Is that necessary to have a 20?


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hi, after seeing tons of build/optimization posts i started to wonder, is it a must o have an 18 or a 20 on your main stat to be effective? i mean, for example, in a 20 pt buy i may do a 16+2 if i need a human/half something caster, but if i make a 14+2, that makes my char useless?
im not trying to troll here or to start a min/maxer hate thread, what i`d actually wanna know is that if the game math is built thinking that the caster will have int 18, the fighter str 18 n so on, making anything lesser than that completely sub optimal


No.

16 is good, and 14 is fine.

Sovereign Court

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Don't confused Optimized with Playable. Your character isn't "useless" because you don't have a 20 in your main caster stat. Having a 20 can make things relating to spell casting and some skills a lot easier, but similarly balancing out can make your character more survivable or fit an idea in your head a lot better.

Similarly if you just take the 20 that doesn't guarantee your character will be amazing. You also have to consider your feats, skills and other stats, plus the spells you take and the rest of your party.

Should your wizard be pretty smart? Of course. Does he need a 20 intelligence? Eh, that's up to each individual player.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

It's never a question of necessary. Bigger may be better, but you can get by with less then 18-20, particularly since you can increase your stat as you level up or get stat-boosting items.


No, it isn't necessary to starts with a 20.

I stopped rolling for stats long ago, and just automatically take the elite array now (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) and haven't noticed a difference in power at all. (In fact, that is what 3.0/3.5 D&D was balanced around. The elite array/25 point buy or equivalent.)

(Do note that a full spellcaster should never start with less than a 15 in their primary stat. Casting a spell requires a score of 10+spell level, which you can just meet if you apply all your ability score boosts from leveling to your primary stat.)


It is all about the balance that you want. Perhaps your wizard is going to use a lot of ranged touch attacks, consider having 18 or 20 Dex with 16 Int. Or perhaps you want a Fighter with a lot of skills: 18 Int, 16 Str would work very well. I prefer Rogues with higher Str and Clerics who have more Str and Con than Wis.

Liberty's Edge

Im in agreement that you do not need a 18-20 in a stat starting your character. I am playing a battle oracle right now and I decided to not have a maxed out stat. I have the following...

17, 12, 14, 8, 8, 16

I am not missing an 18 or 20 currently. I plan to increase str to 18 at lvl 4. My character is definitely performing well with the stats listed. Of course role playing the low int and wis is quite interesting.


well i do think that 16 is enough, and my friends and i are totally against min maxing (tho everyone plays as they want obviously) part of my question comes because i see that most caster builds i see are like int to the roof, high con n dex n the rest between 8 n 7 on one side, and on the other, im playing a cleric 6/rgn2 with wis 20,no feat to enhance saves and it does seem to fail most spells :S(maybe its just me and my bad luck :P)


I'm a firm believer that if you need to have a 20 in a starting stat then either your group doesn't really understand the system, or (hopefully) your group is playing at a different difficulty.

When I am creating characters to see how well they can function, I always use the elite array. Once it comes time for me to actually build a character for play, I go with whatever the GM sets for creation rules. For my current group, that is 20 point buy. I think if I can get a character to function well with 15 points, I can get him to function even better with 20 points. The only times I have started with a maxed out stat is when I was lucky enough to roll it. None of my characters have died because their stats weren't high enough.


Even casters don't really need a 15 to start; by the time you get the high spells, it's pretty common to have gear and inherent bonuses (tomes, wishes) to cover access. And if you've been stripped of gear, you're going to be minus foci/spellbooks/spell component pouch anyway; sorcerers are pretty much the only viable naked spellcasters.

Sczarni

Maxing out one stat is more important for dedicated spellcasters than melee combatants. If you're going to be in melee, you need your Str, Dex, and Con to all be decent. If you're going to be standing in the back casting, all you really need is your casting stat, and possibly Dex in case one of the enemy archers decides to target you.

