Playing characters with Maximum stats

drKevin
Visitor
1 month ago

The first time through the early access I played with fairly generated stats, but the second time through I just set everyone's to 18 (or 19,20 with racial abilities).  I figured I'd related my experience for anyone who was thinking about doing it. 

1) I still failed rolls all the time.  Because of course you will. A +4 isn't all that different from a +3 or even a +2 when added to a d20. It's better, but not so much better that you won't still feel the pain of failing to hit a goblin with 1 hp left despite having a 20 str and advantage. I know the math, but I was still expecting to feel like I was crushing the rolls alot more than I actually did.  So essentially, despite having maxed stats, I didn't feel overpowered in terms of how often I succeeded.  It was about the same, with a mildly better difference when there was one.

1a) still, I could use my whole party to pick locks, because they all had at least a +4 to the roll, and if my two lockpickers failed, I usually rolled high enough by the time my mage tried it. Also, switching to ranged weapons with my cleric or melee weapons with my mage were legitimate options.  So while characters did about as well at what they were supposed to be able to do, they could also do anything else as well.

2) The bonus to damage felt a lot more that I expected.  Having a +4 or +5 felt a lot more than a +3.  Knowing that my minimum damage was 5 or 6  (or 7 with sneak attack, etc) made me feel like I was hitting harder.  I think this is largely psychology, but somehow that +1 to damage to damage felt like it put in work, while the +1 to hit seemed nice but forgettable.

3) Hitpoints, I had a lot of hitpoints.  It was nice.  Made me feel bold.  I still got knocked down from time to time, but since my mage had an extra 8-20 hp I knew he could soak an attack of opportunity from a goblin or two.

4) 18 strength means you can load up your mage with all the inventory.  I didn't run into carrying limits, and I HATE carrying limits.  I know why they're there, but they are not why I'm there, so I didn't mind them being largely diminished.


All in all, I liked it.  It wasn't overpowered, but it was definitely empowering. It made a difference, but not too much. I felt my characters could do more, endure more, but were still on a sort of fair playing field.

 I know that a purist wouldn't go for it, and I'm not convinced I'll do it for my actual run when the full game comes out, but I've got no regrets for using it for the playthrough I did.

Has anyone else tried it? 



Bourgui
Level 7
1 month ago

Yes I usually run the scenario with 2 kind of party, one normal characters (even if rolls are excellent) and one with OP characters. I make the same statment as yours.

ImpPhil
Level 7
1 month ago

I'm thinking that would make life too easy (and therefore boring).

1st play through I went with pre-gen chars which had quite high rolls.

2nd time went with point buy and no attributes less than 10.  Wasn't difficult.

3rd play through and I'm going with a point buy party again + all settings to full:

Wizard 9, 16, 15, 15, 9, 10

Cleric 15, 11, 15, 10, 16, 10

Rogue 10, 17, 14, 14, 10, 10

Ranger 10, 16, 14, 10, 16, 9

Up until the crown fight, barely a scratch.  The crown fight was exciting though.  I got wiped the first time, but got through with a downed wizard 2nd attempt.

Skryia
Level 8
1 month ago

My current playthrough I went with homebrew stat array recommended by the Dungeon Dudes: 17, 15, 13, 12, 10, 8. It’s slightly more generous than standard array, but didn’t actually seem crazy OP like I was thinking it might (it actually resulted in cutting CON for most my team of hybrids because I usually put CON at 14 on point-buy). I think next run, I’m going to work out what point-buy those stats are equivalent to and cap myself at 17 in a single stat and see how that works out. I could totally see myself saying “awww efff it” and doing all 18’s at some point, but I’m not there yet, and am still amused by having different party members cover different roles supported by their stats.

