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What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat?

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1 What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:51 pm

...so, what would be the affect?
If all stats were 20, would the PC's be so powerful that none of the encounter guidelines and CR's could be used? If the PC's had low or no magic, would that offset or make things worse? As the PC's advance, would they receive stat increases so that some numbers would be higher than 20? Would female PC's be treated differently than male PC's and what about racial attribute affects?

I think that a few classes would become relatively more powerful if all stats were 20, e.g. those classes that rely in high stats in three areas, not just one. I can see Bards, multi-classes, and other jack of all trade type characters becoming the norm...the party would not be as specialized as it is now. Discuss...

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2 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:19 pm

Yes, stat increases, racial bonuses as normal.

Female NPCs will be different from male NPCs, but all the PCs will be different from any NPC (except of course the special ones).

If we don't like all 20s stats, we can do something a little different, (maybe 3 20s & 3 15s) but kind of how Buffy is the one & only 'Vampire Slayer' with special powers, the party will be the 1 of a few prophesized 'Vampire Slayers', and distinctly more powerful than a typical Human(oid).

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3 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:29 pm

The classes are pretty much balanced using the current system. Using unbalanced ability scores removes that balance.

Many class/race combinations now become available that aren't for a reason or are no longer needed.

In my opinions, we should play withing the rules of the system. PC are already heroic compared to the common NPC. I don't see a need to inflate that.

Unbalancing PC ability scores will also force the DM to modify the NPCs. PCs will be doing more damage, have more hitpoints, have a better chance to hit, and many other balance related issues.



On a different note...
If you want to have no magic items you may want to allow Inherent Bonuses. Inherent Bonuses give PCs an "Enhancement" bonus to defenses, attacks, and damage as they level up and it's already built into the Character Builder. That way the PCs stay on par with NPCs of their level. We'll miss out on the Daily Powers and Properties, but it'll get you what you want.

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4 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:35 pm

Ross

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I don't think having all 20's would really add that much to the game. PC's at their current point buy are already considered superheroes.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

5 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:36 pm

...hmmm...if there are many combos that would not be available (for a reason) w/o the all 20's element, if we did go the all 20's route, I guess we'd clearly discover as such and then realize how well the current system really does work...

Might be a (good?) test. Yeah, when we did this similar thing in Jalalabrad, does anyone beside me think that balance was thrown out the window? Did we all still have just a ton of fun? Good put on the inherent bonuses...

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6 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:37 pm

...but would having all 20's detract that much from the game?

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7 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:13 pm

Dwarmaj wrote:If you want to have no magic items...

I never said I wanted that! I plan on the PCs having a fair amount of magic, they just won't start out with any...

(the PCs started out Jalalabrad without any magic items too.)

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8 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:15 pm

Teramotos wrote:...but would having all 20's detract that much from the game?

I really don't think so (either).

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9 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:24 pm

A couple things to note:

If we play with all 20's even with low magic it will be unbalanced per the normal rules. There are a lot of prereqs related to stats that would be auto met such as for getting plate mail etc and riders become much more powerful. There are a number of class combos that are pretty MAD (multiple attribute dependent) and with 20's in all stats they become more powerful.

Now I am not a really good math guy for 4E. There are a number of guys on CharOp that can really crunch the numbers and have checked all monsters versus how PC's "should" look at certain levels and I believe it comes out to being level +14 to hit a monster of the same level. In other words if you are level 10 you would need a 24 to hit a normal monster. In our primary stat that puts us at 10%, and lower as we go higher in levels, better than a normal PC. A normal PC will have an 18 or 20 in their primary stat after racial bumps and we will have a 22 or a +1/+2 to hit and damage. Where it really comes into play is riders such as a melee ranger whose primary stat is str for the to hit but wisdom plays a huge part in the extra abilities of ranger powers. I can't really quantify what kind of power creep that would put us into.

Now with all that being said notice the italicized part above; normal. If we play by the normal rules we probably won't be challenged all that much since we will be above the normal power rules. However since Brad is aware of that power creep he can plan for it and throw slightly more difficult and/or varied encounters at us to compensate. It is a thinner line to walk though where a few bad roles could wipe a party but again it can be planned for.

It all comes down to a matter of style. Brad likes to have the PC's who play in his campaigns to stand out above normal heroes. The heroes of the heroes if you will. That's just my observation though so take it with a grain of salt. If Brad plans for the extra power and everyone at the table has fun then it doesn't really matter.

In Jalalabrad yeah we were extremely powerful since XP was a deterrent in 3.5 and since XP was money and we had unlimited money we broke the normal power curve. I had a lot of fun not only during the table sessions but off line as well trying to find ways to use that power and money that we had. I had huge elaborate schemes for my private island and personal defense systems as well as plans for what my character wanted to do in the future (terraform Mars into a habitable planet with him as the ruler). I don't want to play that type of character always but it was fun for a campaign.

