Theme Ability bonuses pointless?


General Discussion


I've been building a lot of characters. Like it's become an addiction. And the more I do it, the more I'm starting to see that Theme bonuses to ability scores at first level... probably have zero impact on how your character grows, mechanically speaking. You could probably role play it maybe, like "oh, I'm con 13, I'm just a little tougher than the guy with Con 12" but ultimately it doesn't reflect in play. The reason for that is how ability bonuses work on level up.

Don't get me wrong, I love the way leveling up ability scores works now. You level 4 scores every 5 levels, and if the score is 16 or lower it goes up 2 instead of 1. if it's 17 or higher, it goes up 1. This has lead to me, and every other player at my LGS, to never build a character with an ability score above a 16. It ultimately gets us more ability score points in the long run, and allows us to build more rounded characters at first level that can grow to become more specialized as we level up and apply personal upgrades.

However, the bonus from Themes is only a +1. since it's a point buy system and penalties/bonuses to ability scores from race are all +2/-2, the +1 is not going to shift anything. You could pick a theme that gives you a +1 to your key ability score and push it all the way up to a 17, but when you hit level 5 that's going to go to 18 still, as if it was a 16. You could put it into a lower score, like maybe a secondary important skill, like say an operative with intelligence bumping it from say a 14 to a 15. However, again, because of how ability score level ups work that 15 will still be an 18 at level 10, just like a 14 could be an 18 by level 10.

In the end, it usually just means we have one floating point that goes wherever. Generally we end up just throwing it into strength for a little extra carriable bulk, but that feels like a disappointed application of one's theme. About the only time the ability bonus matters is if it's in a score you have no intention of improving, and at the same time is not in strength to give you more carry capacity. And other than this Themes are really awesome, because they provide a lot of role play flavor. it determines what you know really well, and what sort of things you are capable of pulling off beyond your class. People don't go "I'm an operative" they go "I'm an Ace Pilot". THey don't go "I'm a soldier" they say "I'm a bounty hunter". My Shirren Envoy Xenoseeker doesn't introduce herself as an envoy, she says "Hi! My name is T'cheknkai, but you can call me Teach. I'm a professor of Xenobiology in Qabara on Castrovel, and I like to go on expeditions to discover new races. Its nice to meet you!"

It just seems disappointing to me that for something that seems to have a huge impact in roleplay, it doesn't necessarily impact you much mechanically at first level besides a bonus class skill/skill point, and improved skill DCs on certain subjects. I feel in the future there should be an errata to make the ability score bonus more impactful. My thought is a +2 bonus to an ability score instead of a +1. My shirren would rather have a 16 in CHA because she's a Xenoseeker instead of a 14 and a random 11 strength because it wasn't worth making the CHA a 15 with that last floating ability point.

Would love to hear other viewpoints on this, but personally I hope I'm not alone in feeling that the ability score bonus from themes is pretty much useless.


Someone using the point buy system could spend the points for a score of 15 and still come out with an 18 from combining racial & theme bonuses.

Hells, someone could spend the points for a score of 13 and come out with an 18 with the proper race selection.

Alternatively if you just end up with an odd number at generation either from point buy or rolling, you can round that up to an even number with the theme bonus.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Two words: Feat prerequisites.

Having an 11 in Cha for a non-envoy, non-operative, non-solarian instead of 10 allows the character to take Minor Psychic Power at 1st or 3rd level.

Having a 13 in Int or Wis instead of 12 allows selection of Technomantic Dabbler or Connection Inkling at 5th level (with one of the four ability score increases at 5th level).

Or maybe you want a blitz soldier with 18 Str and the Sidestep feat (15 Dex and Mobility prerequisites). A human with the Ace Pilot, Mercenary, Outlaw, or Themeless theme can do that at 1st level (18 Str, 15 Dex, 10 Con, 10 Int, 10 Wis, 10 Cha; feats Mobility and Sidestep with the human bonus feat).


FormerFiend wrote:

Someone using the point buy system could spend the points for a score of 15 and still come out with an 18 from combining racial & theme bonuses.

