Disappointed strength is still the weakest primary stat


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In the many years I've played Pathfinder, it's always irked me how builds and classes based around strength are almost always sub-par. Strength just never did enough, either in or out of combat, and caused builds that maxed it to be very one-trick. Dex was always the king of physical stats, with modifiers to initiative, reflex saves, AC, and multiple essential skills. There was just no contest. However, the power gap between casters and martials was so severe as to make the gap between strength and dex irrelevant.

When Starfinder came out I was immediately excited about the new balance between casters and matials. Martials were given universal improvements (immediate access to iterative attacks, level to damage, benefits to running MAD over SAD stat builds, better feats, ect.) and casters were all reduced to spontaneous 6th level casting. I loved the concept of the Solarian class most of all, and last night finally built one top to bottom.

Imagine my disappointment upon realizing, after all the love given to martial builds, strength is still unquestionably the worst stat in Starfinder. All the issues with strength builds in Pathfinder were ported over to Starfinder and made all the more glaring by the improvements given to dex builds.

First, let's look at what strength modifies in Starfinder:

  • Melee attack rolls, melee damage, and thrown weapon attack and damage

  • Athletics checks

  • Carry capacity
  • Now consider the actual usefulness of each of those points.

    Currently there is no way to get dex to damage on any weapons so strength is the best (and only) option for melee builds, and melee builds have the highest damage potential. One point for strength.

    Athletics is, at first glance, a great skill. Combining all climbing, jumping and swimming checks into one skill is a definite improvement from Pathfinder. However, just like in Pathfinder, the actual need for these skills are limited. Starfinder is full of options for improving player's mobility. Whether it's through augmentations that give you gills and suction cups, armor upgrades that attach jetpacks, feats that simply grant a climb speed, or all the classic spells for flying and teleportation, the need to actually make an athletic check beyond the early levels is eliminated. There are simply too many universally obtainable mobility upgrades for athletics to retain value throughout a campaign.

    Finally, there is carry capacity. Players become encumbered when carrying bulk equal to or greater than half their strength score. For 25c, players can purchase an industrial backpack which increases carry capacity by one more bulk, assuming the bulk is stored in the pack. Thus a character with a flat 10 strength can carry 5.9 bulk. To put that into perspective, the majority of heavy armor and weapons weigh 2 bulk. A character with 10 strength could wear Vesk Overplate armor and wield a IMDS Missile Launcher and still have almost 2 bulk of miscellaneous equipment and weapons stored on her person. If that's somehow not enough, you can purchase an armor upgrade for 2500c to increase your carry capacity by another 3 bulk. As long as you don't intent to carry multiple sets of heavy armor and weapons on your person, no character needs more than 10 strength for carry capacity purposes.

    Beyond the ability to effectively smash someone in the face, making strength your primary stat isn't accomplishing much. It gets even worse when you consider what strength CAN'T do.

    Strength cannot:

  • Modify any social or utility skills which remain relevant at all levels of play

  • Modify any saving throws

  • Improve your defenses (CMD is your KAC+8 now. Yet another dex modifier)

  • And here's the big one...

  • Modify any of the checks needed for any role on a starship
  • That's right. In starships, dex modifies pilot checks and gunner attack rolls, int modifies engineer and science officer checks, and cha modifies captain checks. Only strength and wisdom are left out and wisdom, a primary casting stat with modifiers to will saves and several good skills (including the most rolled skill: perception) is already in a very good place.

    Also, notice that everything strength can't do the other primary physical stat, dex, DOES do. Dex modifies ranged attacks, initiative, reflex saves, AC, two different starship roles and four different skills.

    The worst part of strength's failure as a stat is how it's still almost mandatory for one class: the Solarian. There's no question the Solarian works optimally as a melee combatant. Too many of its best class features are melee-only. And because strength is so one-dimensional, the Solarian suffers a lack of versatility. Yet every other class can choose to ignore strength and still work optimally and diversely. If you're not shoehorned into melee, why would you spend even a point in strength (unless you're a soldier with a heavy weapon fetish)?

    So not only did the Starfinder devs fail to update strength in any way from it's lackluster origins in Pathfinder, but they also shackled it to the Solarian, dragging what should have been an amazing class down with it.

    All in all, I'm disappointed with the dev's lack of effort in transitioning strength, with all it's well-documented and long-standing flaws, into a new system while leaving it practically unchanged.


