This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
NOTICE: Some online security services are reporting that information for a limited number of users from this site is for sale on the "dark web." As of right now, there is no direct evidence of this, but change your password just to be safe.

Author Topic: WOTC Making Racial Stat Attributes All the Same is Weak and Effing Bland!  (Read 2429 times)

SHARK

  • Great White Hope
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2939
Greetings!

Yeah, the whole "+2 and +1" to whatever racial stats you want, rearrange as desired, is just total BS and I think when you draw back and really think about different, distinctive *races*--that doing such a policy is just fucking bland and weak. WTF? I can understand to a point saying, "All Gnomes have whatever stats, rearrange as you desire" can be attractive, but when you then apply the same precise attributes to every race, it just seems to make them all so bland and colourless to my way of thinking. Halflings are just as strong as Half Ogres? Half Ogres are just as swift and agile as Halflings? Same thing goes for Elves, and a dozen other races. The entire rationale and motivation behind such a rule as presented by WOTC is so much nonsense.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination. Comfort is neither welcome nor tolerated here."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but is doing what you have to, in spite of the fear."
"Let Death and Fire Be Their Portion!"
"Delenda Est Parthia!"

areola

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • a
  • Posts: 101
Yup, why have race at all. Just ask them to go crazy and create a creature they want to roleplay. I am sure they will knock themselves out. The era of reinforced archtypes/tropes is gone.

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 15069
I thought the same.

But then I realized that players had been doing this for decades and this new system solves the whole "elf for every stat bonus combo" problem.
But does not solve the "elf for every power combo" so YMMV really.

At the end if the day its just rules for doing what players have been doing for decades now.

Which seems part of WOTCs new marketing plan. To re-invent every wheel with a rules set and pretend its fresh and new and oooooh soooooo progressive and inclusiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive and absolutely totally not racist at all. Nope. Cant forget that.

Palleon

  • Newbie
  • *
  • P
  • Posts: 27
My issue is the change totally removes any remaining verisimilitude in the game.  It’s pants on head idiotic that 3 foot tall, 40 pound halflings and kobolds can be as strong as a human or half-orc.

HappyDaze

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • H
  • Posts: 3493
Greetings!

Yeah, the whole "+2 and +1" to whatever racial stats you want, rearrange as desired, is just total BS and I think when you draw back and really think about different, distinctive *races*--that doing such a policy is just fucking bland and weak. WTF? I can understand to a point saying, "All Gnomes have whatever stats, rearrange as you desire" can be attractive, but when you then apply the same precise attributes to every race, it just seems to make them all so bland and colourless to my way of thinking. Halflings are just as strong as Half Ogres? Half Ogres are just as swift and agile as Halflings? Same thing goes for Elves, and a dozen other races. The entire rationale and motivation behind such a rule as presented by WOTC is so much nonsense.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
I don't often agree with SHARK, but when I do, it's usually about mechanics (even if those mechanics have been driven by politics). Here I agree that the "new" (5.5e?) version of races is crap.

SHARK

  • Great White Hope
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2939
My issue is the change totally removes any remaining verisimilitude in the game.  It’s pants on head idiotic that 3 foot tall, 40 pound halflings and kobolds can be as strong as a human or half-orc.

Greetings!

Exactly, Palleon! ;D

Initially with 5E--or up until the recent supplements anyway--I thought that the racial attributes and profiles were going along ok, in keeping with the overall traditions from previous editions. Some stat bonuses, a few minuses here and there--I thought that approach was certainly appropriate in attempting to capture to a reasonable degree various physical, mental, and spiritual traits of various races. Humans, Half Elves, and perhaps a few others, I thought benefitted especially well from some nod towards free-form attribute arrangement, to better reflect their superior diversity, aptitude for learning, and great flexibility. This whole new approach for every race is just boggling. Now, Kobolds, Goblins, Halflings and Gnomes are just as physically capable and strong as a Human, Orc, Half Ogre, Minotaur, or Gnoll? The same dichotomy can be said for intellect, wisdom, charisma, everything. It makes an absolute mockery and travesty of any differences between any races.

