Ability distribution thus far and the possibility of dumping a stat


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thflame wrote:


There is a difference between low level adventurers not being ready for a task and average civilians being hired on to go on a dungeon raid.

People with a stat total much lower than the average adventurer, aren't cut out to be adventurers.

I'm not going to wheel 18 INT granny with her spells out to a dungeon wih her 6 in STR, CON, and DEX. Now, if Granny had a 20 in INT as well as awesome WIS and CHA scores, I'd be more willing to consider it, as granny is going to be great is social situations, a pretty good person to keep watch while she knits her Mittens of Dexterity, and an awesome mage.

If the Granny is a physical liability, she is a physical liability. Being marginally better as a mage doesn't change that, nor does Granny being great in social situations make her not a physical liability in dungeons.

I could respond to a lot of bits here, but it feels pointless because the idea of aptitude tests for adventure party's is ludicrous in the context of most stories. Characters don't have to take a medical exam before they are allowed to tag along.

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If the party starts in a big city, then adventuring with Sub-Par Sammy makes no sense, when they could reasonably have a character with intended stats.

How do they recruit this character with intended stats? Can you actually walk me through this process? And do you think this process is actually relevant in 99% of games?

I can come up with a way to make it work if I try hard enough, but the closest thing I've seen to a game that would make it work is the Order of the Stick. Which is... not. You could have a One Punch Man type setting, where Heroes are measured, certified, rated, and allocated on a societal level. That certainly isn't Golarion.

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Even if they don't, the PLAYERS are going to know that Sub-Par Sammy is sub-par, because his Player wants to RP a weakness. That puts a burden on Sammy's player, as the rest of the party knows that he is intentionally gimping his character for no benefit just to RP a character that is a liability.

Who cares? Sammy's player is always going to be pressured to build the optimal character at this particular table. If Sammy is worse at their designated job because they didn't dump stats then the table is unhappy. If Sammy's dumps stats and it makes him a liability or over-dominates in one aspect of the game then then the table is unhappy. If dumping stats gives Sammy no benefit and he does it anyway, the table is unhappy. All this change does is give us a more objective measure of optimal. It merely shifts the burden. The burden was already there.

Alternatively, the other player's won't care. If they didn't care before, they shouldn't care now.


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Planpanther wrote:

Id like to see ways outside of stat dump and pump to showcase outlier characters. A flaw-boon feat system could do it. The feat gives you sometype of draw back, but also a bonus to make up for it. This way its a more tangible choice than just rocketing your primary for little penalty.

By "rocketing" we are talking about a +2 that allows players to hit a 20 and by "little" penalty, we're talking about a -2 to a stat. It's literally just a -2 for a +2.

Here's the point, there are legitimate role-play reasons to want a dump stats for a 20 in a stat. Is it worth preventing an entire design space of characters because some people are going to min-max?

If you care about what a "role playing game" is, the answer is "no". At a bare minimum, basic fantasy tropes should be viable.

If all you care about is "everyone at my table is going to min-max so nobody can have fun" then you need a new group.

Furthermore, as much as I don't like min-maxxers, if they want to play the game that way, let them.

Preventing players from having exceptional stats at low levels because min-maxxers might abuse it is nothing more than BadWrongFun.


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Rysky wrote:

*sigh*

That is one of the pitfalls of Society play and why I avoid it, but for some it’s all they got. I like making characters with flaws. I’m not the only one. So for people playing PFS2 I’d like to allow them to play the characters they want. The “you’re playing it wrong*” pops up the most from the PFS threads I’ve seen. Sorry I’m rambling at this point.

*obviously I see a clear distinction between someone dumping a stat as a flaw that doesn’t necessarily cripple them vs say a wizard with an 8 Intelligence

I mean, I do as well. And I don't play Society play either (neither PFS or SFS).

I'm just not sure there is an effective compromise. Playing the 6 strength wizard is challenging, but not crippling for mechanical effectiveness as a wizard. To me, if someone wants to play that character I'm good with it. I don't think they should be rewarded with more "points" to spend on other stats, even if it's not their int because they're going to trade the stats they care least for, for another stat they care more about.

And the real problem isn't the character being weaker in a non-essential areas, it's other people being jerks and being rude for a choice that leaves the character functional, if challenged in some different ways from an "optimal" character. I mean, strength 10 vs strength 6 doesn't make a huge difference for a wizard, except in carrying capacity.


thflame wrote:

The argument I keep seeing here is, "If it is possible to get a 20 everyone HAS to get a 20."

This is NOT true. You don't NEED a 20 (or whatever the stat cap should be) to be an effective character. This sounds like min-maxxers projecting their feelings onto others.

It adds SO much more flavor to the game to be able to get a 20 in a stat because you are playing an especially gifted member of a race known for being above average in a particular stat.

"But it's not fair that if I want to play a 20 DEX character, I have to play a Halfling or an Elf."

No, that's perfectly fair. That's part of what makes halflings and elves special. The most dexterous human is NOT going to be a dexterous as the most dexterous elf. Human's don't have the genetics. (This is coming from a guy who thinks humans should have NEVER gotten a free +2 to a stat, and that the 2 +2s that races get should have had to have been picked between.)

The reason why dumping for no benefit is not an acceptable solution is that nobody in their right mind would adventure with the guy who is just plain weaker than everyone else.

Granted, I have played a character that would have made sense with slightly dumped stats. He was a "fish-out-of-water" bard, who ended up with higher DEX and CON than I really wanted him to have, because I had extra points to spend. If I had played the stats I wanted, the party would have suffered for it. (Though the group liked the character more for RP reasons, so they may have put up with it.)

