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Moxxmix
2019-05-29, 06:37 PM
This is purely for my own enjoyment. I know this has the potential to break all kinds of things, but I still want to have fun playing around with how it could work, and how it might affect the game.

Despite that caveat, I'm still looking for feedback on the design and implications of these changes.


New Stats

This is derived from an idea that someone had about dumping Constitution as a stat, because of its limited impact on the game. I played with the idea a little, and then ran with it a bit further. Thus, a complete rework of the base stats of the game.


Consolidate and rearrange attributes into five stats (renamed to avoid confusion with the original stats):


Body - Strength, constitution, physical resilience, athleticism, health
Agility - Hand-eye coordination, body coordination, fine manipulation, precision, balance
Mind - Memory, attention, retention of detail, problem solving, accumulated knowledge, perception, analysis
Presence - Notability, sociability, attractiveness, leadership, reading people
Spirit - Attunement, purity, magical capability


3-character abbreviation: Bod, Agi, Mnd, Pre, Spr
4-character abbreviation: Body, Agil, Mind, Pres, Sprt

I'll mostly use the 4-character abbreviation, I think.


Review:

Body: This is a combination of Str and Con. As far as skills go, Str and Con pretty much go together. Most characters that boost Strength will also boost Constitution (and vice-versa), so keeping them as separate stats doesn't add very much except add to the cost of stat allocation.

Agility: This is basically the same as Dexterity. It might also be called Coordination. The only reasons I chose Agility is to avoid confusion with the old stat, and because it's shorter. It covers most of the same things as Dex, while also handling targeting ability (ie: to-hit rolls).

Mind: Intelligence is almost always a dump stat for anyone other than Wizards. There should be better motivation for having it as a stat. Part of the reason for having it as a dump stat was because of the association of the three mental stats with magical power. I've removed that, which changes the dynamic balance of stat choices. I also shifted some of the skills and saves around, to make Mind a more attractive option aside from pure roleplaying choice.

Presence: A renaming of Charisma. It covers most of the same things as Charisma, while allowing somewhat better association with the social skills due to separation from using it as a magic stat.

Spirit: Int/Wis/Cha as magic casting stats creates a bias in their usage and the resulting skills that characters end up with. I want to separate that idea. As such, I'm refactoring magic out into its own stat entirely. This allows some interesting secondary modifications, which I'll get to later.

Wisdom: Wisdom has always been rather difficult to reconcile as a stat to correspond with skills, since its intrinsic meaning has always been rather vague. As such, along with Constitution, I'm removing it as a stat entirely, and distributing its skills among other stats.


Summary of conversions:

Strength → Body
Constitution → Body
Dexterity → Agility
Intelligence → Mind/Spirit
Wisdom → Body/Mind/Presence/Spirit
Charisma → Presence/Spirit


Skills

With the adjustments to the stats, there's a corresponding adjustment to the skills:

Survival is moved from Wisdom to Body.
Medicine and Perception are moved from Wisdom to Mind.
Insight and Animal Handling are moved from Wisdom to Presence.
Arcana is moved from Intelligence to Spirit. A new skill, Arcane Lore, replaces the Mind version of Arcana.


Body

Athletics
Survivial

Agil

Acrobatics
Sleight of Hand
Stealth

Mind

Arcane Lore
History
Investigation
Medicine
Nature
Perception
Religion

Pres

Animal Handling
Deception
Insight
Intimidation
Persuasion
Performance

Sprt

Arcana



Summary:

Body retains Athletics, and gains Survival, which to me always felt more like a physical skill than a mental one. EG: Setting up camp, foraging for food, anticipating and avoiding bad weather, watching out for dangerous trails or wild animals, etc. It's a reflection of time spent without the comforts of civilization doing the work for you.

Note: I could see moving Survival to be under Mind, but don't quite feel confident in that yet.

Mind gains Medicine and Perception, both of which are decidedly mental disciplines. In the case of Perception, it's about being attentive, noticing details, and being able to figure out what those details mean.

