I miss ability damage

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I think it's a bad idea to take ability damage out of the game. True, it did have a cost in terms of the need to recalculate. But I think what ability damage added to the game in exchange was well worth it.

Here's why I like ability damage:
  • It makes poison interesting because there are different types that hurt you in different ways.
  • It gives me different ways to hurt the PCs- not just hit points!
  • It gives the PCs different ways to attack their foes- not just hit points!
  • It makes (made) shadows and stirges extra scary.
  • It opens up a lot of design space for attacks and powers.
  • (Except for Con) It's nonlethal damage that doesn't have that "nerf" feel.
  • It's not permanent like level drain.
I completely agree.


Considering that every instance of poison that I had seen before D&D simply made your health bar/bottle go green and slowly drain away - I thought it was quite a novel idea that poison struck directly at your constitution and could kill you, regardless of how many HP you had.
Ability damage other than Con wasn't bad in itself. The problem was, in my opinion, the large number of monsters that had a "If I get you to 0 strength, you die instantly and become undead" clauses in their attacks. Shadows were the big culprit here. They just felt like a "gotcha" monster, since they ignored your HPs and suddenly your STR score was all that kept you alive.
All of those things are included in 4th edition even without ability drain.
Cascading math attacks are symptomatic of bad game design. Good Riddance.
the main reason i believe they took out ability damage is for bookkeeping reasons.

let's say you're using a monster that has an attack that deals strength damage and you happen to hit the Fighter type. this makes him recalculate:

-grapple mod
-melee attack mod
-melee damage mod
-can he still use his str requiring feats?
-his major skills

spellcasters getting hit to their main stat get nerfed also
-possibility of loss of spell level if your stat drops too low
-loss of bonus spell slots
-save DCs for spells go down
-generally their major skills are hit

unless you have access to someone who can heal ability damage (which no party should be without), it recovers slowly at 1/day, or 2 with rest if memory serves.

so you have to recalculate the next day. and the next.

that and all that recalculating generally jams the breaks on the game as the player re-calculates all the values affected.

i'm guessing but more then likely poisons and such in 4th will have a very specific but long lasting effect:

-blinding
-slowed speed
-negatives to ranged/melee attack rolls
-negatives to physical/magical damage
-cannot access some features (healing surges, action points, ect...)
-ect...

generally less bookkeeping as only one thing is affected and not a blanket of your charsheet.
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I think the function of ability damage is to make a character less effective. I think there's a place for that. It can increase dramatic tension by making a player wonder if his character will be effective at upholding his role on the team.

Applying the "damage" to ability scores, however, is a little cumbersome, since it requires recalculation of secondary attributes. I think condition tracks and the like are the new version of ability damage; they perform pretty much the same function.
the main reason i believe they took out ability damage is for bookkeeping reasons.

let's say you're using a monster that has an attack that deals strength damage and you happen to hit the Fighter type. this makes him recalculate:

-grapple mod
-melee attack mod
-melee damage mod
-can he still use his str requiring feats?
-his major skills

Yeah. It's a feat of gigantic mental strength to have to try and figure out what 12 - 2 is.

spellcasters getting hit to their main stat get nerfed also
-possibility of loss of spell level if your stat drops too low
-loss of bonus spell slots
-save DCs for spells go down
-generally their major skills are hit

Again, this is basic math of the simplest kind.

unless you have access to someone who can heal ability damage (which no party should be without), it recovers slowly at 1/day, or 2 with rest if memory serves.

Making it a 10 day ordeal IF you had a 20 in the stat AND got drained to 0. Neither of which were common occurrances. Usually you just got hit for 1-6 points max.

so you have to recalculate the next day. and the next.

No, you don't. You only have to do the simple basic math IF you had to use the affected mechanic. Most mechanics weren't used during that period of time, so you really only had a very small amount of basic math to do, and it didn't slow the game down more than a few seconds. People who play this game tend to be smart enough to be able to add and subract small sums very quickly.

that and all that recalculating generally jams the breaks on the game as the player re-calculates all the values affected.

