You can take 2 additional flaws to get another boost during Ancestry selection!


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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thflame wrote:


BTW, what was so bad about Point Buy in PF1? An 18 was expensive unless you had a racial boost.

Aside from dump stats, it tended to require a point buy calculator to do without screwing up. That's not good.


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Really? Even if you can't do it in your head, a few scribblings on your character sheet would solve that immediately.

Silver Crusade

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

Too much time and effort for little benefit that way.


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Arakhor wrote:
Really? Even if you can't do it in your head, a few scribblings on your character sheet would solve that immediately.

Yes. Really. Point buys are needlessly complicated to the point where they really shouldn't exist anymore and it isn't even worth trying to explain why.

Heck, even having ability scores instead of just mods is dumb. The only reason it is still there is recognition. But the new system at least makes it easier by not putting ability scores in monster statblocks and not letting level 1 characters get even ability scores.


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I never bothered to figure out how point buy worked in PF1 either. PF2, I was statting up characters in my head within 10 minutes of reading the first chapter of the playtest book.


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Point buy is REALLY easy.

Each Score costs a number of points equal to the modifier the score gives you(minimum 1).

9 through 13 all cost 1 point each.

14 and 15 cost 2 points each.

16 and 17 cost 3 points each.

18 costs 4 points.

I'll agree on Scores vs Modifiers. Ability scores are almost never used, and when they are, the rule can usually be tweaked to not need them.


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Point buy needed to be a bit more complicated because it was a sliding scale [low to epic], based no how strong you wanted to make your character. But too much time/effort? Never seemed it to me.

Various character sheets and/or online tools quickly/easily figure out points if you don't want to do it manually. Or if you know the point buy you're going to play with ll the time, make a few set of arrays ONCE and you can quickly pick one without having to think about the buy system again. Here is a 20 point array set [and I didn't even have to do the math as it was EASILY found online]:

No Dump Stats:
18, 13, 10, 10, 10, 10 = 5 net
17, 14, 12, 10, 10, 10 = 6 net
16, 14, 14, 10, 10, 10 = 7 net
16, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12 = 8 net
15, 14, 12, 12, 12, 12 = 8 net
14, 14, 14, 14, 10, 10 = 8 net

One Dump Stat:
18, 13, 12, 12, 10, 7 = 7 net
18, 12, 12, 12, 11, 7 = 7 net
17, 12, 12, 12, 12, 9 = 7 net
16, 14, 12, 12, 12, 7 = 9 net
16, 15, 14, 12, 10, 7 = 8 net
15, 14, 14, 14, 12, 7 = 9 net
14, 14, 14, 14, 12, 8 = 9 net

Two Dump Stats:
18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 7 = 6 net
17, 14, 14, 14, 7, 7 = 7 net
17, 16, 14, 10, 7, 7 = 6 net
16, 16, 14, 13, 7, 7 = 6 net
16, 14, 14, 14, 9, 7 = 6 net

Three Dump Stats:
18, 17, 12, 7, 7, 7 = 4 net
18, 17, 10, 8, 7, 7 = 4 net
18, 16, 14, 7, 7, 7 = 5 net
18, 15, 14, 9, 7, 7 = 5 net
17, 16, 14, 8, 8, 7 = 6 net
16, 16, 16, 8, 7, 7 = 6 net


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thflame wrote:

Point buy is REALLY easy.

Each Score costs a number of points equal to the modifier the score gives you(minimum 1).

9 through 13 all cost 1 point each.

14 and 15 cost 2 points each.

16 and 17 cost 3 points each.

18 costs 4 points.

And what does this add to the game, exactly? I'm not saying it is undoable, and there are tons of tools available online to help you do it. I'm saying there's no real reason to bother with it.

Quote:
I'll agree on Scores vs Modifiers. Ability scores are almost never used, and when they are, the rule can usually be tweaked to not need them.

They were ALMOST completely removed from the playtest in actual play. I think holding your breath was the only thing that intersected with them.


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thflame wrote:

Point buy is REALLY easy.

Each Score costs a number of points equal to the modifier the score gives you(minimum 1).

9 through 13 all cost 1 point each.

14 and 15 cost 2 points each.

16 and 17 cost 3 points each.

18 costs 4 points.

I'll agree on Scores vs Modifiers. Ability scores are almost never used, and when they are, the rule can usually be tweaked to not need them.

It is mathematically easy to understand. Once you understand the game the effect of each value is meaningful as well.

In my experience, teaching it to players who are new to the system is frequently confusing due to the inherent lack of value in odd scores(as you mention above) vs even scores. Depending on the amount of point buy you are doing, you are talking about walking someone through making 10-20 choices about their before they understand the value and implications of their choices 4 levels later.

If 2e is anything like the playtest, you are making significantly fewer choices, each choice is in some way improving a character, AND potentially playing with building blocks in your characters backstory. That is what I consider a huge improvement over 1st edition.

