Point Buy - Down to 7


Advice

101 to 150 of 978 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

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.

Unless you factor in Wisdom and Charisma, which would both influence how intelligent a person seems to be.

And of course, there are all sorts of effects that can cause attribute damage and/or penalties to skill checks.

Even ignoring that... Your description of what Int 7 means still seems exaggerated.


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.

It does not follow that, because one is normally allowed only to dump a stat to 7 in pathfinder, it must be the case that a 7 represents the lowest real life intelligence someone can have. Did you not earlier claim (or at least defend the claim) that "multiplying a character's int by 10 results in an approximation of their IQ"? It seems that you're being a bit inconsistent.


knightnday wrote:

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.

I don't see how not taking a penalty that doesn't exist in the first place is minimizing the down side of their choices.

A -2 is not the same as being completely incompetent. It's just a -2. Just like a +2 doesn't mean the character is absolutely perfect.


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.

Then it should be roleplayed as an act of intuition more than an act of ratinal thhinking, IMO.


Well without dumping to 7 a lot of MAD classes become underpowered. Those extra points can help out.

If you're concerned about min/maxing just limit the most you can spend to 10 points for a starting 16.


reading this makes me laugh.

Last game my level 1 barbarian had the second highest charisma in the group (i'm going for high intimidate). The ninja rolled nat 1's on both of the wands to heal people.

I rolled really poorly on attack rolls all game but really well on UMD so the barbarian effectively became the high charisma healer in our group. Just reading this and thinking back makes me laugh.

Oh and to be on topic, I have no problem with 7's. The reason you get 2 points is the same as the cost of anything else. It adds the attribute modifier of the new score to the previous cost (min 1).


stuart haffenden wrote:

Well without dumping to 7 a lot of MAD classes become underpowered. Those extra points can help out.

If you're concerned about min/maxing just limit the most you can spend to 10 points for a starting 16.

With 20 point buy even monks are doable without 7s


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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.

You are essentially forcing your own vision of what stat <10 means onto your players with little to no mechanical support for your decision. That is fine. It's called a house rule and you surely can add any house rule to your game you wish, regardless of how nonsensical it may be. However, you should realize that you are house ruling things, and that your position is not supported by the rules. Namely, a simple -2 penalty from a 7 stat does not come anywhere close to the mechanical equivalent of 'distinctly incapable'.

I suggest you do one of two things to avoid needlessly punishing your players and pissing them off:

Create a house rule that modeling your vision of low ability scores and give mechanical support to your arbitrary limitation. Double the penalties. Increase the time it takes for skill checks on that stat. I'm sure you have some ideas to rationalize your arbitrary limitation. Pull from those. However, run your arbitrary house rule by your players first and let them chime in whether or not they want to play with the additional rules. (Personally, I find any rule that limit the player's creativity with their own character is a really good way to have your players lose interest, but YMMV).

Or, let go of such arbitrary limitations and allow yourself the flexibility to acknowledge that there is a wide range of human intelligence, common sense and ability that cannot be exactly simulated with discreet stat scores. People with low stat scores can mechanically achieve easy DC skill checks in skills dependent on the dumped score. For instance, people with low intelligence are able to type and write complete sentences all the time (DC 5), rarely resulting in a complete fail despite their low Intelligence. You needn't look much farther than this thread to find copious evidence.

Liberty's Edge

stuart haffenden wrote:

Well without dumping to 7 a lot of MAD classes become underpowered. Those extra points can help out.

If you're concerned about min/maxing just limit the most you can spend to 10 points for a starting 16.

Not true. Lets take Fighter vs Monk

20 buy Human Fighter, no dropping below 10

Str 17 (15)
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 13
Wis 10
Cha 10

20 Buy Human Monk

Str 16 (14)
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 14
Cha 10

They actually seem pretty even, which is what led me to no longer allow dropping below 10 to add points to the pool.


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 agree that low atributes should be reflected in the way the character is played.

A 7 wis can be somewhat that do not think in the consecuences of his action, I could play him as somewhat that act first ask questiion later.

But being incapable is too much. Really too much.

14 int does not make you the smartes person alive, int 7 does not make you the most dumbest person.

And what it is alwyas applied to int/wis/cha?

Why the wizard with str have no real drawback?

carrying capacity!! - yeah right.


