18 on any stat at first level


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The other day my wife said to me "I have a 16 wisdom". I believe that she honestly believed this because she is a librarian with two masters degrees, one from NYU.

If you make any character under the current rules you will always have an 18 in one stat at first level. This is just insane.

The strongest man on earth cannot lift 3x his weight or drag 5x his weight. The most beautiful actress/model barely rates a 15 in charisma. No one with a wisdom above 14 would ever enter the political arena because s/he would be wise enough to see the pitfalls. The smartest rocket-scientest at MIT probably has a 16 intelligence.

I don't see the need for such exaggerated scores.

Why do we make the rules so that only the GODLIKE can survive?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't think the stats in 2E are following the same benchmarks as Pathfinder or 3.5 D&D before that. The stats are primarily game statistics to determine success and failure under the tighter math system.

Additionally the creation rules apply to heroic PCs, NPCs such as your average dirt-farming peasant, probably won't have any stats above +1 or so.


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I think we left "18 is the maximum attribute an ordinary human can have in anything" behind after 3rd edition.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think we left "18 is the maximum attribute an ordinary human can have in anything" behind after 3rd edition.

Speak for yourself, I think it's stupid and obnoxious: scores over 18 (20, I guess, for racial/ancestry deals).


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No, I mean 3rd edition added the thing where you can increase an ability score every 4th level. So if you started at a 18 in something (possible with a good roll) you can have a 20 in it by hitting 8th level.


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The strongest 1st level character can lift approximately 160 pounds, assuming a human with the feat Hefty Hauler. Is this truly so GODLIKE?


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a medium load for 18 strength in pf1 is 101-200 lbs. This is ridiculous - when I was a cavalry scout in the US Army, our heaviest load was usually 70 lbs. a medium load was around 35 lbs. and everyone in my platoon was in the finest physical shape. That makes the best of the US army an average strength of 11 - nowhere near 18.

CARRYING 160 LBS IS GODLIKE!!!

Sovereign Court

KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:

a medium load for 18 strength in pf1 is 101-200 lbs. This is ridiculous - when I was a cavalry scout in the US Army, our heaviest load was usually 70 lbs. a medium load was around 35 lbs. and everyone in my platoon was in the finest physical shape. That makes the best of the US army an average strength of 11 - nowhere near 18.

CARRYING 160 LBS IS GODLIKE!!!

This for me is the average weight for another person. it's a little tough, but you can still do things. In my opinion it should be under heavy load, but yes possible.


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Well, the rules say you can't hold or carry more than 10+StrMod worth of bulk, so 14 bulk for a Strength 18 character or roughly 140 lbs. I can deadlift more than twice that, though.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think we left "18 is the maximum attribute an ordinary human can have in anything" behind after 3rd edition.

Yep. the current pathfinder rules allow you to have a 20 at first and mental stats GO UP as you age. Venerable 1st level people can have a 23 in a mental stat. 18 looks pretty normal...


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KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:
Why do we make the rules so that only the GODLIKE can survive?

The rules are there to make someone that ADVENTURES and not someone that's just survives.

KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:
If you make any character under the current rules you will always have an 18 in one stat at first level.

Nothing forces you to have an 18. That's ALL on the person making the character. If you don't want one, you can get lower scores.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
No, I mean 3rd edition added the thing where you can increase an ability score every 4th level. So if you started at a 18 in something (possible with a good roll) you can have a 20 in it by hitting 8th level.

Yes, and I wish the whole deal was aborted at inception. Increasing a score or two is fine, but this guaranteed 20, in everything, that some think is so important, makes me rage against a little machine.


Its not so bad. At some point you just have to break yourself from thinking of characters as the same goofy un-perfect being they were at 1st level by 15th they are very different people. Dynamic people that have improved and done things no others have done. If you use slow exp it helps too. I had a 1st edition d&D character that I played for some odd 13 years off and on he ended up at level 13/13 (multi classed) He evolved so much during that time that I felt he had changed and grown so much over the years. Between magic and various other things his stats where all really high too. Even the ones that really didn't do anything (looking at you comeliness). just because.


