D&D 5E What if 15 equaled 20???

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Cryptic title but easy enough concept...

Once in a while, I hear someone talk about empty levels or how it annoys them that ability scores have the same modifiers if you had a 14 or a 15.

So, I was thinking if an ability score of 20 is +5, what if we made that 15 instead, with each point giving you a +1 increase to your modifier?

Of course, bonuses would change, numbers affected, etc. and the golden 3-18 wouldn't mean as much.

Now, personally I find bounded accuracy too bounded, so this wouldn't bother me, even if PCs could still get to 20 and have a +10 modifier.

Could the system be persuaded to move to a larger level of bonuses again, without, however allowing the treadmill effect of prior editions?

Such a return would also promote greater proficiency bonuses, I think ranging from +2 to +12, and exchanging Expertise for either advantage or an increasing "floor" roll, leading to something like Reliable Talent in the end.

Without magic or another feature, the maximum bonus would be +22 (10 for ability and 12 for proficiency), which while certainly larger is not that far from the current maximum +17 via Expertise.

I have always been vocal about increasing the concept of bounded accuracy to 40 instead of the 30ish at which it currently stands.

To be clear, this isn't some drastic house-rule I am considering, I've just been rolling the idea around a couple days now and wonder what others might think? So, please share your thoughts if you wish and thanks for reading. :)
 

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dave2008

Legend
I am working on Immortals version of 5e where your bonus to your roll is your ability score. So I don't mind the concept.

For "mortals" I would prefer that interesting things happen at each score and worry less about the +bonus to the ability. For example, strength already gives benefits for each ability score, not just the even numbers. I think this should be expanded to all ability scores (and Strength could be expanded too).

If I was going to go with ability score -10 for the modifier, which I have thought of doing before. I would probably limit scores more. So max 18 or possible even 16. Also, I would be interested in bringing back the +5 to hit/ +10 to damage. So that to hit bonus is every even number, but damage bonus is every number.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I forget who mentioned it for creating a difference between even and odd scores, but I recall one suggestion was having the modifier apply to ability checks on the even and combat/saves/magic on the odds.

So, a STR 14 would be +2 to Strength checks, but only +1 to attack/damage/saves. When you get 15, it increases to +2 for attack/damage/saves.

If nothing else, I will probably implement something along these lines eventually.
 

TwoSix

Uncomfortably diegetic
I think it's a lot of conversion work for a house-rule. I think it's totally fine for the baseline of a new edition; for example, Shadow of the Demon Lord also uses mod = stat - 10 for its stats, and the overall system math is pretty D&D like. The starting stats just go from around 8-12, and generally don't get much above 15.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I think it's a lot of conversion work for a house-rule. I think it's totally fine for the baseline of a new edition; for example, Shadow of the Demon Lord also uses mod = stat - 10 for its stats, and the overall system math is pretty D&D like. The starting stats just go from around 8-12, and generally don't get much above 15.
No, I wasn't thinking really for house-ruling 5E, more just a design question and (dare I say?) hopes for the future.

I'll have to look into SotDL. I've head of it but never seen it.
 



GMMichael

Guide of Modos
I'd rather go back to the days of rolling under your ability score to succeed on a skill check (Late 1E & 2E).
I'd rather just play 3.5. They playtested and expanded the daylights out of that one...and the primary differences between the two games are bounded accuracy and advantage rolls. So if @DND_Reborn wants to ditch bounded accuracy, the easiest thing to do is get a 3.5 PHB and Monster Manual, and whenever a rule says Attacker +X the attacker gets Advantage, and Defender +X means the Attacker gets Disadvantage.

Granting +5 at a score of 15 sounds like throwing a wrench in 5e's rule set. A plastic one, but a wrench nonetheless.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I dunno, but "15 is equal to 20" sounds like a winning political campaign slogan. Think of all the people who would say, "I've always thought so! It's the only thing that would explain why I can't keep a job. I'm voting for that guy!"
 

Stalker0

Legend
I think it's a lot of conversion work for a house-rule. I think it's totally fine for the baseline of a new edition; for example, Shadow of the Demon Lord also uses mod = stat - 10 for its stats, and the overall system math is pretty D&D like. The starting stats just go from around 8-12, and generally don't get much above 15.
My thought as well. While its a neat idea you basically have to rewrite the math on EVERY MONSTER, EVERY SPELL, EVERY PC, etc etc. That's a ton of work, for not a huge amount of gain.
 

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