Point Buy - Down to 7


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Orfamay Quest wrote:

But we've already established that the skill penalties are largely irrelevant for a fighter-type. How often will a fighter be rolling a Spellcraft check?

Spellcraft is a good skill to have to know what a spellcaster just cast. Lac of skill point hurts and it is certainly not irrelevant


Simon Legrande wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

No no, I see what Remy is saying.

It adds a lot of suspense to daily life.

"Can my 7 Str Wizard make all of his daily checks to chew his food?" for example.

Brilliant.

I find that this argument was convenientely avoided by people that say that int 7 is utterly crippling.

Because lets face it, encumbrance is nothing for a wizard and the more the level the wizard have the less an issue the encumbrace is.

Does the str 7 wizard have to roll a check to see if he can draw her metamagic rod of empower? Does the wizard need to roll to stand up from the prone position?

Might want to read some of the earlier threads. To say that encumbrance is nothing to a wizard because of spells and equipment is totally missing the point. Using resources to overcome a deficit is not the same thing as saying a deficit shouldn't/doesn't exist.

If it is a problem that you can handwave away then it is not a problem at all.

Requiring the int 7 barbarian to be a utterly fool that do not know what a potion is or what is a dog or a wold or that fire burns is far more troublesome.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
But we've already established that the skill penalties are largely irrelevant for a fighter-type. How often will a fighter be rolling a Spellcraft check?

And that justifies inventing new penalties out of nowhere?

If he doesn't feel impaired by that Int check and lost skill point... Well, good for him! There is no need to punish him for making an effective mechanical choice.

Silver Crusade

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Knightnday wrote:
Repeat: No one is saying that the stat does not give a penalty. It's being said that people want to pretend that they are smarter, more charismatic, stronger or whatever than they really are.

Which is not the thrust of this thread....unless the general belief is that 7 leads people to not play their score properly, while an 8 leads to the opposite.

Why do people object to 7 but not object to 8?

People's behavior evolves to best cope with their circumstances. If the circumstance is 'point-buy' then people will treat the point-buy process as another problem to which their skill is applied, and try to get the best deal they can.

Whatever the specifics of point-buy may be, it's absurd to pretend that people who follow those rules are essentially cheating, even if they choose a 7.

Liberty's Edge

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Jacob Saltband wrote:


how is it a hindrance for a fighter who dump int and cha to 7 if he never has to make a roll, letting the int and cha based build make those rolls?

The lack of ability to make those checks *is* the hindrance. In non-combat situations the fighter that has no skills will be a sandbag to the group. Plus, that fighter might need to speak for him/herself once in a while or make some other sort of check, and they will most likely fail in dramatic fashion.

All the fighter gets from dumping int to 7 is enough points to raise their strength from a 17 to a 18 or maybe bump their dex/con up a couple of points. One or one-half modifier point is not that big of a deal in the long run, so why invent new ways to punish a player for having the audacity to optimize?

Edit: I also think a lot of the perceived problem is due to GMing style. For example, in PFS I always try to give my characters semi-decent skills as I know they will need to make checks for their faction missions, and you can't always depend on your group mates. However, if a GM allows the group's skill monkey to make all the checks and never involves the other players I can see how that how dumping could be perceived as a non-hindrance. The same could be said for a game that revolves around combat too where skills aren't needed as much.


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Jacob Saltband wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:

Those are both good responses, neither of which address the player who dumps his fighter's Int and Cha to 7 and then plays as if those scores are not below average. I agree that the 7s don't make him a totally socially inept moron, but he is below average in those areas.

Putting a 7 in a stat then using an in-game method to compensate for it is not the same a putting a 7 in a stat then playing as if it's not a bit of a hindrance.

It is already a hindrance. In the checks.
how is it a hindrance for a fighter who dump int and cha to 7 if he never has to make a roll, letting the int and cha based build make those rolls?