Without going too far a rogue with int 7 can still master 8 skills.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree that there's no reason why a 7 should have to be absolutely debilitating. Using guidelines from older editions we could conclude that a PC with Int 7 would have an IQ of around 70. That is above the range traditionally defined as intellectual disability. Maybe it would be helpful to look at how actual intellectual disability is defined. Here's a description of the IQ range 50-69. This would roughly correlate with Int 5 or 6, so somebody with Int 7 should be at least a little smarter:

Wikipedia wrote:
In early childhood, mild intellectual disability (IQ 50–69) may not be obvious, and may not be identified until children begin school.[7] Even when poor academic performance is recognized, it may take expert assessment to distinguish mild intellectual disability from learning disability or emotional/behavioral disorders. People with mild intellectual disability are capable of learning reading and mathematics skills to approximately the level of a typical child aged nine to twelve.[7] They can learn self-care and practical skills, such as cooking or using the local mass transit system.[7] As individuals with intellectual disability reach adulthood, many learn to live independently and maintain gainful employment.

Apparently around 90% of all people fall into the 70-130 range. Assuming that the "normal" range for other ability scores is similar one might say that the standard point buy system prevents PCs with "abnormally" low ability scores except in the case of racial modifiers. I think it seems thematically appropriate that you might have a dwarf who would be "abnormally" dour, rude, or taciturn by human standards to the point where it becomes a source of trouble and or comedy.

Anyhow, I think that a moderately low ability score can be a roleplaying boon rather than a hindrance. Many of my most entertaining PCs were defined as much by their flaws as their strengths. A PC with low scores can also benefit RP in general for the party. For instance, our ingenious but very unwise Diabolist and sometimes cruel jesting Bard probably wouldn’t have been able to talk the half-orc Barbarian into doing so much amusing stuff if he had a really high Int or Wis. I can assure you that the half-orc’s player loved the abuse.


Nicos wrote:

Why the wizard with str have no real drawback?

carrying capacity!! - yeah right.

He's also really bad at hitting stuff with a sword. Which is probably why he decided to become a Wizard instead of a Barbarian.

It's not like the character decided to become a Wizard and then thought... "You know, I think I should stop exercising".

Low Str has about as much effect on a Wizard as low Int has on a Fighter. Some classes will always have much more use for some attributes than for others... So what? That has no relation with how an attribute should be role played.

The player describing his Wizard as handsome or muscular still gets no benefits to anything related to Str or Cha. He merely gets to have his character appearance fit his concept.


Lemmy wrote:
knightnday wrote:

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.

I don't see how not taking a penalty that doesn't exist in the first place is minimizing the down side of their choices.

A -2 is not the same as being completely incompetent. It's just a -2. Just like a +2 doesn't mean the character is absolutely perfect.

As I indicated, people in other threads were discussing how their substandard -- and yes, 7 is below average -- scores have no bearing on how smart or cute or strong their characters are or look. As indicated above, who does the bad guy target if those that are mechanically weak do not wish to play that.

I've not said that having a -2 is completely incompetent, nor that a +2 is absolutely perfect. But I will say that a -2 means you aren't great in a stat, or even average. And that's what I'd like to see people play instead of marginalizing it so that they can get that extra bonus without having to have any disadvantage, even in description.


Cardinal Reinhardt 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.
It does not follow that, because one is normally allowed only to dump a stat to 7 in pathfinder, it must be the case that a 7 represents the lowest real life intelligence someone can have. Did you not earlier claim (or at least defend the claim) that "multiplying a character's int by 10 results in an approximation of their IQ"? It seems that you're being a bit inconsistent.

Funny thing is, I never claimed that.

I brought up this thing I heard.

Much like stats, IQ it is an abstraction. I compared an abstraction to another abstraction. Oh dear me! The horror!


Lemmy wrote:
Nicos wrote:

Why the wizard with str have no real drawback?

carrying capacity!! - yeah right.

He's also really bad at hitting stuff with a sword. Which is probably why he decided to become a Wizard instead of a Barbarian.

It's not like the character decided to become a Wizard and then thought... "You know, I think I should stop exercising".

Low Str has about as much effect on a Wizard as low Int has on a Fighter. Some classes will always have much more use for some attributes than for others... So what? That has no relation with how an attribute should be role played.

The player describing his Wizard as handsome or muscular still gets no benefits to anything related to Str or Cha. He merely gets to have his character appearance fit his concept.

Not sure if yoou are agreeing or disagreeing with me, or just making some additinal point.


pedrodevaca 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.

You are essentially forcing your own vision of what stat <10 means onto your players with little to no mechanical support for your decision. That is fine. It's called a house rule and you surely can add any house rule to your game you wish, regardless of how nonsensical it may be. However, you should realize that you are house ruling things, and that your position is not supported by the rules. Namely, a simple -2 penalty from a 7 stat does not come anywhere close to the mechanical equivalent of 'distinctly incapable'.

