Max Attribute of 20 is too low

Its easily reached at level 1, and then you never get any progression

The current 4d6 drop the lowest system gives humans a ~30% chance of starting with a stat maxed

This need to be changed, and many new roll systems for determining stats have been suggested such as 3d6+3 drop the lowest, and 4d4+3 drop the lowest
Bounded accuracy
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 I agree that it is too easliy reachable. I would love to see all race and class bonuses abbolished to make an 18-20 AMAZING again.
It is not too low. It is exactly what it should be. With a stat array your highest stat is a 15 before race/class mods. Once you max a stat your growth becomes lateral. They should NOT raise that bar. I do think that the max stat rolled should become 15 ala stat arrays and point buy, but whatever. I won't play in a game that rolls stats anyway, so maybe I should not talk on that topic. 
The assumption is that characters will start with a 15, plus Class & Race modifers. With this assumption in mind, a character will reach the max around Lv 12. With die rolling, however, it is possible for a human starting with a 20 in a stat. With that in mind, those lucky characters can't just keep ahead of everyone else. Now they have to spend their increases elsewhere, allowing others to catch up.
 I agree that it is too easliy reachable. I would love to see all race and class bonuses abbolished to make an 18-20 AMAZING again.



I agree on the outcome (making 18-20 amazing again)
but I think this could be reached much more easily by changing the default ability scores roling methods and lowering the "standard array" to something like 
15 
13
12
11
10


maybe 3D6 instead of 4D6 drop lowest 
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I cant remember who did the math or where, but 2d6+4 seems to be the rolling method that gets you closest to the "normal" stat aray. I only allow my players to use the aray as well but even with that it means that every human will start with an 18, so a 20 by level 8.
I cant remember who did the math or where, but 2d6+4 seems to be the rolling method that gets you closest to the "normal" stat aray. I only allow my players to use the aray as well but even with that it means that every human will start with an 18, so a 20 by level 8.



community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
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So the obvious solution is to take away the ability to reach 20 at 1st level.


That solves the OPs problem without breaking the game by allowing scores higher than 20.


Carl   
and as said reaching 18 with humans, 20 at level 8 is already too fast to reach the cap

If they are going to make stats max so early, then why not get rid of the stupid ability modifier system (the one that states that Odd numbers are garbage)
Its easily reached at level 1, and then you never get any progression



It isn't "easily" reached at level 1! The odds of rolling an 18 are extremely slim (0.46%). And even then, only humans can have a 20 starting score (and hopefully that will change, since the human "+2 to one score and +1 to all other scores" is overpowered). But let's say you do start with a 20. That doesn't mean there's no progression! Improve your other stats! There's no way you could have a 20 in all of them!

The 20 cap on abilities is one of the best things about this edition. Not only does it keep things from spiraling out of control and prevent the ridiculous min-maxing we have seen in the past, it makes perfect sense to me. There are limits to what a human can naturally become.
I have to agree 20 is way too low.

I exspect to be fighting gods (or have the ablity to do so) in the last couple levels, if I am playing a fighter I exspect to be as strong as hercules when I do that, not on the upper side of normal human strengh, or as strong as a weak giant.

I see no problem with 25-30 when your at god-fighting levels
Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
I preferred the cap at 18; 20+ is for ogres and giants and such...

If you have to resort to making offensive comments instead of making logical arguments, you deserve to be ignored.

just a thought

seeing they are doing levels 11-20 as the "prestige levels", perhaps keep the 20 stat cap but only for levels 1-10. perhaps raise the cap after reaching the prestige boundary, this allows people to be able to fight gods at the highest levels without overpowering at low levels
Its easily reached at level 1, and then you never get any progression



It isn't "easily" reached at level 1! The odds of rolling an 18 are extremely slim (0.46%). And even then, only humans can have a 20 starting score (and hopefully that will change, since the human "+2 to one score and +1 to all other scores" is overpowered). But let's say you do start with a 20. That doesn't mean there's no progression! Improve your other stats! There's no way you could have a 20 in all of them!

