Dexterity Restrictions on Armor Just Shouldn't BE

My only thought behind this is PCs are heroes. These limitations on thier ability scores (especially) DEX is detremental.
My only thought behind this is PCs are heroes. These limitations on thier ability scores (especially) DEX is detremental.

Heroes still have to carry stuff. And it weighs them down.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
 Dex is already the best stat. With no dex limit on armor heavy armor is the best 100% of the time, with a rapier and longbow.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

"PCs are heroes" is not a very good argument, and while I agree that Dex limits are kind of silly, you'll need to propose a balanced (and preferably logical) alternative if you want to have a meaningful discussion on the topic.

The metagame is not the game.

Dex limits... how about encumberance penalties? -10 speed and disadvantage to just about everything? I'm still trying to figure out how being encumbered interferes with your ability to resist being turned to stone or poison.
Dex limits... how about encumberance penalties? -10 speed and disadvantage to just about everything? I'm still trying to figure out how being encumbered interferes with your ability to resist being turned to stone or poison.



Ah, encumbrance.  Another of those nitpicky accounting things that should probably be tossed out.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Dex limits... how about encumberance penalties? -10 speed and disadvantage to just about everything? I'm still trying to figure out how being encumbered interferes with your ability to resist being turned to stone or poison.



Ah, encumbrance.  Another of those nitpicky accounting things that should probably be tossed out.



I say leave it. DMs that use it want to have rules for it. DMs, like me, that never use it will just keep on ignoring it
My two copper.
Er

What do you mean by dex limits?  Do you mean things like medium armor, that say AC 12 + Dex modifier (max +2)?

If so, those aren't dex limits, those are balancing ACs across armor types.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I'm not really saying get rid of encumbrance penalties (I actually like that part of the game, although it's usually meaningless once you start finding bags of holding, etc). I just think that the current rules don't make any sense.  My weak as Hell wizard suddenly has difficulty recalling arcane lore because he picked up a 5 pound book two rooms ago? Yeah, no.
I'm not really saying get rid of encumbrance penalties (I actually like that part of the game, although it's usually meaningless once you start finding bags of holding, etc). I just think that the current rules don't make any sense.  My weak as Hell wizard suddenly has difficulty recalling arcane lore because he picked up a 5 pound book two rooms ago? Yeah, no.



The only thing I can think of is that your body is under enough stress that it's having trouble functioning at 100%, lol. Even then, that's a stretch.
My two copper.
I don't see any problem with it. Being in heavy armor slows you down. You just can't do the same kind of ninja dodges you could in leather armor when you're in full plate.
I'm not really saying get rid of encumbrance penalties (I actually like that part of the game, although it's usually meaningless once you start finding bags of holding, etc). I just think that the current rules don't make any sense.  My weak as Hell wizard suddenly has difficulty recalling arcane lore because he picked up a 5 pound book two rooms ago? Yeah, no.



Nobody takes the SAT while weighted down with heavy gear.  It would probably affect their performance.
I don't see any problem with it. Being in heavy armor slows you down. You just can't do the same kind of ninja dodges you could in leather armor when you're in full plate.

Instead of dex adding to ac up to a limit, dex and armor ac could jsut be separate. If you have an 18 dex, your ac is 14 regardless of armor, until you wear armor thats good enough it gives you a 15  ac or better. when your dex is drained or you cant dodge because youre glued to the floor or paralyzed or suprised then you can use your armor ac even if its worst than your dex ac. when attacked by something that goes right through armor like a wraith's touch you use your dex ac even if its lower than your armor ac.

I don't see any problem with it. Being in heavy armor slows you down. You just can't do the same kind of ninja dodges you could in leather armor when you're in full plate.

Instead of dex adding to ac up to a limit, dex and armor ac could jsut be separate. If you have an 18 dex, your ac is 14 regardless of armor, until you wear armor thats good enough it gives you a 15  ac or better. when your dex is drained or you cant dodge because youre glued to the floor or paralyzed or suprised then you can use your armor ac even if its worst than your dex ac. when attacked by something that goes right through armor like a wraith's touch you use your dex ac even if its lower than your armor ac.

You just cursed every light armor wearer to horrid AC for eternity.

Maybe you're okay with that, but I'm not.

