Avoiding "dump stats"


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wraithstrike wrote:

In the next game I run I will be using rolling, but everyone will get to use the rolls of whoever rolled the best. That way it will be fair.

Wow! You know, I never thought of that idea. Inspired.

I use dice rolls, and the players get to reroll ALL the dice if they aren't satisfied with them. Usually though there'll be one or two tasty rolls so they have to think hard before rerolling just to get rid of that one lousy 7.

To me, it depends on the type of game you as a GM run, and the important thing is just to tell the players up front the kind of game you play before they start. I play full on sandbox, and in my experience players are less likely to dump in such games as it's harder for them to predict when stat dumps will bite them on the bum.

I'm also fortunate enough to DM for a group that don't all want to be awesome megadudes out of the gate. They like the idea of their character evolving from the mundane level one townsperson to the legendary hero.

As an aside, the wild mage in my party actually asked if he could dump his wisdom as his rolls were too high for him to roleplay the character as he would have liked. Sure I said, and gave him a bonus feat for willingly dropping his wisdom by 4 and in doing so building a more appropriate character.


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What I don't understand is the big penalty to social events or prices. It is like: 20 cha Bard with maximized social skills get free room and 50% discounts in all magical devices? or just a 1d10% after a good forced roll?
Because a dump cha of 5 is -3. Expend just a point in a class skill with cha as its asociated stat and you got +1 to that skill. Worst case, 3 skill points nullify the problem.

Otherwhise is just insanely unfair

@John-Andre wrote: I have to point out that in quite a lot of cases, players don't have a lot of choice when it comes to accepting GMs. Some places only have one person in the entire town willing to run Pathfinder -- and unless you're willing to accept his rules, or you want to go to the hassle of playing online, you don't get to play at all.
Never accept tyranny, ever. As above is being said, he can put rules like "no dump" but no be silent and then be a jerk to show off he is the "sheriff" and owner of the law.


Mavael wrote:

I don't understand everyones problem with "dump" stats.

Why do all characters have to be good at everything? Isn't it natural that strength and weaknesses alter from person to person what ever that persons goal is?

The problem isn't so much focusing your character in specific areas as doing it to the point of making yourself WORSE in other areas. And really, this topic started with myself and the other GM looking at someone's build -- it's not so much that people do it, as they advise other people to do it.

The first part is illogical. Would you damage your own body, your own health, in order to make yourself better at what you do? Because that's essentially what these people are doing. They're rendering themselves deficient to the point of handicap, to make themselves better in one area. My argument (from a role-playing stance) is that, if your attribute is that low, then you would never have been allowed to be an adventurer in the first place. If you have the lack of personality and self-awareness that is indicated by a super-low Charisma, then the community you grew up in wouldn't have allowed you to learn fighting skills. That low a Charisma doesn't mean you're uninteresting -- it means you're autistic.

(Then again, autistic people sometimes do end up with the ability to hyperfocus on one topic, so there's a basis in reality for this, but... see my next point.)

The second part is when everyone does it.

When you have a party where everyone is deficient in the specific attributes that their class doesn't rely on... you're playing a group of stereotypes. The fighter is dumb, the wizard is weak, the rogue is impulsive, the cleric is clumsy... these are stereotypes. Sometimes the GM gets tired of seeing the same stereotypes brought to the table.

Scarab Sages

I usually am the min/max munchkin in my group .but we all optimize our characters in my group .We are all very good at what we do , and know our role in the party . The fact that we are not very good at one another's area of expertise means that we all get our turn in the spotlight when the time comes .


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I couldn't care less if people dump stats. There are rules in the CRB which tell you what happens (mechanically) in the game if you do, no point in making up gack houserules to "punish" people who do.
As an aside the group I game with stopped rolling or using point-buy for stats but just pick whatever you want for the concept of the PC. Over the decade or so that we have done this PCs stats seem to average out at a 20 point buy. Interestingly (IMO) no one has ever made a PC with all uber-stats and most have some built in weakness through the stats.


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>The problem isn't so much focusing your character in specific areas as doing it to the point of making yourself WORSE in other areas

You can not be serious, can you? Of COURSE a Wizard is gonna be WROSE at fighting enemy's up front, it's what he CHOOSE to do. Are people gonna demand equality of magic and BAB next?

Our strength and weaknesses define us.

>The first part is illogical. Would you damage your own body, your own health, in order to make yourself better at what you do?

No, but I'm not training it either. People seem to forget that 10 is the average. Having a 8 in STR doesn't mean I'm a f$~%ing cripple.

