How many bonus types?


Second Edition

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Does anyone know how many bonus types there will be? I've seen status a lot but not many others which is a little worrying as it could possibly make a lot of buff spells or the bards inspire confidence redundant.


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I believe it's still 3 temporary bonus types, from everything we've seen. Just renamed one. So:

Circumstantial
Item
Status

Also some untyped bonuses/penalties, like the adjustments from Rage.


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Pathfinder 2e is tight on math, not wanting to give out many bonuses due to the +10 being an auto critical.

I looked through a few spells, and the all seem to be conditional modifiers, which means they won't stack. In fact, certain annoying things like Enlarge and Barbarian's rage don't stack anymore since they both give conditional modifiers to damage.


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SorrySleeping wrote:

Pathfinder 2e is tight on math, not wanting to give out many bonuses due to the +10 being an auto critical.

I looked through a few spells, and the all seem to be conditional modifiers, which means they won't stack. In fact, certain annoying things like Enlarge and Barbarian's rage don't stack anymore since they both give conditional modifiers to damage.

This information appears to be from the playtest, not PF2.

In PF2, "conditional" is renamed "status", and Rage bonuses/penalties are untyped.


Do enhancement bonuses still exist?


tqomins wrote:
SorrySleeping wrote:

Pathfinder 2e is tight on math, not wanting to give out many bonuses due to the +10 being an auto critical.

I looked through a few spells, and the all seem to be conditional modifiers, which means they won't stack. In fact, certain annoying things like Enlarge and Barbarian's rage don't stack anymore since they both give conditional modifiers to damage.

This information appears to be from the playtest, not PF2.

In PF2, "circumstantial" is renamed "status", and Rage bonuses/penalties are untyped.

Isn't "status" the renamed "conditional" bonus?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Do enhancement bonuses still exist?

These seem to mostly be 'item' bonuses.


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masda_gib wrote:
Isn't "status" the renamed "conditional" bonus?

Yes, of course. That's what I get for dashing off a quick post at 6:30am.

Also shows why that needed to be renamed—"circumstantial" & "conditional" were entirely too easy to mix up.

Edited my above post to correct.


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Franz Lunzer wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Do enhancement bonuses still exist?
These seem to mostly be 'item' bonuses.

Not "mostly"—there are no "enhancement bonuses" in PF2. They were not in the playtest and every sign is that they were not added back in.

[Note: the Playtest did use the term "enhancement" for effects that added-on to a successful attack. E.g., Combat Grab (make a Strike with the enhancement that it makes the target flat-footed if you hit). I don't know whether the term has stayed the same for the final rules.]


Thanks for the responses. I’ll be interested to see where they landed on attack bonuses coming from weapon quality or weapon magic.

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Thanks for the responses. I’ll be interested to see where they landed on attack bonuses coming from weapon quality or weapon magic.

It's magic, sadly. It's decoupled from the bonus damage dice and capped at +3, though, so this is primarily a semantic distinction and easily changed if you prefer it to not be.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Thanks for the responses. I’ll be interested to see where they landed on attack bonuses coming from weapon quality or weapon magic.

That seems to be easily answered, but not confirmed, as far as I know:

item bonuses from expert, master, legendary crafted weapons are +1, +2, and +3 respectively.

Magic item bonuses aren't going to be higher than +3 as well, (except for unique items like treerazer's axe for example) so they are the same (type) of bonus, not stacking.

[edit] Well, deadmanwalking sure knows his stuff, so disregard my post.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Thanks for the responses. I’ll be interested to see where they landed on attack bonuses coming from weapon quality or weapon magic.
It's magic, sadly. It's decoupled from the bonus damage dice and capped at +3, though, so this is primarily a semantic distinction and easily changed if you prefer it to not be.

Yep. It's too bad. But I get why the designers would follow the surveys on that one, even if I would have preferred item quality rather than magic as the source of item bonuses to hit.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
tqomins wrote:


Yep. It's too bad. But I get why the designers would follow the surveys on that one, even if I would have preferred item quality rather than magic as the source of item bonuses to hit.

I get the impression that this is going to be one of the most commonly house ruled/GMG-alternate-rules-ruled things, at least among those of us who played the playtest


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Yeah. I was really hoping the answer was going to be item quality. I'll definitely be looking out for good houserules and the GMG rules.


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I would have preferred at least 1 extra Bonus type so Magic + non-magical stuff could stack together a bit better in some cases. Alchemical items, for example, probably still don't stack with your equipment since it's all item bonuses.


