Balancing classes through point buy system?


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I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but has Paizo paid any thought to possibly balancing classes through the point buy system? It might be a good way to encourage people to play classes that are significantly dependent on multiple attributes.

For example, you have have the rule that all classes are on a 15 point buy system as a default but that the monk class gets +5 points for a total of 20 points by default.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Except some of the most powerful classes are multi attribute dependent.
The cleric and druid for instance, need strength to fight, some dex (the druid more then the cleric), wisdom to cast, and con because they are in the fight. They are nearly as MAD as the monk. What do you do with them?


More useful than that, I think, but requiring DM fiat, is to balance how optimized each character will be with their point buy. Min-maxers get 15 PB, sub-optimal builds get more based on how bad their build is.

More important than class balance is player balance. It's hard for very optimized and very unoptimized builds to mesh well.


TheRedArmy wrote:
More important than class balance is player balance. It's hard for very optimized and very unoptimized builds to mesh well.

The heart of the issue, right there - you can't balance players, only ask that those with greater system mastery be available to provide assistance, if desired, by those who don't.

I don't make any special rules to compensate for poor levels of system mastery, other than an occasional fudge here and there.


I'm contemplating asking my party's wizard to scale back (not forcing just suggesting it), since he got into a penis measuring contest with the pally last week.

Those Lantern Archons are redonkulous.


TheRedArmy wrote:

I'm contemplating asking my party's wizard to scale back (not forcing just suggesting it), since he got into a penis measuring contest with the pally last week.

Those Lantern Archons are redonkulous.

Where there is a penis, so too, shall there also be a ruler. This shall be the whole of the law. Ye verily or something.=)

There are several couples in our gaming group, and one of them consists of a spellcasting optimizer (the wife) and a melee optimizer (the husband). Don't get me wrong, they're big into roleplay, character development, and the story (we have some campaigns where their characters can't stand each other and so on), but they are a walking nightmare when it comes time to run combat. Despite playing completely different concepts in each game, they keep me on my toes.

Thankfully, out of 8 players, 6 of them have high system mastery, so I'm rarely in danger of an accidental TPK scenario.

Liberty's Edge

I guess this also assumes one feels the classes *needs* balanced ...


TheRedArmy wrote:

I'm contemplating asking my party's wizard to scale back (not forcing just suggesting it), since he got into a penis measuring contest with the pally last week.

Those Lantern Archons are redonkulous.

One of the downside of being a spell caster are Spellblight's if you think your wiz is going overboard. But at the same time when you go player working against one another instead of with one another you need to bring it up to both players or it will just continue or cause some resentment if you target just one.


My group works well together. They are team players and will put their lives on the line for each other. They discuss plans in and out of combat, and rarely take actions that irritate others.

It was more of a "I did 70 damage with the Archons and Magic Missiles" and "I did 80 damage with a spirited charge saddle surge smite evil critical hit with a lance while mounted".

"Yeah? Well..."

I tried to defuse the situation with limited success. Both players are excellent for the game 95% of the time. Both just rolled a 1 on their Charisma checks. ;-)


Back to the OP, the big concern I would have is the possibility of players gaming the system by beginning a level 1 monk (or any other class that gets larger numbers of attribute points) and then multiclasses into what he really wants to play (e.g. barbarian) and gets to keep the higher ability scores - a one-level dip into a super MAD class could give huge rewards to a non-MAD class.


Since MAD classes are better off when they have points spread out in more Ability scores and SAD classes are better off min-maxing one or two abilities, why not use that?

For whichever point-buy you use, find out the most even distribution of points spent, then give character creation a boost (more points, or an increase in a score that is not their highest ore even their second highest) the closer they are to that even distribution. MAD classes would benefit, SAD classes won't.


Danbala wrote:

I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but has Paizo paid any thought to possibly balancing classes through the point buy system? It might be a good way to encourage people to play classes that are significantly dependent on multiple attributes.

For example, you have have the rule that all classes are on a 15 point buy system as a default but that the monk class gets +5 points for a total of 20 points by default.

Monk 1/{Other Class} X then becomes the norm for more character creation points.

Another suggestion for fix-the-monk threads is giving the monk more stat boosts every couple of levels, and it falls afoul of the same kind of issue.

Besides, not everyone uses point buy.