>They're rendering themselves deficient to the point of handicap, to make themselves better in one area.

I'm just completely speechless. I guess you are a person who does everything equally. You are not specialized in any area what so ever. I guess if you where a Barbarian you would sit down and study, and work on your social skills, just as much as you would on your combat prowess.

Makes absolutely no sense to me.

€: just want to add on that while 10 is the average, the stat array for a normal NPC is 8,9,10,11,12,13

So the average person in pathfinder has 1 or 2 abilities at -1.


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And a race a -2 will often have a 6 or 7 as their average. Remember, the average Dwarf Warrior will have 6 Cha. A 5 isn't a big stretch .

Scarab Sages

John-Andre wrote:

1) If you discourage dump stats in your game, how do you do so?

2) How does the discouragement of dump stats affect your willingness to join a campaign, and your enjoyment of the game, as a player?

1) Establish stat guidelines in the campaigns character creation rules.

2) It does not, as long as #1 has been done.


John-Andre wrote:

All right, Scythia, but what if I roll the crap character? What if, after rolling my stats, the highest attribute I rolled is an 11? Meanwhile Lucky Joe got a character with three 18s, and whose lowest stat is a 14.

If I get to reroll, then what's the point of making me roll randomly? I'll just keep rerolling until my character's stats are just ad good as Lucky Joe's character. (And before you go on about how incredibly rare three 18s are, I know a man who could roll 18s all day -- and rolled ten characters in front of our gaming party. All attributes 18, percentile strength 00 for all ten characters.)

If I don't get to reroll, and I'm forced to play Mr. Average... well, if I wanted to play Hercules, why am I wasting time in your game? It's not at all fair for me to have to play the 11-Strength Non-Wonder, when everyone else gets to play heroes.

Point-buy is fair. The only other fair system is a standard array. If you're requiring me to accept mediocrity to play in your game, I'm going to tell you where to stick your game, and I'm going to find someone else to play with. Or go play an MMO.

In my game, if you roll poorly. (You'd have to roll exceedingly poorly with my method 3d6, drop lowest, +6, reroll 1s), I allow a player to choose to use the array 18 16 15 14 13 11. Nobody plays Mr. Average in my games unless they choose to. In my games, the characters are extraordinary, and I prefer stats that reflect that.

Point buy is fair the same way a flat tax is "fair". It sounds fair, because it's the same for everybody, right? Much like a flat tax affects someone who makes 200k per annum much less than someone who makes 16k, point buy affects single stat reliant classes far less than those that need multiple stats to be competitive. I can make an excellent 15 point buy wizard or witch. A 15 point buy fighter gets to choose their significant deficiency. A 15 point monk or even Paladin isn't going to be too great at all.

Edit: You're not going to make Hercules in 15, 20, or even 25 point buy either. :P


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I expect that if I take a dump stat that every now and then it's going to bite me. I don't expect it to be the primary target in almost every encounter, or an albatross across the neck of the entire party for an entire campaign.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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John-Andre wrote:
(stuff)

1) In my current campaign, PCs had to use the Heroic NPC stat array of 15/14/13/12/10/8, before racial adjustments.

2) I don't care what the stat generation method is, as long as the GM tells me ahead of time.

Although, if a GM tells me that he doesn't like dump stats or that having an 8 is severe enough to be a handicap, I'll ask him where he found the time to custom-stat every single NPC in the game, since the standard arrays all include an 8. If he says that no, normal people are 11/11/11/10/10/10 then I'll ask him if there are any other 3.5 rules I should be aware of in this Pathfinder game.

And I'll have that conversation before I even make a character.


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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There is no reason for a DM to go out of his way to screw over characters with a few low stats. The game already has ways to make them suffer for their choices. Encumbrance is one: if you make people keep track of weight carried, the low-strength characters are going to have to make hard choices, at least until they get hold of a bag of holding or similar. And various attacks that target stats (poisons, shadows, rays, etc) will be natural and interesting risks to vary the typical load of hit point damage from encounters.

I'd just tell the DM not to get all vindictive and target the min-maxers specifically, and just let the standard game mechanics do their work, be it encumbrance, poor social interaction from low CHA, dangers from stat-targeting attacks or whatever.

However, linking purchase prices to CHA sounds like a homebrew rule not supported by the game. I'd question this mechanic, but if the DM takes the attitude "my way or the highway", then you've either got to work with it or change DM.

Good luck!


