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 Post subject: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:08 am 
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Initially the thought that the ability scores are doing to be named differently then DnD sounds cool. I will see how hard it is to really use them when I finally get to play or DM a session. Years of habit ARE hard to break.

It sounds like we are back to the old day where getting an ability score to above 18 was a major if not impossible effort! This is a GOOD thing.

What I am not thrilled about is that is seems like we are keeping the 3e mangling of ability score bonuses. (i.e. +1 for every two points).

I would rather see a progression like this (for the positive bonuses.. the negatives can be extrapolated).

9-11 +0
12-14 +1
15-17 +2
18-19 +3
20 +4
21 +5 (etc)

Go back to the racial stat bonuses of (+1 to the score) (i.e. Elf +1 Dex...err.. AGL, -1 CON...err... END...err... STA)

Make the race less important to the actual stats of the character and more of a RPing choice. Yes, the +1 could bump you to 12 to get the bonus, but is is not going to guarantee you a +1 attribute bonus jump like in 3e (i.e. 2 points in an ability score would get you a guaranteed +1 bonus)

This would go along with the reduced extremes of AC, HP, and other items. Prevents power building a bit by knocking the bonuses down a bit. It also makes it so something that would grant a +1 bonus to STR is key.

I actually liked 1e when it came to items granting bonuses. A Girdle of Giant Strength would grant a specific STR bonus. It would not provide a +4 bonus to strength which would lead to further unbalancing of a character if they already had high strength.

Opinions? yes, no... I am crazy?

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:43 am 
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I don't have a problem with the 3e method for stat bonuses. It's simple enough to remember without a chart and lots of people are familiar with it. The only problem with it IMO was due to the stat inflation caused by the 4d6 method of stat gen or point buys.

And personally I'd prefer that there are no bonuses/penalties to stats due to race. That only fosters the selection of race as a way to min/max characters. Of course, it looks like races might be randomly determined in this game.

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:45 am 
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Hamakto wrote:
I actually liked 1e when it came to items granting bonuses. A Girdle of Giant Strength would grant a specific STR bonus. It would not provide a +4 bonus to strength which would lead to further unbalancing of a character if they already had high strength.

Opinions? yes, no... I am crazy?


I am in complete agreement with you here. Same with bracers of AC X, as opposed to bracers of armor +X


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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:12 am 
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Hamakto wrote:
Opinions? yes, no... I am crazy?


I agree as well (in general regarding 3e) but am reserving judgement until I get a chance to play/run DCC. From the this thread, it sounds like the removal of feats and skill synergies -- as well as the randomization of 3d6 for stat -- mitigates this issue somewhat.

But I definitely do not care for how 3e introduced the +1 for every two (and then racial bonuses that added +1, if not +2, to the rolled stats).

I'd prefer a progression like this one...

3-5: -2
6-8: -1
9-11: 0
12-14: +1
15-17: +2
18-20: +3
21-23: +4
etc...

Which is a fairly simple divide the attribute by three (drop remainders) and subtract 3 for the bonus...


Or even one that went farther with...

3: -2
4-7: -1
8-11: 0
12-15: +1
16-19: +2
20-23: +3
24-27: +4
etc...

Which is the same thing except dividing the attribute by 4, dropping the remainder and subtracting 2 for your bonus.

But my favorite of all time is...

3: -3
4-5: -2
6-8: -1
9-12: 0
13-15: +1
16-17: +2
18: +3

No real math trick to make it useful. But I think this is the best setup I've ever seen for D&D stats. Mainly because how it hits the high points of the 3d6, modeling itself after the bell curve, than a math trick like 3e for the sake of order and predictability. I believe it's B/X D&D. For me, it just fits! Because of the bell curve of the 3d6.

I suppose extrapolating that out, it would wind up like this...


3: -3
4-5: -2
6-8: -1
9-12: 0
13-15: +1
16-17: +2
18-19: +3
20-21: +4
22-23: +5

Or something like that. But I hope DCC doesn't encourage going that route. That's one of those things that's best left in to the DM. Have magic items or spells that boost strength boost the ABILITY BONUS, not the attribute score. Sure, it's a more significant boost. But I think the simplicity far outweighs the bonus, especially considering how pushing the attribute scores out past 18 raises all sorts of questions leading to stuff like 18/00 and every two points in an ability gives a +1 (which tramples ALL OVER the bell curve of the 3d6 -- not like WotC didn't leave that behind anyway with stat arrays, point buy and other attribute inflations).


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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:13 am 
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JediOre wrote:
I am in complete agreement with you here. Same with bracers of AC X, as opposed to bracers of armor +X


Seconded!


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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:20 am 
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Oh, and so my spam of this thread is complete...

Assuming DCC uses the 3e attribute bonuses, does anyone who's run DCC know if changing the stat array to the B/X bonuses will break something in DCC?

