Dex instead of Str for attacking - and other new uses for abilities

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There is as good as no weapon or martial art which gains better attacks from higher strength!

So attacks should always be calculated from your Dex.
Yes, it counts for your AC too (and Reflex and Ini) and therefore makes it a "strong" ability. Read on.

Initiative should always be calculated from wisdom. Most time its not how fast your body reacts, but how fast you brain can analyse a situation matching it with past experiences and tells your body what to do. Pure wisdom.

Damage should always be calculated from your strength (yes, there are exceptions but let it be easy this time) and should limit which armor you can wear and what weapon you can use. Try to use plate armor or a two handed weapon in real life. Only Strength does help, without it you can not even make some steps or lift your weapon!

How many attacks to make should be calculated from constitution. Beeing a real time sword fighter myself I can assure you: only people with high condition can make fast attacks over a longer time. So the level should tell you how many attacks would be possible if you have the same Con modifier (1 attack is always possible).

Intelligence should be the main factor for how many skills someone can learn, not the class. Double the Int modifier and use only 1-4 fixed skill points per class.

Charisma should REALLY influence other people...like merchants. Its of no use to have a real good modifier of +4 and then roll a d20 which makes this modifier pretty much useless.

So all abilities would be more life life and would have more impact. Think about it
There is as good as no weapon or martial art which gains better attacks from higher strength!

Actually strength does help to an extent in control/precision. If this were the real world, multiple abilities would be used to calculate attack(Dex, Str, Wis to say the least). Simplicity(which I will mention multiple times) has us using strength, though it is debatable which is the most important factor(between Dex and Str most likely, although Wis become more important against armored foes).

So attacks should always be calculated from your Dex.
Yes, it counts for your AC too (and Reflex and Ini) and therefore makes it a "strong" ability. Read on.

Initiative should always be calculated from wisdom. Most time its not how fast your body reacts, but how fast you brain can analyse a situation matching it with past experiences and tells your body what to do. Pure wisdom.

Again, it would more properly be computed using both Wisdom and Dexterity, since even if you can mentally react, your body has to actually translate that into motor movement. For simplicity's sake, the game has used Dexterity. I don't see a reason to change this.

Damage should always be calculated from your strength (yes, there are exceptions but let it be easy this time) and should limit which armor you can wear and what weapon you can use. Try to use plate armor or a two handed weapon in real life. Only Strength does help, without it you can not even make some steps or lift your weapon!

This is true, and I agree that swinging around 8 lbs. of metal(some claymores and greatswords) should not necessarily be feasible depending on your Str score, and that an inadequate Str score in such a situation should impose a penalty on attack rolls(and possibly damage rolls) since you can't properly wield the weapon.

How many attacks to make should be calculated from constitution. Beeing a real time sword fighter myself I can assure you: only people with high condition can make fast attacks over a longer time. So the level should tell you how many attacks would be possible if you have the same Con modifier (1 attack is always possible).

I still feel the number of attacks you can make in a 6 second round should simply decrease overall(you'll have a hard time swinging most weapons efficiently 4 times in 6 seconds), but I do agree that your Con(and thus stamina, endurance, etc.) is a critical factor.

Intelligence should be the main factor for how many skills someone can learn, not the class. Double the Int modifier and use only 1-4 fixed skill points per class.

I think skills aren't too much of a problem as they are since a character with higher intelligence can get more ranks in skills, and can thus gain more non-class skills than another person in the same class with less intelligence, ceteris paribus.

Charisma should REALLY influence other people...like merchants. Its of no use to have a real good modifier of +4 and then roll a d20 which makes this modifier pretty much useless.

Impact on merchants and prices should be fairly minimal, in my opinion. There's also the fact that alignment and personality could matter. For instance, a character with high Charisma, but an opposed alignment or personality should actually suffer because their force of personality goes against that of the merchant's, creating a conflict.

Since personality is hard to measure in concrete game terms, and alignment is not meant to be a be-all, end-all, I would be reluctant to make such a change myself.
There is as good as no weapon or martial art which gains better attacks from higher strength!

Get a nice two-handed sword and practice in the garden for two hours. Then come back and tell me it takes no strength to handle those buggers.

Anyway, without answering to the other points, it boils down to this: There is no "realistic" way to handle attributes, because in real life, you'd have to measure people's abilities with a much higher variety of different abilities. That's why, for example, an athlete that is specialized on the 100m sprint is not necessarily good at marathon, a weightlifter needs different muscles than a wrestler and so on. Same for mental attributes. You could have a great brain for facts but can't handle mathematical formulas well.

