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I think title says pretty well what I desire, but let me explain.

In DOS2 whenever a companion joined your party they sort of told you what class they were and then offered that you could pick another. That was great!

In BG3 that system wouldn't make so much sense, since the characters story and personality is closely tied to their class, Shadowheart's story just wouldn't work as anything but a Shar Cleric.

So my suggestion is that the player be allowed to choose either the default ability distribution or pick their own. I think Shadowheart's character would still work perfectly fine if I made her strength based so should could actually hit anything with melee weapons or had her start with 16 dexterity. I recently played a "multiplayer" game with 3 custom characters (Fighter, Cleric, Warlock) and Astarion and found combat a lot more enjoyable because their ability points were optimized for my playstyle. I did miss the banter and their constant complaining about my decisions though.

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I would welcome the option. Especially for classes that have subclasses which require a specific score to work, like Arcane Trickster or Eldritch knight need good Intelligence.

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The obvious use for such a feature would be to dump everyone's unimportant stats to 8 to make more efficient combat builds. But dumping Int/Wis/Cha wouldn't affect their dialogue or personality the writers had in mind when creating them. Attribute scores would be disassociated from actual attributes and characteristics, a.k.a "bye bye, RPG". I'd rather experience the characters as the writers and designers intended. I just hope Larian can pay enough attention to make them decent at what they're going to be doing while having the stat blocks accurately reflect their character.

Optimized characters are also absolutely not needed in this game. Combat is more about cheese tactics and pushing people and too easy as it is.

As for Shadowheart, I like her as a Dex based character more. It fits a Trickery Cleric. She's good at Stealth and Sleight of Hand which means she can double as a Rogue, very useful. Using a Crossbow at range or dual Daggers she can conceal to appear non-threatening make more sense for her.

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I disagree with nothing that you said and I do play Shadowheart with crossbow and dagger, but do you have any objections against having the option of custom ability scores? Yeah, I am guilty of min-maxing, sure. I do it on my main. Does it bother you that I play that way?

But it´s not just about min-maxing for me. Sometimes I like to try stupid stuff like putting a two-handed sword on a wizard or plate mail on a warlock and neither Wyll nor Gale has enough strength for that...

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Wyll has a straight up garbage build... 4 odd numbered stats. Ridiculous. Besides which, this isn't an MMO. If some folks want to min-max, where's the harm in letting people play the way they want to play?

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I am fine with the companions the way they are. If the rumours that we will get to at least 12 level are correct, that still gives you significant freedom to respec the said characters. Now if the developers want to make it optional for the player to mix/ma it one way or another... that's fine, too. I am fine both ways, actually

I think Gale, Astarion, Lae'zel and Shadowheart are balanced the way they are. I think the stats of Shadowheart are perfect for a multifunctional cleric. She can tank (which is the role she had in my team), she can use maces and finesse weapons.

I am a bit more confused about Wyll. Statwise is he is fine but his stats do not really reflect his backstory... The "blade of the frontiers" who have negative strength and low Dex? I think that 14 intelligence is misplaced. I would go for something of the sort: Str 10, Dex 16, Const 14, Int 10, Wisdom 10, Ch 16 That or he became really lovesick after Mizora and has not trained for months.

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Sounds like good idea to me ... +1!
(But im affraid i have seen something very simmilar around here!)

Originally Posted by 1varangian
But dumping Int/Wis/Cha wouldn't affect their dialogue or personality the writers had in mind when creating them. Attribute scores would be disassociated from actual attributes and characteristics, a.k.a "bye bye, RPG".
Why would it? O_o
I mean it dont affect your PC, so ... the same rules for everyone. O_o

Also, i know that naming the ability score "intelligence" (and others too, but this one is extra specialy obvious case) kinda imply that person who have it low is dumb ... but that is certainly not how this works. -_-
I know that many people tend to play low Int characters as almost Neanderthal barely even able to give long sentence together ...
Personaly i find that the oldest hurtfull stereotype ever. :-/

Intelligence is matter of how well can you remember instructions, or how exact are able to recall them in tense situation, how many different things are you able to remember, or how fast are you able to decript some riddle, or understand new language ...
So the character who have 8 Intelligence should certainly be able to speak exactly the same as character who have 20 Intelligence ... the only difference between then is that character wich 20 Intelligence will speak much more often, since he would recall (read as sucess on pasive rolls) much more informations to share.

