Power Creep in Pathfinder - the +2 / +2 / -2 Ability Score Power Boost


Ability Scores and Races

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Power creep is a significant issue in Pathfinder. If the Pathfinder RPG were a completely new game separate from D&D 3.5E than it wouldn't be a problem, but because it aims for backward compatibility, power boosts matter. The greater power level makes it more difficult to adjudicate challenges for the characters in old adventures. This is especially the case in the absence of clear guidelines for determining the relative power of Pathfinder character vis-a-vis 3.5E characters, though it is true that such guidelines would be difficult to create at best. It is therefore prudent to try to try to mitigate the power creep as much as possible.

The worst offender in Pathfinder in terms of power creep in my mind is hit point inflation, but this is not the appropriate forum for the discussion of that topic. Rather it is prudent to concentrate on the extra +2 to ability scores that races now receive. This bonus really helps to flesh out the flavor of the races, but it does lead to power creep.

What, if anything, would you suggest for solving this issue?

Here are some possible solutions I came up with:

1) Revert back to the 3.5E bonuses to ability scores
2) Add an extra -2 penalty to another ability score for all races (Humans/Half-Elves [and I would add Half-Orcs) could either get +2/-2 to any ability score or perhaps simply no bonuses or penalties at all)
3) Enable a character of a given race to chose which one of the two ability scores receives the +2 bonus (Humans, etc. revert to no bonuses or penalties)

If you agree that power creep is a problem, which solution would you prefer (of the above three or a different solution [if you have another new solution, please post it here for us to see])?

Liberty's Edge

Roman wrote:
3) Enable a character of a given race to chose which one of the two ability scores receives the +2 bonus (Humans, etc. revert to no bonuses or penalties)

While I don't really mind the additional +2 to an ability score for races (my players need it), I like this a lot. It'd add even more diversity to the various races. *thumbs up*

The Exchange

The entire point of the races and classes being ramped up is so that they are more on par with non-core races and classes. Paizo is trying to level the field so you can still use your suppliment books in their system. If you nerf them back to 3.5 PHB levels than there really isn't any point to Pathfinder. You wouldn't be fixing the core races and classes.


I find them very balanced when using the point buy system.


blope wrote:
I find them very balanced when using the point buy system.

Well, the point buy system (which is indeed stricter in Pathfinder) is not the only system being used. In fact, I always require my players to roll and numerous other groups do too. They need to be balanced both for point buy and rolling systems.

Fake Healer wrote:
The entire point of the races and classes being ramped up is so that they are more on par with non-core races and classes. Paizo is trying to level the field so you can still use your suppliment books in their system. If you nerf them back to 3.5 PHB levels than there really isn't any point to Pathfinder. You wouldn't be fixing the core races and classes.

I have read indeed read the part that explained that to be one of their design goals. However, they are losing customers over this - I know several people who refuse to upgrade to Pathfinder precisely due to the power creep. Besides, many play core 3.5E only and if they were to upgrade to Pathfinder, their 3.5E adventures, based on challenges to 3.5E core power level would be out of sync.

On top of that, Pathfinder overcompensates the core races with the extra +2 bonus. There are not many races that powerful - sure there might be some, such as perhaps the Warforged, but even among non-core, they are not common.

That said, the double bonus IS very good for racial flavor - the races feel much more fleshed out for the most part.


Roman wrote:


I have read indeed read the part that explained that to be one of their design goals. However, they are losing customers over this - I know several people who refuse to upgrade to Pathfinder precisely due to the power creep. Besides, many play core 3.5E only and if they were to upgrade to Pathfinder, their 3.5E adventures, based on challenges to 3.5E core power level would be out of sync.

If they're playing 3.5 core only, and they upgrade to Pathfinder, then they're no longer playing 3.5 core, but Pathfinder. This argument doesn't compute to me .... am I missing something?

Liberty's Edge

Carnivorous_Bean wrote:
If they're playing 3.5 core only, and they upgrade to Pathfinder, then they're no longer playing 3.5 core, but Pathfinder. This argument doesn't compute to me .... am I missing something?

While they may be playing Pathfinder, as of now there are no Pathfinder monster manuals to compensate any power difference with. Likewise, adventures are designed using 3.5 stats instead of Pathfinder stats. There could very well be a power discrepancy caused from this.

Though I believe that Pathfinder uses a lower point-buy for character generation than 3.5 does. This isn't really an excuse, though, as not everyone uses point-buy for character generation (a good deal prefer the good old 4d6 drop lowest, for example).


