D&D (2024) Reducing ability score impact.

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
The more bonuses and penalties you remove from the game... the more random chance from the d20 impacts what you can successfully accomplish.

What's the point of being skilled or trained in anything if it's the 1-20 swing from a die roll that ends up being the primary reason you succeed or fail? Heck, this is why the original Proficiency Bonus was changed early in the D&D Next playtest-- originally your PB for levels 1-4 was a +1... and people rightly said you barely got the sense your character was skilled in anything when you were only a single point higher in your checks than if you weren't skilled.

Now that being said... if the real point of the thread is that the game might work better if STR/DEX did not affect offense and DEX did not affect defense (and instead there was another modifier we used instead for attack rolls and AC calculations)... that's a conversation we could have for the future of the game. Rather than adding your STR or DEX ability score to your attack rolls you instead had a completely separate "Attack" ability score that you would add in their place (and thus how strong or agile you were did not impact how skilled you were with a weapon.) Something like that is a feasible house rule and I think is even something original Mutants & Masterminds did in their game.

Won't show up in OneD&D obviously, but is certainly able to be looked at for individual tables or future editions past 2024.
 

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mellored

Legend
What ARE you keeping ability score for? Or rather, where do they add?
Skills and class abilities.

Though, I guess those things can be done in other ways too. So sure, it's possible to drop abilities all together and still have the same choice points.

Skills can just be +0/+3/+6/+9 depending on proficiency level.

And class abilities can be choice points like fighting style is.

I.e. level 4 barbarians can chose to +damage, +hp, or a feat.
And a level 8 Paladin can chose between +1 to save aura, +1 to hit, or a feat.
Bard 12 might chose between +1 inspiration or +1 to save DCs.

Actually, I like that better. Makes the choices more obvious.
 

Yora

Legend
One of the best ways to squish the effect of stats I've seen is to just compress modifiers. For example, in the X Without Number games by Sine Nomine, the stat to modifier sequence goes like this:

3: -2
4-7: -1
8-13: +0
14-17: +1
18: +2

This way, your stats are still relevant to the things you want to do in the game world (saves, attacks, etc.) without having your min-maxed munchkin being so head and shoulders above everyone else.

You'd have to rework ALL the math of the game, though, and I don't foresee WotC doing something so drastic.
Or you change how ability scores are rolled. Make it 2d6+3 instead of 3d6.
 

One of the best ways to squish the effect of stats I've seen is to just compress modifiers. For example, in the X Without Number games by Sine Nomine, the stat to modifier sequence goes like this:

3: -2
4-7: -1
8-13: +0
14-17: +1
18: +2

This way, your stats are still relevant to the things you want to do in the game world (saves, attacks, etc.) without having your min-maxed munchkin being so head and shoulders above everyone else.

You'd have to rework ALL the math of the game, though, and I don't foresee WotC doing something so drastic.
that lines up closer to 2e and I can't say I would dislike it.
 


Pauln6

Hero
The simplest thing is to just apply half the modifier to attack rolls, saves and things that affect saves. However, you would need to take greater steps to keep a lid on stacking. Make it clear that magical bonuses to AC don't stack or possibly limit magic AC bonuses to +1. Monsters struggle to hit as it is.
 

Dausuul

Legend
What ARE you keeping ability score for? Or rather, where do they add?

It looks like you are keeping it for weapon damage, which is good so as not to create a divide for martials (who normally add) and casters (who do not), but that means it's still important to martials to do the main thing they do in combat - inflict damage.

You have features like Bardic Inspiration that are triggered off CHR - so CHR is still important for them, while for a Wizard who cares about INT? It's not used for DC anymore or many features.

How about having a by-level mod you use for all of these, and just remove ability scores all together.
That would be my preference, but let's be honest, the six ability scores are never going to be removed from D&D. They're the 20th-level paladin of cows.

We can, however, hope to see their influence sharply reduced.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Ok, so this is going to kill a sacred or 2 cows but it will free up ability scores to be more of what you want. o damage while another can use +Dex to move allies around.
You could spin it as more of a return to the roots of D&D, as ability scores didn't used to influence things nearly as much as they do now, and that's the reason 3d6 in order still was functional.
 

leozg

DM
I like the idea, but not the execution.
I would like to be able to make a charismatic fighter without being penalized in combat abilities (str, con, dex). I like some ideas presented, specially the one that changes 18 to +3. But I also think a Str 20 figther is a really strong man, and a simple +3 compared to a +1 of a just above average fighter does not give me the feeling that the first one is really strong.
I don't think this is the answer you are looking for, but i think it is better to change your way of playing by changibg the impact combat have in your game. For example: make cha based skills more relevant, or make combat have more permanent consequences.
It is not simple, but just removing ability modifier of combat stats is not an option for me.
 

Horwath

Legend
I have suggestion that simply replaces ability modifier with proficiency bonus in all except ABILITY checks:

 

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