The 20 cap on abilities is one of the best things about this edition. Not only does it keep things from spiraling out of control and prevent the ridiculous min-maxing we have seen in the past, it makes perfect sense to me. There are limits to what a human can naturally become.



Humans get +2 and Class gives +1, meaning you only need to reach a roll of 17

Also the chance to get an 18 on 3 dice is 0.4%

The chance to get 18 on 4 dice, drop 1 is actually 1.6% and to get 17 or 18 is 5.79%

6 chances at ~6% chance means that you have a ~30% chance of reaching 20 in a stat at level 1

All else fails, if you get 16 in a stat (13%/57%) and hit the cap at level 4
or Using even point buy method, easily hit the cap by level 8
I cant remember who did the math or where, but 2d6+4 seems to be the rolling method that gets you closest to the "normal" stat aray. I only allow my players to use the aray as well but even with that it means that every human will start with an 18, so a 20 by level 8.



4d4+3 drop lowest will give you a range of 6-15 with a
5%/15
12%/14
18%/13
20%/12 <-- high point

3d4+3 gives 6-15 range with
2%/15
5%/14
9%/13
16%/12
19%/11 & 10 <-- high point

2d6+4 gives you a range of 6-16 with a
3%/16
6%/15
8%/14
11%/13
14%/12
17%/11 <-- high point

Humans get +2 and Class gives +1, meaning you only need to reach a roll of 17

Also the chance to get an 18 on 3 dice is 0.4%

The chance to get 18 on 4 dice, drop 1 is actually 1.6% and to get 17 or 18 is 5.79%

6 chances at ~6% chance means that you have a ~30% chance of reaching 20 in a stat at level 1

All else fails, if you get 16 in a stat (13%/57%) and hit the cap at level 4
or Using even point buy method, easily hit the cap by level 8



Like I said, if you happen to be lucky enough to have a 20 at low levels, spend your ability score increases on improving your other abilties! The game shouldn't be about raising one ability score through the roof and leaving all the rest low. You've got a 20 Strength? Congratulations, you've achieved the highest strength a mortal human can achieve by non-magical means. Now it's time to work on improving your other abilities.
Humans get +2 and Class gives +1, meaning you only need to reach a roll of 17

Also the chance to get an 18 on 3 dice is 0.4%

The chance to get 18 on 4 dice, drop 1 is actually 1.6% and to get 17 or 18 is 5.79%

6 chances at ~6% chance means that you have a ~30% chance of reaching 20 in a stat at level 1

All else fails, if you get 16 in a stat (13%/57%) and hit the cap at level 4
or Using even point buy method, easily hit the cap by level 8



Like I said, if you happen to be lucky enough to have a 20 at low levels, spend your ability score increases on improving your other abilties! The game shouldn't be about raising one ability score through the roof and leaving all the rest low. You've got a 20 Strength? Congratulations, you've achieved the highest strength a mortal human can achieve by non-magical means. Now it's time to work on improving your other abilities.



The difference between us is that you see reaching max in a stat at level 1 as par for the course and I see it as a game spoiling problem

They already fixed the point buy system to max 15 points so that you can only reach a max of 18 with human
Next they need to fix the dice roll system so that you can only also reach a max of 15
Finally they need to fix human to no longer grant +2, +1 on all stats is a good enough of a bonus

The difference between us is that you see reaching max in a stat at level 1 as par for the course and I see it as a game spoiling problem

They already fixed the point buy system to max 15 points so that you can only reach a max of 18 with human
Next they need to fix the dice roll system so that you can only also reach a max of 15
Finally they need to fix human to no longer grant +2, +1 on all stats is a good enough of a bonus



Our opinions aren't as different as you think.

I also want them to change humans and get rid of the +1 to all stats that they get.

As for fixing the rolling system, the potential to make unablanced, overpowered (or underpowered) characters is the risk that just comes with determining one's stats randomly. I personally hate rolling for stats and never do so, but some people prefer that method and I'm not going to tell them that their method is badwrongfun. To each their own.
They don't 'cap stats early'.  They cap your primary attribute stat early.   You still have many other stats to increase.



The idea is that as you get higher level you become more rounded and better at doing everything - not just superhuman in one or two abilities, with the others remaining mediocre at best.


