New Attribute Point-buy Rules - bad for the game


Alpha Release 3 General Discussion

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MarkusTay wrote:


KaeYoss wrote:
It's one of my biggest gripes with 4e. No negative stuff, no penalties, no nothing. Feels like they think we were taking the short bus to school.

I don't want anyone here to think I am an advocate of the 'new & improved' way of thinking that every PC should be a super-powered muppet. The idea that heroes are "born better" then everyone else rubs me the wrong way on so many levels. Heroes are made, and arise from the masses - starting out better then the rest of the world doesn't prove anything, except that you were born with a 'silver spoon' in your mouth.

Anyhow, my point was really that, in something artificial - like a game system - the negative numbers/modifiers can simply be avoided, by moving the centerpoint of the numeric sequence FORWARD. I have no idea how WotC plans on handling this in 4e, but If I wanted to get rid of all the negative 'adds' to char generation, for instance, I would take the LOWEST one, and use the as my baseline - so if some race gets -2 in an attribute, then instead increase everyone elses attribute by that same amount (2), and generate numbers between 3-16, rather then 3-18. It will appear like the that race doesn't get any negatives, and the others all get huge bonuses, but in...

Though I agree with your point about starting at the lowest score, I find your reasoning about heroes' power confusing. We're not talking about the PC's wealth or social standing, but about innate personal traits. Some people are born smarter, faster, or stronger than the norm; some people are superior in multiple traits. People who "rise from the masses" to become heroes are more likely to be those kinds of people.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Echoing Zaister, Skjaldbakka wrote:
It is a fair assumption, since random factors in character generation lead to unbalanced gameplay in a League type scenario. Also, it is advantageous to have non-random character generation when travelling to a game, to speed up the time it takes to register a character.

Yep. That comes as no surprise. But I'm asking if it would use the point-buy system presented in Alpha-3. For the first year, of course, Pathfinder Society organized play will use the SRD 3.5 rules.

And, on another thread, Joshua Frost wrote:
My goal is to have them ready by August 1 at the latest so that everyone coming to Gen Con can have their characters ready before they start playing.

(... which I found surprising. I figured that the introductory adventures would be "classic"-style, supplying pre-generated PC's.)


Squirrelloid wrote:

Elite array is equal to 'standard fantasy', which is seriously a problem because its what we just hand random NPC adversaries. Low fantasy is completely unplayable.

The increase in points for high ability scores is also brutally punitive for anyone wanting to play a character that needs multiple stats (ie, martial classes), and bad for the game because it encourages '1-stat' classes even more than 3.5 (ie, Druid, Wizard).

Seriously, blowing 2/3rd your points for a 16 in a 'standard game' forces hyperspecialization, and is going to generate fairly one-dimensional characters.

I was worried when I first read this message, but after reading through the point buy rules I find this is a bit blown out of proportion.

25 point buy in 3.5E: 14, 14, 14, 14, 9, 8
15 point buy in Pathfinder: 14, 14, 14, 14, 9, 7...but you get an extra +2 somewhere.

Sure it's more expensive to get a 16 or an 18 (leaving aside the extra +2 bonus characters now have). I don't really find that "bad for the game", though. YMMV.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber
Zynete wrote:

Here are two sets of stats I generated yesterday. I used both the old 32 point buy and the new 20 point buy to generate similar stats. The new system forced both sets I made to be slightly lower.

These stats do not include racial adjustments.

Not including racial adjustments assumes a human under 3.5, but if we assume a human under the Alpha rules you're stats are as follows (adding the +2):

Remake of old Barbarian/Sorcerer
Old 32: Str 15, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 14
New 20: Str 15, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 7, Cha 15 (added+2 to charisma)

Wizard who dumps everything but Dex, Con, and Int
Old 32: Str 8, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 8, Cha 8
New 20: Str 7, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 20, Wis 7, Cha 7 (added +2 to intelligence)

If you factor in the modifier things look a little better.


I am continuing my Age of Worms game with Pathfinder alpha 3 ... woo hoo.

That being said, when I instructed my players on ability generation, I told them to use the point buy system with a 25 point build (epic fantasy). I did this because I too thought that the points were a bit low. Of course, playtesting is the true test so in a couple of weeks I will get to see what the characters look like with their 25 point build.

