Dexterity is too good

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I'm starting to feel as though Dex offers more than many of the other abilities.  I first starting thinking this when I looked at the armor chart.  Light armor is quite obviously better than heavy armor; the problem only gets worse as levels increase.

I'm sure somebody will say, "but you have to sack strength and other things if you want a high dex."  That is true, but I can ignore strength if I simply use a finesse weapon; then I use the same stat for AC, attacks (with both melee and ranged), and damage.  Granted, finesse weapons have lower damage dice than things such as heavy weapons, but heavy weapons require two hands.  As I'll need a hand for a shield if I'm a heavy armor wearing character who wants to have an armor class comparible to someone wearing light armor with a high dex, I can't use the heavy weapons anyway.

On top of all of that, a high dex adds to my initiative. 

This is a minor proposal, but I believe initiative should be divorced from dexterity.  Initiative should not be based upon a single stat -especially when that stat is already so good compared to others.  Instead, have initiative be a flat d20 roll.  Perhaps you could give a +1 bonus per every 4 levels or something like that.  Feats such as improved initiative could also still exist. 

Another reason why I might be thinking Dex is so good is because the rogue in the playtest material seems to perform far better (overall) than the fighter.  I'm planning a few more tests this weekend; using a different adventure.  I want to wait and see how those tests go before settling on my current impressions. 
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I'm starting to feel as though Dex offers more than many of the other abilities.  I first starting thinking this when I looked at the armor chart.  Light armor is quite obviously better than heavy armor; the problem only gets worse as levels increase.

I'm sure somebody will say, "but you have to sack strength and other things if you want a high dex."  That is true, but I can ignore strength if I simply use a finesse weapon; then I use the same stat for AC, attacks (with both melee and ranged), and damage.  Granted, finesse weapons have lower damage dice than things such as heavy weapons, but heavy weapons require two hands.  As I'll need a hand for a shield if I'm a heavy armor wearing character who wants to have an armor class comparible to someone wearing light armor with a high dex, I can't use the heavy weapons anyway.

On top of all of that, a high dex adds to my initiative. 

This is a minor proposal, but I believe initiative should be divorced from dexterity.  Initiative should not be based upon a single stat -especially when that stat is already so good compared to others.  Instead, have initiative be a flat d20 roll.  Perhaps you could give a +1 bonus per every 4 levels or something like that.  Feats such as improved initiative could also still exist. 

Another reason why I might be thinking Dex is so good is because the rogue in the playtest material seems to perform far better (overall) than the fighter.  I'm planning a few more tests this weekend; using a different adventure.  I want to wait and see how those tests go before settling on my current impressions. 

As it stands now single stat characters based on dex are at a significant advantage due to the way armor works.  My solution would be to give dr= con modifier for heavy armor and dr= 1/2 con mod for medium armor.  With this dex only character in light armor are still very good but so are characters who have con and wear medium or heavy armor.
I'm starting to feel as though Dex offers more than many of the other abilities.  I first starting thinking this when I looked at the armor chart.  Light armor is quite obviously better than heavy armor; the problem only gets worse as levels increase.

I'm sure somebody will say, "but you have to sack strength and other things if you want a high dex."  That is true, but I can ignore strength if I simply use a finesse weapon; then I use the same stat for AC, attacks (with both melee and ranged), and damage.  Granted, finesse weapons have lower damage dice than things such as heavy weapons, but heavy weapons require two hands.  As I'll need a hand for a shield if I'm a heavy armor wearing character who wants to have an armor class comparible to someone wearing light armor with a high dex, I can't use the heavy weapons anyway.

On top of all of that, a high dex adds to my initiative. 

This is a minor proposal, but I believe initiative should be divorced from dexterity.  Initiative should not be based upon a single stat -especially when that stat is already so good compared to others.  Instead, have initiative be a flat d20 roll.  Perhaps you could give a +1 bonus per every 4 levels or something like that.  Feats such as improved initiative could also still exist. 

Another reason why I might be thinking Dex is so good is because the rogue in the playtest material seems to perform far better (overall) than the fighter.  I'm planning a few more tests this weekend; using a different adventure.  I want to wait and see how those tests go before settling on my current impressions. 

As it stands now single stat characters based on dex are at a significant advantage due to the way armor works.  My solution would be to give dr= con modifier for heavy armor and dr= 1/2 con mod for medium armor.  With this dex only character in light armor are still very good but so are characters who have con and wear medium or heavy armor.



Good point; I could deal with some DR as a fix.  I'm not sure how I feel about it being based on Con though; I can see a few ways to abuse that.  It strikes me as a little weird too.  I think the heavy armors should each have a DR value which is independent of the wearer. 