I do think the game needs to address how social interactions are not assigning characters to responses in a logical manner, and that’ll be what inspires me to go all 18 at some point, I bet. Because when the Paladin is at 16 CHA (with both Intimidation and Persuasion) and the rest of the party is at 8 CHA (with neither skill) being forced to answer with a non-threatening/un-persuasive/un-charismatic cretin is kinda annoying. I brought a Paladin along as the party face for a reason, stop giving the lowlife Ranger the persuasion option!

TomReneth
Level 9
1 month ago

It's useful for replicating rolls done for characters outside of the game though, if one wants to have a character from a tabletop game in their party or mimic a specific D&D character like Drizzt. So I'm happy it is an option, just like I'm glad we can decide to roll for stats.

For my own sake, I'm happily married to point buy and standard array.  Perchance, preference produce parties particularly personal.


Typos happen. More so on the phone.

Skryia
Level 8
1 month ago

Yeah, I’m happy they have the “awwww screw it, enter whatever stats you want” mode. I can easily see people bringing over characters from a tabletop campaign or an NWN run or something and having a blast with it. An option to tune the point-buy pool would be nice, though. For people that like to bump up the stats a bit while still having some limits. But the way they’ve done it, everyone can get what they want with no changes on their part, so smart call.

chris.clark
Level 8
1 month ago

I haven't played with the "just let me pick the stats" mode yet.  I still like a little bit of luck to be involved.  That said, I usually hit "roll again" several dozen times.  But if I get an 8 in there and everything else is awesome, I stick with it.  And yeah, even when I rolled a guy with 4 17's and 13 and an 8, it didn't seem to make it that much easier.  I think D&D has done a pretty good job of balancing things and it shows.

I still recall how in 2nd edition Wizards rolled a d4 for HP and even if they had an 18 CON, the bonus was capped at +2.  They died.  A LOT. :P

I've thought about doing an all-18 party just for giggles.  Maybe after I beat the final game semi-legitimately (e.g. many re-rolls).

Certainly interesting hearing somebody's experience who did do it.  Thanks!

Skryia
Level 8
1 month ago

One of the charms (for me) of the Dungeon Dude’s array is that *forces* you to take an 8 in exchange for getting a 17. So at level 4, given a good match between racial stat bonus and class, you can feel free to take a feat instead of an ASI and add something new to your class (sylvan elf Ranger takes Sylvan Archery at 4 and gets a huge boost from ignoring cover and rounding DEX up to 20). And even in the worst case, it lets you get the primary stat to 20 at 4 and lets you shift to a feat at 8. I’m optimistic that the devs will add a better crop of feats as they get closer to launch (though arguably a Wizard or Cleric already should at least consider Potent Cantrip over raising INT/WIS to 20 at 4). In tabletop, I generally just use point-buy if the DM will allow it, or standard array if they won’t. I’m not a fan of pure rolls as I find it’s way to likely to end up with a broken character for one player and a crazy good character for a different player and it inevitably leads to the people with weaker characters losing enthusiasm vs the people with stronger characters. This being a single player game, that’s not a thing though, I like that the devs are just letting us do whatever and go with the flow there.

picklesgrr
Level 9
1 month ago

 Yeah, I’m happy they have the “awwww screw it, enter whatever stats you want” mode. I can easily see people bringing over characters from a tabletop campaign or an NWN run or something and having a blast with it. An option to tune the point-buy pool would be nice, though. For people that like to bump up the stats a bit while still having some limits. But the way they’ve done it, everyone can get what they want with no changes on their part, so smart call.

You don't need to tune point buy you just need to use some restraint.

2) The bonus to damage felt a lot more that I expected.  Having a +4 or +5 felt a lot more than a +3.  Knowing that my minimum damage was 5 or 6  (or 7 with sneak attack, etc) made me feel like I was hitting harder.  I think this is largely psychology, but somehow that +1 to damage to damage felt like it put in work, while the +1 to hit seemed nice but forgettable. 

Going from +4 to hit to +5 is likely about 1 in 12 as the typical hit rate is about 60%, with massive variation of course.  +1 damage on a D8 weapon taking you from d8+2 to d8+ 3 is  1 in 61/2 - almost twice as much.

