Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha

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Can someone please fix the primary stats?

Lets take an old man, a jewler, incredibly skilled with his fingers. Dex 17. Why on earth does this old man get a dodge bonus to AC? If strength is general athleticism, then being agile is an aspect of Str, not Dex. Or you can split it into Strength and Agility, if you want.

And Wis/Cha need to be overhauled. Wis seems to mean, variously, what we usually mean by wisdom vs foolishness; and physical awareness of your surroundings. Why should being judicious have anything to do with noticing a footstep?

Cha seems to mean both physical attractiveness, and also your ability to project strength of mind/will (as per what a socerer has).

The only stats that make sense are Int and Con.

Speaking of Con - can we please get rid of the absurd idea of negative hitpoints? I say - hitpoints are a measure of your ability to to go on defending yourself. At 0 hp, you are not unconcious but defenseless. Critical hits do not do extra hp damage, but do constitution damage equal to what is now the crit multiplier of the weapon. If you are defenseless then every hit is an automatic critical. Simple.
I've thought about this. I think Flaws would handle this admirably. You can take a high DEX, then take a Flaw reducing the agility aspect of DEX.

I have also advocated splitting WIS into PER (perception) and WIL (willpower), but combining STR and CON. I don't think this will happen, and I don't think you would like it, but you can use flaws and feats to decrease/increase STR in relation to CON.

I agree that CHA has gotten a bit silly in the sense that spells are powered by it. However, I don't really have a problem with the physical attractiveness aspect because a player can decide whether a character is attractive, and we just modify how people treat the character depending upon the CHA score.
They actually had something like this in a book in 2nd edition (name eludes me). They branched each primary stat into two "sub-stats" constitution had stamina and resilience, charisma had comeliness and persuasion. Correct me if I am wrong been about a decade since I saw the book.

Think it was Skills and Powers but not sure...

IMAGE(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41GR7P8NXPL._AA240_.jpg)
The 2 stats that always bothered me (besides CHA) were INT and WIS they almost mean the same thing. I find it strange though, in 3e knowledge based skills were based on INT where it would make more sense to be WIS which to me represents study, past knowledge and experience; where as INT would be more along the lines of being akin to mental agility, and quickly being able to think up solutions. But there are other examples through out previous editions that seem to cross or blur the lines between these two, almost similar terms.

I think from what has been hinted at for 4e that all the classes will benefit from a combination of ability scores (Fighters needing Wisdom, etc.), which will probably lean towards these scores being more realistic in their applications.
Can someone please fix the primary stats?

Lets take an old man, a jewler, incredibly skilled with his fingers. Dex 17. Why on earth does this old man get a dodge bonus to AC? If strength is general athleticism, then being agile is an aspect of Str, not Dex. Or you can split it into Strength and Agility, if you want.

I'd say this is modeled by ranks in a skill. The old man might have a poor dex, but his levels in expert have allowed him to offset his old age with years of training.

And Wis/Cha need to be overhauled. Wis seems to mean, variously, what we usually mean by wisdom vs foolishness; and physical awareness of your surroundings. Why should being judicious have anything to do with noticing a footstep?

Again, noticing a footstep in 3.5 comes from the survival skill rather than from Wisdom directly. Untrained people get their natural ability from Wisdom. I think this makes sense since it represents an awareness, whether this is a moral awareness (being judicious) or an environmental awareness (noticing your surroundings).

Cha seems to mean both physical attractiveness, and also your ability to project strength of mind/will (as per what a socerer has).

I like the books definition. It's generally your force of personality. This is, of course, affected by your looks. But your talent at influencing others also plays a great role. But in the end, it's how well you interface with others.

I don't like how this ability is tied to sorcerers. By ability scores, sorcerers should be the most liked people around. Maybe there's a correlation (like marketing majors are probably better at parties than math majors), but it should not be so strongly linked. There should be some shy sorcerers that are still good at casting spells.

The only stats that make sense are Int and Con.

Speaking of Con - can we please get rid of the absurd idea of negative hitpoints? I say - hitpoints are a measure of your ability to to go on defending yourself. At 0 hp, you are not unconcious but defenseless. Critical hits do not do extra hp damage, but do constitution damage equal to what is now the crit multiplier of the weapon. If you are defenseless then every hit is an automatic critical. Simple.

