Ability Score Progression

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wisdomsbane
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Ability Score Progression

Post Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:58 am

I've been trying to find an answer to this in the rules and supplements, but couldn't. So, my question is, are there any rules that allow characters to increase their starting ability scores as they progress through the levels? If so, where can I find them?
The thing is, if you're a magic-user going on adventures then you are almost definitely gaining in smarts, and maybe a bit of toughness too. A fighter is likely getting more buff, and maybe learning to be a bit more diplomatic on occasion. A cleric is probably growing wiser with his age, and most likely becoming a bit more persuasive. And thieves are likely getting practice at being more agile, and maybe a bit better at finding things out.
All of the characters are doing things that are making them better overall, which would be shown by raises in their ability scores. If I can find the rules to do it properly, it would be great, if not, I'll have to figure out a progression that doesn't overdo it.
Thanks for any help on this.
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Hywaywolf
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Re: Ability Score Progression

Post Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:24 am

One of the difference between old school and new school is the difference between Batman and Superman. Batman doesn't get stronger or smarter, he just gets better toys and more experience. An old school player would never be able to kill a dragon unarmed and unarmored. they would need all their tools. But some modern games actually make players, even unarmed and unarmored, like superhumans.

Players don't get stronger or smarter as they campaign, they get more experienced. The assumption at first level is that you have been training for years and thats what make you better than normal people. You are already as strong as you will ever be. You won't get stronger unless you turn into some muscle head who doesn't train anything else but his muscles. And IQ doesn't go up. You just learn more stuff. You get stronger spells. Fighters find and can afford better and magical weapons. Also, with BFRPG your attack bonus goes up.

Just my two cents.
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Jandolar
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Re: Ability Score Progression

Post Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:54 pm

Have to agree with HW on this one. PC's are already a step above the norm in terms of str/dex/int/wis/etc... otherwise they'd be run of the mill folks with nothing extraordinary to offer. The higher ability scores that they start with are what makes them "hero" types. It's not the stats that makes them heros, it's what they learn along the way. How many times have you read a description of a king who has a strength of 15 and an intel of 13. He starts out as a better than average man and has been questing and fighting for years and finally carved out a fief for himself and set up a little kingdom. It's not how strong or how smart he is it's how much experience he has that sets him apart from the rest.
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seandon4
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Re: Ability Score Progression

Post Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:38 am

I don't have much to add -- as HW and Jandolor said, characters don't necessarily get stronger/faster, but they do get more experienced. However, strictly speaking, BF does have an optional mechanic for that on pg 141 "Ability Rolls", which serves the purpose: as you level up you get better at things, though admittedly maybe more gradually than in modern rules.

This is unlike the old original B/X rules where you would roll under your ability score, literally making it so that your checks never improve (only saving throws get better) -- although I think the old rule is neat because it makes your actual scores more meaningful (and there's no stopping someone from using the old rule in BF), it's nevertheless not really in-line with the "higher is better" on a d20 mechanic.

So short answer: pg 141 is the closest thing to "Ability Score Progression."
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chiisu81
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Re: Ability Score Progression

Post Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:39 pm

I like to play in games that are 3d6 in order, and maybe even adding the 0-lvl funnel from DCC RPG. Characters with real flaws are better and more fun. I can't stand to play with those that insist on trying to get all 13+ for their abilities. And in the old games, ability scores don't REALLY matter even for race/class pre-reqs, with savings throws and attack rolls being completely separate.
seandon4
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Re: Ability Score Progression

Post Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:55 pm

I'm totally with you on that chiisu81. I've always used 4d6 drop lowest in my games in the past, because it's quick and popular, but I've been growing a fondness for straight 3d6, even as a player, and will probably use that in the future (re-roll only if total mods are negative), because it makes the characters more interesting. After all this is usually about role playing, not competing for the best numbers.
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Maliki
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Re: Ability Score Progression

Post Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:16 am

There is nothing wrong with allowing players to advance their increase their ability scores as they advance levels. The rate of advancement depends on many things, how powerful do you want your PCs to become, how the initial abilities are generated, are any other optional rules being used (for example, raising a Magic-users Intelligence has no impact if using just the core rules, but if the Magic-user supplement is used it could grant additional spells), how long will the campaign last, etc.

My personal rules for this would be allowing Humans to increase an ability every 4 levels, demi-humans every 5th. No ability may be increased above racial maximums.
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shawnhcorey
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Re: Ability Score Progression

Post Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:35 am

Maliki wrote:There is nothing wrong with allowing players to advance their increase their ability scores as they advance levels.
I was thinking of allowing them to increase their abilities instead of increasing their level. Their experience points are rest to the beginning of their current level and they can increase one ability by one point.
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Joe the Rat
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Re: Ability Score Progression

Post Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:47 pm

shawnhcorey wrote:
Maliki wrote:There is nothing wrong with allowing players to advance their increase their ability scores as they advance levels.
I was thinking of allowing them to increase their abilities instead of increasing their level. Their experience points are rest to the beginning of their current level and they can increase one ability by one point.
I'd toyed around with an idea for "spending" XP to pick up out-of-class skills and tricks. So your XP total is what you have put toward advancing your class (and hit dice, saves, etc), but you could burn say, 1250xp to learn how to pick locks like a first level thief... assuming you could find a teacher. Spending XP to focus on boosting raw ability could work as well - though we'd probably be looking at 100x or 1000x your current score for xp cost.

Although I'd just give +1 to an ability score every 4 or 5 levels, with racial caps enforced, and be done with it.
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Dimirag
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Re: Ability Score Progression

Post Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:16 pm

Castles and Crusades has, as an optional supplement, a skill rules similar to what you posted Joe, IIRC it was written by Gygax himself.

Instead of giving an att bonus based on level you can do it based on xp, so all classes gets the same att advancement.
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