TL;DR I don't believe it will detract from the game; it will just put a lot of bigger rolls and damage on the table. As long as Brad is aware of that and plans for it it won't be a problem.

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10 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:30 pm

There's an element that Jalalbrad did really well. Many of us were having so much fun that we spent time outside of the in person sessions trying to build up our own empires, custom weapons, private estates, armies of lackys, whatever in trying to out think the next group of villians we expected to meet at the game table. That is definately one of the things that set Jalabrad apart is the high level of activity that took place "off stage"...

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11 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:44 pm

Krystoff wrote:It all comes down to a matter of style. Brad likes to have the PC's who play in his campaigns to stand out above normal heroes. The heroes of the heroes if you will.

...it doesn't really matter.

You're right, and I agree. Very Happy

Yeah. Not so much 'Braveheart', but more 'Spiderman' type (super)heroes... (as GM, as a player I don't care)

Post Script: You had elaborate schemes for a private island? What other "off stage" activities were thought up? You guys never shared a lot of that stuff with me...

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12 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:54 am

Krystoff wrote:A couple things to note:

...There are a lot of prereqs related to stats that would be auto met such as for getting plate mail etc and riders become much more powerful...

...There are a number of class combos that are pretty MAD (multiple attribute dependent) and with 20's in all stats they become more powerful...

Iow, players will have a lot more choices than normal campaigns to build a PC they like. I like that idea. True, some builds can & will be a lot more powerful than others, but no one will have to optimize to be 'super' heroes if they don't want to.

I don't think it's terribly important we try to enforce every rule possible to keep everyone's PC equal in power... I don't know how many campaigns have ever had that anyway, and I don't think it matters if, say, Superman & Batman adventure together. It's not a big deal if one contributes more as long as both are contributing and being heroic.

Krystoff wrote:
In our primary stat that puts us at 10%, and lower as we go higher in levels, better than a normal PC. A normal PC will have an 18 or 20 in their primary stat after racial bumps and we will have a 22 or a +1/+2 to hit and damage..

Actually, the 20s will be before racial adds, which will probably make racial differences stand out more.

Yeah, I figure a 17 would be the lowest any PCs primary stat would be starting, so we're really only talking about a +1 or +2 advantage. Secondary stat is probably at least a 14 starting, so there's a +3 or +2 boost. The other stats have bigger bonuses, but they usually only come into play for roleplaying flavor issues or skill checks (giving players more choices).

Yes, you can go crazy with MADs and create Superman, or, you can build any other, less dps optimized, but more fun, theme based build to protect the innocent from being Vampire food & other nefarious plans.

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13 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:57 am

I guess my point is why? Aren't the classes powerful enough as they are? PCs by there very definition are super human.

The end effect will be that either nothing will change (PCs get stronger so the NPCs have to be tougher) or encounters will last longer (PCs are tougher so they fight more NPCs).

Either way there's really no benefit. (and that's on the plus side)

On the negative side several class combination will become much stronger while others will so little to no increase.

From what I remember of the Jalabrad adventure everyone had a good time, but I don't think any of it had to do with PCs having high stats. It was about the story and other "off line" activities.

I'm sure we'll have fun in the next series, just don't think it's neccessary to go outside the normal rules.

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14 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:59 am

I accounted for the 20 pre racial which is what got me to a 22 in primary. I don't believe there is a race out there that gets more than a +2 in any stat. Really that is very similar to giving expertise and defense feats for free which a lot of games do. The riders will come into play more as we will hit more often especially at heroic which is where the biggest discrepancy is. Paragon and Epic will even out a bit more.

All in all not game breaking as in making the game less fun.


For Jalalabrad:
If I remember right I had a private island with a 100's of permanent living constructs made out of C4 that could attack on their own and/or be detonated for 50D6 or so of damage. Added to that were 100's of simulacrums who manned heavy artillery such as anti tank guns for dragons and 50cal machine guns for any speds plus they were copies of me and my follower so they were nasty without the gear. There were a set number of these that were programmed to detonate the living constructs in battle.

Ross was the one who could create the living constructs and we had the highly placed contact in the US army for ordinance and my follower could create simulacrums and permanency spell. There were also a bunch of regular counter measures such as spells like hallowed ground, alarm, etc and military grade gear like night vision, grenades, etc. You sent the bad guys after Mickey or someone else at home which prompted the arms race.

You saw a few of those in battle if I remember right we just didn't bring in hundreds of them to the game. Ross and I detonated a few of the C4 ones in one of the big battles.

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15 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:08 am

Ross

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You can always re-skin the D&D system as modern weapons as well. You can just say a Crossbow is a pistol (using the damage and fire rate. A lot of powers are just Damage rather than Weapons damage, so those wouldn't even be effected.

