All this talk about 5th Edition D&D and the various ups and downs of older editions has my curious about what I might do if I were to redesign D&D according to my own particular whims and thoughts.
As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t come up through D&D and don’t have as much attachment to it, or its sacred cows, as many do. I don’t doubt that my version of the game – as I would go about making it – would lose a lot of people but I think it’s just an interesting exercise to see how, potentially, one might tackle the heritage and structure of The Daddy.
The central aspect that defines any character, guides their options, channels them into their class and most strongly describes who and what they are.
Abilities have traditionally been 3d6 rolls and spanning 3-18. Low statistics have given a penalty and high statistics a bonus. There have been complications like 18/00 and so on but really all it boils down to is the bonus/penalty. The actual statistic number has almost always been irrelevant (unless the GM improvised rolls against statistics) and, frankly, there’s no need for them.
Roll flat or roll and assign is probably the least complex way to go about things, point buy is good for making designed characters but some people like to play it hardcore and play what they roll and roll-and-assign makes a good half-way house for those who want some more control.
So, for the rolling of abilities I think I’d get rid of the score and just go by the bonus. That’s all you need. To get an averaging bell-curve in the statistics I’d want to use multiple dice but I think 2d6 works better than 3d6 for the spread – positive and negative – that we’re after.
I think the statistics themselves are fairly good as a spread and their familiarity to people outweighs any real advantage in changing them. I might, however, be tempted to reinstate the Comeliness stat as a measure – purely – of the physical beauty or handsomeness of a character. I think it’s a useful RP aid, even though Charisma matters far more past a first impression.
Strength: Power in combat, oomph, carrying, breaking.
Dexterity: Ability to get out of the way of harm, speed, manual skill.
Constitution: Toughness, resistance to disease, ability to cope with harm.
Charisma: Charm, wit, warmth, trustworthiness.
Intelligence: Smarts, book learning.
Wisdom: Native cunning, thoughtfulness, depth.
Comeliness: Sex appeal, beauty.