Gene wrote:
Carnivorous_Bean wrote:
If they're playing 3.5 core only, and they upgrade to Pathfinder, then they're no longer playing 3.5 core, but Pathfinder. This argument doesn't compute to me .... am I missing something?

While they may be playing Pathfinder, as of now there are no Pathfinder monster manuals to compensate any power difference with. Likewise, adventures are designed using 3.5 stats instead of Pathfinder stats. There could very well be a power discrepancy caused from this.

Though I believe that Pathfinder uses a lower point-buy for character generation than 3.5 does. This isn't really an excuse, though, as not everyone uses point-buy for character generation (a good deal prefer the good old 4d6 drop lowest, for example).

Thanks - this is exactly what I was trying to imply. On top of monster manuals and rolling dice for ability scores, it is also an issue of older adventures balanced for 3.5E core.

Liberty's Edge

Roman wrote:
Thanks - this is exactly what I was trying to imply. On top of monster manuals and rolling dice for ability scores, it is also an issue of older adventures balanced for 3.5E core.

Glad to be of service. :)

But you make a point in that even stock 3.5 has this problem, with every new book that was released new material was made available to players that monsters weren't able to make use of due to cross-referencing issues for folks that don't buy every new book. This lead to some (most) monsters taking similar feats that were in most cases both not optimal for the creature (the tarrasque having the toughness feat like seven times comes to mind) or didn't neccesarily make sense (certain monsters with the alertness feat whom would have better been served with power attack, for example). This in turn created more work for DMs as most monsters needed to be redesigned (or at least have their feats redone) so that they could keep up with players. It was basically a vicious circle with no easy solution, sad though that may be.

(apologies for the wall of text)


Roman wrote:


Well, the point buy system (which is indeed stricter in Pathfinder) is not the only system being used. In fact, I always require my players to roll and numerous other groups do too. They need to be balanced both for point buy and rolling systems.

This would be the core of your problem. Roll-based generation systems produce parties with wild imbalances between characters and form a poor basis for game design. The best a designer can hope to do is balance against a mean distribution of possible scores. This of course allows of outliers and unbalanced parties.

I understand the fun of playing 3d6, no re-rolls. I've actually played 3.5 campaigns with that, but I'd hate to have to try and design around all the crazy roll-variants that exist.


I agree with you. Using Pathfinder pointbuy apparently evens things out, but then the extra +2 is still pointless because all it does is make it more difficult for races to play against type (points from pointbuy have effectively simply been tied up in their race).


I understand where you're coming from, and I think that power creep is something to fight against. Power creep was why I didn't allow Magic Compendium and Spell Compendium in my 3.5 game.

I initially had the same negative reaction in the Alpha to the boost to the core races, but I've come to terms with it. It does make sense that the iconic races should be among the most powerful - if you're deviating from those, it should be for flavor and not for power. And the racial boost makes them about equivalent to the LA+1 races, IMHO, which opens up a lot more racial flavor.

When I ran Alpha playtest games, I just added a flat six hit points to everyone - PCs, monsters, summoned monsters, etc. I think that worked pretty well, and it makes weaker creatures less fragile then sorts out in the wash as power increases. The additional number of feats is also tricky, but it's generally only a couple, and there are a few dead boring feats to add in a pinch. If the monsters don't get a feat boost, then they will be at a disadvantage.

I think we might be able to work out a rough translation for CR for Pathfinder as compared to 3.5 For instance, we could treat 1st through 3rd Pathfinder characters as +1 ECL. When running published adventures, you generally often have to tweak the number of monsters to match up with the precise number and level of players. I think it's probably not a serious problem.

But I do think it's valuable to have people warning against power creep.


Well my big concern about +2 to mental stats is that while it benefits all characters it benefits spellcasters disproportionally. As mentioned, +1 to all spell DCs, plus 1-2 bonus spells usually of higher levels... this bump more than makes up for the cleric's 'loss' of spells.

Someone suggested the point buy system is more strict and if the system were to switch to straight point buy then it might be ok but as it stands for most groups it's just a straight bump for casters.


BlaineTog wrote:
I agree with you. Using Pathfinder pointbuy apparently evens things out, but then the extra +2 is still pointless because all it does is make it more difficult for races to play against type (points from pointbuy have effectively simply been tied up in their race).

Well this is a much more rational method of encouraging players to play in class than the +1HP/SP thing, so from that perspective I like it.

Scarab Sages

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I do not mind the power creep at all. I have been running RotR and I think the PCs need the extra bit of power to survive. My group is converting to Beta as we speak and I think it is a good change.


