What's the point of Constitution?


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What's the point of Constitution?

Here's a stat that seems unnecessary. It's the reward for players who overspecialize and ignore other stats – and it's not that great at that either, particularly in a system with limited attributes as this.

The retroactive gaining of HP when CON is boosted seems like antiquated design.

Fortitude saves are a thing, but wouldn't it be easier to tie Fortitude with Strength? I know that being buff doesn't make your immune system better, but, kept within the realms of common expectations, the hale and hearty usually have a good deal of strength too.

Dunno, just seems to me like there's not much there for CON to do.


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A great weight-lifter may have practically no endurance. A marathon runner may struggle to lift even moderate weights. Physical power and endurance are definitely not tied too closely together.

It is, basically, a question of whether a character wants to be better at offense or survival. It also separates things so you don't have a ton of muscle wizards running around... because most characters want good HP and Fort Saves, even if they're back-line casters. XD

Liberty's Edge

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Bonuses to HP and Fort Saves are very solid things. Having them both tied to the same stat that does all the stuff Str does makes that stat too powerful, and yet separating those two things makes little sense thematically.

Shadow Lodge

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It would be more on par with PF1 Dexterity though, so that's a thought.


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I actually agree Constitution isn't really a necessary stat in a vacuum. But it is one of those legacy things they won't get rid of this decade, because it is important that the game still look like Pathfinder/D&D.

This same reasoning is why we have ability scores when all we really need is modifiers, for example.


Fort saves and HP are a pretty big thing so I don't think it should be removed by any means but I agree there could be a few more uses for it. Maybe some high level feats that give resistance or limited healing based on Con. Maybe key how many potions you can drink off of Con instead of resonance or just bring back the old concentrate skill for spellcasters (that might just be a fort save though).

Liberty's Edge

Dragonborn3 wrote:
It would be more on par with PF1 Dexterity though, so that's a thought.

Dexterity having received a power downgrade in PF2 is one of the several good things about PF2, though.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
It would be more on par with PF1 Dexterity though, so that's a thought.
Dexterity having received a power downgrade in PF2 is one of the several good things about PF2, though.

It has? It seemed that dex-to-damage was a thing, at least for Merisiel.

If anything, it's made strength more irrelevant...


Mekkis wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
It would be more on par with PF1 Dexterity though, so that's a thought.
Dexterity having received a power downgrade in PF2 is one of the several good things about PF2, though.

It has? It seemed that dex-to-damage was a thing, at least for Merisiel.

If anything, it's made strength more irrelevant...

This is blatantly false.

Dexterity's big pulls were AC, Reflex Saves, Initiative, and Dex-based Skill Checks.

AC via Dexterity is largely irrelevant in PF1 until the absolute endgame, where having a 13 Dexterity modifier with Bracers of Armor actually begins to outpull a +5 Full Plate in terms of AC. And it's not like those with the highest Strength will have bad Dexterity either. A 14 or 16 Dexterity is actually pretty respectable compared to an 18 Dexterity, which is really only wanted on Rogues and Monks at this point. Reflex Saves are likewise dulled down simply because of better-balanced attribute allocation allowing for less disparity, combined with magic armor now improving AC in addition to saves (CLoak of Resistance got baked in there).

Initiative is a completely different animal. Instead of Dexterity being the key attribute for Dexterity, it is a flat Perception check, meaning Dexterity's biggest pull is minisculed unless you are performing an action that requires Dexterity to perform, and Dex-based skill checks are resolved through lack of disparity, as well as proficiency attributes and dfferent opportunities where having Dexterity to Initiative may not always be the case.

The way I see it, Dexterity has been knocked down a few pegs to let other attributes shine.


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Mekkis wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
It would be more on par with PF1 Dexterity though, so that's a thought.
Dexterity having received a power downgrade in PF2 is one of the several good things about PF2, though.

It has? It seemed that dex-to-damage was a thing, at least for Merisiel.

If anything, it's made strength more irrelevant...

We have only seen Dex to damage on the rogue though, so it might be class locked.

Other ways Dex has been nerfed (or strength has been buffed):

- No longer strictly the stat for initiative.
- Plus Potency weapons now multiply damage die. Finesse weapons have lower damage die. Ergo, they hit for substantially less damage.
- In general it is just easier to keep both strength and dex (plus 2 other stats) scaling and competitive, so there is less incentive to pursue a SAD course
- Dex isn't the predominant factor in touch AC anymore-- Armor adds a hefty bonus to TAC, plus shield, level, and proficiency rank.
- Bulk being simpler to track may mean encumbrance is actually enforced
- At least one armor exists with a +0 max dex bonus, so some heavy armor characters may just leave it at 10.