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I'm not sure what the 'rage'/issue is about. The LAST thing I want is my characters to feel ordinary, mundane or like 'someone that lives across the street'. I'll happily leave the constraints of real life behind to take the role of an unrealistic protagonist in an unrealistic world filled with unrealistic magic and wonders.

If we wanted realistic, we'd be LARPing and beating each other with foam swords and tossing bean bag 'spells' at each other between periods of getting winded and taking potty breaks... I'm here for the fantasy myself and the fact that my postman might not match up to what stat I have in game is of little consequence. :P


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KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:

If you make any character under the current rules you will always have an 18 in one stat at first level. This is just insane.

The strongest man on earth cannot lift 3x his weight or drag 5x his weight. The most beautiful actress/model barely rates a 15 in charisma. No one with a wisdom above 14 would ever enter the political arena because s/he would be wise enough to see the pitfalls. The smartest rocket-scientest at MIT probably has a 16 intelligence.

I don't see the need for such exaggerated scores.

Why do we make the rules so that only the GODLIKE can survive?

Do I smell a troll? Nah, I think the OP was serious.

Just google world's strongest man and you'll find plenty of examples where guys have lifted over 1,000 pounds.

And, who says that the most beautiful woman on Earth has just a 15 CHA. Really? CHA isn't even JUST about beauty. Winston Churchill had tons of CHA but wasn't really that good looking. Even just on beauty alone, I can't think of any rule in the CRB (playtest or otherwise) that equates in-game charisma (beauty) to real-world women. For obvious reasons.

I challenge the OP to show me one rule that says women like (Ursula Andress, Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendez, Sophia Lauren, Bo Derek, Halle Berry, Grace Kelley, Priyanka Chopra, Gal Gadot, Sofia Vergara, Rihanna - just a small tip of the iceberg, you pick your own favorite) are limited to a max of 15 CHA.

Finally, the current system is an extension of actually rolling 3d6 for every ability score. Based on that original method, one person out of every 216 should have an 18 CHA. Statistically, that means that 4.63% of all people (men and women) would have a CHA above 15 based on pure math/statistics alone. I think all those women I listed and countless more that anybody can come up with are easily in the top ~5% of beauty standards. Although, that's in the eye of my beholder, and each other beholder might have different standards, but I am sure they can easily make their own 5% list.

Likewise, I bet the smartest person at MIT is probably not limited to an INT BELOW the values (17,18) that can be achieved by 98.15% of all humanity by simply rolling 3d6.


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I feel like one of the things about, in particular genre (mostly fantasy and SF) fiction is that one of the uniting aesthetic appeals is that we are watching supremely competent people do things they are good at. So in order to let people indulge in that fantasy in their roleplaying game a character who is really good at a few things is going to tick more aesthetic appeal boxes than a more grounded character.


graystone wrote:

I'm not sure what the 'rage'/issue is about. The LAST thing I want is my characters to feel ordinary, mundane or like 'someone that lives across the street'. I'll happily leave the constraints of real life behind to take the role of an unrealistic protagonist in an unrealistic world filled with unrealistic magic and wonders.

If we wanted realistic, we'd be LARPing and beating each other with foam swords and tossing bean bag 'spells' at each other between periods of getting winded and taking potty breaks... I'm here for the fantasy myself and the fact that my postman might not match up to what stat I have in game is of little consequence. :P

I mean LARPing can be fun but It do need a break from being beaten with foam sticks from time to time. Also we never did the bean bag spell things but I guess im a little off topic....


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I personally don’t mind having the 18 stat for the first lvl character. I don’t feel it diminishes my escapism when playing the game. You don’t have to look far or very deep with movies that have characters with ungodly abilities. As an example take the John Wick series. Granted those movies don’t have magic or monsters but honestly, I personally don’t know of anyone who couls take such a beating, stabbing, and shooting like he has through the series so far and continue to just get up and go go go.

This is of course just my opinion but I like playing a game where I can do extraordinary things that I or any normal person couldn’t do in real life.


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Dismissing the initial premise that 15 is the maximum human achievement, I have no problems with adventurers starting with 18s and 16s.

Adventurers are supposed to be exceptional. Adventuring is the most dangerous activity anybody could possibly do, and these adventurers do it in a deadly world full of killer monsters and lethal magic and countless other dangers waiting to kill you in the blink of an eye.

