Dump Stats


Creating a Character


I recall seeing some early discussion (read: August) regarding Int being the new dump stat, especially beyond Lvl 1 due to knowledge skills getting spread across Int and Wis, as well as Lore not being overly useful. Has there been any change in opinion on this as the playtest has gone on?

The other stat I see as relatively worthless now is Str. Unless you want a few % chances higher to make that climbing roll with Athletics, Str isn't really doing much for you beyond level 3. The moment your 1d4+1 Rogue or that 1d12+4 Barbarian gets that potency rune, the stat bonus from Str means very little. It's exacerbated with each + from the potency runes. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not entirely certain that I don't like the extra dice rolls for damage. They're kind of fun to toss around. But it makes the Str bonus weak at best, and at worst, completely worthless. Chucking around 4 dice at 12th level makes that extra +5 (if you're lucky) not feel like it's a worthwhile investment. And I know there are probably a few items to artificially boost your Str to get the bonus up another point or two but the scaling in general just doesn't seem to make it worth it. Give me Wis, Cha, Con, or even Dex at this point.

((Disclaimer: this is coming from someone who was running a Vesk Armored Brute in Starfinder punching people at 1d4+14 at level 4. I'll take my flat guaranteed stats any day of the week, thanks.))

But am I way off? Or is this kind of the meta that's developing so far? Admittedly, I've been GMing this entire test, so the one thing I've not had careful attention on is the actual character building process.


Strength increases damage by letting you use a better damage die. But yes, str, int, and cha are currently under powered compared to ability scores that boost your saves wis Dex and con


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I'd say it is still mostly INT.
CHA has it's uses in that Spell Point/Resonance/whatever it is called now pool and STR as stated above still increases your damage somewhat.
INT is now the only ability score that doesn't do anything useful, especially with the way the Skill system "works" now.
So...expect a lot of really stupid characters in your games now


When my Str bonus is increasing on a linear growth pattern while my damage dice increase exponentially, I still maintain it's worthless mid game and beyond. Add to that many ranged combatants and nearly all casters who won't even use it for damage... It's marginally helpful at low levels for around 60% of builds. That's it.


PhoenixSunrise wrote:
casters who won't even use it for damage

won't they? because one of my playtest players built a wizard with high STR just to see if he could outperform the barbarian character in melee combat. (based on that players theory that PF2 barbarians are seriously underperforming)* and, well, they were about the same level without the wizard's spells

*that was between the 1.3 and 1.4 updates, so the new 1.6 classes might differ, we haven't had the chance to playtest since that update came out


Barbarians didn't get much of a bump in 1.6. I've got a player who's also gone Wizard/Fighter trying to recreate the Magus. But they're in the minority.

The parity in numbers speaks to the +1/level being more of a factor than the attributes themselves, which is probably partially to blame for the stat dumps being what they are.


IIRC it wasn't even a Wizard/Fighter combo but a flat Wizard with INT as obvious dump stat and STR as main stat. the general swinginess of the new system and the wizard critting more often (and hitting slightly more often) than the Barbarian (sheer luck, I guess) made him dealing a little more damage over those two sessions than the Barbarian as a result. I'm not sure the effect would have been the same without maxing STR, though.

(And yes, +1/level is obviously also a huge factor here, but just mentioning that there is a problem with +1/level usually leads to Jason closing the thread, so for the sake of keeping the thread alive, just pretend +1/level is a gift from the gods and nothing better could ever happen to not only RPGs but to gaming in general)


I played an 18 INT Monk in a playtest session, sacrificing STR to get that, and it felt useful. Despite being a barefist brawler, I was the smartest person in the party, thanks to the high INT modifier and the wide range of skills I was trained in. The STR trade-off meant I only lost 2 damage from each hit, which compared to a -4 penalty to a skill check, felt like a fair bargain.

If I weren't trying to be smart, however, I would've dumped INT. WIS and CHA are very good stats.


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PhoenixSunrise wrote:
When my Str bonus is increasing on a linear growth pattern while my damage dice increase exponentially, I still maintain it's worthless mid game and beyond. Add to that many ranged combatants and nearly all casters who won't even use it for damage... It's marginally helpful at low levels for around 60% of builds. That's it.

