Point Buy - Down to 7


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Sarcasmancer wrote:


Is this tired, irrelevant "roleplay vs mechanics" example supposed to prove something?

i only brought it up to say that I question the argument that people are playing Big Dumb Fighters because they REALLY wanted to make their character be like Fezzik. I think more people are doing it for the extra bonuses, that's all I was saying.

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Under the default rules you are literally penalized FOR taking a 7 in a stat, in the form of a -2 penalty.

I meant you're penalized for not taking a 7 in the way that characters who take ability scores below 10 are better off than those who do not, simply because they can use the extra points from an unimportant class stat and put it into an important stat for their class.

Shadow Lodge

Dasrak wrote:
Quote:

Intelligence determines how well your character Learns and Reasons.

But of course only the learn part has a game mechanic to support it.

So because of one word in one section that is never referenced anywhere else or given any representation in the rules, you'll make subjective calls on the way your players are allowed to roleplay?

As I said to the other guy, I know where you're coming from, but I completely disagree.

Again only my opinon.

I find this type of reasoning to be confusing. Because it doesnt have game mechanics to support it you ignore it as a gaming tool. Its a role playing game not all aspectd of the have a mechanic component.

Mental attributes are hard to quantify. Lets look at the mental stats.

Intelligance determines how well your character learns and reasons.
Wisdom discribes a character's will power, common sense, awareness and intuition.
Charisma measures a character's personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance.

The bold words are the ones that I believe dont have any 'crunch' game wise. I could be wrong sbout parts of the charisma.

These sentences discribe what each attribute is supposed reflect in the game. Just because itdoesnt have a game mechanic doesnt mean that part of the discription has no place in the game.

Finding it hard to put my thoughts into the right words, was never very good at it..

Anyone understand what I'm trying to say?


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a 7 isn't too bad, nor is a 5 after racial penalties. it's not the end of the world. even on a 25 point buy. the real thing you should worry about, is not one guy with higher primary scores, but the guy with extremely potent class features.

i have no problem with the 25 point onispawn monk with the 5 charisma. i have no problems with a barbarian of the same setup.

my problem, is when players shoehorn assumptions and tell the monk or barbarian how to roleplay or describe his character based upon his 5 charisma.

oh? 5 int barbarian comes up with a clever solution OOC. don't think of it as the 5 Int Barbarian's idea, think of it as a Sudden Reveleation that occured within the head of the 20 int wizard instead.

the player of the barbarian may have had the Idea OOC. but it would be the Wizard's Idea IC.

Silver Crusade

The way I treat it, a dump stat (7) is only bad if you disregard the roleplaying implications. If there is a puzzle lock on a door, I don't want the player of the 7 int fighter taking it over and solving it, then (most importantly) attributing the solved puzzle to his character. I would expect all players to work together to solve it, then attribute their solution to the brilliance of the wizard character. The 7 int fighter is represented as walking off bored at the prospect of the puzzle, while the 18 int wizard is represented by the players' collective problem solving and saying the in-game time to come to that solution was no more than a minute.

EDIT: Umbriere Moonwhisper said basically the same thing.


What if the 7 Int Fighter has a 14 Wis?

I agree with your general premise but that specific example (which crops up a lot) bugs me since problem solving skill can often be mimicked with strong intuition or, in some cases, common sense.


Rynjin wrote:

What if the 7 Int Fighter has a 14 Wis?

I agree with your general premise but that specific example (which crops up a lot) bugs me since problem solving skill can often be mimicked with strong intuition or, in some cases, common sense.

so true

14 Wis could also help with the puzzle, even if the 7 or 5 int could. intellect and book learning isn't the only way around a riddle. intuition and common sense help too.


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I'm OK with a low stat. In fact, when roleplaying, I actually prefer it. Its FUN to role play a low stat, IMO, especially Wisdom and/or Charisma.

Sheldon (Big Bang Theory), Dr. Perry Cox (Scrubs), and Dr. House (House) are great characters BECAUSE of their low stats.

Silver Crusade

A wis solution the the puzzle door may be to realize the door isn't that sturdy and you could just break it down instead. In my opinion, wis will give you a clever "back door" solution. Int is how you "muscle" your way directly through a mental challenge. If the high int character has low wis, it's entirely likely he sees the puzzle and stops looking for alternate solutions. He lacks the common sense to try anything else.


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Hey man, Dr. Cox has no low stats. He is a god among men and you shall treat him as such, Nancy.


2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:

For me it's not the people who drop their INT to 7. It's the people who drop their INT to 7, but then don't play their character that way.

If you're going to have an INT of 7, you don't get to come up with all of the clever solutions to the problems confronting the party.

Now what do you say of characters who have 7 intelligence, but say 14 Wisdom? Are they not allowed to be clever?

I didn't say a character can't ever be clever. I didn't say a character can't ever solve any problems.

But it's clearly not playing the stats on the page (which indicate that your character is appreciably and noticeably less intelligent than average) if that character is the one figuring everything out, which is how some people (some, not all, not even most I would venture) play. That's the only time I roll my eyes at it. That's when it feels munchkinny, rather than optimizy.

