Class Related Stat Bonuses


Prerelease Discussion

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The extreme increases make me worry of homogeneity.


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Weather Report wrote:
The extreme increases make me worry of homogeneity.

I've played in games where everyone's starting stats were 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8 (it's a good array- easy to remember) and we nonetheless managed to play extremely different characters. I don't think stats really matter beyond "what numbers do we add to what things."


Wasn’t this thread about what stat bonuses we expect / would like for each class?

Instead people are bickering about not being able to dump stats and other unrelated things
Shouldn’t there be / isn’t there a separate ability score thread for this?

With regards to classes I would like to see it as one option for each except maybe Fighter
Perhaps they will streamline what abilities are needed. I wasn’t going to raise something about reducing monk MAD by using wisdom for combat in some way. But again that is probably something for a separate discussion


John Lynch 106 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Pretty sure Mark said you CAN have those low stats, but it doesn't translate into higher STR. So yeah, the option is still open.
Do you mean that you can just write down a 3 in any stat you want and not get anything in return for it?

That's how it was in Starfinder and it seems fair.

Do you want to play a dumb character? Reduces stats or use rolls.

Do you want to play a strong char? Put your points into STR like everyone else. But this is a different goal than wanting to play a dumb character.

You can even do both, or neither! But there won't be a synergy between them.

Grand Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
The extreme increases make me worry of homogeneity.
I've played in games where everyone's starting stats were 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8 (it's a good array- easy to remember) and we nonetheless managed to play extremely different characters. I don't think stats really matter beyond "what numbers do we add to what things."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Weather Report is concerned about Background selection more than stat lines. If the (made-up) "Scout" background synergizes really well with Ranger, then it's going to get really tiring when every other PC Ranger is a scout.

This is such an apparent upfront issue that I imagine Paizo has headed it off by making most backgrounds mechanically appealing by offering a plethora of strong backgrounds and/or a substantial mechanical flexibility. If they don't head this off, I imagine it will show up as a failing in the playtest.


Hurká wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
The extreme increases make me worry of homogeneity.
I've played in games where everyone's starting stats were 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8 (it's a good array- easy to remember) and we nonetheless managed to play extremely different characters. I don't think stats really matter beyond "what numbers do we add to what things."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Weather Report is concerned about Background selection more than stat lines. If the (made-up) "Scout" background synergizes really well with Ranger, then it's going to get really tiring when every other PC Ranger is a scout.

This is such an apparent upfront issue that I imagine Paizo has headed it off by making most backgrounds mechanically appealing by offering a plethora of strong backgrounds and/or a substantial mechanical flexibility. If they don't head this off, I imagine it will show up as a failing in the playtest.

Actually, there is a trick to fixing this issue: Make it so you can have 18 in any one stat without depending on any 1 mechanic of background, class or race. So at least 1 of your choices has to go to something else. So there would be enough to get a stat to 20, but that'd be forbidden.

For example, let's say my character is a Human Fighter who wants 18 STR. Also we assume you can't boost a stat higher than 18 even if you have leftovers.

- I put one of my racials on STR, so it's 12.
- My Fighter class gives me another 2, so it's at 14.
- Put all 4 from that unnamed "floating" pool to STR, so it's now 18.
- Now he can pick ANY background that doesn't boost STR.

If he was a Cleric instead and still wanted 18 STR, then he would need a STR background to make up for class.
But now he could be any other class! So one of the char creation "steps" is open to not be used on your main thing at all times.


One of my favorite concepts was an erudite Beast Totem Barbarian modeled after Henry McCoy. Giving him an exceptionally high intelligence without seriously compromising his combat ability (he had higher INT than DEX, but had higher STR and CON than INT) was only possible because the DM gave us a stat array, and a fairly generous one. Well, that and the Unchained Background Skills. The intelligence didn't really add much mechanically as far as my designated role, but dang did it feel refreshing.

Stuff like that is enabled by this new system, and that's worth losing out on 22 Strength, 6 CHA, 6 INT fighters IMO.


Indeed, if Backgrounds give a floating +2, then a player after one specific stat can always choose any background and put the floating option into the stat they are after. It's just a matter of making sure the fixed stat is something useful to you.

Plus, even if every "scout" is overwhelmingly the choice of rangers, we can always print more backgrounds to provide alternatives.

So you can absolutely have a sorcerer who was a farmer, a bard who was a soldier, a barbarian who was an aristocrat, etc. Just put the floating option into the stat your want.


ChibiNyan wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Pretty sure Mark said you CAN have those low stats, but it doesn't translate into higher STR. So yeah, the option is still open.
Do you mean that you can just write down a 3 in any stat you want and not get anything in return for it?

That's how it was in Starfinder and it seems fair.

Do you want to play a dumb character? Reduces stats or use rolls.

Do you want to play a strong char? Put your points into STR like everyone else. But this is a different goal than wanting to play a dumb character.

You can even do both, or neither! But there won't be a synergy between them.

What's the point in voluntarily lowering stats if you get nothing in return?

Characters that choose to have a flaw need to get something from it.

In PF!, you can get a 20, but you have to work for it and, aside from dumping CHA for most classes, you had to pay for it. With the new Resonance mechanic, you have to pay for it no matter what you choose to dump.

