Continue point buy after level 1


Homebrew and House Rules

Dark Archive

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The idea for this is traditionally we are given a certain amount, usually 15 - 20 points, to derive our base stats. These points are then distributed, at a cost of the level's bonus, per stat point, rather than a static amount.

The issue is that, strictly speaking, this encourages more power in the SAD characters, and encourages people to put all points into a single stat. Further, it can actually cause disparity... A character at level 8 who uses his stat points to raise a 13 to 14 and a 15 to 16 is actually considered 5 "points" behind someone who optimized and moved a 20 to a 22.

So, my solution? Make a point "pool".

At level 1, you get your first point in this pool, essentially making you a 21 point build. Unlike starting stat points, you can save these up, and you can raise stats above 18. The cost is the same as the bonus; so raising 18 to 19 costs 5.

You get another point per level; you could probably even get away with a feat that gives yet another point, but we won't go into that.

So, diverse and MAD characters come out much better; SAD characters a little worse. I think it would help eliminate disparity.

Thoughts?


That's actually a neat idea.
What about extending it to magical items, as well? Instead of a "belt of giant strength +2", you have a "belt of giant strength 9 points". It's exactly enough to take a Str 18 fighter to Str 20, but it can also take a Str 11 character to Str 16!


That is a solid idea. Anything to help MAD characters. I'm going to try this out in my game.

Please treat yourself to a cookie at the earliest convenience.


I am about to start GM'ing Kingmaker and am going to use a system roughly to same but only giving the points out at lvl’s 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 (yes I know the party should not reach lvl 20)and the value of the points are 4, 5, 5, 6, 6 which is the same as if you maxed out your main stat but lets the players all stay the same “value” so please any feedback would be a big help


I actually REALLY like this idea. It's one of those ideas that when you hear it you immediately smack your head and say "why didnt I think of that?"


This is great. I'm using this. Thalin, have an internet high-five.

Liberty's Edge

I concur with the awesome-tude of this idea. Namely the belt of giant strength portion (and of course the other stat modifying items).
So, say you build a 20 pt buy character. You get one point at level one, but is it one per level (to adjust for the massively reduced return)?
Also, when you say "the cost is the same as the bonus" what do you mean? If it was modifier it doesn't match up (18 and 19 both have a +4 mod), and it still doesn't match up with extrapolated point buy (as it would be +4 points to take 18-19, then +5 to go from 19-20, and is actually identical to "new modifier" after a 12 in the stat). I'll assume you meant the latter.
So if you built the following...
18 (with racial)
15
15
10
10
7
... and were level 10, you could have put 10 points into str (to get to 20 with one to spare) or 2 points each into dex and con (for 16 in each), 4 into cha (to even it out) and 2 into int (to get a higher bonus). This puts you at:
20, 15, 15, 10, 10, 7 OR
18, 16, 16, 12, 10, 10
Then (on the latter stat set) a headband of cha +10 would turn your 10 cha into a 16, but a strength +10 belt would only get you to 20 (not a 24).

Or, if you discount the racial modifier when determining cost (which you probably should), it would go as follows:
21, 15, 15, 10, 10, 7 OR
18, 16, 16, 12, 10, 10

Also, in a similar vein, what about changing ability damage/drain into something that drains these points? This would make those hard-to-get high stat values harder to hurt. To make up for loss of power they should have their effectiveness increased by ~50%. If you discounted racial modifiers then the spells would have full effect against most monsters (who are assumed to be at ~10/11 base).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
StabbittyDoom wrote:


Also, in a similar vein, what about changing ability damage/drain into something that drains these points? This would make those hard-to-get high stat values harder to hurt. To make up for loss of power they should have their effectiveness increased by ~50%. If you discounted racial modifiers then the spells would have full effect against most monsters (who are assumed to be at ~10/11 base).