Er, no.

i'm guessing but more then likely poisons and such in 4th will have a very specific but long lasting effect:

-blinding
-slowed speed
-negatives to ranged/melee attack rolls
-negatives to physical/magical damage
-cannot access some features (healing surges, action points, ect...)
-ect...

So they become even less effective than ever before. Joy.

Voice: Did you do it?

Assassin: Yes, I've been feeding the King 2 gallons of poison every day for a month, but he just slows down a bit. It's very strange.

Voice: Wasn't a single one ounce doze supposed to give him CON loss and kill him?

Assassin: Well, it used to, but now that 4ed is out, we can't kill anyone with it anymore. I was hoping that if I fed him gallons of the stuff, he might drown. ::shuffles his feet in embarrassment::
I agree that the little bit of the math that was required was minimal and not a burden.

Perhaps people who really don't like to think too hard should sit in front of the TV with an old Atari and play pong.
Yeah. It's a feat of gigantic mental strength to have to try and figure out what 12 - 2 is.

You are correct, the recalculations are not mentally taxing.
What they are is tedious, annoying, and not what I want to spend my time between actions doing. Especially if I am the DM. Every second I spend calculating monster stats is a second I have 5 people sitting around wondering why I can't keep the combat flowing smoothly.

Dropping a sledgehammer on my foot is easy. It is not how I prefer to spend my leisure time.

Voice: Did you do it?

Assassin: Yes, I've been feeding the King 2 gallons of poison every day for a month, but he just slows down a bit. It's very strange.

Voice: Wasn't a single one ounce doze supposed to give him CON loss and kill him?

Assassin: Well, it used to, but now that 4ed is out, we can't kill anyone with it anymore. I was hoping that if I fed him gallons of the stuff, he might drown. ::shuffles his feet in embarrassment::

Did you have a character actually try to kill someone by stealth with a poison in 3.5?

King: I feel a bit weak this morning. I wonder if one of my rivals slipped something in my wine last night. Summon my priest!

Cleric: *casts lesser restoration*

King: Ah, much better. Now where is that stack of death warrants I need to sign?


If you want to kill someone with poison in 3.5, it either has to do obscene amounts of con damage (3d6 to kill the average commoner) or cause death on a failed save.

If you want to kill someone with poison in 4E you need something like 5HP ongoing, no save with a delayed onset so they die in their sleep, or one that causes death on a failed save.

I'm not seeing a big change in lethality, just in mechanics.
Yeah. It's a feat of gigantic mental strength to have to try and figure out what 12 - 2 is.

It's not hard to know you have to apply a -1 penalty to all Strength based skills.

It is a pain to remember that on top of the +1 from bard song to attacks, +1 from bless, +4 from bulls Strength, size modifiers, hey do bonuses to attack also apply to grapple checks?, oh right haste gives +1 to attack....

Cascading math is bad but only a minor pain. Cascading math with more seperate math is terrible. And all this for what? To better simulate the slow weakening of a target? Why not just toss on the weakened condition? Ability damage was tossed along with the buff stacking madness and good riddance.

So they become even less effective than ever before. Joy.

Voice: Did you do it?

Assassin: Yes, I've been feeding the King 2 gallons of poison every day for a month, but he just slows down a bit. It's very strange.

Voice: Wasn't a single one ounce doze supposed to give him CON loss and kill him?

Assassin: Well, it used to, but now that 4ed is out, we can't kill anyone with it anymore. I was hoping that if I fed him gallons of the stuff, he might drown. ::shuffles his feet in embarrassment::

Except poison can do real damage now. Now if you pour arsenic in the kings food he will die 100% of the time if it does more damage then his HP. Every single time. Unlike in 3.5 where he could roll a 20 and just shrug it off. Or you could roll less then 10 Con damage (fairly common unless you were burning massive amounts of gold) and he'd get sick and the guards would get suspicious.
Well... At least we got custom avatars....
OH yeah, ability damage was fun. I especially liked playing a caster that was critted by Touch of Idiocy and the DM rolled max ability damage. Thats -12 to all mental stats, lots of fun there, or even just multiple castings of such spell. Whenever a PC's main stat is greatly reduced it sucks for that PC. I hate ability damage even as a DM. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
If "tedious math" is so hard, I guess spells like "Bless" and things like "Bard's Songs" are way over the top. Do people who complain about a few minuses here and there also dislike the temp bonuses that go along with the good stuff?

