Point Buy - Down to 7


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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..

"Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement"


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ilja wrote:
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.

The key difference is that the core bard can does this while distracted or in combat, while a normal person cannot.


Remy Balster wrote:
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...

I can roll my own diplomacy checks, thank you very much.


Ilja wrote:


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.

That's what I originally thought too, but it doesn't make much sense with the general rules of Take 10 taken into account.

As near as I can figure the RAI is that the Bard can Take 10/20 even in combat, or while otherwise distracted.

And honestly? The CRB has more rules contradictions than any other book. Paizo was in a rush to get Pathfinder out the door, so they ended up copy-pastaing a lot of stuff.


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...

No one is suggesting that 7 charisma doesn't effect the character in some adverse way. Simply, most folks are saying that you're attaching far more penalty to a stat of 7 than you should be. There is quite a bit of difference between those two.


On the surface, dumping a stat for something unimportant like charisma seems like a good idea. Orcy the fighter makes more swings with a sword than he does diplomacy checks.

Upon further reflection it becomes a GREAT idea. The lower orcy's charisma the less likely he is to be called on to make the check. Once his charisma is below that of the other party members it largely doesn't matter if its at -1,-2,-3, or -10 because someone else is going to be making that roll. His lack of social graces in getting the king to agree to a new trade deal matters as much as Sir CLanksalots lack of agility in picking a lock.


Cardinal Reinhardt wrote:
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...

No one is suggesting that 7 charisma doesn't effect the character in some adverse way. Simply, most folks are saying that you're attaching far more penalty to a stat of 7 than you should be. There is quite a bit of difference between those two.

And there's the rub. There are several posters that would say that you are already being mechanically penalized so there is no reason to role play that subpar stat. Which is a choice, and not one everyone seems to agree with. I've seen this across an assortment of systems, not just Pathfinder, and the arguments seem to go the same way.

In the end, it boils down to 'don't tell me how to play or represent my character.'

I think some of the other issue with it becomes when you run across the stereotypes every time. Look, another blah who dropped blah. In the end, you have to find a group you agree with and hopefully that reduces the hard feelings and problems.


Rynjin wrote:
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.

There is no goalposts... relative... difference...

Point:

DC X represents something Int 10 cannot fail. This is what everyone considers "known by everyone".

Guy with Int 7 can fail the DC X check. He has a chance to not know the stuff that everyone considers "known by everyone".

Thus, he will not know simple, basic, everyone knows it stuff on a fairly regular basis...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I have a feeling we are seeing a 7 in a mental stat in action here, folks ;)

I jest! I jest!


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Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
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...
I can roll my own diplomacy checks, thank you very much.

Given the way that most philosophy papers are written nowadays, I feel that it would be more appropriate to call this "student of philosophy".

Edit: I'm pretty sure my advisor has the above trait actually T_T.


Odraude wrote:

I have a feeling we are seeing a 7 in a mental stat in action here, folks ;)

I jest! I jest!

Quick! Ask them if they can remember their name! It's the only way to be sure ;)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Cardinal Reinhardt wrote:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
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...
I can roll my own diplomacy checks, thank you very much.

Given the way that most philosophy papers are written nowadays, I feel that it would be more appropriate to call this "student of philosophy".

Edit: I'm pretty sure my advisor has the above trait actually T_T.

That's probably the coolest trait I've seen. Definitely making a snooty wizard with ranks in Intimidate.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Odraude wrote:

I have a feeling we are seeing a 7 in a mental stat in action here, folks ;)

I jest! I jest!

Quick! Ask them if they can remember their name! It's the only way to be sure ;)

Not gonna lie, if my name wasn't posted every time I wrote a message, I'd probably forget my name too :D


Identifying a common creature may be a DC 10, but knowing what a potion is would be DC 5 tops, and just presumed knowledge, more likely. You wouldn't ask a player to roll Knowledge Nature to know what trees are; that's presumed to be common knowledge. But knowing what kind of tree it is would be a different story. A -2 to Int may be significant if you're in combat, trying to ID a creature that's relatively easy to ID but not quite common knowledge. But that's altogether different from not knowing what potions or trees are or other matters of common knowledge.

