MAD

It seems to me that paladins and monks, and to a lesser extent barbarians, are still suffering from the problems of MAD.

Agree and if so, how would you fix it? Disagree and if so, why do you think it's balanced?

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

I would "fix" it by making all weapons require Dex to hit and Strength for damage, and have all spells require Int (or Wisdom) to set the save DC while scaling in power based on Charisma.

The solution to Multiple Ability Dependency being a problem is to get rid of Single Ability classes. 

The metagame is not the game.

I generally like MADness, so I'd agree that they arent the problem in themselves. Make other classes MAD as well and/or design some in-class way for MADs to make up for it. 
I would "fix" it by making all weapons require Dex to hit and Strength for damage, and have all spells require Int (or Wisdom) to set the save DC while scaling in power based on Charisma.

The solution to Multiple Ability Dependency being a problem is to get rid of Single Ability classes. 




Str damage to all weapons?  Really?  Even things like bows & crossbows (and in some games fire arms & siege engines)?  You know, things that have never generally relied upon the users str.
Things that actually help weak characters do more damage than they would if they just pounded on the monster. 
 Even things like bows & crossbows (and in some games fire arms & siege engines)?  You know, things that have never generally relied upon the users str



www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c1okvMP8m4

Bows don't need str, you say? These things that have never generally relied upon str, you say?

When I was 14, I had to stick with my 30 pound bow, because I wasn't strong enough to 
use the longbows. 

Using Strength for bow damage actually makes a lot of sense because the stronger you are, the more draw you can get (and the harder and faster your arrow will loose).  Even for crossbows it makes some sense since you still have to crank that bad boy.  Yes there are goatsfeet and other aids, but even so, the mechanical energy from even a crossbow comes from your muscles (read strength).

-Polaris
Even things like bows & crossbows (and in some games fire arms & siege engines)?


I can't remember which edition it was but I'm positive that Str used to be used for both bows and crossbow damage bonuses in one of the earlier iterations of D&D. AD&D? God, it's been too many years for me to remember.

I must admit that part of the reason why I like the new point-buy system is that it encourages a wider range of ability scores and that it'd suit a more MAD-focused system. I never would've thought of solving MAD by embracing it. 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

Str damage to all weapons?  Really?  Even things like bows & crossbows (and in some games fire arms & siege engines)?  You know, things that have never generally relied upon the users str.

I don't think fire arms & siege weapons should gain any modifiers to damage; they are mechanical in nature and should have that factored into their base damage.

Siege weapons shouldn't have HP damage numbers at all; they should be rated in unit or structural damage (unit damage being the number of enemy units in a formation that are eliminated/removed). Against PCs, I would make it Level damage that needs to be healed magically or over the "long haul" (maybe 1d4 months / Level lost).

I think every class should 2 abilities. This would bring paladins (Str or Dex and Cha), Barbarian (Str and Con or Dex) and monks (Dex and Wis) in the proper view.

Making caster subclasses use abilities other than Intelligence like 4e would work too. Illusionists add the Charisma mod to AC. Evoker adds Wisdom mod to damage for evocation spells.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Using Strength for bow damage actually makes a lot of sense because the stronger you are, the more draw you can get (and the harder and faster your arrow will loose).  Even for crossbows it makes some sense since you still have to crank that bad boy.  Yes there are goatsfeet and other aids, but even so, the mechanical energy from even a crossbow comes from your muscles (read strength).

-Polaris



If there is a damage adjustment for 'strength' in bows and crossbows its dependant on the weapon not the wielder. A person with a Strength of 18 is not going to get any more power out of a recurve bow with a 30lb draw weight than a person with STR 12. It's just that a person with STR 18 would be able to use a 100lb draw weight long bow, while the STR 12 person probably couldn't use it at all.

So that leaves two possible answers...
1. Assume that every character will buy the highest draw weight that he/she can use and then apply the STR modifier.
2. Assign bows a STR bonus and rule that a character must equal that STR bonus to be able to use the bow.

For Crossbows it's different....
The only benefit I can see to having high STR bonus would be in terms of reload speed. A person with a really high STR might be able to manually **** a crossbow that a normal person would need a lever or block&tackle to re-load.


         

Using Strength for bow damage actually makes a lot of sense because the stronger you are, the more draw you can get (and the harder and faster your arrow will loose).  Even for crossbows it makes some sense since you still have to crank that bad boy.  Yes there are goatsfeet and other aids, but even so, the mechanical energy from even a crossbow comes from your muscles (read strength).