Anybody choosing the deadliest profession in the deadliest world imaginable better be exceptional or their life expectancy is less than one week.

Furthermore, the fact that even commoners might start with an 18 somewhere and might level up enough to make it a 19 or even a 20 means that, maybe 20 (or 23 if we want to be extreme with the greatest of all possible commoners) should be reasonably considered to be human maximum. Maybe a 23 STR is Brian Shaw, or a 23 INT is Isaac Newton, etc.

Which means that even the exceptional adventurers start out a bit below maximum human achievement and grow into their ultimate power.

That seems reasonable, especially in a game where elves and dragons and wizards are also reasonable.

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Well, the rules say you can't hold or carry more than 10+StrMod worth of bulk, so 14 bulk for a Strength 18 character or roughly 140 lbs. I can deadlift more than twice that, though.

It's apparently not that clear cut, since an unconscious person of Medium size is apparently only 8 Bulk.

I don't know what Bulk means at all. I am very confused by it.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
I don't know what Bulk means at all. I am very confused by it.

Bulk is a nearly-arbitrary value that includes both weight and size. So a very small but very heavy thing might have the same bulk as a much larger but lighter item. A gold ingot might weigh exactly the same weight as a chair, for example, but the chair might have more bulk because it is so much larger and harder to carry around.

The value is fairly abstract and cannot be compared easily to any real-world numerical value such as mass or weight because size is also a factor in the abstraction.

Previously, we used Encumbrance which did the same thing, but it was a little more real-world in that it (usually) matched the encumbrance value to something close to the real-world weight of items then skewed that value somewhat based on how big/bulky the item is.

Bulk just abstracts it a bit more.

So, just don't try to overthink it too much. Just remember that if it's big, it will have more bulk and if it's heavy, it will have more bulk, and if it's both big and heavy it will have lots of bulk.

Liberty's Edge

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See, none of that logic remotely explains how a 200 lb dead weight flopping around is Bulk 8. Indeed, most of that logic directly argues it should be more than that by quite a bit.

Hence my confusion.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think we left "18 is the maximum attribute an ordinary human can have in anything" behind after 3rd edition.
Speak for yourself, I think it's stupid and obnoxious: scores over 18 (20, I guess, for racial/ancestry deals).

I'm not a fan of Ability Score Increases on level ups at all. I'd rather have all Ability Score Increases be given at 1st level depending on what kind of campaign is being run. That way all the different types of gameplay can be supported right from level 1. The people who want to play realistic heroes, the people who want super heroes and the people you want anime characters can all play with optional rules set that supports their fantasy.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

See, none of that logic remotely explains how a 200 lb dead weight flopping around is Bulk 8. Indeed, most of that logic directly argues it should be more than that by quite a bit.

Hence my confusion.

Well, I did mention it was arbitrary.

So carrying one unconscious person is about as hard to carry as carrying TWO complete sets of half-plate armor or 8 crossbows or 8 battle axes or 80 shortswords.

While I don't think all of those would be, in real life, exactly as difficult to carry, I do think it's a reasonable approximation that satisfies both my sense of "Well, OK, I can believe that it's close to realistic" and my sense of "It's easy to use at the gaming table".

Remember, it's not just the weight. It's also how easy it is to actually hold and carry the weight. 8 battle axes weigh less than 200 pounds, of course, but carrying them might be a chore. Arguably, if you tie them all into a snug bundle and prop them onto your shoulder, they are probably no harder to carry than the heavier 200 pound unconscious guy but are considerably lighter so they would deserve less bulk. But just carrying 8 loose battle axes without dropping them would occupy a significant amount of energy and coordination, more so than carrying one unconscious body. Factoring that in, I can see the bulk as a reasonable approximation.


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DM_Blake wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

See, none of that logic remotely explains how a 200 lb dead weight flopping around is Bulk 8. Indeed, most of that logic directly argues it should be more than that by quite a bit.

Hence my confusion.

Well, I did mention it was arbitrary.

So carrying one unconscious person is about as hard to carry as carrying TWO complete sets of half-plate armor or 8 crossbows or 8 battle axes or 80 shortswords.