Hells, someone could spend the points for a score of 13 and come out with an 18 with the proper race selection.

Alternatively if you just end up with an odd number at generation either from point buy or rolling, you can round that up to an even number with the theme bonus.

In your first example that costs you 5 points. Which means you have five more point to spend, which means you can get up to 2 more ability bonus and one floating point. Now imagine you don't have a theme bonus, you spend 6 to get to the 18 and 4 left over for 2 more ability bonus. In other words, as far as your bonuses go literally nothing has changed. The same applies for your second example.

As for the last one, if you got the ability points to go to an odd number you have the ability points to go up to an even number and another ability bonus, because it's a 10 point buy. The only reason you should have an odd number is because you split your points, but then as I've already explained odd numbers don't get you ability bonuses any faster. Besides, theme and race bonuses apply before you spend points, so at creation before you buy in your first example you have a 13 in that score. Do you spend 1 to make it a 14? 3 to make it a 16? 5 for 18? Either way it's an odd number, which means there's a point floating, so where do you put it when odd numbers don't matter for ability increases? Strength for carry weight is the obvious answer, which brings us back to my original issue.

Dragonchess Player wrote:

Two words: Feat prerequisites.

Having an 11 in Cha for a non-envoy, non-operative, non-solarian instead of 10 allows the character to take Minor Psychic Power at 1st or 3rd level.

Having a 13 in Int or Wis instead of 12 allows selection of Technomantic Dabbler or Connection Inkling at 5th level (with one of the four ability score increases at 5th level).

Or maybe you want a blitz soldier with 18 Str and the Sidestep feat (15 Dex and Mobility prerequisites). A human with the Ace Pilot, Mercenary, Outlaw, or Themeless theme can do that at 1st level (18 Str, 15 Dex, 10 Con, 10 Int, 10 Wis, 10 Cha; feats Mobility and Sidestep with the human bonus feat).

That's a fair point. In the case of those specific feats that bonus ability point can matter.

However, for characters that have no intention of "dabbling" like that? That point serves no purpose. And in the end that still means the bonus point matters in only a minority of cases.

Also in your examples what the bonus is doesn't matter so much as it exists. As long as your bonus is a score you intend to spend points on. what that means is basically you defined other uses for that floating point for me, but all in all what the bonus is provided by your theme is still largely irrelevant. I don't have to look at what bonus a theme provides because it doesn't really matter, as long as it's not in a score I don't intend on increasing. That's my real complaint. The big +1 WIS or +1 STR ultimately doesn't matter.


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Starfinder Superscriber

Themes aren't meant to provide huge mechanical advantages. They're meant to describe a facet of your character beyond their race or class. They give context. They're essentially like a 'day job' or starting point in identity for your character.

If the advantages were big enough that they mattered, you'd have situations where every operative takes one of 2 or 3 themes and every Mystic takes one of 2 or 3 other themes. That kind of defeats the purpose and would make them more like sub-class options.

With them as they are, anyone can be an Icon, or an Ace Pilot, or a Space Pirate and still make it fit their character.


pithica42 wrote:

Themes aren't meant to provide huge mechanical advantages. They're meant to describe a facet of your character beyond their race or class. They give context. They're essentially like a 'day job' or starting point in identity for your character.

If the advantages were big enough that they mattered, you'd have situations where every operative takes one of 2 or 3 themes and every Mystic takes one of 2 or 3 other themes. That kind of defeats the purpose and would make them more like sub-class options.

With them as they are, anyone can be an Icon, or an Ace Pilot, or a Space Pirate and still make it fit their character.

The thing is, other than ability increases, theme benefits DO matter. dream prophet at level 6 gets a full round action augury. Gladiators can hide their weapon in plain site through sheer reputation. Cyberborn can overcharge an augment to recover Stamina. Theme benefits are significant beyond roleplay implications.