This isn't a balance issue, this is a badwrongfun issue that the devs are forcing on players.

Grand Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:

Indeed, if Backgrounds give a floating +2, then a player after one specific stat can always choose any background and put the floating option into the stat they are after. It's just a matter of making sure the fixed stat is something useful to you.

Plus, even if every "scout" is overwhelmingly the choice of rangers, we can always print more backgrounds to provide alternatives.

So you can absolutely have a sorcerer who was a farmer, a bard who was a soldier, a barbarian who was an aristocrat, etc. Just put the floating option into the stat your want.

The floating stat takes care of a lot of these cases, though not all.

The main problem with this discussion is that none of us know enough about how backgrounds are actually going to work. Perhaps the particular stat bonuses will end up being almost secondary to additional skills, abilities, feats, etc. that backgrounds might give us. We don't know! I'm sure they'll write a blog post on it eventually and I'm very much looking forward to it!


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thflame wrote:
Characters that choose to have a flaw need to get something from it

Why?

Grand Lodge

Hurká wrote:

I love having my background inform my stats, and I do that informally now.

However, I hope they allow for flexibility in 2E. For example, I could see a background like this (simplified and in summary):

Quote:
Seafaring: As a child you were rocked to sleep by the ocean and you grew up with a rope in your hand and the wind in your face. You have a +2 bonus to constitution and +2 to another stat of your choice. You have +2 to Profession Sailor and +4 to knowledge geography in salt water environments. Etc Etc...

But what if my character operated a ferry across a narrow straight, so his success was mostly about marketing himself to potential customers and dealing with surly folk at the dock. Could I put the stats in Cha and Wis instead since it would make more sense for this character? Maybe his knowledge bonus should be local (urban) instead of geography because he spends more time at the docks than at sea?

I would like to have a system that allows for flexibility while providing parameters to prevent abuse. Maybe those two are at odds and I'll just have to ask my GM to allow me to customize my characters' backgrounds, but if there is such a viable system then I hope Paizo builds it that way.

I'm hoping that there will be guidelines in the book on how to create custom backgrounds. I assume(I know, I know) that the devs have their own.

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:

They've said they won't be using point buy (not just Starfinder point buy, but point buy at all) and that they're aiming for something more organically tied to the rest of character creation.

The details are all speculation, but the core idea that there are gonna be bonuses at four stages that work by ability ups? All the current evidence points to that.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Deighton Thrane wrote:
Where was this? Cause I thought I was pretty up to date on most of the previews/podcasts/spoilers coming out, but I haven't heard that.
Looking back at it, it's not quite as clear cut as I was thinking...but they are very, very careful to never call their 'ability generation' method any kind of point buy, and the 'more organically' thing is stated very specifically by Mark Seifter here.

My understanding is that the Playtest will feature point-buy as an optional rule, but that the designers prefer that folks follow the new standard method so that the feedback has a more-standardized baseline. I thought they said this in one of the blogs but I don't see it. I'm 99% sure they've said this at least a couple times in the interviews and/or presentations, but I can't find where right now.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
thflame wrote:
Characters that choose to have a flaw need to get something from it

Why?

Because nobody wants to play an under powered character, just because they want to have a flaw. It's called good character building. Good characters have flaws. If you have no flaws, you aren't interesting.

In PF1, characters could have no flaws, but they had generally less spectacular stats. If you wanted a 20 in PF1, you had to drop your other stats. This gives you one thing that you are REALLY good at, at the cost of one or two things that you are bad at.

This makes for interesting characters. My 20 DEX 6 CON fighter rarely got hit, but when he did, he was HURT. (And he sucked at Fort Saves, so he got sick easily.)

My 22 STR orc fighter with 6s in the mentals was terrible at skills was easily dominated, and caused problems in social situations, but he could single handedly lift that heavy portcullis when his allies needed to get through.

Under PF2 rules, my first character is no more dodgy than any other character who wants an 18 in DEX, and those other characters can still take hits. He is useless to the party.

My second character is no stronger than anyone else who wants an 18 in STR, and his mental stats make him more of a liability than an asset.


I feel like this family of games is better suited to playing heroic characters who are generally competent at most things. If you're after "tragically flawed characters whose life is a struggle" then other games do that better.


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thflame wrote:
This isn't a balance issue, this is a badwrongfun issue that the devs are forcing on players.

You can just as easily argue that the current incentive system makes NOT dumping stats badwrongfun. No, we aren't FORCED to go to the extremes you prefer, and there's a cost associated with doing so. But the incentive structure still puts undue pressure to build something with maximum functionality towards it's prescribed role, because the benefits for having even moderate advancement in low priority stats are so marginal.

Also, echoing gustavo iglesias's post.


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thflame wrote:
Because nobody wants to play an under powered character, just because they want to have a flaw. It's called good character building. Good characters have flaws. If you have no flaws, you aren't interesting.

You only want your interesting, flavourful character that won't be possible in PF2 (?) if you get to be better than someone else because of it? In other words, you're less interested in the role-playing of this exciting, interesting, potentially dangerous flaw than in optimising your character?