I still believe initiative should be divorced from Dex though.  I get the thematic idea behind why Dex is used, but I think it still places too much value on Dex.  I'd rather see initiative as a value which is independent from ability scores. 
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Good point; I could deal with some DR as a fix.  I'm not sure how I feel about it being based on Con though; I can see a few ways to abuse that.  It strikes me as a little weird too.  I think the heavy armors should each have a DR value which is independent of the wearer. 


I still believe initiative should be divorced from Dex though.  I get the thematic idea behind why Dex is used, but I think it still places too much value on Dex.  I'd rather see initiative as a value which is independent from ability scores. 



I had considered that solution for heavy armor wearers but it didn't help medium armor wearers and I thought my solution kind of mirrored with constitution what light  and medium armors do for dex.

I figured this out when I played star wars "living force"  I created a kel-dor jedi with a 19 DEX gave him weapon finesse.  My defense (AC) was awesome and my attacks where amazing also.  In the long run it's better to hit more often then deal a couple of extra points of damage.


With a good dex you are good with ranged and finesse weapons (even if they deal less damage).  The way armor is designed it's better to use light/med armor if you have a good DEX then heavy armor (plus no penalty to your movement).

I know it's still early in playtest and Im not saying "doom and gloom" but I do see lots of high DEX characters being created.    
I can agree with that, Dex being too good now.  On another thread, I posted some ideas about putting some DR into the medium and heavy armors.

I think, as a point of balance, you can't have DR based off a stat- like Con.  You have to cap it at a set amount.  Remember, if what you want is fore Con to be more useful, recall that your Con mod is now your minimum HP per your roll each level (ex: so, a wizard with 18 Con is always rolling 4s).

Something important I've really been concerned with in the past: no armor wearing characters, items like bracers of armor, and getting a second stat to AC if possible.  How do we handle this? Maybe there is something like bracers of armor for each tier of armor; I think there should be a few grades of bracers (non-armor armor bonus) and that your degree of armor prof should help you even if you're not using armor.  Imagine armor prof more like "Defense Training".

ARMOR WITH BRACERS & DR
Ver 1.3
LEATHER ARMOR
Leather Bracers, 11 + Dex, doesn't count as wearing armor
Leather, 15GP, 12 + Dex
Reinforced Hide, 125GP, 13 + Dex
Leafweave Leather, 1000GP, 14 + Dex, Special: advantage to hide in forests (chosen terrain?)

RINGED ARMOR
Ringed Bracers, 12 + Dex, doesn't count as wearing armor

Chain Shirt, 50GP, 14 + 1/2 Dex, DR 1/-
Ringmail, 400GP, 15 + 1/2 Dex, DR 1/-
Elven Chain, 3200GP, 16 + 1/2 Dex, DR 1/-, half weight & no stealth disadvantage

SCALE ARMOR
Scaled Bracers, 13 + Dex, doesn't count as wearing armor

Scale, 75GP, 15 + 1/2 Dex, DR 2/-
Splint, 600 GP, 16 + 1/2 Dex, DR 2/-
Dragon Scale, 4800 GP, 17 + 1/2 Dex, DR 2/-, Special: elemental resistance 5 of dragon type

PLATE ARMOR 
Plate Bracers, 14 + Dex, doesn't count as wearing armor

Banded, 125GP, 17, DR 3/-, -5ft speed
Plate, 1000 GP, 18, DR 3/-, -5ft speed
Dwarven Plate, 8000 GP, 19, DR 4/-, -5ft speed, Special: 1 extra point of DR 

Thoughts? 
While I don't necessarily disagree, something that mitigates this slightly is that checks based on stats are going to be more important in this edition, and I think strength will be used for more than just combat.  This will be not only on "feat of strength", ie kick in the door, break the chest with a hammer kind of stuff, but also many checks based on moving around a hostile environment (climbing, running, jumping.) 
  I very much hope that they return to the Dex/Int, Cha/Wis, Con/Str dynamic for determing secondary stats.
How about basing initiative on wisdom instead of dexterity? Wisdom is the basis for awareness and one could argue that situational awareness is more valuable at the start of combat to give you an edge.

I'm against divorcing dex and init and very much against scaling bonuses with levels because i hate artificial inflation of combat numbers.  Having said that, I think there is room for other ways to determine init, armor.  Let's look at wisdom and intelligence as alternatives to dexterity for AC, init as we did in 4E, knowing where to stand should count for something.

As for the armor issue, let's consider adjusting up the defense bonus associated with heavy armor, that seems like an easy fix.
How about basing initiative on wisdom instead of dexterity? Wisdom is the basis for awareness and one could argue that situational awareness is more valuable at the start of combat to give you an edge.



