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Implications of Weapon Finesse for all


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


Here is my question for you: what would be the implications of decoupling the bonus to hit for melee attacks from the Strength stat and attaching it to the Dexterity stat instead?

Potential benefits:

Lowering the incredible value of the Strength stat
Removing the need for high strength on melee touch attacks
Easy implementation within the core rulebook

Potential drawbacks:

Possibility of making the Dexterity stat too valuable
Possible snags in implementation with expansion materials

What do you all think?

Dark Archive

Dexterity is already really, really good. Better than Strength, even now. Making it so that every Strength-focused character would need Dexterity in addition to their Strength would weaken them severely.

Strength lets you:

  • Hit (with melee weapons or melee touch spells)
  • Do damage
  • Carry things

Dexterity lets you:

  • Not be hit
  • Minimize/negate some spells
  • Hit (with ranged weapons or ranged touch spells)
  • Go first

There are also already feat options that let you use Dex for hit AND damage (though the damage options are very limited and have feat taxes). I don't believe they should change it, not at all. Maybe give more flexibility/options for doing Dex->Damage, but absolutely not making ALL weapons use Dex for hit.

Now, giving Weapon Finesse innately to all Finesse-able weapons, like they did in D&D 5e? That I'm okay with.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Incredible value?

Right now as text what does strength give you?

Plus Attack and Damage on melee, and the ability to wear and carry your stuff.

Right now Dexterity gives you

Initiative Bonus

Armor Class Bonus

Reflex Save Bonus

Ranged Attack Bonus

With two feats you now get the attack and damage potential as well?

Now tell me again why Strength is so incredibly valued?


Naturally, such a change would be completely incompatible with any ability that allowed the Dexterity bonus to count toward damage. If such a change were implements, feats that are similar to Dervish Dance would need to be trashed.

Hmm... a further refinement of the proposal would be to shift the initiative bonus over to the Intelligence stat (a plausible stat to govern such an ability). It would serve to increase the value of Intelligence and lower the value of Dexterity.


LazarX wrote:

Incredible value?

Right now as text what does strength give you?

Plus Attack and Damage on melee, and the ability to wear and carry your stuff.

Right now Dexterity gives you

Initiative Bonus

Armor Class Bonus

Reflex Save Bonus

Ranged Attack Bonus

With two feats you now get the attack and damage potential as well?

Now tell me again why Strength is so incredibly valued?

Here is my question for you: what would be the implications of decoupling the bonus to hit for melee attacks from the Strength stat and attaching it to the Dexterity stat instead?


My actual playing experience is that making Weapon Finesse a generic rule instead of a feat changes very little - it saves the Rogue and other Dex-based melee characters single feat but does not make serious problems. Casters/ranged characters can hit with their touch spells/melee attacks a bit more often then before but it's not game breaking change.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I suppose if you hate martial classes it wouldn't be bad. It would be the best thing for nerfing them into uselessness aside from outright saying they must have 14+ in all stats.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Talynonyx wrote:
I suppose if you hate martial classes it wouldn't be bad. It would be the best thing for nerfing them into uselessness aside from outright saying they must have 14+ in all stats.

Ok cool, I'll add "It inspires unconstructive hyperbole" to the list above.


Swapping attack bonuses to dex? It would more or less break the game, severely nerf about half of builds while giving huge boosts to the other half.

Giving out weapon finesse for free to everyone? Mighty fine house rule.

Marathon Voter 2013

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I give my players Weapon Finesse for free, as well as agile maneuvers.

What I've noticed so far:


  • A marked increase of Dex users as compared to previous games.
  • Due to feats being opened up, there are more interesting feats that the players use. Since they can already use dex to hit and do combat maneuvers if they so desire, which I'll note are the bare things everyone can do, their feats are spent on things that break the normal rules in more interesting ways than just hitting better.
  • Slightly higher defenses of the characters who use the free weapon finesse.

Note that I don't allow dex-to-damage options.

I do recommend giving weapon finesse for free for most groups.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Ganymede425 wrote:

Here is my question for you: what would be the implications of decoupling the bonus to hit for melee attacks from the Strength stat and attaching it to the Dexterity stat instead?

