D&D General Vote Up A 5e-alike, Part 3.1 - What do the stats do?

What do the stats do?

  • Stat Mod: As per 5e (8-9 = -1, 10-11 = +0, 12-13 = +1, 14-15 = +2, etc.)

    Votes: 12 46.2%
  • Stat Mod: Lower than 5e (9-12 = +0, 13-15 = +1 16-18 = +2, 19-20 = +3)

    Votes: 8 30.8%
  • Stat Mod: different for each stat (a la AD&D)

    Votes: 4 15.4%
  • As per 5e, stats are used for saving throws (e.g., Strength save, Dex save, etc.)

    Votes: 9 34.6%
  • Saves: Fortitude, Reflexes, Willpower

    Votes: 10 38.5%
  • Saves: Against specific things (a la AD&D)

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • Saves: Based on class and level (and maybe ancestry) only

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Keep tool, game, and musical instrument proficiencies separate from stats

    Votes: 10 38.5%
  • Fold tool, game, and musical instrument proficiencies into the stats

    Votes: 8 30.8%
  • Strength affects AC

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Strength affects hit points

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Strength affects *all* damage rolls, not just some

    Votes: 7 26.9%
  • Dexterity affects *all* attack rolls, not just some

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Intelligence grants bonus skills and/or languages

    Votes: 14 53.8%
  • Intelligence affects AC when wearing light armor (as per 4e)

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Wisdom affects initiative (due to Perception)

    Votes: 9 34.6%
  • Charisma affects NPC reactions even without Intimidation/Persuasion rolls

    Votes: 6 23.1%
  • No skills at all! Player says what they want to do, DM chooses attribute

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • No stats, only skills

    Votes: 2 7.7%

  • Poll closed .

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Vaalingrade

Legend
Make the little random proficiencies into skills again. We no longer need esoteric nostalgia bait for non-weapon proficiencies.

Three saves. I don't even care what they're called, just keep it to three instead of chasing pointless symmetry at the expense of pretending 'Strength saves' make sense.

Give INT a reason to exist once the wizard is deleted.

Standard modifiers because, like my choice of standard stats: me lazy.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
  • Strength
    • Melee attacks
    • Ranged attacks with thrown weapons bows
    • Heavy armor AC
    • Shield AC
    • Carrying Capacity
    • HP
    • Skills
      • Athletics
      • Browbeat
      • Lifting
  • Dexterity
    • Ranged attacks
    • Melee attacks with finesse weapons
    • Light Armor AC
    • Hiding
    • Skills
      • Acrobatics
      • Sleight of Hand
      • Stealth
  • Constitution
    • HP
    • Spellcasting Ability
    • Skills
      • Endurance
      • Stomach
  • Intelligence
    • Bonus languages
    • Detection
    • Light Armor AC
    • Spellcasting Ability
      • Arcana
      • Commerce
      • History
      • Investigating
      • Nature
      • Religion
      • Urban
  • Wisdom
    • Detection
    • Spellcasting Ability
      • Animal Handing
      • Insight
      • Medicine
      • Perception
      • Survival
  • Charisma
    • Reaction Rolls
    • Spellcasting Ability
    • Skills
      • Deception
      • Gather Information
      • Intimidation
      • Performance
      • Persuasion
Initiative, Tools, and Saving throws are divorced from abilities.
Not a bad list, all in all.

I'd put Animal Handling under Charisma, as most of it involves trying to persuade the animal either to do what you want or not do what you don't want.

As I noted earlier (somewhere) I think I'd pull Perception off this list and divorce it from abilities.

And I'd break "attacks" out into their to-hit and damage components. Melee damage should be under Strength. Ranged doesn't get a damage bonus.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Dexterity should NEVER affect damage! That's Strength's purview - being stronger means you hit it harder and hurt it more. Dex affecting to-hit with ranged means you're more likely to hit it at all, not that you'll do more damage when you connect.
I 99% agree with you, although I've never been quite sure what to do with crossbows. Do they simply not get any stat-related bonus to damage? I'd be fine with that personally, but I don't know how popular it would actually be.

