What would happen if there were no 7's?


Homebrew and House Rules

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DrDeth wrote:


Guys with a 7 in CHA are never adventurers in the first place. Adventurers require more force of personality that a wet dishrag.

Where do you get this logic from?

Most people are adventurers for a few reasons: Because they're unwilling (or unable) to do any other kind of work, they're outcasts from society, or they want to be the hero and save the day. NONE of these require any force of charisma whatsoever.

DM_Blake wrote:


You know, somebody with a few 10s and a few 12s is "above average". Not much, but a little.

IME, PCs plow easily though encounter after encounter. It's almost never even challenging, no matter who is DMing. Oh, sure, once in a while creative terrain or over-powered CRs can spice it up quite a bit, but doing that every time gets old too.

One problem that leads to PCs steamrolling everything is being too far above average. Combine that with "optimizing" (this is rapidly becoming as distasteful a word as "munchikinging" ever was, maybe even more), or worse, with having more than 4 PCs, and the "game" loses all challenge. It's like playing chess when you get all your pieces and your opponent only gets a king. That's not a "game" anymore, it's just a story.

Stories are great, but I like to have some "G" in my RPG, otherwise it's just RP and I can do that without ever buying a book or a pack of dice.

I'm not saying I insist on 15 PB with no buy-downs or that I even endorse that, but I can easily see why some GMs and some players actually do have a problem with PCs being too far above average.

For me, it boils down to this:

When the PCs are too far above average, the game becomes a whole different game. Instead of trying to solve problems in the story, the players get far more focused on solving character builds so that they can obliterate all story problems. It takes the focus off of the story and onto the character build.

I would much prefer to put the game back into the adventure, and leave it completely, or at least mostly, out of "hitting the forums to theory-craft the ultimate uberness to trivialize everything that happens in the adventure".

They're both games, of a sort, but the first one is immeasurably more appealing to me.

You know, I'm running a rolled stats Gestalt game where everyone rolled well, works together semi-effectively, and are fairly optimized.

My players are consistently challenged when I wish them to be.

You know why? Because I MAKE the encounters challenging. I don't limit my players to "Everyman Hero Mode" just to keep the difficulty up by making them too weak to fight off anything.

You don't have to either. I'm not saying you have to go overboard and make them monstrously powerful, but your reasoning here makes no sense when YOU are the one with control of the difficulty slider.


Lamontius wrote:

man do you droogs just play with people that you are not fond of, or is this like a tough love kind of thing

In the Kingmaker campaign I'm currently running, the players have a 20-point buy, 2 traits, and hero points (or an anti-hero bonus feat) and they're complaining that the encounters aren't challenging enough.

This is despite using the 6-player Kingmaker community-made modifications to make encounters more difficult (campaign has 6 players, but only 4 can play on any given game night due to scheduling conflicts). I'm not a very experienced GM, so I've tried implementing some of the other ideas I've found in the Kingmaker forums, but with mixed results.

In the second to last campaign I played in, our DM allowed us to roll 3 sets of 5d4, taking the best set. Everyone was ultra-overpowered and combat was not a lot of fun. He tried hordes, he tried single big bads, and he tried a lot of different combinations, but we just slaughtered them all. I don't think any party members were even dropped below 0 hp the entire campaign.

Any good game has to have a good balance of player power and enemy difficulty. It's the DM that's responsible for providing that. Personally, I find the best games I've played have been the ones where player power has been limited (and, now that I think about it, where die rolls were used to generate ability scores).

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
master_marshmallow wrote:
Skeld wrote:

For my RotRL campaign, I used 15 points and didn't allow buy-downs, so 10 ends up being the minimum score before racial modifiers.

Next campaign, I might just switch over to the Elite Array and be done with point buys altogether.

-Skeld

15 point buy, no dumps? Sounds like the epitome of not fun. Elite array is for NPCs who are designed to be a whole level weaker than a PC with the same HD. What problem do you have with above average characters?

You'd probably be surprised at how much fun we have (no, really, if that sounds like "the epitome of not fun," then to see a group of people enjoying themselves would probably surprise you).

-Skeld

Edit: Feel free to PM me or whatever and I'll tell you more about the game I'm running, you know, before accusing me of being no-fun and all that. :p


I've seen people enjoy playing commoners and 3.5 monks too. Giving a bit of lenience helps make up for shortcomings. The guy who was going to raise his intelligence and tank strength will do it regardless.


The game is what you make of it, there has to be balance done by the DM to determine whether or not the PCs feel challenged. Are the NPCs acting too stupidly? Are they too weak? Are there enough of them?
There is a difference between a high powered game and God mode, and if seeing someone with a stat above 17 after racial modifiers is too high, then it just doesn't seem like you can handle running the game.

