Strength, Dex, Con


Prerelease Discussion


Something to bring up. If this has been raised before, feel free to burn me for it.

Why is strength for TO HIT and DAMAGE?

I mean, think about it. Someone can be very strong and clumsy. Think of the giant or ogre swinging around it's club while the heroes dodge it. It does't hit often, but when it does hit, it's brutal.

High Strength, Low Dex

Then think about the wiry man with the rapier. He hits you a dozen times before dropping you, but he always hits.

Low Strength, High Dex

Strength Damage Modifiers
Dexterity To Hit

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This brings me to con. A stat which is always neglected. People tend to make it 14-16 and call it a day. Everyone has it. Even the Str7 wizard will have Con14. Late game, people will be running around with Str30 and dex14. It's just never something that gets pumped up.

This bothers me. Because someone who is really strong should logically also be pretty tough, right? And someone who is really frail probably won't be that tough.

Also, Con is that one stat which governs 0 skills. It's always left out.

So....

Strength Damage Modifiers, Hit Points, Fort Saves
Dexterity To Hit, AC, Reflex, Initiative

Now martial characters *need* both strength and dexterity. You need dex to hit and strength to do damage.

Notice that this gives both stats a defensive bonus that goes with it. Want to play a bruiser who is really strong and has a great axe? Guess what? He's going to have alot of hit points.

Want to play a nimble elf who has a rapier? He'll hit really often, and he will be harder to hit, but he won't have the huge hit point pool.

Want to play a caster? Well, you were putting points into Dex and Con earlier. It just means that you can't dump strength under this system for more points.

And no matter what character you play, you can't dump one of the stats without hurting your defense.


I'm with you on the STR for damage, but DEX for accuracy bit. I'd like to keep CON though. Also, ranged weapons like xbows and firearms would need some review.


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Strength to hit is both about actually hitting and punching through armor.

Yeah it's weird that High STR can help hit that tiny fast-moving Imp.
Just like it's weird that DEX will let you punch through Dragon Scales that cover their entire body.

It's why you can reliably use both with just small sacrifices in "logic". Happy that Dex-to-hit will become free in this edition!


One interesting suggestion Bardarok had is allowing Dex-and-a-half to-hit. There's some good discussion here - basically it allows Dex fighting to be a distinctive style that gets more hits and more crits but lower damage per hit.

I don't love the idea of requiring all characters to use Dex to-hit instead of Str, because that just means every martial character ends up having identical stats. I'd like to have a divergence of Str-based characters who hit hard, vs Dex-based characters that hit often.


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If you're not comfortable with abstraction -mostly but not limited to how ChibiNyan described it- then you should give abstraction a second chance, because you'll deal with it constantly as long as you keep playing PF

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah, Str-to-hit makes exactly as much sense as armor making you harder to hit. Getting rid of one without getting rid of the other results in asymmetry and weirdness.

Now, if you're doing an 'armor as DR' thing, Str being only damage can work. But if you're doing that you should probably just switch systems entirely.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Velocity is dependent of Strength, a strong person can swing a sword or axe harder and faster than a weaker person, a more dexterous person can more easily aim to a weak point but when the enemy is covered in armour that carefully placed blow of the more dexterous person would slide of the armour, while the stronger person using the same weapon is more likely to punch through it.

Strength is to overwhelm an enemy's defense, dexterity is for carefully placing an attack. Both make sense as a to hit bonus.


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

It's about what the stat means. "Strength" is not just representative of raw muscle force, but of the ability to use that strength in practice. Somebody build like a ton of bricks with no control would not count as having high strength in D&D.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
sadie wrote:
It's about what the stat means. "Strength" is not just representative of raw muscle force, but of the ability to use that strength in practice. Somebody build like a ton of bricks with no control would not count as having high strength in D&D.

Kind of like what people call 'functional strength' these days.


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sadie wrote:
It's about what the stat means. "Strength" is not just representative of raw muscle force, but of the ability to use that strength in practice. Somebody build like a ton of bricks with no control would not count as having high strength in D&D.

Exactly. This is why an Ogre only has Str 21 despite being 10 feet tall and made of muscle.


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You know...I'll bow to the arguments made. You all definitely have got me thinking.

Plus...I suppose if AC means a combination of missing, and armor...then strength does make sense as it would punch through said armor.


Yelp that started way back in 1st edition. Damage Reduction has its own limitations too.


Grumbaki wrote:

You know...I'll bow to the arguments made. You all definitely have got me thinking.

Plus...I suppose if AC means a combination of missing, and armor...then strength does make sense as it would punch through said armor.

Your suggestions make sense to me. Reminds me of gurps 4e.


For some reason I always liked how rolemaster divided dexterity into two attributes one for accuracy and one for Nimbleness (thats not the names though). I'm not suggesting that for 2e but I always thought it was surprisingly sensible.


Phantasmist wrote:
For some reason I always liked how rolemaster divided dexterity into two attributes one for accuracy and one for Nimbleness (thats not the names though). I'm not suggesting that for 2e but I always thought it was surprisingly sensible.

A lot of games actually separate manual Dexterity from overall physical Agility or Speed. Because trying to group every aspect of nimbleness together in a single ability score just gives you an all-powerful God Stat.


It really is a sensible thing to do. But, I still like D&D 3.5 (which is why I haven't been to excited about what we‘re hearing) and tradition would keep the ability scores to the big 6.

Athough if a seventh ability score was added I‘d probably be more likely to except it then other things.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, Str-to-hit makes exactly as much sense as armor making you harder to hit. Getting rid of one without getting rid of the other results in asymmetry and weirdness.

Now, if you're doing an 'armor as DR' thing, Str being only damage can work. But if you're doing that you should probably just switch systems entirely.

Strength to hit already has weirdness baked into it. If strength to hit represents punching through armor, why does strength give a bonus against an unarmored opponent?

Getting rid of strength to hit doesn't result in more asymmetry and weirdness than already exists. It just shuffles the asymmetry around.

Liberty's Edge

5e has shown that if you give Dex to both hit and damage and AC it’s very good. Finesse fighters and archers become more desirable than ones with big weapons.

I like being able to choose hitting off Str or Dex at low levels but having to burn a feat or bonus to get Dex to damage.


Jester David wrote:

5e has shown that if you give Dex to both hit and damage and AC it’s very good. Finesse fighters and archers become more desirable than ones with big weapons.

I like being able to choose hitting off Str or Dex at low levels but having to burn a feat or bonus to get Dex to damage.

The balance here could be the extra damage dice from +1 weapons and attacks like Power Attack. The bigger dice of the STR weapons should mean more here then PF1 & 5e.

Liberty's Edge

Rek Rollington wrote:
Jester David wrote:

5e has shown that if you give Dex to both hit and damage and AC it’s very good. Finesse fighters and archers become more desirable than ones with big weapons.

I like being able to choose hitting off Str or Dex at low levels but having to burn a feat or bonus to get Dex to damage.

The balance here could be the extra damage dice from +1 weapons and attacks like Power Attack. The bigger dice of the STR weapons should mean more here then PF1 & 5e.

It's a balance paradox.

You want two-weapon fighting and swashhbucklers to be as viable as great-weapon fighters in terms of damage. If someone picks one as their DPR character, that shouldn't be dismissed as a "trap" choice.
On paper they should be as close as possible.

However, it then becomes apparent to optimizers if they're equivalent in damage, Dex is the better option because of the other benefits: it boosts AC, Reflex saves, more skills.

It's a tricky line to walk.

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