Presence gains Insight and Animal Handling, both of which are more about social interaction than mental power.

Spirit gains only the skill Arcana (which I'll elaborate more on later). It's the only casting stat, and remains separate from almost all skills. This allows greater flexibility in what skills you do focus on, and prevents the magic stat from being a double-dip, or a forced assignment of personality based on class.


Optional new skills:


Mind

Navigation
Research
Tactics and Traps

Pres

Etiquette
Streetwise
Charisma



These are skill checks that occasionally come up, but for which there are no explicit skills, and that feel like they cover enough that they should be complete skills themselves. Navigation is a common one that usually gets dumped on Perception, even though it's rather different in practice. Similar for Research. Etiquette and Streetwise are additional ways of interacting with people.

Charisma: This is a skill to attract people to you, gain followers, seduce, be remembered by the people you meet, and so forth. While most Pres/Cha skills are interaction-based, this is more about long-term effects.


Arcana

Arcana was split into two forms: Lore, based on Mind, and practice, based on Spirit. Lore is what you'd expect lore to be: Knowledge of magical practices and systems, types of magic, history of magical spells, prevalence of magic in different realms, etc. Practice, on the other hand, reflects experience with actually using magic feeling, manipulating, shaping, and directing magic.

I had a thought about building an actual skill-based magic system, but that's a (large) project for another day. Instead, I only want to extract a handful of spells out of the manual, and put them under the skill instead.

As such, if you have proficiency in Arcana, you can use the following spells as skill checks instead: Prestidigitation-class cantrips; Detect Magic; and Identify. Roughly speaking, cantrip effects would be of trivial difficulty [5, maybe 10], Detect Magic would be of moderate to high difficulty [10-15], and Identify would be high to very high difficulty [15-20].

Why all these changes to Arcana? Well, that gets into what I'm imagining Spirit to be. To get to that, first I'm taking a side trip down Saving Throw lane.


Saving Throws

Examples of saving throws appropriate to each stat:

Body: Handles saves vs strength or resilience checks (grapples, poisons, diseases, etc)
Agil: Handles saves vs movement checks (entanglement, falls, dodging AOEs, etc)
Mind: Handles saves vs mental effects (illusions, magical blindness, psychic attacks, reading thoughts, etc)
Pres: Handles saves vs mental influences (charm, dominate, fear, etc)
Sprt: Handles saves vs spiritual effects (necrotic attacks, antimagic, spirit drain, Turn Undead, banish, polymorph, etc)


Spirit in particular is resistance against raw magical or soul/spirit-affecting attacks. It also becomes the resistance against something like Turn Undead for undead creatures, and thus suggests a medium by which undead can even exist. That is, Spirit is their binding energy, what you disrupt when you destroy them, and what they feed on to sustain themselves. Special note: casters with high Spirit are extra juicy targets.

Also, rather than have a single catch-all stat for most mental effects (Wisdom), they are largely split between Mind and Presence the equivalent of Intelligence and Charisma, which were largely lacking in useful saves before. Mind saves are against things that you can figure out, such as illusions. Presence saves are against things that affect your emotions directly, such as fear. This should give a solid justification for wanting decent ratings in each stat.


With the change in stats, I'd have to figure out what the default saves are for all the classes. I came up with this:

By Class:

Barbarian - Body, Pres
Bard - Pres, Mind
Cleric - Pres, Sprt
Druid - Body, Agil
Fighter - Body, Mind
Monk - Agil, Sprt
Paladin - Body, Sprt
Ranger - Agil, Mind
Rogue - Agil, Pres
Sorcerer - Body, Mind
Warlock - Pres, Sprt
Wizard - Mind, Sprt

By Stat:

Body: Barbarian (Pres), Druid (Agil), Fighter (Mind), Paladin (Sprt), Sorcerer (Mind)
Agil: Druid (Body), Monk (Sprt), Ranger (Mind), Rogue (Pres)
Mind: Bard (Pres), Fighter (Body), Ranger (Agil), Sorcerer (Body), Wizard (Sprt)
Pres: Barbarian (Body), Bard (Mind), Cleric (Sprt), Rogue (Agil), Warlock (Sprt)
Sprt: Cleric (Pres), Monk (Agil), Paladin (Body), Warlock (Pres), Wizard (Mind)


I'm happy with most of them, though there's a couple that are a little sketchy.

