Racial Attribute modifiers

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dunbruha
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Racial Attribute modifiers

Post by dunbruha »

Are the Attribute Modifiers listed for each race (e.g., +1 Dex & -1 Con for elves) applied to the Attribute Score (thus changing the Attribute), or are they actual bonuses to the Attribute Check?

For example, if an elf rolled a Dexterity attribute score of 10, would his Attribute Check be at +0 or +1?

I had always assumed it was the former (a modification to the Attribute Score), but the language in the PHB in the Racial section made me wonder:
PHB p 33, 5th printing wrote: Attribute Modifiers : This refers to the modifications that are applied to the attributes of all members of a given race.

They are called Attribute Modifiers, but so are the bonuses to the Attribute Check roll:
PHB p. 8 wrote:The [attribute] modifier is a number added to (or subtracted from) a roll of the dice when a character uses an attribute to take an action, make a saving throw or use a class ability.
So which is it?

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kreider204
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Re: Racial Attribute modifiers

Post by kreider204 »

Ya, that wording is not at all clear.

I'm assuming that pp. 33 ff. "Attribute modifiers" are really just attribute "bonuses / penalties," added or subtracted to the attribute itself, as per most incarnations of D&D. A Troll Lord can correct me if I'm wrong about that.

EDIT: Might be a good idea to add this to the list of request clarifications in the 6th printing thread.

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mbeacom
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Re: Racial Attribute modifiers

Post by mbeacom »

dunbruha wrote:Are the Attribute Modifiers listed for each race (e.g., +1 Dex & -1 Con for elves) applied to the Attribute Score (thus changing the Attribute), or are they actual bonuses to the Attribute Check?

For example, if an elf rolled a Dexterity attribute score of 10, would his Attribute Check be at +0 or +1?

I had always assumed it was the former (a modification to the Attribute Score), but the language in the PHB in the Racial section made me wonder:
PHB p 33, 5th printing wrote: Attribute Modifiers : This refers to the modifications that are applied to the attributes of all members of a given race.

They are called Attribute Modifiers, but so are the bonuses to the Attribute Check roll:
PHB p. 8 wrote:The [attribute] modifier is a number added to (or subtracted from) a roll of the dice when a character uses an attribute to take an action, make a saving throw or use a class ability.
So which is it?
You're assumption was correct. The racial attribute modifier modifies the actual attribute score (3d6), as opposed to the modifier generated from the score (-3 to +3). So an Elf that rolled a 10 for Dexterity and Constitution would get an 11 Dex and 9 Con. They should call that the Racial Ability Modifier or something more specific. Perhaps call the other one the Attribute Check Modifier or something. I agree, if someone didn't have experience playing other games, it might be confusing.
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tylermo
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Re: Racial Attribute modifiers

Post by tylermo »

I always added it to the actual score, but noticed the wording recently while making a character for a friend. I concur. Add this to the list of phb clarifications.

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Re: Racial Attribute modifiers

Post by Treebore »

Hmmm... I never really questioned it before. I guess I was just so used to such a modifier always changing the actual score, the wording never made me question it.
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Re: Racial Attribute modifiers

Post by Omote »

I think much like Treebore on this matter. What is interesting though is that the game Lamentations of the Flame Princess do such modifications. Regardless of the actual attribute score, the particular race might get a +1 to the attribute check. For example, if the dwarf's constitution score is a 10, he still get's a +1 to all CON checks because the bonus is to the check, not the score. Pretty neat actually.

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dunbruha
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Re: Racial Attribute modifiers

Post by dunbruha »

Omote wrote:I think much like Treebore on this matter. What is interesting though is that the game Lamentations of the Flame Princess do such modifications. Regardless of the actual attribute score, the particular race might get a +1 to the attribute check. For example, if the dwarf's constitution score is a 10, he still get's a +1 to all CON checks because the bonus is to the check, not the score. Pretty neat actually
This would make sense for a game where the attribute bonuses are not as important (like LofFP & C&C).

It probably should be clarified in light of the LotFP rule.

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Re: Racial Attribute modifiers

Post by muneshige »

I am certain they are meant to adjust the attribute numbers, but... well.. changing the bonus could be an interesting way to play it. Unfortunately the thing that would stop it is the half-orc has a -2 penalty which would be kind of way too much to stick onto someone. Though maybe if the Half-Orc could be changed to -1 to Charisma and -1 to Intelligence perhaps it would work out better.

The drawback of this would be that it would really, really make some races way better at certain classes.
The advantage of this would be that the difference in say... strength between an Orc and a Halfling or... the toughness of a Dwarf compared to an Elf... well, it would really, really mean something. A simple -1/+1 to an attribute has very little meaning or impact except on maximum scores.

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Re: Racial Attribute modifiers

Post by Arduin »

muneshige wrote: A simple -1/+1 to an attribute has very little meaning or impact except on maximum scores.
Use Table 1.3 (method 2) for attribute mods. (page 11 CKG). This makes that +-1 a bit more meaningful...
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