Does anyone do 15 point buy?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Trikk wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:


I'll admit I'm torn with teaching the kids. Do I teach them 15 points so they learn an 8 doesn't 'suck' and a 14 is good? Or do I teach them 20 points, so they learn on par with PFS characters?

An 8 does suck. A fighter with Str 8 and Dex 8 will have trouble hitting a 5 foot cube.

14 is decent, but not a stat you can rely on as your go-to stat. A wizard with Int 14 will not use save spells, he will use Conjuration and Transmutation.

An 8 as your primary stat will indeed suck. Someone with an 8 Str and Dex trying to be a fighter either is trying a clever option I can't think of, deliberately trying something they're not good at or those are their best stats and they really are hopeless.

Doesn't the level of a go-to stat needed depend on the power level of the campaign? If your opponents also have low stats, the saves will balance out.
Of course, even with 15 pt buy, it's not hard to get 16 in one stat. 14 is good for MAD characters, not so hot for SAD ones.


When I GM my monsters use the same stat generation systems the players use (or close to it). If the PCs use 15 point buy then the monsters mostly use elite array. If the PCs have all 18s like maddigan prefers then my monsters would too. It's the easiest way to balance the game back toward what it was meant to be... not perfect but a good starting point.

I have a friend who goes one step further. Her BBEGs have all their stats equal to the best stats of everyone at the table +2. Her minor bosses just lose the +2. Her regular monsters have -2. So she lets the PCs have as high a stat as they want... it just makes the game that much harder. Combat is brutal in her game. We typically only do one battle then call it a day.


The older editions used to have comparisons by attribute level to give you an idea of what a score meant.

A 10 was a normal person.

An 18 strength is something like Conan the Barbarian (built like arnold in his body building days). A 12-13 strength is a strong person, though not extraordinarily strong. A 15-16 strength is the equivalent of a very strong body builder type. A 20 strength is supernaturally strong like a vampire, etc...

Rolling with an 18 in a stat means that your character is among the world elite in that attribute. So if you have an 18 strength, you are built like Arnold... something very rare (and "heroic")

An 18 dex would indicate a person who is much like a cat... very acrobatic... very nimble.

An 18 int would indicate someone with extraordinary genius level IQ. Such as a sherlock holmes.

An 18 wis would indicate someone with a rock hard willpower and extraordinary insight ala a Yoda.

So yes an 18 attribute does mean you are very "heroic". If you like that level of play, rock it out.


auticus wrote:

The older editions used to have comparisons by attribute level to give you an idea of what a score meant.

A 10 was a normal person.

An 18 strength is something like Conan the Barbarian (built like arnold in his body building days). A 12-13 strength is a strong person, though not extraordinarily strong. A 15-16 strength is the equivalent of a very strong body builder type. A 20 strength is supernaturally strong like a vampire, etc...

Rolling with an 18 in a stat means that your character is among the world elite in that attribute. So if you have an 18 strength, you are built like Arnold... something very rare (and "heroic")

An 18 dex would indicate a person who is much like a cat... very acrobatic... very nimble.

An 18 int would indicate someone with extraordinary genius level IQ. Such as a sherlock holmes.

An 18 wis would indicate someone with a rock hard willpower and extraordinary insight ala a Yoda.

So yes an 18 attribute does mean you are very "heroic". If you like that level of play, rock it out.

And remember that's heroic at the start of your career. Probably superhuman by midlevels even without magic boosters.


Exactly. That's why I like to start out with a 10/15 point buy. It lets you develop into something that's heroic as opposed to starting heroic and developing into a marvel super hero.

That's just a preference though.


auticus wrote:

The older editions used to have comparisons by attribute level to give you an idea of what a score meant.

A 10 was a normal person.

An 18 strength is something like Conan the Barbarian (built like arnold in his body building days). A 12-13 strength is a strong person, though not extraordinarily strong. A 15-16 strength is the equivalent of a very strong body builder type. A 20 strength is supernaturally strong like a vampire, etc...

Rolling with an 18 in a stat means that your character is among the world elite in that attribute. So if you have an 18 strength, you are built like Arnold... something very rare (and "heroic")

An 18 dex would indicate a person who is much like a cat... very acrobatic... very nimble.

An 18 int would indicate someone with extraordinary genius level IQ. Such as a sherlock holmes.

An 18 wis would indicate someone with a rock hard willpower and extraordinary insight ala a Yoda.

So yes an 18 attribute does mean you are very "heroic". If you like that level of play, rock it out.

There are problems when you try to apply this to the game, since there are real world feats associated with some stat scores. Strength is the biggest example here, with a table for carrying capacity and the ability to calculate various lifting abilities. People know what they can do in real life, and thus can calculate their numbers. And these do not necessarily match with what they would expect.

For instance, I consider myself to be below average strength for a male. It is one of my weaker qualities, and if I were to give myself a dump stat this would be one. But I compare my various maximums from the gym, and I find my strength score between 14-16. Weight overhead breaks 200 (16), and off the ground breaks 300 (14). At the same time, world class atheletes get into the 22-26 range for real people.

Similarly, I know most people use a standard deviation method for ability scores, where every 2 points in the stat is 1 standard deviation. Assuming IQ is a good measure for Int (which is a bad assumption but one of the better ones we have to work with), it would place me with a 16 to 18 int, depending on the test. I do not consider myself in any way on the level of Shelock Holmes, who I would put in the 24+ range (IQ 200+ using the standard deviation method).

The problem comes from people having different ideas of scale. You consider an 18 the peak of humans. I consider an 18 to be a gifted person, but as happens on a decently regular basis. Take 100K people, and 3 of them will be better than a 18 in any given stat.

(Edited number for needed for 3 people over an 18, after I misread the tables)


I was going off of the charts that explained the stat scores and how they relate from the manuals in 1st and 2nd ed.

They actually explained that an 18/00 strength character was super human beyond conan in 2nd edition PHB.

They also had an IQ range for INT and 18 INT was around a 180 IQ.

The bonuses in 2nd ed to 3rd ed are the same, so to me the comparisons can still be valid, though of course the whole thing is abstract, so you may consider an 18 to be a shlep.


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auticus wrote:

I was going off of the charts that explained the stat scores and how they relate from the manuals in 1st and 2nd ed.

