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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    ClericGirl

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    Default Why was dex made so powerful?

    I get the feeling that there is a deep narrative reason for that, since quick and agile, and 'ducking just in the nick of time" is both a cinematic and comic book based way to add drama or tension (resolved) to an action scene. Also, martial arts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Armored Walrus View Post
    Also see the "Incorporating Torchbearer Ideas in 5e" thread to see how ignoring encumbrance helps devalue Str.
    yeah.
    Your 10 Str fighter can wear his studded leather, carry a longbow, a quiver with 20 arrows, a rapier and a shield, a backpack with enough food and water for 1 day in the wilderness, and a handful of coins before he's encumbered. (with the optional encumbrance rules) Hand him a few days' worth of food and water, a couple days worth of torches, some magical items, a few hundred coins, a smattering of gems, and suddenly he's encumbered even with the default encumbrance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Do you use encumbrance? Try it and see why Strength is important.
    This.
    Quote Originally Posted by imanidiot View Post
    My 8th level fighter just with starting gear and a few odds and ends he picked up has 161 pounds of gear. Anyone who doesn't trqck encumbrance should start. It matters more than you think.
    This also.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saiga View Post
    I'm curious about older editions. How exactly did stat advancement work if you were trying to raise both Strength and Dex?
    OD&D and Basic Didn't have it; AD&D didn't have it unless you played Cavalier in UA; 2e didn't have it. Your stats stayed the same forever unless something magical happened to raise or lower them. (Or an item like the girdle of Stone Giant Strength ...)

    I always tried to make sure I had decent dex for all characters in those days, when we didn't just roll straight numbers, since it was useful for both tossing things and dodging things. And reaction, if you got a really good roll.

    Here's a note from Greyhawk, OD&D, Supp 1, that was nearly a default OD&D source: the only class that got an armor class boost for higher dex as the Fighting Man. (IIRC< page 14).

    Giving everyone dex improved AC was OK, IIRC it was present in both AD&D and Basic/Expert/, so the choice to make dex more valuable came very early in the game.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2017-08-10 at 09:32 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Giving everyone dex improved AC was OK, IIRC it was present in both AD&D and Basic/Expert
    I know it was in AD&D because I remember all my wizards having a high dex for specifically that reason.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by grumbaki View Post
    Between the two, dexterity just seems downright better. Sure, Fighter (A) could grab a great sword and pick up great weapon master, but Fighter (B) could just as easily pick up sharpshooter.

    But between the two, just looking at stats...Str seems to get the short end of the stick. Did the designers really think that +1 max AC is worth losing out on one of the best saves, many skills, and initiative?

    And furthermore...is there anything from the designers on this? Because I'm used to pathfinder, where getting dex to damage means jumping through several flaming hoops with your shoe laces tied together and an angry badger mauling your face. It isn't easy. Here, it is just offered up to you.

    Hell...even using a bow, which normally requires alot of strength, only uses dex now.

    Am I missing something?
    about 2/3rds of dex saves also allow strength, and there are some non-dex strength saves.

    strength characters have access to Javalins as a ranged weapon, so Dex chars and Str Chars dont really have that as a weakness. STR gets alot more damage from GWM than dex from SS, and the GWF style is more damage than the Archer combat style.

    by default, the MM has alot more mundane combat damage than magical, so that +1 AC cap matters.

    initiative in 5E is significantly less Omnipotent than in the first 7 editions of DnD, where going first meant the difference between a TPK and a FFlawless Victory at the highest possible power playlevel.

    Bows are exclusively dex weapons because the draw strength of a bow doesnt really matter once it passes ~100 lbs. it matters that you can put the arrows where they will deal the most damage, because you cant hit the point where shock alone becomes a major risk factor against survival
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    initiative in 5E is significantly less Omnipotent than in the first 7 editions of DnD, where going first meant the difference between a TPK and a FFlawless Victory at the highest possible power playlevel.
    Seven... I'm having a hard time grouping the pre-5e game into 7 categories. If you do 1e, 2e, 3e, and 4e, then you are splitting Original/basic/classic into 3 categories which... there would be at least 4, more if RC and the later sets aren't part of BECMI. If you would be so kind, could you split these out into your 7 versions (or make your own schema)?

    0e D&D
    0e D&D + GH supplement
    holmes D&D
    b/x D&D
    becmi D&D
    RC D&D
    The Dungeons & Dragons Game (Denning Boxed set, 1991)
    The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game (1994)
    1e AD&D
    2e AD&D
    2e + PO books
    3e
    3.5
    4e
    4essentials

    Bows are exclusively dex weapons because the draw strength of a bow doesnt really matter once it passes ~100 lbs. it matters that you can put the arrows where they will deal the most damage, because you cant hit the point where shock alone becomes a major risk factor against survival
    I'm sure there are individuals with far more expertise than I who would argue either way about draw strength mattering or not, but I definitely think you are putting more thought into the historicality/realism of this than the designers. Bows are Dex weapons because they wanted to allow Dex-only combat builds (statement of opinion, of course).
    Last edited by Willie the Duck; 2017-08-10 at 10:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    As with most things, its a trade-off.

