Desired Ability Score Arrays


Prerelease Discussion


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So, this thread isn't meant to start arguments (ha! I tried...) But rather simply to tally the number of people who think the ancestries should have specific arrays either that are as of yet unknown, or that have been revealed but are... unsatisfying. Such as, in my opinion, all three core small ancestries having an inherent Charisma bonus. So, what I propose is simply writing down each core ancestry, and whether you are fine with the array with which they have been announced, or you'd prefer something different. Please keep in mind this thread is under the assumption that the formula of two set +2s, one set -2, and a floating +2, are not up for debate; rather just how they are assigned.

EDIT: And a slight variation of that for humans/half elves/half orcs, most likely.


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So for me:

Elves: fine to remain as is
Dwarves: fine to remain as is
Goblins: fine remain as is (if it has to be one mental, one physical bonus)
Gnomes: mostly fine (Int instead of Cha, maybe, but I want them to remain distinct from D&D's)
Halflings: would love to see a Wisdom bonus instead of Charisma
Humans: Two floating +2s
Half-Elves: a +2 to Charisma (or maybe Int), and a floating +2
Half-Orcs: a +2 to Strength, and a floating +2

I'm operating under the assumption that the core races will be the originals plus Goblins.


Elves: +2 dex, +2 cha, -2 con : bonus to charisma instead of intelligence. Elven wizards toting spells books around for hundreds of years made of dead animals or slaughtered trees doesn't fit their living in balance with nature. Fey-ancestry, natural ability to cast magic, love of beauty and poetry matches with charisma better.
Dwarves: +2con, +2 wis,-2 cha
Goblins: +2dex, +2con, -2 str you never said it had to be 1 physical and 1 mental. I think if you are going to switch goblins to +con, the penalty has to be in strength to keep goblins from being only ancestry who can get bonuses to all three physical stats. Goblins fit very poorly into the +2/+2/-2 formula which is another reason they shouldn't be core, otherwise I would say add -2 wis and -2 cha.
Gnomes: +2 dex, +2 int, -2 str
Halflings: +2 dex, +2 wis, -2 str
Humans: two floating +2
half-elves: +2 dex*, floating +2 Giving half-elves a bonus to charisma without elves also having a bonus makes half-elves better at being elves than elves are. *If elves had a bonus to charisma as I have proposed above, I wouldn't mind seeing half-elves with a bonus to charisma instead of dexterity.
half-orcs: +2 strength, floating +2


For me it depends upon whether I get my other wish that size give a static size modifier to damage, freeing up the wee folk to have something other than -2 STR. If so (and I know there is no way some of this would fly):
Elf: +2 DEX, +2 CHA, -2 CON, but not a playable race (you have to be half-elven--I think elves should be more alien).
Dwarf: +2 CON, +2 WIS, -2 DEX.
Goblin: Not in core rulebook.
Gnome: +2 CON, +2 INT, -2 WIS.
Halfling: +2 STR, +2 DEX, -2 CHA.
Human: +2 floating.
Half-Elf: Use Elf (same stats as Elf, but with a human-like psychology) or Human, plus some cosmetic variation.
Half-Orc: Use Orc (same stats as Orc, but with a human-like psychology) or Human, plus some cosmetic variation.
Orc: +2 STR, +2 CON, -2 INT. Unlike Elves, I don't think Orcs need alien psychology and, unlike goblins, there isn't much in the Orc family tree (like hobgoblins, ogres, etc.), so I don't mind eliminating them from the mindless monster role. Even more appealing would be to include an Orcish subrace that is Large.

I would also want everyone to get the option of +2 floating or +2 floating/+2 floating/-2 floating, which for most races means good in four attributes, bad in two.


If I were to do it:

Standard Ancestries
Dwarf: +2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Cha,+2 Float
Elf: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Con, +2 Float
Gnome: +2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Str,+2 Float
Halfling: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Str, +2 Float
Human: +2 Cha, +2 Float, +2 Float

Monstrous Ancestries
Goblin: +2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Wis, +2 Float
Orc: +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int, +2 Float

Make Half-Orc and Half-Elf special Human-Only heritage feats that give access to the other ancestries ancestry feats.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Having two bonuses in physical abilities and a penalty in mental will make that ancestry the best martial ancestry. It will be able to get a bonus to all physical stats. I'd rather not have goblin as the optimal Fighter.


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QuidEst wrote:
Having two bonuses in physical abilities and a penalty in mental will make that ancestry the best martial ancestry. It will be able to get a bonus to all physical stats. I'd rather not have goblin as the optimal Fighter.