They actually explained that an 18/00 strength character was super human beyond conan in 2nd edition PHB.

They also had an IQ range for INT and 18 INT was around a 180 IQ.

The bonuses in 2nd ed to 3rd ed are the same, so to me the comparisons can still be valid, though of course the whole thing is abstract, so you may consider an 18 to be a shlep.

Right, and I put a 18 IQ arround 160, as that is 4 standard deviations. A 180 would be 20-21. I never said an 18 was a shlep, only that it wasn't so rare that they should be prohibitted from players.

Part of the reason this discussion gets so heated is because people come into it with different ideas of what stats mean. If you think an 18 correlates to 180 and I think its a 160 IQ, I think 1 out of every 30K people are that smart and you think 1 of every ~3,500K is that smart. Over 2 orders of magnitude difference. To me, an 18 isn't superhuman, just exceptional. A 20 is competing for best in the field, but can still be exceeded by someone who is exceptional and has enough training (stat increases for level).

In the end, how exceptional your characters are depends greatly on how exceptional everyone else in the world is. If most of the NPCs are toting max of 15s, having an 18 is a lot different than if your average NPCs have a 17-20. That depends a lot on GM style, and how they see people in their world. I know GMs who give 20s to cannon fodder, so in these games have 20s is fairly normal for PCs and not considered exceptional. I also know GMs who give most NPCs 13s, and exceptional ones 15s. Here 16s start to feel exceptional. The only time I really find problems are when the GM has different expectations for their players than they do for the NPCs, unless they want the PCs to feel exceptional (or underpowered) intentionally.


Matthew Morris wrote:

Um, 15 points isn't 'normal person' it's 'normal hero'.

Boromir, Farimir, the dwarves (except Thorin) in The Hobbit etc.

Now I can see Aragorn being 20 point, but then he's not as human as the others. Think of him as a 'true Azlantan' if you want to Golarion him.

I'll admit I'm torn with teaching the kids. Do I teach them 15 points so they learn an 8 doesn't 'suck' and a 14 is good? Or do I teach them 20 points, so they learn on par with PFS characters?

Tell that to all the NPCs who aren't heroic/villainous in the slightest, yet run off 15 point buy.

@TheJeff:Actually, your characters are only ever superhuman in terms of skill, maybe (highly debatable since this is an abstraction) speed, and their use of magic. Humans are very powerful creatures, even if you don't believe it, we didn't get to be the dominant species on the planet on survivability and brains alone.

Humans possess the second most advanced musculature on the planet, while we can't beat creatures our weight in their specialty, take them out of their specialty (like climbing/pulling for apes), and we will kick the tar out of them.

Humans also possess some of the most advanced senses on the planet, again we are the Mario in this, though often times we only have one sense superior to other creatures, instead of a plethora like we do with physical attributes.


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Caineach wrote:
auticus wrote:

I was going off of the charts that explained the stat scores and how they relate from the manuals in 1st and 2nd ed.

They actually explained that an 18/00 strength character was super human beyond conan in 2nd edition PHB.

They also had an IQ range for INT and 18 INT was around a 180 IQ.

The bonuses in 2nd ed to 3rd ed are the same, so to me the comparisons can still be valid, though of course the whole thing is abstract, so you may consider an 18 to be a shlep.

Right, and I put a 18 IQ arround 160, as that is 4 standard deviations. A 180 would be 20-21. I never said an 18 was a shlep, only that it wasn't so rare that they should be prohibitted from players.

Part of the reason this discussion gets so heated is because people come into it with different ideas of what stats mean. If you think an 18 correlates to 180 and I think its a 160 IQ, I think 1 out of every 30K people are that smart and you think 1 of every ~3,500K is that smart. Over 2 orders of magnitude difference. To me, an 18 isn't superhuman, just exceptional. A 20 is competing for best in the field, but can still be exceeded by someone who is exceptional and has enough training (stat increases for level).

In the end, how exceptional your characters are depends greatly on how exceptional everyone else in the world is. If most of the NPCs are toting max of 15s, having an 18 is a lot different than if your average NPCs have a 17-20. That depends a lot on GM style, and how they see people in their world. I know GMs who give 20s to cannon fodder, so in these games have 20s is fairly normal for PCs and not considered exceptional. I also know GMs who give most NPCs 13s, and exceptional ones 15s. Here 16s start to feel exceptional. The only time I really find problems are when the GM has different expectations for their players than they do for the NPCs, unless they want the PCs to feel exceptional (or underpowered) intentionally.

You are correct, it boils down to your own perceptions. There is no hard and fast "18 means this" so what it means to me may be different to you.

Ultimately the campaign itself will dictate what the players should be. If a player is looking to be an x-man and beyond normal, higher stats fit that.

In my world, my NPCs fit the mould for what I feel a stat for normal people are.

A typical laborer in my world would be S10-12, D10, C10, I10, W10, Ch10. That represents a baseline normal person who relies on physicality to make a living.

A gladiator NPC may be S14, D12, C12, I10, W10, Ch12 to denote superior physical traits and an ability for showmanship above and beyond "the norm".

A scholar would be 10s across the board except he may have an Int of 14 to denote a very sharp individual.

My PCs typically have a primary stat of 16 so they are already a cut above normal people by a lot (considering that they will have three or four stats above 10) so it fits in my world.

If my PCs used 20 point or higher buys they would be toting 18s or higher which would put them in a whole different realm (to me, rather than being exceptional, they would be borderline super human at that point)

But again that is perception and how I stat out my NPCs.


auticus wrote:

You are correct, it boils down to your own perceptions. There is no hard and fast "18 means this" so what it means to me may be different to you.

Ultimately the campaign itself will dictate what the players should be. If a player is looking to be an x-man and beyond normal, higher stats fit that.

In my world, my NPCs fit the mould for what I feel a stat for normal people are.

A typical laborer in my world would be S10-12, D10, C10, I10, W10, Ch10. That represents a baseline normal person who relies on physicality to make a living.

A gladiator NPC may be S14, D12, C12, I10, W10, Ch12 to denote superior physical traits and an ability for showmanship above and beyond "the norm".

A scholar would be 10s across the board except he may have an Int of 14 to denote a very sharp individual.