Kolokotroni wrote:

Except some of the most powerful classes are multi attribute dependent.

The cleric and druid for instance, need strength to fight, some dex (the druid more then the cleric), wisdom to cast, and con because they are in the fight. They are nearly as MAD as the monk. What do you do with them?

Cleric and Druid are MAD by choice, not by necessity. They NEED wisdom. That's it. Good scores in anything else is a bonus they can cover with spells if they have to. Strength only 10 and you have to melee? Cast bull's strength. If they have good scores all around, they are better, no doubt, but that does not make them bad without anything but their wisdom, because with it they are still a cleric or druid. The monk is bad unless he has good scores all around, without them, he has trouble being a monk.

KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Since MAD classes are better off when they have points spread out in more Ability scores and SAD classes are better off min-maxing one or two abilities, why not use that?

Because the system as is rewards high scores in one attribute, be you a caster or combat class. If you need to hit things, you need maxed out dexterity or strength, end of. Drop them, and you lose out badly. This is the monk's biggest problem, that a {insert combat class here} can max out a score (usually strength) and the monk has to make more sacrifices to do so and so is less likely to. So your 18 strength barbarian starts with an attack bonus of +5 while your 16 strength/dex monk gets +3, and from there it only gets worse.


well I kinda have been tinkering with point buy values to decrease costs for lower scores and increase costs for higher scores. here is what I got so far.
8, -2 points
9, -1 points
10, 0 points
11, 1 point
12, 2 points
13, 3 points
14, 4 points
15, 5 points
16, 10 points
17, 15 points
18, 25 points
I also removed ability score penalties on races
I am still working on it, but so far it's actually been working pretty well since casters have to work harder for the high dcs and bonus spells. my players still enjoy it, and I actually see more stat dumping on SAD classes than others.

Grand Lodge

Kolokotroni wrote:

Except some of the most powerful classes are multi attribute dependent.

The cleric and druid for instance, need strength to fight, some dex (the druid more then the cleric), wisdom to cast, and con because they are in the fight. They are nearly as MAD as the monk. What do you do with them?

Not to mention Charisma for channeling energy for the cleric


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
Back to the OP, the big concern I would have is the possibility of players gaming the system by beginning a level 1 monk (or any other class that gets larger numbers of attribute points) and then multiclasses into what he really wants to play (e.g. barbarian) and gets to keep the higher ability scores - a one-level dip into a super MAD class could give huge rewards to a non-MAD class.

Good point.

I guess the deal would need to be that you get the extra points with the understanding that the MAD class would always be your highest leveled class.


Da'ath wrote:
Where there is a penis, so too, shall there also be a ruler. This shall be the whole of the law. Ye verily or something.=)

+1

Also, when I first read this post, I thought the OP was talking about a point buy system for classes like they did for races in the Advanced Races Handbook. I tried making a system where you could spend class points to buy class features, but I never made it out of trying to balance the NPC classes.

I suppose as GM you have a lot of options available to you. One idea you might consider is having "favored campaign classes" which are classes that fit the campaign world best (be it cleric/sorcerer/wizard for high-magic or fighter/rogue for low-magic). Player's who select these classes for their characters might start off with bonus points for their ability point buy.

Alternatively, they could be rewarded each time their character would normally gain +1 point to an ability score of their choice at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th with a +1 point to two ability scores of their choice instead. This way you don't reward dipping into a favored campaign class at 1st level only to multiclass into something else later, but you do reward longterm commitment to one or more favored classes for the campaign.

Just an idea.


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Danbala wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
Back to the OP, the big concern I would have is the possibility of players gaming the system by beginning a level 1 monk (or any other class that gets larger numbers of attribute points) and then multiclasses into what he really wants to play (e.g. barbarian) and gets to keep the higher ability scores - a one-level dip into a super MAD class could give huge rewards to a non-MAD class.

Good point.

I guess the deal would need to be that you get the extra points with the understanding that the MAD class would always be your highest leveled class.

And what do you do if it isn't? Just doesn't work. The answer is to make the monk less MAD, not make the system more complicated.


Long ago, Thalin suggested not giving straight up bonus to an ability score as you level (since it heavily favors SAD characters), giving instead a pool of points you can spend according to the point buy system to purchase an ability score.

Like +1 every level and a +1 bonus at 4,8,12,16,20, but you can give more.

