Why I Don't Trust This Game: A Rant


Running the Game

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I feel a bit bad for my players in terms of the 'earning extra hero point for doing things outside the game' rule. I cook food as part of hosting the game at my house, and handle all recordkeeping as part of running the game. Everyone drives themselves. My cats don't need walked. There's really no opportunity for them to get that extra point.


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You could just sell them hero points for cash?

It makes as much sense as any other 'outside the game' rule...


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Scythia wrote:
I feel a bit bad for my players in terms of the 'earning extra hero point for doing things outside the game' rule. I cook food as part of hosting the game at my house, and handle all recordkeeping as part of running the game. Everyone drives themselves. My cats don't need walked. There's really no opportunity for them to get that extra point.

Do some of your players arrive late or do other things that annoy you? Then you can award hero points to the players who show up on time or otherwise don't make your life harder.


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I think hero points are wonderful things.

Gaming groups should be a lot more than just people who play the game.

I run a Star Wars Saga Edition game every other Sunday. I set up the game. The players rotate bringing over dinner. Sometimes they bring dessert. Other times they call each other up and help them out. My players are great.

So yeah I wanna reward awesome players for being awesome.


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I've only given out hero points for a few things. Bringing food, drinks, or snacks; filling out the Doomsday Dawn surveys; and once for making props for a character (business cards for a Cleric of Abadar). We've had some very nice dinners with everyone pitching in!


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Scythia wrote:
I feel a bit bad for my players in terms of the 'earning extra hero point for doing things outside the game' rule. I cook food as part of hosting the game at my house, and handle all recordkeeping as part of running the game. Everyone drives themselves. My cats don't need walked. There's really no opportunity for them to get that extra point.

Yeah I feel the same way. I host (because I have a 5 year old and it's harder for me to leave), I provide snacks more often than others (because we're near my kitchen), I take notes and track party loot (because due to other players health issues and such, I happen to be one of the only people capable of doing it easily).

I don't do any of that for some kind of bonus, I do it because I'm blessed by being capable of doing it and it helps the game move smoothly for everyone. Getting in game bonuses for that would just make me feel weird, and would disadvantage someone for whom simply showing up every week is itself a significant effort due to the previously mentioned health issues.

This stuff should be strictly limited to in game actions.


Scythia wrote:
I feel a bit bad for my players in terms of the 'earning extra hero point for doing things outside the game' rule. I cook food as part of hosting the game at my house, and handle all recordkeeping as part of running the game. Everyone drives themselves. My cats don't need walked. There's really no opportunity for them to get that extra point.

I play most times online... It's hard to walk a digital dog...


graystone wrote:
Scythia wrote:
I feel a bit bad for my players in terms of the 'earning extra hero point for doing things outside the game' rule. I cook food as part of hosting the game at my house, and handle all recordkeeping as part of running the game. Everyone drives themselves. My cats don't need walked. There's really no opportunity for them to get that extra point.
I play most times online... It's hard to walk a digital dog...

Too bad Tamagotchi went out of fashion.


I think the odd bit for me, is how the system is described as the default.

Yes, the GM-discretion caveat is always applicable, but 'reward for out of game stuff' seems like it should be an explicitly optional (non-default) rule.

While I understand the group is made of players who exist outside of their characters, it's definitely odd that your *character* will perform better based on how you as a player behave (and not how how you pilot the PC). Rather than one from each source, I'd suggest 'max of 2 Hero Points, 1 of which may be from an out-of-game source.'

This allows you to still reward players who focus on RP without making them feel like they have to stop playing the character in order to make sure they're doing their arbitrary out of game 'duty'. There will often be a player who enjoys handling party loot, notes, etc — and I am all for rewarding these players — but it shouldn't limit the other players. An example, many times when I play a PC with less complexity, I'll run more of the party loot/mapping/etc to allow those with cumbersome spellbooks to focus on that aspect of their character. I do this to support the game, including those other players — players who, under this rule, would not have access to the additional Hero Point to use in a suitably dramatic fashion.


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Stupid question since we're on about doling out Hero points.

I largely play online with systems that take a lot of the work load off me. Besides helping to keep track of treasure, there's not a whole lot I can reward Hero Points for. I usually give them out for smart or epic plays, rewards for hard challenges that don't give treasure, and other such ideas.

Thoughts?


MerlinCross wrote:

Stupid question since we're on about doling out Hero points.

I largely play online with systems that take a lot of the work load off me. Besides helping to keep track of treasure, there's not a whole lot I can reward Hero Points for. I usually give them out for smart or epic plays, rewards for hard challenges that don't give treasure, and other such ideas.

