A simple idea (general mechanics)

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So, there are three things about 4e that really bother me:

1. The overpowered focus/defense feats that grant absurd bonuses
2. The absence of masterwork weapons (despite having masterwork armor)
3. The lack of attractiveness of stats that aren't tied to  your class abilities


Here are my potential fixes:
1. Your NAD modifier comes from both relevant stats (combine them), not just the highest.
2. The weapon expertise/defense oriented feats only grant a static +1/+2 respectively (and there aren't multiple versions)
3. The other +2 from weapon focus are implemented into masterwork weapons.


Now, I know that #1 in particular will be controversial.  It means that a character could potentially have a sky-high modifier.  Personally, I don't see too much of a problem with this.  It could never happen to more than one of the NAD's for the given character, and you should not be punished for wanting to have a high int and a dex, for example.  The early game should be fairly easy anyway, and it would balance itself out over time.   

Thoughts?
In addition to #1 giving the character (potentially) a single unhittable NAD, it also ensures that the other NADs will be hit on a 2+ because there is absolutely no way to boost them to a proper level if you have a 10 in each and there are no feats to bump them.
I doubt anyone is going to invest a heavy score in an off-ability for that little NAD bonus, it's not going to save them.

The weapon part could certainly work though; see no real issue with that. It'll make Weapon Focus/Expertise slightly less interesting but then those are totally overpowered anyway, so who cares?
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In addition to #1 giving the character (potentially) a single unhittable NAD, it also ensures that the other NADs will be hit on a 2+ because there is absolutely no way to boost them to a proper level if you have a 10 in each and there are no feats to bump them.
I doubt anyone is going to invest a heavy score in an off-ability for that little NAD bonus, it's not going to save them.




I actually thought of that, and I thought it would help encourage players to balance their stats out a little more rather than min/maxing, which IMO would be a good thing.  Also, the feats are still there they just grant a static +2 instead of scaling to +4.  It needs playtesting, sure, and it may turn out to not be that great.

I don't think it'd help. Those defense feats give a pretty big bump, there is no way you can get your ability scores high enough. Being able to add your two twelves together in no way compensates for Iron Will's +4 bonus. 

You'll always have a net loss, and while it might compensate slightly if you decide to spread your stats out, you won't be able to go about a 12 or maybe a 14 somewhere before you really start gimping your main stat. 
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I don't think it'd help. Those defense feats give a pretty big bump, there is no way you can get your ability scores high enough. Being able to add your two twelves together in no way compensates for Iron Will's +4 bonus. 

You'll always have a net loss, and while it might compensate slightly if you decide to spread your stats out, you won't be able to go about a 12 or maybe a 14 somewhere before you really start gimping your main stat. 



It really drives me crazy how min/max oriented 4e is.  I want to investigate other ways to rearrange things so that characters can still have "good stats" and "bad stats" without the divide being so huge like it is now, where you have some incentive to put points in INT or STR regardless of your class.  I hate that about 4e.

I think it would be cool if each stat had a generalized use in combat, like using INT to scan enemies for weaknesses, WIS to get bonus experience, CHA to cause some type of debuff, etc.   
So, there are three things about 4e that really bother me:

1. The overpowered focus/defense feats that grant absurd bonuses
2. The absence of masterwork weapons (despite having masterwork armor)
3. The lack of attractiveness of stats that aren't tied to  your class abilities


Here are my potential fixes:
1. Your NAD modifier comes from both relevant stats (combine them), not just the highest.
2. The weapon focus/defense oriented feats only grant a static +1/+2 respectively (and there aren't multiple versions)
3. The other +2 from weapon focus are implemented into masterwork weapons.


Now, I know that #1 in particular will be controversial.  It means that a character could potentially have a sky-high modifier.  Personally, I don't see too much of a problem with this.  It could never happen to more than one of the NAD's for the given character, and you should not be punished for wanting to have a high int and a dex, for example.  The early game should be fairly easy anyway, and it would balance itself out over time.   

Thoughts? 



No, no and no. The math is fine. If you go messing with it too much, you break the game worse than what you think is already broken.

