Ability scores for D&D Next?

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As you know, D&D Next will have “bounded accuracy”. This means d20 rolls will have “flatter math”. In other words, The attack bonus (or skill check bonus) of a level-1 hero wont differ too much from a level-20 hero. However hit points and damage will continue to increase while leveling. So, low level monsters will still be able to hit high level heroes, even if dealing less damage, relatively.

In this approach to the math behind the system, excessive bonuses to attack become easily broken.

In this context, what you guys feel about the following?



Delaying the attack bonus might better justify the existence of scores. In other words, odd scores get the attack bonus, but even scores get the damage bonus.
 
Score +attack (+damage)   
  8 −2 (−1)   
  9 −1 (−1)
10 −1 (+0)

11 +0 (+0)
12 +0 (+1) 
13 +1 (+1)
14 +1 (+2)

15 +2 (+2)
16 +2 (+3)
17 +3 (+3)
18 +3 (+4)

19 +4 (+4)
20 +4 (+5)
21 +5 (+5)
22 +5 (+6)

23 +6 (+6)
...



The result is, players might be more willing to keep the 17 rather than go for the 18, keep the 15 rather than 16, the 13 rather than 14. So, optimizers will generate more diverse arrays.

Moreover, the +5 attack bonus escapes the grasp of level 1. Even a +2 attack bonus requires some point-buy investment.

The values of the point-buy costs would need to shift slightly for precision.
Why are you discussing a bad system that isn't out yet and has its own forum in the 4e CharOp forum?
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
D&D Next: Such a bad idea, CharOp is already houseruling it.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Why are you discussing a bad system that isn't out yet and has its own forum in the 4e CharOp forum?

Please indulge this. I need 4e players who actually care about mechanics to help improve the direction Next is heading. Its great other edition players are finding what they want, but 4e players need to do so too. There is no optimization thread for Next yet. To the contrary, there are many old-edition forumers that are disturbed by a player wanting to put their highest ability score in Strength for a Fighter. These forumers are accustomed to playing Fighters with 10 Strength, and prefer this slack to continue. They see the focus on tight mechanics as a threat to the focus on roleplay. I know we have been thru this, but they just left the conversation, they didnt actually change their mind.



In any case. I prefer removing scores from the game and just referring to bonuses. Strength +3 (not Strength 17). Since this simplification is unlikely to happen because of tradition, the above is a way to at least make the score useful by making odd-or-even scores mean something.   

Why are you discussing a bad system that isn't out yet and has its own forum in the 4e CharOp forum?

Please indulge this. I need 4e players who actually care about mechanics to help improve the direction Next is heading. Its great other edition players are finding what they want, but 4e players need to do so too. There is no optimization thread for Next yet. To the contrary, there are many old-edition forumers that are disturbed by a player wanting to put their highest ability score in Strength for a Fighter. These forumers are accustomed to playing Fighters with 10 Strength, and prefer this slack to continue. They see the focus on tight mechanics as a threat to the focus on roleplay. I know we have been thru this, but they just left the conversation, they didnt actually change their mind.



In any case. I prefer removing scores from the game and just referring to bonuses. Strength +3 (not Strength 17). Since this simplification is unlikely to happen because of tradition, the above is a way to at least make the score useful by making odd-or-even scores mean something.   




If you want to make a better Next, I'm working on a system I hope will be a worthwhile successor to 4e. Not to be vain, but I think your efforts would be both more fruitful and appreciated if you were willing to help hammer it into shape. Next is not worth anybody's time, but maybe something else will be worth yours.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Please indulge this. I need 4e players who actually care about mechanics to help improve the direction Next is heading.


And you are a Wizards employee on the Next project? Because it's not like anyone else's opinion matters a damn, regardless of what they keep saying.

I completely fail to see the point in putting any of my effort or ideas into a project that I am 90% certain will be objectively terrible by all measures and 100% certain will not appeal to me in any case. I'm sure others here feel the same.

On top of which, wrong forum. 
+To Hit would still be king from an optimization perspective.  Especially in a setting with fewer bonuses, keeping stats at the maximum +To Hit would be the status quo.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
It is lost in the D&D Next forums as so many ideas are, but I posted something similar over there way back when, but rather than just have the Attack Bonus equal = floor(STAT-10)/2 and the Damage Bonus = floor (STAT-9)/2 I also advocate for having all the Skill Check Bonuses and Defense or Save Bonuses key off the Odd Stat like for Damage. This makes the Odd Stat more useful, as just a +1 damage is not enough really. 