Thoughts?

Yeah, I with you there: there seems to be no thought given to online play. Our DM allowed up to start off with 3 for each chapter so we could test the game. For myself, if I DM'd it, I might give points out if the players surprise me: coming up with a tactic I didn't think of is worth a point IMO.


I never rewarded heropoints for out of game deeds. However I am more than willing to reward bravery, creativity inside the game.

None of my players has used a heropoint so far.


graystone wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

Stupid question since we're on about doling out Hero points.

I largely play online with systems that take a lot of the work load off me. Besides helping to keep track of treasure, there's not a whole lot I can reward Hero Points for. I usually give them out for smart or epic plays, rewards for hard challenges that don't give treasure, and other such ideas.

Thoughts?

Yeah, I with you there: there seems to be no thought given to online play. Our DM allowed up to start off with 3 for each chapter so we could test the game. For myself, if I DM'd it, I might give points out if the players surprise me: coming up with a tactic I didn't think of is worth a point IMO.

My groups usually start with 3, get one back per level, refunded back to 3 for every "book length of play", doing a last heroic stand, etc.

Shadow Lodge

My reason is they internally playtested for two years and are just refining it. I feel like they are just going to tweak little by little but as a whole its done. In not so many words paizo is going to do what paizo is going to do.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If they want hero points to be used more often it shouldn't be buried on page 300. Put it closer to character design.


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Seannoss wrote:
If they want hero points to be used more often it shouldn't be buried on page 300. Put it closer to character design.

See I'll agree to this. Buried that far back it might feel like an Optional rule or something


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RPGs are entertainment. We play to have fin, not to prove ourselves worthy. Some like one play style, some like another. That's ok. What is not ok is to be judgemental of other's way of playing the game. The OP is a classic case of being judgemental of the way others play and claiming to be the one true way. This is not cool.

Some people think of rpgs as wargames where you only play one creature at a time. That seems to be the OP's stance, and that's ok. Its not the way I game, but its still ok.

Others focus on characters and story and see the tactical part of the game as a fun minigame played on the side, but not the main fun. This is how I play. In my game, PC death is strictly at the players' option - it does happen when a player feels their character's story is told, or when someone has a view of how to play more similar to the OP's than to mine. That's fine with me. But i never force a player to retire a character because of bad die rolls or a momentary lapse in judgement.

In my experience, the more challenging you make the game, the thinner the line between life and death is, the more common death is, the more players go into "pawn stance", thinking of their characters as playing pieces rather than as flesh-and-blood creatures. In a deadly game, attachment to your character is rewarded with disappointment and angst and is thus something to be avoided. Others have other experiences. That's ok too. But this is my experience, and I wholly disagree with the OP. Deadly games are not the kind of fun I want.

To each their own.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
vestris wrote:
None of my players has used a heropoint so far.

Don't they want their characters to survive? Or did you not manage to get a single character the dying condition?

Grand Lodge

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Yolande d'Bar wrote:

Wow, my experience has been the completely opposite. My players almost failed the first part, and died halfway through the 2nd.


Zaister wrote:
vestris wrote:
None of my players has used a heropoint so far.
Don't they want their characters to survive? Or did you not manage to get a single character the dying condition?

A single player got the dying condition under updated dying rules and was essentially immediately healed.


vestris wrote:
Zaister wrote:
vestris wrote:
None of my players has used a heropoint so far.
Don't they want their characters to survive? Or did you not manage to get a single character the dying condition?
A single player got the dying condition under updated dying rules and was essentially immediately healed.

As i read the hero point/dying rules, you don't have to spend the hero point until you'd actually die. That means you can hoard them for all but actual death. Near-death situations, where you are dying but not actually dead, don't need hero points.


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Yolande d'Bar wrote:

Not even a tiny advantage for dumpstatting anything (no a 10 is not a low score, in my opinion), and in fact we're kind of warned against having any low scores at all--despite the fact that exploring the world with a 4 STR or 7 INT character is actually a fun role-playing challenge

• PCs and NPCs use different dying rules; the revised rules apparently make PC death almost impossible, since a monster can repeatedly stab a dying PC in the face without advancing his dying condition in any meaningful way. What is actually happening in the world? I can't possibly imagine the reality of the situation.

• coup-de-grace has been removed because someone decided that wasn't fun so now it's impossible in the game world

• Sundering has been removed because someone decided that wasn't fun so now it's impossible in the game world. Except shields. No equipment can ever be damaged except those 12 shields you're carrying around. They will last about 12 seconds each.