And the thing is, you could make the ability score increase significant and it still would not negatively impact my options. Say I want to build an envoy. I want a 16 in Cha, a good Dex and maybe a little int or wisdom. I could choose lashunta for a 12 Cha and spend only four points there, or choose something else and spend 6. So I have 4/6 remaining. I end up choosing Ysoki, because I don't care about strength,and spend 6 in Cha. I now have a 12 Dex, a 12 int, and a16 Cha. Now I want a bit better Dex, so I put 2 in Dex, and 2 in con for better stamina /fort saves. He's going to be super charismatic and swift, but naive and gullible. Now I decide I want him to be a really good pilot, so I choose ace pilot. I have no intention of taking sidestep so if this was themes as they are now, I get an ability point that doesn't matter, a +1 to piloting checks, and DC reductions on famous pilots. The only thing that is insignificant there is the ability increase. However by making it a +2, my Dex goes up. Better saves, better piloting skill, better to hit in ranged combat, better ac. Now the ability bonus matters. And to be clear, I don't have to pick ace pilot. Maybe by a good pilot he's a runner for a smuggling operation and has outlaw, and at level 6 he gets to bribe the cops. Maybe he's a Gunner or pilot for a free captain, so I chose space pirate instead. He'll maybe instead of chosing con for my extra 2 points I chose spacefarer and he loves to explore. That gets me the 2 con I want, and put those two points into Dex for a still meaningful contribution to his piloting check. The +2 instead of +1doesn't limit me. If anything it seems to give me more options.


pithica42 wrote:

Themes aren't meant to provide huge mechanical advantages. They're meant to describe a facet of your character beyond their race or class. They give context. They're essentially like a 'day job' or starting point in identity for your character.

If the advantages were big enough that they mattered, you'd have situations where every operative takes one of 2 or 3 themes and every Mystic takes one of 2 or 3 other themes. That kind of defeats the purpose and would make them more like sub-class options.

With them as they are, anyone can be an Icon, or an Ace Pilot, or a Space Pirate and still make it fit their character.

I disagree. Because the point buy is 1-1 and never increases, as it does in PF, if the theme gave you a 2 point boost to a secondary stat, that change would not affect people's motiviations for choosing a particular theme. You would have just as many operative/soldiers or mystic/icons as you do with the current rules.

This is because that +2 in a secondary stat would just free up those 2 points to be put into a primary statistic. Yes, your theme would affect the character's take on their class, but that is as it should be.

For example, an operative could take a theme that provided a 2 point boost in, say, wisdom or charisma, and still have optimal dexterity, and good intelligence. As it stands, that 1 point is just silly and in fact encourages an otaku degree of optimization to mean anything (planning your feat tree out into your character's far future).

Yes, there are certain MAD classes that would be encouraged to take a theme that boosted one of their 3-6 important stats, but that means that an optimizer could pick one of many themes. For example, a solarian would be fine with soldier (+2 strength or constitution), icon (+2 charisma), criminal or ace pilot (+2 dexterity), etc..

This thread has convinced me to tell my players that they can take a +2 for their themes instead of +1.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It matters more if you roll for stats (especially if you roll in order, though let’s face it that’s pretty rare these days). Also if you need a stat prerequisite for something down the track.

In passing, I don’t really buy the “never start above 16 or you’ll end up with less overall stats by level twenty” argument. In Starfinder I find myself not really caring about some of my stat increases. I’ve got a couple of stats that matter, a third that’s nice and I often find myself shrugging before assigning the fourth boost. If you start at 18 you get to a natural +5 several levels earlier than if you start at 16 - the fact you end up with a lower bonus in your fourth or fifth most important stat doesn’t really matter.

Getting the highest stats at level twenty isn’t really a goal worth striving for. Boosting your most important stat as rapidly as possible is (by definition, really) always useful.


Steve Geddes wrote:

It matters more if you roll for stats (especially if you roll in order, though let’s face it that’s pretty rare these days). Also if you need a stat prerequisite for something down the track.