Not sure this is an awesome idea, so Ray of Enfeeblement does 1d6 + 1/2 (max 5) so if this were points, at maximum effectiveness (level 9) it would do 12 "points" of damage save for half. Against the typical targets of the spells this would result in an actual reduction of 1-2 points of the score. But against someone with 10 strength it would destroy them. Typically these spells are used to bring down the big meaty fighter, instead it becomes laughable.


I like this idea, but the main drawback it has is extra bookkeeping. Especially if you grant one point per level, it will be hard[er] for players to keep track of - I guess it is sort of like the alternate favored class bonuses that grant you stuff like 1/4th of a rogue talent.

Liberty's Edge

fanguad wrote:
I like this idea, but the main drawback it has is extra bookkeeping. Especially if you grant one point per level, it will be hard[er] for players to keep track of - I guess it is sort of like the alternate favored class bonuses that grant you stuff like 1/4th of a rogue talent.

I'm not averse to extra book-keeping as long as the math is only really needed at level-up (with makes my own suggestion of applying it to damage/drain kinda hypocritical). Level-up only happens every 2-3 sessions, generally, so the cost is rather low.

The main thing I like about the idea is that it makes it very very hard to bloat a single stat into the stratosphere then slowly move all your reliance to that stat (whether directly or indirectly). This means that heroes have to be at least a *little* well-rounded to survive, and are not averse to it. It also pushes the "stupid uncouth fighter" archetype into RP territory as it is now a sub-optimal choice, while also avoiding the "I can dual-wield trucks" style absurdity. It also makes inherent bonuses more valuable (unless they are also changed). If you change inherent bonuses to cap out at +10 points on this style then the maximum (with +2 racial) statistic at level 20 is 26 (not counting other bonuses like polymorph effects). 26 is still pretty epic, though (lift 900 points over head). If you keep inherent bonuses as-is the maximum is 29 instead, with 4 points to put somewhere else.
Tangent:
To tell the truth, I'm not big on the favored class bonuses at all. I'd much rather just keep the +1HP or +1 skill thing, but have it be for all levels (no choosing). All it does is discourage characters from branching out of their original path even moreso than multi-classing already does.
Actually, if I had my way all class abilities and feats would be boiled down to 1-2 point abilities in a tree structure (2 points being ~= to a feat). This way you could separate crunch and flavor a little without making it impossible to balance. (Obviously casting would be a sort of "spend 2 points every level to keep it going" thing.)
The oddly specific class abilities could have their own mini-trees under an "Exotic Styles" heading or some-such.

@Galnorag: True enough, it was more of a "just a thought" type thing. Only applying this to ability damage and drain (rather than just penalties) would probably be better, but either way it's probably too hard to balance.


This is a very interesting concept. I actually think it serves groups who roll for stats really well, as over time, players who roll lower overall stats can get more mileage out of their points.


Allard wrote:
I am about to start GM'ing Kingmaker and am going to use a system roughly to same but only giving the points out at lvl’s 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 (yes I know the party should not reach lvl 20)and the value of the points are 4, 5, 5, 6, 6 which is the same as if you maxed out your main stat but lets the players all stay the same “value” so please any feedback would be a big help

You know, I don't like point buy in general (I let my players pick between a set of fixed arrays usually), but I do like this idea. It removes a 'path dependence' that I'd never really consciously considered (starting with an 18+2 racial in a stat gives you much more bang for your buck on your every 4 level attribute points than a less unbalanced stat-wise character would get). Pathfinder has squashed most of the old ones (like 1st/2nd edition, always take the class with the higher hit die first in a character with 2 classes---or in 3rd edition, always get the +INT item or inherent bonus first, because you didn't get retroactive skill points), but this one had thus far escaped notice. It's IMO a bad idea to systemically favor certain character concepts over others---like GURPS favoring the young hotshot with high stats and low skills over the grizzled veteran with vice versa because of the post-creation doubling of stat improvement costs.

I say, good show, to the original poster and those that have posted refinements to the idea here.