Also, IMO initiative shouldn't be modified by anything (and should be rerolled each round), to better simulate the chaos and unpredictability of battle a.k.a. the fog of war.
Well, there's realism and there's unnecessary complications. Rolling initiative was a PITA when I played 2e and it was a PITA when I played SWADE recently.

Animal handling seems tailor-made as a Charisma-based ability, what's it doing in Wisdom? Some aspects of survival might want to move to Constitution.
The way I figure it--and this is something that actually came up in a game I ran--you're not really persuading or trying to scare the animal into complying, which would both be Charisma things. The animal isn't really smart enough to understand those things in the way that a human would be able to understand it. You're training (not teaching) it to engage in trade with you: it performs an action in exchange for praise, treats, or some other benefit, or to avoid a harm. It can't understand. The Wisdom comes in because you are (presumably) figuring out the best way to communicate this trade with the animal, not just relying on rote steps like you would if it were an Intelligence skill.

What's missing from one or both of Wisdom and Charisma is the whole idea of "spiritual strength" or "spiritual resilience"; i.e. how resistant are you to effects that try to attack or affect your soul (assuming there's any left in 5e). Also what's missing is the admittedly-nebulous idea of willpower, which falls somewhere under one or both of these stats.
Yes, there are souls aplenty.

But Will or Willpower is a perfectly good save. In 3x, you applied your Con to Fortitude, Dex to Reflexes, and Wis to Willpower. In 4e, it seems that you applied either your Strength or Con to Fortitude, either your Dex or Int to Reflexes, and either your Wis or Cha to Willpower. I think I like the 4e version better.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
  • Strength
    • Melee attacks
    • Ranged attacks with thrown weapons bows
    • Heavy armor AC
    • Shield AC
    • Carrying Capacity
    • HP
    • Skills
      • Athletics
      • Browbeat
      • Lifting
OK, maybe Browbeat (i.e., Intimidate) should be a thing you could apply either Strength or Charisma to. Maybe this is a case where, like with Level Up, skills aren't tied to stats.

How does Lifting differentiate from Athletics? Or rather, why isn't Lifting a subset of Athletics?

  • Constitution
    • Spellcasting Ability
For sorcerers?

    • Skills
      • Endurance
      • Stomach
What exactly would Stomach do that Endurance wouldn't?

  • Intelligence
    • Bonus languages
    • Detection
    • Light Armor AC
    • Spellcasting Ability
      • Arcana
      • Commerce
      • History
      • Investigating
      • Nature
      • Religion
      • Urban
I do like the inclusion of Urban, but is this a "Streetwise" skill or more a general knowledge about cities?

I might want to add Engineering and Alchemy here.

  • Wisdom
    • Detection
You have Detection both here and under Intelligence. What do you think the difference is?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I 99% agree with you, although I've never been quite sure what to do with crossbows. Do they simply not get any stat-related bonus to damage? I'd be fine with that personally, but I don't know how popular it would actually be.
Correct. Unless the crossbow or the ammunition is magical, or unless you roll a crit, crossbow damage is what it is. The stats of the shooter don't affect it.
Well, there's realism and there's unnecessary complications. Rolling initiative was a PITA when I played 2e and it was a PITA when I played SWADE recently.
I've always had re-rolled initiative, but I use a d6 for init instead of d20 (with, obviously, ties allowed). It doesn't take long.
The way I figure it--and this is something that actually came up in a game I ran--you're not really persuading or trying to scare the animal into complying, which would both be Charisma things. The animal isn't really smart enough to understand those things in the way that a human would be able to understand it. You're training (not teaching) it to engage in trade with you: it performs an action in exchange for praise, treats, or some other benefit, or to avoid a harm. It can't understand.
Three things here. One, to me teaching and training are the same thing. Two, I think many common animals understand a lot more than we give them credit for. Three, using praise, treats, fear, pain, or any other reward-punishment mechanism is simply a blunt-force means of persuasion, which lands squarely under Charisma.
The Wisdom comes in because you are (presumably) figuring out the best way to communicate this trade with the animal, not just relying on rote steps like you would if it were an Intelligence skill.
Communication, though, in terms of getting a point across and-or making something understand what you're getting at is IMO all Charisma all the time.
Yes, there are souls aplenty.