Your strength bonus also influences your to-hit, and having 2 less to-hit causes your average damage to take a nose-dive, as if you'd taken a weapon two die sizes smaller.

So no, Str is not a dumpstat.


PhoenixSunrise wrote:
When my Str bonus is increasing on a linear growth pattern while my damage dice increase exponentially, I still maintain it's worthless mid game and beyond. Add to that many ranged combatants and nearly all casters who won't even use it for damage... It's marginally helpful at low levels for around 60% of builds. That's it.

You need STR to hit for most melee characters and every plus to hit is essential. Of course it isn’t to useful for casters and bowmen

It also helps bulk.


Hythlodeus wrote:

I'd say it is still mostly INT.

CHA has it's uses in that Spell Point/Resonance/whatever it is called now pool and STR as stated above still increases your damage somewhat.
INT is now the only ability score that doesn't do anything useful, especially with the way the Skill system "works" now.
So...expect a lot of really stupid characters in your games now

At least better than in PF1 since it won't go down to 8 this time.


ChibiNyan wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

I'd say it is still mostly INT.

CHA has it's uses in that Spell Point/Resonance/whatever it is called now pool and STR as stated above still increases your damage somewhat.
INT is now the only ability score that doesn't do anything useful, especially with the way the Skill system "works" now.
So...expect a lot of really stupid characters in your games now
At least better than in PF1 since it won't go down to 8 this time.

If you use point buy in PF1, sure.


citricking wrote:

Strength increases damage by letting you use a better damage die. But yes, str, int, and cha are currently under powered compared to ability scores that boost your saves wis Dex and con

What do you mean by this? I (and no one in my group) has any idea what you mean by str allowing you to use a better damage die. Best we can come up with is your saying that adding each +1 to damage from str means your average damage is effectively increased to the next die type. IE, the average damage of a character with a +1 str mod using a d6 weapon does an average of 4.5 damage, the same a character with no str modifier would do using a d8 based weapon.


Joey Cote wrote:
citricking wrote:

Strength increases damage by letting you use a better damage die. But yes, str, int, and cha are currently under powered compared to ability scores that boost your saves wis Dex and con

What do you mean by this? I (and no one in my group) has any idea what you mean by str allowing you to use a better damage die. Best we can come up with is your saying that adding each +1 to damage from str means your average damage is effectively increased to the next die type. IE, the average damage of a character with a +1 str mod using a d6 weapon does an average of 4.5 damage, the same a character with no str modifier would do using a d8 based weapon.

If you you're using strength to hit, then strength obviously affects how much damage you do.

If you aren't using strength to hit you're using dexterity to hit, and finesse weapons have smaller damage dice.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

I'd say it is still mostly INT.

CHA has it's uses in that Spell Point/Resonance/whatever it is called now pool and STR as stated above still increases your damage somewhat.
INT is now the only ability score that doesn't do anything useful, especially with the way the Skill system "works" now.
So...expect a lot of really stupid characters in your games now
At least better than in PF1 since it won't go down to 8 this time.

I'm not exactly sure how that's "better" and 10 still isn't exactly stupid. Half the fun of playing a role-playing game is to play something you are not, and playing a scrawny, clumsy, anemic, dim, rash, or unlikable character is half the fun for those of us who started life with 18s in every stat (before racial and class bonuses). ;)

All of PF1's iconics and even many of the developers' own personal characters had weak stats of 7 or 8. The new game though seems determined to keep people average or better for their level (the new setting must be Lake Wobegon) and sprinkled with abilities that help mitigate mildly bad luck at dice rolls. It seems to me that being a little subpar in something often helps to build character--in every sense of the word.


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The World's Most Interesting GM wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

I'd say it is still mostly INT.

CHA has it's uses in that Spell Point/Resonance/whatever it is called now pool and STR as stated above still increases your damage somewhat.
INT is now the only ability score that doesn't do anything useful, especially with the way the Skill system "works" now.
So...expect a lot of really stupid characters in your games now
At least better than in PF1 since it won't go down to 8 this time.

