Maximum stats of 20 for characters


4th Edition

Liberty's Edge

Firstly, I really like the idea of limits to stats. Another simple way to control bonuses. I see they have gone for a flat max of 20. I would like ultimately to see an optional rule based around race (as of old). Racial stat maximums always made sense to me. I think 18 would be a good ceiling for humans and then but perhaps each non-human race could have two stats where one tops at 20 and the other 16?

For example

Halfling (Harfoot)
STR 16
DEX 20
CON 18
INT 18
WIS 18
CHA 18

Elf (Wood)
STR 18
DEX 20
CON 16
INT 18
WIS 18
CHA 18

Or something like that.

S.

The Exchange

Wow. How first edition of you...


I don't mind the flat cap. I like that it allows for statistical outliers, like a dwarf with very high charisma.

There's a picture in one of the early digital Dungeon 4E adventures that depicts what a human ruler and her dwarf advisor. I really like the implications of that scene and had fun imagining the personality and background of that dwarf.


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I think a 16 still counts as really high, so a dwarf with a 16 Cha would still be quite exceptional.


This is an error that was made in 1st and 2nd edition. Let's not repeat it.

One of the first draw back that comes to mind is that some races will be confined to certain classes.

Let's give the system felxibility and let DMs and players decide for themselves if they prefere restrictions. Organized play is another issue all together.

Liberty's Edge

goldomark wrote:
This is an error that was made in 1st and 2nd edition. Let's not repeat it.

This is an opinion made by you...

That aside. I'm not suggesting the table of racial hatred ala Unearthed Arcana. But the stat limits help define the race. It isn't hugely different from an elf seeing in the dark where as a human can't. These too are restrictions. I think defining characteristics, dexterous Halfling, gruff Dawraf etc, are the things that help roleplay and define a race. Remove too many 'restrictions' and you end up with 'short human', 'hairy human', 'pointy eared human' etc. I (and here's a bone of contention) also think that Fighter (and sub-classes) should only be allow STR 20, every other class should top out at 18.

Let PF keep the wide open world of 3.5e, I'm all for a return to the heart and cliched soul of D&D with better mechanics.

S.


goldomark wrote:

This is an error that was made in 1st and 2nd edition. Let's not repeat it.

One of the first draw back that comes to mind is that some races will be confined to certain classes.

Let's give the system felxibility and let DMs and players decide for themselves if they prefere restrictions. Organized play is another issue all together.

Which isn't really all that different from giving some races bonuses and penalties in certain stats.

Does it really make that much difference whether a race is limited to a max 2 points lower than another race or whether they have a total -4 penalty?

Liberty's Edge

thejeff wrote:
goldomark wrote:

This is an error that was made in 1st and 2nd edition. Let's not repeat it.

One of the first draw back that comes to mind is that some races will be confined to certain classes.

Let's give the system felxibility and let DMs and players decide for themselves if they prefere restrictions. Organized play is another issue all together.

Which isn't really all that different from giving some races bonuses and penalties in certain stats.

Does it really make that much difference whether a race is limited to a max 2 points lower than another race or whether they have a total -4 penalty?

D&D Next doesn't have penalties to stats for any race, only +1. Given the Halfling description of 3' tall and 40-45 pounds I'm not sure I can believe that they could reach the STR of a fully trained human - for example. Racial limits represent this. The mightiest Halfling with 16 STR would be hailed as the strongest Halfling in her village - but when put in context of humans while still very strong (stat average 9-12) they wouldn't be arm wrestling the local brute (STR 18 or more).

I grew up on racial limits and class limits and we never seem limited...


Stefan Hill wrote:


D&D Next doesn't have penalties to stats for any race, only +1. Given the Halfling description of 3' tall and 40-45 pounds I'm not sure I can believe that they could reach the STR of a fully trained human - for example. Racial limits represent this. The mightiest Halfling with 16 STR would be hailed as the strongest Halfling in her village - but when put in context of humans while still very strong (stat average 9-12) they wouldn't be arm wrestling the local brute (STR 18 or more).