Because being hit by a combo of Feeblemind and Bestow Curse can put said Fighter into a coma or catatonic state. But the hindrance of a 7 to Int and Cha is more manageable than a 7 in Wis, Con, or Dex. That's the whole idea; you don't dump primary or auxiliary stats; you dump the stats you don't rely on. It's still a hindrance, but a more manageable one. And you still wouldn't dump Int if you were going to be an Expertise Fighter just as you wouldn't dump Cha if you're going to be an Intimidate Fighter. If I'm relying on neither of those strategies, but just going with a straight Fighter, the only hindrances dumped Int and Cha really impart are 1) Vulnerability to Ability Damage/Drain (it takes less to incapacitate me) and 2) If I'm ever caught isolated from my party, I can't fulfill functions reliant on those stats. Those are very specific cases and, as with anything, it's a risk; a gamble. If I choose to dump those stats, I'm gambling that having extra points towards my primary and auxiliary stats will make the difference between landing an important hit and missing or between surviving a major attack and not. If I go the other way and don't dump them, I'm gambling that I have enough of my primary and auxiliary stats that I don't have to risk as much vulnerability to ability damage/drain or being isolated from my party. It's a gamble either way. You don't ask the Fighter who left his Int and Cha at 10 why he worried so much about those stats when he could have built his Strength more? You don't confront him and say, "You really must not be serious about being a Fighter since there are other Fighters that are stronger than you." You don't ask him to justify having a 16 in Str when he could have had an 18. So why confront and force him to justify having a 7 Int when he could have had 8 or 10? Or 13? Do you criticize the player for not sufficiently roleplaying having 18 Strength? For not carrying himself like he's that strong? For having a secret fondness for kittens? Of course not. So why criticize them for not roleplaying like an invalid with 7 Int?

Ok, he's not smart. Guess what, not many people are. There are some pretty stupid people in the world... I've worked retail... I've been on the internet... I've seen these people firsthand. These people manage to hold jobs, earn money, and operate a computer to the degree that they can get online and be stupid for the whole world to see. Many of them are in management. But there's a reason you have Knowledge skills that represent how much you know. Sure, they're governed by Intelligence, but Skill Points are going to be a far larger portion of your bonus and Class Skill bonus may be just as high as your Int bonus if not more unless you're a heavily Int-based class (which Fighter isn't). A Fighter even with 13 Int to get Combat Expertise is going to get a larger portion of their Knowledge(Dungeoneering) bonus from Class Skill bonus and a very large portion from the actual skill points he sinks into it. When only 1 out of your 8 points of Knowledge bonus comes from your Intelligence score and 3 come from basic Fighter training and another 4 just from general studies, base aptitude for Intelligence has a rather small impact on your depth of knowledge in that field; it has far more impact on your breadth of knowledge. Sure, roleplay a 7 Int fighter as not having much breadth of knowledge unless he just puts a single skill point into as many skills as possible to try being a jack, but don't feed me a line that a 7 Int fighter with Profession(Butcher) and Knowledge(Dungeoneering) pumped nearly as high as they'll go for his level is just one-dimensionally "stupid".


Jacob Saltband wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:

Those are both good responses, neither of which address the player who dumps his fighter's Int and Cha to 7 and then plays as if those scores are not below average. I agree that the 7s don't make him a totally socially inept moron, but he is below average in those areas.

Putting a 7 in a stat then using an in-game method to compensate for it is not the same a putting a 7 in a stat then playing as if it's not a bit of a hindrance.

It is already a hindrance. In the checks.
how is it a hindrance for a fighter who dump int and cha to 7 if he never has to make a roll, letting the int and cha based build make those rolls?

I reiterate the last 2 pages. How is it a hindrance for a wizard who never has encumbrance problems or has to make strength checks but dumps strength?

He still has the penalties. The penalties are still a part of his character. Just because someone does not go around doing things they're obviously not good at (which is completely in keeping with most humans' behavior) does not mean the penalties are not there. It just means they're not pushing themselves into those areas which are not their expertise.

Once again: COMPLETELY REALISTIC BEHAVIOR.

Grand Lodge

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I must admit I am somewhat confused by the idea that a character can be designed, fluff wise entirely independently from their stats.

The example came up earlier of a Str 7 wizard describing themselves as muscular. I can not, no matter how hard I try, picture a scenario in which this makes any sense. Maybe he might be wearing bulky clothing to look muscular, or stand near halflings a lot, but it is not reasonable, in my mind to role play a stat as higher than the mechanical benefits allow.

On the other hand, I would be totally okay with a character downplaying their stats. If a player wanted a character who had strength 18, but was skinny as a rake and less than six foot, I would be okay with that. More so than the first example at least.

The same works for intelligence. I would have a problem with a player constantly using large words and engaging in intellectual debates with archmages, but would be fine with a high int character slumming it with the Orc drinking party.

As for charisma- I have seen arguments for pretty characters with low charisma. Maybe your fighter is quite handsome, but has some sort of debilitating speech impediment. Maybe they have inexpert mastery of the language, and often say the wrong thing. Whatever the reason, I would expect your mechanical choice of a low charisma to be backed up by in game flavour. Not every low intelligence has to be mentally retarded. Maybe the asimar paldin is unused to the logic of the material plane, and has to spend more cognitive power figuring out which way is up than most. Maybe your low will save character is not simply easily distracted, but is so self possessed as to have a hard time focusing on things other than themself.