Wiener Dogs are not the fucking same as Labrador Retrievers or Pit Bulls, even though they are the same *species* and can interbreed together.

Whoever at WOTC thought that this BS was a good approach to race design is a fucking moron.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination. Comfort is neither welcome nor tolerated here."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but is doing what you have to, in spite of the fear."
"Let Death and Fire Be Their Portion!"
"Delenda Est Parthia!"

Ghostmaker

  • Chlorine trifluoride
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1714
1E/2E had racial maximums on attributes.

3E had sizes, which reduced weapon effectiveness as well as your capabilities in a purely physical confrontation (grappling).

I know that 5E is trying to slim down the eighty bazillion rules issue, but the push to make everyone the same is just silly. Might as well call it Harrison Bergeron the RPG.

kosmos1214

  • geekus maximus
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1089
Dear heaven's this is dumb. I can get dropping stat penalties in some systems if they are to harsh but marking every race the same whats the point might as well drop it for a background system or a point system at that point.
sjw social just-us warriors

now for a few quotes from my fathers generation
"kill a commie for mommy"

"hey thee i walk through the valley of the shadow of death but i fear no evil because im the meanest son of a bitch in the valley"

David Johansen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • D
  • Posts: 5492
Next up, removing attributes as "abelist" and making all the classes exactly equal by removing all mechanical differences.  The only description allowed for a character will be their gender.  The list of genders permitted will not include 'male' or 'female.'
Fantasy Adventure Comic, games, and more http://www.uncouthsavage.com

Ghostmaker

  • Chlorine trifluoride
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1714
Dear heaven's this is dumb. I can get dropping stat penalties in some systems if they are to harsh but marking every race the same whats the point might as well drop it for a background system or a point system at that point.
The ability modifiers in 3E for half-orcs were flat broken, as they effectively lost 2 attribute points (+2 STR, -2 INT, -2 CHA) in exchange for being 'orc blooded' (counts as an orc for racial effects) and darkvision 60.

Hoo-fucking-ray.

Say what you will about Pathfinder 1E, but at least half-orcs weren't getting fucked in the ass statistically as compared to 3E. And while they got the generic '+2 to any one attribute', at least it came along with darkvision 60, +2 to intimidate checks, orc ferocity, and weapon proficiency with greataxes and falchions.

Zalman

  • RPG Evangelist
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 501
Might as well call it Harrison Bergeron the RPG.

Seriously, this could be a great parody.
Zal

Old School? Back in my day we just called it "School"

Habitual Gamer

  • Newbie
  • *
  • H
  • Posts: 32
The era of reinforced archtypes/tropes is gone.

D&D is, classically, an exceptions based system.  You have different rules/mechanics for elves versus humans orcs, so that each race is a mechanical exception from another.  The exceptions are small, but they're there, and they help protect character niches.  You want a high stat/feature?  You -have- to play X race. 

Honestly though, the new change isn't an entirely bad one.  Players get to shuffle stat points around, so they can better play their idea of what their character is going to be like.  Don't want an 80 pound kobold with a STR of 18?  You're the DM?  Put your foot down.  You're a player?  Don't worry about what the other player is doing.  Want to play... an Orc wizard who's competent at magic -and- orcishly tough (if not particularly strong)?  The system will handle that.  All the books are doing now is giving groups a standardized way of making that happen.  Heck, a 20 STR kobold is already perfectly legal using the "old" rules of PHB and Volo's, without magical items and such (just plain old stat advancements as you level up), and people weren't this vocal about it.   

Aside from stat bonuses, different races still have their special features (e.g. immune to sleep magic, breath weapon attacks, etc.) that the new system doesn't really account for.  So you also still have some niche protection.   

Put another way, I'd rather play a system that encourages more options than fewer, and the changes aren't really that big of a deal.

(Edit: honestly, I'm finding 5ed would benefit from more options regarding player builds personally.  Maybe not as much as 3ed had, but more than this edition currently offers.)