Furthermore, regarding something like Linguistics, you must be trained to try to make a forgery or to try to interpret a work in a language you're not familiar with, but you can use it untrained to detect forgery or to interpret a work in one of your racial bonus languages.


wraithstrike wrote:


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.

That character:

1} doesn't have any attribute dumped down to 7, which is what this thread is about and...

2} is a 20-point buy human, which nicely illustrates that by increasing the point-buy limit and not allowing dump stats, a happy result ensues.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Kazaan wrote:

Identifying a common creature may be a DC 10, but knowing what a potion is would be DC 5 tops, and just presumed knowledge, more likely. You wouldn't ask a player to roll Knowledge Nature to know what trees are; that's presumed to be common knowledge. But knowing what kind of tree it is would be a different story. A -2 to Int may be significant if you're in combat, trying to ID a creature that's relatively easy to ID but not quite common knowledge. But that's altogether different from not knowing what potions or trees are or other matters of common knowledge.

Furthermore, regarding something like Linguistics, you must be trained to try to make a forgery or to try to interpret a work in a language you're not familiar with, but you can use it untrained to detect forgery or to interpret a work in one of your racial bonus languages.

I agree. Knowing the concept of something shouldn't be all that hard to make, with some extenuating circumstances (ie, lived in a culture with no potions, raised in the wild by wolves).


Odraude wrote:

I have a feeling we are seeing a 7 in a mental stat in action here, folks ;)

I jest! I jest!

I would say that was insulting, if it wasn't accurate.. lol.

I would say that I do have a 7, actually. Cha. I tend to form my ideas in a rigid fashion, and don't take the time to explain every step of the logic I'm using because I assume everyone can follow it, and people often read what I write as though there is some emotion in it. Either it comes off as abrasive and over critical, or that I'm being emotionally charged, usually anger or frustration... which is pretty interesting.

But, doesn't help actually convey what I'm talking about, it makes people either A) get defensive, or B) begin the heckling.

I'm not good at expressing myself... sad thing is I'm actually pretty amazing at it as compared to when I was younger. Which is still terrible.


Remy Balster wrote:


Point:

DC X represents something Int 10 cannot fail. This is what everyone considers "known by everyone".

Guy with Int 7 can fail the DC X check. He has a chance to not know the stuff that everyone considers "known by everyone".

Thus, he will not know simple, basic, everyone knows it stuff on a fairly regular basis...

The problem here is that you are going well outside the rules in saying the certain KINDS of things you think he wouldn't know.

A 7 Int character is slow, and uneducated (maybe, Knowledge ranks fix that but whatever).

A 7 Int character is NOT too stupid to know what grass is. Ever.

Even a 4 Int character is not that stupid.

A 3 Int character, MAYBE (they barely possess the capacity for speech).


Maybe people start heckling because you say things that aren't true and then defend it by saying "Well it wasn't actually meant to be true, I was just saying it! Why doesn't anyone listen to me?"


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:


Point:

DC X represents something Int 10 cannot fail. This is what everyone considers "known by everyone".

Guy with Int 7 can fail the DC X check. He has a chance to not know the stuff that everyone considers "known by everyone".

Thus, he will not know simple, basic, everyone knows it stuff on a fairly regular basis...

The problem here is that you are going well outside the rules in saying the certain KINDS of things you think he wouldn't know.

A 7 Int character is slow, and uneducated (maybe, Knowledge ranks fix that but whatever).

A 7 Int character is NOT too stupid to know what grass is. Ever.

Even a 4 Int character is not that stupid.

A 3 Int character, MAYBE (they barely possess the capacity for speech).