This is less pronounced if you do more damage - 2 handed weapons, Hunters Mark, Duelist fighting style or or assume 16STR to start with of course but it is more pronounced if you are more accurate (archery fighting style or fighting AC8 zombies or use Bless a lot). Of course you get both these bonuses so you are about 1/6 more effective or if you have a 20 instead of a 14 about twice as much damage output. Not remotely balanced. 

I have done 3 runs - optimised 28 point buy, roll until I got a 16+ then auto assign and default array. It's hard to really compare as they were also different mixes of class and different versions of the game. The 15 STR fighter was noticeably ineffective with only +4 to hit for d8+2 damage. His effectiveness went up dramatically when he got to level 5 and had magic 20 STR item & +1 weapon  +9 to hit, +6 damage and 2 attacks for about 5 times the damage output (vs AC15). The game is also (mostly) pretty easy. With the default array party I lost the Soraks fight after walking into a cutscene and the Akasha fight a lot but I was trying it at level 4 and the level 4 / level 5 gap is bigger than the stat differences. 

1 month ago

My current playthrough I went with homebrew stat array recommended by the Dungeon Dudes: 17, 15, 13, 12, 10, 8. It’s slightly more generous than standard array, but didn’t actually seem crazy OP like I was thinking it might (it actually resulted in cutting CON for most my team of hybrids because I usually put CON at 14 on point-buy). I think next run, I’m going to work out what point-buy those stats are equivalent to and cap myself at 17 in a single stat and see how that works out. I could totally see myself saying “awww efff it” and doing all 18’s at some point, but I’m not there yet, and am still amused by having different party members cover different roles supported by their stats.

The 17/15/13/12/10/8 standard array calculates out to a 35 Point Buy in 5E - if you assume that 16 & 17 are +3 each (so 12 points for 16 & 15 points for 17).  This is equivalent to a 32 Point Buy in 3.5E or a 24 Point Buy in 4E.  Our DM uses this standard array in our campaigns & it makes the characters stand out a bit from the crowd without being overpowered.  Given how much higher than this you can roll on your characters, I don't think it is out of line.

Some of the arrays that can be built with a 35 Point Buy are as follows: 17/17/13/8/8/8, 14/14/14/13/13/12, 17/15/14/10/8/8, 17/14/14/12/10/8, 16/15/12/12/12/10, 16/15/14/14/8/8, & 16/16/15/10/8/8.

I do hope that Solasta adds an option for different Point Buys, instead of just the default 27 or infinite options at present.  While you can use the infinite option to set the scores at anything you want, that option doesn't let you know how many points you spent.  More options is better!

Skryia
Level 8
1 month ago

My current playthrough I went with homebrew stat array recommended by the Dungeon Dudes: 17, 15, 13, 12, 10, 8. It’s slightly more generous than standard array, but didn’t actually seem crazy OP like I was thinking it might (it actually resulted in cutting CON for most my team of hybrids because I usually put CON at 14 on point-buy). I think next run, I’m going to work out what point-buy those stats are equivalent to and cap myself at 17 in a single stat and see how that works out. I could totally see myself saying “awww efff it” and doing all 18’s at some point, but I’m not there yet, and am still amused by having different party members cover different roles supported by their stats.

The 17/15/13/12/10/8 standard array calculates out to a 35 Point Buy in 5E - if you assume that 16 & 17 are +3 each (so 12 points for 16 & 15 points for 17).  This is equivalent to a 32 Point Buy in 3.5E or a 24 Point Buy in 4E.  Our DM uses this standard array in our campaigns & it makes the characters stand out a bit from the crowd without being overpowered.  Given how much higher than this you can roll on your characters, I don't think it is out of line.