• +1/level (the worst part of this game, IMO) makes it impossible for your character not to be able to do everything. Nope, your character has to know how to swim, how to play the lute, has researched enough arcana that they can identify some monsters. Oh, and that skinny old coughing wizard? Not really any worse at fighting than the barbarian. HELICOPTER GM says YOU WILL SUCCEED IN MY GAME

• Paralysis doesn't really make you all that vulnerable in any way, because apparently somebody decided that wouldn't be fun either

• Energy drain, not that scary anymore

• Wizard grappled by a kraken? more of an inconvenience really

• Hero Points. I loved the first edition system, because they were hard to come by and precious. In my home game, they directly represent slight divine intervention on your character's behalf. They really meant something when they were used.

But the new system? Just one point to remove the dying condition? And everyone gets that point just for showing up as a breathing body at the table?

Oh, and don't forget the GM can award another point for doing favors. At all of the playtest games I've played in, we've had never-ending sycophancy while players race to look up something for the GM first, to get a Hero Point, or share M&Ms with the GM, to get a Hero Point. Order food, to get a Hero Point, tell the GM they like his pants, to get a Hero Point, etc. etc. etc.

The dumpstats are a double-edged sword. While it promoted minmaxers, there are still numerous other aspects of minmaxing that players can exploit to break the game, with the attributes being only a minor influence on certain things. That being said, since the math is tighter and less skewed one way or the other (at least in some respects), the game assuming that players can only ever be so strong at any given point (and actually checks them at this highest point with most Skill DCs, enemy stats, and so on, meaning it's required to be that good or you die) means you won't have a game spiral out of control due to a major discrepancy between characters.

The PCs and NPCs only use different rules on a general scale. Certain monsters (such as BBEGs, or other creatures with natural means of revival, like Trolls perhaps), or other creatures the GM deems fit, still follow the same rules as PCs for dying. (I've actually considered allowing Anti-Hero Points for BBEGs to use, but that's houseruling at this point.) The biggest cripple here is that creatures don't generally outright slaughter a downed creature most of the time, both because the enemy has more important threats to deal with, but also because most enemies aren't meant to be played that rough. A simple change in playstyle fixes this issue entirely. Coup de grace is removed because it's an outdated action. It's the same reason why options like Charge or Two-Weapon Fighting were similarly removed.

To be fair, Sunder was universally unfun and not worth doing except in the most extreme of circumstances. Seriously, unless you were a Spell Sunder Barbarian, or were required to outright destroy some bad items that nobody on the party can utilize, and is the BBEG's Macguffin, you ended up hurting yourself (and your party) by destroying your potential future loot. Bad guys not having this option hurts, but to be honest not many players or people were familiar with the rules for how Sundering or Destroying Objects worked. Furthermore, it required houseruling to make it not so detrimental to your party (which is what PFS did if I remember correctly). Combined with object-like monsters and how they interact with these rules, and you have a big mess of things that are confusing, counterintuitive, and just wasted time for doing the same thing: Giving an Object the "Dead" (read: destroyed) condition. Wow, am I glad I don't have to sit there and calculate how much Hardness and HP a weapon has for an attack or two that probably won't change the outcome of the weapon's effectiveness.

The idea of +1/level is that characters get more experienced in anything they attempt to do based on what they've encountered and witnessed amongst their adventures. Obviously, based on how a character levels (and utilizes their skills from leveling) determines what it excels at, but that doesn't mean it can't do things it's witnessed or had to deal with dozens of times in their adventuring career. It makes a lot of sense that a Level 20 Wizard can outfight a Level 4 Barbarian in melee combat, because that Wizard has seen and dealt with some of the baddest creatures known to Golarion, knowing the sorts of physical prowess they possess, whereas the Barbarian has faced creatures that the Wizard could trounce with a 1st level spell (including said Barbarian). (Assuming PF1 standards, but that's beside the point.)

Being Paralyzed means you can only take mental actions and count as flat-footed. That's an extremely debilitating condition, almost as bad as the PF1's Nauseated condition. Not as brutal as PF1's Paralysis condition, but that's primarily because Coup de Grace is no longer a thing.

A significant penalty to all proficiency-based attributes (meaning you could be considered a level 0 creature) is a huge detriment, and makes the difference between the four tiers of results. It can turn Critical Hits into Hits, Failures into Critical Failures, and outright decimate enemies. It doesn't have the "you're dead if you have 0 levels" clause, but I'm sure that might return with certain creature mechanics, which seems appropriate.

Monster attributes are going to be pretty high (especially against a Kraken, which is basically a Grapple god), unless that Wizard has Legendary Athletics with a 20+ Strength, he doesn't stand a reasonable chance. Even if he is, I can assume with that amount of Strength he's using some heavier armor, which means that will also impact their skill check result too.