Man, if horses know what grass is (and they are Int 2), I think a human with Int 3 would know. :)


That gets into a bit of an existential argument whether horses actually know what grass is, or they know "This thing is edible" and so on that really always ends up frustrating everyone involved so let's not. =/


Rynjin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:


Point:

DC X represents something Int 10 cannot fail. This is what everyone considers "known by everyone".

Guy with Int 7 can fail the DC X check. He has a chance to not know the stuff that everyone considers "known by everyone".

Thus, he will not know simple, basic, everyone knows it stuff on a fairly regular basis...

The problem here is that you are going well outside the rules in saying the certain KINDS of things you think he wouldn't know.

A 7 Int character is slow, and uneducated (maybe, Knowledge ranks fix that but whatever).

A 7 Int character is NOT too stupid to know what grass is. Ever.

Even a 4 Int character is not that stupid.

A 3 Int character, MAYBE (they barely possess the capacity for speech).

That is relative.

A guy with a 20 Int might not know what grass is.

If he has never encountered grass, and no one he knows of has either. Some environments might have people who've never seen or heard of it.

Or maybe a guy once a long time ago some traveler mentioned the stuff... well then, he might just have an inkling of an idea what it might be... but he isn't sure.

The guy with the 7 int doesn't remember that guy that came by all those years ago who mentioned grass that one time, he might not even remember the guy.


Roberta Yang wrote:
Maybe people start heckling because you say things that aren't true and then defend it by saying "Well it wasn't actually meant to be true, I was just saying it! Why doesn't anyone listen to me?"

Well, that'd require a better than 7 cha to avoid doing, wouldn't it?


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Look, a guy with Int 9 doesn't know how to eat food and needs to be force-fed in order to not die. Why? Well, Int 10 people know what food is, so at Int 9 they don't. That's because knowing what food is, let's say, a Knowledge check with DC 0. By which I obviously mean DC 10. By which I obviously mean maybe DC 6? Stop quibbling, I think my point is clear. RELATIVE. DIFFERENCE. QED


Rynjin wrote:
That gets into a bit of an existential argument whether horses actually know what grass is, or they know "This thing is edible" and so on that really always ends up frustrating everyone involved so let's not. =/

I believe that this would be an epistemic argument, being in the realm of arguments regarding having knowledge and the formation thereof. Then again, I doubt that succeeding in a knowledge check in pathfinder represents having actual knowledge about something. Sorry, I'm being picky >_>.


Roberta Yang wrote:
Look, a guy with Int 9 doesn't know how to eat food and needs to be force-fed in order to not die. Why? Well, Int 10 people know what food is, so at Int 9 they don't. That's because knowing what food is, let's say, a Knowledge check with DC 0. By which I obviously mean DC 10. By which I obviously mean maybe DC 6? Stop quibbling, I think my point is clear. RELATIVE. DIFFERENCE. QED

Hrm...

I'm done. Have fun.


Remy Balster wrote:


That is relative.

-General irrelevance-

That is also not what we are discussing.

Corner cases do not prove your point. They just make you look desperate.


Anyway, for an example of a depiction of a character with Int as a dump stat, consider Elan from Order of the Stick. Is Rich Burlew being a badevilwrong minmaxer by not portraying Elan as completely incapable of anything involving thought?


I think the frustrating bit was that he created a false comparison of Int to IQ, had a false conclusion on what the specific IQ you stated meant(IQ of 70) and are now adamantly holding onto your position despite some obvious ridiculousness.

Furthermore, an NPC has a 2 out of 6 chance of ending up with a negative Intelligence score then has a 1 out of 6 to put their Attribute Bonus in it if they're human.

That is a very idiotic society by your standards.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Anyway, for an example of a depiction of a character with Int as a dump stat, consider Elan from Order of the Stick. Is Rich Burlew being a badevilwrong minmaxer by not portraying Elan as completely incapable of anything involving thought?