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I’m 100% okay with magical and non magical items not stacking. It cuts down on people pouring over every splatbook they can find (although Paizo seem to be pulling back on splatbooks which is a little worrying) to cheese out their bonuses.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I’m 100% okay with magical and non magical items not stacking. It cuts down on people pouring over every splatbook they can find (although Paizo seem to be pulling back on splatbooks which is a little worrying) to cheese out their bonuses.

but that's the goal of character building.


Mark Seifter said so about the GMG having the item quality rules variant in there. Either in place of magic pluses or in parallel.


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thistledown wrote:
but that's the goal of character building.

As someone who has made a great sword wielding halfling bard* and an elven paladin I respectfully disagree.

*I did have to cheese him out pretty hard with that handicap


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I mean, me taking amphetamines (quicksilver mutagen) shouldn't negate/override my enchanted bow. It doesn't make sense that my meth powers only work if I'm holding a plain bow, and the second I pick up a magic one, the power of tweaking goes away... (To elaborate, QSM gives an item bonus to ranged attacks, like shooting with a bow, and a magic bow gives... an item bonus to itself)


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That’s correct. And that argument can be made for any time they reduce the list of stackable bonuses to a shorter list. Ultimately it’s a game and they decided for the game portion to function as desired that this level of simulation had to be sacrificed.


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nick1wasd wrote:
I mean, me taking amphetamines (quicksilver mutagen) shouldn't negate/override my enchanted bow. It doesn't make sense that my meth powers only work if I'm holding a plain bow, and the second I pick up a magic one, the power of tweaking goes away... (To elaborate, QSM gives an item bonus to ranged attacks, like shooting with a bow, and a magic bow gives... an item bonus to itself)

The flip side though, as I have pointed out before, is that making alchemical bonuses their own thing would be a downgrade in the long run.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
I mean, me taking amphetamines (quicksilver mutagen) shouldn't negate/override my enchanted bow. It doesn't make sense that my meth powers only work if I'm holding a plain bow, and the second I pick up a magic one, the power of tweaking goes away... (To elaborate, QSM gives an item bonus to ranged attacks, like shooting with a bow, and a magic bow gives... an item bonus to itself)
The flip side though, as I have pointed out before, is that making alchemical bonuses their own thing would be a downgrade in the long run.

I haven't seen you're previous explanations to why alchemical bonuses should be type item and not type alchemy, but I would assume it's because of the tightened math and having multiple stacking bonuses to shooting a dragon in the face might get a bit messy. If I'm off the mark, please elaborate if you wouldn't mind, but I don't see that much harm in allowing QSM and a +1 bow to stack since QSM is A. temporary an B. has a noticeable downside.


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nick1wasd wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
I mean, me taking amphetamines (quicksilver mutagen) shouldn't negate/override my enchanted bow. It doesn't make sense that my meth powers only work if I'm holding a plain bow, and the second I pick up a magic one, the power of tweaking goes away... (To elaborate, QSM gives an item bonus to ranged attacks, like shooting with a bow, and a magic bow gives... an item bonus to itself)
The flip side though, as I have pointed out before, is that making alchemical bonuses their own thing would be a downgrade in the long run.
I haven't seen you're previous explanations to why alchemical bonuses should be type item and not type alchemy, but I would assume it's because of the tightened math and having multiple stacking bonuses to shooting a dragon in the face might get a bit messy. If I'm off the mark, please elaborate if you wouldn't mind, but I don't see that much harm in allowing QSM and a +1 bow to stack since QSM is A. temporary an B. has a noticeable downside.

A level appropriate mutagens provides a larger item bonus to hit than a level appropriate weapon. that means that not only will it give a dedicated archer +1 to hit, but it will turn a character without ranged investment (such as a melee rogue) into a character with equal to hit chance.

If mutagens became a status bonus, they wouldn't stack with Inspire Courage or Bless, which is bad for them. If they became their own bonus, then the amount it gives would need to be drastically shrunk. A high level quicksilver mutagen gives a +5 item bonus at the point that your archer can afford a +4 bow, so they can get a net +1 to hit. But there is no way a mutagen would give a +5 alchemical bonuses that stacks. That would be incredibly overpowered. So the alchemical bonus would probably remain at +1 for the entire game, much as Inspire Courage does.

To the dedicated archer, the net effect is the same. But to the character who doesn't have the latest and greatest in bow technology, the mutagen suddenly can't let them catch up. This is especially relevant given the alchemist can outfit the entire party with bombs which otherwise lack an item bonus, meaning they get +5 under the playtest system.