No conceptual problems here. However, from an administrative stand point, I don't want ability damage to be too commonplace. This is hard for a DM to keep track of, especially when running many creatures. D&D has a simplicity that most of the time the only statistic that you need to keep track of is HP. I hope this is preserved.
They actually had something like this in a book in 2nd edition (name eludes me). They branched each primary stat into two "sub-stats" constitution had stamina and resilience, charisma had comeliness and persuasion. Correct me if I am wrong been about a decade since I saw the book.

Think it was Skills and Powers but not sure...

It was. I thought it was a neat idea, but my group never used it.
After reading this thread, I'm almost glad that WotC doesn't listen to their fan base.

Lets take an old man, a jewler, incredibly skilled with his fingers. Dex 17.

This is a highly unlikely Dexterity score for an elderly jewler. He may have had a 12 or 13 in his younger years, old age has likely brought this down (arthritis, mayhaps?).

Wisdom is your perception and intuition of the world around you, Intelligence is your ability to reason and learn, and Charisma is mostly about your force of personality and attractiveness - how easy is it for you to influence people to see things your way.

Combining Strength and Constitution makes no sense. Think of it this way: would you expect a power lifter to be able to keep up with an endurance runner in a 5K race?

I can't go on, this stuff is bad. This thread shows a lack of understanding of not only the game rules, but the real world of which they are an abstraction.
With a finite number of ability scores, you can never find a setup that is entirely "realistic". In other game systems, I have seen stats like Perception, Willpower, Magic, Manual Dexterity, Speed, Comeliness, Chi. Luck ... RPGs have been around since 30 years, and you can be sure most combinations you'll come up with have been tried in one or the other way, and no system has proven superior to others, just different.

Changing the ability score setup just opens as many (real or perceived) problems as it closes, and it makes conversion between editions very complicated. Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha, it's as good as any other array.

The real trick is to balance each attribute in their in-game usefulness, that's where the work needs to go.

Oh, and for that old man that's a master jeweller, have you considered that it's not his Dex, which might be pretty low, but skill points aquired over a long working life, plus maybe a feat?
I agree that traits or flaws can help break down these abilities quite a lot. I pray that 4E adds a flaws system to help add some personality to the characters. Also, I don't think taking a flaw should grant a feat or anything else. People have flaws and hinderances they must overcome.
It was. I thought it was a neat idea, but my group never used it.

Indeed it was Skills and Powers. Seriously, count yourself lucky that you never used it. It was easily the worst thing to happen to 2nd Edition. The same goes for Combat and Tactics and the magic one whose name eludes me for the moment.
If you really want that kind of "precise" breakdown, track down a copy of Dangerous Journeys.

There were something like 18 different attributes, each broken down in exactly the way you are proposing.

As for negative hit points, they represent you bleeding out on the floor. This is not necessarily constitution damage.
If you let saying it, sometime ago I suggested a optional system with 10 abilites for a future Unearthed Arcana.

Shr shrewdness: Fast mind, creativity, social interaction.

Crg Corage: willpower, hope, faith, zeal, bravery, self-control.

Tch Technique: manual skill, but when you use a lot of time. (Dex is when you do fast actions with body).

Per Perception: Senses, seeing, smelling, hearing...(Wisdow is moral maturity, common sense, spiritual vision, philosophy).

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

If there were any changes to the abilities I'd prefer to see less, like Tri-Stat, and it's Less Capable defect which allows you to be weak in some aspects of a stat, but not others. But I think the current abilities are fine.

I would like to see each class having uses for every ability, so you don't have the dump-stat pheonemena. You're choices for abilities would have more to do with what kind of character you want to play, not which abilities are best for you're class. This would encourage role-playing.
After reading this thread, I'm almost glad that WotC doesn't listen to their fan base.

This is a highly unlikely Dexterity score for an elderly jewler. He may have had a 12 or 13 in his younger years, old age has likely brought this down (arthritis, mayhaps?).

Wisdom is your perception and intuition of the world around you, Intelligence is your ability to reason and learn, and Charisma is mostly about your force of personality and attractiveness - how easy is it for you to influence people to see things your way.

Combining Strength and Constitution makes no sense. Think of it this way: would you expect a power lifter to be able to keep up with an endurance runner in a 5K race?

I can't go on, this stuff is bad. This thread shows a lack of understanding of not only the game rules, but the real world of which they are an abstraction.

