D&D 5E Where's the Dump?

Which ability do you see most often as the dump stat at your table?


Hang on, didn't you JUST jump all over me for saying exactly this recently? Told me how ridiculous it was? Or are you being sarcastic here? Hard to tell tone over the Internet.
Also, in that other thread you said they NEVER were meant to simulate anything, and I still hold that that's ridiculous.
 

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Hussar

Legend
Yeah... the issue seems to be that party of 6 characters of yours all seemed more concerned about maximizing their own personal optimization than thinking about the kind of stuff they might have to do as a group. LOL. ;) Hopefully your rock fall check showed them the error of their ways, heh heh!
Not really. The next two groups the same group made were exactly the same.

And, the final group, which is mostly different players (5 out of the 6 are anyway) still dump stats strength.

Heck, last year when I rebuilt my group, I went through ten or fifteen players and I'd say easily half of them were dump statting Strength. I'd have to double check, but, it's very, very common IME.

And, again, look at the poll. Two very, very clear winners here.
 

Hussar

Legend
Also, in that other thread you said they NEVER were meant to simulate anything, and I still hold that that's ridiculous.
Unsurprisingly, I disagree since the was never any impetus in the game to make the stats actually mean anything. Heck, in AD&D, they meant even less since the range of bonuses meant that the difference between most stats was virtually nothing. Anything less than 15 and more than about 7 or 8 might as well have been the same score. When the most common stats (8-15) are identical as far as the game goes, it's not really simulating anything.
 

Unsurprisingly, I disagree since the was never any impetus in the game to make the stats actually mean anything. Heck, in AD&D, they meant even less since the range of bonuses meant that the difference between most stats was virtually nothing. Anything less than 15 and more than about 7 or 8 might as well have been the same score. When the most common stats (8-15) are identical as far as the game goes, it's not really simulating anything.
AD&D ability scores often had a lot more to them than just combat stuff, but the real benefits didn't start to kick for most things until 15 or so. This was intended, so that if you happened to be lucky rolling your scores you got a special and uncommon benefit out of it. They still were clearly meant to represent different aspects of a person, as shown in their descriptions. You can say they didn't do that well, and you can even say that they never did that well, but you can't say they never did it all.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Unsurprisingly, I disagree since the was never any impetus in the game to make the stats actually mean anything. Heck, in AD&D, they meant even less since the range of bonuses meant that the difference between most stats was virtually nothing. Anything less than 15 and more than about 7 or 8 might as well have been the same score. When the most common stats (8-15) are identical as far as the game goes, it's not really simulating anything.
While I agree completely as far as the "major" bonuses were concerned, even the 7-14 range stuff changed things sometime for the "sub" items.

Examples: STR 7 vs STR 14
STR 7: -1 to hit, -150 cn WA, 1 in 6 OD, 0% BB/LG
STR 14: +0 to hit, +200 cn WA, 1-2 in 6 OD, 7% BB/LG

Not a lot of "big" stuff, but still can be meaningful.

INT only mattered on those numbers for Magic-Users.
WIS only mattered on those numbers for Clerics.
DEX only mattered for Thieves, Assassins, and Monks who had thieving skills.

CON was probably the biggest one: CON 7 vs. CON 14
CON 7: 55% SSS, 60% RS
CON 14: 88% SSS, 92% RS

Those are big jumps IMO.

And of course CHA didn't matter in AD&D anyway... ;)
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
A "good" cleric with a WIS 10, but maybe not a great one? :unsure:
Something like that. I think in my ideal paradigm building off 5e concepts, basic effectiveness like attacking and spell progression would be a function purely of level, not stats. Then various class features would scale off different stats. Like cleric might have a Channel Divinity feature that scales off Wisdom, a melee attack feature that scales off Strength, and a defensive feature that scales off Con.

Actually, it's not dissimilar from your "Fewer features" post, if a little more radical. Classes are defined by a small pool of features, and then they choose which one(s) to develop as they level.

Sure, two scores is easier than three, no doubt.

Maybe something like this:
View attachment 150169

Each physical attribute is used 4 times, and each mental one is used 4 times.
Yeah, I like that. That would leave STR/INT, DEX/CON, and WIS/CHA to fill out the grid. Some kind of warmage/magus for STR/INT, maybe rogue for DEX/CON (and swap artificer to DEX/INT), and maybe a sage or expert class to WIS/CHA.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Something like that. I think in my ideal paradigm building off 5e concepts, basic effectiveness like attacking and spell progression would be a function purely of level, not stats. Then various class features would scale off different stats. Like cleric might have a Channel Divinity feature that scales off Wisdom, a melee attack feature that scales off Strength, and a defensive feature that scales off Con.
I agree for the most part. I don't mind ability scores playing a part, but in 5E the balance it too equal IMO.