And, of course, if you actually build a rounded character at the start (16 primary stat) you don't 'cap' until much later...
 

Carl
They don't 'cap stats early'.  They cap your primary attribute stat early.   You still have many other stats to increase.



The idea is that as you get higher level you become more rounded and better at doing everything - not just superhuman in one or two abilities, with the others remaining mediocre at best.


And, of course, if you actually build a rounded character at the start (16 primary stat) you don't 'cap' until much later...
 

Carl



Except there isnt really a point to 'rounded' characters, a specialist human at the moment can focus on 3 stats
His primary, he can go 15+2(human)+1(class) and then two secondaries 15+1(human)
At level 4 and 8 he raises his primary and a secondary
18+1(4)+1(8) - Maxed
16+1(4)+1(12)+1(16)+1(20) - Maxed
16+1(8)+1(12)+1(16)+1(20) - Maxed

Fighters and Barbarians only need STR/DEX/CON
Rogues and Wizards are DEX/INT/CON
Clerics are STR/WIS/CON
Monk are WIS/DEX and he gets 20 in all stats at 20 anyways, so being human is probably a disadvantage here at level 20


Monk's 'perfect body' is an ability which I don't care for much.  But since it only applies to Monks, it doesn't really matter in a discussion of general game rules.  



Everyone needs Dexterity for saving throws.
Everyone needs Wisdom for saving throws.
Everyone needs Charisma for saving throws.
Everyone needs Constitution for saving throws.



Everyone needs Strength for strength based ability checks.
Everyone needs Dexterity for dexterity based ability checks.
Everyone needs Constitution for constitution based ability checks.
Everyone needs Intelligence for intelligence based ability checks.
Everyone needs Wisdom for wisdom based ability checks.
Everyone needs Charisma for charisma based ability checks.    


That fact that you wish to play characters who have no interest in doing anything but fighting (as evidenced by your belief that any class only needs those abilities is uses for combat) is not relevant to a discussion of game design in general. 

Carl

That fact that you wish to play characters who have no interest in doing anything but fighting (as evidenced by your belief that any class only needs those abilities is uses for combat) is not relevant to a discussion of game design in general. 

Carl



You and I are clearly playing different games then, because I feel this is extremely relevant to the game's design

That fact that you wish to play characters who have no interest in doing anything but fighting (as evidenced by your belief that any class only needs those abilities is uses for combat) is not relevant to a discussion of game design in general. 

Carl



You and I are clearly playing different games then, because I feel this is extremely relevant to the game's design



If you wish to break the game mechanics - it is your choce.  But they are not obligated to break their mechanics to fit your conception of how the game should play.


In other words- you are welcome to fix this in your own game - that is what DMs are for.  You just say (as did, for example, many AD&D DMs when faced with racial level limits)  "this limit does not apply" - and your players can go for a 23 or 24 Strength if they wish.


But the better design in general is to not allow ability scores to exceed 20 because that is a core part of the bounded accuracy philosophy upon which the entire combat machine rests.


Carl

That fact that you wish to play characters who have no interest in doing anything but fighting (as evidenced by your belief that any class only needs those abilities is uses for combat) is not relevant to a discussion of game design in general. 

Carl



You and I are clearly playing different games then, because I feel this is extremely relevant to the game's design



If you wish to break the game mechanics - it is your choce.  But they are not obligated to break their mechanics to fit your conception of how the game should play.


In other words- you are welcome to fix this in your own game - that is what DMs are for.  You just say (as did, for example, many AD&D DMs when faced with racial level limits)  "this limit does not apply" - and your players can go for a 23 Strength if they wish.


But the better design in general is to not allow ability scores to exceed 20 because that is a core part of the bounded accuracy philosophy upon which the entire combat machine rests.


Carl


The point is to break the game while following the rules, that is the point of testing the rules

and As I said before, if they are going to make the cap so incredibly low, then they should make it harder to reach that cap

Having a character who can no longer realistically progress by level 1 means the game was poorly designed

Its like starting a new character at world of warcraft and beating the last raid bos at level 1, then telling the person you should now progress your crafting instead of trying to improve your primary purpose.