Silver Crusade

Very innovative. I'm considering adding this as a third option for favored class benefit. That way, those who like it can try it, and those who don't can ignore it.

Dark Archive

Actually for rolling dice it can do much more to equalize people. You can basically pick a "minimum threshhold" of points; say 25 for 4d6 keep 3. Any below this get 2 points per level until they meet the "25+level" standard. So people who roll high will have overall superior stats; but those who roll low, over time, can customize a bit more.

As to stat item pointing, I'd probably go 10 for 4,000 gp (+2 equivalent), 22 for 16,000 (+4 equivalent), and and 36 for 36,000 gp (+6 equivalent). These values are based on raising an 18 by +2,+4, or +6. Further, I'd make these "Belts of physical prowess" and "Headbands of Mental prowess", either of which can be used to spread points as you see points on Str, Dex, Con (for belt), or Int, Wis, Chr (headband). Make it such that to change the distribution requires 24 hours of wearing.

Incidentally, you notice how many pouts these things are worth? And the standard camaign has them modifying stats WAY higher than 18; no wonder they are considered necessities :).

Dark Archive

Actually for rolling dice it can do much more to equalize people. You can basically pick a "minimum threshhold" of points; say 25 for 4d6 keep 3. Any below this get 2 points per level until they meet the "25+level" standard. So people who roll high will have overall superior stats; but those who roll low, over time, can customize a bit more.

As to stat item pointing, I'd probably go 10 for 4,000 gp (+2 equivalent), 22 for 16,000 (+4 equivalent), and and 36 for 36,000 gp (+6 equivalent). These values are based on raising an 18 by +2,+4, or +6. Further, I'd make these "Belts of physical prowess" and "Headbands of Mental prowess", either of which can be used to spread points as you see points on Str, Dex, Con (for belt), or Int, Wis, Chr (headband). Make it such that to change the distribution requires 24 hours of wearing.

Incidentally, you notice how many pouts these things are worth? And the standard camaign has them modifying stats WAY higher than 18; no wonder they are considered necessities :).


I like it. Not sure if I'll ever use it though....


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I'm being dense, can someone clarify:

Thalin wrote:
A character at level 8 who uses his stat points to raise a 13 to 14 and a 15 to 16 is actually considered 5 "points" behind someone who optimized and moved a 20 to a 22.

-- Based on my admittedly flawed grasp of the above, I would have thought that, while a character raising an attribute from 13-14 15-16 versus one raising an attribute from 20-22 is..

..no wait, sorry, brain being bad.

Wouldn't the character raising two stats of those values be better balanced/less flawed than one with a 20 - which at the start normally requires some 'dump stat' - i.e weakness?

Sorry for being slow, small children ate my brain.

*shakes fist*


i really like this idea alot, i think its got real potential


I really like this idea. I had my own system for fixing the stat problems (I gave people twice as many points as they leveled, but they had to go into at least 2 ability scores), but this one is more balanced I think.

Now, if only I could convince my GM to do this ;)

Liberty's Edge

BenignFacist wrote:

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I'm being dense, can someone clarify:

Thalin wrote:
A character at level 8 who uses his stat points to raise a 13 to 14 and a 15 to 16 is actually considered 5 "points" behind someone who optimized and moved a 20 to a 22.

-- Based on my admittedly flawed grasp of the above, I would have thought that, while a character raising an attribute from 13-14 15-16 versus one raising an attribute from 20-22 is..

..no wait, sorry, brain being bad.

Wouldn't the character raising two stats of those values be better balanced/less flawed than one with a 20 - which at the start normally requires some 'dump stat' - i.e weakness?

Sorry for being slow, small children ate my brain.

*shakes fist*

He's referring to point-buy points. 13-14 is 2 points, 15-16 is 3 for 5 point-buy points gained. 20-22 is 11. A little flawed math later and we have 5 points ahead :P

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns Subscriber

Another voice in favor of this common-sense-but-why-did-I-not-think-of-it brilliant idea! This one is a real gem.

