Key Ability Scores: a way to fix racial penalties and random ability score generation.

I'll start this off by saying that personally, I enjoy the idea of racial ability score penalties.  The concept of a character not just having strengths, but also having weaknesses is something that I feel adds a lot to the game.


However, I also see a large number of flaws with the idea of racial ability penalties.  Overall they have the negative effect of pigeonholing certain races into certain classes, thus forcing players to conform to specific character archetypes.


Random ability scores suffer from a similar problem.  Again, they add quite a bit to the game, but can result in characters that range from boring to simply unplayable.


So, a solution:


Each class has a “key ability score” and perhaps a range of “secondary ability scores” for a player to choose from.  When a player builds their character, after ability scores have been placed and racial penalties applied, if their “key ability score” is less than 16, it automatically becomes 16.  If their “secondary ability score” is less than 13, it becomes 13.


Examples:


I’m rolling up a half-orc wizard (I’m assuming that half orcs gain a +2 bonus to strength and take a -2 penalty to intelligence.


I roll: 14, 12, 13, 11, 8, 14 (standard 4d6, dropping the lowest roll).


I’ll apply the 8, my lowest score, to intelligence, knowing that it will get boosted up.  I’ll apply my 11 to strength (don’t need it much, since I’m a wizard), 14’s to wisdom and constitution, the 12 to charisma, and the 13 to dexterity.


Taking into account my racial penalties and bonuses:


Str: 13


Con: 14


Dex: 13


Wis: 14


 Int: 6


Cha: 12


Now, assuming that the wizard’s key ability score is intelligence, I can now bump my intelligence to 16, and I have a perfectly playable half-orc wizard! 


Any thoughts?

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do learn are inspired to do the same. Warning: I am a compulsive homebrewer / houseruler. Show me any rule or design, and I will probably be trying to modify it, elaborate upon it, or improve it in some way.
except a high elf wizard, with +2 int and -2 str, would be strictly worse with the same roll.

And anyone putting 14 in their main stat is wasting alot of their potential. Which is backwards.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

As much as I definitely do applaud the attempt, I think that mellored is right that this becomes too counter-intuitive. With a system like this, you actually want to start out with the lowest score possible in your class's primary score. In this case, all racial modifiers, whether they be positive or negative, an a primary score are ignored. Now, I definitely do not at all agree with the people who think that racial ability score penalties are a good idea, but this doesn't exactly work as a compromise either, at least I don't think so.

 Also... first post? Are you somebody's alt?

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Isn't this identical to "Roll your six abilities.  Now replace your two worst scores with 13 and 16, and assign as desired."
"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
I think this would work better.

Class gives 2 primary abilities. Race gives 2 primary abilities.

You get two +1s to distribute among your race/class primary abilities but you must choose two different abilities.

@Crimson_Concerto  No, I'm completely new.  I'd been reading the forums for a while now, but I hadn't gotten around to getting an account


Thanks everyone!  I'm definitely seeing the issues in the idea now.

Perhaps it would work better if a character who normally would take a racial penalty to an ability score would not take the penalty if the ability was one of their class’s key abilities?

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do learn are inspired to do the same. Warning: I am a compulsive homebrewer / houseruler. Show me any rule or design, and I will probably be trying to modify it, elaborate upon it, or improve it in some way.
Then it becomes advantageous to play against type. An Orc rogue nukes his cha penalty but keeps his strength bonus. A human rogue on the other hand receives no such shoring up.

 The closest thing I've found to a useable penalty system is to set maximums. A first level orc character has a max int of 16 instead of 18. A player is not allowed to point buy an orc's level 1 int higher than 16, and placing a 17 or 18 in a first level orc's int stat via random rolled methods results in the excess points being transferred to the orc's lowest stat.
I think the best way to represent a races strengths and weaknesses is for the NPCs to use the 13 12 11 10 9 8 array with high scores in the races favored and low scores in the races unflavored scores.

