roll or points buy which is better


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
loaba wrote:
Playing a Wizard is just a choice. You're acting like electing to do so is the same as playing some kind of "I win" card.

It's a choice that's arguably better overall, but more germane to the discussion, demonstratively better under point-buy (especially low or moderate point-buy) than under dice rolling -- unless the latter is using fixed order of scores rolled, in which case class isn't much of a choice at all.

That's math, not opinion.

So because some classes only rely on one stat (ignoring the fact that every class could arguably use all the CON, DEX, INT and WIS it could get), Point Buy is vilified (if only slightly), because it allows players of those classes to be really good at what they do? And that makes the utter randomness of rolling for stats "better"?

Grand Lodge

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No, they're really both s&%*.


While I absolutely hate getting into class arguments, and I'm sure I'm gonna regret contributing to the potential threadjack:

If no ability system can address this big problem with wizards, mightn't the fault be on the wizards, not the systems?

*Thread explodes*


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
loaba wrote:
And that makes the utter randomness of rolling for stats "better"?

As far as I'm concerned, it does. The issue of characters having different results from the rolls doesn't bother me, even if one is significantly more lucky than another.


I look at it this way - regardless of what resources my class needs (martial, caster, SAD or MAD) - it's up to me to use those resources in the best way possible. With Point Buy, I know I'll get to play exactly what I want (PB amount doesn't even matter). Random stat generation means I'll have to play what the dice give me (assuming I even get something playable.)

/been rolling 4d6-DTL all afternoon and the results have been grim. lol
// by playable, I mean something that's not a negative PB equivalent.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

While I absolutely hate getting into class arguments, and I'm sure I'm gonna regret contributing to the potential threadjack:

If no ability system can address this big problem with wizards, mightn't the fault be on the wizards, not the ability scores?

*Thread explodes*

Moreover, I strongly insist that the design of all classes be revisited until all classes are in line with Fighter in terms of overall power. The Fighter is right where he should be, and other classes were given too much initially and experience unnecessary power creep to the point of being utterly broken (save for the Rogue, who is closer to where he should be).

Discuss.

*Grabs popcorn, soda, kicks up feet*


aegrisomnia wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

While I absolutely hate getting into class arguments, and I'm sure I'm gonna regret contributing to the potential threadjack:

If no ability system can address this big problem with wizards, mightn't the fault be on the wizards, not the ability scores?

*Thread explodes*

Moreover, I strongly insist that the design of all classes be revisited until all classes are in line with Fighter in terms of overall power. The Fighter is right where he should be, and other classes were given too much initially and experience unnecessary power creep to the point of being utterly broken (save for the Rogue, who is closer to where he should be).

Discuss.

*Grabs popcorn, soda, kicks up feet*

Finally, I want a pony. This pony will be from the show "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", and her name will be Fluttershy, because Fluttershy is the best pony—just as I think we can all agree that "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" is the best television program since Citizen Kane.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
aegrisomnia wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

While I absolutely hate getting into class arguments, and I'm sure I'm gonna regret contributing to the potential threadjack:

If no ability system can address this big problem with wizards, mightn't the fault be on the wizards, not the ability scores?

*Thread explodes*

Moreover, I strongly insist that the design of all classes be revisited until all classes are in line with Fighter in terms of overall power. The Fighter is right where he should be, and other classes were given too much initially and experience unnecessary power creep to the point of being utterly broken (save for the Rogue, who is closer to where he should be).

Discuss.

*Grabs popcorn, soda, kicks up feet*

Finally, I want a pony. This pony will be from the show "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", and her name will be Fluttershy, because Fluttershy is the best pony—just as I think we can all agree that "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" is the best television program since Citizen Kane.

Well isn't it?

Shadow Lodge

What's Citizen Kane?


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loaba wrote:

... Random stat generation means I'll have to play what the dice give me (assuming I even get something playable.)

/been rolling 4d6-DTL all afternoon and the results have been grim. lol
// by playable, I mean something that's not a negative PB equivalent.