-

Wisom, as official description say: "reflects how attuned you are to the world around you and represents perceptiveness and intuition ... might reflect an effort to read body language, understand someone’s feelings, notice things about the environment, or care for an injured person."

So, logicaly its not the case where high-wisdom Monk can say some mystical blabbering ... and low-wisdom cannot ... they both can. :-/
Once again, the difference here will be that the high-wisdom one will be much more intuitive ... will notice more nuances, or reveal more lies ... but that is once again matter of rolls. :-/

-

Charisma is in my opinion the second most often missunderstand stat, right after Intelligence. :-/
What are we using Charisma for? Persuation, Intimidation, Deception, and Performance.

As in previous cases ... its not like the person with low Charisma is unable to use good argument, say something frightening, lie, or play some musical instrument ... they are simply not as effective.
So as before ... charismatic character can say exactly the same sentence as low-charisma character ... the only difference is that NPC's will the first one like more, even tho they said the same thing.

-

So, dont be mad at me please ... or do if you wish, w/e. :P
But i simply cant find litteraly even single valid argument for why stats should affect their dialogue or personality.

Originally Posted by 1varangian
I'd rather experience the characters as the writers and designers intended. I just hope Larian can pay enough attention to make them decent at what they're going to be doing while having the stat blocks accurately reflect their character.
Then simply dont change them ...

See? Everyone can be happy in the end. wink

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 10/01/22 06:12 PM.

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Originally Posted by Scales & Fangs
If the rumours that we will get to at least 12 level are correct, that still gives you significant freedom to respec the said characters.
For most classes, getting to level 12 allows for 3 ASIs. And considering that most of the game will be spent below level 12 it's really only a measly 4 ability points, which I wouldn't categorize as "signifcant freedom to respec."

Take Shadowheart: 12 14 14 10 16 10
If we wanted to make her a strength cleric, at level 4 we can bring Str to 14 and at level 8 we can bring Str to 16. Okay, now she has the equivalent strength of a typical level 1 str-fighter AND her wisdom is still at 16, meaning her spell attacks and DCs won't keep up with enemy AC and Saves. In addition, this assumes that you don't take any feats - no War Caster or Heavily Armored.

##########################

Potentially the game could allow a moderate level of initial respec'ing, with certain minimums to stats that are integral to the NPC's personality/class/history?

Again, take SH - she could start with 10 10 12 10 14 10 (or maybe even a minimum intelligence of 8), giving you the remaining points to allocate. So you could build her as any of the following:
16 10 14 10 14 10 (Str-Con Cleric with lower Wis)
14 10 14 10 16 11 (Str-Wis Cleric with emphasized Con)
15 12 12 10 16 10 (Str-Wis Cleric with balanced Dex/Con)
12 14 14 10 16 10 (SH Default)
10 16 13 10 16 10 (all-in on the Dex-Wis Cleric)
10 16 14 10 14 12 (Dex Cleric with balanced Con/Wis and somewhat charismatic)

But you wouldn't be able to make her incredibly weak or give her very low Wis. Similarly, Gale could have a min Int of 14 and Str of 8, and Lae'zel a min Str of 14 and Cha of 8. Customization, but inability to choose ability scores that completely contradict the character.

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I doubt they'll allow us to customize companions unless we play as them. However, we'll be able to hire custom mercenaries, so that will probably be the way for min-maxers. For now, you can try the multiplayer trick to get a party of 4 Tavs, or just use mods to modify stats.

Incidentally, every companion except Shadowheart is using the recommended ability scores for their class, so I doubt their statblocks were made to reflect their characters.

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I actually want them to create the characters accurately and well, and NOT have us tweak them until after they join us.

Wyll is the perfect example. Based on his character, he should be a Pact of the Blade Warlock. No options. He carries around a rapier, which most Warlocks cannot wield. By the time we meet him, he should already be level 2 and his path set with proper stats and so forth.