NPCs will play to type, while PCs can play against type if they wish
No, I'm completely new. I'd been reading the forums for a while now, but I hadn't gotten around to getting an account

Ah, well good for you for making a great first impression then.

I think the best way to represent a races strengths and weaknesses is for the NPCs to use the 13 12 11 10 9 8 array with high scores in the races favored and low scores in the races unflavored scores. NPCs will play to type, while PCs can play against type if they wish

DING, DING, DING! We have a winner!
It really is a shame that more people don't understand the merits of this approach.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I've been going off about that for months.

"Halflings should have a strength penalty!  I can't imagine a halfling with a Strength over 10!"
Then don't play one with a 11+ STR as a player, and don't build one as a DM.
 The closest thing I've found to a useable penalty system is to set maximums. A first level orc character has a max int of 16 instead of 18. A player is not allowed to point buy an orc's level 1 int higher than 16, and placing a 17 or 18 in a first level orc's int stat via random rolled methods results in the excess points being transferred to the orc's lowest stat.

This would be my preferred method, as it does not hurt point buy in any way, while still recognizing the fact that orcs are generally stronger than halflings. For thoroughness, there should also be ability score minimums for each race, but I guess that isn't relevant these days since nobody ever rolls lower than an 8.

Edit: I should probably mention that the racial min/max system doesn't require the use of racial modifiers. Instead of saying that all elves get +1 Dex, just say that they must have starting Dex between 6 and 18.

The metagame is not the game.
Don't need maxes, the ability bonuses take care of that.
Personally I don't see the big deal with a -1 penalty. It's not ideal for certain builds, but it can be worked around, and makes it all the more rewarding when you do build a great half-orc wizard.

but I guess that isn't relevant these days since nobody ever rolls lower than an 8.



I beg to differ on that, I've seen several 7s and a 5 since starting the playtest.

Just curious, what do all of you think of specific races and monsters having weaknesses?  If a race could have a weakness without forcing the player to take on a specific roll / class, would you consider that a good thing or a bad thing?


I’ve mainly played 4th edition, but one of the elements I feel was missing from that edition was that no one really had weak points, just areas where they lacked strength.  I like the idea of players having weaknesses, so that they really rely on each other to survive, and monsters having flaws that tactical or clever players can exploit.

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do learn are inspired to do the same. Warning: I am a compulsive homebrewer / houseruler. Show me any rule or design, and I will probably be trying to modify it, elaborate upon it, or improve it in some way.
I like racial penalties as well.

Far from "pigeonholing" characters, penalties sinply make certain combinations more challenging to play. If people consider that pigeonholing, then the game has come to a sad state indeed.

As far as random generation goes, I prefer randomly rolled scores for D&D. For other games, I prefer point buy. But I also think it should be left up to each group with little to no "standard" method.
I like the 2 for 1 rule that I used long ago. I this case, if you want to simulate racial ability scores that tend to conform to some trend but do not have to, you might use a limited version of it. 

The 2 for 1 Rule: Reduce a Stat that is 12 or higher by 2 points, then choose any other Stat that is 17 or lower and raise it by 1.

This allows some customization at the cost of ability scores you do not care about as much. You could limit this to only apply to reducing those ability scores for your race that traditionally are "penalized". This would allow the player to choose if he wants to do this or not. Or maybe allow it to apply to traditional racial "penalty" scores at a lower than 12 threshold, like maybe down to a 10 threshold (giving you an 8).

This gives an option to sculp your PC at an overall cost but just an option the player need not use.

Larry 
Personally I don't see the big deal with a -1 penalty.

Would you like me to give you the general spiel about pigeon-holing, trap option, etc.? Or have you already heard it?

makes it all the more rewarding when you do build a great half-orc wizard.

This is a matter of personal taste in some ways, sure, but then, either way, you can't say "it's more rewarding" with any more accuracy than I can say "no, it's just annoying".