I'm not exactly sure how that's "better" and 10 still isn't exactly stupid. Half the fun of playing a role-playing game is to play something you are not, and playing a scrawny, clumsy, anemic, dim, rash, or unlikable character is half the fun for those of us who started life with 18s in every stat (before racial and class bonuses). ;)

All of PF1's iconics and even many of the developers' own personal characters had weak stats of 7 or 8. The new game though seems determined to keep people average or better for their level (the new setting must be Lake Wobegon) and sprinkled with abilities that help mitigate mildly bad luck at dice rolls. It seems to me that being a little subpar in something often helps to build character--in every sense of the word.

The problem is that counter-balancing the dump stat with an advantage in another makes dumping mandatory for everyone who is trying to min-max their character a little bit, as there will always be one stat that is more useful than another.

So you have a rather stupid character not because you want to roleplay that, but because that +1 in Constitution you got as a trade-off is much more useful in combat.

In the playtest rules you CAN dump a stat, you just don't get anything back for that.


The World's Most Interesting GM wrote:


I'm not exactly sure how that's "better" and 10 still isn't exactly stupid. Half the fun of playing a role-playing game is to play something you are not, and playing a scrawny, clumsy, anemic, dim, rash, or unlikable character is half the fun for those of us who started life with 18s in every stat (before racial and class bonuses). ;)

All of PF1's iconics and even many of the developers' own personal characters had weak stats of 7 or 8. The new game though seems determined to keep people average or better for their level (the new setting must be Lake Wobegon) and sprinkled with abilities that help mitigate mildly bad luck at dice rolls. It seems to me that being a little subpar in something often helps to build character--in every sense of the word.

Also, there's a soft cap at 20. It's not as hard as 5e's cap, since you can still get +1/increase, but it's there. But in 5e, the standard in Adventurers League (PFS equivalent) is 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 before racials. Also, their ability score increases are +2 to one or +1 to two every 4 levels, with a hard cap of 20. So overall, you can hit the cap by level 12, or level 8 with racials, but if you choose to spread out bonuses, you might not even hit the cap until level 20.

Meanwhile, in PFPT, you're expected to start with an 18 and a 16. So you'll hit the soft cap in one score by level 5, and potentially in a second by level 15.

Bigger starting numbers only make sense if the scale is unbounded, Otherwise it feels like an insanely low level cap. (And even in 1e, I'm of the opinion that even an 18 after racials is mix-maxing)

EDIT: No, soft cap at 18 in PFPT, so you already hit it.


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Megistone wrote:
The World's Most Interesting GM wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

I'd say it is still mostly INT.

CHA has it's uses in that Spell Point/Resonance/whatever it is called now pool and STR as stated above still increases your damage somewhat.
INT is now the only ability score that doesn't do anything useful, especially with the way the Skill system "works" now.
So...expect a lot of really stupid characters in your games now
At least better than in PF1 since it won't go down to 8 this time.

I'm not exactly sure how that's "better" and 10 still isn't exactly stupid. Half the fun of playing a role-playing game is to play something you are not, and playing a scrawny, clumsy, anemic, dim, rash, or unlikable character is half the fun for those of us who started life with 18s in every stat (before racial and class bonuses). ;)

All of PF1's iconics and even many of the developers' own personal characters had weak stats of 7 or 8. The new game though seems determined to keep people average or better for their level (the new setting must be Lake Wobegon) and sprinkled with abilities that help mitigate mildly bad luck at dice rolls. It seems to me that being a little subpar in something often helps to build character--in every sense of the word.

The problem is that counter-balancing the dump stat with an advantage in another makes dumping mandatory for everyone who is trying to min-max their character a little bit, as there will always be one stat that is more useful than another.

So you have a rather stupid character not because you want to roleplay that, but because that +1 in Constitution you got as a trade-off is much more useful in combat.

In the playtest rules you CAN dump a stat, you just don't get anything back for that.

Plus SO MUCH to this. I have seen so many complaints of "OMG I can't be bad at anything so I can't have good roleplaying characters" (Yes some of the arguments are better phrased than that, but some aren't really) and every time someone points out that the book specifies that you can give yourself weak points as you darn well please the people reply that "Just saying you can make yourself weaker isn't a good excuse since there isn't a set system for it".