Hero Points being designed the way they are is perhaps the only thing I can say I agree with out of your list. I'm not saying that it can't or shouldn't be there or work the way it works for some tables, but if it promotes people trying to be a suck-up just to get an edge in the game (and for no other reason, such as being a good person or player at the table), I'd rather not use that as an incentive to award Hero Points, as it can both skew playtest results, and give people an edge where some people outright cannot get it, which just isn't fair for everyone involved. (In fact, the only reason I'd award them at my table would be for in-game activities. What happens in the game, stays in the game, and I'd prefer it stay that way.)

I'm actually surprised you didn't bring up the other hot button topics, like Resonance.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I'm actually surprised you didn't bring up the other hot button topics, like Resonance.

I don't think I'd bring up the Resonance system if I was trying to demonstrate that the game is too generous to the PCs...


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I liked many of your points, though you may have exaggerated some of them, and some of them work both ways (if the GM can't kill you with a CDG then you can't kill his NPCs with one either).

But this one is a huge pet peeve of mine.

Yolande d'Bar wrote:
• Not even a tiny advantage for dumpstatting anything (no a 10 is not a low score, in my opinion), and in fact we're kind of warned against having any low scores at all--despite the fact that exploring the world with a 4 STR or 7 INT character is actually a fun role-playing challenge

Sure, sure, exploring EARTH with a 4 STR or a 7 INT might be fun. Go for it.

But Pathfinder takes place in a world where lethal monsters are creeping, walking, swimming, burrowing, and flying almost literally EVERYWHERE, where literally anybody or anything might kill you with a whispered word or a wiggle of a finger, where wickedly devious fiends are building lairs that are literally full of deadly traps and deadlier minions and even deadlier wickedly devious fiends...

In THAT world you have to be *almost* insane to actually want to be an adventurer.

But you know what is more insane? Abso-freaking-lutely nut-job, straight-jacketed, gonzo, wacko, insane?

Wanting to do that with companions who are great big freaking liabilities.

Here's a little Choose How It Ends scenario:

Me: Hey everybody. Thanks for meeting here at the [Adjective - Noun] Tavern. Are we ready to go out and risk our lives at least 4 times every day facing deadly monsters and deadly traps and deadly everything else imaginable?
Barbarian Bob: Duh, ummmmm...
Me: Well, out with it man.
Barbarian Bob: Hurr-durr, Me no tie shoes. You tie shoes?
Me: You're not wearing any shoes, Bob.
Barbarian Bob: Derrr, uh, wut?
Me: Did you forget them at home?
Barbarian Bob: Where home?
Me: Are you lost?
Barbarian Bob: Me no lost. Got lots skills. Best skills. Just no shoe tie skill. You tie shoes now!
Me: You don't have any shoes.
Barbarian Bob: You took shoes! Me smash!
Me: Calm down, buddy. Nobody took your shoes. We just need to find them. Also, maybe we want to find your pants while we're at it...
Wizard Will: Uh, *gasp* I hate to interrupt your highly cerebral discussion, *wheeze* but can somebody carry my stuff?
Me: Why don't you carry it?
Wizard Will: I'm way too intellectual *gasp* to bother with such things as muscle mass. *pant* I take enormous pride in *huff and puff* avoiding any and all physical activity.
Me: Why are you so out of breath?
Wizard Will: I walked all the way here *wheeze* carrying all my stuff!
Me: All you have is a robe, a book, and a stick. How hard is that to carry?
Wizard Will: Very! *gasp* Please carry it!
Me: Well, how far did you walk?
Wizard Will: All the way downstairs. *gasp* My room is on the second floor of this tavern.
Me: Bob! Put down the tavern keeper! Stop! Don't smash him! He didn't take your shoes!
Rogue Ron: Now you don't have pants either!
Me: What the???
Rogue Ron: Haha! I took 'em.
Me: Why?
Rogue Ron: It's funny. Haha, you got no pants! Oh, and I took all your arrows.
Me: I'm gonna need those back to shoot the monsters we find.
Rogue Ron: Say please.
Me: Please give them back?
Rogue Ron: Now say pretty please.
Me: Fine. Pretty please give them back?
Rogue Ron: Now say Ron is a cool dude.
Me: Why are you being such a jerk?
Wizard Will: Isn't it obvious? He dumped CHA and WIS to bump his DEX.

OK everybody, now you write the ending. What do you think I say next:

Option One: OK, awesome, it looks like we're ready to go. My teammates are perfectly capable of watching my back and keeping me alive in this dangerous world of nightmarish dangerous dangers. I feel safe and secure with these guys. Let's Go!