I’ve mainly played 4th edition, but one of the elements I feel was missing from that edition was that no one really had weak points, just areas where they lacked strength. I like the idea of players having weaknesses, so that they really rely on each other to survive, and monsters having flaws that tactical or clever players can exploit.

The wonderful thing about a system like 4E that doesn't force you into penalties that you don't want is that you're still perfectly capable of engineering weakness yourself if you do want them. You are still free to create a character with really bad HP or a character with really bad AC or a character with a bad attack roll or low damage if you want to build that. In other words, in 4E, you had more of an option of whether or not you wanted to do that, was all.

Far from "pigeonholing" characters, penalties sinply make certain combinations more challenging to play.

That can be fine if you want that challenge, but if you don't, then it just kind of gets in the way of playing the character.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Weaknesses like having lower speed (up to a certain point too much speed loss and you're immoblie), not having lowlight or darkvisions, things that aren't either class/role specific, or too specific in general (silver or fire vulnerability) can be made to work.

But for the most part it's better to design races in an additive way. 
A -1 penatly isn't going to pidgeon hole a race or make a race/class combo unplayable.  If a halfling had a -1 str while a half-orc had a +1 str, either character is only modified by 1 point, not even enough to change a modifier, but the difference between them is the difference of one modifier, making the actual effect on the character minor, but the relative difference between the strongest and the weakest actually pronounced mechanically.  As long as they're kept to 1 point bonuses/penalties no race/class combo gets its knees cut out from under, but the racial differences are actually pronounced.
+1 and -1 means the starting half Orc has an 18 and the starting halfling has a 16. If ability score increases only come from feats, the half Orc is a solid 2 feats ahead of the halfling. That is huge!!!!
A -1 penatly isn't going to pidgeon hole a race or make a race/class combo unplayable.

Arguable, but either way, what often gets ignored is the psychological aspect, which is, again arguably, even more important. It does't matter whether my Halfling getting a -2 STR really isn't that big of a deal mechanically, because it looks and feels like a big deal conceptually.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Besides, if we're going to make the argument that penalties aren't that big of a deal mechanically, then couldn't we just as easily argue why have them at all if they're not really mechanically significant?

But I think arguing from the mechanical perspective here is the wrong approach, at least exclusively. Racial penalties are a thematic question and a psychological question long before they are a mechanical question.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Personally, I fully and consciously recognize the psychological effect of penalties...which is the whole reason I want them in the game. I WANT the psychological affect when someone looks at the bonuses and penalties of their races and decides what classes they are best meant for. 

The mechanical downsides have a negligible affect, but an actual affect, but the psychological effect is the most important aspect as it affects the feel of playing the characters! 
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I've been thinking about just going with:  You have a 16 and a 14 - assign them as desired.  For all other stats roll 3d6 (perhaps even 3d6 in order).


The array has a 15 and a 14 for the two highest stats - so this give a slight bonus there.
The array also has 8, 10, 12 and 13 for the remaining four stats - an average of 10.75; 3d6 averages 10.5, so array has a fraction advantage.

Taken together, the array has an 'average' of 12; This approach also has an average of 12.

It creates a greater variety of stats while still guaranteeing them a decent primary stat and a decent secondary stat  - with the small chance (much smaller than with 4d6-1d6) of a 17 or 18. 


Carl        
while a 2-swing scenario is preferable to the 4+-swing of 3e i don't think people appreciate the skew factor of racial attribute penalties on point buy. That's why I prefer the maximum 1st level attribute idea. It doesn't screw pointbuy.
Because in real life most of DnD simply does not work. I mean it, argument from realism is meaningless. If normal physics were operating in the DnD worlds with a layer of magic on top then anti-magic field would main or slaughter vast swathes of the monster manual. 