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    *shrugs*

    Strength has always been about smashing stuff and carrying stuff, so I don't really know what you were expecting it to be.

    As for being sub par? We're just gonna disagree on that.


    Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

    *shrugs*

    Strength has always been about smashing stuff and carrying stuff, so I don't really know what you were expecting it to be.

    As for being sub par? We're just gonna disagree on that.

    This is supposed to be a new system. Just because that's all strength did in the past doesn't mean that's all strength should do now.

    And if you disagree, please site your reasoning. I laid out in long-winded detail why I believe strength is still a terrible stat. It empirically does the least of any primary stat in the game. Show me what grounds you have for disagreement.


    Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

    The concept of a key ability score is something new. Resolve is a big thing, it seems to me. Granted the stat bonus becomes less significant over time.

    I don't know if that impacts on the "value" of each stat, but it does mean that strength does something extra for Soldiers that dexterity doesn't so the value of each stat kind of depends on class in an additional way to the dependance one sees in Pathfinder.


    Yes, Strength is less important now, then in Pathfinder because more people will be using ranged weapons. However, there are still melee builds or other builds that benefit from a high Strength score. There is also the fact that thrown weapons, especially grenades use Strength to hit. While it is easy to sat that Dexterity is now king, I would not say that it is now the go to bump stat for most builds.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    I think Charisma is still the weakest primary stat... but yeah, Strength is the clear runner up for worst.

    More generally, it's disappointing that while the other four stars provide things of value to *any* character (saves, skill points, hit points, AC, initiative), Cha and Str don't, and so are easily dumpable (or ignorable) for many characters in Starfinder.

    So... yeah, a missed opportunity. One fix I've been contemplating: have Cha bonus/penalty modify number of resolve points, and have Str bonus/penalty modify Hit Points gained/level. That makes all 6 stats of value to everyone.


    Steve Geddes wrote:

    The concept of a key ability score is something new. Resolve is a big thing, it seems to me. Granted the stat bonus becomes less significant over time.

    I don't know if that impacts on the "value" of each stat, but it does mean that strength does something extra for Soldiers that dexterity doesn't so the value of each stat kind of depends on class in an additional way to the dependance one sees in Pathfinder.

    Except a soldier can choose between Str and Dex for their primary stat. Ironically the Solarian, who is most likely to prioritize Str, gets their resolve from Cha, another very weak attribute.


    Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
    Space McMan wrote:
    Steve Geddes wrote:

    The concept of a key ability score is something new. Resolve is a big thing, it seems to me. Granted the stat bonus becomes less significant over time.

    I don't know if that impacts on the "value" of each stat, but it does mean that strength does something extra for Soldiers that dexterity doesn't so the value of each stat kind of depends on class in an additional way to the dependance one sees in Pathfinder.

    Except a soldier can choose between Str and Dex for their primary stat.

    Oh, I missed that somehow. Cheers.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Strength actually does modify ranged attacks, all thrown weapons use it including grenades, just for the record. This is new to Starfinder, and a welcome bonus.

    Beyond that, as you note, it's the route to the highest DPR in the game, and results in the highest starting DPR by quite a lot (1d10+4 is nearly double 1d10, the higest ranged DPR...which necessitates Str 12). That in and of itself justifies its purchase.

    I don't feel like that's the weakest stat in the game. Yeah, you benefit from Dex to AC even as a Str character while a purely Dex character benefits little from it (though, actually, you need Str 14 eventually for Heavy Weapons on a Dex primary character who really wants to lay down the damage)...but it's more than good enough that people will invest in it and feel useful having it.

    It isn't used in ship-to-ship combat it's true...but why in the name of all that's holy would it be? How would you justify that?

    Really, your issue is that you're comparing it to Dex, which is a comparison where any stat looks bad. Dex is the best stat in Pathfinder by a significant margin.

    Let's compare Strength to, say, every stat other than Dex, shall we? I'll give a per stat rundown, even throwing in Dex:

    Strength:

    -Adds to melee attacks and damage. This is very good.
    -Adds to thrown weapon attacks and damage. This is pretty good.
    -Adds to the Athletics skill. This is okay.
    -Adds to Bulk limit. This is alright, but not great.

    Dexterity:

    -Adds to ranged attacks. Great.
    -Adds to attacks with Operative weapons. Pretty okay, great for Operatives.
    -Adds to AC. Great.
    -Adds to Initiative. Good.
    -Adds to Reflex Saves. Great.
    -Adds to four skills (Acrobatics, Pilot, Sleight of Hand, Stealth). Solid list.
    -Adds to two starship combat roles. Pretty nice.