Option Two: Screw this. I'm outta here. I think I'll go practice my Lore (Brewing) and drink myself into a coma. It's much safer than adventuring with these incompetent nincompoops.


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DM_Blake wrote:

Sure, sure, exploring EARTH with a 4 STR or a 7 INT might be fun. Go for it.

But Pathfinder takes place in a world where lethal monsters are creeping, walking, swimming, burrowing, and flying almost literally EVERYWHERE, where literally anybody or anything might kill you with a whispered word or a wiggle of a finger, where wickedly devious fiends are building lairs that are literally full of deadly traps and deadlier minions and even deadlier wickedly devious fiends...

Which doesn't really change anything. Having an actual handicap you have to work aorund makes for interesting characters. Everyone having the same relatively tiny variance in stats doesn't, and really doesn't fit a world with such diverse backgrounds.

As it stands now, they might as well turn out adventurers at a factory because the system wants everyone's stats to be so similar. There's no room for the really clumbsy guy who probably shouldn't be out adventuring but ended up doing it anyway and has to work around that by being strong or clever or persuasive. Now the worst you can be is "average".


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Low stats in (points buy) PF1 weren't real handicaps. They were the token drawbacks players took in order to maximise their power. We didn't give our Fighters Int 7 Cha 7 because we had a burning desire to role-play a dumb obnoxious brute. We did it because we wanted to be better at killing things.


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Tridus wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

Sure, sure, exploring EARTH with a 4 STR or a 7 INT might be fun. Go for it.

But Pathfinder takes place in a world where lethal monsters are creeping, walking, swimming, burrowing, and flying almost literally EVERYWHERE, where literally anybody or anything might kill you with a whispered word or a wiggle of a finger, where wickedly devious fiends are building lairs that are literally full of deadly traps and deadlier minions and even deadlier wickedly devious fiends...

Which doesn't really change anything. Having an actual handicap you have to work aorund makes for interesting characters. Everyone having the same relatively tiny variance in stats doesn't, and really doesn't fit a world with such diverse backgrounds.

As it stands now, they might as well turn out adventurers at a factory because the system wants everyone's stats to be so similar. There's no room for the really clumbsy guy who probably shouldn't be out adventuring but ended up doing it anyway and has to work around that by being strong or clever or persuasive. Now the worst you can be is "average".

You can still use the optional rule of rolling dice for your attributes. Or reduce one of your stats to achieve a weakness without a rule being needed for that. It will however not give you anything in return.

Interesting characters, due to weaknesses, are possible just not the default and it is not an optimizing tool.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Low stats in (points buy) PF1 weren't real handicaps. They were the token drawbacks players took in order to maximise their power. We didn't give our Fighters Int 7 Cha 7 because we had a burning desire to role-play a dumb obnoxious brute. We did it because we wanted to be better at killing things.

So is dump-stating a fun challenge or do you just want to be able to min/max some more?

I, for one, am really happy dump stats are gone and that the attribute process is what it is. Now I can make a gnome Cleric with 18 wis and 16 cha with only needing to leave my str at an 8 (and still having a 12 dex and 14 con!). That stat array for a gnome is flat out impossible in PF1. Just to try to get my Wis and Cha to those levels I'd probably be forced to dump str to 5, which is absolutely not fun or smart (1 hit from a str damaging undead and I'd be dead).


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Zorae wrote:
So is dump-stating a fun challenge or do you just want to be able to min/max some more?

I have no very strong opinion on the subject, as I tend to be the GM these days. I quite enjoyed min/maxing, but I'm irritated by the claim, "PF2 won't let me play a character with interesting weaknesses!" when it would be more accurate to say, "PF2 won't reward me for dumping stats by making me more powerful than everyone else!"

Zorae wrote:
That stat array for a gnome is flat out impossible in PF1.

You could play PF1 with 30-point buy...


Matthew Downie wrote:
Zorae wrote:
That stat array for a gnome is flat out impossible in PF1.
You could play PF1 with 30-point buy...

The game gives 4 methods of rolling actual dice so it's factually incorrect to say "flat out impossible in PF1". Even sticking to the legal point buys, you're looking at St 8, Dex 11, con 14, Wis 18, Int 10, Cha 16 without dropping any stats. It's literally a difference in 1 dex.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I miss being able to be below-average in some ways. There's no doubt that it was used for mechanical optimization in the majority of cases... but now it might as well not be allowed at all because of the hate you get from your fellow players for "intentionally sabotaging/ruining the party for no good reason". That was my experience when I tried Starfinder, and I can't imagine this system being much better.


graystone wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Zorae wrote:
That stat array for a gnome is flat out impossible in PF1.
You could play PF1 with 30-point buy...
The game gives 4 methods of rolling actual dice so it's factually incorrect to say "flat out impossible in PF1". Even sticking to the legal point buys, you're looking at St 8, Dex 11, con 14, Wis 18, Int 10, Cha 16 without dropping any stats. It's literally a difference in 1 dex.