Bandw2 wrote:

in general a GM who punishes a players actions, not a characters actions, is "bad". It's meta-gaming and generally doesn't make any situation funner.

now if a player is a problem character, you talk with them out of game, or you just ban him. it's as simple as that, out of game shiz shouldn't bleed into a game.

Schedule, really? Tiny town with curdy internet, really??

In 2008 I lived in McCall Idaho, population 2200.
It's nearly as rural as you can get. The internet was suitable… NYC? no. But seriously how much internet do you need to do this?

NOW? I live in BIg Lake Alaska, I don't even KNOW what the population is that lives here. But If you only count people with teeth and drivers licenses, that Don't use atvs as their mode of conveyance to work? Im sure the population is below 100.

MOST people here don't have running water or electricity.

I don't really think "Rural' or "small town' people can complain about internet access, compared to where I have lived since the birth of pathfinder.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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There is a bit of a double standard when it comes to low scores - a rolled 7 is a "roleplaying opportunity" while a point buy 7 is a "dirty optimizer." It's a bit silly.

I think some of the negativity comes from the perception that you can put a 7 in a stat and then never use it. Players who put a 7 in Charisma, then roleplay their character as a likeable, social fellow, all the while never actually making any Charisma-based rolls, makes it seem like they "got away" with something.

That having been said, it's not hard to see the penalties for most stats:
Strength: Enforce encumbrance, at least at the macro level(armor/weapons).
Dexterity: AC and initiative penalty is generally pretty harsh on its own.
Constitution: Hah. Good luck.
Intelligence: In our games skills are super important. I have a friend who feels 12 skill points/level is constraining and forces tough choices. If you make frequent use of skills a low Int is its own penalty.
Wisdom: Penalties to Will saves and Perception pretty much always stay relevant.
Charisma: While the "entire party is hosed because of one dwarf" is, I think, a bit extreme, it is important to make sure Charisma is relevant to all characters. In my games whichever player is doing most of the talking makes the roll for social skills. It's okay to have NPCs occasionally wonder "Hey why's that guy never saying anything?" If done correctly a Charisma penalty should come up about as often as the other stuff above.

Edit: One houserule I use is that low Charisma characters are unluckier - so if an animal is going to attack a player at random, the lowest Cha guy is most likely to be deemed tasty, for example. If a random no-game-effect humiliating thing is going to happen, it will probably happen to that guy too.

Also low Charisma means your character is poor at projecting their self-image onto their social interactions - so while a 7 Cha guy might be trying for "mysterious grizzled mercenary" most NPCs would see "silly guy with pretensions who is trying too hard."

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Pendagast wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:

in general a GM who punishes a players actions, not a characters actions, is "bad". It's meta-gaming and generally doesn't make any situation funner.

now if a player is a problem character, you talk with them out of game, or you just ban him. it's as simple as that, out of game shiz shouldn't bleed into a game.

Schedule, really? Tiny town with curdy internet, really??

In 2008 I lived in McCall Idaho, population 2200.
It's nearly as rural as you can get. The internet was suitable… NYC? no. But seriously how much internet do you need to do this?

NOW? I live in BIg Lake Alaska, I don't even KNOW what the population is that lives here. But If you only count people with teeth and drivers licenses, that Don't use atvs as their mode of conveyance to work? Im sure the population is below 100.

MOST people here don't have running water or electricity.

I don't really think "Rural' or "small town' people can complain about internet access, compared to where I have lived since the birth of pathfinder.

I'm trying to figure out the relationship between your post and the one you "replied" to...


John-Andre wrote:

All right, Scythia, but what if I roll the crap character? What if, after rolling my stats, the highest attribute I rolled is an 11? Meanwhile Lucky Joe got a character with three 18s, and whose lowest stat is a 14.

If I get to reroll, then what's the point of making me roll randomly? I'll just keep rerolling until my character's stats are just ad good as Lucky Joe's character. (And before you go on about how incredibly rare three 18s are, I know a man who could roll 18s all day -- and rolled ten characters in front of our gaming party. All attributes 18, percentile strength 00 for all ten characters.)

If I don't get to reroll, and I'm forced to play Mr. Average... well, if I wanted to play Hercules, why am I wasting time in your game? It's not at all fair for me to have to play the 11-Strength Non-Wonder, when everyone else gets to play heroes.

Point-buy is fair. The only other fair system is a standard array. If you're requiring me to accept mediocrity to play in your game, I'm going to tell you where to stick your game, and I'm going to find someone else to play with. Or go play an MMO.

FAIR?

Im nearly bald, my father in law has a full head of hair.

Some people are fat, some are skinny, some have cancer, some diabetes.
Do these people get to choose?
No, they make due with the pot of gold they've been given.