To me, this is a huge improvement for my ability to onboard people into Pathfinder.


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By comparison? The rules for PF2 ability scores are way easier. You really only need to know 4 rules.

1) A boost is +2.
2) A flaw is -2.
3) You can't add more than one boost to the same stat during any given step.
4) You can never wind up with a score below 8.

Past that it is just going through the ABCs and doing what your specific ancestry, background, and class say.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
And what does this add to the game, exactly?

The ability to set how strong your characters in the game you are in. Anywhere from local farmer [10] to epic hero [25]. It set how special your PC were. and was an easy nob to turn: want to toss some new/powerful things this game? Maybe give them 30 points.

In PF2 everyone if the same without a houserule. As to easier... Well, you're doing far more than math in that section. You're figuring out which background add which stat and if you want to take 2 flaws to get and extra bump. Even your class becomes part of the math. For me a simple set of math problems is easier and/or quicker to do than PF2's math + the added baggage.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

By comparison? The rules for PF2 ability scores are way easier. You really only need to know 4 rules.

1) A boost is +2.
2) A flaw is -2.
3) You can't add more than one boost to the same stat during any given step.
4) You can never wind up with a score below 8.

Past that it is just going through the ABCs and doing what your specific ancestry, background, and class say.

I don't agree that it is easier.

In PF1, I buy the scores I think I want, then I apply my racial modifiers. If something doesn't look right when I am done, I can back up and fiddle with my point buy to get the stats I want.

The most I do is make tally marks next to the attribute scores on the character sheet to denote how many attribute points I have placed there, and I track how many Point Buy points I have left in the top corner.

In PF2, if I don't immediately luck into a stat array I like on the first try, I have to find out where I put my boosts, what step of chargen they came from, what places I can put what boosts, etc.

I remember trying to build a gishy sorcerer for the playtest. I ended up having to draw a graph of each step and each attribute score, putting check marks in boxes where points HAD to be and Xs in boxes where my optional boosts were placed, then remembering that backgrounds have one flaw that is optional, and one that was optional between 2 choices.

(It didn't help that, in order to qualify for my fighter "multiclass", I had to have stats that I didn't think my starting character needed to have, so I had to start over from scratch, yet again.)

Heck, none of the backgrounds really clicked with my character concept, so I had to essentially skip the "background" step and do it last so I could get the stats I wanted.

After seeing all that trouble I went through, nobody else wanted to play.

Needless to say, I shouldn't have to draw a graph to make a character with stats I want.


thflame: Yeah, that's what I was getting at with "added baggage". Thanks for going more into depth than I did and making it clearer. ;)


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It won't work in PFS, but I don't see why point buy couldn't be an option at your table. I've only made up of a couple of characters in the playtest, just fooling around, (my group is too invested in our current AP to do it so never got a chance to play it), but the arrays don't look that different except right now it's all even numbers. The dice rolling option is still there, so I really don't see how point buy would hurt the math any more than that.

It's just a new default option that's easier for more people. It also ties stats into the character background, which for me I really like.


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Fobok wrote:
It also ties stats into the character background, which for me I really like.

That's another pet peeve of mine.

Making "Background" a "crunch" mechanic doesn't make people role play.

"Roll Players" are just going to select the background that gives them the benefits they want then ignore that it even exists.

"Role Players" now have to fiddle and fight around Paizo's/WotC's interpretation of your character's background, if they even made one that fits your character, or beg the GM to tweak an existing background, or house rule a new one. (I basically just let my 5e players have 2 skills of their choice if they can justify it with their backstory.)

On top of that, it adds another layer to chargen that confuses some people (me and my group, for one).


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Fobok wrote:
It won't work in PFS, but I don't see why point buy couldn't be an option at your table.

I'd even be happy with a set of default stat arrays you can pick from as an option of bypassing the ABC's. Take the array, add your 'race' and done.

thflame wrote:
Fobok wrote:
It also ties stats into the character background, which for me I really like.

That's another pet peeve of mine.

Making "Background" a "crunch" mechanic doesn't make people role play.

I'm right there with you: I look through backgrounds and see some that fit the way I think of the character but the stats don't match and stats that match but the rest doesn't fit and neither feels right. I kind of wish they were unassigned bumps you put into the stats YOU felt fit the background: the roll players get the stats they want while the role players get the background they think fits: win/win.


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thflame wrote:
I ended up having to draw a graph of each step

A graph? To keep track of the three whole choices you have to make?

I'm sorry, I think PF2's stat gen is a little bit clunky too but this is such an absurd hyperbole it's hard to really take seriously.


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swoosh wrote:
thflame wrote:
I ended up having to draw a graph of each step

A graph? To keep track of the three whole choices you have to make?

I'm sorry, I think PF2's stat gen is a little bit clunky too but this is such an absurd hyperbole it's hard to really take seriously.