I think that the base races needed the boost. Before the best race to play hands down was human, now all the base races are viable.


I don't think the extra +2 unbalances the game. It's just up there with the extra hp at level 1 to increase survivability at low levels. At about level 4 or 5, these extra pluses won't even be noticable in my oppinion.


If you talk of powercreep because of this specific change, you probably are not using the point-buy system or have not really tried creating a new character with the rules.

The point-buy costs have changed quite a bit and, combined with the new stats boost, it comes to very similar results as before.

The only difference I saw so far is that it makes it easier to have one single attribute be at 16 or 17 without screwing up the rest of your stats. The rest will still not be great, but will be decent.

Bocklin


I really don’t see it so much as power creep and agree that it does keep the core races on par with the some of the new stuff that has come out over the years. Also, it gives me the same feeling when I make a character that I get when I play an old video game on a new TV. (I wonder if that will make sense to anyone else)
Statistically speaking, the additional +2 to an attribute results in an extra 5% to succeed on skill rolls and ability checks. To me this adds an extra edge that makes everyone feel a little cooler but still keeps things within bounds. As far as str and con go with the extra damage and HP; This is more up to the DM and style of play involved as to whether or not it is unbalancing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The new system is just fine, it heightens the versatility of non-humans immensely. Also, +2 to an ability score really is a very shallow drop in the pool of OP-ness.

I never understood why so many people get conniptions about high-stat characters, when spells and feats are much more responsible for breaking certain builds.


Don't worry - I am not having a conniption over this. In fact, I think the extra flavor support tha the +2/+2/-2 ability score bonuses provide is worth the power boost. Still, I am wondering if it is possible to avoid the power creep - hence my sample suggestions.


I totally agree with Roman's original post about power creep, but I don't have any fixes. I'm just not inclined to switch to Pathfinder from 3.5.

The whole argument that the net +2 attributes are to make the core options competitive with later materials simply doesn't hold water for me. It would only affect choice of race and frankly the WotC noncore PC races aren't that unbalanced once you factor level adjustments. The few exceptions are esoteric enough to just ban.

No, to me it feels like the Net +2 attributes (and the accelerated feat progression, for that matter) serve one primary purpose: to sugar-coat the rules changes with power boosts for gratuitous munchkin appeal. It smells more like a marketing ploy rather than an actual game design issue ("Hey, kids! Switch to Pathfinder and you'll get more kool powahz than in 3.5!")


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vexer wrote:

I totally agree with Roman's original post about power creep, but I don't have any fixes. I'm just not inclined to switch to Pathfinder from 3.5.

The whole argument that the net +2 attributes are to make the core options competitive with later materials simply doesn't hold water for me. It would only affect choice of race and frankly the WotC noncore PC races aren't that unbalanced once you factor level adjustments. The few exceptions are esoteric enough to just ban.

No, to me it feels like the Net +2 attributes (and the accelerated feat progression, for that matter) serve one primary purpose: to sugar-coat the rules changes with power boosts for gratuitous munchkin appeal. It smells more like a marketing ploy rather than an actual game design issue ("Hey, kids! Switch to Pathfinder and you'll get more kool powahz than in 3.5!")

As I said, the extra +2 gives more versatility for the non-humans and is a very small power-boost, if you care to look to where the system is really broken ( high-level spells, save-or-die/suck spells in general ).

I am very happy that we still have negative modifiers for every race, so that there still is a trade-off for the good stats and the racial abilities.

Also, half-elves and half-orcs are finally competitive. No longer need I feel gimped, because I wanted to play a half-elf, horray!

To summarize: I love the new attribute system.


Vexer wrote:

I totally agree with Roman's original post about power creep, but I don't have any fixes. I'm just not inclined to switch to Pathfinder from 3.5.

The whole argument that the net +2 attributes are to make the core options competitive with later materials simply doesn't hold water for me. It would only affect choice of race and frankly the WotC noncore PC races aren't that unbalanced once you factor level adjustments. The few exceptions are esoteric enough to just ban.

No, to me it feels like the Net +2 attributes (and the accelerated feat progression, for that matter) serve one primary purpose: to sugar-coat the rules changes with power boosts for gratuitous munchkin appeal. It smells more like a marketing ploy rather than an actual game design issue ("Hey, kids! Switch to Pathfinder and you'll get more kool powahz than in 3.5!")

I agree with this. Claiming that the power boosts are to keep them level with non-core material doesn't seem like such a good argument to me. For one thing, most non-core classes are actually horrible underpowered. I would also say this applies to the new feat system as well, since I honestly don't see why it needed to be changed.