Some people see it as gold, others see it as crap…. depends on if you are an optimist or a pessimist.

I had a thief in dark sun who had 14 str and a 9 dex…I can't recall but his constitution was low too maybe a 8 or 9.
I rolled crappy. so? (by the way dark sun was littered with stats in the 20s, usually)

my character was lazy. He hid in a wagon he bought and traveled around with the party, most of the time looking through sliding little peep holes in the side of the wagon, and accessed random encounter by back stabbing creatures when he snuck out a trap door in the bottom of the wagon, much of the rest of the time, he rode in a hammock inside the wagon,

Let me ask, when you roll randomly (because there is no point buy system for it), do you complain when your character is short and fat for his race?

All hail Rothgar the Giant slayer!!! ( a three foot nine inch , 400 pound pot bellied dwarf!)

I once played a game where the party wizard had a str higher than mine.
I was a paladin.
He had a 15 str and an 18 int.
But this was back in the day of Paladins needing 17 cha, and so that's where my high stat was.
My str, as a result was 13.

When it came to bend bars/lift gates, the wizard rolled up his sleeves and said "let me show you how this is done"
and yea… It was embarrassing.

Gauntlets of Ogre Power where in my future.

You're placing too much want in front of need.

This game no longer has limitations like needing X stat in Y place.
It's what you WANT.

You can totally have a 10 str fighter.
can't do 10 as a casting stat…. but you don't need 18 at 1st level either.

"Fair".

What happens when you roll to attack or use skills?

IS it Fair when you miss or fail skill rolls for an entire gaming session?

I have a monk curse. IF I play a monk, I will NEVER roll high enough to hit anything, ever and I frequently fail skill checks.
So bad so, In one game, when rattling through the ice chest, the Dm asked me…"what do you do" and I replied 'I roll a three, do I need to describe what I failed to do?'
The DM moved on to the next players turn.

Disappointing? Yes.

Let's not talk about the "unfairness" of rolling, hmmmm?

The game is based on rolling dice.


Wheldrake wrote:

There is no reason for a DM to go out of his way to screw over characters with a few low stats. The game already has ways to make them suffer for their choices. Encumbrance is one: if you make people keep track of weight carried, the low-strength characters are going to have to make hard choices, at least until they get hold of a bag of holding or similar. And various attacks that target stats (poisons, shadows, rays, etc) will be natural and interesting risks to vary the typical load of hit point damage from encounters.

I'd just tell the DM not to get all vindictive and target the min-maxers specifically, and just let the standard game mechanics do their work, be it encumbrance, poor social interaction from low CHA, dangers from stat-targeting attacks or whatever.

However, linking purchase prices to CHA sounds like a homebrew rule not supported by the game. I'd question this mechanic, but if the DM takes the attitude "my way or the highway", then you've either got to work with it or change DM.

Good luck!

I haven't played 3.5 in forever, but with point buy, doesn't everyone begin with an 8 in everything… meaning if you don't spend ANY points on a stat, that it is by default, and 8?

Or is my memory fuzzy?

If I, as a child, never worked a day on math or reading or even tying my shoes and all I did was throw rocks, chop would and wrestle bears…. what would my intelligence be?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't "pick" on people with low stats. But I don't let them slide either. You're running a 5 str wizard or an 8 str Magus? Fine. I will however be checking your encumbrance with a fine tooth comb and remember, coins have weight.

Similarly, if you're struggling for a hint with your character I may call for Int and Wisdom checks as appropriate. If you dump con, remember that besides your lowered hit points, you've got a lowered death threshold as well. I remember someone who made a monk with 7 con. At his first (and last) outing, he wound up from full to dead with one hit.

Liberty's Edge

Whether character creation is done by dice rolls or point buy, the reality of life is that abilities that are important to a particular class are going to have "high" stats while those abilities that aren't important are going to get the low stats. The fighter who makes the lowest stat in CHA is using CHA as a dump stat, regardless if that stat was created via a roll or point buy.

The reality of character design, especially if you're using a point buy method, is that something has to give: the more stats that are made higher, the lower other stats have to be made to accomplish that. Why is the GM punishing a player even further, when that player has already punished himself by applying low stats?

The game has ways to punish players for their design choices already built in to it. The GM doesn't need to single them out just because he doesn't like the way a character was built—especially if said character was designed within the guidelines prescribed by the GM.


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ryric wrote:

There is a bit of a double standard when it comes to low scores - a rolled 7 is a "roleplaying opportunity" while a point buy 7 is a "dirty optimizer." It's a bit silly.

