Strength has lost its strength, longswords are worthless

I'm user hyperbole, but there is a big problem. If Dex based weapons like rapiers and scimitars do as much damage as Str based longswords and equivalents, then the relative power of Str compared to Dex plummets further than it already was. I got excited about making a rogue using a longsword and medium armor. Then as I actually looked at putting points into Str and Dex...I suddenly realized that it was a horrible choice. I should just go Dex all the way. Then I realized that it's pretty much the same way for a fighter too. Except, without Str I can't carry my heavy armor. Oh wait--I'm a Dex-based character, I can just use light armor. See the problem?

I think we should eliminate Dex bonus to damage. Either replace it with a Str bonus for melee weapons (ala 3e) or just completely eliminate any damage bonuses on Dex based weapons. I mean, most characters using them are getting martial damage anyway, so it's a small part of their damage output. It would at least make Str appear to be more useful with weapons. And, they ought to drop the damage down on finesse weapons too. It looked cool at first glance, but it won't work mathematically.

I'd rather have other ability scores improved than dexterity made weaker. (Though I agree that finesse weapons having equal damage dice to regular weapons is a tad silly.) Everybody knows this already, but here's a handy reminder!

"Ability scores: what do they do"



  • All: Saves, checks

  • Strength: Carrying Capacity, Melee

  • Dexterity: Melee, Ranged, Armor Class, Initiative

  • Constitution: Hit Points 

  • Intelligence: ---

  • Wisdom: ---

  • Charisma: ---

I liked the old way of doing it, where a rapier had a dex modifier bonus to hit, but still a strength modifier bonus to damage.

At the same time, I dislike not having anything additional added to having a high Int, Wis, or Cha. Didn't we used to get bonus spell slots, the ability to cast higher level spells, spell damage bonuses, and Int modifier bonus spells per level gained? What happened to that mechanic? Indeed, that would go a long way toward helping the Wizard out in terms of not only firepower, but amassing the collection of spells that all the D&D novels seem to suggest that high level wizards possess.
Yeah, but that only benefits the spellcasters. I think every ability should have some real benefit to any character, beyond saves and skills. Dexterity has initiative and constitution has hit points.
I'd prefer stats have no bonuses to anything; Stats are munchkin fodder.
Make it simple; Stats are just that stats for saving throws.
That would work too, for me at least.
Good point. Int had additional languages and Wis had save modifiers. Poor Cha.
 
I'd rather have other ability scores improved than dexterity made weaker. (Though I agree that finesse weapons having equal damage dice to regular weapons is a tad silly.) Everybody knows this already, but here's a handy reminder!

"Ability scores: what do they do"



  • All: Saves, checks

  • Strength: Carrying Capacity, Melee

  • Dexterity: Melee, Ranged, Armor Class, Initiative

  • Constitution: Hit Points 

  • Intelligence: ---

  • Wisdom: ---

  • Charisma: ---


Dex is even better than this table suggests, since Dex saves are by far the most common, and Dex-based checks, especially involuntary ones, are also extremely common.  Wis is a close second in this regard, but Wis doesn't give you AC (unless you're a monk), attacks (unless you're a laser cleric), or initiative.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

True. Dex is also used for Stealth (Sneaking, whatever) which, in my experience, is possibly the skill that everyone in a party should have. Even more so than, say, spot, which is good, but not potentially disastrous if even one character fails.
True. Dex is also used for Stealth (Sneaking, whatever) which, in my experience, is possibly the skill that everyone in a party should have. Even more so than, say, spot, which is good, but not potentially disastrous if even one character fails.

I think for wisdom and intellegance should have an effect on prepeared spells... 

for example intellgance bonus + level for prepared spells....

also keep in mind that either Wisdom or Intellgance effect spot... which is very nice in this game.

 
I liked the old way of doing it, where a rapier had a dex modifier bonus to hit, but still a strength modifier bonus to damage.



+1. I think it is absurd that monks have no use whatsoerver for Strength when fighting unarmed. Likewise, bows gain no benefit from Strength, which is also totally unrealistic.
The most damage you can do with a finesse weapon is 10 + dex mod (Katana.) The most damage you can do with a single swing is 12 + str mod (Greataxe, Greatsword, Lance, Maul.) The most damage you can do with a non-finesse weapon is 14 + str mod (Double Axe, Double Sword.)