You also need to figure out how the other scores are used in other areas. This is just for combat (attack & damage). What about spellcasting (save DC & ???). Or hitpoints, defenses, etc.

I would suggest any bonus from any Stat that grants:
1) Attack Bonus (to hit)
2) Sets Save DC (spells, the equivalent of attack)

All of these are Primary combat "attack" modifiers of high importance and should use floor(STAT-10)/2

All other bonuses (damage, skill checks, save bonus, AC bonus, hitpoint bonus, etc) related to Defense or skills use floor (STAT-9)/2

This way Odd and Even Stats have solid appeal, so if you are concerned about Attack and Spell DCs, go Even. If you want Defense, skills and saves/hitpoitnts, go Odd.

Larry
step zero:  4e stuff + function:5econversionSimplemaths = 5e

step one A: avoid grog-rage by keeping "3d6" in obvious but very limited spots
step one B: avoid grog-rage by keeping "point-buy" in obvious but very limited...
step one C: avoid grog-rage by keeping "cherished mechanic X" in obvious but...
etc

step two: make the variability a whole lot tighter/smaller


As an example, let's say Constitution ONLY effected
your Death Save (or systemshock roll see step one C)
instead of everything about particular PC tricked out.
And because you have a CON of 26, that counts as
an 8th level "spell" ; so whatever build you have doesn't
get one 8th level "spell" slot / equivalent / thingie.

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

Maltese and Larry, that is helpful advice. Im going that route. I will definitely do that for my 4e games too. Evens get +attack, and odds get +skill/damage/defense.

For 5e, the math will be “flatter”, so the bonuses may need to lower. Here I stretch out the bonuses by separating out +attack, +defense, and +skill/damage. Attack is clearly more valuable, but skill will become more important because of an emphasis on improvisation and narrative encounters.

Lowering ability bonuses has the pleasant effect of allowing heroes whose scores go against type but stay statistically close to typical scores that synergize with type (for typical non-optimal heroes anyway).

Still, I want the point-buy costs to reflect the actual values of each score more accurately. In the table below, I roughly parallel the 4e point-buy costs, but tweak them in a systemic way. Note the value of 17 and 18 comes from the fact you can add two point from the class and race, to reach 19 which gets the +3 attack bonus. For now, the scores derive from a systematic approach, and the cost of certain scores may benefit from more finetuning.






















































































































































































































































































Score



+Attack



+Defense



+Skill/Damage



 



 



 



 



  0



−∞



−∞



−∞



 



 



 



 



  1



−3



−3



−3



 



 



 



 



  2



−3



−3



−2



 



 



 



 



  3



−3



−2



−2



 



 



 



 



  4



−2



−2



−2



 



 



 



 



  5



−2



−2



−1



 



 



 



 



  6



−2



−1



−1



 



 



 



 



  7



−1



−1



−1



Point-Buy
Total Cost



Point-Buy
Increment Cost



Compare 4e
Increment Cost



Compare 4e
Total Cost



  8



−1



−1



+0



−2



−1



 −1



−2



  9



−1



+0



+0



−1



−1



 −1



−1 



10



+0



+0



+0



 



  0







11



+0



+0



+1



  1



  1



1



1



12



+0



+1



+1



  2



  1



1



2



13



+1



+1



+1



  4



  2



1



3



14



+1



+1



+2



  6



  2



2



5



15



+1



+2



+2



  8



  2



2



7



16



+2



+2



+2



11



  3



2



9



17



+2



+2



+3



14



  3



3



12



18



+2



+3



+3



17



  3



4



16



19



+3



+3



+3



 



 



 



 



20



+3



+3



+4



 



 



 



 



21



+3



+4



+4



 



 



 



 



22



+4



+4



+4



 



 



 



 



23



+4



+4



+5



 



 



 



 



24



+4



+5



+5



 



 



 



 



25



+5



+5



+5



 



 



 



 





@Golem, that reminds me of a point-buy character creation system.