    Wow. That's just silly how many good things Dex does.

    Constitution:

    -Adds to Fort Saves. This one's very good.
    -Adds to Stamina. Honestly, you get enough Stamina that this feels less necessary, but it's okay.
    -A few ancillary things like how long you can hold your breath. This is almost never relevant.

    That's less things than Str and only one of them important.

    Intelligence:

    -Adds to number of skill ranks. This is very cool.
    -Adds to seven skills (Computers, Culture, Engineering, Life Science, Medicine, Physical Science, Profession). That's more than any other skill, and quite good.
    -Adds to two starship combat roles. Pretty nice.

    Int is a very good stat. Maybe second to Dex in some ways.

    Wisdom:
    -Adds to Will Saves. This is amazing.
    -Adds to five skills (Mysticism, Perception, Profession, Sense Motive, Survival). That's a decent list.

    Well, that's probably better than Con...but it remains only two things, and useless in starship combat. As is Con, now that I think on it.

    Charisma:

    -Adds to five skills (Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Intimidate, Profession). This is an excellent list.
    -Used for one starship combat role.

    And that's it. Yeouch. If you're looking for a weakest stat, I think we've found it. Yes, those are good skills. But so are the Int and Wis lists and those get way more other benefits. Only Con rivals it for lack of impressive inherent options.

    Really, if I were rating the stats, I'd go as follows:

    Dex>Int>Str=Wis>Con=Chr

    Now, all that's in a class vacuum, any stat a Class uses for Resolve goes up significantly for that Class, as does anything used as a casting stat (or equivalent ala Cha for Envoys), but in a vacuum, those are how I'd rate them.

    I mean, how many people other than Envoys and Solarians, plus maybe a few Operatives (mostly Spies) are you gonna see investing in Cha? And how many builds with Con over 12 have you seen?

    Meanwhile, every melee build (well, every one that isn't an Operative...and even those benefit from Str) has at least Str 14, and usually more like 16-18.


    Nohwear wrote:
    Yes, Strength is less important now, then in Pathfinder because more people will be using ranged weapons. However, there are still melee builds or other builds that benefit from a high Strength score. There is also the fact that thrown weapons, especially grenades use Strength to hit. While it is easy to sat that Dexterity is now king, I would not say that it is now the go to bump stat for most builds.

    My point was that, while strength does its job with melee and thrown weapons, that's literally all it does of real value. Dex does so much more, as does int and wis. The only contender for weakest stat is cha, which is neither a primary casting stat or save stat. But at least cha still lets you face (very important if you're not in a pure combat campaign) and captain a ship (also extremely valuable).


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    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    It isn't used in ship-to-ship combat it's true...but why in the name of all that's holy would it be? How would you justify that?

    You push the big red button really, really hard.


    You can also use dex to attack with operative melee weapons. Not just if you're an operative, either. Sure you still use str for the damage bonus, but it's OK for an emergency/backup weapon.

    If G-forces were relevant in space combat then str or con might have a little relevance. Otherwise you'd need an entirely different set of basic stats to avoid having some stats being irrelevant there.

    Liberty's Edge

    avr wrote:
    You can also use dex to attack with operative melee weapons. Not just if you're an operative, either. Sure you still use str for the damage bonus, but it's OK for an emergency/backup weapon.

    It is. I'll edit that in, actually. Doesn't change my point, though.

    Which can be summed up as: Str is fine, Dex is just hilariously overpowered.


    Deadmanwalking wrote:


    Let's compare Strength to, say, every stat other than Dex, shall we? I'll give a per stat rundown, even throwing in Dex:

    A few points on your post (which I do appreciate you taking your time to make instead of just disagreeing w/out discussion.)

    First, I never talked about Con because it's not a primary stat. No class uses it for class features. It's entirely a secondary stat, so not really relevant to this discussion.

    I think you are ignoring what stats do for specific classes. Str makes anyone hit and throw well, but wisdom is a primary casting stat for Mystics, and I think cha does something for envoys. If there was a class who got more out of str than just smashing things, I would have included it in the 'pro' section for strength.

    Also, even if cha doesn't do anything special for envoys, I think is face and captaining skills are so impacting on the non-combat aspects of the game it's very hard to compare to other combat stats. A good face character can do so much more than any combat can accomplish, with the right group and DM. However that's so variable it's hard to give it proper weight.