Implementation is one point per level? Any other ideas on how this would work?


Sigil wrote:

Another voice in favor of this common-sense-but-why-did-I-not-think-of-it brilliant idea! This one is a real gem.

Implementation is one point per level? Any other ideas on how this would work?

Comparative to someone who started with an 18 and gets 5+1s over 20 levels that would be worth +4, +5, +5, +6, and +6 or 26 total points. I'd say 1 point per level and an extra 1 at those levels which you would normally get a point, i.e. 4 8 12 16 20. Total of 25 points, so your 20 point character will be a 45 point character at level 20, in essence.

Straight 1 point per level works fine too for simplicity's sake.


Nice idea. what about applying this to the effects of aging as well. I was always annoyed by munchkins abusing the I get more wis/int by picking an old character.


Meatrace is on the ball here. I came up with a very similar system for my Savage Tide (Pathfinder rules) campaign.

I worked the math from the "normal" point buy of 20, for a "dedicated stat" character like a caster, assuming a starting stat of either 15-16, on the assumption that via "normal" stat increase rules you could have a 19 in your casting stat by the time you needed it to cast spells, magic items nonwithstanding. I won't bore you with several hours of calculations and spreadsheets (I put in more work than I usually do for variant systems on this one, go figure). But here is what I came up with, and it seems (emphasis, seems) to work very well at mimicking the "normal" stat up progression for those who want to do it, or allowing for quicker "growth" with multiple lower stats.

Lvl Points
1 20 (or whatever the starting Point Buy you are using is)
2 +1
3 +1
4 +2 (extra points at 4/8/12/16/20 are familiar and balance the progression)
5 +1
6 +1
7 +1
8 +2
9 +1
10 +1
11 +1
12 +2
13 +1
14 +1
15 +1
16 +2
17 +1
18 +1
19 +1
20 +2

Notes: If doing a monstrous PC, do not start assigning extra "points" until the PC is taking class levels (if you are running a Savage Species style system like me). Assign points based on number of class levels, not HD (the ability ups for HD are already built into the racial modifiers).

Points may be saved for later more expensive purchases (18's don't come cheap). At the DMs option, this could include the starting package's points (any points they save are points they are not using, hardly a powergaming fiesta).

Optional Rule: Points may be spent as an immediate action, usually to help succeed at a pending roll. Such expenditures are permanent, no take backs. ("Impluse" spending like this tends to be less "min-maxing" than carefully hoarding points for specific purchases. And it adds potential for dynamic efforts. Works well with Action/Hero point systems.)

Biggest advantage of this system as a DM? Making stats for NPCs. 12th level fighter? 34 points. No worrying about putting in ability ups, unless you are concerned with meeting feat prerequisites (which is honestly easy to do with the exception of Two Weapon Fighting, so its hardly an issue).

Dark Archive

I like the "level 4 2 points" setup; it does make sense. As to aging, generally I'd say do away with it or make it "all bad". Someone's perception goes up because they are 70? Really? Regardless, I've seen no GMs that let you age your character for min/max purposes.


Oh, I'd totally let someone make an older character. The physical penalties outweight the mental bonuses by so much, its rediculous.

Arguably, a more realistic way to handle aging would be to leave the physical penalties as is, and instead give 3-4 skill points at the age brackets. This provides the "greater knowledge through life experience" effect without creating the "my eyesight and memory get better!" sillyness.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thalin wrote:
I like the "level 4 2 points" setup; it does make sense. As to aging, generally I'd say do away with it or make it "all bad". Someone's perception goes up because they are 70? Really? Regardless, I've seen no GMs that let you age your character for min/max purposes.

Living Greyhawk, like most network campaigns did not allow for aging modifiers, but put in no restrictions for character starting age. Eighty-year old spry grandpas who could kick your but was a popular trope for that particular campaign, although I did see it to a lesser extent in Living City.