Nope. But he doesn't portray Elan as being the sharpest guy in the room either, which doesn't tend to hold water for many who are dumping that stat.

I'd rather a player be honest with me and tell me straight up that they want a certain build and dumped the stats but don't want to be ugly, or moronically stupid or klutzy or weak than trying to rationalize it with some sort of "well, he has a 7 Strength but looks like a weightlifter because he works out just enough to be muscular but cannot pick anything up .." or whatever.

Just be honest with what you are doing, we can talk about it and go from there. But when I have to get out hip waders to get through the pile of justification being laid out I am less than amused. We both know what you are doing; I don't have a 7 Intelligence. :)


As a sidebar, the average "Melee NPC" ends up with an Int of 9 AND a Cha of 8, so dump stats aren't exactly limited just to PCs.


On the subject of low scores form the perspective of the player, I actually enjoy role-playing a character with a low stat. I believe it makes for much more dynamic characters, and there are times where I'm inclined to dump a stat that I normally would not to make the character more believable.

However, I do understand that some players don't want to be told how they should role-play. So, I try to leave it up to the players when I end up DM'ing as to how they want a negative state to effect their character. The other thing I should point out is that a low wisdom (for example) can be played out in my different ways. Perhaps the character lacks empathy for others, maybe they're absent-minded, or they could be really gullible and naive.

For some reason, this thread makes me want to stat out Gaston.


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Cardinal Reinhardt wrote:


For some reason, this thread makes me want to stat out Gaston.

Str: 20

Dex: 16
Con: 18
Wis: 4
Int: 8
Cha: 24
Manliness: ∞


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I still like that apparently 1/6 of elves are terminally ill. Where does this "7 = nonfunctional" hogwash come from? Every average NPC in Golarion has a base 8 in one score. Golarion must be a real fun place in Remy's games.

Shadow Lodge

I think Remy was working under the false assumption that a 7 was the lowest possible human stat. 7 is the lowest possible starting stat for a human using a point buy system.

So his examples were a bit extreme. Personaly I always equated a 7 int to Tom Hanks 'Forrest Gump' character.


Honestly, I'm still not convinced on take 10 on knowledge checks.
The bard ability does not mention being able to do it under distress, unlike the skill mastery rogue talent which very much do.

And it just seems so very very off. If I'm untrained and average intelligence and in combat with an ogre, I'll have to think "don't think about what that is don't think about what that is", because if I make a knowledge check I can't take 10 and thus risk not knowing what the ogre is. However, if I manage not to think about it I can take 10 afterwards and automatically know what it is. But if I DO think about it during combat and fail, then I can't collect my thoughts afterwards and realize what it was - I'm screwed forever.

It's seems like such an extremely weird rule then, and to me it's verisimillitude-breaking.

I've searched around and found a few previous threads on it with similar discussion, but no dev input but because of these reasons I don't believe taking 10 with knowledge checks is RAI:
1. Knowledge checks are meant to represent what you know or don't know, not what you can manage to remember at a specific time.
2. The Loremaster ability says it grants the ability to take 10 on knowledge checks, and without mentioning distress unlike other abilities that give similar options.
3. It just feels awfully weird and encourages weird metagaming.


Remy Balster wrote:
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...

I've heard the Int to IQ comparison before, but it doesn't really work. You still have your base language skill, you are not mechanically impaired in using it, there are no rules that say you are too dumb to do much, initiative mod is covered by dex and feats, wisdom covers the senses and grasping a situation, charisma governs how adept you are at conversation. You are certainly not retarded if you are a rogue or bard, as you still have plenty of skills to throw around and can even know multiple languages. Bardic knowledge can also keep a low int bard in the know. If you are a human, the penalties of the low int are a little covered as well. Good luck passing an int check or int skill though.