Hmmmm. As a DM I understand the concerns that have been expressed about potential power creep from the additional stat points for rolling up new core class characters. However, I think that overall I like this change and will continue to use it, for a couple of reasons.

First, the additional two stat points gives players a much better chance to produce an “above average” player character (even with the points buy system), which after all is what adventurers are – above average. Average folks stay home in their nice warm beds at night and pray that a bad tempered adventurer doesn’t trash their store tomorrow.

Also, from what I’ve seen so far the additional stat points (when combined with a good starting hit point total for first level characters) makes the players feel more confident in their ability to take on the various nasties that are waiting for them “out there”. And as we all know, a confident party is a party that gets itself into trouble very quickly – which is always fun for the DM!

As for power creep and the party over powering their opponents – I think that most low level groups can use the extra help at first, and later on the DM has the option of beefing up the various monsters (at least until Paizo comes out with a revised Monster Manual of some sort) or just adding a few extra villains. And of course at high levels things bog down anyhow (perhaps after Paizo is done with final version of the PFRPG they can come up with a supplement that addresses changes for improving high level game play???).

Overall, I give this change a thumbs up so far – which is not to say that it won’t change in the final version if enough folks disagree with me!

Lantern Lodge

Nero24200 wrote:


I agree with this. Claiming that the power boosts are to keep them level with non-core material doesn't seem like such a good argument to me. For one thing, most non-core classes are actually horrible underpowered. I would also say this applies to the new feat system as well, since I honestly don't see why it needed to be changed.

So you're saying that the non-core classes are horribly underpowered compared to the core (is that 3.5 core or PFRPG core?) classes? Would that not justify the attribute adjustments for race and the core class changes?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

I like the proposal of leaving in the -2 and offering a choice between two +2 options. This compromises between the concern regarding power increase and the concern about keeping up with the splats that many players might like to use. It's less to adapt for when converting 3.5 material while still addding flexibility.

Mind, I run largely 3.5 core and I probably wouldn't have a problem converting to Pathfinder--seems to require minimal math to me, and I hate math--but I understand the concern for folks who don't want to do a lot of re-adding.

If the change was completely reverted to 3.5, point buy would have to be changed. While point buyers need to remember some people use die rolls, the system needs to work equally well for BOTH groups of players.

Regarding "power creep," I am less concerned about what's in Pathfinder than making sure any supplements that come out afterward don't add to the "creep"--that's what I personally hated about so many 3.5 splats, and why Pathfinder's developers feel the need to boost everything to begin with.


I find these changes really nice, and now look at the core races as more balanced to each other. I can also now say to my players to take +1 LA races without the +1 LA.
And in the long run these changes do not make the players character that much more powerful. By mid levels this boost will not be felt.

Dark Archive

I like the new racial ability modifiers a lot. They make the choice of race more interesting. I think in the bigger scheme of things a +2 to an ability score is such a small power boost that it's effect is fairly minimal. I think tweaking the races is something that has been needed for a while. The only way I can see this as a problem of power creep is if you are just opposed to anything that increases the PC's power vs. 3.5. It has been clearly stated in the PFRPG that they would be increasing the power of the core races and classes as a way to make them more attractive to play. If your game is being broken by an extra +2 to an ability score over what the race had to begin with then there are more issues with your game than PC abilities.

The real problem area for power creep isn't PC stats. It's high level spells and a handful of feats and such. The Beta has already made many changes to spells to get them back under control and I expect we will see even more of that between now and the hardcover release. There is still lots of room for improvement in the Beta, but the races are something I think they nailed down just fine.


Me'mori wrote:
Nero24200 wrote:


I agree with this. Claiming that the power boosts are to keep them level with non-core material doesn't seem like such a good argument to me. For one thing, most non-core classes are actually horrible underpowered. I would also say this applies to the new feat system as well, since I honestly don't see why it needed to be changed.
So you're saying that the non-core classes are horribly underpowered compared to the core (is that 3.5 core or PFRPG core?) classes? Would that not justify the attribute adjustments for race and the core class changes?

Firstly, I mean 3.5 Core. PFRPG is even more powerful.

Secondly point I'd like to make is this....
Take Race X...take Core Class Y and Non-Core Class Z. If you up X and Y, Z remains underpowered. Upping the power of X doesn't make Z any more in line with Y. Upping Y only makes Z even further behind. Go to any non-paizo gamming forum and ask what are the most underpowered classes, you'll see non-core class (most of which will be from the complete series of books).

Lantern Lodge

Nero24200 wrote:


Firstly, I mean 3.5 Core. PFRPG is even more powerful.