Sorry, "flat out impossible with standard point buy in PF1" as that was the thing being discussed.

That's with a 25 point buy. Most GMs (and pfs) don't allow for it. Let alone allow for a 30 point buy. Because then optimal race/class combos are considerably stronger with that amount of point buy. An Aasimar with that 25 point buy spread will have a 20 Wis, 16 Cha, 12 Con, and 10 str - they could even afford to dump Str a bit to get that 12 dex.

Neither 25 or 30 point buys is pfs legal or commonly accepted by GMs.


Zorae wrote:
Sorry, "flat out impossible with standard point buy in PF1" as that was the thing being discussed.

I don't recall the debate ever being limited to standard point buy.

Zorae wrote:
That's with a 25 point buy.

It's the point buy I play with the most.

Zorae wrote:
Most GMs (and pfs) don't allow for it.

I don't play PFS or with most DM's. As such, what happens in them has no bearing on much of anything. I doesn't affect what s a legal option.

Zorae wrote:
Because then optimal race/class combos are considerably stronger with that amount of point buy. An Aasimar with that 25 point buy spread will have a 20 Wis, 16 Cha, 12 Con, and 10 str

I very rarely see people go for a 20 stat with a 25 point buy. The 'normal' buy is 2 16's bumped to 18 with racials and a 14 buy in Con. Pretty much the only 20's were with oracles and they'd have done that with a 20 buy so I don't see a big difference.


graystone wrote:
Zorae wrote:
Sorry, "flat out impossible with standard point buy in PF1" as that was the thing being discussed.
I don't recall the debate ever being limited to standard point buy.

Please don't be obtuse:

Zorae wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Low stats in (points buy) PF1 weren't real handicaps.

So is dump-stating a fun challenge or do you just want to be able to min/max some more?

I, for one, am really happy dump stats are gone and that the attribute process is what it is. Now I can make a gnome Cleric with 18 wis and 16 cha with only needing to leave my str at an 8 (and still having a 12 dex and 14 con!). That stat array for a gnome is flat out impossible in PF1.

The "standard" may not have been implied, but we were clearly talking about point buy.

graystone wrote:

It's the point buy I play with the most.

I don't play PFS or with most DM's. As such, what happens in them has no bearing on much of anything. I doesn't affect what s a legal option.

That's nice for you. But the Core Rulebook states that 15 point buy is the standard value and PFS (the organized way of playing) uses 20 point. 25 is not "Standard Point Buy" and 30 point buy isn't even listed in the rule book as an option.

graystone wrote:
I very rarely see people go for a 20 stat with a 25 point buy. The 'normal' buy is 2 16's bumped to 18 with racials and a 14 buy in Con. Pretty much the only 20's were with oracles and they'd have done that with a 20 buy so I don't see a big difference.

It's much harder to get that 20 and secondary to reasonble mods without dumping something in 20 point buy. And I'm fairly sure it's impossible to do without dumping if you want the 20, secondary, and con at reasonable numbers in 20 point buy (probably would need multiple dumps even). Most of the SAD casters (Wizards, Sorcerers, etc) want to go for the 20 to pump their DCs as high as possible.


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Zorae: It's best not to assume everyone is on the same page without saying anything. Not everyone uses the same point buy, uses a point buy at all and/or plays PFS. If you don't SAY what you're talking about how do you expect people to guess it?

Secondly, you yourself admit there isn't a clearly understood and agreed upon single method for stat creation. [standard and PFS don't match]

As for the 20 points and a 20 stat: A gnome oracle for instance, is perfectly able to take a 20 cha [+2 from race], a 15 con [+2 from race], an 8 str [-2 from race] and the rest 10 and not be at any disability and no dumping. Now it's harder with non-oracles but it's doable.


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Tridus wrote:

Which doesn't really change anything. Having an actual handicap you have to work aorund makes for interesting characters. Everyone having the same relatively tiny variance in stats doesn't, and really doesn't fit a world with such diverse backgrounds.

This seems a tiny bit dishonest. You do know you can have all the same interesting characters who work around actual handicaps in PF2, right?

If all you want are handicaps for the sake of interesting characters, you have the rules for it right there in the play test rulebook.

Go for it.