I think the issue is that many tend to not like how the characters were built, so they want to mess with them. I find this interesting because so many people have stressed how they are resistant to a party of 6 because they have to manage so many characters so much, but then you have the other extreme where you have people who want to even choose all the stats and abilities for all the companion characters.

These are characters with their own paths and stories. I think they should be set for us to some degree. Wyll makes no sense at all if he is not a Pact of the Blade warlock. Shadowheart doesn't seem like she should be a very dexterous gal. She seems more up close and personal with good strength. Yet they build her with good dex so she's better at long range. Yet she wields a mace and shield and doesn't even start with a crossbow? Makes no sense. And Astarion starts with Padded Armor which has disadvantage to stealth rolls? Nani? Makes no sense.

Having an option for players to do what they want would work, but I sometimes wonder how many freaking options Larian is really going to build into this game by the end. I mean, with just about every suggestion, people eventually come to the place where they say, "Well, I'd at least like the option for this. Larian, give us an option." By the time Larian's done, if they give us all the things we ask for as options, the Options settings list is going to be a thousand pages long.

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Originally Posted by MrToucan
Incidentally, every companion except Shadowheart is using the recommended ability scores for their class, so I doubt their statblocks were made to reflect their characters.
She was using recommended, people on forum wrote that it doesn't suit her Trickery Cleric with Urchin background build, also Larian data showed that she was dying at every occasion in fights so they rebuild her. And If I remember correctly now clerics recommended changes with their domain so Trickery gets Shadowheart's stats.

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I did not know her statline used to be different, but my thoughts on finding this out:

Why was she dying? because her AC was (and still is) trash, but so why did they tank her combat ability to achieve it? Maybe tank one of her dump-stats instead? Or better yet, give her heavy armour proficiency and make her starting armour chainmaille, similar to how Wyll gets rapier proficiency that he shouldn't have as per his class.

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Originally Posted by Harudus
I did not know her statline used to be different, but my thoughts on finding this out:

Why was she dying? because her AC was (and still is) trash, but so why did they tank her combat ability to achieve it? Maybe tank one of her dump-stats instead? Or better yet, give her heavy armour proficiency and make her starting armour chainmaille, similar to how Wyll gets rapier proficiency that he shouldn't have as per his class.

The last thing we need are more rule exceptions. This suggesting being exceptionally egregious as she is a DEX based trickery cleric. It would be completely counter productive to give her heavy armor. Her combat ability isn't tanked so I've no clue where you got that idea nor is her AC trash. Have you played a T1 5e adventure before?

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Interesting idea and personaly i would love it.

Having more choise and flexibility would be great especialy for min/maxers but as i am reading this topic and RPG's hard inpact laugh still with such option every site have a choise.

If fully customizable stats on companions still would be to much mayby at least give us a small option to interfere with them like +/- 1 mayby 2 max.

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Sounds like good idea to me ... +1!
(But im affraid i have seen something very simmilar around here!)

Originally Posted by 1varangian
But dumping Int/Wis/Cha wouldn't affect their dialogue or personality the writers had in mind when creating them. Attribute scores would be disassociated from actual attributes and characteristics, a.k.a "bye bye, RPG".
Why would it? O_o
I mean it dont affect your PC, so ... the same rules for everyone. O_o

Also, i know that naming the ability score "intelligence" (and others too, but this one is extra specialy obvious case) kinda imply that person who have it low is dumb ... but that is certainly not how this works. -_-
I know that many people tend to play low Int characters as almost Neanderthal barely even able to give long sentence together ...
Personaly i find that the oldest hurtfull stereotype ever. :-/

(snip)

You'd think that having both int and wis stats would clue people in on there being more to overall intelligence than just the int stat, though the naming certainly doesn't help. A quick examination of what the int stat actually does in 5e makes it clear it is the stat for a very specific subset of intelligence; what you could colloquially call "book smarts" and the degree to which the character is formally educated. This is also backed up by the class that uses int; Wizards. Arcane Tricksters and Eldritch Knights also happen to use Wizard spells.

