Low DEX Sorcerer


Advice


I'm about to create a Sylvan Sorcerer for PFS and I want these to be her starting ability scores:

STR 7
DEX 10
CON 14
INT 12 (13 at 4th lvl for Spell Specialization)
WIS 10
CHA 20

She will be focused primarily in her Animal Companion, with only a couple of offensive spells (Daze, Burning Hands, Fireball/Lightning Bolt). The Sorcerer will be far away from combat whenever possible, using cantrips and commanding her AniCom into battle, and eventually using spells like Fireball (selective) to help from behind; so I don't expect her to be in direct danger most of the time.

I will be avoiding any kind of touch attack or ranged touch attack spells for obvious reasons (most of my slots are occupied with Abjuration or Transmutation spells anyway).

Most full casters are doomed to have low AC and also bad REF and FORT saves anyway, although, the low initiative will probably hurt.

How detrimental do you think a low DEX score will be?

Thanks in advance!


For a sorcerer? Not great.

Starting at level 1 makes it tricky to survive. If I were you, I would drop CHA to 19 or 18, and then spend those points on dexterity. Spend your level 8 increase on CHA. Don't worry, 18 is plenty, and spell focus can make up for the DC loss.

I always put at least a 14 dexterity on my casters. With higher levels you can use spells to protect yourself, but that won't always be possible.


I disagree, I think it'll be fine. Not ideal, but fine. As you said, there's tons of spells to choose from, avoiding the (ranged) touch attacks should be easy. Yes, the low AC will hurt, but I don't think touch 10 or touch 12 will make a huge difference (or AC 14 or 16 with Mage Armor). I play in a Crimson Throne campaign with someone who has a Dexterity of 8, and he's resigned himself to just getting hit a lot. But there's ways around that, as well. Miss chance, boosting Constitution, Stoneskin, and so on, so it's not a huge loss.

I do agree though on the fact that 20 Charisma is on the high side. You can obviously make it work, but it leads to lopsided builds, in my experience. It's your choice, obviously, but I'm personally not a big fan of it.


I think I would do STR 7 DEX 14 CON 14 INT 13 WIS 8 CHA 19, then raise CHA to 20 at level 4.


Take Noble Scion (Scion of War) at level one to put your initiative on charisma.

Be a small character, preferably with flight.


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Gevurah wrote:
How detrimental do you think a low DEX score will be?

It's not that detrimental. However, you don't save much by keeping it at 10 either. Dex 12 is cheap (assuming point-buy), and the upgrade to Dex 14 is nearly as cheap - you get a bunch of small boosts for little investment.

Quote:
INT 12 (13 at 4th lvl for Spell Specialization)

Usually it's a good idea to add the ability score increases only to the highest score. That allows you to keep the highest score a bit lower at level 1, saving a lot of points for other scores.

If you shuffle it around a bit, you get the following:

STR 7
DEX 13
CON 14
INT 13 (as nicholas supposed)
WIS 10
CHA 17+2

At level 4, your CHA will catch up with the original plan.


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nicholas storm wrote:
I think I would do STR 7 DEX 14 CON 14 INT 13 WIS 8 CHA 19, then raise CHA to 20 at level 4.

Wouldn't it be worse to dump WIS?


SheepishEidolon wrote:
Gevurah wrote:
How detrimental do you think a low DEX score will be?

It's not that detrimental. However, you don't save much by keeping it at 10 either. Dex 12 is cheap (assuming point-buy), and the upgrade to Dex 14 is nearly as cheap - you get a bunch of small boosts for little investment.

Quote:
INT 12 (13 at 4th lvl for Spell Specialization)

Usually it's a good idea to add the ability score increases only to the highest score. That allows you to keep the highest score a bit lower at level 1, saving a lot of points for other scores.

If you shuffle it around a bit, you get the following:

STR 7
DEX 13
CON 14
INT 13 (as nicholas supposed)
WIS 10
CHA 17+2

At level 4, your CHA will catch up with the original plan.

If you follow SheepishEidolon's advice (or Nicholas', for that matter), maybe I'd shuffle stats a bit more, depending on what you want to do. You now have four odd stats, of which you'll boost two in your PFS career (assuming no post-11 play). Assuming your level 4 bonus goes to CHA, level 8 can go to either DEX or INT. If you don't feel like boosting DEX, dropping it down to 12 allows you to boost WIS to 11 (or hell, just plain swap DEX and INT). Still four odd stats, but now your level 8 boost can go to WIS as well. Overall, your physical stats and skills are going to suck (and you'll have spells to circumvent those. No need for Climb or Acrobatics checks when you can cast Fly). Boosting Wisdom or Intelligence still has merit, IMHO. You get crap skill points anyway, and that boost to Will saves and Perception might come in handy. Will is your strong save, but if it starts out low, it's still not amazing.