Wow! You have an 18 in close-minded and condescending!

Some games had agility and manual dexterity listed separately, and they modeled reality just fine.

High STR, low CON characters are strange creatures. Glass-jaw. Dish it out but can't take it. Who wants to play a hero like that?

By far, in my rather lengthy experience, the more popular choices are high STR, high CON (just an all-around bad-ass) and a low STR, high CON (tough, wiry chap). If you combine STR and CON and offer Low Strength as a flaw, you can capture these types quite effectively.

BTW, I am certain (and I mean 99.9% certain) that no amount of discussion will change the 6 sacred cow stats. And I am fine with it. I was just wishing out loud.
The 2 stats that always bothered me (besides CHA) were INT and WIS they almost mean the same thing. I find it strange though, in 3e knowledge based skills were based on INT where it would make more sense to be WIS which to me represents study, past knowledge and experience; where as INT would be more along the lines of being akin to mental agility, and quickly being able to think up solutions. But there are other examples through out previous editions that seem to cross or blur the lines between these two, almost similar terms.

I think from what has been hinted at for 4e that all the classes will benefit from a combination of ability scores (Fighters needing Wisdom, etc.), which will probably lean towards these scores being more realistic in their applications.

Int is your ability to process rote knowledge, factual data, and is based on your IQ. Wisdom is your 'common sense', your ability to understand various real-world and practical issues as well as your instinctual grasp of the world around you. The two are VASTLY different and I think the skills assigned to them are in fact perfectly chosen. You don't use wisdom for knowledge (religion) for example because that represents the rote information in books and other places that tells you the FACTS, the hard data. Likewise you cant intellectualize faith. It is a feeling, an instinct. Faith comes from understanding of what you know in your heart. The two are in fact worlds apart, and the skills set out for them are done so well.

As for the issue of divided skill sets go, you have to understand D&D is set to be a midrange game. If you want to get that deep there are other systems that divide up the different attributes much more than D&D, but if you play them for a while you will see why other systems generalize it. The way we do it around here is that we all choose to have our own little quirks. My favorite barbarian for example has high INT and low WIS and CHA. Now the idea I had for him would be at least decent looking, but he is increadably abrasive socially and has little concept of manners, nor dose he have much of a perception of the world around him. If you want a durable guy who gets worn out quickly, maybe opt for him to take a -5 penalty in your head when swimming or running so that he putteres out quickly or just roleplay him getting exhausted after running on its own. The rules are abstract because D&D is more of an 'everyman' system, one you can build on easily but still play as it is if you want. Thats been one of the reasons it has done so well.
Indeed it was Skills and Powers. Seriously, count yourself lucky that you never used it. It was easily the worst thing to happen to 2nd Edition. The same goes for Combat and Tactics and the magic one whose name eludes me for the moment.

I disagree, I used Skills & Powers, Combat & Tactics, and Spells & Magic, as well as other Player's Options books in my 2e days and loved it. Yes, it made the game more complex, but for me, it just added to the fun. Character customization is not a hindrance to the game or it's mechanics.
The 2 stats that always bothered me (besides CHA) were INT and WIS they almost mean the same thing. I find it strange though, in 3e knowledge based skills were based on INT where it would make more sense to be WIS which to me represents study, past knowledge and experience; where as INT would be more along the lines of being akin to mental agility, and quickly being able to think up solutions.

Oh, wow. You got it backwards.

Int represents study, knowledge, and past experiences. Book smarts, in other words. Stuff you don't figure out on your own but acquire over the years.

It's your Wisdom that represents your innate mental quickness, your perceptiveness, your ability to notice things that others would turn a blind eye towards. Intuition, in a word. Did you not notice that Sense Motive was tied to Wisdom?

So, yeah, Knowledge is an Int skill, not a Wis skill.


And as far as the topic goes, I see no problem with the stats as they are now. Charisma has the unfortunate problem of being confused with 'physical attractiveness' and 'likeability' -- Well, it's not. It just means you stand out more, not that you're more well-liked than someone else.

As far as the Dex example goes, well, besides the fact that it's extremely unlikely (commoner point-buy is 15, and I can't imagine expert point-buy being that much higher -- perhaps 18), flaws can cover that fairly well. Also, he'll be suffering from age penalties, too.

Wis is something of a confusing stat, but it works well enough for what it's supposed to represent; intuition, innate perceptiveness. It's abstract, like every other stat. That's not a strike against it.

