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D&D 5E Why do you use Floating ASI's (other than power gaming)? [+]

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Oh I didn't say you had to run maxed scores.

I said that in 4e, if you didn't follow the threadmill, combats would get very grindy. The monsters wouldn't suddenly kill you. It would just take forever to finish an encounter with unoptimized PCs..

Something similar happens in 5e. The threadmill is just slower. The game assumes some sort of powergaming to prevent slog. If you may a 15 primary character and pickup flavor feats and boost tertiary scores, you are adding to the slog in combat. If many people in you party do this, your combats will be very long. Longer than the designers intended.
That's all fine if all you care about is combat. For some people, having a PC other than a rogue or bard that can contribute outside of combat also matters. A wilderness fighter who knows how to survive the wilds wants a decent [edit]charisma wisdom[/edit] and maybe the player wants a bit of trader/diplomat as well so they have a charisma over 10.

There is no one true way to play the game. There are all sorts of things to consider, especially if using point buy when building a PC other than DPR.
 
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clearstream

(He, Him)
That's all fine if all you care about is combat. For some people, having a PC other than a rogue or bard that can contribute outside of combat also matters. A wilderness fighter who knows how to survive the wilds wants a decent charisma, and maybe the player wants a bit of trader/diplomat as well so they have a charisma over 10.
The ranger who wants an 18 Wis so that they can hedge with some spells that they might not often use. Or the champion who wants 20 strength so they can shrug and with a quick run up clear 25'. Neither of those need be power gaming, they're just thinking about the character's expression in play. What they can say shall be true in the emergent narrative.
 

If we're defining getting a certain ability score to a certain number, than yes, floating ASIs is about powergaming, because setting ability scores is powergaming.

If we're defining powergaming as only building the character for power, than floating ASIs can definitely be used for other things, such as playing characters who don't follow standard tropes without being weakened for it.
 


Ixal

Adventurer
Someone please tell the game that. It doesn't seem to think this is important or even a thing.
Thats a general failure of D&D. There was some hope in 3E that out of combat gameplay becomes more important with having a much better support for out of combat skills, but that hope got squashed by 4E and especially 5Es "back to the (wargame) roots" approach and removing most mechanics not directly related to combat.
 

That's all fine if all you care about is combat. For some people, having a PC other than a rogue or bard that can contribute outside of combat also matters. A wilderness fighter who knows how to survive the wilds wants a decent charisma, and maybe the player wants a bit of trader/diplomat as well so they have a charisma over 10.

There is no one true way to play the game. There are all sorts of things to consider, especially if using point buy when building a PC other than DPR.
This is why Level Up is so great. An A5e character of any class doesnt need great scores to be good out of combat.
 

aco175

Legend
I never had a big problem with the ASIs. All the PC power can be changed by the DM on the other side. If my group chooses the big feats and has a hit of +10 at 5th level and can deal 50 points of damage, then there is less +weapons and armor. Maybe the monsters have max HP now to counter this. I'm sure some will think this makes me a poor DM, but the point of combat is not to always kill everything on the first round. When I get to play a PC, I like to be challenged as well and have some tension about the risk of dying.

I find having a 16/+3 starting out is about normal for my groups. A few players like to get to 18 and 20 by level 8, but some others are fine with something else. The fighter in the group started with a 14 strength and went to 15 at level 4 and now 16 at level 6. That player never takes feats. Some of this less than optimal is countered on the DM side with using flanking and giving out +weapons rather early on. Some like the coolness of a new magic item over the coolness of a feat or even a basic ASI.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
That's all fine if all you care about is combat. For some people, having a PC other than a rogue or bard that can contribute outside of combat also matters. A wilderness fighter who knows how to survive the wilds wants a decent charisma, and maybe the player wants a bit of trader/diplomat as well so they have a charisma over 10.

There is no one true way to play the game. There are all sorts of things to consider, especially if using point buy when building a PC other than DPR.

A ranger that can afford positive Charisma and not take a hit in traditional ranger aspects?

What is this: 0e?
 

Scribe

Hero
I've come into this at risk of not having sufficient background, but I have recently read this kind of framing from various posters and it conveys to me something like this -



That can feel very undermining, because I am being told that something I believe to be true is not true, and by the way I also don't possess a virtue (creativity) that I hoped to possess (in at least some measure.) In part, I think this position is provoked by a claim to subjective experience. If you don't share that experience, it might feel unfair that someone in a thread can simply claim to have it with no burden for evidence.

