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D&D 5E Removing the 6 Abilities, looking for peer reviews

Ace37

Villager
Hello all, this is my first post on the forum. I have created a document that I intend to use when I start my next campaign this month. Before I do I'd like some other's opinions on the matter. I've searched the site for further information on the topic and I think I'm ready to get my own feedback. The document attached contains what I call an "overhaul" to 5e. It changes how many mechanics interact with each other, while keeping the core of the game the same. My goal was to create a set of rules that changed how 5e handles Ability Checks (or Skill Checks,) without creating an entirely new system. Careful, its a little lengthy. Even if you don't want to read it I still want your input so here's a TL;DR:

Giving characters 6 Ability scores is a bad mechanic that does not do what it intends to do, especially since we have Ability Checks to override the numbers anyway. Binding social interaction skills to Charisma is unfair to characters who won't reasonably put points into Charisma. The distinction between Intelligence and Wisdom is ambiguous as best, and the two are identical at worst. Therefore if we drop the Ability scores completely, the game will be better for it. How that effects the game is described at length in the document.

I realize that some (many?) will disagree with me out of their dedication to the 6 Ability mechanic and that is fine. I have several players at the table who will be a hard sell as well. Like I said, I want everyone's input so let me hear it! I also value correct grammar, so if you have nothing to say on the topic of mechanics, you can at least criticize my word choice. Thank you.
 

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ECMO3

Explorer
Hello all, this is my first post on the forum. I have created a document that I intend to use when I start my next campaign this month. Before I do I'd like some other's opinions on the matter. I've searched the site for further information on the topic and I think I'm ready to get my own feedback. The document attached contains what I call an "overhaul" to 5e. It changes how many mechanics interact with each other, while keeping the core of the game the same. My goal was to create a set of rules that changed how 5e handles Ability Checks (or Skill Checks,) without creating an entirely new system. Careful, its a little lengthy. Even if you don't want to read it I still want your input so here's a TL;DR:

Giving characters 6 Ability scores is a bad mechanic that does not do what it intends to do, especially since we have Ability Checks to override the numbers anyway. Binding social interaction skills to Charisma is unfair to characters who won't reasonably put points into Charisma. The distinction between Intelligence and Wisdom is ambiguous as best, and the two are identical at worst. Therefore if we drop the Ability scores completely, the game will be better for it. How that effects the game is described at length in the document.

I realize that some (many?) will disagree with me out of their dedication to the 6 Ability mechanic and that is fine. I have several players at the table who will be a hard sell as well. Like I said, I want everyone's input so let me hear it! I also value correct grammar, so if you have nothing to say on the topic of mechanics, you can at least criticize my word choice. Thank you.
If it works for you go for it. I am not in agreement though.

I think wisdom is the opposite of naivety, intelligence is the opposite of stupidity. While the two are connected, they are also distinct. My daughter is extremely intelligent with a 150 IQ, but she is not overly wise. You are right that wisdom does come from experience, but not only that, some people just "catch on" faster than others. 1E had a mechanic where you lost strength, dexterity and constitution as you aged but gained wisdom. That is reflective of real life I think but some people are naturally stronger than others, and some people just have a better street sense - that is going to translate into old age as well.

Also on ability checks keep in mind that they are not tied only to one ability. If you want to do a dexterity(athletics) to throw a ball through a small hole that is appropriate. In terms of abilities acrobatics and athletics are muddied, it is not clear what distinguishes them as abilities although the things you accomplish are generally applied to one ability or the other.

Charisma, Intelligence and to a lessor extent wisdom are difficult to role play. While I can say "my [20 strength] character lifts the boulder off of the trapped cleric" and it is easy to understand. It is far more difficult to role play my 20 wisdom character debating the nuances of irrigation and crop rotation with a peasant farmer unless he actually understands those things IRL. As for charisma, if you are in point buy and don't invest in charisma you probably should not be the face of the group. If you want to play the face then invest. Usually Charisma is used to influence, when that would not happen as part of a normal conversation. Any character can walk in and buy the plate armor off the rack for sticker price. You can do that with a 3 charisma. If you want to barter down through persuasion, deception or threats that is going to require a roll. How creative you are IRL influences that roll to a degree, which is not fair but is what it is. If I can you make an element of story telling into a failed roll.
 