I think some of the negativity comes from the perception that you can put a 7 in a stat and then never use it. Players who put a 7 in Charisma, then roleplay their character as a likeable, social fellow, all the while never actually making any Charisma-based rolls, makes it seem like they "got away" with something.

That having been said, it's not hard to see the penalties for most stats:
Strength: Enforce encumbrance, at least at the macro level(armor/weapons).
Dexterity: AC and initiative penalty is generally pretty harsh on its own.
Constitution: Hah. Good luck.
Intelligence: In our games skills are super important. I have a friend who feels 12 skill points/level is constraining and forces tough choices. If you make frequent use of skills a low Int is its own penalty.
Wisdom: Penalties to Will saves and Perception pretty much always stay relevant.
Charisma: While the "entire party is hosed because of one dwarf" is, I think, a bit extreme, it is important to make sure Charisma is relevant to all characters. In my games whichever player is doing most of the talking makes the roll for social skills. It's okay to have NPCs occasionally wonder "Hey why's that guy never saying anything?" If done correctly a Charisma penalty should come up about as often as the other stuff above.

Edit: One houserule I use is that low Charisma characters are unluckier - so if an animal is going to attack a player at random, the lowest Cha guy is most likely to be deemed tasty, for example. If a random no-game-effect humiliating thing is going to happen, it will probably happen to that guy too.

Also low Charisma means your character is poor at projecting their self-image onto their social interactions - so while a 7 Cha guy might be trying for "mysterious grizzled mercenary" most NPCs would see "silly guy with pretensions who is...

The "dirty optimizer" is the guy who CONSTANTLY comes to the table with the IDENTICAL stat array. Certain 'optimizations' (the dervish dancing magus being the easiest and out of whack one) are so much the 'eye of the needle' of the concept to work, it would literally assume every single character who does this for a 'living' would have these same exact stats,

Nor does every 1st level fighter have an 18 str.

It's not that a dervish dancing magus with an 8 str sucks.
It's just that every time this particular player comes to the table with a new character, he ALWAYS has the SAME stat array, why…because he's trying to get the most out of the points he's allotted, mechanically.
Let's say this experience is based on a 20 pt build.
If you gave him 25 pts… his main stat would only be higher.
If you told him 15 its, he'd throw a pitch fit and possibly throw an actual physical item.
It's actually the same guy who lied every time he rolled too, before there was a point buy system.
The point buy system was actually invented FOR/with this guy in mind.
Instead of being called a cheater, today he's called an optimizer.

it's the same EXACT guy…except now his hair is a little grey and he's 30 lbs heavier from all the game table snacks over the years…

EDIT: oh I don't like the lowest CHA gets attacked by the animal… an optimizer is going to use that to build a tank, so basically you created an exploitable mechanic where the character is building "aggro"…so basically he can tank against anything that does employe tactics in combat.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Pendagast wrote:

The "dirty optimizer" is the guy who CONSTANTLY comes to the table with the IDENTICAL stat array.

...

If you told him 15 its, he'd throw a pitch fit and possibly throw an actual physical item.
It's actually the same guy who lied every time he rolled too, before there was a point buy system.
The point buy system was actually invented FOR/with this guy in mind.
Instead of being called a cheater, today he's called an optimizer.

Unless you're talking about a specific individual you personally know, then you're starting with "person who uses a certain kind of stat array" and making claims about his maturity as a person, his moral integrity, and so forth.

All based on his gaming preferences.

If this isn't a specific personal acquaintance you've just described, then you're the kind of person who judges people's moral character (and publically attacks them) based on how they play a game.

That's who you are. Take a good, long look.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You know, I want to play a character with a 6 Con for these GMs everyone talks about, just to see what they do to the character...


I figured dump stats was a good method of showing what game systems you either really like or really dislike.

Some people like to track their weight hardcore and find the challenge of juggling stuff with a low encumbrance entertaining. The icing on the cake would be getting to increase your other stats.

On the flipside, maybe I just want to dig into the combat side of Pathfinder and let my party handle the boring social stuff.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Pendagast wrote:
oh I don't like the lowest CHA gets attacked by the animal… an optimizer is going to use that to build a tank, so basically you created an exploitable mechanic where the character is building "aggro"…so basically he can tank against anything that does employe tactics in combat.

Well the whole point of the houserule is that low-Cha characters have trouble getting what they want - so if he was trying to tank he would get ignored. It's less of a hard-and-fast thing and more "the universe tends to dump on you."