Potential benefits:

Lowering the incredible value of the Strength stat
Removing the need for high strength on melee touch attacks
Easy implementation within the core rulebook

Potential drawbacks:

Possibility of making the Dexterity stat too valuable
Possible snags in implementation with expansion materials

What do you all think?

In our game we've made a LOT of changes to the various combat feats - an update I'm about to post - but pone of the biggest and most logical for us was that we got rid of weapon Finesse as a feat and instead made it a weapon trait, applicable to most light weapons, projectile weapons and some few others. any weapon that possessed the Finesse trait had Dexterity applied for attack and damage bonus instead of Strength automatically for all characters. Its worked out superbly well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Now tell me again why Strength is so incredibly valued?

In large part due to the ability to add 1.5x your Strength bonus to damage for the vast majority of Strength-based melee combatants. That's actually a pretty big deal - when you consider that the bonus damage is usually somewhere between 2-4 points but potentially higher and applies to all two-handed melee weapons, and that to get a similar bonus Fighters would have to use two sepearate feats, each of which could apply only to a single weapon type.


Ilja wrote:

Swapping attack bonuses to dex? It would more or less break the game, severely nerf about half of builds while giving huge boosts to the other half.

Don't worry, I already added "It inspires unconstructive hyperbole" to the list.

Shadow Lodge

I'd be in the camp of having everyone essentially gain the Weapon Finesse feat, if you're going to do anything at all. That is, let all weapons that can be finessed be allowed to use dexterity to hit off the bat, while all the other melee weapons still require strength.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Ganymede425 wrote:
Ilja wrote:

Swapping attack bonuses to dex? It would more or less break the game, severely nerf about half of builds while giving huge boosts to the other half.

Don't worry, I already added "It inspires unconstructive hyperbole" to the list.

Nice.


I'd support it, but strength would have to gain something. If an easy-to-use encumbrance/fatigue system were in place strength would become better.


Serum wrote:
I'd be in the camp of having everyone essentially gain the Weapon Finesse feat, if you're going to do anything at all. That is, let all weapons that can be finessed be allowed to use dexterity to hit off the bat, while all the other melee weapons still require strength.

I'm not the biggest fan of the Weapon Finesse feat. For one, it unfairly penalizes fighting with a shield while rewarding the ability to fight with a two-handed weapon (the curve blade) and fighting with a weapon in each hand. Secondly, it seems to be a distinction without a purpose as perfectly useful weapons like the rapier and curve blade can be finessed, so there is little meaningful sacrifice in taking these particular weapons over other weapons.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I'd support it, but strength would have to gain something. If an easy-to-use encumbrance/fatigue system were in place strength would become better.

I'd probably counterbalance it by allowing Strength to apply to all physical attacks outside of mechanical weapons such as crossbows and firearms. The main change here would be that a high strength enhances the damage of an arrow without needing a separate type of bow.

Other than that, a streamlined encumberance system would always be welcome.

Shadow Lodge

Ganymede425 wrote:
Serum wrote:
I'd be in the camp of having everyone essentially gain the Weapon Finesse feat, if you're going to do anything at all. That is, let all weapons that can be finessed be allowed to use dexterity to hit off the bat, while all the other melee weapons still require strength.
I'm not the biggest fan of the Weapon Finesse feat. For one, it unfairly penalizes fighting with a shield while rewarding the ability to fight with a two-handed weapon (the curve blade) and fighting with a weapon in each hand. Secondly, it seems to be a distinction without a purpose as perfectly useful weapons like the rapier and curve blade can be finessed, so there is little meaningful sacrifice in taking these particular weapons over other weapons.

Not really. ACP on shields are easily removed unless for some reason you want to use a Tower Shield (unlikely for people wanting to use finesse). Darkwood/Mithral Heavy Shields, Masterwork Light Shields/Bucklers all have zero ACP.

Elven Curve Blades are exotic weapons, and the rapier is worse than the scimitar due to it only doing piercing damage.

The only reason you'd use a rapier over a scimitar is because you can use Weapon Finesse with it.