Or are bonuses ok so you're happy to keep them?

For all that "tedious math", as a DM I had a little thing that helped. See, I kept a record of all the PCs' info on ability drain, etc. I knew their Con and HP. I knew their CC. I also had a handy cross-ref of all the skill under what stat they were on. Now supposedly the players knew what their characters bonuses were. So when a player rolled a D20 and said, "D20 is 15 but all the bonuses come out to +7", if they had -2 to their PC's strength, I knew to subtract "1".

Again, if subtracting out is bad and difficult, so to should be the bonuses.
You are correct, the recalculations are not mentally taxing.
What they are is tedious, annoying, and not what I want to spend my time between actions doing. Especially if I am the DM. Every second I spend calculating monster stats is a second I have 5 people sitting around wondering why I can't keep the combat flowing smoothly.

Dropping a sledgehammer on my foot is easy. It is not how I prefer to spend my leisure time.

How often did the players poison you?

Did you have a character actually try to kill someone by stealth with a poison in 3.5?

King: I feel a bit weak this morning. I wonder if one of my rivals slipped something in my wine last night. Summon my priest!

Cleric: *casts lesser restoration*

King: Ah, much better. Now where is that stack of death warrants I need to sign?

No, it's not quite that bad in 3ed. Your average King had a 10 con. A simple WEAK 1d6/1d6 poison would weaken him like that, and MIGHT kill him. If you used a 2d6/1d6 or better poison, he'd end up dead more often than not.

If you want to kill someone with poison in 3.5, it either has to do obscene amounts of con damage (3d6 to kill the average commoner) or cause death on a failed save.

No, to kill the average NPC, not commoner. Kings are as easily to kill as the farmer.

If you want to kill someone with poison in 4E you need something like 5HP ongoing, no save with a delayed onset so they die in their sleep, or one that causes death on a failed save.

Save or die poisons don't exist in 4ed, and I doubt there's a no save ongoing damage poison, either.
-grapple mod
-melee attack mod
-melee damage mod
-can he still use his str requiring feats?
-his major skills

spellcasters getting hit to their main stat get nerfed also
-possibility of loss of spell level if your stat drops too low
-loss of bonus spell slots
-save DCs for spells go down
-generally their major skills are hit

Grapple Mod: Only if I decide to grapple or if my opponent does. And then, what must I do? Oh, subtract my ability damage/2 from my grapple mod. Not difficult at all.

Melee Attack Mod: Same as above.

Melee Damage Mod: Potentially slightly more difficult if they have kept
strength multiplication in two-handed weapons, still not a calculation I would call "grinding the game to a halt."

Feats: Now here you've got something. Given that you probably won't remember the exact strength requirement of your feats, or perhaps won't remember what feats are chained together (if most still are), then this could cause a book stop. Maybe just rule that ability damage does not change availability of feats.

Major Skills: Only if you use them, and it isn't as if there's some scaling chart of progression of Armor Check Penalty vs. Strength Modifier vs. Level. It's just a simple subtraction of half your ability damage.

Perhaps you'd have no problem if Ability Damage became Ability Modifier Damage? That way you wouldn't have to divide by two and potentially round.

Spellcasters getting hit to their main stat get nerfed also: Naturally, that's what being poisoned in your main stat does.

First Three: No, not any longer. No bonus powers, no powers with ability requirements, no power save DCs to recalculate. Spells were a pain to adjust before, but now all you have is the attack roll change, no worse than a fighter getting hit with it.