Ok, so I really enjoy this idea, but I think it bears mentioning that this type of thing both helps MAD characters (who need it) and hurts SAD characters (who typically start to struggle in the higher levels).

There seems to be a big to-do about characters, like Wizard & Sorcerer, who focus on a single stat and buff it to the stratosphere. I get how it can look bad in theory, but playing a Wizard for 2 years in 3.5 and another for 7 months in 3.PF I can tell you differently. Min-maxed as I am (Half-Elf Wizard that started w/ 20 INT) my spell DCs are never high enough.

Monster saves don't seem to progress at an even rate as the levels scale, meaning that awesome "save of die/suck" spells early on become nearly useless as you reach higher levels. At lower levels I generally ran about a 50% shot to have a monster fail its saving throw, but in the higher levels it drops signifcantly. Spells that allow saving throws become more and more useless, and unfortunately more and more common. Attacking a monster's "weak" save will net me a better chance, but it's honestly not worth it.

I get that casters play a game of chance when choosing spells that allow a save, and that they can always rely on no-save spells (or save partial). I just feel it's necessary to express that it's very difficult to get your spells to properly land in the higher levels, and by creating a system that inherently damages a caster's ability to achieve DC levels basically dictated by the system, DC magic is completely forgone. It's like looking at a list of awesome powers and realizing that walls, fogs, summons, and "hand" spells are your only option if you want to play any sort of offense.

Again, I love the idea, but somebody has to play Devil's Advocate. :D


Everyone's favorite CR20, the Balor
has +29, Ref +17, Will +25
Consider a level 20 wizard
If you started with a 20 INT, added 5 for level advancement, have a +6 headband and a +5 intrinsic bonus (all of which you should), you'll have a 36 INT, which gives you +13 to your DC
So your level 9 spells would be 13+10+9 or 32 DC. If you take at least spell focus, it's 33, GSF makes it 34, and a 20th level character ought to have GSF in their primary if they're a SOD/SOS caster as opposed to a blaster or god caster.
With 34 DC, you can stick a will save spell on a balor on a 8 or less (he saves on a 9). That's a 40% chance. Most such spells are save or lose basically. If you can cast such a spell twice before the balor offs you, you've got a 1 - (60%*60%) chance of winning, or a 64% chance. Given that there's nothing at all fancy here, just you hauling out one of your top level spells, and you still have a 64% chance of winning against an even con, I see no real room to complain. You'd stick a reflex save spell on him on a 16 or less, which is an 80% chance. Granted, a fort save spell isn't happening, but you should know that already anyway :-)

Sorry if I haven't the slightest bit of sympathy for high level casters at all, in my experience, they need nerfs rather than love in any case. Even an below average skill player with a wizard can usually win an even con encounter solo, and by that level, as a GM, I've Darwinized those substandard player-skill mages already anyway.


I understand Sean's concern, and I understand EWHM's as well. In my personal experience, unless a wizard takes item crafting feats (which are time and money dependent), or gets lucky when finding treasure, he will rarely if ever acquire the neccessary magic items to "cap" his DCs as illustrated by EWHM. But then, I don't have many items past 20k ever really show up on the open market. Quests, trades, favors promised, that might net you an expensive item, but never just handing a sack of gold and getting a Tome +5 and a receipt.

I find it more realistic for EWHM's elf to have an 18 int after racial mods (20 is too expensive, leaves too many other scores dangerously low), and if he is lucky he will have found, or simply learned wish and cast, enough to get a +3 to his score. Thats a net of 2 points lower, which puts the balor at or above 50/50. Then again, my players tend to favor shoring up weaknesses rather than overclocking strengths. Playstyle is everything, of course. Its also true that 20th level examples are slightly skewed, as even a standard wizard can scribe scrolls of wish when he gets it at level 17. Prior to that point, ability scores advance fairly steadily, between ability ups and getting/crafting stat boosters. But at 17, the wizard can choose to take some time and have his score jump by 5, then it flatlines until a final point at 20th. Even in a "strict" game when it comes to purchasing magic items, the 17th level wizard can easily buck the system.