If it really matters that much, you can always introduce flaws for someone who's very wise but has bad hearing and eyesight, and what-have-you. Ain't that hard.
The only stats that make sense are Int and Con.

No more than the other stats.

There is no such thing as general intelligence. It comes in many forms. Having a natural talent for logic doesn't mean you have a natural talent for physics, although they both require intelligence. And that's just sticking to academic subjects.

As for Constitution, being able to take lots of hits and still stand doesn't necessarily mean that you're more resistant to disease.

But they work fine, as the other stats do, because simplifying assumptions need to be made at some point. If you want more accuracy, that's cool, we each have different tastes, but D&D probably won't have what you're looking for (although, as someone has already pointed out, the 2e Skills and Powers book may be of some help).
I agree that traits or flaws can help break down these abilities quite a lot. I pray that 4E adds a flaws system to help add some personality to the characters. Also, I don't think taking a flaw should grant a feat or anything else. People have flaws and hinderances they must overcome.

The only problem with having a flaw system without some compensating factor, is that only roleplayer types would be likely to take one. Everyone else will skip it. Heck, I'd skip it and I love character customization and roleplaying.

If a roleplayer currently want to play a flaw like nearsighted, he doesn't take ranks in spot and squints a lot in character.

If they want to be insane, it's all roleplay.

If they want to play weak, they put a low score in strength. If they have all good rolls, they ask their DM to allow them to drop their strength score.

If on the other hand, a flaw is forced on the character as part of character creation without compensation... I object to that.

I might want to play a character that doesn't have any flaws, they just are an average joe in extraordinary circumstances. Or a goody two shoes that does everything right, looks good, and is kind to everyone. Sure, it's not exactly realistic, but I don't play games for realism. ;)

As always, your mileage may vary.
Speaking of Con - can we please get rid of the absurd idea of negative hitpoints?

They're gone in SW-SAGA, and I'd be willing to bet that the mechanism they use, or something like it, will be part of D&D 4. The replacement is quite pretty, IMO. Negative HP is one thing I will not miss ...
THAT I can get behind at least. the idea of 'yeah I have a 10 count left on my life that will slowly go down... unless I take a feat and then I basically just have ten extra hit points.'

I can see why they put it in... but it did not work.
Speaking of Con - can we please get rid of the absurd idea of negative hitpoints? I say - hitpoints are a measure of your ability to to go on defending yourself. At 0 hp, you are not unconcious but defenseless. Critical hits do not do extra hp damage, but do constitution damage equal to what is now the crit multiplier of the weapon. If you are defenseless then every hit is an automatic critical. Simple.

This doesn't work for constructs or creatures that don't have Con scores but normally "die" at 0 hp. Just because you're defenseless doesn't mean you should be destroyed/dead.

I like some of the other ideas though.
I've always thought that willpower was more a product of force of personality than mental agility and intuition, and I wouldn't be opposed to changing the Will save (if indeed it still exists as such) to a Charisma-based roll. Other than that, I think the scores are fine.
I've always thought that willpower was more a product of force of personality than mental agility and intuition, and I wouldn't be opposed to changing the Will save (if indeed it still exists as such) to a Charisma-based roll. Other than that, I think the scores are fine.

A lot of will saves are made to disbelieve, etc. though, and make more sense being tied to Wisdom which reflects your perception.
I don't have a problem with the six stats, if they can make Charisma useful to classes who don't need it for spellcasting, and not by making it a modifier for social stats.

The game is about adventuring, so it shouldn't matter if the stats don't accurateoly describe a jewler. This isn't Loupes & Lazulis.

In my opinion, Wis and Cha are simply confused.

Int represents your mental strenght. Fine.
Wis represents what? Perception? Inner willpower? These are two diferent things. And Charisma as attractiveness? Force of personality?

Here's how I would divide it.
  • Exclude from Dexterity the manual aspect (ie ranged attacks), but keep the dodge aspect and bonus to Reflex Saves
  • Drop Wisdom and replace it with Perception and use it for bonuses to ranged attacks.
  • Make Charisma the primary stat for divine casters and have it used to boost Will saves.