This way with the same amounts of levels SAD characters are able to bring their only important ability score over the top, while MAD characters, with the same amount of points, are able to raise a number of ability scores to a fair amount. You'll have to work a little with CR, but it seems a really great idea.

Search fu.


Danbala wrote:

I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but has Paizo paid any thought to possibly balancing classes through the point buy system? It might be a good way to encourage people to play classes that are significantly dependent on multiple attributes.

For example, you have have the rule that all classes are on a 15 point buy system as a default but that the monk class gets +5 points for a total of 20 points by default.

Give everyone a 20 point buy. 15 begs for dump stating.


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I think the problem is that you are using a point buy in the first place. Forcing balance on your players will often lead to disgruntled players with characters that they only have half of their heart in, and no one enjoys starting a game with that mind set. Experience has taught me that really good stats only matter truly to low level characters, once BAB, number of skill ranks, and base save values get high enough to yield positive modifiers, stats other than the primary stats for the class become very arbitrary. Basically, any character that you would think is OP is gonna be OP regardless of how many points you let them buy stats with. Stat arrays work well, I've played with a system before where the DM only gave us the guideline of an average stat or modifier that must be achieved before racial bonuses. (The number he gave us was 2.2 btw) All point buy systems encourage stat dumping, after all, that's why it exists, so you can stat dump to guarantee at least one good stat.


Our group became tired of the quality of our characters depending on how lucky we were with a starting roll.

Point buy is the way to make a character. Random stats pre-sets disbalance in the party like a cancer.


With Marthkus all the way. I would hate to be automatically inferior to another PC because of 6 die rolls.


Where did I mention rolling? Unless the DM or group rolls one master set of stats that everyone agrees to use, I also disdain stat rolling.


Marthkus wrote:
Give everyone a 20 point buy. 15 begs for dump stating.

I've seen people dump-stat on 25.


So instead of point buy you like elite array?

I also like PCs having different but equal attributes.


Dabbler wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Give everyone a 20 point buy. 15 begs for dump stating.
I've seen people dump-stat on 25.

I don't have to stat dump at 20 to make solid builds.

I have trouble making functional characters at 15 without dumping something.


Dabbler wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Give everyone a 20 point buy. 15 begs for dump stating.
I've seen people dump-stat on 25.

That's because some stats are useless to some builds and some classes aren't comfortable at even 30 point buy. People would dump stat less if the MAD classes were less MAD, but they need all the physical stats with one pushed hard for attack rolls and one mental stat for either casting or ability DCs and for the divine full casters and monks that mental stat needs to be pushed pretty hard, especially for the poor monk who is stuck trying to overcome fort saves only with stunning fist.


Monk before race mods 15 14 14 10 14 8, Monk is the most MAD class though and I feel 8 cha actually fits thematically.

Now divine casters

16 10 14 10 14 10; use race mods to get wis to 16, play a dwarf to have straight 16s or play a human and let con sit at 14. You don't need dex.

Fighter build human after race mods 18 14 14 10 10 10


Marthkus wrote:

Monk before race mods 15 14 14 10 14 8, Monk is the most MAD class though and I feel 8 cha actually fits thematically.

Now divine casters

16 10 14 10 14 10; use race mods to get wis to 16, play a dwarf to have straight 16s or play a human and let con sit at 14. You don't need dex.

Fighter build human after race mods 18 14 14 10 10 10

Those are all weak stat arrays.

Monk needs an 18 wisdom to even think about making stunning fist work past low levels and at least a 17 in dex or strength to overcome his complete lack of accuracy boost.

Divine casters need dex for AC since they no longer have heavy armor proficiency. You need to pay for another 16, which means dumping charisma and intelligence, or wisdom and intelligence for oracles.

The fighter has absolutely no use for charisma ever and needs more wisdom because his weak will save is a danger to all around him. He also needs more dexterity to make use of his class features.


I think purposely giving out "better" stats to classes that you feel* are more MAD will only lead to problems with your players.

If you are worried about OP characters because of their stats having a couple of +1's and +2's where they would be in a point buy at 0's and -1's, then you gotta look at your priorities again.

