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TOPIC: Attribute Design

Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #13

Matthew Hayward wrote:

Bob Chasan wrote:

Matthew Hayward wrote: I'd like to see the AC and Reflex saves be derived from the higher of DEX or INT, unless you are wearing wearing heavy armor (heavy armor could be defined as a torso slot item that is only usable by Cleric, Fighters, and Paladin).

Another idea for casters anyway is additional spells (or re-casting of spells) for high WIS/INT.


It's not an uncommon feat in D&D systems to allow INT to effect AC instead of DEX. The game logic appears to be that intelligence helps you dodge better (e.g. predicting where the blows will land, instead of reacting to where the blows are heading).

I suppose if it has a basis in DnD that’s one thing, but I don’t recall seeing it in any of my 2e stuff.

Makes for some strange scenes, though, right? That 80 year old history professor over there? Yeah, good luck punching him, he is SMART!

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Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #14

Harlax wrote: Limiting Ioun Stones is problematic as we will soon have three treasure enhancing stones.

So a limit that would prevent the use of all three...

Torches and pitchforks.

Besides CHA is already used for another slot

Not following the ioun Stone comment. Additionally, if you want to slot something other than a platinum nugget, no one is going to stop you.

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Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #15

Folks it was a typo. I corrected it to say figurines.

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Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #16

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isauteikisa wrote: No more stats that go towards bonus slots, please. Charisma is already a wasted stat: a better goal is to have each stat contribute -something- to the player by itself, without needing other tokens to make it worth investing in.


The suggested idea for a tome slot is the opposite of that. Currently tomes are slotless and therefore unlimited. Creating a slot limits them and an INT bonus adds to that limit in a small way.

Unless down the road you want characters carrying the equivalent of a small town library.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #17

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Endgame wrote:

Harlax wrote: Limiting Ioun Stones is problematic as we will soon have three treasure enhancing stones.

So a limit that would prevent the use of all three...

Torches and pitchforks.

Besides CHA is already used for another slot

Not following the ioun Stone comment. Additionally, if you want to slot something other than a platinum nugget, no one is going to stop you.


Someone proposed an ioun stone limit of two or three.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #18

Harlax wrote:

isauteikisa wrote: No more stats that go towards bonus slots, please. Charisma is already a wasted stat: a better goal is to have each stat contribute -something- to the player by itself, without needing other tokens to make it worth investing in.


The suggested idea for a tome slot is the opposite of that. Currently tomes are slotless and therefore unlimited. Creating a slot limits them and an INT bonus adds to that limit in a small way.

Unless down the road you want characters carrying the equivalent of a small town library.


Currently 'tome' is just a fancy way of saying 'slotless item that looks like a book on the token'. To my knowledge, there are only 4 in the game at the moment (if anyone knows of more, please correct me):

Carter's Tome of Insight
Gregor's Tome of Focus
Libram of Looting
Tome of Recall

If INT had the primary effect of... well, -anything-, and a secondary bonus of granting an extra tome slot, then I might be more on board. But creating a new slot for a slotless 'type' that only has four instances seems a) premature and b) striking at the wrong end of the problem, which is the fact that slotless in general needs a cap. Because right now, it's not just a small town library players are carrying around: players have enough trinkets on them to open up a magical knick-knacks shop.

The cleaner design space isn't to typeify and then make specialized slots for everything (you get one Rod, one Tome, one Grill, one Bag, etc etc) but instead to cap the total number regardless of what they are.

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Last edit: by isauteikisa.

Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #19

Endgame wrote:

Matthew Hayward wrote:

Bob Chasan wrote:

Matthew Hayward wrote: I'd like to see the AC and Reflex saves be derived from the higher of DEX or INT, unless you are wearing wearing heavy armor (heavy armor could be defined as a torso slot item that is only usable by Cleric, Fighters, and Paladin).

Another idea for casters anyway is additional spells (or re-casting of spells) for high WIS/INT.

Hey Matthew,
I’m having trouble following your logic on how A/C is influenced by INT. Could you walk me through it?


It's not an uncommon feat in D&D systems to allow INT to effect AC instead of DEX. The game logic appears to be that intelligence helps you dodge better (e.g. predicting where the blows will land, instead of reacting to where the blows are heading).

I suppose if it has a basis in DnD that’s one thing, but I don’t recall seeing it in any of my 2e stuff.

Makes for some strange scenes, though, right? That 80 year old history professor over there? Yeah, good luck punching him, he is SMART!


The higher of DEX or INT as the ability modifier for AC was the default in D&D 4e. I think it was a feat in 3e/3.5, which seems the (very loose) foundation for TD mechanics/abilities.

The newer 5e has much lower AC values across the board. Actually, just lower values in general, since it allows a lot less stacking.

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Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #20

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isauteikisa wrote:

Harlax wrote:

isauteikisa wrote: No more stats that go towards bonus slots, please. Charisma is already a wasted stat: a better goal is to have each stat contribute -something- to the player by itself, without needing other tokens to make it worth investing in.


The suggested idea for a tome slot is the opposite of that. Currently tomes are slotless and therefore unlimited. Creating a slot limits them and an INT bonus adds to that limit in a small way.

Unless down the road you want characters carrying the equivalent of a small town library.


