What point buy is right and what characters are effected the most.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Scythia wrote:


Point buy value can definitely affect difficulty. Ask someone who has run the same AP for a group with 15 point buy and a group with 25 point buy.

I've done that. Multiple times. Didn't really notice a difference.


Scythia wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

Point-buy does not affect difficulty level. Point-buy affects number of viable builds.

Also 15 point buy was a math mistake, leaving players 6 PB points below 4d6 drop lowest, and discourages playing anything but a full caster.

If you want an enjoyable game, do 25 PB. 20 PB bare minimum.

Point buy value can definitely affect difficulty. Ask someone who has run the same AP for a group with 15 point buy and a group with 25 point buy. If you want an exclamation point, find someone who's run an AP with a 40+ point buy. It's like a walk on the beach.

Speaking as someone who did run with what is effectively 40+buy [16, 16, 16, 16, 13, 10] it's not exactly a walk in the beach, but characters don't get screwed over by dump stats the way they do in typical point buys.


I don't see why point buy really would make that big a difference in the difficulty of a canned adventure. If your point buy gives people an extra +1 in their attack stat, how hard is to to just increase the defenses of everything by 1 and give them 1 more HP per HD?

These adjustments really aren't hard to do on the fly, if things are going too well for the party.


The thing is we aren't talking about making those changes. We're talking about playing the material as written.

I might adjust the party's level relative to the material's expectations, but I GM this stuff as written.


Reposting and slightly editing what I said in a related thread:

If a whole class is on the edge of non-functionality without dumping, the point buy is too low. If the point buy is just cramping something really out there like Reach Shaman (or Spirit Oracle) with Lore Spirit using Arcane Enlightenment to substitute for a Mystic Theurge, but not limiting basic concepts of a whole class, then it's probably okay. Hence the 20 point buy sweet spot. And PFS and several Paizo developers seem to agree, except that APs are apparently stuck at 15 point buy due to inertia tradition.

Also, 20 point buy gives some headroom for some adjustments that I would want to make anyway: (House Rule 1) Magic item bonuses don't qualify you for feats, higher level spells, or bonus spells (meaning you need those ability scores to be naturally high); (House Rule 2) NPCs can (although do not always) get the benefit of the same stats, Hero Points, and Traits that the PCs can get without needing to burn feats; (General Campaign Rework Directive 1) adversaries get rebuilt and/or receive better combat instructions for more optimal performance, etc.

Sovereign Court

Honestly, they say APs are still written for 4 unoptimized 15pt buys, but if you read Iron Gods, do you really believe that?


^Wonder if they have been (not even on purpose) trying to compensate for people in practice using optimized 20 point buy . . . Would be best to just acknowledge consciously that this is what really needs to be done, and make it official.

Sovereign Court

I think in practice people tend to be
- More than 4 players; 5 may be the average.
- More optimized than Valeros
- Playing on >> 15 pts; you can get here even by rolling (since that averages to 19pts).


Trump For President wrote:

Its a myth that a +1 equals a 5% increase.

A monk who hits for 20 damage on a roll of 11(pretty average) is getting 15.5% more damage from 2 extra strength.

It's a flat 5% increase to chance to hit. I don't think you are denying this, though.

Sure, it can be a greater than 5% increase to damage. Increasing the strength modifier to +4 from +3 is not a +1 damage difference, it's a +2. And yes, you can factor in chance to hit to add that to your average damage per round. But then it starts getting complicated... Because depending on your weapon, your other stats, and the other modifiers you have on hand, that will all ship up or down. A level 20 rogue doing a sneak attack with a composite bow (a ridiculous extreme example) would only do marginally better by improving its str modifier by 1 (assuming the bow even considers it). Composite bows aside, there are other builds and weapon combos that allow for dex and str to apply separately to either attack or damage. Increasing a damage stat by +1 is never guaranteed to offer any given % increase.