Is there math involved? Yes, but when I got hit by poison I didn't bother to change every modifier on my sheet based on the new ability. I just marked next to my most common abilities (like my melee attack and damage) the new bonuses. I really don't think it was that difficult, but I can also see why the 4E designers saw it as an easy thing to toss in the name of streamlining.
OH yeah, ability damage was fun. I especially liked playing a caster that was critted by Touch of Idiocy and the DM rolled max ability damage. Thats -12 to all mental stats, lots of fun there, or even just multiple castings of such spell. Whenever a PC's main stat is greatly reduced it sucks for that PC. I hate ability damage even as a DM. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

It worked for the PCs as well as against the PCs.

Nobody said that taking on the BBEG was easy.
I agree that the little bit of the math that was required was minimal and not a burden.

Perhaps people who really don't like to think too hard should sit in front of the TV with an old Atari and play pong.

Good game design goes out of its way to avoid needless complexity. The simpler you can keep things within a similar mathematical model, the better.

Traditional D&D design is quirky. It doesn't need more clutter. Ability damage does a particular thing. If that thing can be done better with a simpler mechanic, that's one in the win column. Going after ability scores in D&D (and ability scores aren't typically used directly in the game mechanics, mind you) means a bunch of extra bookkeeping with derivative scores. That function can be handled in a much cleaner way.

It's not an insult to the towering intellect of the D&D player to simplify the game design.
To all of you who insist that ability damage is not tedious bookkeaping, have you actually used it?

Start with a dex of 13, and take 4 points of dex damage…that’s…-2 on all dex based numbers. In the middle of combat play stops while you modify ranged to hit, initiative, ac, and reflex saves. Then after combat you must modify any skill that use that attribute. Later that day the secondary effect kicks in and you take another 2 damage, losing -1 on all those numbers again. Then the next day you heal one point, raising your dex to 8. That is a +1 so the recalculating begans anew. Later you go to a temple and have the stat healed, so you must recalculate it all again. In total it meant erasing and rewriting number about 5-10 times on the sheet each of 3-5 times that it changes, all resulting from just one attack. Who could possibly call that fun?
How often did the players poison you?

Me personally? None, we are pretty good friends actually.

The monsters they were fighting, quite a lot. My group that just finished Rise of the Runelords had a shadowdancer in it. Dealing with the strength drain every round was exceedingly tedious.


No, it's not quite that bad in 3ed. Your average King had a 10 con. A simple WEAK 1d6/1d6 poison would weaken him like that, and MIGHT kill him. If you used a 2d6/1d6 or better poison, he'd end up dead more often than not.

The average king in my campaigns has a decent number of class levels. You don't become or stay king when any apprentice mage that doesn't like your new taxes can kill you from 250' away.
Oh, and NPCS get saving throws too.

If you want to discuss commoner stats, a simple WEAK 5 ongoing damage poison MIGHT kill a 20hp commoner, and if you used a ongoing 10 damage poison, he'll end up dead more often than not.

Save or die poisons don't exist in 4ed, and I doubt there's a no save ongoing damage poison, either.

Save or Die poisons also don't exist in 3.5, and the nice thing about playing D&D instead of a computer game, is that you can actually make up your own content within the guidelines provided by the rules.

I am not arguing that 4E poisons do a good job of modeling real world poisons. I am simply saying that they are will serve at least as well as the poison rules in any previous edition.
All of those things are included in 4th edition even without ability drain.

I don't think so.

OH yeah, ability damage was fun. I especially liked playing a caster that was critted by Touch of Idiocy and the DM rolled max ability damage.

This is less harsh than paralysis.

You are correct, the recalculations are not mentally taxing.
What they are is tedious, annoying, and not what I want to spend my time between actions doing.

So, your players don't enjoy casting Cat's Grace etc?

i'm guessing but more then likely poisons and such in 4th will have a very specific but long lasting effect:

-blinding
-slowed speed
-negatives to ranged/melee attack rolls
-negatives to physical/magical damage
-cannot access some features (healing surges, action points, ect...)
-ect...

These are good ideas for poisons, but I think in 4e they would only last until the PC gets a successful save.

Having ability damage in the game is less simple but more interesting than not having it.
It worked for the PCs as well as against the PCs.

Nobody said that taking on the BBEG was easy.

People want to cake walk throught he game with no real risks or hardships to their characters. Not everyone is like this, but apparently enough that WoTC caved in to this method of play.
I don't think so.