While I don't think all of those would be, in real life, exactly as difficult to carry, I do think it's a reasonable approximation that satisfies both my sense of "Well, OK, I can believe that it's close to realistic" and my sense of "It's easy to use at the gaming table".

Remember, it's not just the weight. It's also how easy it is to actually hold and carry the weight. 8 battle axes weigh less than 200 pounds, of course, but carrying them might be a chore. Arguably, if you tie them all into a snug bundle and prop them onto your shoulder, they are probably no harder to carry than the heavier 200 pound unconscious guy but are considerably lighter so they would deserve less bulk. But just carrying 8 loose battle axes without dropping them would occupy a significant amount of energy and coordination, more so than carrying one unconscious body. Factoring that in, I can see the bulk as a reasonable approximation.

How about an unconscious body being the same bulk as 4 longbows? does that make sense?


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Snickersnax wrote:
How about an unconscious body being the same bulk as 4 longbows? does that make sense?

It's game logic- we want the party to have a fairly easy time carrying back their injured comrade to be healed, but we want to limit the number of weapons people can practically carry.


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DM_Blake wrote:
So, just don't try to overthink it too much.

It only really works if you don't think about it at all. A potion is the same value as a shield is the same value as a javelin: these items are NOWHERE close to having the same weight + unwieldiness factor but the game says that are... That and they can fit in a belt pouch with room for 3 more. Then careful packing seems to have no impact on the numbers: carrying 100 loose arrows is the exact same bulk as 100 arrows carefully packed into quivers... same with 100 potions being in or out of a backpack. :P

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Snickersnax wrote:
How about an unconscious body being the same bulk as 4 longbows? does that make sense?
It's game logic- we want the party to have a fairly easy time carrying back their injured comrade to be healed, but we want to limit the number of weapons people can practically carry.

Yes, it's a rule that's made for ease of use instead of making the least amount of sense in game: it's like knocking someone out causes them to fill with helium...

Liberty's Edge

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Bulk has an ease of use bonus, but none of the explanations I've heard (including those here) make the version we have now make any sense whatsoever.

It's very possible to make a version that does, but this isn't it.

And, to be clear her, I understand the concept of what Bulk is supposed to be just fine, and do not to have it explained to me repeatedly, my complaint is that it doesn't actually do what it says it does. It makes different things wildly different in Bulk not due to unwieldiness (which is the actual claim), or even due to narrative convenience (which would at least make sense on some level) but in an utterly arbitrary fashion.

Longbows are 2 Bulk, for example, while a Bo Staff is 1 Bulk. This makes no sense on any level, especially given that bows are generally carried unstrung.

The actual Bulk ratinsg make no sense with any logic I can some up with. And that makes what Bulk means confusing in a deeply un-useful way.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

It makes different things wildly different in Bulk not due to unwieldiness (which is the actual claim), or even due to narrative convenience (which would at least make sense on some level) but in an utterly arbitrary fashion.

Longbows are 2 Bulk, for example, while a Bo Staff is 1 Bulk. This makes no sense on any level, especially given that bows are generally carried unstrung.

The actual Bulk ratinsg make no sense with any logic I can some up with. And that makes what Bulk means confusing in a deeply un-useful way.

OK, so the real complaint is that some of the Bulk numbers for various items don't make sense.

I agree. It is arbitrary. Yes, a bow and a bo should have the same bulk. Fair enough.

Your previous comments seemed so say you didn't understand Bulk at all which I took to mean you didn't know what it's trying to do. Now that we've drilled to where you do understand it, fully, but disagree with the arbitrariness of the assigned bulk values, now we have something to work with.

The best part is, that's an argument the developers can use. Saying "I don't understand bulk at all" is useless to Paizo, but saying "I think a bow and a bo should have the same bulk" is something they can look at.

And we're on the same page. Some items definitely seem to need adjusting. Maybe this deserves it's own "Let's fix Bulk values" thread where we can all list the inconsistencies we've found in the Bulk system, in one simple convenient place for the devs.


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KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:
If you make any character under the current rules you will always have an 18 in one stat at first level. This is just insane.