In my opinion, this makes all the Abilities useful in combat, which is the primary focus for the game mechanics.
  • Cha is useful for divine casters and Will saves
  • Con is useful for absorbing attacks
  • Dex is useful for avoiding attacks
  • Int is useful for arcane casters and skills.
  • Per is useful for ranged attacks.
  • Str is useful for melee/touch attacks.

This way you eliminate rolls for social interaction. Is your character pretty or deformed? How persuasive is he? No more diplomancers. You roll for combat and you role-play for social interaction. (An alternate rule could bring back "Comeliness" for DMs who want stats for social encounters.)
The first thing in deciding what stats there should be in an rpg (from a design standpoint) is determine how many stats will work for your desired balance between realism and simplicity.

Some games, such as the HERO system, use over a dozen stats. Others, such as the Tri-stat system, use only three.

Long, long ago, it was decided that six stats, three mental and three physical, were the way to go for D&D. Still, there have been experiments testing additional and alternate stats in D&D, yet we keep returning to six. So far, only d20 Modern has actually made classes that were focused on each of the six stats. In D&D, CON is generally thought of as needed for all characters to some degree, depending on how specialized you were in your main attribute.


So, before saying we need stats to accuractely model this or that trait; you should define how many stats there should be and what you would be giving up in order to model:
  • lifting power/body mass/impulse strength
  • body agility/finger dexterity/natural grace/hand-to-eye precision
  • overall toughness/disease resistance/pain threshold
  • memorization ability/breadth of learning/reasoning power/esoteric knowledge
  • divinity/perception/common sense/social understanding/understanding of consequences
  • persuasiveness/attractiveness/self-assured presense/manipulation ability
  • etc
I don't have a problem with the six stats, if they can make Charisma useful to classes who don't need it for spellcasting, and not by making it a modifier for social stats.

The game is about adventuring, so it shouldn't matter if the stats don't accurateoly describe a jewler. This isn't Loupes & Lazulis.

But it can be! thats one of the things about D&D that has made it great, It can be about combat as much or as little as you want. Yes the game mechanics are mostly combat oriented but the core dose not have to put you in that position all the time. That is why you CAN make more stats, and set up elaborate systems for people to use when, say, crafting or appraising an important item. OR you can use them ad-hoc for combat. D&D's claim to fame is that its mid gorund, and so the stats are precise enough to cover more complex things or simple enough to cover the combat aspect well and all of it is kept in balance. the 6 stat system really hit on a sweet spot.

In my opinion, Wis and Cha are simply confused.

Int represents your mental strenght. Fine.
Wis represents what? Perception? Inner willpower? These are two diferent things. And Charisma as attractiveness? Force of personality?

Not at all. in fact the defenitions of those two things are quite clear. You can be a very wise person who is very uncharismatic. You understand how the world works intuativly and are quite perceptive. It represents the real world info you are getting. again I point you back to solomon. His fame and power did not stem from interpersonal skills or his own force of personality, but his force of will and ability to make sound, reasonable, rational decisions. It was his abilty to take in the diffrent information of a situation and KNOW what to do with it, not in the way one might knwo how to use a book, but simply his assesment of the situation and what he thought was best.

CHA is totally diffrent. You can be a very indecisvie, weak willed person with bad judgement and still be likable and personable. its more along the lines of 'street smarts' and your ego. Ego is not a bad thing mind you, but it has nothign to do with wisdom which deals with a diffrent part of your 'self'. I guess you could say CHA is inward, WIS is outward.

Here's how I would divide it.
  • Exclude from Dexterity the manual aspect (ie ranged attacks), but keep the dodge aspect and bonus to Reflex Saves
  • Drop Wisdom and replace it with Perception and use it for bonuses to ranged attacks.
  • Make Charisma the primary stat for divine casters and have it used to boost Will saves.

In my opinion, this makes all the Abilities useful in combat, which is the primary focus for the game mechanics.
  • Cha is useful for divine casters and Will saves
  • Con is useful for absorbing attacks
  • Dex is useful for avoiding attacks
  • Int is useful for arcane casters and skills.
  • Per is useful for ranged attacks.
  • Str is useful for melee/touch attacks.

This way you eliminate rolls for social interaction. Is your character pretty or deformed? How persuasive is he? No more diplomancers. You roll for combat and you role-play for social interaction. (An alternate rule could bring back "Comeliness" for DMs who want stats for social encounters.)

