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Why are there no clumsy races?


Advanced Race Guide Playtest


Since I'm not sure where to post this, I figured this might work. I've looked through all of the races without racial HD and I've noticed that none of them have a -2 Dex. Every other ability score shows up with a penalty on one race or another except for Dex. Conversely, Dex seems to show up rather frequently with a bonus.

So, is there some mechanical reason that playable races don't tend to have a Dex penalty?


reflex and AC bonuses most likely. Also, ranged capabilities being important later on for use against flying creatures. So, if they didn't have it or had it at a penalty then they would be at a disadvantage compared to others.


But every ability score has an impact. Is Dex really more significant than all others?


This is because dexterity covers so much in D&D that clumsiness is almost suicidal. It goes from dodging, to hitting ranged, to reflex saves, to initiative, and combat maneuvers, as well as being ability score for many skills, and necessary as a prerequisite for many feats. There are also a bunch of feats that make dexterity more useful.

Because of this, it becomes difficult to make a race that is slow but graceful or reactive but not too skilled. They either have both or have neither and when someone thinks of a clumsy, unskilled, unreactive race it's hard to see them surviving in the world.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Admittedly, if the clumsy race had, say, natural armor to make up for the lower AC, I think it would be a bit more palatable.


HappyDaze wrote:
But every ability score has an impact. Is Dex really more significant than all others?

Dexterity is one of those scores that doesn't need to be high, but hurts a lot when it's low. It's the opposite of charisma, which can be really great when it's high but doesn't matter much when it's low.


Ragnarok Aeon wrote:


Because of this, it becomes difficult to make a race that is slow but graceful or reactive but not too skilled. They either have both or have neither and when someone thinks of a clumsy, unskilled, unreactive race it's hard to see them surviving in the world.

Give them a +4 Con to make up for it?


My homebrew race has a penalty to Dexterity, and it makes sense that they're kinda clumsy, since they're basically humans with hooves and horns.

Andoran

Some third party material has a penalty to dex. Half Giants from Dream Scarred for example.


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I think it would be interesting while still being somewhat effective if the dex penalty where paired with large sized as well. but that could just be me...


I've done a homebrewed race with a penalty to Dex. They got natural armour as well as boosted Con and Wis and poison resistance to make up for it (on account of basically being living suits of armour), and yet I still had one player declare he would never play one the moment he heard there was a dex penalty.

Then again I had another player play one of them as a tough melee rogue/inquisitor. It worked out quite well in fact.


I was looking at reworking the Dwarf to have -2 Dex, +2 Con, +2 Wis rather than the current ability modifiers. To compensate, I was also considering increasing Defensive Training from Lesser (+4 dodge bonus to AC against humanoids of the giant subtype) to Greater (+2 dodge bonus to AC). IOW, these dwarves are not naturally graceful or quick but they compensate for it, at least as far as avoiding attacks, with training.


Ability scores are not in any way close to being internally balanced.

The problem with Dex is that it's tied to a lot of things that you need to be on par or higher with, like AC, Reflex, Ranged, Initiative and many skills.

It's kind of like Con in that every class wants more of it, but it's a more commonly used stat than Con.


Well there are certain things that can cause a person not a race as a whole to be clumsy.

1. Size gains a -2 Dex per size increase.
2. Armour provides a negative to acrobatics, clim, swim, ride, ect.
3. It could be said that those with zero ranks in Acrobatics are generally not graceful.

However I always thought that Giants would be slightly clumsy. At least they are protrayed that way in most fantasy I have seen.

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