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Sub-Attributes


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Been playing around with the idea of sub-attributes, which is to say splitting the Attributes into two separate characteristics to better reflect the multiple aspects of the game each affects. Once the base attribute has been determined, a character has the option of raising one characteristic by 1 or 2 while lowering the other the same amount. For instance, If the character's Strength was a 14, he might have a Power score of 15 or 16 and a Stamina score of 13 or 12.

Below is just a rough draft, but I think it might prove interesting to implement as a customization option.

Strength
We all know the archetypes of the big strong guy who tires easily, or the less imposing hero who has inner reserves of stamina to tap into.
Power
- applies to melee attack roll and damage bonuses as well as similar situations (like the use of compound bows)
Stamina - applies to lifting/carrying capacity as well as Strength-based feats like Swimming and Climbing.

Dexterity
Whether its the overwieght uncle who's a deadshot with his hunting rifle or the little fat kid who's a master of video games, quickness and coordination are rarely the same thing.
Quickness - applies to Relfex rolls, AC bonuses and Initiative.
Coordination - applies to ranged and Finesse'ed attack rolls and Dexterity-based skills like Stealth and Acrobatics.

Constitution
Some are physcially hearty, able to withstand untold amounts of punishment, while others are tireless - think marathon runners.
Health - applies to hit point bonuses and Fortitude saves.
Endurance - applies to Constitution-based skills as well as things like the ability to hold your breath or resist Fatigue or Exhaustion effects.

Intelligence
Some have ediactic memories, able to recall even the most obscure data while others excel at solving riddles and puzzles.
Memory - applies to bonus spells for Inteligence-based casters, bonus languages and Knowledge Skills.
Problem-solving - applies to Craft, Spellcraft and Appraise skills as well as DC for Intelligence-based casters.

Wisdom
Indomitable strength of will does not always go hand-in-hand with the wisdom of ages...
Willpower - applies to Will saves and DC for Wisdom-based casters.
Insight - applies to Wisdom-based skills as well as when determining bonus spells for Wisdom-based casters.

Charisma
One does not have to be a valiant leader or winsome beauty to be able to influence others - ask Grima Wormtongue.
Attractiveness - physical appeal and leadership qualities, applies to Diplomacy Handle Animal and Perform skills as well as bonus spells for Charisma-based casters.
Manipulation - applies to Bluff, Disguise, Intimidate and Use Magic Device skills as well as DC for Charisma-based casters.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Hm.

I knew I should have started another thread about how Paladins are better then Fighters or why Monks suck...


Wiggz wrote:

Hm.

I knew I should have started another thread about how Paladins are better then Fighters or why Monks suck...

HA! I know how you feel, bro! I'm still under the impression that this is a thread zone for creativity.

As for your sub-attribute idea. I like it and think it makes the game more realistic ans funner to imagine. But would it slow things down?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Arcanemuses wrote:
Wiggz wrote:

Hm.

I knew I should have started another thread about how Paladins are better then Fighters or why Monks suck...

HA! I know how you feel, bro! I'm still under the impression that this is a thread zone for creativity.

As for your sub-attribute idea. I like it and think it makes the game more realistic ans funner to imagine. But would it slow things down?

Its more detail when it comes to character creation, but once the static bonuses are in place, it has no effect on the game in real-time. Ability drain affects both sub-attributes equally. And the base attribute is still used for feat pre-requisites and such.

.
And yeah, its pretty crazy what's worth hundreds of responses just to say what you've already said a hundred times already, but then other threads die quiet deaths undiscussed. I've made extensive posts on new combat rules, alternate summoning lists, you name it and nary a peep... but let someone bring up why Paladins are annoying and you could literally plot the discussion on a graph its been had so many times.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd seen Dexterity split before, but into Agility (governs AC and reflex) and "Dexterity" that governs disarming traps, playing a stringed instrument, etc. This was based on the observation of the author who noticed that some soccer players (very good on their feet) were rubbish basketball players and a very good pianist was trip-prone.