    Still, I'd value cha more than strength simply because of dex. There's no attribute that offers alternate face skills or captaining, but dex offers alternate physical combat styles to strength, plus so much more. The very existence of dex and everything it does makes str that much worse.


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    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    In your opinion, what could have been done to make Strength a more useful stat? I see where you're coming from but I don't personally see how you could make it useful when technology and magic in most cases makes it obsolete. I can see why the other stats would be useful in a setting like Starfinder, Dex is for reflexes and quick aiming, Con is your resilience, Wis is your instinct and street smarts, etc. Strength is only really how physically powerful you are which is a much less relevant stat when there are robots and powered suits that can do all the work for you. I'm curious as to how you think it could be a more useful stat.


    Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    It isn't used in ship-to-ship combat it's true...but why in the name of all that's holy would it be? How would you justify that?
    You push the big red button really, really hard.

    You could add strength instead of dex to certain attack rolls for ship weapons. Maybe heavy weapon emplacements are unwieldy and require someone strong enough to control them while experiencing the variable G-forces of combat.

    Yes it's not the best idea but I took two seconds to think of it. There's no reason the Starfinder devs couldn't have taken an afternoon to find a reasonable use for physical strength on a starship, thus bringing that stat back into some semblance of reasonable footing with the god stat dex.


    Really though, Strength does not seem to be less important in Starfinder then in most sci-fi rpgs. I would argue that it is just the nature of the beast, much as Luke Spencer has pointed out.


    Luke Spencer wrote:
    In your opinion, what could have been done to make Strength a more useful stat? I see where you're coming from but I don't personally see how you could make it useful when technology and magic in most cases makes it obsolete. I can see why the other stats would be useful in a setting like Starfinder, Dex is for reflexes and quick aiming, Con is your resilience, Wis is your instinct and street smarts, etc. Strength is only really how physically powerful you are which is a much less relevant stat when there are robots and powered suits that can do all the work for you. I'm curious as to how you think it could be a more useful stat.

    Honestly, the best I've come up with is combining strength and con. Con is a secondary stat that no class or skills use to boost their effectiveness. Now Str has a save associated with it and provides a resource everyone wants (stamina) and Str-focused characters get to be extremely physically resilient, which makes logical sense and is mechanically satisfying.


    You'd probably need to use different basic stats to avoid the problem. D&D's 6 aren't carved in stone for every RPG, and I'd argue that for a SF RPG you could probably leave out strength entirely and probably break up dexterity into a couple of stats.

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    People look at ability scores wrong. You don't invest in them the same way you invest in feats, talents, or equipment

    Liberty's Edge

    Space McMan wrote:
    A few points on your post (which I do appreciate you taking your time to make instead of just disagreeing w/out discussion.)

    No problem! I find the whole discussion interesting. :)

    Space McMan wrote:
    First, I never talked about Con because it's not a primary stat. No class uses it for class features. It's entirely a secondary stat, so not really relevant to this discussion.

    I dunno, I feel like you need to compare all the stats before you can really say which are best.

    Space McMan wrote:
    I think you are ignoring what stats do for specific classes. Str makes anyone hit and throw well, but wisdom is a primary casting stat for Mystics, and I think cha does something for envoys. If there was a class who got more out of str than just smashing things, I would have included it in the 'pro' section for strength.

    I actually go into that at the bottom (and yes, Cha does several things for Envoys...just not for much of anyone else but Solarians). But honestly, Str does do more than just that. It's the Save DC determiner for melee crits, for example, and can be used for Resolve by Soldiers.

    Only Mystics get any more than I listed out of Wis. The other six Classes not so much, and only Envoys and Solarians any more out of Cha. And nobody gets any more out of Con.

    Space McMan wrote:
    Also, even if cha doesn't do anything special for envoys, I think is face and captaining skills are so impacting on the non-combat aspects of the game it's very hard to compare to other combat stats. A good face character can do so much more than any combat can accomplish, with the right group and DM. However that's so variable it's hard to give it proper weight.

    Yeah...and in fairness, Wis and Int can accomplish similar things (particularly Int via Computers). All of those three have some out of combat advantages, it's true. Which is a large part of why I valued Int as second behind Dex, and Wis as equal to Str.

    Space McMan wrote:
    Still, I'd value cha more than strength simply because of dex. There's no attribute that offers alternate face skills or captaining, but dex offers alternate physical combat styles to strength, plus so much more. The very existence of dex and everything it does makes str that much worse.

