I recently came across Gabriel Hicks’ narrative-driven character creation module for ability score increases being based on class rather than race. I loved the idea – both from a story-telling perspective, and also because I never much liked the inherent speciesism in racially derived ability score improvements. So I shelled out $ 5 and downloaded the module. If you’re interested, you can find it here: https://gabejamesgames.itch.io/cmm
The TL;DR is that for each class you’re asked three questions based on your character’s backstory, and on the basis of that you get stat improvements across up to three abilities. For example a cleric gets an uplift in Charisma, Strength and Wisdom based on whether you consider your cleric to be more battle-oriented or magic oriented, whether your first instinct is might or charm, and whether you consider yourself a divine beacon or a brave voice of reassurance. Based on your answers, you might get eg +1 wisdom +2 strength, or +2 strength +1 charisma, or even one of each.
Instead of taking your ability score increases from your race, you take them from this system. I tried it out with a Dwarf, and compared it to the standard approach, and felt both were playable.
I then tried a human, and came to the conclusion that the human gets a rough deal – lacking some of the benefits from other races, humans get +1 ability scores across the board… for… well for being human. Whatever class I picked for my human I ended up just 3 down… ok sure I could be +2 and +1, but I could be +1, +1, +1, with no upside.
My conclusion was that much as I loved the idea, and it seems to work for some races, the humans just seem to miss out.
Have I missed some subtle thing? The author is no fool… and I want to love the idea, but I think the effect would be I just wouldn’t ever play a human.
Has anyone had experience with this module, esp. as a human player?