Mercurius

Legend
First off, if you want to try out this approach (and can convince your players), go for it. I always encourage experimentation - the game is yours to do what you want. And you are right; you don't "need" ability scores, or at least can play without them.

That said, I think you are starting on a faulty premise. For one, Ability scores represent raw, untrained aptitude and thus aren't exactly the same thing as skills. Think of a baseball prospect who is super athletic, but raw. He might do very well in the low minors, but then start struggling in the higher minors, once his lack of skill development is revealed. If he develops his skills, he should become a good major leaguer, but if he instead relies only on his athleticism, he'll stall out. It happens a lot.

But there's a different between a character with high aptitude and one with low aptitude when trying something they're not trained in. Some people are naturally better at athletics, sword-play, processing information, social interaction, etc. And the more natural talent you have, the more likely you are to develop that capacity into a skill.

Furthermore, to follow along with what ECMO3 said, Wisdom and Intelligence are not the same thing, and this is relatively clearly defined in the rulebooks. I kind of see the difference between akin to right and left brainedness. The left brain (INT) is about processing information, while the right brain (WIS) is more holistic. Or to put it another way, INT is roughly synonymous with IQ (which is only one form of intelligence, as per people like Howard Gardner), and WIS is holistic awareness.

Finally, and most importantly, D&D is a role-playing game and involves a player pretending to be a character. Part of the fun of it is trying to be something you're not, whether it is a brawny barbarian or a clever gnome or a wise cleric, etc. So it isn't "unfair" to penalize PCs with low Charisma in social interactions because that is the choice the player made in creating their character - to have a low CHA.

If you get rid of Ability scores, you run the risk of making the game more about player skill and less about pure make-believe. So players that are good at social interaction will be good at social interaction, regardless of their character's stat sheet. The non-physical abilities and skills (INT, WIS, CHA) will become less meaningful and more based on the players themselves.

If that is what you want, fine - go for it. But it takes out an element of role-playing that is traditionally part of the game. I mean, there's something kind of fun about a socially-awkward person playing a charismatic bard, or a physically weak person playing a vitalistic barbarian, or a hyper-rationalist left-brain thinker playing a wisely mystical monk. Isn't that partially why we love this game, that we get to pretend we're something that we're not?
 

This seems like an overly complicated way to handle the lack of ability scores. Just use proficiency in place of ability bonuses where appropriate and you've got a fairly good answer all in one go.

In more detail:

Ability checks: proficiency is doubled. Non-proficient skills are just a d20 roll (unless the pc has Jack of All Trades). Expertise becomes triple proficiency.

Attack rolls: Double proficiency to hit. Add prof once to weapon damage if you're proficient with that weapon.

Save DCs: 8 + Double Prof

Saving throws: Double proficiency form class. I really like the racial bonuses idea, though, so keep that.

AC: This takes a little more thinking: Light armor would be base + prof, Medium would always have max allowed AC, heavy is unchanged but anyone proficient is strong enough to not be slowed.

Unarmored Defense is trickier: monks getting 10 + 2xprof is fine, but that seems too high for barbs. I'd switch them to 13+prof. You may find other specific cases like this; rule on them as they come up.

HP is based on listed amount +1, unless special features are added.

Other class features that call for ability mods (Aura or protection, Bardic Inspiration, spells prepared) now use prof instead.

Characters will be a bit more powerful, because they'll be able to get a lot more feats, so be prepared to dial up the difficulty.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
I looked at the PDF. You waste the first part of the document on arguing for your position philosophically.

You don't start on actual content until page 5. That is a bad sign.

Your document is a PDF, but it is a stream of text. Why is it a PDF at all?

You inject editorial content that again is a waste of words. "My personal favorite race", then a passive voice (again, needlessly wordy) about the name. When "As an example, take a half-elf named Brom" would have a much higher signal to noise ratio.

Present rule changes first and foremost, then have asides (clearly marked) describing justification, rather than pages and pages of justification and hidden rule changes peppered throughout.

And it keeps on happening.

The following combinations of skill bonuses are simply a starting point, to show how this system works.

Step forward with actual rule changes, you can mention "these can be tweaked" after you present them.