In passing, I don’t really buy the “never start above 16 or you’ll end up with less overall stats by level twenty” argument. In Starfinder I find myself not really caring about some of my stat increases. I’ve got a couple of stats that matter, a third that’s nice and I often find myself shrugging before assigning the fourth boost. If you start at 18 you get to a natural +5 several levels earlier than if you start at 16 - the fact you end up with a lower bonus in your fourth or fifth most important stat doesn’t really matter.

Getting the highest stats at level twenty isn’t really a goal worth striving for. Boosting your most important stat as rapidly as possible is (by definition, really) always useful.

That's simply a matter of playstyle, to which I say to each their own. I've always been more partial to more well rounded characters as some of my best characters were not minmaxed all that much, plus I'd argue that starfinder encourages more well rounded characters fairly heavily.

That's a discussion for another topic though. Regardless of your playstyle, the +1 ability score point doesn't really matter unless you're chasing particular feats early on.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pogiforce wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

It matters more if you roll for stats (especially if you roll in order, though let’s face it that’s pretty rare these days). Also if you need a stat prerequisite for something down the track.

In passing, I don’t really buy the “never start above 16 or you’ll end up with less overall stats by level twenty” argument. In Starfinder I find myself not really caring about some of my stat increases. I’ve got a couple of stats that matter, a third that’s nice and I often find myself shrugging before assigning the fourth boost. If you start at 18 you get to a natural +5 several levels earlier than if you start at 16 - the fact you end up with a lower bonus in your fourth or fifth most important stat doesn’t really matter.

Getting the highest stats at level twenty isn’t really a goal worth striving for. Boosting your most important stat as rapidly as possible is (by definition, really) always useful.

That's simply a matter of playstyle, to which I say to each their own. I've always been more partial to more well rounded characters as some of my best characters were not minmaxed all that much, plus I'd argue that starfinder encourages more well rounded characters fairly heavily.

That's a discussion for another topic though. Regardless of your playstyle, the +1 ability score point doesn't really matter unless you're chasing particular feats early on.

You mean rolling vs pointbuy is a matter of playstyle?

That was kind of my point - if you roll it matters. If you use pointbuy it has minimal impact (beyond feat prerequisites in a stat of tertiary importance to your “build”).

EDIT: oh no wait, I get it. You meant the aside. Yeah, I agree (I always roll six stats, in order - I really don’t enjoy “building” a character to a predetermined ideal). I’ve just heard that argument before - usually relying on.the “you’ll have more stats in the long run”. My point was that, even if you are trying to build the most optimised PC you can, quicker access to a +5 bonus is nearly always worth more than a couple of bonus points at level twenty. Definitely tangential to your main argument though.


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I'm not sure I quite get how feat perquisites is somehow not enough of a reason for the theme +1.

Yeah, if you don't intend to take feats with stat prerequisites it means less, but if I don't intend to fight in melee, Strength means less, too.

Just because you don't intend to use an option, does not mean that there is no purpose to the option.


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Dracomicron wrote:

I'm not sure I quite get how feat perquisites is somehow not enough of a reason for the theme +1.

Yeah, if you don't intend to take feats with stat prerequisites it means less, but if I don't intend to fight in melee, Strength means less, too.

Just because you don't intend to use an option, does not mean that there is no purpose to the option.

the problem with that argument is your core stats always matter. Str is your carry capacity, even if you chose to not be a melee fighter. Dex is reflex save, ac, piloting, stealth, etc. Con is stamina and fort save. Int is skill points and computers, engineering etc, charisma is social skills and all of them but con is key stat for a class.

Sure, in if you choose to roll your stats then that +1 could tip you to the next modifier. But the recommended build method- and the only legal method in society play- is the ten point buy. In the ten p,oint buy that's not tipping you to the next modifier. If I'm building a soldier it doesn't matter if I put that +1 in strength or Dex,or int and charisma, if I spend 6 points in strength and 4 in Dex I still have a +3 strength and a+2 Dex regardless of what theme I picked. On the surface you're not going to be able to tell if I'm a mercenary or a robiticist until level 6. and this is supposed to be my background to help personalize my character, a choice that once made can't be changed. Being a way to qualify for feats that SOME people might want is not enough justification for such a major decision.

