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


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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As revealed during the Know Direction Podcast, you can choose to get two additional flaws during character creation.

These flaws must be in different ability scores UNLESS you pick a score that's boosted by your ancestry. So you could play a sickly Dwarf with Con 8.

For these additional flaws, you get an extra boost which can be placed in any ability score that doesn't already get a fixed boost from your ancestry, including the one getting the basic flaw. So you can have a level 1 gnome with strength 18 by placing your free boost and the extra boost into strength.


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It's a nice addition for flexibility. Another way to explain the limitations on it, you can't end up with more than +2 or -2 after adjustments at any one step of character creation. (So the sickly dwarf above inherently gets +2 CON, then they apply their floating flaw so they are, so far, net 0 for this step, then apply one of their 2 extra flaws to end up -2 for this step of character generation.)

Yes, this 'loses' you stats as compared to someone else's array who did not choose this, but they couldn't make it NOT cost something or everyone'd be doing it. :)


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LOL the return of stat dumping. I like it.


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Zythraen wrote:
the sickly dwarf above inherently gets +2 CON, then they apply their floating flaw so they are, so far, net 0 for this step, then apply one of their 2 extra flaws to end up -2 for this step of character generation.

What? Dwarves don't have a floating flaw, as far as I'm aware. No ancestry does. It's always a fixed one (charisma for a dwarf) isn't it?

Liberty's Edge

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Blave wrote:
Zythraen wrote:
the sickly dwarf above inherently gets +2 CON, then they apply their floating flaw so they are, so far, net 0 for this step, then apply one of their 2 extra flaws to end up -2 for this step of character generation.
What? Dwarves don't have a floating flaw, as far as I'm aware. No ancestry does. It's always a fixed one (charisma for a dwarf) isn't it?

When you take this new option you choose 2 floating flaws to get one extra floating boost.

Grand Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber

I believe Zyth meant to reference the 2 additional flaws and not 'floating flaw' as in one from ancestry. It's applied in that step, though.


Perram wrote:
Blave wrote:
Zythraen wrote:
the sickly dwarf above inherently gets +2 CON, then they apply their floating flaw so they are, so far, net 0 for this step, then apply one of their 2 extra flaws to end up -2 for this step of character generation.
What? Dwarves don't have a floating flaw, as far as I'm aware. No ancestry does. It's always a fixed one (charisma for a dwarf) isn't it?
When you take this new option you choose 2 floating flaws to get one extra floating boost.

I know, but that's not what Zythraen was referring to.

The post I quoted spoke of applying the dwarfs floating flaw to Con and THEN applying one of he extra flaws to Con, which implies dwarves having afloating flaw even without the new +2 flaws/+1 boost option.


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Normally, perks to dump stats bugs me, but letting you get an eighteen in something your ancestry penalizes is well worth it. Dwarf sorcerers!

I'll still be annoyed with human wizards tanking strength and charisma to get ancestry boosts in dexterity, constitution, and intelligence.


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QuidEst wrote:

Normally, perks to dump stats bugs me, but letting you get an eighteen in something your ancestry penalizes is well worth it. Dwarf sorcerers!

I'll still be annoyed with human wizards tanking strength and charisma to get ancestry boosts in dexterity, constitution, and intelligence.

Well, Dex is less important for Wizards now, since it no longer adds to Initiative (unless you have a Stealth Wizard) or spell attacks (which now go off of Int). Though I guess a Wizard could go Con, Int, Wis and you'd still have your issue with it. :)

Edit: and sure, Dex still gives you AC and Reflex saves, so it's still good for the wizard. Just not *as* good.


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First World Bard wrote:
QuidEst wrote:

Normally, perks to dump stats bugs me, but letting you get an eighteen in something your ancestry penalizes is well worth it. Dwarf sorcerers!

I'll still be annoyed with human wizards tanking strength and charisma to get ancestry boosts in dexterity, constitution, and intelligence.

Well, Dex is less important for Wizards now, since it no longer adds to Initiative (unless you have a Stealth Wizard) or spell attacks (which now go off of Int). Though I guess a Wizard could go Con, Int, Wis and you'd still have your issue with it. :)

Yep! But that's a really easy house rule, and very easy to look past when I'm not GMing. The quality of game improvements for not "locking" an ancestry out of some classes because of their penalty is amazing!


