No stats option

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
I've noticed in some of the newer video games (such as mass effect) that stats are not used.
In D&D stat bonuses would be replaced by feats. All you really reference is skill rolls and combat rolls. These could all be handled by feats and character level (i.e. greater strength only available at epic level).
Obviously, we are not going to see something like this in 4E, but I bet it is coming. Stats and their bonuses are just more sacred cows from the early days of RPG's. If you are going to go with stat buys you are already basically doing the same thing. Stats are going the way of the dinosaur because nobody wants to get saddled with a low stat, sure it is cool for character depth; as long as it is somebody else's PC:D . They are already nixing the penalties for race so it just makes sense that they will get rid of stat penalties too.
All this is about "player's point of view".

Instead of having negative modifiers, you only get positive modifiers. It's just another way of seeing things wich is just about the same (but from the player's point of view, not having penalties LOOKS/FEELS better).

Ok, the elves dont get -2 to con anymore. Yeah, but halflings don't get penalties to str either. All in all, everyone's better so at the end, everyone's still (supposed to be) equal.

Now, about not having stats. Some table-top rpgs already use that kind of system. Is it better, is it worse? Well, havent tried anyone yet. I think it's not about "system improvements" but mostly a preference.

Not sure about D&D becoming stats-less system in future editions (but... who knows). It seemed D&D is all about keeping old concepts (classes, races, stats, etc) but then, some of these slowing disapearing from editions to editions. Honestly, I don't know. I can't say I'm against it. I'm for progress in a game (that renew fun and interest in it!) but It would have to be really well made to be an interesting idea.

The only thing I can trully say is that I DO would be pleased to see stats only become modifiers. Really... how do I care having 16 in str ? What interests me is that I've got +3 (in 3rd, seems like 4th will have change in modifiers).
I won't compling see my stats be : Str : +3
Dex : +1
Con : 0
etc...

Well, that said... I'm looking forward 4th edition !!
I've noticed in some of the newer video games (such as mass effect) that stats are not used.
In D&D stat bonuses would be replaced by feats. All you really reference is skill rolls and combat rolls. These could all be handled by feats and character level (i.e. greater strength only available at epic level).

Statistics are used all over the place in just about every game. With PC/Console games, most of the math is done under the surface. The variables (stats) are still there however.

The question is visability/transparence. In a pen and paper or a board game, the players are responsible for doing a lot of the math. When the numbers are too complex to represent with low level match, you get tables. Because the players have to do the math themselves or reference the tables it cannot be hidden.
There is a difference between a stat being non-existent altogether and a stat that you simply do not see because it is not represented in the heads up display (and largely irrelevant because the computer does all the relevant calculations for you).

Even games like counterstrike would have stats. We just don't see them as it contributes nothing to gameplay and would just end up cluttering the screen.

They are already nixing the penalties for race so it just makes sense that they will get rid of stat penalties too.

No big deal. I suspect that the relative power levels between all the different races will still be similar, for most part. For example, maybe halflings no longer have a str penalty, but it may still manifest in the form of carrying/combat penalties of sorts. In the end, it would not be any different from in 3.5, just represented in another form.
The only thing I can trully say is that I DO would be pleased to see stats only become modifiers. Really... how do I care having 16 in str ? What interests me is that I've got +3 (in 3rd, seems like 4th will have change in modifiers).
I won't compling see my stats be : Str : +3
Dex : +1
Con : 0
etc...

Well, that said... I'm looking forward 4th edition !!

That won't happen in the forseeable future, because (A) the 3-18 range is too iconic, and even non-D&Ders know what an "18 Str" means; (B) the probability of rolling a given score (and the difficulty of buying it in point buy) is not equal, so while you could express the scores as modifiers you couldn't generate them that way; and (C) scores and modifiers do not increase 1-for-1, so you'd have to adjust prices and items and such too much to get the same progression and balance if you only used modifiers.
That won't happen in the forseeable future, because (A) the 3-18 range is too iconic, and even non-D&Ders know what an "18 Str" means; (B) the probability of rolling a given score (and the difficulty of buying it in point buy) is not equal, so while you could express the scores as modifiers you couldn't generate them that way; and (C) scores and modifiers do not increase 1-for-1, so you'd have to adjust prices and items and such too much to get the same progression and balance if you only used modifiers.

Once you no longer roll for stats, I've seen the 3-18 stat range as being completely pointless. We might as well just reduce it down to a straight modifier. Then people don't get confused when we say Roll BaB + strength. Some newbies are still adding the score and not the modifier.

