Dexterity Modifier Replacement Options (5e Variant Rule)

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Dexterity Modifier Replacement Options[edit]

In order to make the "God Stat" that Dexterity appears to be in 5e a more reasonable and comparable to the other stats, here are a series of rules that replace and/or alter the Dexterity modifiers added to various checks and rolls.

Armor Class[edit]

Use the Constitution modifier in place of the Dexterity modifier for the unarmored AC, the magically altered AC such as Mage Armor and Draconic Resilience, and medium armor. This variation replaces the impression of the character dodging the attack with the idea that they are just so tough that it just takes more to damage them.

Dexterity Saves[edit]

Add the +2 to AC that a character gains from using a shield to the Dexterity save of characters proficient with shields. This is part of the Shield Master feat already, but a character receives a +2 to Dexterity saves when they are behind half cover, and if they are using a shield, they are essentially behind half cover.

Finesse Weapons[edit]

Use the Strength modifier for the damage rolls of Finesse weapons. The Dexterity modifier for the attack roll determines if the weapon hits, but the Strength modifier for the damage rolls indicates whether or not they hit hard enough to gut the target or merely scratch them. The extra damage for hitting a vital area of the target is determined by features such as Critical Hits, Sneak Attack, and/or some of the Battle Master's maneuvers.


When determining initiative order in combat, every combatant makes a Wisdom check instead of a Dexterity check. This change represents characters' capability to both perceive detect threats and to instinctively engage the fight-or-flight response faster than others.

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