My PCs typically have a primary stat of 16 so they are already a cut above normal people by a lot (considering that they will have three or four stats above 10) so it fits in my world.

If my PCs used 20 point or higher buys they would be toting 18s or higher which would put them in a whole different realm (to me, rather than being exceptional, they would be borderline super human at that point)

But again that is perception and how I stat out my NPCs.

Which is one of the reasons you have such different views of stats from many of the people posting here. For me, my standard NPC farmer uses the Elite Array 15,14,13,12,10,8, + stat racial mod. Exceptional NPCs will have +2 to all but the 8. So the players have 20s at start are not that much better than their strong foes, but are noticably better than an average person (who may have a 17). PCs roll stats (3 sets of 4d6, pick the set they like), and in the current game they have between 21 and 35 point buy. Amusingly enough, the 2 with the lowest point buy are the biggest threats to what I throw at them, and both are weaker in their primary function than they initially stated up for 15 point buy.

Its not just that high stats make you exceptional. Its has to be compared to the world in which the players are comparing themselves.


Caineach wrote:
Right, and I put a 18 IQ arround 160, as that is 4 standard deviations. A 180 would be 20-21. I never said an 18 was a shlep, only that it wasn't so rare that they should be prohibitted from players.

This is also more statistically valid. If you say that every plus or minus 2 INT is the equivalent of one standard deviation of IQ result, then an INT 12 is the high side of normal, INT 14 is the cut off for "gifted", INT 16 is Mensa material, and INT 18 is the point at which conventional methods of measure human intelligence fail.

A natural 18 also occurs on one out of every 216 rolls of 3d6, meaning that one out of every 216 people should have an INT score of at least 18. If you assume random distribution of the human racial bonus, that means that one in every 1296 people has an INT of 20, while INT scores of 21-25 are astronomically rare.


Mage Evolving wrote:
We just finished up our first 15 pt buy game and I think overall it went well. I think that I'm going to be giving out some additional ability points (based on role-playing) but I honestly don't know that it's needed.

Giving additional ability points based on role-playing and player actions is a really solid idea. Worked well for me thus far, I started doing it a few months back.


Aranna wrote:

When I GM my monsters use the same stat generation systems the players use (or close to it). If the PCs use 15 point buy then the monsters mostly use elite array. If the PCs have all 18s like maddigan prefers then my monsters would too. It's the easiest way to balance the game back toward what it was meant to be... not perfect but a good starting point.

I have a friend who goes one step further. Her BBEGs have all their stats equal to the best stats of everyone at the table +2. Her minor bosses just lose the +2. Her regular monsters have -2. So she lets the PCs have as high a stat as they want... it just makes the game that much harder. Combat is brutal in her game. We typically only do one battle then call it a day.

Yep, since I am running a low magic, with quite a low beginning stat game, I move everything subtly around. Monster weaknesses become stronger, some of the strengths become weaker, I pull DR down a bit. Now they are getting levels, it is more evening out, and some attributes are getting high for the pcs.

One dnd player who didn't like the stat generation thought I was ripping the players off with flat 3d6. Accused me of making the characters weak, not heroes (he is a very emotional, angry guy). Of course he wasn't much up for listening, because it is 3d6, but attributes increase with successes, so it has a more natural feel to attributes. No one starts with two 18s, average of 15 etc. They earn them. The monsters, opponents and npcs are also adjusted. And when a villain has really high stats, they seem really frightening. End result, stats have more meaning, and it is not just another enemy with average 16s. I am not impressed with how ability scores have seemed to just keep going up and up with pathfinder. Have you seen some of the monsters? The advanced template? Ridiculous.


Its kinda funny. My group started rolling for stats using the 'roll four drop the lowest' method.

We had uber stats for many campaigns - campaigns that felt like games about superheroes. We used to compare where our 18s were at character creation, scoffing at those who could only manage a few lousy 16s and 17s...

Then we went to point buy at 25 and progressively (as we got older... and older) we finally settled on 15 point buy, which seems to be about right for challenging a more experienced group of players.

Maybe by the time we're in our forties we'll be using 10 points...


Caineach wrote:


Its not just that high stats make you exceptional. Its has to be compared to the world in which the players are comparing themselves

Dealing with combat, that's absolutely true.

The issue with high stats beyond combat are DCs for skills. Challenges don't have attributes, they typically just have a flat score to beat. To challenge a character with high attributes, you have to artificially inflate the DC, or else they get to the point very early on where they are passing most skill checks on anything but a 1 or a 2.

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Caineach wrote:
Which is one of the reasons you have such different views of stats from many of the people posting here. For me, my standard NPC farmer uses the Elite Array 15,14,13,12,10,8, + stat racial mod. Exceptional NPCs will have +2 to all but the 8. So the players have 20s at start are not that much better than their strong foes, but are noticably better than an average person (who may have a 17). PCs roll stats (3 sets of 4d6, pick the set they like), and in the current game they have between 21 and 35 point buy. Amusingly enough, the 2 with the lowest point buy are the biggest threats to what I throw at them, and both are weaker in their primary function than they initially stated up for 15 point buy.

Ah. That would explain a difference. In my games, 'average' people run from 8-12, with 10's and 11's being the baseline.

so Freddie Farmer has S 11, D 10, C 11, I 10, W 11, Ch 10, or some such.

Sammy Sage might have S 8, D 10, C 11, I 13 W 11 Ch 10.

Barbara Barmaid S 8, D 12, C 11 I 9, W 10 CH 12.
(All these w.o racial mods, of course.

So a 15 (or 17) as the highest stat is 2 or three steps above normal already.

Scarab Sages

I never actually consider what the stats of the "average" person in a campaign world are. In fact, in my games, NPCs who aren't major characters or fighting antagonists usually don't even get theoretical stats. Whether they live, die, succeed or fail at a given thing, etc, is dictated either by the exigencies of the story or else it comes down to a 50/50 chance.

So as far as I'm concerned, even having stats at all makes you "above average" :P


Icyshadow wrote:
mishima wrote:
Talonhawke, you need to try it sometime so you can discover that what you said is not the case.
"I am right and you are wrong" is the wrong attitude on the internet.

And just a couple post later:

Quote:
I'll like to prove you wrong

seems to be contradictory.

