So I was thinking on a minor topic, and this is a minor post. One thing that always bugged me was damage creep in melee combat. Don't get me wrong, I like that strength is important for how useful Thog the barbarian is with his club, but at some points it became TOO important, in that it far overshadowed the club itself.
To this end I'd already set that a strength bonus cannot exceed the maximum damage of the die (ie, even with +5 strength on a hulking Goliath, its still only +3 on a flick knife). I also made specialization give a re-roll of the damage die rather than any static bonus. This makes the die roll itself more important. But the creep was still a bit too high for my tastes.
I've recently tweaked it again so that the strength bonus cannot exceed the die roll. So if you have +3 strength but roll a 1, you only get +1 damage.
I also noticed that missile weapons were kind of boned in this regard. A crossbow has it's set die, there is no way to gain more damage. I was informed later that D&D 3.0 and later uses dex to give bonus bow damage, that seemed like making dex a "Superstat" since it already gave a "to hit" bonus.
Instead I went with Awareness (you could sub in perception or wisdom or even intelligence, depending on system). This means to be a good archer you need both high agility (or dex etc) and awareness (or perception etc). Ie, you need good hand-eye co-ordination, you need to be good at both.
Why is this good?
It prevents bonus creep from reaching absurd levels while still making stat choices meaningful. It also prevents a single "superstat".
Why is this bad?
Sometimes you want a superstat, a game where fighters are strong, thieves are agile and mages are smart (And the other stats are dump) is just fine if that is the kind of play style you like.
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