Though I'll concede that, especially with racial bonuses, 15 point buy is plenty for SAD classes to excel.


Goblin_Priest wrote:
It's a flat 5% increase to chance to hit. I don't think you are denying this, though.

You're miscalculating % increases (it's a common mistake). A percentage increase is by definition relative ((new - old)/old). If you go from 50% (0,5) to 55% (0,55), you get an increase of (0,55-0,5)/0,5 = 0,1 (10%).


I like 25 PB, no stat below 10 pre-racial. The strongest classes aren't really affected, the MAD classes get a nice boost in functionality, and you see interesting character concepts brought into play.


Khudzlin wrote:
Goblin_Priest wrote:
It's a flat 5% increase to chance to hit. I don't think you are denying this, though.
You're miscalculating % increases (it's a common mistake). A percentage increase is by definition relative ((new - old)/old). If you go from 50% (0,5) to 55% (0,55), you get an increase of (0,55-0,5)/0,5 = 0,1 (10%).

Both are right. It depends what you meant by a five percent increase. An increase of five percentage points or an increase of five percent of total value. Since it's pretty clear what most people saying this actually mean I see no reason someone should be persnickety.


To any class/character that can dump charisma, putting the point buy at 25 and the cap at 10 is just like having a 20 point buy.


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RDM42 wrote:
Both are right. It depends what you meant by a five percent increase. An increase of five percentage points or an increase of five percent of total value. Since it's pretty clear what most people saying this actually mean I see no reason someone should be persnickety.

Nope. The only correct usage of "percentage increase" (or decrease) is the ratio of change to initial value (this is why percentage changes compound multiplicatively -as in interest for a loan- rather than additively). An increase of 5 percentage points is not the same as a 5% increase (except when the reference value is just right).

A +1 to hit can double your hit chance (from 0,05 to 0,1), do nothing (if you already hit on a 2 or still miss on a 19) or something in-between. A +1 to damage increases your damage output in proportion to your average number of hits.


I personally like to allow Point Buy amounts base on Race. The core races I give 20 points to, Kobold (lowest rp) I give 25, All other races I allow, even monstrous, though if you're going to be a Svirfneblin, Centaur, or some other overly powerful race you'll only get a 5 point buy. Medium races, like Aasimar, get 15 point buys.

It doesn't matter exactly the numbers, I just like having a system that allows more and more races to be used.


...
Our group actually does an 65 point buy. Which, coming to think of it, might be one of the reasons why my Eidolon isn't nearly the murder-machine (compared to our two-handed fighter) Unchained Summoner's Eidolons are usually seen as.

All around... Well, it means that my Summoner's 9 strength is the lowest in the group. 16ths are pretty common, and everyone has two or three 18ths (pre racial mods) where they can use them.

It helps that the only real "every bonus matters" optimizer is the fighter - the other caster in the group (a white necromancer with lots of custom features to make it playable without having it control or create any undead) seems to be happy as long as the fluff fits, and I always optimize for diplomacy and intrigue... in an "bash undead hard"-game, where it doesn't really apply.

Still, we're having fun, even if part of the reason might be because we're to distracted by shiny far-from-optimal options to actually optimize.


As a practical matter, the difference between having a 16 or an 18, or an 18 or 20, etc., probably isn't going to really matter a whole lot over the course of a campaign unless you have players/GMs that are counting every single point of damage dealt every encounter. Even then, its not likely to make a huge difference in terms of actual play, just in terms of the running tally.

Also, regardless of the point buy, the difference in MAD classes and SAD classes are going to vary depending upon the extent to which the players are Min/Maxers. Note, this isn't to say that Min/Maxing is bad, its a perfectly viable play style (one that I often engage in myself when I am a player), but in my experience (and yours may well vary) the group that focuses more on role play will notice fewer differences between the MAD and SAD classes simply because there are more areas for the different characters to shine and a good GM will still provide challenges of appropriate difficulty throughout the campaign.