For Sean: the system I outlined is built to replicate the standard point increase, if a player desires. Points are accquired at roughtly the same speed (a little faster in the earlier bits, actually, but not really slower later).

True, I suppose I should write out my extrapolation of the point buy costs table (fairly important for a system like this). IMPORTANT NOTE: When you raise a score, you raise it by paying the difference between the target score and the current score BEFORE racial modifiers come into play. Slightly more complex, but prevents dump stat exploitation.

Score/Cost
10 0
11 1
12 2
13 3
14 5
15 7
16 10
17 13
18 17
19 21
20 26
21 31
22 37
23 43

As you can see, a score of 23 before racial mods (18+5) costs 43 points. A character with a 20 point buy to start would have 44 by the end, leaving him 1 point. An 18 costs 17 points with either version of the system (mine or origional), leaving you 3 points left over. Yes, the character is getting "screwed" out of 2 point buy points using my system, if he is spiking a stat that started at 18. To me, that is an acceptable cost (1 point lower on a stat around 10-13) for the ability to give some needed flexibility to the MAD classes.


I hope this helps to give ideas.

A little time ago, a friend and I and a friend put together a system to substitute the big 6 (magic item that only give pluses to areas of a character: attributes, attack, damage, AC, resistances and skills checks, like +2 Sword or +3 cape of resistance).

The solution we implemented was giving more points to buy attributes over the course of leveling so you could have a much greater wisdom for instance. The objective is compensate losing magic item plus by distributing points on the attributes that expand your attacks and defenses.

If a fighter were expected to have a +5 Sword to boost his attack and damage, now he will buy more strength, and in place of that cape of resistance now be sure to put points in the attribute related to your weak save. I call this a Heroic Bonus.

This method results in players feeling more powerful and less dependent of magic. And put more responsibility to allocate bonus in order to not be flawed or have a super dump stat. The final attribute value is greater than normal but it was wanted this way.

Heroic Bonus:
Heroic Bonus

Buy attributes as normal at character creation, Heroic Bonus cost and progression are separate from creation step. You can never have a bonus to one attribute greater than your level. At every level you receive an increasing number of points as demonstrated below. The cost starts in 1 and increases every 4 numbers (+1 - +4, cost 1; +5 - +8, cost 2; +9 - +12, cost 3; etc)

Level –--Points Received-------------bonus--Cost--Total
1–----1------------------------------+1-----1-----1
2–----1------------------------------+2-----1-----2
3–----2------------------------------+3-----2-----3
4–----3------------------------------+4-----3-----4
5–----3------------------------------+5-----3-----6
6–----4------------------------------+6-----4-----8
7–----5------------------------------+7-----5-----10
8–----5------------------------------+8-----5-----12
9–----6------------------------------+9-----6-----15
10–----7-----------------------------+10-----7-----18
11–----7-----------------------------+11-----7-----21
12–----8-----------------------------+12-----8-----24
13–----9-----------------------------+13-----9-----28
14–----9-----------------------------+14-----9-----32
15–----10----------------------------+15-----10-----36
16–----11----------------------------+16-----11-----40
17–----11----------------------------+17-----11-----45
18–----12----------------------------+18-----12-----50
19–----13----------------------------+19-----13-----55
20–----13----------------------------+20-----13-----60