In addition to #1 giving the character (potentially) a single unhittable NAD, it also ensures that the other NADs will be hit on a 2+ because there is absolutely no way to boost them to a proper level if you have a 10 in each and there are no feats to bump them.
I doubt anyone is going to invest a heavy score in an off-ability for that little NAD bonus, it's not going to save them.




I actually thought of that, and I thought it would help encourage players to balance their stats out a little more rather than min/maxing, which IMO would be a good thing.  Also, the feats are still there they just grant a static +2 instead of scaling to +4.  It needs playtesting, sure, and it may turn out to not be that great.




Except there's no need to balance your stats. That's what your party is for. 1 persons weakness is another persons strength. It helps so that CoDzilas and Wizards from hell arn't dominating the entirety of the game anymore while their party sits back with their thumbs up their ass.

I don't think it'd help. Those defense feats give a pretty big bump, there is no way you can get your ability scores high enough. Being able to add your two twelves together in no way compensates for Iron Will's +4 bonus. 

You'll always have a net loss, and while it might compensate slightly if you decide to spread your stats out, you won't be able to go about a 12 or maybe a 14 somewhere before you really start gimping your main stat. 



This is why the defense feat fix doesn't work. And this is also to say nothing of players that roll their stats in home games.

It really drives me crazy how min/max oriented 4e is.  I want to investigate other ways to rearrange things so that characters can still have "good stats" and "bad stats" without the divide being so huge like it is now, where you have some incentive to put points in INT or STR regardless of your class.  I hate that about 4e.

I think it would be cool if each stat had a generalized use in combat, like using INT to scan enemies for weaknesses, WIS to get bonus experience, CHA to cause some type of debuff, etc.   



You DO have incentive to put points into other things. Racial abilities, meeting prerequisites, skill usage, defenses. The problems you seem to be having are not that big of a concern, and you will always have to spread yourself between at least 3 stats in many instances. With how the system is set up, that's more than enough. If your monster knowledge checks sucks as a Rogue, let the Cleric and Swordmage handle it. If your bad at melee as a Wizard, the Warlord and the Barbarian have you covered. You cannot be great at everything, and when you try to be, you're not good at anything. Focus on what you do best and don't worry about the things you don't need to concern yourself with. No one is going to get on a Fighter's ass about having no idea what happened in the Battle of Dunloray, because he's probably not schooled in History.

4e is fine and balanced as a game. Players are what make the things broken by min/maxing. But instead of fixing the math so that they're not busted, throw them up against things a bit tougher than they've expected. A group of fully optimized players will still have trouble against a good controller monster with a lurker in the same fight. Let them have their moments of glory whether they optimize or not. You can always make them sweat it a bit when they face the dragon in two or three fights.
No offense ToeSama, but you pretty much missed my point altogether. 

It really drives me crazy how min/max oriented 4e is.



It's actually not. Not at all. Players make it like that, for absolutely no reason. This is the first version of D&D I've seen where you don't have to min-max to be effective. The only thing you need is a good main score, of abot 16. A decent secondary is nice, but a 14 will do if it has to.

That leaves you with plenty of points to put in other abilities if you want to bump certain skills or get certain feats or whatever the reason for bumping that ability is.
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None taken, but to be fair, I saw nothing of note past a mechanical concern. The numbers are fine, and you shouldn't fiddle with them. If it's more than this, I'd be glad to listen

It really drives me crazy how min/max oriented 4e is.



It's actually not. Not at all. Players make it like that, for absolutely no reason. This is the first version of D&D I've seen where you don't have to min-max to be effective. The only thing you need is a good main score, of abot 16. A decent secondary is nice, but a 14 will do if it has to.

That leaves you with plenty of points to put in other abilities if you want to bump certain skills or get certain feats or whatever the reason for bumping that ability is.