RDM42 wrote:
Khudzlin wrote:
Goblin_Priest wrote:
It's a flat 5% increase to chance to hit. I don't think you are denying this, though.
You're miscalculating % increases (it's a common mistake). A percentage increase is by definition relative ((new - old)/old). If you go from 50% (0,5) to 55% (0,55), you get an increase of (0,55-0,5)/0,5 = 0,1 (10%).
Both are right. It depends what you meant by a five percent increase. An increase of five percentage points or an increase of five percent of total value. Since it's pretty clear what most people saying this actually mean I see no reason someone should be persnickety.

Its not persnickety. A lot of people actually believe that a +1 to hit means 5% more damage, which is literally never true. It leads a lot of people to undervalue the important of +to hit.

Liberty's Edge

Linking this post as it is a great breakdown of ability score generating methods.

I do think just providing a bunch of different arrays (the MAD ones being a little more generous with point buy) is probably the most effective one, but it provides a bunch of other considerations.


Didn't the DEVs come out and say that a 15pt buy for APs was based on incorrect math and was really lower than intended?


It seems that by the standard "15 is standard fantasy, 20 is high fantasy", that most APs go to level 16-18ish, and the sorts of things you need to challenge a party of high level adventurers, the standard for APs should really be a 20 point buy if not a 25.

I mean, how many APs actually have plots that would stay within the realm of "standard fantasy" and don't have things like dimension hopping, a small band of plucky adventurers triumphing over impossible odds, and a lot of really convenient magic to solve practical issues like "this city was constructed thousands of years ago, how is it not ruins?"


PossibleCabbage wrote:

It seems that by the standard "15 is standard fantasy, 20 is high fantasy", that most APs go to level 16-18ish, and the sorts of things you need to challenge a party of high level adventurers, the standard for APs should really be a 20 point buy if not a 25.

I mean, how many APs actually have plots that would stay within the realm of "standard fantasy" and don't have things like dimension hopping, a small band of plucky adventurers triumphing over impossible odds, and a lot of really convenient magic to solve practical issues like "this city was constructed thousands of years ago, how is it not ruins?"

I think that's said to be different. Like Conan the Barbarian has no magic, but high fantasy ability scores.

Dark Archive

Khudzlin wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
20 point buy is standard.
In PFS. But the standard assumed in the books is 15 (which gives us the 15/14/13/12/10/8 elite array).

That point buy is a no go for MAD characters like monks, paladins, and warpriests.


That's funny because Our 15 point buy serpents skull had a perfectly effective monk in it. He did switch characters eventually, but that wasn't due to a dearth of effectiveness so much as wanting a different flavor and personality.


I am tending to like more the designated stat arrays vs just let them buy anything approach if I went point buy as this can help prevent single stat classes from vast benefits vs multiple stat classes.
MDC


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Lobolusk wrote:


Can I ask why people seem to like point buy? I always have my players roll 4d6 reroll 1 drop lowest.

Customization with fairness.

If i'm making a paladin i need Strength, really can't dump dex, you need con, and charisma. If you have your idea for a not stereotypical paladin with some int and wisdom to, you know, have some ability to discern and judge the guilty and innocent , then you don't have any dump stats.

You're unlikely to get that character rolling, so if it's the character you want to make, AND You want to be fair so you don't story yourself in straight 18s , you balance your concept for the character with mechanical balance.

STR: 14+2 DEX: 10 CON: 14 INT: 13 WIS: 12 CHA: 14


the only repercussion(impact) of very low ability scores is if you cannot cast spells or qualify for a few Feats... that's it.

Characters can have an Str 8 and be a fighter. Just not a very effective fighter based on averages.
An Int 8 wizard is going to get spells - but he won't be able to cast them. That's an impact as his class gives him things he cannot use.
That clarifies the sense of repercussion/impact I am using here. Sure a low Str score means you can't carry much but that fits a low Str score and the ability to carry stuff isn't denied or impossible.