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gotta have encumbrance in my group...

i almost never check it, but OCCASIONALLY when someone is picking up every mundane weapon they find i'll ask for their sheet and tell them  "nope! better drop some weight, your not a mule!"


immersion is very important for us.   i also make them keep track of ammo, and consumables, and make sure they sleep...  this isn't a videogame.
We have quick-releases on backpacks in our campaign.  We also keep crossbows on a tether so they can be dropped to get a new weapon.

For the most part, I don't bother with encumberance.  It's hard to do with 4E if you want to track coin weight, too.  I just gave them a bag of holding for money purposes.
I'm not sure we need dex armor penalties or a max dex bonus per armor type.   2e never had them and the penalties don't make any sense for some armor types.   Plate armor does not slow you down like people think.   That's something wrong that started with 3e.

With that said, I would argue for a total max AC.   That way the numbers don't get too high and characters with high dex can use it when the armor is designed to allow for more freedom of movement (like plate over chain).  

In addition, removing the limits / penalties per armor is one step to making the game more simple.


I'm not sure we need dex armor penalties or a max dex bonus per armor type.   2e never had them and the penalties don't make any sense for some armor types.   Plate armor does not slow you down like people think.   That's something wrong that started with 3e.

With that said, I would argue for a total max AC.   That way the numbers don't get too high and characters with high dex can use it when the armor is designed to allow for more freedom of movement (like plate over chain).  

In addition, removing the limits / penalties per armor is one step to making the game more simple.



 On thing I did like with 2nd ed was the swashbuckler kit. It gave you a +2 AC when using no armor, leather or studded leather.

 A problem right now is you get dex to damage which is massive. In 2nd ed if you had 18 dex and 18/xyz or gaunlets of ogre power you were a combat god. THere was a trade off between high dex and high strength unless you were lucky enough to have both.

D&DN has no trade off. Dex is always better.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 


D&DN has no trade off. Dex is always better.



Yeah, dex is the super stat in D&DN. Though I'm not sure if I hate that. At the very least strength and dex based characters are both viable. I prefer it to 2E/3E where you basically couldn't make a good dex-based fighter wtihout relying on sneak attack.


Real armor did slow you down, especially plate and other heavy armor, but not nearly as much as people tend to think. You did not become like Robocop by wearing one.
A well-made suit of plate armor would sometimes weight no more than 20kg (~40lb), but it was a little clumsy because of the joint connections and such, not only the weight of it alone.

Even a mail hauberk (aka Chain Shirt in D&D) would slow you down slightly.
Maybe not much in overland movement, but try and swim or climb with one and you would certainly feel the armor taking its toll.

The Max Dex rule is a good way to balance things and take that into account, but I do have some remarks...

Two things I would like to see changed in the actual armor rules:

1- Bring back armor check penalty.
It could be Disadvantage instead if you like that better (though in the case of armor I think a -X penalty would be more suitable), but that needs to be extended to all Dex and Str based skills, not just stealth.
Imagine having to tumble, climb, swim or even pick someone's pocket while using a full suit of Plate Armor and you can see what I mean.

2- Make heavier armors better.
Maybe only slightly, but something. Max Dex is good to balance things out, but in the end wearing a good piece of protection should always be desirable for a combatant.
No medieval warrior in his right mind would pass on a suit of Plate or Mail and say "Nah... I think I'll just go bare-chested instead."
The only real reason for someone to not want to wear, say, at least a piece of mail, would probably be something not related to combat.
Example: I'm a thief, so despite the fact that a suit of mail can keep me from harm, I would rather not risk doing my roguey business in such noisy garment.
Or perhaps if I'm a mage, armor will get in the way of casting spells.

So give heavy armors a slight adjustment.
Perhaps AC 20 for plate instead of 18. So that even a high-dex character in light armor can't beat that level of protection.

But won't Plate-wearers become really hard to hit for a 1st level character with low To Hit?
Yeah, but that's how much a real Plate Armor mattered in the battlefield. You just couldn't pierce it with a regular blade. So much that melee combat in the late medieval age changed drastically due to plate use. Techniques of tackling, grappling and immobilizing knights were being used, to then slip a blade between his armor pieces.

Try and force a high-AC opponent into a situation where you have Advantage, then it gets easier to beat his AC by having 2 dice to roll.
Combat gets more tactical and interesting that way.

Also, unless your DM states that your character is highborn, and starts out as a rich noble... I doubt anyone will be using a suit of Plate right away. 'Cause they're very expensive and in general players begin their adventuring with not nearly enough money for purchasing one.