Not entirely true, mainly because all classes have 3 good stats and 3 dump stats.  In previous editions, most classes had one main stat and everything else was pretty equivalent.  In this version, you punish yourself pretty easily by rasing stats that are unimportant to your class, which is often times arbitrary and nonsensical (like Int for a rogue).  
None taken, but to be fair, I saw nothing of note past a mechanical concern. The numbers are fine, and you shouldn't fiddle with them. If it's more than this, I'd be glad to listen



My issues are primarily on a conceptual level, they just bleed into the mechanics of the game.  It's not about fixing broken math, I don't think the math in the game is bad and anything I houserule would try to keep very similar math scaling.  It's more about where the numbers come from and how they're appropriated.

I have a hard time being okay with the presence of masterwork armor and the absence of masterwork weapons.  It doesn't make much thematic OR mechanical sense why there would be one without the other. 

Second, the overpowered (and near-mandatory) weapon focus feats bug the crap out of me, just because they're overpowered.  A feat shouldn't be so good that virtually all characters will take it or fall way behind by epic tier.  Tying in with the above, I greatly dislike how the scaling issue with AC is handled with armor but with weapons and NADs it's handled with feats.  

Third,  I dislike how simplistic the ability scores are.  I dislike having no incentive for raising anything other than the 2 or 3 scores relevant to my power build, which results in extremely lopsided stats at high level as well as very little variety within each class. Crunch books have helped fixed this to a degree, but not enough.  I think the main mistake was that different builds within a class should have used different secondary stats, but only a small handful do.
you don't like min maxing then use the dice roll option, maybe let them assigne where to put the resualts sot here pirmary and secondary are still best or least there primary but roll the dice and suddenly no issue with stats.

I htink the 2 ability score to nad would annoy the hell out of me players would still min max possibly even more now.

Also when a player chooses there stats they look at classes priomary and secondary stats then they  go from there, so if you want them to spread there stats out and still use pointbuy then powers are what you would need to target you would need to change the powers to use say +4 isntead of a stats and raise that by 1 every 8 lvls then suddenly stats have no effect on powers and can be spread out more.
An' ye harm none, do what ye will
Not entirely true, mainly because all classes have 3 good stats and 3 dump stats.  In previous editions, most classes had one main stat and everything else was pretty equivalent.  In this version, you punish yourself pretty easily by rasing stats that are unimportant to your class, which is often times arbitrary and nonsensical (like Int for a rogue).  



"You punish yourself" are the words of a min-maxer. Yes, you are weaker. No, you are not too weak. A character that is not fully optimised is perfectly playable. If you feel that you must have a 20/16/10/10/10/8 array, then the issue is not the system, it's you.

As for ability scores; I'd rather they just remove them from the game completely as far as I'm concerned, but that seems unlikely for the time being. I certainly don't fault players for not "playing their stats", I'd rather have an interesting character then someone being true to their Int 8 because they felt they needed the point elsewhere.
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Not entirely true, mainly because all classes have 3 good stats and 3 dump stats.  In previous editions, most classes had one main stat and everything else was pretty equivalent.  In this version, you punish yourself pretty easily by rasing stats that are unimportant to your class, which is often times arbitrary and nonsensical (like Int for a rogue).  



"You punish yourself" are the words of a min-maxer. Yes, you are weaker. No, you are not too weak. A character that is not fully optimised is perfectly playable. If you feel that you must have a 20/16/10/10/10/8 array, then the issue is not the system, it's you.

As for ability scores; I'd rather they just remove them from the game completely as far as I'm concerned, but that seems unlikely for the time being. I certainly don't fault players for not "playing their stats", I'd rather have an interesting character then someone being true to their Int 8 because they felt they needed the point elsewhere.



I personally am not a min/maxer and usually go out of my way to play unconventional characters. However, 4e seems to hold this against you more than previous editions did. In my experience, at least.  
I'm not gonna lie, there's a lot of what you say that I definitely don't agree with. However, I do very much like the idea of rolling up the Expertise feats into masterwork weapons the same way that masterwork armor exists. Like any level 6 or higher magic weapon or implement has an additional +1 to hit, level 16 or higher +2 to hit, and level 26 or higher +3. It brings back the idea of masterwork weapons while still giving the math fix bonus out for free. I wouldn't do this with the Focus feats at all, because those weren't math fixes, but for Expertise I definitely like it.

