Strength - Good God, y'all - What is it good for?

Can somebody explain to me the signifcance of the strength ability score?  In comparison to dexterity, strength seems the largely inferior choice seeing as dexterity gives a bonus to AC, initiative, aids in saving throws, can be used as defense against combat actions like disarm, grab, knockdown, etc., is used for to hit and damage for missle weapons and finesse weapons, and applies to a plethora of skills.

Inversely, strength applies to the climb and swim skills, which are an honest to goodness trap, are modifier to combat actions like disarm, grab, knockdown, etc., which seems to be an honest to goodness trap, determines load limit, which would require a relatively low score considering a full adventuring kit consisting of light armor, a weapon or two, and survival gear, which is easily under 100 lbs., and is used for to hit and damage for melee weapons, which would grant maybe a 1 or 2 more damage per round for non-finesse weapons, being a higher die level and all. 

On a slightly unrelated note, I feel skills like swim, climb, tumble, and balance are an absolute waste of a skill choice, as they represent physical prowess, which should be represented by ability scores, and I feel that the inclusion of these skills may simply artifically increase DC levels to compensate due to their existence, making it mandatory for fighters and rogues to consider these skills, thus limiting their options for other skills that aid outside of dungeoneering, which the martial types have virtually no utility in, whatsoever.

It seems to me that strength is much, much less versatile than dexterity by a tremendously gigantic margin and seems to be a foolish option for a character build.  Can somebody help me with this?  I honestly can't see the purpose of making a strength based martial type aside from flavor alone.  It honestly seems like the massively inferior choice.

Strength is really valuable in role playing, and mildly useful in combat.


Breaking down doors, escaping from chains/rope, knocking people off cliffs... there are useful and entertaining things you can do with strength.


Also, finesse weapons aren't very good so you might as well have high attack AND high damage. 


It really depends what kind of adventure you are playing and how creative the players are. Remember that you don't need high dexterity for high AC, heavy armor is actually better protection in DnD Next. 


I played a dexterity based fighter and I recognize that unless you are using ranged weapons you are at a disadvantage compared to strength fighters. Clerics are also better off focusing on strength versus dexterity.


Strength has also been a bit inferior to dexterity in D&D, since 2e at least. Dex just affects more statistics in total, not to mention a good portion of them being very important statistics (Init and AC being on top). Str used to have it's niche in the fact that if you wanted to melee you had to have some strength. However since 3e (weapon finesse), 4e, and with the addition of finesse weapons in 5e, str has lost that and dropped even farther down the list. But it's not a bad change really. Honestly the requiring str to do any melee dmg held more people back than it balanced the game.

In the end we just have to get used to the fact that Con and Dex will be omniuseful stats in the current setup. The other 4 will have their place with certain characters though, and will get plenty of use.
My two copper.
Modules should include a DC to break down door and break open lock. That should work for the fighter's "rogue" skills. Strength is the attack bonus and damage bonus for melee. STR is used to Grab, Escape a Grab, and Disarm. Dexterity only helps with preventing Grab, Escape a Grab and preventing Disarm .. STR can be used for all three in both events. Same with Push and Knockdown .. DEX only helps defend against those, STR only works to achieve those but also to defend against them.
Sadly anything you can do with Str can be done better with agility.

Break down doors? Picking the lock is easier and quieter.

Breaking bonds? Easier to escape them with agility.

Saving throws? Way more dexterity based than Str based.

Ranged attacks? Bows are better than thrown weapons.

AC a 20 Dex is about as good as the best armor and saves you a lot of money.

All you give up is 1-2 Points of damage a hit (nothing by the time you roll 1d8 + 3d10 + 5 for damage).

Welcome to D&D.
Sadly anything you can do with Str can be done better with agility. Break down doors? Picking the lock is easier and quieter. Breaking bonds? Easier to escape them with agility. Saving throws? Way more dexterity based than Str based. Ranged attacks? Bows are better than thrown weapons. AC a 20 Dex is about as good as the best armor and saves you a lot of money. All you give up is 1-2 Points of damage a hit (nothing by the time you roll 1d8 + 3d10 + 5 for damage). Welcome to D&D.