Ok, Ok, I know not everyone cares for that level of historical flavour in their RPGs.
But even so, in terms of pure game balance, I think heavy armors should be slightly better in their level of protection, and not something that "I'll use just cause I don't have much Dex."


what about adding strength modifier to AC for heavy armor (with set limitations, like there is with Dex  - so it's just +1 or +2). 

While it sounds weird, I think it could be logical. 

Right now, the mechanics suggest that heavy armor slows you down, because that heavy armor negates, or cancels out any dex bonus.  But why should armor that turns a +2 to +0 not turn a +0 to a -2?  Because it provides enough physical protection to counter act the loss in mobility when talking about AC. 

So a strong character would not be slowed as much by the weight of the armor.  They retain their mobility, and even if they have no dex modifier, that retained mobility due to their strength could give them an AC bonus over other characters. 

It would be an interesting way to move toward strength/dex parity. 

EDIT: of course this ignores the historical reality that chainmail was heavier than plate mail, but we're already doing that. 

D&DN has no trade off. Dex is always better.



Yeah, dex is the super stat in D&DN. Though I'm not sure if I hate that. At the very least strength and dex based characters are both viable. I prefer it to 2E/3E where you basically couldn't make a good dex-based fighter wtihout relying on sneak attack.



 You could make a good dex based fighter without sneak attack. In 2nd ed dex was better unless you have 18/XYZ and a archer fighter could be used in 3rd ed and there was various ways IIRC to get dex/int to damage. Most likelygood a dex based fighter was a ranged one in 3rd ed though.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

what about adding strength modifier to AC for heavy armor (with set limitations, like there is with Dex  - so it's just +1 or +2). 

While it sounds weird, I think it could be logical. 



Some interaction between Str and armor does make sense.
Strong characters should be able to cope better with the weight of an armor.

As of 3ed all we have is that the weight of armor can encumber your character but that doesn't really affect low-Str characters since encumbrance and armor penalties do not add up.

However, your proposed system could give Str too much power. Str is already TH and Damage, if it also meant more AC (even if indirectly) it would probably become an overpowered stat.
That, of course, thinking in 3ed terms. In 5ed right now not only Dex can be TH and DMG for melee as well but it is also AC, and the +Hundreds of damage from MDD makes the damage bonus from Str or Dex almost useless anyway.

I suppose, though, that these are things developers will correct in future packets (I can't imagine they're liking something like Str or weapon damage becoming useless), that's why I'm thinking more in 3ed terms.

Right now, the mechanics suggest that heavy armor slows you down, because that heavy armor negates, or cancels out any dex bonus.  But why should armor that turns a +2 to +0 not turn a +0 to a -2?  Because it provides enough physical protection to counter act the loss in mobility when talking about AC.  

Heavy armor doesn't negate the Dex bonus; it just prevents you from being able to use it.  Eh, that's how I see it anyway.  I guess your way makes sense, too.

I could see something like adding the lower of your Strength modifier and Dexterity modifier (so Strength allows you to regain use of your Dex), but that's about as far as it still makes sense to me.

The metagame is not the game.

My only thought behind this is PCs are heroes. These limitations on thier ability scores (especially) DEX is detremental.

I was specifically referring to armor ability. Encumberance should be a issue of course. It doesn't seem right to allow Dex bonus upto +2 then tap it off.  If a character can use heavy armor and his strength was great enough why should he not be able to use his Dexterity? or not even consider the heavy armor in the first place?
 
 
My only thought behind this is PCs are heroes. These limitations on thier ability scores (especially) DEX is detremental.

I was specifically referring to armor ability. Encumberance should be a issue of course. It doesn't seem right to allow Dex bonus upto +2 then tap it off.  If a character can use heavy armor and his strength was great enough why should he not be able to use his Dexterity? or not even consider the heavy armor in the first place?

There are two main factors interfering with the wearer's use of Dex.

1) Weight and weight distribution

2) Flexibility, or a lack thereof

For example, chain mail is very flexible, but extremely heavy, and the weight is poorly distributed as it essentually just hangs from the shoulders.  Plate is heavy, but the weight is much better distributed; however, it's a collection of rigid plates, so it's not exactly flexible.

One could make an argument for having high Str allow you to take advantage of your Dex bonus, but A) that's more complicated, and B) regardless, without a Str beyond the 20 cap, there's no way you're doing backflips in full chain mail.  I'm not saying the current armor list is perfect (far from), but capping Dex to AC keeps things cleaner, simpler, and better balanced.  If you're advocating throwing out Dex to AC caps wholesale, congratulations, you just broke AC scaling and Bounded Accuracy along with it.