A vampire campaign would work in just about any setting (time, location, world, etc). How about a Vampire vs Werewolves scenario like Underworld, but with the PC's in the middle. Heck you can even have the PC's be part of something like a Jedi Order in the future, or actually in the Star Wars Universere, dealing with a world that has become vampiric. Unlimited possibilities.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

16 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:29 am

Dwarmaj wrote:
Either way there's really no benefit. (and that's on the plus side)

You're referring to the mechanics side of things, which I concur, there are only minor adjustments to make everything work just as well. (Yes, not better, some possibility of worse.) ...But, beyond mechanics is flavor, and that's where the benefit comes in. The benefit is playing in a world where heroes exist, but then there are superheroes that exist too and that's what we are. Lots of pilots were fighting the Empire, but only a few are or can be Jedi.

Ross wrote:You can always re-skin the D&D system as modern weapons as well...

A vampire campaign would work in just about any setting (time, location, world, etc)...

I was thinking originally basic medieval, but you & Mick got me thinking that modern or futuristic/space would work very well too... Anyone have a preference on this?

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17 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:43 am

Ross

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I prefer futuristic or some other sci-fi type location. If your do modern though I'd prefer local, like Seattle, rather than other places. I think that makes it more fun.

It might even be fun to put it in an existing world, like Star Trek, or as I said before, Star Wars. Maybe even Aliens or something (Ooo, a Vampire infected Alien or Predator).


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

18 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:48 am

basic medieval rules may be the best way to go. They are clearly definded.
it would be less work (coverting powers and items to modern)
avoid any temptation to manipulate loop holes or gray area into major advantages.

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19 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:04 am

Ross

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Reskinning just has to be reworded for flavor. Instead of crossbow you say Handgun or Laser Blaster. All weapons still just break down to Simple, Military, Superior; Melee, Ranged; One-Handed, Two-Handed.

The DM wouldn't even have to officially re-skin them. Just have the player say what weapon he wants (ie. Longbow) and have him state what it represents (an M-16). It doesn't really have to be consistent with real life. We still want to keep the balance rules of the overall weapons.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

20 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:19 am

Hmmm...we already did the modern world with Jalalabrad. If we did the modern world again, I'm thinking a BTVS staged in Puget Sound.

We haven't done Sci-Fi yet, but I think Gamma World may come close. This s/b (can be) different enough from the GW game that we won't feel Sci-Fi'ed out.

Middle Ages would be the least work for the GM, but it would also be quite close to regular 4.0. I'm thinking that you really wanted to do something "different".

I'd be good with either Sci-Fi (maybe a Firefly type universe rather than a Star Wars universe) or Modern; very slight lean toward Sci-Fi.

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21 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:28 am

Ross

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i was thinking of doing a star frontiers or travelers type setting, but that's after I finish the Slave Ship adventures, which won't be until after 30th level, so it will be awhile. Can anyone say Cage Match with Orcus. Very Happy


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

22 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:47 am

Ross wrote:Reskinning just has to be reworded for flavor. Instead of crossbow you say Handgun or Laser Blaster...

Concur. They made it really easy to play 'outside the box', so I don't see conversion as an obstacle to whichever setting we like best.

Ross wrote:Can anyone say Cage Match with Orcus.

Umm... Isn't it an oxymoron to use 'match' and 'Orcus' in the same sentence? pale

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23 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:55 am

Ross

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bradly wrote:
Umm... Isn't it an oxymoron to use 'match' and 'Orcus' in the same sentence? pale

Well if you said, "Game, Set, Match Orcus", it wouldn't be.


_________________
CHARACTERS:
Morbius Von Kas - Vryloka/Blackguard [4e-Rainbow Warriors Campaign]
Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
Neverwinter: @bobpatrick.com
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn


Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
View user profile http://twitter.com/NWGamerDude

24 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:41 pm

At the rate we're currently playing, the Dragon series probably won't be over for another year or so.

Consensus on the WotC forums is that unbalanced scores will indead unbalance the game, which will take a bit of effort on the DM to rebalance the encounters.

As far as PC balance there are several classes that get to add their primary and secondary stats to damage. This will make them much more powerful than their counterparts that add a static or fixed dice amount to damage.

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25 Re: What if PC's Had 20's in Every Stat? on Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:35 pm

As a test I built out a character at level 11 to see how the increased stats would affect it.

I kept every thing the same (race, class, items, ...) and only modifed the stats from the normal point buy to all 20's.

Normal: Human with +2 in charisma
Initial: (Str 8, Con 11, Dex 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Char 18 )
Final: (Str 9, Con 12, Dex 17, Int 11, Wis 11, Char 23)
+17 to hit
1d10+25 damage (using Acid Orb at-will)

20's char:
Initial: (Str 20, Con 20, Dex 20, Int 20, Wis 20, Char 20 )
Final: (Str 21, Con 21, Dex23, Int 21, Wis 21, Char 25)

+18 to hit
1d10+41 damage (using Acid Orb at-will)


Not much difference in their attack modifiers, but quite a bit more damage for the enhanced character.

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