-Polaris



If there is a damage adjustment for 'strength' in bows and crossbows its dependant on the weapon not the wielder. A person with a Strength of 18 is not going to get any more power out of a recurve bow with a 30lb draw weight than a person with STR 12. It's just that a person with STR 18 would be able to use a 100lb draw weight long bow, while the STR 12 person probably couldn't use it at all.

So that leaves two possible answers...
1. Assume that every character will buy the highest draw weight that he/she can use and then apply the STR modifier.
2. Assign bows a STR bonus and rule that a character must equal that STR bonus to be able to use the bow.
      




3. Each bow can have a maximum applicable STR bonus. Characters with lower STR don't get the entire bonus, those with higher STR don't get beyond it.
I think every class should 2 abilities. This would bring paladins (Str or Dex and Cha), Barbarian (Str and Con or Dex) and monks (Dex and Wis) in the proper view. Making caster subclasses use abilities other than Intelligence like 4e would work too. Illusionists add the Charisma mod to AC. Evoker adds Wisdom mod to damage for evocation spells.


That only worsen's the problem.

MAD doesn't exist because all abilities are required. The paladin suffers from MAD because Con and Dex are important for reasons beyond what it gives the class. It's a melee combatant and so Con at the very least is important. And if you take away Cha for spells, then it's just a fighter with better abilities.

No, I like the idea of making every class MAD through the previous suggestion. Then it's a balancing act irrespective of class rather than because of it. 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

The first thing I thought when I saw the title (MAD) I thought mutual assured destruction.   Then I thought - man these boards are getting bad when they are considering nuking each other over some game rules.  :-).

I would "fix" it by making all weapons require Dex to hit and Strength for damage, and have all spells require Int (or Wisdom) to set the save DC while scaling in power based on Charisma.

The solution to Multiple Ability Dependency being a problem is to get rid of Single Ability classes. 


I like this. The game promotes specialization way too much, would be good to have something to counter that.

I like this. The game promotes specialization way too much, would be good to have something to counter that.


Yeah, I think we should make Saelorn president. Of what, I don't know, but I think it's the sentiment behind the title that matters

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, “Are you really sure?”

If you put a Str prerequisites on weapons and armors and use another "logic" stat to hit like Int or Dex, and implement MAD with every other characters' "tools", then there's no MAD problem, just MAD being the norm.
I agree that making the other ability scores important will make MAD the norm, and that's not bad. I'd like to see a few strategic and leadership options (feats or class abilities) that make the mental abilities useful for barbarians, fighters, and paladins. Something like the 4e Fighter's wisdom bonus to opportunity attacks, the 4e warlord's intelligence to an ally's strategically timed attack roll, and the like. 

These could be generic options, like charisma benefiting helping allies (instead of generic advantage) or intelligence benefitting hindering enemies (instead of disadvantage) as well as class specific options like bonuses to some of the fighter's expertise dice options. 
Using Strength for bow damage actually makes a lot of sense because the stronger you are, the more draw you can get (and the harder and faster your arrow will loose).  Even for crossbows it makes some sense since you still have to crank that bad boy.  Yes there are goatsfeet and other aids, but even so, the mechanical energy from even a crossbow comes from your muscles (read strength).

-Polaris



If there is a damage adjustment for 'strength' in bows and crossbows its dependant on the weapon not the wielder. A person with a Strength of 18 is not going to get any more power out of a recurve bow with a 30lb draw weight than a person with STR 12. It's just that a person with STR 18 would be able to use a 100lb draw weight long bow, while the STR 12 person probably couldn't use it at all.

So that leaves two possible answers...
1. Assume that every character will buy the highest draw weight that he/she can use and then apply the STR modifier.
2. Assign bows a STR bonus and rule that a character must equal that STR bonus to be able to use the bow.

For Crossbows it's different....
The only benefit I can see to having high STR bonus would be in terms of reload speed. A person with a really high STR might be able to manually **** a crossbow that a normal person would need a lever or block&tackle to re-load.


