Bounded Accuracy and Belts of Giant Str

After reading everything about Bounded Accuracy, I am confused about why there are a set of items available that blow the top off the system.  At 7th level, PCs could feasibly get very rare items, and thhe very rare Frost giant belt boosts Str to 23.  

How much is that going to affect combat? 
I agree with you.  I could see potions that give you the giant strength for 1 minute, but magic items that give you that power indefinitely will be a problem.   The DM will have to be very careful.   Perhaps they will just be legends and nobody will ever find one.  lol.

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Even if you're hitting 95% of the time, you can still only attack one creature at a time, and strength does not contribute too much to damage. A fighter with strength 50 wouldn't be that much more powerful than one with strength 20, if each was set out to smite kobolds.

The metagame is not the game.

The belts are a problem if the strength boost is permanent and continuous.  Personally I would rather see them as temporary - perhaps for 1 round + Con mod per day after which you have to make Endurance rolls every round to avoid exhaustion, hp damage or whatever.  Another option is to only apply the strength bonus to lifting and damage, and possibly an increase to throwing distance.  There are lots of ways to emulate the feel of giant strength without boosting attack rolls.

If you adopt my preference, which is half stat modifiers to all attack rolls and a general +1 to all character attack rolls, you can leave the bonus to attack rolls from the belts as it is.
Its not that big of a problem and right now strength is outclassed by dex anyway. However opinion could chane depending on the way magic items are crafted. Let the individual DM decide if they want to use belts.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

After reading everything about Bounded Accuracy, I am confused about why there are a set of items available that blow the top off the system.  At 7th level, PCs could feasibly get very rare items, and thhe very rare Frost giant belt boosts Str to 23.  

How much is that going to affect combat? 


Because BA provides zero constraints on the PC side.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
How much is that going to affect combat? 

Very little if the DM doesn't hand them out. Next is a throwback to older systems where the magic items are not integrated into the balance of the game. This means that magic items can wander further from the base line and be more interesting but it also means they are harder to balance and the DM has to take more care in what they hand out. If the DM hands out very powerful items, then he has decided to break the normal game balance and he has to deal with the consequences.

How much is that going to affect combat? 

Very little if the DM doesn't hand them out. Next is a throwback to older systems where the magic items are not integrated into the balance of the game. This means that magic items can wander further from the base line and be more interesting but it also means they are harder to balance and the DM has to take more care in what they hand out. If the DM hands out very powerful items, then he has decided to break the normal game balance and he has to deal with the consequences.



 in addition, the DM can arm monsters with magic items intended to be treasure.

Besides, BA is a DC-based system.

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The magic items in general sort of suck, giant belts especially so. Lifted straight from 2nd edition without any consideration for balance.
They are not suppopsed to be balanced. As long as PCs cannot easily craft/buy them no problem.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

To be fair, a 23 strength isn't that big of a deal.  If you have a strength based fighter or barbarian, this could easily result in a simple +1 to hit since they will most likely have invested quite a lot into that ability to begin with.  Going 3 points above 20 is not breaking the game.  The bigger concern I have about magic items is the integration of magic weapons.  Enhancement bonuses have been around for a long time, and they just don't work with BA.

This is what happens when you drop attack bonuses by a factor of 4.  Magic arms and armor become a lot more dicey.  A +5 suit of mithral platemail, even for a level 20 character is gamebreaking.  This could be a good thing though, as we could see a pleasant return to more flavorful items that are focused on special effects and abilities rather than flat bonuses.  Personally I would like to see far less "generic" magic items.  I prefer the LOTR approach, where every magic sword has a name.
The magic items in general sort of suck, giant belts especially so. Lifted straight from 2nd edition without any consideration for balance.



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An extra +1 to attack and damage is nothing to be freaking out about, imo.
My two copper.
To be fair, a 23 strength isn't that big of a deal.  If you have a strength based fighter or barbarian, this could easily result in a simple +1 to hit since they will most likely have invested quite a lot into that ability to begin with.  Going 3 points above 20 is not breaking the game.  The bigger concern I have about magic items is the integration of magic weapons.  Enhancement bonuses have been around for a long time, and they just don't work with BA.