I'm not saying I agree, but it is a point.


I really like this, it adds a touch of flavor and new customization. Also, limiting it to a shift of one or two was a good piece of foresight since I was about to mention that spell DCs could become broken with a system like this until I re-read your post and saw the change cap. 2 being just enough to get a bonus but not enough to make he bonus game-breaking. Again, I think this is really well thought out.


This looks a lot like something from the AD&D 2E Player's Option books. By any chance was that the inspiration?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:
This looks a lot like something from the AD&D 2E Player's Option books. By any chance was that the inspiration?

This is exactly what I was thinking. Even the range of difference is the same. The only additional rule was no ability could be adjusted above 18 or below 3 before racial adjustments. The names of the subabilities were different, and what they applied to has changed (it would have to—the modifiers, class feature modifications, spell bonuses all changed from AD&D 2E). Still it was an interesting idea back then, and because all calculations are done during level up or creation there should be no slow down at all.

I like it, but I'm not sure I could sell it to some of the more traditional gamers in my group.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Feros wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
This looks a lot like something from the AD&D 2E Player's Option books. By any chance was that the inspiration?

This is exactly what I was thinking. Even the range of difference is the same. The only additional rule was no ability could be adjusted above 18 or below 3 before racial adjustments. The names of the subabilities were different, and what they applied to has changed (it would have to—the modifiers, class feature modifications, spell bonuses all changed from AD&D 2E). Still it was an interesting idea back then, and because all calculations are done during level up or creation there should be no slow down at all.

I like it, but I'm not sure I could sell it to some of the more traditional gamers in my group.

Actually no, I've never seen that - wish I had, it might have saved some agonizing over exactly how to split things. And if your gamers are so traditional, you could point it out to them that these concepts date WAY back to 2e, eh?

One of the reasosn why I like it is that is can be completely optional. A player can split one attribute but not another, one player can use the splits and another not and it won't affect gameplay or balance in any significant way. Its just a nice customization tool.


I liked it first time I saw it, Wiggz. Just didn't find time to post approval.
With the awesomely creative option to split some and not others, combined with the range cap, I really really like this. Well done. And, apparently, it has some precedent. :)


I appologize for the World of Darkness stiff, but I got stuck on the names.

I really like what you did with the mental stats, splitting the DC's and bonus spells up, but with the physical ones all of the "Good" attributes are clustered, while the secondary purpouses are lumped. I feel like splitting them would make sense.

Giving these as they are to the average Min-maxer and you get high power, high HP/Fort saves high will-saves, and High AC, Reflex, and Init. It gives them the ability to boos the important stuff and leave the rest a point or two down, cause they don't care about skills, count encumbrance, etc.
You have saves, AC HP Attack+Damage, all available at the cost of skills with no hard choices.

Whatcha think of these edits?

STR
split, attack and damage.
Or go something about fast-and Slow twitch muscles
-attacks and damage for one, and
-CMB skills and carrying capacity for the others

CON
Stamina: fort saves, endurance, and checks for fatigue
- Stamina is the phisical strength of the body that allows someone to resist effects, and keep moving
Vitality: Hit Points and Stabilization
- Vitalityhas to do with life-force and a character clinging to life.

DEX
Quickness: Init, Reflex
- quickness determines reaction-times
Balance/Finesse: Finesse attacks, AC, skills
- determines fine motor controle beyond simple quick thinking

WIS
I like Resolve/composure, as opposed to Willpower, as Will is a save already
Split up skills and will-saves cause pwrception is the "best Skill" and will saves are huge

CHA
Presence as opposed to attractiveness, as it encompases that and more.
I do think Presence would be where the DC's on Cha spells would come from, but bonus spells have to do with Manipulation.
- Cha Casters cajole magic to happen, and the more finess they use the more magic they can coax into being, but their spells are powered by their force of personality which makes them tough to resist.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
waiph wrote:

I really like what you did with the mental stats, splitting the DC's and bonus spells up, but with the physical ones all of the "Good" attributes are clustered, while the secondary purpouses are lumped. I feel like splitting them would make sense.

