Racial Ability Mechanics (4e Variant Rule)

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Racial Ability Mechanics[edit]

All races can use any +2 to any attributes, rather than the one's specific to them at character creation. So a Dragonborn could have +2 to Dexterity and Charisma, or +2 to Intelligence and Strength. Or a Halfling could have +2 to strength and constitution, and so on. In this way you don't choose a race intended specifically on it's bonuses to attributes. You can also have any race with any set of mechanics for said race, so you could be a half-elf but take racial mechanics from a Dragonborn or what have you. Humans obviously only get a +2 to one ability, still.

For that matter, racial powers can use any ability score or your highest ability modifier, rather than the one given to them at character creation. So instead of rolling for Strength when using the Dragonborn racial "Dragon Breath" attack, you could use the highest ability modifier, such as Intelligence or Charisma. Tieflings could use Strength instead of Charisma for their "Infernal Wrath" racial power, for example. This gives more play versatility and allows characters to play outside their intended roles or type, to provide a more open and fun playing experience instead of being locked in to a particular playing style, based on race. As not all creatures of all races are always going to fit the mold of that race, a Dragonborn may be unusually clever or fast, an Orc may be unusually intelligent, or a Tiefling may be unusually strong, and so on. Life experiences is as important to a race as what they're born as, and this is more clearly reflected in these rules, as well as just being more fun overall.

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