The "big dumb brute" is a common fantasy trope, either as the bad guy's muscle or the endearing protective friend. (Think Hodor from Game of Thrones, Sloth from the Goonies, or even Hulk.)

The "big dumb brute" is almost always stronger than even the trained warriors, and usually dumber than everyone else as well. It makes sense that the "big dumb brute" archetype would be able to hit a higher STR score than the average warrior, at the cost of a lower INT(and perhaps WIS) than the average person....

I would note that in Starfinder, it's easy to start at 18(the cap), but it's not necessarily optimal. Diminishing returns on level up stats means that its arguable better to start at 16.


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So I have ethical issues with the use of Attributes(as manifestations of inherent mental and physical abilities) in RPGs generally, but a lot of the positions I see being argued here feels icky and hurtful with language like "Physical Liability" and "Sub-par Sammy." (not to react to anyone in particular, just pulling the most recent examples.) Last I checked a "fantasy roleplaying game" means we all get to make this stuff up together and the world we play should be big enough for everyone.

The title of this thread is a little problematic because "dumping" implies bad in a hurtful way, even if that is not the intent. If people want to play characters with radically different abilities than their own, that is awesome. If people want to be able to pretend to adopt some form of disability purely to power game some other attribute because the mechanics of the game allow them to do so in a way that trivializes that disability, I personally find that problematic.

I don't want characters with disabilities being made invisible in my fantasy world. I also don't want characters with disabilities being paraded as comedic stereotypes. Ideally, this would be accomplished by letting players come up with role-playing and non-mechanical ways to represent disabilities their characters might have rather than pushing that into an "attribute" system that is almost never followed.
No tables should make a player unable to participate in a puzzle challenge because "their character is not intelligent, or wise or charismatic enough" to have an idea that the party could use to solve a problem. Role-playing is a collaborative game that should involve players working together to role play their party's progress through an adventure. Personally, that is difficult enough with gamey stats that don't translate well into the fun of problem solving that makes role playing fun, but it really doesn't jive well with people being able to "dump" intelligence, because that means I get one less skill, and boost some other attribute because I get x mechanical benefit, and I will just have to "role-play" by adopting a stutter, or talking like a rural person I perceive to be unintelligent.


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Unicore wrote:
So I have ethical issues with the use of Attributes(as manifestations of inherent mental and physical abilities) in RPGs generally, but a lot of the positions I see being argued here feels icky and hurtful with language like "Physical Liability" and "Sub-par Sammy." (not to react to anyone in particular, just pulling the most recent examples.) Last I checked a "fantasy roleplaying game" means we all get to make this stuff up together and the world we play should be big enough for everyone.

Does everyone include characters like Hodor? Because under PF2, it doesn't.

My example of Sub-Par Sammy was supposed to be a character that resulted from wanting to play Hodor, but being slapped by the system and told that his choice was BadWrongFun, but he could just play an average fighter, but dumb instead.

Sammy's player in this instance WANTS to play the strong dumb guy. He doesn't want to dump INT for the STR just for the mechanical benefits, but if the system isn't going to allow him to have Hodor's strength, then he isn't going to play Hodor's INT because:

1) It isn't Hodor anymore.

2) The combined pressure from his peers for playing a gimped character and the mechanical disadvantage his character will have compared to everyone else are going to greatly detract from the fun of the game.

Quote:
The title of this thread is a little problematic because "dumping" implies bad in a hurtful way, even if that is not the intent. If people want to play characters with radically different abilities than their own, that is awesome. If people want to be able to pretend to adopt some form of disability purely to power game some other attribute because the mechanics of the game allow them to do so in a way that trivializes that disability, I personally find that problematic.

Unfortunately, some players will do this, because some tables will allow it, but it isn't our place to police everyone's games. My Orc barbarian in PF1 effectively has a physical condition that makes him mentally stunted, but physically stronger. He's effectively a child in a "monster's" body. I ROLE-play his flaws. Sure, his mental attributes make him a bit of a liability, but there isn't anyone stronger out there, at least without being nearly as tough. He's a group favorite, even though I prefer my Drow gish with pretty average stats.

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I don't want characters with disabilities being made invisible in my fantasy world. I also don't want characters with disabilities being paraded as comedic stereotypes. Ideally, this would be accomplished by letting players come up with role-playing and non-mechanical ways to represent disabilities their characters might have rather than pushing that into an "attribute" system that is almost never followed.

Again, different tables are going to have different play styles. Some people play PF as a minis-battle game. Some people play it as an RPG. You can't make people play the game as intended because:

1) What is "intended" for you or me could be different for Dave or Steve.

2) The limitations placed on the game to prevent "BadWrongFun" ultimately limit design space for people who want to RP characters in those areas.

I get that some tables will just allow the fighter to have 18s in Physical stats and 6s in mental stats, but RP mentally like an Average Joe, but we can't stop that, and honestly, it doesn't hurt anyone at the table if everyone there is okay with it. If they aren't okay with it, they should find a new table or ask the player to RP his stats.

Also, I'd note that most realistic cases of physically or mentally handicapped individuals would NOT make good adventurers. Heroes are above average, so having a below average handicap would require an extraordinary ability elsewhere to make them a reasonable choice for an adventurer.

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No tables should make a player unable to participate in a puzzle challenge because "their character is not intelligent, or wise or charismatic enough" to have an idea that the party could use to solve a problem.

I agree. I WANT players to contribute, even if their respective stat isn't optimal for the situation. In fact, playing a character with such flaws means you SHOULD have to participate, even when it is bad for your character.