Really, unless you roll extraordinarily well, you're not going to get an 18 in anything to start with, and that's fine. With the elite array/comparable point buy, 15 is just fine as your highest stat, especially if you choose your race so that you get a +2 in the stat you care most about.

For melee comabtants, not having a penalty in any of the physical stats is more important than having a 18-20 in one of them. A fighter with 14 Str, 14 Dex, and 14 Con is a perfectly good fighter. One with a 20 and two 10's in those three stats is going to have more problems, even though they're better at something.


I do a 25 point buy for my 6 players. I've always allowed high stats and everyone, every game has an 18 or 20.

I also use the slow experience table and notice that my players tear through CR +1 challenges like a hot knife through butter. The last game I ran I think at one point I had 3 supposed CR 5-6 fights in a row and the party came out on top.

I'm sure if they didn't have their 20's the game would be a little tougher. I guess it depends on how hard you want it.


My group used to do a 44 point buy based on neverwinternights point buy system. Yeah i know, lol right?
I've found that a 20 point pfs system works out quite well.
A side affect of high stats is that it reduces the effectiveness of feats. Suddenly not getting access to weapon spec because you are not a fighter means much less when you have str 20 at 1st level.
Lower stats means feats and class abilities mean more.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The value of a single high stat versus more evenly-spread stats also varies depending on what sort of character you're playing.

For instance, if you're a wizard who plans to stay in the back casting "save or suck" spells, you want your INT to be as high as possible to keep your save DCs up, and you don't need the other stats as much (DEX and CON can increase survivability, but you don't need much besides that) so you can afford that higher INT.

Meanwhile, I'm making a 20-point buy druid who's going with a 14,14,14,14,10,10 array because I want him competent in multiple areas but don't need him to be epic in any one spot.

Dark Archive

Some need it more than most.

Casters should usually have an 18-20 in their main casting stat if they are casting VS monsters; that is the biggest rule.

Buffing casters need a 14, so are far more flexible.

Fighting types will rule the first 3 level if they have an 18 Str; but later it matters litte. In terms of power dwarves are probably the best for long-run playing, and they usually start with a 16/17 Str. The Str discrepancy is huge at low levels, and matters little about level 10.

So there it is; some need it to fill their role properly, others are better with it, and stillothers are sacking far too much to consider it.

If you want people to really pay for those 18s / 20s, simply disallow dump stats and do it on a 20-point buy. If you have a 20 in a stat you have 1 13 and no other bonuses.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My magus started out with a 15 and 16 in his 2 primary stats. He certainly hasnt lacked for effectiveness. In the end its a matter of what you want to do with the character and how challenging the opponents are. With typical opponents and a reasonably well put together character it absolutely isn't neccessary.

Dark Archive

we use 15 point buy, so that 18 before racial bumps is pretty expensive. My games tend to be pretty skill heavy, so all characters need to be fairly rounded.

Those that do go all out in a direction can make themselves a weak link.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Never necessary, always desired.


Jeraa wrote:

No, it isn't necessary to starts with a 20.

I stopped rolling for stats long ago, and just automatically take the elite array now (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) and haven't noticed a difference in power at all. (In fact, that is what 3.0/3.5 D&D was balanced around. The elite array/25 point buy or equivalent.)

Are you sure about that? It looks like that elite array was made using only 15 points (7, 5, 3, 2, 0, -2). It doesn't seem like a 25 point buy.

Dark Archive

To me, a 20 in one stat is far less important than not having below a 10 in *any* stat. I like effective characters, but I hate having a character with an 8 or 6 in a 'dump' stat (which always seems to end up being Int, Wis or Cha, in builds I see online).

I want to play a *hero,* not Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel.


Ganymede425 wrote:


Are you sure about that? It looks like that elite array was made using only 15 points (7, 5, 3, 2, 0, -2). It doesn't seem like a 25 point buy.

Pretty sure he means the old 3.5 edition point buy. Pathfinder 15 point is about equal to 25 point in 3.5.