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ryric wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
oh I don't like the lowest CHA gets attacked by the animal… an optimizer is going to use that to build a tank, so basically you created an exploitable mechanic where the character is building "aggro"…so basically he can tank against anything that does employe tactics in combat.
Well the whole point of the houserule is that low-Cha characters have trouble getting what they want - so if he was trying to tank he would get ignored. It's less of a hard-and-fast thing and more "the universe tends to dump on you."

Penalties outside of what the game dictates. 5 star DMing.

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber
John-Andre wrote:
DeciusNero wrote:

It's quite possible to achieve being a munchkin via game mastery and other things. You can't drop a label on someone's playstyle if it's slightly different from what you expect.

Honestly, if you don't know, maybe you should allow 'Core Only' rule, until you feel more comfortable.

I did exactly this, and my players rebelled and formed their own game and excluded me from it.

(Also, as an aide, I've seen GMs called jerk GMs for insisting on a "Core Only" rule. The truth of Internet messageboards is that almost any behavior you can think of, there are lots of people out there ready to line up and insult it.)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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rknop wrote:
The truth of Internet messageboards is that almost any behavior you can think of, there are lots of people out there ready to line up and insult it.

Like dumping stats? ;)


Pendagast wrote:

What happens when you roll to attack or use skills?

IS it Fair when you miss or fail skill rolls for an entire gaming session?...

Let's not talk about the "unfairness" of rolling, hmmmm?

The game is based on rolling dice.

YOU might be a glutton for punishment, I don't think most of the rest of us are.

You know what I hate during DnD? If some play is just kind of moping in their seat because they can't feel like they can contribute to a fight.

You want to talk about 'fairness' of rolling dice? Doesn't matter.

Low rolled characters are just unfun and that's what matters. If I'm not having fun playing DnD, why the hell am I even bothering to keep showing up? Oh sure, sometimes you find a guy who gets a kick out of playing the low rolled wannabe hero - but he's not most people.


This is exactly what my Character Creation web page says:
Players will purchase ability scores using the Epic Fantasy Campaign Type (page 16 of CRB) with the following limitation. PCs may only decrease one stat, and to no more than 8 prior to any racial adjustments. Remember that you are epic in every way compared to the humans around Kyonin.

If they don't like it, they can go play somewhere else. That is specifically why I make this rule - to ensure I have players who don't want to Min-Max.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
You know, I want to play a character with a 6 Con for these GMs everyone talks about, just to see what they do to the character...

"Make a fort save every 5 minutes to avoid catching a cold and being Sickened for the rest of the night!"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
I'm trying to figure out the relationship between your post and the one you "replied" to...

As far as I can tell he's just using this thread to get on his soapbox. Responding probably won't get you anywhere.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
I'm trying to figure out the relationship between your post and the one you "replied" to...
As far as I can tell he's just using this thread to get on his soapbox.

About internet access?

Sovereign Court

John-Andre wrote:


1) If you discourage dump stats in your game, how do you do so?

2) How does the discouragement of dump stats affect your willingness to join a campaign, and your enjoyment of the game, as a player?

The only thing I do to discourage dumping is to let the players know what type of game I run. I tell them that I am not an adversarial GM I'm not going to put the players up against the wall just to do it. Combat is fun but its one part of the game and teamwork will be more valuable to the group then a min/max character. If combat and chargen is the heart of the game for you, then we probably are not going to enjoy the game together.

I only get picky about chargen and stat methods when I am running the game. As a player I am fairly open to what the GM wants for the game. If a the game is going to be nothing but a series of combats the "kill things and take their suff" game, I will most likely excuse myself from that table.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
About internet access?

Nah, about dirty munchkins.

Scarab Sages

Scavion wrote:
ryric wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
oh I don't like the lowest CHA gets attacked by the animal… an optimizer is going to use that to build a tank, so basically you created an exploitable mechanic where the character is building "aggro"…so basically he can tank against anything that does employe tactics in combat.
Well the whole point of the houserule is that low-Cha characters have trouble getting what they want - so if he was trying to tank he would get ignored. It's less of a hard-and-fast thing and more "the universe tends to dump on you."
Penalties outside of what the game dictates. 5 star DMing.

Ignore my low charisma tank ... if you can.

Spoiler:

You cannot. He controls when and where NPC's are permitted to move.

It is not a charisma check.


ryric wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
oh I don't like the lowest CHA gets attacked by the animal… an optimizer is going to use that to build a tank, so basically you created an exploitable mechanic where the character is building "aggro"…so basically he can tank against anything that does employe tactics in combat.
Well the whole point of the houserule is that low-Cha characters have trouble getting what they want - so if he was trying to tank he would get ignored. It's less of a hard-and-fast thing and more "the universe tends to dump on you."