If that is how you wish to play things that is fine, by all means. indeed some people add a 7th stat because they want to guage apperence or seperate two aspects of a stat. That is the thing about D&D, it is mutable. Perosnally I have a character who is good looking ish and has a cha of 8. Why? because he is crass, overly opinionated and unkempt. remember that you can make a person with diffrent stats that have issues that would not normally be reflected in those stats, it is just a matter of role palying them
Perosnally I have a character who is good looking ish and has a cha of 8.

For a brief drift into realism:

Studies have shown that the better looking someone is, the more people respond in a positive manner to them. Good looking people do better on interviews, persuading strangers with no opinion on an issue to agree with them and in finding long term mates that are also attractive.

And now back to our regularly schedule discussion on fantasy...
But it can be! thats one of the things about D&D that has made it great, It can be about combat as much or as little as you want.

I agree. But I think one of the things D&D always does wrong is to create mechanics for role-playing as opposed to combat.

That is why you CAN make more stats, and set up elaborate systems for people to use when, say, crafting or appraising an important item.

The 4E developers have said that's out the window.

D&D's claim to fame is that its mid gorund, and so the stats are precise enough to cover more complex things or simple enough to cover the combat aspect well and all of it is kept in balance. the 6 stat system really hit on a sweet spot.

That has never been D&D's claim to fame. In fact, one of its broadest (and imo misguided) criticisms is that D&D does not handle non-combat mechanics well at all. 1st edition had secondary skills (with no mechanics and you only got one or two) and no NPC classes. 2nd edition had non-weapon proficiencies which wrere clunky and most of them combat-oriented. Only with third-edition did you have social mechanics and skills and the developers have said those are out in 4th edition. (Although there will be rules for rolling social interaction, as complex as combat, if the DM wants it.)

CHA is totally diffrent. You can be a very indecisvie, weak willed person with bad judgement and still be likable and personable.

That was CHA in 1st and 2nd, but not in 3rd. And in 1st and 2nd edition, Cha was a dump stat for every character class except paladin.

In 3rd, CHA represents your force of personality. Indecisiveness and weak-willed people are low Charisma.

I guess you could say CHA is inward, WIS is outward.

I don't think you can say that at all. Wis is a bonus to the Will save because it represents your inner strenght. CHA is outward because it affects how other people react to you. But WIS is also outward because it affects your ability to perceive the world.

It's a muddle.

If that is how you wish to play things that is fine, by all means. indeed some people add a 7th stat because they want to guage apperence or seperate two aspects of a stat.

Actually, it looks like in 4th, Perception will be a Skill combining Sense Motive, Listen, Spot and Search.

Perosnally I have a character who is good looking ish and has a cha of 8.

I don't think "good looking" should ever have a reflection in Abilities in D&D.
Can someone please fix the primary stats?

Lets take an old man, a jewler, incredibly skilled with his fingers. Dex 17. Why on earth does this old man get a dodge bonus to AC? If strength is general athleticism, then being agile is an aspect of Str, not Dex. Or you can split it into Strength and Agility, if you want.

What is this idiot doing with high dexterity? Craft is intelligence based, Profession is wisdom. This guy should be highly intelligent or wise(and those go up as he ages. Also, a jeweler would probably be built with 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8 or the non-elite array, because if it were much better, he wouldn't be a jeweler. If he is venerable, then he has a 16 in intelligence or wisdom.
Charisma should have nothing to do with your physical appearance. I know uggos that are pretty charismatic. Charisma represents your ability to get your point across to other people, to put yourself as the center of attention in a crowd, to captivate an audience, to win public opinion. Do good looks help? Of course, but they shouldn't LIMIT a CHA score. Of course some of the Monsters have low CHA scores due to their ugliness... and in fact half-orcs get nailed on this too. But I always thought was a pretty unfair reason to give them negative CHA. After all, when it comes to dealing with other orcs... they really aren't considered ugly..
What is this idiot doing with high dexterity? [...] This guy should be highly intelligent

Carry on...
I agree. But I think one of the things D&D always does wrong is to create mechanics for role-playing as opposed to combat.

and that is where we do not see eye to eye. I think the combat aspect needs to be pulled back a bit more. Sure it is at the forfront but it should not be as much. I understand people want combat, so do I, but I think the mechanics should be in place for MORE flexability, not less.

The 4E developers have said that's out the window.