I think that perhaps pointing out that stat generation is very easy to house rule might be a more productive criticism than simply telling people to go away. Barring that, ignoring people you can't find common ground with works quite well. It doesn't always work, but it's a good tool to keep at hand.

Paizo Employee Designer

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Indeed, if Backgrounds give a floating +2, then a player after one specific stat can always choose any background and put the floating option into the stat they are after. It's just a matter of making sure the fixed stat is something useful to you.

Plus, even if every "scout" is overwhelmingly the choice of rangers, we can always print more backgrounds to provide alternatives.

So you can absolutely have a sorcerer who was a farmer, a bard who was a soldier, a barbarian who was an aristocrat, etc. Just put the floating option into the stat your want.

This is a good analysis, but I can go one step further: Assuming you are going into the "Choose Your Background" stage of character creation with a ruthlessly optimization-only approach that you must come out of it with exactly the set of available ability score boosts that you think are most powerful no matter what, that actually only cuts down your background options by a bit less than half. If you only truly care about one stat, then as you say, with a floating stat, any background could suffice.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like this family of games is better suited to playing heroic characters who are generally competent at most things. If you're after "tragically flawed characters whose life is a struggle" then other games do that better.

First of all, I disagree with your premise. A 20 in a stat is heroic, even if you have a flaw. Heroes in most stories HAVE flaws. The average Joe in PF1 is supposed to have 11s and 10s.

My strong fighter has decent DEX and CON. When it comes to combat against things that aren't messing with his Will Saves, he is one of the best in the group.

Secondly, this is something I could do in PF1 and it isn't an option in PF2, which is supposed to give us MORE customization.

Thirdly, PF2 doesn't have "competent" characters. They have super heroes at level 1. A 10 is competent, not a 14-18. Unless they are abandoning the idea that an Average Joe has 10s and 11s, then

It appears as though the cap of 18 isn't all that hard to achieve in PF2. The only speed bump in the way is if you want to play a race with a racial penalty to the stat you want an 18 in. When the highest possible starting stat is easily achievable by almost anyone, then it isn't special.


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thflame wrote:


First of all, I disagree with your premise. A 20 in a stat is heroic, even if you have a flaw. Heroes in most stories HAVE flaws. The average Joe in PF1 is supposed to have 11s and 10s.

If 10 is the baseline, 20 being heroic but 18 not is pretty arbitrary.

Quote:
Secondly, this is something I could do in PF1 and it isn't an option in PF2, which is supposed to give us MORE customization.

We are getting more customization overall. That doesn't mean we won't lose some specific choices along we have now, just that even more choices will replace them.

Quote:
When the highest possible starting stat is easily achievable by almost anyone, then it isn't special.

False. You are using other PCs as your metric for "everyone," when they are obviously meant to be exceptional individuals. This has been true since day 1 in PF1. One of the tougher commoners in Rise of the Runelords has the stats of a 6 point buy. PF2e is making this even more explicit by decoupling PC building rules from NPC creation.

What you are saying is that you want to be able to make yourself better at your one thing than your fellow party members, at great cost to other abilities. This runs counter to several design goals of 2e.


thflame wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
thflame wrote:
Characters that choose to have a flaw need to get something from it

Why?

Because nobody wants to play an under powered character, just because they want to have a flaw. It's called good character building. Good characters have flaws. If you have no flaws, you aren't interesting.

In PF1, characters could have no flaws, but they had generally less spectacular stats. If you wanted a 20 in PF1, you had to drop your other stats. This gives you one thing that you are REALLY good at, at the cost of one or two things that you are bad at.

This makes for interesting characters. My 20 DEX 6 CON fighter rarely got hit, but when he did, he was HURT. (And he sucked at Fort Saves, so he got sick easily.)

My 22 STR orc fighter with 6s in the mentals was terrible at skills was easily dominated, and caused problems in social situations, but he could single handedly lift that heavy portcullis when his allies needed to get through.

Under PF2 rules, my first character is no more dodgy than any other character who wants an 18 in DEX, and those other characters can still take hits. He is useless to the party.

My second character is no stronger than anyone else who wants an 18 in STR, and his mental stats make him more of a liability than an asset.

Reading this post, it doesn't look like you want to have a flaw, but that you want to have a stronger character.

Don't worry about being a liability. In PF1, A fighter with cha 8 and no diplomacy is not more a liability than a character with cha 10 and no diplo. It just picks more freebie points. I will be the same, except without freebie points


Arakhor wrote:
thflame wrote:
Because nobody wants to play an under powered character, just because they want to have a flaw. It's called good character building. Good characters have flaws. If you have no flaws, you aren't interesting.
You only want your interesting, flavourful character that won't be possible in PF2 (?) if you get to be better than someone else because of it? In other words, you're less interested in the role-playing of this exciting, interesting, potentially dangerous flaw than in optimising your character?

Not better, on par with. I think a 22 STR is more than paid for with next to zero skill points(he get's favored class skill ranks only), really bad will saves, and terrible social skills on a character that tries to be sociable(even if I tried to cop out and just sit in the corner during social interactions, the lack of Skill Points and the bad Will Saves would STILL more than make up for the 22 STR. Being an orc means he gets a net -2 to his racial modifiers to the normal character's +2.

For the character concept, both having exceptionally poor mentals AND having great STR are important.