Liberty's Edge

As noted in my post the max ability score drops from 36 to 26. Or 31 to 24 if you don't count inherent. That's a drop of 5 points of DC in the former and 3 in the latter.
As demonstrated above the wizard could (previously) attack their *high* save and still have a 20% chance of auto-victory. If they attacked reflex (none of which are "save or die/suck") the spell functions at full capacity 80% of the time. Against will, 40%. Drop each of these 25% and you have 5% against good, 15% again "decent" and 55% against "bad." These odds are still not terrible considering the 5% and 15% spells are generally "you're done."
I think "save or die" spells need to be reworked into "save or lose a lot, which might cause death" type spells. So instead of having instant death of any form, it's just damage. Instant death should be a "yeah, I'm just that awesome" moment, not an entitlement.
In other words: The spells that exist are carried over by tradition and have long since lost their original purpose, devolving into a messy mix of useless spells and impossible-to-counter spells that force people to play certain ways out of sheer paranoia.
If you couldn't tell, I'm not a big fun of "save or die" abilities. I would much rather that spells that paralyze be dex penalties, spells that kill be con penalties (with death at 0) and so on. Conditions should be reserved for effects that cannot be recreated through one of the aformentioned methods. Nothing should ever be "save or you get this s&*%ty condition," it should be "save or you get X points against you which may cause Y s#$!ty condition."

In other news, my brain is now mulling over a complete rework of the magic system. By the time I'm done with that I may as well give it a name and call it a different d20 system... Anyway, have a nice Friday.

EDIT: I should also note that the save DC being intrinsically tied to spell level has always bothered me as well. Some types of effects should simply be easier to resist, and others not so. In other words: Difficulty to cast and difficulty to resist need not and should not be correlated for all types of effects.


A wizard doesn't need a tome +5. If he can't cast 5 wishes per day, he just pens a scroll with however many he is short. Then he casts them, all in one go. Cost is less than a tome, and no item feats other than the one every wizard gets free at 1st level. Yes, it costs 125K GP, but at 20th level, you've got that much to spare. No favoritism from your GM here or feat allocation is required at all for that.

Silver Crusade

Tagging for later perusal


wow! I totally listed this - it's too good to pass up!

I applaud both thallin and Avalon for the top 2 posts - both brilliant ideas!!!

I'm about to start up a game of Ravenloft using PF as the base and there seems to be a preference of a sort for "point buy" by some characters - so this will be hella-nice as a way to help out the point-buy problems and MAD/SAD issues.

Well done!


I like the idea, and have been toying with something similar for a while. What I don't get is why you would want to give your players a 20pt buy, and then an additional +many points as they level. It makes more sense to me to make them start as 15 point buy as "common" heroes that become epic and legendary heroes over time (with the added point buys).

Actually the version I play with in my head has people starting with essentially 0-point buy, and get +2 points per level (and the standard +1 at every 4th level).

Liberty's Edge

I've always like the "common->epic" transition idea as well. I usually start people at 15 point buy (ish) and give them a bonus attribute point every 2nd instead of every 4th.
The only problem I'd have with starting at 0 is that CR balance would be really wonky. And I mean *really* wonky. I'd probably start at 5 at least, then do the +2/level (with an extra at 4ths). Total points 5+40+5=50. A 50 pt. buy character could have 2 18s, a 17 and a 13 (with 2 10s). That isn't a half-bad starting point for a 20th level toon (pre items and insight bonuses and such).
Since point buy leans against you pretty quickly it might not even be bad to do +1/level for 2-5, then +2 for 6-10, +3 for 11-15 and +4 each to round out. That's 4+10+15+20 for +49 point buy. Start that on a base of 10 for a 59 point buy.

... more musings!


Update finished kingmaker (Part 1) and the party found the point system better than just a stat point @ lvl4 (yes i did tell the party about the point system first), but i did change it to 1 point per level (my 1st post said 4 points @ lvl4) with a bonus point @ lvl4 making 4 points given out so far, and not one player has taken up their SAD (they all maxed it out the best they could at the start)


I have been using a similar system for a while now. I just had out one point per level and capped the cost of increasing at 4. I hadn't thought of making items add this kind of point tough. That's one to consider, although I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I like the idea of allowing characters to spend the points as an immediate action. That's clever.

One important thing that might be worth noting is that since these are point-buy points they ignore your racial modifiers, the way I do them. I like the way it makes it easier for you to improve at the things your race is best at.