Choosing a point value is about increasing the average and increasing variability. Based on 3d6 averages, 20pt buy is rather generous.
IMO at 20pts you've maximized variability. People can go for that 18 and still have 10s. Then design strategy kicks in and some fiddling is done.
25 pts just boosts the average up. You don't see more 18's and 7's going from 20 to 25 pts. Just more 18's means the averages went up. I think the question is if you expanded the chart would you see 20's and 6's?
10 and 15 pts involves some hard choices and to get an 18 something has to be lowered.

With that out of the way, I think people balance what they like and what an optimal design calls for (if they are aware of it). It is also a balance between generalized and specialized ability scores. Lower average scores with less variability and higher total bonuses ensures your character is going to be competent at many things. Going for high values at the cost of some very low ones (high variability) is specializing so your character will be better at a few things.

I don't think there's a one ability score set fits all here. Classes vary too much.

I think there is some confusion between variance and balance(fairness). If everyone starts off with the same point buy, that's fair. Is it "fair" to the game? no. Otherwise it would be 3 pts as 10.5 is the 3d6 average.
Balance has several meanings, but I think many people are going for a boosted average with moderate variance.


has anyone done a statistical analysis on ability scores by CR or Level in the Bestiaries and NPC codex?


Azothath wrote:
the only repercussion(impact) of very low ability scores is if you cannot cast spells or qualify for a few Feats... that's it.

It goes a lot further than that.

If your character concept is "the best swordsman in all avistivan" and barmaids are literally mopping the floor with you you have a problem.

If you're using your intelligence and wisdom score to judge , know, and figure out things on your int 7 wis 7 Barbarian you're metagaming.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Azothath wrote:

the only repercussion(impact) of very low ability scores is if you cannot cast spells or qualify for a few Feats... that's it.

{adding the relevant part back in}
Characters can have an Str 8 and be a fighter. Just not a very effective fighter based on averages.
An Int 8 wizard is going to get spells - but he won't be able to cast them. That's an impact as his class gives him things he cannot use.
That clarifies the sense of repercussion/impact I am using here. Sure a low Str score means you can't carry much but that fits a low Str score and the ability to carry stuff isn't denied or impossible.

...

It goes a lot further than that.

If your character concept is "the best swordsman in all avistivan" and barmaids are literally mopping the floor with you you have a problem.

If you're using your intelligence and wisdom score to judge , know, and figure out things on your int 7 wis 7 Barbarian you're metagaming.

this was the reason I tried to clarify my usage of the word in my post.

A person's goal does NOT set the boundaries/goals/descriptions in the game, RAW does (class descriptions, feats). You are free to create poor character implementations but that does not make the game system unbalanced or unfair.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Didn't the DEVs come out and say that a 15pt buy for APs was based on incorrect math and was really lower than intended?

Yes, Mark Seifter did before joining Paizo. Developers had said they wanted the point buy to mimic 4d6 drop lowest, and Mark Seifter (aka Rogue Eidolon) eventually came up with:

Quote:
To follow up on my earlier post, I just coded a Monte Carlo for Pathfinder Point Buy of the average roll, and I consistently get 21 Point Buy average with millions of characters rolled (dropping about 10% of rolls due to hopeless characters). I can post code if anyone cares to check for errors.

Silver Crusade

Squiggit wrote:
Lobolusk wrote:


can i get a pro point buy poitn of view so i can understand the point buy though process?
Two main reasons, I think. Firstly by cutting out the random element you remove the potential issues with someone ending up with a wildly better character than someone else. Secondly and more importanty, you get to make the character you want to make instead of being at the mercy of whatever the dice let you make.

And third: character creation can be done in advance rather than taking up table time, worrying about witnessing rolls, or anything else. If I say, "bring a 20 point buy character" I can spend a couple minutes and verify that the character is acceptable rather than having everyone roll out their stats and create characters while I watch. It also makes backup or replacement characters easy. No need to interrupt the session to create them and no worries that the stats you rolled might not fit the role that your character needs to fill.