Liberty's Edge

I don't particularly care if people dump stats, so long as that low stat is addressed during play. Too often the below average statistic, generally in the areas of intellect or social interaction, is conveniently ignored during game play.

While it is just a matter of 1-3 points in a stat, it is still a significant "practical" amount below the standard humanoid average. However, these often amount to more of role play only hindrance and as such, they are ignored.

Dark Archive

There will always be people that see Pathfinder as nothing more than the equivalent of a video game using dice instead of controllers. What good will it do to penalize these people by telling them they can't cannibalize one of their ability scores to raise another one? All it does is satisfy (I believe this point was raised earlier in the thread) various ropes that have been around far longer than Pathfinder -- dare I say, far longer than D&D itself. A lot (and I mean a lot) of people see no value in role-play at all, wishing instead to roll dice. These people need to be given the same amount of respect and consideration as those interested primarily in role-play.

Now, all that being said, a home game is a home game. I imagine a lot of people would find being denied that final two points to allot somewhere as overly silly, but that isn't the players' call in a home game. Fortunately, they've got the option to simply walk away if it bothers'em that much. I personally cannot see any reason theme-wise or otherwise that would justify preventing a player from building their character with a 7.

Side note: Dr. Gregory House would be a person with probably 10-12 STR, 10 dex (maybe less due to wounded leg, though that doesn't necessarily lower dex so much as move speed), apparently 18 CON considering all the ridiculous crap he's lived through and hmm; 30 INT, 20 WIS (hard to gauge this one; guy's got amazing observational powers but continually does dumb things), and a charisma of 1.


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It always seems to me like people take abilities scores far too seriously. I've never really cared whether or not someone dumped an ability score during my games. The effect really is minor mechanically. I've also found that telling people to act out their ability scores also tends to create problems since their are so many different opinions what such an amount in a score should be. Besides, if someone dumps something, they're going to feel its effects regardless when they're rolling skills, so I don't see the point in forcing people to "play out" their ability scores if they don't want to.


I would vastly prefer to see characters who don't have a glaring weakness that prevents them from contributing in the game, especially during non-combat encounters. The issue I have with point-buy in general is that it does rather encourage players to identify which attributes do the least for them, and then dump them for more points.

I'd happily give out more points if that would prevent this approach- but from completely anecdotal evidence, I've observed that usually isn't the result.

It isn't that min/max is evil or detracts from roleplay- but some days I feel that if I see one more Barbarian with low Charisma I'll scream. ^-^

Nobody would really want low Charisma if they had a choice, would they? So it's not that people are dumping Charisma that bothers me- it's that they are often doing it for what I feel are the wrong reasons; to make their character stronger.

There's nothing wrong with wanting a stronger character. And in the case of MAD classes, sometimes there just isn't enough points to go around. I just wish it didn't have to come at the cost of not being able to out-wrestle a 9 year-old girl or being so dense you could actually fail a perception check to notice a combat breaking out.


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Lynceus wrote:
Nobody would really want low Charisma if they had a choice, would they? So it's not that people are dumping Charisma that bothers me- it's that they are often doing it for what I feel are the wrong reasons; to make their character stronger.

I'd rather RP a low charisma than an average one, so both the role play and roll play angel on opposite shoulders can high 5 each other on that decision.

Dark Archive

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Stat dumping makes for large disparities between low-power gamers and high-power gamers. A 7 essentially gives you 4 extra build points with almost no loss; 7 Str or Chr for the right characters have no relevant game effects.

For my part, I am a huge stat dumper when it is legal; and note the power of my character relative to the table with some satisfaction. In my home campaign I give 24 points with no stat dumping (give each person the advantage of 1 7 without having them think they need to play some social incompetent or do too much weight calc).


Sarcasmancer wrote:
Anguish wrote:

How many of the "village idiot" strongman fighters we've all seen at the table would have existed if there was no mechanical benefit to dumping Int?

I allow 25-point build, but I stipulate I don't want to see negatives.

I totally, completely, do not understand this. The big dumb brute (or socially inept, weakling genius) is a common fictional trope, even in the complete absence of any game mechanics. I really don't get where you're coming from. It's obviously not about game balance, or you wouldn't be handing out 25-point buy.

I'm at a loss.

It is - for me - mostly balanced. See, with a 15-point buy and dumping allowed, you end up with a character with a primary stat of 16-18, one or two support stats at 12-14, and some abysmal crutch stats. With 25-point buy and no dumping and no stacking allowed, you end up with a character with a primary stat of 16-18, one or two support stats at 12-14, and a couple filler stats that allow flexibility.

At my table, I see fighters with enough Int to pick up a couple unusual skills, like Bluff or Knowledge or maybe Linguistics. I see wizards who might actually be able to Climb a knotted ladder <Grin>, and I see barbarians who might actually be the party's face.

I don't have significantly more powerful PCs, but I have PCs who aren't starved for skills. I have players who might be inspired by a sorcerer with a +2 to Wis who realizes "hey, I might make this a really observant character and invest in Perception!" I get wizards who might pick up a composite longbow and branch out into archery a little, because they're not stuck with -2 Str.