Let us not forget that dwarves get a die increase to axes. That means traditionally 1d10 weapons can increase to 1d12 + str mod.

So, strength continues to be the damage-dealing ability and dex continues to be the workhorse ability. I've never heard anybody complain that their 16 strength, 12 dex fighter was OP'd by a rogue who can't wear heavy armor, much less carry it without sacrificing room for the myriad gear they tote around.
I liked the old way of doing it, where a rapier had a dex modifier bonus to hit, but still a strength modifier bonus to damage.



On the surface it makes sense, but it's not how it actually works. It takes very little force to do damage with a rapier, so it really is all about placement. Plus, damage is abstract anyway.
So, strength continues to be the damage-dealing ability and dex continues to be the workhorse ability. I've never heard anybody complain that their 16 strength, 12 dex fighter was OP'd by a rogue who can't wear heavy armor, much less carry it without sacrificing room for the myriad gear they tote around.



If that fighter had been 16 dex/12 str instead of 16 str/12 dex, here's the breakdown:


- Wears light armor with roughly the same AC as heavy (I actually don't know what the suggested item progression is, but I imagine the AC bumps for heavy armor are supposed to correspond roughly to stat boosts upon level-up).
- Gains 5 ft. movement due to armor change
- Loses disadvantage on stealth checks due to armor change
- Gains a bonus to initiative


- Loses around 10 pounds carrying capacity (40 lbs. gross, but wearing armor that weighs 30 lbs. less).
- Loses 1 point of damage per attack, total if using a 2h weapon (going from a maul to a katana)
- Loses no damage if using a 1h weapon (unless they're a dwarf in which case it's 1 point of damage again)


Dex saves also tend to be the most common type as far as I can tell.  Dex continues to be the best class-agnostic stat (like it was in 4e) for combat situations.

Edit:  I guess in fairness that strength makes you better at disarming opponents in combat. 

Dex saves also tend to be the most common type as far as I can tell.  Dex continues to be the best class-agnostic stat (like it was in 4e) for combat situations.

Edit:  I guess in fairness that strength makes you better at disarming opponents in combat.



The argument that dexterity is the best stat in the game because it is most frequently called is difficult to argue. On one hand, your GM may be calling for dex saves reflexively without knowing what abilities apply to what situations. On the other hand, you may be playing a module that relies on dex-based characters.

From "How to Play.pdf"

Strength

Checks

The DM commonly asks you to use Strength when you make a check to climb a sheer wall, jump over a wide chasm, swim through rough water, bend bars, lift a gate, push a boulder, lift a tree trunk, or smash through a door.

Saving Throws

The DM commonly asks you to use Strength when you make a saving throw to escape a grapple or bindings, resist being pushed against your will, knock aside a boulder that is rolling toward you, catch a collapsing ceiling, or grab onto a ledge to keep from falling.




Dexterity

Checks

The DM commonly asks you to use Dexterity when you make a check to balance on a narrow ledge, sneak up on someone, tie a rope, wriggle free from bonds, or perform an acrobatic stunt.

Saving Throws

The DM commonly asks you to use Dexterity when you make a saving throw to wriggle free of a grapple, avoid spells such as lightning bolt and fireball, dodge a falling pillar, or dive out of the way of a charging horse.



As you can see above, a character with a high strength score can accomplish things dex based characters can not. For instance, if a dex-based character is having trouble picking a lock, the str-based character can always break the lock or carry the chest out with them. Of course, this works in a number of ways where the dextrous character has an advantage, but it is largely balanced, if not in favor of the strong character.

Also, you can see that the saving throws are nearly identical. The strong chracter can break their restraints or force themself free, while the dextrous character can wriggle free. The strong character has a better chance of holding onto a ledge, while the dextrous character must rely on tumbles and hope it's not too long of a fall.

If someone wants to make a stealthy dex-based fighter, then let them. That's why the Ambusher specialty exists in the first place. The player who opts for a stealth based fighter brings a stealth based fighter to the group. That is, a character that has to devote their maneuvers to build what the rogue can gain innately. Considering no one is supposed to know what their character is until they all meet, it shouldn't be unreasonable for players to create whatever character they want with whatever backstory they want without fear of letting the party down (because it doesn't exist yet.) If there are holes in the party (like not being able to sway an NPC because your fighter took Sneak instead of Intimidate,) c'est la vie.

