The STR / DEX Dichotomy in 5E


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Meophist wrote:
A possible solution: Ability Feats.

This reminds me of something.

I really don't think the 1E Power Attack feat was healthy for the game. However, it did have one positive: It made even DEX builds think about 13 STR.

Or it made Dex builds consider Piranha Strike as a feat instead.

Which, unless you were a UCRogue using an Elven Curved Blade, was equally attractive as an option.


Unicore wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:


I'd love Finesse Striker to be renamed and give +2 flat to agile or finesse, so STR Rogues are still a thing.

But I can't help thinking that the game WILL have a DEX-to-damage option regardless whether its good for the system or not.

Maybe, but I think the way to fight it is to make sure the alternative options keep dex-based builds viable and doing damage, while simultaneously cutting down on generic options that allow attribute switching. The developers have realized that flat +CHA to saves and AC have not turned out well and the ability to acquire them must at least be staggered so you cant get the whole bonus with one feat or level dip. This should be true for every attribute switching ability.

Can't favorite this enough.

Grey Star wrote:
Disparity was one of your points in the original post. If I replace «disparity» by «problem» in my post, can you give an answer to my question?

I think Talek & Luna's reply is pretty much the state of things – STR is pidgeon-holed into a single optimal strategy, whereas DEX has variety. Furthermore, DEX characters gain nothing of STR.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Meophist wrote:
A possible solution: Ability Feats.

This reminds me of something.

I really don't think the 1E Power Attack feat was healthy for the game. However, it did have one positive: It made even DEX builds think about 13 STR.

Or it made Dex builds consider Piranha Strike as a feat instead.

Which, unless you were a UCRogue using an Elven Curved Blade, was equally attractive as an option.

Piranha Strike didn't work with Rapier or Scimitar, the 2 most popular Dex-to-Damage weapons to build around (Dervish Dance and Inspired Blade Fencing Grace dip)


I don't think this is something you can solve without changing the paradigms of each attribute.

The biggest benefit to Dexterity, which is Initiative bonuses, has been basically cut except for certain circumstances, which is in an of itself a major boon for Strength builds. In addition, in some circumstances, characters can use Strength for Initiative as well, so on that front, it's balanced.

On top of that, you still have to spend feats for this, meaning there is still opportunity cost for this sort of thing to begin with. Do people value their feat(s) more than their attributes? It's hard to say.

This is also especially true since modifiers will be a smaller part of your damage in the higher levels, when you're running around with +5 Weapons (6D12+8 is going to be much more attractive than 6D6+8), and with the ability to both make numerous attacks and improve your attributes being severely limited in this version (at best, you can get a 24 or 26, which matches the +8 described above), the idea that Dexterity to Damage will slaughter Strength builds through sheer modifiers is physically impossible to reach in this edition.

In this edition, the biggest benefits that Dexterity will have are AC bonuses and Reflex Saves. The former was already defeated in PF1 through basic armor scaling, with Dexterity not winning out until the absolute endgame, and Reflex Saves being a joke since Rocket Tag was a thing, and even with basic saves you could just tank such hits anyway. As far as I know, MDB is still a thing in PF2. The biggest change is Reflex Saves, where having bad Reflex Saves means you will intrinsically take more damage/issues from effects that require Reflex Saves, but there are ways to invest in Saves without having a crazy modifier to Dexterity and still be able to take enough hits without screwing yourself.

In short, I don't think there really is (or more accurately in my perspective, was) a dichotomy; at least, not anymore there isn't. A lot of the Strength Versus Dexterity issues are gone, so now we have a Strength Or Dexterity paradigm, which is precisely what the game needs.


ChibiNyan wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Meophist wrote:
A possible solution: Ability Feats.

This reminds me of something.

I really don't think the 1E Power Attack feat was healthy for the game. However, it did have one positive: It made even DEX builds think about 13 STR.

Or it made Dex builds consider Piranha Strike as a feat instead.

Which, unless you were a UCRogue using an Elven Curved Blade, was equally attractive as an option.

Piranha Strike didn't work with Rapier or Scimitar, the 2 most popular Dex-to-Damage weapons to build around (Dervish Dance and Inspired Blade Fencing Grace dip)

I wouldn't say the two most popular. They are two popular ones, but certainly not the most (at least in general, possibly in PFS though).