Anyway, rant and bad spelling (damn you spell check) aside, there is no real mechanical impetus to reflect stats mechanically beyond the ascribed bonuses and penalties listed. So maybe RAW you can have a muscle bound Herculean heroe of the ages with Str and cha of 7. But I feel at that point the spirit of the rules is seeking a suit of armour to animate so that it can come to your house and hit you with a rubber chicken.


Zedorland wrote:

I must admit I am somewhat confused by the idea that a character can be designed, fluff wise entirely independently from their stats.

The example came up earlier of a Str 7 wizard describing themselves as muscular. I can not, no matter how hard I try, picture a scenario in which this makes any sense. Maybe he might be wearing bulky clothing to look muscular, or stand near halflings a lot, but it is not reasonable, in my mind to role play a stat as higher than the mechanical benefits allow.

Muscular =/= Strong. Many professional body builders aren't really all that strong in that they can't lift a lot of weight despite the apparent show of their physique. It's just that, for show. It's sculpture... art. Meanwhile, look at the circus strongman who deadlifts a car. His muscles aren't really all that defined... he looks more like a rectangle. That's what an 18 Str character would, realistically, look like. It's feasible for a 7 Str wizard to have "show" muscles like a body builder... but when he goes to lift something heavy and struggles with it, you get to see exactly what he's all about. Furthermore, what if said 7 Str wizard, at level 10, put 10 points into both Swim and Climb skills. I'd hesitate to say he wouldn't look muscled at that point if he's practicing his climbing and swimming at any given opportunity. Intelligent doesn't necessarily mean Knowledgeable and, just the same, Unintelligent doesn't necessarily mean Unknowledgeable. A 20 Int character could spread out his skill points over a very broad range with little depth in any of them while a 7 Int character can delve deep into the few skills he can master. The knowledge of a 7 Int character who trained up his Knowledge is no less valid than the knowledge of a 20 Int character who put a single point into that knowledge. In fact, if he didn't put that 1 point in, his knowledge may well be less valid than 7-Int because he can only ace those DC 10 checks while 7-Int can attempt even harder knowledge checks.


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Kazaan wrote:
Muscular =/= Strong. Many professional body builders aren't really all that strong in that they can't lift a lot of weight despite the apparent show of their physique. It's just that, for show. It's sculpture... art. Meanwhile, look at the circus strongman who deadlifts a car. His muscles aren't really all that defined... he looks more like a rectangle. That's what an 18 Str character would, realistically, look like. It's feasible for a 7 Str wizard to have "show" muscles like a body builder... but when he goes to lift something heavy and struggles with it, you get to see exactly what he's all about. Furthermore, what if said 7 Str wizard, at level 10, put 10 points into both Swim and Climb skills. I'd hesitate to say he wouldn't look muscled at that point if he's practicing his climbing and swimming at any given opportunity. Intelligent doesn't necessarily mean Knowledgeable and, just the same, Unintelligent doesn't necessarily mean Unknowledgeable. A 20 Int character could spread out his skill points over a very broad range with little depth in any of them while a 7 Int character can delve deep into the few skills he can master. The knowledge of a 7 Int character who trained up his Knowledge is no less valid than the knowledge of a 20 Int character who put a single point into that knowledge. In fact, if he didn't put that 1 point in, his knowledge may well be less valid than 7-Int because he can only ace those DC 10 checks while 7-Int can attempt even harder knowledge...

Great, spending in-game resources to overcome a low stat deficit is exactly how it should work. There is nothing wrong with that, at least in my opinion. What I, and others here, don't care for is the player of the low Int character not role-playing a low Int character. This will be the person at the table playing an Int 7 fighter and coming up with all the answers. This is why the two player types don't mix well. People are free to play the game however they like, some people just believe that role-playing involves actually playing the role of the stats you have written on your paper.


the penalty for dumping stats already exists. in the attribute modifiers. the mechanical penalties. i really don't like the idea of enforcing additional Fiat penalties because despite the player roleplaying the dump stat a given way, they aren't doing it the way certain people want it.

just because a barbarian has 7 int and 5 cha, shouldn't mean he should be forced to speak like anything resembling a bunch of cliched steriotypes or be forced to have an appearance the player didn't want because they dumped cha.

when the low int barbarian's player makes a solution to a puzzle OOC, attribute the idea to the wizard, not the barbarian

when the low cha barbarian's player makes a highly influential speech to bypass diplomacy, don't give the barbarian credit for the speech, accredit it to to half nymph bard instead

if a low strength wizard is an 80 pound weakling and a high strength barbarian is mr universe?does that mean a highly intelligent wizard has to gave an enlarged cranium to simulate their higher intelligence?

the key is to learn re-association and how to divorce the player from the character. if the thing sounds too out of character for you feel the character should sound. reimagine it within your head. even if you have to ignore whom is playing what.

or else, a shy player will never be able to pull off an effective face character, a non-engineer or non-architect will never be able to pull off a rogue, and a weak player will never play a barbarian

do you expect a barbarian player to whack you with a foam sword every attack roll he makes on a six second timer?