And yes, with strength you can disarm an enemy. Unfortunately, Next requires you to take a maneuver called Disarm to do it. Or maybe not. It's a maneuver. And it's a combat action. Like, it's a martial dice roll, or a strength check. Whoa.

My final point: If you roll a character, that's your character. Them's the breaks. You rolled an 8 constitution? You better either learn that spellbook or how to keep track of arrows.
Saying strength isn't as powerful as dex is untrue.

Each stat lets a character do a field of heroic feats. If you narrow the field to Rapier with 18 dex vs. longsword with 18 strength, sure, the comparison is going to be similar. You can't just look at things from the perspective of Longsword vs. Rapier. While dex adds more things overall to a character sheet's numbers, dex based abilities can be hindered easier than strength based abilities.

A high dex character is maneuverable, has a good AC while moving, good attack with finese weapons, higher initiative modifier. Dex based skills are based on finesse obviously: moving, steath, balance, escape artist, opening things with skill not force, etc. Dex based characters are not as reliant on their equipment for defense. Remove their equipment and their defense is probably 80-90% effective still. Dex characters wilt under duress. While you can load up a dex character's numbers, those numbers can be reduced with situational DMing. You can deny dexterity bonuses which lower those stats. Dex based defenses can be affected by environment and general effects such as immobilize. Also, a party without any strength based characters is easy to pick on with heavy obstacles, unpickable locks or doors and climbing(bane of strengthless characters). I can't count how many times a party was thwarted by a simple climb obstacle because half the party couldn't make the check.

A high strength character generally has a good AC all the time, even when not moving, good attack with all weapons, exceptional damage with two-handed weapons. Strength based skills are power skills: breaking things, forcing things open or keeping things closed, pushing people around combat, opening things with force, not skill. Strength based characters are however highly reliant on equipment for defense. Remove their armor and or shield and they're probably 25% effective on defense.  Strength characters however also do not bend as easily. They're durable in all situations and while their max numbers may be the same as a dex character, their numbers do not diminish as quickly as a dex based character in most situations. Strength bonuses are not easily denied. Strength is typically only an effect specifically targetting strength. General effects typically do not deny a strength based character anything besides the effect itself.

The perception here is that on paper, dexterity based characters provide more numbers which are deceiving as those numbers fluctuate. In practice, strength based characters offers more consistancy and durability as their numbers do not fluctuate as often.
I just rolled up a dwarves fighter and no way would I go dex based with himMy with the battle ax I get 2d6 damage compaired to a d10 with a katana which is two handed which means no shield bonus to ac. Pointless when I can just use a battle ax for same damage but get +1 ac with it. And throwing axes at 1d8 is pretty cool. Also, when you figure in the caps on dex mod for certain armors, it's going to be tough to beat the heavier armors. I could of also gone with mountain dwarf for an additional +1 ac when wearing medium or heavier armor. no way I would go dex as prime stat For this character. 

While a light armor dex based dualist might be compairible to a strength based fighter I can't see it overshadowing him. Yes, your fighter could go all dex and use a rapier, doing same damage as a long sword but with better int, sneaking ability, etc. but armor will be at best similar, and you will deny yourself the ability to employ the big guns effectively, such as great swords etc. also the majority of magic swords are long swords (or at least not finesse). So, forget about wielding flame toung or frost band, holy avenger or the vorproal sword. not to many rapiers of legend exist out there. 

really, finess weapons are mostly so rogues and probably rangers don't have to worry as much about splitting their abilities between stealth and combat. Their limit in weapon profs already denies them the big weapons, so the finess is more of a way to let them have a decent to hit and damage mod in melee without forcing them to sacrifice their prime stat of dex which is used for a lot of their skills as well as boosting their ac that is limited to light armor. 
Dex definitely affects more things on your character sheet.  This is part of the reason I really like the optional CHA-based restriction on magic items, and the idea of using Wis OR Dex for initiative.

It seems like the light armor class being based on 11+Dex (with the highest starting stat typically being a +4 modifier) was done to help combat the power of Dex, especially for fighters.  Chainmail is always going to be a higher AC.  I'm also glad that STR-based weapons are higher damage on average (and I'm one of those "katanas don't really belong" people, so when you ditch them the difference is even better).

What I really would love is a STR-based restriction on armor, which would actually tie high-STR characters into stronger armor even moreso.  But it's also another stat to track and this is nearly handled with class requirements, and it might make some classes even MADder (looking at you, cleric). 
Having Dex add to damage with ranged or melee weapons seems to much for a 1st level character.  I would prefer to see this as a feat not available until higher level.

