DwDD – Acquisitions Inc Part 2

Chris & The Mad Wizard Shawn Merwin dish about everything D&D with a focus on the brand and newest edition of the world's most popular Tabletop RPG.
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EpisodeBot
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DwDD – Acquisitions Inc Part 2

Post by EpisodeBot »

Shawn and Chris keep going on AI, breaking down the company positions and franchise tasks! Also, support the Commandroids Kickstarter! Not D & D, but super cool!

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UncleOok
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Re: DwDD – Acquisitions Inc Part 2

Post by UncleOok »

did Shawn really just recommend getting rid of 3d6 ability scores? I'm not feeling it, and in fact I think we should have more uses, or at least more examples of ability damage. (your strength score is used for jumping distance with a running start, halved if standing)

ability damage from modifier is too risky - how do you reflect the intellect devourer hitting for 3d6 vs your Intelligence or the shadow's 1d4 strength drain?

I can get behind removing racial bonuses and the concept of race. People are still going to want to play elves, dwarves, tieflings or kender as they will, so balancing species/subspecies/heritage abilities like darkvision will still need to be considered.

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chrismmp
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Re: DwDD – Acquisitions Inc Part 2

Post by chrismmp »

Why have ability damage and not just have ability score damage.

We've also discussed the whole jumping thing with strength. The fact that it's static and not some number plus a variable has always kind of bugged us.

On the elves/Dwarves/ect front at article at D&D beyond is a pretty solid place to start with the designing around what makes those cultures those cultures from a game POV.

https://www.dndbeyond.com/posts/563-rei ... ity-scores

UncleOok
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Re: DwDD – Acquisitions Inc Part 2

Post by UncleOok »

I'm not sure what you mean by "Why have ability damage and not just have ability score damage"?

looking at long jump results, attempts seem to be within a half meter of each other, so the static number feels reasonable to me. seems simple enough to make the base a simple DC - say, 7 or 8 - or even an automatic check, and give a harder DC to extend beyond the normal limit.

the 3-18 spread offers options, perhaps unbalanced ones. if you reduce to just the bonus, an ASI could only improve one stat, but today you could increase two odd stats to the next higher, or choose a +1 and a feat. It really feels like a "if it ain't broke" situation.

now, I don't play with Bob so I don't see people with multiple 18's for stats, so I don't have a negative association with rolling 4d6 and dropping.

I did read Mr. Haeck's article, but I think it needs to be workshopped.

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chrismmp
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Re: DwDD – Acquisitions Inc Part 2

Post by chrismmp »

What I meant is just assign damage to the ability score modifier. In dnd, as it’s constructed, the only part of the stat that matters in the vast majority of situations is the modifier so just damage the modifier.

Isn’t your long jump idea exactly what I said. Have a static number and then something to modify the distance. Making it a DC check is the same design idea except it’s not actually in the rules of the game. Your house rule is perfectly fine and what I do anyways in games so we’re not rolling for thing that should be automatic but for things that are in question.

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chrismmp
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Re: DwDD – Acquisitions Inc Part 2

Post by chrismmp »

The 3-18 spread made a lot more sense when there was a rule for, “If you want to do x then roll under your stat on a d20. That’s in 1st edition or basic, one of those two rule sets.

It also mattered a lot more when rolling for stats was the intended part of the game because the average was 10-11. The game doesn’t really assume that average anymore so it’s just around because people expect it without actually having it make any sense to the design of the game anymore. It’s actually just a cumbersome step than most of us accept because it exists.

The idea that we can plug in a couple
Of +1s to up those stats is pretty much only relevant for that first set of bumps because once you get that even number you’re only going to ever add +2 to it from that point on. It’s just one of those places where it’s design to be familiar to people so they have that thing they can relate to. It’s not a bad thing to do but it puts a focus on the game where it doesn’t need to be and could be made more elegant by getting rid of it.

EvilJohn
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Re: DwDD – Acquisitions Inc Part 2

Post by EvilJohn »

After I listened to the episode I remembered there are some checks that are based around combined strength (mostly around moving heavy objects). Those would be easy enough to move to the +1/2/3 model, and some way would be more interesting, as weak characters could actively hinder this process.

UncleOok
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Re: DwDD – Acquisitions Inc Part 2

Post by UncleOok »

I guess I'm not seeing the math? as it stands today, a shadow attacks you and drains Strength. in the +1/+2/+3 world, you have to automatically reduce by 1 or 2. And then you have to roll percentage dice or high/low on a d6 to determine which. in today's D&D, you have a chance for the 20 Strength Fighter has a 50% chance to slide from a +5 to a +4 or +3, but the 13 Strength Druid has a 25% chance to not lose any bonus, a 50% to drop from a +1 to a +0, and 25% chance to drop to a -1. The intellect devourer attacks the unwitting 6 INT (-2) Barbarian is terrifying, but the 16 INT Gunslinger (+3) is in much less peril.

I think it's an interesting mechanic that would have to be completely reworked in a modifier only system.

It feels in the drive for simplicity we're losing a great deal of the charm. it likely has a lot to do with my familiarity with D&D and frustrations with PbtA.

there is a beauty in rolling stats and leaning into the quirk of the odd high score in an unexpected stat, or having the joy of the flaw of the dump stat shape your character. I find standard arrays to, well, lack variety.

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chrismmp
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Re: DwDD – Acquisitions Inc Part 2

Post by chrismmp »

Except the Standard array is almost the accepted practice for the majority of D&D games.

I find that stat reduction and that part of the game to be cumbersome. It's a mechanics that is tertiary to a game that's got three different d20 rolls and a bunch of different resource management systems.

I mean if you enjoy that mechanic then I can't argue with your preferences but lets look at this. If a shadow hits the target takes damage and makes a DC 14 Constitution Saving Throw. On a failure you lose 1 to your Strength attribute.

It's less fiddly, ties into the existing mechanics, doesn't require extra mechanisms to get the same effects while messing with a number than changes another number.

I'm not into just simple games. I like games with moving parts. I dig Forged in the Dark games for that reason. I very much enjoy D&D for that reason but there are somethings that can probably be removed. Ability scores is probably one of those things because it's not really an integral part of the system anymore.

Anyways. Like I said. If you dig that mechanic then I can't argue with a preference. Objectively, in the grand scheme of mechanisms in D&D, it's just not as relevant as it used to be.

shawnmerwin
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Re: DwDD – Acquisitions Inc Part 2

Post by shawnmerwin »

I was out of time and missed this great discussion. Thanks for all the well-thought comments.

As Chris said, if you remove preference and "it's always been this way" from the equation, ability SCORES (as opposed to ability modifiers) don't make a lot of sense in terms of a pure game mechanic. You are basically creating one irrelevant (or barely relevant) number to get to a relevant number. The few places where the ability score is used could easily be replaced by the modifier. However, WotC was wise enough to see what the backlash would have been if they made that change, so they left it in. It's not a deal-breaker for me (obviously, because I am still playing), but it is just something that the pure game designer in me recognizes as outdated technology.

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