New: Spreadsheet (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yi0npJuthbA7ePat0MMuoY2UD6Lp6OLQ/view?usp=sharing) detailing old and new saving throws per spell.

Stat Buy

I considered adjusting the points allocated for a stat buy, and decided that there's really no reason to change it. Take the standard array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) and simply drop the 8 (which costs 0 points), and you're left with (15, 14, 13, 12, 10), which is a perfectly reasonable set of values for a 5-stat system. You can still sacrifice points to go below 10 in order to boost up one of the other stats, but it no longer assumes that you're going to be starting with an 8 somewhere. Which is fine, because we don't want to encourage the idea of a "dump stat". All the stats are important to various degrees, and merely being average (having a +0 stat mod) is already pretty limiting.


Further implications and review

Spirit

So now I can more fully speak on what Spirit actually is.

Between skills and saving throws, the idea of Spirit is starting to take shape. It is the source of magic, and/or the ability to manipulate magic. It is the power of the soul. It is what keeps the dead alive when they should have passed on. It is what allows you to maintain your sense of self, such as resisting polymorph.

Having a strong awareness and skill in shaping magic Arcana allows you to manipulate magic directly, in small ways. It allows you to see magic. It would be the source of the Paladin's ability to detect undead, or other unnatural, extra-planar creatures that simply do not 'belong'.

It is the key to connecting with the gods, and thus the cleric's ability to channel their power, since it's a reflection of the soul. It is the tool that allows a wizard to craft and shape his spells. It is what binds a warlock to his patron. It is the raw essence of a sorcerer. It is a monk's ki.

It is the non-physical quintessence of a person that allows him to see beyond physical reality, and begin to be able to manipulate it. It is the light reflecting off of the soul.

And, on the flip side, it is the power that undead, or other monsters lacking in Spirit, crave. It is the energy that cultists steal during a human sacrifice. It is the part of a person that shapes her on the material level, such that, while it may resist a polymorph, it may actually force that change, such as with a werewolf.

As an aside, this does weaken a little of the barriers between different casting types, since it's easier to cast magic between "stat" schools. But since that bleed-through was already happening to an extent anyway, this doesn't actually change too much.


To-Hit


Something I mentioned earlier on is that Agility is your to-hit stat. I mean that in the broadest sense, as this is another potential change. Specifically, all attacks should use agility for the to-hit roll, whether that's a dagger, a greatsword, or a firebolt.

Agility is hand-eye coordination. That is, your aim your ability to hit your (possibly moving) target. That doesn't change just because you're using a big weapon, or casting a spell.

One might, then, think that this penalizes a heavy weapon fighter compared to a light weapon fighter, since he'd have to boost two stats instead of just one. But that thought would be wrong.

The damage you can do with a weapon depends on how well you can use your body to transfer force into your opponent, and this is the same whether you use a dagger or a greatsword. The greatsword does more overall damage because it's the bigger weapon, and thus adds its own weight to the equation (reflected in the higher damage die). But the damage you personally contribute to the attack depends on the strength of your Body. This includes ranged weapons, where your Body is used to create the potential energy that is unleashed. Magic is similar, except that it uses Spirit in place of Body.


What does this mean? It means that all attacks of any sort use Agility to hit. Physical attacks use Body for damage, while magical attacks use Spirit for damage.

Now, that provides a balance for physical fighters, and encourage two primary stats instead of only a single stat, which somewhat balances out the removal of Con as a stat, but magic users have a way around this: Cast spells that require saves, rather than attacks. In that case, you only have a single stat that matters: Spirit.