Likelihood of getting a negative point buy with 4d6-DTL (using a very generous point definition for stats < 7 (-16 for a 3), is 4.4%. That's not going to happen routinely.

Less than 10 point-buy happens less than 20% of the time.

Point-Buy-Costs:
3 -16
4 -12
5 -9
6 -6
7 -4
8 -2
9 -1
10 0
11 1
12 2
13 3
14 5
15 7
16 10
17 13
18 17

Results:
-10 or lower, 0.4%
0 or lower, 4.4%
10 or lower, 22.6%
20 or lower, 56.9%
30 or lower, 84.4%
40 or lower, 96.6%
50 or lower, 99.5%

Using an easier grading system (-2 per odd, -1 per even, since a dump stat usually has much less impact than the primary/secondary stats), the odds go down to 3.5% (above that the tiny frequency of low stats has no real impact).

Edit: Using simple rule from 3.5 of "No less than +2 total modifiers", average point-buy is 22:

Results:
-10 or lower, 0%
0 or lower, 0%
10 or lower, 9.3%
20 or lower, 49.1%
30 or lower, 82.5%
40 or lower, 96.1%
50 or lower, 99.5%


So hang on, if we're gonna argue that rolling generally produces the same results as Point Buy, what's the difference?

EDIT: To clarify, what unique advantages does rolling bear?


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
So hang on, if we're gonna argue that rolling generally produces the same results as Point Buy, what's the difference?EDIT: To clarify, what unique advantages does rolling bear?
Kirth Gersen wrote:

The odds of rolling 18 Int for your wizard using 3d6 are 0.46% (in order) or 2.7% (arrange rolls in any order). The odds of point-buying 18 Int for your wizard using point-buy are always 100%. And your wizard pretty much doesn't need anything else (average Con and Dex; you can dump Str, Wis, Cha and not even feel it).

The odds of getting above-average scores for Str, Dex, Con, and Wis for your fighter or monk are low but reasonable with dice, but are 0% using point-buy unless you're using a LOT of points (in which case the wizard is rocking a 20 Int and is also always winning initiative).

TL;DR: Dice rolling, in general and statistically-speaking, favors SAD classes like wizard a lot less than point-buy systems do.


So the difference is that Ability Scores just produce fewer extreme scores. Of course, so does just banning PCs from Point Buying past 16. And you eliminate any risk!


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Finally, I want a pony. This pony will be from the show "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", and her name will be Fluttershy, because Fluttershy is the best pony—just as I think we can all agree that "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" is the best television program since Citizen Kane.

Nu-uh. Since April 5, 2014, Pinkie Pie is.

Maud Pie is a close second.
Pie family rocks!


Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Finally, I want a pony. This pony will be from the show "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", and her name will be Fluttershy, because Fluttershy is the best pony—just as I think we can all agree that "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" is the best television program since Citizen Kane.

Nu-uh. Since April 5, 2014, Pinkie Pie is.

Maud Pie is a close second.
Pie family rocks!

Sorry but Fluttershy is OBVIOUSLY best pony...

Come back to me when the other ponies can pass an intimidate check vs a dragon and stare down a cockatrice...


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Dice rolling, in general and statistically-speaking, favors SAD classes like wizard a lot less than point-buy systems do.

If you're caught up in SAD and MAD, that's a just a whole other issue. Question is random stat generation vs. point buy stat generation.

If we want to ask sub-questions, then riddle me this; why is a randomly generated 8 better than a point-buy 8? I get the feeling the random rollers feel like their 8 is some kind of badge of honor, while those same Randomites look down on the P-B'er and his 8 (and probable 18).

Grand Lodge

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Clearly the PBers didn't earn their 18 by rolling and risking that 8.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
So the difference is that Ability Scores just produce fewer extreme scores. Of course, so does just banning PCs from Point Buying past 16. And you eliminate any risk!

Or just changing the point buy curve to discourage very high attributes, and not to overly reward dump stats. It's a solvable problem if that's your only concern. Your SAD class might still end up with a +3 instead of several +2s, but I hardly think that's the end of the world.