Elder Basilisk wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Lobolusk wrote:


can i get a pro point buy poitn of view so i can understand the point buy though process?
Two main reasons, I think. Firstly by cutting out the random element you remove the potential issues with someone ending up with a wildly better character than someone else. Secondly and more importanty, you get to make the character you want to make instead of being at the mercy of whatever the dice let you make.
And third: character creation can be done in advance rather than taking up table time, worrying about witnessing rolls, or anything else. If I say, "bring a 20 point buy character" I can spend a couple minutes and verify that the character is acceptable rather than having everyone roll out their stats and create characters while I watch. It also makes backup or replacement characters easy. No need to interrupt the session to create them and no worries that the stats you rolled might not fit the role that your character needs to fill.

Sorry, but I have to call b+%@#%+& on this. I really should know better than to do this, though (just the same way I should know better than to post in a Paladin/Alignment/CMD thread).

First: In my experience, rolling ability scores or using point-buy has very little effect at party balance. I find that builds are way more significant. Also, the possibility to get the same stats as each other does not make it balanced.
- Point-buy does not "remove the potential issues with someone ending up with a wildly better character than someone else".

Second: Point-buy isn't really more free than rolling. You're still at the mercy of the point-buy limitations. If I'm told to bring a 20-point-buy character, I can't bring a strong, intelligent and charismatic character, while also being able to take a few blows, without suffering from a MAD stat-array (which means that I'm not particularly strong, intelligent, charismatic while I'm also not able to take as many blows as I'd like). If I got lucky with my rolls, however, I could.
But if you don't want to be limited in your creation, neither methods are preferred.
- This argument doesn't support the use of point-buy.

Third: This argument only holds true if you assume that you can't roll pre-session and absolutely need to wait with character creation until it's absolutely necessary IF you roll for stats. For some reason, it's not assumed to be the case when using point-buy, by this argument. There are also very easy ways to get around all these "if's" and "but's" about rolled stats in home games. But no real way to get around the limitations of the point-buy system.

Silver Crusade

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Rub-Eta wrote:
Elder Basilisk wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Lobolusk wrote:


can i get a pro point buy poitn of view so i can understand the point buy though process?
Two main reasons, I think. Firstly by cutting out the random element you remove the potential issues with someone ending up with a wildly better character than someone else. Secondly and more importanty, you get to make the character you want to make instead of being at the mercy of whatever the dice let you make.
And third: character creation can be done in advance rather than taking up table time, worrying about witnessing rolls, or anything else. If I say, "bring a 20 point buy character" I can spend a couple minutes and verify that the character is acceptable rather than having everyone roll out their stats and create characters while I watch. It also makes backup or replacement characters easy. No need to interrupt the session to create them and no worries that the stats you rolled might not fit the role that your character needs to fill.
Sorry, but I have to call b+&%!@+$ on this. I really should know better than to do this, though (just the same way I should know better than to post in a Paladin/Alignment/CMD thread).

If you find the other threads to be cesspits of hostility, it might be because you start out by calling the other posters liars.

Quote:

First: In my experience, rolling ability scores or using point-buy has very little effect at party balance. I find that builds are way more significant. Also, the possibility to get the same stats as each other does not make it balanced.

- Point-buy does not "remove the potential issues with someone ending up with a wildly better character than someone else".

It removes the issue with someone ending up with a wildly better character than someone else due to circumstances beyond their control.

Quote:
Second: Point-buy isn't really more free than rolling. You're still at the mercy of the point-buy limitations. If I'm told to bring a 20-point-buy character, I can't bring a strong, intelligent and charismatic character, while also being able to take a few blows, without suffering from a MAD stat-array (which means that I'm not particularly strong, intelligent, charismatic while I'm also not able to take as many blows as I'd like). If I got...

Boohooo. Mary Sue has to stay home.

