The return of ability score damage

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
One game element from 3rd Edition that I'm not so happy to see again is ability damage.

Because ability scores have derived stats, it's always a pain to recalculate them if your ability scores drop.  In cases where they do more than just provide a bonus, it's unclear what's supposed to happen: Do you forget one of your languages if your Intelligence drops from 11 to 10?  Does your henchman leave if your Charisma drops from 8 to 6?

Also, the concept of lowered stats overlaps with the concept of conditions.  Why have both Strength damage and the Weakened condition when they both express the same idea?

For example, the Weakened condition could say:
- The creature's weapon attacks deal half damage.
- The creature's carrying capacity becomes halved.
- The creature takes a -4 penalty to Strength skill checks.

Similar conditions could be created for other types of ability score damage, to simulate the effect without the hassle of recalculating.
I agree about the hassle and think your suggestion make a lot of sense.

Level and Ability Score Drain were always a pain to handle as dreaded as they were. 
I don't mind the concept of ability damage, but they'd have to be very precise about the wording of exactly how it works.  It's probably 'core' enough to stick around in some form.

But yes, I agree that it will be a rules challenge.  It should probably take the form of something like this:

"If the ability damage results in a change of modifier, use that new modifier for ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws."

So, change the things that need changing, and leave the rest alone.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I don't care for ability damage personally. I kind of hope they handle it similarly to what the wight does on a hit.  The enervation effect is a good replacemnt for level drain I think, so something similar could work pretty well.  By that token, why separate the two things at all; if they're draining your life force you might as well have the same penalty from each!  If it needs to be nastier, you can set a hard limit on it before you die.
While going through the pain of recalculating everything when you get Ability Score damage, at least you recover them fairly easily and quickly, compared to AD&D Energy Drain that required the intervention of a high level Spell (Restauration) IIRC


You recover lost Ability Score at 1d4 per night of sleep (Monster Packet pg. 34) 
It's less about the recovery of those points for me than it is just the fact that if you lose points in a stat you have to update every bit of math on your character sheet.  It's a nuisance that slows down games.
plague, didn't I have an idea for making it easier I sent you in that one email? something about a -1 penalty per/1/2 penalty to modifier and adding a specific penalty for certain damage types? Like strength having a flat carry and max weight mod penalty and con lowering max hit points?
Sign In to post comments