It creates roughly the same problems that the belts in AD&D did. i.e. if you know you can potentially get a belt, you put stats in areas likely to reward the finding of a belt and/or play classes that are not reliant on Strength.

An example of this is the Fighter in D&DNext. You don't play a strength-based fighter, period. Finesse-based fighters are reasonably competitive and if you ever find a belt, the dex-based fighter is so much better than the str-based fighter at that point that it gets ridiculous. A +1 to hit is that valuable and so the str-based fighter still needs to take the belt. But having say a 23 Str/12 Dex vs a 23 Str/20 Dex at the same attribute point cost? 
the 23 strenght/20 dex character is still only +1 to hit over 20 dex and 12 strength. They get a +5 bonuse to strngth checks. 

 Here is what "broke" the Belts in 2nd ed. Note that the belts were usually a less of a problem than say a high level wizard.

Hill Giant 19 str +3/+7
Sone Giant 20 str +3 +7 
Frost Giant 21 str +3/+9 
Fire 22 +4/+10
Cloud 23 str +5/+11
Storm +6/+12

 Bigger bonuses. Not e that the default rules in D&DN so far means you cannot buy these items you have to find them so it is up to the DM to determine if he is happy with the, or not.

 Has D&D devolved to the point where people cannot ad hoc things and can't use their brain to either

A: Compensate for such an item or
B: Not use the belts if they cause a problem.

You can't have interesting magical items and balance at the same time.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Even if you're hitting 95% of the time, you can still only attack one creature at a time, and strength does not contribute too much to damage. A fighter with strength 50 wouldn't be that much more powerful than one with strength 20, if each was set out to smite kobolds.



Not true once the switch to Weapon Damage Dice and/or you get access to Cleave/Whirlwind Attack.
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You can't have interesting magical items and balance at the same time.


    This is wrong in several ways.  You most certainly can have interesting magic with balance.  Indeed, a game without balance is not interesting for long, and thus its magic is not interesting either.  [An unbalanced game is a TPK or a cakewalk.  Either way, the player stops playing.]
To be fair, a 23 strength isn't that big of a deal.  If you have a strength based fighter or barbarian, this could easily result in a simple +1 to hit since they will most likely have invested quite a lot into that ability to begin with.  Going 3 points above 20 is not breaking the game.  The bigger concern I have about magic items is the integration of magic weapons.  Enhancement bonuses have been around for a long time, and they just don't work with BA.



It creates roughly the same problems that the belts in AD&D did. i.e. if you know you can potentially get a belt, you put stats in areas likely to reward the finding of a belt and/or play classes that are not reliant on Strength.

An example of this is the Fighter in D&DNext. You don't play a strength-based fighter, period. Finesse-based fighters are reasonably competitive and if you ever find a belt, the dex-based fighter is so much better than the str-based fighter at that point that it gets ridiculous. A +1 to hit is that valuable and so the str-based fighter still needs to take the belt. But having say a 23 Str/12 Dex vs a 23 Str/20 Dex at the same attribute point cost? 



I never said it wasn't powerful, just not gamebreaking.  And since its benefit is character dependant, you, as the DM, would have to gauge its impact and therefore if (or at least when) the character would gain access to it.  It really isn't a big deal as long as you handle it right.  Any game where the DM hands out magic items like candy without considering their impact will get out of control.
What I don't like about Belts of Gaint is that it reward characters who didn't put any 
points in Str.

I like the ones in 3.5e were they made the strong get stronger.  
What I don't like about Belts of Gaint is that it reward characters who didn't put any 
points in Str.

I like the ones in 3.5e were they made the strong get stronger.  


I agree with you it is insane. they should be flat point increases instead. The most basic version yielding +2 str tops and maybe +8 for the highest end one.
If we assume to roll needed to hit a DC is the same, and that Belts grant a reasoned +X bonus then the math is essentially the same. Even up to a 25 in a stat is not game breaking, but is a signifigant bonus that wuld be given at the DMs discretion.