Set wrote:


I want to play a *hero,* not Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel.

Some folk'll never eat a troll, but then again, some folk'll... like Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Right, because Cletus is the only personification of CHA<10.

One thing I like to do if I'm inclined to do a little CHA-dumping is to make sure Diplomacy is a class skill and put a rank in it. Thus I have a +3 (or whatever) to the "pleasant" social skill but a -1 to Bluff and Intimidate. This could be played as a pleasant-but-innocent type who's decent at being nice to people but couldn't lie to save his life and doesn't really like being unnecessarily mean. Or maybe the slightly different Luna Lovegood type where your first impression is poor, they're uncomfortably honest and don't seem very threatening; yet if you spend some time with them, they grow on you. Or you could go with a kind of detached guy who doesn't care much for interacting with others but is willing to put a little more effort into it if need be.

Do the same thing with Bluff instead of Diplomacy and you might have a compulsive liar or maybe even a Mr. Skimpole type. And so on and so forth.

Having nothing below a 10 is nice, but some of us want a roleplaying experience with a little depth.


Ganymede425 wrote:
Are you sure about that? It looks like that elite array was made using only 15 points (7, 5, 3, 2, 0, -2). It doesn't seem like a 25 point buy.

I was talking about the 3.0/3.5 point buy. The 3.5 25 point buy would be the Pathfinder 15 point buy option.


My players all did 15 point buys and have had little issue with any of the encounters that they've encountered.


I always use the pathfinder society 20 point buy recommended and I wouldn't even recommend a starting 18. it just costs too much in terms of points. 18 is fine if you're getting the +2 from a racial bonus. usually I go 2 14's, a 16, and the rest are 10's. apply racial modifiers as needed. having one high score and loads of low scores is actually a bad thing in my opinion (my dm's apply additional penalties for low scores beyond basic mechanics)


This usually rarely comes up in our games as we roll our stats and start with an automatic 18...

However you really dont need an 18 or 20 unless your throwing alot of save spells. If you mainly buff/heal/summon ect... saves dont come into the picture. Then our mainly just concerned you have the required 10 + spell lvl in your casting stat which can be reached easily with the stat bumps you get from leveling.

I personally make sure my PC's have high stats. We play characters that are supposed to be heros and honestly the extra +1 or +2 here and there isnt a huge game breaker. But it makes them feel like they are playing someone special. I usually bump the stats on my enemies also to make up for it.


I'm an optimizer, here's my perspective.

First, the answer to your question is NO.

From the perspective of optimization, you certainly want a good score in primary stats (and secondary ones)

If you are playing a Wizard, from an optimization point of view, you want your highest score to go in your INT stat. It may be a 20, it may be a 14, but it should be your best score.

That varies by class though. Cha is the "official" primary stat for Bards, but if you check out my optimization guide to Bards, you may notice that Cha doesn't necessarily have to be your highest stat. It needs to be good, but it doesn't need to be any higher than 16, even at high level.

Generally when optimizing, you want to rank stats by importance. I usually rank them 4 ways, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and dump. Some classes don't even have a primary stat.

The idea is you want your primary stat(s) to be your highest stat(s), then secondary, then tertiary, then dump. Going back to my Bard example, I would say that Bard doesn't have a primary stat. Cha is secondary, as is Dex and Con (and depending on your focus, maybe Str). In this case, balance IS optimized.

If you are using a point buy, if you only have one primary stat, and maybe only a couple secondary stats (wizard is a good example) then a 20 Int might be very optimized.

However, now let's say you are making a Paladin, you identify Cha and Str as primary, Dex and Con as secondary, Int as tertiary and Wis as dump. In this case very few point buys are going to allow for a 20 in a primary stat (nevermind two), 16 might be a better target.

Basically, if you are going to optimize, you NEVER ignore secondary or teritiary stats. Doing so creates unnecessary vulnerabilities, and you never want that.


I tend to but a lot 14s.