Of course, the Magus one didn't need Power Attack (they were only 3/4 BAB), and the Inspired Blade had other means to improve their damage without Power Attack, so in both cases it was never particularly worth the investment.


ChibiNyan wrote:
Piranha Strike didn't work with Rapier or Scimitar, the 2 most popular Dex-to-Damage weapons to build around (Dervish Dance and Inspired Blade Fencing Grace dip)

Unless you apply effortless lace, thereby daring the GM to put the kibosh on your cheesy damage build by breaking your incredibly fragile 2500 gp item.

Every part of the above causes problems and should in no way inspire PF2 design besides "don't do that".


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

But the way 5e does it is more fun.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Bardarok wrote:
I only played one 5e game but it went on for a while and we had some turnover so there were a total of nine different players who made characters while I was part of it. Eight of them dumped Str to 8.

I have a number of 5E characters, and have dumped STR, DEX, CHA, & INT. I just need two more characters so that I can dump WIS (should be fine) and CON (okay, that one will be tough).

However, I currently GM a 5E game. 3 of my PCs dumped STR, and the 4th has a 13, which is the minimum to be a multiclassed Paladin, so for all intents and purposes, he dumped it, too. :/


Dexterity to damage with finesse weapons wasn't that bad in 5e. i played several games of it, strength and dexterity builds have similar accuracy, strength builds were ahead by a point or more of armor class, strength weapons have larger damage dice, and dexterity builds were only five feet faster at most,

Silver Crusade

the is not D+D 5E it is Pathfinder 2E. Please limit your threads to Pathfinder2E.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
dragonhunterq wrote:
MusicAddict wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:

So it's fine for a caster to go all in on e.g. wisdom and ignore intelligence, but a martial can't go all in on dex and ignore strength (or vice versa)?

Dex to damage should be a legitimate option without requiring some notional lip service to strength.

I oppose this, and would ask the developers to relax their general opposition to easily available dex to damage.

If it offends your sensibilities keep some parity between the stats in your own characters, don't spoil the fun for those of us who are not opposed to the idea.

Dex to damage is a cancer that reduces any concept that likes dex to the same exact array. There's no variety in dex to damage, no decision making, no choice. Every class/concept should have primary, and probably a secondary( this is proving true in 2e) if that second stat is that important... ( Which is pretty true of every caster so far). After that you should have a choice in your stats. If you should want more damage in martial combat and more carrying capacity? Go strength. You don't need more? Feel free to pick what you feel you need.

I want pathfinder second edition to run with 0 straight stat replacement options including dex to damage or alchemists int to resonance.

Yeah, I dislike immensely flat arrays. I like spikes and dips in ability scores. I don't want sensible, homogenous or realistic. I want fantastic. It's a preference.

I have never noticed easy dex to damage overtake strength builds in practice, it has not unbalanced the game anything close to the issues caused by any full caster.

Not a fan of flat arrays either unless my characters demand it,nor am I a fan of spires, I prefer stats with peaks and valleys. I like having a character with an amazing stat, a fairly good stat, 2 decent stats and 2 lackluster, though I do like to change that up. When you make Strength completely unimportant for anyone who gets access to Finesse Striker... suddenly they'll see a 10 strength character who's impressive in everything else with smart ability score distribution, more of a plateau overlooking a deep hole.

All dex to damage does, with the number of ones I've seen (I've seen far more players with dex with dex to damage builds than I have regular strength builds, but that's an anecdotal and a quality of the group I play with), is promote that any character that would use dexterity as their primary stat make the "choice" to neglect strength as much as the rest of the group would let them get away with. They usually always neglected their encumbrance outside of their original character sheet creation. This isn't really about "Fantastic" or "Realistic" it's more about meaningful choice and consequence.

I want to feel like having a finesse character investing in strength to be an actual choice rather than "You're being stupid for not just dipping rogue/grabbing dex to damage for a melee Dex-fighter". I want my level 15 bard to be able to look like S16 D20 Co14 I12 W14 Ch21(23) because they're able to hold their own in a fight, but if I have access to dex to damage... they should probably just look like S10 D20 Co16 I14 W16 Ch21(23), and suddenly every melee bard starts looking pretty similar, only difference is whether you want better int or wis, unless you REALLY want to push for a melee strength bard.