Quote:
Role-playing is a collaborative game that should involve players working together to role play their party's progress through an adventure. Personally, that is difficult enough with gamey stats that don't translate well into the fun of problem solving that makes role playing fun, but it really doesn't jive well with people being able to "dump" intelligence, because that means I get one less skill, and boost some other attribute because I get x mechanical benefit, and I will just have to "role-play" by adopting a stutter, or talking like a rural person I perceive to be unintelligent.

What about characters that WANT to role play an unintelligent character? They want to speak with a stutter, or in broken English, or only be able to say their name with differing emotional inflections? Should these people be allowed to play these characters? Yes.

Should they then be allowed to get some benefit, (what is often referred to as a Darn Good Reason or DGR) for being an adventurer? Again, Yes.

The downside is that people might take the benefit and not role play the flaw, but we can't stop that from happening.

In my opinion, it isn't worth it to prevent people from gaming the system if the cost is that we can't play characters like Stephen Hawking or Groot.


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If the assumption is everyone at your table is OK with it, than can't you just house rule back in dump stats? Use a traditional point buy?

If the answer is "my GM won't allow me to do it because it isn't official" then it doesn't seem like everyone at the table was THAT OK with it. And if you say PFS, you've stopped talking about a controlled environment where everyone is on the same page.

People have been using elaborate stat rolling mechanics despite PF1 never especially supporting it. Was this the same reaction 3d6 folks had when point buy was announced?


thflame wrote:
The reason why dumping for no benefit is not an acceptable solution is that nobody in their right mind would adventure with the guy who is just plain weaker than everyone else.

Then don't do it. Nobody forces you.


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thflame wrote:


Does everyone include characters like Hodor? Because under PF2, it doesn't.

First of all, thank you for responding to my post so thoughtfully and considerately. I was worried I sounded aggressive, and if I did, it is because this issue is a deep one within many RPGs not pathfinder or its second edition exclusively.

Secondly,

Is getting a 20 str and a 6 INT the difference between being able to play Hodor in PF2? I feel like it is not really. Why is an 18 STR not enough to be Hodor, but 2 more enough? I feel like Hodor's extra strength would be better represented by an ancestry or general feat that gives him a bonus or edge when attempting feats of strength like breaking things and lifting things more than a bonus to attack rolls and climbing and swimming. Is a 6 INT the metric by which a character is no longer able to speak a language? it would seem like that would be an INT of 2 right? Is Hodor a character with an INT of 2 and STR of 24? Wasn't he well on his way to being a hulking giant before his brain suffered an psychic injury focusing him on one idea only? Why are specific attribute modifiers the best way to represent a character like Hodor? What is his class? What skills does he train in and feats does he have? Can those aspects make this specific character playable without an entire character concept boiling down to a specific set of attributes? And if not, is this a character concept that a player wants to play through an entire campaign?

Often times, people with disabilities get boiled down in fiction to being two-dimensional characters that could never be more than an NPC. I would like that not to be the case. Paizo has worked to include some characters with disabilities into its stories and often does so in ways that a lot of people without disabilities don't notice because they feel like full complete characters. I am just not sure I believe that centering disability around getting some extra sense or ability is a good approach for them to continue doing so.


thflame wrote:
Planpanther wrote:

Id like to see ways outside of stat dump and pump to showcase outlier characters. A flaw-boon feat system could do it. The feat gives you sometype of draw back, but also a bonus to make up for it. This way its a more tangible choice than just rocketing your primary for little penalty.

By "rocketing" we are talking about a +2 that allows players to hit a 20 and by "little" penalty, we're talking about a -2 to a stat. It's literally just a -2 for a +2.

Here's the point, there are legitimate role-play reasons to want a dump stats for a 20 in a stat. Is it worth preventing an entire design space of characters because some people are going to min-max?

If you care about what a "role playing game" is, the answer is "no". At a bare minimum, basic fantasy tropes should be viable.

If all you care about is "everyone at my table is going to min-max so nobody can have fun" then you need a new group.

Furthermore, as much as I don't like min-maxxers, if they want to play the game that way, let them.

Preventing players from having exceptional stats at low levels because min-maxxers might abuse it is nothing more than BadWrongFun.

Whole lot o opinion here and like aholes everybody gots one. You dont get to tell what people care about and what they think is viable. Speak for yourself.


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Quote:
Is it worth preventing an entire design space of characters because some people are going to min-max?

Yes.


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6/20
8/18
Min maxers gonna min max. You can tighten up the math, but the game remains the same. All I see are people burning their beds to kill the boogie man. Little did they know that the boogie man was inside them all along.


Maybe they can put a merit and flaw type system in at a later date. (maybe somehow without it being too min/maxy)


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I'm an unabashed stat-dumper and lover of class guides, even if I have more fun making my own builds than following someone else's "optimal" model (especially as what is optimal in society or at someone else's table is rarely optimal in mine.) I can see that in this group I am outnumbered at the moment!

That said, while I love starting with a 20 in a stat, lowering or raising the numbers in relation to everything else doesn't really take anything away from people like me. Ok, so the new ceiling is 18. I'll optimize for 18. If a GM rules 16 is the new cap, I'll optimize for that. And so on.

I enjoy roleplaying more than I enjoy the numbers game, but I enjoy the numbers game a whole lot. Usually if the traits or bonuses don't make sense fluffwise I just ask the GM to refluff them. But anything is possible in a home game. For GMs that have problems with lovers of RPG math, I would rather see them have the tools they need to keep everyone at their table on an equal playing field than ask Paizo to cater to myself. I think I only really developed the degree of system mastery I did because our parties are usually 2-3 individuals (which I suspect could be smaller than average) with more than a few 1-20 solo adventures with roommates, my wife, etc. over the years.