    This is true enough, but I nevertheless feel that it's more a matter of Dex being overly impressive than it is Str being less than good. And even if you do go this route, ranged damage only even comes close to that of Str is with special abilities available only to the Soldier.


    Nohwear wrote:
    Really though, Strength does not seem to be less important in Starfinder then in most sci-fi rpgs. I would argue that it is just the nature of the beast, much as Luke Spencer has pointed out.

    "Because it's always been like this" is a sad excuse for game devs. They aren't beholden to tradition, just their creativity.

    Would it really have been that game-breaking to find more uses for physical prowess in space? As I've said before, combine it with con to get rid of an annoying secondary stat and buff str compared to the extremely powerful dex stat. Or if that's too wild and crazy for Paizo, at least spend a bit of time coming up with logical reasons strength is helpful on starships or in social situations (why couldn't str be tied to intimidate?).

    It's not easy, but seriously it's what these people do for a living. We should not let them off the hook just because the standard six stat attribute block doesn't translate well to sci-fi.

    Does the traditional method not cross over well? The bloody change it!


    Space McMan wrote:
    Beyond the ability to effectively smash someone in the face, making strength your primary stat isn't accomplishing much.

    What did you expect? Seriously, what else is there to do with muscles?

    Space McMan wrote:
    Modify any social or utility skills which remain relevant at all levels of play.

    Neither can CON.

    Space McMan wrote:
    Modify any saving throws

    Neither can INT and CHA.

    Space McMan wrote:
    Improve your defenses (CMD is your KAC+8 now. Yet another dex modifier)

    Neither does CON, INT, WIS or CHA.

    Space McMan wrote:
    Modify any of the checks needed for any role on a starship.

    Neither does CON or WIS.

    Space McMan wrote:
    Currently there is no way to get dex to damage on any weapons so strength is the best (and only) option for melee builds, and melee builds have the highest damage potential. One point for strength.

    That's not just ONE point. That's king of damage amounts of points.

    Space McMan wrote:
    All in all, I'm disappointed with the dev's lack of effort in transitioning strength, with all it's well-documented and long-standing flaws, into a new system while leaving it practically unchanged.

    I'm disappointed in you.


    avr wrote:
    You'd probably need to use different basic stats to avoid the problem. D&D's 6 aren't carved in stone for every RPG, and I'd argue that for a SF RPG you could probably leave out strength entirely and probably break up dexterity into a couple of stats.

    Exactly. But instead of work out a better attribute system, they just copy/pasta'ed from pathfinder and here we are again, with a stat which was already weak in a fantasy setting full of magic is even worse in a setting full of super advanced technology.

    It was entirely in their power to avoid this obvious issue. This isn't supposed to be a Pathfinder setting, it's supposed to be it's own RPG.

    And yet here we are. It's disappointing.


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    I can not help but feel that you want Strength to be more important, other then to make Strength more important. To change game mechanics for their own sake. I can see ways to make Strength more important, but it feels ham-handed and not organic.


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    Space McMan wrote:
    avr wrote:
    You'd probably need to use different basic stats to avoid the problem. D&D's 6 aren't carved in stone for every RPG, and I'd argue that for a SF RPG you could probably leave out strength entirely and probably break up dexterity into a couple of stats.

    Exactly. But instead of work out a better attribute system, they just copy/pasta'ed from pathfinder and here we are again, with a stat which was already weak in a fantasy setting full of magic is even worse in a setting full of super advanced technology.

    It was entirely in their power to avoid this obvious issue. This isn't supposed to be a Pathfinder setting, it's supposed to be it's own RPG.

    And yet here we are. It's disappointing.

    So then you are disappointed that that they made a compatible system instead of building something new from the ground up?


    You can get Dex to damage with operative weapons.


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    Three key points missed

    1. Str is required to use heavy weapons. You need 12-14 str to use them

    2. Str is the superior option for combat manuvers as the weapons with bonus properties only use Str

    3. 13 str is needed for Heavy Armor proficency is you want to have solid AC at higher levels (heavy armor begins to outclass light armor in raw ac around level 6ish)


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    No, its STR. Thats what it does. It gives you amazing melee DPR and awesome athletics checks, which, YES, in a sci fi setting is worth less....Except for being amazing dpr.

    Str is fine. There is no reason STR needed to be fixed except for your arbitrary need for it to be so.