I like the idea of potentially merging Strength and Constitution, although that's a change that would require a lot of work. This would mean that investing in Strength will give you HP and Fort saves, while investing in Dexterity will give you AC and Reflex saves, so they each give you defense in a different way.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
RangerWickett wrote:
I like the idea of reducing ACP with Strength.
I'm also a big fan of this (combined with a modest increase in ACP...like 1-2 for most armor). It makes good logical sense and is pretty well balanced.

I also like this.

How Strength could matter:
* Make heavy armor provide higher AC than light armor. Whethr it's a difference of +1 or +2 I don't know. But make it so that heavy armor proficiency actually gives you a better armor class and not simply remove the need to have a high dex.
* Allow thrown weapons to use strength for the attack roll.
* Allow ranged weapons to add strength to damage for some of them.
* Reduce ACP by your strength mod.
* Used for high damage melee attack rolls and damage rolls.

How Dexterity could matter:
* Used for ranged attack rolls.
* Used for low damage melee attack rolls.
* Used for AC
* Used for meaningful skills (stealth, thievery, acrobatics?)
* Used for reflex saves

If +1 or +2 AC really does have such a big impact as reducing DPR by 50% then the above could work out. However I'm not sure if heavy armor is better than light armor, heavy armor also comes with a movement penalty (and I don't know what value +5 feet of movement has in PF2e) and it requires proficiency vs just getting the AC.

I really do think the problem here is dex to damage. I still don't think it's a good option. If we must give dex rogue's a boost then I'd rather see something like this:
Rogue's Agility (Class 1)
Benefit: When you use a finesse weapon increase your sneak attack die by +1d6.

It on average gives you the same damage boost you'd get at level 1, you could make it scale with level if you REALLY wanted to. It also quarantines the ability to specifically the rogue.


Meophist wrote:
I like the idea of potentially merging Strength and Constitution, although that's a change that would require a lot of work. This would mean that investing in Strength will give you HP and Fort saves, while investing in Dexterity will give you AC and Reflex saves, so they each give you defense in a different way.

It would more sense to merge strength and dex. Just move encumbrance over to constitution and call it good.


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ErichAD wrote:
Meophist wrote:
I like the idea of potentially merging Strength and Constitution, although that's a change that would require a lot of work. This would mean that investing in Strength will give you HP and Fort saves, while investing in Dexterity will give you AC and Reflex saves, so they each give you defense in a different way.
It would more sense to merge strength and dex. Just move encumbrance over to constitution and call it good.

People like to build fantasy archetypes, and characters who are strong but not dexterous, or very dexterous but not strong, are fairly common archetypes and they probably should be able to be represented. On the other hand, a character who is strong but not durable feels a bit weirder.


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I get where you're coming from, but looking at the archetypes without thinking about stats specifically, I see size as the difference more than anything else. I can think of a few clumsy strong dudes, but the little agile dudes tend to be strong as hell just more compact. The link people make from dexterity to speed seems to make that clear.

As a side note: Linking constitution directly to size would have some weird effects, but I think I may try it out to see what I can do with it. We'd have our size based encumberance increase, damage increase from weapon size increase, it could be pretty cool and would cover the brutish strength type character.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I want to be able to create a melee character that has high DEX, good CON, likely some good mental stats, an average or lower STR and that stays relevant and fun to play in actual PF2 combat, notably thanks to his high DEX

Note that this character should be able to significantly contribute to victory, ie not be all about defense at the expense of relevant offense

And this without being chained to a class or a weapon

I am open to all ways that allow for this kind of character

I am strongly opposed to anything that makes such a character impossible to create

And I feel that forbidding DEX to damage makes such a character completely irrelevant in melee combat


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But making a stat do everything another stat does and more makes that stat irrelevant. I think the compromise is that you would do less damage for a dex build but be harder to hit. 1-4(6?) less damage for that much more AC. If you give to much away from str might as well drop the stat completely.

now the finesse weapons all doing less damage isn't a bad start. If it requires a feat to be finesse then at least the str build get an extra feat. There a thin line in there somewhere.


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The Raven Black wrote:

I want to be able to create a melee character that has high DEX, good CON, likely some good mental stats, an average or lower STR and that stays relevant and fun to play in actual PF2 combat, notably thanks to his high DEX

Note that this character should be able to significantly contribute to victory, ie not be all about defense at the expense of relevant offense

And this without being chained to a class or a weapon

I am open to all ways that allow for this kind of character

I am strongly opposed to anything that makes such a character impossible to create

And I feel that forbidding DEX to damage makes such a character completely irrelevant in melee combat

So you want to be able to dump Str with no conciquences and are strongly opposed to any game design that makes choosing between Dex and Str a meaningful choices. Probably just removing Str from the system will be your best bet. Just make atheltics and carrying capacity based on Con.