At this point picking locks is off limits without being a rogue. So Str gets a little boost there

Also, Kudos to the thread title.
My two copper.
The issue isn't with Strength. It has always been with Dexterity being too strong. IMO, I'd have Wis be the projectile weapon attack/defense ability, and let Dex be for melee/thrown only. Similarly, I could see Dex giving AC vs melee/thrown attacks, and Wis vs ranged attacks. Wis is the perception ability. Being able to determine where that arrow is being aimed at is more important than blindly moving somewhere else.

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If the designers were going to be honest instead of following tradition for the sake of tradition, Dexterity is way too wide of a concept for one ability score. Covering both quickness AND accuracy, it is undoubtedly the most important ability for anyone engaging in any athletic activity and particularly in combat.

Constitution might be able to compete, but raw strength is just simply not all that important once people are wielding actual weapons, particularly metal ones and ESPECIALLY magical ones. It just isn't generally going to come into play.

Yes, there are things one can do with a high strength, but most of those things can be done and usually better by being both quicker and more accurate.

There is a reason why D&D based RPGs tend to break Dexterity up into two attributes-- Dexterity and Agility. The former being about accuracy and the later focusing on quickness.

Yup totally agree. For me it is the interaction with the equipment lists and a number of changes made that further benefit dexterity builds.

In 3rd edition for example you had to pay a feat for Finesse and still your damage did not get a bonus for high Dexterity . However in the new edition Finesse is free and affects damage as well. Also missile fire weapons did not get a bonus to damage for dexterity. This is a tripple whammy and enough to make the traditional heavily armed, strong Fighter a distinctly suboptimal build.

Consider:

Bill is a 1st level human heavy fighter with chain armour, longsword and shield. Bill has a 18 Strength and an 9 Dex to take advantage of heavy armour.

Bill’s AC is 17 and does d8+4 damage. Bill is -1 to Initiative, and usually -1 to Balance, Disable Device, Drive, Ride, Sleight of Hand, Sneak, Tumble, Use Rope. Bill is at +4 to Climb and Swim checks. Bill is at -5 movement and disadvantage to Stealth. Bill’s armour is very visible and takes minutes to put on. Bill is disadvantaged with the Ambusher and Stealth specialties. Bill has a limited selection of missile weapons that have poor range.

Bob is a 1st human level swashbuckling Fighter with leather armour, rapier and a shield (buckler). Bob has a 18 Dexterity and a Str of 9.

Bob AC16 and does d6+4 damage. Bob is +4 to Initiative and Balance, Disable Device, Drive, Ride, Sleight of Hand, Sneak, Tumble, Use Rope. Bob is at -1 to Climb and swim checks. Bob has no disadvantages Bob has no speciality he can’t take. Bob can use the best missile weapons with the best range.

So in effect Bill has traded +1 AC and +1 damage per blow that hits for:
-5 Initiative
-5 to 8 different skills
-5 movement
Disadvantage on Stealth
Donning armour rules 10 rather 1 minute
Worse missile fire
Can’t use 2 specialities very well.
Armour costs more

And  the two skills that Bill is good at don’t really make a lot of sense, “OK let’s get the guy in chain armour to climb the sheer cliff wall and swim across the river…”

This is simply not balanced and moreover nonesensical. It seems like the equipment rules have been created without actually considering the likely impact on play and skills. So we get a guy dressed like a knight who can't ride but can swim and swashbuckler who can't climb into a ladies window?

When the best build for a Fighter looks a lot like a Rogue you also have a problem with niche protection. At present the Rogue is down +1 to hit and 4 hit points then 2 hit points per level for 4 extra skills and a skill focus dice that blows away most DC's (at least when not in combat). As some of these skills are at best very situational (woot I am trained in Rope Use) this is contributing to the Rogues as second class Fighter feel. If a Fighter actually wanted to wear heavy armour because it was actually better in combat but was disadvantaged on Dexterity rolls because of it, the Rogue would get to shine a lot more often.

Just so you know this is not an entirely theoretical discussionl. I noticed that the Fighters in the playtest packet are in essence Bill and Bob!

Bill is a dwarf but if you convert him to human then he is exactly the same build I talked about.

Unfortunately for Bob they gave him a 14 Strength and a longsword. Why? It appears the designer has not read the rules? If he picks up a shortsword he gets a bonus +2 to hit and +1 average damage and would not have had to waste the 14 in |Strength...maybe he wants to swim nearly as well as the chain clad dwarf?