The most damage you can do with a finesse weapon is 10 + dex mod (Katana.) The most damage you can do with a single swing is 12 + str mod (Greataxe, Greatsword, Lance, Maul.) The most damage you can do with a non-finesse weapon is 14 + str mod (Double Axe, Double Sword.)

Yet this 2/4 difference begins to fade if the damage is not just [W]+Mod but [W]+Mod+Dice+Bonus

I've never heard anybody complain that their 16 strength, 12 dex fighter was OP'd by a rogue who can't wear heavy armor, much less carry it without sacrificing room for the myriad gear they tote around.

The 16 Dex fighter is just laughing at him having the same AC with Dex+Light armor and no need to carry around that clunky heavy armor
In real life, rapiers, small swords, and all the other similar "finesse" blades were developed during the 16th century. They became extremely popular in the 17th century, mostly as part of official outfits of officers and gentlemen.
Army officers would carry their swords in combat as late as during WWI (and Japanese officers still carried their katanas during WWII, but katanas are more closely related to the longsword than the rapier).

The primary combat function of "finesse" blades was dueling. They could also be employed in actual combat, and were initially issued to army officers as sidearms; the soldier had his bayonet after all, which was a much heavier, but shorter blade (shorter because it was to be used fixed on the musket). But why would such light (flexible even) swords be practical in combat?
The answer is this: gunpowder. The advent of effective gunpowder weapons made heavy metal armors obsolete. Thus, these light swords, which would normally be utterly ineffective against a plate-wearing knight, now could actually wound the unarmored enemy.
Longswords on the other hand, and other heavy swords, were used against armored warriors since the dawn of time. They were heavy and relied on strength to be effective, because they had to slash or punch through a metal plate.

With DDN assuming that a rapier is just as effective against a heavy-armor-wearing opponent as a longsword, finesse weapons will most likely always come out on top, and the Dexterity fighter will be the way to go. As was done in real life, where the tightly packed, low-mobility, non-camouflaged phalanx formations of Ancient Greece evolved into the spread out, highly maneuverable, camouflage-using infantry of today.

Make finesse weapons ineffective against heavy armor, and the longsword will regain its glory once more.
...
for example intellgance bonus + level for prepared spells....
 



The typographical errors aside, this seems like a good idea. +1
The perception here is that on paper, dexterity based characters provide more numbers which are deceiving as those numbers fluctuate. In practice, strength based characters offers more consistancy and durability as their numbers do not fluctuate as often.

This was true in 3e, but not in Next. D&D Next doesn't have situations where you "are denied your Dexterity bonus to AC" or "lose your Dexterity bonus," etc. That entire line of argument is mistaken. Easy enough mistake to make though.

Being able to use two handed weapons with a tiny bit more damage, if you so choose that route, doesn't in anyway balance Strength. Let's stick to using one-handed weapons. I used longsword because it's better for a comparison.

Fighter 1 is Str-based. Fighter 2 is Dex-based. Bold represents areas where that build is better.

Fighter 1 (Str 16/Dex 12)
Attack: +3
Damage (longsword): 1d8+3
Initiative: +1
AC (Chainmail, shield): 17
Carrying Capacity (after weapons and armor): 110 (very little difference)
Str Saves: +3 (escaping restraints--all other uses are rare)
Str Checks: +3 (lifting, breaking, bending, jumping, swimming, climbing)
Dex Saves: +1 (area effects blasts (fireball, lightning bolt, etc), escape grapples, avoid traps, dodge pretty much anything dodgeable)
Dex Checks: +1 (balancing, sneaking, tumbling, disabling devices, escaping from bonds, riding, legerdemain, using ropes)
Mobility Hindrances: Stealth disadvantage, -5' movement

Fighter 2 (Dex 16/Str 12)
Attack +3
Damage (rapier): 1d8+3
Initiative: +3
AC (Leather): 14
Carrying Capacity (after weapons and armor): 103 (very little difference)
Str Saves: +1 (escaping restraints--all other uses are rare)
Str Checks: +1 (lifting, breaking, bending, jumping, swimming, climbing)
Dex Saves: +3 (area effects blasts (fireball, lightning bolt, etc), escape grapples, avoid traps, dodge pretty much anything dodgeable)
Dex Checks: +3 (balancing, sneaking, tumbling, disabling devices, escaping from bonds, riding, legerdemain, using ropes)
Mobility Hindrances: None

Now let's make it even more of a difference, and give them both more money for gear. I'll also add in Fighter 3, who decided to wear heavy armor with his Dex.

