D&D 5E Where's the Dump?

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


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Hmm... from your description I would think STR, INT, WIS would be better, but if you want DEX, INT, WIS, I'll take your word for it. :)
Fair. I definitely underplayed the amount of mobility and stealth they feature. Best comparison I can think of is a cross between a paladin and a rogue.
Leaving us these arrays:

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

STR, DEX, CHA could work for the Paragon class (originally by TheCosmicKid), but a Cavalier class would be nice.
DEX, CON, INT would be nice for some form of Bounty Hunter maybe.
Challenging. The other DEX/CON classes are Barbarian and Monk. Monk is D/C/mental stat, so something along the line of a mystically augmented warrior could fit here. DEX/CON/INT could work for something like a standalone Bladesinger class, or another lightly armored gish class (a la Magus/Duskblade/Swordmage).

Dex/Con/Cha...maybe Binder? That's an old favorite. Thief-acrobat, if we want to go old-school?

Str/Int/Wis is super challenging, best I can think of is something like Swordsage from 3e, a mystical wandering swordsman type.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

DND_Reborn

Legend
If that's your definition - just use a nicer array / point buy structure / rolling system so everyone starts with a 10 in everything.
As I've said in other posts (maybe not this thread...), in all my games as DM or player, I have only ever actually seen one "dump stat", and that was my own female High Elf Cleric/Rogue/Wizard with STR 9 (rolled).

No other character ever played in my games has had an ability score below 10 in over two years now. Even going back to 3E and d20 SW, I can only recall a few times when a stat was below 10.

I've thought about removing racial ASIs and using 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 as the standard array (basically 10 + 1 = 11, and 8 + 2 = 10).
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
3. All illusion saving throws are Intelligence saves. I'm not sure that's true in all places. But one of the biggest falldowns in general for 5e is letting too many saves still be based on Dex, Con, Wis.
4. Stop using Perception to help find secret doors and hidden places. Limit that to Investigation.
5. Stop allowing Acrobatics and Athletics to be interchangeable. Start using more Strength saving throws for things like grapple defense.
All good suggestions, but I don't think I would allow Acrobatics and Athletics to be interchangeable, unless you mean allowing DEX (Athletics) and STR (Acrobatics) checks? We do that when it fits.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Fair. I definitely underplayed the amount of mobility and stealth they feature. Best comparison I can think of is a cross between a paladin and a rogue.

Challenging. The other DEX/CON classes are Barbarian and Monk. Monk is D/C/mental stat, so something along the line of a mystically augmented warrior could fit here. DEX/CON/INT could work for something like a standalone Bladesinger class, or another lightly armored gish class (a la Magus/Duskblade/Swordmage).

Dex/Con/Cha...maybe Binder? That's an old favorite. Thief-acrobat, if we want to go old-school?

Str/Int/Wis is super challenging, best I can think of is something like Swordsage from 3e, a mystical wandering swordsman type.
Yeah, there are some options if we dig into prior editions or other materials.

For me as long as the core 12 classes (ok, ok, 13 with Artificer :rolleyes: ) as done I am happy with it, and it leaves 7 slots for the other classes you already suggested or the ones above.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
All good suggestions, but I don't think I would allow Acrobatics and Athletics to be interchangeable, unless you mean allowing DEX (Athletics) and STR (Acrobatics) checks? We do that when it fits.
Yeah, that is what I mean. And one of the problems is the rules make it too easy to interchange them. It's part of the ability to dump Str in favor of Dex. I get where you're coming from - in some ways it makes sense to interchange when it seems appropriate. But then you can't really complain when everyone concentrates on the one stat because it brings more side benefits.
 

My experience reflects the general findings. STR and INT are about equally dumped in 5E with CHA distantly behind. STR started getting dumped as soon as it could be, mechanically, so all the way back in 3E with Finesse and so on. Usually one PC in the party will have max STR and they can resolve anything which actually needs STR - but 5E, like 3.XE, ends up in a place where magic of various kinds can eventually outmode that too. It takes a while though.

I think looking at Saving Throws and some skills is probably not a "fix" for INT and STR dumping.

Illusion effects are rare in D&D and that's not going to change. Moving ones which aren't INT to INT won't convince anyone to not dump INT. Making all secret doors etc. require Investigation likewise won't cause people to not dump INT, because generally speaking, that stuff isn't "life or death" the way detecting ambushes and the like is - as long as Perception is the skill for detecting life-and-death stuff, WIS will be favoured over INT when picking which to dump. Especially as it's the same with saves - the things WIS saves against generally are far more critical to deal with than INT. You'd have to make a really wholesale revision to fix that.

The real reason STR and INT are dumped so much, though, has nothing to do with skills or saves.

It has to do with one thing:

Primary stats for classes in 5E.

Generally it's trivial to get into a position where you can replace STR with DEX for melee. This is mostly a good thing, because an awful lot of fantasy archetypes of melee guys are primarily agile, maybe even the majority at this point. And WotC, for whatever reason, decided most casters should use CHA, even though Warlocks, for example, could perfectly well use INT (also sacrilege maybe but Clerics could honestly use INT and Sorcerers WIS - killing some sacred cows there).

If more classes actually required STR or INT, or benefited from them in ways that were "clutch" (ahem) then they'd get dumped less. Ideally you want to find a way to do this without reverting to a situation where it's just CHA and WIS getting dumped instead, like it was in 1E-3E. Giving bonus proficiencies (whether skill, tool, or weapon/armour) to people with higher INT and/or bonus languages might quickly make it less-dumped (but likely the dumping would just move to CHA).

Also, can we just delete CON as a stat? It's ridiculous. It doesn't factor into anything interesting, it's not a primary stat for any class, but because of the huge amount it boosts HP, it's basically the secondary or tertiary stat for every single class in the game. It's evolved into this stat which is clearly "not like the others". This is only made worse by the fact that it's used for concentration checks and a lot of important saves.
 


I'd say, of the characters I've seen, this is the popularity of their lowest stat:
  1. Int
  2. Str
  3. Cha
  4. Wis
  5. Dex
  6. Con
I'd, say, of the characters I've seen, this is the popularity of their highest stat:
  1. Cha
  2. Dex
  3. Str
  4. Wis
  5. Int
  6. Con
And this is the popularity of the second highest stat:
  1. Con
  2. Dex
  3. Wis
  4. Cha
  5. Int
  6. Str
This isn't based on data; it's based only on the impressions I've gotten.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top