Even with the regular point buy curve, my arcane caster never ends up buying an 18 anyway. Too expensive, and I'd rather have a 16 (or start with a 17 depending on how many points to buy with) plus decent dex and con and not have 7 str/wis/cha. With my multiple attribute dependent characters, I might instead end up starting with a 15 (which I can increase at level 4), and a bunch of 12s and 14s, and maybe 1 dump stat. So maybe the SAD character has a +1 over the MAD character, or if I'm willing to be a really feeble glass cannon, maybe a +2 advantage.

That's not the end of the world. The SAD character already can benefit from training only one attribute every 4 levels and buying the maximum enhancement bonus gear for that attribute. It's part of the advantage of those classes, and that's a problem with the design of those classes rather than a fatal flaw in point buy attributes.

Most of the power of a caster comes from just having levels in the casting class. The +1 to the DC of saving against their spells from having a slightly higher ability score is not going to make or break them, nor is one more spell slot per day. It's nice to have yes, but those classes are just less ability score dependent in general.


Lakesidefantasy wrote:


I think most Pathfinder gamers use the Standard method simply because it is called the Standard method in the Core Rulebook. However, the Purchase or Point-Buy method seems to have increased in use. I think this may partially come from the influence of 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons, because , if I recall correctly, it adopted the Purchase method as the standard. (I may be wrong about this, it has been years since I last played 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons).

Point buy is indeed standard in 4e, though I hadn't before considered that it might have a noticeable effect on chargen choice in PF.

Damian Magecraft wrote:

Hmmm.... I missed it...

Where in my two posts did I say one way superior to another?

Oh, my One True Way comment wasn't a commentary on you; it's just a quirk of my ultra-grognard forum character.


I want to know who's got the fruit for 3d6-in-order. 'Cause really, this 4d6-DTL AND arrange to taste is just a bunch of Unearthed Arcana bull-pucky.

The Exchange

Maybe in a future edition of the game we could have the spells divided into schools and each school's DCs are tied to a certain ability school. Like say that all Divination spells DCs are tied to wisdom, all Enchantment spells DCs are anchored to Charisma, Transmutation DC base on Intelligence...something like that would reduce the whole "wizards need one stat only" mentality and help keep them from maximizing their spell DCs as easily.

The Exchange

loaba wrote:
I want to know who's got the fruit for 3d6-in-order. 'Cause really, this 4d6-DTL AND arrange to taste is just a bunch of Unearthed Arcana bull-pucky.

I used to play 3d6 in order back in the day but haven't lately. Back then you didn't pick a class, you rolled and hoped to qualify for certain ones. Of course having a 14 was a great stat.....and stats didn't mean as much, although apparently everyone back then was rocking 18/00 fighters somehow even though the chance of rolling that was ridiculously rare.


Fake Healer wrote:
loaba wrote:
I want to know who's got the fruit for 3d6-in-order. 'Cause really, this 4d6-DTL AND arrange to taste is just a bunch of Unearthed Arcana bull-pucky.
I used to play 3d6 in order back in the day but haven't lately. Back then you didn't pick a class, you rolled and hoped to qualify for certain ones. Of course having a 14 was a great stat.....and stats didn't mean as much, although apparently everyone back then was rocking 18/00 fighters somehow even though the chance of rolling that was ridiculously rare.

Which really speaks to the reason why I like PB. If I want to play a certain class, I study it and determine what abilities really matter. I know that even with a 15 PB, I'll be able to make it work. And really, truly, I just don't even care if X class only has one really important stats and I have two.


loaba wrote:
I want to know who's got the fruit for 3d6-in-order. 'Cause really, this 4d6-DTL AND arrange to taste is just a bunch of Unearthed Arcana bull-pucky.

I'd totally try 3d6 down the line for a one-shot. Of course the problem with one-shots with the NYC Paizo group is that we're always in a time crunch, so rolling and in-session character creation would probably mean pulling an all-night game.

Now that I think of it though...nah, we're all too old for all-night games!