While it's true that point buy does not enable you to make a character who is perfect in every way--you'd need to be able to arbitrarily pick all 18s for that, most reasonable point buys enable you to create a functional character of any class (assuming that the class is functional to begin with--monk and rogue are often called non-functional though I think those concerns are overblown). You can be a monk, you can be a paladin, you can be a wizard, or an arcanist or a warpriest; you don't need to say, "well, I rolled one good stat and a bunch of garbage--what can I do with that?"

As for the last point--the one I presume you are "calling BS on"(AKA calling me a liar), it has been my experience across a variety of gaming groups that any time you get a bunch of people together to create characters and rolls are required, you're going to spend at least a session watching people roll, discussing what people want to play and building characters. You can choose to believe (and apparently do) that I'm a liar when I say that, but I'd bet that my experience is pretty common.


Squiggit wrote:
Lobolusk wrote:


can i get a pro point buy poitn of view so i can understand the point buy though process?
Two main reasons, I think. Firstly by cutting out the random element you remove the potential issues with someone ending up with a wildly better character than someone else. Secondly and more importanty, you get to make the character you want to make instead of being at the mercy of whatever the dice let you make.

Actually, I've never been able to make the character I wanted on a 20 point buy, always had to drop, or even dump attributes I'd have wished higher to suit my concept... granted, I hate a character with weaknesses, unless I've planned them, even if I seldom want a CONAN class character (given that I've statted Conan the Barbarian, and he has 18 everywhere)


No, I'm calling b++&%@@# on all three points. I'm not saying that you're lying, I'm saying that the three points are not supporting the choice of point-buy.

Elder Basilisk wrote:
It removes the issue with someone ending up with a wildly better character than someone else due to circumstances beyond their control.

Again, I really haven't seen any big differences. The choice of stat generation has very little to do with this.

Elder Basilisk wrote:
Boohooo. Mary Sue has to stay home.

Way to call out how I sometimes want to play the game the BADWRONGFUN way. Thank you for showing me the true way of playing.

Elder Basilisk wrote:
You can be a monk, you can be a paladin, you can be a wizard, or an arcanist or a warpriest; you don't need to say, "well, I rolled one good stat and a bunch of garbage--what can I do with that?"

This is also true for rolled stats. If you get horrible stats, no decent DM will make you use it.

Elder Basilisk wrote:
it has been my experience across a variety of gaming groups that any time you get a bunch of people together to create characters and rolls are required, you're going to spend at least a session watching people roll, discussing what people want to play and building characters.

I'm sure you have experienced this. But that has to do with your groups, not with the stat generation method. I have not experienced this.


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So you're basing your view of rolling being that the GM lets you reroll until you get good stats then of course the issues he's pointing out aren't as applicable.

if you get horrible stats under rolling it's assumed that you keep said horrible stats, just like if you get uber stats you keep uber stats. If the GM is just wanting everyone with uber stats then the pretense of rolling isn't actually doing much.

SO now that we're on the same page that you get 1 shot and those are your stats it makes reason 1 valid. if I roll 12 for my highest number and you have 3 18s is where the difference beyond your control is. I have less to work with and now from the get go my guy is worse than the other dude. If the GM allows rerolls then it's basically arbitrary what your stats are. When is a roll good enough that you're stuck with it?

Now because we're still on the same page of no rerolls, number 2 is valid. I can't know beforehand which class I'm going to play until after the rolls. whereas point buy I can know which class before allocating my stats for how I want that class to be.

boo hoo mary sue, this statement was made to balking at the limitations of character creation. In a standard typical campaign you shouldn't expect to be able to play connan with all 18s. 20pt buy was show to be mathimatically very close to the expected results of 4d6 drop lowest. He didn't allude at all to BADWRONGFUN, but saying that not being able to bring superman to a normal game is something to be expected, not complained about. It's like telling someone that their 1 lottery ticket isn't likely to win them the lottery. Sure they could get lucky and roll the 6 18s aka win the lottery. But they shouldn't be complaining that it's not even possible chance using a method that give average results.