I grew up on racial limits and class limits and we never seem limited...

The only thing that bothers me about using limits instead of penalties/bonuses is that the distribution seems odd. That village of halflings won't have anyone with a str of 17 or 18, but the average will be the same and there will be even more with a 16 strength.

With a penalty the whole distribution is skewed lower.


Stefan Hill wrote:
goldomark wrote:
This is an error that was made in 1st and 2nd edition. Let's not repeat it.
This is an opinion made by you...

And your posts are you opinions, captain obvious. :-P

This is a shared opinion by a lot of people. 3rd corrected a lot of the arbitrary rules like level limites, multiclassing limites and limited ability scores.

I'm all for traditions, but some things should not be making a come back. Especially when they serve no purpose like limiting ability scores. It's just suggested in the name of some mythical balance issue that really spoil fun by limiting creative liberty.


goldomark wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
goldomark wrote:
This is an error that was made in 1st and 2nd edition. Let's not repeat it.
This is an opinion made by you...

And your posts are you opinions, captain obvious. :-P

This is a shared opinion by a lot of people. 3rd corrected a lot of the arbitrary rules like level limites, multiclassing limites and limited ability scores.

I'm all for traditions, but some things should not be making a come back. Especially when they serve no purpose like limiting ability scores. It's just suggested in the name of some mythical balance issue that really spoil fun by limiting creative liberty.

Just like 3.x's racial penalties and bonuses.

If anything racial limits are less limiting.


I don't think it would be a bad subsystem to use, as long as the group knew about it up front. If you are wanting to take the edge off the extreme bonus optimization number options, this would do so to a degree.

Liberty's Edge

goldomark wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
goldomark wrote:
This is an error that was made in 1st and 2nd edition. Let's not repeat it.
This is an opinion made by you...

And your posts are you opinions, captain obvious. :-P

Especially when they serve no purpose like limiting ability scores. It's just suggested in the name of some mythical balance issue that really spoil fun by limiting creative liberty.

No stress, just your statement of 1e/1e being in error struck me as funny. 1 + 1 = 6.78 is an error, removing racial limits was a choice by the designers of 3e, nothing more.

Interesting enough if you read the section on racial level limits by 'Zeb' Cook in 2e they are definitely not arbitrary. The racial stat min and maxs likewise were there for very good reasons - to impart a feel of the fantasy cliché that was being presented for each race.

Someone says Halfling I rarely think of Conan the Barbarian.

Perhaps both options will be offered in D&D Next?


Stefan Hill wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:
goldomark wrote:
This is an error that was made in 1st and 2nd edition. Let's not repeat it.
This is an opinion made by you...

And your posts are you opinions, captain obvious. :-P

Especially when they serve no purpose like limiting ability scores. It's just suggested in the name of some mythical balance issue that really spoil fun by limiting creative liberty.

No stress, just your statement of 1e/1e being in error struck me as funny. 1 + 1 = 6.78 is an error, removing racial limits was a choice by the designers of 3e, nothing more.

All designs choices are... choices, cap'n. But some choices are better than others. That applies to removing racial ability limites. Unlike a lot of people I played previous editions and racial limites were lame.

This sort of decision is a regression (god, I sound like a 4e fan). The things that PF need are more options, like the rituals 5e is presenting for useful spells that people didn't prepare. Tongue comes to mind. Not limiting options.

I am not afraid of the mythical beast called "bloat". More options and mechanics are only good to the game and to players. Now 5e is turning into something very bland. PF could innovate with it's own Unearthed Arcana full of options are rule variations to attract players.

Liberty's Edge

goldomark wrote:

But some choices are better than others. That applies to removing racial ability limites. Unlike a lot of people I played previous editions and racial limites were lame.

This sort of decision is a regression (god, I sound like a 4e fan).