I would support the option to raise a single stat to 20 if I didn't think it would interfere to much with other peoples' fun or cause more caster-martial conflicts, and would happily take a penalty for it.

Liberty's Edge

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MadMars wrote:
I'm an unabashed stat-dumper and lover of class guides, even if I have more fun making my own builds than following someone else's "optimal" model (especially as what is optimal in society or at someone else's table is rarely optimal in mine.) I can see that in this group I am outnumbered at the moment!

Maybe not that much. I totally do this as well. Frankly, doing so is just kind of necessary to reach the proper level of competence (especially if you want to be good at multiple things, like both skills and combat) a lot of the time in PF1. Removing that necessity is just a good goal and one I'm fully in support of.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Maybe they can put a merit and flaw type system in at a later date. (maybe somehow without it being too min/maxy)

I fully support this. Somebody mentioned Hodor as an archetype. Hodor is not just dumb. He is also clumsy. Which is a real hindrance.

A flaw where you can have, say, bigger STR and CON, if you have weakened Int and Dez, might be OK if properly balanced. That way, the option is meaningful. Getting 2 Str in exchange for 2 CHA that you will never use, or 2 Int for 2 Str you don't care about, is not a meaningful choice. It is free points. I would rather have a bigger point buy (or other system) if people really think it is needed to have a better main stat


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I don’t see it as either-or, provided everyone at the table is happy with the options open to them. For me (as a roll-stats-in-order, not optimised at all player) optimisers don’t bother me, provided they don’t start declaring what I “should” do. The potential for min-maxing in a system also doesn’t bother me - I appreciate a lot of people enjoy building characters to a predetermined concept and that should include the possibility of “best at....”.

For me, I think trying to suit both approaches means it shouldn’t matter too much - that the difference between very good and exceptional shouldn’t be so wide that there’s no point having someone along who’s “just” very good at something. In my experience, even if the spread is quite tight, people who enjoy the character building game will still enjoy eking out that stray +1.

Silver Crusade

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Unicore wrote:
The title of this thread is a little problematic because "dumping" implies bad in a hurtful way, even if that is not the intent.

My apologies.

Liberty's Edge

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Maybe they can put a merit and flaw type system in at a later date. (maybe somehow without it being too min/maxy)

In my experience people learn the creation process once and do not come back. So if you want them to widely use a merits and flaws system it is far more effective to have it from the start


The Raven Black wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Maybe they can put a merit and flaw type system in at a later date. (maybe somehow without it being too min/maxy)
In my experience people learn the creation process once and do not come back. So if you want them to widely use a merits and flaws system it is far more effective to have it from the start

It did take us (me and my group) awhile to start using traits but it did happen!

Shadow Lodge

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thflame wrote:
The reason why dumping for no benefit is not an acceptable solution is that nobody in their right mind would adventure with the guy who is just plain weaker than everyone else.

Personally, I'd rather adventure with someone who is a little bit weaker than adventure with someone with an attitude like that.


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bookrat wrote:
thflame wrote:
The reason why dumping for no benefit is not an acceptable solution is that nobody in their right mind would adventure with the guy who is just plain weaker than everyone else.
Personally, I'd rather adventure with someone who is a little bit weaker than adventure with someone with an attitude like that.

Me too, I have even read others claim it is selfish if you do not max out your prime stat.


bookrat wrote:
thflame wrote:
The reason why dumping for no benefit is not an acceptable solution is that nobody in their right mind would adventure with the guy who is just plain weaker than everyone else.
Personally, I'd rather adventure with someone who is a little bit weaker than adventure with someone with an attitude like that.

QFT


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Rysky wrote:
Unicore wrote:
The title of this thread is a little problematic because "dumping" implies bad in a hurtful way, even if that is not the intent.
My apologies.

No worries, I understood the general context, and could tell that there was no harm intended, my concern was mostly at how it directed the conversation towards the idea that if our characters are going to be heroes, than they have to have certain builds that imply that physical and mental attributes alone are the difference between good characters and bad characters to play.

I too will often find myself using the language of dump stat when I am talking with my friends, but I do think it can lead to harmful conversations when taken to extremes. It is also a little strange how the game has evolved to imply that "best" characters are ones extremely specialized in one physical or mental attribute at the cost of being well rounded people, which is a product of game design and not a reflection of reality.

Personally, I much prefer to think that the soldiers fighting to keep me safe spend as much time developing intelligent strategies and the ability to communicate effectively with others as they do honing their physical skills.

Liberty's Edge

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Unicore wrote:

It is also a little strange how the game has evolved to imply that "best" characters are ones extremely specialized in one physical or mental attribute at the cost of being well rounded people, which is a product of game design and not a reflection of reality.

Personally, I much prefer to think that the soldiers fighting to keep me safe spend as much time developing intelligent strategies and the ability to communicate effectively with others as they do honing their physical skills.

Well, by removing the incentive to drop stats below 10, the new edition does seem likely to solve this particular problem at least. Even the most physically focused Human Fighter in PF2 probably has 12/10/10 mental stats, and the worst anyone of any Ancestry can get is definitely 12/10/8.

Many will have significantly better mental stats than that, since Con and Dex have gone down a bit in value for a non-finesse melee Fighter (since they have more HP at base and Armor Training is no longer a thing).