FireberdGNOME wrote:
I don't know if anyone mentioned this but for me the rub is when a smart player makes the dumb as a stump character and then uses the player's brain for decision making.

I don't like the idea that the character's mechanics could be used as an excuse to shut the player out of the game.

Player: "Well maybe we should try [tactic / solution to riddle / approach to challenge]"
DM: "Your character's not smart enough to think of that."

Sounds like griefing somebody based on your interpretation of their character.

EDIT: What I mean is, by your phrasing quoted above, it sounds like you expect the player not to use their brain for decision making. Like, it's a mostly mental game. Whose brain would they use?


Zedorland wrote:
I must admit I am somewhat confused by the idea that a character can be designed, fluff wise entirely independently from their stats. The example came up earlier of a Str 7 wizard describing themselves as muscular. I can not, no matter how hard I try, picture a scenario in which this makes any sense.

I think they mean "toned" rather than like bulky muscular. I know plenty of scrawny wimps with muscle tone but no real strength.


Umbriere Moonwhisper wrote:
the penalty for dumping stats already exists. in the attribute modifiers. the mechanical penalties. i really don't like the idea of enforcing additional Fiat penalties because despite the player roleplaying the dump stat a given way, they aren't doing it the way certain people want it.

Agree here with Umbriere. There are already in-game penalties for having your stats a certain way, why compound them with additional metagame penalties.


I'm flattered that my query could cause such a ruckus but I really think this thread has run its course. Thank you all for your replies, you have given me a lot to think about.

Shadow Lodge

So ability scores are only used for game mechanics and have no connection whats so ever with roleplaying your character. All the discriptive text on abilities has no function at all unless it connects in some why to game mechanics.

Whelp I guess you should let the dev's know that they have wasted time thinking up those discriptions and wasted company when it was printed in all those books, repeatedly.

Shadow Lodge

New mental ability score discriptions.

Intelligance governs int based caster, skill points, and some skills.

Wisdom governs wis based casters, will saves, and some skills.

Charisma governs cha based casters and some skills.


Jacob Saltband wrote:

So ability scores are only used for game mechanics and have no connection whats so ever with roleplaying your character. All the discriptive text on abilities has no function at all unless it connects in some why to game mechanics.

Whelp I guess you should let the dev's know that they have wasted time thinking up those discriptions and wasted company when it was printed in all those books, repeatedly.

Relax.

Theres a difference still. It's just not "Durr, I 'unno" for 7 int characters. You're character is probably going to end up saying "Beats me," with a 7 int a lot.


Was that directed at me Jacob? I'm just saying the character with 7 int shouldn't be an impediment to the player participating in the game. If they were routinely playing him as a know-it-all with a large vocabulary, an excellent memory, logical, prone to elaborate planning, then I'd scoff. But I don't see that in actual practice.

If you had Int 7 but Wis 13 and/or Cha 13 I'd say you could "pass" for smart, especially among people not much smarter than you.

EDIT: Merged two posts into one. Spamming my own thread...

Shadow Lodge

Sarcasmancer wrote:
Was that directed at me Jacob? I'm just saying the character with 7 int shouldn't be an impediment to the player participating in the game. If they were routinely playing him as a know-it-all with a large vocabulary, an excellent memory, logical, prone to elaborate planning, then I'd scoff. But I don't see that in actual practice.

No Sarcasmancer it wasnt directed at you. Just a general response to the over 'all roleplaying low ability scores' is an added penalty not , as some of us think, inherent as part of the mechanical penalty.

I personally have no problem with anyone on these boards (mostly :p).


@Jacob well while you've got me thinking about it, there is also the situation that I'm sure we can all relate to in real life, where a person is not by any means dumb, but they simply don't apply themselves. So while this person wouldn't strike you as being unintelligent in casual conversation, but because they are uneducated / irrational / just plain intellectually lazy "in the clinch" (i.e., in situations that in-game would call for a roll) they function as if they were dumb. And I could see such a person being mechanically Int 7-9 despite being played as perfectly indistinguishable from a higher Int.