Proficiency bonus is +2 to +6, while ability modifiers are (generally) -1 to +5. That means at best, proficiency barely beats out ability modifiers for impact on the rolls. In my view, this is just wrong. Experience should definitely trump ability scores.

So, we changed proficiency bonus to +2 to +8 and ability scores cap (generally) at +4, making proficiency count as much as double ability modifier. Having a strong ability modifier will help a lot in the beginning, but its impact counts for less and less as you gain levels.

FWIW, at one point we had proficiency going up to +12, while ability was capped at just +3.

Then various class features would scale off different stats. Like cleric might have a Channel Divinity feature that scales off Wisdom, a melee attack feature that scales off Strength, and a defensive feature that scales off Con.
Sure, I could get behind that.

Actually, it's not dissimilar from your "Fewer features" post, if a little more radical. Classes are defined by a small pool of features, and then they choose which one(s) to develop as they level.
And that, too. :)

That would leave STR/INT, DEX/CON, and WIS/CHA to fill out the grid. Some kind of warmage/magus for STR/INT, maybe rogue for DEX/CON (and swap artificer to DEX/INT), and maybe a sage or expert class to WIS/CHA.
Or someone might decide those pairings better fit one of the established classes. Like, I really wanted to make Druids CON/WIS but that was already given to Rangers, so maybe someone who wanted a spell-less Ranger would choose DEX/CON instead.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Proficiency bonus is +2 to +6, while ability modifiers are (generally) -1 to +5. That means at best, proficiency barely beats out ability modifiers for impact on the rolls. In my view, this is just wrong. Experience should definitely trump ability scores.

So, we changed proficiency bonus to +2 to +8 and ability scores cap (generally) at +4, making proficiency count as much as double ability modifier. Having a strong ability modifier will help a lot in the beginning, but its impact counts for less and less as you gain levels.
That's a good approach. In my experimental hack, I had proficiency being able to replace stat mod if proficiency was higher. But cutting down stat mod works well too.

Or someone might decide those pairings better fit one of the established classes. Like, I really wanted to make Druids CON/WIS but that was already given to Rangers, so maybe someone who wanted a spell-less Ranger would choose DEX/CON instead.
Yea, there's enough ambiguity I feel like 3 stats might be better.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
That's a good approach. In my experimental hack, I had proficiency being able to replace stat mod if proficiency was higher. But cutting down stat mod works well too.
I considered that as well, and then considered half proficiency, and then just went with reducing ability modifiers and uping proficiency bonus to it became baked in.

Yea, there's enough ambiguity I feel like 3 stats might be better.
I think either could work, but with six scores I just feel like focusing on half of them makes them collectively more useful.
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
Back to the spreadsheet, then! :)
Here are the sets:

STR, DEX, CON
STR, DEX, INT
STR, DEX, WIS
STR, DEX, CHA
STR, CON, INT
STR, CON, WIS
STR, CON, CHA
STR, INT, WIS
STR, INT, CHA
STR, WIS, CHA
DEX, CON, INT
DEX, CON, WIS
DEX, CON, CHA
DEX, INT, WIS
DEX, INT, CHA
DEX, WIS, CHA
CON, INT, WIS
CON, INT, CHA
CON, WIS, CHA
INT, WIS, CHA

So, who gets what? ;)
 

Hussar

Legend
AD&D ability scores often had a lot more to them than just combat stuff, but the real benefits didn't start to kick for most things until 15 or so. This was intended, so that if you happened to be lucky rolling your scores you got a special and uncommon benefit out of it. They still were clearly meant to represent different aspects of a person, as shown in their descriptions. You can say they didn't do that well, and you can even say that they never did that well, but you can't say they never did it all.
Dunno about the "lot more" but, that's more a quibble. The point being, the stats didn't actually represent anything. They were just kind of there and, since there were virtually no systems, other than combat, that actually referenced the stats, they didn't do much.

After all, other than bonus languages, what was the difference between a 6 Int and an 18 Int? Outside of combat, there was no difference between a 6 Dex and an 18 Dex. Both characters had the same movement speeds, could climb, swim or do anything else just the same and as far as the game was concerned, it just didn't make the slightest difference.

Unless you were a cleric, your wisdom basically made zero difference.

So on and so forth. I guess, "didn't do it well" and "might as well not have done it at all" isn't all that different to me.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
STR, DEX, CON = Fighter
STR, DEX, INT
STR, DEX, WIS
STR, DEX, CHA
STR, CON, INT
STR, CON, WIS
STR, CON, CHA
STR, INT, WIS
STR, INT, CHA
STR, WIS, CHA
DEX, CON, INT
DEX, CON, WIS
DEX, CON, CHA
DEX, INT, WIS
DEX, INT, CHA
DEX, WIS, CHA
CON, INT, WIS
CON, INT, CHA
CON, WIS, CHA
INT, WIS, CHA = Wizard

Maybe that doesn't make perfect sense, but I like having fighter and wizard as the "pure physical" and "pure mental" poles. And divination and enchantment fit in well for WIS wizard and CHA wizard concepts.
 