Giving these as they are to the average Min-maxer and you get high power, high HP/Fort saves high will-saves, and High AC, Reflex, and Init. It gives them the ability to boos the important stuff and leave the rest a point or two down, cause they don't care about skills, count encumbrance, etc.
You have saves, AC HP Attack+Damage, all available at the cost of skills with no hard choices.

Whatcha think of these edits?

I don't think there's anything wrong with any of the options you posted... but I have to say that when I was doing this it was for role-play purposes more than mechanical ones. I completely understand the all-consuming drive for 'balance' some people have, but it has never been and never will be my holy grail. I'll give it a nod when all other things are equal and I'll keep it in mind when something is in danger of going to extremes, but rarely does it drive any of my 'optional' rules. In this particular case I was also trying to avoid parsing things too finely, lest it get difficult to remember which sub-attribute affects which skill and so forth.

.
I noticed when I was doing it that determining the aspects as I did might well lead min/maxers to take the obvious route and as far as I'm concerned they're welcome to - none of the sub-traits as they are would unbalance a game anyway. I agree that things, as you've laid them out would indeed by more suitable for those whom are balance-driven, but it seems that you kinda have to bend or stretch the flavor to suit it and I personally hate doing that. I also think that people who lean their characters towards combat at the expense of skills will either a) suffer in games where skills are an important part of the adventuring experience or 2) thrive a bit more in games where skills don't really matter that much anyway.
.
I like the term 'Presence' for the Charisma sub-attribute. It better captures what I was aiming for than the word I used. Same with Vitality over Health.


I love this. We have a folder of all the house rules we use, including classes, feats,etc. We have enough that I am going to put it altogether as our standard "Corebook". And I feel like I will totally add this the book, assuming my group is cool with it.

This gives great flexibility when making your character and allows many different characters to be customized without having to do anything more than a bit more thinking at character creation.

Do you plan on changing how often they get stat increases, or simply more when they do? How will you balance it in that sense? what about magic items?

Good Job so far ^.^

As to the threads falling into obscurity, I completely understand. Sometimes I purposefully do not write as much as I want to when I feel the subject is less likely to be commented on. I write it out over several days so it has more exposure.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

If people want to customize, I'll type up the old Skills and Options version from 1995 TSR. I'll write out what each generally covered and what under Pathfinder/3e. rules each would cover.

I don't actually agree with some of what I'm about to put down here; a lot of it doesn't work for me (Appearance controlling all social interactions? Seriously?), but I'm putting down the original as-is for comparison purposes

You can use this to get an idea of what can be done with this really cool concept:

Strength:
Stamina and Muscle.
Stamina was a measure of muscle efficiency and was used for carrying capacity. I would assume in addition to weight allowance all skill use would be tied to this (Climb and Swim require constant muscle use).
Muscle is sheer power and was for combat, open doors, and bend bars/lift gates rolls. Translated that would be combat and short power burst strength checks (like breaking things and kicking in doors).

Dexterity:
Aim and Balance.
Aim was manual dexterity and covered Open Locks, Pick Pockets, and ranged attacks. In Pathfinder it would cover ranged attacks, Disable Device, and Sleight of Hand.
Balance dealt with overall agility and body control. It covered initiative, AC, Move Silently, and Climb Walls. Translated: Initiative, AC, Reflex save, and all remaining Dex skills.

Constitution:
Health and Fitness.
Health was an expression of the character's ability to avoid illness and other harmful things. It was used for Poison Saves and system shock survival. This translates as bonuses to Fort saves and Constitution checks.
Fitness was all about endurance and covered hit points and resurection survival. This would translate as bonus hit points and stabilization saves.

Intelligence:
Reason and Knowledge.
Reason was about problem solving and logical thinking. It covered Spell level available, illusion immunity, and the maximum number of spells known per level. This would translate into Appraise and Craft skills, determining highest spell level, and bonus spells.
Knowledge covered memory and information processing. It determined proficiencies and percentage chance to learn a spell. This would cover skill points, bonus languages, Knowledge, Linguistics, and Spellcraft.

