log in or register to remove this ad

 

Level Up (A5E) Where to put ability bonuses during character creation

Where should ability bonuses go?

  • In the race/species

    Votes: 26 17.0%
  • In the culture

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • In the background

    Votes: 12 7.8%
  • Totally freeform, wherever you like

    Votes: 24 15.7%
  • No ability bonuses, maybe an extra species feature instead

    Votes: 22 14.4%
  • Split between species/culture/background (say +1 from each?)

    Votes: 42 27.5%
  • Some other option

    Votes: 25 16.3%

  • Total voters
    153

log in or register to remove this ad


Kinematics

Explorer
Still needs work on what goes in each category. The Level Up - Changes to race (species?) thread hasn't had much activity after my first pass at breaking things down and seeing what the implications were in how to construct the components that would be needed for the character.

While I want the Culture (Upbringing) separation, there's a strong implication that you'll need Location+Culture to make things flexible enough to handle the component without simply falling back into Subrace (and without exponentially exploding combined entries). Will need more discussion to see if it's possible to avoid this issue.
 
Last edited:

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
  • Heritage has a feat instead of ASI
  • Culture contains the non 'biological' aspects of what was once 'race'
  • Background has two +1 ASIs, one set, one floating
Yea, I really like this. Slots nicely into the same framework as current 5e (Heritage is "race", culture is "subrace"), but a lot more flexible.
 

PsyzhranV2

Adventurer
So here's what our first playtest packet might look like (we've started work on it).

NOTE -- playtest packet means we're looking for the good and the bad. If it doesn't work for you, that's data. If it does, that's also data. Above all, we want data.

So...
  • Heritage has a feat instead of ASI
  • Culture contains the non 'biological' aspects of what was once 'race'
  • Background has two +1 ASIs, one set, one floating
The model looks like this:

Heritage -- Elf - bio stuff, feat
...Culture -- wood elf
...Culture -- high elf
...Culture -- dark elf
...Culture -- (new elf)
Background - (inc ASIs)

+ some 'general' Cultures (like Cosmopolitan, Lone Wanderer, Nomad)

Any Heritage can take any Culture and any Background (if the [GM*] agrees).

We refer to these three building blocks as your 'Origin'. As in, everything before your first class level.

*Working on our term for that.
First response I have is this:

What happens to sea elves?

5 has some subraces that give extra biological traits, that wouldn't neatly fit in a "cilture" model. Do those subraces get spun off into their own unique heritage?
 


Sounds like it will still pigeonhole MAD builds a little bit...Monks will want to choose a background that gives Dex and Wis, Paladins will want Str and Cha, etc....but still an improvement over what we have now.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
  • Heritage has a feat instead of ASI
  • Culture contains the non 'biological' aspects of what was once 'race'
  • Background has two +1 ASIs, one set, one floating
So, this mean that origin at chargen will only receive 2 x +1 to add to their stat roll/array/point buy?

I'm really glad to hear that! yeah!
 



jmucchiello

Adventurer
When you say "a feat" do you mean "A specific for that race feat?" "A feat to choose from among N feats appropriate to the race?" or "A feat from any source?"
 

FireLance

Legend
  • Heritage has a feat instead of ASI
  • Culture contains the non 'biological' aspects of what was once 'race'
  • Background has two +1 ASIs, one set, one floating
Sight unseen, this is probably how I would make use of this material in my games to modify the +2/+1 racial ASIs, assuming compatible race/heritage and background:

You can replace the +2 racial ASI with a heritage feat.
You can replace the +1 racial ASI with a +1 ASI from background.
 

Levendor

Villager
Oh, I'm not arguing it should be in background, either. I think your point is exactly right: no matter where you put them it biases choices, and I don't think that contributes anything to the game. Maybe background would be slightly less bad because background isn't as impactful of a choice as race, but it's still totally unnecessary.

The one exception might be to just put the ASIs in the class. But I'd rather just get rid of any ASIs that are tied to character choices and just put it all into the ability score generation system. Either after-the-fact (i.e. floating ASIs) or a score generation system that produces slightly higher stats overall.
I'm still a couple days behind catching up on this discussion, but my thinking is evolving as I have time to digest these posts. Here's where I'm at... So, a 0 exp level adventurer is barely fractionally superior to the other urchin/acolyte/outlanders that he/she was raised among. And a level 5 whatever is a serious 1%er in almost every way of measuring power and worth. Seems like a whole lot of advancement early on in an adventurer's career.

So then, what exactly is the effect of a +2 AS mod on character creation. Well, it is very precisely +1. To hp or damage or spells prepared, and so on. I know levels 1-4 are already "gritty" (and I like that sort of play, personally), but BFD about the +1 effect of racial mod at creation. And by that, I think a pc can make it just fine without that +1 at level 1. But how about kicking in the +3 racial mods as three +1 player choice mods given at levels 2 - 4. And maybe more +1's beyond level 4 (but not every single level till 20, obviously). There may be some necessary re-balancing, but probably to non-AS things like increase base spells prepared count, or even nerf all those 1/4 CR monster encounters (5 kobolds instead of 6 would be a simple change).

