D&D 5E The tyranny of small numbers


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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Oh, I agree with you here 100%

that is why I like point buy so much.

if +1 in primary is worth +1 in secondary and +1 in tertiary ability or +1 in 3 LOWEST scores, then we could have a good point for debating is it worth maxing your primary stat.

lets, have a modified point buy system:

pool; 32pts, no racial bonuses(they are in increased pool)

8: 0pts
9: 1pt
10: 2pts
11: 3pts
12: 4pts
13: 5pts
14: 6pts
15: 8pts
16: 10pts, MAX at lvl 1
17: 13pts
18: 16pts
19: 20pts
20: 24pts, max before magic or other special features

now. at level 4 you are expected to raise your primary from 16 to 18, that is 6pts for ASI or 3pts with half feat.
at level 8 you are expected to raise your primary from 18 to 20. That is 8pts or 4 pts with half feat.
all other feats after give 8pts. fighter level 6 also.

but, now you have incentive to spend your points more efficiently on lower stats. with 8 pts you can raise and 8 to 14(6pts) and a 12 to another 14(2pts)
Again, all well and good, but if the bonus for ability modifiers is still +5, it still leads to the same issue, especially if you are giving players enough points to buy the increases on the regular schedule (bump at 4th and again at 8th).

By keeping the maximum bonus smaller, it isn't as attractive because when all is said and done, you are +3 instead of +5. Was it worth all that to get to +3, or would you have been better off using your ASIs for feats to create more depth/focus/whatever instead of just bumping an important number?
 


I don't see them going anywhere anytime soon.
I don't either, but 6e won't be soon. The anniversary edition is 2024; if that squeezes even five more years out of 5e, then we're talking 2030. And by 2030, I don't think "let's create arbitrary categories of mental and physical ability and disability, rate them on a numerical scale, and then have the game reward players for high numbers and punish them for low numbers" is something a major corporation will want to market.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I don't either, but 6e won't be soon. The anniversary edition is 2024; if that squeezes even five more years out of 5e, then we're talking 2030. And by 2030, I don't think "let's create arbitrary categories of mental and physical ability and disability, rate them on a numerical scale, and then have the game reward players for high numbers and punish them for low numbers" is something a major corporation will want to market.
Not to derail the thread, so I will just say this (and save further comments on the topic for a different thread maybe?):

There are certain things that for D&D without them, a huge part of the fan base would revolt against IMO. Ability scores are one of those things.
 
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There are certain things that for D&D without them, a huge part of the fan base would revolt against IMO. Ability scores is one of those things.
I couldn't even pretend to accurately predict what the fan base would and wouldn't rebel against in 2030, so I'll have to take your word for it. For my part, I have less an issue with a D&D without ability scores than I do with a D&D with ability scores that aren't affected by species.

And from a design perspective, I care if my character is good with a bow. But I'm equally happy if he's good with a bow because he has a big number in some nonsensical, reductive trait the game calls "dexterity," or because he's an elf, or because he has exceptional vision, or because he's mighty and uses heavy bows that punch through armor and hide, or because he uses magic that makes him good with a bow, or because of the cool artificer crossbow prosthetics he built, or...

But yeah, probably a derail. Sorry.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
There's a lot of probability misconceptions that come up with ability scores.

Going from a 16 to 18 does not just increase your chance of success by 5%. Depending on the DC, it could double your chance of success. Though, this is usually an extreme case.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
If using point buy, getting those higher numbers is really expensive. You can get a lot of 12s, or 1 or 2 15s and a couple of 8s.

If you're rolling, it's a different story of course.
With the standard 27 point buy, I aim for one 14 or 15 (which increases to 16 with race ASI), one 12 or 13 (which increases to 14 with race ASI), a 14, two 12s, and an eight, which I feel is pretty well-rounded. Obviously you could go for like one 14 and five 12s or something, and that’s a perfectly fine choice as well. I don’t think either can accurately be described as “unable to contribute outside combat,” nor do I think either is going to struggle in combat. But I do think the difference in success rates at different tasks is going to noticeable. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be any reason to have customizable ability scores.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
There's a lot of probability misconceptions that come up with ability scores.

Going from a 16 to 18 does not just increase your chance of success by 5%. Depending on the DC, it could double your chance of success. Though, this is usually an extreme case.
Well, both are true. A 10% chance of success is 5% more than a 5% chance of success, and is also twice as likely to occur.
 

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