Every Ability Score should matter beyond Ability Checks and Saves

One of the things I don't like about all of the systems I've seen is that ability scores are misbalanced in importance depending on your class.

It would be fantastic if Ability Scores influenced a lot of different parts of classes or influenced them in interesting ways, or influenced other boons unrelated to class that are beneficial to everyone.

And yes guys, I know that these scores make a slight difference to checks and saves, but I'm talking about further bonuses that make people pick certain scores over others.

I love the optional rule that you can only have as many magic items attuned as your CHA modifier, it makes CHA really useful in the long run with higher level characters.

A couple ideas:

Each point of INT modifier should give you training in a knowledge skill for free, and classes that give knowledge skill training should lose them.

Each point of STR modifier gives proficiency in an additional simple weapon, or two points could be spent on proficiency in a martial weapon, or three on a special weapon.

within classes, the importance of other ability scores could come into play too, for example

A Wizard learns a number of spells each level based on his WIS modifier, representing his ability to figure spells out on his own.
Dexterity needs to be re-balanced but I think the others are largely ok.  Dexterity should not affect initiative - a feat should be the way to gain a boost.  Dexterity attack rolls should add no bonus to damage.  Even with those chages it's still very good.
It is important that every stat be useful, but every stat should not be necessary. It is a very hard balance to find. A fighter should see an advantage to increasing his Int score, but not to the point where having a high Int score as a fighter is a necessity. The problem is that for some classes, a lot of the attributes offer no discernable advantage. Although I initially liked the concept of not tying skills to attributes, I am finding the implementation to be somewhat disheartening as it has eliminated the advantage of certain attributes entirely. If you have a high Wis, you can easily argue that it is the ability you use instead of Int for knowledge checks. If you are a Dex based fighter, you can argue for that stat instead of Str in the place of most physical checks such as climbing and jumping etc. Of course your DM might not allow this but in that case they are arbitrarily assigning stats to skills which is not what the system intends at the moment.
Dexterity needs to be re-balanced but I think the others are largely ok.  Dexterity should not affect initiative - a feat should be the way to gain a boost.  Dexterity attack rolls should add no bonus to damage.  Even with those chages it's still very good.



I disagree.  I think dexterity is in a goodp lace as far as how it helps non-dex classes.  If you aren't a dex class, you get AC and initiative, making dex a nice stat but not too strong.  The problem comes from dex weapons on top of those bonuses.

Dexterity should be used a baseline for other stats.  Each stat should offer 2 strong benefits to everyone, regardless of class, and then some potential  additional benefit to the class that uses it most.

Some wild examples:

str: move speed (+5 per str bonus), basic attack damage weapon & cantrips, realistic? maybe not completely, but balanced? yes

dex: armor & initiative

con: hp and hp healed

int: skills and feats ( not all at level 1, potential bonus feat at 3,6,9,12,15 each unlocked by +1 int bonus, so 20 int gives all 5)

wis: magic saves (to all spells and magic, even if based on another stat as well), something else?

cha: starting gold = cha X10, increased sale value of items +10% per charisma bonus, maybe something else
If we widen the net too much I worry about stacking issues.  There has been talk about removing abilitiy bonuses from damage across the board - it's already been removed from spells, so why not dex as well.  I sort of like that extra damage on melee attacks but then I've always felt that if you are in melee you are placing yourself at greater risk so I'd be happy to let strength bonuses to damage stay.  Dexterity attacks on the other hand rely upon you not getting hit so I can see some logic in knocking the damage bonus off there.

But I think you under-estimate Dexterity as a super stat.  A lot of saving throws vs spells and traps and some key skills will rely on Dex as well.  If skill tricks can be divorced from ability scores, I think initiative can too.  People that want a higher initiative can just invest a feat in it.

Let's not forget that you can't just decide to user a different stat for a skill roll - you have to justify why that stat is useful in that scenario.  A wizard who has memorised every inch of his lair might be allowed to rely upon intelligence while at that specific location for spot and listen checks but most of the time s/he is still going to be relying on wisdom.
If we widen the net too much I worry about stacking issues.  There has been talk about removing abilitiy bonuses from damage across the board - it's already been removed from spells, so why not dex as well.  I sort of like that extra damage on melee attacks but then I've always felt that if you are in melee you are placing yourself at greater risk so I'd be happy to let strength bonuses to damage stay.  Dexterity attacks on the other hand rely upon you not getting hit so I can see some logic in knocking the damage bonus off there.

But I think you under-estimate Dexterity as a super stat.  A lot of saving throws vs spells and traps and some key skills will rely on Dex as well.  If skill tricks can be divorced from ability scores, I think initiative can too.  People that want a higher initiative can just invest a feat in it.

Let's not forget that you can't just decide to user a different stat for a skill roll - you have to justify why that stat is useful in that scenario.  A wizard who has memorised every inch of his lair might be allowed to rely upon intelligence while at that specific location for spot and listen checks but most of the time s/he is still going to be relying on wisdom.

I agree that DEX is currently way OP.  It should definitely be removed from damage.

and I'm not saying that each stat should be NECESSARY, but each should give a bonus that is desirable.