I get, in short, PCs that aren't meaningfully more powerful but are certainly more flexible and inspired.

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Anguish wrote:
If you don't have the points to spread over a few abilities, dumping is a necessary evil.
Why is it "evil" at all?

It's evil - most of the time - because of the motivation. Notice that I started asking the question of if most players would be dumping these dump stats if there wasn't a mechanical benefit to doing so. How many people would be playing the dumb-as-a-rock fighter if it didn't let them be even-more-fighter. More dumb, more fight. Yeah! I strongly suspect - aside from My First Player Character situations - that most of us wouldn't dump those stats if we didn't "have to" in order to get the primary stats we want.

Also, I don't particularly like my players roleplaying idiots and sociopaths. That's my personal preference, granted. But it really bothers me when that one borderline immature person at the table takes the opportunity to let their inner BLEEPhead out, and starts insulting NPCs because they think they're being clever. That's an Express Elevator to you're-out-of-the-party in most circumstances but it gets tolerated because out-of-game nobody wants to tell him or or her to roll up a new character. Same thing goes for moron characters that just won't do anything sensible even when told in-character what a good plan is, because the player has elected to shut off their brain. Got dice, me now act as dumb as possible, as often as possible. Again, these mental defectives would be kicked off the boat and fed to sharks ASAP if it weren't for OOG considerations.

So yeah, kind of evil.


A 7 really helps me define a weakness for a character. I like having one at 7.

The few chars with a 7 I have played have been long term and really fun.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lynceus wrote:
Nobody would really want low Charisma if they had a choice, would they? So it's not that people are dumping Charisma that bothers me- it's that they are often doing it for what I feel are the wrong reasons; to make their character stronger.
I'd rather RP a low charisma than an average one, so both the role play and roll play angel on opposite shoulders can high 5 each other on that decision.

Yep, a person with an average charisma playing a person with an average charisma is not as fun as shaking things up!


-2 mod vs -1 mod

A good stat to have in the non-main attribute is 14. A 7 is the opposite of that. It's more than just minor weakness to your character. Where many people have the issue is when that 7 is thrown into an irrelevant stat. Like fighter with 7 int and 7 cha. That player decides to cripple their character for everything non-combat related in exchange for maybe another +1 to the mod of one of their main stats.

Now as to why 7 is awful but 8 is OK: Let's look at the point cost of their respective positive counterparts 14 and 12. A 12 cost 2 points to have, while a 14 cost 5 points to have. A 14 is considered to be 150% more valuable than a 12. This thinking is easily applied to 8 and 7 even though their point buy difference is only 100%, but that is merely because 7 is an odd number and is effectively a 6 for most attributes and situations.


Rynjin wrote:
Apparently there was something about "unacceptable min-maxing" which was defined as "coming up with mechanics before concept" but when I asked why that mattered nobody even attempted an answer.

It was off topic for that thread.

Why does it matter? Personal taste. Preference. Do you want to play a strategy board game or role play a character? Sure, we're doing both when we play Pathfinder, but which one do you lean towards?

If you prefer the strategy game over the role playing game, then have at the min/maxing to your heart's content. If you prefer the role play to the strategy, you're going to have better luck enjoying your character by making the character, and then filling in the mechanics to match.

Why does it matter? To maximize fun! We should all min/max fun!

Don't like munchkins at your table? Minimize em! Like role players at your table? Maximize them!

That is why it matters.


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Sarcasmancer wrote:
So this kept coming up in another thread but I never got a good answer and it was slightly off-topic anyway. Many many people say that they would disallow stats to be dumped down to 7 under a point-buy system. If you're one of those people - why? What's so bad about dumping to 7 vs dumping to 8? I await your reply.

I heard once, and it simply stuck with me, that if you multiply your character's Int score by 10, that's a good quick n dirty way to guestimate what their IQ should be.

Seems to work out too.

Normal max range to start out is 18. That's a 180 IQ. That is one brilliant dude right there. If you get a racial mod, you could have a 20, that 200 IQ... wow! That is truly impressive, a paragon of intellectual might! Seems to make sense too.

10 is an average score for regular folk. Interestingly, that is 100IQ, which is the very definition of an average IQ score. Just like 10 is the very definition of an average Int. So, our upper range lines up, and our average range lines up.

Even cooler, IQs are separated by 'deviations'. Different levels within the scale. A very common scale of deviation is 16 points. Round that to 20, and this lines up with the Int modifier tiers. So, someone with a 120 IQ is one standard deviation higher than a guy with 100. Correlation? A guy with a 12 Int gets +1 more bonus than a guy with 100.

////

My point for that long winded comparison? Well, a guy with an 80 IQ is mostly functional, if a bit slow and dumb. A guy with a 70 IQ is, clinically, mentally impaired.

This means playing a character with a 7 Int is handicapped. And, if you extract from there, a 7 in general means you are handicapped.

It isn't 100% disability, you can mostly function. But you need help. A guy with a 7 str has a health problem. He might be anorexic or have some sort of muscular degeneration going on, but there is something physically wrong.