And I'm sorry but if you're really wanting your character to have flaws and weaknesses (Like a dump stat) for RP reasons then you shouldn't NEED to get a trade-off of boosting something else for it. Tanking one thing to boost another is the bread and butter of minmaxing, and IMO it seems to me like the only people who would be complaining about it are people who want to dump things to minmax.

I apologize if my phrasing of this misrepresents anyone who is more reasonable about this, that is not my intention, I just really don't get the argument of "Paizo needs to let me make my characters worse at things than the current minimum level, but they have to give me something in return for wanting to weaken my character," and the way some people are about this has just bugged me to no end and I needed to put my take on it out there.

And I mean, I get the idea that people probably don't want to deliberately weaken their character with no benefit, but when everyone seems to say they want to do it for roleplay reasons then as I said I don't see why you wouldn't be willing to just do it. It's not like making yourself bad at a skill or bumping down a stat you weren't using is going to cripple you, but as others have said if we start giving perks for making yourself weaker then the minmaxing meta comes out of the waterworks and we start getting PF1 Point-Buy issues.


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Agreed. Some of my favourite 'flawed' characters are ones that could actually do a task and succeed at it, but chose not to do it or sabotaged themselves. To me, THAT's roleplaying, in that the roleplaying itself was what made the problem, not the game's mechanical limitations the player choose to inflict on the PC.


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EberronHoward wrote:
Agreed. Some of my favourite 'flawed' characters are ones that could actually do a task and succeed at it, but chose not to do it or sabotaged themselves. To me, THAT's roleplaying, in that the roleplaying itself was what made the problem, not the game's mechanical limitations the player choose to inflict on the PC.

Indeed, this also reminds me of how people complain about the skill system a la "I can no longer have a character who can't swim" even though most cases of "I can't swim" were post hoc justifications for a low strength and no ranks in swim. It is entirely possible to have a character who is a fantastic swimmer that vociferously declines to get wet when there is any choice in the matter. Like my Skull and Shackles character was a Merfolk who was pathologically afraid of going back in the water lest the Aboleth cult he had escaped from decided to come collect him, since on land (strong tail and bloodrager) he could just run away from them. Which is not to say I did not have skill ranks in swim on that character despite already having a swim speed.

"I make choices" is roleplaying, "I fail rolls" is decidedly less so.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
EberronHoward wrote:
Agreed. Some of my favourite 'flawed' characters are ones that could actually do a task and succeed at it, but chose not to do it or sabotaged themselves. To me, THAT's roleplaying, in that the roleplaying itself was what made the problem, not the game's mechanical limitations the player choose to inflict on the PC.

Indeed, this also reminds me of how people complain about the skill system a la "I can no longer have a character who can't swim" even though most cases of "I can't swim" were post hoc justifications for a low strength and no ranks in swim. It is entirely possible to have a character who is a fantastic swimmer that vociferously declines to get wet when there is any choice in the matter. Like my Skull and Shackles character was a Merfolk who was pathologically afraid of going back in the water lest the Aboleth cult he had escaped from decided to come collect him, since on land (strong tail and bloodrager) he could just run away from them. Which is not to say I did not have skill ranks in swim on that character despite already having a swim speed.

"I make choices" is roleplaying, "I fail rolls" is decidedly less so.

It's a different concern with ability scores. As I pointed out, while 5e and PFPT both have ability score caps (although PF's is a soft one), 5e makes you wait until at least level 8 to hit it, while PF lets you hit it at level 1. Even just subtracting 2 from every ability score and using 8 as a base would make the cap of 18 feel more meaningful, since you would no longer be able to start at what's effectively perfect in an ability score.

Grand Lodge

I am wondering if the method used to generate characters for the Playtest will be the same method used in 2e. It's quite possible that character generation is very different for the final version as the playtest is more about testing out the mechanics rather than generating characters which will be played over 20 levels.


RazarTuk wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
EberronHoward wrote:
Agreed. Some of my favourite 'flawed' characters are ones that could actually do a task and succeed at it, but chose not to do it or sabotaged themselves. To me, THAT's roleplaying, in that the roleplaying itself was what made the problem, not the game's mechanical limitations the player choose to inflict on the PC.