Let me explain this in more detail. The character I have in mind is an orc with a deformity that causes him to be mentally stunted, but exceptionally strong. He speaks in broken English (common?) and doesn't understand why nobody wants his hugs (he rarely bathes and he could easily accidentally crush you). He has to be reminded that eating the bandits that the party just killed is bad, but doesn't understand why when he can eat the deer that the ranger just shot. He often reads situations incorrectly causing hilarious outcomes. He is easily provoked, assuming he understands the threat or insult, which he often times doesn't.

The reason why this character isn't in a mental institution is because his exceptional strength is worth putting up with what is effectively a big child. (And his backstory involves him being the adopted child of the party paladin.) Now that the cap on STR is 18 for everybody and it appears to be easily obtainable, it's going to take a heck of a lot of metagaming to have Grimm be an acceptable party member. Why take the dumb orc on, when any Tom, Dick, or Harry fighter is just as strong? (Well, maybe not Harry the halfling.)

Oh, and everyone at my table, which is an RP focused table, loves the character. After learning of these new changes, people at my table (who usually play well rounded characters that would work well in this system) have voiced opinions to not move to PF2, just because Grimm won't be joining us.


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Indeed, I have found that players who play characters who are decidedly bad at a thing (for optimization or RP reasons) generally do not engage in that thing.

So like even though my half-blind inattentive Paladin is up all night every night, we just rely on the "Reinforce Campsite" ritual from Ultimate Wilderness in lieu of relying on her to keep watch ineffectively.

Plus there's no reason one can't RP a flaw that causes them problems which is not reflected (or could not be reflected) in one's stats. I've had characters who were terrified of water, always assumed the best of everyone, were incorrigibly elitist, elected to pull pranks even when it was probably not wise, paranoid to the point of occasional catatonia around strangers etc. none of which needed to be reflected in attributes. I just didn't expect that I should get better at other stuff because I wanted to have a serious character flaw.


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I don't get why your exceptionally strong orc has to have Str 22 instead of 20, just because he got less CHA for a part of the game he is unisterested in

If you want to be stronger, ask your GM to play higher point buy


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gustavo iglesias wrote:

I don't get why your exceptionally strong orc has to have Str 22 instead of 20, just because he got less CHA for a part of the game he is unisterested in

If you want to be stronger, ask your GM to play higher point buy

You didn't even read the post, did you? He has a 6 in INT, WIS, and CHA. I actively RP social situations with him. I DO NOT just have him sit in the corner when social interactions happen.

The racial modifiers for an orc are +4 STR, -2 INT, -2 WIS, -2 CHA. I put an 18 in STR, dump INT, WIS, and CHA to 8 and evenly distribute what I have left in DEX and CON.

Point buy isn't going to be a thing, and if it is, I HIGHLY suspect that you will still be capped at 18 for stats and everyone and their dog will have at least one 18, so even 18s aren't special anymore.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

For your specific character, thflame, I think the easiest thing to do is just keep orc’s racial modifiers as ancestry modifiers. You start off with 20 strength when the max is 18, and you have penalties to all the mental stats. Orc isn’t a core ancestry, so porting the character would require that anyway.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Indeed, I have found that players who play characters who are decidedly bad at a thing (for optimization or RP reasons) generally do not engage in that thing.

So like even though my half-blind inattentive Paladin is up all night every night, we just rely on the "Reinforce Campsite" ritual from Ultimate Wilderness in lieu of relying on her to keep watch ineffectively.

Plus there's no reason one can't RP a flaw that causes them problems which is not reflected (or could not be reflected) in one's stats. I've had characters who were terrified of water, always assumed the best of everyone, were incorrigibly elitist, elected to pull pranks even when it was probably not wise, paranoid to the point of occasional catatonia around strangers etc. none of which needed to be reflected in attributes. I just didn't expect that I should get better at other stuff because I wanted to have a serious character flaw.

The best systems at handling "flaws" are not the ones that give you additional stats for it, but the ones that reward you for RPing them instead of ignoring them.

I don't remember what RPG it was, it might have been Mistborn or DC Superheroes or something, but you could add a buncha flaws to your character with no benefit at character creation. However, whenever you used any of your flaws to cause a disadvantage or suboptimal decision or an NPC used it against you, you would get a re-roll or something like that which gave you narrative control.

Granted, that is a narrative-driven RPG, very unlike Pathfinder, but it clearly explained that "flaws that I can ignore for boosts to my important things" was very poor design compared to more dynamic approach of using them in play.

I hope Hero points or whatever it is that was said to be in PF2 behaves like this.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Indeed, I have found that players who play characters who are decidedly bad at a thing (for optimization or RP reasons) generally do not engage in that thing.

So like even though my half-blind inattentive Paladin is up all night every night, we just rely on the "Reinforce Campsite" ritual from Ultimate Wilderness in lieu of relying on her to keep watch ineffectively.

Plus there's no reason one can't RP a flaw that causes them problems which is not reflected (or could not be reflected) in one's stats. I've had characters who were terrified of water, always assumed the best of everyone, were incorrigibly elitist, elected to pull pranks even when it was probably not wise, paranoid to the point of occasional catatonia around strangers etc. none of which needed to be reflected in attributes. I just didn't expect that I should get better at other stuff because I wanted to have a serious character flaw.