    Rub-Eta wrote:
    Space McMan wrote:
    Beyond the ability to effectively smash someone in the face, making strength your primary stat isn't accomplishing much.

    What did you expect? Seriously, what else is there to do with muscles?

    So much, if the devs actually gave it thought. Maybe heavy weapons and armor are actual, seriously heavy and only a seriously strong person can wear them. Maybe heavy weapons are so unwieldy that only a strong person can aim them. Maybe a huge strong person could use their strength to intimidate. Maybe con doesn't even need to exist as it's the only stat that modifies no classes or skills and could be bundled into strength.

    But no, the devs just copied in pathfinder strength and did nothing to make it attractive while forcing it down the Solarian class's throat.

    Being the best damage stat is something, but unless you're just playing dungeon crawl campaigns (and thus missing most of the point of playing RPGs, imo) then there is so much more than that to a good character. The other stats all offer parts of that variety (and dex offers almost all of it) but strength only offers one. single. thing.

    That's not enough. I'm disappointed in you for not being able to see that.


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    Yeah, again you seem to be disappointed that that they tried to make the two systems compatible instead of building something new. At this point it feel like you might as well be complaining that it is still a d20 system.

    Liberty's Edge

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    captain yesterday wrote:
    You can get Dex to damage with operative weapons.

    No you can't. One place implies you can, but the FAQ has already clarified that that's incorrect.

    Liberty's Edge

    Space McMan wrote:
    So much, if the devs actually gave it thought. Maybe heavy weapons and armor are actual, seriously heavy and only a seriously strong person can wear them. Maybe heavy weapons are so unwieldy that only a strong person can aim them.

    Um...as noted, this is actually true. You only need Str 14 for it rather than something ridiculous, but it's true.


    lakobie wrote:

    Three key points missed

    1. Str is required to use heavy weapons. You need 12-14 str to use them

    2. Str is the superior option for combat manuvers as the weapons with bonus properties only use Str

    3. 13 str is needed for Heavy Armor proficency is you want to have solid AC at higher levels (heavy armor begins to outclass light armor in raw ac around level 6ish)

    You are correct that you need strength for heavy weapons. So heavy weapon soldiers will want to buy a 12 and then upgrade it once. That gives the stat slightly more value, but does nothing for builds that want to make strength their primary stat, as heavy weapons still fire off dex. Why heavy weapons couldn't just be off strength entirely is beyond me.


    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    captain yesterday wrote:
    You can get Dex to damage with operative weapons.
    No you can't. One place implies you can, but the FAQ has already clarified that that's incorrect.

    I guess it's a good thing I don't pay attention to FAQs.


    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Space McMan wrote:
    So much, if the devs actually gave it thought. Maybe heavy weapons and armor are actual, seriously heavy and only a seriously strong person can wear them. Maybe heavy weapons are so unwieldy that only a strong person can aim them.
    Um...as noted, this is actually true. You only need Str 14 for it rather than something ridiculous, but it's true.

    Point of fact.

    You need 12 strength for heavy weapons under 11th level, 14 strength for 11th level or higher.

    Unless they changed that too.

    Liberty's Edge

    captain yesterday wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    captain yesterday wrote:
    You can get Dex to damage with operative weapons.
    No you can't. One place implies you can, but the FAQ has already clarified that that's incorrect.
    I guess it's a good thing I don't pay attention to FAQs.

    It's clearly an error even ignoring the FAQ, given that it's not stated in the Operative property or anywhere else with the exception of Ability Damage. That's very obviously an error.

    captain yesterday wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Space McMan wrote:
    So much, if the devs actually gave it thought. Maybe heavy weapons and armor are actual, seriously heavy and only a seriously strong person can wear them. Maybe heavy weapons are so unwieldy that only a strong person can aim them.
    Um...as noted, this is actually true. You only need Str 14 for it rather than something ridiculous, but it's true.

    Point of fact.

    You need 12 strength for heavy weapons under 11th level, 14 strength for 11th level or higher.

    Unless they changed that too.

    True. I was just listing the maximum Str needed for the very heaviest weapons.


    While there have been some good points made about the value of buying some strength, I still contend it is the weakest primary stat, aka the stat you spend the most points on in your build.

    If you are giving first priority to your strength stat, you are getting less value, less options and versatility, than any other potential primary stat save possibly cha. All the while, the other physical combat stat, dex, is actually doing what a primary stat should and give bonuses far beyond hitting things better.