I've played with super overpowered characters before, and I've played with super underpowered characters. Thing I noticed is that the overpowered characters were no better than a standard character, because all of my power stats were maxed anyway, and it really won't kill you as a DM if the fighter can roll a Diplomacy check with a +1 instead of a -2, or your paladins can roll perception checks 1 or 2 points higher. Worrying about stats is the worst start down the road of bad DMing. Only time I see point buy working is with PFS where the DM can't be the arbiter of level dipping, feat availability, or adjudicate the spending of wealth.

Sovereign Court

TheRedArmy wrote:
With Marthkus all the way. I would hate to be automatically inferior to another PC because of 6 die rolls.

Back in the days of my youth, I hated random systems and only played point-build systems like GURPS and Champions. Then I started playing Call of Cthulhu, and loved having randomly rolled stats that could make my character an invalid. Even the the most buffed out character still palled in comparison to the denizens of the Mythos.

Quit thinking about roll playing and think more about role playing. A good GM will be able to make your "inferior" character shine. If you want balance, play a RPG-eque board game.

Sovereign Court

Atarlost wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Give everyone a 20 point buy. 15 begs for dump stating.
I've seen people dump-stat on 25.
That's because some stats are useless to some builds and some classes aren't comfortable at even 30 point buy. People would dump stat less if the MAD classes were less MAD, but they need all the physical stats with one pushed hard for attack rolls and one mental stat for either casting or ability DCs and for the divine full casters and monks that mental stat needs to be pushed pretty hard, especially for the poor monk who is stuck trying to overcome fort saves only with stunning fist.

I'm not buying this. All stats are important (granted not equally important) to all characters. You never know when the dumb barbarian is going to separated from the smart wizard and force to use his/her brains to get out of the situation.


Atarlost wrote:
Marthkus wrote:

Monk before race mods 15 14 14 10 14 8, Monk is the most MAD class though and I feel 8 cha actually fits thematically.

Now divine casters

16 10 14 10 14 10; use race mods to get wis to 16, play a dwarf to have straight 16s or play a human and let con sit at 14. You don't need dex.

Fighter build human after race mods 18 14 14 10 10 10

Those are all weak stat arrays.

Monk needs an 18 wisdom to even think about making stunning fist work past low levels and at least a 17 in dex or strength to overcome his complete lack of accuracy boost.

Divine casters need dex for AC since they no longer have heavy armor proficiency. You need to pay for another 16, which means dumping charisma and intelligence, or wisdom and intelligence for oracles.

The fighter has absolutely no use for charisma ever and needs more wisdom because his weak will save is a danger to all around him. He also needs more dexterity to make use of his class features.

Ok a monk does not need 18 wis. That's ridiculous, stunning fist is for casters and other creatures with a low fort. It's not the monks main mechanic. Furthermore that array is BEFORE race mods, meaning strength is going up to 17.

Divines do not NEED high dex. That is also ridiculous. They get plenty of AC from medium armor and spells.

I think your problem is that you see monks and divines as replacing martial characters. That just simply isn't the case. A monk can no more replace a martial than a magus.


tssfulk wrote:
Quit thinking about roll playing and think more about role playing. A good GM will be able to make your "inferior" character shine. If you want balance, play a RPG-eque board game.

Oh well my mistake then! I'm sure my GM can make a my commoner with straight 3's really shine. Excuse me for my roll playing, when I want to know that my character will start with at least 1 stat over 10.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Lol @ gaming the system. The GM is the system here, he can give or take.


Marthkus wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Marthkus wrote:

Monk before race mods 15 14 14 10 14 8, Monk is the most MAD class though and I feel 8 cha actually fits thematically.

Now divine casters

16 10 14 10 14 10; use race mods to get wis to 16, play a dwarf to have straight 16s or play a human and let con sit at 14. You don't need dex.

Fighter build human after race mods 18 14 14 10 10 10

Those are all weak stat arrays.

Monk needs an 18 wisdom to even think about making stunning fist work past low levels and at least a 17 in dex or strength to overcome his complete lack of accuracy boost.

Divine casters need dex for AC since they no longer have heavy armor proficiency. You need to pay for another 16, which means dumping charisma and intelligence, or wisdom and intelligence for oracles.

The fighter has absolutely no use for charisma ever and needs more wisdom because his weak will save is a danger to all around him. He also needs more dexterity to make use of his class features.