No, that's wrong. The current rules let you choose to have an 18, they don't force you to.

So if your problem is every character having an 18, just choose not to.

Liberty's Edge

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DM_Blake wrote:
OK, so the real complaint is that some of the Bulk numbers for various items don't make sense.

No. My problem is that almost none of them make any sense in any coherent fashion. The various numbers have little if any actual correspondence to any particular factor whatsoever. Certainly not actual 'bulkiness'.

DM_Blake wrote:

I agree. It is arbitrary. Yes, a bow and a bo should have the same bulk. Fair enough.

Your previous comments seemed so say you didn't understand Bulk at all which I took to mean you didn't know what it's trying to do. Now that we've drilled to where you do understand it, fully, but disagree with the arbitrariness of the assigned bulk values, now we have something to work with.

What I said was that I didn't know what different Bulk numbers mean. And I don't, because there's no clear actual standard for their meaning. They claim there is but it's violated so often that it's no longer remotely useful.

I was in a bit of a hurry on my first post, and I apologize that this is unclear there, but it goes quite a bit deeper and further than just a few numbers being off (though the longbow is particularly egregious).


As the OP, I see that many of you understand what I was saying. A firefighter with training in how to carry a wounded person down a flight of stairs, CAN only do that upon demand and is winded after a few minutes. But any PC fighter with a strength greater than 13, can carry a wounded person for HOURS. This is my point.

A PC with a charisma of 15 can pretty much intimidate anyone with just a small help from the dice - that is totally unrealistic.

And I realize that Fantasy Role Playing Games are just that Fantasy. BUT, it should not be so EASY to max out at first level.

That was my point of the original post.


The thing is: Stat values are largely meaningless anyway, because of the level bonus to everything. An experienced character with Str 10 is by almost all measurable means stronger than a novice character with Str 18.

Carrying capacity is one exception. As you've noticed, it's massively unrealistic. However, it's also unrealistic that it is so heavily based on Strength in the first place. One's ability to carry equipment (and soldiers from antiquity to the current day often carry ~100 pounds on their person) is not based on arm muscle strength. Mostly, in my experience, it's a matter of specific training as well as your own body size.

There are also massive differences between things you can carry for a minute or several hours. To use the example of the wounded comrade being carried to safety, this is again something that every soldier is trained to do - but not many of them would be able to carry one of their comrades on the back during an entire day's march.

In my experience, this is one feature of RPG rules which is better handled with ad-hoc rulings based on common sense and/or some general guidelines. Any attempt to contain all the intricacies of this aspect of reality in an unambiguous set of rules will likely result in internal inconsistencies and wildly unrealistic results; an attempt to do so with a simplified, one-size-fits-all approach as seen in the current PF2 playtest definitely will.


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KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:


If you make any character under the current rules you will always have an 18 in one stat at first level.

Setting aside that none of this applies to NPCs, this isn't any more true in PF2 than PF1. You can absolutely build below an 18 at first level. It may not be advisable, but you can keep yourself from getting anything above a 14 if you determined enough.

PF1 characters tended to average an 18 in a stat at level 1, at least if they were at all SAD. You might have gotten a higher percentage of folks building below 18, but you also got lots of people min maxing and dump statting to get above 18.

This is a game of fantasy heroes. Let them be heroic.


Captain Morgan wrote:
KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:


If you make any character under the current rules you will always have an 18 in one stat at first level.

Setting aside that none of this applies to NPCs, this isn't any more true in PF2 than PF1. You can absolutely build below an 18 at first level. It may not be advisable, but you can keep yourself from getting anything above a 14 if you determined enough.

PF1 characters tended to average an 18 in a stat at level 1, at least if they were at all SAD. You might have gotten a higher percentage of folks building below 18, but you also got lots of people min maxing and dump statting to get above 18.

This is a game of fantasy heroes. Let them be heroic.

Of course, but I don't think having all scores being 16+ necessarily makes one more heroic. I would prefer if the rate of advancement was just toned down a notch.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:


If you make any character under the current rules you will always have an 18 in one stat at first level.

Setting aside that none of this applies to NPCs, this isn't any more true in PF2 than PF1. You can absolutely build below an 18 at first level. It may not be advisable, but you can keep yourself from getting anything above a 14 if you determined enough.