Just accept that the 6 attributes used in D&D are abstractions that work for the game, but are nowhere realistic. From the game design perspective, the only important thing is that all attributes are more-or-less equally useful.
Get a nice two-handed sword and practice in the garden for two hours. Then come back and tell me it takes no strength to handle those buggers.

I mentioned that some weapons and armor should require strength to USE them.
But more strength does not make you attack better. Its only skill and dexterity.

Give a bodybuilder a two-handed sword. See him fail against ANY other weapon which is used by someone who ist faster and more agile than him but still has no better training.

If you dont believe me look at real swordmanship trainings. The strong ones can use their swords a longer time but the agile ones learn the moves it takes. And after some training less and less strength is required.

The same with martial arts. You need to be quick and agile to hit someone. You need some strength to make that hurt.
So attacks should always be calculated from your Dex.
Yes, it counts for your AC too (and Reflex and Ini) and therefore makes it a "strong" ability.

You are right. many other system uses Dex to affect to hit. Actually A Game of Thrones d20 do it also. It is only viable if you make Str more important with - as you said - having a minimum Str for certain weapons. It will add to the complexity of the game, and would make Dex a bit too powerful.

Initiative should always be calculated from wisdom. Most time its not how fast your body reacts, but how fast you brain can analyse a situation matching it with past experiences and tells your body what to do. Pure wisdom.

You do have a good point here. On the other hand, unlike in strategy games, initative in D&D is about acting first. In Battletech players declare in reverse initative order, and then everyting within the round happens simultaneously. Would make sense, but again the added complexity.

How many attacks to make should be calculated from constitution.

This depends on how do you imagine the multiple attack. If for you 1 attack is really just 1 swing of the sword, then you are right. If 1 attack is the sum of what yo have done in that round to damage your opponent, then more attack is just an increase in your damage dealing potential. Remember the good old times when a round was one minute.

Intelligence should be the main factor for how many skills someone can learn, not the class. Double the Int modifier and use only 1-4 fixed skill points per class.

No! While Int determine how quick you can learn, you need to realize that practicing with your weapon, learning new feats, and new rogue trick, let alone new spells fall under this category. some classes focus on "learning" thing not covered by the skill system, while others (mainly rogues) focuses on thing covered by the skill system.

Charisma should REALLY influence other people...like merchants. Its of no use to have a real good modifier of +4 and then roll a d20 which makes this modifier pretty much useless.

This is a problem with the d20 roll and not with Chr.
Initiative should always be calculated from wisdom. Most time its not how fast your body reacts, but how fast you brain can analyse a situation matching it with past experiences and tells your body what to do. Pure wisdom.

Interesting concepts. However, I would differ with you on this and say that intiative is more related to Dex. because of quick twitch muscles. In combat I don't think it is nearly as much as your brain analysing the situation but it is more to how well your body and muscles have been trained to react quickly. You could be wise beyond your years but if your muscles are not trained to perform a quick defensive maneuver against a slashing sword, then your wisdom will not help you at all.

For simplicity sake, Dexterity is the better use for initiative.
Interesting concepts. However, I would differ with you on this and say that intiative is more related to Dex. because of quick twitch muscles. In combat I don't think it is nearly as much as your brain analysing the situation but it is more to how well your body and muscles have been trained to react quickly. You could be wise beyond your years but if your muscles are not trained to perform a quick defensive maneuver against a slashing sword, then your wisdom will not help you at all.
For simplicity sake, Dexterity is the better use for initiative.

I understand this, but it think its still not thought to the end.
Take the old martial arts master. His body is broken but its really hard to suprise him. Take yoda. He will always makes the first move. And take real life. Experience in fight is supreme to trained muscles. Try to suprise an old trained sword master only because you are more agile. Take a blow and think again

By the way: this are onyl ideas of myself. I am no authority of any kind, just a long time player of D&D with some practice in "real life" roleyplaying (LARP).
Again, I think I would disagree. Two martial artists face off against each other ... one is young and in his prime and has been trained in martial arts. The other is older, a little slower, but has some additional things he has learned over the years. I'd say a majority of the time the younger martial artist wins. He may not win every time but a majority of the time he would win.
Again, I think I would disagree. Two martial artists face off against each other ... one is young and in his prime and has been trained in martial arts. The other is older, a little slower, but has some additional things he has learned over the years. I'd say a majority of the time the younger martial artist wins. He may not win every time but a majority of the time he would win.