"Rogue:+3 Stealth, +2 Acrobatics, +1 Deception (Arcana if AT)"
So at level 3 when a Rogue becomes an AT, they lose +1 deception and get +1 arcana?

...

As a general rule, a feature that does nothing besides add a +1 bonuses to a subset of d20 rolls shouldn't exist. Tracking them is a pain.

As a Half Elf, Brom also benefits from 2 skill proficiencies. However, since there are no more ability scores, there is no base number to add a proficiency bonus to. Brom therefore has +2 Skill Points that come from his race.
I have no idea if the half elf still get skill proficiencies or not. You spend 5 times as much justifying your rule change as explaining it, again.

Explain the rules, justify in sidebars (or other subsections).
Proficiency modifier does not act the same way anymore. Rather than being a number that we add to things we have proficiency in, characters use their proficiency modifier as a guide. Expertise doubles the bonus that a character gets specifically from their class
Ok, that is burying the lede. Page 7 of a 14 page document and you start mentioning "oh ya, Proficiency modifiers work completely differently".

At this point, take what you wrote, throw it away and rewrite it.

To write the new version, I'd start with 3 outline drafts. These are drafts, not final product.

1. Make at least one sample level 1 and level 5 character with the new rules. This is to make sure you, personally, understand them. Highlight, in your draft, what is different.

2. Write out a description of character creation. Walk through the existing rules. For the first draft, note any changes. For the second draft, describe everything that changed. For the third draft, walk through actually doing it, step by step, double checking that you caught everything. Produce the resulting character; no shortcuts! Actually follow the steps as written. Compare it with the sample character you made before, did you miss anything?

3. Now, sit down and write out a description of the rules changes. Attached to each, include a sidebar (clearly marked) talking about why you made that decision.

For any game term you changed, search the D&D rules for reference to that game term. Collect them all in a helper document, including quotes and where you got it from.

Did you cover how that specific mention changes? Note everything you missed.

Rewrite the rules changes, try to make it even shorter but cover more cases. Repeat the check, did you cover everything in the rules?

---

Now, circle around and write out a rule-change-first version of your revision of the game. You can include one motivating paragraph at the front, saying what you are doing. Each section can have a single paragraph of justification after the rules changes, and the justification should be offset and skippable.
 

Uta-napishti

Explorer
Hi @Ace37

Presentation & Clarity:
I think that you do need to clear up the formatting, presentation and number of run on sentences first, and then repost this. Try to keep one idea per paragraph as well. Present a high level sketch of your idea in 3 sentences / bullet points. Then expand on each point in a few paragraphs later where you show us how to get there concretely from 5E.

On your Premise, I agree the 6 attributes of D&D are not perfect, but I I disagree that they can't easily distinguished from one another. I won't bore you with a long description here, but if you want, ask me for it privately. I can distinguish INT, WIS and CHA for you in all the examples you have brought up, for instance. I also think (maybe?) your argument is that CON, DEX and STR are kind of different after all, but what are numbers anyway, man, and who wants to care about them? Anyway, I think that you can skip the entire intro, as it doesn't present a convincing argument, or a consistent one. Just say something brief like "Abilities AND Skills in a system? That's weird. Could we get by on just one? Here is my idea!"

Game design wise, I am always totally ready for someone to make the case for a big overhaul, because what comes out in terms of thinking is almost always really interesting. I was excited to see you to try to tear out abilities scores entirely.... but then... I didn't get farther than when you said you were still keeping the attributes for saving throws... (SAD TROMBONE SOUND). So you aren't removing ability scores, you are making them more niche and less integrated. And you are also trying to do a lot of other stuff... which may or may not be cool, because I just lost interest... Why not try to totally rebase on skills if you are trying to rebase on skills? Don't take all this text, and philosophy and effort to half remove attributes, but chicken out and keep them.
 

Hello all, this is my first post on the forum. I have created a document that I intend to use when I start my next campaign this month. Before I do I'd like some other's opinions on the matter. I've searched the site for further information on the topic and I think I'm ready to get my own feedback. The document attached contains what I call an "overhaul" to 5e. It changes how many mechanics interact with each other, while keeping the core of the game the same. My goal was to create a set of rules that changed how 5e handles Ability Checks (or Skill Checks,) without creating an entirely new system. Careful, its a little lengthy. Even if you don't want to read it I still want your input so here's a TL;DR:

Giving characters 6 Ability scores is a bad mechanic that does not do what it intends to do, especially since we have Ability Checks to override the numbers anyway. Binding social interaction skills to Charisma is unfair to characters who won't reasonably put points into Charisma. The distinction between Intelligence and Wisdom is ambiguous as best, and the two are identical at worst. Therefore if we drop the Ability scores completely, the game will be better for it. How that effects the game is described at length in the document.