Of course, the game already allows that single stat focus, and is balanced around it. At the same time, casters no longer get the automatic boost to a bunch of skills just because the skills are associated with their casting stat. A cleric is not automatically good at Perception; a sorcerer is not automatically good at Deception; a wizard is not automatically good at Investigation.

Overall, I don't feel that there is a strong loss of balance due to the changes. Others may notice things I don't, but until then I think I'm OK with this change.


Based on further discussion in the thread, I'm revising the idea of to-hit and to-damage.

To-damage bonuses are handled either by Body (for physical attacks) or Spirit (for non-physical/magical attacks).

To-hit bonuses are split up among the stats based on the attack type:

Physical melee attacks use Body.

Thrown weapons use Agility.

Ranged attacks (both physical and magical) use Mind.

Psionic attacks use Presence. [Optional]

Magical melee (aka: "touch") attacks use Spirit.


This shifts the balance in how stats are used and valued. Agility, for example, cannot be used as a universal offense+defense stat, even if it still has utility with thrown weapons. That prevents it from becoming a single stat that can provide overwhelming benefit compared to the other stats.

Mind captures perception, and is used for any sort of ranged attack where the attacker's role is more about aiming the attack (ie: bows, crossbows, guns, firebolts, etc), as a sort of fire-and-forget, rather than manually controlling a moving target to a destination, such as psionic attacks might behave.

Psionic attacks fall under Presence, as they are more a direct expression of will. [Note: Entirely optional, as there are presently no psionics in game.]

This also makes the saving throw choices per class fit a bit better.


Hit Points

Bonus HP would be based off of Body, the same way it's currently based off of Con.

Concentration

Concentration checks would be based off of Mind, rather than Con. Concentration reflects the ability to maintain focus and alertness, rather than the ability to take a hit. Of course that does imply that there might be other ways to make someone lose concentration than attacking him. The prostitute trying to lure the young lad into the brothel might present quite a challenge for maintaining that Alter Self spell, for example.

Armor

Use Agility just like Dexterity was used before.

Kyutaru
2019-06-02, 11:23 PM
Divorcing spellcasting from the main stats seems like a fine idea if you want to enhance martials a bit. Fallout's SPECIAL system did the same with Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. In it you have Wisdom renamed Perception and more vital to hit chance while Agility is only half as strong as Dexterity once was with Luck serving as an additional element across the board. It certainly took care of that old "Dexterity is too good, Wisdom is too useless" problem that plagued early D&D. Charisma was always a good stat for interacting with people as a solo player (aka Fallout, some D&D) since it decided your initial NPC reaction adjustment or for leading a small force of minions (leadership D&D) but Wisdom rarely had a use for people who weren't clerics, the ultimate dump stat. Clerics didn't even need Wisdom themselves, a 3 Wisdom was fine and let you cast everything, it was purely an XP boost for them. Even Intelligence was more useful to more people because of checks and chance to learn new magic. Having a separate stat for magic and mental skills lets players better decide what they wish to focus on without arbitrarily impacting the other. They still have magic if they want to charm someone. Anyway, your system retains the old Dexterity is amazing for seven hundred reasons problem and that may be something you want to divide up between other stats.

Moxxmix
2019-06-03, 01:06 AM
Divorcing spellcasting from the main stats seems like a fine idea if you want to enhance martials a bit. Fallout's SPECIAL system did the same with Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. In it you have Wisdom renamed Perception and more vital to hit chance while Agility is only half as strong as Dexterity once was with Luck serving as an additional element across the board. It certainly took care of that old "Dexterity is too good, Wisdom is too useless" problem that plagued early D&D. Charisma was always a good stat for interacting with people as a solo player (aka Fallout, some D&D) since it decided your initial NPC reaction adjustment or for leading a small force of minions (leadership D&D) but Wisdom rarely had a use for people who weren't clerics, the ultimate dump stat. Clerics didn't even need Wisdom themselves, a 3 Wisdom was fine and let you cast everything, it was purely an XP boost for them. Even Intelligence was more useful to more people because of checks and chance to learn new magic. Having a separate stat for magic and mental skills lets players better decide what they wish to focus on without arbitrarily impacting the other. They still have magic if they want to charm someone. Anyway, your system retains the old Dexterity is amazing for seven hundred reasons problem and that may be something you want to divide up between other stats.
What aspects of Dexterity do you think would be good to split up? At the moment it has:

Saves: I think I've split up the saving throw roles better, so that dex doesn't stand out especially compared to the others, and that they each have a fairly prominent role. I might need to review the saves list, though, to make sure I'm not being biased.