I was actually trying to be somewhat equivalent to a 3.5 ed 32 point build (which I think is close enough - erring on the side of the players). I did notice in testing score arrays that it did vary quite a bit depending on whether I wanted a 16 with a couple of 14s, etc. or just a bunch of 14s.

It will definitely be interesting to see what the players do with their 25 points.

My only beef with the point buy section is that is is not clear what is low fantasy, standard fantasy, high fantasy, or epic fantasy. It might be beneficial to newer DMs that state that they can adjust the points as needed to suit their campaign and they don't necessarily have to use these values (but they are guidelines only). Most of us already understand that but I would guess that newer players/DMs may not.


sciencephile wrote:
My only beef with the point buy section is that is is not clear what is low fantasy, standard fantasy, high fantasy, or epic fantasy. It might be beneficial to newer DMs that state that they can adjust the points as needed to suit their campaign and they don't necessarily have to use these values (but they are guidelines only). Most of us already understand that but I would guess that newer players/DMs may not.

I have to second this and add to it - I get confused whenever I see things like that, because the "level one" characters for high and epic fantasy novels usually are weaker and less apt than the "level one" characters of low fantasy novels. Renaming the categories on this list will keep literatzis like me less confused.


I assumed that it broke down like this:

Low Fantasy = Challenging Campaign (DMG)
Standard Fantasy = Standard Campaign
High Fantasy = Tougher Campaign
Epic Fantasy = High-Powerd Campaign


Kelvin273 wrote:
Though I agree with your point about starting at the lowest score, I find your reasoning about heroes' power confusing. We're not talking about the PC's wealth or social standing, but about innate personal traits. Some people are born smarter, faster, or stronger than the norm; some people are superior in multiple traits. People who "rise from the masses" to become heroes are more likely to be those kinds of people.

Lots of room for confusion here, sorry. You will note I later advocated for a higher 'low-end' to avoid unplayable stats.

In my own homebrewed version of 3e, I use 2D6+6, just to let you know how I feel about what you are saying - I agree with you 100%.

That particular comment about "Super-powered Muppets" was aimed at the WotC 4e version, where it's all-about being a mutant power-gaming juggernaught (at least, thats the impression I get when I see them talking about "no more negatives").

I firmly believe that YES, the heroes rise up out of the masses because they had little 'extra something', but I prefer my heroes like Batman, NOT Superman, if you catch my drift.

The system is fine as is, BTW, and as long as they make it an option, I see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Wicht wrote:
Zynete wrote:

Here are two sets of stats I generated yesterday. I used both the old 32 point buy and the new 20 point buy to generate similar stats. The new system forced both sets I made to be slightly lower.

These stats do not include racial adjustments.

Not including racial adjustments assumes a human under 3.5, but if we assume a human under the Alpha rules you're stats are as follows (adding the +2):

Remake of old Barbarian/Sorcerer
Old 32: Str 15, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 14
New 20: Str 15, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 7, Cha 15 (added+2 to charisma)

Wizard who dumps everything but Dex, Con, and Int
Old 32: Str 8, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 8, Cha 8
New 20: Str 7, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 20, Wis 7, Cha 7 (added +2 to intelligence)

If you factor in the modifier things look a little better.

Previous post was eaten so I'll keep this short.

I wanted to compared the systems not the races and the systems. That first character was planned to be a half-orc and that would have made the new system look a bit more powerful, when it was mostly because of the half-orc change.

I also wanted to note that the rolled stat generation systems were not weakened. I'm not sure what this means, it was just another reason I didn't want to add races to it.

Grand Lodge

Having weaker characters to begin with is fine, but the problem arises that stat boots happen only every 4 levels. So if a character makes it to level 20 they will only gain 5 stat boots, or about +3 mods, or 5 if you happen to have that many odd scores.
Really characters don't really get that much stronger, they get to do do more with their abilities but do not actually get that much stronger. They get HP every level and more BAB, but other than that magical items are really the only thing that makes a character stronger.


hogarth wrote:
Squirrelloid wrote:

Elite array is equal to 'standard fantasy', which is seriously a problem because its what we just hand random NPC adversaries. Low fantasy is completely unplayable.