Dexterity does has flaws. Dexterity is only good if you have a lot of it. At least 18 or more. Otherwise, you start losing a lot of the freedom, Str gives you. 14 or 16 Dex is near useless compared to the freedom 14 or 16 Str. +2 to initiative is blah.

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Sorry, but being able to disarm your enemies, steal their weapons, reduce their damage for the rest of the fight, is a trap? Really!? Also, and I might be wrong about this (I don't have the playtest packet on me right now), but don't unarmed attacks take a penalty to hit? I swear I remember reading something like that... I could be wrong. 
If the designers were going to be honest instead of following tradition for the sake of tradition, Dexterity is way too wide of a concept for one ability score. Covering both quickness AND accuracy, it is undoubtedly the most important ability for anyone engaging in any athletic activity and particularly in combat.

Constitution might be able to compete, but raw strength is just simply not all that important once people are wielding actual weapons, particularly metal ones and ESPECIALLY magical ones. It just isn't generally going to come into play.

Yes, there are things one can do with a high strength, but most of those things can be done and usually better by being both quicker and more accurate.

There is a reason why D&D based RPGs tend to break Dexterity up into two attributes-- Dexterity and Agility. The former being about accuracy and the later focusing on quickness.


The game is better consolidating the abilities to the “core four” abilities.

Endurance (sustainable strength and toughness)
Agility (explosive strength and coordination)

Intelligence (knowledgeability and perceptiveness)
Charisma (emotional skill and willpower)



Skills can finetune any subvisions further.



(Strength and Constitution are redundant anyway - rarely is a monster ever one without the other.)

Strength is really valuable in role playing, and mildly useful in combat.


Breaking down doors, escaping from chains/rope, knocking people off cliffs... there are useful and entertaining things you can do with strength.


Also, finesse weapons aren't very good so you might as well have high attack AND high damage. 


It really depends what kind of adventure you are playing and how creative the players are. Remember that you don't need high dexterity for high AC, heavy armor is actually better protection in DnD Next. 


I played a dexterity based fighter and I recognize that unless you are using ranged weapons you are at a disadvantage compared to strength fighters. Clerics are also better off focusing on strength versus dexterity.





I really have to disagree with you on almost everything posted here. 

Strength has practically no use in roleplaying, whatsoever. 

Breaking down a door is better alleviated by picking the lock(dex based). Plus, it's quieter, therefore much more versatile.

Escaping bonds is easier with dex(16 DC for dex, 19 DC for str).

The combat options such as push are poor actions in general, which can be contested with dexterity or strength, no advantage to the strength based person initiating the push, grab, or whatever. 

Finesse weapons share the same properties as their martial counterparts of equal size, but suffer a single lower die.  This results in an average damage of 1, maybe 2.  That's a minor inconvenience at low levels, completely negligible at mid levels, a total non-issue at high levels.  Especially since low level monsters largely die in a single hit, maybe two, regardless of your damage output.

The AC bonus of heavy armor is a virtue of the armor and not strength at all.  That, and heavy armor is expensive.  Plate mail is 5000 GP.  You're not getting that any time soon.  That, and heavy armor limits dexterity, which shows the sheer virtue of dexterity.

A dex based fighter not using a ranged weapon only suffers if he chooses not to use that ranged weapon.  A strength based fighter has zero ranged weapon options for his primary stat.  Not even throwing weapons.

Strength is better now since it is the attack attribute for disarm, push, knockdown, and grab.  Its also the resistance attribute, which is shares with dex.

I'm hoping when they do another pass over equipment, that they rip the dex bonus to strength off of those weapons.  Bonus to hit is fine, but leave the bonus to damage with strength on melee.

Perhaps keep that for a few weapons like rapier and katana, cause right now for the price, they don't do much compaired to their fellow finnese weapons.  (just like how you charge extra for a bow that uses strength for damage. ) 
I think consolidation to core 4 would be best.

Strength
Agility
Intellect
Spirit (I like the word better than charisma).

D&D has too many redundant attributes.
If the designers were going to be honest instead of following tradition for the sake of tradition, Dexterity is way too wide of a concept for one ability score. Covering both quickness AND accuracy, it is undoubtedly the most important ability for anyone engaging in any athletic activity and particularly in combat.

Constitution might be able to compete, but raw strength is just simply not all that important once people are wielding actual weapons, particularly metal ones and ESPECIALLY magical ones. It just isn't generally going to come into play.