It depends on how you make your character: if you're experimenting with different parts to make your concept, you might have to juggle somethings around: coming to the conclusion you'll want a multiclass feat means you'll need some prerequisite stats and if you have to move numbers around, they might need to come from A, B or C and if you didn't write them down, you have to check them again. Think trying to make a 5th level character that's trying to emulate a magus vs making a 1st level wizard.

In PF1, you just took a few points out of one or more stat and put it into another if you needed to bump up stat... You didn't have to wonder if you want to remove your bonus from A, B or C or IF you could add a different bonus in the same step. Do you want to change your background into something different? Can I shift things with my race? Does my class allow me to switch to the stat I need?


swoosh wrote:
thflame wrote:
I ended up having to draw a graph of each step

A graph? To keep track of the three whole choices you have to make?

I'm sorry, I think PF2's stat gen is a little bit clunky too but this is such an absurd hyperbole it's hard to really take seriously.

I'm dead serious.

Each "step" has a mixture of fixed, optional, and/or free boosts and you aren't allowed to mix these between "steps".

When your final stats don't look the way you wanted them to look, you can't just move points around to get exactly what you want, because each boost comes from a specific step, some of them are fixed, and some of them are restricted in where they can end up.

I made a graph where the columns were the attributes and the rows were the steps. I marked each cell that had a fixed boost, then I marked the restricted optional boost, then I had a number of "free" boosts per row to move around.

I wrote the approximate stats I wanted at the bottom (in the number of boosts I needed to get there) and I had to move around my optional boosts until I got what I wanted.

It literally doesn't work as 3 easy steps unless you don't care what your final stats look like. You have to do all of the steps simultaneously if you want a given stat array, or constantly back up a step and fiddle with the numbers to get what you want.


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graystone wrote:
swoosh wrote:
thflame wrote:
I ended up having to draw a graph of each step

A graph? To keep track of the three whole choices you have to make?

I'm sorry, I think PF2's stat gen is a little bit clunky too but this is such an absurd hyperbole it's hard to really take seriously.

It depends on how you make your character: if you're experimenting with different parts to make your concept, you might have to juggle somethings around: coming to the conclusion you'll want a multiclass feat means you'll need some prerequisite stats and if you have to move numbers around, they might need to come from A, B or C and if you didn't write them down, you have to check them again. Think trying to make a 5th level character that's trying to emulate a magus vs making a 1st level wizard.

In PF1, you just took a few points out of one or more stat and put it into another if you needed to bump up stat... You didn't have to wonder if you want to remove your bonus from A, B or C or IF you could add a different bonus in the same step. Do you want to change your background into something different? Can I shift things with my race? Does my class allow me to switch to the stat I need?

I dont know what I'm missing here, but this is WAY more thought and hemming and hawing than I've had to deal with building any PF2 characters, and as a GM I've done quite a few at this point. And it's not like I had such problems early on either. It was really intuitive for me, the key difference could be that I figure out the stat priorities of a character before trying to gen the stats, which I can't tell from your posts if you do or not, but I thought that was pretty standard.

This isn't to say your negative experience isn't relevant, but I'd like to be able to understand why your experience is so at odds with the seemingly typical experience and with the way the system works in general. Your description of statting out characters sounds so convoluted and completely different from my experiences with PF2 stat gen that I'm not even sure where to start finding the issue.


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I mean, for PF2 I can just keep track of how many steps I increase a given stat, then multiply it by 2 and add 10 and I'm done.

So like for an elf rogue I can do: "Ancestry, plus to Int, Dex, and Cha, minus to Con. Background: Dex and Cha. Class: just Dex. Final Four: Dex, Cha, Wis, and Con. So 10/18/10/12/12/16."

It takes less time to do in my head than it does to type.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm not sure how you end up with the stats you don't want in the first place. If I only want 14 Con and I've ended up with 16 at the end of creation I've just made a bizarre mistake.


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graystone wrote:
Fobok wrote:
It won't work in PFS, but I don't see why point buy couldn't be an option at your table.

I'd even be happy with a set of default stat arrays you can pick from as an option of bypassing the ABC's. Take the array, add your 'race' and done.

thflame wrote:
Fobok wrote:
It also ties stats into the character background, which for me I really like.

That's another pet peeve of mine.

Making "Background" a "crunch" mechanic doesn't make people role play.

I'm right there with you: I look through backgrounds and see some that fit the way I think of the character but the stats don't match and stats that match but the rest doesn't fit and neither feels right. I kind of wish they were unassigned bumps you put into the stats YOU felt fit the background: the roll players get the stats they want while the role players get the background they think fits: win/win.

I... Don't entirely get this. I mean, with how flexible the background stats are this has been pretty much a non-issue for me or my group. The floating bonus means you can always up your key stat here. If one of the two options for the semi fixed boost is your key score then great, you can take whatever for the floater. If not, then you put the floater in your key score, and it seems unlikely that you won't have good reason to use one of the two options for the other boost.