That said: I'm currently playing a 15 point buy Paladin in Kingmaker. He's a human, and the starting stats, including human bonuses, are:
Str 18
Dex 10
Con 12
Int 10
Wis 8
Cha 14

It's a decent character. At level 8, with two bumps, and a headband of charisma and a belt of strength, it stats are:
Str 22
dex 10
Con 12
Int 10
Wis 8
Cha 16

Why is that character unplayable or boring?


Fact is that 20pb compared to 15pb doesn't make SADs much better because a 18 or 20 is just +1 overall. But MADs profit highly

pb20 wizard
7 14 14 18 11 7
pb15 wizard
7 14 14 16 13 7

He actually lost 1 wis bonus for his whooping 20 int instead of 18

Now lets look at a Monk

pb20 monk
16 14 14 9 14 7
pb15 monk
14 14 14 9 14 7

Monk loses nothing but gets +1 str he will need for being a viable close combat asset

Ranged Cleric

pb20 archer cleric
14 16 14 7 14 9
pb15 archer cleric
13 16 14 7 14 7

Gains 1 Channeling (not making channeling useless and making him swap it for inspire courage) and gets his +2 bonus on Str he will direly need for dealing any significant damage with a +2 Str bow.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
mishima wrote:
Talonhawke, you need to try it sometime so you can discover that what you said is not the case.
"I am right and you are wrong" is the wrong attitude on the internet.

And just a couple post later:

Quote:
I'll like to prove you wrong

seems to be contradictory.

That said: I'm currently playing a 15 point buy Paladin in Kingmaker. He's a human, and the starting stats, including human bonuses, are:
Str 18
Dex 10
Con 12
Int 10
Wis 8
Cha 14

It's a decent character. At level 8, with two bumps, and a headband of charisma and a belt of strength, it stats are:
Str 22
dex 10
Con 12
Int 10
Wis 8
Cha 16

Why is that character unplayable or boring?

Dex 10? Not even 12? You lose out 1 AC with your fullplate while having that Con? Holy...

Con 12 is also a joke because it will make you drop on every occassion ;). Or you just have a nice DM who doesn't like killing players. Who knows.
Cha 14 is a joke because with Statboosters you will end up with 20 and thus you will lose one of the best things of smite: Deflection Bonus... yours will finally be +5 and everyone else will just get it via item. Also with 14 Cha your Saves will be fairly low (considering +1 con, +0 dex, -1 wis)

And you can't even viably boost Con and Dex much with Statboosters because they each will cost 50% more just out of the reason you will have to buff Str to be good at all..

And tell me:

If your char is well build... how did you kill the Tendriculos with 3 buddies? What class are they? What were your tactics? What level were you?

Silver Crusade

This is from a another thread. It dose fit with what you want your asking. This party did 300 points of damage in 1 1/2 rounds of combat. Prebuffed.
The way I see it as a DM. With 20 or 25 point buy you can make do with out working with the group. With a 15 point buy more then any other you have to work with the group and make your character with the understanding it can not do every thing.
We used 25 point buy for a very long time. I can not tell you how Meany characters I made that could do every thing the group needed with just one character. That is what prompted me to use the 15 point buy in the first place. That and the thread ( Guide to Practical Optimization )

(Thread) So your players seem to be like, really (too) good at their job

calagnar wrote:

I'm the one that got this starting in a another thread so I'll post the group I'm running right now. And most of this is from memory ill look at there full builds when we game.

We use a 15 point buy. If you want to know why there are dump stats on almost all of the characters. Make a character with a 15 point buy with out dump stats. And we do use 3rd party and 3.5 materal but must pass the two people that GM for the group to be allowed for play.

Human : Oracle : Mystery Battle Level 7
Str 19(+2human +1 4Th level) Dex 12 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 7 Cha 12 (+item)= 14
Feet's
H: Improved Intuitive
1: Extra Revelation : War Sight
3: Exotic Weapon : Fauchard 1D10 18-20/X2 Reach,Trip
5: Power Attack
7: Swap Places
Revelations
1: Skill At Arms
3: Weapon Mastery : Fauchard
7: Maneuver Mastery : Trip

Half Elf : Bard 7
Star 18(+2Half Elf +1 4th level) Dex 10 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 12 (+2item)= 14
Alternate Racial Trait
Ancestral Arms: Fauchard (See Above)
Feet's
1: Extra Performance
3: Lingering Performance
5: Weapon Focus : Fauchard
7: Swap Places
Inspire Courage (+2)

Human : Warlord (Tome of Secretes) 7
Str 18(+2human +1 4th level) Dex 11 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 12
Feet's
H: Power Attack
1: Exotic Weapon : Falcata
2Bonus: Weapon Focus : Falcata
3: Improved Initiative
4Bonus: Weapon Spoliation : Falcata
5: (Can't remember what feet.)
7: Swap Places
Comanding Presence (+1)

Human : Ranger 7
Str 17 (+2Human +1 4th level) Dex 15 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 7
Feet's
H: Exotic Weapon : Falcata
1: Over Sized Two Weapon Fighting (From 3.5)
3: Double Slice
5: Weapon Focus : Falcata
7: Swap Places
Ranger Combat Style : Two Weapon Fighting
2: Two Weapon Fighting
6: Improved Two Weapon Fighting

Half Elf : Rogue 7
Str 14 Dex 18 (+2Half Elf +1 4th level) Con 12 Int 14 Wis 10 Cha 7
Feet's
1: Two Weapon Fighting
3: Combat Reflexes
5: Butter Fly Sting
7: Swap Places
Rogue Talents:
2: Finesse Rogue
4: Weapon Training : Short Sword
6: Fast Stealth


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Alienfreak wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
mishima wrote:
Talonhawke, you need to try it sometime so you can discover that what you said is not the case.
"I am right and you are wrong" is the wrong attitude on the internet.

And just a couple post later:

Quote:
I'll like to prove you wrong

seems to be contradictory.

That said: I'm currently playing a 15 point buy Paladin in Kingmaker. He's a human, and the starting stats, including human bonuses, are:
Str 18
Dex 10
Con 12
Int 10
Wis 8
Cha 14

It's a decent character. At level 8, with two bumps, and a headband of charisma and a belt of strength, it stats are:
Str 22
dex 10
Con 12
Int 10
Wis 8
Cha 16

Why is that character unplayable or boring?