Secondly point I'd like to make is this....
Take Race X...take Core Class Y and Non-Core Class Z. If you up X and Y, Z remains underpowered. Upping the power of X doesn't make Z any more in line with Y. Upping Y only makes Z even further behind. Go to any non-paizo gamming forum and ask what are the most underpowered classes, you'll see non-core class (most of which will be from the complete series of books).

Ah. I follow, though it seems that you are argu-- posing that the... *hands gestures, searching for word* mechanical/technical side of things, as they relate to class equality, are not. I will agree with you on that.

However, I also would like to bring the aspect of character flavor (I has it) into consideration, by inquiring into the redundancy of non-core classes given the current presentation.

--*pauses, re-reads your post* OHHHHH! I get you. I get you completely now! I also agree. However, my question as to non-core class redundancy still stands. How many things that can be done by non-core classes can now be done by the core classes of the PFRPG? If we account for Z, that may require a re-hashing (and subsequent re-release, perhaps?) of those classes most drastically affected.

Otherwise, mayhap we Paizonians might congregate, ruminate, and thusly re-invent these ideas for our brave new world?


Me'mori wrote:


Ah. I follow, though it seems that you are argu-- posing that the... *hands gestures, searching for word* mechanical/technical side of things, as they relate to class equality, are not. I will agree with you on that.

However, I also would like to bring the aspect of character flavor (I has it) into consideration, by inquiring into the redundancy of non-core classes given the current presentation.

--*pauses, re-reads your post* OHHHHH! I get you. I get you completely now! I also agree. However, my question as to non-core class redundancy still stands. How many things that can be done by non-core classes can now be done by the core classes of the PFRPG? If we account for Z, that may require a re-hashing (and subsequent re-release, perhaps?) of those classes most drastically affected.

Otherwise, mayhap we Paizonians might congregate, ruminate, and thusly re-invent these ideas for our brave new world?

You're right in that it's easy to replicate most non-core classes using paizo. However, you could do that before paizo. The difference being that before these classes seemed a little sub-optimal, but players still used them. As it stands, they lag behind far too much.

For an upcomming campaign I origonally wanted to make a Marshal. Although underpowered, it would still be useful if I used him right. But the paladin can do just a good as job as him now (for one thing, the paladin can project several auras at once) and have since switched to a sorcerer. I can saftly say that I'm not likely to see any non-core classes in our games again.

While this might not annoy some, it does grate on me. Some of my favourite classes are non-core (such as Hexblade, Spelltheif etc) but it's not fun to sit in the corner while the other players do your job...only better. As it stands it's far too easy for the core classes to acheive this.

Why play a hexblade who throws curses around when specialist wizards can throw better effects around without even using spells? Why play a swashbuckler when, without even trying, a rogue can fight better in combat with a finesses weapon and can even gain the weapon finesses feat for free? Why play a healer when a cleric can now heal far better? Whats the point of using a spell-theif to steal spells when the spellcasters most vurnurble (wizards/sorcerers)can just use their spell-like abilities on you instead.


Audrin_Noreys wrote:
If you talk of powercreep because of this specific change, you probably are not using the point-buy system or have not really tried creating a new character with the rules.

This has been brought up previously. If Pathfinder switched to using just the point buy system then your point would be valid. It didn't though, and as far as I know (I don't have statistics) 4d6 is still the most common way of assigning stats. As it stands the beta doesn't even say the point buy system is the default and assigns all methods equal validity.

Maybe the mental stat boosts should only be applied if players use the new point buy system... I could deal with that.

Audrin_Noreys wrote:
Statistically speaking, the additional +2 to an attribute results in an extra 5% to succeed on skill rolls and ability checks. To me this adds an extra edge that makes everyone feel a little cooler but still keeps things within bounds.

Statistically speaking this increases the DCs of every single spell cast by about 80% of spellcasters, further it gives those same spellcasters an addition 1-2 spells per level, often at higher levels.

If this just affected skill checks it wouldn't be a big issue. My gripe is it's a significant boost to spellcasters with little benefit to other characters.

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Gene wrote:
Carnivorous_Bean wrote:
If they're playing 3.5 core only, and they upgrade to Pathfinder, then they're no longer playing 3.5 core, but Pathfinder. This argument doesn't compute to me .... am I missing something?

While they may be playing Pathfinder, as of now there are no Pathfinder monster manuals to compensate any power difference with. Likewise, adventures are designed using 3.5 stats instead of Pathfinder stats. There could very well be a power discrepancy caused from this.