I am not afraid of the mythical beast called "bloat".

I know a different "lot of people" who think that removing racial limits on stats and levels killed the flavour of D&D somewhat. How much of the World's population do you think we'll cover as a percentage if add your "lots" to my "lots"? What is a better choice in a game is subjective. My opinion is, for example, that 4e D&D will become the forgotten edition. Others will continue to play 4e over any other system for years to come. 4e D&D advanced D&D in a way that was very controversial, D&D Next to date on average is a major regression in many ways - many 1e/2e-like approaches to the game philosophy, not mechanics. I really like the new saving throw method, gives such a palette to the DM to work with.

Where we differ most is the bloat - I hold that bloat kills a game, as you add more moving parts the more unbalancing factors creep in. Bloat should be in splat books, leaving the core rules free. Much of the complaints about, actually from 1e Unearthed Arcana on, we avoided by sticking to one golden rule - core books at the table only, full stop. The 1e Cavalier when a few friends and I read it said "No way. Gygax you have gone too far.". Not to say I don't support gaming companies, I get every PF rulebook for example, just if we actually play a game of PF it's Core + Bestiary (a little flexible on number of these - MM2 and Fiend Folio were used in our 1e games).

I DO NOT begrudge anyone loving millions of options, just believe the core should be as simple as possible and the other bits added extras.

So far D&D Next is my kind of game,
S.


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It will be interesting to see what they do. I'm pretty close to your view (I dont like many rules options at all, I like restrictions as a way to represent the various racial/class archetypes from whatever genre you're trying to represent, etcetera).

It seems to me that WoTC are aiming for a very simple core system, but I wonder if they're still going to be churning out rules options. I really hope they take a leaf out of Paizo's book and focus on setting material rather than rules material.


Stefan Hill wrote:
goldomark wrote:

But some choices are better than others. That applies to removing racial ability limites. Unlike a lot of people I played previous editions and racial limites were lame.

This sort of decision is a regression (god, I sound like a 4e fan).

I am not afraid of the mythical beast called "bloat".

I know a different "lot of people" who think that removing racial limits on stats and levels killed the flavour of D&D somewhat. How much of the World's population do you think we'll cover as a percentage if add your "lots" to my "lots"? What is a better choice in a game is subjective. My opinion is, for example, that 4e D&D will become the forgotten edition. Others will continue to play 4e over any other system for years to come. 4e D&D advanced D&D in a way that was very controversial, D&D Next to date on average is a major regression in many ways - many 1e/2e-like approaches to the game philosophy, not mechanics. I really like the new saving throw method, gives such a palette to the DM to work with.

Where we differ most is the bloat - I hold that bloat kills a game, as you add more moving parts the more unbalancing factors creep in. Bloat should be in splat books, leaving the core rules free. Much of the complaints about, actually from 1e Unearthed Arcana on, we avoided by sticking to one golden rule - core books at the table only, full stop. The 1e Cavalier when a few friends and I read it said "No way. Gygax you have gone too far.". Not to say I don't support gaming companies, I get every PF rulebook for example, just if we actually play a game of PF it's Core + Bestiary (a little flexible on number of these - MM2 and Fiend Folio were used in our 1e games).

I DO NOT begrudge anyone loving millions of options, just believe the core should be as simple as possible and the other bits added extras.

So far D&D Next is my kind of game,
S.

"Gygax you have gone too far" sounds like "Lucas ruined Star Wars" or "Michael Bay ruined Transformers".

Anyway, if I'm going to buy into an new edition and learn a new system, I want value for my money and effort. Which means content. I want a system that appears to be complete, not just focused on basic combat. I want fluff that is compatible with my old books so they can still have some value. I do not want to buy splat books just to get to "DnD" level. At least give me a few options and a well thought out system. The ritual mechanics should have been there for a long time, for example, and aren't bloat. They compliment the spell casting system.

