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Melee attacks, Dex instead of STR

Hello all,

I'd like to better understand the reasoning behind the change of attribute from STR to DEX on melee attacks ?

What it DOES hurt in my eyes, is a low tech levels. The reasoning behind it is that armor has changed a lot between a fantasy setting and bewteen a T20 setting. So, the barbarian character using an axe, fighting against another unarmed barbarian on a TL2 world, would use DEX ???

They are not using any armor ?

OK, another point which bother me, is the game balance issue. Strength is now used only for Carrying Capacity, which can easily be dealt with when you plan correctly (I have been playing a Str 10 halfling in DD for a long time, gear hurts). This change in my eyes seriously imbalance the combat rules.

One last thing that bothers me is that in combat Dex becomes almighty. I want to create a good merc, I do not create a character with a 12 Dexterity but at least with a 16 one.

It all depends on how you create characters in your game, of course, but DEX is power. It modifies AC, initiative, and all combat, ranged AND melee. Who need Strength ?

Honestly what bugs me a lot is that suddenly an brute force weapon like a big claymore or an halberd becomes a weapon which you use more with finesse then pure strength (of course as the BAB increase with level, that represents skill & training in both case).

Any comment welcome, I am just wondering why (and if me asking bothers you, I already changed that in MY T20U
apart from the possible need to be feel different.

Personally I like the change, it’s a bit more realistic. I never could understand how the stronger you got the better you could wield a sword. Dexterity for melee makes more sense. You can be as strong as an ox but if your just as clumsy you shouldn’t be able fight.
Strength still has a part to play. The modifier gets added to the weapons damage.
Maybe it should change depending on the weapon. A foil could be a dexterity based weapon and something like a morning star or battle ax could be strength based.
As far a i can see mellee combat is an opposed roll (your dex V's there dex plus armour), yes once you have hit it is nice to have the strength to stick the sword in and wiggle it around alot, but as the famous saying goes "if you dont kill him with the first six inches of blade, sticking another 2feet through isn't going to make much difference".
Or the other one "the pointy end goes in the other guy".
You could say that Wisdom counts more than Dex because you sense where he will be and this negates his dex bonus.
Or intel (you know all the week points in his armour).
Basicaly you use all of your stats in combat both ranged and mellee.
So pick the one you want to use but be consistent.
The justifications in D&D3 for the to-hit roll being modified by STR instead of DEX (like in most other games) are as follows:

1 - Strength represents coordination as well as raw physical power.

2 - A "hit" in combat is an abstraction of a series of combat maneuvers, and a high strength can be used to cause a blow that can brute-force its way past an opponent's (abstracted) block/parry.

3 - A "hit" in combat represents a blow which penetrates armor. A high STR can turn a blow which simply glances off of armor into one which penetrates through the armor to the opponent. A "miss" result in D&D can represent an attack bouncing off of armor as well as an actual clean miss.

T20 doesn't seem to change these assumptions, yet it does change the attack roll modifier from STR to DEX. To compensate for this, I introduced a house rule in my game by which armor no longer provides an AC bonus, it only provides damage reduction. Characters are given a defense bonus dependant on class levels, with more combat-oriented classes getting better defense bonus progression.

Yes, moving the attack roll modifier to DEX causes it to be a more valuable stat than STR. In a modern or future society, DEX is more valuable in general than STR in combat. Since Traveller is firmly in the Sci-Fi genre, it makes sense for T20 to do things this way. As long as all the players understand that DEX is now more important mechanically than STR the change doens't really affect game balance.

Hope the long-winded explanation helps!
Why not divide weapons into 3 categories?

1. Strength only weapons (Axes, Hammers, Broadswords etc.).

2. Dexterity only weapons (Rapiers, daggers, most ranged weapons etc.).

3. Average of Strength + Dexterity weapons (Quarterstaff, Longsword etc.).

Chivalry & Sorcery treats weapons this way. This would allow characters to choose weapons that are more suited toward their own abilities.