Yes, there are things one can do with a high strength, but most of those things can be done and usually better by being both quicker and more accurate.

There is a reason why D&D based RPGs tend to break Dexterity up into two attributes-- Dexterity and Agility. The former being about accuracy and the later focusing on quickness.


The game is better consolidating the abilities to the “core four” abilities.

Endurance (sustainable strength and toughness)
Agility (explosive strength and coordination)

Intelligence (knowledgeability and perceptiveness)
Charisma (emotional skill and willpower)



Skills can finetune any subvisions further.



(Strength and Constitution are redundant anyway - rarely is a monster ever one without the other.)



Fair enough. Only potential drawback is that when assigning racial attribute bonuses, you might be making a race better at certain things you hadn't intended. For instance, an empathic race would likely have good percetion and emotional skills, but not necessarily a large knowledge base and might have a very low willpower. But, yes, that probably can't be avoided no matter what and could be done through bonuses to saves and skills.

If the designers were going to be honest instead of following tradition for the sake of tradition, Dexterity is way too wide of a concept for one ability score. Covering both quickness AND accuracy, it is undoubtedly the most important ability for anyone engaging in any athletic activity and particularly in combat.

Constitution might be able to compete, but raw strength is just simply not all that important once people are wielding actual weapons, particularly metal ones and ESPECIALLY magical ones. It just isn't generally going to come into play.

Yes, there are things one can do with a high strength, but most of those things can be done and usually better by being both quicker and more accurate.

There is a reason why D&D based RPGs tend to break Dexterity up into two attributes-- Dexterity and Agility. The former being about accuracy and the later focusing on quickness.


The game is better consolidating the abilities to the “core four” abilities.

Endurance (sustainable strength and toughness)
Agility (explosive strength and coordination)

Intelligence (knowledgeability and perceptiveness)
Charisma (emotional skill and willpower)



Skills can finetune any subvisions further.



(Strength and Constitution are redundant anyway - rarely is a monster ever one without the other.)



Fair enough. Only potential drawback is that when assigning racial attribute bonuses, you might be making a race better at certain things you hadn't intended. For instance, an empathic race would likely have good percetion and emotional skills, but not necessarily a large knowledge base and might have a very low willpower. But, yes, that probably can't be avoided no matter what and could be done through bonuses to saves and skills.

In my understanding, “emotional skills” very much includes (requires!) “empathy”, insight, sense motive, and so on.

Here, “perceptiveness” applies strictly to the empirical senses (sight, hearing, smell), but in the context of “knowledgeability” can also apply to logical precision, rational intuition, and so on.

So, you would use Intelligence (knowledgeability and perceptiveness) to notice someting is wrong with an illusion. But you would use Charisma (emotional skill and willpower) versus a charm.

I suppose, if a Doppelganger is impersonating a close friend, ideally the Doppelganger would need to pass both tests: Intelligence to ensure the shapechange is perfect, and Charisma to ensure the friends dont notice if the interests and behaviors are off. But D&D mechanics are rarely good at resolving challenges that require a combination of stats. So the DM could just pick one, whichever is higher.

If a Doppelganger is impersonating a total stranger, then “errors” in the impersonation might even be negligible. Possibly an autosuccess, unless the impersonation involved an alien culture that someone else was intimately familiar with. Sensing motive of such a stranger would be a subtler (higher DC Charisma check) than just noticing something was “off”.
I would rather see all weaopon damage as some function of STR + DEX. Except for crossbows, there's no weapon that doesn't require both to use.
Strength is better now since it is the attack attribute for disarm, push, knockdown, and grab.



How long do you figure this lasts before someone at WotC thinks about it and wonders why your Swashbuckler can't disarm opponents, but the guy with a big two handed hammer can?
Worse case scenario you improvise those Str based maneuvers using dexterity. As opponents often have far less dexterity than strength you end up being better off at opposed rolls. It's also far more believable for "those who want fighters to not have nice things" for a warrior to trip a giant with their agility than overpower them and knock them down.
Sorry, but being able to disarm your enemies, steal their weapons, reduce their damage for the rest of the fight, is a trap? Really!? Also, and I might be wrong about this (I don't have the playtest packet on me right now), but don't unarmed attacks take a penalty to hit? I swear I remember reading something like that... I could be wrong. 