////

The reason it is a problem isn't because a character with a 7 is terribad or anything. The reason it is bad is because no one likes to actually play their character as handicapped. And that is what they are, handicapped.

A guy with a 7 Cha might have brilliant things to say that could sway the masses to his ideas... if only he didn't have crippling social anxiety and stuttered uncontrollably.

The guy with a 7 wisdom has attention deficit, has no impulse control, and thinks everything is a Great Idea!!, he'd be easy to convince to do anything, and he wouldn't even notice being manipulated.

The guy with a 7 int can barely even write his name, when he remembers what it even is of course. He cannot retain information to save his life. You could tell him simple instructions and he'll forget them.

A guy with a 7 con is dying! He is sickly, he would constantly be ill, digestive distress, colds, flus, filth fever, mummy rot... maybe he is anemic, or some other degenerative disorder.

You following?

A 7 in an ability score is debilitating. And if you're not going to play a handicapable adventurer... don't dump your stats that low!

Liberty's Edge

DM Under The Bridge wrote:

A 7 really helps me define a weakness for a character. I like having one at 7.

The few chars with a 7 I have played have been long term and really fun.

Very true, playing a character with a shortcoming can make for a far more in depth development... flawed characters are more real, easier to relate to. As long as the flaw is actually played, and not just hand waved away.

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Yep, a person with an average charisma playing a person with an average charisma is not as fun as shaking things up!

That depends on what you mean by "shake things up!". If you mean getting to play outside of your own day to day persona, then yes, it makes for great RP opportunities. A very low Charisma could mean someone socially awkward, painfully shy, badly scarred, untrained in social mores, etc. However, if it means "Get to be a free range assclown because I am a surly, cantankerous, anti social rod of continual disruption!", then it can get old really really quick. A stat dump shouldn't be free license for a player to play the fool or act like a jack wagon and try to get away with being a disruption while using the excuse of "I am just playing my stats!".


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Remy Balster wrote:
I heard once, and it simply stuck with me, that if you multiply your character's Int score by 10, that's a good quick n dirty way to guestimate what their IQ should be.

Let's ignore for the moment the problems with IQ and pretend that it's a good measure of intelligence. This idea is still awful. It means I can have a 1st level character with an IQ of 230. At 20th level, without any inherent bonuses or magic, this character can have an IQ of 280. Include magic and inherent bonuses and her IQ jumps to 390. This is nonsense. Why does this character's IQ jump up when she reaches 4th level? Why did it jump up when she aged? The standard deviation for IQ is supposed to be 15. This character is about 9 standard deviations above the norm at 1st level and about 19 standard deviations above the norm at 20th level. This is all nonsense.

The other problem with your idea is you think that people with disabilities are completely incapable of functioning normally. Honestly, you're being really insensitive.


I am reluctant to play with stats that give me penalties because I am a very average person irl. It is difficult for me to role play really stupid, really odious, really weak, really sick, really clumsy or really foolish. I have a hard time imagining what it's like to be any of those things the same way that I have a hard time imagining what it's like to be an evil alignment. This is not to say that I never play with a stat low enough to garner a penalty or an evil alignment, it's that I often find myself playing as if I had all average stats or a good alignment regardless of what my character sheet says. The more extreme your stats are, the less normal or average you are so the greater the role play challenge. Sometimes I enjoy the challenge and sometimes I don't.

I am currently playing alchemist with a 9 strength. I probably could have dumped it more but I am having such a hard time carrying all my equipment without going into a medium load that I prepare 2 Ant Haul extracts every day to ensure that I can. Soon I will be able to prepare only 1 Ant Haul to cover my needs and I might acquire gear to help with the issue but, for now, I'm not sure dumping strength has really paid off. The game has built in functions designed to enforce the implications of low strength (encumbrance especially as well as melee attack and damage penalties) and my DM observes them closely. In a game where encumbrance was not so closely monitored, my dumped strength might not be as noticeable. Or if it were a stat that has less strictly mechanical enforcement, a low intellect or particularly a low charisma score, it might be less noticeable and I believe that is what causes some of the derision around dumping those.


Dasrak wrote:
Secondly, why would the character with the horrific intelligence penalty be asked to make the appraise check? Another party member would doubtlessly do it for him. Maybe the GM might catch you the first time and sell you a water-down potion, but after that you'll be in a "fool me once" scenario and the player won't fall for it again.

A guy with 7 int is going to have a hard time understanding what a potion even is, let alone try explaining to him that he got a watered down one that doesn't work right.

Even if he does finally understand, after the other characters spent an hour explaining it over and over and patiently helping him understand these complex (for him) concepts...by tomorrow he'll have forgot it even happened.


I want my players to feel competent. I don't want to force them to either be incompetent in their main skills or have some big glaring weakness.

So I give a 23 or 28 point buy depending on campaign, rather than 15 or 20. I don't prohibit dump stats - if someone wants to roleplay someone with a weakness that's great! But they don't get any extra points for lowering the stats.

So optimization doesn't encourage having glaring (ability score) weaknesses, but those who want it for roleplay can.


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Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
I heard once, and it simply stuck with me, that if you multiply your character's Int score by 10, that's a good quick n dirty way to guestimate what their IQ should be.

