Ability modifiers by race and class

Yes or No. +1 ability bonus to one of two stats based on race. +1 ability bonus to one of two stats based on class.

Example. Elf +1 t to Int or dex. Dwarf +1 to Con or Str. Half elf +1 to Str or Cha. Dragonborn +1 Str or Cha. Etc.

Class: fighter +1 to Str or con. Cleric. +1 wis or Cha. Paladin +1 Str or Cha. Wizard +1 int or dex
Hard to give a definitive answer without seeing the rest of the system.  However, if it works, I would be fine with it.  It has the advantage of giving the player more control and reduces the pigeonholing of certain races into a small range of classes.

Now, if getting rid of stereotyping a race into a class is a goal, then simply allow the player to pick the bonus stats he wants, or make the bonus dependent upon class (none based on race).  Another option, one could simply take the +2/+2 and arrange them any way the players want. Lastly, one could drop bonus dependence in the game and maybe get rid of bonuses altogether?
I really don't like it. I feel like it pigeon-holes characters too much into picking matching race-class combinations, at least if the modifier system is going to be the same in D&D Next, with modifiers only going up every other ability point. If the modifier system changes, then it might not be so bad, but needing to pick a "correct" combination in order to get a modifier out of your character's race-class combination is not something that I look forward to. Character that don't pick optimal race-class combinations are already far enough behind without also having to deal with not getting any practical bonuses, so I feel like this is going to drive down even further players' desires to play more unique race-class combinations.

People have talked about this reducing race-class pigeon-holing, but I just don't see it. It's going to make it worse.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Yeah, I'm going with "No race/class ability mods. At all."

 I would love to see race and class modifiers there should be advantages and disadvantages to various race and class combos, I don’t have a problem with elves being better rangers then say humans. I think it would be cool to get some sort of bonus based on what you stack so maybe if you got +1Dex for being and elf and +1Dex for being a ranger, you could have Ranger be an elf’s favored class and give them an additional bonus feat or power of some kind like tracking for taking the favored race and class combo. It would be a great way to build some racial archetypes into the game. And then maybe fourth bonuses based on the region you come from within a campaign setting. And just to make it really interesting have each race have two favored classes, and give an Xp bonus say 5% for building your character against type. So an elven cleric would get +1 DEx  for being an Elf and +5%xp for not taking a favored class.

The problem with XP tweaks is that they are either useless, or enable runaway over-levelling.
D&D gave up desynched experience tables with 2E.  I don't see it coming back anytime soon.
It's been almost a decade since I played with a group that used XP.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I agree that racial abilities modiers need to just go away. I have so many players that always just find a race that fits the class stat-wise. The more reliant a system is on stats, the worse it gets.


Archetyping race/class combos are good, but this should come through synergy of racial features in interesting ways.


A good example of this is the 4e dwarf, who despite lacking a strength bonus till Essentials, actually made really great fighters.     
So should there be no ability bonus stat at all which means stats stay the same
Or increase by lvl 1 per 4 lvls.
I like the class bonus to ability. Thus I can be any race and get a bonus based on the training profession I chose. Int for studious Mage. Str or con for the warrior. Etc.
But doesn't that takeaway the writing about LEDs being more agile dwarves having healthy constitution.
But then why can't a Halfling getc that high lvl Str. Didn't mr Olympic from India recently pass away abd he was 4'10"
The bounded attack bonus they're talking about may or may not have something to do with this.  If ability scores don't feed into attack bonuses as much as they once did, then it may become more feasable to spread around ability scores more.  After all, -1 damage isn't nearly as bad as -1 to attack.
I like class bonus to ability, it's sensed. After all it comes from excercise. And I see also a good place for races bonus. A orc being generaly stronger than a human, and elf more elegant and a dwarf more resistent. They all have a place in the game. But yet i WANT malus to be back again. They belong to the game as much as bonus do.
Indeed, I agree with maluses to stats being part of D&D.  If you are an elf, than I'm sorry, but you propably are frailer than most other races. Maybe come back to +2/-2 but give the option to players to "train" their cjaracter and take neither one?