But Will or Willpower is a perfectly good save. In 3x, you applied your Con to Fortitude, Dex to Reflexes, and Wis to Willpower. In 4e, it seems that you applied either your Strength or Con to Fortitude, either your Dex or Int to Reflexes, and either your Wis or Cha to Willpower. I think I like the 4e version better.
I don't want it nearly that simplistic, though. For one thing, I'd like to see the save type determined by what's trying to affect you, a la 1e, rather than merely by how you're trying to resist it. For another, I'd like some things to be harder to save against than others, at the category level, meaning a different save matrix for each effect. Third, class should in some cases make a difference to the save. (for example, Rogues should be better at saves vs poison than anyone else; Necromancers better at saves vs death, and so on) And sometimes a save should be a straight-up unmodified roll.

The 4e version that allows you to use one of two stats also serves to make saving throws a bit easier overall; probably intentionally so, but worth noting.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
OK, maybe Browbeat (i.e., Intimidate) should be a thing you could apply either Strength or Charisma to. Maybe this is a case where, like with Level Up, skills aren't tied to stats.
Maybe but it never works as not for nothing the majority of players and DMs can't handle Skills with Alternate Ability Scores.

And the truth is... unless your group understand how to really do it.... Skills with Alternate Ability Scores. is a broken unbalanced skill system.

It doesn't work unless you fully commit and aggain most people cant. They will just make Skills with more obvious Alt Abilities more powerful and must haves.

Just think. You remove Investigation and let characters use Int or Wis for Perception. Perception, a strong skill is even more OP.

How does Lifting differentiate from Athletics? Or rather, why isn't Lifting a subset of Athletics?
RAW Athletics is just climbing, grappling, jumping, and swimming.

You don't add Athletics to lifting, pushing, pulling, and breaking things.

For sorcerers?

warlocks and sorcerers.
What exactly would Stomach do that Endurance wouldn't?
Stomach is not vomiting or getting drunk.

I do like the inclusion of Urban, but is this a "Streetwise" skill or more a general knowledge about cities?

I might want to add Engineering and Alchemy here.
In D&D terms, alchelmy and Engineering are tools.
Streetwise is an alternate name. But Streetwise in 4e was Gather Info with a new name.

You have Detection both here and under Intelligence. What do you think the difference is?
Active vs Passive. Same as 5e.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Maybe but it never works as not for nothing the majority of players and DMs can't handle Skills with Alternate Ability Scores.

And the truth is... unless your group understand how to really do it.... Skills with Alternate Ability Scores. is a broken unbalanced skill system.

It doesn't work unless you fully commit and aggain most people cant. They will just make Skills with more obvious Alt Abilities more powerful and must haves.
Fair enough. My table doesn't have a problem, but I'll accept that many do.

I still think that Intimidate could be outright stated to work with either Strength or Cha.

RAW Athletics is just climbing, grappling, jumping, and swimming.

You don't add Athletics to lifting, pushing, pulling, and breaking things.
Huh. My table always used Athletics for the first three things (breaking things is an attack roll). I guess I assumed it was RAW.

warlocks and sorcerers.
I'm not sure I like it for warlocks. Their magic is learned or granted, not innate. I prefer the Level Up way, where they can choose between Int, Wis, and Cha.

Stomach is not vomiting or getting drunk.
Nah. That's a Constitution save, not a skill. Plus, I think that in my 30-odd years of gaming--which includes my college years--we've had people had to roll to avoid getting drunk or barfing maybe four or five times. At most I can see an "Iron Stomach" half-feat.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Nah. That's a Constitution save, not a skill. Plus, I think that in my 30-odd years of gaming--which includes my college years--we've had people had to roll to avoid getting drunk or barfing maybe four or five times. At most I can see an "Iron Stomach" half-feat.
"Do you get drunk enough to be sick?" comes up regularly, if infrequently, in my games. About equally often, a similar question will arise when entering a stinking room, or when someone's eaten some slightly-off food.

Far more common is the question of whether anyone gets seasick on an ocean voyage; and unusually strong or unusually weak stomach are each included in a random table of "attributes and quirks" that a player can (optionally) roll on during char-gen.
 

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