Balance is an issue for people who play in stores with lots (enough to fill the world with the rest of our lots) of potential jerks or noob DMs. Give them a manual that codifies everything to prevent abuse. Sanctioned play or what ever. This is not an issue with friends and since we do not play other RPGs new rules help spice up the game.

5e is in it's early stage of developpement, but for now I see few reasons to want to buy yet another edition that starts from 0. PF as summoners and gunslingers, the words of powers subsystem, will soon release Mythic rules, is (somewhat) compatible with 3.5 and has material produced by a lot of 3PP. DnD is back to yet another version of the fighter, wizard and illithid. /yawn

Shadow Lodge

goldomark wrote:
"Gygax you have gone too far" sounds like "Lucas ruined Star Wars" or "Michael Bay ruined Transformers".

I just have to ask...are you somehow under the ridiculous impression that Bay created the Transformers?


It seems you didn't get the sarcasm. Anyway, apparently for some interwebz posters, you can ruin something just by "touching" it. Hence the joke "Micheal Bay raped my childhood".

He did create Megan Fox in a lab, though. Then he lost control and she turned on her master.

Liberty's Edge

goldomark wrote:

It seems you didn't get the sarcasm. Anyway, apparently for some interwebz posters, you can ruin something just by "touching" it. Hence the joke "Micheal Bay raped my childhood".

He did create Megan Fox in a lab, though. Then he lost control and she turned on her master.

Same thing happened when I invented Cindy Crawford...


Jokes on her. The ravages of age got to her! /evil laugh


Stat caps feel horribly artificial. If you don't want crazy high stats...don't write stat boosts into the game!

Problem solved.

Liberty's Edge

Tequila Sunrise wrote:

Stat caps feel horribly artificial. If you don't want crazy high stats...don't write stat boosts into the game!

Problem solved.

Not really. All creatures would naturally have a physical and mental maximum capacity. If anything it's quite simulationist.


With magic involved that "natural" cap doesn't apply really.

Plus there is the question of what is the "natural" cap. 18? 20? 16? What about an elve who is 700 years old and has 20 levels in wizard? Will his intelliegence be caped at 18 or more like 26?

Can there be individuals that defy nature? PCs certainly fit the bill to be extraordinary individuals.

This ultimately falls down to the DM and what he wants in is game. Not everyone has problems with high power games.


Stefan Hill wrote:
Tequila Sunrise wrote:

Stat caps feel horribly artificial. If you don't want crazy high stats...don't write stat boosts into the game!

Problem solved.

Not really. All creatures would naturally have a physical and mental maximum capacity. If anything it's quite simulationist.

If you're after sim, no stat boosts is the way to go. You don't need extra text to tell players where realism ends, because there's nothing that might otherwise take them into the super-stat territory.

Plus, you don't have to deal with the diverging math problem that accompanies stat boosting.


Does 5E have level based stat boosts? I haven't dug into the latest playtest. If not, the stat caps are much more reasonable. Or if they only apply at creation.

I'd assume that magic (booster items, wishes, tomes, etc) ignore the limits.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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goldomark wrote:

With magic involved that "natural" cap doesn't apply really.

Plus there is the question of what is the "natural" cap. 18? 20? 16? What about an elve who is 700 years old and has 20 levels in wizard? Will his intelliegence be caped at 18 or more like 26?

Can there be individuals that defy nature? PCs certainly fit the bill to be extraordinary individuals.

This ultimately falls down to the DM and what he wants in is game. Not everyone has problems with high power games.

Wisdom was the only stat that could exceed racial maximums via aging. Magic could exceed limits, but such stuff was rare. Note that Elminster has an 18 Int, 26th level centuries old archmage...and by the dual-classing rules, had to have a 17 Int originally to become said archmage.

If you were 700 years old, you had a lot of experience behind you, probably a lot of levels and the skill points that went with them. That doesn't mean you're suddenly a genius...you are just experienced.