         




Not true.  Every bow is crafted to reach peak power once a certain point in the draw motion has been reached.  Any distance past that point 'stacks' the weight of the bow and it increases thus conferring more power to the arrow once loosed.  Some people even order their bows today specifically to take advantage of 'stacking'.  For example, today's recurve bows (composite in D&D - though there are certainly composite bows of all types) are typically crafted with a 28" draw length as a default.  This is due to the average size of the user (weight is typically 50lbs for the same reason).  A non-custom bow will likely be built for a 28" draw user.  If you can't, won't or don't want to spend custom bow prices then you'll end up with a 28" bow regardless of your actual draw length.  If you're taller than 5'10" or so, odds are you'll have a greater draw length and therefore draw past the 28" the bow was designed for and stack it ... so long as you're strong enough - and now we're finally back to D&D.  Strength may limit how much draw weight a character could handle but it also allows them to gain added benefit from a lower weight bow from stacking if they're strong enough.  Basically, adding bonus damage from Strength makes perfect sense.

Of course defining this properly would get all sorts of wonky.  How many people even know what draw length is - let alone how it works together with draw weight and influences the overall length of the bow?  Not many.  So a simple 'quality bows of the composite type allow you to add your Str modifier to damage' would work just fine.
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Using Strength for bow damage actually makes a lot of sense because the stronger you are, the more draw you can get (and the harder and faster your arrow will loose).  Even for crossbows it makes some sense since you still have to crank that bad boy.  Yes there are goatsfeet and other aids, but even so, the mechanical energy from even a crossbow comes from your muscles (read strength).

-Polaris



If there is a damage adjustment for 'strength' in bows and crossbows its dependant on the weapon not the wielder. A person with a Strength of 18 is not going to get any more power out of a recurve bow with a 30lb draw weight than a person with STR 12. It's just that a person with STR 18 would be able to use a 100lb draw weight long bow, while the STR 12 person probably couldn't use it at all.

So that leaves two possible answers...
1. Assume that every character will buy the highest draw weight that he/she can use and then apply the STR modifier.
2. Assign bows a STR bonus and rule that a character must equal that STR bonus to be able to use the bow.

For Crossbows it's different....
The only benefit I can see to having high STR bonus would be in terms of reload speed. A person with a really high STR might be able to manually **** a crossbow that a normal person would need a lever or block&tackle to re-load.


         




Not true.  Every bow is crafted to reach peak power once a certain point in the draw motion has been reached.  Any distance past that point 'stacks' the weight of the bow and it increases thus conferring more power to the arrow once loosed.  Some people even order their bows today specifically to take advantage of 'stacking'.  For example, today's recurve bows (composite in D&D - though there are certainly composite bows of all types) are typically crafted with a 28" draw length as a default.  This is due to the average size of the user (weight is typically 50lbs for the same reason).  A non-custom bow will likely be built for a 28" draw user.  If you can't, won't or don't want to spend custom bow prices then you'll end up with a 28" bow regardless of your actual draw length.  If you're taller than 5'10" or so, odds are you'll have a greater draw length and therefore draw past the 28" the bow was designed for and stack it ... so long as you're strong enough - and now we're finally back to D&D.  Strength may limit how much draw weight a character could handle but it also allows them to gain added benefit from a lower weight bow from stacking if they're strong enough.  Basically, adding bonus damage from Strength makes perfect sense.

Of course defining this properly would get all sorts of wonky.  How many people even know what draw length is - let alone how it works together with draw weight and influences the overall length of the bow?  Not many.  So a simple 'quality bows of the composite type allow you to add your Str modifier to damage' would work just fine.



Sort of goes to option 1... the concept that a Character is going to either order or look to buy a bow that allows a bonus for higher strength - whether the increased draw weight it 'built in' or comes from over-draw - which just increases the functional draw weight.


Sort of goes to option 1... the concept that a Character is going to either order or look to buy a bow that allows a bonus for higher strength - whether the increased draw weight it 'built in' or comes from over-draw - which just increases the functional draw weight.



Its possible that historically fast snap shot draws were used to launch virtual barrage of arrows at an enemy in a war environment  or chasing fast moving creatures it was used to cause more small injury or similar ... that would be another way to deliver the goods. It would take real dexterity (see Lars Anderson video)
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Str damage to all weapons?  Really?  Even things like bows & crossbows (and in some games fire arms & siege engines)?  You know, things that have never generally relied upon the users str.

I don't think fire arms & siege weapons should gain any modifiers to damage; they are mechanical in nature and should have that factored into their base damage.


I play the BtVS and Angel rpgs, and they do something similar.  Most weapons do damage as a multiple of the Strength attribute (for example: Str x2 for a punch).  However, guns and crossbows each have a static damage number, and the bow is strength (Str x4) based but has a cap (20 damage) representing the maximum pull of the bow.  Of course, that system also does increased damage based on how well you hit too.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

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