I've seen the books and I know so.

There is absolutely nothing that you put forward that can't be accomplished without ability buffs/damage.

People want to cake walk throught he game with no real risks or hardships to their characters. Not everyone is like this, but apparently enough that WoTC caved in to this method of play.

So I'm guessing you haven't played any of the 4e demos or followed the development of the game too closely? You should read up on it.
To all of you who insist that ability damage is not tedious bookkeaping, have you actually used it?

Yes.

Start with a dex of 13, and take 4 points of dex damage…that’s…-2 on all dex based numbers. In the middle of combat play stops while you modify ranged to hit, initiative, ac, and reflex saves. Then after combat you must modify any skill that use that attribute. Later that day the secondary effect kicks in and you take another 2 damage, losing -1 on all those numbers again. Then the next day you heal one point, raising your dex to 8. That is a +1 so the recalculating begans anew. Later you go to a temple and have the stat healed, so you must recalculate it all again. In total it meant erasing and rewriting number about 5-10 times on the sheet each of 3-5 times that it changes, all resulting from just one attack. Who could possibly call that fun?

I never stopped to modify it. I knew my intiative number was 3, and when it came time to roll, 3-2 was 1. It took me a fraction of a second to figure that out.
Yes.



I never stopped to modify it. I knew my intiative number was 3, and when it came time to roll, 3-2 was 1. It took me a fraction of a second to figure that out.

So all you have to do is memorize all of the abilities that are affected by the relevant stats and apply the modifier in your head. Yeah, that's not too complicated for a new player
If ability damage was the only thing leaving the ballpark, I could support the notion that removing it was a bad idea. They're also taking out temporary ability increases however. Removing the needless complication on one side of the equation only probably wouldn't be worth it, but once they are both gone...who wants to bring that back?

Yes, I'm fully willing to give up Bull's Strength and Cat's Grace for a game that plays more smoothly. Ability scores affect too many other parts of the game to allow them to be changed on the fly. That doesn't mean that I don't expect to still see things like Ray of Enfeeblement though. Said rays will probably apply to specific types of things though, like a -4 to Strength-based attack rolls or something.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
Me personally? None, we are pretty good friends actually.

So you think! Muahahaha!

The monsters they were fighting, quite a lot. My group that just finished Rise of the Runelords had a shadowdancer in it. Dealing with the strength drain every round was exceedingly tedious.

I've never found this to be tedious or time consuming.

The average king in my campaigns has a decent number of class levels. You don't become or stay king when any apprentice mage that doesn't like your new taxes can kill you from 250' away.
Oh, and NPCS get saving throws too.

No, your average king had no class levels. He didn't need them with 1000 guards and a few wizards and priests to protect him.

If you want to discuss commoner stats, a simple WEAK 5 ongoing damage poison MIGHT kill a 20hp commoner, and if you used a ongoing 10 damage poison, he'll end up dead more often than not.

Heh. Somehow, given minions with 1 hit point, I doubt a "commoner" will have 20 ;)

Save or Die poisons also don't exist in 3.5, and the nice thing about playing D&D instead of a computer game, is that you can actually make up your own content within the guidelines provided by the rules.

I'm pretty sure I saw one somewhere in some splatbook or other. That said, that 3d6/3d6 CON loss poison might as well read "save or die."

I am not arguing that 4E poisons do a good job of modeling real world poisons. I am simply saying that they are will serve at least as well as the poison rules in any previous edition.

Well, I'm not willing to accept that until I actually see the list. 3ed poisons were dangerous and deadly without being "save or die" like virtually all the 1ed 2ed poisons were. I thought they were a tad weak overall, but workable.
The math can get pretty irritating. Let's say i'm a strength-tricked-out barbarian, raging up to, lets say strength 26. I'm using a 2 handed weapon. I get hit with a moonbolt and lose 9 strength. How much damage do I lose? The answer is not 4.