I start with an 18 is because I buy a 16 and then boost it buy +2 if I get 20 or more points. And keep things at 8 and maybe dump one stat to 8 to an 8 to get a stat I want more to an 12.


Also, for full Casters like Wizards, there are certain types of spells where having a big Casting Stat doesn`t really help at all... If you decide to focus on those spells where DC doesn`t matter, as long as you have the Casting Stat to CAST your Spells, and hopefully get a bonus spell slot, you`re fine and won`t notice any difference. Some stuff like Concentration also uses Casting Stat, but that is marginal enough that it`s not really a good enough reason by itself to max-out the Casting Stat at a decreasing rate of return (for point buy). And getting good 2ndary stats, like DEX, CON, WIS, not dumping STR (so STR drain isn`t as dangerous) are all things that are greatly helpful to any character.

For physical combatant types, you really do need to have effective stats, because almost everything you do revolves around successfully hitting the enemies. Classes with additional side-abilities using other stats DO get value out of those, but in many cases they require hitting first, so you need to take care of that stuff. Paladins, for example use CHA, but they aren`t using it MOST OF THE TIME in an active way (only for Saves), so although they may like a huge CHA, having good STR and decent DEX is probably more broadly useful than maxing out CHA.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Is 18 or 20 necessary? NO. A 16 or 18 will be enough in most circumstances (that 5% difference from the additional +1 is generally pretty minor). In a few cases (Str for two-handed weapons, bonus spell slots), the difference may be a bit greater, but still not "OMG that's unplayable."

Epecially when using point buy, the 7 points needed to raise a stat from 16 to 18 (for an extra +1 ability modifier) can be more effectively used (IMO) in raising two other stats to a 14 and a 12 (for an extra +2 and +1). Pathfinder characters are usually most effective when they don't focus almost exclusively on a single aspect, but rather when they concentrate on being "decent to good" at several aspects. "One trick ponies" tend to cause problems, since they tend to either dominate (when their "trick" can be used) or are nearly useless/a burden (when their "trick" can't be used). Even the stereotypical "wizard who hides in the back" works better (especially at low levels) with 8 Str, 14 Dex, 12 Con, 16 Int, 10 Wis, 10 Cha (15-point buy, before racial modifiers) than one with 8 Str, 12 Dex, 10 Con, 18 Int, 10 Wis, 8 Cha; the higher Dex and Con improves the character's ability to make ranged touch attacks and survive when attacked, while being a bit more adept in social situations.

Scarab Sages

Having a 20 falls into that realm of "nice, but not necessary". If you've got the extra points, or the rolls for it, sure. But if you're scraping a 15 point buy, chances are you'll want the points so that you don't have 8's everywhere else :D


I've thought about this, and at lower point buy, particularly that 15 to 20 point level, going 16 into your main stat that you'd really like to focus and then getting some 14s and 12s in the secondary stuff is probably the way to go. Going 20 off the bat might be a poor option. Spending 7 points for another +1 to hit +2 damage two handing or another spell and +1 to DC when something else could be focused on is probably too much.

Dark Archive

It depends; a focused wizard, for instance, only really needs Int, Con, and to a very lesser extent Dex. Int gives skill points, DCs, extra spells, and uses of daily abilities. Dumping Str is a no-brainer, he's not going to be able to do combat manuevers even with the 10, and by the time he is carrying lots of spell books he'll be able to afford exteadimensional space. Or worst case he just goes down to 20 move.

Cha is even easier... his skill points will make him a better "face" than a high Cha. Even Wis, while the hardest, is fairly easy to dump out.

So the low Str, Cha and lowish Wis wizard with a 20 will probably be better at his role than the 7-14-14-18-12-12 (VS 7-14-14-20-10-7). And going to 14-16 will regulate you to avoid casting against enemies


It is hard to balance all your abilities and still have a powerful stat. It really matters by class

EG
Wizard/Sorcerer/Witch/Offensive- Clerics All primarily offensive casters. The best save or lose spells Target the 2 strongest saves. By level 20, you want a Casting Stat of 30 to be confident your spells rarely fail.
They can start as low as 14.
5points from leveling is 19
+Headband 6
+Tome of INT 5
=30.