The lifting of ability stat maxes was one of the death knells to the fighter, actually. Once you had unlimited Str scores, the fighter's unique access to melee hit and damage was lost. Likewise Con scores...a high Con score is more important then any hit dice, and so Melee classes lost their unique access to more hit points, too.

3.5 really nailed this down, when Druids with Wildshaped Physical stats of insane power were just as good at damage ouput as a fighter...and were primary spellcasters on top of it.

Some people liked them, some didn't. I personally considered them an extra balance factor, and I'm sorry, you lost a huge amount of the flavor of D&D 1E when Girdles of Giant Strength ceased to be truly strong items. Advances in mental stats were always limited in fiction, because playing something that smart should be inherently unbalancing (what's it called, Xanos Gambit, or something?) Strength scores of godly ability never had quite the same problem, because they were always inherently limited.

The goal in 1E was always to get that 19 Int so you could learn unlimited numbers of spells as a wizard. Clerics, higher wisdom meant higher level bonus spells. Charisma...was only important to paladins as a pre-req.
Fighters didn't go for a 19 str...they wanted a girdle or Gauntlets of Conan Power. 19 Con was +5 hit points/hd...nice. 19 Dex was no penalty for TWF.

Putting caps on stats returns emphasis back to the class and its strengths, instead of ability scores. As of right now, many of the powers of melee characters can just be subsumed by high physical stats. That's not the case with spellcasters...you can't emulate them with just high mental stats, and the imbalance is, well, annoying.

==Aelryinth

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm sorry I've been having fun wrong :-(

Liberty's Edge

Aelryinth wrote:
Putting caps on stats returns emphasis back to the class and its strengths, instead of ability scores. As of right now, many of the powers of melee characters can just be subsumed by high physical stats. That's not the case with spellcasters...you can't emulate them with just high mental stats, and the imbalance is, well, annoying.

We have argued black and blue in the past, but well said Sir!

Liberty's Edge

Kieviel wrote:
I'm sorry I've been having fun wrong :-(

No you haven't.

There was the D&D Gygax envisioned, it was tweaked in 2e, and then on the whole thrown out the window in 3e. 3e became 3.5e and then became PF (in terms of rules being tweaked). 4e sort of stands out on its own being neither directly of 1e or 3e heritage in play style. 5e, to date, has a strong nod to the way 1e played. Advancing stats naturally was something you never really considered with the only RAW* way being Wish spells and at 0.1 per cast from 16 onwards and the caster aging 10 years per cast (or was it 5) very unlikely even if you did have the cash.

This is not to say that 5e does not have stats increases by level - just stat caps keep this in check.

S.

*Unless you consider Unearthed Arcana and the Cavalier class. I think a previous post of mine gives my opinion of this particular work.

Liberty's Edge

thejeff wrote:

Does 5E have level based stat boosts? I haven't dug into the latest playtest. If not, the stat caps are much more reasonable. Or if they only apply at creation.

I'd assume that magic (booster items, wishes, tomes, etc) ignore the limits.

Yep lots of them. Humans a +2 to one stat and +1 to every other on creation for example.

+1 on 2 scores at 4th and 8th, so I guess, 12, 16, 20th will follow suit. With the 20 cap it'll mean more well rounded characters at later levels - I'm personally all for this idea (which came out originally in the 70's...)

Magic items on the whole don't seem to give stats bonuses (great move in my opinion).


Taking rules from previous editions that concerned ability scores and trying to importe then to PF and 5e ain't appropriate. In the older edtions the bonus ability scores gave grew exponentially as you got closer to 25. They didn't scale the way they do now.

A 25 in strenght in 2e and a 25 in strenght in PF are two different things with two different impact on the game. The problem was how ability score bonuses scaled.

The fix 3e propose to ability scores was, in part, to correct that situation and it did.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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No, they didn't scale exponentially. They gained at most +1/+2...slightly faster then PF/3E, but they capped at 24 for PCs...25 for everyone else. YOu actually gained stat bonuses slower in 1E, and it was much harder to get stats above 18, Strength being the easiest.