I suggest you do one of two things to avoid needlessly punishing your players and pissing them off:

Create a house rule that modeling your vision of low ability scores and give mechanical support to your arbitrary limitation. Double the penalties. Increase the time it takes for skill checks on that stat. I'm sure you have some ideas to rationalize your arbitrary limitation. Pull from those. However, run your arbitrary house rule by your players first and let them chime in whether or not they want to play with the additional rules. (Personally, I find any rule that limit the player's creativity with their own character is a really good way to have your players lose interest, but YMMV).

Or, let go of such arbitrary limitations and allow yourself the flexibility to acknowledge that there is a wide range of human intelligence, common sense and ability that cannot be exactly simulated with discreet stat...

I'm not forcing anything on anyone, why thank you.

My whole argument is that a 7 is a huge penalty, and that people who don't include it in their character or roleplayer a character with this huge glaring weakness are min/maxers and that I don't like playing with them.

Nothing wrong with that 'playstyle'. But it isn't compatible with the playstyle I prefer, roleplaying.


Remy Balster wrote:
Cardinal Reinhardt 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.
It does not follow that, because one is normally allowed only to dump a stat to 7 in pathfinder, it must be the case that a 7 represents the lowest real life intelligence someone can have. Did you not earlier claim (or at least defend the claim) that "multiplying a character's int by 10 results in an approximation of their IQ"? It seems that you're being a bit inconsistent.

Funny thing is, I never claimed that.

I brought up this thing I heard.

Much like stats, IQ it is an abstraction. I compared an abstraction to another abstraction. Oh dear me! The horror!

Okay then, let me correct my earlier statement. It appears to me that you are being inconsistent in your comparison, and that what you're saying does not seem to mesh well with your stated beliefs about human intelligence.


Tbh I think people find it "cheesy" because they are dumping a stat to that level and it has no consequence. Would a fighter dump int if it meant they did not in fact get that free skill point but in fact every time they leveled up they would actually take a neg in their skill points? Like their skills never get higher than at lvl 1? If people actually held them to that with ingame by the rules (meaning they would need to either make rules or comply with the homegame rules) such as someone with low int couldn't voice those brilliant ideas because they come out as gibberish or the person with low charisma would actually have to put points into barter because they are gonna have to pay twice or more for any items bought or even the cost of supplies for created items?
I think when people expect to dip down to the negatives they are expecting to get that extra point without any form of consequence. If they are expecting it then I don't see a problem but if they aren't expecting a consequence then that's where the problem lies and that's where I think it becomes cheesy.


Remy Balster wrote:

I'm not forcing anything on anyone, why thank you.

My whole argument is that a 7 is a huge penalty, and that people who don't include it in their character or roleplayer a character with this huge glaring weakness are min/maxers and that I don't like playing with them.

Nothing wrong with that 'playstyle'. But it isn't compatible with the playstyle I prefer, roleplaying.

Gotta tell you it really isn't huge. It's the difference of two people doing a completely new task DC 11.

10 stat will succeed 50% of the time. 7 will succeed 40% of the time. Aka, your 10 stat will succeed 1 more time out of 10 than someone with a 7. Not even remotely close to huge, and this applies to all stats, not just the mental ones.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
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.

Seems to work out too.

From what I've seen, the more accurate (going by 3d6 rolling), is this

So an Int 7 character is at 85 IQ. A "low normal" as Orfamay has been saying.

This is backed up by in-game NPCs, namely the Village Idiot, who has 4 Int, and Owlbear Hartshorn (from Skull and Shackles) who is described as "mentally impaired", but is also capable of following orders, but is child-like and has very little grasp of complex concepts beyond friendship and fear, at Int 4 (which is correlated to 70 IQ, the point where you're saying an Int 7 person would be, and with many of the same "symptoms").

knightnday wrote:

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.

That does not seem to be the intent, of Charisma at the very least. This is a common argument, so I asked James Jacobs a while ago what his thoughts on the matter were.

The gist of it?

Charisma determines your appearance...to an extent. Your 5-7 Cha character can be the most beautiful girl you've ever seen, that much is true.

HOWEVER, Cha determines how STRIKING your appearance is, how memorable you as a WHOLE are.

So while you're beautiful, your identical twin sister with 18 Cha is much more memorable, because she's, for example, more outgoing, assertive, persuasive, etc., her body language is more commanding and "Look at me!", and so on and so forth.

Also, high Cha creatures can be ugly (just look in the bestiary), as long as they're very memorably ugly (you're not likely to forget once you've seen a Hag, for instance, or a Balor).

Now, that's not to say it applies to other stats per se, but there's a bit of wiggle room in there.