So medium and heavy armor have Dex to AC caps because doing otherwise isn't mechanically practical, or even particularly realistic.  As to why you should choose to use heavy armor when you can get equal or better AC with light or medium armor, you shouldn't.  The different armor categories are geared towards characters with different investments in Dex.  Heavy armor is "better" because it provides protection without an investment in Dex (admittedly, not much of a trade, given Dex's current supremacy).  Heavy armor should probably cap 1 point higher than it does (the current armor balance is a bit off), but that's another issue for another thread.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

I may just allow the full Dex bonus, as long as the Str bonus is equal to or greater than the Dex bonus.
I think you can safely remove the speed penalty for those heavy armors. You might take a hit long distance travel or in top running speed, but regular combat movement shouldn't be impacted. Armor was made to move around in.

And I was thinking heavy armor could provide a +1 bonus to your Dex Save. You get hit by a fireball or a cone of cold the heavy armor helps shield you. Perhaps with a shield you might gain an additional +1 bonus to your Dex Save.
SWSE armor afdded to your fort defense. The heavier the armor the better the save bonus.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I may just allow the full Dex bonus, as long as the Str bonus is equal to or greater than the Dex bonus.




That is a nice idea.
One could have high AC with that, but only if he invests heavily in both Str and Dex, and add to it a heavy armor.
So tt's a good payoff for investing high in 2 Abilities, which inevitably will lead to other Abilities being lower.

However, I doubt something like that would be added to the official core rules.
For that you would need to have players comparing things in their sheets and the book's tables/rules (even though in this case it would be something very simple)... and I get the feeling that WotC always tries to push for a more "in the face" rule: you look at the table, see the number you should use, and add it to your character sheet.

They even took out the +5, +7, etc "Armor Bonus" from the armor table and returned to the old AD&D fixed armor values: ex, Plate gives you AC18, and so on. 
Which is basically the same as saying Plate gives you +8 armor bonus, but more in your face.
The Dex supremacy needs to come to an end. It is already the "reflex save" ability score, it doesn't need to affect another defense as well.

Each armor category needs a solid reason to be viable, and should be independant of ability scores. Having a high dex while preferring heavy armor should not be penalized to the extent that it is. I agree that most Str- and Dex-based skills should be penalized in heavy armor, but I would rather not see the "baseline AC" include Dex as part of the formula for the lighter armors. Keep the AC difference between the categories smaller, with non-AC benefits and/or penalties for each category.

For example:
No Armor - Baseline
Light Armor - AC bonus of +3
Medium Armor - AC bonus of +4. Disavantage on Dex-based skill checks.
Heavy Armor - AC bonus of +5. Disavantage on Str- and Dex-based skill checks. Advantage on saves vs physical attacks.

Now, throw in a class AC bonus to get the numbers in line with the target average hit %.

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I would put full DEX mod for light armours, and as heavy armour requires strength and endurance for efficiency I would put LOWEST of STR, DEX and CON bonuses to AC, that way you can use your super quickness in heavy armor but it needs to be backed up with strength and endurance.

And by the way delete medium armor category.
Nowadays I am toying with the idea of Strength giving bonus to melee and ranged damage only, while Dexterity giving bonus to attack rolls and AC. Light armor should use the Dex modifier and Heavy armor should use the Str modifier. Medium armor users shall choose the better modifier of the two abilities.

As a result, with high strength you will be able to deal bigger damage and because you are stronger, you can wear heavier armor, thus have better physical protection, but as a tradeoff you cannot be that much accurate. If you have high dexterity, then you prefer light armor to have a good AC and your to-hit accuracy is better because of your hand-eye coordination and agility, although you deal smaller damage compared to strong guys.

Initiative modifier should be in the Wisdom/Intelligence camp, because IMO it is more related to alertness and wits than being agile.
I don't like the modern stat system too much.  I started playing in 2nd edition, and back then nearly ever stat had some use.  Yeah, there were always jokes about charisma being worthless and it was the go-to dump stat, but otherwise the rest of the stats were all somewhat nice to have.

Since then, it looks like Charisma was fixed in some editions but other stats were broken.  Specifically, the current Dexterity/Strength relationship is very nonsensical from my point of view.  As far as game mechanics are concerned, any fighting character, whether rogue or warrior or cleric or monk, will want to maximize either strength or dexterity and then minimize or use as a dump stat the other.  This makes no sense to me from a realism standpoint.  In any movie or story that involves melee combat, the best heroes are both strong AND agile.  You never hear about the heroic champion who has the speed and reactions of a tiger but the strength of a newborn baby, because it just doesn't make sense in the real world.