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For once I agree with vidmaster.

The Raven Black wrote:
And I feel that forbidding DEX to damage makes such a character completely irrelevant in melee combat

Over the life of a character dex to damage is going to negate between +4 and +8 damage (I'm guessing here) per attack. MOST of the damage is going to come from weapon damage once you get a +1 weapon.

In return for losing +4 to damage you get:
* A better reflex save
* Potentially as good AC
* Better modifiers for dex based skills (stealth, thievery, acrobatics)
* Better ranged attack to hit

We don't know what the feats look like, but this could all more than adequately make up for reduced damage. Even if it didn't, you could just use a special ability that lets someone add +1[W] to their damage in place of strength mod when using a finesse weapon. Alternatively you could reduce DR by 5 (or whatever the PF2e equivalent is) and get a similar result.

Dex to damage is a lazy solution and is one that makes strength and dexterity feel like they're the same score.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

For once I agree with vidmaster.

The Raven Black wrote:
And I feel that forbidding DEX to damage makes such a character completely irrelevant in melee combat

Over the life of a character dex to damage is going to negate between +4 and +8 damage (I'm guessing here) per attack. MOST of the damage is going to come from weapon damage once you get a +1 weapon.

In return for losing +4 to damage you get:
* A better reflex save
* Potentially as good AC
* Better modifiers for dex based skills (stealth, thievery, acrobatics)
* Better ranged attack to hit

We don't know what the feats look like, but this could all more than adequately make up for reduced damage. Even if it didn't, you could just use a special ability that lets someone add +1[W] to their damage in place of strength mod when using a finesse weapon. Alternatively you could reduce DR by 5 (or whatever the PF2e equivalent is) and get a similar result.

Dex to damage is a lazy solution and is one that makes strength and dexterity feel like they're the same score.

O_O

Holy cow

I actually agree with you on something. I need to go sit down. Oh I am sitting...


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Bardarok wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

I want to be able to create a melee character that has high DEX, good CON, likely some good mental stats, an average or lower STR and that stays relevant and fun to play in actual PF2 combat, notably thanks to his high DEX

Note that this character should be able to significantly contribute to victory, ie not be all about defense at the expense of relevant offense

And this without being chained to a class or a weapon

I am open to all ways that allow for this kind of character

I am strongly opposed to anything that makes such a character impossible to create

And I feel that forbidding DEX to damage makes such a character completely irrelevant in melee combat

So you want to be able to dump Str with no conciquences and are strongly opposed to any game design that makes choosing between Dex and Str a meaningful choices. Probably just removing Str from the system will be your best bet. Just make atheltics and carrying capacity based on Con.

No I want to choose between the two and not have dex be significantly worse because ... reasons?

Dex to damage is not hard to achieve in PF, especially if you allow deadly agility from path of war, and dex to damage is still not optimal. It is however fun to build around.


dragonhunterq wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

I want to be able to create a melee character that has high DEX, good CON, likely some good mental stats, an average or lower STR and that stays relevant and fun to play in actual PF2 combat, notably thanks to his high DEX

Note that this character should be able to significantly contribute to victory, ie not be all about defense at the expense of relevant offense

And this without being chained to a class or a weapon

I am open to all ways that allow for this kind of character

I am strongly opposed to anything that makes such a character impossible to create

And I feel that forbidding DEX to damage makes such a character completely irrelevant in melee combat

So you want to be able to dump Str with no conciquences and are strongly opposed to any game design that makes choosing between Dex and Str a meaningful choices. Probably just removing Str from the system will be your best bet. Just make atheltics and carrying capacity based on Con.

No I want to choose between the two and not have dex be significantly worse because ... reasons?

Dex to damage is not hard to achieve in PF, especially if you allow deadly agility from path of war, and dex to damage is still not optimal. It is however fun to build around.

Dex is better in like so many ways and then you want it to subsume Strs kick as well. I think at that point just combine the two. I mean arguably they can be considered the same thing. Its just the difference between red muscle and white muscle. Its not what I want for my games but I won't tell you how to play. I'm ok with dex being an option but If it shouldn't completely replace another stat.


dragonhunterq wrote:
dex to damage is still not optimal. It is however fun to build around.