Think of it this way. Why were people so upset with the ending of mass effect 3? It was because for all the decisions you could make, all the branching paths, in the end there was only one conclusion. When the final result of the choices you make have no meaningful impact, that's called illusion of choice. People want their choices to matter and those theme benefits? With that big, bold +1 STR or +1 CHA on it? That oh so "important" +1 that is even shown to you in a wuickly break down chart because it's so important? That feels like an illusion of choice, and I passed my Will save.

Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of theme. I love the powerful benefits they start to provide at level 6. The knowledge check DC reduction is even kind of nice, as is the additional class skill /skill point. But that big +1 printed at the top of the page? I feel like the themes are trying to trick me by tempting me with something that's really of no consequence.


Quote:
In the end, it usually just means we have one floating point that goes wherever. Generally we end up just throwing it into strength for a little extra carriable bulk, but that feels like a disappointed application of one's theme

You can carry an amount of bulk up to half your Strength score without Difficulty.

You round down, and there is no .5 bulk. It goes from .9 to 1 in even incriments. So that 1 extra point of strength won't do anything except save you a few credits on an industrial backpack vs a regular one.

It can be used to meet a feet prereq or a soldier can combine it with their carrying capacity boost (as if they expect you to meet pre reqs with an odd stat) Other than that the odd stat does nothing.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you want a 16 rather than a 14, why not just spend two fewer points in another stat, like the one you get a bonus from your theme from? Ability points are 99% liquid, you can move them around however you want.


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Pogiforce wrote:

Think of it this way. Why were people so upset with the ending of mass effect 3? It was because for all the decisions you could make, all the branching paths, in the end there was only one conclusion. When the final result of the choices you make have no meaningful impact, that's called illusion of choice. People want their choices to matter and those theme benefits? With that big, bold +1 STR or +1 CHA on it? That oh so "important" +1 that is even shown to you in a wuickly break down chart...

I am very impressed that you managed to equate one of the greatest narrative failures in modern CRPG gaming to a very minor character building aspect of this tabletop game. slowclap.gif :D

But more seriously, I think some wires are being crossed here. Paizo doesn't WANT the theme to make any sort of significant mechanical difference, because the themes are supposed to be mostly flavor, not crunch. That's why the 1st level benefits (other than the +1 stat) apply mostly to recall knowledge checks. Yeah, the merc knows about military stuff, the cyberborn knows about augmentations. And that recall knowledge bonus is a DC change of *5*, which is pretty significant in the right situations! I've seen themes come into play in some interesting ways during my time in Starfinder Society.

If the bonus were +2, then that would have the reverse effect of what Paizo intended; you would almost never have an Icon Soldier, because Soldiers don't get anything from Charisma except maybe Intimidate. People still want to do well at the game, right? But, since that +1 is mostly vestigial, you are free to have Colonel Sanders, the Ex-Military Cook famous for dipping alien meat in fryer vats.

So... it's not the illusion of choice. It's actually the opposite. The choice is to add character to your character, rather than softly funneling everybody into a handful of "optimum" builds. I'm given to understand that this is the eventual fate that affected Pathfinder, and it's one that Paizo wants to avoid.

But even aside from that, the theme bonuses are still significant in their own way:

They let you meet feat requirements more easily.
You can save some credits on a backpack by throwing it into Strength.
You can survive a little longer against stat damage or drain (remember, losing all Constitution = instant death).
...and other effects that may come up in future releases.

This isn't a lot, but it's not nothing. It wasn't intended to be a lot.

But... nothing stopping you from increasing the bonus to +2 in your home game.


So why not leave the stat bonus off entirely? I think thats what the OP is hinting at.

People look at the stat boost and think "wow i want a strong/smart/agile hero i should take this theme and the mechanics simply don't work out that way. You could ignore the themes stat bonus entirely on 99% of point buys which means.. why is it even there?