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While in PF1e, I'd agree that Str and Con might be better combined into one stat, PF2e fixes this issue a good deal, as far as I've seen. Damage dice matter more, so dice that aren't finesse weapons are going to scale weaker than a d12 will. And Con seems weaker in 2e, given that it's a smaller portion of HP, but we also know that saving throws will be rebalanced, with the new paradigm of 4-tiered success, so I'd suspect fort saving throws to be as meaningful as will saves were in 1e. I can see the issues of Dex being the UberStat, but I don't think that will be the same in 2e, and given that, I think keeping separate Con and Str, and having each keep their reason for being, is reasonable.

If I were to make any change in the ability scores, It'd probably be that Dex isn't split into something like agility (for AC and stealth and acrobatics, ect) and deftness (for finesse weapons, and Disable Device and Sleight of hand), not that Str and Con should be combined.

Liberty's Edge

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Mekkis wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
It would be more on par with PF1 Dexterity though, so that's a thought.
Dexterity having received a power downgrade in PF2 is one of the several good things about PF2, though.

It has? It seemed that dex-to-damage was a thing, at least for Merisiel.

If anything, it's made strength more irrelevant...

We have only seen Dex to damage on the rogue though, so it might be class locked.

Other ways Dex has been nerfed (or strength has been buffed):

- No longer strictly the stat for initiative.
- Plus Potency weapons now multiply damage die. Finesse weapons have lower damage die. Ergo, they hit for substantially less damage.
- In general it is just easier to keep both strength and dex (plus 2 other stats) scaling and competitive, so there is less incentive to pursue a SAD course
- Dex isn't the predominant factor in touch AC anymore-- Armor adds a hefty bonus to TAC, plus shield, level, and proficiency rank.
- Bulk being simpler to track may mean encumbrance is actually enforced
- At least one armor exists with a +0 max dex bonus, so some heavy armor characters may just leave it at 10.

This is mostly correct, and why I said Dex was less powerful, though I'll note that high Dex still results in higher TAC than low Dex.

Someone with max Dex and a Chain Shirt has a TAC of only one point lower than their normal AC. Someone in Grey Maiden Plate has a TAC 4 points lower than their normal AC, and evidence suggests that their normal AC will be within a point or so of each other. Level is still a much bigger component of TAC than anything else, of course.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
The retroactive gaining of HP when CON is boosted seems like antiquated design.

I'd have said the opposite. This sort of thing sounds more antiquated to me:

GM: "You are infused with the power of the bear. Gain a +4 bonus to your Constitution, up to a maximum of 19."
Player: "Cool. How much HP do I gain?"
GM: "None. Only your Constitution at the time of level up matters."
Player: "How come when my Strength goes up I get stronger, but when my Constitution goes up I don't get harder to kill?"
GM: "The rules aren't there for your benefit."


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We could combine Con and Str, but we could also combine Wis and Cha or Dex and Int. Anybody up for a 3 attributes game?


Why not a two-stat game?
A character sheet could look like this:

P+4
M-1

That means for all 'physical' rolls I get d20+4, and for all 'mental' rolls I get d20-1.


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We could go full Skyrim and remove ability score all together and just use proficiency levels.

"It does not matter to M'aiq how strong or smart one is. It only matters what one can do."


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Bring back Comeliness.


It could be a third possible attack stat, if the modern classification of martial arts styles (most notably in boxing) is considered applicable to weapon-combat. A slugger uses strength, an out-fighter uses dexterity, and a swarmer uses constitution. Not that I imagine that would be especially popular as an option.


Bluenose wrote:
It could be a third possible attack stat

Please no, that way lies the 4th Ed deal of, hey, I can use my X score for everything! Int to hit, and nonsense like that.


Gah I hated the Tri-stat system.


Chest Rockwell wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
It could be a third possible attack stat
Please no, that way lies the 4th Ed deal of, hey, I can use my X score for everything! Int to hit, and nonsense like that.

Are you going to refute all the boxing coaches and analysts who've described the three primary fighting styles I described, or just object to it because it reminds you of 4e and therefore is automatically 'nonsense'?