But class dependent ability boost would be awesome. And by the way, fighter should be any physical stat, including DEX. I want a fighter with a bow to be a viable build, not only for rangers, I mean, he's a fighter, he should have the option to excel with ALL weapons.
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Indeed, I agree with maluses to stats being part of D&D.  If you are an elf, than I'm sorry, but you propably are frailer than most other races. Maybe come back to +2/-2 but give the option to players to "train" their cjaracter and take neither one?

But class dependent ability boost would be awesome. And by the way, fighter should be any physical stat, including DEX. I want a fighter with a bow to be a viable build, not only for rangers, I mean, he's a fighter, he should have the option to excel with ALL weapons.


Or better, the possibility to pick one of the physical to improve.
Perhaps you could give players the option to have racial ability modifiers. The catch being that if you choose to get the bonus, you also get a penalty.

Though this runs into the problem of certain penalties not having a negative penalty for you. A half-orc fighter choosing to gain +2str with a -2cha isn't really being penalized, because charisma isn't an important stat for a fighter. Not when compared to strength.
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I did not intend my comment as trolling, but by thinking back on it, I realize it may have had that effect. I apologize for that. Let me try to rephrase them in an acceptebal way:

I personally disliked the fourth edition's concept of only giving bonuses and no maluses. I believe a game is not only fun when wou get the bonus. Role-playing a race includes being less agile, charismatic or whatever stat in which he has the penalty.

What fourth edition seems to be telling me is that the average dwarf is no longer rougher of personality than most other races, Gnomes are just as strong as most Humans, an average elf is just as tough as an average Dragonborn. Be honest, how many people actually roleplays themthat way? I still play my Dwarves gruggy, I still play my Elves frailer than most. It's part of fantasy, and I would like the stats to reflect that, even if that means having a malus.
Perhaps you could give players the option to have racial ability modifiers. The catch being that if you choose to get the bonus, you also get a penalty. Though this runs into the problem of certain penalties not having a negative penalty for you. A half-orc fighter choosing to gain +2str with a -2cha isn't really being penalized, because charisma isn't an important stat for a fighter. Not when compared to strength.


The problem with ability score penalties in general is that plenty of people will do exactly what you're describing - they will only choose penalties that don't really penalize. Not having a bonus to a key ability is enough to scare some people away from a particular race-class combo, and penalties deter even more players. Those who want frail elves and unlikeable dwarves can still get them pretty easily in most ability score systems anyway.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

Personally, as a matter of my own opinion, I like the modifiers by race and class idea. It makes it so that race still matters, but penalizes you even less than in previous editions for playing against type.

I think we can all agree that half-orcs were penalized more in 3rd edition for playing wizards than they were in 4th. And if the bonus in 5th goes down to only +1, but you also gain a bonus from class, then you will be even less penalized than in 4th edition. Which technically didn't even penalize you anymore, just when you compared yourself to a race with an int bonus.

It gets even better if they give you a few choices on where to place that bonus. Let's say half-orcs can choose between strength and dexterity. +1 to strength may be pointless for a wizard, but +1 dexterity might be very useful.
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Which technically didn't even penalize you anymore, just when you compared yourself to a race with an int bonus.



Actually, it's still a penalty -- the difference between the highest score you can get in the game, and the highest score you can get with a given choice.

However, if 5th edition is supposed to work with randomly generated ability scores, I'd expect a lessened role of abilities in supporting the class role (i.e., one should be able to play a given character even with a moderate score in the prime requisite). So, in order to judge whether a +1 racial bonus to one/two scores is appropriate, we should have a clearer idea of how ability scores affect hit probability, Armor Class, saving throws, etc.

GP

If you're rolling for ability scores then you can define an average stat. If on average, a race is less [put ability score], then that race should get a penalty to that ability score.