Let's ignore for the moment the problems with IQ and pretend that it's a good measure of intelligence. This idea is still awful. It means I can have a 1st level character with an IQ of 230. At 20th level, without any inherent bonuses or magic, this character can have an IQ of 280. Include magic and inherent bonuses and her IQ jumps to 390. This is nonsense. Why does this character's IQ jump up when she reaches 4th level? Why did it jump up when she aged? The standard deviation for IQ is supposed to be 15. This character is about 9 standard deviations above the norm at 1st level and about 19 standard deviations above the norm at 20th level. This is all nonsense.

The other problem with your idea is you think that people with disabilities are completely incapable of functioning normally. Honestly, you're being really insensitive.

Where are you getting a 23 Int at level 1?

The standard deviation is 15 for some scales. Each test uses its own deviation. 16 is common.

And once you toss magic items/bonuses into the equation, of course it is nonsense.

A guy with 20 strength can lift 400 pounds over his head. At level 1 this is possible. A level 20 fightery guy with a manual and a belt can get up to 36 strength.

You know what 36 strength lets you lift over your head? 3680 lbs.

Is that nonsense? Of course it is, it is a 20th level character in a fantasy role playing game.

And finally, handicapped people have difficulty doing stuff. I’m not sure why you think that is insensitive, but they wouldn’t be handicapped if they didn’t have difficulty with something.

If a guy with +0 is regular… and a guy with +2 is exceptional… then a guy with a -2 is handicapped. /shrug


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Remy Balster wrote:

A guy with 7 int is going to have a hard time understanding what a potion even is, let alone try explaining to him that he got a watered down one that doesn't work right.

Even if he does finally understand, after the other characters spent an hour explaining it over and over and patiently helping him understand these complex (for him) concepts...by tomorrow he'll have forgot it even happened.

Odd... I see no rule saying a character with Int 7 is incapable of understanding what a potion is.

I don't understand why people are so eager to create extra penalties for low attributes when the rules already include those penalties. Especially since not many of those people are willing to give the Wizard with Int 20 an auto-success on all puzzles and int-related checks just because of his Int score.


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Fake Healer wrote:
Sarcasmancer wrote:


EDIT: And get swindled by unscrupulous merchants / fellow party members when buying and selling.
Diplomacy(cha) and Sense Motive(wis) is a good counter to that.

What skill points was the jock using to learn those skills?


Anguish wrote:

How many of the "village idiot" strongman fighters we've all seen at the table would have existed if there was no mechanical benefit to dumping Int?

How many of the "rude bastard" characters we've all seen at the table would have existed if there was no mechanical benefit to dumping Cha?

How many of the "can't lift a dagger" genius wizards we've all see at the table would have existed if there was no mechanical benefit to dumping Str?

If someone has a character concept, great. But honestly I as a DM don't want my players being morons. I don't want them being uncivil, even "in character". I also don't want them jacking a primary stat higher than the game expect by sacrificing "useless stuff".

I allow 25-point build, but I stipulate I don't want to see negatives. I also don't want to see a pair of 16s (before racial adjustment). I give those bonus points so my players can make well-rounded and interesting characters that are multifaceted.

The gentleman barbarian. The sorcerer who looks like a wrestler. The tactician fighter. I like to see clever, like-able, able characters, so I empower my players to do that......

str 16

dex 10

con 12

int 16

wis 12

cha 11

How is this character not well rounded?
It would be stronger intelligent, wiser and more charismatic, and tougher than the average person with no deficiencies.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
I heard once, and it simply stuck with me, that if you multiply your character's Int score by 10, that's a good quick n dirty way to guestimate what their IQ should be.
Let's ignore for the moment the problems with IQ and pretend that it's a good measure of intelligence. This idea is still awful. It means I can have a 1st level character with an IQ of 230. At 20th level, without any inherent bonuses or magic, this character can have an IQ of 280. Include magic and inherent bonuses and her IQ jumps to 390. This is nonsense. Why does this character's IQ jump up when she reaches 4th level? Why did it jump up when she aged? The standard deviation for IQ is supposed to be 15. This character is about 9 standard deviations above the norm at 1st level and about 19 standard deviations above the norm at 20th level. This is all nonsense.

Oh, God, this again.

Let me unpack everything that's wrong with the above. Well, some of what's wrong with the above:

1) Multiply-by-10 does not fit the distribution of IQ in any sensible way. A person with 180 IQ is about five standard deviations above the norm and should therefore happen less often than one person in ten thousand. While characters are supposed to be heroic, even the typical elite array describes less than one person in 500 if you assume that a 15 int is 150 IQ.

2) The variance in roll 3d6 is about 1.5 points, which puts an 18 at about 3 standard deviations above the norm (approximately 1 in 100) Using this measure, a 7 intelligence is about one standard deviation below the norm, which is functional but noticeable. More below. Of course, if you think that 18s are more common than one in 100 in the general public, then the variance is even greater, and 7 intelligence is even closer to the norm.