The increase in points for high ability scores is also brutally punitive for anyone wanting to play a character that needs multiple stats (ie, martial classes), and bad for the game because it encourages '1-stat' classes even more than 3.5 (ie, Druid, Wizard).

Seriously, blowing 2/3rd your points for a 16 in a 'standard game' forces hyperspecialization, and is going to generate fairly one-dimensional characters.

I was worried when I first read this message, but after reading through the point buy rules I find this is a bit blown out of proportion.

25 point buy in 3.5E: 14, 14, 14, 14, 9, 8
15 point buy in Pathfinder: 14, 14, 14, 14, 9, 7...but you get an extra +2 somewhere.

Sure it's more expensive to get a 16 or an 18 (leaving aside the extra +2 bonus characters now have). I don't really find that "bad for the game", though. YMMV.

Since 25-point buy from the DMG is inferior on average to rolled characters, being roughly equivalent to that standard isn't necessarily a good thing.


Well, I guess I'll weigh in as well.

Attributes do not make the character. THe player's concept does. If Margret Weiss had not actually played Raistlin in the old D&D rules as a wizard with a low con, she would have never developed his underlying need to rely on his need to become more powerful in the use of magic to gain the respect (fear) of those around him.

Had Raistlin been healthy and not frail, he would have been less likely to strive for that power.

I say let there be the negative attributes. They make for a more balanced RP experience.

Besides. lets be honest here...who ever really rolls below a 10 on 3d6?

I know I "never" have. <insert knowing wink here> Always a 12 to 18 on my dice! I swear this to be true!


I like point buy systems because it helps party balance overall: each person has the same amount of "resources" available to build their character. Its completely true that people who stand completely on either side of the powergamer/roleplayer fence (I feel its a fence, I have many players who straddle it well, I have also seen many who wave blithely from far on one side or the other) may create characters that overshadow or walk in the shadows of others.

But! I dislike dice rolling ability generation methods because it means you can end up with characters like in the Age of Worms game I played in: Effective 59 point buy for the cleric! And she was weak, because she didn't optimize (player sits more on the RP side of the fence). However, I had a 47 effective point buy, and made the most of it. The sorceror had a total of about 28, due to (relatively) poor rolls, but he made the most powerful character I have ever seen through solid focus on a single spell and use of splatbooks to do it. His powergaming was solid, but it was also completely legit from a RP perspective too. He just got lucky.

But I've also seen games where one person rolls crap, but wants to play a multiple ability class, like monk. Then another person rolls well, plays a single stat class like mage, but has great con, dex and charisma to boot, and dominates the entire game, and does so legitimately. I dislike that.

BUT WAIT, THERES MORE!

My wife, a dm in her own right, prefers Dice to Point Buy because she says it helps her to create the character. Instead of picking through thousands of ability score arrangements, she only has to look at the 36 combinations her 6 rolled scores give her. From there, she can easily see a "framework" of a character emerge. I can agree with her, and I even feel that it is a superior method of "getting into the head" of your character as you make him, but I still am so leery of the chance for disparity between characters.

I have the same reservations about HP. I'm thinking of going to a half of HD filled system, something like d12 = 6+1d6 or such, because I am tired of listening to fighters and barbarians justifiably complain about the rogue taking more hits in melee because he rolled well and they rolled bad. A person who trains taking hits, who practices shrugging off what would kill others, SHOULD NOT have less hp than a person who doesn't. Period.

Just my 2cp.

The Exchange

In the DMG it lists for their point buy system that a low-powered point buy is 15 points. That would give a player a 16,13,8,8,8,8 or for those that don't want 8's- 14,12,10,10,10,10. In Pathfinder, low -fantasy 10pt buy would give a player a 16,15,9,8,8,8 and if you don't want 8's- 14,14,10,10,10,10. Both are better than regular point buy.
28 point buy nets a 17,17,10,8,8,8 or for no 8's- 17,14,11,10,10,10.
Pathfinder equivalent is 20 point buy for 17,17,10,8,8,8 (exact match up here) or for no 8's- 17,14,12,10,10,10 (changing the 11 to a 12 from the wotc method)

I don't see how this is an extreme divergence from what is currently in place. Sure you can min-max to a 7 attribute but I think that is something that should be a DM/player decision and should be exploited by both. The DM should take advantage of the PCs weakness from time to time and the PC should have to Roleplay the disadvantage. If it is just a Charisma dump and the PC tries to talk to anyone without RPing that he is socially inept then the DM needs to tell the player to reassign stats to reflect what he is RPing.