Magai, Bards, Buffing Clerics, Inquisitors can live with stats just high enough for their 6th or 9th level spells. (Magus spells target weaker reflex saves and the rest are buffers)

BUT given a 20, 25 Point buy there's no reason to not start with a 16 to make life a little easier.

Melee Chars can also start as low as 14 to get 30STR by 20th level.

Me? A like Balance with a little bit of special in my CASTER stat.

Currently I'm playing a Magus with
STR 16
DEX 14
CON 13
INT 18
WIS 10
CHA 7

I have a higher INT because I'm a Hexcrafter, so my Hexes want a High INT for saves like a Witch and it gives me more arcane pool points for arcane accuracy. IF the game I'm in manages to get to 20, I can get my STR and INT to 30 with the right gear.

1 level point to CON for a 14
1to INT for 19+Headband6+Tome5=30
3 to STR for 19+Belt6+Manual of Str5=30

7 Cha bites but it's cool to roleplay a surely smart, tough badass.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I recently created a druid (PFS, so 20pt buy) who is now second level. He did just fine playing from level 1 through the First Steps Intro Series, but those aren't THAT hard. I look forward to seeing how he does in "real" scenarios:

Dimitri
Human (Varisian)
Druid 2 (Menhir Savant)
Earth Domain (Caves Subdomain)
STR 17 (15+2)
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 12
WIS 14
CHA 7

Like I said, so far so good. By the time he hits level 5 and can cast 3rd level spells, he should have a headband for extra WIS. Level 4 stat bump goes to STR to get an 18.

I'm optimistic - his AC is currently 19, and he has respectable HP (22, including the Toughness feat). Thus, wading through melee is a viable option. As for spells, he generally avoids ones that grant saves, instead opting for things like frostbite or produce flame so that his moderate WIS isn't a liability.

Again, I'm still waiting to see how he really turns out, but I think it's safe to say that there are builds that can be viable without starting with a 20.


Dump, dump, dump that CHA. Just make sure you have (at least) one face.

Sovereign Court

Ismodai wrote:

hi, after seeing tons of build/optimization posts i started to wonder, is it a must o have an 18 or a 20 on your main stat to be effective? i mean, for example, in a 20 pt buy i may do a 16+2 if i need a human/half something caster, but if i make a 14+2, that makes my char useless?

im not trying to troll here or to start a min/maxer hate thread, what i`d actually wanna know is that if the game math is built thinking that the caster will have int 18, the fighter str 18 n so on, making anything lesser than that completely sub optimal

YMMV. I think most people will say it doesn't matter but a good percentage of those will try to squeeze it in where they can. Generally, this is the crux of the argument behind MAD ckasses being inferior, too.

The overall gain or loss of a couple of +1's here or there, taken individually, seem pretty insignificant but when you don't have that bonus here, don't get one there, use a magic item slot for something else somewhere else, etc., it all adds up. From that perspective, I can see why a player might be defensive of not trying his darn-tootinest to squeeze the one bonus he has full control of... Assuming you use point buy at character generation, of course.

Sovereign Court

It isn't necessary, but more often than not I have a 20 starting stat. I want it so that I can have more narrative authority in the game. I don't want to be reactive, but rather proactive and be able to drive a story with my actions, rather than be led along by outside forces. I want to do this right at level 1, and not grow into it at later levels. The 20 helps that along because it's on the other side of the power curve, which is set around a 14-16. Thus, when I act it's more decisive and I feel more confident going into a situation that I can force it to bend the plans of the party. Basically, it's giving me a 10% extra buffer against risk.