Armor: Not sure what to do about this one. Would likely require a full rethink of the armor system. Coincidentally, someone else is working on an armor variant right now, so I might look into that for ideas.

Skills: Dex has never had a particularly broad range of skills, and the few skills it has seem appropriate.

"Dex fighter" (of whatever class): By splitting to-hit from to-damage, you can't focus exclusively on dex for max combat power. (Or str, for that matter, though that at least didn't double down with offense and defense in a single stat.)

The main thing I see is that an Agility rogue is still almost as effective as a Dex rogue. Since most of their damage comes from Sneak Attack, the loss of a couple points of damage due to it being based on Body instead of Dex won't have much impact. For non-rogues, that's a much more substantial impact.

On the other hand, that's not an issue with the stat being overpowered for rogue, but rather that you don't need stats for damage as much. So I don't think that in particular is a flaw that needs to be addressed.

Kyutaru
2019-06-03, 02:20 AM
What aspects of Dexterity do you think would be good to split up?
Presently it's the best combat stat in D&D because it combines AC, reflex saves, most mechanical skills, and to-hit chance for many types of characters and spells. You have made the to-hit chance apply to everyone's attacks which makes it even more valuable. Strength is still valuable having been combined with Constitution but I see the Mind and Presence stats as now being far inferior to Agility in terms of combat viability. They exist purely as defensive stats or used in roleplay. Agility does faaaar too much for how important chance to hit is in a combat RPG. A similar stat exists in Pillars of Eternity which makes stacking that stat incredibly necessary and powerful, that's without a significant defense advantage too and they even attempted to divide the damage from the accuracy. The issue with that was damage doesn't matter, accuracy does. Avoid stacking hit chances on a single stat that also serves as your primary defensive stat for hit rolls. Then it just becomes a game of "Who has higher Agility?" for all things as they attempt to push their rolls up while also dropping yours down.

Fallout solved the problem by having the accuracy stat completely different depending on attack with Perception being a fairly dominant stat for gunplay yet still not offering any defensive advantages on top of that. You have removed Wisdom so that is not an option. You have removed the Strength accuracy bonus so that too is not an alternative to stacking Agility. You don't even have the Luck element that soft nerfs the existing stats to create a dual-stat dependency for evasion. All classes will require Agility and favor it above all others. It's one thing to allow Agile fighters to combine small parts of defense and offense but another thing to turn the stat into the one-stop-shop for all combatants. Moba games handle accuracy and damage independently of the Agility stat, saving it strictly for the slight damage and defense increases it bestows while having alternate methods of calculating chance to hit and damage dealt (only Agility classes benefit from stacking Agility).

What's important is to give the proper classes a reason to wish to stack their favored stat without feeling compelled into also stacking Agility to even be a competent combatant. Single stat dependency is a combat format best avoided.

Caelestion
2019-06-03, 04:31 AM
You could perhaps split off magical combat, such that martial combat uses Agility to hit and Body to damage, but magical attacks use Mind to hit and Spirit to damage.

Moxxmix
2019-06-04, 12:32 AM
OK, I've done a long examination of spells and spell saves. I compared the current saves with what I'd make the saves under the new stats. Full spreadsheet can be seen here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yi0npJuthbA7ePat0MMuoY2UD6Lp6OLQ/view?usp=sharing).

Most saves didn't really change. Of those that did, the following covers the broad rules used (though there were some that there more specific to individual spells):

Direct transformative spells, soul-affecting spells, and many necrotic spells, use Spirit for a save.

