill. If I want to get into a town I might use Persausian to bribe the guards, or Deception to lie to them, Athletics to climb the wall or Stealth to sneak in. I might even use History to remember that the ancient builders built extensive underground aqueducts. How do I use Endurance to get into the town?

And the difference is tenuous anyway. Do I roll Endurance or a Con save to deal with freezing cold weather?
You roll Endurance to make yourself travel full speed in cold weather.
You roll Con save to not take damage from actually freezing.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Not convinced those are different enough to be worth two proficiencies.

You can't actively make a saving throw though.
Endurance is actively invoking your Constitution.

If two characters race in the snowstorm, you can't roll a Con save to see who wins. It's an ability contest of Con vs Con with the Endurance skill applying.
 

You can't actively make a saving throw though.
Endurance is actively invoking your Constitution.

If two characters race in the snowstorm, you can't roll a Con save to see who wins. It's an ability contest of Con vs Con with the Endurance skill applying.
Most of the situations in which you would roll Endurance are arguably passive.

Generally running is Athletics - that's the active part - weathering conditions is pretty passive. If your having any kind of long distance running competition I would think it should be Con (Athletics), snowstorm or not. To me this seems like the generally uncommon kind of roll where you would do this. (And this way the character doesn't have to pay a proficiency tax to be good at running twice!)

If your campaign features a lot of endurance competition, then sure, there's an argument to be made for adding a skill, just like for anything, but as part of the base game? No. I think removing it was probably a good call.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Most of the situations in which you would roll Endurance are arguably passive.

Generally running is Athletics - that's the active part - weathering conditions is pretty passive. If your having any kind of long distance running competition I would think it should be Con (Athletics), snowstorm or not. To me this seems like the generally uncommon kind of roll where you would do this. (And this way the character doesn't have to pay a proficiency tax to be good at running twice!)
It's passive to the action but you are Actively invoking your Endurance.

Athletics (Con) is the better way to do it but the default rules ties skills and abilities.

If your campaign features a lot of endurance competition, then sure, there's an argument to be made for adding a skill, just like for anything, but as part of the base game? No. I think removing it was probably a good call.
Actually that's an issue I have with 5e.
You are talking about Medieval to Rennaissance level tech. Travelling the world to adventure would involve a TON of Endurance checks due to weather, climate, resting spots. long marchs, and poor sleep.
 

It's passive to the action but you are Actively invoking your Endurance.

Athletics (Con) is the better way to do it but the default rules ties skills and abilities.


Actually that's an issue I have with 5e.
You are talking about Medieval to Rennaissance level tech. Travelling the world to adventure would involve a TON of Endurance checks due to weather, climate, resting spots. long marchs, and poor sleep.
The default rules do tie ability rolls to skills, but then they also don't include Endurance, so if we're changing things...

To me the test of whether something should be a skill is "is there anyway to directly leverage this to accomplish your goals" as I suggested above in the city example. I played through enough 4e skill challenges where Endurance was my best skill to know how difficult it is.

Ideally you would divorce the ability scores from skills formally (the 5e system is designed to make this easy it's just that playtesters balked at removing formal skills).

Make endurance part of Mountaineering and include climbing things, and skiing and navigating, or merge it with survival or something. (Who has Survival? The Ranger and Barbarian, who should be good at enduring outdoor conditions? The Ranger and Barbarian).
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The default rules do tie ability rolls to skills, but then they also don't include Endurance, so if we're changing things...

To me the test of whether something should be a skill is "is there anyway to directly leverage this to accomplish your goals" as I suggested above in the city example. I played through enough 4e skill challenges where Endurance was my best skill to know how difficult it is.

Ideally you would divorce the ability scores from skills formally (the 5e system is designed to make this easy it's just that playtesters balked at removing formal skills).

Make endurance part of Mountaineering and include climbing things, and skiing and navigating, or merge it with survival or something. (Who has Survival? The Ranger and Barbarian, who should be good at enduring outdoor conditions? The Ranger and Barbarian).
I agree. Endurance is one of those skills that get heavy use or no use.

The best way to do it is to untie skill and ability score. But from experience, new players can't handle constantly making combinations.

"Wait. What do I add again?"

Endurance as a skill is better for new players. You add the 2 modifiers together once and stick it to the paper.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
The question is do these really happen often enough to justify having a skill?
In my campaigns they do. Also, if a skill is added to the game, that will make it be used more that if it weren't a skill. Some skills are typically used more than others (Perception/Stealth more than Animal Handling/Religion), but not having a skill automatically means that it won't be used that often.
I say this as an endurance athlete who really likes playing characters who are good at endurance and did so quite often in 4e and still for all that found it very hard to actively make use of the skill. If I want to get into a town I might use Persausian to bribe the guards, or Deception to lie to them, Athletics to climb the wall or Stealth to sneak in. I might even use History to remember that the ancient builders built extensive underground aqueducts. How do I use Endurance to get into the town?
First do Athletics to lift up the portcullis in that acts as the city-gate, and then roll Endurance to see how long you can hold it up. Or, if you have to squeeze your way through a small sewer to get into the town, roll Endurance to see if you can force yourself through the small passage-way. I could come up with other examples, too.
And the difference is tenuous anyway. Do I roll Endurance or a Con save to deal with freezing cold weather?
Con save. Saves aren't voluntary, checks almost always are.
 

In my campaigns they do. Also, if a skill is added to the game, that will make it be used more that if it weren't a skill. Some skills are typically used more than others (Perception/Stealth more than Animal Handling/Religion), but not having a skill automatically means that it won't be used that often.
Only if you can use it actively. Endurance was always a skill that was mostly called for by the GM. It is difficult, as I said, to use it to actively address problems.

First do Athletics to lift up the portcullis in that acts as the city-gate, and then roll Endurance to see how long you can hold it up. Or, if you have to squeeze your way through a small sewer to get into the town, roll Endurance to see if you can force yourself through the small passage-way. I could come up with other examples, too.
So if Endurance is in the game I now need to spend two proficiences to do what I could have previously done with one? No thanks.

Con save. Saves aren't voluntary, checks almost always are.
Questionable. Especially with knowledge skills, and definitely not the case with Endurance.
 



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