Disarm is a twitchy mechanic to include.  In past eds it's been problematic because it was devestating to magic-weapon dependent players and meaningless to most monsters.  Prudent weapon-users (PC or NPC) would simply carry multiple weapons to deal with the possibility (and other issues, like needing to bludgeoning or use silver, etc).  With bounded accurracy and less emphasis on magical weapons, disarm might be even less meaningful - except against the PC with a really cool magic sword, of course.

 

 

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Sorry, but being able to disarm your enemies, steal their weapons, reduce their damage for the rest of the fight, is a trap? Really!? Also, and I might be wrong about this (I don't have the playtest packet on me right now), but don't unarmed attacks take a penalty to hit? I swear I remember reading something like that... I could be wrong. 

Disarm is a twitchy mechanic to include.  In past eds it's been problematic because it was devestating to magic-weapon dependent players and meaningless to most monsters.  Prudent weapon-users (PC or NPC) would simply carry multiple weapons to deal with the possibility (and other issues, like needing to bludgeoning or use silver, etc).  With bounded accurracy and less emphasis on magical weapons, disarm might be even less meaningful - except against the PC with a really cool magic sword, of course.


Im wondering if the Expertise Dice also solves the problem of dependence on items. Even if you disarm a Fighter presumably the fist still comes with Expertise Dice.

The issue isn't with Strength. It has always been with Dexterity being too strong. IMO, I'd have Wis be the projectile weapon attack/defense ability, and let Dex be for melee/thrown only. Similarly, I could see Dex giving AC vs melee/thrown attacks, and Wis vs ranged attacks. Wis is the perception ability. Being able to determine where that arrow is being aimed at is more important than blindly moving somewhere else.



Bows use STRENGTH! Seriously, military longbows had draws well in excess of 100lb, the actual values based both on historical references and the actual bows pulled out of the salvage of the Mary Rose have draws that modern archers swore up and down were IMPOSSIBLE prior to the Mary Rose salvage because no one could be strong enough to draw such a bow.

Holding a heavy bow steady enough to aim at full draw on a 150lb draw bow requires enourmous physical strength. Require this in game.
With high strength, you can carry more gold.
Sorry, but being able to disarm your enemies, steal their weapons, reduce their damage for the rest of the fight, is a trap? Really!? Also, and I might be wrong about this (I don't have the playtest packet on me right now), but don't unarmed attacks take a penalty to hit? I swear I remember reading something like that... I could be wrong. 




The problem is that disarming is really only useful against other martial types.  Considering the near demand for silver and cold iron weapons, compounded with the need for weapons with multiple damage types against skeletons and whatnot, a regular fighting man is likely going to have more than one weapon at a time.  Drawing a weapon is a free action, therefore you're wasting your action.

No sense in disarming a wizard, as they can shocking grasp, no sense in disarming a monster, as they have natural attacks and spell-like abilities.

Therefore, you're using disarming with your strength modifier, assuming it's your primary stat against another fighting man whose defense against that is either strength or dexterity, which either are also likely their primary stat, you're practically just having a roll off to see who wins the contest, as the modifiers are likely to be similar. 

You have no real incentive to disarm people.  It sounds cool on paper, but it's horrible in execution.  It's seriously a trap.
If we're discussing potential ways to consolidate abilities, why not go all the way down?

Physical - covers strength, con, dex, endurance, hit points, resistances, etc.
Mental - covers spells, intelligence, wisdom, skills, etc.
Social - cover charisma, appearance, influence, empathy, etc.

At the beginning of the game, you decide what you want your PCs primary, secondary, and tertiary traits to be. Fighter? Physical primary. Mage? Mental primary. Bard? Social primary. Depending on your secondary trait, your class gets modified based on it. A Fighter built with Physical as a primary and Social as a secondary would be geared better to use Intimidate and other social skills, not to mention being a good kick-off base for the Warlord. Mages with Mental as a Primary and Physical as a Secondary would make good sword-mages or war-mages.

Strength is really valuable in role playing, and mildly useful in combat.


Breaking down doors, escaping from chains/rope, knocking people off cliffs... there are useful and entertaining things you can do with strength.


Also, finesse weapons aren't very good so you might as well have high attack AND high damage. 


It really depends what kind of adventure you are playing and how creative the players are. Remember that you don't need high dexterity for high AC, heavy armor is actually better protection in DnD Next. 