I realize that some (many?) will disagree with me out of their dedication to the 6 Ability mechanic and that is fine. I have several players at the table who will be a hard sell as well. Like I said, I want everyone's input so let me hear it! I also value correct grammar, so if you have nothing to say on the topic of mechanics, you can at least criticize my word choice. Thank you.
I've only glanced through it so far, but I'd say two things:

1) Mechanically it seems like a basically fine if a little boring approach. It would really help if you formatted it more legibly (kill the line spacing for starters), and if you provided a few example PCs.

2) The preamble about your thought process actually undermines the mechanical take, because it reads like the the thought process behind every half-assed fantasy heartbreaker game from the 1980s and 1990s, and it's basically just a bunch of assertions of your personal opinions and beliefs, rather than a cogent and rational argument. I'd actually just chop it and present the mechanics alone. I think people will actually close the PDF because of it, before they get to the mechanics in some cases. I nearly did. That's not meant as a personal attack - but I've read stuff like this a huge number of times over the last 30 years, and usually what follows is a lot less mechanically sound than your approach.

Also re: saving throws, make them skills too, come on. It's silly to do anything else.
 

DeviousQuail

Explorer
Always fun to see new ideas for ability scores/core game mechanics. As others have said the document is a little tough to read. Use what others have said and write up a new draft and I'll be happy to review it again.

That being said here are a few thoughts:
  • Move the argument for removing the ability scores to the end of the document or scrap it all together. It's not neccessary or applicable to most of the people who will see this.
  • Lead with the changes to proficiency since it is really important to the mechanics of your new system and is the second biggest change to the current system behind removing ability scores.
  • If you're going to remove ability scores then you should change your saves as well. Seems like an excellent chance to move to a Fort/Ref/Will or similar setup.
 

My point of view:

Intelligence: gift to learn, memorize and calculate.

Wisdow: emotional and psychological madurity, self-control about wishes, good sense, to notice what is the best choise, serenity, ethical, within peace, sanity. Courage/Spirit is for a fear check to dare to take an action. Wisdow is for madness check or self-contro to stop oneself befoe taking instictively the wrong action.

Astuteness: gift to improvise, social manipulation, subterfuge, thinking fastly when the rest is a chaos, acuity to notice somebody is lying, perception, noticing details in the environment.

Usually something can be good with one or two but bad in other.
 
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Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
Hello all, this is my first post on the forum. I have created a document that I intend to use when I start my next campaign this month. Before I do I'd like some other's opinions on the matter. I've searched the site for further information on the topic and I think I'm ready to get my own feedback. The document attached contains what I call an "overhaul" to 5e. It changes how many mechanics interact with each other, while keeping the core of the game the same. My goal was to create a set of rules that changed how 5e handles Ability Checks (or Skill Checks,) without creating an entirely new system. Careful, its a little lengthy. Even if you don't want to read it I still want your input so here's a TL;DR:

Giving characters 6 Ability scores is a bad mechanic that does not do what it intends to do, especially since we have Ability Checks to override the numbers anyway. Binding social interaction skills to Charisma is unfair to characters who won't reasonably put points into Charisma. The distinction between Intelligence and Wisdom is ambiguous as best, and the two are identical at worst. Therefore if we drop the Ability scores completely, the game will be better for it. How that effects the game is described at length in the document.

I realize that some (many?) will disagree with me out of their dedication to the 6 Ability mechanic and that is fine. I have several players at the table who will be a hard sell as well. Like I said, I want everyone's input so let me hear it! I also value correct grammar, so if you have nothing to say on the topic of mechanics, you can at least criticize my word choice. Thank you.
I did a rapid look up of your document. You should really look at Fantasy AGE by Green Ronin.
 

Ace37

Villager
Thank you for your criticisms!

Edit: (I pushed the "reply" button but it doesn't look like it referenced you... I'll have to figure out how to fix that.)