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bookrat wrote:
thflame wrote:
The reason why dumping for no benefit is not an acceptable solution is that nobody in their right mind would adventure with the guy who is just plain weaker than everyone else.
Personally, I'd rather adventure with someone who is a little bit weaker than adventure with someone with an attitude like that.

Gonna go ahead and echo this as someone with personal experience in that regard. Met 2 people in a group once with that type of behavior and it was absolutely demeaning.

You had to pick a certain race with certain point buy for certain classes with certain specifications or else they would endlessly spew about how you were not getting the best out of your character and how that you were designing poorer characters and less useful to the group.

And if you picked a Martial? Oh boy, now you've gone from poorer characters to an outright liability and will now get a wall of text explaining why your fighter or rogue basically shouldn't exist because of how much better everyone else will be for picking their classes ect..

Needless to say, I didn't parley with that group for more than a few sessions.


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Unicore wrote:
It is also a little strange how the game has evolved to imply that "best" characters are ones extremely specialized in one physical or mental attribute at the cost of being well rounded people, which is a product of game design and not a reflection of reality.

Quoted. For. Truth.

MadMars wrote:
I'm an unabashed stat-dumper and lover of class guides, even if I have more fun making my own builds than following someone else's "optimal" model (especially as what is optimal in society or at someone else's table is rarely optimal in mine.)

I still like class optimization guides. They were very useful to me when I was learning the system 3-4 years ago, because I was overwhelmed by the amount of options available. They give some good starting points for builds.


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bookrat wrote:
thflame wrote:
The reason why dumping for no benefit is not an acceptable solution is that nobody in their right mind would adventure with the guy who is just plain weaker than everyone else.
Personally, I'd rather adventure with someone who is a little bit weaker than adventure with someone with an attitude like that.

I would rather play with someone with a good attitude, but if I was going into battle, I would definitely rather the stronger guy.

Shadow Lodge

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johnlocke90 wrote:
bookrat wrote:
thflame wrote:
The reason why dumping for no benefit is not an acceptable solution is that nobody in their right mind would adventure with the guy who is just plain weaker than everyone else.
Personally, I'd rather adventure with someone who is a little bit weaker than adventure with someone with an attitude like that.
I would rather play with someone with a good attitude, but if I was going into battle, I would definitely rather the stronger guy.

As a combat veteran with two tours, I can confidently state that strength isn't everything when going into battle.

I'd much rather have someone I can trust at my back than someone who is physically stronger or better at combat. Teamwork counts for a hell of a lot more than skill; a team player who isn't absolutely perfect in other ways is much more valuable than the perfect combat specimen who looks for your flaws to judge whether or not you're good enough to be by his side.

Now that I'm in the civilian world working a normal job, teamwork still counts for more than capability and experience. I'd rather hire someone who's a great team player but only 70% effective (and then work on training them and improving their skill) than hire someone who's 100% effective but a complete jerk. I don't care if someone is better qualified, has a better resume, and has more experience; if they're an ass, I just don't want to deal with the bullcrap they'll bring.

And likewise as a gamer and pretend adventurer: I'd rather have someone who's a little weaker than plan with someone who's going to judge others for "not being good enough."


Also this idea that joining a party usually involves a hiring process doesn't have legs. Just want to reiterate that.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Also this idea that joining a party usually involves a hiring process doesn't have legs. Just want to reiterate that.

It can possibly. Not with the actual players themselves but depending on the Campaign I can see it being a hiring process or at least "Show us how well you can do X before you are hired for Y".

In the right hands this could actually be a fun idea.


MerlinCross wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Also this idea that joining a party usually involves a hiring process doesn't have legs. Just want to reiterate that.

It can possibly. Not with the actual players themselves but depending on the Campaign I can see it being a hiring process or at least "Show us how well you can do X before you are hired for Y".

In the right hands this could actually be a fun idea.

It's the premise in Ruins of Azlant. The PCs don't need to compete against others to get hired, though.

Liberty's Edge

Of the last three APs I've been involved in, only one involved actual job interviews (held before the first session, obviously). Several people has 7s or 8s in one stat in that party, though...just not in stuff that interfered with their actual job (the Oracle had Wis 8 and the Kineticist Cha 8, for example).

The other two did involve the PCs agreeing to go out and do dangerous things with each other, though, so obvious incompetence of the sort likely to risk lives would've been an issue...but one low stat is very rarely that kind of incompetence.


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Low scores in unimportant abilities are, if anything, a sign of competence in pathfinder. Because it means the person is probably stronger in other areas.

Its the Oracle with 12 charisma who is questionable.


I did say usually. I even mentioned up thread that you could make a world where such a thing was the norm. My point was just that most parties do in fact usually form without a general aptitude test, even in cities.

Heck, even if you had these aptitude tests for a party, whoever actually gets hired is entirely arbitrary. In fiction, PCs are rare. Even most adventurers are NPCs, and aren't created using PC stat generation in mind. Two NPCs who adventured together in the AP in front of me have pretty different stats. One is the equivalent of a 12 point buy, and the other the equivalent of a 17. The 12 point buy is the only one with an 18 in a stat, and she's a melee bard/rogue/aristocrat who probably should have better physical stats.

Or a party of NPC adventurers from a different AP:

Evoker Wizard 2: 13 point buy
Fighter 2/Rogue 1: 15
Cleric 3: 15
Universalist Wizard 4: 12 Point buy

The "weakest" member also happened to be the party leader.

The idea put forward in the thread earlier was that it was ludicrous to think anyone would adventure with someone with the 6 in mental stats if they still only have an 18 in strength.