Your guy with 18 Str can be viewed as a very slender man. All wiry, lean muscle, without all the mass. Likewise your 7 Str character can be "bulky", but only because he has that weird "intimidating fat man" look where he has just enough muscle tone that his fat looks like muscle, but it doesn't really mean he's strong.

Things like that. I have no problem with that, and I don't think other people should either.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:

I'm not forcing anything on anyone, why thank you.

My whole argument is that a 7 is a huge penalty, and that people who don't include it in their character or roleplayer a character with this huge glaring weakness are min/maxers and that I don't like playing with them.

Nothing wrong with that 'playstyle'. But it isn't compatible with the playstyle I prefer, roleplaying.

Gotta tell you it really isn't huge. It's the difference of two people doing a completely new task DC 11.

10 stat will succeed 50% of the time. 7 will succeed 40% of the time. Aka, your 10 stat will succeed 1 more time out of 10 than someone with a 7. Not even remotely close to huge, and this applies to all stats, not just the mental ones.

The guy with the 10 succeeded 25% more often than the guy with a 7.

Tell your banker 25% more isn't huge. He'll get a good chuckle.

Also consider if they tried something a little challenging. DC 16. A guy with 10 succeeds 25% of the time, a guy with 7 succeeds 15% of the time.

The guy with a 10 succeeds 66% more often. That is HUGE.


Remy Balster wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:

I'm not forcing anything on anyone, why thank you.

My whole argument is that a 7 is a huge penalty, and that people who don't include it in their character or roleplayer a character with this huge glaring weakness are min/maxers and that I don't like playing with them.

Nothing wrong with that 'playstyle'. But it isn't compatible with the playstyle I prefer, roleplaying.

Gotta tell you it really isn't huge. It's the difference of two people doing a completely new task DC 11.

10 stat will succeed 50% of the time. 7 will succeed 40% of the time. Aka, your 10 stat will succeed 1 more time out of 10 than someone with a 7. Not even remotely close to huge, and this applies to all stats, not just the mental ones.

The guy with the 10 succeeded 25% more often than the guy with a 7.

Tell your banker 25% more isn't huge. He'll get a good chuckle.

where that 25% comes from?


Nicos wrote:
where that 25% comes from?

50/40 = 1.25

1.25 can be phrased '25% more than'.

If I have 50 apples, and you have 40 apples... I have 25% more apples than you.

If it was a DC 11 climb check to pick an apple, and I have a +0 climb skill, and you had a -2 climb skill, and we tried 100 times. I would end up with about 50 apples; you would end up with about 40 apples.

And I would have successfully picked 25% more apples than you.

It is a substantial difference.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Remy Balster wrote:
Nicos wrote:
where that 25% comes from?

50/40 = 1.25

1.25 can be phrased '25% more than'.

If I have 50 apples, and you have 40 apples... I have 25% more apples than you.

If it was a DC 11 climb check to pick an apple, and I have a +0 climb skill, and you had a -2 climb skill, and we tried 100 times. I would end up with about 50 apples; you would end up with about 40 apples.

And I would have successfully picked 25% more apples than you.

It is a substantial difference.

Ok.

But I still get 40 apples instead of being "distinctly incapable" of having a single apple.


As to why a guy with a 7 Int might simply not know stuff everyone else takes for granted?

He can fail a DC 0 intelligence check.

Imagine, if 1 out of every 20 things you think everyone should know and understand, a guy with a 7 Int simply doesn't.

That is bad...


Nicos wrote:

Ok.

But I still get 40 apples instad of being "distinctly incapable" of having a single apple.

7 Int guy: What is a potion?

Dm: DC 0 Knowledge Arcana check.

7 Int guy: I rolled a 1! -2... so a -1. Darn.

Dm: You don't know what a potion is, sorry.


Remy Balster wrote:
Nicos wrote:

Ok.

But I still get 40 apples instad of being "distinctly incapable" of having a single apple.

7 Int guy: What is a potion?

Dm: DC 0 Knowledge Arcana check.

7 Int guy: I rolled a 1! -2... so a -1. Darn.

Dm: You don't know what a potion is, sorry.

Taking 10

When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate your result as if you had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldn't help.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Assuming a 3d6 roll for stats, 1 in 6 people have a score of 7 or lower in any given ability score.

Do 1 in 6 people have trouble remembering their own name?


Remy Balster wrote:
Nicos wrote:

Ok.

But I still get 40 apples instad of being "distinctly incapable" of having a single apple.

7 Int guy: What is a potion?

Dm: DC 0 Knowledge Arcana check.

7 Int guy: I rolled a 1! -2... so a -1. Darn.

Dm: You don't know what a potion is, sorry.