Currently 'tome' is just a fancy way of saying 'slotless item that looks like a book on the token'. To my knowledge, there are only 4 in the game at the moment (if anyone knows of more, please correct me):

Carter's Tome of Insight
Gregor's Tome of Focus
Libram of Looting
Tome of Recall

If INT had the primary effect of... well, -anything-, and a secondary bonus of granting an extra tome slot, then I might be more on board. But creating a new slot for a slotless 'type' that only has four instances seems a) premature and b) striking at the wrong end of the problem, which is the fact that slotless in general needs a cap. Because right now, it's not just a small town library players are carrying around: players have enough trinkets on them to open up a magical knick-knacks shop.

The cleaner design space isn't to typeify and then make specialized slots for everything (you get one Rod, one Tome, one Grill, one Bag, etc etc) but instead to cap the total number regardless of what they are.


Do you really believe there will only be four tomes ever.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #21

I'm all for the idea of tying skill check bonuses to stat modifiers; INT or WIS depending on the class. Currently that would be a +3 to Cleric and Elf Wizard, +4 to Druid and Human Wizard. That certainly skews the class balance, but stat changes would likely be part of the package. The 5th level bonuses could shift to some of the mental stats as well to enhance spellcasting.

There is the question of the Bard, who's check doesn't add a numerical bonus. You could add one, such as reducing a monster's elemental resistance, but IMO the Bard as-is doesn't need any sort of buff.

I didn't want to go into any details on how to balance the class stats because that needs to be looked at holistically, but I do hope that expanding skill checks is on the table.

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Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #22

Harlax wrote:

isauteikisa wrote:

Harlax wrote:

isauteikisa wrote: No more stats that go towards bonus slots, please. Charisma is already a wasted stat: a better goal is to have each stat contribute -something- to the player by itself, without needing other tokens to make it worth investing in.


The suggested idea for a tome slot is the opposite of that. Currently tomes are slotless and therefore unlimited. Creating a slot limits them and an INT bonus adds to that limit in a small way.

Unless down the road you want characters carrying the equivalent of a small town library.


Currently 'tome' is just a fancy way of saying 'slotless item that looks like a book on the token'. To my knowledge, there are only 4 in the game at the moment (if anyone knows of more, please correct me):

Carter's Tome of Insight
Gregor's Tome of Focus
Libram of Looting
Tome of Recall

If INT had the primary effect of... well, -anything-, and a secondary bonus of granting an extra tome slot, then I might be more on board. But creating a new slot for a slotless 'type' that only has four instances seems a) premature and b) striking at the wrong end of the problem, which is the fact that slotless in general needs a cap. Because right now, it's not just a small town library players are carrying around: players have enough trinkets on them to open up a magical knick-knacks shop.

The cleaner design space isn't to typeify and then make specialized slots for everything (you get one Rod, one Tome, one Grill, one Bag, etc etc) but instead to cap the total number regardless of what they are.


Do you really believe there will only be four tomes ever.


Ignoring the lesser alchemist's pouches, we have 3 slotless pouches:

Ash's Death Pouch
Greater Alchemist's Pouch
Pouch of Tulz

Do you think there will only be three pouches printed ever? Do we need a pouch slot?

How about horns? Let's do horns. We've got five of those:

Horn of Blasting
Horn of Calling
Horn of Rally
Horn of the Blessed Ox
Horn of the Valkyrie

Granted, this example is a little thin due to the fact that 4/5 of those were printed in one year for that year's theme. But more could be printed if we revisit that theme in a future year. Do we need a slot for horns? Having a general slotless cap would solve the issue cleaner than introducing new slots for everything in my opinion.

And to bring this back to attribute design, I don't think that making INT (or any other attribute for that matter) scale the number of tokens you can bring is a good idea. At the level of play that a lot of us are at, where every token is a tradeoff against another very good token and there are few (if any) blanks on our playmats in coaching, it could provide interesting decisions. But for newer players that already don't fill in all their slots, those stats become completely pointless, and I'd rather see the game move toward a design space where -every- stat has some immediate intrinsic benefit (at least at the traditional even number breakpoints).

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Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #23

isauteikisa wrote: And to bring this back to attribute design, I don't think that making INT (or any other attribute for that matter) scale the number of tokens you can bring is a good idea. At the level of play that a lot of us are at, where every token is a tradeoff against another very good token and there are few (if any) blanks on our playmats in coaching, it could provide interesting decisions. But for newer players that already don't fill in all their slots, those stats become completely pointless, and I'd rather see the game move toward a design space where -every- stat has some immediate intrinsic benefit (at least at the traditional even number breakpoints).


I know that I am newer around here, but I would very much like to reinforce this point: If the mental stats only affect high-level play, where you can equip more tokens, they will be irrelevant for anyone who does not have a full player mat. I suppose this applies more to INT and CHA, because WIS affects will saves.

I'd also like to suggest that "immediate intrinsic benefit" be, when possible, something that directly affects the party card. The reasons for this are that:
-There's already a lot of mental load on a new/infrequent player to remember all the abilities written on the player card, let alone virtual modifiers not printed anywhere
-There's already a lot of pressure on combat DMs to remember arbitrary bonuses and complaints when they forget various modifiers
-I always hear that time is the biggest enemy, and the addition of a set of modifiers each player needs to remind the DM about every action seems like a big time sink.

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Attribute Design 6 months 3 weeks ago #24

Just to be clear, there are a couple other horns
Drinking horn of the bliss
50 GP drinking horn
Minotaur Horn of Alert

I am fine with limiting the total number of slotless, though I think the limit needs to be fairly high.

I actually think adding additional tomes and beads will open up more token design space at all levels, much like we have with figurines.

I would agree that any other benefit needs to be baked into the party card, even if it means a revision of the party card (which would presumably have to happen after class redesign anyhow)
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