Chris24601

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • C
  • Posts: 1773
Dear heaven's this is dumb. I can get dropping stat penalties in some systems if they are to harsh but marking every race the same whats the point might as well drop it for a background system or a point system at that point.
The ability modifiers in 3E for half-orcs were flat broken, as they effectively lost 2 attribute points (+2 STR, -2 INT, -2 CHA) in exchange for being 'orc blooded' (counts as an orc for racial effects) and darkvision 60.

Hoo-fucking-ray.

Say what you will about Pathfinder 1E, but at least half-orcs weren't getting fucked in the ass statistically as compared to 3E. And while they got the generic '+2 to any one attribute', at least it came along with darkvision 60, +2 to intimidate checks, orc ferocity, and weapon proficiency with greataxes and falchions.
They actually explained in the 3e DMG in a section about adding new races that the designers felt Strength was more valuable than other stats and so, unless it was Dex, required a 2 for 1 tradeoff for Strength bonuses.

Worth remembering is that this decision was made back before there were many options to actually replace Strength with other stats for melee attacks and the only stat that added to weapon damage.

Not saying it was a great decision, but if you squint you can at least see the line of thinking.

My preference for dealing with size interacting with attributes is carry modifiers and weapon restrictions. A slower speed (shorter legs) and shorter jumping distance (in 3e all the small PC races had speeds of 20’ which also imposed a -8 to all jump checks) are also elements that can ensure that Strength scores are relative to size.

Sure, a kobold can have a 20 Strength, but its small so instead of being able to carry 200 lb., they can only carry 100 lb. (square-cube law says smaller things are proportionately stronger relative to their mass) and simple leverage means it can’t use a 3’ blade without using both hands and can’t use reach weapons at all. It also has to use its standard action for movement if it hopes to keep up with a human just using their move action and despite that 20 Strength its got a base -3 to its Jump check.

So a max strength kobold warrior is still weaker than a typical 12-13 Strength male laborer (10 is the average all humans, including women, sedentary males, the sickly and elderly) and it’s biggest two-handed sword strikes are doing 1d8+5 and even its spear attack can’t hit further than 5’ away while a 20 Strength human using a longspear is doing 1d10+7 at 10’ away (or 2d6+7 with a fullblade or greataxe at 5’).

But allowing that 20 Strength means that there’s a point to actually building a Kobold warrior because the melee hit and damage bonuses are still there for them.

By contrast, relying on no attribute bonus or even a penalty will probably skew things along the margins in more unrealistic ways. For example, even a -4 penalty to Strength would leave a Kobold who put their best score in Strength at a 14 and able to lift more than a typical human laborer, but it also utterly discourages any sort of kobold warrior build (unless finesse weapons are a thing) because that -4 is a big hit to their attack and damage rolls.

Raw size modifiers can more than sufficiently deal with differences in relative Strength way more realistically than just a -1 or even -4 to Strength could while still leaving concepts open and viable to fit certain campaigns (ex. a party of all halflings in a campaign where goblins, kobolds and similar small creatures are the common opponents would find strong -for halflings- warriors as viable as a halfling wizard, cleric or thief instead of them being unduly penalized in their core competency by only having a +2 while all the other classes have +5 to what they do best).

Basically, I think it’s more than possible to build a system where the racial traits provide for any physiological differences without actual modifying the default 3-18 at all. So instead of Orcs get +2 Strength, their carry capacity is instead 50% greater. Dwarves don’t get +2 Con, they get racial traits related to being exceptionally durable.

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 15069
My issue is the change totally removes any remaining verisimilitude in the game.  It’s pants on head idiotic that 3 foot tall, 40 pound halflings and kobolds can be as strong as a human or half-orc.

Except in 5e any PC could put points into whatever stat they wanted and get it to the cap of 20. Human, elf, halfling, etc. Its just that some races/variants have a slight edge in getting to the cap. So the whole SJW "waaaah! boo-hoo-hoo! Racial stats is wacist!" is the usual lies and smokescreen to leverage more control and push their agenda. It means nothing and does nothing because its meaningless in the end.

In BX no race got any stat bonuses. Same for OD&D. A halfling could be as strong as a human.