Wisdom:
Intuition and Willpower.
Intuition dealt with perception and instinct. It covered bonus spells and % Spell Failure. In Pathfinder it would cover bonus spells, spell level, and all Wisdom skills.
Willpower covered a bonus to mental spell resistance and immunity to certain mind-affecting spells. This would translate into the Will save bonus.

Charisma:
Leadership and Appearance.
Leadership was a measure of personal magnetism and strength of character. It cobered the Loyalty base and number of henchmen available. This would translate into the Charisma skills other than Diplomacy and Bluff, bonus spells, and clerical channel energy.
Appearance covered Reaction adjustment. This would be covered by the primary social skills (Bluff & Diplomacy).

I think that Waiph has a point about appearance as well as many of his edits, and I think that Wiggz has a good version as well. Since this is all homebrew now, everyone can adapt what Wiggz has suggested to his own tastes and perceptions.

Really great work here, Wiggz. Bravo!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Motionmatrix wrote:

I love this. We have a folder of all the house rules we use, including classes, feats,etc. We have enough that I am going to put it altogether as our standard "Corebook". And I feel like I will totally add this the book, assuming my group is cool with it.

This gives great flexibility when making your character and allows many different characters to be customized without having to do anything more than a bit more thinking at character creation.

Do you plan on changing how often they get stat increases, or simply more when they do? How will you balance it in that sense? what about magic items?

If you're ever looking for some house rules, you should see the thread on the changes we made to combat feats... or the one with the 20+ summoning lists for customizable Summoners... tweaking the rules has always been a favorite hobby of mine.

As far as stat increases, I wasn't trying to make any sort of fundamental shift in the game, so figure everything as normal. Personally I'd add in the option of making a change to the attribute adjusted - for example:

I have a Strength of 15 with a Power score of 16 and a Stamina score of 14 when I hit 4th level. I decide to add a point to my Strength, raising the base attribute by 1 point to 16, and in so doing also raising my Power to 17 and my Stamina to 15... now, if I choose I can either use this opportunity to 'close up' my split and make both Power and Stamina 16 or diffuse it even more by making Power 18 and Stamina 14, bringing it to the maximum 2 point separation. I would only allow this at the time an attribute is raised due to leveling... all other attribute bonuses (like from magical items) would affect the base attribute and the sub-attributes equally.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Feros wrote:
Really great work here, Wiggz. Bravo!

Thanks much. You are correct about this being adaptable to any way a particular group or GM might want to tweak it...

.
One of the things I really like about the Charisma split - Appearance (or the suggested Presence) vs. Manipulation is that it allows you to make an ugly character who's not incredibly gimped when it comes to bluffing or intimidating... never made sense to me that a gruff, impersonal or unsociable character would automatically be unable to lie or intimidate effectively.


Well, to be honest, I would pretty much remove the old stats, and give 2 attribute points every 4 levels. It fits into the customization you want very well, for example:

I want a 007 type character, at 4th level I would put one of the two points in Coordination, because I want to be great with ranged attacks, and the other point would go into attractiveness, you know, I'm bond =)

Whip up a character creation rules to use this without having to touch the old attributes. In a point buy creation, double the number of available points you wanted to give, keep the same prices and caps (you can have a 20 at most, and only if you have +2 racial modifier).

Also don't forget to specify what the racial bonuses are now (you don't have to keep them where they are, the flexibility you wrote here allows you to play with more). For example, I would grant elves a racial bonus to attractiveness (rather than memory). I would keep a bonus to both quickness and coordination, as well as problem-solving.


when it comes to str and dex and maybe even int this works great.

a person who focuses on power often gives up stamina, a person who is quick often is less accurate, A highly intelligent person may memorize things well but is not so good at working out problems intuitivly.

but there is a problem with some...

Constitution for example seems to imply that focusing on health makes you less able to recover.

Im not exactly saying its a bad idea... I actually like it a lot.