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Bluenose wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
It could be a third possible attack stat
Please no, that way lies the 4th Ed deal of, hey, I can use my X score for everything! Int to hit, and nonsense like that.
Are you going to refute all the boxing coaches and analysts who've described the three primary fighting styles I described

That was not a convincing argument for Con as an attack score, and I guess unfortunately does not help the obvious agenda (been how many years, now?).


Constitution was always a stat you wanted a little of but didn't really need too much, if you know what I mean. 12-16 seemed to come up the most often in my game, It rarely got raised except by chance magic item, or for a few very specific builds. But, I don't think as a ability score it was completely pointless either. Dexterity was and by the looks of it still is a problem, at my table we called it the super attribute.


Phantasmist wrote:
Dexterity was and by the looks of it still is a problem, at my table we called it the super attribute.

Yes, but they seem to have elevated it somewhat by detaching it from Initiative as standard. Dex to damage is a problem in 5th Ed, for me and mine.


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Constitution is needed the second you roll a kineticist...


I would be in favor of removing COS only if the HP bonus where to be class-factored and not stat-factored. This would go a long way to further distinguish the survaivability of the classes, lower the SAD issues (because most of the SAD issues steems from the fact that SAD classes can invest more in COS and other secondary usefull stats), and give STR some more oomph by tying it to the fortitude save.

Grand Lodge

As a player of dwarves i like the way constitution plays in character creation.

I like that my dwarf barbarian is not quite as strong as the half orc but a little more durable. Or have a crossbow ranger who is pretty durable.

If you bundle con with strength you lose a lot of interesting differences.

The only gripe i have with Con in the new edition is that it is so minimized with the new max hp rules. I actually wish they doubled Con's hp bonus to scale it the same.


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Double Con to HP doesn't sound terrible. It also seems weird that con isn't involved with the dying checks.

Liberty's Edge

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Captain Morgan wrote:
It also seems weird that con isn't involved with the dying checks.

It is. The checks to avoid dying are Fortitude Saves.


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Con would make sense as the stat for anything flavored around stamina or energy. Say you have a stamina rating equal to 1/4 your Con, rounded down.

Base spell points? Rounds of rage before your cycle ends? Minutes you can sprint or hold your breath for free? Days you can go without food or water? All equal to your Stamina rating.

If they really still want to limit drinking potions, Con also makes way more sense as that limiting factor instead of Cha. Your Stamina rating in potions per hour (not per day) before you have to start rolling potion miscibility.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
It also seems weird that con isn't involved with the dying checks.
It is. The checks to avoid dying are Fortitude Saves.

Ah, I must have been confusing it with Resonance checks and 5e.


Fuzzypaws wrote:

Con would make sense as the stat for anything flavored around stamina or energy. Say you have a stamina rating equal to 1/4 your Con, rounded down.

Base spell points? Rounds of rage before your cycle ends? Minutes you can sprint or hold your breath for free? Days you can go without food or water? All equal to your Stamina rating.

If they really still want to limit drinking potions, Con also makes way more sense as that limiting factor instead of Cha. Your Stamina rating in potions per hour (not per day) before you have to start rolling potion miscibility.

I mostly agree with this, possibly with some minor tweaks.

On another note I like hp dependent on con(as well as class) as that frees up more varied character design. ie: Tank Wizard or delicate fighter etc.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
We could combine Con and Str, but we could also combine Wis and Cha or Dex and Int. Anybody up for a 3 attributes game?

I will like that, leave the game with 4 abilities: Str, Dex, Int, and Wis


I say str, dex, stamina, int, wits, perception, charisma, manipulation, appearance. all of em starts at one you have 15 points go!

Liberty's Edge

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I say str, dex, stamina, int, wits, perception, charisma, manipulation, appearance. all of em starts at one you have 15 points go!

I always liked White Wolf games. :)

I think that particular set of stats are better suited to a less combat oriented game than Pathfinder, though.


Yeah the stats have a way of really flavoring a game and letting you know what to expect. system as 4-6 social related stats you better expect a lot of social interaction.

I always felt tri-stat was to simple however. I think it was mind body and spirit. to many characters with different concepts still ended up looking the same.

I think D&D and PF is a good medium for a much more combat heavy game. And yes comeliness had to go I can say after 12 years of playing with it we never used it for anything ever.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
And yes comeliness had to go I can say after 12 years of playing with it we never used it for anything ever.

Of course it did, but kudos for sticking with it for 12-years, colour me impressed, not Badd!


If you want a comeliness/attractiveness stat then you can play Hackmaster. Maybe someone will finally let me subject them to Hackmaster.