That seems like less of a concern with all ancestries having a floating +2 but I see your point. Problem is I can't really see Goblins with a bonus to any mental stat, maybe give them a -4 wisdom or something.


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Bardarok wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Having two bonuses in physical abilities and a penalty in mental will make that ancestry the best martial ancestry. It will be able to get a bonus to all physical stats. I'd rather not have goblin as the optimal Fighter.
That seems like less of a concern with all ancestries having a floating +2 but I see your point. Problem is I can't really see Goblins with a bonus to any mental stat, maybe give them a -4 wisdom or something.

Goblins iconically use alchemy and fire to the extent of their spellcasting, but are ugly little things. Int or Cha seem appropriate given their roles as war chanters and bombers.

Starfinder has bleaching gnomes with +2 INT, why can't we?

In fact, I'm all for penning ancestry variants that change things up, though it might not be necessary if everyone gets a floater stat.


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Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Halfling, and Human are fine as is.

Goblin +2Dex +2Int -2Wis

Then add the following as core
Aasimar *
Orc +2Str +2Wis -2Int
Tiefling *

*Stats could be based on the base creature(human, elf, dwarf, etc.), could be the 1e version, or could pick a +2 to two stats and -2 to one regardless of what race you based them on.

Do half-elf and half-orc through ancestry feats.


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Dragon78 wrote:

Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Halfling, and Human are fine as is.

Goblin +2Dex +2Int -2Wis

Then add the following as core
Aasimar *
Orc +2Str +2Wis -2Int
Tiefling *

*Stats could be based on the base creature(human, elf, dwarf, etc.), could be the 1e version, or could pick a +2 to two stats and -2 to one regardless of what race you based them on.

Do half-elf and half-orc through ancestry feats.

Beating a dead horse here, but I don't think Halflings and Gnomes are both fine as is, with Charisma. They feel too same-y to me. I think Wisdom is a much better fit for the sensible Halflings.


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Funnily, I've been giving halflings +2 WIS since the days Pathfinder 2.0 was just a glimmer in Paizo's eye, to better distinguish them from gnomes.

It made me sense to me than CHA or INT for the fur-footed smallfolk, both because Tolkien's Hobbits were known for their strong minds and good sense and from a more metagamy point of view; halflings are often encouraged towards roguery and ranger ingredients, both of which need good perception and better Will.

Still, that's only my thoughts and the way I've been doing it. I can see why people disagree, and push back against an idea they don't like. Honestly, the difficulty with fans pushing towards differentiating the smallfolk is that everyone has a different idea for what they should become.

My own preference is Halflings +WIS, Gnomes +INT, and Goblins +CHA, but I can see why other people have other preferences, even if I disagree with them. I don't like the idea of Goblins getting a bonus to constitution, since it goes against convention and leaves them the odd one out. And I don't feel any particular need to differentiate Gnome stats from their non-fey dnd counterparts, any more than I feel the need to differentiate Pathfinder elves or dwarves.

The thing is, in my opinion, that differentiating the small ancestries is more important than the specifics of how it's done. So, I'd rather not get into an argument about the minutia, sap energy from the movement, so to speak. Even if different arrays are chosen then the ones I prefer, I'd rather that then they stay the same.


I'll probably be a down-voted oddball, but my preference would be not to award any racial ability bonuses or penalties, but instead for each race establish the min/max values allowed for each ability. Then, make sure those min/max values were within a 3-18 range. You would have to qualify for a race.

This will not be popular and I'm pretty sure its not where Paizo is headed. I don't mean any angst on anyone else. It simply better fits the stories I want to tell, which is typically the stories of heroes with capabilities closer to the common man. Keeping ability scores contained to a +3 or +4 max helps slows the rate that power levels scale.


I would prefer if the cap was 16 at 1st level, not 18, so you at least have to wait until 5th level to "get that" 18.

Is there a general ability cap, like in 5th Ed (abilities cap at 20 for characters), or is the sky the limit, as in PF1?

Liberty's Edge

Weather Report wrote:
Is there a general ability cap, like in 5th Ed (abilities cap at 20 for characters), or is the sky the limit, as in PF1?

There doesn't seem to be an Ability Cap of 20 or anything like that, but there also probably aren't any stat-up items.

Given how Ability ups are probably working (+2 to 4 stats at 5th and every 5 levels thereafter), the cap ism likely to be 26 at 20th level.

All that is speculative, of course.


Do it the way starfinder does it, including the optional arrays which basically erase the bonuses/penalty from race and you can craft whatever kind of character you like.


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As long as we're doing this thread, we may as well have a proper poll.

Poll is here.

Results are here.

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