PF1 characters tended to average an 18 in a stat at level 1, at least if they were at all SAD. You might have gotten a higher percentage of folks building below 18, but you also got lots of people min maxing and dump statting to get above 18.

This is a game of fantasy heroes. Let them be heroic.

Of course, but I don't think having all scores being 16+ necessarily makes one more heroic. I would prefer if the rate of advancement was just toned down a notch.

I wasn't trying to comment on the general rate of advancement, just what characters look like at level 1. Those are pretty separate things in my mind.

I personally dig the general rate of advancement for several reasons, but this thread is called "18s on any stat at first level" so I don't really want to get into a debate about levels 5+


Captain Morgan wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:


If you make any character under the current rules you will always have an 18 in one stat at first level.

Setting aside that none of this applies to NPCs, this isn't any more true in PF2 than PF1. You can absolutely build below an 18 at first level. It may not be advisable, but you can keep yourself from getting anything above a 14 if you determined enough.

PF1 characters tended to average an 18 in a stat at level 1, at least if they were at all SAD. You might have gotten a higher percentage of folks building below 18, but you also got lots of people min maxing and dump statting to get above 18.

This is a game of fantasy heroes. Let them be heroic.

Of course, but I don't think having all scores being 16+ necessarily makes one more heroic. I would prefer if the rate of advancement was just toned down a notch.
I wasn't trying to comment on the general rate of advancement, just what characters look like at level 1. Those are pretty separate things in my mind.

I generally like a cap of 17, after modifiers, for 1st-level characters. A 20 seems rather high for a 5th-level character. I know in previous editions you are able to start with a 20, depending on whether you roll or use point buy, I just prefer a slightly lower start. In AD&D, you really need higher scores (15+) to gain any benefit, but in the d20 system, a 12 Str is like a 17 Str.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

It makes different things wildly different in Bulk not due to unwieldiness (which is the actual claim), or even due to narrative convenience (which would at least make sense on some level) but in an utterly arbitrary fashion.

Longbows are 2 Bulk, for example, while a Bo Staff is 1 Bulk. This makes no sense on any level, especially given that bows are generally carried unstrung.

The actual Bulk ratinsg make no sense with any logic I can some up with. And that makes what Bulk means confusing in a deeply un-useful way.

OK, so the real complaint is that some of the Bulk numbers for various items don't make sense.

I agree. It is arbitrary. Yes, a bow and a bo should have the same bulk. Fair enough.

Your previous comments seemed so say you didn't understand Bulk at all which I took to mean you didn't know what it's trying to do. Now that we've drilled to where you do understand it, fully, but disagree with the arbitrariness of the assigned bulk values, now we have something to work with.

The best part is, that's an argument the developers can use. Saying "I don't understand bulk at all" is useless to Paizo, but saying "I think a bow and a bo should have the same bulk" is something they can look at.

And we're on the same page. Some items definitely seem to need adjusting. Maybe this deserves it's own "Let's fix Bulk values" thread where we can all list the inconsistencies we've found in the Bulk system, in one simple convenient place for the devs.

I would like official guidelines that help a GM determine with ease the bulk of anything.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Of course, but I don't think having all scores being 16+ necessarily makes one more heroic. I would prefer if the rate of advancement was just toned down a notch.

Myself, I'm happy with pathfinder classic's 20 starting max. For me, seeing 14's and 16's for max makes the character feel more mundane and 'normal'. It can be fun to succeed against the odds as an average bloke but that's not what I play pathfinder for. So not seeing those "16+" definitely makes me feel LESS heroic: having the local blacksmith tie me at armwrestling, for instance, makes me wonder why HE isn't going to kill the dragon instead of me. :P


The Raven Black wrote:
I would like official guidelines that help a GM determine with ease the bulk of anything.

What I'd really like is bulk dropped and pounds returned but if we HAVE to keep it, a simple conversion to pounds would work: instead of a range, an official conversion.

As to guidelines... I'm not sure how that's work as it's SO arbitrary at the moment a suggestion of 'toss a dart at the board' or 'roll randomly on the chart' for any unknown item would get you a result like the current totals. :P


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:


If you make any character under the current rules you will always have an 18 in one stat at first level.