The bounded attack bonus they're talking about may or may not have something to do with this.  If ability scores don't feed into attack bonuses as much as they once did, then it may become more feasable to spread around ability scores more.  After all, -1 damage isn't nearly as bad as -1 to attack.

  

Where is this from? It's wonderful news!      
It pains me to agree with Crimson but...

I'd either prefer Ability Scores not matter as much in combat or not be tied to race.   Probably not tied to race is best.

I do realize realistically that elves might be weaker so if you happened to have a strong elf you would just be farther out on the edge of the bell curve.   The race as a whole though is still bound by it's limits and thats fine. 
Just a thought but working on the OP's idea

How about bonuses from class and race but they don't stack.  So if you make an elf rogue your getting only a +1 to dex not the +2.  On the other hand the dwarf will get +1 to dex & con.

Actually still the same problem I guess.  Just that now people will pick race & class combinations that benifit from both (dwarf fighter so str and con). 
Some race-class combination being better is not that bad in my opinion. In the most classic dnd settings elves are better mages, dwarves and orcs better fighter, halfling better rogue, then why not let ability score give a little bonus on it? Then if the orc-barbarian or the dwarf-fighter have a malus in, let's say, char and use it as a dump stat, then they will not be harmed when you fight, but they will be troublesome when social part of the game comes.
Furthermore I do not like the possibility to pick a possible ability bonus given by race, yyou are born that way, nothing you can do for it. 
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I did not intend my comment as trolling, but by thinking back on it, I realize it may have had that effect. I apologize for that. Let me try to rephrase them in an acceptebal way:

I personally disliked the fourth edition's concept of only giving bonuses and no maluses. I believe a game is not only fun when wou get the bonus. Role-playing a race includes being less agile, charismatic or whatever stat in which he has the penalty.

What fourth edition seems to be telling me is that the average dwarf is no longer rougher of personality than most other races, Gnomes are just as strong as most Humans, an average elf is just as tough as an average Dragonborn. Be honest, how many people actually roleplays themthat way? I still play my Dwarves gruggy, I still play my Elves frailer than most. It's part of fantasy, and I would like the stats to reflect that, even if that means having a malus.



I don't think ability score penalties serve any purpose at all. All they do is pigeon hole you into certain classes. Besides, not having a bonus is already a penalty. Adding a penalty is like a double penalty.
Also note that racial stats aren't really for 'average' dwarves or whatever in 4e. Even in say, 3e, is your level 20 dwarven fighter really an average dwarf? He might have been given a kingdom and stuff but he's still penalized racially for being an average dwarf?
If they use the same bonuses as in 3.5ed then some players will pick combinations of class and race that minimizes the number of odd ability scores.

As an example a player rolling str 7 con 7 dex 10 int 15 wis 10 cha 4 while trying to create a wizard may choose to be a dwarf in order to raise str and con to 8.

But I guess that is OK. At least it could lead to some interesting combinations of class and race.
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
So if there are no racial bonuses/penalties what is the point of races at all? Other special characteristics like low light vision?  Won't those special characteristics at some point pigeonhole the race into one thing or another?  If we strip away all of those what are we left with?  Flavor and Flavor alone?  So does that mean I have to build to that flavor.  If halflings are known to be a small dexterous peoples does that mean I always have to give them a decent dex?  If that isn't required then what is distinguishable about one race as opposed to another?

Remember that the racial bonuses/negatives are actually the mechanical representation of the fact that those races may have an easier or more difficult time than others reaching the same level of performance in an ability.  This is due to actual physiological predispositions.
So if there are no racial bonuses/penalties what is the point of races at all? Other special characteristics like low light vision?  Won't those special characteristics at some point pigeonhole the race into one thing or another?  If we strip away all of those what are we left with?  Flavor and Flavor alone?  So does that mean I have to build to that flavor.  If halflings are known to be a small dexterous peoples does that mean I always have to give them a decent dex?  If that isn't required then what is distinguishable about one race as opposed to another?