Ghostmaker

  • Chlorine trifluoride
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1714
Dear heaven's this is dumb. I can get dropping stat penalties in some systems if they are to harsh but marking every race the same whats the point might as well drop it for a background system or a point system at that point.
The ability modifiers in 3E for half-orcs were flat broken, as they effectively lost 2 attribute points (+2 STR, -2 INT, -2 CHA) in exchange for being 'orc blooded' (counts as an orc for racial effects) and darkvision 60.

Hoo-fucking-ray.

Say what you will about Pathfinder 1E, but at least half-orcs weren't getting fucked in the ass statistically as compared to 3E. And while they got the generic '+2 to any one attribute', at least it came along with darkvision 60, +2 to intimidate checks, orc ferocity, and weapon proficiency with greataxes and falchions.
They actually explained in the 3e DMG in a section about adding new races that the designers felt Strength was more valuable than other stats and so, unless it was Dex, required a 2 for 1 tradeoff for Strength bonuses.

Worth remembering is that this decision was made back before there were many options to actually replace Strength with other stats for melee attacks and the only stat that added to weapon damage.

Not saying it was a great decision, but if you squint you can at least see the line of thinking.

My preference for dealing with size interacting with attributes is carry modifiers and weapon restrictions. A slower speed (shorter legs) and shorter jumping distance (in 3e all the small PC races had speeds of 20’ which also imposed a -8 to all jump checks) are also elements that can ensure that Strength scores are relative to size.

Sure, a kobold can have a 20 Strength, but its small so instead of being able to carry 200 lb., they can only carry 100 lb. (square-cube law says smaller things are proportionately stronger relative to their mass) and simple leverage means it can’t use a 3’ blade without using both hands and can’t use reach weapons at all. It also has to use its standard action for movement if it hopes to keep up with a human just using their move action and despite that 20 Strength its got a base -3 to its Jump check.

So a max strength kobold warrior is still weaker than a typical 12-13 Strength male laborer (10 is the average all humans, including women, sedentary males, the sickly and elderly) and it’s biggest two-handed sword strikes are doing 1d8+5 and even its spear attack can’t hit further than 5’ away while a 20 Strength human using a longspear is doing 1d10+7 at 10’ away (or 2d6+7 with a fullblade or greataxe at 5’).

But allowing that 20 Strength means that there’s a point to actually building a Kobold warrior because the melee hit and damage bonuses are still there for them.

By contrast, relying on no attribute bonus or even a penalty will probably skew things along the margins in more unrealistic ways. For example, even a -4 penalty to Strength would leave a Kobold who put their best score in Strength at a 14 and able to lift more than a typical human laborer, but it also utterly discourages any sort of kobold warrior build (unless finesse weapons are a thing) because that -4 is a big hit to their attack and damage rolls.

Raw size modifiers can more than sufficiently deal with differences in relative Strength way more realistically than just a -1 or even -4 to Strength could while still leaving concepts open and viable to fit certain campaigns (ex. a party of all halflings in a campaign where goblins, kobolds and similar small creatures are the common opponents would find strong -for halflings- warriors as viable as a halfling wizard, cleric or thief instead of them being unduly penalized in their core competency by only having a +2 while all the other classes have +5 to what they do best).

Basically, I think it’s more than possible to build a system where the racial traits provide for any physiological differences without actual modifying the default 3-18 at all. So instead of Orcs get +2 Strength, their carry capacity is instead 50% greater. Dwarves don’t get +2 Con, they get racial traits related to being exceptionally durable.
Yeah, I heard that. Except that it betrays some very, very stupid assumptions and willful blindness about how the attributes functioned in 3E (this isn't directed at you personally, but at the devs who spouted that nonsense).

Martial classes had already been slapped with the nerf bat by stripping them of the ability to make multiple attacks except as part of a full attack (which obviates any movement ability). Mobility? Sorry, you have to stand still if you want to swing more than once. This is, I think, one more aspect of the design.

I like the idea of non-attribute buffs -- again, it's harsh enough that half-orcs effectively lose two attribute points from character creation, but they get practically nothing in terms of such abilities. I play in a lot of games where point buy is a thing, and as a result attribute points are fairly fungible -- so half-orcs lose out, bigly.