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QuidEst wrote:
human wizards tanking strength and charisma to get ancestry boosts in dexterity, constitution, and intelligence.

*two thumbs up* Now that sounds like a plan. ;)


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I hate this idea.

It sounds like a min-maxing tool where people will dump things not mechanically relevant to their character to maximize other things. It will become the default character creation method.

If they wanted to eliminate the problem of certain races being not suited for certain classes, I would have preferred they give every race two sets of ability score boost to choose from or have an option to choose where you ability flaw is. If you can chose what stat you're flawed in then basically ever race can be open any class without significant barrier.

But I hate the tit for tat system of stat dumping.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I like that it costs 2 to get one, but in reality this just means the vast majority of characters will have 8 Cha again.


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Yeah, this would work much better if they'd succeeded at making Cha relevant to everyone. (Well, I suppose they still might've done in some new rule we haven't seen, but I doubt it.)


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Yeah, this would work much better if they'd succeeded at making Cha relevant to everyone. (Well, I suppose they still might've done in some new rule we haven't seen, but I doubt it.)

Mark pretty much stated that they didn't manage to do so in the CRB. Resonance was an attempt, and we all know how well that went over.


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Malk_Content wrote:
I like that it costs 2 to get one, but in reality this just means the vast majority of characters will have 8 Cha again.

The second flaw makes that much less likely. Dumping Cha if you don't use Cha-based skills is easy enough. But beyond that? What are you going to dump? At the very least it would cost you a trained skill.

I could see pure casters dumping strength, but then again, casters are pretty SAD anyway and don't really need the extra boost.

Multiclass characters also tend to need too many different abilities to afford dumping two of them.


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Sounds positive to me. It gives a bit more flexibility, opens up a few more spreads and the ability to start with that precious 18 with an ancestry that has a negative. Dwarf bards and sorcerers, gnome martials, goblin clerics, all now more viable. The 2 for one nature is good too. Keeps it from being a no-brainer of trading one stat you don't use for one you do. Will this allow for stat dumping? Yeah, to an extent. Is that necessarily a bad thing? No, I don't think so. I don't think it'll be ubiquitous, although yeah, min-maxers gonna min-max.


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I'm not sure I see what's so horrible with an 8 "not mechanically relevant to their character" stat vs a 10... Especially when it enables you to cover racial flaws with the bonus. I'm not seeing a huge different for those dumped stats between before and after this rule. Or is this just about the principle that it's evil min/maxing?

Secondly, someone suited for a profession has a better likelihood of going into that job: someone with stats that are "mechanically relevant" to that job. And they are likely to neglect stats their job doesn't use. It's the reason most professional athletes are stronger than most math teachers. So 'dumping' makes sense in game IMO. I'd rather give a halfling the ability to get an 18 strength than prevent min/maxing.

Blave wrote:
But beyond that? What are you going to dump? At the very least it would cost you a trained skill.

If you're a rogue with 10+int skills, losing one isn't that bad. Remember, nothing stops you from raising the stat later when you get multiple bumps, so secondary stats could easily take a hit to bump up main ones. Using this doesn't mean the stat has to remain an 8.

Blave wrote:
Multiclass characters also tend to need too many different abilities to afford dumping two of them.

Not really, as long as you match at least one with your stats: a figher/monk only needs a 14 st and 14 dex, a rogue/ranger a 14 dex, an alchemist/wizard only needs a 14 int and a bard/sorcerer only needs a 14 cha.


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Okay, when I saw the title of this thread I was like "oh PLEASE tell me they didn't..." but then I saw how it works in practice and heck yeah! Being able to get 18 in your ancestral flaw is excellent, and the cost feels meaningful enough to most that it isn't a gimme option. Nice.


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graystone wrote:
If you're a rogue with 10+int skills, losing one isn't that bad. Remember, nothing stops you from raising the stat later when you get multiple bumps, so secondary stats could easily take a hit to bump up main ones. Using this doesn't mean the stat has to remain an 8.