One line of argument I've recently been entertaining is leveraging the idea of possible worlds and pragmatism. It's easy to agree that there is a possible world in which it is true that you are being creative in the way you claim you are. What are the consequences? Do we find those consequences beneficial? What about the other possible world? Are the consequences in that world beneficial?
I don't follow.

If one believes floating ASI allows them more creativity, great.

I don't know what bizarre purity test I need to pass here to get everyone feeling all warm and fuzzy over their character stats...
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Someone please tell the game that. It doesn't seem to think this is important or even a thing.
That varies significantly from table to table. If all you do is dungeon crawls, it may not. In the games I run and play, it does.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
If one believes floating ASI allows them more creativity, great.
If floating ASIs allow them more creativity, great. To say 'believes' evinces disbelief.

I don't know what bizarre purity test I need to pass here to get everyone feeling all warm and fuzzy over their character stats...
Not a purity test, more a logical one. We frequently hit deadlocks on these forums around reported experiences, with no apparent way to resolve them. Poster A asserts experience X. Poster B asserts experience Y. Without access to each poster's inner state, or robust evidence to bring to bear from elsewhere (e.g. clinical studies of the experiences under contention) we seem to lack means to come to anything other than conclusions divided along the fault lines.

I was thinking about the philosophical framings of possible worlds and pragmatism. While we might resist agreeing that in our actual world such-and-such is X, we can more easily agree that in a possible world it might be X. We can think about what that world would be like - the consequences of X being true - without having to commit to accepting that X is true of our actual world.

In the case to hand, you might doubt that some players find floating ASIs allow them more creativity. But you might be prepared to accept that in some possible (alternate) world, there are players for whom floating ASIs do in fact allow more creativity. One can doubt something, while still accepting it is possible. That seems like what could be implied by the reserved wording you choose.

EDIT So I am asking, could that be leveraged to come closer to resolving these kinds of deadlocks?
 

Scribe

Hero
If floating ASIs allow them more creativity, great. To say 'believes' evinces disbelief.


Not a purity test, more a logical one. We frequently hit deadlocks on these forums around reported experiences, with no apparent way to resolve them. Poster A asserts experience X. Poster B asserts experience Y. Without access to each poster's inner state, or robust evidence to bring to bear from elsewhere (e.g. clinical studies of the experiences under contention) we seem to lack means to come to anything other than conclusions divided along the fault lines.

I was thinking about the philosophical framings of possible worlds and pragmatism. While we might resist agreeing that in our actual world such-and-such is X, we can more easily agree that in a possible world it might be X. We can think about what that world would be like - the consequences of X being true - without having to commit to accepting that X is true of our actual world.

In the case to hand, you might doubt that some players find floating ASIs allow them more creativity. But you might be prepared to accept that in some possible (alternate) world, there are players for whom floating ASIs do in fact allow more creativity. One can doubt something, while still accepting it is possible. That seems like what could be implied by the reserved wording you choose.

EDIT So I am asking, could that be leveraged to come closer to resolving these kinds of deadlocks?
How about, like others, you just tell me what you want to hear, and then attribute that to me.
 


Faolyn

Hero
That's all fine if all you care about is combat. For some people, having a PC other than a rogue or bard that can contribute outside of combat also matters. A wilderness fighter who knows how to survive the wilds wants a decent [edit]charisma wisdom[/edit] and maybe the player wants a bit of trader/diplomat as well so they have a charisma over 10.

There is no one true way to play the game. There are all sorts of things to consider, especially if using point buy when building a PC other than DPR.
I think what Minigiant might be saying is that maxxing out your combat scores lets you get fights over quickly, so you can go back to other things. Because long fights are a slog.

Like, a while ago my table decided to try running the old GDQ series in 5e. We rolled for stats--I ended up starting the game at 3rd level with a 20 in my main stat because of that--and we ended up giving up the game most because it was only fights, with very few roleplaying opportunities despite our best efforts to talk to or negotiate with of the monsters--and that's with the DM actively supporting us in doing so.
 

Scribe

Hero
Sure, but what do you think of the proposed method for resolving (or at least moving forward) deadlocks around differing asserted experiences?
If I understand your post, I disagree with the premise. This isn't about possible worlds.

One believes Floating aids in their creativity. Fine.