We are talking 'bot heroes, dont forget ;) No way a younger wizard could beat gandalf or a younger jedi beat yoda and so on... And D&D is all about this scheme...the older, the more powerfull. Sure you loose some abilities when you get old, but never a Level 10 20 year old fighter could beat a level 20 80 year old.
By the way: this are only ideas of myself. I am no authority of any kind, just a long time player of D&D with some practice in "real life" roleyplaying (LARP).

Yeah, I thought so when you said it doesn't take much strength to use a sword. Remember that LARP weapons are much, much lighter than the real stuff. A longsword can weigh up to 2 kilograms. If your arms are too weak, you're just too slow to decently hit anything.
There is as good as no weapon or martial art which gains better attacks from higher strength!

So attacks should always be calculated from your Dex.
Yes, it counts for your AC too (and Reflex and Ini) and therefore makes it a "strong" ability. Read on.

Incorrect from a martial arts standpoint. While popular martial arts emphasize using skill and speed to overcome a stronger/larger opponent there are just as many techniques that allow a stronger/larger opponent to use those to increase his advantage over a smaller/weaker opponent. And those moves tend to be much easier moves.

What little swordplay I've done has convinced me that this holds true for that art as well. Dex based fighters almost invariably have to be more skilled then their opponents to win (possibly barring certain weapons) or their defenses will just be overpowered.

Strength is an important part in all melee combat. The fact that most schools teach their students how to minimize that advantage for their opponent should be evidence enough.

Initiative should always be calculated from wisdom. Most time its not how fast your body reacts, but how fast you brain can analyse a situation matching it with past experiences and tells your body what to do. Pure wisdom.

Considering how surprise works in D&D it should be Dex. It doesn't matter if you know what to do if your muscle memory isn't there to follow through. Wisdom allowed you to see the fight coming. Dex is who's weapon clears sheath first based on muscle memory.

Damage should always be calculated from your strength (yes, there are exceptions but let it be easy this time) and should limit which armor you can wear and what weapon you can use. Try to use plate armor or a two handed weapon in real life. Only Strength does help, without it you can not even make some steps or lift your weapon!

Carrying capacity and the melee rules currently do this pretty well. That huge penalty to attack and damage makes it a pretty sorry choice of weapon for people with low strength.

How many attacks to make should be calculated from constitution. Beeing a real time sword fighter myself I can assure you: only people with high condition can make fast attacks over a longer time. So the level should tell you how many attacks would be possible if you have the same Con modifier (1 attack is always possible).

Sorry, I can't even begin to rationalize this. Combat in D&D lasts 18 to 30 seconds. The longest encounter I've seen with constant fighting was 15 rounds, and thats a whopping minute and a half. Con may determine how long it takes for their muscles to stop aching after, but for a 18 second melee it's not going to come into play.

Intelligence should be the main factor for how many skills someone can learn, not the class. Double the Int modifier and use only 1-4 fixed skill points per class.

Except some classes are about learning skills. I suppose you could make additional skills a class feature, but that seems like a messy mechanic.

Charisma should REALLY influence other people...like merchants. Its of no use to have a real good modifier of +4 and then roll a d20 which makes this modifier pretty much useless.

D&D needs social rules that don't suck yes. In addition Charisma should actually be used for what they say it is. Specifically force of personality. That mean you use CHARISMA for things like morphic planes, mental duels of will and other strange mystical effects, instead of blindly porting over the 2nd ed rules....

Sorry personal grudge.

So all abilities would be more life life and would have more impact. Think about it

Well you've seen what I've had to say about the life like part. But the other thing to consider is, how would that leave the skills from a ballance standpoint? Large monsters (like Dragons) would be nigh unable to hit anything. Unless the benefits from a high strength were massive, the piddly damage increase would be meaningless making all combat classes Dex based past the strength needed to wear the heaviest armor. And that's just the start. It would be a rebalancing nightmare.

And all for realism, which to be quite frank doesn't exist in D&D past level 2 or so, and is definitely absent past level 10, because it's not the game about Bob the man at arms who gets tired after a couple minutes heavy combat, it's the game about guys like Sampson, who kills 1000 guys with an improvised weapon because they annoyed him.
Well... At least we got custom avatars....
Well you've seen what I've had to say about the life like part. But the other thing to consider is, how would that leave the skills from a ballance standpoint? Large monsters (like Dragons) would be nigh unable to hit anything. Unless the benefits from a high strength were massive, the piddly damage increase would be meaningless making all combat classes Dex based past the strength needed to wear the heaviest armor. And that's just the start. It would be a rebalancing nightmare.