Remember that the racial bonuses/negatives are actually the mechanical representation of the fact that those races may have an easier or more difficult time than others reaching the same level of performance in an ability.  This is due to actual physiological predispositions.



Races provide features beyond stat bonuses. Stat bonuses are what pigeon holes you, as they are the most important thing provided by a race. Especially considering how important stats look like they're going to be in DDN. Other features might make something more attractive, but races won't effectively be shut out of being good at something because of poor stats.
I think Class based Ability Score Modifiers is Ability Score Mod bloat.  The strong guy is just stronger, the smart lady's just smarter.  With word on more of an Ability Score mod game structure, this sounds even worse!

Like I have said, Race based Ability Score Modifier should come pre-generation.  The +2 Dex for elves means every elf will have at least a 12 in Dex but no one starts out wtih a 20 in Dex.  That way every race can max primary stat for every class, every race can optimize.  The iconic combinations are still better, but not necessary.

For rolling ability scores, I would first recommend roll 1d8 six times and add those scores to 10; assign them to the abilities of your choice adding race mods without having any score go over 18.  So a 16 means an 18 in your race based ability score mod, allowing you to place that 17 or 18 in another stat.  I would also suggest you roll your stats before you pick race, and obviously class.  If you roll a lot of 8s, then you don't need those race based ability score mods but if your high scores are 6s then Human might not be the optimal race for your character.
So if there are no racial bonuses/penalties what is the point of races at all? Other special characteristics like low light vision?  Won't those special characteristics at some point pigeonhole the race into one thing or another?  If we strip away all of those what are we left with?  Flavor and Flavor alone?  So does that mean I have to build to that flavor.  If halflings are known to be a small dexterous peoples does that mean I always have to give them a decent dex?  If that isn't required then what is distinguishable about one race as opposed to another?

Remember that the racial bonuses/negatives are actually the mechanical representation of the fact that those races may have an easier or more difficult time than others reaching the same level of performance in an ability.  This is due to actual physiological predispositions.


To flip this around, 5E will be the first D&D to give class-based ability score boosts. Would you say that a fighter will finally feel like a fighter if he has +1 Str at 1st level? Or was he clearly a fighter before? OTOH, class features have traditionally been more prominent than racial features in D&D so far, so the comparison isn't perfect. But maybe race could step up this time with more options.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

I think Class based Ability Score Modifiers is Ability Score Mod bloat.  The strong guy is just stronger, the smart lady's just smarter.  With word on more of an Ability Score mod game structure, this sounds even worse!


But wouldn't tying ability mod to class open up more combos? Right now people might not want to play a gnome fighter because there's virtually no mechanical benefit, especially if you can go for dwarf or goliath or whatever. By not assigning all the bonus points to race, there's less incentive to stick to the most optimal race.

For rolling ability scores, I would first recommend roll 1d8 six times and add those scores to 10; assign them to the abilities of your choice adding race mods without having any score go over 18.  So a 16 means an 18 in your race based ability score mod, allowing you to place that 17 or 18 in another stat.  I would also suggest you roll your stats before you pick race, and obviously class.  If you roll a lot of 8s, then you don't need those race based ability score mods but if your high scores are 6s then Human might not be the optimal race for your character.


There's a lot of variance in 1d8, which is one problem, and the average ability score would be 14.5, which is the other problem. Part of the benefit of multiple dice is that you get a bit of a bell curve. 4d6, highest three raises the average without as many extreme results.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

I think Class based Ability Score Modifiers is Ability Score Mod bloat.  The strong guy is just stronger, the smart lady's just smarter.  With word on more of an Ability Score mod game structure, this sounds even worse!

But wouldn't tying ability mod to class open up more combos? Right now people might not want to play a gnome fighter because there's virtually no mechanical benefit, especially if you can go for dwarf or goliath or whatever. By not assigning all the bonus points to race, there's less incentive to stick to the most optimal race.