I played a dexterity based fighter and I recognize that unless you are using ranged weapons you are at a disadvantage compared to strength fighters. Clerics are also better off focusing on strength versus dexterity.





I really have to disagree with you on almost everything posted here. 

Strength has practically no use in roleplaying, whatsoever. 

Breaking down a door is better alleviated by picking the lock(dex based). Plus, it's quieter, therefore much more versatile.

Escaping bonds is easier with dex(16 DC for dex, 19 DC for str).

The combat options such as push are poor actions in general, which can be contested with dexterity or strength, no advantage to the strength based person initiating the push, grab, or whatever. 

Finesse weapons share the same properties as their martial counterparts of equal size, but suffer a single lower die.  This results in an average damage of 1, maybe 2.  That's a minor inconvenience at low levels, completely negligible at mid levels, a total non-issue at high levels.  Especially since low level monsters largely die in a single hit, maybe two, regardless of your damage output.

The AC bonus of heavy armor is a virtue of the armor and not strength at all.  That, and heavy armor is expensive.  Plate mail is 5000 GP.  You're not getting that any time soon.  That, and heavy armor limits dexterity, which shows the sheer virtue of dexterity.

A dex based fighter not using a ranged weapon only suffers if he chooses not to use that ranged weapon.  A strength based fighter has zero ranged weapon options for his primary stat.  Not even throwing weapons.




The newest DMG states DC 16 for both strength and dexterity to break out of rope/manacles.


Besides, if you have an expert rope tier, then I would rule as a DM that you can't wriggle out of it anyways (or at least make the DC much higher).


I wouldn't rely on the DMG to come up with these DCs either... they are just suggestions.  Not every door has a lock you can pick, maybe its magically sealed and you either break it down or go the long way...



Strength based characters do get thrown weapons (just axes currently but I would add hammers (no mention) and javelins (dexterity))


I admit its kind of crappy until you get a returning weapon but if you take away the +1 enhancement bonus it shouldn't be too rare/expensive.


 Armor does not limit Dexterity in DnD next, it only restricts your bonus to AC. I think its kind of silly that you can wear plate mail and still use your full +4 bonus for having 18 dexterity but thats what the rules state.


Much of the discussion regarding this issue seems to be rooted in previous editions. In DnD Next they actually are doing a pretty good job at balancing things out, though obviously there are fewer strength based skills in the backgrounds section. This is why I said its more useful for groups that improvise rather than use the provided materials verbatim.


I am not saying that Strength is way better, but I don't see why I should sacrifice AC and a small bonus to damage just so I can sneak around more easily. My goal was to have someone run around and poke people with a rapier but with the new dual wielding rules, and looking at the 1 hand damage potential... I felt like I was turned into an archer or a slightly weaker traditional warrior.




If we're discussing potential ways to consolidate abilities, why not go all the way down?

Physical - covers strength, con, dex, endurance, hit points, resistances, etc.
Mental - covers spells, intelligence, wisdom, skills, etc.
Social - cover charisma, appearance, influence, empathy, etc.

At the beginning of the game, you decide what you want your PCs primary, secondary, and tertiary traits to be. Fighter? Physical primary. Mage? Mental primary. Bard? Social primary. Depending on your secondary trait, your class gets modified based on it. A Fighter built with Physical as a primary and Social as a secondary would be geared better to use Intimidate and other social skills, not to mention being a good kick-off base for the Warlord. Mages with Mental as a Primary and Physical as a Secondary would make good sword-mages or war-mages.


Because “physical” deserves more nuance. After all, a rock is also physical.

There are good scientific (structural engineering) and medical (sports) reasons to distinguish between endurance and agility.

Physical
• Agility
• Endurance

Mental
• Intelligence (thinking) (mental agility)
• Charisma (feeling) (mental endurance)
NicolBolas: To alleviate large blocks of quoted text, I'll outright avoid quoting.

Manacles specifically in the equipment section actually say DC 19 dexterity, DC 21 strength.  This may just be an inconsistency.  Can you tell me where it references equal DC for both strength and dexterity when escaping bonds?

I don't believe you can use strength to break down a magically sealed door.  It's magic, afterall.  An excuse I loathe, but is omnipresent.