Edit: Just to be clear, most of what I disagree with is in reference to 4E being geared towards min-maxers. I think that's just flat-out wrong. It was previous editions where a lot of characters pretty much needed to min/max in order to be useful and where a lot of types of characters were just stupid to try to play. In 4E, I can play crazy, unconventional characters and still come out as pretty effective no matter what it is that I want to do almost. If anything, min/maxing has a much less dramatic effect on character effectiveness in 4E than it did in previous editions.

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Yeah I think, if anything, that the effects of min-maxing are easier to quantify, but far less far reaching then before. You can clearly see that your accuracy goes down by 1 when you lower your ability by 2 points, whereas it is far harder to quantify that your Fighter will be totally obviated by the Cleric or Druid in about two levels, at least when it comes to the quantifyable numbers.

But ultimately a -1 accuracy isn't going to kill you. You can play a character with slightly worse stats just fine, and you'll have a lot more fun doing it. 
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Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

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Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
players will always min max it's often time just normal thoguht proccess however I do agree I would rather the stats be fore rp reasons then for to hit and junk.  a possible fix for this could be to alter a few numbers and simply remove stats from having any in game effect past skills and rp.


So a possible difrent solution, becouse the one you have now promotes min maxing even more then it previously did.

First stat requirment issue we all have is class powers.
so for here we COULD alter the powers but we could also le thte player designate to have 1 of 2 options

treat a stat as if it was a 20 or treat 2 stats as if they were 18 to start.  this choice would effect all class powers,

or for even more freedom specialy for allowing multiclassing and junk then simply remove the stat from the power and replace it with a flat +4

this allows everyone to multiclass without the worry of do I have the stats may or may not be desirable but both work.

Second our NAD and defences again this is easy to fix. Add a flat AC/ NAD defence by class. if that class would have a primary or secondary stats in a  NAD or AC give it a class bonus of +4 if it wouldn't then give it a +2 (or +3 is it seams likaly a player would likaly have a +3 bonus)

For HP just alter the starting HP and surge value and junk of the class to fit what a min maxer is likaly to choose.


_______________

TO SIMPLIFY

All the class related non skill effects that stats have. Min max a char and simply set the variables as set numbers and increase them by +1 every 8 lvls or so (to match what stats gaisn they would have)

once you remove all the variables that stats add ecept skilsl which would be Rped and are balenced acrost most stats. this leaves stats to be more or less RP guildlines as well as skill enhancement but even skills COULD be set but I like skilsl based on stats makes them have some purpose however small.

for MW weapons the idea fits well enough to work and save a feat, though I personaly rarely  ever take it I like more flavorfull feats but then I dm more then play by far.
An' ye harm none, do what ye will

Third,  I dislike how simplistic the ability scores are.  I dislike having no incentive for raising anything other than the 2 or 3 scores relevant to my power build, which results in extremely lopsided stats at high level as well as very little variety within each class.



I agree with you on this. It would be nice if a character's abilities reflected, well, his ability scores Smile to higher degree.

I have considered going back to the earlier editions' 'one ability score as modifier' to AC etc. instead of 4th ed.'s highest of str/con, dex/int or wis/cha.
So: AC modified by Dex only (not Int, and subject to heavy armor etc.), Fort only Con, Ref only Dex, and Will only Wis.
As for the rest of the ability scores (int and cha) there need to be some effect as well
(Maybe along the lines of:melee basic attacks with weapons: only str (or perhaps dex if having feat), ranged w/wpns: only dex, etc. (such a change will require some consideration regarding monster's defenses etc. though)

Regards
Nikolaj
I'm not gonna lie; I don't see a problem with just about everything you're trying to fix. Except this one:

I have a hard time being okay with the presence of masterwork armor and the absence of masterwork weapons.  It doesn't make much thematic OR mechanical sense why there would be one without the other. 


It is weird, no matter how ya think about it, ain't it? Well, it's one of the many reasons I use the Complete 4th Edition rules -- no masterwork stuff at all.

I guess what I'm saying is: I don't think your changes are improvements, but try them out by all means, and let us know how it goes.