Personally, I'd go with either of two builds:
STR 7
DEX 12
CON 14
INT 13
WIS 11
CHA 17+2

Or
STR 7
DEX 10
CON 14
INT 13
WIS 13
CHA 17+2

Boost CHA at 4, depending on whether you need more skills or want slightly better saves INT or WIS at 8. Or hell, you're a d6 class, try to boost CON:
STR 7
DEX 10
CON 15
INT 13
WIS 11
CHA 17
Boost CHA at 4, CON at 8. You're most likely out of harm's reach most of the time, but there are moments where you will be surprised, or caught in an AoE, or whatever, and you'll be happy with your HP buffer.


If your skills are lacking, you might have to use your magic.

If your constitution is on the low side, you might die.

If your will save is on the low side, you might kill your friends.

Wisdom>Constitution>Intelligence

Priorities...


Quentin Coldwater wrote:
I disagree, I think it'll be fine. Not ideal, but fine. As you said, there's tons of spells to choose from, avoiding the (ranged) touch attacks should be easy. Yes, the low AC will hurt, but I don't think touch 10 or touch 12 will make a huge difference (or AC 14 or 16 with Mage Armor). I play in a Crimson Throne campaign with someone who has a Dexterity of 8, and he's resigned himself to just getting hit a lot. But there's ways around that, as well. Miss chance, boosting Constitution, Stoneskin, and so on, so it's not a huge loss.

Dexterity is not just about AC. It is also about reflex saves, initiative, and skills.

The skill checks may mean less at higher level, but you have to survive long enough to get there.


So I finally settled on a more balanced build:

STR 7
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 13
WIS 11
CHA 18

The focus of the build is the Animal Companion anyway, I don't really need a high CHA score.

I suppose, later in the game, when compulsions become more frequent, I can take Steadfast Personality to have a more decent WILL save.

Thanks guys!


Don't take steadfast personality (it only applies to mind affecting from FAQ). Take the trait irrepressible (I would advise taking it at level 1). Well if you have the source book; I don't play PFS, so I forget that part all the time.


nicholas storm wrote:
Take the trait irrepressible...

Awesome catch, I didn't know about that trait. I'm definitely buying the book and taking it.

Thanks!


Gevurah, I play actualy a Sylvan Sorcerer in the Kingmaker campaign since several months, and what I'll strongly recommend you is to drop the dex to focus on CHA and after that... CON.

Why CON?
Because keeping your animal companion alive is a very important part for this bloodline, and the best way to do it is to use the Shield Companion spell, which allow you to redirect a part of the damage it recieve on yourself.
But that also means that the more HP you have, better it is.

Dex is no use at all on a Sylvan Sorcerer. It's even less useful than on a standard sorcerer.
You are not supposed to be attacked when you can hide behind a large animal companion, and ranged touch attack spells are truly not what you should focus on for this bloodline either.

With the Noble Scion trait, the initiave is also taken care of... so you even less need of the DEX.
I played with 8 dex from the start, and I never found a moment where I regretted this choice... but I keep to regret to not have started with 16 CON.


A dip in Scaled Fist Monk can get your cha to AC minimizing your dependence on Dexterity. With Magical Knack and Scion of War, you'll hardly notice that your dex is low. Your spells would be behind one level but their effectiveness would be the same.


You don't need AC with a sorcerer if you play it right, IMHO.
I played sorcerers since the class appeared in D&D, and I have stopped to raise their AC after the first year, and never regretted it.

Sorcerers played right have tons of ways to solve "I'm being attacked" problems: spells, cover, teamwork.
90% of the attacks on a sorcerer can be solved by just... positioning the sorcerer the right way.


Moonheart wrote:

You don't need AC with a sorcerer if you play it right, IMHO.

I played sorcerers since the class appeared in D&D, and I have stopped to raise their AC after the first year, and never regretted it.

Sorcerers played right have tons of ways to solve "I'm being attacked" problems: spells, cover, teamwork.
90% of the attacks on a sorcerer can be solved by just... positioning the sorcerer the right way.

This is true, my witch in Kingmaker has a 10 in dex and is doing alright. When we started, I thought that I'd be the first to die but everyone from the beginning has died except me. Positioning is key but a little ac doesn't hurt either.


The Dex is the very very last in all the ways to make a sorcerer survive.

Positionning is #1
After that comes spells like Mirror Image, False Life, Vanish
After that the Retreat complex action helps
Being mounted on a horse also do more

Dex is a waste of abilities ressource on a Sorcerer in many many many ways.
Even Con helps you more to survive.

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