Note that a 25 Str in 1E is statistically slightly worse then a 3e/PF 30 Str with a 3 point power attack.

Girdles of Giant Strength actually gave you the strength of the giant of the appropriate size...not a +3/+3.

==Aelryinth


Stat boosting items are kinda dull, but you have to have them, to keep up.

One of the AP forwards talked about the "wonder" of magic items in the older editions. Back then a folding boat was a cool item to come across. Today it's something you sell to upgrade your headband.

Stat caps also prevented the "god wizard" complex. You know, where rogues become obsolete, as wizards become skill monkeys. Then all rogues become fighters, with super duper STR scores + sneak attack. And actual fighters get the shaft. Then of course there are the MAD classes, who are at a huge disadvantage the farther along the game goes.

Stat boosts are fine in and of themselves. But when coupled with point buy; you get bland vanilla super hero caricatures. Every priest has Solomon like wisdom, every wizard blows Einstein out of the water. Barbs and Fighters are Olympic level athletes, world record holders even. All of this occurs at character creation, before a single experience point is ever awarded. Sadly they are staggeringly average or subpar in every other aspect. It's Power Gaming. I've heard it called "creativity" or "options" but it's not. It's an attempt to be awesomer than awesome.

The smartest people in the world today have IQs in the mid to high 190s. Now IQ may not be a great measure of intellect but it's all we got. When Gygax wrote out the stat rules he equated every point in INT to = 10 points of IQ. So by that standard most first level wizards are either equal or greater than the greatest minds of our civilization. And how do they spend their lives? By crawling down holes in the ground, beating up dumb brutes and stealing their stuff. A staggering waste of potential. And remarkably unlikely. Their masters would be loath to let such minds get into that kind of trouble.

This is why I still like random rolling. Kills versamillitude? Maybe, but having 4 characters with abysmal personality stats hanging out with one Brad Pitt like charmer makes no sense. Unless El Charismo needed some meat shields to protect his pretty face and honeyed tongue. Charming people like to be around other charming people. Smart people like to pal around with other smart people. And people with common sense generally can't abide nitwits who can't seem to figure out you don't stick forks in light sockets.

If stats are just abstractions that facilitate mechanics and have no driving force on the way a character is played, why have them at all?


Aelryinth wrote:

No, they didn't scale exponentially. They gained at most +1/+2...slightly faster then PF/3E, but they capped at 24 for PCs...25 for everyone else. YOu actually gained stat bonuses slower in 1E, and it was much harder to get stats above 18, Strength being the easiest.

Note that a 25 Str in 1E is statistically slightly worse then a 3e/PF 30 Str with a 3 point power attack.

The power gained was very different. Remember that creatures didn't have AC lower than -10. That boost in strenght really gave an advantage.

It's not just strenght, but other abilities. Intelligence gave you immunity to illusions. Wisdom to a number of spells.

Ability scores weren't the same and the game was differently balanced too. Importing rules that were made to balance another system into an other one ain't a good idea.

Quote:
Girdles of Giant Strength actually gave you the strength of the giant of the appropriate size...not a +3/+3.

It's not

==Aelryinth

And they weren't used either (well not much). Sure people wanted them, but a girdle really changed the game in 2e.

At first I found the girdles in 3.5 lame, but at some point I realized I could actually get them and use them without making the character too powerful like they did on 2e. And no, it wasn't to keep with the math. It was because a fighter probably wants a super strong and resistant PC. A wizard a super smart PC. So designers ajusted the math to make sure those desires would break the game. They didn't make them so that players had to follow the math.

Liberty's Edge

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goldomark wrote:
At first I found the girdles in 3.5 lame, but at some point I realized I could actually get them and use them without making the character too powerful like they did on 2e. And no, it wasn't to keep with the math. It was because a fighter probably wants a super strong and resistant PC. A wizard a super smart PC. So designers ajusted the math to make sure those desires would break the game. They didn't make them so that players had to follow the math.