Who knows, maybe DCC can offer both as options... One being the "DCC Attribute Bonuses" and another being "Classic Bonuses".

For one thing, this would give DMs the option of whether they want DCC to be more compatible with their 3e material or with the material being released for games like Labyrinth Lord and Swords and Wizardry. I, for one, would choose "Classic Bonuses" not just because I like them but also because I have almost no 3e books anymore. All my D&D stuff is either from AD&D or earlier or more recent retro-clone stuff.

If it isn't critical to DCC and it doesn't really matter if a 14 gives you a +1 or a +2, it might be nice to offer both as options.


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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:19 pm 
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DCC RPG uses the 3e stat bonuses, but as others have pointed out, characters in DCC RPG are going to have a much harder time getting bonuses because of the 3d6 randomization. A character would be doing pretty well in DCC RPG to have a +2 bonus in one ability. And even though characters can get up to +4, it's balanced by the fact that they're just as likely to get -4. If they have a good bonus in one stat, chances are they'll have penalties in others. Not like 3e where ability penalties are almost unheard of.

I don't think using a different bonus system would break the game, since most ability scores are probably going to be in the 8-12 range anyway. In my experience running the game, even 14's don't come up all that often in character generation. And this is a game where you want to let your players have every possible advantage. They'll need it. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:57 pm 
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mythfish wrote:
I don't think using a different bonus system would break the game, since most ability scores are probably going to be in the 8-12 range anyway. In my experience running the game, even 14's don't come up all that often in character generation. And this is a game where you want to let your players have every possible advantage. They'll need it. :P


That's good to know. I find the B/X bonuses to be, I don't know, easier. I always have a hard time remember if the +2 comes on the 13 or 14 in 3e. Whereas, I know a 13 is +1 in "regular" D&D. Showing my age, I'm sure.

Considering I will likely be using monsters from older D&D publications, I may go ahead and use the older bonuses.

Still would be nice to have a sidebar or something in DCC that offers the option of "Classic" bonuses. Would be a nod to the OSR types, at least...


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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:53 pm 
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smathis wrote:
I always have a hard time remember if the +2 comes on the 13 or 14 in 3e. Whereas, I know a 13 is +1 in "regular" D&D.


10 is +/-0. Every even number up is another +1, every even number down is another -1. So the +2 comes on 14. Easy peasy! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:48 pm 
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smathis wrote:
But my favorite of all time is...

3: -3
4-5: -2
6-8: -1
9-12: 0
13-15: +1
16-17: +2
18: +3

I like this one best as well. From the early days I always imagined 9-12 as "average" and this progression seems to fit pretty well. If you really wanted to extrapolate to absurd stat numbers, try this:

3: -3 (one number)
4-5: -2 (two numbers)
6-8: -1 (three numbers)

9-12: 0 (four numbers)

13-15: +1 (three numbers)
16-17: +2 (two numbers)
18: +3 (one number)

19-20: +4 (two numbers)
21-23: +5 (three numbers)
24-27: +6 (four numbers)
28-32: +7 (five numbers)
33-38: +8 (six numbers)
39-45: +9 (seven numbers)

and so on. Progressively getting harder and harder to advance to the next bonus.

No need to ever "cap" stats becasue eventually the numbers are so absurd you won't reach the next bonus anyway. My chart has already reached and surpassed that point, by the way. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:31 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
...and so on. Progressively getting harder and harder to advance to the next bonus.

No need to ever "cap" stats becasue eventually the numbers are so absurd you won't reach the next bonus anyway. My chart has already reached and surpassed that point, by the way. :D


I'd never thought of advancing the old stat attributes that way! Great idea. I see how it fits and it makes total sense, IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:29 am 
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Not sure it's a good idea, just throwing it out there.

I think the number of times I've had a character actually go to 19 in a stat is quite limited, and I can't recall one ever going above that. Of course, different folks run games different ways...

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:22 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
Not sure it's a good idea, just throwing it out there.

I think the number of times I've had a character actually go to 19 in a stat is quite limited, and I can't recall one ever going above that. Of course, different folks run games different ways...


Yeah. The only time I've ever seen stats go above 18 were with 3e and 4e. 18 is the new 12 in 4e -- seems like everyone has at least one. And 20 appears to be the new 18. Things weren't that much different in 3e.

As I said above, I'm totally fine with stats capping out at 18. I'd prefer that actually. Especially if a buffing spell or item just boosted to ability bonus. So "Bull's Strength" increased one's Strength bonus by +2, instead of one's Strength attribute by +4. And a "Girdle of Giant Strength" increased one's Strength bonus to +6, instead of 22 or whatever.

I'd prefer leaving the stats at 3-18 and play all the number games with the bonuses. They're what's important anyway. It's not the 3 in Dexterity that screws you. It's the -3 penalty to AC and Reflex saves...