Fighter 1b (Str 18/Dex 12)
Attack: +4
Damage (longsword): 1d8+4
Initiative: +1
AC (Splint, shield): 18
Carrying Capacity (after weapons and armor): 125
Str Saves: +4 (escaping restraints--all other uses are rare)
Str Checks: +4 (lifting, breaking, bending, jumping, swimming, climbing)
Dex Saves: +1 (area effects blasts (fireball, lightning bolt, etc), escape grapples, avoid traps, dodge pretty much anything dodgeable)
Dex Checks: +1 (balancing, sneaking, tumbling, disabling devices, escaping from bonds, riding, legerdemain, using ropes)
Mobility Hindrances: Stealth disadvantage, -5' movement

Fighter 2b (Dex 18/Str 12)
Attack +4
Damage (rapier): 1d8+4
Initiative: +4
AC (Dragon leather): 16
Carrying Capacity (after weapons and armor): 103
Str Saves: +1 (escaping restraints--all other uses are rare)
Str Checks: +1 (lifting, breaking, bending, jumping, swimming, climbing)
Dex Saves: +4 (area effects blasts (fireball, lightning bolt, etc), escape grapples, avoid traps, dodge pretty much anything dodgeable)
Dex Checks: +4 (balancing, sneaking, tumbling, disabling devices, escaping from bonds, riding, legerdemain, using ropes)
Mobility Hindrances: None

Fighter 3b (Dex 18/Str 12)
Attack +4
Damage (rapier): 1d8+4
Initiative: +4
AC (Splint, shield): 18
Carrying Capacity (after weapons and armor): 65
Str Saves: +1 (escaping restraints--all other uses are rare)
Str Checks: +1 (lifting, breaking, bending, jumping, swimming, climbing)
Dex Saves: +4 (area effects blasts (fireball, lightning bolt, etc), escape grapples, avoid traps, dodge pretty much anything dodgeable)
Dex Checks: +4 (balancing, sneaking, tumbling, disabling devices, escaping from bonds, riding, legerdemain, using ropes)
Mobility Hindrances: Stealth disadvantage, -5' movement

Now we'll max them out.

Fighter 1c (Str 20/Dex 12)
Attack: +5
Damage (longsword): 1d8+5
Initiative: +1
AC (Mithril Plate, shield): 19
Carrying Capacity (after weapons and armor): 155
Str Saves: +5 (escaping restraints--all other uses are rare)
Str Checks: +5 (lifting, breaking, bending, jumping, swimming, climbing)
Dex Saves: +1 (area effects blasts (fireball, lightning bolt, etc), escape grapples, avoid traps, dodge pretty much anything dodgeable)
Dex Checks: +1 (balancing, sneaking, tumbling, disabling devices, escaping from bonds, riding, legerdemain, using ropes)
Mobility Hindrances: Stealth disadvantage

Fighter 2c (Dex 20/Str 12)
Attack +5
Damage (rapier): 1d8+5
Initiative: +5
AC (Mithril shirt): 18
Carrying Capacity (after weapons and armor): 108
Str Saves: +1 (escaping restraints--all other uses are rare)
Str Checks: +1 (lifting, breaking, bending, jumping, swimming, climbing)
Dex Saves: +5 (area effects blasts (fireball, lightning bolt, etc), escape grapples, avoid traps, dodge pretty much anything dodgeable)
Dex Checks: +5 (balancing, sneaking, tumbling, disabling devices, escaping from bonds, riding, legerdemain, using ropes)
Mobility Hindrances: None

Fighter 3c (Dex 20/Str 12)
Attack +5
Damage (rapier): 1d8+5
Initiative: +5
AC (Mithril Plate, shield): 19
Carrying Capacity (after weapons and armor): 75
Str Saves: +1 (escaping restraints--all other uses are rare)
Str Checks: +1 (lifting, breaking, bending, jumping, swimming, climbing)
Dex Saves: +5 (area effects blasts (fireball, lightning bolt, etc), escape grapples, avoid traps, dodge pretty much anything dodgeable)
Dex Checks: +5 (balancing, sneaking, tumbling, disabling devices, escaping from bonds, riding, legerdemain, using ropes)
Mobility Hindrances: Stealth disadvantage

So what the Strength fighter has going for him is a better AC (decreasingly so over time), better Str saves (3rd-4th most useful save), better Str checks (3rd-4th most useful checks), and a better carrying capacity (increasingly so over time.)