Dex to damage is not optimal because 1.5 times strength and power attack bonus exists. Both of these appear to be absent in PF2e, so therefore Dex to damage would increase dramatically in power compared with Strength to damage.


Damage from strength users will not come from huge static bonuses, since PF2 has done away with that. Instead, it will come from big weapon dice and various feats/class features.

Dex users are out "big weapon dice" but I don't see why the bulk of their damage can't likewise come from feats/features, since dex-to-damage won't be adding more than like 4-8 damage per hit anyway, and we likely won't see blender "make a ton of attack" builds in PF2 with the new action economy.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Damage from strength users will not come from huge static bonuses, since PF2 has done away with that. Instead, it will come from big weapon dice and various feats/class features.

Dex users are out "big weapon dice" but I don't see why the bulk of their damage can't likewise come from feats/features, since dex-to-damage won't be adding more than like 4-8 damage per hit anyway, and we likely won't see blender "make a ton of attack" builds in PF2 with the new action economy.

Like I think the lines going to be really hard to draw. I realize if a dex based weapon is maxed out at a d6 and a str based is a d12 once you get pluses you start getting 4d6 vrs 4d12. so that helps. I think I personally would of just gave a passive damage bonus to the class instead of dex to damage so that hey my rogue has a 20 dex and a 14 str and that 14 str still adds +2 to damage so that's ok. instead it makes the stats just sit there and do nothing. I'm even ok with some builds giving dex to damage if they have to but the new rogue it seems that is the default class feature. So the class has no use for str.

So I guess its just a lot of levels and what point is it to far? at what point are you just making them one stat?


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Just a friendly reminder this thread is not about DEX versus STR.

It's about:

  • Dichotomy between strength and dexterity making most builds similar and reducing expression.
  • Lack of applicability of Strength to interest Dexterity users into building well-rounded, thematically fitting characters.

I will echo comments that 4E and 5E putting too much emphasis on stacking a single attribute is one of the causes for their blandness.


I really like the idea to have ST reduce ACP.

However, this may be tricky with the system's tightened maths.

Specifically, let's say that ACP can be ST-reduced by up to 5 points. It wouldn't then be hard to imagine that about twice this range would represent nearly all of the permutations of ST score and ACP penalty, from the lightly-armored and high-ST to the highly-armored but low-ST.

And such a range, perhaps between -0 and -10, seems like it would be at odds with the design axiom that facilitates the RNG to matter for all level-appropriate character die rolls regardless of aptitude, proficiency, circumstance, etc.

If that makes sense...


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The Raven Black wrote:

I want to be able to create a melee character that has high DEX, good CON, likely some good mental stats, an average or lower STR and that stays relevant and fun to play in actual PF2 combat, notably thanks to his high DEX

Note that this character should be able to significantly contribute to victory, ie not be all about defense at the expense of relevant offense

And this without being chained to a class or a weapon

I am open to all ways that allow for this kind of character

I am strongly opposed to anything that makes such a character impossible to create

And I feel that forbidding DEX to damage makes such a character completely irrelevant in melee combat

First of all, I also want more and different types of characters represented in game, as a basic design goal, so in that regard we are on the same page.

My issue with Dex to damage is that it essentializes DPR type damage dealing as the best way to be "able to significantly contribute to victory," and is why so many people feel like it is a lazy option.

With a flat damage bonus for finesse strike, DPR is still one valid rogue build, but it does require an investiture in either STR, or some other feat or build to keep damage up. But it leaves more space open for other valid rogue builds because it is not burying the rogue's success in Maximizing Dexterity at all costs. This goes across the board for attribute replacement stats, it has just become common with Dexterity because of Dexterity's value.

What if a smart dex build (Dex +INT) gets access to critical modifiers that give status effects at higher levels? THat seems like contributing to victory in a very significant way to me, built around having accuracy be meaningful.

Heck even a generic "increase crit damage" feat would work for making the Dex only rogue do more damage in a manner that actually seems to focus on the idea that the graceful combatant is able to make their small blade do serious damage by being able to place it in damaging spots, better than Dex to Damage which feels like such generic damage.

Getting rid of flat damage bonus power attack was a good decision in my book, especially with the value of accuracy being increased in PF2 beyond "did I roll good enough to hit?" I want the same kind of interesting options offered up to what used to be Dex to damage builds, because Dex builds in PF1 often centered around being accurate swinging a blade (or usually 2) as many times as possible, which brings to mind images of someone with a knife in both hands spinning their arms around wildly, not someone accurately placing their attack to do the most damage.