Dex 10? Not even 12? You lose out 1 AC with your fullplate while having that Con? Holy...

Con 12 is also a joke because it will make you drop on every occassion ;). Or you just have a nice DM who doesn't like killing players. Who knows.
Cha 14 is a joke because with Statboosters you will end up with 20 and thus you will lose one of the best things of smite: Deflection Bonus... yours will finally be +5 and everyone else will just get it via item. Also with 14 Cha your Saves will be fairly low (considering +1 con, +0 dex, -1 wis)

And you can't even viably boost Con and Dex much with Statboosters because they each will cost 50% more just out of the reason you will have to buff Str to be good at all..

And tell me:

If your char is well build... how did you kill the Tendriculos with 3 buddies? What class are they? What were your tactics? What level were you?

Well, I think you overvalue too much a lot of things. First, my character is losing 1 Ac. Oh, my god!!! Yet, he has the highest AC in the group (which is a dual Wield Ranger, a Rogue, A Druid and a Dwarven Fighter), thanks to Full plate +1, Shield +1 and amulet of natural armor +1, plus I have a mount and Sprited Charge, so a lot of time in this adventure I'm not hit that much.

I got seriously damaged in Staglord (went to -2 hp), and almost died, becouse the Staglord made a Threat that did not confirm. With confirmation, I would had died. But with confirmation, I would had died in a 20 point buy regardless, so it's a moot point.

You say that with 12 in con, I'm screwed. However, I disagree. That's 1 hp per level, or 8 hp at my level, which can be offset by favored class bonus and/or toughness feat. Unless you consider unplayable any character that does not take toughness, I don't see why you consider unplayable any character that goes with Con 12 instead of 14. More important: I have 8 hp less than, say, a fighter with 14 Con. But I can heal myself as a swift action 3d6 (average 11 hp), like 7 fives per day.

Actually, I have more staying power than the dwarven fighter, who has Toughness and Con 18. Becouse I can heal myself as a swift action, several times. Actually, I have better saves than the Dwarf too, except in fortitude. So I don't see how is it "umplayable" to have +4 to Fort, +3 to Ref, +2 to Will for saving throw bonuses (adding Cha with a +2 headband)

Saying that a 20 point char is stronger than a 15 point one is a stupid remark. Sure. And a 35 point char is stronger than a 30 point one. But that does not make a 15 point character useless, umplayable, or unheroic.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

@calagnard

I find the comment 'dump stats on almost all the characters' interesting considering the sample size. Three of the five characters have 'dump stats' so I could say "a little more than half."

I prefer to avoid 7's myself but that's a fairly well rounded, combat heavy party.

@gustavo, yeah I don't see any issues with your Paladin for the same reason.

15 point buy for a magus/damascarran*/duskblade I go S:13 D:14 C:12 I:14 W:8 Ch:12** but that's because I like an above average Charisma score.

*

Spoiler:
damascarran is my spontanious casting stabacadabara

**

Spoiler:
Before ability adjustments, for human/half elf/half orc I can put the +2 in strength for hitting power, or in int for a little more skill/spell power. Studded leather would give an AC of 15 at first level, not bad. Take rich parents for MW weapon or the heirloom weapon trait and you're looking at a modest +2 or +3 to hit. He's not going to set the world on fire at first level, but at 4th level he can put the point bump in strength to get an additional +1


doctor_wu wrote:
Alienfreak wrote:
ChaiGuy wrote:
The equalizer wrote:
I'm currently in a game where we roll 3d6 including ones for ability scores. Its the odd thing where each character has one or two high stats but every thing else isn't great. This actually allows characters exceptionally good in their areas to shine. Its only when each character has high stats in almost every ability score but one that makes characters "the same." The game I'm in is low magic and set in Isger. The good ability score of a character and their feats really shines through. Alot more emphasis on the "the coolness is all from the character" and alot less of the "time to shop or craft the +5 holy avenger." Doing heroic things and saving the region becomes the main emphasis.

I believe I understand what you are saying Equalizer, but I disagree that PCs with simliar or even the same ability scores will feel the same. When I play Pathfinder I generally don't even know what the other PCs ability scores are, unless they voluntarily tell me.

For PCs to really stand out as unique the player portraying them needs to add character to them through role play IMO. In short ability scores don't give the PCs personality, role playing does.

Every Kobold in the Bestiary that used a Class level has a 15 Pointbuy Elite Array.

I don't think its heroic being on the same level as a Kobold Rogue 1...

Aren't pc classed npcs also more powerful than average cahracters and better villains. I think that depends on how your gm works. Last adventure I had pc classed npcs were the leaders with npc classed mooks in a room sort of as one mini boss and then the bbeg of the adventure.

mmmm. Role-playing is the key thing. That I whole-heartedly agree on. A level one kobold rogue party can be pretty deadly to level one PCs. If they really beef their stealth and take improved initiative, it wouldn't surprise me if they got the surprise round and won initiative to deliver two sneak attacks before the most or all of the PCs could act. A 15 point buy generated character who attains level 8 or so will be able to do a fair bit. The only difference is they can't have an ability score array of two or three very high abiltity scores,two lower scores of something like 14 and a lowest stat of 10. The problem with pathfinder is that it pushes for not just the specialization of a character in one area but also encourages to have at least a 14 in con or/and wisdom to get the extra bit of safety. In summary, it pushes for at least moderately high ability scores across the board. Monsters have always increased faster than the individual PC in power hence the typical party of four to take on a boss monster. If you look at the 3.5 monster manuals, the creatures become really deadly at what they do but they each have weaknesses for their CR. For example, A CR 8 has great hp for its CR, good atk/dmg and a good fort save. Its reflex or will however aren't great. Its AC may even be slightly below the average monster AC for that CR. I stated earlier on that pathfinder pushes for the super high stats. The reason being because the weaknesses start to disappear at moderate CRs (below 10). AC, saves, hp, atk/dmg, throw in a couple of spell like abilities and you got a creature who has to roll really badly to pass a save. Throw on a few CRs and add DR and SR as well. Monsters who are almost invincible for the relative party CR to take start to emerge. I don't mean invincible in the sense they can't be beaten but they push the party to the limits of their ability if its a specialized party. That was what happened in a rise of the runelords campaign. Party started at level one. Nine levels later, it didn't feel any easier even when we were fighting supposed "mooks." I'm not saying it should get easier as the party gains levels all the time but a bit of breathing room would be nice. Allow the characters to realize they have progressed considerably. Throw a couple of challenging encounters but mix in a few moderately easy ones. Not every encounter has to leave the party on 1/4 hit points or ability drained/cursed etc.


