new to PF and PFS: how much char minmaxing is needed / is too much?


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5/5 5/55/5

Jiggy wrote:


You just stated that the baseline assumption is that you put your racial bonus into your lowest score.

I don't even know what else to say.

The baseline assumption is assuming the 'heroic array' NPC is at least average, but with a few heroic stats. In real world terms a 15 stat is a significant one.

It gives you the OPTION, however to have an even better stat at the cost of now being slightly flawed somewhere else. Dumpstating is a choice, not a mandatory process.

If you want an 8 it is a decision, not a core assumption or default setting. That's why the average stat is 10, because the average person is...average.


Shifty wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


You just stated that the baseline assumption is that you put your racial bonus into your lowest score.

I don't even know what else to say.

The baseline assumption is assuming the 'heroic array' NPC is at least average, but with a few heroic stats. In real world terms a 15 stat is a significant one.

It gives you the OPTION, however to have an even better stat at the cost of now being slightly flawed somewhere else. Dumpstating is a choice, not a mandatory process.

If you want an 8 it is a decision, not a core assumption or default setting. That's why the average stat is 10, because the average person is...average.

First, if you don't want dump stats, don't dump stats. In your example, you had 5 stat points to spend and ended up with a 15 and a 10. If you simply hadn't dumped a stat and instead bought a 14 and put your racial modifier into that you would have ended up with a 16. That's a measurable improvement over dumping to 8, buying a 15, and using your racial to un-dump back to a 10.

The math of how point buy works is why Jiggy (and everyone else) was taken aback by your assertion that you should use racial modifiers to avoid dump stats.

Secondly: This is a game, not the real world. A 15 is not bad but not impressive, either. It's about a commoner's second best stat. You're getting blinded by the mean, you're forgetting the standard deviation. Yes, 10 is average and 15 is above average, but in the population 15 isn't so far above average as to be uncommon. The kid with 15 Int is probably getting A's with a few B's but isn't winning the spelling bee.

If you don't want to dump stats, that's fine. But please, don't tell people to put their racial adjustment into their lowest stat. That's simply bad mathematical advice with no roleplaying justification. All you're doing is hurting your character.


About 50% minmaxing is required. 0% being a useless roleplay experiment, and 100% being a purpose built machine.

At 50%, expect your average character to become permanently deceased by level 6 or 8. This is fun, and you should die every so often or it gets boring.

The way scenarios are written, a fully minmaxed party faces no real challenge, and so, again, is boring. Although my minmaxed party just got their asses handed to them by Krune (no perma-deaths, but still, just BAAAAD.)

Do what you want. Only real rule in PFS, have fun with others.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Akerlof wrote:
You're getting blinded by the mean, you're forgetting the standard deviation.

It's worse than that. If 10 is the average, then for every 14 someone is walking around with a 6, or two people with an 8. Yet, he refuses to acknowledge that scores less than 10 are common. Even 3.5 had the non-elite array (13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8) as a way of customizing a creature without deviating from "average".


Fah phooey silly grrr dumb.

I build the characters I want to play. Mine or min/maxe, twinked, and broken. Or so I am told. But I limit myself at the table. I do not try to win every fight with colorspray or mass hold person in the first round.

In the end difficulty depends on the DM more than the mod. I have seen GMs softball adventures that make the game no threat even season 4s.

Now if you are at a table of twinked out, I have to kill everything first and make sure the rest of the party watches. Well if you want to do that too you need one of those as well.

I say this time and time again though. Smart play beats smart builds. A smart creative idea is more powerful than most builds. if you are a creative person with clever ideas you can walk through adventures even with difficult DMs(if they play fair).

5/5 5/55/5

Akerlof wrote:

The math of how point buy works is why Jiggy (and everyone else) was taken aback by your assertion that you should use racial modifiers to avoid dump stats.

I'm wondering how you are confusing applying an array with something to do with point-buy.

The point in question was an argument that having an 8 stat on your character was a 'default expectation' of the game, which I rejected.

5/5 5/55/5

Mystic Lemur wrote:
Yet, he refuses to acknowledge that scores less than 10 are common.

No, they are a choice, not a 'default setting'. I'm not sure why you made this story up.

Scarab Sages

Everything is a choice. You can choose to have 7 in everything. You can choose to make Generic Man. You can also choose to not place a single point in the 20-point buy system, 'defaulting' to the 10 Ability Score that does not give you any bonuses or penalty to any ability or skills.

"Common", on the otherhand, is based on three things: Location, Location, Location. At my store, it is "common" for our group to worship "TORAG!!!" and have low Will Saves. In another store, it could be that it is "common" to have high Reflex Saves and Charisma. Another store could have high Armor Class, low damage output as "common". It is just that in the interwebs, we choose to pool our own experiences and decide that this is the "common", only to expect that our location is the "common".

Grand Lodge

Cao Phen wrote:

Everything is a choice. You can choose to have 7 in everything. You can choose to make Generic Man. You can also choose to not place a single point in the 20-point buy system, 'defaulting' to the 10 Ability Score that does not give you any bonuses or penalty to any ability or skills.

"Common", on the otherhand, is based on three things: Location, Location, Location. At my store, it is "common" for our group to worship "TORAG!!!" and have low Will Saves. In another store, it could be that it is "common" to have high Reflex Saves and Charisma. Another store could have high Armor Class, low damage output as "common". It is just that in the interwebs, we choose to pool our own experiences and decide that this is the "common", only to expect that our location is the "common".

While common at my store is to be Grand Lodge.

Shadow Lodge

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Have a look at this post about the Hurt Me Plenty rules - unless you want your game to be challenging, steer clear of these guidelines.

You want a bare minimum of 12 con, preferably 14 con. The NPC stats reflect this as well, with only the Ninja having a 10 con (I don't know why).

The rule of thumb I personally use to creating stats for characters on a 20 point buy is to start with 14/14/14/14/10/10 anywhere you want (ie. not in that order). Then increase or decrease based on what you want to improve and what you're willing to sacrifice, depending on what class you've selected. And avoid Hurt Me Plenty unless you want to play on hard mode (which some people do like - go ahead if you're one of those).

The Exchange 1/5

At my local PFS we have a wide variety of players. our wizards are almost always useful, our clerics tend to heal, and our melee really know hoe to melee. I play an Archer Combat Style ranger and play the role of Missile battery, we have an oracle of life that we all love and is basically a hit point accountant, a paladin that is damn near un-hitable when fully buffed.

i built my ranger to be a mans mans man. he follows a (level 8) stat line of
STR 14
DEX 19 (+1 at 8)
CON 12
INT 12
WIS 14 (+1 at 4)
CHA 8

So i play the guy who takes it upon himself to climb the rock ledge, swim the dark water, and shoot demons in the face with my longbow... from far away. my charisma limits my social interactions a bit. I RP with direct and sometimes blatantly insulting (to NPCs) truths.

start with an idea of what role you want to play in a party that needs a wide range of skills and fill them to the best of your characters abilities. then work out how to role play it. i love the RP of my gruff badass. and i play it Chaotic Neutral for flavor of being never too good or never lawful. but i dont play him as an A#%%%#!*.

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