Ok a monk does not need 18 wis. That's ridiculous, stunning fist is for casters and other creatures with a low fort. It's not the monks main mechanic. Furthermore that array is BEFORE race mods, meaning strength is going up to 17.

Divines do not NEED high dex. That is also ridiculous. They get plenty of AC from medium armor and spells.

I think your problem is that you see monks and divines as replacing martial characters. That just simply isn't the case. A monk can no more replace a martial than a magus.

We've long established you're not playing the same game as most people on the forums.

Monks don't replace martial characters. They are martial characters. They lack the skill points or int focus to be skill monkeys even if you believe that's a viable role and they aren't casters or healers. Martial is the only role left.

And if you use CR appropriate bestiary monsters armor without dexterity does not give adequate AC to anyone. Monster attack scales faster than CR while player AC scales slower unless you're an extremely AC focused monk or fighter.

Sovereign Court

Marthkus wrote:
tssfulk wrote:
Quit thinking about roll playing and think more about role playing. A good GM will be able to make your "inferior" character shine. If you want balance, play a RPG-eque board game.
Oh well my mistake then! I'm sure my GM can make a my commoner with straight 3's really shine. Excuse me for my roll playing, when I want to know that my character will start with at least 1 stat over 10.

Come on. There are lots of random ways to to get interesting rolls. 4d6 take the highest 3 and get 1 free reroll will make it very hard for you to get three 3s (or even 1). If you get a totally useless set, then reroll — it's all about fun. I would never force someone that is unhappy with a set to be stuck with it.

Min/maxing pts (in PF at least, games with pts for everything do this better) leads to optimal and very similar builds. Random rolls, leads to more variety and interesting characters.


tssfulk wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
tssfulk wrote:
Quit thinking about roll playing and think more about role playing. A good GM will be able to make your "inferior" character shine. If you want balance, play a RPG-eque board game.
Oh well my mistake then! I'm sure my GM can make a my commoner with straight 3's really shine. Excuse me for my roll playing, when I want to know that my character will start with at least 1 stat over 10.

Come on. There are lots of random ways to to get interesting rolls. 4d6 take the highest 3 and get 1 free reroll will make it very hard for you to get three 3s (or even 1). If you get a totally useless set, then reroll — it's all about fun. I would never force someone that is unhappy with a set to be stuck with it.

Min/maxing pts (in PF at least, games with pts for everything do this better) leads to optimal and very similar builds. Random rolls, leads to more variety and interesting characters.

Or you just use a point buy and allow people to make characters instead of being forced to play certain roles.


Atarlost wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Marthkus wrote:

Monk before race mods 15 14 14 10 14 8, Monk is the most MAD class though and I feel 8 cha actually fits thematically.

Now divine casters

16 10 14 10 14 10; use race mods to get wis to 16, play a dwarf to have straight 16s or play a human and let con sit at 14. You don't need dex.

Fighter build human after race mods 18 14 14 10 10 10

Those are all weak stat arrays.

Monk needs an 18 wisdom to even think about making stunning fist work past low levels and at least a 17 in dex or strength to overcome his complete lack of accuracy boost.

Divine casters need dex for AC since they no longer have heavy armor proficiency. You need to pay for another 16, which means dumping charisma and intelligence, or wisdom and intelligence for oracles.

The fighter has absolutely no use for charisma ever and needs more wisdom because his weak will save is a danger to all around him. He also needs more dexterity to make use of his class features.

Ok a monk does not need 18 wis. That's ridiculous, stunning fist is for casters and other creatures with a low fort. It's not the monks main mechanic. Furthermore that array is BEFORE race mods, meaning strength is going up to 17.

Divines do not NEED high dex. That is also ridiculous. They get plenty of AC from medium armor and spells.

I think your problem is that you see monks and divines as replacing martial characters. That just simply isn't the case. A monk can no more replace a martial than a magus.

We've long established you're not playing the same game as most people on the forums.

Monks don't replace martial characters. They are martial characters. They lack the skill points or int focus to be skill monkeys even if you believe that's a viable role and they aren't casters or healers. Martial is the only role left.

And if you use CR appropriate bestiary monsters armor without dexterity does not give adequate AC to anyone. Monster attack scales faster...

Monks are not martials. You have to play a monk as a monk to be satisfied. If you want to ignore the skillmonkey role, that is your problem. Maybe you aren't playing pathfinder?

