D&D (2024) Things You Think Would Improve the Game That We WON'T See


log in or register to remove this ad

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I'd be interested to see how much actual variation comes from the most popular methods of character creation. And whether that ratio has changed much by, say, level 8 when everyone has had a chance at a minimum of two ASIs.
Sure! Let me fire up Excel right quick. Full probability curves for the 4d6 Drop Lowest method have already been generated by Jasper Flick, and you can find them here. But that's not very helpful for comparison, since none of the other methods have any probability at all. So for the sake of this exercise, I'll use mathematical averages to measure and compare that "actual variation."

Standard Array
The sum of (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) is 72, and the average for any one ability score is 12.00.

4d6 Drop Lowest
Across 130,000 iterations in Microsoft Excel, the average for any one ability score is 12.24.
(Why did I stop at 130,000? I got tired of holding down the Page-Down key.)

Point Buy
There are only 65 possible combinations of stats that can be "legally" generated using the Point Buy rules as-written in the PHB.

The "best" set you can pick is (13, 13, 13, 12, 12, 12) which returns an average of 12.50.
The "worst" set you can pick is (15, 15, 15, 8, 8, 8) which returns an average of 11.50.
And if you average all 65 sets together, the average of any one ability score is 12.05.

I thought it was interesting that the further your selected numbers are from the mathematical average (12.05), the worse they are overall as a set. Which makes sense; that's how the law of averages works but not many players realize that.

3d6 Straight Roll
Across 130,000 iterations in Microsoft Excel, the average for any one ability score is 10.50.
(This method isn't in the PHB, and it's incredibly unpopular among 5E players. I only include it here because I found it amusing.)


CONCLUSION:
The amount of variation between the most popular methods of character creation are as follows. On the average:
  • The highest stats can be chosen with the Point Buy method.
  • The lowest stats can be chosen with the Point Buy method.
  • The most reliable stats are selected from the Standard Array, which is a single set that cannot change.
  • The 4d6 Drop Lowest method generates better stats than the Standard Array, but is otherwise in the middle when compared to all other methods. Thus, the only real reason to choose (or oppose) the 4d6 Drop Lowest method--mathematically-speaking--is the reliability: whether you wish to allow (or avoid) random numbers during character generation.


CONSIDERING ASIs
Most races grant a +2 to one score and a +1 to another, which is an average of +0.50 to each.
Mountain dwarves, half-elves, and a handful of others grant +2 to two ability scores, which is an average of +0.67 to each.
Humans have the best racial ASIs, at +1 to each ability score.
Feats add a +0 or +1, depending, and they're an optional rule besides, so for the purpose of this exercise we will assume they aren't used.
At 4th level, the character gains a net of +2 to their ability scores, or +0.33.
At 8th level, the character gains a net of +2 to their ability scores again, another +0.33.
These ASIs are applied equally after stats are generated...in other words, Humans still get +1 to each ability score whether you used the Standard Array or Point Buy.

Now.
Just for fun, let's build some characters!

Using the average result of 4d6 Drop Lowest (12) for all stats:
Your stats are 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, and 12.
Choose Human, they are now 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, and 13.
At 8th level, your stats will be 14, 14, 14, 14, 13, and 13...an average of 13.67.
Your total ability score bonus is +10 (+2, +2, +2, +2, +1, and +1).

The highest stats possible, on average, at 8th level, will be:
Use the Point Buy method, and choose 13, 13, 13, 12, 12, 12.
Choose Human, your stats are now 14, 14, 14, 13, 13, 13.
At 8th level, your stats will be 16, 16, 14, 13, 13, and 13....an average of 14.17.
Your total ability score bonus is +11 (+3, +3, +2, +1, +1, and +1).

The worst stats possible, on average, at 8th level, will be:
Use the Point Buy method, and choose 15, 15, 15, 8, 8, 8.
Choose any race that gives +2/+1 ASI, your stats are now 15, 15, 15, 10, 9, 8.
At 8th level, your stats will be 16, 15, 15, 11, 9, and 9...an average of 12.50.
Your total ability score bonus is +5 (+3, +2, +2, +0, -1, and -1).
And if you really want to scrape the bottom of the toilet bowl with your stats, you could use the optional rules for Feats and then pick any two feats that lack ASIs. Your stats would be 15, 15, 15, 10, 9, and 8, with a total bonus of +4.
 