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This is something which has been extensively discussed in my group as well.

Certain systems award different stats differently. Dex-to-damage opens up a classic theme for characters although by design it eliminates strength as earlier pointed out in this thread.

I completely agree that the ideal solution would be that both dex and strength could contribute meaningfully to all characters. In fact, I am a firm believer that ALL stats should provide some kind of benefit to a character for all classes. I want to see charisma based effects for fighters, the "normal fighters" of 1st ed wouldn't have to use them but if someone wanted to make the archetypical leader-fighter seen in many books and movies it would be possible to create that.

Having stats replace eachother is a cheap way of cheating the system to make a class viable, but in the end it does create systemic problems and occasionally break the merger between the system we are playing in and the fantasy story we are trying to emulate.

I would try to tie dexterity into the crit mechanic (thus emulating that rogues are generally good at striking sensitive areas with giving them a boost to critical hits under circumstances where they could land a sneak attack).

Strength would be the main damage bonus and if you truly wanted to maximize damage you would probably need both strength and dex at a high level (although due to class mechanics the ideal relation between the two would vary on case by case) and obviously make sacrifices in other areas.

I would also like to see strength reduce some of the penalties of armor as suggested earlier in this thread. I often find that the combined extra cost of heavy armor, the ACP and the movement restrictions outweigh the benefits in first ed and if nothing else puts a cap on how much dex you want on a character which isn't desirable.

To sum it up: Having more stats matter is good for the system and for diversity. Replacing, capping or ignoring stats should be avoided at all costs.


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Tallow wrote:

I don't think its a valid assertion that most people don't use encumbrance systems.

I've been playing some version of this and other RPG's since 1984, and I have always used encumbrance systems.

My observations have been that folks will employ encumbrance under circumstances where it matters to the story, or when using automation (Hero Lab) where tracking encumbrance is an easy side effect of managing your inventory.

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:

Over the life of a character dex to damage is going to negate between +4 and +8 damage (I'm guessing here) per attack. MOST of the damage is going to come from weapon damage once you get a +1 weapon.

In return for losing +4 to damage you get:
* A better reflex save
* Potentially as good AC
* Better modifiers for dex based skills (stealth, thievery, acrobatics)
* Better ranged attack to hit

Flipping this for a moment, by going Dex over Str if Dex can't add something to damage you lose out on:

*Potentially as good AC (I listed this for symmetry, it's really not abonus to either version)
*A lot of damage. Not just the loss of the stat, but universally lower weapon dice. I think your damage drops by the tune of 13 points even if talking one-handed weapons (a Str guy with a longsword caps out at 34, one with a rapier at 21), with two handed weapons you're doing less than half as much damage (21 vs. 46). That's a huge damage swing. Far too big, IMO
*Better modifier on Athletics (and thus most Combat Maneuvers)
*Ability to carry more stuff

I agree that Dex and Str need to achieve parity, but I don't think removing Dex-to-damage is necessarily the best way to achieve that.

I also don't think that forcing people to have high Str as well as Dex if they want damage is a good choice. Some concepts involve neglecting one or the other, and nobody should be forced to have more than a 10 or 12 in the one they're neglecting to be optimal. Full Plate allows this with ditching Dex. An option for ditching str thus seems entirely reasonable.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
We don't know what the feats look like, but this could all more than adequately make up for reduced damage.

The thing is, even with Dex-to-damage (which is Rogue only at the moment, remember) Dex already loses out on the DPR front. Dropping it again and this drastically has issues.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Even if it didn't, you could just use a special ability that lets someone add +1[W] to their damage in place of strength mod when using a finesse weapon. Alternatively you could reduce DR by 5 (or whatever the PF2e equivalent is) and get a similar result.

DR still exists (well, it's been renamed 'Resistance') but it's a lot rarer, making using it as a balancing factor like this not work too well. And a single weapon die is about half the bonus you can get with adding stat at high levels.

I agree that you could do something other than stat, but I'm not sure coming up with something is worth it.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Dex to damage is a lazy solution and is one that makes strength and dexterity feel like they're the same score.

Dex is a simple solution, and can have this unfortunate result...but different characters having a certain amount of standardization in things like this is good in many ways, since it makes it easier to generalize your mechanical understanding from one character to the next.