Also, Question: Even without a penalty you can olny reach a 20 str halfling after using level up increases since the point buy doesn't go above 18, or 15 in the packet, and you can't roll more than an 18. So you're saying a halfling should never be able to achieve 20 str no matter how many ability bonuses he gets from leveling up?
 
Because in real life most of DnD simply does not work. I mean it, argument from realism is meaningless. If normal physics were operating in the DnD worlds with a layer of magic on top then anti-magic field would main or slaughter vast swathes of the monster manual. 

Also, Question: Even without a penalty you can olny reach a 20 str halfling after using level up increases since the point buy doesn't go above 18, or 15 in the packet, and you can't roll more than an 18. So you're saying a halfling should never be able to achieve 20 str no matter how many ability bonuses he gets from leveling up?
 




whats wrong with a str cap for a race? as long as the bonus is appropiate i think its a fine thing. people just want everything with no drawbacks at all. they want to play whatever they want without having to deal with any downside to their decisions.
Chimpanzees are smaller than humans but on average 4x as strong. I simply do not buy the fact that halflings must have a penalty.

Now a I sad earlier the best way to represent a race being stronger or weaker is the basic 13 12 11 10 9 8 array.

Let's say orcs have +1 strength and halflings have +1 dexterity.

Orcs array is:
14 12 11 8 10 9

Halfling is:

8 11 14 10 9 12

The typical Orc is much stronger than the typical halfling. But the adventurer Orc is only a little stronger than the adventurer halfling.
Why do NPC arrays bother with odd values?
I prefer only applying a cap, say the Halfling can't have a starting Str of 18 and the Half-Orc can't have a starting Cha of 18.

I don't like the penalties and bonuses, in how they mess with character creation and skew point buy in particular. Yes I also don't like the bonuses. I don't know what to replace the bonuses with that would make me more happy though, so for now I suppose I'm ok with those.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Here's a thought...

Roll for stats.  Half-orcs roll an extra 1d6 for Str and -1d6 for Int.

So 5d6 drop the lowest 2 for Str.
and straight 3d6 for Int.


I'll have to do some math on that...

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I actually really like that, mello. Simple, semi-old school. Reminiscent of the alternate methods in the original UA.
5d6 drop 2 = 13.43 average,  2.60 deviation =  +1.19
4d6 drop 1 = 12.24 average,  2.85 deviation = base
3d6 drop 0 = 10.50, average, 2.96 deviation = -1.74


Kinda works, but i think it's too big of a difference.  And i'd prefer a smaller deviaition.  (i actually perfer point buy).

Mabey something with d4's, like roll 3d6+1d4 and drop the lowest.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Here's a thought...

Roll for stats.  Half-orcs roll an extra 1d6 for Str and -1d6 for Int.

So 5d6 drop the lowest 2 for Str.
and straight 3d6 for Int.


I'll have to do some math on that...


It's an interesting idea for rolling stats. It breaks down for point buy though.
I think the average effect would be bigger than -1/+1, more inline with -2/+2. 3d6 average is about 10.5, 4d6 drop lowest is about 12.25, 5d6 drop two is 13.45 I think. So it's like -1.75/+1.2

Edit: Lol, ninja'd.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

Roll for stats.  Half-orcs roll an extra 1d6 for Str and -1d6 for Int.

So 5d6 drop the lowest 2 for Str.
and straight 3d6 for Int.

The train-of-thought got lost on me somewhere between A and B.

Roll for stats.  Half-orcs roll an extra 1d6 for Str and -1d6 for Int.

So 5d6 drop the lowest 2 for Str.
and straight 3d6 for Int.

The train-of-thought got lost on me somewhere between A and B.



Half-orc: +Str, -Int.  (or however it's worded).

Str:  4d6+1d4, drop 2
Con: 4d6, drop 1
Dex: 4d6, drop 1
Int: 3d6+1d4, drop 1
Wis: 4d6, drop 1
Cha: 4d6, drop 1

It's for a straight roll, you don't assign them.