Thankfully, this is a mechanic you just made up, so it really has no relevance here. There are no rules for "DC 0 Knowledge checks", at least that I can find.

If you'd like to quote me a page or some text...?

Even then, you can Take 10 on that with no issue.


The guy can fail checks that everyone else simply can't fail. He is simply unable to keep up, mentally, with the rest of the world, and will not understand stuff that everyone else takes for granted.

I'm not even putting my own spin on it, he simply needs to make check o know stuff that other people auto-succeed on. Stuff that is so automatically assumed everyone would know, because the DC is negligible for them.

It would be similar for other stats. Stuff we all simply assume everyone can do fine without issue... these 7 stat guys are going to have trouble with sometimes.

The Exchange

Remy Balster wrote:

The guy can fail checks that everyone else simply can't fail. He is simply unable to keep up, mentally, with the rest of the world, and will not understand stuff that everyone else takes for granted.

I'm not even putting my own spin on it, he simply needs to make check o know stuff that other people auto-succeed on. Stuff that is so automatically assumed everyone would know, because the DC is negligible for them.

It would be similar for other stats. Stuff we all simply assume everyone can do fine without issue... these 7 stat guys are going to have trouble with sometimes.

You really want this win don't you?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Assuming once again a 3d6 role for ability scores, only 1 on 3 people have no scores of 7 or lower at all.

If a score of 7 is crippling then most people are crippled.


Roberta Yang wrote:

Assuming a 3d6 roll for stats, 1 in 6 people have a score of 7 or lower in any given ability score.

Do 1 in 6 people have trouble remembering their own name?

Depends. Which state are we in?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Point 1: Personal Capacity

Spoiler:

Some people are just, outright, smarter or dumber. Some are healthy and some are sickly. Some are strong and others are weak. Everyone has a certain level of aptitude and that's more what your ability score represents; your aptitude. "All people are created equal, but some are more equal than others." Furthermore, "appearance" doesn't necessarily equate to "usefulness". Many professional body builders are actually not that much stronger than a typical person. They lift to build bulk and sculpt appearance in particular ways, but the actual amounts they lift are relatively small; they focus more on endurance and reps than shear weight. A Wizard could sculpt his body while not actually having that high of a Str score in the same manner. Meanwhile, look at an actual "strongman", say from the circus. The guy who dead-lifts hundreds of pounds looks nothing like the "male bodybuilder supermodel"; he's more of a big rectangle. His muscles are less "defined", but the actual weight he can lift is far larger, though he may not be able to do as many reps with it.

Point 2: Temperament

Spoiler:

Even disregarding raw biological traits like a larger frame providing stronger anchor points for muscle which makes building strength take less effort, there's a strong mental aspect to that. Some people enjoy building strength. Others find it a drag and a waste of time and energy. If you enjoy it, you'll do it more. If you do it more, you get better at it. If you're better at it, you enjoy it more. It's a reinforcement cycle. Likewise, if you don't like it, you'll do it less which ends with you liking it even less. The same applies to mental stats. Some people just don't have an interest in intelligence. That may be a shock and surprise to those of us who value intelligence highly (likely most of the people on these forums), but there are some who view intelligence as a waste of effort. This attitude comes largely from temperament; read more at The Personality Page.

Point 3: Opportunity Cost

Spoiler:

In economics, there's the principal of Opportunity Cost. Basically, it means that whatever you're doing, you could be doing something else. If you pass up doing something of little value in favor of doing something of greater value, that's a positive opportunity cost. Should I read today or hit the gym again? Both take time, energy, and focus. Generally speaking, the two activities are mutually exclusive; you do either one or the other in a given span of time. So which do you prioritize. If your Personal Capacity means you'll get more strength out of hitting the gym than you'll gain intelligence from hitting the books, and your Temperament causes you to value strength building higher than intelligence building, then it's a very good opportunity cost for you to pass up reading a book and hitting the gym. Others may want to "train smarter, not harder" and figure that a balanced approach is better for them. Maybe they have the Temperament that values strength but lack the Personal Capacity to build it as easily as the other guy. In his case, he reads up on how to make less strength go farther. He learns to effectively trip his opponent so that they're easier to beat up. Additionally, there's a matter of how efficiently you can get this practice. Mechanically, that has to do with how many points you get. If it's a low point buy like 10 or 15, it represents less availability of means to save time and energy. It takes a lot of time and energy to set up your strength training equipment because it's so primitive. However, if it's a higher point buy like 20 or 25, it means there are more means to multi-task. Strength Equipment is easier to use so you can set the easier to procure book in front of you and read while you're training. So higher or lower point buys can also fudge opportunity costs. If you have 10 points, dumping one stat to 7 represents a 40% increase in points available while, at 25 points, it only represents about a 16% increase. Dumping a second stat to 7 represents a 28.5% increase for 10 point buy or 13.8% for a 25 point buy. So dumping a second stat to 7 in a 10 point buy is still a better opportunity cost ratio than dumping the first stat to 7 in a 25 point buy. Even dumping a third stat to 7 in 10 point is a 22.2% increase in available points. It still all has to be weighed against all other factors though; and available points are only useful if they can be used. There comes a point where you'd dump enough to get more points than can actually be utilized and, also, the synergistic relationship between the attributes; all that strength has less value if you don't have the defense and/or health to last in a fight or a poor Will save that gets you dominated.