That's the hidden benefit of the way mutagen item bonuses work. You can potentially make your entire party into a specialist of a given thing. Needs everyone to use stealth but only one member bought a cloak of elvenkind? Not only will that person with the cloak get +1, but the entire party will close the gap. Know you're fighting a white Dragon who avoids melee? Give your barbarian a mutagen and some liquid ice. Got group social challenges? Well guess what, now everyone is competitive at that.

I'll note that I have no idea how this will work with the new reduced item bonus progression.


Captain Morgan wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
I mean, me taking amphetamines (quicksilver mutagen) shouldn't negate/override my enchanted bow. It doesn't make sense that my meth powers only work if I'm holding a plain bow, and the second I pick up a magic one, the power of tweaking goes away... (To elaborate, QSM gives an item bonus to ranged attacks, like shooting with a bow, and a magic bow gives... an item bonus to itself)
The flip side though, as I have pointed out before, is that making alchemical bonuses their own thing would be a downgrade in the long run.
I haven't seen you're previous explanations to why alchemical bonuses should be type item and not type alchemy, but I would assume it's because of the tightened math and having multiple stacking bonuses to shooting a dragon in the face might get a bit messy. If I'm off the mark, please elaborate if you wouldn't mind, but I don't see that much harm in allowing QSM and a +1 bow to stack since QSM is A. temporary an B. has a noticeable downside.

A level appropriate mutagens provides a larger item bonus to hit than a level appropriate weapon. that means that not only will it give a dedicated archer +1 to hit, but it will turn a character without ranged investment (such as a melee rogue) into a character with equal to hit chance.

If mutagens became a status bonus, they wouldn't stack with Inspire Courage or Bless, which is bad for them. If they became their own bonus, then the amount it gives would need to be drastically shrunk. A high level quicksilver mutagen gives a +5 item bonus at the point that your archer can afford a +4 bow, so they can get a net +1 to hit. But there is no way a mutagen would give a +5 alchemical bonuses that stacks. That would be incredibly overpowered. So the alchemical bonus would probably remain at +1 for the entire game, much as Inspire Courage does.

To the dedicated archer, the net effect is the same. But to the character who doesn't have the latest and...

Hopefully stay as they are, because 1) Mutagens were not amazing, the onset time made it so they had to be really good to be worth it. Now they can be above and beyond!

2) The Alchemist proficiencies don't make them super dangerous, but now a fully invested Mutagenist can lay down some Fighter-tier ass-kicking.
3) Although they are items, they are a class feature rather than "relying on gear", which was part of the issue with items.

I'm not sure if you can give mutagens to your allies, but that would be the only situation where it could get OP. As long as only the alchemist takes them, it would be fine to go to +5 since they're weaker in combat than most classes.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
thistledown wrote:
but that's the goal of character building.

As someone who has made a great sword wielding halfling bard* and an elven paladin I respectfully disagree.

*I did have to cheese him out pretty hard with that handicap

This is more a difference in building characters. I prefer to pour over splatbooks for any concept i think up; though i agree that everything is better with less cheese. Even cheese is better with less cheese.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Hopefully stay as they are, because 1) Mutagens were not amazing, the onset time made it so they had to be really good to be worth it. Now they can be above and beyond!

Well, they WERE really good once they got going, but the onset times are hella wonky, yeah. That's one of my two big problems with mutagens in the playtest, the other being that you had to keep your mutagens up to date to keep them competitive, and with only 2 free formulas a level that gets pricey quick.

I think the larger problem with the alchemist isn't that it is bad, but that you need a lot of system mastery to make it great. It has a high ceiling but might have the lowest floor, which is part of what PF2 should be avoiding.

Quote:
2) The Alchemist proficiencies don't make them super dangerous, but now a fully invested Mutagenist can lay down some Fighter-tier ass-kicking.

This was actually pretty close to the case in the playtest. A mutagenist could use feats to bypass the onset time of mutagens. That meant that they could make themselves competitive with a specialist at any given thing on the fly. They can gab like a bard, punch like a monk, or sneak like a rogue.

Quote:
I'm not sure if you can give mutagens to your allies, but that would be the only situation where it could get OP. As long as only the alchemist takes them, it would be fine to go to +5 since they're weaker in combat than most classes.

The thing is though that you COULD indeed make mutagens for your allies, which people seem to overlook a lot. So it isn't just that the alchemist can punch like the monk, it is that the he can make the entire party punch like the monk. So they need to make sure the bonus doesn't make the monk double monk, because that would break the math paradigms. Making it so that the mutagens don't work on allies would be a big nerf to the alchemist.