I certainly think homogenization can go too far, but I'm not sure if this is an example of it.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
*A lot of damage. Not just the loss of the stat, but universally lower weapon dice. I think your damage drops by the tune of 13 points even if talking one-handed weapons (a Str guy with a longsword caps out at 34, one with a rapier at 21), with two handed weapons you're doing less than half as much damage (21 vs. 46). That's a huge damage swing. Far too big, IMO

I'm assuming you're assuming that 3 attacks are made each round? If so I'd love to see what the DPR is on those rather than just straight damage (after all, -5 and -10 are HUGE penalties if we accept that +1 is meant to be a big and significant bonus).

Deadmanwalking wrote:
*Potentially as good AC (I listed this for symmetry, it's really not abonus to either version)

But it is. Because the fighter spent his proficiencies on heavy armor proficiency (either by the player choosing or it being hardcoded into the class) whereas classes that don't get heavy armor proficiency are instead compensated with other abilities.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
*Better modifier on Athletics (and thus most Combat Maneuvers)

Which only comes up if you want to use them? I've seen plenty of martial characters get by 16 levels without using a single combat maneuver.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
*Ability to carry more stuff

Which is often negated or substantially downplayed by magic items and magic.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
I agree that Dex and Str need to achieve parity, but I don't think removing Dex-to-damage is necessarily the best way to achieve that.

I think there are other ways to boost weapon finesse fighting without going with the boring use your modifier to damage. I even gave examples of how you could do it if you really did HAVE to have that +4 to +8 bonus.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
I certainly think homogenization can go too far, but I'm not sure if this is an example of it.

I disagree. Stats became so much window dressing in 4e and strength became completely irrelevant in 5e. Doing it yet again in PF2e would be a mistake (and one that's been repeated many times before).

Liberty's Edge

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Brock Landers wrote:
We'll see how is pans out in the playtest, apparently the designers already have their eye on it.

I'm aware. :)

Brock Landers wrote:
Hopeful they do a better job than 5th Ed, where one score benefits Initiative, AC, a prime saving throw, good skills, all ranged attacks and some finesse weapons, I do not see the need or it to also dip into damage territory, at least let little old Str have something.

Well, in PF2, Dex is not used for Initiative, so that's one up on 5E right there.

Frankly, given all the things non-Dex scores do, I'd kinda rather boost Str a bit than power down Dex (one of the great things about the 'Str reducing ACP' option).


I like haveing 1/2 dex mod + str mod to damage, up to a maximum of your dex mod. That makes str still impactful for damage, while giving dex characters a boost so they don't fall to far behind.

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
I'm assuming you're assuming that 3 attacks are made each round? If so I'd love to see what the DPR is on those rather than just straight damage (after all, -5 and -10 are HUGE penalties if we accept that +1 is meant to be a big and significant bonus).

Those are per-attack damage numbers at 20th level. DPR would require math, but assuming the same class would probably be multiplied by the same number.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
But it is. Because the fighter spent his proficiencies on heavy armor proficiency (either by the player choosing or it being hardcoded into the class) whereas classes that don't get heavy armor proficiency are instead compensated with other abilities.

There's some truth to that, but it's likewise a Class Ability to use Dex for damage (it's a Rogue specific thing), so picking up Heavy Armor is probably at least as easy as picking up Dex-to-damage.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Which only comes up if you want to use them? I've seen plenty of martial characters get by 16 levels without using a single combat maneuver.

Combat Maneuvers don't provoke in PF2 making them a much better choice, though we'll need to see the full rules to know exactly how much better.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Which is often negated or substantially downplayed by magic items and magic.

This is true. It's definitely the least significant advantage of the Str build.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
I think there are other ways to boost weapon finesse fighting without going with the boring use your modifier to damage. I even gave examples of how you could do it if you really did HAVE to have that +4 to +8 bonus.

Sure, and I'm not necessarily against such ideas, I'm just not convinced they're necessary (well, and don't find the ones you suggested compelling, but that's secondary).

John Lynch 106 wrote:
I disagree. Stats became so much window dressing in 4e and strength became completely irrelevant in 5e. Doing it yet again in PF2e would be a mistake (and one that's been repeated many times before).

Both of those still use Dex for initiative and have Dex-to-damage as a flat game rule rather than a character option requiring investment. The situations don't strike me as precisely equivalent.