Matthew Morris wrote:

Um, 15 points isn't 'normal person' it's 'normal hero'.

Boromir, Farimir, the dwarves (except Thorin) in The Hobbit etc.

Now I can see Aragorn being 20 point, but then he's not as human as the others. Think of him as a 'true Azlantan' if you want to Golarion him.

I'll admit I'm torn with teaching the kids. Do I teach them 15 points so they learn an 8 doesn't 'suck' and a 14 is good? Or do I teach them 20 points, so they learn on par with PFS characters?

You sound like a veteran gamer. I've seen the game since 2nd ed. I would recommend teaching them from the 2nd ed perspective that an 18 stat is close to amazing, 14 is exceptionally good etc. It allows them to appreciate the 16s and 18s alot as opposed to 16s at level one being somewhat common.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Alienfreak wrote:

Every Kobold in the Bestiary that used a Class level has a 15 Pointbuy Elite Array.

I don't think its heroic being on the same level as a Kobold Rogue 1...

Strange, my bestiary has a kobold warrior 1 with 10s and 11s (3 point array. It looks like the orc is the same (3 point array) Now the Hobgoblin fighter 1 looks to have a 15 point array.

So if you're saying that your elite PC isn't as heroic as the elite villian, then maybe you have a point. But even those use the 'elite array' That alone tells me my 15 point buy fighter 1 is... elite.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The equalizer wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

Um, 15 points isn't 'normal person' it's 'normal hero'.

Boromir, Farimir, the dwarves (except Thorin) in The Hobbit etc.

Now I can see Aragorn being 20 point, but then he's not as human as the others. Think of him as a 'true Azlantan' if you want to Golarion him.

I'll admit I'm torn with teaching the kids. Do I teach them 15 points so they learn an 8 doesn't 'suck' and a 14 is good? Or do I teach them 20 points, so they learn on par with PFS characters?

You sound like a veteran gamer. I've seen the game since 2nd ed. I would recommend teaching them from the 2nd ed perspective that an 18 stat is close to amazing, 14 is exceptionally good etc. It allows them to appreciate the 16s and 18s alot as opposed to 16s at level one being somewhat common.

So 25 is still max and you throw dinosaurs over continents with it?

No?

Then why compare it.

20 Str was GODLIKE in D&D 2nd. Now 20 Str is medicore. In 2nd an ancient Red Dragon had also... 20? (I think) Now he has 39!!!!!!!1111
So why do you try to keep people at 2nd edition stat levels when we aren't in 2nd anymore...


We're playing 15-point builds in a Carrion Crown campaign. During character creation, it felt more limiting than the 20-pt "standard" of PFS. In actual play, it does not feel any more limiting.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Alienfreak wrote:

So 25 is still max and you throw dinosaurs over continents with it?

No?

Then why compare it.

20 Str was GODLIKE in D&D 2nd. Now 20 Str is medicore. In 2nd an ancient Red Dragon had also... 20? (I think) Now he has 39!!!!!!!1111
So why do you try to keep people at 2nd edition stat levels when we aren't in 2nd anymore...

*looks at his Pathfinder RPG*

*looks at the point buy system.*

Strange, my book doesn't say "15 point array, 2nd edition stats." It says "Standard Fantasy" Perhaps you can contact Paizo about these books you have that are error ridden?

Shadow Lodge

Alienfreak wrote:
...

Oh dude, nice avatar choice! Compliments the username well.


Matthew Morris wrote:
Alienfreak wrote:

So 25 is still max and you throw dinosaurs over continents with it?

No?

Then why compare it.

20 Str was GODLIKE in D&D 2nd. Now 20 Str is medicore. In 2nd an ancient Red Dragon had also... 20? (I think) Now he has 39!!!!!!!1111
So why do you try to keep people at 2nd edition stat levels when we aren't in 2nd anymore...

*looks at his Pathfinder RPG*

*looks at the point buy system.*

Strange, my book doesn't say "15 point array, 2nd edition stats." It says "Standard Fantasy" Perhaps you can contact Paizo about these books you have that are error ridden?

I was refering to the post which I quoted in which someone said that people should teach their players the attributes based on 2nd edition values.

And 2nd edition attribute values just don't count anymore as you pointed out...

TOZ wrote:

Oh dude, nice avatar choice! Compliments the username well.

Thx! I was noticing that I could hardly find my own posts to edit them and thus I saw that it was time for my avatar. And I instantly fell in love with the monkey :3


as the dm these are the points i give to the players:

point array in 3.0: 15,14,13,12,10,8

point array in 3.5: 15,14,13,12,10,8

pathfinder array : 16,14,13,12,11,10

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Alienfreak wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Strange, my book doesn't say "15 point array, 2nd edition stats." It says "Standard Fantasy" Perhaps you can contact Paizo about these books you have that are error ridden?

I was refering to the post which I quoted in which someone said that people should teach their players the attributes based on 2nd edition values.

And 2nd edition attribute values just don't count anymore as you pointed out...

Ah! I see the problem. It's reading comprehension!

He said 'perspective'. And from a 2nd ed perspective, starting with an 18 [i]is[i] amazing. Since 2e D&D didn't have and level based stat increases and few item bases increases, you can't compare the two systems.

Alienfreak wrote:
And 2nd edition attribute values just don't count anymore as you pointed out...

No... I said my book doesn't mention 15 points = second edition. It is much easier to have a conversation when you respond to what is actually said.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alienfreak wrote:


So 25 is still max and you throw dinosaurs over continents with it?