3) Improvements in IQ are certainly possible. Learning and experience are the primary method by which that happens, and, oddly enough, exercise is also a factor. So the reason that IQ jumps when you hit 4th level is because you experienced a lot in a high-exercise environment -- basically, the same reason your knowledge of religion went up when you fought the wights.

4) Similarly, the reason your intelligence goes up as you age is because of learning and experience. Now, this specific process has not been observed (human IQ doesn't go up as you age generally), but that has more to do with IQ being a poor reflector of "intelligence." (For example, decision-making ability generally goes up with age until you start to hit extreme old age.)

5) Despite this, words do have meanings. The word "disability" means something that notably impairs your ability to function normally. If you're in a wheelchair, you may still be able to have a happy and satisfying life, but you still can't participate in a normal life, since normal life involves walking. A person with an IQ of 85 (just over one standard deviation below the norm, usually called low-normal) typically has noticeable cognitive impairment in comparison with a person with IQ 100.

If you're actually role-playing a person with 7 Dexterity, they're probably not going to spending a lot of time carrying fragile objects except for comedic effect. If you're actually roleplaying a person with 7 Constitution, they're probably going to be wheezing a lot after climbing staircases. If you're actually role-playing a person with 7 Intelligence, they're probably not going to be solving logic puzzles. (Abstract logic, in particular, is one of the areas that low-normal IQ impacts noticeably.)


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Remy Balster wrote:

Where are you getting a 23 Int at level 1?

The standard deviation is 15 for some scales. Each test uses its own deviation. 16 is common.

And once you toss magic items/bonuses into the equation, of course it is nonsense.

A guy with 20 strength can lift 400 pounds over his head. At level 1 this is possible. A level 20 fightery guy with a manual and a belt can get up to 36 strength.

You know what 36 strength lets you lift over your head? 3680 lbs.

Is that nonsense? Of course it is, it is a 20th level character in a fantasy role playing game.

And finally, handicapped people have difficulty doing stuff. I’m not sure why you think that is insensitive, but they wouldn’t be handicapped if they didn’t have difficulty with something.

If a guy with +0 is regular… and a guy with +2 is exceptional… then a guy with a -2 is handicapped. /shrug

In order to get a 23 in int, simply start with an 18, be a race that adds +2 to int, and be venerable.

Regarding your other points, while lifting that much weight over one's head is ridiculous, it sounds much more absurd if you claim that 1 point of intelligence corresponds to 10 points of IQ. Furthermore, it's not that handicapped people have difficulty "doing stuff", it's to the extent that you seem to believe that handicapped people have this difficulty. You claimed that:

"The guy with a 7 int can barely even write his name, when he remembers what it even is of course. He cannot retain information to save his life. You could tell him simple instructions and he'll forget them."

If we assume your Int/IQ paradigm, your statement is wildly offensive. Actually, even if we do not assume such a thing, it's still wildly offensive. Good job.

Shadow Lodge

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Remy Balster wrote:

A guy with a 7 Cha might have brilliant things to say that could sway the masses to his ideas... if only he didn't have crippling social anxiety and stuttered uncontrollably.

The guy with a 7 wisdom has attention deficit, has no impulse control, and thinks everything is a Great Idea!!, he'd be easy to convince to do anything, and he wouldn't even notice being manipulated.

The guy with a 7 int can barely even write his name, when he remembers what it even is of course. He cannot retain information to save his life. You could tell him simple instructions and he'll forget them.

A guy with a 7 con is dying! He is sickly, he would constantly be ill, digestive distress, colds, flus, filth fever, mummy rot... maybe he is anemic, or some other degenerative disorder.

This reminds me of the time a guy said that the oracle is an unplayable class because of the curse class feature, and if you actually roleplay and clerics are allowed in the campaign then they should be NPC classes only. I think you are reffering to a 3 in all of those stats.


Remy Balster wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Secondly, why would the character with the horrific intelligence penalty be asked to make the appraise check? Another party member would doubtlessly do it for him. Maybe the GM might catch you the first time and sell you a water-down potion, but after that you'll be in a "fool me once" scenario and the player won't fall for it again.
A guy with 7 int is going to have a hard time understanding what a potion even is, let alone try explaining to him that he got a watered down one that doesn't work right.

No more than a real-world guy with an 85 IQ is going to have a hard time understanding that his dealer burned him and sold him a bag of catnip instead of weed. 85 IQ is slow, not imbecilic.

A real-way of looking at this. If my math is right, about half of the folks you knew who dropped out of high school were "low normal" (based on overall distributions). That's right, including those stoners who were always blazing up behind the football bleachers and who never made it to graduation. Do you really think that they were too stupid to know whether or not they'd bought the real stuff?

Liberty's Edge

I don't allow any stat manipulations that increases the pool for stat distribution, or rather do not have minus values on stats below 10. This gives a distinct advantage for classes that have several stats that don't effect them.

With 20 point buy, a Fighter can essentially have upwards to 12 extra points to spend over a class that needs most of their stats, like Paladin or Monk.


Lemmy wrote:
I don't understand why people are so eager to create extra penalties for low attributes when the rules already include those penalties. Especially since not many of those people are willing to give the Wizard with Int 20 an auto-success on all puzzles and int-related checks just because of his Int score.