Quote:
The reason why dumping for no benefit is not an acceptable solution is that nobody in their right mind would adventure with the guy who is just plain weaker than everyone else.

When it does in fact look like adventuring with someone weaker than everyone else (as defined by having a lower point buy) is not just accepted, but probably the norm. There's no need to hand wave anything.

What is in fact arbitrary is that PC parties always have the same amount of points to allocate to stats, and are thus on average have parity among their stats. It is also arbitrary that PC parties always form out of adventurers at the same level, which doesn't seem to be the case in the general NPC population.

Honestly, I think it is fine if you just want to say "I liked being able to lower stats to crank something up to absurd levels." That's a fine opinion. You can be bummed you are losing that option. There's no need to justify it; it is an opinion. But the only loss here is mechanically having an edge over other PCs. Trying to say there are narrative barriers stopping you from lowering your stat to no mechanical benefit is not a defensible position. In narrative there's a million reasons your character is person for the job at hand, and having an 18 in your key stat will make you better in your primary role than most of the adventuring population, regardless of what your other stats total out to.


johnlocke90 wrote:
bookrat wrote:
thflame wrote:
The reason why dumping for no benefit is not an acceptable solution is that nobody in their right mind would adventure with the guy who is just plain weaker than everyone else.
Personally, I'd rather adventure with someone who is a little bit weaker than adventure with someone with an attitude like that.
I would rather play with someone with a good attitude, but if I was going into battle, I would definitely rather the stronger guy.

Thing is, my pathfinder RPG sessions are games, not battles


johnlocke90 wrote:

Low scores in unimportant abilities are, if anything, a sign of competence in pathfinder. Because it means the person is probably stronger in other areas.

Its the Oracle with 12 charisma who is questionable.

we are not arguing about 12 CHA oracles tho. We are arguing 18 CHA VS 20 CHA

Liberty's Edge

Captain Morgan wrote:

Or a party of NPC adventurers from a different AP:

Evoker Wizard 2: 13 point buy
Fighter 2/Rogue 1: 15
Cleric 3: 15
Universalist Wizard 4: 12 Point buy

The "weakest" member also happened to be the party leader.

Actually, this isn't true. All PC Class NPCs in PF1, unless stated otherwise, use the Elite Array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) plus Racial Mods (which often go to shore up weaker scores). So all of those are technically 15 point-buy. They're just unoptimized 15 point buy.

And they're unoptimized in exactly the same way, too, which is being built with a very specific array of scores.

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with the greater point, mind you, just noting a factual rule error.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Honestly, I think it is fine if you just want to say "I liked being able to lower stats to crank something up to absurd levels." That's a fine opinion. You can be bummed you are losing that option. There's no need to justify it; it is an opinion. But the only loss here is mechanically having an edge over other PCs.

It isn't a mechanical edge over the other PCs, because you are paying for it. A theoretical PF2 character array of (18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8), being changed to (20, 16, 14, 12, 10, 6) isn't going to be substantially better than other PCs. This character will be 5% better in one area and 5% worse in another area. With the exception of a Wizard/Sorcerer dumping STR, you will notice.

Quote:
Trying to say there are narrative barriers stopping you from lowering your stat to no mechanical benefit is not a defensible position.

Unless your campaign starts with the notion that the PCs/NPCs had no choice in the matter on who got to come on the adventure, then there totally is a narrative reason why a character with a net +3 stat modifier would not be considered when the average adventurer has a net +9 stat modifier. Sure, a single dump from 8 to 6 isn't likely to be noticed, but 3 6s will be.

Not to mention that my point is that a common character trope of being a savant in one area and being hopeless in another should be able to exist.

Quote:
In narrative there's a million reasons your character is person for the job at hand, and having an 18 in your key stat will make you better in your primary role than most of the adventuring population, regardless of what your other stats total out to.

This is COMPLETELY false, especially if we accept your premise that "if a 20 is possible, everyone will have a 20". Under the new character generation rules, the vast majority of characters are going to have an 18 in their primary attribute.

Your stat starts at 10
Your Ancestry gives you a floating +2
Your background gives you a floating +2
Your Class gives you a +2 to your primary attribute
At level 1 you get 4 floating +2s.

That's 3 tiers of floating +2s to put in your primary attribute with a forced +2 from your Class, with plenty of extra boost available to get other stats the way you want.


thflame wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Honestly, I think it is fine if you just want to say "I liked being able to lower stats to crank something up to absurd levels." That's a fine opinion. You can be bummed you are losing that option. There's no need to justify it; it is an opinion. But the only loss here is mechanically having an edge over other PCs.

It isn't a mechanical edge over the other PCs, because you are paying for it. A theoretical PF2 character array of (18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8), being changed to (20, 16, 14, 12, 10, 6) isn't going to be substantially better than other PCs. This character will be 5% better in one area and 5% worse in another area. With the exception of a Wizard/Sorcerer dumping STR, you will notice.

Quote:
Trying to say there are narrative barriers stopping you from lowering your stat to no mechanical benefit is not a defensible position.

Unless your campaign starts with the notion that the PCs/NPCs had no choice in the matter on who got to come on the adventure, then there totally is a narrative reason why a character with a net +3 stat modifier would not be considered when the average adventurer has a net +9 stat modifier. Sure, a single dump from 8 to 6 isn't likely to be noticed, but 3 6s will be.

Not to mention that my point is that a common character trope of being a savant in one area and being hopeless in another should be able to exist.