Still doesn't change the fact that you lose one skill. Sure, you can raise Int later, but you could do the same if you started at Int 10.

graystone wrote:
Not really, as long as you match at least one with your stats: a figher/monk only needs a 14 st and 14 dex, a rogue/ranger a 14 dex, an alchemist/wizard only needs a 14 int and a bard/sorcerer only needs a 14 cha.

I meant "need" as in "function properly" not as in "meeting requirements". Sure, you can be a Fighter->Wizard with Int 14 but if you want to make real use of your wizard spells, you need int.

Silver Crusade

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Yeah the "can't get to 18" part was frustrating, people would go on about how you can't play the given ancestry/class combo because you can't max the stat out. Yeah, I know, some crazy people have this idea that you don't need to max your primary stat in order to properly play the class, a pox upon their casual house, I say.


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Blave wrote:
Sure, you can be a Fighter->Wizard with Int 14 but if you want to make real use of your wizard spells, you need int.

Nah, just use Magic Missile and buffs. ;P


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I think it’s a nice subtle boost to MAD classes and multiclassinf without favoring SAD classes.


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Blave wrote:
Still doesn't change the fact that you lose one skill. Sure, you can raise Int later, but you could do the same if you started at Int 10.

My point was that for some characters, the -1 skill doesn't matter much if at all. I found my rogue had enough skills in the playtest: with 10 + int + background + feats you can run out of skills to train in. So -1, not a big deal IMO.

Blave wrote:
I meant "need" as in "function properly" not as in "meeting requirements". Sure, you can be a Fighter->Wizard with Int 14 but if you want to make real use of your wizard spells, you need int.

Of course, you can run into issues if you pick stats you aren't focusing on, but you picked the WRONG example for that. As Edge93 points out, you can find plenty of spells to use that work just fine with a 14 int. Heck, you can have an 8 int wizard and you can find spells to cast. You can even take a Universalist Wizard and avoid focus spells altogether and you don't lose anything for the 8 stat there either.

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I'm pleased that I'll be able to make 8 Wis characters again for Society play.


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I detest "stat dumping" but I think this is fine. It's not something that benefits every character (your wizard can't start with 20 Int), but it has some applications and raises some questions-Can your dwarf bard survive with a Cha of 16? Or do you really kind of wreck other stuff to get an 18.


It also looks like they switched the class boost section with the four ability boost... I am trying to remember why this is important... I remember my players complaining about having class at the end when they made characters.


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Solves the issue with wild shape druids not being able to have an 18 str at level 1.


That was it! My dwarf thug (rogue) could not have an 18 str!


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How does the order of the boosts change that? It still makes ir so that you could only have an 18 in your key score and no other stat at 1st level, right?


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Edge93 wrote:
How does the order of the boosts change that? It still makes ir so that you could only have an 18 in your key score and no other stat at 1st level, right?

The order shouldn't matter. Adding +2 to main stat 2nd or 4th still gives you the same bonus. Being able to take the 2 flaws to raise str to 18 for the wild druid was what I was referencing.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I detest "stat dumping" but I think this is fine.

I didn't mind to an extent. I don't really see an 8 or 7 a dump: heck, some NPC's had lower stats. Now if you're all 3's and 20's, that's an issue but I never really saw that.

Edge93 wrote:
How does the order of the boosts change that?

It lets you jump from Choose A Class right into Apply Your Class, which seems smoother than adding scores after. IMO, that's what it was for. I don't think there's anything involving an 18 though.


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I liked the ancestry, background, class order since it made temporal (and alphabetic) sense.


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Dragorine wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
How does the order of the boosts change that? It still makes ir so that you could only have an 18 in your key score and no other stat at 1st level, right?
The order shouldn't matter. Adding +2 to main stat 2nd or 4th still gives you the same bonus. Being able to take the 2 flaws to raise str to 18 for the wild druid was what I was referencing.

This doesn't change that, as you're not gaining +2s in the right set up to get a second 18 or an eighteen outside of your classes favored stat.

Ancestry stats look more like this now:

+2,+2,-2, +2 Floating, and Optional (+2,-2,-2 all floating, +2 plus -2 cancel out and allow another +2 or -2 in that stat).