It depends on the situation and the character. The theme bonus can be significantly useful at lower levels--esp. if it bolsters your class key stat or offsets a racial penalty--because it frees your low-level character up to spend points elsewhere. This will matter less if you're using the quick pick array, more if you're rolling, about middle of the pack if you're doing point-buy.

It will of course matter significantly less as you climb levels and gain access to augments and ability increases and so on, which is why the Themes then provide other abilities that will matter more at those levels. The Theme bonus is a useful little nudge, a cherry on top; it is not at any point portrayed as a massive mechanical determinant or a forever decision about your character's focus and stats, nor does it function that way, so frankly I don't understand the point of this thread.


CeeJay wrote:
It depends on the situation and the character. The theme bonus can be significantly useful at lower levels--esp. if it bolsters your class key stat or offsets a racial penalty--because it frees your low-level character up to spend points elsewhere.

It doesn't let you put them anywhere useful. Because if you're bolstering your main stat or raising a dump stat with 1 point you're still raising an even stat to an odd one which does almost nothing.


These are the stats on my envoy soldier.

Str 9
Dex 16
Con 10
Int 14
Wis 10
Chr 14

I can have the same stat array with Ace pilot, icon, mercenary, outlaw, scholar, xenoseeker or themeless.

With space fairer or bounty hunter my stat array would be.

Str 8
Dex 16
Con 11
Int 14
Wis 10
Chr 14

Which is functionally the same stat array, because there's no difference between an 8 strength and a 9 except what kind of backpack you buy (and its chump change even at level 1) or a 10 con and an 11.

Even as you level it won't matter, because an odd stat will go from 17 to 18 and an even one will go from 16 to 18.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

So why not leave the stat bonus off entirely? I think thats what the OP is hinting at.

People look at the stat boost and think "wow i want a strong/smart/agile hero i should take this theme and the mechanics simply don't work out that way. You could ignore the themes stat bonus entirely on 99% of point buys which means.. why is it even there?

...for feat prerequisites. Like I keep saying. They want to encourage you to plan for feats. It's just that it seems like a lot of requirements got waived this time around. It'll probably mean more going forward as more feats with prereqs get introduced.

Point buy for 3.5E ALSO usually had an extra point somewhere, which admittedly meant more for that game, since you only added one point to one ability score every four levels, instead of two to four, but the other thing was that feats nearly always had odd prerequisites.

I can't speak for Pathfinder, but I was not surprised at all to find that there was an extra point floating around at the end of character creation in Starfinder, because odd stats = feats, going back to the beginning of the d20 system's DNA.

I'm not sure how many different ways I can say "It's for feats, if you don't use them, that doesn't change the fact that it's for feats."

Again, if you don't like it, change it to +2 for your home game. I totally support that! Don't, however, say that it's pointless and does nothing, because it has a point and does something, just not a thing that you personally like.

(it would be hilarious if they eventually came out with an expensive Mk. 4 personal augmentation that was "only" a +1, but you would see people clamoring to get it just to make all their scores even)


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Dracomicron wrote:
...for feat prerequisites. Like I keep saying.

In point of fact I used my Theme bonus on a Solarian character to position them for the Connection Inkling feat in precisely this way.

(I mean, the Theme bonus applied to my key stat and freed up a point to spend on Wisdom. Point being the resulting stat arrays are not functionally equivalent.)


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Dracomicron wrote:


...for feat prerequisites. Like I keep saying. They want to encourage you to plan for feats. It's just that it seems like a lot of requirements got waived this time around. It'll probably mean more going forward as more feats with prereqs get introduced.

Its not really useful for feat pre requisites under most circumstances either.

Lets say you're a human and you want the 13 strength for heavy weapons

Str 13
Dex 16
Con 12
Int 12
wis 10
Chr 10

I don't actually need that 1 point of extra strength to come from my theme. I could just as easily get 1 point to any other stat I've bought and then used THAT extra point to up my strength. So this character could be, an ace pilot, a bounty hunter, a mercenary, an outlaw, a scholar, a space farer, or themeless.