For example with my WIS example for Wizards, it would be a minimum of 1 so if their WIS was 8-11 it would work how it is now, but they would get additional bonuses for having a high WIS, beyond just the checks and saves. 
Looks like they are returning to weapon dice instead of martial damage dice.  This will go part way to rebalancing dexterity since only low damage, light weapons (except quarterstaves?) will be based on dex, although maybe some will become finesse weapons with feats.  As a double weapon, won't quarterstaff become pretty awesome under those rules?  Maybe it will drop back to a d6 weapon again.
You should get bonus languages equal to the lower of your charisma and intelligence modifiers. It would give both stats value to a lot of classes that don't care about them, and would not get out of hand since you need both to get anything.
I second adding Wisdom to initiative rather than Dex. To me, the ability to see/hear/smell/feel things before the adversary is what let's you get the jump, not your ability to balance on a beam or aim really well. 


I agree with said influence of Wisdom in the initiative, but from a logical point of view Dex should also matter.

Combat springs all of a sudden. Those who are agile and can react fast usually go first.
It's more or less the same concept behind Dex/Reflex saves. The agile ones can react faster to danger and avoid the effects.
The same could be said for initiative.

Maybe add both modifiers?
It's not an "elegant" sollution because it deviates from the general rule "one roll, one modifier" but it could work.

Maybe add both modifiers?
It's not an "elegant" sollution because it deviates from the general rule "one roll, one modifier" but it could work.


Or the lower of the two modifiers. It would make initiative more prestigious. Maybe this:

Initiative: Lower of your dex and wis modifier.

Bonus Languages: Lower of your int and cha modifier.

Bonuse HP per hit die gained when you level: Lower of str and con modifier.

Str: Carrying Capacity
Dex: Lighter Armor
Con: Bonus healing when Hit Dice spent and starting HP
Int: Disproportinate number of skills (all knowledge skills) 
Wis: Avoiding surprise 
Cha: ? (Starting NPC reactions?) 

Initiative: Lower of your dex and wis modifier.

Bonus Languages: Lower of your int and cha modifier.



I think that would actually tend to reward rigid stat choices even more than the current system.  Are you a rogue?  Probably ought to boost your wisdom, because that's basically your initiative modifier now.

Generally speaking, I like the current system where each class only has one primary stat they need to boost (or a choice of one of several).  In other words, I like that a wizard only needs high Int, and the rest of his stats, while they provide mechanical benefits, are largely up to player choice.

It would be nice if str, int and wis did more "class-agnostic" stuff than they do; I think cha is actually probably fine.  If you play in a game without any kind of social interaction then cha is generally a dump stat, but at the same time cha really only matters in the context of social interaction.

Well, anyway... Initiative isn't a rule that worries me too much, since initiative is kinda "meh" nowadays.

Back in AD&D when you rolled initiative every round it made a big difference having bonuses to it, but since the "roll once, use the same order forever, taking turns" was implemented Initiative only really makes that much difference if you can end a combat or accomplish something big in your first action in the combat.
Otherwise, once the order is set it doesn't really makes any difference.

I'm not saying the old way was better, though. It just made Initiative more relevant.
But the "new" way makes everything much, much simpler to keep track in combat.
The best solution may be to just get rid of skills.

Skills encourage min-maxxing. If I take a bunch a dex skills, because I have dex, but no charisma skills, because I have low charisma, then my dex skills are like 7-8 points higher than my charisma skills. Since skill DC takes skill bonus into account, I'll probably never pass a charisma skill check now. Making my charisma a 12 won't really change that much.

If all anyone had for skill checks was their base stat, then all stats matter. None are out of reach of passing. You don't need to train in Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Bluff for your charisma to matter anymore. 
The best solution may be to just get rid of skills.

Skills encourage min-maxxing. If I take a bunch a dex skills, because I have dex, but no charisma skills, because I have low charisma, then my dex skills are like 7-8 points higher than my charisma skills. Since skill DC takes skill bonus into account, I'll probably never pass a charisma skill check now. Making my charisma a 12 won't really change that much.

If all anyone had for skill checks was their base stat, then all stats matter. None are out of reach of passing. You don't need to train in Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Bluff for your charisma to matter anymore. 



There will be no skills in the core edition of DnD Next. And obviously you are not going to be amazing at everything. It makes perfect sense for a dex based rogue to be way better at dex related stuff compared to a cleric. But the cleric is going to be much better in certain things than a rogue.
I disagree with the premise of the thread.  Every stat should not matter to everyone, simply because every statistic does not matter to everyone in real life.

A cracker-jack progammer need not worry about charisma, if he sticks to areas of his expertise, and an athlete need not worry about being the brightest person on earth if he's the best running back to ever grace the field.  Such is the way with D&D characters & classes.  The classes are inherently specialized, and should key to different abilities.

Other than offering a suitable number of variants within the confines of a particular class, overspecialization is an issue that is best addressed at the table, with a mix of challenges and obstacles--rather than in the rulebook.  If players want to overspecialize, fine.  There's nothing wrong with being great at a few things.  But a rogue who throws all his skills in dex skills and ignores CHA, is gonna have a hard time fast talking his way out of a situation that requires a few bluffs and some diplomacy...."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />
As for dex and initiative, with the action economy of NeXT, my players are discovering 1)  It's not always best to go first in a round, especially in the face of Charm Person  2)  Having the party act all at once can be a double-edged sword.

Lack of skills would be a big downer.  If anything, the existence skills make the generalist character more viable since you no longer need an excellent statistic in an area to have some chance of success.  Sure they make the specialist better at what he or she does, but there's always going to be a need in a party for specialists, and a need for generalists.

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