7 int is not dying. You can't take much of a hit and you won't pass a fort save in all likelihood, but you are not dying. I've known people with below average health and toughness, they are fragile (one could say soft) but they are not dying. Their wounds also take longer to heal (leading to long term complications of repeat injuries). So fragility is not dying. There was a good dragon article that covered playing the low stats. I remember it as a fun read.


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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
I've heard the Int to IQ comparison before, but it doesn't really work. You still have your base language skill, you are not mechanically impaired in using it, there are no rules that say you are too dumb to do much, initiative mod is covered by dex and feats, wisdom covers the senses and grasping a situation, charisma governs how adept you are at conversation.

And that is the problem. What you've basically said is that there's effectively no penalty for a fighter dumping Int. Aside from some skills that are largely trained-only and that a figher is likely never to roll for in the course of the campaign, there is literally no way to tell whether a human fighter has an intelligence of 7 or of 11.

In that case, why not simply take four free stat points and add them on to his strength or constitution.

Liberty's Edge

Personally, as long as player generally does a good job roleplaying, I don't force them to play "stupid" if they dump int. A score of 7 or 8 is by no means completely mentally deficient. In our terms they would be the kids who got C's and D's despite their best efforts. Not too sharp, but good enough to get by without special assistance. You don't get into village idiot or Hodor territory until you hit a score of 3 or 4.

Plus, how do you balance this against players who play genius wizards with an int score of 20? Almost certainly the player isn't that smart. So if the player tries to do something stupid do you stop them and force them to play smart? Again, as long as the roleplaying is reasonable and people are having fun, I don't see a reason for a GM to second guess their players and confine to them to a type of play.


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Fighters can get some benefit out of high Intelligence. An 11 Int might seem "pointless", but it puts you within reach of 13 Int and Combat Expertise with a cheap magic item instead of a very expensive one.

Even just having a 10 will give you an extra skill point each level. If you want or need that for some reason it is probably more efficient to get it from Int than to spend your favored class bonus on it since you'll likely already have a Con of 14 or higher and would need to spend more of your point buy to get the extra HP each level via ability scores.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
I've heard the Int to IQ comparison before, but it doesn't really work. You still have your base language skill, you are not mechanically impaired in using it, there are no rules that say you are too dumb to do much, initiative mod is covered by dex and feats, wisdom covers the senses and grasping a situation, charisma governs how adept you are at conversation.

And that is the problem. What you've basically said is that there's effectively no penalty for a fighter dumping Int. Aside from some skills that are largely trained-only and that a figher is likely never to roll for in the course of the campaign, there is literally no way to tell whether a human fighter has an intelligence of 7 or of 11.

In that case, why not simply take four free stat points and add them on to his strength or constitution.

And this is a problem?

Do we NEED to have the Fighter's roleplaying crippled just because he wants a slightly lower than average Intelligence? Is it absolutely necessary he be smote for trying to eke out another +1 in exchange for lowering a skill he'd never use anyways?

The fact is that Fighter is going to be awful in any situation other than combat already. His Intelligence score is meaningless from the beginning. His Charisma is meaningless from the beginning. The other people in the party who don't rely completely on the three physical scores are handling it, already.

Basically this is the difference between forcing someone who is carrying a bunch of bricks and bread and telling him he can't drop the bricks and get more bread. He doesn't need the bricks. He doesn't want the bricks. He wants bread. Bread is useful to him.


Reducing a character's Int score is not like turning a switch where, when you hit the magic number 3, the character goes from a normally functioning person with workable understanding of the world into a useless eat-sleep-poop machine. There will be a steady decline from normal to non-functional. How is the middle ground potrayed? Perhaps not as dramatically as Remy suggested but there must be a progression from intelligent and therefore capable to unintelligent and therefore incapable.