As long as your theme puts points places where you've bought points it's completely mutable. You don't have to pick a theme based on the stat you want to be extra as long as its a stat you've invested in at all.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:


I don't actually need that 1 point of extra strength to come from my theme. I could just as easily get 1 point to any other stat I've bought and then used THAT extra point to up my strength. So this character could be, an ace pilot, a bounty hunter, a mercenary, an outlaw, a scholar, a space farer, or themeless.

As long as your theme puts points places where you've bought points it's completely mutable. You don't have to pick a theme based on the stat you want to be extra as long as its a stat you've invested in at all.

So, uh, what you're saying is there are some themes you couldn't have that array with, and that it actually makes a difference which one you choose, within a wide range of options? Like, you're not making the character an Icon or a Priest, are you? Because it doesn't quite work out the way you want, right?

Yeah? Awesome! Good talk!

But seriously, the fact that you can take one of many themes, still qualify for the feats you want, and have a wide variety of flavor options is a really, really GOOD thing for Starfinder!


Dracomicron wrote:

But seriously, the fact that you can take one of many themes, still qualify for the feats you want, and have a wide variety of flavor options is a really, really GOOD thing for Starfinder!

I'm not saying that it's good or bad (there are positives and negatives to it)

I'm saying that which stat boost the theme gives you is almost irrelevant. When making your character you can just about ignore it, so picking a theme because of the stat it provides is almost a trap option. Ignore the stat pick the theme whos abilities you want.


I guess I don't see it that way. When I'm making characters, I get an idea in my head about what I want the character to be like, and then I look for ways to make it happen. Along the way, I get more ideas based on the options available. The more themes that work, the more grist for the mill of coming up with a fully-realized character.


Dracomicron wrote:
I guess I don't see it that way. When I'm making characters, I get an idea in my head about what I want the character to be like, and then I look for ways to make it happen. Along the way, I get more ideas based on the options available. The more themes that work, the more grist for the mill of coming up with a fully-realized character.

What about the idea that you have almost total freedom to ignore stats in the Themes and pick the theme that fits your concept best is contradictory to that?


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
I guess I don't see it that way. When I'm making characters, I get an idea in my head about what I want the character to be like, and then I look for ways to make it happen. Along the way, I get more ideas based on the options available. The more themes that work, the more grist for the mill of coming up with a fully-realized character.
What about the idea that you have almost total freedom to ignore stats in the Themes and pick the theme that fits your concept best is contradictory to that?

Nothing! The difference is that I see it as an opportunity to make the mechanics work for me, while you see it as a flaw in the system. It's a matter of outlook.


Dracomicron wrote:


Nothing! The difference is that I see it as an opportunity to make the mechanics work for me, while you see it as a flaw in the system. It's a matter of outlook.

Those aren't mutually exclusive.

The opportunity is the freedom.

The flaw is that because the stat looks so important people pick their theme based on what stat they want to be highest. Then once they understand the system feel a little tricked by that.


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I can't change how people feel.

I can only try to help them understand that it isn't a bad thing.


Dracomicron wrote:

I can't change how people feel.

I can only try to help them understand that it isn't a bad thing.

If you steer them around the trap they won't feel bad about walking into it.


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I choose the theme to fit the theme that I want my character to have, not for the bonus.


People actually care about the stat boost? 90% of the time I just picked what went best flavor wise with the character I wanted to make.


Starfinder Superscriber

I think that's what you're "supposed" to do. Want to play a space pirate, pick space pirate. Want to play a mercenary, pick mercenary.

I still think if you make the stat boosts good enough to matter (beyond where they already do), you'll see people flock to certain ones even more than they already are.


The stat boosts are only a minor sprinkle of sauce on the proverbial flavour. @BigNorseWolf is basically asking why you need that spritz of Tabasco when you already have ketchup on those eggs. If you have to ask, ain't no point in explaining...


Because Tabasco tastes really bad? :P

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