So then, I want to be able to dodge the swing of a sword, pick a lock and be a crack shot with bow, all I need is to have supercharged dexterity and I should be good to go! Like all attributes, dexterity will come into play at some point in a gaming session and alongside strength, dexterity is certainly one of the most used. In Dungeons and Dragons, it is the main attribute requirement for a Rogue, and also allows the use of finesse weaponry and equipment. In Middle Earth Role-playing, it helps with your defensive bonus and your movement and manoeuvre, especially in soft and rigid leather armour. I had a Noldor Elf in a MERP campaign years ago and I can still remember that he had a ridiculous defensive bonus, getting a sheer folly movement and manoeuvre was not as tricky as it would have been!
In a game the dexterity attribute gives a character lots of options to try different things. In my opinion it’s an attribute that has a lot of crossover potential. Why not invest for example, in some archery skill but also be able to pick locks and disarm traps?
Not only is the dexterity attribute useful in lots of different skills that are used in the various role-playing games, but it can also be a very useful attribute in another way when you sometimes end up having to make a saving throw. These are sometimes at the Games Master’s discretion but more often or not because of something unpleasant that might happen to a character due to a course of action or an encounter that would need the dexterity of a character to prevent further harm.
A good example would be a trap that has been accidentally triggered by someone and a rack of spikes springs up from the floor. A saving throw against a character’s dexterity is a test of their ability to leap out of harms way in a split second to avoid being well, skewered.
Depending on play-style and profession, dexterity is worth investing in. It can be used across the board (no pun intended) for a wide range of skills and provide a much broader scope with which to play a character and survive against the dangers of campaigning.