Care to reference a page on that one, because I am seeing 25 strength listed with the following traits:

+7 Hit Probability: roughly equivalent to a 24 strength.
+14 Damage adjustment: considering there was no "two-handed is better damage" back then, let's round off and call that equivalent to a 30 strength.
1,535 Weight Allowance: That's an impressive one, roughly equivalent to the light load of a 38 strength (assuming medium biped).
1,750 Max Press That's around the equivalent of a 31 strength's overhead lift.
19 (18) Open Doors: Opens stuck doors 95% of the time, and magically held, locked, or barred doors 90% of the time... we can call that equivalent to having a +27 modifier (rolling and having a 10% chance to fail the DC 30 break down a door with an iron bar), or we could acknowledge rules differences (taking 10 or 20) and cut that down to where a 30 strength can take 20 and get the job down.
99% Bend Bars/Lift Gates: That is an easy one, given the DC 25 a 20 strength gets 100% if allowed time to take 20, otherwise you could have a 40 strength take 10.

It also says that 25 is the strength of a Titan... and a quick check into Pathfinder says that an Elysian Titan has a 45 strength, and a Thanatotic Titan has a 49.

What's that mean? Titan's actually got stronger because of the rules changes. So yeah, why compare it?

As for the helpful comparison, bear with me a sec...

1st level fighter attacking a guy wearing Chainmail.

2nd edition, that's a THAC0 of 20 against an AC of 5 - meaning, for those not familiar, that the total attack roll needs to be 15 or higher in order to hit.

Pathfinder, that's a BAB of +1 against an AC of 16 to 18 - meaning the total attack roll needs to be 16 to 18.

Assuming both a 10 strength on the attacker and a 10 dexterity on the defender - 2nd edition requires a natural roll of 15+ (30% success chance), and Pathfinder requires a natural roll of 15+ (30% success chance). So far, the two systems require the same roll in same situations.

Now let's assume a 14 strength on the attacker and a 10, and then 14 dexterity on the defender - 2nd edition, nothing changes... for this purpose the 10 to 14 range has identical results. Pathfinder, however, gives a +2 to the attack roll meaning our attacker's chance to hit just went up to 40% (a natural 13 or better) unless the defender's Dexterity also went up to 14.

Finally, let's assume an 18 strength and dexterity - 2nd edition, our attacker now has a bonus to hit of +1 to +3 depending on how well he rolled for exceptional strength, and our defender has a -4 modifier to his AC... so our natural to-hit roll needs to be at least a 16 but could need to be as high as an 18 (15-25% chance of success). Pathfinder, our attacker has a +4 bonus to hit and the defender (thanks to max dex) has brought his AC to 18... for a 14 or better being a hit (35% success).

Final conclusion: Ability scores do a whole lot more at lower ratings in Pathfinder, and can go above and beyond what even the highest scores in 2nd edition used to do. Pathfinder is entirely a higher power scale game... and in neither game is "throwing dinosaurs over continents," actually reasonably possible.

A 14 in AD&D is considered "pretty great" and it does next to nothing for you, a 14 in Pathfinder seems to be considered "kinda low" and actually does something no matter which score it is in... consider me not convinced.


Matthew Morris wrote:
Alienfreak wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Strange, my book doesn't say "15 point array, 2nd edition stats." It says "Standard Fantasy" Perhaps you can contact Paizo about these books you have that are error ridden?

I was refering to the post which I quoted in which someone said that people should teach their players the attributes based on 2nd edition values.

And 2nd edition attribute values just don't count anymore as you pointed out...

Ah! I see the problem. It's reading comprehension!

He said 'perspective'. And from a 2nd ed perspective, starting with an 18 [i]is[i] amazing. Since 2e D&D didn't have and level based stat increases and few item bases increases, you can't compare the two systems.

Alienfreak wrote:
And 2nd edition attribute values just don't count anymore as you pointed out...
No... I said my book doesn't mention 15 points = second edition. It is much easier to have a conversation when you respond to what is actually said.

Yes reading comprehension seems to be the problem here. Let me highlight it for you

Quote:

You sound like a veteran gamer. I've seen the game since 2nd ed. I would recommend teaching them from the 2nd ed perspective that an 18 stat is close to amazing, 14 is exceptionally good etc. It allows them to appreciate the 16s and 18s alot as opposed to 16s at level one being somewhat common.

Still that is what I was refering to. And this is plain wrong. An Orc PC can easily have 22 Str. From a 2nd edition point of view he would be insanely strong. From a Pathfinder point of view he is quite a capable fighter!


@Thenobledrake: You can totally throw dinosaurs over continents (into space, or even to the moon) in Champions, which is a superior system for building super heroes, so it has rules for knockback and the like.


Blue Star wrote:
@Thenobledrake: You can totally throw dinosaurs over continents (into space, or even to the moon) in Champions, which is a superior system for building super heroes, so it has rules for knockback and the like.

That Dinosaur God or so did so in 2nd? Or was it a red dragon over the city... its been quite some time ;)


Alienfreak wrote:
Blue Star wrote:
@Thenobledrake: You can totally throw dinosaurs over continents (into space, or even to the moon) in Champions, which is a superior system for building super heroes, so it has rules for knockback and the like.
That Dinosaur God or so did so in 2nd? Or was it a red dragon over the city... its been quite some time ;)

What happens in fiction is not, and hasn't ever, been backed up by what is truly capable as a character and following the rules.


thenobledrake wrote:
Alienfreak wrote:
Blue Star wrote:
@Thenobledrake: You can totally throw dinosaurs over continents (into space, or even to the moon) in Champions, which is a superior system for building super heroes, so it has rules for knockback and the like.
That Dinosaur God or so did so in 2nd? Or was it a red dragon over the city... its been quite some time ;)
What happens in fiction is not, and hasn't ever, been backed up by what is truly capable as a character and following the rules.

Well it did quite well point out what Str 25 was supposed to be. GODLIKE

You were stronger than any Dragon that was bigger as most castles and nothing in the whole multiverse was stronger.

Nowadays even a Titan can (easily) get 59 Str. And thats not maximum.

Attributes are not "natural" anymore. They are mere mathematical bonuses that scale. So saying a Hero is heroic because he has a 16 in Str and that is like really a lot is plain wrong.
Even most Fighter 1 Humans will have 17. And every city has LOADS of them. And don't tell me every city watch fighter is a hero style character just because his cheap warrior companion is worse than him.