ECMO3:

Also on ability checks keep in mind that they are not tied only to one ability. If you want to do a dexterity(athletics) to throw a ball through a small hole that is appropriate. In terms of abilities acrobatics and athletics are muddied, it is not clear what distinguishes them as abilities although the things you accomplish are generally applied to one ability or the other.

This is a problem for me because characters are generally built to be good at the skills that their abilities naturally allow them to be good at. (Sorcerers/Warlocks have high Charisma, so they would naturally be good at Persuasion.) So if a player has to make an Athletics(Dex) check, it may make more sense, but its also likely to just reduce the player's bonuses by 1 or 2 (maybe more.) By removing the abilities all together, the character never has to be gimped for realism.

It is far more difficult to role play my 20 wisdom character debating the nuances of irrigation and crop rotation with a peasant farmer unless he actually understands those things IRL.
An interesting note here is that I would say that this conversation would be more Intelligence based. If an old farmer knows these things by experience, I suppose you could make an argument. Regardless I find that if we can disagree at even a simple phrase like this, the distinction between Wis/Int must not be that clear.

Regarding the Charisma section, you're right. I will do better in the next version of the document to explain how charismatic skills can be given to players who want it, rather than just the magic casters who use Charisma as their spellcasting ability.
 
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Ace37

Villager
This seems like an overly complicated way to handle the lack of ability scores. Just use proficiency in place of ability bonuses where appropriate and you've got a fairly good answer all in one go.

In more detail:

Ability checks: proficiency is doubled. Non-proficient skills are just a d20 roll (unless the pc has Jack of All Trades). Expertise becomes triple proficiency.

Attack rolls: Double proficiency to hit. Add prof once to weapon damage if you're proficient with that weapon.

Save DCs: 8 + Double Prof

Saving throws: Double proficiency form class. I really like the racial bonuses idea, though, so keep that.

AC: This takes a little more thinking: Light armor would be base + prof, Medium would always have max allowed AC, heavy is unchanged but anyone proficient is strong enough to not be slowed.

Unarmored Defense is trickier: monks getting 10 + 2xprof is fine, but that seems too high for barbs. I'd switch them to 13+prof. You may find other specific cases like this; rule on them as they come up.

HP is based on listed amount +1, unless special features are added.

Other class features that call for ability mods (Aura or protection, Bardic Inspiration, spells prepared) now use prof instead.

Characters will be a bit more powerful, because they'll be able to get a lot more feats, so be prepared to dial up the difficulty.
I really appreciate that you considered my work and thought about how to make it better. I do agree that the original document was quite complicated, and it seems like your system is much more streamlined, in nice 5e fashion. As many others pointed out, the next version should be easier to read, and I will do that. My concern with your system here though, is that it does not seem to leave a lot of room for players to get the feeling progress when levelling up. Sure, they get their feats and other level up things at certain levels, but if all bonuses are static numbers that only go up every tier, the players may feel like they have less say on their character's build than RAW. This is a gut reaction, but I will certainly take what you've said into consideration because like I said, I like how its streamlined.
 

Ace37

Villager
I've only glanced through it so far, but I'd say two things:

1) Mechanically it seems like a basically fine if a little boring approach. It would really help if you formatted it more legibly (kill the line spacing for starters), and if you provided a few example PCs.

2) The preamble about your thought process actually undermines the mechanical take, because it reads like the the thought process behind every half-assed fantasy heartbreaker game from the 1980s and 1990s, and it's basically just a bunch of assertions of your personal opinions and beliefs, rather than a cogent and rational argument. I'd actually just chop it and present the mechanics alone. I think people will actually close the PDF because of it, before they get to the mechanics in some cases. I nearly did. That's not meant as a personal attack - but I've read stuff like this a huge number of times over the last 30 years, and usually what follows is a lot less mechanically sound than your approach.

Also re: saving throws, make them skills too, come on. It's silly to do anything else.
1. I think it was boring because of the way that I presented it, as others have criticized as well. In the next version I will be sure to fix that issue.
2. You're right that I was wrong to include the first 5 pages. It was lazy, if not a little arrogant. Not to mention that I didn't even present a real argument, and to think that I called it a philosophical approach! I agree that presenting the mechanics alone is the best option.
 

