Condensed Ability Scores (5e Variant Rule)

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For player-characters:

This reduces the number of scores from six to four. Strength and Dexterity are now always important for every character because they make you die less. Intelligence and Wisdom are now useful for everyone for ability checks, interaction, perception checks, initiative, etc. The three most common saves (Con, Dex, and Wis) are still reliant on different ability scores.

PHB races: ability score increases[edit]

The following races or subraces gain the according ability score increases instead of the standard one. Use whatever your DM deems appropriate for these races or for races outside the PHB.

Other considerations[edit]

  • Several classes will now only grant proficiency in one saving throw. This shouldn't affect game balance.
  • Remember that creatures other than PCs (and maybe their lackeys) still have six ability scores. The conversion generally doesn't change much for them.
  • Overall this rule seems surprisingly easy to implement after character creation.

But why?[edit]

  • This helps bring other ability scores up to the 'god stat,' Dexterity, and the universally-useful score, Constitution.
  • This rule reduces the number of "dump stats" for a typical PC from "at least three" to "maybe one."
  • It's fun to mix things up sometimes.



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