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[PODCAST] 5th Edition D&D Actual Play – Eberron: Heirs of Destiny 06

March 16, 2017 | Posted by John Bates

It’s time for more Eberron!

So, today I want to talk about low vs high stats in D&D campaigns. There is a sudden surge of people proclaiming that it’s ok to have low stats, they make interesting characters – and that’s absolutely true! You shouldn’t shy away from a low stat here or there if you are ok with how that characterizes your character. If you’re playing, for example, a Golaith Paladin who is all heart and muscle, then it’s ok if he has a low stat in intelligence. That doesn’t interfere with the character.

That being said; It’s also ok to not have any low stats.

What started as support of people who were unhappy with having one or two low stats – trying to encourage them and make them feel better – has done what these things tend to do and extrapolated out into people making declarative statements like “Low stats are what make characters interesting”, which perhaps by itself seems wholely positive, but the implication there can quickly become “Only low stats make characters interesting.” Doesn’t help that it’s often followed up with “People who have all good stats are boring.” As someone who rolls ridiculously well [Ask the GM for Eberron. You know him, @jthomas411mania on twitter], sometimes you can’t help but have good stats – and that, too, is not a bad thing.

Personally, I find it far more fascinating when a talented character fails at doing something they’re skilled at. When the stealthy rogue gets spotted, when the mighty barbarian misses, when the sorcerer’s spell is countered – Therein lies tension, surprise, doubt, and character growth. When a clumsy character trips it’s expected, we laugh, and we move on. This is not to say that low stats aren’t something we should embrace – wholeheartedly I agree that we should. We should, however, never do it at the expense of others. Nobody likes feeling bad for doing well.

That’s me off my soapbox now. Feel free to enjoy more of our talented characters failing at the things they’re talented at.