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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:51 pm 
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if stat don't go up (and don't need to go up) we can live also with 3e progression

items: absolutely fixed bonus (Girdle of Fire Giant Strenght!)

races: get some special ability and bonus but not stat increase (it's much more interesting)

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:30 pm 
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Fabio.MilitoPagliara wrote:
if stat don't go up (and don't need to go up) we can live also with 3e progression

items: absolutely fixed bonus (Girdle of Fire Giant Strenght!)

races: get some special ability and bonus but not stat increase (it's much more interesting)


Very true. And it may be what DCC was slated to do to begin with...


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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:06 pm 
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I do not like the stat progression of 3e and 4e. But Everyone is familiar with it. Its part of the language of D&D now. One way I was thinking of mitigating the possibility of +4 bonuses early is to use 4d4 for stat generation. It has a bigger curve in the middle that ends up right at 10 and 11. Highest possible stat is is 16, or +3. One possible solution.....


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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:28 pm 
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PeelSeel2 wrote:
I do not like the stat progression of 3e and 4e. But Everyone is familiar with it. Its part of the language of D&D now. One way I was thinking of mitigating the possibility of +4 bonuses early is to use 4d4 for stat generation. It has a bigger curve in the middle that ends up right at 10 and 11. Highest possible stat is is 16, or +3. One possible solution.....


There are a couple of ways to create more average stats that fit better into the 3-18 range:

roll 5d6, drop the highest and the lowest

or

roll 5d4-2

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:01 am 
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On life/hit points

a simpler approach could be

humanoid get 20 life points (monster get more based on size/level/whatever)
hit points are normal (and are more adrenaline/fatigue/training)

when you get to 0 hp you start losing life points (you can also lose 1+bp when you are hit by a critical)

bp
16-20 -0
11-15 -1
06-10 -2
01-05 -3

furthermore if you lose lots of bp in one single hit you get grievous and permanent wounds if you are still alive
5+ lesser (broken/impaired finger, ear, nose)
10+ medium (broken/impaired hand, foot, eye)
15+ severe (broken/impaired arm, leg, chest, ....)

everyone want to run out at 0 hp

healing
hp: get back quite quickly (say 1/turn); magic heal normally
bp: get back slowly say (1/day of fully rest, or 1/week), magic 1bp/spell level
wounds: you need magic and recovery time or a regeneration spell

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:30 am 
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an even simpler approach: - when you reach zero LP or less, roll on a Critical Injury table, maybe even with a dice type skewed to the more lethal outcomes.

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:40 am 
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geordie racer wrote:
an even simpler approach: - when you reach zero LP or less, roll on a Critical Injury table, maybe even with a dice type skewed to the more lethal outcomes.


this is another option :)
still I like the idea of a reservoir of life points that are really heavy currency

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:56 am 
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PeelSeel2 wrote:
IOne way I was thinking of mitigating the possibility of +4 bonuses early is to use 4d4 for stat generation.

Blasphemy! You are such a heretic! How could you even suggest ... nay, how could you even think about using dice other than d6's for character generation?

No matter how well thought out the probability, I just can't get away from my d6's. It's the foundation on which all things are built! 8)

And when you reach zero HP, you lose a point of Constitution, um ... Stamina ... whatever. That keeps folks nervous about going to zero and does put an eventual limit on the number of times they can do it.

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:18 am 
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Some of these ideas are very cool. You guys should collect all of these and write a licensed DCC UA supplement.

//H

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:59 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
Blasphemy! You are such a heretic! How could you even suggest ... nay, how could you even think about using dice other than d6's for character generation?


The last time I had to roll up a character I was caught unprepared and only had one d6 with me. Instead of going through the hassle of rolling that one die 36 times or, even worse, borrowing dice from another player, I rolled my stats with a d4, d6, and a d8. It rolls just like 3d6 and you need to keep less dice with you.

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:06 am 
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Seconding Harley! One of the things that's really cool about this whole thread (and a couple similar ones that have popped up on AC and other subjects) is that the DCC RPG is generating some thoughts on alternate ways to approach D&D "sacred cows." Some of these are extensions of the conversations that the OSR already started over the last few years. I hope DCC RPG continues that conversation. Once the game comes out, I would invite you guys to publish this material as DCC RPG expansions. More info on the free license will be coming out in the coming months.

As for the specific suggestions, I have my own ideas already, of course, but I do like some of these, too. I can't promise to include them but I can promise to at least give them a try...

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 Post subject: Re: Ability Scores
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:23 am 
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goodmangames wrote:
Once the game comes out, I would invite you guys to publish this material as DCC RPG expansions. More info on the free license will be coming out in the coming months.

As for the specific suggestions, I have my own ideas already, of course, but I do like some of these, too. I can't promise to include them but I can promise to at least give them a try...


Joseph, is there a particular supp you'd like see covered by fans and 3PP? I'm thinking, for example, psionics would good such supp.

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