Serum wrote:
Ganymede425 wrote:
Serum wrote:
I'd be in the camp of having everyone essentially gain the Weapon Finesse feat, if you're going to do anything at all. That is, let all weapons that can be finessed be allowed to use dexterity to hit off the bat, while all the other melee weapons still require strength.
I'm not the biggest fan of the Weapon Finesse feat. For one, it unfairly penalizes fighting with a shield while rewarding the ability to fight with a two-handed weapon (the curve blade) and fighting with a weapon in each hand. Secondly, it seems to be a distinction without a purpose as perfectly useful weapons like the rapier and curve blade can be finessed, so there is little meaningful sacrifice in taking these particular weapons over other weapons.
Not really. ACP on shields are easily removed unless for some reason you want to use a Tower Shield (unlikely for people wanting to use finesse). Darkwood/Mithral Heavy Shields, Masterwork Light Shields/Bucklers all have zero ACP.

While I will freely admit that it is possible to mitigate or negate the disadvantage of using a shield with a finesse weapon, such a fact fails to dispute the notion that shield users are unfairly and arbitrarily penalized under the Weapon Finesse feat.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh wow, I did not read the thread carefully. I thought it was what the title said, not "force everyone to use dexterity to-hit".

The idea won't work too well. Here are some of the snags I foresee:


  • It's taking out a massive assumption about the game and will require lots of tedious changing of monsters, as well as feats. This isn't on the same level as "using Charisma for Will", but a much greater one due to just how integral to the game "strength-to-hit" is. Every creature that attacks is using this assumption, and that happens far, far more often than making will saves.

  • The effects of this will greatly alter the dynamics of how classes work. The change will reintroduce MADness to classes like the paladin, and introduce MADness to multiple other classes. This will in turn hurt the abilities of the majority of martial characters as they now need to focus in multiple stats just to get to where they were pre-change.

  • It forces everyone who is good at attacking to be good at defenses and agility. That...really isn't the case, and in any event it make a fair number of character concepts either really weird or impossible.

  • It makes the God Stat the Super God Stat. Dex already affects more (and more useful) things than any other stat, this is just a huge boost to it.

  • Strength's only saving grace is its ability to help your attack rolls and your damage rolls. Otherwise it's pretty crappy. This would just make it far worse, as the help to attack rolls is in many ways the most important part. Bonuses to-hit-AC are quite often worth more than an equivalent bonus to-damage, since they can be the difference between some damage and 0 damage.

  • The wonderfully popular big burly fighter archetype is suddenly an expert at sleight of hand, disabling devices, and acrobatics. Weird.

Your attack roll is a bit of a misnomer. Just because you didn't beat their armor class does not mean that you didn't hit them. It just means you failed to penetrate their defenses. That's why strength makes sense for your attack bonus.

I heavily recommend not doing this, and instead just giving weapon finesse for free. That act does almost everything this sets out to do in a more elegant and simple manner. Touch attacks make far more sense now. The mechanic already exists in the game. It requires far less of rework being done. It won't massively devalue strength and cause a number of really strange things to happen with highly popular character types. Far less likely to have unintended consequences since it isn't changing a highly integral assumption of the game.

It's a decently interesting idea, and I think that if the game was built around this assumption it may actually work (although you really would have to differentiate between the thing that helps your dextrous skills and the thing that helps you hit).

Shadow Lodge

Since you're already changing things, you can get rid of that if you want to.

Or just say, "The Weapon Finesse feat doesn't exist. You can use your dex modifier in place of str to attack with any weapon that could have had Weapon Finesse applied to it".

What were your reasons for thinking about this change?


Serum wrote:
What were your reasons for thinking about this change?

Honestly, I was just having one of those "I wonder how the game would look different if I redesigned it from the ground up" moments.

The other weird idea I had was to delete Charisma completely and roll its effects into Intelligence.


Wiggz wrote:
In our game we've made a LOT of changes to the various combat feats - an update I'm about to post - but pone of the biggest and most logical for us was that we got rid of weapon Finesse as a feat and instead made it a weapon trait, applicable to most light weapons, projectile weapons and some few others. any weapon that possessed the Finesse trait had Dexterity applied for attack and damage bonus instead of Strength automatically for all characters. Its worked out superbly well.

I'm doing the same thing, though I'm not allowing Dex to damage. That feels like the tipping point for me. Having Finesse be a weapon property makes a lot of sense, and doesnt' penalize people who wish to dex offensively. But if you allow it to damage as well, i think the benefits of playing a strength character are effectively gone.. .maybe with the exception of the barbarian. (though the Urban Barbarian archetype makes even that issue moot.)