The Dexterity fighter has a higher initiative, better Dex saves (1st-2nd most useful save), better Dex checks (1st-2nd most useful checks), and no mobility hindrances.

And if the Dexterity fighter chooses to, he can get the high AC by accepting mobility hindrances and a lower carrying capacity. That means that what the armored Dex fighter has going for him compared to the Strength fighter is better initiative, better Dex saves, better Dex checks, everything else being equal except for Str saves and checks and carrying capacity.

This seems to me to make a Strength based sword and shield fighter a very subpar choice. Even if his attack, damage, and AC are identical, he's losing out on initiative and trading first order checks and saves for mediocre ones, just to get a higher carrying capacity.

He needs to do more damage with his longsword.
The Dex-based fighter can use a shield, or a katana.  Either choice narrows a gap.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

I guess what they should do is take away the finess attribute of the katana (or require a feat to use it) and drop rapier damage back to a d6. I would rather see that then more damage boost. If fighter gets to dish out to much more damage monster hps are going to require inflation.

edit: basically, make all finess weapons do a d6 damage die or less.  
basically, make all finess weapons do a d6 damage die or less.


I don't think low [W] damage is going to do the trick, because eventually fighters will be dishing out tons of damage, and only a small part of it will come from [W].

I thought about suggesting that Medium and Heavy armors provide some kind of benefit on Dexterity saves. Ultimately, though, I think it just makes more sense that those armor types provide damage reduction. It's 2012. We all understand that this makes more sense, and now it can help fix some of the math. At the very least, make this a strongly encouraged module. If someone is adamant that D&D legacy of "Armor Class" is sacrosanct, then they're probably not the target audience for consistent and diverse combat options.
Also, let's not forget that there are now no strength base ranged options period.
Chainmail is always going to be a higher AC.



Actually, looking at the equipment table, chainmail is only higher AC until characters are high enough level to get stat boosts.  If you start with a +4 bonus, you wind up with a +6 bonus at high level and light armor ends up completely overtaking heavy armor (in addition to having faster movement and no stealth penalty).  That's probably a bit of a problem (maybe the higher level heavy armors should have their ACs adjusted upwards a bit?).

I'm also glad that STR-based weapons are higher damage on average (and I'm one of those "katanas don't really belong" people, so when you ditch them the difference is even better).



They're one point of damage more on average.  That's noticeable at level 1 (1d6 + 1d10 + 4 = 13; 14/13 = 8% more) but basically negligible by level 8 (4d6 + 1d10 + 5 + 5 = 29.5; 30.5/29.5 = 3% more).
What I meant when I said "he needs to do more damage with his longsword" isn't that we should increase the damage of Strength based weapons, but that we need to decrease finesse damage. I was unclear.

There are a couple different ways of doing it. I favor both dropping the finesse weapons by a die type, and removing the ability to add Dex to damage. Either replace it by allowing Strength to continue to apply to damage on finesse weapons (ala 3e), or simply eliminate an ability based damage bonus to Dex based weapons in general. Eventually Dex-based fighters will have more or less caught up due to the damage boosts from class abilties, but they will always be a few points behind on the damage output, which matters thematically throughout the game.

It would make you feel good for choosing Strength, or feel good for choosing Dexterity. As it is currently written though, you feel like a role-playing chump when you choose Strength. I shouldn't be mechanically penalized for a role-played stat choice.
Chainmail is always going to be a higher AC.



Actually, looking at the equipment table, chainmail is only higher AC until characters are high enough level to get stat boosts.  If you start with a +4 bonus, you wind up with a +6 bonus at high level and light armor ends up completely overtaking heavy armor (in addition to having faster movement and no stealth penalty).  That's probably a bit of a problem (maybe the higher level heavy armors should have their ACs adjusted upwards a bit?).

[



How does that character get a +6 dex mod, as far as I knew abilities capped at 20 meaning that +5 is as high as they can get. Am I missing some new rule that allows us to exceed that limit?
No, the maximum is still 20.  The character creation guide mentions no character can start with a score higher than 20 after adjustments (page 2), and later says that you cannot use your ability score increases when leveling to go higher than 20 (page 5). 