You have heard of Drawbacks, right? It is a thing in PF1 already that you can have Drawbacks to get Traits. We don't use them, because they are fiddly but PF1 DOES have rules for your phobic character to be phobic while getting a small boost elsewhere in return.


ChibiNyan wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Indeed, I have found that players who play characters who are decidedly bad at a thing (for optimization or RP reasons) generally do not engage in that thing.

So like even though my half-blind inattentive Paladin is up all night every night, we just rely on the "Reinforce Campsite" ritual from Ultimate Wilderness in lieu of relying on her to keep watch ineffectively.

Plus there's no reason one can't RP a flaw that causes them problems which is not reflected (or could not be reflected) in one's stats. I've had characters who were terrified of water, always assumed the best of everyone, were incorrigibly elitist, elected to pull pranks even when it was probably not wise, paranoid to the point of occasional catatonia around strangers etc. none of which needed to be reflected in attributes. I just didn't expect that I should get better at other stuff because I wanted to have a serious character flaw.

The best systems at handling "flaws" are not the ones that give you additional stats for it, but the ones that reward you for RPing them instead of ignoring them.

I don't remember what RPG it was, it might have been Mistborn or DC Superheroes or something, but you could add a buncha flaws to your character with no benefit at character creation. However, whenever you used any of your flaws to cause a disadvantage or suboptimal decision or an NPC used it against you, you would get a re-roll or something like that which gave you narrative control.

Granted, that is a narrative-driven RPG, very unlike Pathfinder, but it clearly explained that "flaws that I can ignore for boosts to my important things" was very poor design compared to more dynamic approach of using them in play.

I hope Hero points or whatever it is that was said to be in PF2 behaves like this.

I'm all for RPing my character's downsides, especially since a bad CHA in PF1 is only a flaw if the GM forces you to make social skill checks or you opt into them like I do. (I like Resonance as an added balancing effect for this.)

But WIS and INT penalties have MECHANICAL downsides. Mechanical downsides are best fixed with mechanical upsides.

I also am not a fan of Hero Points, but that's because I find that players just try to game the system to get as many as possible.


What I houseruled in Starfinder is that by taking -4 to one stat or -2 to two stats, a player didn't get more stat points out of it but they did get to pick an extra feat. So it's still an incentive for people who are inclined in that direction, and I'll probably just use the same houserule in PF2 if it goes to print with you getting nothing in exchange for a stat dump.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
What I houseruled in Starfinder is that by taking -4 to one stat or -2 to two stats, a player didn't get more stat points out of it but they did get to pick an extra feat. So it's still an incentive for people who are inclined in that direction, and I'll probably just use the same houserule in PF2 if it goes to print with you getting nothing in exchange for a stat dump.

This one is pretty good... But because SF feats are really tame. Would be disastrous in PF1, though! Still, good idea to give some incentive for some "weaker" alternatives.

Sovereign Court

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ChibiNyan wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
What I houseruled in Starfinder is that by taking -4 to one stat or -2 to two stats, a player didn't get more stat points out of it but they did get to pick an extra feat. So it's still an incentive for people who are inclined in that direction, and I'll probably just use the same houserule in PF2 if it goes to print with you getting nothing in exchange for a stat dump.
This one is pretty good... But because SF feats are really tame. Would be disastrous in PF1, though! Still, good idea to give some incentive for some "weaker" alternatives.

I expect entry-level skill feats to be fairly low power and would make for interesting narrative options.


KingOfAnything wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
What I houseruled in Starfinder is that by taking -4 to one stat or -2 to two stats, a player didn't get more stat points out of it but they did get to pick an extra feat. So it's still an incentive for people who are inclined in that direction, and I'll probably just use the same houserule in PF2 if it goes to print with you getting nothing in exchange for a stat dump.
This one is pretty good... But because SF feats are really tame. Would be disastrous in PF1, though! Still, good idea to give some incentive for some "weaker" alternatives.
I expect entry-level skill feats to be fairly low power and would make for interesting narrative options.

It'll be different in PF2, but in PF1 it would promote dumping a buncha stats to get Weapon FInesse and Weapon Focus so you can get Dex to Damage at level 1, so everyne would be pressured to do it. (I actually give Free weapon finesse as house rule, it was just an example of what would happen)


KingOfAnything wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
What I houseruled in Starfinder is that by taking -4 to one stat or -2 to two stats, a player didn't get more stat points out of it but they did get to pick an extra feat. So it's still an incentive for people who are inclined in that direction, and I'll probably just use the same houserule in PF2 if it goes to print with you getting nothing in exchange for a stat dump.
This one is pretty good... But because SF feats are really tame. Would be disastrous in PF1, though! Still, good idea to give some incentive for some "weaker" alternatives.
I expect entry-level skill feats to be fairly low power and would make for interesting narrative options.

I dislike including things for just "Narrative" options.

Actually lemme expand on that. I'm big on playing narrative, and I don't mind picking something odd or wacky as long as I don't fully fall behind the rest of the group.

But picking a skill, feat, or some other "Narrative" power for the hope of it being used? Well just how impact that is depends on the table even more so than any rules.