If you want to make a better Next, I'm working on a system I hope will be a worthwhile successor to 4e. Not to be vain, but I think your efforts would be both more fruitful and appreciated if you were willing to help hammer it into shape. Next is not worth anybody's time, but maybe something else will be worth yours.

I am excited about the creativity in the air. Not just 5e, but 13Age, whatever Cooke is up to, even Pathfinder, and feeling of empowerment among players to create *systems*. We are entering a different era of D&D. I am not a fan of Pathfinder personally, but I feel anything that is good for Pathfinder is ultimately good for the D&D community and the gaming industry as a whole.

To be honest, I cant help but admire the quest of 5e, for the Holy Grail of D&D that heals the land and unites all gamers. Right now they are alienating 4e players by aggressively courting Ae players (Advanced D&D 1e and 2e). The thing is, the strategy seems to be working. From what I can tell, the Ae holdouts seem to be responding to 5e warmly and are excited by the fact they can fully convert decades (?) of adventures and settings into 5e. I think that is kind of cool. Hoping things can work out for other players too, they are welcome. It might prove to be a wise business strategy.

D&D is dialectic in nature, and has always attracted both the math geeks and the theater thesbians, both the tactician and the narrativist. This conflictive approach makes D&D greater than the sum of its parts.

I dont worry about 4e players, at least not yet. 4e players represent a significant share of the market, and many are already brand loyal to WotC products. I am confident 5e wants to keep these customers too, and will eventually support “4e style” once the Ae “core” solidifies.

At the same time, I feel there is room for a game that does 4e better than 4e. Whatever is good for the RPG community is ultimately good for all RPG games.

I would love to contribute what I can. Do you have a link to the project online?
Not yet, no. It's still in that pre-alpha phase where things are getting ironed out. Once I have something complete to show I will make it public. Until then, I'm doing 'closed' testing.

Also, the 4e players aren't going to get anything. Wanna know what the tactical module is supposed to have? Facing rules.

Yeah. Seriously.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Not yet, no. It's still in that pre-alpha phase where things are getting ironed out. Once I have something complete to show I will make it public. Until then, I'm doing 'closed' testing.

Also, the 4e players aren't going to get anything. Wanna know what the tactical module is supposed to have? Facing rules.

Yeah. Seriously.



To be fair, the tactical module is supposed to be separate from the maneuver system, which would be the option that adds in 4e-style powers.
The one that slaps down a -10 penalty for reducing enemy speed by a square? That module? If they're seriously trumpeting that as the 4e module, I heartily encourage everyone to come playtest my system. It's bound to be less crappy than the ridiculous dog**** Mearls and co. are working on.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
We've been running a mini campaign of Next for our playtest and thus far... it's more fun than 2E with a 2E feel.  Less fun than 3.5, and way less than 4th for me.  I like the character creation puzzle.  So far it looks like a few classes, themes to direct them towards a job, a set of skill bonuses, and some fluff option.  Not seeing anything involving the slightest bit of op yet.
The one that slaps down a -10 penalty for reducing enemy speed by a square? That module? If they're seriously trumpeting that as the 4e module, I heartily encourage everyone to come playtest my system. It's bound to be less crappy than the ridiculous dog**** Mearls and co. are working on.



No, that is the tactical module again. Maneuvers are supposed to allow an effect like slowing or knocking prone + damage and without an attack penalty. The thinking is that fighters and other classes with access to maneuvers can do this stuff without penalty because they have trained in martial combat. If a wizard wants to knock someone prone with an attack he is going to eat an attack penalty and sacrifice damage because he doesn't have the requisite combat training. So basically any class can try to disarm or knock prone or whatever but it is a lot less likely to work than when a fighter uses an encounter maneuver.

I am ot saying it is going to be any good....just reporting on the distinction as discussed in the various Legend and Lore collumns.
Oh yeah, that. Trap choices for all except for one class that are, mysteriously, still an option for newbies to try and fail at. You know what we called those, back home? Mistakes. Dishonesty. Filth. It's exactly the same kind of horrendous disdain Monte Cook showed toward the people who keep our hobby alive (the new arrivals, that is) when he designed the Toughness feat. What does it matter what the distinctions are, ppaladin? Tell me, is there any point in discussing semantics here? The important part isn't what they're trying - it's how well they execute it and how much it adds to the game. And a system such as that one adds nothing. Nothing at all.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
The 4e players aren't going to get anything. Wanna know what the tactical module is supposed to have? Facing rules. Yeah. Seriously.