People do add extra benefits to higher stats. Maybe not universally, but it happens.

Does your character with a 20 strength look muscled and big, or is he 90 lbs and thin as a rail? Does what he look like change how other people regard him? Does he get treated differently simply because people can visibly tell that he could crush their skull with his bare hands? Of course! None of that is rules, it is just obvious ancillary effects of being uncommonly and ridiculously strong.

Guess what are the ancillary effects of being exceptionally unintelligent? You don’t remember or understand things…


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Remy Balster wrote:

People do add extra benefits to higher stats. Maybe not universally, but it happens.

Does your character with a 20 strength look muscled and big, or is he 90 lbs and thin as a rail? Does what he look like change how other people regard him? Does he get treated differently simply because people can visibly tell that he could crush their skull with his bare hands? Of course! None of that is rules, it is just obvious ancillary effects of being uncommonly and ridiculously strong.

Guess what are the ancillary effects of being exceptionally unintelligent? You don’t remember or understand things…

That's an advantage related to character's appearance, which can be anything you want, regardless of attributes.

I don't often see people claiming the guy with high Int/Wis/Cha/whatever auto-succeeds on all Int/Wis/Cha/whatever-related activities, but for some reason, having a -2 modifier means they auto-fail on even the most basic stuff.

The rules already penalize players for dumping attributes. I'd be really annoyed if my GM created extra penalties.


Remy Balster wrote:


Does your character with a 20 strength look muscled and big, or is he 90 lbs and thin as a rail? Does what he look like change how other people regard him? Does he get treated differently simply because people can visibly tell that he could crush their skull with his bare hands? Of course! None of that is rules, it is just obvious ancillary effects of being uncommonly and ridiculously strong.

Actually, in some cases it's even rules. I've seen a number of Paizo-published adventures where the baddies will pick on "any member of the party who appears weak," or some such phrasing.

Of course, a rules lawyer might like to point out that "weak" is not a game-defined term, and there's no reason to assume that the weedy-little 8 Strength wizard looks any different from the barbarian who's standing across the room from him bending fireplace pokers and bench-pressing cows.

But for those of you who are arguing that there are no game-effects of low stats, let me just ask who the bullying drunk would pick on, and why?


Lemmy wrote:


That's an advantage related to character's appearance, which can be anything you want, regardless of attributes.

Thanks for proving my point:

me wrote:


Of course, a rules lawyer might like to point out that "weak" is not a game-defined term, and there's no reason to assume that the weedy-little 8 Strength wizard looks any different from the barbarian who's standing across the room from him bending fireplace pokers and bench-pressing cows.


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Lemmy wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:

People do add extra benefits to higher stats. Maybe not universally, but it happens.

Does your character with a 20 strength look muscled and big, or is he 90 lbs and thin as a rail? Does what he look like change how other people regard him? Does he get treated differently simply because people can visibly tell that he could crush their skull with his bare hands? Of course! None of that is rules, it is just obvious ancillary effects of being uncommonly and ridiculously strong.

Guess what are the ancillary effects of being exceptionally unintelligent? You don’t remember or understand things…

That's an advantage related to character's appearance, which can be anything you want, regardless of attributes.

I don't often see people claiming the guy with high Int/Wis/Cha/whatever auto-succeeds on all Int/Wis/Cha/whatever-related activities, but for some reason, having a -2 modifier means they auto-fail on even the most basic stuff.

The rules already penalize players for dumping attributes. I'd be really annoyed if my GM created extra penalties.

That is eactly the problem. The GM shouldn't be imposing these penalties. The player should be playing these penalties!!!

if you have a 7 in a stat, you should be distinctly incapable in all things that stat, it would be just as central to who and what you are as your greatest strengths.

But when a player wants to pick a 7 in a stat that they then try to pretend doesn't exist... that is just a min/maxer. They have no interest in making an interesting character; they just wanted to do 1 more point of damage.

That is lame.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I play up my 7 to Wisdom pretty well with my bard :)


Remy Balster wrote:

That is eactly the problem. The GM shouldn't be imposing these penalties. The player should be playing these penalties!!!

if you have a 7 in a stat, you should be distinctly incapable in all things that stat, it would be just as central to who and what you are as your greatest strengths.

But when a player wants to pick a 7 in a stat that they then try to pretend doesn't exist... that is just a min/maxer. They have no interest in making an interesting character; they just wanted to do 1 more point of damage.

That is lame.

I don't understand this insistence that a 7 is so absolutely debilitating. Additionally, I don't know why you've decided that there is a dichotomy between "being distinctly incapable in all things that stat" and "pretending the penalty doesn't exist". There seems to quite a lot of middle ground in between these two.


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There are no rules for what a 7 is in any score other that the modifiers or carrying capacity for strength. Beyond that it is subjective. As I have stated before other than the half human races a substantial percentage of the other races have a 6 in a score and their societies still function.

The average person has an 8 for a base score. Then then is a chance that their negative racial modifier will be in that same score. As an example 1/6(16.7%) of dwarves and elves will have a 6 in charisma and constitution respectively. By the way some people talk the elven population should have a higher need of doctors than the other races.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
That's an advantage related to character's appearance, which can be anything you want, regardless of attributes.