A wizard that weight-trains could improve his strength from 8 to 9 or even 15 to 16 with a simple regimen over the in-game weeks or months that he progresses to level 2. A dumb-as-a-door-knob barbarian could be taught to read around the campfire each evening (+1 int). Whatever. I'd call this XP based ASI, rather than class based. In my game, players would have to describe what they are primarily working on for improvement, and how, and all along the way to the next level. But "core rules" could hand wave "pick a +1 ASI at level up" all the same. I mean, an apprentice jeweler probably doesn't have the opportunity to spar with a trained monk each evening (+1 dex?), but a novice warlock of jeweler background might have that opportunity.

Having said all that, I think there are actual physical racial traits that would (on average across a population sample) make a Goliath able to strike a physically stronger blow than a gnome. To pretend otherwise is unrealistic (however, we are playing a game of pretend based on unreality). For me, dwarfs "feel" hardy; elves, swift; halflings, nimble; and gnomes, clever.

Overall, I am impressed with the balance of 5e and think the much needed changes should be careful and conservative and restrained. I don't think that moving all or most of the racial AS mods to free-choice at levels 2 - 4 violates that spirit. And it makes level up that much more exciting over those levels.

For me, I think I'd still roll my eyes at a halfling barbarian that could lift a pickup truck or an orc bard charming the proverbial pants off the Lord Mayor's daughter 'cause "no racial differences". But, that's me, the perennial half-elf ranger. To each their own.

Anyway, enjoying the discussion and expect that my opinion will continue to evolve.
 

So here's what our first playtest packet might look like (we've started work on it).

NOTE -- playtest packet means we're looking for the good and the bad. If it doesn't work for you, that's data. If it does, that's also data. Above all, we want data.

So...
  • Heritage has a feat instead of ASI
  • Culture contains the non 'biological' aspects of what was once 'race'
  • Background has two +1 ASIs, one set, one floating
The model looks like this:

Heritage -- Elf - bio stuff, feat
...Culture -- wood elf
...Culture -- high elf
...Culture -- dark elf
...Culture -- (new elf)
Background - (inc ASIs)

+ some 'general' Cultures (like Cosmopolitan, Lone Wanderer, Nomad)

Any Heritage can take any Culture and any Background (if the [GM*] agrees).

We refer to these three building blocks as your 'Origin'. As in, everything before your first class level.

*Working on our term for that.
Does that mean you're replacing one of the existing ASI's with a feat in heritage, or is it going somewhere else?
 


Bolares

Adventurer
I don't know exactly how to do the distribution, but I'm sure that I don't want the game to tell me a "race"/class combination is sub optimal just because of the point distribution
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
So here's what our first playtest packet might look like (we've started work on it).

NOTE -- playtest packet means we're looking for the good and the bad. If it doesn't work for you, that's data. If it does, that's also data. Above all, we want data.

So...
  • Heritage has a feat instead of ASI
  • Culture contains the non 'biological' aspects of what was once 'race'
  • Background has two +1 ASIs, one set, one floating
The model looks like this:

Heritage -- Elf - bio stuff, feat
...Culture -- wood elf
...Culture -- high elf
...Culture -- dark elf
...Culture -- (new elf)
Background - (inc ASIs)

+ some 'general' Cultures (like Cosmopolitan, Lone Wanderer, Nomad)

Any Heritage can take any Culture and any Background (if the [GM*] agrees).

We refer to these three building blocks as your 'Origin'. As in, everything before your first class level.

*Working on our term for that.
That sounds dope AF, yo!
 


Crimson Longinus

Adventurer
Another thread mentioned doing away with the +2 racial and giving everyone a feat at 1st level. One of the feats could be the +2 Dex for elves or +2 Con for dwarves. This could be a decent compromise. I do not think I would be for a general +2 to anything and should keep the theme for each race.
I have to say that as compromise suggestions go, this is a really good one. It allows a lot of a lot of flexibility but still offers a modicum of niche protection. To many people the niche of the species matters and is a part of the fantasy and appeal of the species. This way if you chose the 'strong species' you can make your character to be the strongest person in the party, if you choose the 'agile species' you can make them to be the most dexterous and so forth. But others can still get something of similar value without being able to exactly match the niche in the same way.
 

clsawyer0328

Villager
If you’re familiar with Pathfinder 2e, they’ve a system whereby your Ancestry, Background, and Class each give a Bonus to Stats. All stats start at a 10, then your Ancestry gives you three +2 Boosts (one of which is Free) and a -2 Flaw. Background then gives another two Boosts with one being Free, and your Class gives you one Boost in their Key Ability. Then they’ve four free Boosts to put to wherever they want.

i’d like to see a similar system. I imagine the Background taking the Flaw or allowing it to be optional , and then allowing the Player to choose a Feat at 1st Level.

Side Note: It’s my personally belief that instead of Ability Score Improvements, players should take Feats at those Levels, and each Feat should improve at least 1 Ability Score. I could then see a new Feat called Ability Boost which would allow Players to improve three different Abilities by 1 each. With this, we could remove the Limit on 20 for an Ability Score, which would allow the characters to over time to reach a 22in their key stat without feeling like they’ve nowhere else to improve.
 

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top