There are so few things you need the true strength score for, that you might as well make the whole thing a modifier.
One of the advantages here is that a number of skills rely on more than just one stat, though in game terms, for playability sake, you just count one. For instance, climb uses strength, but you could also argue that constitution is important as well as Dexterity. A feat called "Physically Adept" could cover a number of skills, as well as "Spiritually Adept," and "Mentally Adept." These are just examples and the list could be as endless as playtesting would allow.
Once you no longer roll for stats, I've seen the 3-18 stat range as being completely pointless. We might as well just reduce it down to a straight modifier. Then people don't get confused when we say Roll BaB + strength. Some newbies are still adding the score and not the modifier.

There are so few things you need the true strength score for, that you might as well make the whole thing a modifier.

Like I said, though, the problem is in the generation. Even with point buy, going from an 8 to a 13 costs more than going from a 13 to an 18. Once you get the modifier, you can ignore the score itself, but stat-boosters, buffs, and other things are balanced on the assumption that you generate scores a certain way.

Now, if you simply make the cost for a +1 the cost of going from an 8 to a 12 and so on, then you've removed the score, but you've still based your system on that score, whether you see it or not, and you can't remove that part, at least.
Like I said, though, the problem is in the generation. Even with point buy, going from an 8 to a 13 costs more than going from a 13 to an 18. Once you get the modifier, you can ignore the score itself, but stat-boosters, buffs, and other things are balanced on the assumption that you generate scores a certain way.

Now, if you simply make the cost for a +1 the cost of going from an 8 to a 12 and so on, then you've removed the score, but you've still based your system on that score, whether you see it or not, and you can't remove that part, at least.

I don't quite understand your stance here.

If you setup a point-buy system like what it currently is, but buy stat modifiers rather than scores, what's the difference?

10 score = 2 points
12 score = 4 points
14 score = 6 points
16 score = 10 points
18 score = 16 points
vs.
+0 modifier = 2 points
+1 modifier = 4 points
+2 modifier = 6 points
+3 modifier = 10 points
+4 modifier = 16 points

Same net result. Same decisions to make with your points. Stat scores really only provide the ability to acquire (or lose) a +0.5 modifier at odd scores - which is unused and invisible until you hit an even score. It reminds me of the clunky half a rank in a skill. What does a power that drains -3 Str really mean anyway? Simply that your modifier dropped by either -1 or -2, depending on your score. Blah. Just assume the worst and drop my modifier by -2 and be done with it.

As for buffs/items becoming unbalanced... I don't see how buying modifiers as described above suddenly makes Gloves of Dex +4 (or Bull's Strength or whatever) unbalanced. Why does the method of generation have any impact? If you have a 16 (+3) or simply a (+3), and they both cost you the idential amount of point-buy points, what's the difference?

I assume scores are there because they've always been there. And they might always be there for the same reason. But I don't get your logic for why the MUST be there or balance falls apart.

I'd go with modifier point buy, get rid of scores, calculate carrying capacity by your Str modifier and call it a day (grin). It's faster game-play without sacrificing really anything. Heck, even the bonus spells based on mental stats are already based on modifier rather than score (because they group scores in pairs for each advancement).

If you REALLY want to retain the "everyone knows what a 18 Str is" feeling, then swap the whole system. Buy modifiers, and calculate the unnecessary scores based off the modifiers for table talk.
That's what I've been saying, though--the only way to use just the modifiers is to reverse engineer everything (encumbrance, ability boosts, etc.) and leave the scores in the background, even if you as a player never see them. It appears we've been saying the same thing in 2 different ways.

What I meant about never being able to use only the modifiers was that there are some games that generate the modifiers directly, but rolling 1d6-2 to get between the modifiers of an 8 Str and an 18 Str has a different scale. If you compensate for that by still using the score mechanics but never seeing anything besides the modifiers, you're fine.

I appear to be rambling. Anyways, I'm saying what you're saying and you're right.
That is a drawback to e-mail. We just dash off quick responses and sacrifice clarity for speed. Instead of a sound bite we have a text bite.
So let me say, you are so right, I couldn't agree with you more!
Like I said, though, the problem is in the generation. Even with point buy, going from an 8 to a 13 costs more than going from a 13 to an 18. Once you get the modifier, you can ignore the score itself, but stat-boosters, buffs, and other things are balanced on the assumption that you generate scores a certain way.

Now, if you simply make the cost for a +1 the cost of going from an 8 to a 12 and so on, then you've removed the score, but you've still based your system on that score, whether you see it or not, and you can't remove that part, at least.

The point buy is just a table of abiltiy score and cost. It's easy to change that from ability score to ability bonus. So instead of paying 10 points for a 16 you pay 10 points for a +3.

No big deal really.
And there will always be room for the 4 strength 4 stam leather belt.
Sign In to post comments