    This was a problem in pathfinder, and it went unchanged in Starfinder. I expected more from the devs when it came to updated old Pathfinder mechanics. Being disappointed they did literally nothing to update strength into a sci-fi setting is not unreasonable.

    However, I'm off to bed, so you all can keep on telling me how I'm wrong for expecting positive evolution of classic Pathfinder systems without rebuttal until I get up tomorrow.


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    Space McMan wrote:

    While there have been some good points made about the value of buying some strength, I still contend it is the weakest primary stat, aka the stat you spend the most points on in your build.

    If you are giving first priority to your strength stat, you are getting less value, less options and versatility, than any other potential primary stat save possibly cha. All the while, the other physical combat stat, dex, is actually doing what a primary stat should and give bonuses far beyond hitting things better.

    This was a problem in pathfinder, and it went unchanged in Starfinder. I expected more from the devs when it came to updated old Pathfinder mechanics. Being disappointed they did literally nothing to update strength into a sci-fi setting is not unreasonable.

    However, I'm off to bed, so you all can keep on telling me how I'm wrong for expecting positive evolution of classic Pathfinder systems without rebuttal until I get up tomorrow.

    I don't see why we should, you're obviously dug in and are clearly just using the subject to start fights and stir up negativity.

    You can find someone else to play your reminder games for your enjoyment, I have better things to do.


    Space McMan wrote:

    While there have been some good points made about the value of buying some strength, I still contend it is the weakest primary stat, aka the stat you spend the most points on in your build.

    If you are giving first priority to your strength stat, you are getting less value, less options and versatility, than any other potential primary stat save possibly cha. All the while, the other physical combat stat, dex, is actually doing what a primary stat should and give bonuses far beyond hitting things better.

    This was a problem in pathfinder, and it went unchanged in Starfinder. I expected more from the devs when it came to updated old Pathfinder mechanics. Being disappointed they did literally nothing to update strength into a sci-fi setting is not unreasonable.

    However, I'm off to bed, so you all can keep on telling me how I'm wrong for expecting positive evolution of classic Pathfinder systems without rebuttal until I get up tomorrow.

    I am not sure if it was ever explicitly spelled out, but clearly backwards compatibility was a development goal. This seems to be the main reason the stats are the way they are. If you disagree with that goal fine, but that is the reason, as far as I can tell.


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    It is underpowered. And there's nothing wrong with that.


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    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Space McMan wrote:
    avr wrote:
    You'd probably need to use different basic stats to avoid the problem. D&D's 6 aren't carved in stone for every RPG, and I'd argue that for a SF RPG you could probably leave out strength entirely and probably break up dexterity into a couple of stats.

    Exactly. But instead of work out a better attribute system, they just copy/pasta'ed from pathfinder and here we are again, with a stat which was already weak in a fantasy setting full of magic is even worse in a setting full of super advanced technology.

    It was entirely in their power to avoid this obvious issue. This isn't supposed to be a Pathfinder setting, it's supposed to be it's own RPG.

    And yet here we are. It's disappointing.

    This is the point where I have to disagree with you. Starfinder was, from the very beginning, designed to be a system that Pathfinder players could jump into with some basic rules familiarity whilst also being more accessible to new players who haven't seen Pathfinder or other d20 systems. Whilst I agree that they didn't give strength much in the way of extra utility, they couldn't remove strength or mix it with another stat because then they'd be breaking one of their own design goals. However they could've made strength more relevant, the stat still had to exist in the same general format.

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    If I'm not mistaken, you are arguing a mainly mechanics balance stand point and supporting with realistic reasons?

    I'll start with realistic
    *Strength is just that, strength. How much muscle can you muscle?
    * From a physics standpoint it is blunt force.

    *Dex is physically working smarter not harder. In what ways can you maximize effectiveness with minimal str
    *From a physics standpoint it is utilizing angles often to achieve similar things to str.

    Also this is high tech. At least half of tech uses are to mitigate the need for a super strong person.

    Aside from a reasonable arguments for Str to Intimidate, SF has given str everything it deserves. Even then, Cha makes more sense for intimidate because a muscly dude with no presence is not as effective.