Divines do not need high dex. Sure a fighter or any other real martial could use the extra AC, but a divines don't. Try actually playing one before making such a ridiculous claim.


Marthkus wrote:
tssfulk wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
tssfulk wrote:
Quit thinking about roll playing and think more about role playing. A good GM will be able to make your "inferior" character shine. If you want balance, play a RPG-eque board game.
Oh well my mistake then! I'm sure my GM can make a my commoner with straight 3's really shine. Excuse me for my roll playing, when I want to know that my character will start with at least 1 stat over 10.

Come on. There are lots of random ways to to get interesting rolls. 4d6 take the highest 3 and get 1 free reroll will make it very hard for you to get three 3s (or even 1). If you get a totally useless set, then reroll — it's all about fun. I would never force someone that is unhappy with a set to be stuck with it.

Min/maxing pts (in PF at least, games with pts for everything do this better) leads to optimal and very similar builds. Random rolls, leads to more variety and interesting characters.

Or you just use a point buy and allow people to make characters instead of being forced to play certain roles.

Pathfinder's point buy sucks.

Elite Array is for NPCs designed to be a full CR lower than player characters.

I like having an average stat or modifier, setting it at something like 13 makes for more balanced characters that can stay optimized.


Explain


Marthkus wrote:
Explain

I played a game once where the DM didn't give us any strict rules on how to determine stats, only guidelines being that once our stats were done, we had to calculate our average modifier, and he gave a limit on that. Our limit was 2.2, which was fairly high, it allowed for total modifiers to add up to 13.

Only real problem with that is it favors odd numbered stats. A better version of this method would be to have a rough average that the players stats could not go over, that is, when calculating the average of all their stats, if it goes above this number, then you need to lower a stat. This number should always be applied before racial modifiers, because that's how point buy works.

Sample would be a stat of 13. When you average all of your stats, the result can't go over 13. It gives you a lot more play room with your stats than a point buy, but can lead to characters with highly variable stats.


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There is a lot of talk in this thread about the playability of certain classes only if the characters possess minimum ability scores. Monks need this, this, and this to be viable, Fighters dump-stat that. If I've learned anything by playing and GMing it is that CR is bull$hit and the "perfect character" (at least stat-wise) is pretty boring. At least a commoner with straight 10's who struggles againt an encounter and happens to overcome it feels a sense of real accomplishment; even if they fail but put up a valiant effort that is worth something. A perfecto character with all 18's who struggles or, gods forbid, fails an encounter is likely to whine and moan about how "broken" the system is.

In the end, if you measure the worth of your character by their stats, magic items, and min/max feat combos, then good for you. If you measure the worth of your character by how many unlikely situations you survive, nameless villagers you save, and in-game story rewards you are able to weave into your narrative, then good for you too. Everyone has motivators for playing the way they play, but "fixing" the mechanics because you don't get to put 18's in all the ability scores that let you do cool things isn't a good enough reason.

The reason I build characters is to role-play, struggle against challenges, and resolve my daddy issues. I want to play a character that is flawed, has purpose beyond slaying the next round of monsters, and who spends their hard earned gold on making the lives of NPCs a little better. I'm not looking to be a perfect character, just a decent role-player.


Pheoran Armiez wrote:
The reason I build characters is to role-play

That's what we all do!

But the game has mechanics too. If I play a fighter with no health, ability to hit things and no AC, I'm going to have trouble role-playing anything, but sir useless. Not to mention the party would see no reason for me to have 1/4 of the loot. Even the GM will have trouble making an encounter that I can do things in without the other players destroying it.

Building competent characters doesn't make you a worse role-player.


Marthkus wrote:
Monks are not martials. You have to play a monk as a monk to be satisfied. If you want to ignore the skillmonkey role, that is your problem. Maybe you aren't playing pathfinder?

Monks aren't skill monkeys. They don't even have the full suite of skills to be a scout, not that a pure scout isn't a complete waste of a PC. Even a badly built millstone of a skills uber alles rogue is a scout/face.

Are you claiming that it's perfectly acceptable for a monk to be less than half of a rogue? Because if it can't handle the martial role that's all that's left. A rogue that can't disarm traps or lie or gather information or really talk to people at all.

So what's your monk's role?