I never noticed the throwing axe until you mentioned it, so I thank you for that, but it's pretty miserable considering it weighs SEVEN pounds and has 1/5 the range of a longbow.  Also, since magical weapons are supposed to be a good deal more rare in this edition, getting a returning throwing axe seems unlikely.  The DM would basically have to hand a strength fighting man one to give him ANY ranged viability.

Unfortunately, my group does not houserule, it does not improvise, it follows the rules as written, so whatever gets released is what we work with.  All I can do is pray that the game will have some semblance of balance upon release, but as written, it's not.  Not by a long shot.

I feel your pain regarding characters.  In order to be a polearm and longbow user, I have to sacrifice absolutely everything else, leaving me with a poor constitution, dumb as a rock, and socially uncouth statistically speaking.  My stats are spread way too thin to be effective.  Don't even get me started on cutting down fighter maneuvers known or lowering expertise dice, and I've yet to find feats that I would actually be interested in taking.
Weapon Finesse needs to go away as a concept.
The only reason it ever existed was to be a bandaid over Thief's awful thac0/BAB.
....absolutely something...
NicolBolas: To alleviate large blocks of quoted text, I'll outright avoid quoting.

Manacles specifically in the equipment section actually say DC 19 dexterity, DC 21 strength.  This may just be an inconsistency.  Can you tell me where it references equal DC for both strength and dexterity when escaping bonds?

I don't believe you can use strength to break down a magically sealed door.  It's magic, afterall.  An excuse I loathe, but is omnipresent.

I never noticed the throwing axe until you mentioned it, so I thank you for that, but it's pretty miserable considering it weighs SEVEN pounds and has 1/5 the range of a longbow.  Also, since magical weapons are supposed to be a good deal more rare in this edition, getting a returning throwing axe seems unlikely.  The DM would basically have to hand a strength fighting man one to give him ANY ranged viability. 


Not only that but they made you more vulnerable to ranged attacks than close ones.. parry no longer protects vs ranged attacks. 

In other words ***** you melee dude. 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

If we're discussing potential ways to consolidate abilities, why not go all the way down?

Physical - covers strength, con, dex, endurance, hit points, resistances, etc.
Mental - covers spells, intelligence, wisdom, skills, etc.
Social - cover charisma, appearance, influence, empathy, etc.

At the beginning of the game, you decide what you want your PCs primary, secondary, and tertiary traits to be. Fighter? Physical primary. Mage? Mental primary. Bard? Social primary. Depending on your secondary trait, your class gets modified based on it. A Fighter built with Physical as a primary and Social as a secondary would be geared better to use Intimidate and other social skills, not to mention being a good kick-off base for the Warlord. Mages with Mental as a Primary and Physical as a Secondary would make good sword-mages or war-mages.

It's too simple and it's sacred cows slaughtering.

Strength, agility or appearance could be skills modified by respectively Physical, Mental and Social traits.

Even if I agree with this simple and constructive (and not even new) approach regarding the abilities relation to skills, there's no way it will be adopted in D&D, even if no one can explain why some of the six classic abilities represent aspects that can be trained and others aspects that can't be trained, or if Wisdom as defined in the dictionary is just intelligence with a positive connotation twist.

It seems that is better to keep traditions, even if it means that a potato will be described as a tomato. It's a bad design, but it's still taboo to get rid of these six relics.
If we're discussing potential ways to consolidate abilities, why not go all the way down?

Physical - covers strength, con, dex, endurance, hit points, resistances, etc.
Mental - covers spells, intelligence, wisdom, skills, etc.
Social - cover charisma, appearance, influence, empathy, etc.

At the beginning of the game, you decide what you want your PCs primary, secondary, and tertiary traits to be. Fighter? Physical primary. Mage? Mental primary. Bard? Social primary. Depending on your secondary trait, your class gets modified based on it. A Fighter built with Physical as a primary and Social as a secondary would be geared better to use Intimidate and other social skills, not to mention being a good kick-off base for the Warlord. Mages with Mental as a Primary and Physical as a Secondary would make good sword-mages or war-mages.


Because “physical” deserves more nuance. After all, a rock is also physical.

There are good scientific (structural engineering) and medical (sports) reasons to distinguish between endurance and agility.

Physical
• Agility
• Endurance

Mental
• Intelligence (thinking) (mental agility)
• Charisma (feeling) (mental endurance)



Well, while I like the categories, I think the names could use some finesse.