The difficulty with making these decisions based on the stat is that it completely ignores the impact of skill ranks. A charisma 7 cleric with a single rank is diplomacy is rolling at +2 and has more than offset the penalty from their base stat. As they invest more ranks in the skill the impact of their stat becomes negligible.


Personally a point-buy is just another option to stats, i care little for the munchkin and power-builds complains as a DM can just outright say "no" and way too many people seem they cant even do that.

But the thing i prefer is to roll a set of stats 3 times and pick the one i like, that way you dont really have a case of "what if i rolled crappy?"

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

andreww wrote:
The difficulty with making these decisions based on the stat is that it completely ignores the impact of skill ranks. A charisma 7 cleric with a single rank is diplomacy is rolling at +2 and has more than offset the penalty from their base stat. As they invest more ranks in the skill the impact of their stat becomes negligible.

First, in my experience players who put a 7 in Cha are not generally also investing in Cha-based skills. A player who does so is obviously entitled to their paid-for skill ranks - they represent a character who has no natural talent but has used training to overcome a weakness. I'm not one of those GMs that ups the DC by 5 because you have a low stat.

That having been said, there are situations that fit between the cracks of the skill system where an ability check is more appropriate than any skill - no skill helps you break down a door or hold your breath. IMO there are situations where you will just make checks using your base Cha modifier - a first impression from across a room, for example. No amount of training will help you be a more likeable person when you don't even know you're being seen, for example.

By the way, to me it's more about making sure choices have consequences, than it is about punishing the player. You shouldn't be punishing someone for playing the game how they want. But you also shouldn't be afraid of imposing some (non-mechanical) flavor penalties based on a player's choice.


Scythia wrote:


In my game, if you roll poorly. (You'd have to roll exceedingly poorly with my method 3d6, drop lowest, +6, reroll 1s), I allow a player to choose to use the array 18 16 15 14 13 11. Nobody plays Mr. Average in my games unless they choose to. In my games, the characters are extraordinary, and I prefer stats that reflect that.

Unless I misunderstand, your system is basically roll 2d6 +6, reroll 1s. (Or 2d5+8 if you had d5s. Easy enough with a computer.) Boils down to all stats being 10-18 with a mean of 14.

Scythia wrote:

Point buy is fair the same way a flat tax is "fair". It sounds fair, because it's the same for everybody, right? Much like a flat tax affects someone who makes 200k per annum much less than someone who makes 16k, point buy affects single stat reliant classes far less than those that need multiple stats to be competitive. I can make an excellent 15 point buy wizard or witch. A 15 point buy fighter gets to choose their significant deficiency. A 15 point monk or even Paladin isn't going to be too great at all.

It seems to me your objection to point buy really comes down to the observation that MAD characters are harder to build. Think about it. Take any array you want. It will be easier to build a SAD character, regardless. The problem is not the way you generate the numbers.

For example, I used an on-line dice roller to generate 10 arrays using your system. The worst was 14,14,12,11,11,10, the equivalent of a 14-point buy. The best was 17,17,16,16, 14,13, a 54-point equivalent.The average point-buy equivalent was 34.4.

So if you have someone starting a character in your campaign, why would you consider it more fair to take a chance on the dice rolls versus, say, a 35-point buy?

It is a trade-off. You can take the risk of a low array with the chance to be just crazy high, or you can play it safe. I don't see either method giving a particular advantage or disadvantage to players who want a given type of character.

Scarab Sages

Didn't read the entire thread, but going back to the OP, If I was playing in a game and the GM did that, I'd leave the game and encourage the other players to leave too. Life is too short to deal with that level of petty crap in an activity to have fun.

Even if you don't like dump stats, punishing the entire party over a dump stat on a single character is passive-agressive jerkiness when it was perfectly in the power of the GM to simply ban dump stats from the start so there wouldn't be the need for that.


Using the standard (4d6) method gives an average result just slightly better than a 13 point buy. If you add the caveat that any total below 8 can be rerolled (once) you could let the player choose to roll that way or use a standard 15-point buy.


Pendagast wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:

in general a GM who punishes a players actions, not a characters actions, is "bad". It's meta-gaming and generally doesn't make any situation funner.

now if a player is a problem character, you talk with them out of game, or you just ban him. it's as simple as that, out of game shiz shouldn't bleed into a game.