For that matter what are your clerics doing with low wisdom and crappy physical stats? They're not fighting, they'd be dead with no AC. They're not casting offensively with that wisdom. The 70s called, they wants their living bandaids back.


Monks are 3/4 martial and 3/4 skill monkey. Skill monkey as in they can scout and handle traps (they don't need disable device they can just tank them with class features). They are also one of the better stealth characters in the game (not as good as an archer ranger or rogue, but the lack of armor penalties plus decent dex helps out a lot). Top it off with a decent perception check and I don't see how they aren't scouts. Not too mention the great mobility. In combat monks are like a fighter with less DPR, but none of fighters normal weaknesses. They are mobile with good saves and class features that further add more defensive abilities. They do have less than steller AC. Monks destroy the enemies a fighter would have trouble with. They don't replace a martial. They complement them.

Since when is 16 str and 16 wis plus 14 con bad physical stats and low wis? High wis is what 18? 20 is ecessive. Are you really telling me that a +1 to the DC of spells is worth dumping melee combat? They still have decent AC even without more the 10 dex. I fail to see why -3 AC (16 dex) makes them as squishy as a sorcerer with no easy access to armor. I've done this build with a druid before. They wreck. At low levels you smack things, at higher levels you cast spells and occasionally smack things. All the while rolling in great AC, good health, and saves. Never did I think I needed more than 10 dex.

What point buy do you play? 30?


Marthkus wrote:

Monks are 3/4 martial and 3/4 skill monkey. Skill monkey as in they can scout and handle traps (they don't need disable device they can just tank them with class features). They are also one of the better stealth characters in the game (not as good as an archer ranger or rogue, but the lack of armor penalties plus decent dex helps out a lot). Top it off with a decent perception check and I don't see how they aren't scouts. Not too mention the great mobility. In combat monks are like a fighter with less DPR, but none of fighters normal weaknesses. They are mobile with good saves and class features that further add more defensive abilities. They do have less than steller AC. Monks destroy the enemies a fighter would have trouble with. They don't replace a martial. They complement them.

Since when is 16 str and 16 wis plus 14 con bad physical stats and low wis? High wis is what 18? 20 is ecessive. Are you really telling me that a +1 to the DC of spells is worth dumping melee combat? They still have decent AC even without more the 10 dex. I fail to see why -3 AC (16 dex) makes them as squishy as a sorcerer with no easy access to armor. I've done this build with a druid before. They wreck. At low levels you smack things, at higher levels you cast spells and occasionally smack things. All the while rolling is great AC, good health, and saves. Never did I think I needed more than 10 dex.

What point buy do you play? 30?

3/4 skill monkey, huh?

4 is 3/4 of 8 now, is it? And they tank traps with class features, huh? You've never seen an alarm then, or a trap that resets? You just "sneak" through setting off all the alarms and alerting all the monsters. Almost any arcane caster can do that with an unseen servant and a wagon full of rocks, but he at least won't give the denizens even more warning by running ahead of everyone else to do so.

And there are two general ways to build a cleric. The battle cleric has 15 or 16 wis and pushes all the physical stats and dumps charisma and intelligence to do so. He needs AC because he's a melee combatant and all melee combatants need AC, especially those with only d8 hit dice. Being harder to hit than a sorcerer doesn't even approach qualifying for front line combat. The casting cleric needs high DCs and maximum bonus slots just like a wizard and uses almost the exact same sort of stat array with wisdom pushed to 17 or 18, strength as low as encumbrance permits, and the rest in dex and con.

And you don't need 30 or even 25 point buy if you dump stats when appropriate. Except on the monk. Monks have issues. If you can't figure out why do a search for posts by dabbler and master arminas and actually read them.


Well that makes you a min/maxer

You don't need all of this opt to function.

I guess your biggest problem with the monk is that you can only dump 1 stat.

This is a you problem, not a pathfinder or point buy problem.


Marthkus wrote:

Well that makes you a min/maxer

You don't need all of this opt to function.

I guess your biggest problem with the monk is that you can only dump 1 stat.

This is a you problem, not a pathfinder or point buy problem.

This post is for the most part right, but it might be a point buy problem.


Marthkus wrote:
That just simply isn't the case. A monk can no more replace a martial than a magus.