Physique - Strength, toughness-- basically being big and burly
Grace - Quick and skillful, mastering the way one moves their body.
Mind - Intellect, wit and general knowledge base.
Spirit - The "aura" around someone that draws others to them, the force of their personality, their general common sense. 

Fighters would be the physique-primary class, Rogues would be the Grace-primary class, Mages would be the Mind-primary class and Clerics would be the Spirit-primary class.

But, with the attributes reduced down to those four, I have no problem imagining how each of those classes could benefit from having a high score in any of the categories and how having a low score in any one could really set them back from achieving their full potential-- thus eliminating the nastiness involved with dump-stats and optimization involving focusing entirely on a single attribute.

It could also allow one to merge currently seperate classes into a single class-- for instance, a Warlord could easily be a Fighter with a higher Mind and/or Spirit score that focuses on combat feats that utilize those stats. A Ranger could be a Rogue with higher Physique and Spirit scores and so forth.

With these sort of ideas spinning, I may well give up on D&D 5E all together and develop my own version. 

I think consolidation to core 4 would be best. Strength Agility Intellect Spirit (I like the word better than charisma). D&D has too many redundant attributes.

It's still early, but this is the best idea I've heard all day.  Double +1 for the use of Spirit rather than Charisma, since it evokes feelings of willpower and determination and not appearance at all.

The metagame is not the game.
The easiest thing to do would be to combine strength and con into one stat, but they'll never do that because of sacred cow reasons.

Honestly I'd prefer strength a little underpowered than go to the 3E style setup where playing a dex fighter was a losing game.
Imagine being in an adventuring party of individuals with no strength.

- Cave-ins blocking an exit are deadly

- Carrying temporary items (or bodies of slain comrades) is impossible

- Carrying gear through a dungeon

- Carrying multiple weapons for different situations 

- Chopping down trees to make bridges

- Bashing doors barred from the other side

- Holding the closing door trap open so your party can escape

Way too many situations aren't easily handled without strength. Strength is just as handy for utility as a rogue skills, but for different situations. 
Imagine being in an adventuring party of individuals with no strength.

- Cave-ins blocking an exit are deadly

- Carrying temporary items (or bodies of slain comrades) is impossible

- Carrying gear through a dungeon

- Carrying multiple weapons for different situations 

- Chopping down trees to make bridges

- Bashing doors barred from the other side

- Holding the closing door trap open so your party can escape

Way too many situations aren't easily handled without strength. Strength is just as handy for utility as a rogue skills, but for different situations. 



Actually most of those don't particularly require strength. Remember, with the current encumbrance formula, your average 10 strength character can carry 100lbs unencumbered, 200 encumbered. You don't need a high strength to carry everything and the kitchen sink, or even to drag a comrade's body out of the dungeon.

Multiple weapons for different situations? You mean like the range and melee weapons that are dex based?

Your last three are ridiculously situational, but I am going to point out that chopping down trees is hardly something excluside to strength, anyone can do it given some time, and frankly if you're worried about making a bridge, you generally aren't talking about doing so in combat time.


Basically the only way strength becomes required is if your DM arbitrarily says "You must make a strength check to proceed". And even there, the difference between a character with average strength and max strength is +5. What are the odds your GM is throwing DC>20 str obstacles at a low strength group? (Keep in mind there are no skills that would aid on most such obstacles, so setting the DC to the very hard/legendary levels is making them impossible even for the strong guy) 
Thanks for the feedback. The point is that these tasks are draining on the human body, unless you are strong enough to make them easy. However, you have helped point out the issue that the RAW make strength arguably useless.
While strength is less useful it is more useful in this edition than in the previous. Now that disarm, grapple, push and knockdown are all in the core rules anyone with strength will be decent at this. 

My fighter just jumped on top of a hydra and grappled with some of the heads because I can add my ED to my strength check when grappling.  I think he does gain advantage for being large but I was still beating the beast for a few rounds with some luck. Having between +5 to +10 to grappling, pushing, knock down and disarm checks is pretty nice. 
I think consolidation to core 4 would be best. Strength Agility Intellect Spirit (I like the word better than charisma). D&D has too many redundant attributes.

It's still early, but this is the best idea I've heard all day.  Double +1 for the use of Spirit rather than Charisma, since it evokes feelings of willpower and determination and not appearance at all.




++1