Put initial stat bonus in class not background

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
None of these books should be written to save players from themselves.

If a player chooses not to read the Player's Handbook about character creation and chooses a Background from the pre-rendered list without reading the section and realizing their first option was to make their own... and then gets pissy after the fact that the Background they chose had two ASIs in abilities they didn't want and could have in fact had them on two abilities of their choosing but they just didn't realize it... that's on them.

WotC has enough stuff to put in these books without having to spend paragraph and after paragraph and bolded header after bolded header waving their arms to say "HEY! HEY YOU! READ THIS! THIS IS IMPORTANT!" It's a rulebook. The entire thing is important. If you don't read it... don't complain when you make mistakes.
I'm just speaking real world experience. I printed it out and had a few minutes on break at work to read it. I didn't start novel style, but instead flipped through the pages reading some bits that caught my eye. I stopped at the sample backgrounds (because it takes up a lot of room in the packet just to show examples) and thought it was dumb that they still has set modifiers in the game, only now moved to a different place.

In between glancing and reading from front to back I saw at ENworld people discussing the actual background system and realized it wasn't really "fixed but movable" and instead "assignable".

That said, and after pondering a bit, I think it's poor design overall to have the stat mods moved to the Background portion of character creation. If it's truly assignable it should be placed directly after the section on how to determine your stats (rolling, point buy, etc).
 

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Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Its still relevant because, ideally, you are still playing a member of that race and thus are affected by the attributes of said race no matter how relevant or irrelevant they are to your class.

And yet D&D basically invented the dexterous elf.
And no its not a win for D&D but a huge loss. You lose history, you lose the flavor of different races and you lose the role in role playing because this change signals that WotC is now considering roll playing the default, playing optimized combat stats. Because there is no other reason (except for a minority who think fantasy elves being different from humans is racism) to have floating ability scores except to minmax your combat power and many people on this board have in the end advocated for floating ASI because "it will allow them play different race/class combinations" as for them playing something not optimized is unthinkable (because they would suck and not be competent. Their words...)

Sadly WotC seems to (probably rightly) think there is more money in tactical boardgames instead of RPGs and thats the direction where they are going. Not playing the "elven blacksmith who picked up a blade himself" as a role, but the "+5 attack AC 16 damage dealer" role.
I'm pretty sure in 2e you could find an elf with a bonus to any of the 6 stats, so the idea that one particular stat helps define a race seems to have flown out the window long ago.

How about we just divorce the stat bonus from everything and let each player decide if they want to model nature, nurture, training, magic, or pure chaos in their character.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
That said, and after pondering a bit, I think it's poor design overall to have the stat mods moved to the Background portion of character creation. If it's truly assignable it should be placed directly after the section on how to determine your stats (rolling, point buy, etc).
The problem with this, is it precludes the option to just pick a preset and go, which many players want to be able to do.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
The problem with this, is it precludes the option to just pick a preset and go, which many players want to be able to do.
I'd say it would be more useful for new players to have a preset array of all six stats (including the floating bits added in) by class than it would be to have them assigning base numbers blindly and THEN have guidance on where to put the little nudges afterwards.
 

CubicsRube

Hero
Supporter
I apologise for inciting the race issue in this thread. I should have known better.

I for one enjoy the idea of ASIs to background. I'm not trying to make a political or moral statement with my games, I just want to make a fun story.

And to me, I find the fun story to come from the wizard in the party who is strong because they grew up a farm hand. Or a fighter that is intelligent because they used to be an apprentice sage.
 
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No it's not the most logical. It's the nature vs nurture debate that hasn't been fully solved in the real world. Perhaps if you have some scret knowledge of this you should share it with the scientific community.
Nature vs nurture used to be pretty simple in D&D
Nature: Stat bonus from race
Nurture: how the player assigns the stat array/stat points/rolled stats.

Now that stat bonuses come from backgrounds I guess its all nurture.
 

DragonBelow

Adventurer
I think you missed the part where they said the backgrounds provided are just examples, and they tell you exactly how to create your own. So you can improve whatever stats you want, and get proficiencies in the skills you want, etc.
 

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