What is the monk if he isn't a martial?

tssfulk wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Give everyone a 20 point buy. 15 begs for dump stating.
I've seen people dump-stat on 25.
That's because some stats are useless to some builds and some classes aren't comfortable at even 30 point buy. People would dump stat less if the MAD classes were less MAD, but they need all the physical stats with one pushed hard for attack rolls and one mental stat for either casting or ability DCs and for the divine full casters and monks that mental stat needs to be pushed pretty hard, especially for the poor monk who is stuck trying to overcome fort saves only with stunning fist.
I'm not buying this. All stats are important (granted not equally important) to all characters. You never know when the dumb barbarian is going to separated from the smart wizard and force to use his/her brains to get out of the situation.

I agree in principal, but the fact is some players will always dump-stat to squeeze that bit more of awesome out of what their character does well, and some will not.

Marthkus wrote:
Pheoran Armiez wrote:
The reason I build characters is to role-play

That's what we all do!

But the game has mechanics too. If I play a fighter with no health, ability to hit things and no AC, I'm going to have trouble role-playing anything, but sir useless. Not to mention the party would see no reason for me to have 1/4 of the loot. Even the GM will have trouble making an encounter that I can do things in without the other players destroying it.

Building competent characters doesn't make you a worse role-player.

QFT. It's hard to roleplay a hero when you need to be rescued by REAL heroes all the time. The mechanics need to substantiate the intended character to some degree.

Marthkus wrote:
Monks are 3/4 martial and 3/4 skill monkey.

More like 1/2 martial 1/2 skill monkey, actually, and in a game that rewards specialists, that's not cutting it.

Marthkus wrote:
Skill monkey as in they can scout and handle traps (they don't need disable device they can just tank them with class features).

When the objective is to NOT SET OFF THE TRAP you don't tank anything.

Marthkus wrote:
They are also one of the better stealth characters in the game (not as good as an archer ranger or rogue, but the lack of armor penalties plus decent dex helps out a lot).

Agreed, it's one skill they can do well. But stealth alone does not a scout make.

Marthkus wrote:
Top it off with a decent perception check and I don't see how they aren't scouts.

Few Knowledge skills to recognise what they are looking at, no improved ways to detect and disarm traps to NOT LET THE ENEMY KNOW YOU ARE THERE, no ability to lift a key out of a pocket, disguise oneself as someone who should be there, forge papers to make a pass, speak unknown languages...want me to go on? Real scouts get some of these, and the skill ranks to exploit them.

Marthkus wrote:
Not too mention the great mobility.

Only on the ground, they can't fly or swim or tunnel. Run up against something that can and you got problems. Oh, and that mobility nerfs their only strong offensive feature.

Marthkus wrote:
In combat monks are like a fighter with less DPR, but none of fighters normal weaknesses.

As the fighter IS DPR, I think the term you want here is "not like fighters at all, actually."

Marthkus wrote:
They are mobile with good saves and class features that further add more defensive abilities. They do have less than steller AC.

In other words, they do not have so great defensive features, given that getting hit because of their AC and taking damage with their less than stellar HP is the largest hazard a class that has to fight up-close and personal has.

I think you will find that far and away the best are held by the paladin.

Marthkus wrote:
Monks destroy the enemies a fighter would have trouble with.

No, they survive enemies that a fighter has trouble with. Half the time by running away. That's not destroying your foe at all. As you yourself point out, less HP, less AC, less DPR, so they are not really winning many stand-up-knock-down fights, and that's all they can do.

Marthkus wrote:
They don't replace a martial.

I think "can't" is the word you are looking for, and yet they ARE a martial. Until you can show me how they can scout and fight better than a ranger who IS a 3/4 Martial 3/4 Skill-monkey 1/3 caster, there's no debate.

Marthkus wrote:
They complement them.

How? Lead the cheer squad? No, that's the Bard's job...and when he does it, it achieves something.

Sorry, this debate has been had before. The monk is a great class thematically, and he has OK defences, but he struggles to actually DO something in combat or with skills, and those are the only ways he can influence the outcome of an adventure in a positive way. His special abilities (on the core monk) are poorly thought out and add little to his functionality.

The monk is NOT a skills monkey (the average skill ranks for martial classes is 3.5; for skill monkeys it's 7; the monk has 4, definitely not a skill-monkey!), and he struggles to be a martial without optimizing to the max, and then he only barely manages.

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