So there are only two scenarios I can see there being an issue.

You have a secondary stat that you really need a 16 in and both of the semi fixed options are neither your key score nor your secondary score.

Or

Both of the fixed score options are stats that you had absolutely no intention of boosting at all in chargen.

And these both assume you're set on one specific background for your character. I've had multiple players have to choose between multiple backgrounds because two or more fit their character (or could fit their general concept if they didn't have a fully realized character in mind yet).

I haven't gone checking specific combos all that often, but how often is this actually going to happen?

I suppose it could reasonably be argued that once is too many, but still it feels like a bit of an overblown issue.


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thflame wrote:

I made a graph where the columns were the attributes and the rows were the steps. I marked each cell that had a fixed boost, then I marked the restricted optional boost, then I had a number of "free" boosts per row to move around.

I wrote the approximate stats I wanted at the bottom (in the number of boosts I needed to get there) and I had to move around my optional boosts until I got what I wanted.

So instead of just figuring out where you wanted your stats and working through it, you found the most convoluted way possible to present your numbers?

I'm sorry, again, I agree that backgrounds shouldn't have numbers tied to them, this is the same problem PF1 traits had, and that the system could be streamlined a bit but the baggage you're talking about here seems entirely manufactured on your part. I'm not sure if you were just overthinking it or if this was an intentional way to scare the friends you were showing this process to away from the system, but it's wholly and completely unnecessary.


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Building on this, I kind of like the semi fixed score because it promotes what is to me an interesting idea.

To illustrate with an example, a stereotypical Barbarian has 18 Str, 16 Con, and whatever else he has room for. But a Barbarian who was raised in a scholarly setting before turning to the path of rage for whatever reason may not have had the chance to build that same fortitude, instead having a stronger mind, manifested as 14 Con but boosted Int or Wis.

It seems like there are few cases where a 16 in a secondary stat at 1st is really needed, so I feel like this wont really screw anyone over in the niches where it does come up. But again I could be wrong.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
swoosh wrote:
thflame wrote:

I made a graph where the columns were the attributes and the rows were the steps. I marked each cell that had a fixed boost, then I marked the restricted optional boost, then I had a number of "free" boosts per row to move around.

I wrote the approximate stats I wanted at the bottom (in the number of boosts I needed to get there) and I had to move around my optional boosts until I got what I wanted.

So instead of just figuring out where you wanted your stats and working through it, you found the most convoluted way possible to present your numbers?

I'm sorry, again, I agree that backgrounds shouldn't have numbers tied to them, this is the same problem PF1 traits had, and that the system could be streamlined a bit but the baggage you're talking about here seems entirely manufactured on your part. I'm not sure if you were just overthinking it or if this was an intentional way to scare the friends you were showing this process to away from the system, but it's wholly and completely unnecessary.

I mean I did a similar piece of work for my players, but that was due to me making a spreadsheet character sheet for them seeing how they would be doing char gen 5 times each during the play test. That table was however on a hidden sheet and was just used as a reference for their drop down menu choices.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, for PF2 I can just keep track of how many steps I increase a given stat, then multiply it by 2 and add 10 and I'm done.

I thought the same of PF1 point buy... I could keep track in my head. PF2 isn't intuitive for me, so I can see where theflame is coming from.

Edge93 wrote:
This isn't to say your negative experience isn't relevant

I wouldn't say MINE was "negative" per se: I just didn't find it as easy as some seem to find the new system or anywhere close to how easy PF1 was. I can just sympathize with theflame as I can imaging what he's saying: when I experiment with a PF1 character and am trying out different things I can find myself digging through a lot of stuff and having each character building set have stats attached to it would compound that in my eyes. It's 3 parts with mobile pieces that you might want/need to move and shift around: you have to write down your free picks if you aren't sure you're keeping them and have to be aware of optional ones if you end up wanting different stats [maybe it looks like 2 16's look better than a single 18].

PossibleCabbage wrote:
So like for an elf rogue I can do

I think this is were the confusion is coming from between theflame and some of the other posters: He's not coming at it from "an elf rogue" but "I want to emulate a magus type/gish character" and seeing what game elements can make that happen through trial and error.


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thflame wrote:

I made a graph where the columns were the attributes and the rows were the steps. I marked each cell that had a fixed boost, then I marked the restricted optional boost, then I had a number of "free" boosts per row to move around.

I wrote the approximate stats I wanted at the bottom (in the number of boosts I needed to get there) and I had to move around my optional boosts until I got what I wanted.

I totally get how this feels like what you have to do, but I think it's one of those systems that you can get more of an intuitive feel for with a little practice, and the really important part is to make that choice of knowing what start or two you're prioritizing if you have a real key concept.