I was just thinking the same thing when I read this. Situation awareness is much more important in reaction... so either divorce initiative from any stat (making an initiative feat that much more valuable) or give it to wisdom.
 
Characters who go with high dex and forgo heavy weapons may start to have problems when they encounter creatures with damage resistance.  A lot depends on how common they are.  If armor starts confering damage resistance that can change the equation as well.
why not put a DR cap on heavy armor equal to your strength or con bonus,

or you could say strength requirements approximating a bonus are required for heavy armors,

so that higher bonus armor has encumbrance penalties 1 for 1 to your "dex bonus" if you don't have a high enough strength.

You could even do both:

so hypothetically, if you had light armor +1-4
and heavy armor +5-8
there could be a DR for heavy armor of 1-4, but it couldn't exceed your Con bonus,
and you could have a matching encumbrance penalty of -1-4 that is negated by equal strength bonus

So if you had a strength bonus of +3, you could wear armor +7, with DR 3, and no Dex bonus penalty, but if you wore +8 armor, your dex bonus would be 1 point lower.
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It does seem like light and medium arour has too high of AC, but DR is not a solution that scales, and adds complexity to was is curently a fairly elegant set of rules.  Simply subtracting 1 for the AC of light  armor would bring things in line.  The maximum dex attribute a PC can have is 20 (pg. 3), so the best possible AC for light armour would be 20 vs 18 for heavy armour.  If you dropped the ac of all light armour by 1, the maximum AC would be 19.  In this case a strength based fighter would be trading 1 ac for an effective +1 to melee damage, which seems like a reasonable trade.

I do agree that making wisdom effect initiative would be a good balence change, and would make sense fluff wise as well.
I like where the DR thing is going.  I like that you'll need Str and/or Con for heavy armor to work out well; I hate it just being the easy tank option for those without Dex.  Also, just note, you'll always get a full Dex penalty to AC.

I can agree on Wis (rather than Dex) for Initiative bonus.  I don't like the ambiquity and minmax potential of giving too many (or any) options for one stat or another to something (ex: 4E using Str or Con for Fortitude, Int or Dex to AC, etc).  If finesse is now a standard combat option and grants damage as well, I think it's also fair to knock Dex down a peg by changing Init to Wis-based.

So, new chart... (would you believe I'm the middle of my Officer training in Nova Scotia right now until August?)

ARMOR WITH BRACERS & DR & REDUCED AC
Ver 1.4
LEATHER ARMOR
Leather Bracers, 11 + Dex, doesn't count as wearing armor
Leather, 15GP, 12 + Dex
Leafweave Leather, 1000GP, 13 + Dex, Special: advantage to hide in forests (chosen terrain?)

RINGED ARMOR
Ringed Bracers, 12 + Dex, doesn't count as wearing armor

Chain Shirt, 50GP, 14 + 1/2 Dex, DR = Con mod (max: 1)
Ringmail, 400GP, 15 + 1/2 Dex, DR = Con mod (max: 1)
Elven Chain, 3200GP, 16 + 1/2 Dex, DR = Con mod (max: 1), half weight & no stealth disadvantage

SCALE ARMOR
Scaled Bracers, 13 + Dex, doesn't count as wearing armor

Scale, 75GP, 15 + 1/2 Dex, DR = Con mod (max: 2)
Splint, 600 GP, 16 + 1/2 Dex, DR = Con mod (max: 2)
Dragon Scale, 4800 GP, 17 + 1/2 Dex, DR = Con mod (max: 2), Special: elemental resistance 5 of dragon type

PLATE ARMOR 
Plate Bracers, 14 + Dex, doesn't count as wearing armor

Banded, 125GP, 17, DR = Con mod (max: 3), -5ft speed
Plate, 1000 GP, 18, DR = Con mod (max: 3), -5ft speed
Dwarven Plate, 8000 GP, 19, DR = Con mod (max: 4), -5ft speed, Special: 1 extra point of DR

Again about PAX East, they used Mage Armor as a class feature that grants +2 armor bonus that a wizard puts up at the start of the day and lasts all day.  If they use a staff, it becomes 1 higher, so total of +3AC.  Monk AC should maybe work similarly?

Dudelander, I didn't add in the Str and encumberance thing.  Medium and Heavy armor (Ringed, Scale, or Plate Armor) impose disadvantage for stealth; we could say for a host of skills, really.  But check penalty isn't really part of the rules... and I personally don't think it needs to be.  Aim: reduced booking, lean mechanics to allow thematic story focus.
I like where the DR thing is going.  I like that you'll need Str and/or Con for heavy armor to work out well; I hate it just being the easy tank option for those without Dex.  Also, just note, you'll always get a full Dex penalty to AC.]