Perhaps in the future magic items (or spells) will modify stats to go above 20, but I imagine they are trying to keep "natural" ability scores maxed at 20. 
I think finesse weapons should deal less damage as well, simply because they are a more versatile option.  That, or there needs to be some other sort of trade-off.  Why, as a fighter, would I use a longsword instead of a scimitar or rapier other than the cheaper cost?  I'm not sure crit threat and such is the way to approach this with such a generic system, but there should be some advantage to the non-finesse weapons other than simply being cheaper to buy, which is inconsequential after character creation.

P.S. Thanks for making a katana two-handed.  I still won't allow them in a campaign without heavy oriental elements, but it's good to see the stats on 'em changed.  I cringed at the idea of every rapscallion running around with a superbly-crafted blade.  I've always treated all katana as masterwork weapons.  I think that's from 3rd edition someplace, but it made sense to me.
I've always treated all katana as masterwork weapons.  I think that's from 3rd edition someplace, but it made sense to me.


That's from the 3e DMG. It suggests that DMs treat katanas as masterwork bastard swords.
How does that character get a +6 dex mod, as far as I knew abilities capped at 20 meaning that +5 is as high as they can get. Am I missing some new rule that allows us to exceed that limit?



Ah, whoops.  I saw the rule that says you can't START with a stat above 20 but missed the one that said you can't IMPROVE a stat past 20.  My mistake.
Bump the one handed and two handed normal nonfinesse martial weapons up a die.

Longsword, Batteaxe, Trident, Warhammer, War Pick, Flail 1d10
Greatsword, Great Axe, Maul 2d6
Bastardsword 1d8/1d10

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Make nonmagical finesse weapons deal no damage on a normal hit against someone wearing any kind of heavy armor, and normal damage if a critical hit is scored. Against magic finesse weapons, any kind of heavy armor (magical or otherwise) provides resistance only on a normal hit (critical hits still deal full normal damage). Nothing else needs to be changed.
Make nonmagical finesse weapons deal no damage on a normal hit against someone wearing any kind of heavy armor, and normal damage if a critical hit is scored. Against magic finesse weapons, any kind of heavy armor (magical or otherwise) provides resistance only on a normal hit (critical hits still deal full normal damage). Nothing else needs to be changed.


This works for AC styled defenses.  It's might be a bit much, but I like it.

Only issue I have is the 'all or nothing' aspect to it.  Which is a problem with AC in general.
That would make finesse weapons way, way weaker than they ought to be.  It also doesn't necessarily make that much sense, since in certain situations it's actually easier to do damage to someone in heavy armor with a dagger than with an axe.
That would make finesse weapons way, way weaker than they ought to be.  It also doesn't necessarily make that much sense, since in certain situations it's actually easier to do damage to someone in heavy armor with a dagger than with an axe.


No.  It's not.  To kill with a dagger (Or more accurately a stilleto type spike) you have to stick in a joint or a vulnerable spot.  A Critical.  And even then, you're going to be bleeding out slowly comparatively.

But an Axe?  You can concuss your opponent to death without penetrating the armour.

It's actually more accurate than you think.
It is worth noting that with the current implementation of Gauntlets of Ogre Power and especially Belts of Giant Strength (+9 from stat!), you should always start as a Dex fighter, and swap over if you find a strength booster.  No wasted stat points that way, and better ranged ability.
Make nonmagical finesse weapons deal no damage on a normal hit against someone wearing any kind of heavy armor, and normal damage if a critical hit is scored. Against magic finesse weapons, any kind of heavy armor (magical or otherwise) provides resistance only on a normal hit (critical hits still deal full normal damage). Nothing else needs to be changed.


This works for AC styled defenses.  It's might be a bit much, but I like it.

Only issue I have is the 'all or nothing' aspect to it.  Which is a problem with AC in general.



It's not a perfect solution, but it is rather simple to implement in practice, and makes things more realistic. I could easily suggest a more complicated - and more realistic - solution, but I don't think it would really be any more useful.

I thought about going one step further and adding to the above suggestion the option to ignore the rule if a character opted to use Strength for his attack and damage with a finesse weapon, but then again it would hit another caveat: most finesse weapons are not built for the application of brute force - a forceful attack with a rapier would probably break the blade, most likely before it achieved penetration of heavy armor... So I'll leave my suggestion as is.
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