Ace37

Villager
Hi @Ace37

Presentation & Clarity:
I think that you do need to clear up the formatting, presentation and number of run on sentences first, and then repost this. Try to keep one idea per paragraph as well. Present a high level sketch of your idea in 3 sentences / bullet points. Then expand on each point in a few paragraphs later where you show us how to get there concretely from 5E.

On your Premise, I agree the 6 attributes of D&D are not perfect, but I I disagree that they can't easily distinguished from one another. I won't bore you with a long description here, but if you want, ask me for it privately. I can distinguish INT, WIS and CHA for you in all the examples you have brought up, for instance. I also think (maybe?) your argument is that CON, DEX and STR are kind of different after all, but what are numbers anyway, man, and who wants to care about them? Anyway, I think that you can skip the entire intro, as it doesn't present a convincing argument, or a consistent one. Just say something brief like "Abilities AND Skills in a system? That's weird. Could we get by on just one? Here is my idea!"

Game design wise, I am always totally ready for someone to make the case for a big overhaul, because what comes out in terms of thinking is almost always really interesting. I was excited to see you to try to tear out abilities scores entirely.... but then... I didn't get farther than when you said you were still keeping the attributes for saving throws... (SAD TROMBONE SOUND). So you aren't removing ability scores, you are making them more niche and less integrated. And you are also trying to do a lot of other stuff... which may or may not be cool, because I just lost interest... Why not try to totally rebase on skills if you are trying to rebase on skills? Don't take all this text, and philosophy and effort to half remove attributes, but chicken out and keep them.
Thanks for the reply! I agree that my first few pages were unnecessary and set a sour tone. I like the idea of a three bullet point strategy, but I'm unsure if I will be able to implement it effectively. Regardless, I understand that less, more precise, words would be better.
One thing I am unsure that I agree with you on is of the need to re-create the saving throw system. It can be done for sure, but would require changing much more than I had intended to. For example, removal of Intelligence/Wisdom/Charisma saves COULD be replaced by an "Arcana" check (Save) but doing so would benefit those who have the proficiency, and severely hinder those who do not. Which you could say is a good thing... This would also mean stopping yourself short anytime a magical effect says to make a "Charisma save." In the end, removing the Saving Throw system would change significantly more than just the Abilities.
I do see how not removing the Saving Throws, which have the same names as Abilities, is potentially contradictory. This may in fact be the best challenge to my idea thus far. (Which I love!) During the process of making v2, I will be sure to address this concern.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
1. I think it was boring because of the way that I presented it, as others have criticized as well. In the next version I will be sure to fix that issue.
2. You're right that I was wrong to include the first 5 pages. It was lazy, if not a little arrogant. Not to mention that I didn't even present a real argument, and to think that I called it a philosophical approach! I agree that presenting the mechanics alone is the best option.
Feel free to include justification, but lead with mechanics.

Like this;

This is an attempt to remove attributes from the game.

Saving Throws

You keep the saving throws tied to each attribute, but they are calculated differently.

Whenever you gain an ASI, you can choose one of:
(a) +2 to up to 2 saves.
(b) a feat.

If you choose a feat, any bonus to attributes instead adds to your save in that attribute directly.

The bonus you gain in an attribute is capped at your proficiency bonus.

I'd eliminate the saving throws as well, but rewriting all of magic and every monster is a bit too much work.

Hit Points
Your HP from HD are based off the maximium value of the HD.

In addition, you gain a bonus equal to your skill ranks in the Endurance skill. This is a one-time bonus, not per level.

Max HD gives a +2 for d6, +3 for d8s, +4 for d10s and +5 for d12 HP bonus per HD, which is in the realm of what a constitution bonus can be. It also rewards larger HD a bit more, which I think isn't done sufficiently in 5e, so the extra HP on beefy PCs isn't a bad thing.

Adding endurance skill points to your HP is a nod to tradition, and allows level 1 PCs to have a few extra HP if they feel they need it. It is roughly what you could get from a medium constitution at level 1.


Race Attribute Modifers

Racial modifiers to attributes are converted into bonuses directly onto the saving throw in question.

While a +2 to an attribute only gives a +1 to a saving throw, doubling the bonus keeps the modifier interesting without hooking everything else up to it

Damage Bonuses

Whenever you'd add an attribute bonus to damage, instead add your proficiency bonus.