Shadow Lodge

The way I see the mental ability scores is that there are both game mechanics and roleplay mechanics written into each discription. Lets take the easy short discription to break down.

Intelligance determines how well your character learns and reasons.

Learns is the game mechanics part, skill points.

Reasons is the roleplay mechanic.

Shadow Lodge

Sarcasmancer wrote:
@Jacob well while you've got me thinking about it, there is also the situation that I'm sure we can all relate to in real life, where a person is not by any means dumb, but they simply don't apply themselves. So while this person wouldn't strike you as being unintelligent in casual conversation, but because they are uneducated / irrational / just plain intellectually lazy "in the clinch" (i.e., in situations that in-game would call for a roll) they function as if they were dumb. And I could see such a person being mechanically Int 7-9 despite being played as perfectly indistinguishable from a higher Int.

Actually I personally would fit into this situation your talking about. I'm not unintelligent (supposedly have an IQ in the mid to high 130's) and I'm kind of lasy. Do I come across as a 7-9 int?


Jacob Saltband wrote:
Actually I personally would fit into this situation your talking about. I'm not unintelligent (supposedly have an IQ in the mid to high 130's) and I'm kind of lazy. Do I come across as a 7-9 int?

Well that depends who you ask, doesn't it? Look at Remy's posts above for his opinion of the abilities of 7 Int.

I just used mental scores as an example. I'm sure we all know people who are so physically lazy they might as well be 7 Str?


Jacob Saltband wrote:
Do I come across as a 7-9 int?

Do you really want me to answer that question?

Shadow Lodge

Roberta Yang wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Do I come across as a 7-9 int?
Do you really want me to answer that question?

Sure. Do you really want me to tell you what cha score I'd give you?

Grand Lodge

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I think a large problem here is the confusion between skills ranks and abilities. One is natural gifts the other is training and expertise.

So the strength 8 wizard with ten ranks in climb can totally climb better than the twenty strength barbarian with no ranks. Mechanically they are clear cut different.

However, from a role play aspect (freak out here, this is not specifically stated in the rules, but is instead imagined, I know right, weird) the barbarian climbs (probably) by wrenching himself up the cliff, using his brute force to heave his weight up. Meanwhile, the low strength wizard knows this approach won't work for him. He can barely do a chin up, and definitely can't pull himself up a mountain face. Instead, he evaluates handholds, looks for natural outcrops and sources of leverage. If he's using a rope, maybe he uses a leg lock, arm lock pattern (like you were taught in gym class). He avoids crumbly rocks and shaky looking handholds by drawing on years of experience and training.

Long story short, mechanically, there is no difference between a character with a plus three ability modifier performing a task untrained, and a character with a negative 1 ability mod performing it trained (class skill bonus included). Mechanically identical. Role play wise (which is kinda the major source of contention in this thread) they are completely different.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:

Those are both good responses, neither of which address the player who dumps his fighter's Int and Cha to 7 and then plays as if those scores are not below average. I agree that the 7s don't make him a totally socially inept moron, but he is below average in those areas.

Putting a 7 in a stat then using an in-game method to compensate for it is not the same a putting a 7 in a stat then playing as if it's not a bit of a hindrance.

It is already a hindrance. In the checks.
how is it a hindrance for a fighter who dump int and cha to 7 if he never has to make a roll, letting the int and cha based build make those rolls?

It is a potential hindrance. No stat is a definite hindrance. Just like dumping int might never be an issue if another player takes care of the important skill checks. It is a gamble. Maybe the player that dumps charisma needs something done, but NPC X is in a bad mood/unfriendly. The PC may not pick up on this, and be asked to roll a diplomacy or charisma check to get some cooperation.

Shadow Lodge

Sarcasmancer wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Actually I personally would fit into this situation your talking about. I'm not unintelligent (supposedly have an IQ in the mid to high 130's) and I'm kind of lazy. Do I come across as a 7-9 int?

Well that depends who you ask, doesn't it? Look at Remy's posts above for his opinion of the abilities of 7 Int.

I just used mental scores as an example. I'm sure we all know people who are so physically lazy they might as well be 7 Str?

My str might still be around a 9. And as I've stated before, I think Remy was working with false assumptions.

I'm also only a high school graduate. But I have exp from life and a short stint in the military.

Grand Lodge

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Also, thinking about it more, I can see how you could, emphasis could, have a character who doesn't at first glance seem to reflect their ability scores in appearance, in some regards.