That fact that you wish to play characters who have no interest in doing anything but fighting (as evidenced by your belief that any class only needs those abilities is uses for combat) is not relevant to a discussion of game design in general. 

Carl



You and I are clearly playing different games then, because I feel this is extremely relevant to the game's design



If you wish to break the game mechanics - it is your choce.  But they are not obligated to break their mechanics to fit your conception of how the game should play.


In other words- you are welcome to fix this in your own game - that is what DMs are for.  You just say (as did, for example, many AD&D DMs when faced with racial level limits)  "this limit does not apply" - and your players can go for a 23 Strength if they wish.


But the better design in general is to not allow ability scores to exceed 20 because that is a core part of the bounded accuracy philosophy upon which the entire combat machine rests.


Carl


The point is to break the game while following the rules, that is the point of testing the rules

and As I said before, if they are going to make the cap so incredibly low, then they should make it harder to reach that cap

Having a character who can no longer realistically progress by level 1 means the game was poorly designed

Its like starting a new character at world of warcraft and beating the last raid bos at level 1, then telling the person you should now progress your crafting instead of trying to improve your primary purpose.



This view ignores the fact that your primary means of improvement is not your ability score.  You gain more powers, bonuses to hit, etc. thoughout your career.  If you gimp your character in other areas (or roll really lucky) you can hit the cap earlier - but in doing so you have make yourself weaker in other areas.  Which is a valid choice.  But to then complain that this one-sided character has run out of advancement opportunities is invalid in my opinion.


If I wanted a video game analogy, I'd say it was something more like:  You tweak your alt with the best gear in the game when they are 1st level - and then complain that they don't have any way for your character to improve their gear.


Aside:  You did notice, I assume, that the Creating a Character document describes a 15 as "an extremely high score".    And I assume you also noticed that the highest value you can buy with point buy is a 15.    Which means that you can only get as high as an 18 to start by rolling (which is fun, but inherently unbalanced) or by being human.  All other races are limited to a 17 to start - and thus won't hit the cap till level 12. 
This is not an oversight by them - it is intended, just as the array having no value over  15 is intended.

Carl
and As I said before, if they are going to make the cap so incredibly low, then they should make it harder to reach that cap



For most characters, it is. Most people who roll aren't going to get a 17 or 18 base score. Those who use point buy or an array can't start with a base score higher than 15. Since characters generated by either of those methods need to be balanced with each other, it's only fair that the ability score cap was designed with the lower limit possible for point buy and arrays in mind. Otherwise, people who get lucky rolls could have a higher effective cap on their highest ability than those that don't roll, and that wouldn't be right.

If you roll and you get a 17 or 18, allowing you to start with a 19 or 20 in your primary ability, instead of thinking about how picked on your poor character is that he can't go above 20, maybe you should instead be celebrating for being fortunate enough to reach the cap earlier than anyone else!
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Aside:  You did notice, I assume, that the Creating a Character document describes a 15 as "an extremely high score".    And I assume you also noticed that the highest value you can buy with point buy is a 15.    Which means that you can only get as high as an 18 to start by rolling (which is fun, but inherently unbalanced) or by being human.  All other races are limited to a 17 to start - and thus won't hit the cap till level 12. 
This is not an oversight by them - it is intended, just as the array having no value over  15 is intended.

Carl


This is what I am saying, on character creation it tells you to roll 4d6 and drop the lowest
This is what I am saying is the oversight
They need to change the roll method to accomendate their new max

Also, I am fine with 15 being the highest using point buy method if human is reduced to +1 to all, instead of having +2 in a specialty (just give them another bonus somewhere else)

This would reduce the primary max to 17, which would require at least level 12 to max
The human issue is a subject for another thread.  I disagree - I see being able to get to an 18 at the start as a big part of their class feature.  I am not as in favor of a bonus to all ability scores.  I'd rather see a +1 to any three and an additional +1 to any ability score which can be one of the first three but doesn't have to be.  But that really isn't the point here.


As for characters who roll their stats - I agree with Falling.  The cap is one of the ways rolled stats are balanced.  If you get lucky and roll that high stat from the start, you get to the cap more quickly, but you are still capped.