Ismodai wrote:

hi, after seeing tons of build/optimization posts i started to wonder, is it a must o have an 18 or a 20 on your main stat to be effective? i mean, for example, in a 20 pt buy i may do a 16+2 if i need a human/half something caster, but if i make a 14+2, that makes my char useless?

im not trying to troll here or to start a min/maxer hate thread, what i`d actually wanna know is that if the game math is built thinking that the caster will have int 18, the fighter str 18 n so on, making anything lesser than that completely sub optimal

The numbers are only as important as you want them to be. You can be just as effective and participatory with a 12 as you can be with a 20. Personally, as a GM, I don't allow my players to begin with Attributes above an 18, if they even begin with an attribute rated that high. YMMV.


the way i see it, some concepts wont be effective with less than 20 points, for example a 2 weapon fighting fighter with 15 points either must be retarded and ugly or it wont work. I really hate the idea of having a stat of 7 but thats my style of gaming (and my gaming friends too)
anyways I asked this in first place looking for an answer based on numbers, not roleplaying or gaming styles, what i mean is: the game maths make an 18 or 20 mandatory in order to make a functional char or not?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ismodai wrote:
what i mean is: the game maths make an 18 or 20 mandatory in order to make a functional char or not?

Not. Think of it this way: the difference between a 16 and an 18 is a single +1 modifier. With Pathfinder being a d20 system, that +1 corresponds to a single possible d20 roll (out of 20 possible rolls, obviously) that would be a success with an 18 but a failure with a 16.

In 5% of rolls, the 18 will succeed where the 16 will fail.

That's the same as the difference between one guy attacking his foe with a high ground bonus and another guy attacking on equal footing. Do you have to always have a high ground bonus in order to be effective?

In a point-buy situation, then, you have to weigh the importance of that +1 against the importance of a +1 somewhere else.

For instance, to get a 20, I need to buy an 18 (costing 17 points, if memory serves) and apply a racial bonus. However, if I buy a 16 (costing 10 points, letting race bump it to 18), I lose that +1 while saving 7 points. Those 7 points could take something from a 10 to a 15, increasing the modifier by +2 (and putting it in range of another +1 from a level bump). So my total modifiers are actually higher with an 18 and a 15 than with a 20 and a 10, for the same point cost. If both stats are relevant, then the 20 is actually probably the wrong choice.

Say I'm building an elf (+2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 CON) rogue, and want DEX to be my highest stat with a 20pt buy. I could buy an 18 (race bumping it to 20). Or, I could buy a 16 (race bumping it to 18). Then, I can spend those 7 extra points and buy a CON of 15 (race taking it to 13), or combine them with the 3 remaining points to buy a second 16 in CON, ending up with 18 DEX and 14 CON.

If your elf rogue is choosing between either 20DEX/8-11CON or 18DEX/13-14CON, taking that 20DEX is the wrong choice.

Similar thinking applies to choosing between 18 and 16, but I think you get the idea.


Ismodai wrote:

the way i see it, some concepts wont be effective with less than 20 points, for example a 2 weapon fighting fighter with 15 points either must be retarded and ugly or it wont work. I really hate the idea of having a stat of 7 but thats my style of gaming (and my gaming friends too)

anyways I asked this in first place looking for an answer based on numbers, not roleplaying or gaming styles, what i mean is: the game maths make an 18 or 20 mandatory in order to make a functional char or not?

I can easily build a two-weapon fighter with the elite array that is effective against the standards listed in the Bestiary. While I can do more with more points, they aren't necessary. They are icing on the cake. I should mention that I can stay Core-only as well. If I can branch out, I can do more.

There is no need to dump a stat to 7. There certainly isn't a need for some of the builds I've seen where there are 2 or even 3 dump stats.

Shadow Lodge

Jiggy wrote:
Ismodai wrote:
what i mean is: the game maths make an 18 or 20 mandatory in order to make a functional char or not?