Small-scale AOEs (15' cone, 5' radius, or 10' cube), line attacks, and several single-target spells generally use Agility for the save. This is on the assumption that the ability to move is likely to allow you to avoid most of the damaging effect. If you could move one square and be out of the area of effect, Agility should help.

Larger AOEs, and non-elemental (eg: insects, disease, etc) attacks generally use Body as a save. If simply stepping out of the way isn't enough, then either athletic prowess (eg: diving/jumping/using cover/etc) or raw physical build would be used to help mitigate the damage.

Mind gets illusions, commands, and psychic attacks. Presence gets deceptions, fear, charms, and dominations.


Overall, mental effects have a better distribution of saves 29 Mind, 21 Presence, 23 Spirit, and 13 discovery (Mind) checks, VS 9 Int, 45 Wis, 13 Cha, and 13 discovery (Int) checks.

Physical effects have less they can distribute across, since I only have two stats, and still favors Agility, but not as lopsidedly as before. There's now 66 Body, 48 Agility, and 30 attacks (which favor Agility because they target AC), vs 20 Str, 43 Con, 59 Dex, 30 attack (likewise favoring Dex).

Under the standard game stats, Dex is beneficial by 4.5:1 vs Str, and 2:1 vs Con. (Dex is overwhelmingly preferable to Str, and largely preferable to Con.) Under the new stats, Agility is beneficial by 6:5 over Body (very nearly on par).

There's still a bit of bias to favor Agility, but it is not an overwhelmingly "must have" stat in terms of saves. Even the advantage it does have isn't quite as strong because medium and heavy armor cap the utility of Dex/Agil for the AC portion of the benefit.


You could perhaps split off magical combat, such that martial combat uses Agility to hit and Body to damage, but magical attacks use Mind to hit and Spirit to damage.

Hmmm. Kyutaru's arguments are compelling, and this does give me an idea because of a coincidental correlation.

Possible setups:

1) Agility for to-hit for melee, Mind for to-hit for ranged. This applies to both physical and magical attacks. So a bow, or Firebolt, would use Mind to hit, and a dagger, or Shocking Grasp, would use Agility to hit. The correlation would largely come from Perception being a Mind skill, and that being needed for ranged accuracy. It also fits a bit better with the Ranger saves that I'd picked.

2) Use Body for both to-hit and to-damage for physical attacks. This would be like using Str for everything. Agility remains useful for defense, saves, and delicate manipulation (ie: skills), but not combat attacking (except perhaps combat maneuvers). The magic side would likely use Spirit for both to-hit and to-damage, to mirror that.

3) Body for to-hit for melee, Mind for to-hit for ranged. Similar to above.

4) Body for to-hit for physical melee, Mind for to-hit for ranged (both), Spirit for to-hit for magical melee.


I'm most inclined to #4. Melee magical attacks (eg: Shocking Grasp) are about hitting at close range by manipulating a magical effect, rather than using your body to hit with a weapon. That sounds like something Spirit would be better suited for. Body easily suits melee physical attacks, while Mind still seems like a good fit for ranged attacks of all sorts.

Kyutaru
2019-06-04, 12:49 AM
Number four seems reasonable enough. It may make Monks stronger than usual but that isn't necessarily a bad thing given the state of them in 5e. It would also affect psionic Mystics but that class is better than everything anyway.

Caelestion
2019-06-04, 03:45 AM
That seems reasonable to me too. So, if I've got this right, it's now Body to hit/dmg for physical melee attacks, Spirit to hit/dmg for magical melee attacks, Mind to hit/Body to dmg for physical ranged attacks and Mind to hit/Spirit to dmg for magical ranged attacks.

Moxxmix
2019-06-04, 12:44 PM
That seems reasonable to me too. So, if I've got this right, it's now Body to hit/dmg for physical melee attacks, Spirit to hit/dmg for magical melee attacks, Mind to hit/Body to dmg for physical ranged attacks and Mind to hit/Spirit to dmg for magical ranged attacks.