I agree with a lot about what you have to say, except about the dragons.

For one thing their base attack from high hit die alone should make them more than capable of hitting and even if their chances of hitting are much less, as long as their damage is increased to what it should be, that'd be fine. In my opinion a dragons attacks should be overwhelmingly deadly and the main goal should be to avoid trying to get hit as much as possible while you whittle away at the dragons overwhelmingly massive hit points.

When I'm fighting something that I am comparatively a bug to, I want things to actually feel that way.

Great Wyrm dragons are so massive I'd say their hit points should be doubled then divided up amongst their body parts, and if they are damaged enough it disables that part, and if they ever lose their original hit point total before being doubled then split they die from blood loss and system shock. If I get hit by a dragon I want it to be bone shattering, I want to feel like a fly hit with a fly swatter. However, I want to also be hard for the dragon to hit, like the perpetual buzzing be. When I get together with my allies and we kill one of these giant monstrosities I want it to truly feel epic, like we defeated something far superior to us. I want to feel like I actually felled a giant.

Now that I'm finished with my totally off topic rant I'll give my opinion on things.

The problem is that both strength and dex can be used to hit an opponent (thus weapon finesse), however, what D&D doesn't take into account is that finesse weapons are often not built to be handled with strength and all strength is going to do is make you snap your rapier easier. A weapon should either be a finesse weapon, a strength weapon, or either (no feat involved). Also weapons that are purely finesse weapons should get very little bonus from strength.

Charisma should be used for will saves against mind effecting powers, and Wisdom should be used for will saves against the other stuff, especially illusions.
Guys...failing an attack roll does not necessarily equate to missing your opponent. It simply means you failed to do damage. Maybe he got out of the way, or maybe you just didn't hit him hard enough to do damage. Hence, Strength -> bonus to attack rolls.

-Will
Yeah, I thought so when you said it doesn't take much strength to use a sword. Remember that LARP weapons are much, much lighter than the real stuff. A longsword can weigh up to 2 kilograms. If your arms are too weak, you're just too slow to decently hit anything.

That is a pretty heavy longsword. The ARMA article will probably be linked soon, but a longsword is usually 2-3 pounds, or 1-1.4 killograms. A two handed sword is around 4-6. Ceremonial weapons are often twice as heavy. A short sword could easily be 1-1.5 pounds, and a dagger would be measured in ounces(3-9 is a good estimate). Still, considering how long the weapon is, you need strength to wield it continually. Strength also helps give you more control at higher speeds, however dexterity would limit your control. The skill is what keeps you alive by making you use that control properly, and it helps you anticipate your opponent so that your weapon is in the way of theirs, and not your body. Or you just dodge, or just stab or swing at them if they aren't going to hit you anyways. The point is pretty much everything applies(constitution is a must for drawn out fights, less for duels) significantly, so it is easier just to pick one. Dex or Strength.
The problem is that both strength and dex can be used to hit an opponent (thus weapon finesse), however, what D&D doesn't take into account is that finesse weapons are often not built to be handled with strength and all strength is going to do is make you snap your rapier easier. A weapon should either be a finesse weapon, a strength weapon, or either (no feat involved). Also weapons that are purely finesse weapons should get very little bonus from strength.

Diablo II had this to an extent, dividing bonuses to damage(not attack) between Strength and Dexterity on some weapons, or making it purely belong to one of the two Stats. The ratios were also not just 50:50 for the ones that gained bonuses from both, some were 75:25, others wre 75:50, etc.

The same basic concept could definitely be applied to attack and/or damage in D&D, but we will probably not see this (if at all) until 5th edition.

I like the idea of at least designating weapons as Strength or Finesse weapons for a less complex fix though.
Finesse Weapons always lack damage since most users of finesse have less strength than dexterity.

So characters with high strength always attack better and hit harder than characters with hig dex (Yes, there is somewhere a feat allowing dex to count for damage, but there are many feats in many books and i talk about core rules.). And that is simply annoying since dex is the main thing to use a weapon, not strength. Try to use a dagger, sword or hammer with pure strength. You will not hit anything beside pure luck. Try to use it with pure dexterity. You will hit and you will make damage...but most times you will make ore damage if you use more strength. And you will get hit.
Try use it with dexterity and skill. You are deadly and avoid blows.