Shadow Lodge

Eben TheQuiet wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
In our game we've made a LOT of changes to the various combat feats - an update I'm about to post - but pone of the biggest and most logical for us was that we got rid of weapon Finesse as a feat and instead made it a weapon trait, applicable to most light weapons, projectile weapons and some few others. any weapon that possessed the Finesse trait had Dexterity applied for attack and damage bonus instead of Strength automatically for all characters. Its worked out superbly well.
I'm doing the same thing, though I'm not allowing Dex to damage. That feels like the tipping point for me. Having Finesse be a weapon property makes a lot of sense, and doesnt' penalize people who wish to dex offensively. But if you allow it to damage as well, i think the benefits of playing a strength character are effectively gone.. .maybe with the exception of the barbarian. (though the Urban Barbarian archetype makes even that issue moot.)

Well, the dex to damage person has to use light/one-handed weapons (except for the curve blade) which means that A) his damage die is pretty low, and B) he won't be getting the 1.5x bonus, nor bonuses from PA etc.


Ganymede425 wrote:
The other weird idea I had was to delete Charisma completely and roll its effects into Intelligence.

The Kirthfinder rules have a similar change, and one that I am growing to like.

They (all the people involved in developing that rules off-shoot) changed how Wisdom and Charisma work, however.

You should take a look at what they did. Like it or not, it has some interesting design decisions behind it.


Serum wrote:
Well, the dex to damage person has to use light/one-handed weapons (except for the curve blade) which means that A) his damage die is pretty low, and B) he won't be getting the 1.5x bonus, nor bonuses from PA etc.

Your average str fighter can pull out his longsword or greatsword and have a higher base damage, which will generally equate to somewhere between an average of 2 to 3.5 damage on base weapon damage (assuming a d6 finesse weapon). If we're talking about two-handing (and assuming both the dex character and the str character have a 18 in the appropriate stat), we're talking another 2 points of damage in favor of the strength fighter. And even this is a little deceiving because a dex fighter can push more into dex to get greater returns out of his character (seeing as how it's also improving one of his saves, his initiative, and his AC).

So we're looking at a difference of 4 to 7.5 damage on average for the trade-off of higher reflex save, initiative, and AC... not to mention all the juicy skills that dexterity contributes to.

The other problem is power attack. A Finesse-based character can still use Power Attak as long as they have a 13 in strength. So oru halflings and gnomes probably don't use this tactic, but your mediium-sized martial characters can still take advantage of Power Attack. And your Curved blade and spiked chain wielding medium, dex-based martial characters are still getting that big 2-hander power attack bonus... so that's really a wash.

I just don't think there's all that much reason to stick with the STR character (other than concept) anymore... the benefits to Dex are just really, really nice for martial characters.

EDIT: like i said, i like the idea of making it a weapon property and getting rid of Weapon Finesse... I'm just not convinced it's smart to give them damage as well. Let's leave dishing big chunks of damage to the big, burly guys (or guys who can gain other methods of gaining that damage -- like sneak attack)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
Lots of good stuff

I pretty much completely agree with this. This change takes dex, the strongest single stat in the game and makes it even more so, nearly completely removing the strength based heavy armor character as useful option when the dex based guy can do it better without the need for full plate.


This would go well with Armor as DR. You'd be able to skimp on accuracy because you'd be aiming for touch AC and you'd need the strength to punch through armor DR. If you tuned things right you'd be able to alternately do a dex heavy combat expertise build and have people actually miss you. It might even be optimal for rogues.

Star Voter 2013

Eben TheQuiet wrote:
The other problem is power attack. A Finesse-based character can still use Power Attak as long as they have a 13 in strength. So oru halflings and gnomes probably don't use this tactic, but your mediium-sized martial characters can still take advantage of Power Attack. And your Curved blade and spiked chain wielding medium, dex-based martial characters are still getting that big 2-hander power attack bonus... so that's really a wash.

It's really not a wash. Even if everyone has the same stat (18 as you mentioned,) that two-hander is getting an increase on damage of 1 - 3.5 average damage for just his weapon. Then his strength is getting an extra 2 points of damage. Power attack is also getting a 3/1 return, while the finesse fighter is only get 2/1 return.