I do think your thought of starting with the target number is probably helpful for iterating these quickly, and I basically decided it was easier if I took an out-of-order approach to stat building to avoid that kind of number fiddling.

My mini-guide to helping someone pick their Ability Scores the first time:
The secret is that it's backwards. It's CBA.

1 - Your class is going to boost typically one stat or an option that's probably got an obvious choice for your concept, just take whatever it is here. It's also usually the first thing I pick for a character concept, so I'm going to list it first.

Then it comes down to how many attributes you're trying to get up near the top; it's super easy to do the rest if there's only one you're trying to maximize (you can pretty much choose anything you want except an ancestry with a flaw...except now, where you can do that). With two ability scores you care about it got more complicated because you needed your background to give you at least one of those two, and you had to either have your ancestry give both abilities you cared about or put your boost there.

2 - So typically, I'd just look at the backgrounds that boosted at least one of the scores I cared about and matched the theme I was going for or had a cool skill feat, and take that.

3 - I found by the time I got to the third most important attribute, the only pertinent decision was ancestry, and there was probably something else I cared about more on the ancestry feats than getting a perfect array. Here you either wipe out the flaw, or double down on adding the bonus where you need it, or whatever.

4 - The full set of free boosts - put in your top 2 attributes you've been boosting along, then pick two more. Done. If you maxed your class attribute at each step, it's guaranteed to be 18. If you targeted two, you probably have 18 and 16, unless your ancestry mucked it up, in which case you'd know why. Every step you didn't max your class attribute, you knew it wouldn't hit 18 by that many; if it was your ancestral flaw you'd end up with 2x 16s.

But...that's completely out of order from the way it was introduced. 100% the first time I tried to build one in order I ended up with some weird numbers and while I didn't draw a graph per se, I made some small marks that tracked where my free bonuses were and when, so it was functionally the same thing. Once I re-prioritized what order the decisions were made, though, it's been a non-issue. I think with the optional extra ancestry flaws, it makes even more sense to do attributes in this order, and I've found that when I walk people through it this way they just don't feel like they have to go back and redo the decisions.

Another issue with the way the ability scores get boosted is that it gets a little funky when you're at high levels and have to move boosts around to make sure you don't end up having to take a boost that leaves an attribute at an odd number at 20.

The overall system is not perfect, and it can feel confusing, but I like the underlying ideas more than point buy, which often left me with a similar leftover single point taking a stat to 13 that I knew would never hit an even number. I've built a few characters in the Pathfinder Kingmaker computer game recently, and going back to point buy felt awful even with a computer doing the math for me.

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The things I like the most about 2nd edition's ability generation are:

1) Complete newbies don't need to know anything about the rules to generate scores. They get boosts based on the kind of character they want to play rather than assigning scores to make their concept work.

(1st edition example: You're an elven wizard, so put points in Intelligence and Dexterity, but don't worry about Strength.

2nd edition example: You're an elven wizard, so you're smart and fast, but not very strong.)

2) I like how ability scores are integrated into other steps of character creation rather than existing as their own isolated step. It makes character creation feel more organic to me.


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Charlie Brooks wrote:
1) Complete newbies don't need to know anything about the rules to generate scores. They get boosts based on the kind of character they want to play rather than assigning scores to make their concept work.

I don't think this is exactly true. If you don't know which stats should go where, you could mess it up pretty good. Someone looks at the names and picks a halfling fighter, cool. He wants to be tough bandit so picks con for race, he picks criminal, sees int and thinks [I don't want to be dumb] and picks con and int. Now he gets to class, remembers his -2 to strength and bumps it up. Now he want a cool big sword so he picks a longsword... He's not looking too good at using that sword and likely be disappointed with the results. Especially if they are standing next to someone else wanted a hulk type person and took all str every step on a human barbarian.

Silver Crusade

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graystone wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
1) Complete newbies don't need to know anything about the rules to generate scores. They get boosts based on the kind of character they want to play rather than assigning scores to make their concept work.
I don't think this is exactly true. If you don't know which stats should go where, you could mess it up pretty good. Someone looks at the names and picks a halfling fighter, cool. He wants to be tough bandit so picks con for race, he picks criminal, sees int and thinks [I don't want to be dumb] and picks con and int. Now he gets to class, remembers his -2 to strength and bumps it up. Now he want a cool big sword so he picks a longsword... He's not looking too good at using that sword and likely be disappointed with the results. Especially if they are standing next to someone else wanted a hulk type person and took all str every step on a human barbarian.

I’m not seeing an issue, the first person didn’t want to make a hulk or berserker, they wanted a bandit so they made a bandit.