    STR characters can get max AC without having more than 16 STR, and can dump DEX entirely.
    DEX characters needs to max DEX to get max AC.

    STR saves are uncommon, but tend to be pretty important. (restrained condition, usually)
    DEX saves are common, but tend to be be pretty unimportant. (aoe damage resistance)

    STR characters can push, grapple, and use other handy combat maneuvers.
    DEX characters have a 30% chance to beat STR characters in initiative

    STR characters can build for Heavy Weapons and pole arms, which have awesome feat support and open up lots of melee opportunities.
    DEX characters can use ranged weapons without missing a beat. (ranged weapons also have awesome feat support)

    Basically, as I see it, STR characters are generally better in melee, with more options and relevant abilities. DEX characters have the advantage of not being entirely married to melee. Encumbrance rules sort of make strength more important, but not really, since you can just get a mule or a friendly barbarian to carry your things.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    As with most things, its a trade-off.

    STR characters can get max AC without having more than 16 STR, and can dump DEX entirely.
    DEX characters needs to max DEX to get max AC.

    STR saves are uncommon, but tend to be pretty important. (restrained condition, usually)
    DEX saves are common, but tend to be be pretty unimportant. (aoe damage resistance)

    STR characters can push, grapple, and use other handy combat maneuvers.
    DEX characters have a 30% chance to beat STR characters in initiative

    STR characters can build for Heavy Weapons and pole arms, which have awesome feat support and open up lots of melee opportunities.
    DEX characters can use ranged weapons without missing a beat. (ranged weapons also have awesome feat support)

    Basically, as I see it, STR characters are generally better in melee, with more options and relevant abilities. DEX characters have the advantage of not being entirely married to melee. Encumbrance rules sort of make strength more important, but not really, since you can just get a mule or a friendly barbarian to carry your things.
    I think this is an excellent summary of the important points.
    Last edited by GlenSmash!; 2017-08-10 at 04:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post
    I think this is an excellent summary of the impotent points.
    You got to love unintentional humor.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    A bad design decision is what it was. They made Dex the uber stat and now Strength is close to worthless. It's pretty easy to dump Strength altogether and not have any issues at all.

    Same with mental stats: plenty of uses for Wisdom and Charisma and practically no use for Intelligence unless you're playing a Wizard. 5E is full of Wisdom and Charisma casters but only one class that has a use for Int? Bad decision.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post
    I think this is an excellent summary of the impotent points.
    thanks!

    Also, as an aside: if you can't get heavy armor (most classes can't) you basically need to build DEX to some degree.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Strength isn't less useful on every build, just most of them. Dexterity is the more important stat only if you don't need strength.

    Saying dexterity is better than strength is like saying wisdom is better than intelligence. The latter is true until you play a wizard. The former is true until you play a PM fighter.
    Last edited by Easy_Lee; 2017-08-10 at 02:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Strength isn't less useful on every build, just most of them. Dexterity is the more important stat only if you don't need strength.

    Saying dexterity is better than strength is like saying wisdom is better than intelligence. The latter is true until you play a wizard. The former is true until you play a PM fighter.
    Alternatively, the former is true until you get caught in an entangle spell. The latter is true until you face intellect devourers.

    It's easy to see what abilities have more derived features based on them, but a crippling flaw on any ability is a crippling flaw. The fact that you never use any class ability or skill based on an certain ability isn't saving you when your brain is being eaten. And every single stat has things like that to worry about.

    Also, personally, I find the notion that Dex is a better save than Str to be misguided. It is more common, sure... if you are only facing PC style spellcasters. The notion that it is a common save is highly rooted in analysis of spells, but I feel like Str saves from monsters are what I actually see more often.
    Last edited by jas61292; 2017-08-10 at 02:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    It's also weird that no one has to jump across, push or climb anything in 5e. Damn lazy kids these days, adventuring without ever having to do anything physical somehow.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    thanks!

    Also, as an aside: if you can't get heavy armor (most classes can't) you basically need to build DEX to some degree.
    Medium Armor Master and a 16 Dex go together nicely with Half plate, and you lose the disadvantage to stealth checks. I have this with my Champion.
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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    You got to love unintentional humor.
    Yikes! Is that an issue with low Strength or low Dex?
    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    thanks!