The one [module] that slaps down a -10 penalty for reducing enemy speed by a square? That module?



Oh yeah, that. Trap choices for all except for one class that are, mysteriously, still an option for newbies to try and fail at. You know what we called those, back home? Mistakes.

Heh, Armisael,  you have a keen sense of irony, and that is something I can always appreciate.

Armisael, I get that you don't want to waste any time on 5e. Why, then, are you willing to waste so much time threadcrapping someone who does want to work on an idea for it?  Does it really offend you that someone, somewhere, might be interested in something you're not?

For the record, my playtesting so far has given me almost nothing to like about 5e... but I'm OK with the concept that not everyone agrees with me, and I'm still curious about what they will end up with.

If any discussion of 5e/Next sends you into a frothing rage, there is an easy solution:  Don't read threads that have that in their title.  You'll feel better, and you won't look like such a jerk.
Armisael, I get that you don't want to waste any time on 5e. Why, then, are you willing to waste so much time threadcrapping someone who does want to work on an idea for it?  Does it really offend you that someone, somewhere, might be interested in something you're not?

For the record, my playtesting so far has given me almost nothing to like about 5e... but I'm OK with the concept that not everyone agrees with me, and I'm still curious about what they will end up with.

If any discussion of 5e/Next sends you into a frothing rage, there is an easy solution:  Don't read threads that have that in their title.  You'll feel better, and you won't look like such a jerk.



Because I'd rather see him use his energies constructively. And on a selfish note, because I'd like those energies to go into helping me make a good system. As it turns out, your attention is neither necessary nor is it wanted, because I have pretty good reasons to tell people to stop wasting time on 5e.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
KLangleySeattle: Because this thread has no business in the CharOp forums. If someone wants "input from the people who have the right system mastery to make sure horrible math errors aren't made in 5e" they can make a post soliciting advice and directing people here to another thread in the proper forum or to converse via PMs. I can also tell you from personal experience that WotC does not listen to people who have enough sense to figure out that L+12 scales at a different rate than 1/2L +(L+4)/5 +L/7 +4 or that +3/1d8 weapons are entirely better than +2/1d10 in the majority of cases. They want to hear ideas and concepts, and how interesting things are put together. They do not care about making sure Attack vs Defense or Damage vs HP are remotely similar equations. We do, specifically, as in that's pretty much all we care about here when it comes to balance, is something above or below the line, by how much, and at what levels.

Why are you discussing a bad system that isn't out yet and has its own forum...



"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.

Why are you discussing a bad system that isn't out yet and has its own forum...



+1

Armisael, I get that you don't want to waste any time on 5e. Why, then, are you willing to waste so much time threadcrapping someone who does want to work on an idea for it?  Does it really offend you that someone, somewhere, might be interested in something you're not?

For the record, my playtesting so far has given me almost nothing to like about 5e... but I'm OK with the concept that not everyone agrees with me, and I'm still curious about what they will end up with.

If any discussion of 5e/Next sends you into a frothing rage, there is an easy solution:  Don't read threads that have that in their title.  You'll feel better, and you won't look like such a jerk.



Because I'd rather see him use his energies constructively. And on a selfish note, because I'd like those energies to go into helping me make a good system. As it turns out, your attention is neither necessary nor is it wanted, because I have pretty good reasons to tell people to stop wasting time on 5e.



I would be interested in helping you out...just message me on the forums.
I'm currently working on the simplest, least interlocked part of it all, the skill system replacement. As soon as I have it ready to show, I'll send you a PM (same for anyone else who shows interest, either here or through PMs). Until then, please hang tight. You will not be disappointed (though if you are, please let me know about your complaints vocally and in great detail; I need every last ounce of feedback I can get because one person is a very small amount of manpower - I have to get things right in as few drafts as possible or I will still be working on this by the time D&D Sixth Edition hits).
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
just have the Attack Bonus equal = floor(STAT-10)/2 and the Damage Bonus = floor (STAT-9)/2

Odd. Why not just use ceil()?

... by the time D&D Sixth Edition hits ...



Hopefully I should have my Teardrop
Jaguar V12 reversed Subaru drivetrain
3 wheeled reverse-trike, built by then.


Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

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