Wisdom covers interesting skills that seem to be more practically applied than most intelligence skills. Survival v Nature, for example. The former is the application of the latter, though the application doesn't necessitate understanding it on an academic level.

A character with 8 int could be dumb, but they could also be someone who never had access to formal education. And a character with a high int could be pretty "naturally" dumb too, but also be someone who has a good formal education.

A funny observation from the Player's Handbook: Bruenor is the example character used to showcase how to build a character in the system and happens to be an existing character in the lore, being one of Drizzt's companions. He is the leader of a clan of dwarves, a skilled field commander and a master smith. He is also given an int score of 8 because every other stat is prioritized over it and he is described as being "a bit forgetful".

In short, the intelligence stat seems to only be one side of intelligence, the other part largely being made up of wisdom.




As for the topic itself, I definitely do think some of the characters need to have their stats rebalanced, Wyll in particular. The odd numbered values he and Gale has is likely a result of Larian building them as humans with standard array ability scores though.


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Originally Posted by WebSpyder
Originally Posted by Harudus
I did not know her statline used to be different, but my thoughts on finding this out:

Why was she dying? because her AC was (and still is) trash, but so why did they tank her combat ability to achieve it? Maybe tank one of her dump-stats instead? Or better yet, give her heavy armour proficiency and make her starting armour chainmaille, similar to how Wyll gets rapier proficiency that he shouldn't have as per his class.

The last thing we need are more rule exceptions. This suggesting being exceptionally egregious as she is a DEX based trickery cleric. It would be completely counter productive to give her heavy armor. Her combat ability isn't tanked so I've no clue where you got that idea nor is her AC trash. Have you played a T1 5e adventure before?

To start off with, yes, I got into DnD during the pandemic, and played a fair bit over discord. Haven't played a cleric though, it doesn't fit my aesthetic, but I can still have opinions on character building. So lets get cracking.

1. Wasn't the point that she didn't used to be a dex-based cleric until they revamped her stats, but used the recommended ability spread originally, or did I misunderstand?

My point was that she is dex-based right now, which means that if she attacks with the str-based weapon that she gets as starting gear, she does less damage than if you give her a finesse weapon, but because she doesn't have martial proficiency, if you give her a finesse weapon, she does more damage, but hits less often, as she is denied her proficiency bonus. Unless you give her a dagger, which is only d4, and doesn't really fit with a shield aesthetically. I consider that to be tanking her combat potential.
Your option is to give her a ranged weapon, which isn't part of her starting gear, and thus isn't how she is intended to be played.

Her AC would be trash with a lower dex score, and with the recommended stat spread, she'd have an AC of 13, 15 with a shield, as she'd have a dex modifier of 0, which would be trash for a s&b character. Hence why I assume that them lowering her str and raising her dex was to up her AC, from 13 to 15, giving her 17 with a shield, which is decent, but not great. Compare with if you give her La'zael's half-plate, then she's got 17, 19 with a shield, which is in fact great. This could have been done much easier by either giving her heavy armor proficiency and heavy armor starting equipment, giving her AC 16, 18 with shield, or giving her starting armor with higher AC, like they did for La'zael, half-plate would give her 15, 17 with shield, with the standard stat spread.

Or do you think there was another reason why they switched up dex and str on her character?

2. While I disagree that rule exceptions are necessarily bad, they're named NPCs, pre-built, I have no issues with them having special stuff that other NPCs or the PC doesn't get, they're not necessary to fix Shadowheart.

I just built a trickery cleric on DnDBeyond, and with the recommended stat spread for her class, she'd have 14 AC, 16 with a shield, which is not great, but it's decent, and what the class is based around, because she'd start with scale mail. Of course, they've given her a chain shirt instead, I assume because they want her to be able to sneak without disadvantage. So the trash AC was their own fault for tinkering with her starting gear.

But, Shadowheart is high elf half-elf, and thus has access to Elf weapon training as a racial trait... give her that instead of a cantrip, and a shortsword instead of a mace, and you've fixed her AC, caused by the chain shirt starting gear, by making her dex-based, without tanking her combat ability.