So even at level 1, a Finesse Fighter with Power Attack would have an attack bonus of +4 dealing 1d6 + 2 (PA) + Str damage, while that Strength Fighter with Power Attack would have an attack bonus of +4 dealing 1d8 - 2d6 + 9 damage.

That two-hander is going to be killing a lot quicker than that finesse fighter will be able to. If he can consistently drop enemies very quickly, then his AC isn't as much a factor. Reflex and initiative always helps, but, for the most part, the bonuses on skills are really only going to help the skill monkeys. Also, that Dex to AC isn't going to mean much once you hit the max Dex of the armor.

By the way, when I say 'fighter' I mean any martial character.

Shadow Lodge

Tels wrote:

It's really not a wash. Even if everyone has the same stat (18 as you mentioned,) that two-hander is getting an increase on damage of 1 - 3.5 average damage for just his weapon. Then his strength is getting an extra 2 points of damage. Power attack is also getting a 3/1 return, while the finesse fighter is only get 2/1 return.

So even at level 1, a Finesse Fighter with Power Attack would have an attack bonus of +4 dealing 1d6 + 2 (PA) + Str damage, while that Strength Fighter with Power Attack would have an attack bonus of +4 dealing 1d8 - 2d6 + 9 damage.

Note that he's talking about dex to damage with finesse weapons.


Ganymede425 wrote:
Ilja wrote:

Swapping attack bonuses to dex? It would more or less break the game, severely nerf about half of builds while giving huge boosts to the other half.

Don't worry, I already added "It inspires unconstructive hyperbole" to the list.

No, saying that you hate martials is hyperbole. I mean this literally. Look at the DPR olympics and compare it with your houserule (giving extra feats to those who've invested in weapon finesse).

Saying half/half of ALL characters was a hyperbole, but when it comes to characters that care about melee attacks? I mean it literally.

Looking at the first three builds from the DPR olympics:
1. Jack B Nimble gets an extra feat, a quite large improvement for a 10th level rogue (since they're feat starved). Could be used for EWP:Something interesting or whatever.
2. Falchion Fred gets his DPR dropped from 59.25 to 40, a drop by a THIRD, making him worse at damage than Jack B Nimble despite Jack having higher saves, initiative, and a sh*tload of skillpoints.
3. Tempest Ted drops to 39.8 DPR, also below Jack B Nimble but still with only damage to bring to the table (lacking skills and special abilities).

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ganymede425 wrote:
Ilja wrote:

Swapping attack bonuses to dex? It would more or less break the game, severely nerf about half of builds while giving huge boosts to the other half.

Don't worry, I already added "It inspires unconstructive hyperbole" to the list.
Ganymede425 wrote:
Talynonyx wrote:
I suppose if you hate martial classes it wouldn't be bad. It would be the best thing for nerfing them into uselessness aside from outright saying they must have 14+ in all stats.
Ok cool, I'll add "It inspires unconstructive hyperbole" to the list above.

After replies like this, I almost regret trying to politely explain why your change would be detrimental.

Not liking Weapon Finesse is fine and well, but it does not follow that the solution to this dislike is to break the proverbial kneecaps of Strength-based martial characters, most of which are only really good at hitting things.

There is literally no good reason to make this change, and it makes a stat that is already really good become the best stat, while simultaneously taking an okay stat and making it terrible. Why would you ever want to do this?

Making Finesse-able weapons automatically use Dexterity for their to-hit is a completely viable answer that solves all your problems with Weapon Finesse, and even one I'd love to use for my Aldori Swordlord. But to make it so that every melee weapon has to use Dexterity is just silly.

Star Voter 2013

Dex classes in general are weak right now. Giving everyone an innate Weapon Finesse feat (usable with only light weapons and other WF weapons of course) doesn't hurt things at all, it makes Dex PCs more viable and eliminates one of the feat taxes.

In D&D 4E they did it and the world didn't fall apart. I did it in my home campaign and the world did not fall apart. It's been good actually.

I don't think Dex should be used to hit with all melee attacks however.

Shadow Lodge

Just dropping another vote for "Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat / weapon property is fine, Dex for all attack rolls is not."