Though I believe that Pathfinder uses a lower point-buy for character generation than 3.5 does. This isn't really an excuse, though, as not everyone uses point-buy for character generation (a good deal prefer the good old 4d6 drop lowest, for example).

I'm running a test of the new system in a 3.5 AP and the net +1 on skill checks, saves, attack rolls or whatever has not had an overpowering effect.


Locke1520 wrote:
Gene wrote:
Carnivorous_Bean wrote:
If they're playing 3.5 core only, and they upgrade to Pathfinder, then they're no longer playing 3.5 core, but Pathfinder. This argument doesn't compute to me .... am I missing something?

While they may be playing Pathfinder, as of now there are no Pathfinder monster manuals to compensate any power difference with. Likewise, adventures are designed using 3.5 stats instead of Pathfinder stats. There could very well be a power discrepancy caused from this.

Though I believe that Pathfinder uses a lower point-buy for character generation than 3.5 does. This isn't really an excuse, though, as not everyone uses point-buy for character generation (a good deal prefer the good old 4d6 drop lowest, for example).

I'm running a test of the new system in a 3.5 AP and the net +1 on skill checks, saves, attack rolls or whatever has not had an overpowering effect.

This is one thing I don't understand. Most players which defend the additional +2 use this argument. If you really don't notice the difference then would you really care if paizo removed it?

Since should keep folk like myself happy (who hate the additional +2)
And as surgested by yourself, it shouldn't make any differences in the games of anyone who does like the additional +2

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

The boost is there to bring the standard races in line with the PC races that have a +1 ECL.

The ECL +1 of 3.5 won't be +1 anymore in Pathfinder RPG.

ELC +1 is one of the things that hurt high level play, at low levels the powers such races has imbalances the character, but when they get to higher levels, that little power... like casting Darkness.. isn't so game breaking anymore (because Darkness doesn't effect a lot of high level monsters.)


Locke1520 wrote:
I'm running a test of the new system in a 3.5 AP and the net +1 on skill checks, saves, attack rolls or whatever has not had an overpowering effect.

Why do people keep bringing up the least relevant issue with boosted mental stats, saying it's not a big deal then discarding the entire concept?

The biggest problem is with the effect on spellcasting.

How about this. Reduce DCs to 9+(primary casting stat+spell level) and increase the stat requirements for bonus spells by one level. Then casters would be on a level playing field.


Nero24200 wrote:
This is one thing I don't understand. Most players which defend the additional +2 use this argument. If you really don't notice the difference then would you really care if paizo removed it?

That accurately sums up my attitude on the issue. I don't feel strongly one way or another. :-)

Liberty's Edge

Roman wrote:
blope wrote:
I find them very balanced when using the point buy system.
Well, the point buy system (which is indeed stricter in Pathfinder) is not the only system being used. In fact, I always require my players to roll and numerous other groups do too. They need to be balanced both for point buy and rolling systems.

unless players make similar rolls, they will NEVER be balanced... why is whyi always ask players to use point buy...

you ask to balance the unbalanceable...

and no... not return to 3.5 classes, as DM and player i love what Paizo did withthem in Pathfinder


Honestly the new Pathfinder races are just effectively ECL +1 races to balance them against some of the other races that have come out in later 3.5 books.

As far as balancing them goes just think of using an adventure that is set for characters one level higher. If you do this then you don't have to redesign anything unless it's really screwed up to begin with.

Also if you don't like that specific part of the rules then use the core 3.5 rules. There always going to be there. So when you start to comment on power creep look at what's come before and try not to compare it to the core 3.5 because core 3.5 isn't really balanced to the stuff that's come out in the last couple years.

These newer rules actually make folks want to play these races again and classes. Heck, I never would of played a 3.5 rogue or fighter but PF versions are actually viable compared to what has come later in the instance of classes like the scout and knight.

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Locke1520 wrote:
I'm running a test of the new system in a 3.5 AP and the net +1 on skill checks, saves, attack rolls or whatever has not had an overpowering effect.
Nero24200 wrote:


This is one thing I don't understand. Most players which defend the additional +2 use this argument. If you really don't notice the difference then would you really care if paizo removed it?

Since should keep folk like myself happy (who hate the additional +2)
And as surgested by yourself, it shouldn't make any differences in the games of anyone who does like the additional +2

Please reread my comment. I said it wasn't overpowering. Not that it wasn't noticed in play. It is useful but not much more than rolling exceptional ability scores in 3.5. My point was that it doesn't put the game out of balance making Pathfinder incompatible with the 3.5 Monster Manual.