The point being of course in 1e/2e stats above 15 were super strong or super smart. Percentile strength was crazy strong, at 18/00 a human could go toe to toe with an Ogre in an arm wrestle - if that isn't heroic I don't know what is.

Those immunities and regeneration and extra spells etc for stats above 18 reflected that fact that at scores above 18 your PC was beyond normal comprehension. At say CON 20 you could recover from wounds at an alarming rate, like a Greek demi-god (see Deities and Demigods).

3e made stats have little meaning other than a '+', no context. The game has a rather blunt instrument in mechanic terms. Choose a class and 'collect' as many +stat things as you can. D&D made into Pokemon.

In no way I'm suggesting that isn't a valid way to play just as pointed out by Aelryinth it detracts from the class by putting a rather large emphasis on not only collecting magic items but specific magic items. Even though it seems like to have more choice in 3e there are actually very real limitations on what you can take to make your character as effective (whatever that means in an RPG) as others who have 'optimised'.

There is PF for those who like that style of play, and I can't see how WotC would want to try to go head to head against PF with another 3.5e-like game. Because of this, I think 5e will continue down the track the play test is taking us - a fun game in which "Trentmonks Guides to the Bleeding Obvious" won't be such required reading to play the game.

S.


I have no issue with playing next to someone who is "optimized" when I decided to go "flavorful". I have to assume my choice. Designers shouldn't manage player's jealousy.

Liberty's Edge

goldomark wrote:
I have no issue with playing next to someone who is "optimized" when I decided to go "flavorful". I have to assume my choice. Designers shouldn't manage player's jealousy.

I agree completely, but you only need scan these boards and you will find numerous examples of characters being literally described as 'dead weight' because they failed to take the 'correct' feats in the 'correct' order to maximise their 'effectiveness'. The difference between an optimised character and a flavourful one (of the same class) can be very significant when you crunch the numbers under 3e. This gap wasn't so huge under 1e/2e, for example two fighters both with gauntlets of ogre power were both on an equal footing.

Again I believe both can exist in the same game and players should respect each others choices - optimum or not.

Ultimately I would like a return to rather than the 3e mentality of "2H Weapon Fighter" to the old school "I have a Fighter who happens to have a 2H weapon".


Stefan Hill wrote:
goldomark wrote:
I have no issue with playing next to someone who is "optimized" when I decided to go "flavorful". I have to assume my choice. Designers shouldn't manage player's jealousy.

I agree completely, but you only need scan these boards and you will find numerous examples of characters being literally described as 'dead weight' because they failed to take the 'correct' feats in the 'correct' order to maximise their 'effectiveness'. The difference between an optimised character and a flavourful one (of the same class) can be very significant when you crunch the numbers under 3e. This gap wasn't so huge under 1e/2e, for example two fighters both with gauntlets of ogre power were both on an equal footing.

Again I believe both can exist in the same game and players should respect each others choices - optimum or not.

Ultimately I would like a return to rather than the 3e mentality of "2H Weapon Fighter" to the old school "I have a Fighter who happens to have a 2H weapon".

Though in 1e/2e the power difference was more likely to be based on stat rolling dice luck than on intentional optimization. (Or cheating. I remember enough 18/00 str characters to seriously twist the laws of probability.)


goldomark wrote:
I have no issue with playing next to someone who is "optimized" when I decided to go "flavorful". I have to assume my choice. Designers shouldn't manage player's jealousy.

"Flavourful" and "Powerful" are not inherently in conflict. Of course some classes are written so that they are inherently powerful, and people playing those can pick flavourful choices without compromising their effectiveness. It's a lot harder for some classes where flavourful and competent are in conflict. Being laden down with magical bling isn't something I consider flavourful or genre-appropriate, but it's pretty much necessary for any high level character who isn't a primary spellcaster - and even they benefit from it.

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