This gives a value in the right ballpark. Subsituting your attribute bonus with your proficiency bonus will be common pattern.

Skills

This system has more fine-grained skills. Instead of becoming proficient in a skill, you gain 1 skill point in that skill. When you make a skill check, roll 1d20 and add both your proficiency bonus and your skill points to the roll. If you gain a skill twice, you gain additional skill points in it.

Skill points are capped at your proficiency bonus. If you gain too many skill points you don't lose them, they just don't add to your modifier (they are "saved" until you can gain additional proficiency bonus).

Expertise in a skill works just like it already did -- you double the bonus from your proficiency. This does not double the number of skill points you can add, however.

Jack of all Trade and similar (Champion's athlete), instead of adding 1/2 of your proficiency bonus, lets you add your full proficiency bonus when you have 0 skill points in a skill.

Every time you gain a level, you gain an additional skill point you can spend in any class skill or skill you have already trained.

There is an additional skill, endurance, which is used when a constitution check would have been used.

This gives a 3e style character customization feel to the game. If you spread your skill points around, you get to add your proficiency bonus more often; if you concentrate, you end up with a high bonus in a few skills.

Attacks

Attacks with spells, weapon you are proficient in, or unarmed attacks add twice your proficiency bonus to the attack roll.

Save DCs

Different classes save DCs are based on different skills. You start with 8 plus your proficiency bonus. Then you add:
Wizard (EK/AT): Arcana
Sorcerers: Endurance
Ranger: Survival
Druid: Nature
Cleric: Religion
Battlemaster: Athletics or Acrobatics
Bard: Performance
Artificer: Whatever Tool you use
Paladin: Intimidation
Monk: Insight
Warlock: Deception
You do not double your proficiency bonus from expertise here.

You are presumed competent at your attacks. For spells, adding in that specific skill is a matter of flavour; the PC will max that skill almost certainly.

Unarmored Defence

Monks when not wearing armor have an AC equal to their acrobatics skill points plus their proficiency bonus. This is not doubled by expertise.

Barbarians when not wearing armor have an AC equal to their endurance skill points plus half their proficiency bonus.

Armor

Replace your dexterity bonus for AC in light or medium armor by your acrobatics skill points.

For heavy armor, for every point of strength required over 10 you suffer a -5' movement penalty. Then, for every point of athletics or endurance skill, you reduce the penalty by 5' if you are proficient in that armor. As an example, plate armor has a -25' movement penalty, and if you have 2 athletics and 2 endurance, your penalty is now -5'.

This gives AC in the right ballpark for every type of gear. For armor, I replaced the attribute requirements with skill point requirements; they are easier to reach, but means that a weakling isn't wearing plate, and anyone with good defence in light armor is nimble.
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
After all the initial pages of justification, why did you keep the six ability scores as saves? If they aren't important for defining your character and in some cases hard to tell apart, you should yank them from there as well. Otherwise it undermines the case you build against them.
 
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Immoralkickass

Explorer
I too am unconvinced. The problem is you think a game's rules should reflect IRL logic. Real life is always going to be more complicated, but in a game session, there's no time to debate whether a mechanic makes sense to your or not. If you don't like the very core mechanics that the game's foundation is based on, then its better to play a different game.

The whole argument of removing ability scores just seems like the same bad idea that made Skyrim such a shallow, and hollow game in terms of RPG mechanics, compared to its predecessors in the Elder Scrolls series.
 

Uta-napishti

Explorer
If you don't like the very core mechanics that the game's foundation is based on, then its better to play a different game.
This is probably ultimately true, but what's cool about hacking an existing game that you know really well is that you have a good "feel" for what you want to change and how it might alter the dynamics. 5E is also a well known game that you can get a lot of opinionated feedback on :). It's the first place you start trying out your chops at game hacking.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Hmm.
My first though: I think you're needlessly re-inventing the wheel. Especially if you don't already have your players on board.
Talk to your players 1st. See if this is a problem that even needs solving or if this is at least something they'd try. Then create.
My 2nd thought: If you dislike one of the defining hallmarks of D&D, why play D&D? You know what D&D is, your players know what D&D is, everyone came to play D&D....
 

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