The Exchange

dako1001 wrote:


Besides. lets be honest here...who ever really rolls below a 10 on 3d6?

I know I "never" have. <insert knowing wink here> Always a 12 to 18 on my dice! I swear this to be true!

I realize that a certain amount of snark is in this statement but to me this it why Point buy was developed. It's really easy to break the stats back down to prove what a player used to get his stats. "Yeah, I swear my brother and his friend watched me roll! 18,16,14,12,16,and 15! I swear! You can call them! Are you calling me a liar?" just doesn't work. Rolling stats only works with well labeled dice at the table with the rest of the group. Hence Point Buy.


Kelvin273 wrote:


Since 25-point buy from the DMG is inferior on average to rolled characters, being roughly equivalent to that standard isn't necessarily a good thing.

What do rolled attributes have to do with anything? We're comparing the Pathfinder point buy with the 3.5 point buy.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
The purchase method is not for everyone and I'll be the first to admit that I generally do not use it in my home games. That said, I am not going to table the option, because I am pretty sure that a lot of folks do use it.

I use it exclusively because I have one guy (Pete) who would roll, and this is on the table out in the open, 16+ on all scores (using 4d6 drop lowest), using any dice you want him to, and one guy (Rich) that would have no score over 12....

My system is DMG 32 point buy, with 1 score less than 12 allowed, and all other 12 or greater. You can get some fairly heroic builds out of that, but I will admit that charisma is usually the dump stat. With an 8, the PC doesn't get invited to the party (SCAP), guards look away, NPC's will deal with the higher charisma characters only, etc.

-- david
Papa.DRB

Grand Lodge

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Well, this system is similar in some regards to others like it. This system is not for everyone however, which is why we are including 4 different systems for you to use. Purchase is only one of them.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

My concern here with the 4 suggested generation systems is that 3 of them require randomness while only 1 uses fixed variables.

My main reasons for using fixed stats as a DM is player trust and time. If I plan on running a new campaign I will give my players the details for creating characters at the end of the last game, over the phone, or via MSN. Some of these players are not trustworthy enough to roll their stats at home without potentially cheating (or choosing their stats instead of rolling) so using a fixed variable system is by far a better option.

When my players can spend 6-7 hours creating a character that cuts into valuable gaming time too. (Even though when they have 2 weeks to make a character some of them still turn up with only a half finished character *shrug*)

I would like to offer my own fixed variable system as a new suggestion for pathfinder...

"" wrote:

Array: Characters receive the default array based on the campaigns power level.

Players then assign the listed extra points among the array for a one-for-one cost. Each stat may not be taken above 18 and no stats may be lowered below the chosen array.
Once all 3-7 points have been spent, assign the final results to the stats you wish.
Next apply any Racial Modifiers where appropriate and finally apply any Age Modifiers.

Campaign Type - Array (Extra Points)
Low Fantasy - Nonelite Array (+5)
Standard Fantasy - Nonelite Array (+7)
High Fantasy - Elite Array (+3)
Epic Fantasy - Elite Array (+7)

Non-Elite Array equals 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8
Elite Array equals 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8

Edit: as an additional option some DMs prefer a mix of static and variable using the elite array + 2d4 random points.


Quijenoth wrote:


My concern here with the 4 suggested generation systems is that 3 of them require randomness while only 1 uses fixed variables.

My main reasons for using fixed stats as a DM is player trust and time.

I agree and this is why some point buy is great to have. "Public" campaigns like Living Greyhawk have to use it for this reason. And in most gaming groups, even with "grown ups," the rolled stats I see defy statistical average. Having a buy system allows the game to be more "fair" for those that need that in a given circumstance.


First - Why do these boards make 'quoting' look so strange? Anyway...

hogarth wrote:
Kelvin273 wrote:
What do rolled attributes have to do with anything? We're comparing the Pathfinder point buy with the 3.5 point buy.

Because it IS relevant to the OP's point, which is that Point-Buy is unneccessary for Pathfinder. Since it is optional, that point is moot.