Personally I hate the point buy system, and I prefer stat arrays, though whenever I hand out arrays players get pissed when there is something less than a 10. Maybe I just don't play enough and so when I go to play my one character that I get to play a week I don't want to feel like I'm wasting my time on this weak piece of crap that should by rights be allowed to have higher stats, but the DM is too scared that I may become too powerful for him to handle, or whatever reason the DM has for not letting the players have optimal stats.

It's almost like we have another major fallacy associated with this game in how relative power levels affect how much fun there is.


Rynjin wrote:

My players are consistently challenged when I wish them to be.

You know why? Because I MAKE the encounters challenging. I don't limit my players to "Everyman Hero Mode" just to keep the difficulty up by making them too weak to fight off anything.

You don't have to either. I'm not saying you have to go overboard and make them monstrously powerful, but your reasoning here makes no sense when YOU are the one with control of the difficulty slider.

I never said it couldn't be done. I never even said it was hard. All I said was it gets old. "Oh, my, is this our eleventh or twelfth battle over a river of flowing lava?" or "How droll, yet again we're fighting an encounter that is 6 CR above our APL, doesn't this world even HAVE ogres?"

I know I'm exaggerating, but you did too. I never said "everyman hero mode" nor did I say I make the PCs "too weak to fight off anything"; you did.

All I am saying is that the APL vs. CR system makes certain assumptions, and when the group follows those assumptions, there is a huge variety of interesting and challenging things that can be done. The farther you get away from those assumptions, either too high or too low, the more limited the options get. Too far, and you end up using the same old artificial tricks to spice things up.


If we want to talk about how the game makes assumptions, we should note that the game assumes 15-20 PB and allowing 7s and 8s for higher other stats, so the point is entirely moot.

We're not talking about the default assumptions of the game by the very nature of this thread.


Indeed we are. The point of the OP is that- if everything else stayed the same- what would happen if there were no 7’s?

My answer- a better, more realistic game, with better roleplaying.


DrDeth wrote:

Indeed we are. The point of the OP is that- if everything else stayed the same- what would happen if there were no 7’s?

My answer- a better, more realistic game, with better roleplaying.

My Answer - The same people would use 8's, and less adventurer's would have 7's. Is that more realistic? Also, MAD classes who use dumps to help keep the stats they need high might suffer a little.


MrSin wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

Indeed we are. The point of the OP is that- if everything else stayed the same- what would happen if there were no 7’s?

My answer- a better, more realistic game, with better roleplaying.

My Answer - The same people would use 8's, and less adventurer's would have 7's. Is that more realistic? Also, MAD classes who use dumps to help keep the stats they need high might suffer a little.

A 8 is at least in line with the normal population. A 7 int means you are dumber than the dumbest village idiot in Golarion.

I really don't think that one less + in soemthing they are alreay really good at, at the cost of being realy bad in a number of other things- is "suffering". It might decrease 'rocket tag" and Min/maxing, which is good.


Stone the Crows wrote:

We use 20 point buy and in my experience it's the ability to drop stats to 7 for the extra 4 points that fuels most of the min/max-ing I have seen.

So what game balance issues would be created if 7's were not allowed in a 20 point buy game?

Maybe they would just go to 6 instead of 7?

Deep stat dumping bugs me too, but I think banning 7s or lower is too strict. I would rather reduce the temptation to dump stats by decreasing the reward. What if seven was -3 instead of -4 to the point buy?

Thanks for the Grognardia link, hogarth.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
DrDeth wrote:

Indeed we are. The point of the OP is that- if everything else stayed the same- what would happen if there were no 7’s?

My answer- a better, more realistic game, with better roleplaying.

I absolutely disagree.

You enjoy your vanilla man army.

I like my PCs quirky, with noticeable strengths and faults.

You know, like dynamic heroes.


DrDeth wrote:

A 8 is at least in line with the normal population. A 7 int means you are dumber than the dumbest village idiot in Golarion.

I really don't think that one less + in soemthing they are alreay really good at, at the cost of being realy bad in a number of other things- is "suffering". It might decrease 'rocket tag" and Min/maxing, which is good.

How would it decrease rocket tag and min maxing? At best its a +1. Its not likely the extra 2 points will even be a +1 to an attribute above 16.

Where are you getting this "Dumber than the dumbest village idiot in Golarion" thing?

Here's the village idiot. He's a whole lot worse than 7!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Actually, the GameMastery Guide Village Idiot, has an intelligence of 4.

Also, there are a number of low level NPCs with a 17(before racial adjustments) in a stat.