Indeed, this also reminds me of how people complain about the skill system a la "I can no longer have a character who can't swim" even though most cases of "I can't swim" were post hoc justifications for a low strength and no ranks in swim. It is entirely possible to have a character who is a fantastic swimmer that vociferously declines to get wet when there is any choice in the matter. Like my Skull and Shackles character was a Merfolk who was pathologically afraid of going back in the water lest the Aboleth cult he had escaped from decided to come collect him, since on land (strong tail and bloodrager) he could just run away from them. Which is not to say I did not have skill ranks in swim on that character despite already having a swim speed.

"I make choices" is roleplaying, "I fail rolls" is decidedly less so.

It's a different concern with ability scores. As I pointed out, while 5e and PFPT both have ability score caps (although PF's is a soft one), 5e makes you wait until at least level 8 to hit it, while PF lets you hit it at level 1. Even just subtracting 2 from every ability score and using 8 as a base would make the cap of 18 feel more meaningful, since you would no longer be able to start at what's effectively perfect in an ability score.

The statement of 18 as a soft cap... really doesn't make sense. It's a hard cap at 1st level, but nowhere after that.

If a stat starts at 18, bumping it at 5 and 10 gets you to 20, again at 15 and 20 gets you 22.

Start at 16, bump it at 5 and you get 18. Bump it again at 10 and 15, you get 20. Or skip one of those and you can hit 20 at level 20.

Start at 14, bump at 5 to 16, 10 to 18, 15 and 20 you end up with a 20.

And of course a Potent item lets you bump one stat by 2, so a stat starting at 18 eventually hits 24 or one starting at 16 or 14 eventually hits 22.

Not sure how any of this is a soft cap of 18 or as you put it "A soft cap that can be reached at level 1" or "Being able to start as effectively perfect in one stat".

Unless I'm misunderstanding the term soft cap. I assume it to mean "The rules don't say you can't go past here, but the rules provide no way to go past here".


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Edge93 wrote:
I have seen so many complaints of "OMG I can't be bad at anything so I can't have good roleplaying characters"

Yes, you can intentionally hobble your character if you like with no return on investment, but are the people you'll be playing with, who all above average in everything, really going to like playing with that character at the table? Are you going to like playing with them feeling like the fat asthmatic kid with braces and with no way to compensate for your character's deficiencies? Probably not. In fact, I find the suggestion in that section a bit insulting. Why yes, you can hamper yourself if you want (dumb ass) but we aren't going to give you anything so just shut up already. You're going to be above average and like it. Would characters like Raistlin, or James Jacobs own Shensen ever be allowed to play at Playtest table without feeling guilty that they were letting the side down because of their lousy ability scores? What a jerk James is for even considering playing a character with a single digit Wisdom score. I mean really! We're all trying to play a serious game here and he brings that?! Geez.

The whole "break your own leg we don't care" argument seems like a thin bit of veneer meant to deflect the blame on to players who want to play character with curmudgeon's charisma score and to cover up some poor game design. Yeah, I said it and I'll say it again. Poor game design.

And here I thought humans were the most versatile race and yet somehow they can't out grumpy a dwarf?! Madness!

For the record, I know and GM for a lot of min-maxers who like RPGs (obsess over them really). They spend time and money researching just the right splat books, and wheedle like hell to get their "balanced" 3PP rule into a game. So what? Are they having fun? Cool. If you don't happen to like playing with them, no one is forcing you to. Still they are super passionate players and I would never discount them out of hand. And if the designers were specifically trying to alienate a big segment of their current audience I would seriously advise them not to. A game should be about inclusivity. Nobody says you have to min-max but robbing other people of the opportunity to do so with in the rules isn't really right either.

I found it bitterly funny that after being battered over the head with page 6's calls (neigh, demands) for inclusivity that a disabled person would never see themselves reflected in this game's heroes.

The original poster makes the point that compensating for super swingy design by introducing a bunch of safety net feats and abilities is not really all that much fun. I agree. Show me what I can do, not how to avoid critical failure. I want a game where I can race towards it and if I do fail I want to fail big and meaningful! On the very cusp of glory! I want a game where I can fail forward.

By making it pretty much mandatory that you can't fail at character design without having people stare at you like you are drooling on yourself, they are taking away some of the most meaningful decisions you get to make about your character, and making meaningful decisions is really what makes the best games so great.