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Brock Landers wrote:

Intelligence mod should add to Languages (as it did at one point in the playtest, but dropped, lame) and/or Tool Proficiencies known.

Charisma mod should add to how many magic items you can attune (again, as it was in the playtest at one point...).

I totally agree, I wish they wouldn't make all spells and similar abilities scale off one attribute for a specific caster. In my opinion the spells themselves should dictate if they would use wisdom, intelligence or charisma (buffs = wisdom, nukes/conjuration = int, charisma = certain inspirational buffs/charms/illusions). This would also create diversity between two wizards of the same level even if they both went with cookie-cutter spells.

But that is a different subject.

When I did some houserules I tried out an ability which read "If you use dex to hit and strength to deal damage you may add half your dex modifier to the damage roll."

It worked decently but do have some drawbacks so it is not a perfect solution by any means.

Liberty's Edge

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Brock Landers wrote:
Dex can be used for Initiative, depending on the mode you are in, it's just that Dex is not default, right? I like the Speed Factor Initiative variant in 5th Ed, removes Dex entirely.

Yeah, you can do it if you're sneaking around. Of course, you can use lots of other stats as well.

Brock Landers wrote:
Yeah, why not, it would be nice to see Str get back some glory.

I actually tend to prefer Str characters to Dex ones (all else being equal, which it rarely is), so I'm definitely very happy with ideas that boost Str.


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Lets say my character's name is Karen the murderer, and I am wanting to be a good assassin. I am not very strong by nature so I study ways to fight people and hurt people that don't require a lot of strength to be effective, but, if assassinating people is what I am dedicating my life to do, then I probably also start strengthening my frame as much as I can as well. 1st level Dex to Damage completely obliterates the idea that damage with melee weapons is tied to strength. In fact, for a rogue that is Dex focused with Dex to damage, getting stronger never makes me do more damage.

Wouldn't it make a lot more sense for the damage bonus to be static (to make up for the lower damage dice, and let me decide if increasing my damage output is worth spending some resources on strength, instead of focusing on some other aspect of my character?


Secret Wizard wrote:


For example, if Sneak Attack dealt X damage and, if you hit a flat-footed enemy, it dealt Xd6 damage instead, you would only need STR as a Rogue to moderately boost output, but just having Finesse weapons would be enough to be viable.

Sneak Attack is a notoriously unreliable source of damage output, relying very heavily on external factors (such as your ability to inflict the flat-footed condition on an enemy), not multiplying in crits, and relying on large numbers of small dice. It also doesn't really fit well with a lot of character concepts, as it kind of implies the damage comes from the target not paying attention, and not really from any precision on the part of the character deploying it (if it was a precision-based system, I'd expect it to behave more like Power Attack -- to-hit decrease in exchange for more damage).

That latter point doesn't have as much of an impact on the likelihood of a player making a dex-based character as the former does, however. Rogues in 3.5 and early PF1 were notoriously bad at producing regular damage, and combined with external games that gave the general rogue archetype a DPS-like flavor, dex builds became relatively unpopular.

Dex to damage provides a regular damage output that is a good alternative to the unreliable burst provided by sneak attack. Honestly, by preference, I'd like both to be available (though not necessarily available within the same build -- sneak attack + dex to damage can get kind of ridiculous). Mostly, however, I think sneak attack isn't a particularly good mechanic for handling "precision" or creating DPS characters, and would like to provide alternatives so that dex-focused builds remain viable.

I like the idea of armor requiring a minimum strength, or discouragiing dex-heavy builds from using the top-tier armors (as 5E does and PF1 kind of does). 5E's tendency to leave strength builds with slightly higher AC overall also works, though it isn't really required, and can be kind of weird.

Your argument is mostly that Dex builds should both benefit from Strength, and not match the regular damage output Strength provides without Strength, because Dex provides too many other advantages. I mostly agree, but I'd prefer if Strength received more advantages to balance this out, rather than dex builds be deprived of equal or close-to-equal damage output. My concern is that low-damage Dex builds become unused dex builds, and thus the potential build options (and build population) are overall decreased.

Liberty's Edge

Brock Landers wrote:
Right on, like Wis mod as standard perception, you just made it sound like Dex is never used for Initiative, was just confirming.

Just noting that it wasn't standard.

Brock Landers wrote:
So, ha, how do we get Str mod for Initiative?

This might be possible, though I'm not sure what activity would use Athletics for initiative.

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