Is the Bard Overpowered?

I'm starting a campaign and a bunch of my friends are joining, never playing before. One of them has created a lvl 1 dragonborn bard. The problem is that she naturally rolled good stats. Like really good. I had to make her reroll because they were too good.

Currently, the stats are the following:

STR - 16, DEX - 16, CON - 15, INT - 10, WIS - 8, CHA - 16

I want to be fair since it's her first character, but I also don't want it to be overpowered. Any Advice?


we are playing dnd e5 if that matters

2 Answers

  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I would really advise against modifying player character starting stats just because of lucky die rolls. It gives the appearance that you are just going to overrule any die rolls in the game that happen which you don't like the result of.

    Besides, just because they have higher base stats doesn't mean they are going to outshine everyone. Those stats might makes them a solid scrapper in a fight similar to a Fighter early on, but the extra bonuses the Fighter gets as they level will give them a solid lead in combat before long. Similarly, a Wizard will outclass them in spellcasting capabilities more and more as time goes on. The only class I can think of that might have issues keeping up would be a Rogue.

    And if it truly becomes a problem, you can always fine-tune the gear that drops so that the stuff other characters would be more interested in is of a slightly better quality level, in order to counterbalance this.

  • 3 years ago

    Hmm... This is a tough issue here, as reviewing the skill bonuses BEFORE than racial / background bonuses would place her total character skill bonuses at +10 (+3 STR, +3 DEX, +2 CON, ±0 INT, -1 WIS, +3 CHA)...

    With the Player's Handbooks (I'm looking at 3.5th, 4th & 5th Editions), I can see your concerns as the ideal range is between +4 & +8 for total character skill bonuses (as noted with the 4th Edition. 3.5th Edition only notes re-rolling if the highest stat is 13 OR overall skill bonuses were at ±0 or less). Throwing in racial bonuses, would place the character's skills at STR 18 (+4), DEX 16 (+3), CON 15 (+2) , INT 10 (±0), WIS 8 (-1), CHAR 17 (+4)... or an overall skill bonus of +12.

    I would likely review the characters of the other players to see if they have similar overall skill bonuses before reacting, but I would recommend lowering having the player lowering 2 stats by 1 point each OR 1 stat by 3 points (excluding CON, which would have be lowered by an extra point) to get their stats within "reasonable range" (putting her at +8 before racial / background bonuses). If needed, I would recommend a small bonus in equipment or gold (at your discretion) as compensation to re-balance her character.

    While the choice is ultimately up to you on how to handle the situation, I hope this sheds some light on the subject & provide a reasonable option.

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