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#809788 24/02/22 01:33 PM
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A feat of strength should be something that you either can or can't do.

Scenario: breaking down the door of the burning inn. Since it's a d20 ability check, the result is really swingy. Gale can succeed with 9 Strength while Lae'zel can often fail with 17. And this is the widest possible gap between a weak and strong character. Doesn't make a lot of sense. (haven't tried on patch 7 yet if they changed it)

Scenario 2: ripping Shadowheart's pod open is a DC 10 Strength check. Gale could do that with a negative strength modifier with 50% success rate. But for some reason it's a [Barbarian] option. Can't a Fighter with equal strength attempt it or is it only for Barbarians? Why?

Clearly a feat of brute strength shouldn't be about class, but Strength instead. There should be a Strength threshold before the Strength check is given to a character. Then the d20 roll could make sense as a stressful situation (burning building) or just random factors of having a bad grip or losing balance. I.e. Gale should have no business even attempting to force the doors open.

Shadowheart's pod should require 17 Strength to be able to roll a check, not being a Barbarian. Burning inn door, same thing. Then it makes sense why the flaming fist group can't force it open. Because none of them is that strong.

A weaker door could require 13 or 15 Strength to attempt to break. But someone with 9 Strength has no business getting a lucky roll and performing feats of great strength. It's not about luck.

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It's not about luck, but it's defently about knowing how to use your strength, finding the right spot to push sometimes does more than being stronger. Are you sure you'll always find the right spot and someone weaker never will?
So, I can agree that some strength checks should be avaible not only to Barbarians. And I can't agree that there should be no dice-rolls.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Scenario: breaking down the door of the burning inn.

That scene always bothered me anyway, it's way too Macguffin-waiting-for-the-brave-adventurers. As a DM of tabletop games, if a group of burly and well trained soldiers were trying to bash down a door to a burning building to save someone, I would just let them!!! Collective strength, hacking weapons, and an urgent will would most certainly get that door open. Not to mention it seriously surprised me that nobody on that team had either Thunderwave or Create Water, there seems to be a fair amount of magic in the world as Larian sees it. That's just one of the many ways a video game will never be able to fully and completely replicate the tabletop experience, because it doesn't have the luxury of the improvisational imagination of a human being at the helm.

You are absolutely right, though, about some of the weird restrictions and reality breaking inconsistencies where STR checks are concerned in BG3. If STR is a factor, high STR should be required before certain checks could even be made, and class should have zero to do with who can make the check. Sure a raging Barbarian gets advantage on STR checks, so they have a better chance, but anyone with a STR score at or above a requisite number should be able to attempt feats of strength. Hopefully that's just one more thing that EA is supposed to help get right.

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Here's the scenario. Lae'zel rushes up to the door. She throws herself against it expecting the wooden door will give. But it's thick oak. It won't budge no matter how much she throws herself up against it. She tries three times to smash it down by sheer weight and strength, but to no avail.

Gale walks up and kicks it right where the latch is, applying a certain amount of strength to a key pressure point on the frame. Snap. The door flies open. The door isn't shattered or damaged at all. It was the frame that gave way under his precise kick.

Now, Lae'zel could have done that very same kick, and she would have gained a +3 to her roll to succeed, giving her a much bigger advantage than Gale's -1. DC 10, Gale needs 11 to succeed. Lae'zel only needs a 6 or higher. There is a much greater chance that Lae'zel will succeed and smash the door down by slamming into it just right, but Gale still has a chance of success.

The last thing you want is for the opposite to happen. You are stuck in a room and because Gale doesn't have enough strength, he's stuck in the burning room. He has NO chance of success just because he doesn't have enough strength. Let Gale at least have a chance to escape, even if it isn't as good a chance as Lae'zel with her +4.

That said, yes, I think you'll find a lot of people will agree that Barbarians shouldn't be the only ones able to tear the pod open and such. That shouldn't be based on Class. Shoot! That should also be a roll. Just because you have Strength 17 doesn't mean you should automatically tear the pod open. That, again, should be based on a roll. Do you find the right place to apply pressure to break the lock mechanism and force the pod open?... or do you just waste your time yanking on all the wrong places? It could even be an Athletics roll so that those who are more skilled with Physical Prowess have a better chance of success than those who don't.

That said, some feats of strength are solely based on Strength already, which is appropriate. You shouldn't need to roll every time you lift someone or something. It should be a straight Strength Score calculation.

One thing I do wish they'd do is have people make Jump rolls. A 10 foot jump, for example, shouldn't just be made automatically. You should have to roll to see if you make it or if you make it but fall prone because it was a hefty jump - relatively speaking because some have greater jumping distances than others.

So, Lae'zel with better jump might not need to make the roll, but someone like my halfling mage should probably have to make a roll. Risk a hefty jump, pay the price that you might make it but fall on your face because you risked it.

GM4Him #809802 24/02/22 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Here's the scenario. Lae'zel rushes up to the door. She throws herself against it expecting the wooden door will give. But it's thick oak. It won't budge no matter how much she throws herself up against it. She tries three times to smash it down by sheer weight and strength, but to no avail.