Quite possible the worst offender I can think of off the top of my head isn't even a benefit. Umbral Unmasking as a Drawback can lead to some pretty interesting Narrative and role play interactions. But if the DM doesn't take that into account? Well while I wrote it into my backstory and weaved a good explanation of possible hooks for the DM to use..., didn't happen. I got a free Trait. No one called me on it but it didn't sit too well with me.

But I've always been in the camp of "Feat should let you do something Cool/new". So any extra effect you CAN do with a Skill feat is, even with the complaint, is a plus in my book.

I think that was expanded enough.

Sovereign Court

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I don't think there is any risk that a skill feat wouldn't get used... players have a tendency to use the skills they have whether it is appropriate or not.

And if the drawback is to your stats, you use those plenty.


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thflame wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

I don't get why your exceptionally strong orc has to have Str 22 instead of 20, just because he got less CHA for a part of the game he is unisterested in

If you want to be stronger, ask your GM to play higher point buy

You didn't even read the post, did you? He has a 6 in INT, WIS, and CHA. I actively RP social situations with him. I DO NOT just have him sit in the corner when social interactions happen.

The racial modifiers for an orc are +4 STR, -2 INT, -2 WIS, -2 CHA. I put an 18 in STR, dump INT, WIS, and CHA to 8 and evenly distribute what I have left in DEX and CON.

Point buy isn't going to be a thing, and if it is, I HIGHLY suspect that you will still be capped at 18 for stats and everyone and their dog will have at least one 18, so even 18s aren't special anymore.

Nothing stops you to do all that RP that you find interesting about having 6 in all mentals.

The only thing you don't get is Str 22..
Now it is time to ask yourself if what you find interesting is the 6 in the mentals, or the 22 in str


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thflame wrote:


But WIS and INT penalties have MECHANICAL downsides. Mechanical downsides are best fixed with mechanical upsides.

Fortunately the game does not force you to pick those huge penalties like Int 7 in a character uninterested in skills or Str 7 in a wizard now, so you will not have to worry how to spend those extra points.

You can build a character without such penalties safely. Then, if you really really want to play a character who is shy, unimpressive and socially forgetable, you can reduce your charisma to 7 so it fits your idea. It is even free.

What people won't get is the option to raise your Str, de and con for free by taking a penalty to a series of skill checks they are planning not to do anyways. So you and everyone else who want to role play characters with the charisma of an otyugh for character concept are safe. This will only affect to those who dump stats to max other stats


Lanathar wrote:

Wasn’t this thread about what stat bonuses we expect / would like for each class?

Instead people are bickering about not being able to dump stats and other unrelated things
Shouldn’t there be / isn’t there a separate ability score thread for this?

With regards to classes I would like to see it as one option for each except maybe Fighter
Perhaps they will streamline what abilities are needed. I wasn’t going to raise something about reducing monk MAD by using wisdom for combat in some way. But again that is probably something for a separate discussion

Yeah, but I personally just took it to mean that everyone (with the exception of a few) has generally agreed with what stat(s) will be tied to each class.

Some people would like it to be a choice of multiple stats for MAD characters, but with the phrasing of the Cleric Blog “increases Wisdom by 2” not “has a choice of increasing Wisom by 2” I don’t know why Cleric would be forced with one choice while others get to choose. Clerics were one of the more MAD classes in PF1.

Why would you specifically prefer the Fighter having a choice? Is it for Archery or Swashbuckling? Because assuming Dex-to-Damage is either gone or a Rogue Ability, a bonus to Strength would still be beneficial to have, and you can still use floating bonuses for Dexterity.

Assuming that Class Bonus is fixed with no floating bonus in that step, and instead it will be four floating +2s at the end, as was suggested by others in this thread, it would make starting a starting 18 Dexterity exclusive to Rogues and Monks. Which I think would make sense because the other martials have access to stronger armor that can make up the AC difference.


It may just be that every class gets a bonus to their primary (or intended) offensive stat, because rolling and missing isn't fun. A cleric uses Wisdom for spell DCs, touch attacks, and spell rolls.

Liberty's Edge

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You know, I've always felt that Starfinder's option to take a penalty to ability scores to be one of the few times where Paizo has been almost trollish with their game mechanics, and I'm not exactly thrilled that they're looking to include it in the new Pathfinder system. Even if you like characters with flaws, playing a character that is just plain worse than others is rarely, if ever, a fun or meaningful gameplay mechanic. And even if the flaw is meant as a means to roleplay a character, having to take a penalty to do so just feels bad.

I think most of us can agree that the balance on dump stats really isn't there in Pathfinder 1.0, where taking a penalty on something you're never likely to do can give you a bonus on something you're going to do all the time. But there has to be a better balance to be found somewhere in the rules where you can have a flaw and receive something in return that's roughly commensurate instead of being overpowering, or becoming nearly a mandatory player choice.

Even if it was something like being able to lower one stat at 10 to an 8, to increase another 10 to a 12. Being able to take a penalty to your worst stat to increase what's likely your second worst stat is hardly game breaking. Or as ChibiNyan has mentioned, you could have a system where instead of gaining ability scores for dropping another, you could gain a feat, or proficiency, or circumstance bonuses of some kind. There has to be some system better than telling people who like character flaws that they can play a bad character if they want to.