I'm a bit math oriented and kind've obsessive over precision and consistency. It'd just kill me to eyeball something like stats or accept them randomly, so I just literally have to use Point Buy. But, use whatever you like I suppose.

I've heard arguments that Low Point Buy hurts Martial Classes the most, but there are tricks to work around it. Plus, casters probably get less CON. I'm pretty generous and offer 25 point buy, I work with 20 point buy quite often. I favor a bit higher so everyone can just do what they want.

Verdant Wheel

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You can do a point buy with +1 ability boost every 4 levels.

And it's true that lower point buy disfavors classes that need several ability scores.

But it's also true that the +1 ability boost does the same thing.

My approach, in order to preserve the "rise from normalcy" feeling, is to start with a low (15) point buy, and instead of giving ability boosts every 4 levels, expand that initial point buy at each level, crossing into 20 and 25 and beyond.

Because I want to have my cake and eat it too.


Chess Pwn wrote:
So you're basing your view of rolling being that the GM lets you reroll until you get good stats then of course the issues he's pointing out aren't as applicable.

I'm not saying "good stats". I'm saying "not horrible", as in not less than a 10 point-buy equivalent stat array. Point-buy assume that you don't go any lower than that, why should a rolling method?

Chess Pwn wrote:
SO now that we're on the same page that you get 1 shot and those are your stats it makes reason 1 valid. if I roll 12 for my highest number and you have 3 18s is where the difference beyond your control is.

We're not on the same page. However: I played in a game for 8 months where an 11 point-buy equivalent and a 35 point-buy equivalent (rolled) stat arrays stood on-par with each other (where the highest stat in the 11 point-buy equivalent stat array was 13). I've seen several parties where several 20 point-buy characters didn't stand on-par with each other.

-Point-buy does not remove the issue with someone ending up with a wildly better character than someone else due to circumstances beyond their control. Because said issue does not spawn from the stat array generation method. There are multiple other factors and circumstances beyond their control that causes this.

Chess Pwn wrote:
If the GM allows rerolls then it's basically arbitrary what your stats are.

As opposed to what?

Chess Pwn wrote:
Now because we're still on the same page of no rerolls, number 2 is valid. I can't know beforehand which class I'm going to play until after the rolls. whereas point buy I can know which class before allocating my stats for how I want that class to be.

If you absolutely have to choose a class before you generate your stats, I can definitely see point-buy being superior. But you could (and should) also change your process to suit your methods.

Also; most classes are not locked to specific stat arrays. Some are more favorable than others, but it's hardly a limiting factor.

If you have the need for specific stat arrays, rolling is definitely not preferred. But that's an argument against rolling stats, not an argument for point-buy. Point-buy still doesn't assure that you can create what ever you want. -Remember that there are more alternatives to stat generation methods than point-buy and rolling; The second argument supports neither.

Chess Pwn wrote:
boo hoo mary sue, this statement was made to balking at the limitations of character creation. In a standard typical campaign you shouldn't expect to be able to play connan with all 18s.

Who said I wanted multiple 18's? Or even a single 18? Because that's not what I'm talking about. I'm saying that even some very simple concepts aren't feasible with a standard point-buy (Klorox seems to understand what I'm saying).

Chess Pwn wrote:
He didn't allude at all to BADWRONGFUN, but saying that not being able to bring superman to a normal game is something to be expected, not complained about.

I'll admit that I misinterpret his statement when I first responded to that. Apologize.

But I'm not talking about superman or conan. My initial point still stands, point-buy does not assure that I can bring the character I want.

All these given arguments are much more supportive of the

TriOmegaZero wrote:
My next campaign is going to be 'pick whatever'.

method than using point-buy.

And please note what the initial post asked for:
Lobolusk wrote:
can i get a pro point buy poitn of view

not "what are the possible problems with rolling".