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Rysky wrote:
graystone wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
1) Complete newbies don't need to know anything about the rules to generate scores. They get boosts based on the kind of character they want to play rather than assigning scores to make their concept work.
I don't think this is exactly true. If you don't know which stats should go where, you could mess it up pretty good. Someone looks at the names and picks a halfling fighter, cool. He wants to be tough bandit so picks con for race, he picks criminal, sees int and thinks [I don't want to be dumb] and picks con and int. Now he gets to class, remembers his -2 to strength and bumps it up. Now he want a cool big sword so he picks a longsword... He's not looking too good at using that sword and likely be disappointed with the results. Especially if they are standing next to someone else wanted a hulk type person and took all str every step on a human barbarian.
I’m not seeing an issue, the first person didn’t want to make a hulk or berserker, they wanted a bandit so they made a bandit.

One only has a 10 str next to the one that has an 18 str and, since they don't know how the game works, the 10 str doesn't understand why he's hitting so much less than the other guy... It's the danger of picking what sounds cool vs what actually works/fits.


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So I don't think it's totally reasonable to presume that someone around is capable of supplying such wisdom as "Alchemists are supposed to be intelligent, Barbarians are supposed to be strong, ..., make sure you increase your most important stat whenever you can."

I guess this is the main value of doing the class step first since it forces you to choose: "Am I a dextrous monk, or a strong monk?" which informs the rest of your choices.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So I don't think it's totally reasonable to presume that someone around is capable of supplying such wisdom as "Alchemists are supposed to be intelligent, Barbarians are supposed to be strong, ..., make sure you increase your most important stat whenever you can."

I guess this is the main value of doing the class step first since it forces you to choose: "Am I a dextrous monk, or a strong monk?" which informs the rest of your choices.

The premise was "Complete newbies don't need to know anything about the rules to generate scores. They get boosts based on the kind of character they want to play rather than assigning scores to make their concept work.". What you're saying, like "Alchemists are supposed to be intelligent" goes against "rather than assigning scores to make their concept work" which was my point: You kind of have to know what works to assign your score or you can have a bad time.

EDIT: also without knowing the value of the stats, that monk might end up with an 18 str and a 8 dex because they answered 'I want to be a str monk, so I don't need dex...'.


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I agree that CBA tends to be easier for stat generation than ABC.

Especially for new players, I think, for two reasons:

(1) class does most of the work for overall character concept, so starting with that choice and then picking B and A to support it can make more sense;

(2) more importantly, it's in the class description that new players are given information about which abilities tend to be important and the (very helpful!) sample builds which provide more specific guidance for various concepts a new player might try under the class (e.g., the Alchemist gets a sample build for each research field: Bomber, Mutagenist, Surgeon).

Which is to say, I will likely generate my own characters CBA for the most part, and will strongly advise new players to do so.


One thing I thought might be useful for many people would Backgrounds being organized by which fixed Stat they boost. Although they all have a Free one which makes them flexible, there really isn't any point at considering CHA boost ones if your character concept is low CHA. And starting with your prime stat and working down to 2nd/3rd/etc priorities is simple comprehensible process IMHO. If CRB doesn't organize them that way, I can see an online resource allowing people to sort them that way.


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Regarding the complete newbie, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect an absolute novice to read the entry for the class they have chosen, and subsequently notice things like "your DCs are [whatever] based" or language in the "playing a [foo]" section which indicates which stats are important.

We could use a line somewhere obvious that makes it clear "spellcasters should invest in whatever their spellcasting stat is, others should invest in strength or dexterity- you will add these modifiers to combat rolls more often than you would others."

Neophytes are likelier to cling to language in introductory chapters than veterans are, after all.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Regarding the complete newbie, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect an absolute novice to read the entry for the class they have chosen, and subsequently notice things like "your DCs are [whatever] based" or language in the "playing a [foo]" section which indicates which stats are important.

A couple things here.

(1) I don't think we're talking about what's "reasonable" or "unreasonable to expect from" a new player. It's not about being judgy of new players. It's about what we expect to be the easiest method for them to use while they're getting a handle on the game.

(2) But really, I don't believe anyone here disagrees with your statement. Indeed, your statement does a good job of showing the exact problem I was getting at in my previous post! See the parts I've put in bold, and think about the sequencing.

A new player is told: first choose your ancestry, then choose your background, then choose your class. But it's only "subsequently", after "they have chosen" a class, that they're in full possession of the information needed to make informed choices at the Ancestry and Background stages of stat generation.

So it's easier for them to go in reverse order: first class, which helps them firm up their big-picture concept for the character within the options available to them and gives them specific guidance re ability scores, and then background and ancestry.

***

Consider, e.g., the following guidance we see in the Alchemist sample builds:

Chirurgeon wrote:
Prioritize Intelligence and Wisdom. Constitution increases your survivability, and Dexterity helps you hit with ranged attacks when violence is necessary
Bomber wrote:
Prioritize Intelligence and Dexterity. Constitution helps you survive explosions gone wrong, and Wisdom prevents you from bombing the wrong target
Mutagenist wrote:
Prioritize Intelligence and Strength. Constitution helps you survive transformations and combat, and Wisdom helps keep your mind intact despite the warping.