THAT is why I do not plan on getting 4e. In my opinion that is the biggest mistake in D&D history. They have a chance to expand on non-combat ideas and instead fling it out the window in an attempt to grab a fanbase that in the end may not stick around. Mainly the pure MMORPG crowd. Most people who play those games AND D&D, do both anyways.

That has never been D&D's claim to fame. In fact, one of its broadest (and imo misguided) criticisms is that D&D does not handle non-combat mechanics well at all. 1st edition had secondary skills (with no mechanics and you only got one or two) and no NPC classes. 2nd edition had non-weapon proficiencies which wrere clunky and most of them combat-oriented. Only with third-edition did you have social mechanics and skills and the developers have said those are out in 4th edition. (Although there will be rules for rolling social interaction, as complex as combat, if the DM wants it.)

Again that is something I have had huge issues with. They were progressive up to 3e and now they are taking a MASSIVE step backwards. I understand you do not view it that way, but yes D&D was one of the first, and has grown not just in the realm of combat. now though they are taking that aspect out, and in my eyes that is a shame.

That was CHA in 1st and 2nd, but not in 3rd. And in 1st and 2nd edition, Cha was a dump stat for every character class except paladin.

In 3rd, CHA represents your force of personality. Indecisiveness and weak-willed people are low Charisma.

I am talking about Real life Charistma, not in game terms, Cha in the game is just a broad blanket term for many things that are considered charismatic.
I don't think you can say that at all. Wis is a bonus to the Will save because it represents your inner strenght. CHA is outward because it affects how other people react to you. But WIS is also outward because it affects your ability to perceive the world.

It's a muddle.
again giving the real life defenition, or at least a summation of it. Both skills are both inward and outward yes, they are the two sides of your perceptoin of reality. your sense of the world around you is wisdom, your sense of self is charistma. They both deal with the inverse though, wisdom dealing with an intake of the situation in the world around you and your ability to deal with that information, charistma is your sense of self, and ability to project that outwardly.


Actually, it looks like in 4th, Perception will be a Skill combining Sense Motive, Listen, Spot and Search.
Wisdom deals with perception of the world, that is why those skills should fall under wisdom, it is, ironicly, common sense

I don't think "good looking" should ever have a reflection in Abilities in D&D.

I definatly agree with you there. Looks should not enter into yoru skill set, ever.
and that is where we do not see eye to eye. I think the combat aspect needs to be pulled back a bit more.

I don't think D&D has ever been a game about politicking, though you can have those aspects in yuour game. D&D is not and never intended to be GURPS. It is a game first and foremost about dungeons (exploring them) and dragons (fighting them). Its a RPG about adventurers who go into dangerous places and confront dangerous creatures.

There are plenty of RPGs for people who want mechanics for role-playing Machiavelli. That's not D&D and tryign to cram D&D into that style of play was, to me, a huge mistake, rightly being corrected.

Which isn't to say I want hack-and-slash. What I don't want is to give role-playing mechanics that turns it into a hack-and-slash politics game. 3.x created the notion of the Diplomancer, the character that can optimize stats for monopolizing role-play. I am glad that 4th edition is going to back off from that, so that role-playing is less tied to mechanics.

THAT is why I do not plan on getting 4e.

Then boy are you in the wrong forum!

I am talking about Real life Charistma, not in game terms, Cha in the game is just a broad blanket term for many things that are considered charismatic.

I thought this thread was about what the D&D abilities should be, not arguing over the real-world definitions of "wisdom", "charisma" and "strength".
I don't think D&D has ever been a game about politicking, though you can have those aspects in yuour game. D&D is not and never intended to be GURPS. It is a game first and foremost about dungeons (exploring them) and dragons (fighting them). Its a RPG about adventurers who go into dangerous places and confront dangerous creatures.

There are plenty of RPGs for people who want mechanics for role-playing Machiavelli. That's not D&D and tryign to cram D&D into that style of play was, to me, a huge mistake, rightly being corrected.

Which isn't to say I want hack-and-slash. What I don't want is to give role-playing mechanics that turns it into a hack-and-slash politics game. 3.x created the notion of the Diplomancer, the character that can optimize stats for monopolizing role-play. I am glad that 4th edition is going to back off from that, so that role-playing is less tied to mechanics.