Giving Dex-based characters a free feat doesn't strike me as unbalancing, and others' playtesting seems to bear that out. But having Strength just apply to damage, carrying capacity, climb, and swim while Dexterity applies to all attack rolls, AC, reflex saves, initiative, and seven skills... that's too much on one stat.


Ganymede425 wrote:


Hmm... a further refinement of the proposal would be to shift the initiative bonus over to the Intelligence stat (a plausible stat to govern such an ability). It would serve to increase the value of Intelligence and lower the value of Dexterity.

That's a nifty notion. INT gives skills, is needed for Wizards, but what else? Made a requirement of Combat Expertise... anything else? So yeah, make init INT related instead of DEX. (Though logically maybe WIS is better for init, but WIS is already a power stat.)


Seranov wrote:
Ganymede425 wrote:
Ilja wrote:

Swapping attack bonuses to dex? It would more or less break the game, severely nerf about half of builds while giving huge boosts to the other half.

Don't worry, I already added "It inspires unconstructive hyperbole" to the list.
Ganymede425 wrote:
Talynonyx wrote:
I suppose if you hate martial classes it wouldn't be bad. It would be the best thing for nerfing them into uselessness aside from outright saying they must have 14+ in all stats.
Ok cool, I'll add "It inspires unconstructive hyperbole" to the list above.
After replies like this, I almost regret trying to politely explain why your change would be detrimental.

Indeed, I felt your contribution to the discussion was polite and well thought out. One line replies of "It breaks the game!" and "You hate melee classes!" are not.

Quote:

Not liking Weapon Finesse is fine and well, but it does not follow that the solution to this dislike is to break the proverbial kneecaps of Strength-based martial characters, most of which are only really good at hitting things.

There is literally no good reason to make this change, and it makes a stat that is already really good become the best stat, while simultaneously taking an okay stat and making it terrible. Why would you ever want to do this?

Making Finesse-able weapons automatically use Dexterity for their to-hit is a completely viable answer that solves all your problems with Weapon Finesse, and even one I'd love to use for my Aldori Swordlord. But to make it so that every melee weapon has to use Dexterity is just silly.

You seem to be laboring under the completely mistaken impression that I am actually advocating for this particular change, as if it is some sort of house rule I play with.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Jason S wrote:

Dex classes in general are weak right now. Giving everyone an innate Weapon Finesse feat (usable with only light weapons and other WF weapons of course) doesn't hurt things at all, it makes Dex PCs more viable and eliminates one of the feat taxes.

In D&D 4E they did it and the world didn't fall apart. I did it in my home campaign and the world did not fall apart. It's been good actually.

I don't think Dex should be used to hit with all melee attacks however.

The world didn't fall apart in 4E. Instead almost everyone became pretty much the exact same class, with flavor descriptions to tell them apart.


Atarlost wrote:
This would go well with Armor as DR. You'd be able to skimp on accuracy because you'd be aiming for touch AC and you'd need the strength to punch through armor DR. If you tuned things right you'd be able to alternately do a dex heavy combat expertise build and have people actually miss you. It might even be optimal for rogues.

Armor granting DR is an interesting idea, and I've seen that implemented in other games.

Another approach would be to make the Max Dex Bonus penalty actually have some bite. There are any number of ways to increase the impact of this particular penalty; for instance, armor might instead provide an increasing penalty to dodge bonuses to AC.


I've had finesse be a function of weapon properties for ages and it's never given me any trouble. One less feat tax is all good in my mind.

Sovereign Court

I think it'd make more sense to have other stats be what you need to hit. Like Intelligence or Wisdom.


4e does that Morgen but honestly I'm not a massive fan of it tbh. I can see having special weapon properties that allow int, wis or cha to be used in place of str or dex but I prefer if they are done via magic.


Tels wrote:
By the way, when I say 'fighter' I mean any martial character.

Agreed. I was doing the same, but for the sake of clarity, I'll use "combatant" from here on out. :)

Tels wrote:
It's really not a wash. Even if everyone has the same stat (18 as you mentioned,) that two-hander is getting an increase on damage of 1 - 3.5 average damage for just his weapon. Then his strength is getting an extra 2 points of damage.