Point 4: Character Synergy

Spoiler:

Balancing all three of the aforementioned points gives us a framework as to how a character might weigh their options. A racial bonus to Strength is addressing point 1: Personal Capacity. Whether this is a fixed bonus to Strength as with an Orc or a floating bonus applied to Strength as with a Human of Half-Human, having a bonus to Strength means that your efforts to increase your Strength go farther and yield better results. Class, Feat, and Playstyle choices address Point 2. A character who has high value for Intelligence is going to prefer using Intelligence; this leads them to employ strategy and playstyle that draws benefit from intelligence, pick classes and feats that draw benefit from intelligence, etc. Which, in turn, makes them value Intelligence more thus try to raise it further. Lastly, the combination of Points 1 and 2 lead us to Point 3; opportunity cost. If a character who has a natural propensity for Strength and a temperamental inclination to value Strength highly weighs their options, it's obvious that the Opportunity Cost of raising Strength is very favorable while the Opportunity Cost of raising something else instead of Strength is very unfavorable. However, if Points 1 and Points 2 don't match up so well, the Opportunity Cost of raising Strength may drop somewhat. Point 3 is more a matter of Character Concept and Roleplaying; If you have an Orc that has enjoys beating people up... and he goes Wizard and pumps Intelligence, this is a deviant character; the concept doesn't follow principals of psychology. Is it not allowed? By no means. If you want, you can even roleplay their mental dysfunction that lead them to such choices. But if you try to play it straight, you have a substandard mechanical concept and substandard roleplay. Which leads into Point 5...

Point 5: The Player

Spoiler:

Some hold that you either roleplay with sub-optimized mechanics or you optimize the mechanics with sub-standard roleplay. This has been proven to be a fallacy. The two facets, Roleplay and Mechanics, are actually reciprocal in nature. Good Roleplay reinforces Optimal Mechanics while Optimal Mechanics reinforces Good Roleplay. With the aforementioned example of the Orc Wizard from Point 4, the idea of having such a disparate character concept with no roleplay support to explain why is both bad mechanics and bad roleplay. It's bad roleplay because it flies in the face of accepted psychology in decision making; such a character should exhibit some sort of dysfunction to go so strongly against its inclinations as to pick such abysmal opportunity cost tradeoffs; why go Wizard and pump Intelligence if you are an Orc with a Strength Bonus and Int Penalty and your playstyle involves going up and fighting in Melee? If you roleplay the why well, it provides plot hooks for the GM to manipulate and the GM, in turn, can mitigate the poor mechanics, thus making them not quite so poor. It'll be much harder to play than a more optimized character, but if you handle the mechanics well, your end-result can potentially be on par with a traditional specialist; maybe even better because you'll have broader abilities while the specialist is very narrow. But if you just try to play it straight mechanically, it's just a poor character. It's bad and you should feel bad. Reciprocate your mechanics and roleplay; there's nothing bad about dumping a stat to 7 so long as your roleplay backs it up. You can even deliberately roleplay against your stats so long as you rightly understand the interplay between low mechanical stats and the character you're presenting. Roleplay that Wizard Bodybuilder who has a wonderfully sculpted physique but not actually that high of a Strength score. Roleplay that Warrior who dumped Int but is really quite clever and knowledgeable... when it comes to useless trivia. Roleplay that hot and sexy celebrity with the charisma of a signpost... lord knows there's nothing fantastical about that concept.


It seems fishy to take 10 on a knowledge check, honestly, seeing as how you cannot retry it and that is motivated by:

Try Again

No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Remy Balster wrote:
The guy can fail checks that everyone else simply can't fail. He is simply unable to keep up, mentally, with the rest of the world, and will not understand stuff that everyone else takes for granted.

Some stuff, yes.

But only the more complex things. DC 10 Knowledge checks (that you can make untrained) are an issue for him.

He's uneducated, that's to be expected.

He doesn't know some of the intimate details of crafting an object.