And to you people trying to tell me how much strength it takes to wield a sword: if you are experienced it takes not much strength since many techniques do not require strength. Normal swords have about 2-3 pounds, two handed swords can have as much as 8 pounds, but most times they will not be swung (thats mostly a legend) but used in front of you (upside down) to block almost any blow and then strike back with a long and fast strike.

I am an learner of real swordmanship and the further i learn the less strength i have to use. Its all about technique, how fast you react and how fast you can estimate what your opponent will do. And it is no problem to avoid mighty blows, its all about how fast you can get your sword in position so the blow glides of you blade.
Try to use a dagger, sword or hammer with pure strength. You will not hit anything beside pure luck. Try to use it with pure dexterity. You will hit and you will make damage

You'll punch through full plate armor with "pure dexterity?"

I am an learner of real swordmanship

How many people have you killed with a sword? Just curious.

-Will
You'll punch through full plate armor with "pure dexterity?"

No, but you hit and avoid beeing hit. Full Plate armor was fought with pikes (or other "needle" type weapon". Armor should give DR, not AC. Then its fine again.

How many people have you killed with a sword? Just curious.

Swordmanship ist not about killing, man.
No, but you hit and avoid beeing hit. Full Plate armor was fought with pikes (or other "needle" type weapon". Armor should give DR, not AC. Then its fine again.

Or you can leave it as-is, and understand that "rolling below your opponent's AC on an attack roll" does not equate to "missing your opponent. Whiff!!"

Swordmanship ist not about killing, man.

It is in D&D!

-Will
Or you can leave it as-is, and understand that "rolling below your opponent's AC on an attack roll" does not equate to "missing your opponent. Whiff!!"

AS I understand DR will be default in 4th Edition.


It is in D&D!
-Will

You do not have to kill to know about using a sword. But maybe you dont want to understand.

Whatever, its a game and everyone can alter it he wants to
AS I understand DR will be default in 4th Edition.

Huh. OK. I hadn't heard that.

You do not have to kill to know about using a sword. But maybe you dont want to understand.

You don't have to know about tackling to play flag football, either. My implication was that if you're not trying to hurt anyone with your sword, you
obviously don't need to swing it hard enough to go through armor. Hence, your misconception that adding your STR bonus to attack rolls doesn't make sense.

It makes sense as long as you understand the various abstractions of D&D combat, and what the implications of those abstractions are -- in particular, attack rolls, AC, and hit points. If you're missing a piece of any of those puzzles, you'll be left scratching your head, wondering what kind of weed the designers were smoking when they decided that full plate armor makes you harder to land a blow on.

-Will
AS I understand DR will be default in 4th Edition.
...

Source please. :D
I think Rapunzel's ideas should be given a bit more credit than we're giving them. Just remember that right now, a creature trying to hit you with its *fist* needs high strength to land the blow. This is obviously not realistic, since there is no argument about the strength needed to manipulate one's own fist well enough to use it.

Obviously, you cannot ditch strength as an important aspect of how well one can use a weapon. Perhaps there is some elegant way of allowing Dex and Str to share melee attacks in some way.

I'd think that a strength minimum for each type of weapon (to wield it not just to lift it) would make some degree of sense. If I have a 16 Str (making be an exceptionally strong human), I'd be able to use a greatsword effectively. If I have buffs that bring me to 22 Str (+6 instead of +3), will I be that much more likely to land a blow? If more buffs bring me to 38 Str (+14), will I be even *that much* more likely land a blow. My guess is that I wouldn't. Once I'm strong enough to use a weapon with relative ease, I don't think that being stronger would make me that much more able to land a blow. (Damage would be another issue entirely.) Increased dexterity, however, would; and more and more dexterity will continually allow me to hit faster/smaller/etc targets with no limit.

If you apply the same logic to my fists, it becomes even more clear, in my opinion.

I'd like to see a colossal mountain giant with off-the-chart strength be less able to land a hit with a club if his dex is low. (The flip side of the coin is the disaster that occurs when he does hit.)

Of course then there are other complications like "does a halfling sized greatsword require less strength than a human-sized greatsword." It would have to. I don't feel like figuring that one out. :-)

Obviously, I know perfectly well that no system like this actually accomplishes realistic verisimilitude. But this might be a change worth considering nonetheless.
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