Quote:
In narrative there's a million reasons your character is person for the job at hand, and having an 18 in your key stat will make you better in your primary role than most of the adventuring population, regardless of what your other stats total out to.

This is COMPLETELY false, especially if we accept your premise that "if a 20 is possible, everyone will have a 20". Under the new character generation rules, the vast majority of characters are going to have an 18 in their primary attribute.

Your stat starts at 10
Your Ancestry gives you a floating +2
Your background gives you a floating...

"The vast majority of characters" are not optimized PCs. They are NPCs. I don't know what stat arrays for NPCs will look like in PF2, and Deadmanwalking corrected me about how PF1 NPC stats are generated. But even then, most PF1 NPCs have NPC class levels and the basic array (which is indeed less than a 15 point buy) and even those with PC class levels use a very unoptimized version or a 15 point in which you can't have an 18 at level 1 barring a a few racial exceptions. I see no reason to think NPCs will be closing the gap in PF2, especially when Paizo has repeatedly emphasized that PCs are meant to be the exception and better than the average citizen.

All signs indicate that if you have an 18 at level 1 In PF2, you are an exceptional specimen in narrative. NPCs being weaker is built into the PCs being the heroes. Even if you have a choice of who you adventure with and need to have a specific number of members (not more or less) there's no reason to assume someone better than a PC below average for PCs was available, because the vast majority of characters are below average compared to PCs.


What if instead of stretching attributes further to create a sense of difference between characters, PF2 introduced more general feats that let you get a re-roll or special bonus to making raw attribute checks? I know there are special builds of some classes that grant this (especially with strength), but not many and not as a general character build.

This would enable characters that have naturally exceptional attributes do exceptional things related to that attribute, without giving a host of bonuses that unbalance the game. Because it seems to me that the argument for being able to play an exceptionally strong character, like Andre the giant or Hodor, would be far better represented by giving that character more things they can do with their raw strength, than by just making them better at everything Pathfinder lumps into "Strength." This opens up the "strong" or "smart" or "quick" character without turning it into a way to further stretch the math on a new system that is trying to keep it closely balanced.

I feel like the reason that people don't want this, and want a point buy/stat trade off system, is because very few people are actually trying to replicate characters with exceptional differences in their attributes and really just have a character concept that benefits from extreme specialization. Which can be ok, but if the game balance of PF2 requires tighter math, It would be nice for the Herculean strength character to be possible without it just resulting in breaking the attack and damage mechanics of the game.


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thflame wrote:

It isn't a mechanical edge over the other PCs, because you are paying for it. A theoretical PF2 character array of (18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8), being changed to (20, 16, 14, 12, 10, 6) isn't going to be substantially better than other PCs. This character will be 5% better in one area and 5% worse in another area. With the exception of a Wizard/Sorcerer dumping STR, you will notice.

that's not true.

20 Dec VS 6 charisma instead of 18 - 8, is better in several stuff that are important (like AC, initiative, REF, ranged attack, in PF1 CMD...) in exchange for nothing at all.
I was not going to make any diplomacy roll with cha 8, so I would not bother. Cha 6 dies not change that.

Once you made the decision to ignore a subset of rolls (like social), because you don't care or like that part of the game, that stat is free to dump.

Think on this: I give your fighter +1 melee damage for every - 1 to concentration checks. Would you take it? Is it balanced?


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thflame wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Honestly, I think it is fine if you just want to say "I liked being able to lower stats to crank something up to absurd levels." That's a fine opinion. You can be bummed you are losing that option. There's no need to justify it; it is an opinion. But the only loss here is mechanically having an edge over other PCs.
It isn't a mechanical edge over the other PCs, because you are paying for it. A theoretical PF2 character array of (18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8), being changed to (20, 16, 14, 12, 10, 6) isn't going to be substantially better than other PCs. This character will be 5% better in one area and 5% worse in another area. With the exception of a Wizard/Sorcerer dumping STR, you will notice.

There are many more exceptions than just Str for arcane casters. Gustavo, above, noted one. Others include: Cha for anybody but the party "face" character, because in 95% of cases you'll be better off letting that character do the talking, and the remaining 5% aren't worth worrying about; Int for the majority of martial characters, as well as non-Int based casters, because the loss of a bit of skill is a tiny price to pay for a boost in your main ability; etc.

Earlier, you made this point:

thflame wrote:
As far as the trade-off of 20 in your primary stat for a lower dump stat not being balanced, that's a design issue. EVERY stat should be important for EVERY character. A character who plays with a 6 should FEEL it. If your fighter dumps CHA to 6 for a 20 in STR, he needs to be forced into social situations. If you wizard dumps STR for more INT, he needs to be put into situations where Brains aren't a substitute for Brawn.

While I agree this would be ideal, in practice I don't think any edition of the game has come close to that goal. I suspect this would be too much of a design constraint. If Paizo tried to do this in PF2 they would have a hard time differentiating between classes as much as PF1 does.

In my experience, the character with 6 Cha only feels it in those situations when the DM forces it; or, if the player roleplays it to the hilt. I applaud that player but I don't want to enforce this option as the only "good" one. Conversely, the wizard with 6 Str will feel it early on with his carrying capacity, then later will buy a Handy Haversack and never have to worry about it again, until the DM forces a situation that requires Str and nothing else. That can work a couple of times, but if the DM does this every session, it will quickly feel contrived .


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Honestly, I think it is fine if you just want to say "I liked being able to lower stats to crank something up to absurd levels." That's a fine opinion. You can be bummed you are losing that option. There's no need to justify it; it is an opinion. But the only loss here is mechanically having an edge over other PCs.