    Also, as an aside: if you can't get heavy armor (most classes can't) you basically need to build DEX to some degree.
    True. I've started many a barbarian with 16 Strength, and 14 Dex. The occasional Ranger too.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Strength weapons do more damage.
    Athletics can be used to knock targets prone to give everyone advantage on attacks against them.
    Strength saves help you from being grappled/restrained by the multitude of enemies with those effects built into their attacks that bypass the normal athletics/acrobatics rules for grappling.
    Athletics lets you climb things while the dex guy with low or even negative strength is going to suffer.

    Strength is just as useful in different situations. People just see initiative and AC bonus when wearing light or no armor and flip out about it.

    Perception is the best, most used skill in game but I never see people argue for maxing wisdom with ASI unless cleric/druid.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post
    Yikes! Is that an issue with low Strength or low Dex?
    Probably more related to low Con :P

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Armored Walrus View Post
    Probably more related to low Con :P
    ^Truth.

    Is there a spell for this by the way? Bigby's standing <censored>?

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post
    ^Truth.

    Is there a spell for this by the way? Bigby's standing <censored>?
    It's why Mage Hand was created.
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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by qube View Post
    well ... playing a DEX 8 tank for a decent amount of time ...
    • yes, +1 AC is worth it. Don't forget that if an enemy can only hit you on a 17, 18, 19 or 20; +1 AC means getting het 25% time less.
    • skills? yeah, don't really care about sleight of hand or stealth or athletics to begin with.
    • Reflex save is usually against damage spells. As a fighter, I got this thing called hit points.
    • Init ... that's the only thing that got hurt by dumping dex. (but ya gotta dump something, right? My 13 CHA got me inspiring leader & fighter multiclass paladin)


    TL;DR: I dumped dex and haven't regretted it.

    Well, lets see about that, shall we? The difference between 2 & 3 rounds... lets take CR7, alphabetically first: Giant Ape. (+2 init; 2x: +9 for 22 damage)

    • 18 Dex fighter (+4 init, AC: 12+4 +2 shield+1 defense = 19)
      61.75% chance to win init; takes 22 damage per round
      --> 22 + 22 + ( (100-61.75%) * 22 ) = 52.415 damage
    • 8 dex fullplate fighter (-1 init: AC: 18+2 shield +1 defense = 21).
      34% chance to win init; takes 17.6 damage per round
      --> 17.6 + 17.6 + ( (100-34%)*17.6) = 46.816 damage


    so ... err ... edge, the guy with 5 lower initiative.
    Same example with 20 dex instead of 18 (+5init AC:12+5+2+1 defense = 20)
    66% chance to win init takes 19,8 damage per round
    --> 19,8 + 19,8 + ((100-66%)*19,8)=46,332[*]8 dex fullplate fighter (-1 init: AC: 18+2 shield +1 defense = 21).
    34% chance to win init; takes 17.6 damage per round
    --> 17.6 + 17.6 + ( (100-34%)*17.6) = 46.816 damage

    So ... err ... edge the guy with 6 more initiative.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galactkaktus View Post
    Same example with 20 dex instead of 18 (+5init AC:12+5+2+1 defense = 20)
    66% chance to win init takes 19,8 damage per round
    --> 19,8 + 19,8 + ((100-66%)*19,8)=46,332[*]8 dex fullplate fighter (-1 init: AC: 18+2 shield +1 defense = 21).
    34% chance to win init; takes 17.6 damage per round
    --> 17.6 + 17.6 + ( (100-34%)*17.6) = 46.816 damage

    So ... err ... edge the guy with 6 more initiative.
    That's...not an edge. It proves the point (again) that an improved chance of winning initiative is overrated, even in a 1-on-1 fight. It's even more overrated in an actual D&D fight.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galactkaktus View Post
    Same example with 20 dex instead of 18 (+5init AC:12+5+2+1 defense = 20)
    66% chance to win init takes 19,8 damage per round
    --> 19,8 + 19,8 + ((100-66%)*19,8)=46,332[*]8 dex fullplate fighter (-1 init: AC: 18+2 shield +1 defense = 21).
    34% chance to win init; takes 17.6 damage per round
    --> 17.6 + 17.6 + ( (100-34%)*17.6) = 46.816 damage

    So ... err ... edge the guy with 6 more initiative.
    yes, a 6 point init difference overcompensates a 1 point of AC difference with less then half a damage per combat.

    Praise the Dexterity

    Hey, considering 15 stat +2 racial +2 from one ASI is only 19 ... you mind if the strength fighter takes heavy armor mastery, boosting his strength to 20 (like your 20 dex), but also getting 3 damage reduction (putting him at 40.432 damage, or 5.9 damage per combat over the dex fighter? )
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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by qube View Post
    yes, a 6 point init difference overcompensates a 1 point of AC difference with less then half a damage per combat.