The Black Bard wrote:
BUT WAIT, THERES MORE!

You got me thinking - maybe you and your wife can use a combo system, that would add a little randomness, but still set a fairly equal playing field...

Roll 2d6 to generate stats, and then give a 50 point buy to add to that using the following table:

Add ...... cost*
1-4 ...... 1 pt each
5-6 ...... 2 pts each
. 7 ....... 3 pts
. 8 ....... 4 pts

* all costs are cumulative, so adding '8' to a stat would cost 15 points. No stat can be raised above 18 this way (BEFORE racial modifiers).

Assuming a person rolled all 7's (the average), I generated a Human Monk with the following stats -

St:12 Cn:14 Dx:15 In:10 Ws:17 Ch:7

The racial adjustment was added to Wisdom, so as you can see, you would really need to get at least one above-average roll to get an 18 stat. This character certainly isn't god-like, but is very playable, and somewhat above average. It would be a simple thing to adjust this to 'epic' or any other level, by tacking on a few more buy-points to 50.

Maestr0 wrote:
Having weaker characters to begin with is fine, but the problem arises that stat boots happen only every 4 levels.

Got me thinking again - It might be fun to consider starting a character at the Challeng/Low Fantasy point buy, and then allowing Stat boosts every Three levels (like Feats), but off-set from feats (beginning at lev 2?).

That way, you can re-create that 'novel' feel, with a character starting out an "average Joe", and then rising up to prominence. It might interesting to start an 'epic' campaign that way, when you don't want everyone to be a munchkin at level 1.

Papa-DRB wrote:
I use it exclusively because I have one guy (Pete) who would roll, and this is on the table out in the open, 16+ on all scores (using 4d6 drop lowest), using any dice you want him to, and one guy (Rich) that would have no score over 12....

Strangely, I have found as I get older, I roll consistently worse, but thats neither here nor there. I haven't rolled a 'good' character in years, but since I usually DM, thats not much of a problem. Recently my son had one of his friends join a new campaign I was starting, and the kid (15) didn't want to bother learning the rules, he just wanted to "hit stuff", so I decided he should be a Barb. He couldn't be there for the first char-gen session, and told me to roll it for him.

I rolled THREE 18's, two 17's, and a 16!!! (Witnessed by 3 other players). I could have cried - what a waste - I like to run Monks, and I wish I could have rolled that well for myself (not to mention he was the first one to drop out of the game). If I had been rolling for myself, I probably would have got all 3's.


MarkusTay wrote:


hogarth wrote:
What do rolled attributes have to do with anything? We're comparing the Pathfinder point buy with the 3.5 point buy.
Because it IS relevant to the OP's point, which is that Point-Buy is unneccessary for Pathfinder. Since it is optional, that point is moot.

No, I'm pretty sure the original poster's (Squirreloid) point was that we should keep the old 3.5 point buy, not that we should get rid of point buys altogether.


If that is so, then I apoligize; I got the gist he just didn't like point-buy. His second post (directly below his first) does seem to indicate that you are correct here.

Another thing I meant to post above - Under point-buy, I would allow a Human and Half-Elf to split their +2 across two different stats, but ONLY if I were to use the point-buy system.

That would give a teensy boost to the overall system as presented.

Grand Lodge

Just thought of another reason point buy is better than random rolls. One thing some players hate is when they have a character concept planned that is highly stat dependent (due to feat and class requirements) but fails to meet those requirements due to poor dice rolls.

One general house rule I do use when rolling 4d6 method is if a player ends up with a total stat modifier of +1 or less before racial modifiers he can reroll his lowest stat.


Maybe I'm just used to good rolls or higher powered campaigns but the max point set seems like it would create a set of stats one of my players would grudgingly roll their eyes and accept... I'd probably kick up each rank with five more points and call it good. Then again I'm not a believer in the 'you can't have an honestly RP'd character without at least one stat having a - adjustment' mentality. At the very least I'd make it a one for one at least through 14.


Fake Healer wrote:

In the DMG it lists for their point buy system that a low-powered point buy is 15 points. That would give a player a 16,13,8,8,8,8 or for those that don't want 8's- 14,12,10,10,10,10. In Pathfinder, low -fantasy 10pt buy would give a player a 16,15,9,8,8,8 and if you don't want 8's- 14,14,10,10,10,10. Both are better than regular point buy.