Schedule, really? Tiny town with curdy internet, really??

In 2008 I lived in McCall Idaho, population 2200.
It's nearly as rural as you can get. The internet was suitable… NYC? no. But seriously how much internet do you need to do this?

NOW? I live in BIg Lake Alaska, I don't even KNOW what the population is that lives here. But If you only count people with teeth and drivers licenses, that Don't use atvs as their mode of conveyance to work? Im sure the population is below 100.

MOST people here don't have running water or electricity.

I don't really think "Rural' or "small town' people can complain about internet access, compared to where I have lived since the birth of pathfinder.

Wow, Pendagast, you're close. Meridian, here :P


Dot.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you don't like Min-Maxing, don't allow it. Being a passive-aggressive jerk about a choice you allowed in your game is not fun for anybody. Instead, simply set your own cap and floor for ability scores that you think better fits your game. I suggest something like all scores between 10 and 16 before racial modifiers.


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John-Andre wrote:

Also, one thing I hate is that I mention these people I know, who run games that make me want to have some input on how it's done elsewhere, and the feedback I get invariably runs to "He's a bad GM".

Seems like for some of you, unless your GM allows you to get away with whatever the hell you want, "He's a bad GM". I'm talking to you, EsperMagic.

Right underneath this entry box, there's a reiteration of Wheaton's Law: "The most important rule: Don't be a jerk." That also applies to offline people as well. If the only thing you have to contribute to the conversation is "He's a bad GM", that's being a jerk.

In another thread I posted about the GM who had an entire group sit down and create an adventuring party that consisted of nothing but mundane types. I got a lot of comments of "He's a bad GM" even though he did exactly what these people said he should have done. (Yes, he did. Go back and read my posts. Don't skim this time.)

What makes for a good GM in your eyes, then? Not all of us know the game so well we can handle munchkin characters. Not all of us know the game so well we can deal with the power creep in the 3.Paizo system. And not all of us are ferking BAD GMs.

Yes but purposerfully attacking players because of a low stat is immqature at best. If you dont want dump stats then dont use point buy and just give your players an array ninstead. I mean really punishing the ENTIRE party on magic items prices because the dwarf dumped cha? What a rip.

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber
Jiggy wrote:
rknop wrote:
The truth of Internet messageboards is that almost any behavior you can think of, there are lots of people out there ready to line up and insult it.
Like dumping stats? ;)

For example.

Or not dumping stats.

Or rolling for stats.

Or using a point-buy for generating stats.

Do any of these things, admit to it, and find out why you're a terrible person. The Internet is a wonderful place.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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rknop wrote:
Do any of these things, admit to it, and find out why you're a terrible person. The Internet is a wonderful place.

Now I kind of want to start a whole series of threads in which I admit to various practices, and compare how bad of a person I am in each one.

But that sounds like a lot of work.

Silver Crusade

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Rynjin wrote:

1.) I don't.

2.) I probably wouldn't join it. Passive-aggressively "allowing" something and then s#*#ting all over a player (and not just the player, the rest of the group by association) because he takes that option tells me right off we're not going to get along. If you don't like something at least have the balls to ban it outright, it'll show you're at least honest and straightforward enough to deal with.

This is really the heart of the matter. If a GM doesn't want certain things in his game, he should have the maturity to say so, rather than allowing them and then punishing players for doing them. Yes, there are some absolute standards that deserve to be called a "bad GM", and this is one of them.


I usually give my players 25-pt buy, sometimes more for smaller parties, and disallow any stats less than 11 (before racial modifiers). This has the side benefit of helping MAD more than SAD classes.

15 14 14 14 12 11 and 17 14 12 12 12 11, for example, are both possible spreads.


Fromper wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

1.) I don't.

2.) I probably wouldn't join it. Passive-aggressively "allowing" something and then s#*#ting all over a player (and not just the player, the rest of the group by association) because he takes that option tells me right off we're not going to get along. If you don't like something at least have the balls to ban it outright, it'll show you're at least honest and straightforward enough to deal with.

This is really the heart of the matter. If a GM doesn't want certain things in his game, he should have the maturity to say so, rather than allowing them and then punishing players for doing them. Yes, there are some absolute standards that deserve to be called a "bad GM", and this is one of them.

I have to agree with that. I generally don't allow any ability to start at higher than 18 or lower than 7 after racial mods*. Saying that up front, before anybody has created a character, prevents an awful lot of arguments.

*There is a small chance I could be persuaded to allow it if the player has a really, really good idea for a character. However, a build does not count as a "character" for this purpose.

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