    Praise the Dexterity

    Hey, considering 15 stat +2 racial +2 from one ASI is only 19 ... you mind if the strength fighter takes heavy armor mastery, boosting his strength to 20 (like your 20 dex), but also getting 3 damage reduction (putting him at 40.432 damage, or 5.9 damage per combat over the dex fighter? )
    Fine by me since the dex fighter will have either atleast 8 more hp because of one higher con mod or in the case of mountain dwarf 5 more speed and other racial bonuses if you use the 15,14,13,12,10,8 array.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    But just to be clear i prefer a str fighter because it opens up the option of grappling or shoving an opponent. And i think it can be advantageous to act after the spellcasters in the party with stuff like fireball and buffs/debuffs.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galactkaktus View Post
    Fine by me since the dex fighter will have either atleast 8 more hp because of one higher con mod or in the case of mountain dwarf 5 more speed and other racial bonuses if you use the 15,14,13,12,10,8 array.
    16 actually, as your max hp increases with 1 hp / lvl, AND when you use your hit dice to heal, you heal 1 extra

    still ... I'd take 5.9 / combat over 16 in total.
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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by qube View Post
    16 actually, as your max hp increases with 1 hp / lvl, AND when you use your hit dice to heal, you heal 1 extra

    still ... I'd take 5.9 / combat over 16 in total.
    To nitpick further 12 every long rest and 4 extra that you get when you go beyond the amounts of hit dice you regain on every long rest. And if you consider critical hits the damage from an attack from a giant ape should deal 1,4 more damage per attack to both the dex and str fighter. Which should lower the 5,9/combat to 5,452/combat.
    Last edited by Galactkaktus; 2017-08-11 at 09:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Seven... I'm having a hard time grouping the pre-5e game into 7 categories. If you do 1e, 2e, 3e, and 4e, then you are splitting Original/basic/classic into 3 categories which... there would be at least 4, more if RC and the later sets aren't part of BECMI. If you would be so kind, could you split these out into your 7 versions (or make your own schema)?

    I'm sure there are individuals with far more expertise than I who would argue either way about draw strength mattering or not, but I definitely think you are putting more thought into the historicality/realism of this than the designers. Bows are Dex weapons because they wanted to allow Dex-only combat builds (statement of opinion, of course).
    the first 7 editions of DnD are:

    ODND
    BECMI/ADND
    BDND (we dont talk about this one)
    2nd Ed
    2nd Revised
    3rd ed
    3rd Revised

    4 + 4E are #8 + 9 of the 10 editions.

    Draw strength matters. but it matters significantly less once you pass a certain point when compared to being able to put the projectiles on target.
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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    the first 7 editions of DnD are:

    ODND
    BECMI/ADND
    BDND (we dont talk about this one)
    2nd Ed
    2nd Revised
    3rd ed
    3rd Revised

    4 + 4E are #8 + 9 of the 10 editions.
    This is truly a bizarre listing. Why would you combine AD&D (1977-79) with the entirely different BECMI line (1983)? Is "BDND" Holmes Basic (1978) or Modvay/Cook B/X (1981)? Why don't we talk about it/them? I guess we really don't talk about RC (1991)!

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Finieous View Post
    This is truly a bizarre listing. Why would you combine AD&D (1977-79) with the entirely different BECMI line (1983)? Is "BDND" Holmes Basic (1978) or Modvay/Cook B/X (1981)? Why don't we talk about it/them? I guess we really don't talk about RC (1991)!
    I will agree, this listing has no basis in history. No way are BECMI and 1e AD&D the same thing (especially not if 2e and 2e revised aren't the same edition).

    RC not being distinct I at least get. It is often considered part of BECMI, as are the '91 and '94 boxed sets. Although whether the minor differences between those and the Mentzer originals (or even the difference between the 1st and second printing Mentzer originals for Basic and Expert) are bigger differences than the differences between Mentzer and Moldvay is a pretty subjective case.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    I will agree, this listing has no basis in history. No way are BECMI and 1e AD&D the same thing (especially not if 2e and 2e revised aren't the same edition).

    RC not being distinct I at least get. It is often considered part of BECMI, as are the '91 and '94 boxed sets. Although whether the minor differences between those and the Mentzer originals (or even the difference between the 1st and second printing Mentzer originals for Basic and Expert) are bigger differences than the differences between Mentzer and Moldvay is a pretty subjective case.
    Yeah, unless you just list out all the separate releases, you have to do some subjective groupings. I'd actually lump OD&D and Holmes Basic together. B/X is its own line. BECMI/RC is its own line.

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    Default Re: Why was dex made so powerful?

    Prof + Str to hit and Str to damage for bows makes significantly more sense than Dex not mattering at all.

    Yes, you need to be able to hit the target - but that's what your proficiency represents. Training is what gives you proper aim (of any stats to add to that, I guess Int or Wis would make the most sense), dexterity is very abstract to apply to that.

    At the very least, I don't know why they didn't make bows something that could be used with Str or Dex like finesse weapons. It makes no sense that strength doesn't confer any benefit to using a bow.

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