For example, let's say you have a barbarian with con of 8. He looks hail and healthy, and as long as no pressure is put on him, seems just like any of his con 14 brothers. However, he confides in you later that he actually has a wasting curse placed upon him by his bitter half sister. He shows you, hidden under his tunic, a vicious scar, inflamed and angry despite clearly being years old. This scar is the physical manifestation if the curse designed to kill him, but that he fought off as a young man. His body is in constant battle with the curse, and so he has a weaker overall constitution to reflect this.

If a player showed me this, I would be a okay with him looking hale and hearty, rather than sickly or emancipated or some such.

However, when it came time to make a fortitude save against exhaustion for tracking across the desert all day, and if he failed, I would not allow him to maintain the facade. He would be sweating and panting with everyone else who failed.

Basically what it comes down to is if there is logic, reason and or effort put in to justifying some attribute of the character, I am would be of the general opinion that it is okay. If the dwarves barbarian dumps charisma to 5 and then says he is the handsomest warrior in all the lands, just because, then I have a problem.


Simon Legrande wrote:
Kazaan wrote:
Muscular =/= Strong. Many professional body builders aren't really all that strong in that they can't lift a lot of weight despite the apparent show of their physique. It's just that, for show. It's sculpture... art. Meanwhile, look at the circus strongman who deadlifts a car. His muscles aren't really all that defined... he looks more like a rectangle. That's what an 18 Str character would, realistically, look like. It's feasible for a 7 Str wizard to have "show" muscles like a body builder... but when he goes to lift something heavy and struggles with it, you get to see exactly what he's all about. Furthermore, what if said 7 Str wizard, at level 10, put 10 points into both Swim and Climb skills. I'd hesitate to say he wouldn't look muscled at that point if he's practicing his climbing and swimming at any given opportunity. Intelligent doesn't necessarily mean Knowledgeable and, just the same, Unintelligent doesn't necessarily mean Unknowledgeable. A 20 Int character could spread out his skill points over a very broad range with little depth in any of them while a 7 Int character can delve deep into the few skills he can master. The knowledge of a 7 Int character who trained up his Knowledge is no less valid than the knowledge of a 20 Int character who put a single point into that knowledge. In fact, if he didn't put that 1 point in, his knowledge may well be less valid than 7-Int because he can only ace those DC 10 checks while 7-Int can attempt even harder knowledge...
Great, spending in-game resources to overcome a low stat deficit is exactly how it should work. There is nothing wrong with that, at least in my opinion. What I, and others here, don't care for is the player of the low Int character not role-playing a low Int character. This will be the person at the table playing an Int 7 fighter and coming up with all the answers. This is why the two player types don't mix well. People are free to play the game however they like, some people just...

The problem here is that people will still have varying opinions on how bad(outside of the norm) that 7 or 6 is. Maybe a 7 is not all that bad in fantasy world.

Shadow Lodge

The real world example of str 18 and sculpted body. Arnold when was Mister Universe.

Grand Lodge

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A character with 7 intelligence might just be a country bumpkin level, rather than intellectual disability. They won't know much of anything, are constantly surprised by things others take for granted, and don't have much patience for fancy book learnin's. In 3,5 they gave brief examples (one or two words) for each level of ability. Might be helpful here.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Do I come across as a 7-9 int?
Do you really want me to answer that question?
Sure. Do you really want me to tell you what cha score I'd give you?

Ooh, ooh, do me!

Shadow Lodge

Rynjin wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Do I come across as a 7-9 int?
Do you really want me to answer that question?
Sure. Do you really want me to tell you what cha score I'd give you?
Ooh, ooh, do me!

Your cha seems to be around 12-13 with occasional swings to about a 6, like now.

Shadow Lodge

Jacob Saltband wrote:
The real world example of str 18 and sculpted body. Arnold when was Mister Universe.

Actually Arnold would be between 17-18 as his perdonal best clean and jerk was 298lbs which 2 pounds shy of 300lbs over your head for the 18 str.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
The real world example of str 18 and sculpted body. Arnold when was Mister Universe.
Actually Arnold would be between 17-18 as his perdonal best clean and jerk was 298lbs which 2 pounds shy of 300lbs over your head for the 18 str.

He thinks dynamic tension... must be hard work!

EDIT: (That means it's time to close the thread)

Shadow Lodge

Sarcasmancer wrote:

Was that directed at me Jacob? I'm just saying the character with 7 int shouldn't be an impediment to the player participating in the game. If they were routinely playing him as a know-it-all with a large vocabulary, an excellent memory, logical, prone to elaborate planning, then I'd scoff. But I don't see that in actual practice.

If you had Int 7 but Wis 13 and/or Cha 13 I'd say you could "pass" for smart, especially among people not much smarter than you.

EDIT: Merged two posts into one. Spamming my own thread...