It's easy to see how a new player could follow the ABC sequence they're instructed to, get to C and pick the Alchemist ... and then see that advice and realize they have to redo their ability scores (and maybe their A & B choices).

***

I had a couple new players in the playtest and this tripped them up each time they created characters trying to follow the ABC sequencing. That's why I really do believe that CBA is an easier method for new players.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
Rysky wrote:
graystone wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
1) Complete newbies don't need to know anything about the rules to generate scores. They get boosts based on the kind of character they want to play rather than assigning scores to make their concept work.
I don't think this is exactly true. If you don't know which stats should go where, you could mess it up pretty good. Someone looks at the names and picks a halfling fighter, cool. He wants to be tough bandit so picks con for race, he picks criminal, sees int and thinks [I don't want to be dumb] and picks con and int. Now he gets to class, remembers his -2 to strength and bumps it up. Now he want a cool big sword so he picks a longsword... He's not looking too good at using that sword and likely be disappointed with the results. Especially if they are standing next to someone else wanted a hulk type person and took all str every step on a human barbarian.
I’m not seeing an issue, the first person didn’t want to make a hulk or berserker, they wanted a bandit so they made a bandit.
One only has a 10 str next to the one that has an 18 str and, since they don't know how the game works, the 10 str doesn't understand why he's hitting so much less than the other guy... It's the danger of picking what sounds cool vs what actually works/fits.

And that’s only an issue if the first player was only concerned with making a character that almost always hits. They weren’t, their thought process was they wanted to make a bandit.


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Quandary wrote:
One thing I thought might be useful for many people would Backgrounds being organized by which fixed Stat they boost. Although they all have a Free one which makes them flexible, there really isn't any point at considering CHA boost ones if your character concept is low CHA. And starting with your prime stat and working down to 2nd/3rd/etc priorities is simple comprehensible process IMHO. If CRB doesn't organize them that way, I can see an online resource allowing people to sort them that way.

I dunno, aside from the fact that the ability boosts are so flexible they will almost always be workable, I feel like the name of the background pretty much tell you what ability boosts to expect from it. Like is anyone surprised Scout gives you dexterity or wisdom?

I expect skills will probably be in the same boat. So that really leaves skill feats as the only metric that might surprise people, but sorting them alphabetically by skill feat seems awful in practice.

I mean, how would you even do this, since every background gives you a choice between 2 abilities?


With proficiency being at +2 intervals, getting the stats right is far less important this time around. I disagree that this system is confusing at all. If you follow things intuitively, the character will turn out fine. With more experience, they will turn out a little better. That is about all you get out of system mastery and that is how it should be.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I mean, how would you even do this, since every background gives you a choice between 2 abilities?

I guess this would be something conveyable in table format with both Stat options displayed? As well as via online website filter/sorting like I mentioned.

I definitely agree on Tqomin's (and others) focus on Class as appropriate first step. "Class first" just makes sense, and is supported by Class text itself (explicitly stating how Class determines your stat investment priorities). I understand why ABC was created, because it matches sequence of "growing up" (you are "just a Human/Elf/etc" before anything else, then your Background happened, then your Class congealed). But in terms of facilitating stats that serve the primary "job" you've chosen, designating Class first (which includes explicit stat-investment advice) does make sense.

In terms of the order of Ancestry and Background, I feel that Ancestry makes sense to come before Background, being as Background is SIMPLER more constrained step (1 limited choice from 2 stats, 1 free, 1 Feat) so Background coming last makes it a clearer choice for those who are less comfortable with the system: If their Ancestry didn't help their main Class stat priorities very much, it will be very clear they need Background to directly help it. Ancestry probably being more central part of character identity also makes sense to put it before Background.

Although IMHO the strongest complaints about the process feel like they are simply too attached to 3.x/1E point buy mechanical paradigm, if approaching 2E with blank slate I think there will be much less congitive dissonance to following the character creation process, even if taking into account Class stat-associations should be considered from the beginning which may not be clear from ABC order. Although supposedly entire character creation section was re-done from scratch for final rules, so basing judgement off Playtest wording seems especially dubious.


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Rysky wrote:
And that’s only an issue if the first player was only concerned with making a character that almost always hits. They weren’t, their thought process was they wanted to make a bandit.

It's an issue as it involves hits and crits for a weapon user. Dropping hits 20% [vs the other player] is much more of a difference between hits and almost always hits, and isn't something apparent when you don't understand the underlying rules but in play. When I think of bandit or highway man I don't think 'inept with weapons' when compared to the rest of the group. This was all about being able to make a character without worrying about viability: I don't think the bandit making players is going to feel that their character plays or feel well and I feel that's an issue.

I think the player should at least know the basic of that things do and what stats are important to that type of character. Grabbing random bonuses is just asking, imo, for issues.