Thanks for proving my point:

me wrote:
Of course, a rules lawyer might like to point out that "weak" is not a game-defined term, and there's no reason to assume that the weedy-little 8 Strength wizard looks any different from the barbarian who's standing across the room from him bending fireplace pokers and bench-pressing cows.

I don't care if the wizard defines his character as being rather muscular. That's character flavor. As long as he isn't cheating to get a unfair advantage, I don't care. Let him have his muscular handsome Wizard. it's not a problem.

What you see as "rules-lawyering" I see as an aversion to unfairly punishing mechanical choices with well defined penalties.

Remy Balster wrote:

That is eactly the problem. The GM shouldn't be imposing these penalties. The player should be playing these penalties!!!

if you have a 7 in a stat, you should be distinctly incapable in all things that stat, it would be just as central to who and what you are as your greatest strengths.

But when a player wants to pick a 7 in a stat that they then try to pretend doesn't exist... that is just a min/maxer. They have no interest in making an interesting character; they just wanted to do 1 more point of damage.

That is lame.

There is no "pretending it doesn't exist". He'll still be fairly incompetent on every Int-based check.

Saying he's incapable of doing even the most basic stuff is pretending that is the case, when it's obviously not, given that getting a -2 is not the same of being completely incompetent.

I doubt you'd make your Fighter auto-fail all attacks when he suffers a -2 to attack rolls, (e.g.: When an enemy successfully uses Intimidate to demoralize him), so why do it to Int-based checks?


Cardinal Reinhardt wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:

That is eactly the problem. The GM shouldn't be imposing these penalties. The player should be playing these penalties!!!

if you have a 7 in a stat, you should be distinctly incapable in all things that stat, it would be just as central to who and what you are as your greatest strengths.

But when a player wants to pick a 7 in a stat that they then try to pretend doesn't exist... that is just a min/maxer. They have no interest in making an interesting character; they just wanted to do 1 more point of damage.

That is lame.

I don't understand this insistence that a 7 is so absolutely debilitating. Additionally, I don't know why you've decided that there is a dichotomy between "being distinctly incapable in all things that stat" and "pretending the penalty doesn't exist". There seems to quite a lot of middle ground in between these two.

A 7 is as low as it goes for humans. Think on this for moment. A PC has a 7 Int? Imagine the dumbest person you have ever met or encountered. That is what we are talking about.


Remy Balster wrote:
A 7 is as low as it goes for humans. Think on this for moment. A PC has a 7 Int? Imagine the dumbest person you have ever met or encountered. That is what we are talking about.

Okay, I'm imagining that person. The following isn't remotely an accurate description of them:

"The guy with a 7 int can barely even write his name, when he remembers what it even is of course. He cannot retain information to save his life. You could tell him simple instructions and he'll forget them."


wraithstrike wrote:
The average person has an 8 for a base score.

Uh... 10.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
A 7 is as low as it goes for humans. Think on this for moment. A PC has a 7 Int? Imagine the dumbest person you have ever met or encountered. That is what we are talking about.

Okay, I'm imagining that person. The following isn't remotely an accurate description of them:

"The guy with a 7 int can barely even write his name, when he remembers what it even is of course. He cannot retain information to save his life. You could tell him simple instructions and he'll forget them."

Meet more people.


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Remy Balster wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:

People do add extra benefits to higher stats. Maybe not universally, but it happens.

Does your character with a 20 strength look muscled and big, or is he 90 lbs and thin as a rail? Does what he look like change how other people regard him? Does he get treated differently simply because people can visibly tell that he could crush their skull with his bare hands? Of course! None of that is rules, it is just obvious ancillary effects of being uncommonly and ridiculously strong.

Guess what are the ancillary effects of being exceptionally unintelligent? You don’t remember or understand things…

That's an advantage related to character's appearance, which can be anything you want, regardless of attributes.

I don't often see people claiming the guy with high Int/Wis/Cha/whatever auto-succeeds on all Int/Wis/Cha/whatever-related activities, but for some reason, having a -2 modifier means they auto-fail on even the most basic stuff.

The rules already penalize players for dumping attributes. I'd be really annoyed if my GM created extra penalties.

That is eactly the problem. The GM shouldn't be imposing these penalties. The player should be playing these penalties!!!

if you have a 7 in a stat, you should be distinctly incapable in all things that stat, it would be just as central to who and what you are as your greatest strengths.

But when a player wants to pick a 7 in a stat that they then try to pretend doesn't exist... that is just a min/maxer. They have no interest in making an interesting character; they just wanted to do 1 more point of damage.

That is lame.

From what I've seen from the threads on Charisma and the threads before that, people do not want to be told that just because their stat is low that they cannot describe themselves as beautiful, or strong looking or healthy or athletic or smart.

And yes, that seems to be to minimize the down side of their choices. Maybe that is OK if you are theory crafting on the boards. In actual play, I would hope that people wouldn't do that. From the comments on these threads, however, I fear that hope is in vain.

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