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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

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palikhov

Explorer
Yep, it's a mini life path system. I'm a big fan of life-path systems (as anybody who's read WOIN can attest!)
I thinked about different variations of humans for only-human setting and used Culture (Nomadic, Civilized etc), Region (mountains, jungle etc), Ethnicity (illuskan from illusk, chondathan from chondath etc) + Professional Training + Background + Heroic Backstory as elements for choosing initial abilities bonuses, traits and proficiencies .
 




doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Half Orc player characters are stronger on average (in the 5E rules). That doesn't speak to the other 3M half orcs who aren't player characters.

I firmly believe that PCs are heroes and don't represent the population. I know that's a game style choice (Call of Cthulhu certainly doesn't assume that). But I generally assume if there's a story about you, you're not the norm.

The character creation rules are are creating protagonists, not extras.
If that were true in 5e D&D, the books would actually say it, instead of talking about Half-Orcs in general for the entirety of the section on Half-Orcs.
 

Xeviat

Adventurer
Supporter
Class is a good solution.
it allow to choose culture, race, background more freely.
I vote "Other: Class" as a good place for it. Then racial stats can just make the character unique, and not pigen hole them into specific classes.
 

I vote "Other: Class" as a good place for it. Then racial stats can just make the character unique, and not pigen hole them into specific classes.
Coming up with racial stats that don't work better when doing some things compared to others is going to be rather tricky though. Off the top of my head, I can't think of many in the current 5E races that appear to meet your criteria.
 

Monsters in the existing books and adventures assume the existing point buy average. If the game lowers that average, it affects the playability of those monsters and adventures. This is more than one iota, at least.
Technically rolling is still the default method of character generation, point buy and arrays are "optional". Therefore, assumed ability scores should not be a factor of monster design.
 

Undrave

Hero
Technically rolling is still the default method of character generation, point buy and arrays are "optional". Therefore, assumed ability scores should not be a factor of monster design.
Array is as default as rolling, the same way you can take average or roll for HP. It’s only point buy that’s presented as optional.
 

Array is as default as rolling, the same way you can take average or roll for HP. It’s only point buy that’s presented as optional.
While true, it effectively means that the game is technically designed to handle fluxuating ability scores, so the removal or addition of a few ability point bonuses should not greatly affect the play experience.
 

jmucchiello

Adventurer
Technically rolling is still the default method of character generation, point buy and arrays are "optional". Therefore, assumed ability scores should not be a factor of monster design.
Rolling 4d6 drop the lowest averages 6 12s. Point buy averages to 6 12s. Standard array, using reverse point buy averages 6 12s. The default method of char gen assumes a certain range of ability scores and monster designs take that into account.
 

While true, it effectively means that the game is technically designed to handle fluxuating ability scores, so the removal or addition of a few ability point bonuses should not greatly affect the play experience.
It may be supposed to be designed for range of ability scores, but I think in practice it assumes something like what the array produces. Since rolling tends to produce higher scores in practice, this means that monsters are underpowered under the "default" ability generation model.
 

jmucchiello

Adventurer
It may be supposed to be designed for range of ability scores, but I think in practice it assumes something like what the array produces. Since rolling tends to produce higher scores in practice, this means that monsters are underpowered under the "default" ability generation model.
No, it doesn't actually. Or it's not supposed to. It's just people don't use the underpowered results. On average, you get 6 12s. In practice, someone gets 2 18s and 4 12s and someone else gets 4 10s and 2 8s and the second guy is told to try again.
 

No, it doesn't actually. Or it's not supposed to. It's just people don't use the underpowered results. On average, you get 6 12s. In practice, someone gets 2 18s and 4 12s and someone else gets 4 10s and 2 8s and the second guy is told to try again.
That is exactly what I'm talking about. For practical purposes, rolling produces higher results.
 

CubicsRube

Adventurer
Supporter
While true, it effectively means that the game is technically designed to handle fluxuating ability scores, so the removal or addition of a few ability point bonuses should not greatly affect the play experience.
People seem to forget about rolling and treat a +1 difference as massive. The game has been built with the assumption one charavter might only have a 14 in their primary stat with another with 18.

5e is a lot more robust than many seem to believe.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
FWIW...

Rolling 4d6-L averages 12.24 (roughly)
The standard array does, in fact, average 12.
Point-but averages 11.5-12.5 depending on the scores generated (with an overall average of 12.05 for all possible arrays)

So, on average the total of the scores for rolling will be less than 1.5 points better than the standard array; and point-buy can sum as high as 75, which would be about 1.5 points better than rolling 4d6-L.
 


dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
I believe .24 and .5 are withing the margin of error for stats when you need 2 point difference to have a meaningful game effect.
For any one score, sure, but the cumulative effect is about 1.5 as I wrote depending on which methods you are comparing, and 1.5 is nearly the 2 you need for a +1 modifier. So, while the differences are not necessarily enough to make one system better to another, they can be used as such.

For example, the standard array is 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 or +2, +2, +1, +1, and -1, for a total of +5 modifiers. Point buy can give you 14, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, for a total modifier sum of +7, which is +2 greater than the standard array. Even the accepted standard array equivalent for 4d6-L is 16, 14, 13, 12, 10, 9, totaling +6 in modifiers.

Thus, point-buy can give you +7, the "standard array" of 4d6-L gives you +6, and the standard array is +5. Each system can show a +1 total modifier better than the other. Is the difference meaningful? That is up the the individual to surmise, but the systems are not really equivalent. I would never use the standard array, for example, if point-buy was an option.
 
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I believe .24 and .5 are withing the margin of error for stats when you need 2 point difference to have a meaningful game effect.
I think its probably much higher. My take is that considering how many rolls it actually takes to get a to a true "average", I think the reality is the ability scores don't have as much to do with character success as people might think.

At the end of the day, the randomness of damage and d20 rolls account for a LOT of the experience at the table... and just as the system is robust enough to account for one character with "hot dice" from going off the deep end, its robust enough that a +2/-2 here or there doesn't break the bank in the overall scheme.

Just to give a statistical demonstration. On average, it takes 72 rolls of a d20 before you will witness every value of the die comes up at least once (its like 71.95 if you want to get technical). That means there is some poor person out there that will roll their d20 72 times in a dnd game before ever seeing a 20 result. The game is quite random all things said, and its robust enough to handle those swings.
 
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