Deighton Thrane wrote:

You know, I've always felt that Starfinder's option to take a penalty to ability scores to be one of the few times where Paizo has been almost trollish with their game mechanics, and I'm not exactly thrilled that they're looking to include it in the new Pathfinder system. Even if you like characters with flaws, playing a character that is just plain worse than others is rarely, if ever, a fun or meaningful gameplay mechanic. And even if the flaw is meant as a means to roleplay a character, having to take a penalty to do so just feels bad.

I think most of us can agree that the balance on dump stats really isn't there in Pathfinder 1.0, where taking a penalty on something you're never likely to do can give you a bonus on something you're going to do all the time. But there has to be a better balance to be found somewhere in the rules where you can have a flaw and receive something in return that's roughly commensurate instead of being overpowering, or becoming nearly a mandatory player choice.

Even if it was something like being able to lower one stat at 10 to an 8, to increase another 10 to a 12. Being able to take a penalty to your worst stat to increase what's likely your second worst stat is hardly game breaking. Or as ChibiNyan has mentioned, you could have a system where instead of gaining ability scores for dropping another, you could gain a feat, or proficiency, or circumstance bonuses of some kind. There has to be some system better than telling people who like character flaws that they can play a bad character if they want to.

That's a reasonable assertion. I think being able to move something from a 12 to a 10 in exchange for an 8 sounds like it could work. But I think discouraging dump stats is only one benefit for Paizo here.

The other thing about the current policy is it tightens up the math variance between characters, which seems to be an overarching design goal, relying on new abilities to differentiate characters more than raw numbers. But you wouldn't think having your 5th worse stat be slightly better would impact that TOO much. The downside is it makes stat creation more complicated. Which goes against another overarching goal.


I sorta feel that the Oracle's curses at least feel like they have a good idea in terms of a flaw mechanic. They give you a benefit that's related in some way to the flaw, so you can't really ignore the flaw when using the benefit you get out of it. Making something like that but less specific to the Oracle could be interesting, I think.


Seriously, alternate stat generation is an easy rule to mention and they've already said it will be in the playtest. My guess: Remove the flexible stat boost from the ancestry step (or 1 of them for humans) any all other stat boosts from the remaining steps. Use either a dice roll method or point buy method. There, done.


thflame wrote:
Not better, on par with. I think a 22 STR is more than paid for with next to zero skill points(he get's favored class skill ranks only), really bad will saves, and terrible social skills on a character that tries to be sociable(even if I tried to cop out and just sit in the corner during social interactions, the lack of Skill Points and the bad Will Saves would STILL more than make up for the 22 STR. Being an orc means he gets a net -2 to his racial modifiers to the normal character's +2.

Irrelevant to the topic, but I believe you're cheating yourself on skill points. Minimum skill points per level is 1, then favored class gets added on top of that.

thflame wrote:

For the character concept, both having exceptionally poor mentals AND having great STR are important.

Let me explain this in more detail. The character I have in mind is an orc with a deformity that causes him to be mentally stunted, but exceptionally strong. He speaks in broken English (common?) and doesn't understand why nobody wants his hugs (he rarely bathes and he could easily accidentally crush you). He has to be reminded that eating the bandits that the party just killed is bad, but doesn't understand why when he can eat the deer that the ranger just shot. He often reads situations incorrectly causing hilarious outcomes. He is easily provoked, assuming he understands the threat or insult, which he often times doesn't.

The reason why this character isn't in a mental institution is because his exceptional strength is worth putting up with what is effectively a big child. (And his backstory involves him being the adopted child of the party paladin.) Now that the cap on STR is 18 for everybody and it appears to be easily obtainable, it's going to take a heck of a lot of metagaming to have Grimm be an acceptable party member. Why take the dumb orc on, when any Tom, Dick, or Harry fighter is just as strong? (Well, maybe not Harry the halfling.)

I believe you just answered your own question. If he's the adopted child of another party member that offers an easy reason why they would take him with them. And if he's legitimately so mentally incompetent as to where he should be institutionalized, then regardless of his Str (or even moreso because of it) the Paladin should be institutionalizing him, to do elsewise is to essentially put a child in danger on a regular basis, because he's useful. That's kind of the opposite of the Paladin's creed, don't you think? Not to mention an incredibly strong child presents a huge unpredictable danger to others...For what it's worth, if I were recruiting for an adventuring party, Orc with huge muscles and no brains would not be chosen. Ridiculous attack plus poor will equals TPK when the enemy mage casts Charm Person on him.

thflame wrote:
Oh, and everyone at my table, which is an RP focused table, loves the character. After learning of these new changes, people at my table (who usually play well rounded characters that would work well in this system) have voiced opinions to not move to PF2, just because Grimm won't be joining us.

Again, assuming that you're correct about how lovable Grimm is then why would the other characters need an excuse to have him with them?

thflame wrote:

I'm all for RPing my character's downsides, especially since a bad CHA in PF1 is only a flaw if the GM forces you to make social skill checks or you opt into them like I do. (I like Resonance as an added balancing effect for this.)

But WIS and INT penalties have MECHANICAL downsides. Mechanical downsides are best fixed with mechanical upsides.