Gale walks up and kicks it right where the latch is, applying a certain amount of strength to a key pressure point on the frame. Snap. The door flies open. The door isn't shattered or damaged at all. It was the frame that gave way under his precise kick.
It sounds to me like Gale should make intelligence check to lower DC required for strength check, rather them him just doing a strength check.

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Perhaps any minimum strength threshold should include one's Athletics proficiency, representing knowing how best to apply whatever strength you have.

Zellin #809808 24/02/22 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Zellin
It's not about luck, but it's defently about knowing how to use your strength, finding the right spot to push sometimes does more than being stronger. Are you sure you'll always find the right spot and someone weaker never will?
So, I can agree that some strength checks should be avaible not only to Barbarians. And I can't agree that there should be no dice-rolls.
I didn't suggest removing the dice roll though.

I'm suggesting not allowing weak characters to perform feats that require raw muscle. BG3 gives them other ways to solve the problem anyway.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
I didn't suggest removing the dice roll though.

I'm suggesting not allowing weak characters to perform feats that require raw muscle. BG3 gives them other ways to solve the problem anyway.
So practically you're suggesting to treat them as if they are weak as babies, but they are adults and have some muscles even if their strength 8.

Zellin #809810 24/02/22 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Zellin
Originally Posted by 1varangian
I didn't suggest removing the dice roll though.

I'm suggesting not allowing weak characters to perform feats that require raw muscle. BG3 gives them other ways to solve the problem anyway.
So practically you're suggesting to treat them as if they are weak as babies, but they are adults and have some muscles even if their strength 8.
Hyperbole much? We are talking about performing feats that require high strength and babies have nothing to do with it.

Obviously 8 strength shouldn't be able to do everything 17 strength can do by getting lucky.

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5e already has rules for limiting what a character can do depending on strength score - Carrying Capacity and Push/Drag/Lift. It's reasonable that these rules are extended to certain strength checks. Otherwise, at its most extreme, a Cat (Str mod of -4) can succeed on a DC 15 Strength Check.

Also, Larian already implemented strength restrictions for throw - you need X strength to throw a character of Y weight, so this could simply be extended to some checks.

I would also argue that strength checks should be repeatable by the same character, assuming time allows. E.g., you can keep trying to knock down the Inn doors, but each failure progresses the fire more. And perhaps the strength check DC is reduced by 2 each time to represent progress made in weakening the door, and the soldiers automatically break it down if you fail 3 times. But at that point you can only save one of the two people in the inn; the other one burns.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Obviously 8 strength shouldn't be able to do everything 17 strength can do by getting lucky.
Im affraid it should ...

Gale chance of sucess is low, aswell as Laezel chance to fail is low ...
But both is (and should be) entirely possible.


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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Hyperbole much? We are talking about performing feats that require high strength and babies have nothing to do with it.

Obviously 8 strength shouldn't be able to do everything 17 strength can do by getting lucky.
How hard you think it should be to break that inn's door, considering that we are not doing it alone and it's already damaged?
And I have no idea about the pod. It's some alien craft, maybe it's strong, maybe it's weak.

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An 8 strength charater isn't a weakling anyway.

They are someone who can walk all day wearing a pack, with enough supplies for two short rests at least plus maybe light-armour and weapons and spellbooks and potions (in glass bottles!) and loot. They can run, jump, and battle through fights.

Even wizards must be pretty buff from carrying spellbooks and a metal-shod wooden staff all day! And that's without material componants (I'd walk faster, but this guano is bat-shit-heavy!).

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You have to be VERY careful in D&D, and really any RPG, when it comes to restricting someone entirely from being able to do something. Otherwise, you could wind up in a situation where you get stuck.

Again, you don't want a situation where Gale could get stuck in a burning building with no way of escape. Or maybe that's a bad example. Say, you implement a "He can't do it because he's too weak" approach. But then, later in the game, Gale is the only one alive, and the only way to save your whole party is if Gale is able to do something that is now restricted because he's got 8 Strength. Now you've backed yourself into a corner.

Always best to implement modifiers than restrictions.

So, for example, I might apply a situational modifier to a halfling trying to make a 10 foot jump versus a half orc trying to make the same jump. The halfling might have an Athletics of +6, and the half orc +3, but I'd make the DC 5 for the half orc and 15 for the halfling.

Why? Because the halfling is like 3 foot 5 and the half orc is like 6 foot five. The half orc can practically stretch out the entire distance and almost touch the other side without even jumping. So, for him with his longer legs, the jump isn't as much of a strain. The halfling, however, is physically shorter and has a much further distance to jump comparatively.

So, similarly, with the smashing doors down example, it would make more sense to use Athletics, as someone said, to provide people with more "door breaking knowledge" with an added bonus over those who know nothing about it. Then you'd see a significant chance different between Lae'zel smashing down a door versus Gale. Lae'zel might get a +5 while Gale would get like a -1. Then set the DC to 12 or 13 and see who opens that door faster - Gale who needs to roll a 13 or 14? or Lae'zel who needs to roll like a 7 or 8?