I just have a problem with some of them in a RP sense.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

It looks very interesting and certainly seems more realistic than the standard generalized system.

It does however require quite some changes with every ability damaging or altering spell, Su, Ex, Sp and substance. Not saying it's too much work, just saying that this might be more complex than it appears.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dot for later.


Nullpunkt wrote:

It looks very interesting and certainly seems more realistic than the standard generalized system.

It does however require quite some changes with every ability damaging or altering spell, Su, Ex, Sp and substance. Not saying it's too much work, just saying that this might be more complex than it appears.

Those effects simply alter the base stat, and therefore the sub-stats the same amount. Easy.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

So it always affects both substats at the same time? Seems odd to me to have a system that is only complex on the player's end but keeps the generalized model on the GM's end.

Wouldn't that make the breaking down of attributes rather cosmetic?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

dot for reference


Nullpunkt wrote:

So it always affects both substats at the same time? Seems odd to me to have a system that is only complex on the player's end but keeps the generalized model on the GM's end.

Wouldn't that make the breaking down of attributes rather cosmetic?

I feel like you have to kick it up a notch, to really reach the sweet spot of what you are attempting here.

That was the reason I said you should roll all 12 stats at the beginning and grant double the attribute bonuses every 4 levels. How bonuses to stats (both temporary and permanent) work will have to be agreed upon beforehand as well. Does a +2 to dex equal +2 to both Quick and Coord, or can you make it +4 and +0? Or +1 and +3? does it only apply to either Quick or Coord, not both?

The other reason you want to just roll all of them (which is not a big deal since the ingame values do not actually change; i.e. the raw math is the same) is so you can have that customization aspect that this is ripe with.

If I roll a 16 str, then have to split it between power and stamina in a range of 14 to 18, I am bound to have a somewhat "Strong fighter" type character. If I can just roll all the stats (or point buy), there is no reason I can't have a martial artist character that is very fit and capable to using his raw strength in combat very well, but is not particularly gifted with the ability to carry a ton of weight, all his training focus on combat.


Definitely munchkin gold as it stands.

Sacrifice carrying capacity and the ability to swim for to hit and damage?

Sacrifice ability to hold your breath for hitpoints and fortitude saves?

Also, Stamina is a name that should go to a con-sub score.

You do a better job with dex and the mental stats, certainly.

I'd say that if you want to do this, you'll have to make two of the most 'powerful' aspects of each stats on opposite sub-stats.

For strength, you would need to put melee to hit on one side, and melee damage on the other.

For con, you'd need hitpoints on one and fort-saves on the other.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
AtomicGamer wrote:

Definitely munchkin gold as it stands.

Sacrifice carrying capacity and the ability to swim for to hit and damage?

Sacrifice ability to hold your breath for hitpoints and fortitude saves?

Also, Stamina is a name that should go to a con-sub score.

You do a better job with dex and the mental stats, certainly.

I'd say that if you want to do this, you'll have to make two of the most 'powerful' aspects of each stats on opposite sub-stats.

For strength, you would need to put melee to hit on one side, and melee damage on the other.

For con, you'd need hitpoints on one and fort-saves on the other.

As I often said, perfecting game 'balance' is rarely my primary motivation when creating optional rulse... having said that, the MOST you'll get out of any optimizing efforts is +1 to anything and you'll lose something for it, so I'd hardly consider that game-breaking. Moreover, for some characters who aren't strength-based, the ability to swim, climb, etc. might actually be more valuable.

For some characters Intimidating Prowess is the better option while for others Skill Focus: Intimidate is statistically the wiser choice... nothing wrong with either feat. At any rate, its the idea I wanted to get out there - people are obviously free to tweak it however they feel best if they decide to use it at all.

Endurance is the ability to engage in physical activity for extended periods of time, as a marathon runner might, which is why I use the term as a sub-trait of Constitution while Stamina is the ability to engage in short bursts of physical activity repeatedly, as a sprinter or weight lifter might... seemed the ideal word choice to me.

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