Sorcica said:Now, I don't want to open the can of worms that the discussion of ability scores and CR is, because I agree that a player's high stat rolls shouldn't be included. However, I DO think that any other modifier should be included.
Oh, these damned ability scores!
All ability scores SHOULD be rated-- or, at the least, the mechanic for rating them should be there. The purpose is not to have them there to "penalize" players with ECL. It's simple enough for the DM to just say, "1 Character Level = 1 CR" and leave it at that-- but that would be the exception to the "hard math" rules provided. That's just a short-cut the DM can make, knowing that it's math in the players' favor-- and that's fine.
But that's not the whole story, and it strips a lot of the utility away from UK's system.
1) The DM can look at his players' Ability Scores to calculate their "true" CR in order to challenge them appropriately. This works for both above average and below average scores.
2) The DM needs to be able to create "elite" monsters (how about a smarter or wiser ogre?) and he needs to know how an arbitrary increase in ability scores will affect CR. The definition of "arbitrary" here is an ability score that is increased NOT as a result of: increased HD (+1 per 4 HD), Size (Str, Con increases, Dex decreases as a function of size), or any of the other "template" type factors that UK has already provided. The +0.1 per +1 ability works fine here.
Regarding the "Design Parameters" section where UK makes certain recommendations for outsiders and other "supernatural" creatures, I think I am reading (or, for certain, intending to implement) that differently. I read the Design Parameters as guidelines for where the ability scores should fall-- but they are NOT freebies. I may very well agree that Outsiders should have an elite array as a baseline-- but they should PAY for that elite array, because those ability scores WILL raise the CR of that creature.
I don't particularly care if the Size template includes or does not include ability score (or natural armor) increases or not. However, whatever each size category DOES include should definitely be broken out for the user to see.