Highest a stat can be out of this step is 12, and no bonuses have been added outside of this step, so at most you can apply 3 more boost to a given stat.

Grand Lodge

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Shisumo wrote:
I'm pleased that I'll be able to make 8 Wis characters again for Society play.

This was my first thought as well. As someone with a dozen bards in organized play each with a maximum Wis of 8, a small part of me died inside when I had to start making them wiser.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I liked the ancestry, background, class order since it made temporal (and alphabetic) sense.

I didn't find that it did have temporal sense as I had the book/pdf open to my class [as I'm instructed to add my "class’s key ability score" but I didn't get to finish that section [or do anything else], had to go another step first and then had to come back to class to finish it up. It was out of place IMO and took additional time/effort that was unneeded.


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Dragorine wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
How does the order of the boosts change that? It still makes ir so that you could only have an 18 in your key score and no other stat at 1st level, right?
The order shouldn't matter. Adding +2 to main stat 2nd or 4th still gives you the same bonus. Being able to take the 2 flaws to raise str to 18 for the wild druid was what I was referencing.

This doesn’t do that. This happens in ancestry phase, and you can’t apply the boost to something that’s already +2 from ancestry. The Druid boost is still +2 Wis. That leaves background and first level booosts, for a max of 16 Str. This does allow a gnome Druid to get a 16 when before, 14 was the max.


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graystone wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I liked the ancestry, background, class order since it made temporal (and alphabetic) sense.
I didn't find that it did have temporal sense ...

It makes temporal sense since a person is shaped by their ancestry (their genes, their caregivers, their immediate culture), before they are shaped by their background (you learned a craft before even considering going in a dungeon to kill stuff and get loot), before they are shaped by the class.

Like a dwarf cleric of Torag with the smith background was a dwarf first, then learned how to work a forge, then finally was ordained. A halfling farmer sorcerer had halfling parents and grew up on a farm *before* they figured out they could do magic.


Pinstripedbarbarian wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
I'm pleased that I'll be able to make 8 Wis characters again for Society play.
This was my first thought as well. As someone with a dozen bards in organized play each with a maximum Wis of 8, a small part of me died inside when I had to start making them wiser.

You didn't have to.

playtest rulebook page 19, Optional: Voluntary Flaws wrote:
Sometimes, it’s fun to play a character with a major flaw even if you’re not playing an ancestry that automatically starts with one. If you want to reduce any ability scores for your character below what they would normally start at, that’s fine—playing a brutish barbarian with an Intelligence score of 6 or a sickly wizard with a Constitution score of 4 could allow for some fun roleplaying opportunities—but you don’t get any benefit from taking on these voluntary flaws. Beware of making your scores so low that your character can’t keep up with the party!

You just didn't get any mechanical benefit for the drop.

Silver Crusade

Very mixed feelings about this one ...


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Surprised to see such mixed reactions to more flexibility and customization in chargen. Giving players more freedom to roleplay whatever concept suits them seems like a universal win.


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I'm not a fan of stat dumping but this seems like a reasonable middle ground to me. Enables a bit more variety and makes characters playing against ancestry type to be a bit better.

Enables Dwarven Bards, Halfling Barbarians, and eventually (and most important to me) orcish witches.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also, the no +level to untrained change was a pretty good sign that the "I enjoy having my character crap at some things" crowd is large. Let's just hope that this isn't a case of "what you want and what you ask for are not necessarily the same".

Paizo Employee Designer

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First World Bard wrote:
QuidEst wrote:

Normally, perks to dump stats bugs me, but letting you get an eighteen in something your ancestry penalizes is well worth it. Dwarf sorcerers!

I'll still be annoyed with human wizards tanking strength and charisma to get ancestry boosts in dexterity, constitution, and intelligence.

Well, Dex is less important for Wizards now, since it no longer adds to Initiative (unless you have a Stealth Wizard) or spell attacks (which now go off of Int). Though I guess a Wizard could go Con, Int, Wis and you'd still have your issue with it. :)

Edit: and sure, Dex still gives you AC and Reflex saves, so it's still good for the wizard. Just not *as* good.