So, the heroes are just sort of below what exists?

Pathfinder expects 7s and 18s. It's built around it.

What you really want is the 13 13 13 13 13 10 stat array.

Why?

The only way to be interesting, is to be boring.

That's right, huh?


DrDeth wrote:

...

A 8 is at least in line with the normal population. A 7 int means you are dumber than the dumbest village idiot in Golarion.

...

I prefer to think that the way characters, as exceptional individuals, are statted is exceptional. To my mind the base population still adheres to 3d6. If that's the case 16% of the population, nearly 1 in 7 people, has an intelligence of 7 or less.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

...

Pathfinder expects 7s and 18s. It's built around it.

... needlessly irritating hyperbole ...

You're right. The entire game would collapse without 7s or 18s.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
therealthom wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

...

Pathfinder expects 7s and 18s. It's built around it.

... needlessly irritating hyperbole ...

You're right. The entire game would collapse without 7s or 18s.

No, but the world is not destroyed with them, and the lack of them don't magically make more interesting characters.

Don't be a d*ck either.

Silver Crusade

Heck I love the idea of a Barbarian with Int 5... Not because I can boost his Star and Con (but it's fun), mostly for the RP value... "Me no like silly wiggle fingers, Me SMASH him in his pointy hat" good times... (Starts rolling up character)


If you just eliminate 7's, one of two things would happen - either people would dump more stats to an 8 in response (thus making SAD classes better) or they would move in the direction you want them to and dump less stats. The problem is, each player would make this decision individually, and I suspect that the ones which you are concerned about dumping stats will continue to do so, but with 8's instead of 7's.

My recommendation for your situation would be to use a standard array for the group. Our group doesn't use point buy for quite a few reasons - which I think are the same as your underlying concerns. We use a standard array that we generate having each player roll a stat (4d6 drop lowest) then putting them all together into a single array for the party. So far over the 3 APs we've played as a group, our results have been:

16, 14, 13, 11, 10, 9 (18 pt buy equivalent)
15, 14, 13, 12, 12, 10 (19 pt buy equivalent)
16, 14, 13, 12, 12, 11 (23 pt buy equivalent)

In the end, we eliminate disparity between stat rolls, while giving the players the fun of rolling stats. For us, it's good to start everyone on even ground, and while point buy sounds like it is intended to do that, it does not in practice because some people will innately push the system to the max (dumping stats to 7's) while others prefer a balanced approach to stats.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
therealthom wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

...

Pathfinder expects 7s and 18s. It's built around it.

... needlessly irritating hyperbole ...

You're right. The entire game would collapse without 7s or 18s.

No, but the world is not destroyed with them, and the lack of them don't magically make more interesting characters.

Don't be a d*ck either.

My apologies. That was a tad harsh.

I never said lack of 7s or 18s would destroy the world. In fact I agree that they are an integral part of the game as written.

I was trying to point out how your tone limits the effectiveness of your arguments.

Dark Archive

No Seven Movie, and no Gwenyth's head in a box, and we need that so lets keep sevens.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
therealthom wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
therealthom wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

...

Pathfinder expects 7s and 18s. It's built around it.

... needlessly irritating hyperbole ...

You're right. The entire game would collapse without 7s or 18s.

No, but the world is not destroyed with them, and the lack of them don't magically make more interesting characters.

Don't be a d*ck either.

My apologies. That was a tad harsh.

I never said lack of 7s or 18s would destroy the world. In fact I agree that they are an integral part of the game as written.

I was trying to point out how your tone limits the effectiveness of your arguments.

Not my intent. Sorry to come off that way.

Text sucks at that kind of thing.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I prefer dice roll personally. It feels more organic. Not every person in the world is the same.

However, I get the argument that some people get lucky, some don't.

So what I prefer to do is I roll all stat sets. I roll 3 sets of stats, and everyone can pick from that set. That way, it's still organic, but everyone still chooses their sets from that organic set list, so nobody can be jealous of the one guy who got 2 18's, everyone had the chance at 2 18's. The guy who'd rather have the 16/16/14/13/11/10 set rather than the 18/18/15/12/10/7 set doesn't feel slighted, he had that option, choose to use the other set.


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You realize that how interesting a character is has nothing to do with the stats and everything to do with HOW you PLAY the character... right?

As a side note, rolled will produce fewer high stats than point buy but higher overall bonuses. This tends to favor MAD over SAD. HOWEVER, rolled also produces unequal characters. This is why there are SO many variants of rolled in an effort to reduce the differences between characters.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

...

Not my intent. Sorry to come off that way.

Text sucks at that kind of thing.