Thats the problem, others have seen it happen, thats why there have been many 'discussions' about it.


Kazaan wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:

Those are both good responses, neither of which address the player who dumps his fighter's Int and Cha to 7 and then plays as if those scores are not below average. I agree that the 7s don't make him a totally socially inept moron, but he is below average in those areas.

Putting a 7 in a stat then using an in-game method to compensate for it is not the same a putting a 7 in a stat then playing as if it's not a bit of a hindrance.

It is already a hindrance. In the checks.
how is it a hindrance for a fighter who dump int and cha to 7 if he never has to make a roll, letting the int and cha based build make those rolls?
Because being hit by a combo of Feeblemind and Bestow Curse can put said Fighter into a coma or catatonic state. But the hindrance of a 7 to Int and Cha is more manageable than a 7 in Wis, Con, or Dex. That's the whole idea; you don't dump primary or auxiliary stats; you dump the stats you don't rely on. It's still a hindrance, but a more manageable one. And you still wouldn't dump Int if you were going to be an Expertise Fighter just as you wouldn't dump Cha if you're going to be an Intimidate Fighter. If I'm relying on neither of those strategies, but just going with a straight Fighter, the only hindrances dumped Int and Cha really impart are 1) Vulnerability to Ability Damage/Drain (it takes less to incapacitate me) and 2) If I'm ever caught isolated from my party, I can't fulfill functions reliant on those stats. Those are very specific cases and, as with anything, it's a risk; a gamble. If I choose to dump those stats, I'm gambling that having extra points towards my primary and auxiliary stats will make the difference between landing an important hit and missing or between surviving a major attack and not. If I go the other way and don't dump them, I'm gambling that I have enough of my primary and auxiliary stats that I don't have to risk as much vulnerability to...

Yeah, it is a bit of a stretch to call a character with years of experience who also happens to be excellent in 1-2 professions with a few knowledge skills stupid. It doesn't really follow. Not a scholar, sure, but it is easy to make intelligent low int characters. Just go rogue, bard or aristocrat. Or maybe some would like it if you never even took such skills, then they could feel comfortable 7 int is dumb and that is the end of the story.

I am reminded of a forgotten realms story I was reading. It centered around a druid. Now this druid seemed in some parts to have a low charisma and a low int, but when you were in nature and on his home ground this druid knew everything that was relevant. His wisdom was clearly rocking and this druid was pulling every little bit of knowledge nature from his years of experience. Probably a skill focus could represent such a character. A bit daft, a bit limited in his knowledge, narrow minded? Sure, all appropriate terms; but an absolute genius in the forests with a great wisdom, knowledge and totally aware of his surroundings and what everything meant in the forests (tracks, sounds, tree growth, trails). Low int isn't the full story for intelligence in pathfinder or D&D games.

Shadow Lodge

I'm gonna use Forrest again because, to me, he fits.

Forrest went to collage, spent time in the military,and even owned a shrimping boat.

All these skills learned from these life experiences didnt change 'who' he was but he had alot of knowledges and skills to draw on. All in all he was still Forrest Gump. He was still noticably lower then average int.

Shadow Lodge

Lets look at another mental ability score.

Charisma measures a characters personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance.

Personality roleplay mechanic.

Ability to lead game mechanic.

Not sure how to quantify personal magnetism and appearance.

Silver Crusade

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Zedorland wrote:
A character with 7 intelligence might just be a country bumpkin level, rather than intellectual disability. They won't know much of anything, are constantly surprised by things others take for granted, and don't have much patience for fancy book learnin's. In 3,5 they gave brief examples (one or two words) for each level of ability. Might be helpful here.

Thanks for the idea! I could totally play an Int7 character as if he were like Foghorn Leghorn!

'Hey boy! What's the poi-I say-what's the point o' readin' all o' them long-haired books? Grimoires, that is!'

Plenty of 'right' ways to play it. Pick one and run with it.

Shadow Lodge

Sarcasmancer wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
Jacob Saltband wrote:
The real world example of str 18 and sculpted body. Arnold when was Mister Universe.
Actually Arnold would be between 17-18 as his perdonal best clean and jerk was 298lbs which 2 pounds shy of 300lbs over your head for the 18 str.

He thinks dynamic tension... must be hard work!

EDIT: (That means it's time to close the thread)

Sorry these 'discussions' can take on a life of their own.


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If were not supposed to apply anything but the listed mechanical modifiers, whats stopping the hippogriff empire from allying with the wolves and take over the world through the air artillery where the wolves wielding Acid and oil ride upon similarly armed hippogriffs?