Might be helpful to think outside the box a bit. Rather than simply giving yourself a low stat, with all the mechanical penalties that comes with, give him a mental disorder, or two, or three, and roleplay those as his flaws, without needing to take any mechanical penalties. Rather than saying, "Oh, Grimm's just really dumb. And painfully unaware of his surroundings, and bad at expressing himself." Say "Grimm has a pretty severe learning disability (which you can reflect by not taking any Int based skills and having issues with remembering things in character), and crippling Dyslexia, so he can't read at all. He's also taken a hard hit to the language center of his brain, so he has problems expressing himself verbally (but still has a reasonable sense of self, so he's not penalized on the talking unrelated bits of Cha). He's extremely impulsive, and tends to misunderstand things frequently (but still has a reasonable Will save and Perception). All of these things can easily be used to describe a character with scores of 8-12 in any of his mental stats.

Basically, what I'm saying is, if you want to roleplay a flawed character, that's cool and I would encourage it. But flaws can, and probably should be, way more than just low stats, which are really just abstract numbers to begin with. I see no reason why you couldn't play Grimm perfectly well in PF2.


Lot's of good posts.

What I worry about, correct me if I'm wrong, is the levelling increases, is it +2 to two or three scores?

As for Backgrounds, I'm still not that sold, in 5th Ed, either, they are cool, but they seem a bit like a training-wheels sort of thing, most players come up with their own traits, characteristics, ideals, flaws, bonds, what-have-you.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
The extreme increases make me worry of homogeneity.
I've played in games where everyone's starting stats were 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8 (it's a good array- easy to remember) and we nonetheless managed to play extremely different characters. I don't think stats really matter beyond "what numbers do we add to what things."

Yeah, I don't really roll this way, maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I like to look at character sheets, and NPCs, heroes stat blocks, etc and conjure an image/type. I get a quick overview of what they're like from their ability scores, alignment, and other things.

I know some only care about what is "emergent" at the table, so they agree you can play Sherlock Homes with a 6 Int, if you roll amazingly high Int checks at the table, I don't ascribe to that.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
What I houseruled in Starfinder is that by taking -4 to one stat or -2 to two stats, a player didn't get more stat points out of it but they did get to pick an extra feat. So it's still an incentive for people who are inclined in that direction, and I'll probably just use the same houserule in PF2 if it goes to print with you getting nothing in exchange for a stat dump.

Nice, I have similar houserule for 5th Ed; as a nonhuman, instead of gaining ability score increases, you can choose a feat.


Weather Report wrote:

Lot's of good posts.

What I worry about, correct me if I'm wrong, is the levelling increases, is it +2 to two or three scores?

As for Backgrounds, I'm still not that sold, in 5th Ed, either, they are cool, but they seem a bit like a training-wheels sort of thing, most players come up with their own traits, characteristics, ideals, flaws, bonds, what-have-you.

Originally it was +2 to three scores. However DeadManWalking pointed out that the Devs said something along the lines of “increasing scores when leveling up will be similar to Starfinder” which gives +2 to four scores. So I think that they’re right on that, and that the Class step will not have a floating +2. I was considering editing my original post to reflect that, but I think that would just make some of the posts here look confusing to anyone new reading through the thread.

I fully expect and encourage home games and published modules to create their own lists of backgrounds for more specific character backstories. However for setting like PFS, there does need to be a set list of “official” Backgrounds that everyone knows what they do and fit within Golarion. Then you can simply flavor the details of your backstory to better fit your character concept.
Otherwise you’ll have people showing up at tables with the “Mary Sue” backstory that gives your character +6 to all stats and all skill proficiencies at Legendary. Or the “Elimenster’s Aprentice” backstory where your character apparently has a +2 to Wis and Str from battling Beholders and Mind Flayers while making out with Drizzt Do’Urden. (Which I would totally pick.)

Liberty's Edge

Weather Report wrote:

Lot's of good posts.

What I worry about, correct me if I'm wrong, is the levelling increases, is it +2 to two or three scores?

As ElSilverWind notes, it's probably +2 to four scores.

Weather Report wrote:
As for Backgrounds, I'm still not that sold, in 5th Ed, either, they are cool, but they seem a bit like a training-wheels sort of thing, most players come up with their own traits, characteristics, ideals, flaws, bonds, what-have-you.

Well all we know Backgrounds give is two stat bonuses and a Lore (ie: background specific knowledge). It's likely that they also grant other bonuses but let's see what those are before we start analyzing what Backgrounds are like.

Weather Report wrote:

Yeah, I don't really roll this way, maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I like to look at character sheets, and NPCs, heroes stat blocks, etc and conjure an image/type. I get a quick overview of what they're like from their ability scores, alignment, and other things.

I know some only care about what is "emergent" at the table, so they agree you can play Sherlock Homes with a 6 Int, if you roll amazingly high Int checks at the table, I don't ascribe to that.

I definitely think you need high Int to play Holmes but the following three characters are all fairly 'optimized' characters built with this system:

Str 18 Dex 12 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 14 Cha 8
Str 12 Dex 16 Con 12 Int 12 Wis 8 Cha 18
Str 10 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 18 Wis 10 Cha 12

Those don't look similar at all.

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