That's if you allow for race bonuses to exceed 18, which I think they should end in Next.

I don't see how it opens up more combos, the dwarf or goliath fighter are still better than the gnome fighter.  But with a class bonus, the goliath fighters's melee att and dam are that much better than the gnome rogue trying to get into melee.  When you feed the big puppy you starve the little ones.

Now what I would be interested in is if Class bonus were unrelated to primary stats.  A fighter that gets a +1 to Int or Wis to help with some feat prereq would be cooler than just +1 to Str, Dex or Con.
So if there are no racial bonuses/penalties what is the point of races at all? Other special characteristics like low light vision?  Won't those special characteristics at some point pigeonhole the race into one thing or another?  If we strip away all of those what are we left with?  Flavor and Flavor alone?  So does that mean I have to build to that flavor.  If halflings are known to be a small dexterous peoples does that mean I always have to give them a decent dex?  If that isn't required then what is distinguishable about one race as opposed to another?

Remember that the racial bonuses/negatives are actually the mechanical representation of the fact that those races may have an easier or more difficult time than others reaching the same level of performance in an ability.  This is due to actual physiological predispositions.



Races provide features beyond stat bonuses. Stat bonuses are what pigeon holes you, as they are the most important thing provided by a race. Especially considering how important stats look like they're going to be in DDN. Other features might make something more attractive, but races won't effectively be shut out of being good at something because of poor stats.




Let's make this easy give me meaningful features that differentiate the races that don't pigeon hole them in some way.
So if there are no racial bonuses/penalties what is the point of races at all? Other special characteristics like low light vision?  Won't those special characteristics at some point pigeonhole the race into one thing or another?  If we strip away all of those what are we left with?  Flavor and Flavor alone?  So does that mean I have to build to that flavor.  If halflings are known to be a small dexterous peoples does that mean I always have to give them a decent dex?  If that isn't required then what is distinguishable about one race as opposed to another?

Remember that the racial bonuses/negatives are actually the mechanical representation of the fact that those races may have an easier or more difficult time than others reaching the same level of performance in an ability.  This is due to actual physiological predispositions.



Races provide features beyond stat bonuses. Stat bonuses are what pigeon holes you, as they are the most important thing provided by a race. Especially considering how important stats look like they're going to be in DDN. Other features might make something more attractive, but races won't effectively be shut out of being good at something because of poor stats.




Let's make this easy give me meaningful features that differentiate the races that don't pigeon hole them in some way.



That would be fine. I'd rather ability scores be entirely tied to class instead of race. If you want to enhance some of the stereotypes, racial feats or features could lean them in certain directions. Definitely not pigeon holing. Dwarves in 4e with their minor action healing surge make them excellent at melee, but they're not pigeon holed into it. Abilities like that.

That's if you allow for race bonuses to exceed 18, which I think they should end in Next.

I don't see how it opens up more combos, the dwarf or goliath fighter are still better than the gnome fighter.  But with a class bonus, the goliath fighters's melee att and dam are that much better than the gnome rogue trying to get into melee.  When you feed the big puppy you starve the little ones.

Now what I would be interested in is if Class bonus were unrelated to primary stats.  A fighter that gets a +1 to Int or Wis to help with some feat prereq would be cooler than just +1 to Str, Dex or Con.


Whether you're rolling ability scores or using point buy, getting bonuses in your key abilities is nice. Even if you cap abilities at 18, bonuses are great. Either you get more points to spread around or you can, as you said, put rolled 18s elsewhere if you're lucky.

Anyway, if I pick a dwarf in 4E, my fighter can get +2 to Str and Con. The gnome is looking pretty weak unless his racial feats or powers do something really nice, like we see with eladrin and tieflings (they aren't great but they aren't awful like the poor little gnome). Now if we only change ability bonuses, maybe all fighters get +1 Str. Let's assume the dwarf gets +1 to a good ability while the gnome doesn't. If nothing else, they're a lot closer now, and they player who had a fierce little gnome dancing in his head won't feel as punished for chasing his silly dream. Based on what I've read so far, that's a model that has seen some use in playtests.