Agreed. A lot gets lost in translation across the interwebs.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Aranna wrote:

You realize that how interesting a character is has nothing to do with the stats and everything to do with HOW you PLAY the character... right?

You know, when I say this exact same thing, it doesn't seem to stick.

We tried.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Lot of opinions as fact here.

I agree, banning sevens means there will be eights. You have to remove the incentive to dump stat to prevent dump stats.


therealthom wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

...

A 8 is at least in line with the normal population. A 7 int means you are dumber than the dumbest village idiot in Golarion.

...

I prefer to think that the way characters, as exceptional individuals, are statted is exceptional. To my mind the base population still adheres to 3d6. If that's the case 16% of the population, nearly 1 in 7 people, has an intelligence of 7 or less.

Yes, back in the days of OD&D, etc. But in Golarion, there's a default spread, and every person in the world, other than adventurers or special NPC have that default array - unles thay are lucky and have the elite array. In any case, a 8 is the lowest you can get without racial modifiers.

So what you say may be correct for 3.5 but not for PF.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Or you're an NPC from the NPC Codex.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Or you're an NPC from the NPC Codex.

Or the village idiot from the GM mastery guide that was linked earlier but conveniently read over.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yes, that was what I meant. Sorry, posting from phone.


Yeah, like I said "special NPC". He was designed by fiat to have those stats. Randomly, no NPC in Golarion has less than a 8 (except for racial, etc modifiers).


DrDeth wrote:
Yeah, like I said "special NPC". He was designed by fiat to have those stats. Randomly, no NPC in Golarion has less than a 8 (except for racial, etc modifiers).

Are PC's supposed to be normal people?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
MrSin wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Yeah, like I said "special NPC". He was designed by fiat to have those stats. Randomly, no NPC in Golarion has less than a 8 (except for racial, etc modifiers).
Are PC's supposed to be normal people?

Of course! That's what makes them special!


blackbloodtroll wrote:
MrSin wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Yeah, like I said "special NPC". He was designed by fiat to have those stats. Randomly, no NPC in Golarion has less than a 8 (except for racial, etc modifiers).
Are PC's supposed to be normal people?
Of course! That's what makes them special!

Normal people see a dragon and get out fast. Only a true idiot runs head first into it!

Scarab Sages

That's why I stab them in their sleep!


MrSin wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Yeah, like I said "special NPC". He was designed by fiat to have those stats. Randomly, no NPC in Golarion has less than a 8 (except for racial, etc modifiers).
Are PC's supposed to be normal people?

No. Which is why a PC who has a 7 is significantly below the norm. PC’s are far less than 1 millionth of the population. So (setting racial modifiers aside) having a 7 makes you not one in 16, but more like one in a million.

But you see, heroes are supposed to be Extra-ordinary people.


DrDeth wrote:
MrSin wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Yeah, like I said "special NPC". He was designed by fiat to have those stats. Randomly, no NPC in Golarion has less than a 8 (except for racial, etc modifiers).
Are PC's supposed to be normal people?

No. Which is why a PC who has a 7 is significantly below the norm. PC’s are far less than 1 millionth of the population. So (setting racial modifiers aside) having a 7 makes you not one in 16, but more like one in a million.

But you see, heroes are supposed to be Extra-ordinary people.

And they are, whether they have a 7 or not they probably have at least one score over 10. If not 4 or 5.

In any case, they're smarter than the village idiot.


I find it laughable that anyone believes "Less dump stats equals better roleplaying". Bad roleplayers will roleplay badly regardless. Good roleplayers will roleplay well regardless.

As for all these "arrays" and such, they're kinda going out of their way to be more complex than they need to be.

You want a game that's 20 PB with no dump stat? That's a 25 PB game where no stat can go less than 8 (before racials).

They can put the extra 1 point into bumping one of their 10s up to an 11, changing nothing.

Same number of points, but stats of 7 won't offend your delicate sensibilities, and you won't be stealthily introducing a 15 PB game after saying it's 20. Everybody wins.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:


Same number of points, but stats of 7 won't offend your delicate sensibilities, and you won't be stealthily introducing a 15 PB game after saying it's 20. Everybody wins.

I'm not offended by 7's. I've played a character with a 5 cha before (rolled a 3, played an elf, 5 cha). I played him as a heavily scarred barbarian elf with a short temper who went off on diatribes about how everyone around him was an idiot whenever they did something he thought dumb.

However, what I do find offensive is people who want to play 18/16/16/7/7/7 (dunno if that added up correctly, don't do point build, but you get the idea), but want to play their character as a suave 007 type who always get's the girl, can't be fooled, and always picks up on the plot before anyone else. And they put their 1 skill point per level into Perception. Or maybe acrobatics, depending on the build. But they are by god, the best ladies man in the room. And they are the most insightful schmuck in the world. And they are always the go to guy to solve problems when you need a plan.