*still working on tweaking the math

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

First reaction is "This is Oblivion all over again" - which will take some explaining.

In Elder Scrolls IV:  Oblivion, you leveled up your character by using your skills.  The skills you used leveled up individually with use, and then when you had leveled your major or minor skills (chosen at the start of the game, either customized or from pre-set options) a total of 10 times, your character level would increase.  Part of the character level increase was an increase in ability scores:  a choice of three out of six.  Each individual skill you leveled would contribute to an ability score multiplier on this increase.  So, by leveling up a lot of Str-based skills, instead of a +1 to Str when you choose it for that character level-up, it could be +2 or higher, up to a cap of +5 if you leveled a Strength skill ten times.

The problem though was that there weren't just major and minor skills.  There were also miscellaneous skills, the ones that you didn't choose as "I want this to be what my character is good at."  The miscellaneous skills did not contribute to increasing character level, but they did increase the ability score multipliers.  So, you were encouraged to level up a lot of your miscellaneous skills to get the maximum multipliers for the largest increase to your stats with each level up.

This would have been largely fine, if not for the odd way Oblivion did monster scaling.  Your character level determined the combat stats of every single creature in the game - with perfect scaling.  What would have been a bandit with crap gear and a junk dagger turns into a bandit with a full set of the best armor in the game, as you level.  This would be fine, except for the part about the ability score multipliers above:  you could, and very likely would, be out-leveled by the rest of the world if you weren't careful about your skill increases. 

If you did the intuitive thing, and picked the skills you wanted to use most and used them often, you'd level rapidly, but have very few ability score increases.  A far superior approach, in order to get a better character, was to make the major and minor skills things you plan on not using, and make your core "I want this to be what my character is good at" your miscellaneous skills.  That way, you can increase your core power without increasing your character level, and when you do choose to increase your character level, you do so deliberately, with a full set of capped multiplier, with full knowledge that the game around you will get harder but since you've gamed the system it will probably be worth it.

Your system of compensating for bad scores by replacing them for key scores seems like this.  You should want to put your highest number in the score that's most important for your class.  Rather, your suggestion means that you should dump it, every time, and pocket the benefits to your other scores and end up with higher overall stats.  That's completely backward, unintuitive, and will run into the exact same problem of trying to game the system to get a character that does its job well, rather than have the system guide you clearly to how to get a character that does its job well.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
So, we're assuming 4d6/drop, but skewing the results via 5d6/drop2 and 3d6?
Clever.

It can work with assigned rolls, just not easily.


  • Roll 3d6 six times, noting each die of each roll.

  • Stick the results any order

  • Roll any extra dice for each score

  • Drop the lowest die/dice.

So, we're assuming 4d6/drop, but skewing the results via 5d6/drop2 and 3d6?
Clever.

Thx.

It fits the discription better IMO.

Half-orcs, on average, are stronger and less intelligent.  This doesn't stop you from having an 3 Str 18 Int half-orc, it's just alot more rare.

It can work with assigned rolls, just not easily.


  • Roll 3d6 six times, noting each die of each roll.

  • Stick the results any order

  • Roll any extra dice for each score

  • Drop the lowest die/dice.


Hmm...

I like it.  Especially if you do it after you pick your class.


  1. Roll 3d6 six times, note the lowest 2.  (you don't need to keep track of the highest).

  2. Assign the results.

  3. Choose your class.

  4. Roll the extra racial dice for each stat.

  5. Drop the lowest.



Slightly convoluted, but it works from a story perspective.  You know what your minimal stats are when you go into collage/training/ect.  But it might increase while your there.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

The dice trick is nice but how does it translate to point buy?
The dice trick is nice but how does it translate to point buy?

Um...

Mandate where the 8 goes?
Include a one-point discount/upcharge on select scores?


Skewing rolls can't work with pointbuy, because pointbuy is simply not a random distribution.