28 point buy nets a 17,17,10,8,8,8 or for no 8's- 17,14,11,10,10,10.
Pathfinder equivalent is 20 point buy for 17,17,10,8,8,8 (exact match up here) or for no 8's- 17,14,12,10,10,10 (changing the 11 to a 12 from the wotc method)

I don't see how this is an extreme divergence from what is currently in place. Sure you can min-max to a 7 attribute but I think that is something that should be a DM/player decision and should be exploited by both. The DM should take advantage of the PCs weakness from time to time and the PC should have to Roleplay the disadvantage. If it is just a Charisma dump and the PC tries to talk to anyone without RPing that he is socially inept then the DM needs to tell the player to reassign stats to reflect what he is RPing.

A low-powered point buy in the DMG gives you three 10s and three 11s if you spend the points evenly (average 10.5, same as a 3d6 roll). The Pathfinder Low Fantasy point buy gives you two 11s and four 12s if evenly distributed (average 11.67). It's more equivalent to the DMG Challenging Campaign. Your comparison is an apples-to-oranges deal.

And the fact that at other levels it's close to DMG point buy levels is precisely my point. I believe the DMG point buy levels are lowballed, so being proportional to them is not a good idea. Really, the DMG's Tougher point buy(28 points) is roughly equivalent to what characters roll on 4d6 on average (given the hopeless character rules).


hogarth wrote:
Kelvin273 wrote:


Since 25-point buy from the DMG is inferior on average to rolled characters, being roughly equivalent to that standard isn't necessarily a good thing.
What do rolled attributes have to do with anything? We're comparing the Pathfinder point buy with the 3.5 point buy.

Because if the DMG point buy is inferior to the average rolled character and Pathfinder adheres closely to its power level, they've repeated one of WotC's mistakes. If your point-buy system gives you worse characters than the average rolled character, you might as well just roll you characters up. Now, granted, this can be mitigated by simply using the higher point levels, like 20 or 25 instead of 10. But then you have to listen to the purists who don't analyze the rules talk about what a munchkin you are because you want your pregenerated character to be roughly on a par with a rolled character.


Kelvin273 wrote:

I assumed that it broke down like this:

Low Fantasy = Challenging Campaign (DMG)
Standard Fantasy = Standard Campaign
High Fantasy = Tougher Campaign
Epic Fantasy = High-Powerd Campaign

Er, that's not what those terms mean....Low fantasy refers to the situations in which the novel takes place. Conan is low fantasy since usually Conan is concerned with just stealing and whoring and looking out for numero uno. Conan is also the poster-child for "I rolled straight 18s across the board"

High fanasy is your basic "save the world" scenario. LotR is prime example of this.

In truth, most campaigns have a combination of the two. A good example of this would be "Slayers" the anime. When Lina et al are hunting down a Lake Dragon to stuff their gullets, that's low fantasy. When Lina et al are dealing with Hellmaster, that's high/epic fantasy.


Bleach wrote:
Kelvin273 wrote:

I assumed that it broke down like this:

Low Fantasy = Challenging Campaign (DMG)
Standard Fantasy = Standard Campaign
High Fantasy = Tougher Campaign
Epic Fantasy = High-Powerd Campaign

Er, that's not what those terms mean....Low fantasy refers to the situations in which the novel takes place. Conan is low fantasy since usually Conan is concerned with just stealing and whoring and looking out for numero uno. Conan is also the poster-child for "I rolled straight 18s across the board"

High fanasy is your basic "save the world" scenario. LotR is prime example of this.

In truth, most campaigns have a combination of the two. A good example of this would be "Slayers" the anime. When Lina et al are hunting down a Lake Dragon to stuff their gullets, that's low fantasy. When Lina et al are dealing with Hellmaster, that's high/epic fantasy.

In this context, the terms are referring to the PCs' power level in a campaign, as reflected by the number of points you give them to buy attributes. My point was to compare Paizo's power levels to the nearest DMG equivalents.