The math is doable, but you have to stop and DO it. It's much easier to just say "Ok, you are 'weakened', whcih means -4 to hit and damage", rather than making a cascading effect.
No, it's not quite that bad in 3ed. Your average King had a 10 con. A simple WEAK 1d6/1d6 poison would weaken him like that, and MIGHT kill him. If you used a 2d6/1d6 or better poison, he'd end up dead more often than not.

I'm sorry.. but if the king was poisoned in a game i ran, it would simply be a poison. He suffers the effects i determine.. from diarrhea to death. I dont need to stat that because its background. I dont need stats for something unless it directly involves the PCs. Since I determine what will A) cure the king b) when the king will die without said cure, i dont need the rules to tell me how much con damage it has. Unless they are being used, NPC's dont have stats.
So all you have to do is memorize all of the abilities that are affected by the relevant stats and apply the modifier in your head. Yeah, that's not too complicated for a new player

Considering they're all common sense, it's not too hard for a new player. Not to mention, if you're throwing a new player into a mid to high level campaign, you're doing something wrong already. Low level compains have very, very, very little stat damage/drain.
If ability damage was the only thing leaving the ballpark, I could support the notion that removing it was a bad idea. They're also taking out temporary ability increases however. Removing the needless complication on one side of the equation only probably wouldn't be worth it, but once they are both gone...who wants to bring that back?

Yes, I'm fully willing to give up Bull's Strength and Cat's Grace for a game that plays more smoothly. Ability scores affect too many other parts of the game to allow them to be changed on the fly. That doesn't mean that I don't expect to still see things like Ray of Enfeeblement though. Said rays will probably apply to specific types of things though, like a -4 to Strength-based attack rolls or something.

Well, gee. A -4 to strength based effects(not just attack rolls) due to a spell is so much easier than a -4 to strengh based effects due to stat drain.
I really don't see where people are getting the notion that the game is easier now. Playing KotS, my group has faced great, mortal challenge and it's been more fun than previous editions. I don't think difficulty has changed at all.

As for ability damage, they simply have more elegant ways of modeling it now through conditions like weakening and ongoing damage. I for one am glad to see ability damage go, and not because I've had to suffer it.

In fact, all through 3rd I never once suffered ability damage, but I did nearly break my DM's game by continually using charisma drain on my foes to turn them into vegetables over one or two rounds. I think ability damage is exploitive on both ends and a lame way of circumventing conventional monster and PC defenses, ie hp.
I'm sorry.. but if the king was poisoned in a game i ran, it would simply be a poison. He suffers the effects i determine.. from diarrhea to death. I dont need to stat that because its background. I dont need stats for something unless it directly involves the PCs. Since I determine what will A) cure the king b) when the king will die without said cure, i dont need the rules to tell me how much con damage it has. Unless they are being used, NPC's dont have stats.

I agree. From a DM story standpoint, it goes how you say it goes. I'm simply arguing under the parameters set by the other poster. Even under his parameters, the king will die more often than not.
I think it's a bad idea to take ability damage out of the game. True, it did have a cost in terms of the need to recalculate. But I think what ability damage added to the game in exchange was well worth it.

Here's why I like ability damage:
  • It makes poison interesting because there are different types that hurt you in different ways.

Still are, but now exception based design. If a poison effects your con.. it simply "you are bloodied and -X on fort saves until cured" Dont need to do ability damage.

  • It gives me different ways to hurt the PCs- not just hit points!

  • Alot of attacks in 4E do extra effects, such as slow, sleep, knock prone, etc.. some are persistant conditions as well. Just not ability drain.

  • It gives the PCs different ways to attack their foes- not just hit points!

  • See above

  • It makes (made) shadows and stirges extra scary.

  • Shadows were scary cause i couldn't hit them. Stirges were simply annoying. I like the new stirges better. Much more of the mosquito from hell feeling..

  • It opens up a lot of design space for attacks and powers.

  • Not really.. never saw PC's use poison in games.

  • (Except for Con) It's nonlethal damage that doesn't have that "nerf" feel.

  • As other have pointed out, when other stats are affected, such as Str in fighters, int or wis in casters, you've effectly completely nerfed the PC. Time to head back to town for a cure. Gee.. fun adventurnig there..