Albatoonoe wrote:
If you follow things intuitively, the character will turn out fine.

You find it "intuitive" to be told what stats to prioritize in step 3, after you've already placed bonuses in your stats twice before that point? Cool if you do, but I don't agree.


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graystone wrote:
Rysky wrote:
And that’s only an issue if the first player was only concerned with making a character that almost always hits. They weren’t, their thought process was they wanted to make a bandit.

It's an issue as it involves hits and crits for a weapon user. Dropping hits 20% [vs the other player] is much more of a difference between hits and almost always hits, and isn't something apparent when you don't understand the underlying rules but in play. When I think of bandit or highway man I don't think 'inept with weapons' when compared to the rest of the group. This was all about being able to make a character without worrying about viability: I don't think the bandit making players is going to feel that their character plays or feel well and I feel that's an issue.

I think the player should at least know the basic of that things do and what stats are important to that type of character. Grabbing random bonuses is just asking, imo, for issues.

None of this has anything to do with what's being discussed. You started this tangent in response to someone say that you basically don't need to know the details of the stat gen system before making a character. This 10 Str Barbarian you're using as example isn't someone not knowing about statgen beforehand, it's someone not knowing anything about the stats themselves, which no one was talking about. If you're making your character and dont know that you need Str or Dex to land hits then you've got bigger problems than the stat gen system, and this is true whether you're playing PF1 or PF2. (This being relevant because the post this tangent was starting off of was itself in response to an assertion that PF1 stat gen was somehow easier/better to use)


Edge93 wrote:
graystone wrote:
Rysky wrote:
And that’s only an issue if the first player was only concerned with making a character that almost always hits. They weren’t, their thought process was they wanted to make a bandit.

It's an issue as it involves hits and crits for a weapon user. Dropping hits 20% [vs the other player] is much more of a difference between hits and almost always hits, and isn't something apparent when you don't understand the underlying rules but in play. When I think of bandit or highway man I don't think 'inept with weapons' when compared to the rest of the group. This was all about being able to make a character without worrying about viability: I don't think the bandit making players is going to feel that their character plays or feel well and I feel that's an issue.

I think the player should at least know the basic of that things do and what stats are important to that type of character. Grabbing random bonuses is just asking, imo, for issues.

None of this has anything to do with what's being discussed. You started this tangent in response to someone say that you basically don't need to know the details of the stat gen system before making a character. This 10 Str Barbarian you're using as example isn't someone not knowing about statgen beforehand, it's someone not knowing anything about the stats themselves, which no one was talking about. If you're making your character and dont know that you need Str or Dex to land hits then you've got bigger problems than the stat gen system, and this is true whether you're playing PF1 or PF2. (This being relevant because the post this tangent was starting off of was itself in response to an assertion that PF1 stat gen was somehow easier/better to use)

Edge, just... don't engage.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
It's an issue as it involves hits and crits for a weapon user.
You're moving goalposts.
Quote:
When I think of bandit or highway man I don't think 'inept with weapons' when compared to the rest of the group.

Having a 10 strength doesn't make you inept with weapons, especially if you're a Fighter.


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Edge93 wrote:
None of this has anything to do with what's being discussed. You started this tangent in response to someone say that you basically don't need to know the details of the stat gen system before making a character. This 10 Str Barbarian you're using as example isn't someone not knowing about statgen beforehand, it's someone not knowing anything about the stats themselves, which no one was talking about.

If it's not about not knowing about the underlying system, then I agree there really isn't anything to debate. If that's the case, I made a mistake: when he said "Complete newbies", maybe I read too much into that. A lot of people went along with me though if this has been a wild goose chase and not what he meant.


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Rysky wrote:
graystone wrote:
It's an issue as it involves hits and crits for a weapon user.
You're moving goalposts.
Quote:
When I think of bandit or highway man I don't think 'inept with weapons' when compared to the rest of the group.
Having a 10 strength doesn't make you inept with weapons, especially if you're a Fighter.
graystone wrote:
Now he want a cool big sword so he picks a longsword... He's not looking too good at using that sword and likely be disappointed with the results. Especially if they are standing next to someone else wanted a hulk type person and took all str every step on a human barbarian.

So the impression of how well the fighter was hitting WAS my goalpost and is also setting the stage for FEELING inept along side the barbarian [note, I said he feels inept compared to the barbarian].

And if we're talking about people that understand how the stats themselves work as edge posted, it's not as issue as I was posting someone picking stats that sounded good without understanding them.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
[note, I said he feels inept compared to the barbarian]

And that has everything to do with him wanting to make a bandit rather than a Barbarian solely dedicated to combat, it has nothing to do with the system.


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Edit: Removed post after some thought. Edge93 was right, this is all a big derail. Rysky, I'll just agree to disagree and everyone can go back to talking about 2 flaws for a boost.

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