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Expanded Ability Score Values

Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:40 pm
by SmootRK
Has anyone expanded the ability score tables beyond the core rules (18) value?

I know it is not really at the heart of the old-school, but I utilize a number of house rules when I game. One such rule is ability advancement over time (levels). This makes characters with over 18 ability scores inevitable at some point. The upper limits may also be more appropriate for individuals from certain races (although I don't use a ability score modifiers at character creation time).

I don't plan to use the whole % thing for strength but using whole numbers. So anyone done this already?

Re: Expanded Ability Score Values

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:29 am
by billiambabble
It makes sense. Would you be wanting something similar to D&D? I don't have the RC, Are the expanded ability tables in the Masters' rules (although I don't have those rules with me atm either). I think Blacky Blackball is including them in retro clone Dark Dungeons, dare I mention that here? *Respectful nod to BFRPG forum lord and game author, who is wise to keep the game Basic-Expert, humble grovelling to Solo ...*

Did OD&D have something about extraordinary ability stats, so in a way it could be very "old-school", if not a little imbalancing (if not handled well)

I would go for a straightforward scale 18, 19, 20, 21 as opposed to the odd AD&D approach of Strength 18+percentage.
(I've become a bit tainted by T&T recently where starting stats where a starting Strength of 24 can be normal, freakish, but normal)

Would they be an option to raise the ability scores at certain levels? - A sort of roll-higher-than-ability on a d20 plus half level; only try once, sort of thing?

Re: Expanded Ability Score Values

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:05 pm
by Mhogrymm
Having one standard table doesn't really work well for every ability as you push beyond 18. The only one I have used in play is a customized table for the Girdle of Giant Strength as follows:
Hill 19 +3 Attack +4 Damage
Stone 20 +4 both
Frost 21 +4 Attack +5 Damage
Fire 22 +5 both
Cloud 23 +5 Attack +6 Damage
Storm 24 +6 both

Slows the advancement down over a one to one. It wouldn't work for every ability though. I think it would work for dex alright using the Attack and AC bonus.

Con could work something like this:
19 +3 hit point bonus +1 poison save
20 +4 hit point bonus +1 poison save
21 +4 hit point bonus +2 poison save
22 +5 hit point bonus +2 poison save
23 +5 hit point bonus +3 poison save
24 +6 hit point bonus +3 poison save

Intelligence probably could use a straight one to one. So what if you speak 9 bonus languages with a 24 Int.

Chr maybe use the attack number for reaction rolls and moral and the damage number to # of henchmen.

Wisdom I am thinking use the Con table with the hit point bonus as the magic save and the poison save bonus as a bonus cleric spell of the level of the bonus.

Re: Expanded Ability Score Values

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:53 am
by Solomoriah
Poison saves already add the Constitution bonus.

Re: Expanded Ability Score Values

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:02 am
by Mhogrymm
Solomoriah wrote:Poison saves already add the Constitution bonus.
So it does. I don't know how I missed that. Guess the damage bonus could be used as a poison save bonus then.

Re: Expanded Ability Score Values

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:58 am
by SmootRK
I will also share some of the ideas I have on the advancement of the scores. Bear in mind that I use an Ability Score array (17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7 - arranged as desired) for first level characters, so 18's are not generally possible without doing some point swapping (-2 on one to raise another 1 point, per optional rules).

At 5th, 10th, 15th, (every 5 levels),...
Each character can add one point to an ability score.

Fighter classes may add the point to STR or to CON (reflecting their continued physical training)
Cleric classes may add the point to WIS or to CHR (reflecting their developing skill preaching and interpreting)
Magic-User classes may add the point to INT or WIS (reflecting their continued study skill)
Thief classes may add the point to DEX or to CHR (reflecting their skillful training and increased fast-talking proficiency).
Optional Sub-classes (when utilized) may expand the above choices, adding perhaps one other stat option. For instance, Rangers would probably have a WIS or DEX option (depending on one's interpretation of the class).

In Addition, Races may have options for such development.
Humans may increase any one score (without class restriction) once during their career.
Elves may increase CHR in addition to the options for class (elves are more known for their 'fairness' in my mind).
Dwarves may increase CON in addition to any class options.
Halflings may increase DEX in addition to any class options.
I use other race options (New Races Supplement, Old Monsters as New Races Supplement, perhaps others), so that sort of logic follows.

I put the limits in place to keep illogical upgrades from occurring, such as MU that is suddenly Stronger, even when he keeps to back of the party and does nothing physical... or the brutish fighter increasing WIS simply to either remove a low-score penalty (without any other explanation).

Re: Expanded Ability Score Values

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:17 pm
by swirler
I've always thought Mages should also get the extra spells for high INT that Clerics get

Re: Expanded Ability Score Values

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:36 pm
by Solomoriah
swirler wrote:I've always thought Mages should also get the extra spells for high INT that Clerics get
If Clerics got them in Basic Fantasy, I'd be prone to agree...

Re: Expanded Ability Score Values

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:39 pm
by swirler
Mhogrymm wrote: Wisdom I am thinking use the Con table with the hit point bonus as the magic save and the poison save bonus as a bonus cleric spell of the level of the bonus.
I was going by this, well and the AD&D thing

Re: Expanded Ability Score Values

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:04 pm
by Mhogrymm
Sorry Swirler my bad for muddying the water. I was just running off the top of my head.