If you wanted Int, Dex, Wis, a halfling could have done it with just -2 Str, and Int, Con, Wis, a dwarf could have done it with just -2 Cha. The point of this rule is to give you a little more flexibility on what ancestry you pick for each class and allow you to break stereotypes for your ancestry a bit more, without really increasing the power level of the strongest ancestry for your class. You never really wind up with stats that another ancestry couldn't have managed without taking the flaws, assuming an ancestry existed covering two of the stats you wanted without a flaw in the third.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sure, it won't work for Society, but you could always...roll for stats.


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graystone wrote:
LOL the return of stat dumping. I like it.

To be fair, all it really does is enable certain races to achieve 18's in ability scores they otherwise wouldn't be able to.

The arrays, even with this addition, are all still going to look much more even than 1E dump arrays.

Stats of 6 are now at a triumphant return though, so the hilarity that comes with that design space will be nice.

Momma Bear was Playtest, Papa bear was PF1, release PF2 is gonna be Baby Bear for me personally.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I like it. I'm very negative-ability-modifier-averse myself, but I do firmly believe that it should be an option for players who want it.

I like that it can/will increase the variety in final stat blocks for 1st level characters.

I LOVE that it is a way for any ancestry to play any class and still have that all important 18 in their primary stat. I'm not sure that it puts those otherwise penalized combinations (i.e. dwarf sorcerer) on the same playing field as a non-penalized combination (i.e. human sorcerer), but it at least preserves base competency in "the main thing" that the class is all about.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
First World Bard wrote:
QuidEst wrote:

Normally, perks to dump stats bugs me, but letting you get an eighteen in something your ancestry penalizes is well worth it. Dwarf sorcerers!

I'll still be annoyed with human wizards tanking strength and charisma to get ancestry boosts in dexterity, constitution, and intelligence.

Well, Dex is less important for Wizards now, since it no longer adds to Initiative (unless you have a Stealth Wizard) or spell attacks (which now go off of Int). Though I guess a Wizard could go Con, Int, Wis and you'd still have your issue with it. :)

Edit: and sure, Dex still gives you AC and Reflex saves, so it's still good for the wizard. Just not *as* good.
If you wanted Int, Dex, Wis, a halfling could have done it with just -2 Str, and Int, Con, Wis, a dwarf could have done it with just -2 Cha. The point of this rule is to give you a little more flexibility on what ancestry you pick for each class and allow you to break stereotypes for your ancestry a bit more, without really increasing the power level of the strongest ancestry for your class. You never really wind up with stats that another ancestry couldn't have managed without taking the flaws, assuming an ancestry existed covering two of the stats you wanted without a flaw in the third.

That’s a great point, thank you! My biases were set by PF1, where people willing to dump Cha or Str down to 5 just had better characters, but PF2 has a more equitable base to work from.


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Midnightoker wrote:

Stats of 6 are now at a triumphant return though, so the hilarity that comes with that design space will be nice.

They aren't though. You can only put two flaws in the same stat if one of them is canceling out a boost. and similarly you can't put two boosts in a stat unless one of them is canceling a flaw.

Overall you still can't have below an 8 or above a 12 after the ancestry step this just means that any ancestry can have a way to get a 12 or an 8 in any stat.

EDIT: I guess you can still take a voluntary stat dumb for no benefit but you could do that in the playtest as well.


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Midnightoker wrote:

Stats of 6 are now at a triumphant return though, so the hilarity that comes with that design space will be nice.

Nope. It's in the OP.

Blave wrote:

As revealed during the Know Direction Podcast, you can choose to get two additional flaws during character creation.

These flaws must be in different ability scores UNLESS you pick a score that's boosted by your ancestry. So you could play a sickly Dwarf with Con 8.

For these additional flaws, you get an extra boost which can be placed in any ability score that doesn't already get a fixed boost from your ancestry, including the one getting the basic flaw. So you can have a level 1 gnome with strength 18 by placing your free boost and the extra boost into strength.

You can only take a -4 to something that already had a mandatory racial +2. Nothing can start lower than 8.

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