Yep. Though I might allow Agility to act as to-hit for thrown weapons. It's a smaller use case, and seems appropriate, though it does start feeling a bit overcrowded in the list of stats to use for to-hit, so it's just a "maybe" for now.

Kyutaru
2019-06-04, 12:53 PM
Yep. Though I might allow Agility to act as to-hit for thrown weapons. It's a smaller use case, and seems appropriate, though it does start feeling a bit overcrowded in the list of stats to use for to-hit, so it's just a "maybe" for now.
DOTA uses a different damage stat depending on archetype. Feel free to use all of the stats for hit.

Body - To Hit with Melee
Agility - To Hit with Thrown
Mind - To Hit with Projectiles
Presence - To Hit with Psionics
Spirit - To Hit with Touch

Melee works on strength bypassing thick armor, thrown works on dexterity to hurl things, projectiles need perception to guide them, psionics require force of personality to penetrate the psyche, and touch is easy physically but needs precise channeling to force the soul energy into the target which their soul will resist.

Moxxmix
2019-06-04, 01:31 PM
DOTA uses a different damage stat depending on archetype. Feel free to use all of the stats for hit.

Body - To Hit with Melee
Agility - To Hit with Thrown
Mind - To Hit with Projectiles
Presence - To Hit with Psionics
Spirit - To Hit with Touch

Melee works on strength bypassing thick armor, thrown works on dexterity to hurl things, projectiles need perception to guide them, psionics require force of personality to penetrate the psyche, and touch is easy physically but needs precise channeling to force the soul energy into the target which their soul will resist.

Ah, yes. That's a nice setup. I like it.

Caelestion
2019-06-04, 06:19 PM
It also has the disadvantage of being easy to forget. Computer games can be as complex as you like; P&P RPGs tend to be a bunch of easy rules, with all the complicated stuff layered on top. Having all five stats to hit, depending on which corner case you're using, seems like an open invitation for people not to bother.

Inmate XIII
2019-06-04, 06:38 PM
I don't know if I really like the comination of Sta and Con, simply because it can break the immersion if you want to build a less squishy caster, e.g. making a Sorc and having Body instead of Con as your secondary stat, suddenly, your sorceror can deal a melee hit on par with a paladin.

Kyutaru
2019-06-04, 06:50 PM
I don't know if I really like the comination of Sta and Con, simply because it can break the immersion if you want to build a less squishy caster, e.g. making a Sorc and having Body instead of Con as your secondary stat, suddenly, your sorceror can deal a melee hit on par with a paladin.

If you wish to be less squishy and not overly strong, perhaps training your physical body up isn't the way to do this. Instead take the Tough feat or Durable or Heavy Armor Master. They enhance your fortitude without enhancing your stats.

Moxxmix
2019-06-04, 08:52 PM
It also has the disadvantage of being easy to forget. Computer games can be as complex as you like; P&P RPGs tend to be a bunch of easy rules, with all the complicated stuff layered on top. Having all five stats to hit, depending on which corner case you're using, seems like an open invitation for people not to bother.
Hmmm. I keep waffling on this. On the one hand, we already have 5 combat stats, due to the three mental stats each being what's used for certain schools of magic, so it's not like it's a sudden increase in complexity. And while there's a placeholder for psionics, there's no actual psionics in play yet (UA notwithstanding), so it's more like four slots.

While I wouldn't mind simplifying, I don't think it would be useful to simplify them at this stage of development. They feel like they cover broad enough topics that are easy enough to grasp that there shouldn't be an issue associating each type with each stat. It even feels simpler than the existing system in some ways. (EG: You can use a dagger using Dex, unless you want to use Str. You use Int for magic, unless you're using Wis for magic, or maybe Cha for magic. No, your Str doesn't help you use a longbow. Etc, etc.)