I addressed this. If we're talking apples-to-apples comparisons (one-handed dex vs. one-handed str / two-handing dex vs. two-handing str), the base weapon damage averages are only a few points different (curved blade or spiked chain vs. greatword/axe). And that extra 2 points of damage is assuming were only talking 2-handing the weapon.

Unless I'm misunderstanding your post (always a possibility), you seem to be assuming the dex-based combatant is using a 1-handed weapon while the strength combatant is 2-handing it. That's not really a fair assumption. While the options are certainly more narrow for a 2-hander dex-combatant (curved blade and spiked chain if we're talking core-only), they are still there. And we certainly can't assume every strength combatant is two-handing, sword/board and TWF options are just as likely, and must be factored into our comparison. The 2-hander difference certainly highlights the damage difference, but it's not so drastic if you compare like-builds.

Tels wrote:
So even at level 1, a Finesse Fighter with Power Attack would have an attack bonus of +4 dealing 1d6 + 2 (PA) + Str damage, while that Strength Fighter with Power Attack would have an attack bonus of +4 dealing 1d8 - 2d6 + 9 damage.

Addressed above, but so let me shift the illustration for appropriate comparisons. Both comparisons will assume the following stats and will assume a full BAB class while power attacking.

Dex build - STR 13 and Dex of 18. Str build - STR 18 and Dex of 13.

One-handed weapons: (Rapier vs. Longsword)
Rapier: +4 attack; 1d6 + 6 damage; 18/x2 crit - avg. 9.5 damage per hit
Longsword: +4 attack; 1d8 + 6 damage; 19/x2 crit - avg. 10.5 damage per hit

Two-handed weapons: (Elven Curved Blade vs. Greatsword)
Curved Blade: +4 attack; 1d10 + 7; 18/x2 crit - avg. 12.5 damage per hit
Greatsword: +4 attack; 2d6 + 9; 19/x2 crit - avg. 16 damage per hit

So, for the one-handers, I'm seeing an average of 1 point of difference, with some variance for weapons chosen. For 2-handers, I'm seeing an average of 3.5 points of difference, again, with some variance for weapons chosen.

So you got the 1 and 3.5 numbers right, but I think having them in context is key. sword & board between the str and dex combatants only shows a +1 damage advantage going to the str combatant while the dex combatant enjoys a +2 to initiative, reflex saves, and dex-based skill skill checks. While also having an easier time sporting a similar AC in lighter/cheaper armor (which will also have a lower ACP… only improving the usefulness of those dex-based skills).

The 2-hander comparison shows a 3.5-ish damage advantage for the strength combatant, but the dex combatant enjoys the same benefits as above.

Tels wrote:
That two-hander is going to be killing a lot quicker than that finesse fighter will be able to. If he can consistently drop enemies very quickly, then his AC isn't as much a factor. Reflex and initiative always helps, but, for the most part, the bonuses on skills are really only going to help the skill monkeys. Also, that Dex to AC isn't going to mean much once you hit the max Dex of the armor.

I agree that the strength combatant will kill quicker. "A lot" is a bit situational, though, and really depends on the opponents he faces. And yes, if the strength combatant can consistently kill quicker (the word "consistently" is key here, and plays into the situational nature of that original statement), then his lower AC is less of a factor (or at least the expense he must go through to attain the same AC). But the point is that it is a factor.

As for the comment on the bonus to skills only helping skill monkeys, I'd say this change is right up their wheelhouse. A ranger with this change has very little incentive to go strength at all. But even beyond that, a Fighter who chooses to go dex based under these circumstances is looking at a high dex coupled with cheap armor with a lower ACP… I'd say that should give him a decent edge against his strength equivalent when dealing with Acrobatics (jumping), Ride, and Stealth checks… which could all be really, really useful in a lot of situations. Will he rival a true skill-monkey? No, but he can be in a much better position to support his skill-monkey teammate now that he can sneak up with him.

It gives him more options, and a lack of options is one of the biggest indictments leveled at the Fighter class.

Sovereign Court

vuron wrote:
4e does that Morgen but honestly I'm not a massive fan of it tbh. I can see having special weapon properties that allow int, wis or cha to be used in place of str or dex but I prefer if they are done via magic.

I was thinking more about how they do it in 5th edition Hackmaster. You get bonuses based on your Intelligenc and Dexterity scores. Think I said wisdom before, I meant Dex. Haha.

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