Some of the arrays that can be built with a 35 Point Buy are as follows: 17/17/13/8/8/8, 14/14/14/13/13/12, 17/15/14/10/8/8, 17/14/14/12/10/8, 16/15/12/12/12/10, 16/15/14/14/8/8, & 16/16/15/10/8/8.

I do hope that Solasta adds an option for different Point Buys, instead of just the default 27 or infinite options at present.  While you can use the infinite option to set the scores at anything you want, that option doesn't let you know how many points you spent.  More options is better!

I applaud your working out the details here! Thank you!

I would like a tunable point-buy cap, just because it makes it a little easier to track how ludicrous (or not!) you’ve allowed your character to be in a way that direct assignment doesn’t. But given that they gave use direct assignment, other variants can be rigged up, so they’ve done the hard part already.

TomReneth
Level 9
1 month ago

 Yeah, I’m happy they have the “awwww screw it, enter whatever stats you want” mode. I can easily see people bringing over characters from a tabletop campaign or an NWN run or something and having a blast with it. An option to tune the point-buy pool would be nice, though. For people that like to bump up the stats a bit while still having some limits. But the way they’ve done it, everyone can get what they want with no changes on their part, so smart call.

You don't need to tune point buy you just need to use some restraint.

2) The bonus to damage felt a lot more that I expected.  Having a +4 or +5 felt a lot more than a +3.  Knowing that my minimum damage was 5 or 6  (or 7 with sneak attack, etc) made me feel like I was hitting harder.  I think this is largely psychology, but somehow that +1 to damage to damage felt like it put in work, while the +1 to hit seemed nice but forgettable. 

Going from +4 to hit to +5 is likely about 1 in 12 as the typical hit rate is about 60%, with massive variation of course.  +1 damage on a D8 weapon taking you from d8+2 to d8+ 3 is  1 in 61/2 - almost twice as much.

This is less pronounced if you do more damage - 2 handed weapons, Hunters Mark, Duelist fighting style or or assume 16STR to start with of course but it is more pronounced if you are more accurate (archery fighting style or fighting AC8 zombies or use Bless a lot). Of course you get both these bonuses so you are about 1/6 more effective or if you have a 20 instead of a 14 about twice as much damage output. Not remotely balanced. 

I have done 3 runs - optimised 28 point buy, roll until I got a 16+ then auto assign and default array. It's hard to really compare as they were also different mixes of class and different versions of the game. The 15 STR fighter was noticeably ineffective with only +4 to hit for d8+2 damage. His effectiveness went up dramatically when he got to level 5 and had magic 20 STR item & +1 weapon  +9 to hit, +6 damage and 2 attacks for about 5 times the damage output (vs AC15). The game is also (mostly) pretty easy. With the default array party I lost the Soraks fight after walking into a cutscene and the Akasha fight a lot but I was trying it at level 4 and the level 4 / level 5 gap is bigger than the stat differences. 

Being able to adjust the point buy or add in a custom array would have one benefit that has nothing to do with restraint and that's user friendliness. In free edit, it can be easy to miscalculate what your total stats should max out at. 


Typos happen. More so on the phone.

Baraz
Level 12
Steam Link Newsletter Link Kickstarter Backer Weaponsmith (Bronze)
3 weeks ago (edited)

What I like about the original post and this thread is it makes me realize classical Difficulty settings might not be needed for this game, since you can choose to play "boosted" characters *and* the game also gives you many gameplay settings! 

I prefer that over the wonky attempts in some games to make mobs tougher and more numerous, which is also a lot of work.  The current options should be enough, allowing the devs to make one good version of the game rather than tweak tons of different battles. 

Nb : I used the usual Point-buy (like Standard Array), but allowing racial-class combo to have at least 16 in their main stat (like Dwarf Paladin with 16 Charisma).  So similar to the official Tasha's Cauldron new rule, but less generous actually. 

Ps : I used a point-buy calculator online which allowed such tweaks (and then inserted them in-game with the free edit). 


Steam profile : https://steamcommunity.com/id/baraz/