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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Big a Role Do Ability Modifiers Play in Your Game?

How big a role do ability Modifiers play in your game. I ask, because the White Box range is -1, +1 where it even exists. 3d6 in order isn't a big deal in such an setting. AD&D has a range (mostly) of -4 to +4 and I see where the 4d6 drop the lowest and arrange as you will came into play, as ability modifiers greatly effect what a character can do well (or not.)

Do you prefer the lower spread of ability modifiers, the larger spread or somewhere in between?

12 comments:

  1. The game I currently play has a range of +/-3 for ability modifiers. However, the +1 doesn't kick in until a 13, +2 at 16 and only an 18 gets a +3. Playing with 4d6 drop the lowest for abilities means that approximately 76% of scores fall in the +/-1 or 0 category. I tend to like that. It means that eventually level and skill are going to mean more than sheer ability. Of course, ability still helps.

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  2. In Eldritch Shadows the modifiers themselves are rarely used outside of combat and keep the Whitebox -1/+1. However the ability scores themselves are used for saves and checks. I.E. If you want to bash open a door you roll under your strength.

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  3. Same as EG above, I ditched most of the crazy swings and went back to the +/-3 spread and breakdown from B/X. I also force in order, but DO allow 4d6 and drop the lowest.

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  4. I prefer AD&D-style mods. I like fighters to be significantly better at dishing out melee damage than magic-users, for example, and higher STR mods achieve this.

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  5. If you use attribute checks a lot (as I tend to do), a wide spread of bonuses seems superfluous. I use the 0e-ish -1 to +1 spread for combat and derived scores.

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  6. If you use attribute checks a lot (as I tend to do), a wide spread of bonuses seems superfluous. I use the 0e-ish -1 to +1 spread for combat and derived scores.

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  7. I'd prefer to drop attribute mods almost all together, and replace them with class based bonuses. I want Fighters to hit harder and more often, and while a high strength helps with this, it means that a Fighter has to have a high strength--which means having a low strength (or even average) an effective penalty. Fighter A with 18 is a completely BETTER fighter than one with strength 12. Attributes can also allow for odd competence outside of class, like a Thief being stronger, and this better at dealing damage, than a fighter of similar level. Other than feats or extremely rigid class design, I'm not sure how to accomplish this, though.

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  8. as others have mentioned the ability mod range depe nds on how imortant you want class and level to be. i also think low modifiers for ability scores increases the impacgt of magical weapons and armor, a +2 sword is a heck of a lot more impressive an important in a campaign where few characters will have such a modifier.

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  9. I still prefer using the ability score itself, then roll a D20 equal to or under that score +/- modifiers for difficulty (the roll under system which the 3E murdered).

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  10. I use +3 to -3 (raised on B/X) but use a balanced random method of generating the scores so that the modifiers all add up to 0.

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  11. I'm all about the B/X scale too: -3 to +3 all the way. In fact, the OD&D scale that S&W uses is probably one of the primary reasons I haven't been lured into S&W. Orcus knows S&W LOOKS friggin' great and has a metric ton of awesome supporting material. But there are certain little things like the ability mods that keep me going back to B/X.

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  12. Makes almost zero difference to me as we roll 3d6 and almost no one has any great stats anyway.

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