Hussar

Legend
While I agree completely as far as the "major" bonuses were concerned, even the 7-14 range stuff changed things sometime for the "sub" items.

Examples: STR 7 vs STR 14
STR 7: -1 to hit, -150 cn WA, 1 in 6 OD, 0% BB/LG
STR 14: +0 to hit, +200 cn WA, 1-2 in 6 OD, 7% BB/LG

Not a lot of "big" stuff, but still can be meaningful.

INT only mattered on those numbers for Magic-Users.
WIS only mattered on those numbers for Clerics.
DEX only mattered for Thieves, Assassins, and Monks who had thieving skills.

CON was probably the biggest one: CON 7 vs. CON 14
CON 7: 55% SSS, 60% RS
CON 14: 88% SSS, 92% RS

Those are big jumps IMO.

And of course CHA didn't matter in AD&D anyway... ;)
And the Con one only mattered if you died and were rezzed. A very corner case issue.

I think the point I was making isn't too far off base. The stats in D&D have never really been meant to simulate anything other than maybe combat?
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Or Barbarian?

I think STR, DEX, INT would be good for Fighter due to EK.
That could work, too. Although 20 classes opens up space for the "arcane half-caster" trope that gets tossed around here every so often.

Barbarians obviously have to be STR/CON/something. Dex is probably the best fit, since paladins should be STR/CON/CHA.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
The stats in D&D have never really been meant to simulate anything other than maybe combat?
Well, STR directly modeled how much you could lift, so I wouldn't say never... :)

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You even add the WA adjustment of +3000 cn (300 lbs) for 18/00 to get a max press of 480 lb. which IIRC was a bit over the world record back then. 🤷‍♂️

Anyway, to be clear, I get your point, I just don't think it is as absolute as you feel it is. That's all.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
That could work, too. Although 20 classes opens up space for the "arcane half-caster" trope that gets tossed around here every so often.
But for now since we don't have one...

Or

Barbarian as STR/CON/WIS isn't bad, allowing Barbarians to have WIS as a s focus due to Perception and Survival?
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Take 2:

STR, DEX, CON = Barbarian
STR, DEX, INT = Fighter (with some tactical warlord/weapon expert flavor)
STR, DEX, WIS = Ranger
STR, DEX, CHA
STR, CON, INT =
STR, CON, WIS = Warden
STR, CON, CHA = Paladin
STR, INT, WIS
STR, INT, CHA
STR, WIS, CHA = Cleric
DEX, CON, INT = Artificer
DEX, CON, WIS = Monk
DEX, CON, CHA
DEX, INT, WIS = Avenger
DEX, INT, CHA = Bard
DEX, WIS, CHA = Rogue
CON, INT, WIS = Druid
CON, INT, CHA = Warlock
CON, WIS, CHA = Sorcerer
INT, WIS, CHA = Wizard
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Take 2:

STR, DEX, CON = Barbarian
STR, DEX, INT = Fighter (with some tactical warlord/weapon expert flavor)
STR, DEX, WIS = Ranger
STR, DEX, CHA
STR, CON, INT =
STR, CON, WIS = Warden
STR, CON, CHA = Paladin
STR, INT, WIS
STR, INT, CHA
STR, WIS, CHA = Cleric
DEX, CON, INT = Artificer
DEX, CON, WIS = Monk
DEX, CON, CHA
DEX, INT, WIS = Avenger
DEX, INT, CHA = Bard
DEX, WIS, CHA = Rogue
CON, INT, WIS = Druid
CON, INT, CHA = Warlock
CON, WIS, CHA = Sorcerer
INT, WIS, CHA = Wizard
Well, the good news is we are solid on:

STR, DEX, CON = Barbarian
STR, DEX, INT = Fighter
STR, DEX, WIS = Ranger
DEX, CON, WIS = Monk
DEX, INT, CHA = Bard
INT, WIS, CHA = Wizard

6 out of the core 12 isn't bad for a start.

I don't allow Artificers so didn't add them, and have no idea what Wardens or Avengers are...

FWIW, I had:

STR, CON, WIS =Cleric (not Warden)
STR, INT, CHA = Warlock
STR, WIS, CHA =Paladin (not Cleric)
DEX, CON, INT = Rogue
CON, INT, CHA =Sorcerer
CON, WIS, CHA = Druid

Now, it probably isn't really important, but since I am a Libra and only did the core 12, every ability is used exactly 6 times.

So, with 6 locked, time for some compromises/discussions. :D
 

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