Nobody here said that it was a bad to play a character who was average or above (I've got a lot characters with nothing lower than 10), but I do think it is a bit unfun (and under-imaginative) to limit people to playing that way. Role-playing is about breaking the limits, skating on the edge of possible destruction and occasionally winning against all odds like a totally epic bastard! It is not about being the ideal APL, CR, EL or whatever. That's an actuary's job. I'm here to have fun and there are parts of this playtest that just don't seem fun right now.


Edge93 wrote:
The statement of 18 as a soft cap... really doesn't make sense. It's a hard cap at 1st level, but nowhere after that

By calling it a soft cap, I mean to refer to how stat increases slow down. Like if you boost a star of 16/+3, you get to 18/+4 right away. But it takes 2 increases or 10 levels to meaningfully move up from there.

If I start with an 18 and a 16 at level 1, boosting that 16 at level 5 is more attractive, because it doesn't hinge on playing all the way to level 10 to get the second half of the same boost.


RazarTuk wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
The statement of 18 as a soft cap... really doesn't make sense. It's a hard cap at 1st level, but nowhere after that
By calling it a soft cap, I mean to refer to how stat increases slow down.

This, exactly, is what soft cap means. It means that the mechanics dis-incentivise further investment of points through means of diminishing returns and that, while you can get higher numbers, its less efficient in some manner.

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Soft%20Cap

Also, the explicit hard cap to 18 during character generation is meaningless. You literally can't go above it even without the rule that says you can't.


Draco18s wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
The statement of 18 as a soft cap... really doesn't make sense. It's a hard cap at 1st level, but nowhere after that
By calling it a soft cap, I mean to refer to how stat increases slow down.

This, exactly, is what soft cap means. It means that the mechanics dis-incentivise further investment of points through means of diminishing returns and that, while you can get higher numbers, its less efficient in some manner.

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Soft%20Cap

Also, the explicit hard cap to 18 during character generation is meaningless. You literally can't go above it even without the rule that says you can't.

This is true, though I think it is partly there for cases of someone rolling a 17 or 18 using the die roll variant.


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The World's Most Interesting GM wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
I have seen so many complaints of "OMG I can't be bad at anything so I can't have good roleplaying characters"

Yes, you can intentionally hobble your character if you like with no return on investment, but are the people you'll be playing with, who all above average in everything, really going to like playing with that character at the table? Are you going to like playing with them feeling like the fat asthmatic kid with braces and with no way to compensate for your character's deficiencies? Probably not. In fact, I find the suggestion in that section a bit insulting. Why yes, you can hamper yourself if you want (dumb ass) but we aren't going to give you anything so just shut up already. You're going to be above average and like it. Would characters like Raistlin, or James Jacobs own Shensen ever be allowed to play at Playtest table without feeling guilty that they were letting the side down because of their lousy ability scores? What a jerk James is for even considering playing a character with a single digit Wisdom score. I mean really! We're all trying to play a serious game here and he brings that?! Geez.

The whole "break your own leg we don't care" argument seems like a thin bit of veneer meant to deflect the blame on to players who want to play character with curmudgeon's charisma score and to cover up some poor game design. Yeah, I said it and I'll say it again. Poor game design.

And here I thought humans were the most versatile race and yet somehow they can't out grumpy a dwarf?! Madness!

For the record, I know and GM for a lot of min-maxers who like RPGs (obsess over them really). They spend time and money researching just the right splat books, and wheedle like hell to get their "balanced" 3PP rule into a game. So what? Are they having fun? Cool. If you don't happen to like playing with them, no one is forcing you to. Still they are super passionate players and I would never discount them out of hand. And if the designers were specifically trying to alienate a...

Wow. Your reply kinda proves my point very well. Namely your over-exaggeration of the issue.

A character who can't swim, for example, isn't some sort of cripple tag-along because they aren't equally better in another skill to make up for it.

A character with 8 Wis, to use one of your examples, isn't a dead-weight drag pulling the party down just because they have -1 to Perception, Will, and a few skills compared to a guy with 10 Wis, just because he didn't get a couple points to put int another stat in exchange. Because he didn't get a min-maxing reward for a roleplaying decision.