Kelvin273 wrote:
In this context, the terms are referring to the PCs' power level in a campaign, as reflected by the number of points you give them to buy attributes. My point was to compare Paizo's power levels to the nearest DMG equivalents.

Not to pick on you but you're confusing terms like that. Conan isn't low fantasy by your definition since he pretty much has straight 18s across the board


Power level and 'fantasy level' are two seperate things, and although low fantasy can be low-powered, it is just as often high-powered.

Conversely, LotR is considered 'High Fantasy', but there was very little magic, and Gandalf used his sword as often as his powers.

I believe Paizo mistakenly used those terms to describe power level of the campaign, and they are kinda inappropriate for that.


I don't understand how people can get upset about this.

This is not a major mechanical change to the rules.

It is point buy. You determine attribute once at the beginning of the campaign. There have always been a multitude of ways to do it and there always well.

Use what ever system you want. This is the easy place in all of the RPG world to create a House rule.


After creating a couple of sample characters using this system, I'm going to have to tone down my criticism a little bit. The Alpha 3 system isn't great for multi-ability dependent characters, but it's marginally better than the 3.5 point buy because of the net +2 to everybody's stat array and the option to "sell down" to a 7. It's not a great system by any means, but it's probably the best we can get out of Pathfinder, assuming that Paizo's committed to the default array as the standard baseline.


MarkusTay wrote:

Power level and 'fantasy level' are two seperate things, and although low fantasy can be low-powered, it is just as often high-powered.

Conversely, LotR is considered 'High Fantasy', but there was very little magic, and Gandalf used his sword as often as his powers.

I believe Paizo mistakenly used those terms to describe power level of the campaign, and they are kinda inappropriate for that.

Also, even if you have epic-level stats, you're still not going to be taking on gods at 1st level. That's why it's a bad idea to confuse any flavor ideas people have about these terms with the mechanical definition Paizo's adopted for the point buy system.


There is another aspect that has to be considered with Point Buy. The effect on non-standard race-class combinations.

Compare say the difference using the 3.5 point buy and the Pathfinder version when building say a human and a half-orc sorceror (both races using the Pathfinder racial benefits)

Basically, the more expensive it is to get a high score, the more effect the +2, +0, -2 from the racial benefits have on the math.

Sovereign Court

a note:
Please do NOT give players incentive for a low score. The 7 (usually CHA/WIS/STR depending on the char) should give 3 bonus points at max.

and a comment:
I kinda like how the system gives more incentive for a few more odd numbers to appear on a character, instead of the usual straight-evens with the 3.5 buy.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:


The purchase method is not for everyone and I'll be the first to admit that I generally do not use it in my home games. That said, I am not going to table the option, because I am pretty sure that a lot of folks do use it.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Point by is rather mandatory for a Living or Networked game setup. There's talk about adopting Pathfinder for the Legends of the Shining Jewels campaign and I may want to take that to private email with you. My email address can be gotten from the profile.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Squirrelloid wrote:
Seriously, blowing 2/3rd your points for a 16 in a 'standard game' forces hyperspecialization, and is going to generate fairly one-dimensional characters.

This is a completely inaccurate comparison, at least inasmuch as it is being described as weaker than 3.5 by implication.

Buying a 16 in 3.5 costs 10 points, out of 25 (for "standard") point buy, leaving 15 points left to spend.

Buying a 16 in Pathfinder also costs 10 points, but leaves only 5 points to spend. This is focus your problem, yes?

Except that you're not getting just a 16, are you? In 3.5, you'd have 15 points left to spend - and you'd have 16, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8. In Pathfinder, you'd have only 5 points left to spend, but you'd have 16, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10. In order to get that statline in 3.5, you'd have to spend another 10 points - and would, in fact, have just 5 points left. Alternatively, if you wanted a 16, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8 in Pathfinder, you could get it - and have 15 points to spend back up again, which is precisely where you'd be in 3.5.

This is a nonissue.


I just don't use point buy in my games. In fact, I can't stand it either as a DM and dislike it considerably as a player too. However, it is only provided as an option in the Pathfinder RPG, so that works for me - each group can use the system appropriate to their game.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I usually use the 3.5, 32pt buy in my games. The round of 25pt buy using the Pathfinder system, made comparable PCs statwise, and it looks like, with the +2 racial slightly better.


hogarth wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Well, this system is similar in some regards to others like it.

