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    Amechra's Avatar

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    Default Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    Player characters are larger than life. Each player chooses a single ability score at first level - for any purpose other than ability checks or saving throws, they may treat that ability score as if it were a 16. This heroic potential increases over time - this effective ability score becomes 18 at 5th level, 20 at 11th level, and 22 at 17th level.



    Design Intent: This lets you pick one ability score and have it stay "good enough" for the purposes of your class features, allowing you to have a bit more freedom when it comes to picking out your ability scores.

    Is there anything I'm missing? I predict that there will be lots of people who go for Heroic Constitition or Heroic Dexterity, but I'm more-or-less fine with that.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    So, what does it do? Spell DCs? Attack rolls? Where does it actually give a bonus, it may be easier to spell the out more specifically.

    This does make multi classing a breeze though
    Last edited by nickl_2000; 2020-03-23 at 04:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    Quote Originally Posted by nickl_2000 View Post
    So, what does it do? Spell DCs? Attack rolls? Where does it actually give a bonus, it may be easier to spell the out more specifically.

    This does make multi classing a breeze though
    It boosts literally everything other than ability checks and saving throws. If I listed everything it boosts, it'd be a massive list and I'd probably miss something.

    If you played a Fighter with Strength 8 and you picked Strength as your Heroic ability score, you could wear heavy armor, carry loads of stuff, and swing a greatsword with no problems. You'd have a really terrible Strength (Athletics) bonus and you'd fail a bunch of Strength saves, but otherwise? You're fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
    door is a fake exterior wall
    I do Let's Plays now. Current Game: Huntress of the Hollow

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    I've got to ask then, why not just give a full stat at those levels?

    If you don't want to, then sure give it a shot

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    Yakk's Avatar

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    Default Re: Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    You might want to describe your purpose behind your rule, rather than just the rule.

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    Default Re: Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    Most immediately, ability checks make me think "heroic potential" much more than attack rolls or meeting multiclass prerequisites. Cleaning out a stables by rerouting a river or having Sherlock Holmes levels of deduction feel far more mythic to me than hitting something extra hard.

    Second, most people will have their prime stat at or above your listed level for most of their career anyways. Barbarians are impressively strong, rogues are impressively dexterous, and bards are impressively charismatic already. I guess this takes pressure off MAD builds, but in practice I expect it'll be used more often to let a SAD character get most of the benefits of Dex or Con for the combat perks while still keeping their prime stat and the other combat essential stat at high levels.

    So yeah. Given that D&D characters are already expected to have one super high stat by their nature, I wonder what the goal is for this second stat that's high for most but not all purposes.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    Actually I see it maybe being used more for Con.

    Get all of those HP, especially for those classes that would want to raise a secondary stat past 16... also HP buffer is particularly useful at lower levels anyway. So like a monk, wanting to get Wis and Dex above 16, having fewer feats that are really good for the class and feeling that they have fewer HP than they would like.

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    Default Re: Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    Most immediately, ability checks make me think "heroic potential" much more than attack rolls or meeting multiclass prerequisites. Cleaning out a stables by rerouting a river or having Sherlock Holmes levels of deduction feel far more mythic to me than hitting something extra hard.

    Second, most people will have their prime stat at or above your listed level for most of their career anyways. Barbarians are impressively strong, rogues are impressively dexterous, and bards are impressively charismatic already. I guess this takes pressure off MAD builds, but in practice I expect it'll be used more often to let a SAD character get most of the benefits of Dex or Con for the combat perks while still keeping their prime stat and the other combat essential stat at high levels.

    So yeah. Given that D&D characters are already expected to have one super high stat by their nature, I wonder what the goal is for this second stat that's high for most but not all purposes.
    This is actually kinda the point. It lets you make a character with a sub-optimal race that can still do the things their class wants them to do. It frees up your choices a bit for MAD characters, and it makes multiclassing easier. It's for all of those people who want to play Sorcerers that aren't good at talking with people, or Clerics who aren't fantastic judges of character.

    It also eases the requirement of having a decent Constitution or Dexterity, since marking them as Heroic means that you only need them for checks and saves (instead of, you know, for everything).
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
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    Default Re: Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    I think the incentive here is actually to grab it for your primary ability score-- the bonus keeps pace pretty well with what you'd get if you were spending ASIs, and ends up higher.

    If you want to reduce the necessity of ability scores (without removing them entirely), what about allowing proficiency bonus instead of ability modifier when making proficient rolls? (ie, either (Str + Prof) or (2 * Prof) for attacking with a longsword or making an Athletics check). That lets you run, say, a low-Charisma Sorcerer without offering a straight power boost-- which is worth considering, as you'll wind up with a higher-than-expected score somewhere else.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2020-03-24 at 10:42 AM.

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

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    Amechra's Avatar

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    Default Re: Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I think the incentive here is actually to grab it for your primary ability score-- the bonus keeps pace pretty well with what you'd get if you were spending ASIs, and ends up higher.

    If you want to reduce the necessity of ability scores (without removing them entirely), what about allowing proficiency bonus instead of ability modifier when making proficient rolls? (ie, either (Str + Prof) or (2 * Prof) for attacking with a longsword or making an Athletics check). That lets you run, say, a low-Charisma Sorcerer without offering a straight power boost-- which is worth considering, as you'll wind up with a higher-than-expected score somewhere else.
    Dang it, Grod, stop doing things better than me! I'm going to have to try no-ability-score 5e at some point.

    As for "just swap in your proficiency bonus"... I don't really want to de-emphasize ability scores that much.
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
    door is a fake exterior wall
    I do Let's Plays now. Current Game: Huntress of the Hollow

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    Default Re: Variant Rule: Heroic Ability Scores

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    Dang it, Grod, stop doing things better than me! I'm going to have to try no-ability-score 5e at some point.

    As for "just swap in your proficiency bonus"... I don't really want to de-emphasize ability scores that much.


    Yeah, that's fair.

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

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