There have been a lot of complaints about the "blind rogue," which WotC has acknowledged, but I think it's symptomatic of a larger issue, which is that Perception is based on Wisdom. Actually, in Next, it's more that Perception checks are Wisdom checks, possibly with a modifier.
Personally, I've never liked that, but in other editions I could live with it, because skill training was so significant. In Next, the ability score is more emphasised, and that has some odd side effects, like that rogues aren't very good at noticing things, even traps, while clerics are awesome at it.
I have some alternate proposals that might work better for Next. In all cases, I assume that rangers and rogues get appropriate class bonuses.
Option 1: Perception is the highest between Int, Wis, and Cha.
- Some characters that should be bad at perception--specifically brute-types--are.
- Rogues can have high perception via Cha or Int, and rogues usually have one of those as a secondary stat (except thug-types).
- Fighters who want to be perceptive can choose to be canny, intuitive, or have leadership abilities as a "side effect."
- Casters still have the highest base perception checks--not just clerics and druids, but also wizards and sorcerers. Paladins and bards will also be good.
- Characters become more homogeneous in this regard: few characters will be bad at perception.
- Perception goes up overall, which weakens Stealth, and effectively deflates DCs overall.
Option 2: As above, but at a -1 inherent penalty.
e.g. mental stats of 12,16,11 means a base Perception of +2 (16=+3,-1=+2).
- As above, and more or less removes the inflation problem.
- As above, but:
- Mathematically a bit more cumbersome and unintuitive.
- While the average perception may be about the same as now, maximum and minimum perception go down. This makes high DC's harder to meet and lower DC's easier to fail to meet.
Option 3: Perception is base +0, period.
- Puts everyone at the same baseline without artificially tying it to something arbitrary, that the player made high for some other reason (like casting).
- Characters with class or background bonuses become the best, as they should be.
- Removes all individual variation other than from class and background. If the party has no rogues, rangers, or soldiers, everyone's exactly the same.
- Totally arbitrary.
- Perception goes down overall, by a lot, making Stealth more powerful and effectively inflating DCs.
Option 4: Perception is base +2, period.
- As above, and removes the deflation problem.
- As above, but even more arbitrary and confusing.
Option 5: Perception is a seventh attribute.
- Maintains balance and diversity.
- Intuitive and clear.
- Could be used as the basline for initiative, helping with the "Dex is too important" problem.
- It's not traditionally D&D (except from some optional material in 1e and 2e supplements).
- Creates havoc with point buys and saving throw balance.
"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book
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