A 7/7/7 person is dumb, gullible, and a lousy person to spend time with.

Want a 7 in a stat with a point build? No big deal. Just RP that stat, don't try to be James Bond with those stats. If you want to be the guy who comes up with the plans, or is the ladies man, or the guy you can't fool? Then build for that with your stats and put some skill points into it, don't handwave and say some BS about how it's Roleplaying and I'm ruining your fun.

Lantern Lodge

In the games i run i allow all the books of Pathfinder and 3e/3.5, with few exceptions like champagne specifics, along with hero points/antihero feat and 25 point buy. The only thing i really limit is the races and classes allowed and that is because some things just dont fit in the work i decide to create based for the type of game. An example of this is the game im currently running clerics and paladins are not allowed because the gods have turned there back on the world for what the main factions have done and they now really more on science and arcane arts to solve there problems giving a more late Renascence feel were religion took a back seat. With all this allowed my players greatly enjoy them selves and the uniqueness of there characters as well the difficulty of encounters. If ur having trouble with encounter difficulty u only have ur self, as the DM, to blame. I, as the DM, control the difficulty of encounters by simply figuring out the average to hit and AC of the party. Using those numbers i can easily calculate how often on average the party will hit x target and how often x target will hit the party. It takes some work to do but if u are not even bothering and/or willing to make adjustments then u are not worthy of being a DM and u should get off and go back to playing Halo. To be a good DM, have fun and challenging encounters, and players that are willing to come back is not based off how u limit them but is based on how well u, as a DM, can adjust and improvise to different situations. It also helps to have a decent story set up as well lol.

Shadow Lodge

So glad to have you here as Gatekeeper of the Game.

Project Manager

Removed a post. Please do not insult other posters/players.


Well, no matter how much someone wants to me James Bond with their 7/7/7 mental stats, it will only work as much as their stats allow. If the player thinks they have figured out the plot, and then tries to have their character explain it to people, why would they believe him? Opposed CHA rolls? Maybe he wants to chat up a hot NPC in the tavern, but tanks the diplomacy roll. In addition, he fails all his will saves. If Agent 777 pulls off the relevant rolls, awesome, but the odds are low unless he has sunk a lot of feats and skill points in to the appropriate areas, and spent a lot of gold on boosting the stats that were dumped.

Since the game has mechanics for dealing with these mental stats as part of the game, then the player who sinks those stats is already going to face the consequences in game.


Rynjin wrote:
I find it laughable that anyone believes "Less dump stats equals better roleplaying". Bad roleplayers will roleplay badly regardless. Good roleplayers will roleplay well regardless.

*applause*

100 percent correct.


As far as the 'roleplaying the stats' goes, remember that a 7 is only a -2 modifier, a mere 10% greater chance of failure compared to 'average'. That 7 INT doesn't make you an idiot, you're just a little slow on the uptake. Wisdom 7 could mean you're a little impulsive and have self-control issues, not that you're a gibbering fool. Charisma 7 could be rather shy, or a bit of a jerk, not a total foulmouthed jackass.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

And here I am sad to see that with all the point buy going on, we almost never see 3, 4, 5, and 6 as ability scores any more. Poor, poor neglected stat numbers. But really here is the odd dichotomy I tend to see:

Point buy: "You bought a score down to 7? Filthy minmaxer!"
Rolled scores: "You rolled a 7? That will be a challenge to play/good roleplaying opportunity!"

Why is choosing a 7 any different from having one forced upon you?

Personally I'm very near to trying a game where I just have the players pick their stats - no point buy, no rolling, just make up the character you want to play.


ryric wrote:

And here I am sad to see that with all the point buy going on, we almost never see 3, 4, 5, and 6 as ability scores any more. Poor, poor neglected stat numbers. But really here is the odd dichotomy I tend to see:

Point buy: "You bought a score down to 7? Filthy minmaxer!"
Rolled scores: "You rolled a 7? That will be a challenge to play/good roleplaying opportunity!"

Why is choosing a 7 any different from having one forced upon you?

Personally I'm very near to trying a game where I just have the players pick their stats - no point buy, no rolling, just make up the character you want to play.

You raise an excellent point.


The fact they may have chosen to do so because they wanted a +2 for point buy. I'm against grouping everyone who does that into that particular category myself, and I don't see it as being that much of an extreme. It becomes a problem when actions are taken against that person, such as the local PFS group deciding anyone who does so needs to be treated with animosity or purposefully targeting the player's character over it.

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