Fake Healer wrote:
Maybe in a future edition of the game we could have the spells divided into schools and each school's DCs are tied to a certain ability school. Like say that all Divination spells DCs are tied to wisdom, all Enchantment spells DCs are anchored to Charisma, Transmutation DC base on Intelligence...something like that would reduce the whole "wizards need one stat only" mentality and help keep them from maximizing their spell DCs as easily.

Careful, that's dangerously close to vaguely resembling how 4e handles the wizard class. ;)


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loaba wrote:
If we want to ask sub-questions, then riddle me this; why is a randomly generated 8 better than a point-buy 8? I get the feeling the random rollers feel like their 8 is some kind of badge of honor, while those same Randomites look down on the P-B'er and his 8 (and probable 18).

Its not about better, its about whats enjoyable. Theres no badge of honor, I just enjoy being given a character and making it work (I dont reroll, as a general rule).

FWIW, my preference is 3d6, in order, reroll at the player's option. I dont "look down" on people who prefer point-buy though - I think they should be allowed to do that.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Its not about better, its about whats enjoyable.

And that's the plain truth - random or buy, whatever the group enjoys more is the way to go.


Yeah, I can understand rolls if you enjoy getting your character concept out of your stats. I always have a character concept first, so it can be... very disappointing to me if I can't get stats that service that concept.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Clearly the PBers didn't earn their 18 by rolling and risking that 8.

It always makes me laugh when people use the word earn in any situation that is entirely dependent upon skill-less gambling. It's like saying that being born a prince earned you the title because the vagina you popped out of happened to be a noblewoman's. :P


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Yeah, I can understand rolls if you enjoy getting your character concept out of your stats. I always have a character concept first, so it can be... very disappointing to me if I can't get stats that service that concept.

It would be annoying if you have a clear idea of who your character is before you roll your stats and then find they just dont work.

Ultimately I'm still stuck in the mindset of stat prerequisites for the "better" classes and level caps based on race. Coming from there, I never think about what class/race I'm going to be until I see what I'm working with.


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Marshmallow fallacy is becoming a thing here again.

It really comes down to this: the gaming systems are different.

Point Buy favors players who like to have more control over their character, but yields more formulated and less variable results.

Dice Rolling favors no one, but has potential to produce the most varied results.

My problems with point buy are less about the game style choice and about giving players a way to make the characters they want, and more about the fact that it's a lie and players still can't make the characters they want, but the ones who claim they can get to have a huge chip on their shoulder about it.


master_marshmallow wrote:
My problems with point buy [...is] that it's a lie and players still can't make the characters they want

I'm gonna need more data.


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loaba wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
My problems with point buy [...is] that it's a lie and players still can't make the characters they want
I'm gonna need more data.

This thread exists.

Pretty much all the data you should need.

To humor you, I will recant the fact that paizo is continuously putting out products that are being warped by point buy.

Dervish Dance wouldn't be as popular as it is if it didn't mean all of a sudden a magus no longer has to buy in a good STR and DEX to be competent in battle.

There would be a lot less Oradin builds if getting CHA to everything didn't mean all of a sudden you can afford to invest in a better than mediocre (when compared to a fighter or barbarian) STR and still have decent CHA to fuel your class abilities.

Once again, the devs wouldn't change the mechanics of the game and let the swashbuckler take Combat Expertise with his CHA instead of his INT if point buy didn't force the players to build their swashbucklers in a way that prevented them from investing in INT just because they need to be able to use their class abilities.

Look at every caster vs. martial thread and you will see that consistently it comes down to casters (most notoriously wizards, but also witches, oracles, and sorcerers) needing less resources to make their characters effective and being more effective than the martials.

Basically, martial classes are only allowed half a piece of cake, and they aren't even allowed to eat that while casters get to stuff their face with two pieces.


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How is any of this improved by rolling? Combat Expertise requiring a stat that no full martial uses for any other reason is still a problem if you're rolling. It might not be a problem if you happen to roll stats that are significantly higher than what Paizo expects you to have, but it also might be worse if you roll lower stats.