Currently, if you are dex based you don't care about strength at all.  And if you are strength based, you simply wear heavy armor and don't care about dex at all.  This is all wrong.  The two stats should be closely linked, anyone who wants to hit well should really want both.

IMO, here is how it should work.
Damage: full strength bonus, even for finese and ranged weapons (you pull back harder on a bowstring & the arrow will hit harder)

Hit chance: full strength bonus + full dex bonus, stacks.  brute strength helps push through an opponents feeble parry attempts, while dexterity helps you feint and attack where there is no defense.

AC: based on dex, not limited by armor  (yes, heavy armor slows you down, but I like to think of it as a dex penalty that is already baked into the armor, for example a character of 10 dex in full plate will move slower, as if he has 6 dex.  but a character with 16 dex in full plate will only be slowed to the equivilent of 12 dex, and will still have a 6 dex advantage over the baseline.  this penalty is already baked into the armor class value of the armor, so it can be ignored, and full dex armor class bonus can be applied)


This is just based on my philosphy, which is that every stat should have a value for every character, no matter what class or build.  Sure, a wizard might care less about strength, but there might come a time when he has no spells left and a bit of bonus damage would be handy, strength could still offer a nminor bonus.  A minor bonus such as this is at least better than the current situation, where a high dex nullifies any and all possible benefits of strength in combat.

Just going to touch on other stats, since this thread is focused on dex/str, but I like the idea of wis int and cha offering saving throw bonuses to various effects.  Int offering bonus feats would make it valuable for everyone, and wisdom could give a % xp bonus to make it more useful.  Charisma is a tough one to make desirable for all characters, but it could modify merchant prices, each +1 is 10% discount from regular price, and 10% increase in value for items sold.  I don't know.
IMO, here is how it should work.
Damage: full strength bonus, even for finese and ranged weapons (you pull back harder on a bowstring & the arrow will hit harder)

Sounds good, but a crossbow should not gain damage from strength.

Hit chance: full strength bonus + full dex bonus, stacks.  brute strength helps push through an opponents feeble parry attempts, while dexterity helps you feint and attack where there is no defense.

Yes, but should you be able to do both at the same time?  Even assuming you can, you're going to favor one or the other depending on what kind of weapon you're using (finesse vs. non-finesse).

Regardless, adding both your Dex and Str mods to attack rolls completely breaks attack bonus scaling and Bounded Accuracy.  I agree that there should be more incentive to boost both Dex and Str (without penalizing you for not doing it!), but stacking bonuses on attack rolls is not the way to do it.

AC: based on dex, not limited by armor  (yes, heavy armor slows you down, but I like to think of it as a dex penalty that is already baked into the armor, for example a character of 10 dex in full plate will move slower, as if he has 6 dex.  but a character with 16 dex in full plate will only be slowed to the equivilent of 12 dex, and will still have a 6 dex advantage over the baseline.  this penalty is already baked into the armor class value of the armor, so it can be ignored, and full dex armor class bonus can be applied)

Again, allowing full Dex to heavy armor breaks AC scaling and Bounded Accuracy.

Just going to touch on other stats, since this thread is focused on dex/str, but I like the idea of wis int and cha offering saving throw bonuses to various effects.  Int offering bonus feats would make it valuable for everyone, and wisdom could give a % xp bonus to make it more useful.  Charisma is a tough one to make desirable for all characters, but it could modify merchant prices, each +1 is 10% discount from regular price, and 10% increase in value for items sold.  I don't know.

Bonus feats from Int would likely be way overpowered; reinstituting bonus languages or -- more doubtful -- skill training might work.

Price adjustments for high Cha seems like a nice minor benefit, though I doubt WotC will institute something that requires people to do percentile math.  An alternate system would have to be worked out for price reduction.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

The strength/dex relationship is a clear issue in this packet.  The only incentive to have both is a small bonus to skills based on these abilities. 


But, I don't think this is fixed by simply creating an incentive to have both, because there are only so many stats to go around.  By needing physical stats the martial classes are at a disadvantage in ability score distribution.  No one wants to play a dumb and ugly character, but if both dex and strength are needed to have an optimized fighter, it makes playing a charismatic fighter, or an intelligent tactical fighter, almost impossible (where you have to give up a lot of mechanical advantage to do it). 