But I suspect you wanted something else. Or, at least, something else too.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Low stats in (points buy) PF1 weren't real handicaps. They were the token drawbacks players took in order to maximise their power. We didn't give our Fighters Int 7 Cha 7 because we had a burning desire to role-play a dumb obnoxious brute. We did it because we wanted to be better at killing things.

Now this is honest.

However, in the world I imagine, sane adventurers who want to live don't take stupid and brutish allies into constant life-threatening danger. They pass those guys right by and find allies who are competent at killing things AND are smart enough and charismatic enough that they aren't liabilities when those things matter.

I imagine that if you actually role-played that 7 INT in a trap filled dungeon, your allies would consider you a liability. If they were counting on you to help fill in some skills the party didn't have, they would be sorely disappointed with your 7 INT. And if you actually role-played your 7 CHA in social encounters in a city, you'd be an even further liability.

Obviously you imagine a different world.

I suspect that when you said "token" drawbacks, what you really meant was "drawbacks that are not acknowledged by the player, the other players, their characters, or the GM".

In which case it was really just a few bonus points of STR or CON with no drawbacks at all.

Given that, it's really no wonder that modern RPGs are going away from the old-school model of "Hey, why don't you get some bonus ability scores for free by pretending to have token-but-not-really-acknowledged drawbacks."


DM_Blake wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Low stats in (points buy) PF1 weren't real handicaps. They were the token drawbacks players took in order to maximise their power. We didn't give our Fighters Int 7 Cha 7 because we had a burning desire to role-play a dumb obnoxious brute. We did it because we wanted to be better at killing things.

Now this is honest.

However, in the world I imagine, sane adventurers who want to live don't take stupid and brutish allies into constant life-threatening danger. They pass those guys right by and find allies who are competent at killing things AND are smart enough and charismatic enough that they aren't liabilities when those things matter.

I imagine that if you actually role-played that 7 INT in a trap filled dungeon, your allies would consider you a liability. If they were counting on you to help fill in some skills the party didn't have, they would be sorely disappointed with your 7 INT. And if you actually role-played your 7 CHA in social encounters in a city, you'd be an even further liability.

Obviously you imagine a different world.

I suspect that when you said "token" drawbacks, what you really meant was "drawbacks that are not acknowledged by the player, the other players, their characters, or the GM".

In which case it was really just a few bonus points of STR or CON with no drawbacks at all.

Given that, it's really no wonder that modern RPGs are going away from the old-school model of "Hey, why don't you get some bonus ability scores for free by pretending to have token-but-not-really-acknowledged drawbacks."

They may not have much choice who they're able to pair up with. Also, remember that while PCs may have an average of 12.24, most of the populace are NPCs with average abilities of 10.5 so a score or two of 6 or 7 is still pretty good comparatively speaking (actually, I believe PF2 PCs have even higher average ability scores... 13ish?)

A blanket permission to reduce ability scores as you please without recompense should be fine mechanically though I've always found if more rewarding to incorporate more sophisticated weaknesses into PCs. Maybe he's afraid of water? Or can never quite remember the correct way to address a noble of each particular rank?


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DM_Blake wrote:
OK everybody, now you write the ending. What do you think I say next:

The real question, DM_Blake, is how are you going to drink yourself into a coma with no pants?


graystone wrote:
Zorae: It's best not to assume everyone is on the same page without saying anything. Not everyone uses the same point buy, uses a point buy at all and/or plays PFS. If you don't SAY what you're talking about how do you expect people to guess it?

If someone is discussing what the default for an option should be, there are four possible courses of action:

1) Assume they are talking about a default from a prior version/other system, and respond accordingly.

2) Assume they are talking about a house rule that you use, and respond accordingly.

3) Assume they are talking about a house rule that you don't use, take a wild guess at what they mean, and respond accordingly.

4) Ask for clarification on the subject you're unsure of.

Option 1 is a reasonable assumption. Option 2 is silly, as they can't possibly know your personal house rule. Option 3 is equally silly.

This leaves us with option 4. If you aren't going to assume the more logical 'default' approach, as it doesn't make sense to you, then it would be best to approach a basis of understanding first. You made an assumption, then found out that your assumption was incorrect. In this situation, I would suggest you accept that your assumption was incorrect, and move on from there. *Don't* blame others for your assumptions.


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Crayon wrote:
Also, remember that while PCs may have an average of 12.24, most of the populace are NPCs with average abilities of 10.5 so a score or two of 6 or 7 is still pretty good comparatively speaking (actually, I believe PF2 PCs have even higher average ability scores... 13ish?)