I'm not confident about exact predictions for 5E, but I'm guessing that DDN will follow the 4E model and hand Dex-based melee to rogues for free. So I don't think we'll have to worry about them being terrible at melee until they can buy weapon finesse - that just seems like a really good feat tax to get rid of.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

I think Class based Ability Score Modifiers is Ability Score Mod bloat.  The strong guy is just stronger, the smart lady's just smarter.  With word on more of an Ability Score mod game structure, this sounds even worse!

Like I have said, Race based Ability Score Modifier should come pre-generation.  The +2 Dex for elves means every elf will have at least a 12 in Dex but no one starts out wtih a 20 in Dex.  That way every race can max primary stat for every class, every race can optimize.  The iconic combinations are still better, but not necessary.

For rolling ability scores, I would first recommend roll 1d8 six times and add those scores to 10; assign them to the abilities of your choice adding race mods without having any score go over 18.  So a 16 means an 18 in your race based ability score mod, allowing you to place that 17 or 18 in another stat.  I would also suggest you roll your stats before you pick race, and obviously class.  If you roll a lot of 8s, then you don't need those race based ability score mods but if your high scores are 6s then Human might not be the optimal race for your character.



I do not like it. I see no reason why you can't have your 20 (or 19) to dex if you are an elf! Human limit is 18, but why can't non-human limit be higher, or lower, with stat modifier?

And more, I do not like how you suggest rolling abilities. That does not allow abilities to be lower than 10. 
So if there are no racial bonuses/penalties what is the point of races at all? Other special characteristics like low light vision?  Won't those special characteristics at some point pigeonhole the race into one thing or another?  If we strip away all of those what are we left with?  Flavor and Flavor alone?  So does that mean I have to build to that flavor.  If halflings are known to be a small dexterous peoples does that mean I always have to give them a decent dex?  If that isn't required then what is distinguishable about one race as opposed to another?

Remember that the racial bonuses/negatives are actually the mechanical representation of the fact that those races may have an easier or more difficult time than others reaching the same level of performance in an ability.  This is due to actual physiological predispositions.



Races provide features beyond stat bonuses. Stat bonuses are what pigeon holes you, as they are the most important thing provided by a race. Especially considering how important stats look like they're going to be in DDN. Other features might make something more attractive, but races won't effectively be shut out of being good at something because of poor stats.




Let's make this easy give me meaningful features that differentiate the races that don't pigeon hole them in some way.



That would be fine. I'd rather ability scores be entirely tied to class instead of race. If you want to enhance some of the stereotypes, racial feats or features could lean them in certain directions. Definitely not pigeon holing. Dwarves in 4e with their minor action healing surge make them excellent at melee, but they're not pigeon holed into it. Abilities like that.





Doesn't an option like that make them one of the best options for melee, especially with the list of bonuses he has.  In fact on the Dwarf the least important part of his racial bonuses are his stat bonuses.  In 4e one of if not the best of all the races to play a fighter is in fact the dwarf.  By setting it up your way it would in fact pigeonhole the other way.  Certain races would become the best choice for certain classes because of the random racial abilities they have.  Either way your pigeonholed.  By splitting the difference and making it so half of the bonus is in the class and half of the bonus is in the race they cut down on it.  Is it still there? totally.  However it has been lessened, and even in a point buy making up for a +1 isn't that hard and making up for it in a rolling for stats environment is even easier.  Also yeah some races are predisposed to certain classes.  That kind of makes sense.  That little gnome fighter is fierce but he is entirely abnormal, and he probably had to deal with some inadequacies along the way to becoming the fierce fighter he is today.  That gnome illusionist however is almost a dime a dozen because that is the natural defense mechanism of the race.  They came up with illusions as a way to protect themselves on the road to becoming a sentient race, or were gifted the ability or something to that effect.  They are small creatures that can't fight a lion that is trying to eat them, but they can sure as heck distract it and confuse it with illusions while they run away.  I will say I'm not as much a fan of racial negatives, however in a roll for stats environment they aren't that bad, although that opinion is based on the fact that I generally roll well on stats.
Those who want frail elves and unlikeable dwarves can still get them pretty easily in most ability score systems anyway.