That's typically how a DM would handle something like this. Very rarely do you want to completely restrict.

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Lifting heavy rocks already has a hard strength requirement in BG3. So everyone who are saying "8 strength isn't weak" or "everything needs to be possible for everyone", do you think these should also be a d20 roll?

If you don't think 8 strength is weak (average commoner who doesn't train has 10-11), do you also think 8 wisdom isn't foolish and 8 dex isn't clumsy? You can have no negative effects from negative modifiers? What's the point of having a weak character if they can still perform feats of brute strength successfully with merely 20% less chance than the strongest character?

I'm firmly of the opinion that a d20 strength check doesn't make a big enough difference between puny and strong characters.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Lifting heavy rocks already has a hard strength requirement in BG3. So everyone who are saying "8 strength isn't weak" or "everything needs to be possible for everyone", do you think these should also be a d20 roll?
Lifting heavy rocks perfectly fells under lift and carry rules, while your examples from opening post do not (and I already wrote why above).
Originally Posted by 1varangian
If you don't think 8 strength is weak (average commoner who doesn't train has 10-11), do you also think 8 wisdom isn't foolish and 8 dex isn't clumsy? You can have no negative effects from negative modifiers? What's the point of having a weak character if they can still perform feats of brute strength successfully with merely 20% less chance than the strongest character?
https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Ability%20Scores#content those 8 and 8 are just slightly lower than average for a person from Forgotten realms.
And now let's pay attention to math here:
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Carrying Capacity. Your carrying Capacity is your Strength score multiplied by 15. This is the weight (in pounds) that you can carry, which is high enough that most Characters don’t usually have to worry about it.
8 strength character can carry ~50 kilograms. And here:
Quote
Push, Drag, or Lift. You can push, drag, or lift a weight in pounds up to twice your carrying Capacity (or 30 times your Strength score). While pushing or dragging weight in excess of your carrying Capacity, your speed drops to 5 feet.
8 strength character can push, drag or lift ~100 kilograms.

That doesn't sound as an average Earth human to me. Welcome to the world of High Fantasy, forget about normal humans.

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220lbs? Wow yeah that ain’t no earthly human…. I can do it, but it’s not easy… I am not a little guy lol.

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I don't know if I support the changes OP is suggesting, but I'll concede that it does feel kind of strange that certain feats of strength take luck into account the way they do. I feel like that's more a product of the gaming nature of things rather than a flaw of BG3 itself. Like yeah, I do feel like either you're strong enough to rip the doors off a pod or you aren't. The example of Gale looking for where to apply his strength specifically feels like something closer to a crafting role, using his expertise rather than raw strength.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
You have to be VERY careful in D&D, and really any RPG, when it comes to restricting someone entirely from being able to do something. Otherwise, you could wind up in a situation where you get stuck.
Yep. Here's what I would do:

  • Set the DC for door pushing to 20 for STR 10, and reduce that DC by 2 for each point in strength above 10. So a character with STR 20 will have DC 0, which sounds pretty plausible to me.
  • Additionally, any party member can make an Investigation or Perception check to lower the push DC in half. This second DC can be a fixed number, because you use the best candidate from the entire party.

First of all, this creates an opportunity for teamwork (something I'm yet to see in this game), and encourages players to have a diverse party composition that covers a broad range of skills. Second, it leaves a very little chance that your party won't be able to get through (4 Sorcerers will have a problem here, but magic users can have their own failsafe options).

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I think all this boils down to a misunderstanding of what a roll means in a roleplaying game.

Roll is strictly about whether you succeed in something or not.

So, as a DM, when I set a DC for anything, I first ask myself, "Is there a possibility that this person may not succeed in this activity?" If they will succeed no matter what, no roll is required.

So, in some situations, no roll is required. You either have the strength to lift a rock or not.

However, if I ram myself into a door, will it bust open every time? Is there a chance it WON'T bust open?

It doesn't matter how strong you are, if there's a chance it won't bust open, you need to roll. If there is no chance, and it will bust open no matter what, no roll is required.

Here's the scenario. Door is jammed tight. Dorn the barbarian dwarf slams into it, but he doesn't get a good head start. He even stumbles a bit before slamming into the door. Dang! It doesn't budge. Doesn't matter that he's super strong. He stumbled a bit and didn't get a good crack at it.

Gale comes up and solidly kicks the door at just the right spot where there's some rotting wood on the door frame. Slam! The door flies open. He didn't have a good chance to kick it open, but he got lucky and kicked it at just the right spot so that the rotten wood gave way.

THAT is why dice rolls are so important. They are the unknown factors that you can't see or don't know about. You might be super strong, but maybe there's part of the door that's super strong, and it just so happens that's the part you're throwing yourself into. Maybe the floor's a bit slippery from soot or someone spilled something or waxed that spot too much. There can be any number of unknown factors that are why your super strong giant of a half orc might not succeed in smashing through a flimsy door but the pasty wizard did.

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