There are plenty of adult people in this world who require supervision so they don't start a fire every time they cook, who are not intelligent enough to calculate the change they are owed when buying groceries, who are intellectually incapable of dishonesty, who cannot ride the bus on their own etc. etc. There is an entire industry created around these people with professional caregivers and grouphomes to help them get through life as independantly as possible. When I was in school, they were called "trainable mentally handicaps". I don't know what the politically correct term is these days but the unkind term is "retard". At what point, what Int score specifically, does a character stop being normal and become a trainable mentally handicapped person?

Keep in mind too that animals usually have an Int score of 1 or 2. How able to function in the world is a character who is only slightly more intelligent than Farmer Brown's exceptionally clever horse (Int 3) that can do arithmetic?


Scavion wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
I've heard the Int to IQ comparison before, but it doesn't really work. You still have your base language skill, you are not mechanically impaired in using it, there are no rules that say you are too dumb to do much, initiative mod is covered by dex and feats, wisdom covers the senses and grasping a situation, charisma governs how adept you are at conversation.

And that is the problem. What you've basically said is that there's effectively no penalty for a fighter dumping Int. Aside from some skills that are largely trained-only and that a figher is likely never to roll for in the course of the campaign, there is literally no way to tell whether a human fighter has an intelligence of 7 or of 11.

In that case, why not simply take four free stat points and add them on to his strength or constitution.

And this is a problem?

Well, consider that the same argument applies to the wizard dumping strength. Aside from lower carrying capacity (which can be fixed with muleback cords), the wizard is taking penalties in things he never uses. The end result is that a class that is already overpowered becomes even more so, because there's no reason not to put four extra stat points into the casting stat. (The only reason a well-played wizard would be involved in physical combat is because someone grapples him. The extra points in intelligence will, by astonishing coincidence, make Escape Artist a useful skill.....)


Caveth Itxaro wrote:


There are plenty of adult people in this world who require supervision so they don't start a fire every time they cook, who are not intelligent enough to calculate the change they are owed when buying groceries, who are intellectually incapable of dishonesty, who cannot ride the bus on their own etc. etc. There is an entire industry created around these people with professional caregivers and grouphomes to help them get through life as independantly as possible. When I was in school, they were called "trainable mentally handicaps". I don't know what the politically correct term is these days but the unkind term is "retard". At what point, what Int score specifically, does a character stop being normal and become a trainable mentally handicapped person?

Is that a serious question? No one really knows, because there's no real-world measure of "intelligence" available except for the justly maligned IQ score, and because we have no real idea of the relationship between IQ scores and "intelligence" as a Pathfinder attribute, or (to say the same thing another way) we have no idea of the distribution of IQ scores in Pathfinder.

With a few reasonably defensible assumptions, an intelligence score of 7 corresponds to an IQ of about 80-85, and an IQ of 5 to about 65-75, which is roughly where people have serious issues in daily life. Officially, the "village idiot" NPC has an intelligence score of 4.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Caveth Itxaro wrote:


There are plenty of adult people in this world who require supervision so they don't start a fire every time they cook, who are not intelligent enough to calculate the change they are owed when buying groceries, who are intellectually incapable of dishonesty, who cannot ride the bus on their own etc. etc. There is an entire industry created around these people with professional caregivers and grouphomes to help them get through life as independantly as possible. When I was in school, they were called "trainable mentally handicaps". I don't know what the politically correct term is these days but the unkind term is "retard". At what point, what Int score specifically, does a character stop being normal and become a trainable mentally handicapped person?

Is that a serious question? No one really knows, because there's no real-world measure of "intelligence" available except for the justly maligned IQ score, and because we have no real idea of the relationship between IQ scores and "intelligence" as a Pathfinder attribute, or (to say the same thing another way) we have no idea of the distribution of IQ scores in Pathfinder.

With a few reasonably defensible assumptions, an intelligence score of 7 corresponds to an IQ of about 80-85, and an IQ of 5 to about 65-75, which is roughly where people have serious issues in daily life. Officially, the "village idiot" NPC has an intelligence score of 4.

Nice of you to address 1/3 of my point.


born_of_fire wrote:


Nice of you to address 1/3 of my point.