Not. Think of it this way: the difference between a 16 and an 18 is a single +1 modifier. With Pathfinder being a d20 system, that +1 corresponds to a single possible d20 roll (out of 20 possible rolls, obviously) that would be a success with an 18 but a failure with a 16.

In 5% of rolls, the 18 will succeed where the 16 will fail.

That's the same as the difference between one guy attacking his foe with a high ground bonus and another guy attacking on equal footing. Do you have to always have a high ground bonus in order to be effective?

In a point-buy situation, then, you have to weigh the importance of that +1 against the importance of a +1 somewhere else.

For instance, to get a 20, I need to buy an 18 (costing 17 points, if memory serves) and apply a racial bonus. However, if I buy a 16 (costing 10 points, letting race bump it to 18), I lose that +1 while saving 7 points. Those 7 points could take something from a 10 to a 15, increasing the modifier by +2 (and putting it in range of another +1 from a level bump). So my total modifiers are actually higher with an 18 and a 15 than with a 20 and a 10, for the same point cost. If both stats are relevant, then the 20 is actually probably the wrong choice.

Say I'm building an elf (+2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 CON) rogue, and want DEX to be my highest stat with a 20pt buy. I could buy an 18 (race bumping it to 20). Or, I could buy a 16 (race bumping it to 18). Then, I can spend those 7 extra points and buy a CON of 15 (race taking it to 13), or combine them with the 3 remaining points to buy a second 16 in CON, ending up with 18 DEX and 14 CON.

If your elf rogue is choosing between either 20DEX/8-11CON or 18DEX/13-14CON, taking that 20DEX is the wrong choice.

Similar thinking applies to choosing between 18 and 16, but I think you get the idea.

+1

The more MAD your character is the worse 20s are, SAD characters are probably the only characters that realistically can get a 20

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Ismodai wrote:

the way i see it, some concepts wont be effective with less than 20 points, for example a 2 weapon fighting fighter with 15 points either must be retarded and ugly or it wont work. I really hate the idea of having a stat of 7 but thats my style of gaming (and my gaming friends too)

anyways I asked this in first place looking for an answer based on numbers, not roleplaying or gaming styles, what i mean is: the game maths make an 18 or 20 mandatory in order to make a functional char or not?
I can easily build a two-weapon fighter with the elite array that is effective against the standards listed in the Bestiary. While I can do more with more points, they aren't necessary. They are icing on the cake. I should mention that I can stay Core-only as well. If I can branch out, I can do more.

For instance, you can go Weapon Finesse with little to no STR bonus, use the River Rat trait that gives you +1 to damage with daggers, add in Weapon Specialization at 4th, maybe add in a STR item at some point...

Quote:
There is no need to dump a stat to 7. There certainly isn't a need for some of the builds I've seen where there are 2 or even 3 dump stats.

Though sometimes it's appropriate. I have one character with a 7 CHA, and the overall character fits.


Jiggy wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Ismodai wrote:

the way i see it, some concepts wont be effective with less than 20 points, for example a 2 weapon fighting fighter with 15 points either must be retarded and ugly or it wont work. I really hate the idea of having a stat of 7 but thats my style of gaming (and my gaming friends too)

anyways I asked this in first place looking for an answer based on numbers, not roleplaying or gaming styles, what i mean is: the game maths make an 18 or 20 mandatory in order to make a functional char or not?
I can easily build a two-weapon fighter with the elite array that is effective against the standards listed in the Bestiary. While I can do more with more points, they aren't necessary. They are icing on the cake. I should mention that I can stay Core-only as well. If I can branch out, I can do more.
For instance, you can go Weapon Finesse with little to no STR bonus, use the River Rat trait that gives you +1 to damage with daggers, add in Weapon Specialization at 4th, maybe add in a STR item at some point...