What you see as a problem (if you roll high, you reach the cap faster) I see as an important balancing feature (you have an advantage in the early game, but because of the cap you are not permanently king of the gaming table). 

Your advantage in that ability score is transient - not a permanent advantage that persists throughout the game and can never be overcome.  That I might object to.


The cap is set where it is on the assumption that most characters start with a 16 or 17 in their primary ability score - and reach the cap at level 12 (or 16). Late in their career and when they are starting to become very powerful ("Paragon" in 4e teminology).


Humans can start with an 18, and thus can reach their cap as early as level 8.  This is part of what sets them aside, but it, also, is a transient benefit and not a permanent advantage.  (Btw:  As I recall, they originally were going to set the cap at 18+racial and class benefits, so most races were capped at 20 but humans were capped at 21.)              


Carl
I think 20 is a good cap with bounded accuracy. But I think you shouldn't be able to start with more than 18, natural or modified. That might make progression mean more and maybe calm the debate between roll and point buy.
Ability scores shouldn't increase ever. All that has caused is problems and imbalance. As the OP shows, many people will just use their pluses to skyrocket a single stat through the roof if they are allowed to. Whats even the point? And how are the devs supposed to balance it? If they assume every player will just put their points into a single stat, then players who DON'T will probably be behind the curve. If they don't assume every point will be spent on the same thing, then those who DO put them all into one stat will be way ahead of the curve. There is no reason to increase ability scores after level 1. If you absolutly MUST represent it, instead create feats that increase your rolls for ability checks AND ABILITY CHECKS ONLY for a single ability score.
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I agree with Rustmonster. I was hoping that raising ability scores was something that would be left in the dust with 4e. It really only raises problems when characters keep maxing their one or two stats, because of the disparity with the rest of their stats.

However, if we have stat raises in DDN, I think the bounded accuracy they've come up with and the 20 max in a stat is a perfect failsafe. No longer will your main stat be double to triple of your lowest 4. Someone mentioned that they feel a 20 in a main score means that they can't challenge gods. I disagree - it's a combination of teamwork, luck, planning, and the "human spirit" that make you able to challenge a god; NOT by pumping your stats to become a god yourself before challenging one. Additionally, we haven't even seen a god in this edition yet, so there is no basis for saying that 20 is too low to handle one. This is indeed a playtest, and feel free to share experiences. But don't expect people to agree with complaints about balance that we haven't seen yet (and are probably not even developed yet).

As for the starting ability scores, I dig the 4d6 drop the lowest. It's a legacy, and it's a good one. I do agree with several though, that starting scores shouldn't be able to be raised above 18. If person happens to roll an 18, then great! Stick it in a secondary or tertiary score and let your race and class combo lift another score to the 17-18 range.

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My 2 main points are either raise the max, which most people are thoroughly against or make it harder to reach the max which most people agree with to some degree

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />As for the starting ability scores, I dig the 4d6 drop the lowest. It's a legacy, and it's a good one. I do agree with several though, that starting scores shouldn't be able to be raised above 18. If person happens to roll an 18, then great! Stick it in a secondary or tertiary score and let your race and class combo lift another score to the 17-18 range.



A solid way to preserver legacy while accomendating the new system would be 3d6 drop lowest +3
Its easily reached at level 1, and then you never get any progression

The major merit of the 20-cap is that it removes much of the worst impact from rolling poorly. Advocating point-buy over rolled-stats isn't going to work (for nostalgia reasons, if nothing else; otherwise, it would solve this problem).

When 3E introduced boundless attributes, one of the side effects was that a bad roll would put you eternally under par, since every -2 put you 1 point behind on accuracy; no matter what else you did to later increase that stat, you would always be 1 point off of where you would have been if you'd just rolled a little higher. Contrast with the AD&D system, where there was no appreciable difference between a 12 and a 14, and where there was no core method for ever increasing your stats (short of wish and one-shot magical items).

The 20-cap says, no matter how badly you rolled (as long as you had at least one 15), you will eventually max out your main stat - so don't worry about not rolling an 18 right off the bat.