I am not much a fan of adding this system to items, too many spells and effects depend on the straight increase, besides typically it is the mighty warrior using the strength belt not the scrawny wizard.
Ofcourse I do support custom items that do something similar, but it shouldnt be the standard.

I like the base idea it balances dice rolling out in a rather nice way I think and encourages MAD, it is however a bit more complicated, especially with racial modifiers, it is one thing to figure it out at character generation, but with the 1 point/ 4 level system it is ok to 'forget' the mongrelfolk you play got a +4 bonus on con and a -2 on charisma.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I like the idea of getting the 1 point per level. As long as you don't get the standard +1 at 4th/every 4 levels. And if you want to upgrade a score, you pay the difference.

Silver Crusade

I have done this before and it works quite well. Only exception is that I give them 1 point every level and an aditional point every 4. This would be close to the same amount of points it would take a person to go from 18-23 in a stat.


I like this idea a lot! I'm going to see if I can incorporate it into my next game.

Dark Archive

Could someone remind me what "SAD" and "MAD" mean. Thanks.


Single ability score dependant and multiple ability score dependant. People are constantly trying to fix one or the other, since the way some classes only need one gives them a big advantage which shrinks or grows depending on your method of generating scores.


I like the concept of the idea, however as it was pointed out earlier spells like ray of enfeeblement become usesless, calcific touch from apg becomes nothing more than a mere annoyance. Poisons and diseases can decimate characters in a single round instead of overtime, especially if it hits a character with a low or even a negative stat modifier. Add to that a very basic component to the game, fatigue and exhaustion using the point system, exhaustion means that they loose 6 points out of str, and dex, so a tweekd SAD toon with a 22str and 20dex would find themselves at 20,18 where as a MAD toon with say a 16str, and 18dex will find themselves at 14str and 16dex. Porportionally the same, but now factor a Wiz or Sorc as a SAD toon they'd have maybe a 10 str, 12-16 dex [dependant upon play style] add exhaustion and they'r str, and most likely thier dex has bottomed out to 0 following point buy rules.

like i said like the concept but it does not work well mechanically. What I did as a GM a long time ago - after going through dishonesty with stat rolls, and people not knowing basic arithmetic - was to get rid of rolling and point buy all together. I give my players the heroic array [15,14,13,12,10,8] and then follow 4th edition rules for leveling ( +1 stat point to 2 different stats at levels 4,8,14,18, etc..., +1 to all stats at levels 11,21,31, etc...) and havnt had a problem with SAD/MAD disparity, or players feeling like someone else has "fudged" their stats.


That was just something one person suggested and a couple of people considered. The variant most people are discussing here is a different way of increasing the existing scores, not a replacement for them.
-4 to a score is still -4, no matter how low or high the score may be, because ability damage wouldn't take from your point-buy points, but from your actual ability score.


Heres a possible idea. If you gave them a chunk of five points at the 4 levels, 8, 12, etc. Could you also replace stat boost items?

The big loser there is definately spell saves. So maybe give them a +1 bonus per 7 caster levels. 7 is a nice odd number, you'll get a +2 bonus by 20th level which should keep you on par with a 30 stat character is you max out. And it seems nicely magicky as a number to me. And it keeps lower level spells somewhat more relevant. Which is a nice boost for spellcasters who likely suffer the most from this system!


Was there ever a table made for this or anything to keep it clear?
Something akin to:
18-19 4 points
19-20 5 points
20-21 5 points
21-22 6 points?

I may have just missed it (the math had my head spinning after a long day of work so I skimmed some posts).


I've been using this to great success. Players have the option of choosing standard (+1 Ability Score per 4 levels) or rolling (+1 point per level, including 1st) point buy at 1st level. Four out of six players are using rolling point buy (skill rogue, two-weapon fighter, paladin, and gunslinger), while the other two went with standard (sorcerer and cleric).

Would recommend for any non-PFS game!

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