Those are certainly some of the options. Two-weapon fighting is more than just using two-weapons to dish out damage. Look at all the net feats. You can build an interesting two-weapon fighter that uses his net for various maneuvers and another weapon to deal damage. You can focus on two different weapons or two identical weapons. I have seen interesting builds that use throwing axes with returning on them. I have seen builds that use a hammer and an axe. One of the problems people tend to run into is that they think they need to take every feat that has the words "two-weapon" to be an effective two-weapon fighter. That is not true. While you may want some, you don't have to take them all. People tend to restrict themselves without any need to do so.

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There is no need to dump a stat to 7. There certainly isn't a need for some of the builds I've seen where there are 2 or even 3 dump stats.
Though sometimes it's appropriate. I have one character with a 7 CHA, and the overall character fits.

I don't get to play often, I GM almost all the time. However, I have built many characters and I have seen a lot of characters with an 8 or even 6 in a dump stat. I don't mind one dump stat. It can also be appropriate. I do mind 2 to 3 dump stats. I know that's not what you are proposing but it is something I have seen often and those same people claimed "role playing" when we all know it was purely for a mechanical advantage. I question someone's ability to role play well if they [i]need[i] to have a 20 in their starting stats.


If something is optimized to do some task A, then any possible choice that can be made to make A as effective as possible should be taken.

However, consideration must be given to the fact that if you're dead, you can't do A. If the party depends on you to satisfy some role, you need to be able to satisfy that role. So usually character task optimization (deal maximum damage with my two-handed sword, hinder my enemies as much as possible, be undetectable) must balance other concerns with the task to be optimized. To do otherwise is not optimized play -- it's simply being narrow-minded.

The reason why 20 isn't always optimal is because in certain point buy configurations you sacrifice too many other stats. Sometimes a character is multiple-attribute dependent (MAD) and thus can't afford to put a 20 in any given stat. But if you *can* get satisfactory secondary stats, a 20 in a primary stat with a single-attribute dependent (SAD) character is virtually always the best choice.


meabolex wrote:

If something is optimized to do some task A, then any possible choice that can be made to make A as effective as possible should be taken.

However, consideration must be given to the fact that if you're dead, you can't do A. If the party depends on you to satisfy some role, you need to be able to satisfy that role. So usually character task optimization (deal maximum damage with my two-handed sword, hinder my enemies as much as possible, be undetectable) must balance other concerns with the task to be optimized. To do otherwise is not optimized play -- it's simply being narrow-minded.

The reason why 20 isn't always optimal is because in certain point buy configurations you sacrifice too many other stats. Sometimes a character is multiple-attribute dependent (MAD) and thus can't afford to put a 20 in any given stat. But if you *can* get satisfactory secondary stats, a 20 in a primary stat with a single-attribute dependent (SAD) character is virtually always the best choice.

There are exactly zero builds that require a 20 in a starting stat to be viable. Not a single one. If anyone finds a build that requires a 20 in a starting stat or they will die, then they either need a better concept or a better GM.

I have found that characters that are more versatile not only survive more often but are more fun to play. One-trick ponies aren't any fun if you don't get to use that trick often. However, a character that is too versatile often isn't much fun either because he can't do enough with any particular task or spends all his time trying to figure out what he wants to do.

This is one reason why I really like the elite array. It gives characters some versatility but still allows them to specialize a bit.

Shadow Lodge

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
There are exactly zero builds that require a 20 in a starting stat to be viable. Not a single one. If anyone finds a build that requires a 20 in a starting stat or they will die, then they either need a better concept or a better GM.

Build that require a 20? yeah 0, build that benefit from a 20? pretty much all witches, wizards and sorcerers benefit from having a 20 (wizards/sorcerers who focus on using rays are one exception i can think of at the moment), if the party can work together they don't die


I don't allow players to start with scores above 18, and perhaps not even an 18!

Maxed and dumped scores (and uber point buys or arrays) bring the game outside of what I consider the intended range.

If you look at the iconic characters, you can see the baseline that the game was designed around. The more you diverge from this baseline, the more work the GM has to do to keep things relevant.

If you are in inexperienced player, or want things on an easier setting, high scores are good.

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