Paizo Employee Sales Associate

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*Puts on Moderator Hat*

I am not locking this thread, nor am I deep-sixing any posts. It appears that you are on the road to finding some manner of common ground, and that is good.

So here's your warning: To keep this thread open, you all will refrain from using the inflammatory language and speak to the arguments and not people. So stop the profanity (if it's censored, don't use it), the "mary sue" name calling, and the assumptions that the other posters are posting in bad faith.

Please keep it civil and on the rails, folks. Thank you.


Having run the numbers, I'm moving to 20 +1 each level. 15 was low by 6 on average and '+1 to a score' puts lie to the value of those scores as they cost different as the ascend.

To the OP: I think 20 is about right, allowing better rounded out characters. Most games I deal with cap stats at 17, before racials. Humans are the best at that because they can get to 19 in and ability score. SAD classes are cramped, but not unduly so, MAD classes are better able to flesh out before advancing too far.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Didn't the DEVs come out and say that a 15pt buy for APs was based on incorrect math and was really lower than intended?

Yes they did, but why let facts get in the way of a good rant?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Secret Wizard wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Didn't the DEVs come out and say that a 15pt buy for APs was based on incorrect math and was really lower than intended?

Yes, Mark Seifter did before joining Paizo. Developers had said they wanted the point buy to mimic 4d6 drop lowest, and Mark Seifter (aka Rogue Eidolon) eventually came up with:

Quote:
To follow up on my earlier post, I just coded a Monte Carlo for Pathfinder Point Buy of the average roll, and I consistently get 21 Point Buy average with millions of characters rolled (dropping about 10% of rolls due to hopeless characters). I can post code if anyone cares to check for errors.

Note, this is not "incorrect math." A different analysis method that removes 10% of the results provides a different outcome.

The 15 point buy* was based off a more straightforward analysis method on all results (including "hopeless characters"): statistically, the average result of 4d6 drop lowest (extending the "buy-back" for low scores below 7) is equivalent to between a 18- and 19- "point buy."* Because point-buy allows for greater optimization (more even numbers, the ability to invest "just enough" to meet specific requirements, etc.), 15-point buy* was chosen as the standard.

*- This was actually calculated for 3.x 25-point buy (which is pretty much the same as PF 15-point buy) with a "point buy equivalent" result between 28 and 29.


The past 3 campaigns I've played or run we used 18 points which has worked out pretty dang well even for MAD PCs.

Just thought I'd share.


Why 18? Seems a strange number.

Dark Archive

Ascalaphus wrote:
Honestly, they say APs are still written for 4 unoptimized 15pt buys, but if you read Iron Gods, do you really believe that?

It would certainly be an interesting (and possibly frustrating!) experiment, to run one of them with four characters, 15 pt. buy, Core only.


Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Why 18? Seems a strange number.

The previous campaign we did 20-point buy and it seemed like the GM had to keep upping the HP of monsters/NPCs to make things sufficiently challenging.

When we were creating PCs for the 1st 18-pt-buy campaign we first tried 15 points and the results were too lackluster. I experimented making a paladin, a monk, a barbarian, and a sorcerer with 15 points, 16 points, 17 points, 18 points, 19 points, 20 points; 18 points was where I found I wasn't disappointed with any of the PCs created and after running some test encounters with the GM found that although the combats weren't TPKs they weren't cake-walks either.

The next 2 following campaigns we used 18 points because it seemed to work. We're almost finished with Reign of Winter using 18-pt buy, and while we agree that point buy amount is probably the sweet spot we're going to go to 20 points for our next AP because we're not going to use Hero Points for it.


Intersting. I suspect the lack of hero points will be a big difference


Prince Yyrkoon wrote:
Intersting. I suspect the lack of hero points will be a big difference

It will, Hero Points are decisive as the players learn to properly exploit them. We had a 25/Hero points game that was beyond wild.

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