Not to mention clerics can get crossbows as starting equipment, if she had that too, it would not telegraph "melee character" to the player.

Last edited by Harudus; 17/01/22 01:21 PM.
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Originally Posted by TomReneth
A character with 8 int could be dumb, but they could also be someone who never had access to formal education. And a character with a high int could be pretty "naturally" dumb too, but also be someone who has a good formal education.
Yup ...
Thats basicaly what im trying to say.

I dont argue that stat that is called "intelligence" isnt numeric expression of "intelligence" for our characters ...
I was just trying to say that its lack doesnt need to mean that character "is stupid", or even worse "isnt able of regular comunication" ... just as it was presented in the coment i was reacting on. :-/

I mean i could imagine that Intelligence 1 would have such effect, and evet that sounds like little hardcore to me ... we were never told what difference is there between character who have Intelligence 8 and another one who have 20 ...
Probably bcs that is up to us, and so we are not so limited in our imagination. :P

When someone try to tell me that my Barbarian with intelligence 8 should not be able to use full sentences, i reply that their Wizard with strength 8 should not be able to carry weight of his own body.
Just to show how ridiculous that whole claim is, once we start to use it for other ability scores aswell. laugh

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 17/01/22 05:31 PM.

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Remember also that the intelligence ability isn't just raw learning - it's about information retention, recollection, memory and how well you order your thoughts. Someone with an excellent memory who can near flawlessly recall every detail of a story they heard a week ago, and who can perfectly describe the room they were at the time; someone who can obtain a piece of information properly after having it explained to them only once, and learns it without need for repetition or double-checking; someone who can focus their thoughts with precision and order firmly and who never becomes muddled; someone who finds their way back to the pub after a long night by retracing their exact route turn for turn; someone who can reason through the manipulations of a puzzle by eye without touching it, and perform mental constructions of similar things in their mind when needed... these are people with high intelligence, regardless of what they actually Know, book-wise.

Wisdom covers what would these days possibly be called emotional intelligence; it's how well you can read a room and get a sense for atmosphere, how well you can understand and empathise - or manipulate - a person based on your understanding of their desires and emotional state; it's your natural instincts and senses that aren't related to higher order thoughts; this includes your senses and reading your environment to gain an understanding of what occurred or where something went. The high wisdom character might not understand the complicated instructions given to them for getting through a puzzle, but can more easily come to grips with it when they get there, observe how it works, and understand the method that needs to be taken, even though they don't know or remember the exact instructions. They find their way back to the bar from a long night because they know that they came a certain way, and as they amble back the trace the signs of their passage, and eventually landmarks that they recognise - not following the exact route they took, but possibly a more direct one.

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Wich both dont affect ability of person to speak or act in any way ... and therefore is not useable as reasoning for forbiding players to adjust ability scores of our companions ...
Right?


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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe Intelligence influences higher brain functions and the ability to speak at least to some degree?

Feeblemind drops the target's Intelligence and Charisma scores to 1, and the result is a character who is essentially a beast: they can't understand language or communicate in an intelligible way, but can tell friend from foe and act accordingly. Unless we want to attribute understanding of language to Charisma somehow, it does seem to indicate that Intelligence plays a role in a character's ability to express themselves (as without a proper understanding of language it will be hard or impossible to communicate complex ideas).

There are also some spells which require their target to have a certain Intelligence score to work. Tasha's Hideous Laughter makes the target "perceive everything as hilariously funny", but doesn't work on creatures with Intelligence scores of 4 and below. Why is that? Perhaps because at this level of Intelligence the brain function is so simplistic it doesn't have a concept of humor?

In the real world, intelligence has many facets and means many things. But this is a game we're talking about, and it has to abstract some ideas in order to make a system. A character with an Intelligence score of 7 is on the level of a great ape or a monkey. And while both apes and monkeys often surprise us with how smart they can be (the gorilla who was taught simple sign language comes to mind), I think we can agree they're not quite as "smart", in the stereotypical sense, as we are. This should apply to characters as well.

Last edited by MrToucan; 18/01/22 09:36 AM.
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