I imagine most human villlages will be enslaved by bears or giant spiders or similar, seeing as how that 26 str means they can kill most stuff and the -4 on knowledge arcana hardly will prevent them from chopping people in half.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I just want to let people discussing the intelligence score, that the Village Idiot, from the Gamemastery Guide, has an intelligence of 4.

Not 7.


I used Int in some of my examples, but I wasn't focused only on Int. For example, you could have a low Cha, and that should be represented in the character's personality and be role played too.

Say you have a character with an Int of 12, a Wis of 10, and they dump Cha to 7.

One way to play this character is like this; they’re a little smarter than average, but no one ever seems to like them. And since they feel society rejects them, they build up this deluded self image of intellectual superiority, a sort of justification. They chime in from time to time with snarky comments, but never really make any meaningful contributions. They have this delicate self image to maintain, they have to justify the overwhelming sense of rejection by self glorifying behavior. Whenever they put someone down, they get some brief reprieve from feeling so terribly alone. By hurting people and putting them down, they convince themselves that it is they who reject the world, and not the world that rejects them.

There are other ways too, of course. People can be varied and diverse. The same stats could easily be played by someone less caustic, and simply quiet or meek. Or someone who is simply awkward, or has a peculiar voice, or peculiar body language, etc. Many ways to play the same stats.

But, if you RP a Cha 7 character as though they didn't have some sort of major social or personality issues... well, then you're simply min/maxing your stats for mechanical advantage.

Shadow Lodge

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Zedorland wrote:
A character with 7 intelligence might just be a country bumpkin level, rather than intellectual disability. They won't know much of anything, are constantly surprised by things others take for granted, and don't have much patience for fancy book learnin's. In 3,5 they gave brief examples (one or two words) for each level of ability. Might be helpful here.

Thanks for the idea! I could totally play an Int7 character as if he were like Foghorn Leghorn!

'Hey boy! What's the poi-I say-what's the point o' readin' all o' them long-haired books? Grimoires, that is!'

Plenty of 'right' ways to play it. Pick one and run with it.

I met a PFS player/GM who had a tengu character named Foghorn Leghorne and played him with the same personslity.

Shadow Lodge

blackbloodtroll wrote:

I just want to let people discussing the intelligence score, that the Village Idiot, from the Gamemastery Guide, has an intelligence of 4.

Not 7.

Elaborate please.


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Sarcasmancer wrote:
FireberdGNOME wrote:
I don't know if anyone mentioned this but for me the rub is when a smart player makes the dumb as a stump character and then uses the player's brain for decision making.

Griefing? No. Enforcing. My *specific* ruling would be, "Clever. Make a quick DC10 INT check." If it passes, good for you. If not, bad for you. It helps to reflect choices made by the player at character creation. Is it *unfair* that PCs with 10 or better INT don't have to make this check? Not at all. Those other PCs took Ten on their roll. Or, we could go with the old, "Well, Bob is a pretty smart guy, so *all* of his PCs are INT14, if he doesn't want it higher. And of course he gets that INT14 *after* he dumps to a 7 so he can have more points to raise his other stats."

Now, what I see you allowing/alluding to is the STR 7 PC swinging a sword pefectly everytime, because the player is a fencer in real life. Yeah, no. :) If a player wants the mechanical advantage of bonus build points, they should be willing and ready to accept mechanical drawbacks for poor stats.

And, it *is* possible for a player to grief the GM: again, we are talking about metagaming. "You can't enforce my stats, so I get to do what I want!" sounds pretty childish. Give me build points so my best can be better, but don't you dare touch my weakness!

It is not about intepretation; it is about using what is written. Do you want the INT 7 Fighter that is a gall-darn tact'tal genie? Skill Points in, hmmm... staying in system... Knowledge History. "I remember when King Sanford and his Son were fighting Duke Jefferson at Tenpenny Tower and their plan was..." :)

It is not about interpretation: it is about giving the player what they are (tacitly) asking for when they dump their stats. If we don't express all aspects of the charcter, we may as well move to MMOs that don't *care* what you dump. It is about players accepting (and enjoying) weaknesses they chose. Unless your DM did your point buy for you and *then* griefs you because it's funny (to him).


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What if, as a player, you're not really a smart person and can't come up with all the answers... but you're playing a high-Int character? Is that also bad RP, that your supposedly high-Int character isn't coming up with all the answers and strategies just because you, as the player, can't think of them? You can't criticize "bad roleplay" of a low stat unless you also criticize "bad roleplay" of a high stat.

And remember... Frodo solved the door riddle while Gandalf pulled a blank... and I'm willing to bet Gandalf had significantly higher Intelligence than Frodo.

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