I like this sentence.

:)

Yes, a tautology is a wonderful thing. ;)


Evanta wrote:

a note:

Please do NOT give players incentive for a low score. The 7 (usually CHA/WIS/STR depending on the char) should give 3 bonus points at max.

Keep in mind, though, that since the Pathfinder system starts scaling up the costs earlier than 3.5, those 4 points aren't as helpful for buying higher scores. Taking a 7 in one stat and an 18 in another only gives you 2 points for all your other stats. But the ability to dump one stat down to 7 is all that gives multi-ability dependent characters like monks a little wiggle room in this system.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Is there any hope of adding the option of a Harrow-based character generation method? As long as the Pathfinder RPG is ties to Golarion?


I like the present point buy system. If you want to play an epic campaign rather than a standard, then choose the epic point buy of 25. If a character can start at 1st level with a 20 (after racial modifiers) in his or her primary attribute and then have above average (12+) in most of his or her other attrbutes, then that is an epic type campaign, whether you choose to call it that or not.

If the consensus is that this is still too low, then shift the points up, for example:

Campaign Type Points
Low Fantasy: 13
Standard Fantasy: 18
High Fantasy: 24
Epic Fantasy: 30

As a gamemaster, I shift these numbers dependent upon the number of players in the campaign; With fewer players, I will inch up the points to help with survivability.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I just started looking at this thread, so don't punish me if this has already been answered.

When buying, why does it cost 3 points to raise an ability from base 10 to 13 (a difference of 3) and yet you receive 4 points for lowering an ability from base 10 to 7 (a difference of 3)?

It looks like you are rewarding a PC for going low on an ability score.


Charles Scholz wrote:

I just started looking at this thread, so don't punish me if this has already been answered.

When buying, why does it cost 3 points to raise an ability from base 10 to 13 (a difference of 3) and yet you receive 4 points for lowering an ability from base 10 to 7 (a difference of 3)?

It looks like you are rewarding a PC for going low on an ability score.

Ayup. Like people have said, there is a good chance PCs will often be super-dumping an ability to raise their critical one. 80% of the time, this will be Cha.


Charles Scholz wrote:

I just started looking at this thread, so don't punish me if this has already been answered.

When buying, why does it cost 3 points to raise an ability from base 10 to 13 (a difference of 3) and yet you receive 4 points for lowering an ability from base 10 to 7 (a difference of 3)?

It looks like you are rewarding a PC for going low on an ability score.

It's symmetrical, sort of; going from 8 (a modifer of -1) to 7 (a modifier of -2) is the same "step" as going from 13 (a modifier of +1) to 14 (a modifier of +2) and so it costs the same.


Gnome Ninja wrote:
Ayup. Like people have said, there is a good chance PCs will often be super-dumping an ability to raise their critical one. 80% of the time, this will be Cha.

Well... no one likes those people anyway.

(A litle Charisma joke there)

Besides, most of the core systems give you stats higher then what we are talking about here, and the average of 3d6 is 10-11, so 'going low' should really gain you a few more points (since the rolling methods will almost always give you better). A score of 13 is only two points above average, whereas a seven is three points below.


Dang... I always DP when I edit... WTF?


Charles Scholz wrote:

I just started looking at this thread, so don't punish me if this has already been answered.

When buying, why does it cost 3 points to raise an ability from base 10 to 13 (a difference of 3) and yet you receive 4 points for lowering an ability from base 10 to 7 (a difference of 3)?

It looks like you are rewarding a PC for going low on an ability score.

I think it's because going from 10 to 7 lowers your modifier by 2, while going from 10 to 13 only raises your modifier by 1. If you look at the chart, you'll notice that the cost scales based on the modifier in both directions. If a score gives you a mod of +2, its cost is 2 more than the next lowest score. Similarly, a 7 gives you a modifier of -2, so it gives you two more extra points than stopping the selldown at 8. Besides, monks and other characters who need more than one good attribute need every extra point they can get when selling down.


brent norton wrote:
I like the point buy. Seen too many fights between the player who rolled well, and the person who didn't.

Every time I see comments like this I thank God for my incredible luck in having never run into one of these extremely immature players in my 10 years of playing RPGs.

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