No one is going to get treated like a burden or treated like crap because they are a couple points down in a stat or because they don't perform in a specific skill or two. Or more accurately if they are then they have a s****y group and probably need to find a new one.

But you know what can result in players feeling left behind, like dead weight, like they can't contribute? (Not necessarily WILL, but very much CAN) The min-maxing that you're saying needs to be allowed.

PF1 levels of minmaxing at the same table as people who aren't so skilled at deep optimization results in characters that may ACTUALLY be dead weight compared to the other members of the party. You can easily end up with situations where many challenges are either a challenge for the minmaxed character and near impossible for the not, or a challenge for the not and borderline automatic for the minmaxer.

I'm not saying minmaxing needs to be completely alienated, optimization is fun, but something like PF1 minmaxing is WAY more excluding than a -1 to a stat modifier or a couple of dead skills in PF2, even considering the tightness of the math.

And giving a system where you can dump any stat or skill for a measurable increase to be applied elsewhere of your choice just SCREAMS "Dump anything you don't need, come up with a roleplay reason for it, and enjoy buffing up the stuff you use to the max!", while I feel like taking a minor penalty or a dead skill with no benefit wouldn't be so prohibitive to people doing it for roleplay reasons. It doesn't make you some kind of dead-weight freak as you allege. (I will say, I know nothing of the specific characters you mentioned as examples, for all I know they could have a 7 in every ability score and I'm just missing that, if so then my bad.)

And I understand that saying "Yeah, sure, take a penalty but you aren't getting anything for it" could seem like a bit of a slap in the face and I'm sorry about that. But saying that having an 8 in a score (Aside from one granted by your racial penalty I guess, since that does come with a reciprocating bonus) or a dead skill or two makes you dead-weight or a useless freak is serious hyperbole. If it sounds rude I'm sorry, but the "Take flaws for roleplay reasons if you want, but no benefit, sorry" is just miles better to me than the alternative of opening wide the min-maxing gates and leaving any non minmaxed character at the same table as a minmaxed character notably weaker by comparison, most likely to a greater degree than the kinds of penalties you would take via roleplaying.

One results in intentionally being slightly (Or a bit more than slightly perhaps for skills) worse at something you were already going to intentionally be bad at. The other punishes you for NOT minmaxing, making you comparatively worse at the things you were trying to be GOOD at because you didn't make yourself extra bad at as much other stuff as someone else.

I apologize if I make any significant errors, fallacies, etc. here, if there are any they are unintentional. And I apologize if my initial take on things seemed rude, I can see how it would seem as such, but as clearly stated here, when I compare it to the alternative...


@ TWMIGM:

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For the record, I know and GM for a lot of min-maxers who like RPGs (obsess over them really). They spend time and money researching just the right splat books, and wheedle like hell to get their "balanced" 3PP rule into a game. So what? Are they having fun? Cool. If you don't happen to like playing with them, no one is forcing you to. Still they are super passionate players and I would never discount them out of hand. And if the designers were specifically trying to alienate a big segment of their current audience I would seriously advise them not to. A game should be about inclusivity. Nobody says you have to min-max but robbing other people of the opportunity to do so with in the rules isn't really right either.

I found it bitterly funny that after being battered over the head with page 6's calls (neigh, demands) for inclusivity that a disabled person would never see themselves reflected in this game's heroes.

Well, Page 6 suggest being intolerant of intolerance, so it's not a literally "accept everything that happens at the table". It doesn't accept "I'm just playing my character" or "Don't be so offended" as acceptable excuses for someone being made uncomfortable. Paizo is willing to lose a few players who don't play well with others.

That being said, I'm a hardcore min-maxer, and definitely do all those things you mentioned. And frankly, I don't feel that PF2 is excluding me. So I don't think that Page 6 has any connection to how min-mixable the system is. Game preference is separate from playstyle.

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The original poster makes the point that compensating for super swingy design by introducing a bunch of safety net feats and abilities is not really all that much fun. I agree. Show me what I can do, not how to avoid critical failure. I want a game where I can race towards it and if I do fail I want to fail big and meaningful! On the very cusp of glory! I want a game where I can fail forward.

Your desire to 'fail big' may not be shared by your fellow players. They might actually want to succeed.

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