I am amazed that 3E is so finely tuned that an extra +2 to one or two races would break it and allow such PC's to destroy monsters so easily.

Liberty's Edge

I have no disdain for the extra +2 bonus that many seem to have. Though I can also see the point that spellcasting can be more powerful - but IMO not as bad as has been suggested.

That all being said - I'm not married to the idea of having the extra +2 that I'm simply opposed to other options.

How about:

The races that typically received a 3.5 relative stat bonus continues to receive that one +2 to that one stat, and instead of having a penalty to another, and a second bonus to just have one +2 stat and nothing else. If Paizo has indeed added a second +2 to overcompensate for a stat penalty to make them more lucrative, then having ONE positive and NO negative would do essentially the same thing without opening too many races to the potential of superior spell-casting.

That IMO would allow for that iconic class/race combos to exist, and not hinder an outside the box idea. You would still have that possible 20 CON dwarf fighter, or 20 STR half-orc barbarian, or 20 Dex elf/halfling rogue; but the options of outside the norms suddenly becomes more attractive!

I would love to see a dwarven paladin or sorcerer; or an elven barbarian.

Just my thoughts.
Robert

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Robert Brambley wrote:
That IMO would allow for that iconic class/race combos to exist, and not hinder an outside the box idea.

But if you put everything inside the box, there's no such thing as outside the box. It would be like the whole "one good drow" thing. By now, most of us have seen the "one good drow" so many times that the fromerly-iconic evil drow is no longer iconic. He's just another drow in a long, bland spectrum of drow.

That being said, I don't think replacing +2/+2/-2 with a straight +2 would be terrible. You would just have to specify that each race can choose either +2 to a specific physical stat or +2 to a specific mental stat. That would keep the mechanics from pigeonholing races as "only exceptional as warriors" or "only exceptional as casters."

A choice of two possible +2 bonuses would also help to preserve some of the flavor that's added by the +2/+2/-2 scheme.


So far in my group's playtesting, the additonal +2 has not been a problem. My player's have a tendency to stick with humans for the extra Feat. Now, they are looking at the other races as equally playable. I really do not see this extra +2 as being unbalancing when compared to 3.5 material already published.

As a DM, I try to maintain the mindset of my players are sitting at the gaming table to be entertained. Given the wealth of entertainment choices they could pursue, it is my job to provide them with an more entertaining option. The PC's are the protaganists. They walk in the footsteps of fantasy literature's icons. The players should feel that their character is special.

Another of my job's as a GM is to provide a challenging campaign. I use published material (all Paizo) due to a busy real-world schedule. My time is limited. If I need to adjust slightly the AP I am running, it usually is a very minor tweek and takes little time to do it. So far, in my running of STAP, the conversion to PRPG has been minor. If anything, I find STAP to be very challenging for my group and that is with six PC's. The deathtoll with 4 PC's would be horrendous.

I vote to keep the +2/+2/-2. It is relatively insignificant IMHO (it's not that humble :] ).

Liberty's Edge

Epic Meepo wrote:
Robert Brambley wrote:
That IMO would allow for that iconic class/race combos to exist, and not hinder an outside the box idea.

But if you put everything inside the box, there's no such thing as outside the box. It would be like the whole "one good drow" thing. By now, most of us have seen the "one good drow" so many times that the fromerly-iconic evil drow is no longer iconic. He's just another drow in a long, bland spectrum of drow.

I fail to see your logic. I'm sure it's there - I just don't see it.

Epic Meepo wrote:


That being said, I don't think replacing +2/+2/-2 with a straight +2 would be terrible. You would just have to specify that each race can choose either +2 to a specific physical stat or +2 to a specific mental stat.

No, thats not my idea at all. Most of the naysayers to the extra +2 to stats seem to have a problem with a mental stat being one of the two recipients of a bonus - allowing for a 20 starting stat in a spellcasting-based ability score.

My idea was to keep the bonus limited to the same ones D&D historically assigned to the core races (Dex for Elf and Halfling, Con For Dwarf, etc); and leave the mental stats alone.

This serves two purposes:
1) it removes the capable of the 20 for a casting stat - appeasing the naysayers of the extra +2,
2) still provides a net of +2 to stats, making the races slightly more appealing than those in the SRD, thus accomplishing Jason's goal of making the races as appealing if not slightly more, than the splat book options.

If you want to have humans and half-elves get one +2 to a player's choice stat, I'm not against that - making human wizards and sorcerers quite common - not that I have a problem with it - as the elf still has a lot of advantages to being a wizard, too.