DR doesn't scale though.  When you have 150 hit points and monsters are hitting for 30 points of damage a pop, who cares about a lousy 4 dr?  On the other hand, 4 DR is redicously overpowerd when you're hit by a kobold that does a maximum of 6 points of damage.
Characters who go with high dex and forgo heavy weapons may start to have problems when they encounter creatures with damage resistance.  A lot depends on how common they are.  If armor starts confering damage resistance that can change the equation as well.



Why?  Your sword and board strength based fighter is going to be using a d8 weapon dice probably and your sword and board dex based (finesse) fighter will probably be using a d6.  That's only a damage difference of one point so it hardly seems like a huge loss.  I swear that the people that write this stuff DON'T seem to understand or do the underlying math.  (Avg of d8 is 4.5 and the avg of d6 is 3.5)


-Polaris
As the rules currently stand, I don't see why anyone would make a strength based fighter.  For just 1 point of damage you get:
Higher initiative
better ranged attacks
more money left
better speed
no check penalties
 
Hmmm... atm, I tend to agree.  But, we'll see if using big two-handed weapon or new rules for the Power Attack feat change how capable a strength speced Fighter is.

 Polaris, Mellack, and others: what would you guys do to improve the utility of strength?  I'm not sure what this would mechanically mean, bur for me, I'd like to see non-damage (non-offensive) things that Str affects.
  So what does Strength affect so far:
 - melee attacks
 - checks (climbing, jumping, swimming, lifting, push a boulder, smash an object)
 - saves (escape grapple, binding, resist push/pull, knocked aside, catch collapsing ceiling, grab ledge from falling)
 - carrying capacity
 
possible ideas:
 - give shields a Str req
 - make Shield's AC bonus cap at Str mod (might require some higher AC shields, ex: Tower Shields)
 - give medium and heavy armors a Str req
 - Str mod + Con mod = cap of armor bonus you can receive
 - Make Str a req for damage bonus feats or class feature choices (ex: 13 Str for Power Attack for the Weapon Focus feature)
 - two-handed weapon or two weapons use Strength more than Dex finesse; 1.5x Str for two-handed weapons and full 1x Str per hand for two weapon fighters
 - Str as breaking DR (ex: so DR4 is like for every pt of Str below +4 mod, their DR reduces a pt, so only having Str 13 means the monster will reduce 3pts per attack.  Hurts the finesse warriors but not the Str Fighters & Barbarians)
 - maybe some impediments or movement penalties could be resisted with strength checks (ex: Str checks to move through webs or difficult briars, or to move against a repelling wind)
 - maybe the weapon damage types of blunt, piercing, and slashing could come into play.  A feat witha str req that grants +1 damage to blunt weapon and MAYBE one for slashing, but not piercing or any finesse weapon.
I like the wis for initiative idea enough that I will start a petition in a new thread where you can vote yay or nay for it.
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Why don't they just raise the AC bonus of heavy armor by 2 points? That would make heavy armors equal to DEX-maxed light armor, which it really should be. Honesly, it should be HIGHER than light armor, since the whole point of heavy armor should be to trade mobility for added protection.
Why don't they just raise the AC bonus of heavy armor by 2 points? That would make heavy armors equal to DEX-maxed light armor, which it really should be. Honesly, it should be HIGHER than light armor, since the whole point of heavy armor should be to trade mobility for added protection.


Good point.

I tend to agree with most people here, that there was an over compensation for finesse characters, though I applaud the intent, as speed and agility are very important components in combat, just ask Bruce Lee or as the kids say these days, Chuck Norris.

I like the idea of damage reduction, though some persons have pointed out that it doesn't scale, but why can't it? First of all I don't like the idea of first level characters getting enough gold pieces to buy plate mail armors. I don't know how much gold a typical commoner would make in a year for sure but I can't imagine it being more then let's say 100 gold and most of that would go to expenses. Let's say they can save 10% of that. They could buy a suit of plate mail armor in about three generations. And if you have ever seen someone in a suit of full plate getting hammered at, they could almost take a nap in there unless the person attacking was very knowledgable in how to attack it and then worked for the soft spots. And why not make magic or masterwork heavy armors that get a little more DR as it gets better? Maybe a masterwork suit of Adamantine Plate would have 4 damage reduction and for each +1 another? Of course this would be a rarity and cost a hefty amount.

And to cover the wisdom modifier for initiative I made a class for my home game that used Wisdom as an intiative modifier as I felt that it is as useful and maybe even more so then Dexterity. Who cares how fast you move if you aren't in tune with your environments.