There's a world of difference between me putting a lower score in my "frail" elf's STR, and insisting everyone else do the same.

The issue is that "those who want frail elves and unlikeable dwarves" can't seem to fathom such things not being mechanically forced by the rulebook.
I love the +2,+2 of 4e and would like to see that continue.
So if there are no racial bonuses/penalties what is the point of races at all? Other special characteristics like low light vision?  Won't those special characteristics at some point pigeonhole the race into one thing or another?  If we strip away all of those what are we left with?  Flavor and Flavor alone?  So does that mean I have to build to that flavor.  If halflings are known to be a small dexterous peoples does that mean I always have to give them a decent dex?  If that isn't required then what is distinguishable about one race as opposed to another?

Remember that the racial bonuses/negatives are actually the mechanical representation of the fact that those races may have an easier or more difficult time than others reaching the same level of performance in an ability.  This is due to actual physiological predispositions.



Races provide features beyond stat bonuses. Stat bonuses are what pigeon holes you, as they are the most important thing provided by a race. Especially considering how important stats look like they're going to be in DDN. Other features might make something more attractive, but races won't effectively be shut out of being good at something because of poor stats.




Let's make this easy give me meaningful features that differentiate the races that don't pigeon hole them in some way.



That would be fine. I'd rather ability scores be entirely tied to class instead of race. If you want to enhance some of the stereotypes, racial feats or features could lean them in certain directions. Definitely not pigeon holing. Dwarves in 4e with their minor action healing surge make them excellent at melee, but they're not pigeon holed into it. Abilities like that.





Doesn't an option like that make them one of the best options for melee, especially with the list of bonuses he has.  In fact on the Dwarf the least important part of his racial bonuses are his stat bonuses.  In 4e one of if not the best of all the races to play a fighter is in fact the dwarf.  By setting it up your way it would in fact pigeonhole the other way.  Certain races would become the best choice for certain classes because of the random racial abilities they have.  Either way your pigeonholed.  By splitting the difference and making it so half of the bonus is in the class and half of the bonus is in the race they cut down on it.  Is it still there? totally.  However it has been lessened, and even in a point buy making up for a +1 isn't that hard and making up for it in a rolling for stats environment is even easier.  Also yeah some races are predisposed to certain classes.  That kind of makes sense.  That little gnome fighter is fierce but he is entirely abnormal, and he probably had to deal with some inadequacies along the way to becoming the fierce fighter he is today.  That gnome illusionist however is almost a dime a dozen because that is the natural defense mechanism of the race.  They came up with illusions as a way to protect themselves on the road to becoming a sentient race, or were gifted the ability or something to that effect.  They are small creatures that can't fight a lion that is trying to eat them, but they can sure as heck distract it and confuse it with illusions while they run away.  I will say I'm not as much a fan of racial negatives, however in a roll for stats environment they aren't that bad, although that opinion is based on the fact that I generally roll well on stats.



None of that pigeon holes anything. It might have them lean in certain directions, but definitely not pigeon holing. Even the Dwarf as is in 4e makes excellent non melee characters, as well. 4e doesn't pigeon hole anyone, really. There are definitely races that lean certain ways, but every race is viable at every class.

Pigeon holing is "You're really good at x, but horrible at y." It forces you to always play one kind of character with that race, or be well below par. It's a system mastery thing. Negative stats do just this. You're talking about a -4 penalty overall versus a race that has a bonus. That's a huge incentive to stray away from certain race/class combos that could otherwise be interesting.