Well, it was the only part of the point that was actually addressable. Perhaps obviously, "At what point, what Int score specifically, does a character stop being normal and become a trainable mentally handicapped person?" is not an answerable question. When you're dealing with a continuum, there are no gaps. But, oddly enough, i answered it within the scope of the Pathfinder rules.

But the fact that it is a continuum is exactly the point that a number of people are making. A character with intelligence of 8 should be noticeably less intelligent than a character with intelligence of 10 and a character with intelligence of 7 should be even more so. If we're having a conversation in-character and I can't tell after five minutes that you dumped intelligence, then you're not role-playing your intelligence statistic. While there are lots of different ways to express low intelligence, "not at all" isn't one of them.


If you are playing 5 card draw, and you are looking at a royal flush in your hand (649739:1 odds), would you presume that, since the the likelihood of having such a hand are so low, it must not actually be what you think it is? By the same notion, if a character with 7 Int rolls a 20 on a DC10 knowledge check, and demonstrates relatively good knowledge on the subject, beating the DC by 8 points (maybe more if they have additional modifiers), would you say, "Well, you aced the check... but you're stupid so you still don't know anything." Just because a person is relatively unintelligent doesn't mean they're incapable of learning; it just means it takes more time and effort on their part. Furthermore, consider that, among the 3 "livelihood" skills (Profession, Craft, Perform, 4 if you include Sleight of Hand used as Perform), only Craft is governed by Intelligence. You can be stupid, but work as a Bartender or Farmer or Dancer or Juggler and you'll be fine... maybe even exemplary. You'd have to dump Int, Wis, Cha, and Dex to be completely lacking in a viable "day job". Moreover, Int is just raw talent. Even if you have an Int of 7, you can still pump what skill points you have available into skills. You'll have fewer skills, but your knowledge in any particular skill can be just as good (or nearly as good for Int skills) as a person with higher Int; you just don't have as broad a range of skills. But 4 of your 8 skill points as a lvl 4 Human in a 2sp class in any non-Int skill makes you just as good in that skill as another lvl 4 Human in a 2sp class with 13 Int putting 4 of his 16 skill points into it.

The only thing a 7 Int Fighter really has to fear is getting hit with 7 or more points of Int penalties. Bestow Curse + Feeblemind will render said Fighter comatose.

Shadow Lodge

Core Rule Book page 15, under the chapter heading 'Ability Score', first paragraph, last sentence.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:


Nice of you to address 1/3 of my point.

Well, it was the only part of the point that was actually addressable. Perhaps obviously, "At what point, what Int score specifically, does a character stop being normal and become a trainable mentally handicapped person?" is not an answerable question. When you're dealing with a continuum, there are no gaps. But, oddly enough, i answered it within the scope of the Pathfinder rules.

But the fact that it is a continuum is exactly the point that a number of people are making. A character with intelligence of 8 should be noticeably less intelligent than a character with intelligence of 10 and a character with intelligence of 7 should be even more so. If we're having a conversation in-character and I can't tell after five minutes that you dumped intelligence, then you're not role-playing your intelligence statistic. While there are lots of different ways to express low intelligence, "not at all" isn't one of them.

You've basically just repeated my point. The one where I said lowering Int scores is not like a switch but must be a steady decline from normal and functional to not normal, not functional. That's fine; if you felt my communication was somehow lacking others might as well however, my point was never to have anyone assign an Int score to answer my question but rather to have my question motivate people to consider the continuum and how to roleplay their Int score relative to it.

Edit: Every time I post under my character's alias instead of on my main account, my Int score gets nearer to that of Farmer Brown's clever horse who can do arithmetic *facepalm*

Shadow Lodge

Jacob Saltband wrote:
Core Rule Book page 15, under the chapter heading 'Ability Score', first paragraph, last sentence.

This is probably why a lot of people equate a score of 10 to average.

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