Maybe there's no answer here, other than telling people that if they want to be able to play Aragorn, they have to roll 5d.6 and ditch the lowest two, and re-roll ones, for ability scores. 

This is just based on my philosophy, which is that every stat should have a value for every character, no matter what class or build.

I entirely agree with your philosophy, but I'm not certain that yours is the best way to implement that idea.  Unfortunately, due to the constraints on keeping the system simple, it's probably a bad idea to link more than one ability score to each stat.

There's no reason you can't use Strength as the universal physical damage stat, though.  Even crossbows can be built to require more Strength to ready.  Even firearms can be built with enough kickback that you would need a certain minimum Strength to fire accurately.

Dexterity makes sense for the universal dodge stat, and we could also use that for accuracy without too much of a disconnect (as long as you have sufficient Strength to use the weapon in the first place).

Con is already HP, so let's just leave that there.

Wisdom = Perception means that we could tie that into ranged attack accuracy and/or crit rates and/or Initiative.

The metagame is not the game.

My only thought behind this is PCs are heroes. These limitations on thier ability scores (especially) DEX is detremental.



Heroes are not unlimited.
My only thought behind this is PCs are heroes.



I dont know why but that phrase always makes me laugh.

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 Sounds good, but a crossbow should not gain damage from strength.

Hit chance: full strength bonus + full dex bonus, stacks.  brute strength helps push through an opponents feeble parry attempts, while dexterity helps you feint and attack where there is no defense.

Yes, but should you be able to do both at the same time?  Even assuming you can, you're going to favor one or the other depending on what kind of weapon you're using (finesse vs. non-finesse).

Regardless, adding both your Dex and Str mods to attack rolls completely breaks attack bonus scaling and Bounded Accuracy.  I agree that there should be more incentive to boost both Dex and Str (without penalizing you for not doing it!), but stacking bonuses on attack rolls is not the way to do it.

 Again, allowing full Dex to heavy armor breaks AC scaling and Bounded Accuracy.




Re: Crossbows, you can make arguments that strength still benefits: you could reload faster, aim more steadily (thus hit a more vital area of the target), you could have your crossbow tweaked to require your strength in order to load, and thus hit harder.  A bit of a stretch, possibly, but game balance is more important than being completely 100% realistic all the time, so I still think it would be best if str bonus always applied to damage from attacks with melee or ranged weapons and dex bonus never applies to damage.

Re hit chance in either case, yes I like them stacking.  Why not?  Right now, mechanicsly, what stats do rogues or warriors care about?  Str *or* Dex, plus Con.  The other stats are less meaninful, needed only for skill use or some save bonuses.  Currently a dex warrior is always going to raise dex first, then con, and never str.  A str warrior is going to raise str first, then con, and never dex.   Realisticly, without cheating or extremely lucky stat rolls, allowing hit bonus from strength AND dex is only going to increase a characters overall attack bonus by 2, maybe 3, in most cases.

For example, standard score 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8.  

Human dex base will take 15+2(race)+1(fighter) into dex for 18, dex, 14+1=15 into str, for a total additional +2 hitroll.  However, since the second highest score is used for str instead of con, starting hp and hp per level will be a point lower.

Only with insanely rolled characters with multiple 16+ stats will things really be changed much, and the game can just as easily be broken with starting characters with 20+ primary stats.


As far as full dex applying to heavy armor, I'm not sure if it really matters.  It worked that way in 2nd edition, and it broke the effective bounded accuracy of the time- second edition AC didn't scale by level, so a very high AC character was just as overpowered then as it will be in NEXT.  However, as a DM there are plenty of tools that simply ignore or invalid high AC, spells and area damage effects, trap damage, etc.   And of course a character taking the damage optimized route of maximum dex & str will have a lower con than a convententional character, and thus fewer hp.  I'm not sure it would really break the game too badly, ultimately it's only 3-4 points of AC in most cases, 5 if the character can somehow obtain a 20 dex.  Bounded accuracy is based on preventing things from scaling out of control at higher levels, it's not meant to prevent low level characters from having high stats or abilities right off.

It's just that ultimately, if dex is not useful to characters in heavy armor, then str fights need only 2 stats, str and con.  If str isn't useful to dex based characters, then those characters only need 2 stats, dex and con.  The game is very shallow when only 2 of the 6 stats actually matter for your character in any meaningful way, and it makes the decision of which stats to raise a non-decision.

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