Point buy supporting the use of Dervish Dance is absolutely a great thing, and not just for the Magus though it isn't close to optimal for anyone else. I mean, unless you actually believe that two-handed power attacking or pouncing natural attacks should be the only two ways to play a full martial. Celebrate the increase of options, they're good for you!


Marshmallow, I think you need to stop looking at the class disparity and focus the discussion back on the stats.

If it helps, assume two members of the same group both want to make a fighter as you compare point buy to rolling.


master_marshmallow wrote:
loaba wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
My problems with point buy [...is] that it's a lie and players still can't make the characters they want
I'm gonna need more data.

This thread exists.

Pretty much all the data you should need.

To humor you, I will recant the fact that paizo is continuously putting out products that are being warped by point buy.

Dervish Dance wouldn't be as popular as it is if it didn't mean all of a sudden a magus no longer has to buy in a good STR and DEX to be competent in battle.

Gonna stop you right there. I play a 25 PB Magus and he's a machine... with a 12 DEX. Yup. Twelve. I spent my points on STR and INT and I've maxed my Arcane Pool points. He's a regular Angel of Death, a paragon among Murder Hobo's everywhere! And I digress...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My Paladin has not multi classed and my Magus doesn't use Dervish Dance.


And my Goblin Mobile Fighter is really appreciating the existence of Dervish Dance without ever touching magic.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
My Paladin has not multi classed and my Magus doesn't use Dervish Dance.

Icaro focuses on ranged touch and timely Alpha Strikes. Oh yeah, and I gave up my fine Azlanti chassis (yes, I got cloned) to head back to my less-then-optimal Half-elf shell.

To put this dog back on point, you may think a Magus (or any other class) absolutely needs X stats at Y rate and that's just you. That's your take on character building. It's got nothing to do with PB or with random stats that aren't high enough.


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I like how everyone assumes that DD magus is the only magus.... The Dervish Dance Magus actually ends up falling behind the High Str Magus in the late game. The only reason why you see DD magus over the high Str magus is because in the early game, the DD magus has a much better AC and slightly less MAD at the time, where as the High Str magus is aiming for Spellstrike in Full-plate because screw you.


Arachnofiend wrote:

How is any of this improved by rolling? Combat Expertise requiring a stat that no full martial uses for any other reason is still a problem if you're rolling. It might not be a problem if you happen to roll stats that are significantly higher than what Paizo expects you to have, but it also might be worse if you roll lower stats.

Point buy supporting the use of Dervish Dance is absolutely a great thing, and not just for the Magus though it isn't close to optimal for anyone else. I mean, unless you actually believe that two-handed power attacking or pouncing natural attacks should be the only two ways to play a full martial. Celebrate the increase of options, they're good for you!

Again, never said rolling was superior, I only said that point buy leads to bad game design.

You can give me counter examples all you want, sure, but they don't disprove the fact that those options exist seemingly for no reason other than to keep on using point buy when it is flawed.

Just using a higher point buy or using a different dice rolling method doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

If you wanna go back to talking about stat generation in general I'm gonna go back to asking what you are gonna do once you pick those stats... oh yeah... pick a class, and we're right back to where I was.


You haven't proven that PB is flawed, rather you've shown that some classes have to make more careful choices with their resources.

MAD and SAD - it's all in your head.

Direct question - does a Paladin need to invest in WIS and DEX (as well as CHA and STR), or rather can he get by with a dual major in STR & CHA and everything else is negotiable?


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loaba wrote:
MAD and SAD - it's all in your head.

What?


master_marshmallow wrote:
loaba wrote:
MAD and SAD - it's all in your head.
What?

I'm talking about Multiple Attribute Dependency and Single Attribute Dependency.

One thing - I do absolutely concur that there is no difference between a 15 PB Wizard and 25 PB Wizard. The Wizard and other classes like him do find it easy to invest in their battery and let the rest shake out as they will.

That doesn't mean PB is flawed, rather it means that setting up a starting stat array for a Wizard should be cake.


loaba wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
loaba wrote:
MAD and SAD - it's all in your head.
What?