Last edited:

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
The randomness should happen in combat not chargen.
Well, that sounds more like you're against random character gen, which Lanefan's method is part of. That's fine, but his method ain't exactly what I'd call much in the way of book keeping.
 
Last edited:

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Well, that sounds more like you're against random character gen, which Lanefan's method is part of. That's fine, but his method ain't exactly what I'd call much in the way if book keeping.
You need to record on sheet and then bust out rules to figure it out which currently makes zero sense. Percent at first level but then 3D8?
Calculating Zach Galifianakis GIF by filmeditor

Wouldn’t this also allow you to roll well and blast off you star score? No, it just gets you over 15 after so many levels but doesn’t increase often.
Eyes What GIF

Why is ASI bad again?
 


CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I thought it was interesting that the further your selected numbers are from the mathematical average (12.05), the worse they are overall as a set. Which makes sense; that's how the law of averages works but not many players realize that.
however, while that's true that the stats generated in pointbuy are 'better' by averaging them out and irregardless of if players recognise that, DnD is not a game that especially rewards players for diversifying their stat distribution into being a jack of all trades, so while a set may be technically be worse than a more even distribution it's peaks and valleys are rewarded more when put into play with the mechanics.
 

I feel like the 'classes' in this case would have to be basically nothing and the subclasses be way more robust for any of this to be satisfying.

Just as an example, I play a bard was WAY different reasons than the 'Core Four'. Mostly because the Core Four aren't actually a good or inclusive range of fantasy archetypes for modern fantasy.
Yep this. I wouldn't mind just four base classes...... On the condition that subclasses took almost the entire power budget and theme.

Honestly I liked 1DnD's initial approach. Class groups with shared mechanics, which then got further split down into classes, and then into subclasses. It basically allowed the 'less classes' crowd to have what they wanted while not taking anything away from the people who enjoy 5e's classes.

Shame it got scrapped.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Honestly I liked 1DnD's initial approach. Class groups with shared mechanics, which then got further split down into classes, and then into subclasses. It basically allowed the 'less classes' crowd to have what they wanted while not taking anything away from the people who enjoy 5e's classes.
But did it really?

I mean on the face of it, sure, you could say "Look! Four groups! Warriors, experts, divine casters, arcane casters! Just what the Core Four crowd wanted!" But if you are then going to divide those four groups into four classes each and then divide each of those four classes into four subclass each... what are you actually creating that is that different?

So instead of a character gaining (for example) 8 features from Class (shared by every member of that class) and 4 features from subclass... they now get 2 features from Class Group, 6 features from Class and 4 features from subclass. Does that really give you anything much of note? Yes, Bards, Rangers and Rogues might now all share Expertise and Evasion (as an example) as a feature... but everything else is all still different between those "Experts". And don't we pretty much have this kind of thing already? Classes share Expertise, classes share Fighting Styles, classes share Cantrips, classes share Evasion.

To my mind, all Class Groups do is put a trio of classes together in a box for no real or useful reason... other than maybe descriptive purposes. But has description been the issue for people? Or the reason some people desperately want to go back to just Four Classes? I don't think so.

The only reason I see for condensing class numbers back down to four is to reduce the number of unique mechanics that are found. So instead of 12 classes all with (for example) 12 unique features each (including all manner of unique subclass features) for a total of like 144 total unique features across the entire class spectrum... you only have four classes with 12 unique features each, for a total of 48 total features. Which is fine if that's really what you want... but I will say that flies in the face of most players who keep wanting more and more player-facing splatbooks. Those splatbooks hand out more and more class and subclass features, which flies in the face of Core Four gameplay. If you want to make every warrior-type character a Fighter it means you want every character to have the exact same set of combat features/mechanics as every other warrior-type character (other than what you'd get from subclass)-- and adding a bunch of additional new rules and features from a splatbook that you can take to differentiate your warrior PC from another goes completely against that.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
But did it really?