I don't want to have it 'crammed into D&D' but at the same time I don't want to have it left at the road side in favor of more action packed adventure. I think D&D should move closer to being a more 'generic' set of tools at its core, as befitting one of the first major tabletop games and indeed the one that seems to be name branded into peoples heads. I think the problem I have is that people seem to make it a game about pure adventure, and all the way though 3.5 advances in social and non-combat aspects from the mechanical standpoint have been made along side the combat aspects, while making hte game more like a set of legos where one can pick and choose how to change things around with little trouble. I have never had to write in a major system for something I wanted to include in 3.5 or 3e, they had decent guidelines both for combat and non-combat mechanics. now they move up the base power level, start filtering out some of the core mechanics from the book that are less action packed and it seems like they simply ant to move it more twars hack and slash and high adventure built in. Those are the issues I have though apparently people think I am nuts for having them as has been stated on other threads.


Then boy are you in the wrong forum!

Why? I have issues with 4e, and I post why I do along with what I think they could do. sadly though I don't think that those of us who really want to see 4e made more generic are getting our point across though, and all I really think can be hoped for now is that there will still be boards for 3.5 stuff when its all done.

I thought this thread was about what the D&D abilities should be, not arguing over the real-world definitions of "wisdom", "charisma" and "strength".

But should they not be one and the same? the ability scores are guidelines, you can be as strict to the definition or not with a bit of roleplay. If wisdom and charisma are stats based on the real world defenitoin why not make them that way when roleplaying and make sure that the stats reflect the characters personality? besides I was trying to explain why it is wisdom fits clerics and other spell casters while charisma fits spontaneous spellcasters whos power most likely comes from within and would be regulated by the ego
Getting back to the original poster, the reason is that the game defines people according to six attributes. It's impossible to do that with real people. I mean, as they mapped the DNA molecule, it's not like they found six attribute scores staring back at them.

In game design, you have to make a choice about how much detail you want to convey, knowing that detail comes at the expense of smooth and easy play. You also want your game system to point toward what the characters are likely to be doing. Character actions in D&D usually involving dodging things and trying to hit people with ranged weapons more often than fixing watches, so DEX deals more with that.

You're right that six scores don't really map out a person's characteristics very well. The problem is that 200 scores would make character generation rather cumbersome. So, we get six scores, and some of those scores are doing a wide variety of jobs. The alternative is a clunkier game.
The other thing they need to fix is the stat link problem.

Darn those keen eyed old geezers!

As a character gets older, his INT and WIS increase, thus leading to higher Spot and Listen scores.

WTF?
I don't want to have it 'crammed into D&D' but at the same time I don't want to have it left at the road side in favor of more action packed adventure.

I don't think denying game mechanics for social interaction is "leaving it at the roadside." I instead see it as freeing it up to be pure role-play.

I actually think that the 2nd and 3rd edition trend to mechanize role-play resulted in a stultified sort of role-play that hampered creativity and turned interpersonal interaction into a series of dice rolls.

I think D&D should move closer to being a more 'generic' set of tools at its core, as befitting one of the first major tabletop games and indeed the one that seems to be name branded into peoples heads.

I think that is a different issue than whether social interaction should have game mechanics behind them.

I think the problem I have is that people seem to make it a game about pure adventure

Well, they did name the game "4dventure".

Those are the issues I have though apparently people think I am nuts for having them as has been stated on other threads.

I don't think you are nuts. That doesn't mean I agree with your assessment, though. I don't think removing mechanics from role-play means that role-play is taken out of the game.

Why?

It was a joke. That's why I put in the emoticon.

But should they not be one and the same?

No. The stats should serve the game, not be slaves to the dictionary. That's why they're called "game terms".

I was trying to explain why it is wisdom fits clerics and other spell casters while charisma fits spontaneous spellcasters whos power most likely comes from within and would be regulated by the ego

I know what you were trying to do and I disagree. I think a divine caster's power comes from the inner strength that true faith affords a person. Spontneous casting can also come from inner force of personality. I don't think Wisdom (assuming it represents the openness of someone to the experiences around them, and not merely one's ability to discern right from wrong), fits a divine caster as well as Charisma.
The other thing they need to fix is the stat link problem.

Darn those keen eyed old geezers!

As a character gets older, his INT and WIS increase, thus leading to higher Spot and Listen scores.

WTF?

That's a problem with the aging rules. Frankly, all stats should be penalized as one ages. Getting old sucks. It is only offset by the bonuses one gets through XP.
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