Sometimes, even simple magic is a mystery to him.

He doesn't know what some rocks, minerals, or metals are.

He'll occasionally blank on a person's ethnicity.

Recent history? Might not have heard about it.

Some of the local laws, rulers, or locations? He simply won't know them.

The occasional common plant or animal? No clue. Can't tell an ermine from a weasel.

Won't know a current ruler and their symbol sometimes.

And occasionally won't recognize a holy symbol.

However, he knows what a freakin' spoon is. He functions just fine in daily life, no problem.

Yes, he's a bit dense. Nobody's arguing against that.

But what you're saying is that he's severely mentally impaired...which isn't true.

Ilja wrote:

It seems fishy to take 10 on a knowledge check, honestly, seeing as how you cannot retry it and that is motivated by:

Try Again

No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

Which is the reason you can't Take 20 on a Knowledge check, but Take 10 is not like that. Take 10 you put in an average effort for something, and you get back average result.

Take 20 is trying again and again until you succeed, which is why it can't be used on some skills.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ilja wrote:

It seems fishy to take 10 on a knowledge check, honestly, seeing as how you cannot retry it and that is motivated by:

Try Again

No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

Being able to retry only matters for Taking 20, not Taking 10.

Regardless, as evidenced by the text you quoted, a failed Knowledge check represents what you never learned, not what you just forgot. As long as any other party member has talked about potions at any point in the campaign, you know what they are.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that being told "make a Dex check to avoid tripping and falling" at random intervals is more reasonable than this "DC 0 Knowledge" stuff.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
Nicos wrote:

Ok.

But I still get 40 apples instad of being "distinctly incapable" of having a single apple.

7 Int guy: What is a potion?

Dm: DC 0 Knowledge Arcana check.

7 Int guy: I rolled a 1! -2... so a -1. Darn.

Dm: You don't know what a potion is, sorry.

Thankfully, this is a mechanic you just made up, so it really has no relevance here. There are no rules for "DC 0 Knowledge checks", at least that I can find.

If you'd like to quote me a page or some text...?

Even then, you can Take 10 on that with no issue.

And with all that, the average person can take 10 on any knowledge check that is a DC 10 or less, even if they don't have a rank in that Knowledge skill.

Ilja wrote:

It seems fishy to take 10 on a knowledge check, honestly, seeing as how you cannot retry it and that is motivated by:

Try Again

No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

Incorrect. Taking 10 doesn't assume failures. That's Taking 20.

Quote:
When a character or creature is not in immediate danger or distracted, it may choose to take 10 on some rolls (specifically, skill checks). Instead of rolling 1d20 for the check, calculate the result as if the die had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldn't help.

Also, specifically from the section about knowledge:

Quote:
You cannot make an untrained Knowledge check with a DC higher than 10. If you have access to an extensive library that covers a specific skill, this limit is removed. The time to make checks using a library, however, increases to 1d4 hours. Particularly complete libraries might even grant a bonus on Knowledge checks in the fields that they cover.

So you can make an untrained check for a DC 10 or less, simply take 10 (assuming you aren't distracted or in combat), and you know basic stuff. Like really basic stuff.


Nicos wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
Nicos wrote:

Ok.

But I still get 40 apples instad of being "distinctly incapable" of having a single apple.

7 Int guy: What is a potion?

Dm: DC 0 Knowledge Arcana check.

7 Int guy: I rolled a 1! -2... so a -1. Darn.

Dm: You don't know what a potion is, sorry.

Taking 10

When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate your result as if you had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldn't help.

Gah, I don’t have book and am just illustrating what a big difference -2 penalty will make. After referencing the OGC for exact answers… for some reason the point is being ignored…

Knowledge: Arcana
You cannot make an untrained Knowledge check with a DC higher than 10.
has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions)

What is a potion?
DC 10
People with 10 Int: I take 10. Success. 100% of the time.

Guy with 7 Int: I take 10. Fail.
Or
Guy with 7 Int: I roll d20-2, Fail 55% of the time.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I feel like in a world of magic, the DC for knowing what a potion is would be less than 10...


The dude has a 55% chance to not even understand what a potion is...

Yet, how many 7 Int fighter types actually play their characters like that? Not many… not many.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You are correct that having under 10 Int prevents you from autopassing DC 10 Knowledge checks.

You are incorrect that knowing what a potion is is a DC 10 Knowledge check. 10 is the DC to identify iron ore by sight or place someone's accent as Tian Xian, not to know how to walk and chew gum at the same time.

5 minutes ago you said the DC was 0. What made it jump 10 points all of a sudden, other than you making nonsense up to support your rapidly-eroding position?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Odraude wrote:
I feel like in a world of magic, the DC for knowing what a potion is would be less than 10...