That's almost it. I do like pumping a single stat to absurd levels, simply because I enjoy the concept of characters like that. The "best at ice magic", the "strongest man who ever lived," etc. There are other ways to represent this, though, of course, so I am not going to say I miss it more than any other thing they've changed in PF2 so far...but I did have a lot of fun doing it. It's a real shame. You can probably guess that I loved mythic. "Realism" or "realistic characters" has never, ever, been my modus operandi.

That said, I don't think I've ever done it to have a "advantage" over other players, only the monsters.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
thflame wrote:

It isn't a mechanical edge over the other PCs, because you are paying for it. A theoretical PF2 character array of (18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8), being changed to (20, 16, 14, 12, 10, 6) isn't going to be substantially better than other PCs. This character will be 5% better in one area and 5% worse in another area. With the exception of a Wizard/Sorcerer dumping STR, you will notice.

that's not true.

20 Dec VS 6 charisma instead of 18 - 8, is better in several stuff that are important (like AC, initiative, REF, ranged attack, in PF1 CMD...) in exchange for nothing at all.
I was not going to make any diplomacy roll with cha 8, so I would not bother. Cha 6 dies not change that.

Once you made the decision to ignore a subset of rolls (like social), because you don't care or like that part of the game, that stat is free to dump.

Think on this: I give your fighter +1 melee damage for every - 1 to concentration checks. Would you take it? Is it balanced?

CHA affects magic item use now, so a character with 6 CHA can't use potions reliably or equip magic items until level 2.

Next, a GM should not allow a player to avoid skill checks. If you let a player dump a stat and don't let that stat effect them, then you are essentially giving them free points.

Perhaps the patron for your current quest desires a one-on-one interview with the whole party? Now the 6 CHA fighter has to make a Diplomacy Check that effects his cut.

Or perhaps a city requires every passing traveler to give a reason before entering. Your 6 CHA fighter is going to have a harder time gaining entry into the city.

Finally, maybe a drunken inn patron starts a confrontation with your 6 CHA fighter and his attempt to deescalate the situation causes the opposite and the bar fight that ensues ends with him spending the night in jail.

The reason why I say STR for casters is a safe dump is that at high enough levels, a caster is going to have spells that let them avoid STR based checks, but then again, those casters will HAVE to select spells that allow them to avoid STR based checks and prepare them in their limited slots (remember, the Cleric only get's 3 per spell level now and bonus spells don't exist anymore).

The argument isn't "characters won't use their dumped stats", it that "the GM won't supply ample situations where dumped stats come up".


thflame wrote:


CHA affects magic item use now, so a character with 6 CHA can't use potions reliably or equip magic items until level 2.

Just to chime in, I'm willing to bet Resonance, like most things you get as a character feature whether from levels, class features or attributes, will have a minimum of 1.

EDIT for clarity sake: By "thing" I mean "resource or pool that can be spent or lost" obviously you can have negative skills/saves etc.

Grand Lodge

Malk_Content wrote:
thflame wrote:


CHA affects magic item use now, so a character with 6 CHA can't use potions reliably or equip magic items until level 2.

Just to chime in, I'm willing to bet Resonance, like most things you get as a character feature whether from levels, class features or attributes, will have a minimum of 1.

Yeah, that's my guess, too.


Why is considering 18 to be highest base achievable attribute feel like a deflation? I have a feeling that a lot of skills and other things that used to be able to reach much higher numbers are going to be much more contained.

Is the issue that the new stat system makes it feel too easy for a player character to reach the highest starting number without making serious enough sacrifices to achieve that number? Would you prefer it be more difficult to get an 18?

Or the issue that the number is just lower than it was in PF1 and thus will always feel like it is less than before? If that is the case, then maybe the solution is just to make 12 the average for PCs, and skew all the difficulties up by 1, (or make 12 = +0 and not skew the math) and thus preserve the sense that 20 is the highest possible starting stat, but have it have the same effect as an 18 for the sake of the new math system?

My guess is that neither answer will feel good enough because aspects of both are true and people are still thinking that PF1 characters are going to seamlessly merge into PF2 characters, which I am very skeptical will be possible. The new low level game looks balanced around more options to choose from but less of them to choose, making higher level play more balanced.


Unicore wrote:
Is the issue that the new stat system makes it feel too easy for a player character to reach the highest starting number without making serious enough sacrifices to achieve that number? Would you prefer it be more difficult to get an 18?

This would be an acceptable solution. If an 18 was hard to get at level 1 without dumping stats, then 18 would just be the new 20.

Quote:
Or the issue that the number is just lower than it was in PF1 and thus will always feel like it is less than before?

No, not at all. I have no problems with there being a cap, I have a problem with the cap being easily reachable and thus making characters that are "exceptional" at specific things pretty much impossible.

Quote:
If that is the case, then maybe the solution is just to make 12 the average for PCs, and skew all the difficulties up by 1, (or make 12 = +0 and not skew the math) and thus preserve the sense that 20 is the highest possible starting stat, but have it have the same effect as an 18 for the sake of the new math system?

If it doesn't break the rest of the system, then that could work, but I am betting that the game is being designed around PCs having a net +9 modifier on their stats.

If it wouldn't break the game, perhaps starting all stats at 8 instead of 10 and allowing the floating +2 from Ancestry to "stack" with your racial bonuses. This brings everyone down to a net +3 in modifiers, but that's probably much too weak given the rest of the system.

I feel like allowing a +5 modifier at the cost of reducing another stat by 2 would be much less likely to break the game, while adding some much needed flavor and customization.

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