I mean on the face of it, sure, you could say "Look! Four groups! Warriors, experts, divine casters, arcane casters! Just what the Core Four crowd wanted!" But if you are then going to divide those four groups into four classes each and then divide each of those four classes into four subclass each... what are you actually creating that is that different?

So instead of a character gaining (for example) 8 features from Class (shared by every member of that class) and 4 features from subclass... they now get 2 features from Class Group, 6 features from Class and 4 features from subclass. Does that really give you anything much of note? Yes, Bards, Rangers and Rogues might now all share Expertise and Evasion (as an example) as a feature... but everything else is all still different between those "Experts". And don't we pretty much have this kind of thing already? Classes share Expertise, classes share Fighting Styles, classes share Cantrips, classes share Evasion.

To my mind, all Class Groups do is put a trio of classes together in a box for no real or useful reason... other than maybe descriptive purposes. But has description been the issue for people? Or the reason some people desperately want to go back to just Four Classes? I don't think so.

The only reason I see for condensing class numbers back down to four is to reduce the number of unique mechanics that are found. So instead of 12 classes all with (for example) 12 unique features each (including all manner of unique subclass features) for a total of like 144 total unique features across the entire class spectrum... you only have four classes with 12 unique features each, for a total of 48 total features. Which is fine if that's really what you want... but I will say that flies in the face of most players who keep wanting more and more player-facing splatbooks. Those splatbooks hand out more and more class and subclass features, which flies in the face of Core Four gameplay. If you want to make every warrior-type character a Fighter it means you want every character to have the exact same set of combat features/mechanics as every other warrior-type character (other than what you'd get from subclass)-- and adding a bunch of additional new rules and features from a splatbook that you can take to differentiate your warrior PC from another goes completely against that.
Kinda.... It initially did something that wotc never actually drew attention to by talking about or mentioning it as more than coincidence until it was scrapped from lack of excitement. Namely every class had subclass levels at the same level.
 

But did it really?

I mean on the face of it, sure, you could say "Look! Four groups! Warriors, experts, divine casters, arcane casters! Just what the Core Four crowd wanted!" But if you are then going to divide those four groups into four classes each and then divide each of those four classes into four subclass each... what are you actually creating that is that different?

So instead of a character gaining (for example) 8 features from Class (shared by every member of that class) and 4 features from subclass... they now get 2 features from Class Group, 6 features from Class and 4 features from subclass. Does that really give you anything much of note? Yes, Bards, Rangers and Rogues might now all share Expertise and Evasion (as an example) as a feature... but everything else is all still different between those "Experts". And don't we pretty much have this kind of thing already? Classes share Expertise, classes share Fighting Styles, classes share Cantrips, classes share Evasion.

To my mind, all Class Groups do is put a trio of classes together in a box for no real or useful reason... other than maybe descriptive purposes. But has description been the issue for people? Or the reason some people desperately want to go back to just Four Classes? I don't think so.

The only reason I see for condensing class numbers back down to four is to reduce the number of unique mechanics that are found. So instead of 12 classes all with (for example) 12 unique features each (including all manner of unique subclass features) for a total of like 144 total unique features across the entire class spectrum... you only have four classes with 12 unique features each, for a total of 48 total features. Which is fine if that's really what you want... but I will say that flies in the face of most players who keep wanting more and more player-facing splatbooks. Those splatbooks hand out more and more class and subclass features, which flies in the face of Core Four gameplay. If you want to make every warrior-type character a Fighter it means you want every character to have the exact same set of combat features/mechanics as every other warrior-type character (other than what you'd get from subclass)-- and adding a bunch of additional new rules and features from a splatbook that you can take to differentiate your warrior PC from another goes completely against that.
True. I get your point that it isn't going to make that group happy.

But if their goal is removing everything which makes differing character unique so people can no longer have mechanics matching the idea they had for their character in their head, is DnD the right game for them?

5e is already notable for having far less options than prior editions or pathfinder. If you keep simplifying more and more then you lose anything which separates it from the thousands of simple boardgames which run on a similar theme.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top