Edit to say something on topic: it seems like fort saves are now more important under the prevailing death and dying rules. That may make up for the decreased relative value of the few extra hit points that your con mod grants. There are certainly other fantasy RPGs that have essentially folded con and strength together though and they work fine so there is probably a rejiggered version of PF2E that could do the same.

I am not sure if I would prefer that, though. The 6 stat system balance gives you more places to tweak your builds and it does let me play decadent alcoholic wizards who never learned how to bench.


Chest Rockwell wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
And yes comeliness had to go I can say after 12 years of playing with it we never used it for anything ever.
Of course it did, but kudos for sticking with it for 12-years, colour me impressed, not Badd!

First edition with an older timer DM stuck in his ways. Even he said yeah that stat is useless but we still rolled up. XD


The reason d20 has Constitution and Wisdom is so that it's not GURPS (which rolls one into Strength and the other into Intelligence).


Excaliburproxy wrote:
If you want a comeliness/attractiveness stat then you can play Hackmaster. Maybe someone will finally let me subject them to Hackmaster.

Lol I always thought of hackmaster as a parody of 1st/2nd edition D&D. like an intentional satire of the system. (In fact I think that was the actual intent right?)


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
If you want a comeliness/attractiveness stat then you can play Hackmaster. Maybe someone will finally let me subject them to Hackmaster.
Lol I always thought of hackmaster as a parody of 1st/2nd edition D&D. like an intentional satire of the system. (In fact I think that was the actual intent right?)

It is a satire of like 1 through 3.

The joke only works because it is actually a weirdly coherent ruleset with its own unique flaws and merits. The joke is that the joke game is actually kinda fun. The same thing is true of Dungeons the Dragonning: 40k, IMO.

If those games were not fully working games then what is the point?

Liberty's Edge

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
If you want a comeliness/attractiveness stat then you can play Hackmaster. Maybe someone will finally let me subject them to Hackmaster.
Lol I always thought of hackmaster as a parody of 1st/2nd edition D&D. like an intentional satire of the system. (In fact I think that was the actual intent right?)

That's pretty much the whole point of Hackmaster, yes.

EDIT: Though as Excaliburproxy notes, it is also a functional game.


Captain Morgan wrote:
We have only seen Dex to damage on the rogue though, so it might be class locked.

We can only hope - though it does make me nervous regarding multi-classing, in case it lets that blight escape its cage.


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dysartes wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
We have only seen Dex to damage on the rogue though, so it might be class locked.
We can only hope - though it does make me nervous regarding multi-classing, in case it lets that blight escape its cage.

Dex to damage is probably fine given that in PF2 a +3 Greatsword is going to do, on average, 12 more damage per hit than a +3 Rapier, instead of 3.5 like it did in PF1.

Aesthetically it's not great but low damage dice on finesse weapons is going to keep it in check.


I hope they keep Con the way it is. The very definition of constitution is health and vitality. Sure, strength is a factor of that, but so is agility. A sickly person isn't going to do a tumbling routine.

And I admit I haven't been following the blogs about PF2, but I've noticed that some people here are saying that they want HP bonuses to be class-based. Is HP going to be gained a different way in PF2? Because in PF1, gaining HP is already class-based. Big difference between a wizard's d6 and a paladin's d10 hit die. Con-based HP bonuses are what can make up for that so the wizard doesn't get killed by a single hit if an opponent gets around the paladin.

Liberty's Edge

Heather 540 wrote:
I hope they keep Con the way it is. The very definition of constitution is health and vitality. Sure, strength is a factor of that, but so is agility. A sickly person isn't going to do a tumbling routine.

Agreed.

Heather 540 wrote:
And I admit I haven't been following the blogs about PF2, but I've noticed that some people here are saying that they want HP bonuses to be class-based. Is HP going to be gained a different way in PF2? Because in PF1, gaining HP is already class-based. Big difference between a wizard's d6 and a paladin's d10 hit die. Con-based HP bonuses are what can make up for that so the wizard doesn't get killed by a single hit if an opponent gets around the paladin.

It's flat numbers rather than dice (Fighters get 10 HP per level plus Con Mod, Wizards get 6, Clerics get 8, etc.) but yes, HP is already Class based in PF2.


Yes, Str and Con are different things, like those little skinny dudes that can run for 2 days and never get sick, they have high Con, but are not necessarily strong (like punching out a camel).


For sure str and con are different enough to remain separate.

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