Robert

Liberty's Edge

Epic Meepo wrote:
Robert Brambley wrote:
That IMO would allow for that iconic class/race combos to exist, and not hinder an outside the box idea.

But if you put everything inside the box, there's no such thing as outside the box. It would be like the whole "one good drow" thing. By now, most of us have seen the "one good drow" so many times that the fromerly-iconic evil drow is no longer iconic. He's just another drow in a long, bland spectrum of drow.

That being said, I don't think replacing +2/+2/-2 with a straight +2 would be terrible.

Wait, after reading it again, I think I know what you're saying....

You're saying that IF a change was made in accordance to what I proposed above, allowing for a out-of-the-norm combo like a dwarven sorcerer or paladin, that is would soon be true that so many of those examples would exist that the character concept would cease being a novelty icon - like Driz'zt once was....?

To which i will say - that MAY be a possibility - but I'm fairly confident that you'll still see way more examples of the classes sticking to what they're good at MOST of the time.

Dwarves can for instance be wizards in 3rd edition - unheard of in previous editions; I played such a character for the first time in 04 - 5 years into 3rd edition - and it was the first one that I had ever seen in all the game tables among my friends, peers, and FLGS games - and I've only seen one since.

Dwarves still tend to be clerics and fighters - just as they always have. Elves still tend to be rangers, rogues, or wizards. These iconic class/race combos will continue to be the status quo even after such stat design was implemented - I'm confident in that - because the races in question have so many other features that synergize with their iconic class examples.

BUT its a helluva lot easier to swallow to play a outside the norm, if it didn't cost so many dam points in the point buy to increase a negative stat modifier up to a decent stat.

Regardless - all the talk of spellcasting/mental stats really being too powerful to have a bonus - then I retort by saying have a negative on one is equally debilitating - for a dwarves' charisma hit really sucks for anything but a fighter type.

Dwarves are my favorite race to play - paladin's are my favorite class - but the concept of that combo is murder on trying to get a remarkable charisma to start with - especially considering the paladin needs so many other viable good stats to be effective - considering they only get 2 skill points - but have many roles to fill (fighter/healer/diplomat/mounted warrior), they need con for being front line, strength to be combative, and obviously charisma.

But if the negative stat adjustment was removed - I would LEAP at the option to play a such a character.

Robert


Trojan Dwarf wrote:

So far in my group's playtesting, the additonal +2 has not been a problem. My player's have a tendency to stick with humans for the extra Feat. Now, they are looking at the other races as equally playable. I really do not see this extra +2 as being unbalancing when compared to 3.5 material already published.

I'm just curious, why do they see the current non-human races as being more playable? In terms of mechanics humans are even stronger now. That +2 to any stat is far better than +2 to a fixed stat any day.

Liberty's Edge

Nero24200 wrote:
Trojan Dwarf wrote:

So far in my group's playtesting, the additonal +2 has not been a problem. My player's have a tendency to stick with humans for the extra Feat. Now, they are looking at the other races as equally playable. I really do not see this extra +2 as being unbalancing when compared to 3.5 material already published.

I'm just curious, why do they see the current non-human races as being more playable? In terms of mechanics humans are even stronger now. That +2 to any stat is far better than +2 to a fixed stat any day.

he's saying that the demi-humans are now more attractive than they were before.

This is not to say that human isn't also.

But a dwarf now receiving a +2 WIS and CON is now a front runner for playing a tough cleric, and an elf makes an even better rogue now than they were before with their bonus to INT as well. A human would still be a good option for both - and now it would just come down to if the extra feat at 1st level is important.

Robert

The Exchange

I certainly feel that the 'power creep' is a good thing.

Paizo clearly have a high adventure tone in mind for the Pathfinder setting, and the standard 3.5 set up is a bit underpowered. Remember that Rise of the Runelords should be seen as a litmus of the kind of scale of adventure that Paizo is aiming for.

If this is the case, based on how hardcase that campaign is - a little power creep is needed to give the players a fighting chance.

I'm almost inclined to say drop the -2 and just give half elves and Humans an additional feat/ability/skill/benefit. Of course that moves closer to the 4e approach, which may not appeal to some pathfinder fans.

As I mentioned in the playtest forum, I think that currently the system is still too *underpowered* to meet up with the class requirements. I suggested that Paizo introduce the "+1 to two seperate abilities every 4 levels" that SAGA uses.

All in all, as others have said - if you feel that +2/+2/-2 is too high powered, just go for a lower point buy to sort it out.

I certainly think that Paizo shouldn't get rid of it. It has made the races much more interesting regarding the class choices to take.

Conan

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