All that pb affects is the balancing. And the balancing for MADs is horrible under PB 15. Most MADs aren't even worth their party slot in APs if you go with 15PB and 4 players.
Which is not unexpected due to Paizo's unwillingness to fix many classes. Especially the MAD ones.

A 5th level 15pb MAD group will never defeat something like the Tendriculos. Not that the Tendriculos is a good example of "good game design" anyway ;)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

@Alienfreak

Yup. Very good. You highlighted the words you didn't use.

Since you've now shown that even highlighting your own mistakes won't allow you to see them, I see no point in carrying on the conversation.


Would anyone call me crazy if I gave SADs 15 points and MADs 20 points, with the little unwritten rule that dumping stats is HIGHLY discouraged?

I'll probably stick to rolling anyway, since the group I am DM of happens to prefer that anyway. The other group is a different issue, though. Also, I don't get what Alien and Matthew are arguing about here exactly.


Semantics.


WhipShire wrote:

We did it for Carrion Crown. Alot of PC died, of the starting 6 onl;y 2 of the originals made it to the end. Its tough for the MAD character... Paly's / Monk's and so on... so most people ended up bring back a 2 or 1 stat build PC.

It makes it tough. A good idea if you have a large group (6-8)... So they don;t run over an adventure meant for 4 players.

Funny, we used 20 point buy with Carrion Crown, no problem, and 5 points wouldn't make such a huge difference. Actually the "MAD" players (Paladin[s]) were the most powerful characters, because they get a lot of good stuff from that MAD disadvantage.

However I wouldn't use 15 points, it is too low in comparison to rolling dices; ok ok random stats are not as good as point buy, etc..etc., 15 points is yet too low and encourages people to dump Cha to 7, and Int too O_o .


IkeDoe wrote:
WhipShire wrote:

We did it for Carrion Crown. Alot of PC died, of the starting 6 onl;y 2 of the originals made it to the end. Its tough for the MAD character... Paly's / Monk's and so on... so most people ended up bring back a 2 or 1 stat build PC.

It makes it tough. A good idea if you have a large group (6-8)... So they don;t run over an adventure meant for 4 players.

Funny, we used 20 point buy with Carrion Crown, no problem, and 5 points wouldn't make such a huge difference. Actually the "MAD" players (Paladin[s]) were the most powerful characters, because they get a lot of good stuff from that MAD disadvantage.

However I wouldn't use 15 points, it is too low in comparison to rolling dices; ok ok random stats are not as good as point buy, etc..etc., 15 points is yet too low and encourages people to dump Cha to 7, and Int too O_o .

If you don't want any 7s in your group and not everyone is playing a SAD or a Paladin (can take some hits to AC and Con due to his swift self healing borkedness ;) ) you will make the people go through some serious trouble

A 14 14 14 10 12 8 monk will do no good at all. He will end up with AC 13, have little HP and deal only "ok" damage...

Matthew Morris wrote:

@Alienfreak

Yup. Very good. You highlighted the words you didn't use.

Since you've now shown that even highlighting your own mistakes won't allow you to see them, I see no point in carrying on the conversation.

I really don't know whats the point here... I referred to the post I quoted and I even highlighted to the main part of his argument in the quote I referred to.

Maybe it helps to say that I neither am inside your head and know what you think you wanna tell me nor is english my native language...

Dark Archive

In a game where nobody can dump any stats, a monk with

S: 16 I: 10 W: 14 Dex: 12 C: 13 Ch: 10

Would do just fine; it only looks bad if you try to compare them to SADs of higher point buy. A min-maxed wizard may be Int: 18 Dex: 12 Con: 13, making him much more vulnerable than said monk but good at his "spellcasting". All things power down proportionally.


Thalin wrote:

In a game where nobody can dump any stats, a monk with

S: 16 I: 10 W: 14 Dex: 12 C: 13 Ch: 10

Would do just fine; it only looks bad if you try to compare them to SADs of higher point buy. A min-maxed wizard may be Int: 18 Dex: 12 Con: 13, making him much more vulnerable than said monk but good at his "spellcasting". All things power down proportionally.

I would rate an 16 10 13 12 14 10 Fighter (your old statblock format) much higher than the Monk. Will have decent AC (in 1st level after getting a BP) of 17-19 (depends on if you use a shield) compared to 13. At 4th level it will be about 20-22 against 14. He also has higher HPs, hits more reliable and deals more damage...

Unless you can afford good stats in Wis and Dex without gimping your offense playing a Monk will be nearly worthless. Whats the good of being fast only to be dead real fast? ^^

In my eyes:

15PB:

- gimps MADs and favors SADs heavily, also heavily supports Heavy Armour classes (only little stats needed)
- encourages stat dumping
+ makes teamplay more important and encourages it (because people are one trick ponies ^^)

Dark Archive

Well, low level the fighter looks generally better; the monks have gotten significantly better with kits and feats, but that takes levels. You could do the same with the 20 or 25 point fighter vs monk; at higher levels, the monk is less likely to fail saves, and has more skills and can move much faster and position flanks better.


Thalin wrote:
Well, low level the fighter looks generally better; the monks have gotten significantly better with kits and feats, but that takes levels. You could do the same with the 20 or 25 point fighter vs monk; at higher levels, the monk is less likely to fail saves, and has more skills and can move much faster and position flanks better.

Yes but with 13 AC and 10 starting HPs (10+6.5*lvl) [assumes fav class into HPs] you are not going to survive in APs until you get some goodies.

Also note that Hvy Armour only permits a +1 bonus by Dex (until you get either the fighter class feature or a mithral one) and thus especially at low levels it caps it out pretty well. So if you go 20pb and the fighter takes 14 or 16 in dex he will not see his AC skyrocket all out of the sudden...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't run 15 pt campaigns because I don't like dump stats. Plan and simple. Look at the characters presented here. Even with 15 points you could very easily make a character with 14 [+2], 14, 14, and 3 10s. Not bad, but 90% of you had to drop one stat to 8 to get a 12 in another stat. You could have done, 16,14,12,12,10,10, but no, almost everyone had to have at least 1 8 or 7.

Why? Instead I run with 20 points, and don't let anyone have a dump stat...without justification.

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