Magic items are a great way in bounded accuracy to boost PC's into god like territory if desired.
You can always houserule belts to be flat bonuses.... or you can just throw strength requirements on them.
I was always disappointed that 3e belts lost too much of their flavour.  You did not feel that you had giant strength at all.  But in DDN with a focus on damage, you could have a belt that gives an extra +1 to attack rolls and a flat +6 to damage (hill), +1, +7 (stone), +2, +7 (frost), +2, +8 (fire), +3, +8 (cloud), +3, +9 (storm).  Personally though, I think imposing a flat bonus is fine if you have a permanent out of combat benefit and a temporary in-combat benefit.
It would be fun if they let you throw rocks like the 2nd ed ones.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Has D&D devolved to the point where people cannot ad hoc things and can't use their brain to either

A: Compensate for such an item or
B: Not use the belts if they cause a problem.



This is the rule 0 fallacy, i.e. "it's not broken if you can fix it."


You can't have interesting magical items and balance at the same time.



And this is the fallacy of the excluded middle. It most certainly is possible to have magic items that are both interesting and balanced.
What I don't like about Belts of Gaint is that it reward characters who didn't put any points in Str.

I like the ones in 3.5e were they made the strong get stronger.  



I agree. It's awful that a character who didn't invest anything in Str gets way more benefit from the item than a person who did. This problem was solved in 3rd edition with +X stat items. Once again, the game design progress of the last decade is being tossed aside and the mistakes of the distant past are being repeated.
 It isn't pretending to be balanced and I am arguing it doesn't need to be balanced and it is fine as is. THe 3rd ed ones were boring.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

What I don't like about Belts of Gaint is that it reward characters who didn't put any points in Str.

I like the ones in 3.5e were they made the strong get stronger.  



I agree. It's awful that a character who didn't invest anything in Str gets way more benefit from the item than a person who did. This problem was solved in 3rd edition with +X stat items. Once again, the game design progress of the last decade is being tossed aside and the mistakes of the distant past are being repeated.



Ask yourself this as a DM, what makes you madder? 

20 Str Barbarian getting +6 str from belt
or
8 Str Rogue getting a Str of 26 from Belt?

I like the idea of the classic belt of anyone who puts it on gets the strength of the giant.  I also like the proposal that its not an always on power, (Thing rings, do your thing!)
I also recognize the issue with John McLowstat making out like a bandit by not putting points into his strength and wishing for a Giant Belt.

Activation may help with this.  Perhaps there is a trade off with a giant belt.  Your strength rockets up at the cost of your Dex.  (Yes some Giants have okay Dexterities, but they also aren't undersized humanoids getting all that strength from a belt.)

If something like that was put in, I would also like to see the rock throwing brought back, because nothing says super strength like throwing big things around.  Also perhaps a removal of the advantage larger foes gain vs special attacks. 
I like the idea of adding the Giant Strength bonus to damage, but not to attack. Also can add it to Strength checks for lifting.
Giants are supposed to gain this strength from their size. Increasing abilities scores to reflect the advantage given by size lead to this kind of abberations : little guys who deal the same damage with equal strength without having the stature required to deliver blows of the same magnitude.

A flat bonus to damage would preserve a semblance of coherency. 

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Guantlets of Ogre Power, Belts of Giant Strength, etc. should only grant bonuses to damage, as there is not a good reason to explain why a higher strength instantly improves the accuracy of a character. This will also help distinguish spells like bulls strength, or enlargement.
With Bounded Accuracy, and the removal of the assumption of PC scaling, magic items don't have to be balanced. 

Really, they don't.

When you get your belt of giant strength, your strength is now higher.  Woo!  Now you're actually better, not just better relative to the ever-increasing assumed scale that you have to be perpetually catching up with. 

The point of magic items in Next is that they are game-changers.  Working as intended, and they work that way thanks to the removal of assumptions that BA brings to the table.  Yes, it may mean that someone with a belt of giant strength is much better at killing that orc than someone without it, but that's the point of the belt of giant strength, is it not?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
With Bounded Accuracy, and the removal of the assumption of PC scaling, magic items don't have to be balanced. 

Really, they don't.

When you get your belt of giant strength, your strength is now higher.  Woo!  Now you're actually better, not just better relative to the ever-increasing assumed scale that you have to be perpetually catching up with. 