On 3d6 you get a 7 or less about 1/6 of the time. I think that means a 7 Int is similar to some people I've worked with. Including a manager who was determined never to learn anything that he wouldn't be assessed on (& who discouraged others from learning anything), he had some odd idea about how much people could learn.


I could never understand why having a 7 INT or 7 CHA automatically makes you a complete idiot (incapable of making sound decisions) or an uncouth, socially blundering *bleep*. Not saying that one couldn't play it out that way, just that it's very limiting and seems extreme to me. A low INT could represent someone who can make sensible decisions or observations, but struggles to learn in structured teaching (I've definitely known people I would never call dumb but who didn't thrive in formal schooling). A low CHA could represent a number of factors, none of which has to lead to them being disasters in a social setting.

It reminds me of the whole Lawful Stupid (Good) stereotype. In a game with an infinite tapestry to be creative on, it's a shame to see it wasted on stick figures with no color or depth.

PS: More on topic, as I have matured way past (and now dislike) any appearance of GM bribery, I do no like the idea of awarding Hero Points for actions outside of the game. That said, I have given them out to characters for taking on character weaknesses/idiosyncrasies that add to the RP and overall interest it brings to the table.


@ShadeRaven - Thinking on it more, I think I would agree to straight up remove GM bribery.

The thing that stuck out for me, is that it messes with the power dynamic of the *group*, not just the game. Sure, a lot of groups will have no issue with this, but we've all seen or heard about that GM that is going on a power trip. Even in a group of good friends, it can mess with the social stress of the group. Bleed is a real issue, even if it's more prevalent in LARP than TTRP, and shouldn't be recommended blindly. Even veteran LARPers who 'know better' can struggle with bleed, and they know what they're looking for. A player that doesn't know what to watch out for, in a group that doesn't, and you're risking some really bad times.


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ShadeRaven wrote:
I could never understand why having a 7 INT or 7 CHA automatically makes you a complete idiot (incapable of making sound decisions) or an uncouth, socially blundering *bleep*.

Because it's the lowest possible for a human under points buy. Lowest possible = stupidest person imaginable...?

But, if you switch to rolled stats, where 3 is the lowest possible value, 7 seems perfectly acceptable. It just means someone who (compared to 10 INT / 10 CHA) has a 10% lower chance of knowing any given fact, and 10% lower chance of befriending a stranger. Maybe they don't have much of that fancy book-learning and feel socially awkward as a result.


hehe. I am pretty sure that the world isn't populated with people who used point buy as they were birthed. :p Even fantasy worlds.

Imagine how incredibly boring any fantasy setting would be if every single being on the planet was designed like PCs. I cherish my groups and players who think role before roll, but it's admittedly hard to avoid.

Your point is interesting, but let's look at that 10%. Yes, it might feel significant, but is it really? Say you played baseball. And your buddy was 10% better than you. So he hits .300 while you hit .270. He stroked 20 home runs while you hit 18. Would you say that you were the worst possible player imaginable?

I understand that it is sometimes fun to think of changes in stats in relation to real handicaps or boons, but even in game terms, it tends to get grossly exaggerated and overplayed.


ShadeRaven wrote:

hehe. I am pretty sure that the world isn't populated with people who used point buy as they were birthed. :p Even fantasy worlds.

Imagine how incredibly boring any fantasy setting would be if every single being on the planet was designed like PCs. I cherish my groups and players who think role before roll, but it's admittedly hard to avoid.

Your point is interesting, but let's look at that 10%. Yes, it might feel significant, but is it really? Say you played baseball. And your buddy was 10% better than you. So he hits .300 while you hit .270. He stroked 20 home runs while you hit 18. Would you say that you were the worst possible player imaginable?

I understand that it is sometimes fun to think of changes in stats in relation to real handicaps or boons, but even in game terms, it tends to get grossly exaggerated and overplayed.

10% on the low end of the scale would be more like 2 homeruns vs none.

And that feels significant.


10% of 2 is not 0. :P


ShadeRaven wrote:
I could never understand why having a 7 INT or 7 CHA automatically makes you a complete idiot

I guess it makes you as much an idiot as strength 7 makes you encumbered when carrying a rope while wearing a leather armor.


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ShadeRaven wrote:
10% of 2 is not 0. :P

10% lower chance to score a homerun could take you from 10% chance to 1% chance.

If running say, 20 tries, the 10% chance yields on average 2 and the 1% chance yields on average 0.

If we're discussing 10% as in the difference between -2 on a d20 and +0 on a d20, then it's the same idea on a less extreme scale.

Because we're measuring the chance to achieve results not the statistics of the results.

Sorry But I Thought That Was Obvious.

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