I'm talking about Multiple Attribute Dependency and Single Attribute Dependency.

One thing - I do absolutely concur that there is no difference between a 15 PB Wizard and 25 PB Wizard. The Wizard and other classes like him do find it easy to invest in their battery and let the rest shake out as they will.

That doesn't mean PB is flawed, rather it means that setting up a starting stat array for a Wizard should be cake.

Your argument is like, so backwards it's not even funny.

Like, how can you agree with the statistics that prove my point but not agree with my point?


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By rejecting the premise. (That all classes should have the same difficulty in assigning their attributes using Point Buy methods).


I am confused.


Lakesidefantasy wrote:
It is a matter of personal preference, and of course no one way is the right way. The goal is to just have fun, but some gamers apparently find certain methods so abhorrent and un-fun that they will walk away from a table using them. Depending on the circumstances, this can be a bit rude and insulting. It's hard getting enough people together to play this game, and people walking away just makes it harder.

Sure there can be rude ways to do this. But imagine the following and tell me if it is rude and what about it is.

GM: I'm going to make a game of pathfinder, care to join in?
Me: Pathfinder sounds nice, how are you going to generate stats?
GM: We will be rolling them standard.
Me: Hmm.. you're sat on this? I really don't like rolling. Couldn't you just give us stat arrays? Like you roll some stats and we use them, allocating them as we see fit? Or perhaps point buy?
GM: No, I'm really set on having them rolled individually.
Me: Sorry, but then I'll have to pass. Happy gaming to you. *sadface*

Quote:


I think most Pathfinder gamers use the Standard method simply because it is called the Standard method in the Core Rulebook. However, the Purchase or Point-Buy method seems to have increased in use. I think this may partially come from the influence of 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons, because , if I recall correctly, it adopted the Purchase method as the standard. (I may be wrong about this, it has been years since I last played 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons).

I never played 4th edition. And I think it is the other way round. Because an increasing number of players prefers to use point buy some rpgs now use it.


As much as I hate rolling stats and think it should die in a fire, having played Dark Heresy for a while, it's kinda growing on me. :p

While point buy is both more fair and allow you to build the character you actually want to play, I'm finding myself coming around to the point where I actually enjoy the random nature of rolled stats and having to come up with a character concept that fit those, rather than the other way around.

Is this what old age feels like? o.O


I think a lot of the reason people are against rolling so much is just that they are looking at character creation in a different order/perspective to the rollers.

Pointbuyers decided what character they want to build, and then work out how to get the stats they need for that build.

Rollers (should) roll up a set of Stats (IN ORDER), and then see what character they can build from those stats.

It's just a different way of thinking.

Fairness is not really an issue; everyone gets the same chance with the dice.

As an example, let's roll up some 4d6DTL stats - rolled in order.
Str: 18, Dex: 9, Con: 14, Int: 15, Wis: 13, Cha: 8
(randomly rolled, but happens to be equivalent to point buy 29).

Only now do we think what character and race we want to go to with those stats - we could go with some kind of fighter (probably putting a racial bonus in Dex) or Wizard (putting a racial bonus in Int). An elf character puts a racial bonus in both which might be nice. You have to be creative in a different way. What would you make with these stats?


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sgriobhadair wrote:

Str: 18, Dex: 9, Con: 14, Int: 15, Wis: 13, Cha: 8

(randomly rolled, but happens to be equivalent to point buy 29).

<snip>

What would you make with these stats?

Ooh. Let's see. I'm picturing an alchemist (vivisectionist, perhaps?) who has been experimenting on herself to the point where she's become obscenely buff. However, the added bulk has slowed her down a good deal (never mind how her hands have started to shake when she goes too long without her custom cocktail of drugs). She also tends to be rather impatient with the common plebs who just don't get her genius! A character flaw that has grown more pronounced the more she expose herself to her own experiments.

Elf would be an obvious choice, but I'm also thinking half-elf (or human blah blah), putting the bonus points into Dex or Int. Probably Int.

I'd play her!

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