I don't know if I really like the comination of Sta and Con, simply because it can break the immersion if you want to build a less squishy caster, e.g. making a Sorc and having Body instead of Con as your secondary stat, suddenly, your sorceror can deal a melee hit on par with a paladin.
In addition to what Kyutaru said, also consider that the sorcerer won't have proficiency in using a sword (never mind things like multiattack), so won't be nearly as good at it. Just because he's buff enough to swing a sword around a little doesn't suddenly make him a melee fighter. There's plenty of room to handle the roleplaying differences in there.

Jane_Smith
2019-06-04, 11:16 PM
My only gripe with any of this is the name of the magic stat being "Spirit". Mainly due to the reason - not everything has a spirit and/or soul. Just like a mindless drone would likely have no "Mind" value. Perhaps just name it "Magic" Attribute? Your magical/supernatural affinity in general? Its a minor complaint, but, it does bug me.

Caelestion
2019-06-05, 06:18 AM
The Might & Magic CRPGs split divine magic into Body, Mind and Spirit. I assumed that it was a throwback to that.

Moxxmix
2019-06-19, 11:15 PM
So, everything I've built up here is based on how to treat player characters. However when considering how this model would work when creating monsters, certain issues arose.

For example, a number of spells are gated by Int. Animal Friendship, for example, won't work on a creature with an Int of 4 or higher. Detect Thoughts goes in the other direction, where it won't work on a creature that has an Int of 3 or less.

So Int is being used as a measure to determine whether a creature can be considered sentient, more or less. If it's intelligent to have thoughts, it can't be tricked with something like Animal Friendship. If it's not intelligent enough, it doesn't have thoughts to detect.

While I've moved stuff like Perception into the Mind category, the original set of stats had Wisdom as the base stat for things like Perception, which were independent of whether the creature was sentient or not. That is, a separation between being able to think complex thoughts, and being able to perceive the outside world.

The skills that fall under Wisdom:

Animal Handling
Insight
Medicine
Perception
Survival

Of those, Insight, Perception, and perhaps Survival seem like 'natural' skills things that you don't need complex thought in order to accomplish. Animal Handling, and especially Medicine, however, are not within that definition, as they require training and abstract thought to accomplish.

Now I've moved Insight and Animal Handling to the Presence stat category, which includes several skills that don't have as strong a connection to abstract thought. The Presence skill list includes:

Animal Handling
Deception
Insight
Intimidation
Persuasion
Performance
* Charisma
* Etiquette
* Streetwise


An animal can intimidate, or fake an injury, or try to get you to pet it, etc. Heck, a sheep dog can do Animal Handling. Others of those skills definitely require intelligence, but not Intelligence the stat.

So, of the skills that we're working with, the problematic one is Perception, with perhaps Survival as a secondary. Insight and Animal Handling have already been moved, and their use shouldn't be gated by some sort of sentience score. Survival doesn't either, but since I moved it under Body, it makes me wonder about its use. A rat would have a very low Body score, but is a champion of survival. Other uncertainties I had about Survival under Body also resurface.

So it comes down to deciding what to do with Perception and Survival. Also maybe the optional Navigation skill, which is closely related to the other two. Suppose I put the sixth stat back in? "Awareness" seems like a good collection. Maybe bring Insight back into that fold as well. Not Investigation, though, which is still a method of using the Mind.

Awareness

Insight
Navigation
Perception
Survival


So the overall list would become:


Body

Athletics

Agil

Athletics
Sleight of Hand
Stealth

Mind

Arcane Lore
History
Investigation
Medicine
Nature
Religion
Research
Tactics and Traps

Awre

Insight
Navigation
Perception
Survival

Pres

Animal Handling
Charisma
Deception
Etiquette
Intimidation
Persuasion
Performance
Streetwise

Sprt

Arcana






Something I'm considering for the time being is eliminating Acrobatics entirely, and only having Athletics (Body) and Athletics (Agil). It's one of the most annoying conflicting skills, and honestly, anyone good at one of them should be just as good at the other, only limited by which underlying stat is used. Body vs Agil, same as Str vs Dex it's all the same thing, being good at moving your body the way you want. It's just a matter of brute force vs careful coordination. So there's only one skill, it's just listed under both stats for convenient reference.