Setting aside that none of this applies to NPCs, this isn't any more true in PF2 than PF1. You can absolutely build below an 18 at first level. It may not be advisable, but you can keep yourself from getting anything above a 14 if you determined enough.

PF1 characters tended to average an 18 in a stat at level 1, at least if they were at all SAD. You might have gotten a higher percentage of folks building below 18, but you also got lots of people min maxing and dump statting to get above 18.

This is a game of fantasy heroes. Let them be heroic.

Of course, but I don't think having all scores being 16+ necessarily makes one more heroic. I would prefer if the rate of advancement was just toned down a notch.
I wasn't trying to comment on the general rate of advancement, just what characters look like at level 1. Those are pretty separate things in my mind.
I generally like a cap of 17, after modifiers, for 1st-level characters. A 20 seems rather high for a 5th-level character. I know in previous editions you are able to start with a 20, depending on whether you roll or use point buy, I just prefer a slightly lower start. In AD&D, you really need higher scores (15+) to gain any benefit, but in the d20 system, a 12 Str is like a 17 Str.

How can you get a 20 at 5th level? The max you can have at 1st is 18, and that 5th level boost bumps it up to 19. You have to be level 10 to get a 20 in a score, and to me that's just fine.


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I have to say I prefer "you have to wait until level 10 to have a 20" to how quickly PF1 characters were able to get 20s (people usually got their first belt/headband around level 3-4 in my experience.) Some people would even cheese that "random Aasimar ability" chart to start with a 22.


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KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:


A PC with a charisma of 15 can pretty much intimidate anyone with just a small help from the dice - that is totally unrealistic.

And I realize that Fantasy Role Playing Games are just that Fantasy. BUT, it should not be so EASY to max out at first level.

That was my point of the original post.

I was thinking about the opposite situation, in that how easy is it for a NPC/PC/Monster to use a skill to "charm/enthrall/etc" a group of common people?

Note: it vastly depends on how the game defines the common people, ie all level 1 people or common people tend to be levels 1-3.

MDC


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thenobledrake wrote:
KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:
If you make any character under the current rules you will always have an 18 in one stat at first level. This is just insane.

No, that's wrong. The current rules let you choose to have an 18, they don't force you to.

So if your problem is every character having an 18, just choose not to.

While technically you are not 'forced' into putting an 18 into your main stat, the very very tight math PF2 works on seems to have 18 (and thus a +4 bonus) as its default balancing point.

In other words, if you have the audacity to only start with a 16, you will be behind the expected power curve in 10 out of 20 levels. Not a good place to be because of the tightness of the math is so punishing.


Lycar wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
KATYA OF VARISIAN wrote:
If you make any character under the current rules you will always have an 18 in one stat at first level. This is just insane.

No, that's wrong. The current rules let you choose to have an 18, they don't force you to.

So if your problem is every character having an 18, just choose not to.

While technically you are not 'forced' into putting an 18 into your main stat, the very very tight math PF2 works on seems to have 18 (and thus a +4 bonus) as its default balancing point.

In other words, if you have the audacity to only start with a 16, you will be behind the expected power curve in 10 out of 20 levels. Not a good place to be because of the tightness of the math is so punishing.

It's really not all that "punishing" in my experience.

Besides that, I think it is better as an approach, overall, to have the system expect that you'll go for the highest score in your most important trait. That way, when a player does something other than that the results are completely intuitive "things are a little hard, but that makes sense as I could have been better at some of them if I wanted to". Where as setting the system's balance point on some lower score, but allowing a player to have more than that score if they want, creates the unintuitive feeling of having "broken" the game without actually trying to do so as everything is obviously easier than intended.


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Really? In mine it's completely punishing. If you aren't maxed out in every way you can be (sometimes including items and spells), you shouldn't even bother trying.


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I feel like the "tightness of the math"/"People fail too often at things they should be good at" is a separate issue worth considering.

At the very least you should be able to start at 16 in your primary stat and be fine. Otherwise we can't have battle clerics, gnome barbarians, dwarf bards, etc.

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