The point of magic items in Next is that they are game-changers.  Working as intended, and they work that way thanks to the removal of assumptions that BA brings to the table.  Yes, it may mean that someone with a belt of giant strength is much better at killing that orc than someone without it, but that's the point of the belt of giant strength, is it not?



+1. Though, I still REALLY don't like this magic item, but not on the principle of balance. As Mand12 said, magic items really don't have to be balanced anymore. The assumption is that the game works without them. When you add them into the game the game becomes unbalanced. It is up to the DM to modulate that imbalance effectivly, and that is fine! But, this item is most usefull to fighters and yet it makes the fighter's primary attack stat feel useless. Who cares what Str you built yourself up to, now you have a belt! It should give you a bonus to your existing STR, not grant you a flat Str. So, the Hill Giant belt would give you a +1 Str, the Stone Giant belt would give you a +3, the Fire Giant belt would give you a +5, the Could Giant Belt a +7, and the Storm Giant belt a +9. You would end up with the same Str as what it currently gives you (if you have a Str of 20, which all Str based fighters will eventually have), but it still makes your character's stat feel meaningful. 
So if there are magic items (artifacts!) that grant Strength beyond 20, there needs to be similar items that grant Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha beyond 20.
Guantlets of Ogre Power, Belts of Giant Strength, etc. should only grant bonuses to damage, as there is not a good reason to explain why a higher strength instantly improves the accuracy of a character. This will also help distinguish spells like bulls strength, or enlargement.


My personal opinion is that strength should only add to damage, never to hit.

Dexterity, conversely, should only add to hit, never to damage.

AC should be some combination of strength allowing heavier armor and dexterity giving better avoidance of attacks.

Initiative should be wisdom based, reflecting better awareness, or no bonus at all.
Count me as someone who likes the 2nd edition and next belts a lot more than the 3rd edition ones.
(If you think I am just a fanboy, look at enworld where I propose 2nd edition  belts for 4e as well)

As long as you can create magic items that enhance your already high abilities, it opens up a playstyle I really don´t like:
characters only increase their best abilities at the cost of everything else! I rather see someone improving in their weak spots. IMHO it is a much more iteresting storiy, when the formery weak rogue gets a gautlet of ogre power making him as strong as the barbarian.
It is also a lot less unbalancing, as the rogue is still not better than the barbarian, only about as strong and without abilities that really make use of that high strength.
Even a belt of giant strength would not make the rogue more powerful than the barbarian. It is a much harder decision, who will get that belt, while it is obvious who will get the belt, if it just gives a straight bonus to strength.
So if there are magic items (artifacts!) that grant Strength beyond 20, there needs to be similar items that grant Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha beyond 20.


There doesn't need to be anything.  You want a Belt of Rakshasa's Charisma that grants the wearer a 22 Charisma?  Use the Belt of Giant Strength as a template and run with it.
Has D&D devolved to the point where people cannot ad hoc things and can't use their brain to either

A: Compensate for such an item or
B: Not use the belts if they cause a problem.



This is the rule 0 fallacy, i.e. "it's not broken if you can fix it."

Only if you start by assuming it is broken, which it isn't.


You can't have interesting magical items and balance at the same time.



And this is the fallacy of the excluded middle. It most certainly is possible to have magic items that are both interesting and balanced.

Agree, that statement was poorly chosen.

What I don't like about Belts of Gaint is that it reward characters who didn't put any points in Str.

I like the ones in 3.5e were they made the strong get stronger.  



I agree. It's awful that a character who didn't invest anything in Str gets way more benefit from the item than a person who did. This problem was solved in 3rd edition with +X stat items. Once again, the game design progress of the last decade is being tossed aside and the mistakes of the distant past are being repeated.

It is a Belt of X Giant Strength; it gives the wearer the Strength of an X Giant.

You could have Belts of STR+X, if you want.

To have the strength of a giant and the bonus to damge, you should gain the stature of a giant and be able to wield weapons of the same size.
D&D has always failed to handle size differences, because it always has handled them through ability scores and HD inflation.

If a creature the size of a mouse is able to punch through steel, it still can't deal the damage a human who can punch through steel would do.
Every creature abilities should top at 20, size categories being multipliers for damage and HPs.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

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