  • It's not permanent like level drain.

  • It is if you dont let the PC's cure it soon, especially when you consider the above response.
    Well, gee. A -4 to strength based effects(not just attack rolls) due to a spell is so much easier than a -4 to strengh based effects due to stat drain.

    If you change the spell description to say something that I didn't, then maybe.
    D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
    A -2 penalty to strength related checks and attacks is vastly different -4 strength damage. It doesn't affect carrying capacity, nor does it impact feats and abilities that require a minimum strength.

    That is the point of "cascading math attacks are bad". The mechanical side effects of ability damage outway the actual penalty assessed.
    Still are, but now exception based design. If a poison effects your con.. it simply "you are bloodied and -X on fort saves until cured" Dont need to do ability damage.

    And how does this kill you. Why wouldn't I just end up -10,462 on my fort saves if I kept drinking it?

    Alot of attacks in 4E do extra effects, such as slow, sleep, knock prone, etc.. some are persistant conditions as well. Just not ability drain.

    Which one of those effects will kill as a poison, without requiring someone to come along with a sword afterwards?

    As other have pointed out, when other stats are affected, such as Str in fighters, int or wis in casters, you've effectly completely nerfed the PC. Time to head back to town for a cure. Gee.. fun adventurnig there..

    Not really. Not unless it was an exceedingly rare EXTREME instance of it.
    If you change the spell description to say something that I didn't, then maybe.

    Well, sure, but YOUR description made no sense. Why would ray of enfeeblement not affect other strength based skills/mechanics? If WoTC tries to give me a ray like that and tell me that it ONLY affects strength in combat, I'm going to laugh in their face.
    A -2 penalty to strength related checks and attacks is vastly different -4 strength damage. It doesn't affect carrying capacity, nor does it impact feats and abilities that require a minimum strength.
    Carrying capacity would be a strength based check. You have to check what you can carry with X strength. As a DM, I refuse to allow something to weaken a character without affecting ALL things that would be affected by a weakened state. To do otherwise is just silly.
    No, your average king had no class levels. He didn't need them with 1000 guards and a few wizards and priests to protect him.

    He specifically said an average king in HIS campaign. And if that were the case, kings would be killed off quickly by power hungry asses. Darwin at work.

    Heh. Somehow, given minions with 1 hit point, I doubt a "commoner" will have 20 ;)

    "commoner" is a varried term. It doesnt mean what it did in 3.X. there is "generic commoner" who dies when the DM says so, and "important commoner" Who, also dies.. when the DM says so.. but usually becuase he ahs stats..

    Well, I'm not willing to accept that until I actually see the list. 3ed poisons were dangerous and deadly without being "save or die" like virtually all the 1ed 2ed poisons were. I thought they were a tad weak overall, but workable.

    Only time i saw poison is if it was included in the monster to begin with... never used it otherwise.
    PHB (3.x) feats/abilities negated by stat damage

    Strength Power Attack line of Feats, Bastard Sword, Dwarven Waraxe, Heavy Armor.
    Dexterity Two Weapon Fighting line of feats, Dodge line of feats.
    Constitution Retroactive HP loss.
    Intelligence Wizard Spellcasting, Combat Expertise line of feats.
    Wisdom Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger spellcasting.
    Charisma Bard, Sorcerer spellcasting.

    This is in addition to the numeric penalty to hit, damage, AC, and saves. None of these are "rare" occurances - there is real, measureable effects to ability damage/drain that go beyond a simple penalty and are firmly in the realm of "save or suck".

    It's why it was removed.
    Carrying capacity would be a strength based check. You have to check what you can carry with X strength. As a DM, I refuse to allow something to weaken a character without affecting ALL things that would be affected by a weakened state. To do otherwise is just silly.

    So, you enjoy taking away armor, the power attack line of abilities (I. Bull Rush, Cleave, Greatcleave, Whirlwind, et all), and some weapon choices?

    That''s no longer a penalty that enhances combat by increasing tension, that's punishing players twice for failing a save. First, you take away their bonuses (possibly add a penalty), then you take away some of their abilities.
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