Well it was DC 0 back when Remy Balster thought that worked for their argument...


Odraude wrote:
I feel like in a world of magic, the DC for knowing what a potion is would be less than 10...

DC is 100% auto success for normal people. Everyone knows what a potion is. That is DC 10.


Remy Balster wrote:


Gah, I don’t have book and am just illustrating what a big difference -2 penalty will make. After referencing the OGC for exact answers… for some reason the point is being ignored…

Knowledge: Arcana
You cannot make an untrained Knowledge check with a DC higher than 10.
has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions)

What is a potion?
DC 10
People with 10 Int: I take 10. Success. 100% of the time.

Guy with 7 Int: I take 10. Fail.
Or
Guy with 7 Int: I roll d20-2, Fail 55% of the time.

Incorrect.

There is a list of everything Knowledge skills cover.

Here's Arcana's: (ancient mysteries, magic traditions, arcane symbols, constructs, dragons, magical beasts)

None of that is "Basic magical objects that are extremely common knowledge to everyone". That doesn't require a check.

Now, really common Arcane Symbols (like "The Grand Hall of Magicians" or whatever) are something even an untrained person might understand.

10 Int people: Take 10: Succeed. The average person knows what the symbol of the Grand Hall is.

7 Int people are a bit slower, yes. It's a crapshoot whether they know that or not (and may lead to scenarios where they, say, insult a Grand Hall magician and get transmuted for their insolence).

However "What is a potion?", "What is a scroll?", "What is a spell?" is stuff anyone knows. No check required. DC negative infinity.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I feel like in a world of magic, the DC for knowing what a potion is would be less than 10...
Well it was DC 0 back when Remy Balster thought that worked for their argument...

I was showing the relative difference. But no one seems to understand what the relative difference is.. so, yall can heckle at it all ya like. Go ahead and play your 7 stat characters that for whatever reason don't really have any penalties. Your 7 cha doesn't really effect you, because you get to talk for your character, and other people roll the diplo check... your 7 int doesn't stop you from knowing the same things everyone does, why should it?!

Have fun with those games...


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

To be fair, it does state that a DC 10 is for really easy questions. Comparing the other DC 10 questions for the other Knowledge skills (since Arcana doesn't have a DC 10 listed), I feel knowing the concept of a potion would be easier than identifying a holy symbol, or knowing a ruler. It'd be equivalent of knowing the concept of a holy symbol, or the concept of government.


Rynjin wrote:


Which is the reason you can't Take 20 on a Knowledge check, but Take 10 is not like that. Take 10 you put in an average effort for something, and you get back average result.

Take 20 is trying again and again until you succeed, which is why it can't be used on some skills.

Yes, well, the issue for me isn't so much the fact that you can't retry as the reason given; either you know something or you don't. That what you know and don't know should be determined by the specific action taken feels... Off. Taking 10 is for eliminating chance/risk, and as you say, is a matter of effort - but knowledge checks aren't a matter of chance/risk or effort at all in my view, but rather a random determination of what you already know beforehand and not.

Also, bards gain the ability to take 10 on knowledge checks in knowledges they are trained in at level 5. If you already could take 10 on any knowledge check, then why would they gain this ability? Note, this is the core bard, not some splatbook archetype that might have gotten the rules wrong.

Roberta Yang wrote:


I'm not exaggerating when I say that being told "make a Dex check to avoid tripping and falling" at random intervals is more reasonable than this "DC 0 Knowledge" stuff.

This I agree with. On the other hand, I do think high/low ability scores should matter for more than stuff explicitly made into rolls by the system. If an int 7 character plays chess with an int 18 NPC, I say the int 18 wins. If she says "hey, the system doesn't say chess requires intelligence! I shouldn't be arbitrarily punished by your houserules!" then I say "f u" (or well no because I'm not rude but you get the point).


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Remy Balster wrote:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I feel like in a world of magic, the DC for knowing what a potion is would be less than 10...
Well it was DC 0 back when Remy Balster thought that worked for their argument...

I was showing the relative difference. But no one seems to understand what the relative difference is.. so, yall can heckle at it all ya like. Go ahead and play your 7 stat characters that for whatever reason don't really have any penalties. Your 7 cha doesn't really effect you, because you get to talk for your character, and other people roll the diplo check... your 7 int doesn't stop you from knowing the same things everyone does, why should it?!

Have fun with those games...

Having people call you out on having goalposts with rocket boots attached is no reason to throw a hissy.

101 to 150 of 978 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Point Buy - Down to 7 All Messageboards