Feral wrote:How well does 5e work to balance attributes, specifically strength vs dexterity?
For attacks and damage, any weapon with the "finesse" property gives you the option of using DEX in place of STR. However, finesse weapons have smaller damage dice than non-finesse weapons, and in 5E your weapon damage dice actually matter. Conversely, thrown weapons can use your STR in place of your DEX, but have less range/ammo than bows.
Thanks for the reply!
This is a good start. 4e had a similar stance at lower levels but by higher levels dice mattered much less. Assuming damage dice remain relevant this sounds like a fair trade. Dex-based characters do less overall damage in melee and strength-based characters had less range in ranged combat.
Going a little deeper, STR-based characters have a slight advantage in being able to (typically) use heavier armor, resulting in slightly higher AC than what DEX characters can achieve. Additionally, they're generally able to either use a two-handed weapon for higher damage or add a shield for +2 AC, while DEX PCs are stuck with one-handed weapons and often aren't proficient with shields. But on the other hand, DEX-based PCs will have higher initiative and better saves (more on that later).
This sounds like the same stance 3.5/PF has. I was hoping for something better than “strong characters wear more armor”. If dex is allowed to compete with strength is melee I’d like to see strength be able to compete with dex when it comes to AC. So strength’s only advantage is 1) Wearing heavier armor and 2) Doing more damage in melee by using two-handed weapons? What if you’re a strength-based character that uses one-handed weapons but not a shield? Are you just inherently worse? On top of that dex-based characters get better initiative and saves? Ouch.
This is slightly off. What's actually going on is that there's no such thing as Reflex, Fortitude or Will saves; instead, every stat has its own save (that is, you might make a DEX save or a CHA save or a WIS save or whatever).
Interestingly, DEX/CON/WIS are still the most common saves, and then every class is proficient in one "common" and one "uncommon" save. For instance, rogues get DEX/INT, fighters get STR/CON, clerics get WIS/CHA, etc. Hey look, more balance! ;)
Again, this sounds like more of the same. Dex-based saves are prevalent but strength-based saves are not. =/