    ----
    Mechanically
    *They have added Str req for stuff now (other than feats) (I know this has been brought up but is part of the list)
    *Str for grenades
    *Str is the only stat at the moments that adds to damage (hopefully it stays that way [Dex to dmg is just dumb])
    *There is a soldier arch that adds str to dmg for ranged options (heavy and/or grenades [I don't remember which])
    *AND there is some INTENSELY strong heavy armor that haas low max dex (thusly defeating much of the dex to AC bonus Dex has on str)
    ....really high AC bonuses that Dex cannot keep up with in the SF system

    ------

    Lastly, this isn't really realistic or mechanical, but min maxing. If you want to max str to the detriment of other stats that is min maxing. This tactic ALWAYS causes glaring weaknesses in characters. If you min max you are asking to be useless at some point.

    All of this coupled with the backwards compatible points leads me to the conclusion that there are many more reasons for SF being the way that it is for Str than changing Str's role drastically to balance it with Dex.


    There was an interesting strength-based concept in an old Battletech novel: while all the WarShip (hyperspace-capable space combat vessel) controls were fly-by-wire, the helm had a feedback system that made it harder to turn the wheel the farther you turned it, so you needed a really strong helmsman to make sharp turns. This was supposedly so that it was hard to put the ship through such a sharp turn that it did structural damage or something. I'm not sure that's really the most practical solution, nor do I know if it was ever reflected in the RPG (I only recall reading it in one novel), but it was an interesting use of strength in space nonetheless.


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    They should have just abandoned the D&D style stats entirely and made similar ability scores - like combat/ athleticism/ mechanics/ science /arcana/ leadership something thematic. It's not like 1 to 1 conversion is easy anyways and in the setting there are wider divisions in mental paths. At least this way the three combat stats are evenly split in two and the mental could carry new weights - and it is more intuitive.

    I know this whole idea makes no sense to many here, just saying it spreads it the commonly referenced expertise. Then suddenly perception is combat instead of wisdom (a soldier's senses) along with all attack rolls and damage modifiers, sense motive is leadership along with persuasion and culture knowledge, magic lore and will saves are arcana, AC stamina modifier and encumberance along with piloting is athletics, and your engineering and science stuff is all obvious and intuitive. Not perfect, but the idea is just that there are attributes that make sense in space that spread better than the legacy attributes of D&D, service the game mechanics not older systems.


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    At first level, I have seen high dex low str characters take 4-5 rounds to kill one enemy, while my 18STR soldier pikes them to death in one round.

    Combat is over 50% of Starfinder. Considering that, I don't think STR is the weakest stat in the game.


    Considering bulk, a character with heavy armor, a heavy ranged weapon, and an advanced melee weapon is carrying bulk of 5 or 6 before considering any other basic equipment. That makes strength pretty useful.


    When I think in terms of character creation stat allocation and increase at level ups, I would rate the stats something like:

    DEX>STR>INT>CON>WIS>CHA


    Space McMan wrote:
    Rub-Eta wrote:
    Space McMan wrote:
    Beyond the ability to effectively smash someone in the face, making strength your primary stat isn't accomplishing much.

    What did you expect? Seriously, what else is there to do with muscles?

    So much, if the devs actually gave it thought.

    I'm sure they did:

    Space McMan wrote:
    Maybe con doesn't even need to exist as it's the only stat that modifies no classes or skills and could be bundled into strength.

    They probably did consider something similar and decided that it wasn't a good idea. The absence of change doesn't mean that they didn't think about it.

    Space McMan wrote:
    Maybe heavy weapons and armor are actual, seriously heavy and only a seriously strong person can wear them. Maybe heavy weapons are so unwieldy that only a strong person can aim them.

    Already mentioned...

    Space McMan wrote:
    Maybe a huge strong person could use their strength to intimidate.

    Use the provided conversion rules to import the Intimidatin Prowess feat (or wait until they print it in a Starfinder book).

    Space McMan wrote:
    But no, the devs just copied in pathfinder strength and did nothing to make it attractive...

    They didn't? Excluding dex-to-damage and made melee combat stronger than ranged seems like a very good attempt.

    Space McMan wrote:
    Being the best damage stat is something, but unless you're just playing dungeon crawl campaigns (and thus missing most of the point of playing RPGs, imo) then there is so much more than that to a good character. The other stats all offer parts of that variety (and dex offers almost all of it) but strength only offers one. single. thing.

    Yes... Being strong only means... being strong... What's your problem?

    And if you're going to dismiss the main point, no wonder you don't like it.

    Space McMan wrote:
    I'm disappointed in you for not being able to see that.

    See what? That they actually did put effort into it and did make some changes?

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