What does possible worlds have to do with this?

Again, simply write out what you feel needs to be said, tag my name on the end, and be satisfied.

Unbelievable.
 

I think what Minigiant might be saying is that maxxing out your combat scores lets you get fights over quickly, so you can go back to other things. Because long fights are a slog.

Like, a while ago my table decided to try running the old GDQ series in 5e. We rolled for stats--I ended up starting the game at 3rd level with a 20 in my main stat because of that--and we ended up giving up the game most because it was only fights, with very few roleplaying opportunities despite our best efforts to talk to or negotiate with of the monsters--and that's with the DM actively supporting us in doing so.
I don’t get it. The DM ultimately is the one who decides if the monsters get hostile and attack. How was said DM “actively supporting” your attempts to talk/negotiate and yet you ended up with “only fights”?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I think what Minigiant might be saying is that maxxing out your combat scores lets you get fights over quickly, so you can go back to other things. Because long fights are a slog.

Like, a while ago my table decided to try running the old GDQ series in 5e. We rolled for stats--I ended up starting the game at 3rd level with a 20 in my main stat because of that--and we ended up giving up the game most because it was only fights, with very few roleplaying opportunities despite our best efforts to talk to or negotiate with of the monsters--and that's with the DM actively supporting us in doing so.
I'm just following the OP's theme. Getting better out of combat skills are important to some people (I'm one) but is not by any means power gaming.

In addition, getting max scores may reduce time in combat a round or so, I just think people overestimate the impact of a 5% increase or an extra point or two. It's not like combat is going to take twice as long if you don't max out combat potential.

Different people have different priorities and preferences. I think many people overemphasize DPR and exaggerate how much of a difference it really makes. It also tends to ignore defenses and out of combat effectiveness.

If all you care about is combat, cool. Just don't be dismissive of people that don't put DPR on a pedestal.
 

Faolyn

Hero
I don’t get it. The DM ultimately is the one who decides if the monsters get hostile and attack. How was said DM “actively supporting” your attempts to talk/negotiate and yet you ended up with “only fights”?
In part, because of the way those old modules were written. The monsters barely had any motivations, and so the DM didn't have much to work with. At least that's what it seemed; I haven't read the modules myself.
Plus, many of the monsters weren't intelligent.

Also, we actually had two DMs running these modules who would switch off. One DM was much more into RPing than combat and the other was much more into by-the-books combat. (Interestingly, both of them had started with 1e: one was a kid when the books were first published, and the other, who is much younger, was raised by gamer parents).
 

Faolyn

Hero
I'm just following the OP's theme. Getting better out of combat skills are important to some people (I'm one) but is not by any means power gaming.

In addition, getting max scores may reduce time in combat a round or so, I just think people overestimate the impact of a 5% increase or an extra point or two. It's not like combat is going to take twice as long if you don't max out combat potential.
I have to disagree. I've seen fairly big differences when there's just a point or two, whether I play or run. I do think that class/archetype traits are more important, but the stats do make a difference, especially for attack rolls, save DCs, and for prepared casters, how many spells they can have.

This isn't putting DPR on a pedestal. Big damage is fun, of course, but also useless if your abilities aren't effective in the first place. I'd rather be fairly confident that I'll hit or that the creature will fail its save even if I do a handful of damage than rarely be able to nova.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I have to disagree. I've seen fairly big differences when there's just a point or two, whether I play or run. I do think that class/archetype traits are more important, but the stats do make a difference, especially for attack rolls, save DCs, and for prepared casters, how many spells they can have.

This isn't putting DPR on a pedestal. Big damage is fun, of course, but also useless if your abilities aren't effective in the first place. I'd rather be fairly confident that I'll hit or that the creature will fail its save even if I do a handful of damage than rarely be able to nova.
Most combats last, what 5 rounds? If you average it out, you may add an extra round roughly every other encounter. But it doesn't take into account that barbarian that gets stunned or even worse dominated because they dumped wisdom. It doesn't take into account the wizard that goes down because they didn't put more points into con.

So disagree. You can't do a thorough analysis on a white room spreadsheet. People have motivated perception, they tend to see what they want to see. But it also depends on the style of game being played. One size does not fit all. So go ahead and optimize for combat. I do it sometimes myself if it fits the PC I envision and/or the DM's style. There's nothing wrong with it. Just like there's nothing wrong with building a more balanced PC.
 

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