The metagame is not the game.

I have played plenty of characters in 2nd edition with 18 in their primary stat. One of my first Fighters, I manged to stumble upon a 18/00 before I even knew if it was good. Your character may have an easier time at some tasks with high stats, but the stats no way define who your character is or what they can accomplish. Stats are not progression and folks need to stop treating them like they are. Alternative stat generation has always allowed for lower end to higher end PCs. Matter of fact in Unearthed Arcana for 1st Edition they had a table for players to roll on based on the chosen class which almost all but guarented high to max stats.
Ability scores shouldn't increase ever. All that has caused is problems and imbalance. As the OP shows, many people will just use their pluses to skyrocket a single stat through the roof if they are allowed to. Whats even the point? And how are the devs supposed to balance it? If they assume every player will just put their points into a single stat, then players who DON'T will probably be behind the curve. If they don't assume every point will be spent on the same thing, then those who DO put them all into one stat will be way ahead of the curve. There is no reason to increase ability scores after level 1. If you absolutly MUST represent it, instead create feats that increase your rolls for ability checks AND ABILITY CHECKS ONLY for a single ability score.



I, too, would have prefered no ability score bumps.

But they are here to stay.


As for "how are the devs supposed to balance it?" - simple.


By putting a cap on the maximum ability score.  A cap that all characters can easily reach in their primary stat.

Done.

Carl
I also would like the ability stats to go back to the 80's. No increases, after racial mods from character creation, unless you get a lucky wish or make a deal with a god/demon or find a magic item that does it.  It used to be rare, and a great bit of buzz when you got a stat increase. It adds a lot to the feeling of the game.
I also would like the ability stats to go back to the 80's. No increases, after racial mods from character creation, unless you get a lucky wish or make a deal with a god/demon or find a magic item that does it.  It used to be rare, and a great bit of buzz when you got a stat increase. It adds a lot to the feeling of the game.



But thats the point. Wishes, and Tomes, and Headbands, and Ioun Stones, and Belts, and Guantlets, and Fountains, and so on - they do exist. Players use them to boost their scores to gamebreaking values. 4e is the first edition to standardize, regulate, and control these outofcontrol scores.

Once you say, Yes, to Wish and Belt of Giant Strength, there is no point complaining about high abilities.
I also would like the ability stats to go back to the 80's. No increases, after racial mods from character creation, unless you get a lucky wish or make a deal with a god/demon or find a magic item that does it.  It used to be rare, and a great bit of buzz when you got a stat increase. It adds a lot to the feeling of the game.



But thats the point. Wishes, and Tomes, and Headbands, and Ioun Stones, and Belts, and Guantlets, and Fountains, and so on - they do exist. Players use them to boost their scores to gamebreaking values. 4e is the first edition to standardize, regulate, and control these outofcontrol scores.

Once you say, Yes, to Wish and Belt of Giant Strength, there is no point complaining about high abilities.




Only if you give out tons of wishes and ignore the rules...


The A&D 1st (probably second, although I don't recall for sure) rules specify that it takes ten wishes for each ability score point past 16.  So the characters aren't getting higher than 16 through wishes - at least not unless you hand wishes out like candy.


Carl
One Belt of Storm Giant Strength turns this handwringing and consternation into hypocrisy.
One Belt of Storm Giant Strength turns this handwringing and consternation into hypocrisy.



True.  ALthough the benefits of a belt of Storm Giant strength are far far far less than they would be in the later editions.

There was a reason why A&D worked better in some ways - and this is an example.


Lets see:  Belt Girdle of Storm Giant Strength...

AD&D1st:  +6 to hit, +12 to damage

So - the equivalent to hit of a 22 strength now (with an extra +6 to damage).

Not that game breaking.  It's only an additional +1 to hit over what you can already get in 5E with all of its focus on bounded accuracy.

A paragon level character with that strength bonus would be considered weak in 4e - and barely above average in the heroic tier.

The problem - again - goes back to 3.0 which a) vastly increased the rate at which you gained bonuses from ability scores and also allowed them to be improved quickly and easily.

And the later editions which followed 3.0's lead.

Carl

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