I do agree that in the playtest you sort of needed mutagens to be at your best. Even the bomber worked best when under the effects of a quicksilver mutagen-- it provided +5 item bonus to hit at its highest level, where the best the inherent equipment could provide was a +2 item bonus. And this really didn't feel obvious to new players, meaning you might very well wind up with no item bonus to hit at all.

I have no idea how it will work in the final version. They get expert at the same point casters get it, but we haven't seen anything indicating they get master in bombs. Plus, they probably have to use a secondary stat to hit, unlike all the other classes save gish casters.

One possibility: mutagens could provide proficiency instead of item bonuses. That would keep a similar paradigm as the playtest, where you can make the alchemist or another party member catch up to the specialist without making letting them make the specialist so strong it breaks the game. That would make sense with proficiency now absorbing most of the value that went into item bonuses. It would also make more sense than non-magical mutagens providing the same bonus type as magical items. The mutagen is really just awakening your inner potential.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
thistledown wrote:
but that's the goal of character building.

As someone who has made a great sword wielding halfling bard* and an elven paladin I respectfully disagree.

*I did have to cheese him out pretty hard with that handicap

This is more a difference in building characters. I prefer to pour over splatbooks for any concept i think up; though i agree that everything is better with less cheese. Even cheese is better with less cheese.

Obligatory plug of how the Ancestry system lets a Halfling Greatsword Bard work in the CRB. Though admittedly it's one of the few trickier builds since you can't boost both Cha and Str with Ancestry... So one would unfortunately have to be a step behind at some levels. XP


Edge93 wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
thistledown wrote:
but that's the goal of character building.

As someone who has made a great sword wielding halfling bard* and an elven paladin I respectfully disagree.

*I did have to cheese him out pretty hard with that handicap

This is more a difference in building characters. I prefer to pour over splatbooks for any concept i think up; though i agree that everything is better with less cheese. Even cheese is better with less cheese.
Obligatory plug of how the Ancestry system lets a Halfling Greatsword Bard work in the CRB. Though admittedly it's one of the few trickier builds since you can't boost both Cha and Str with Ancestry... So one would unfortunately have to be a step behind at some levels. XP

You can by taking the voluntary +2/-2/-2 which gets you Str 14/Cha 18 or Str 16/Cha 16. Unless you meant that you can't get to Str 12/Cha 12 from Ancestry alone, in which case you're right.


IDPTG wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Obligatory plug of how the Ancestry system lets a Halfling Greatsword Bard work in the CRB. Though admittedly it's one of the few trickier builds since you can't boost both Cha and Str with Ancestry... So one would unfortunately have to be a step behind at some levels. XP
You can by taking the voluntary +2/-2/-2 which gets you Str 14/Cha 18 or Str 16/Cha 16. Unless you meant that you can't get to Str 12/Cha 12 from Ancestry alone, in which case you're right.

Starting as Bard, I'd probably stat it as:

Str 16 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 8 Wis 10 Cha 14

But if you wanted a bit more juice on your spells you could drop Con to 12. I probably wouldn't make that choice, myself.

Grab something like Fighter multiclass at level 2 for the greatsword, I guess.

Could also start martial and multi into Bard.


tqomins wrote:

Starting as Bard, I'd probably stat it as:

Str 16 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 8 Wis 10 Cha 14

But if you wanted a bit more juice on your spells you could drop Con to 12. I probably wouldn't make that choice, myself.

Grab something like Fighter multiclass at level 2 for the greatsword, I guess.

Could also start martial and multi into Bard.

I would probably do Dex 16, Con 12 for the Cha 14 build. I think the +1 AC will help more than +1 HP/level, but I'm not sure if that's true.


IDPTG wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
thistledown wrote:
but that's the goal of character building.

As someone who has made a great sword wielding halfling bard* and an elven paladin I respectfully disagree.

*I did have to cheese him out pretty hard with that handicap

This is more a difference in building characters. I prefer to pour over splatbooks for any concept i think up; though i agree that everything is better with less cheese. Even cheese is better with less cheese.
Obligatory plug of how the Ancestry system lets a Halfling Greatsword Bard work in the CRB. Though admittedly it's one of the few trickier builds since you can't boost both Cha and Str with Ancestry... So one would unfortunately have to be a step behind at some levels. XP
You can by taking the voluntary +2/-2/-2 which gets you Str 14/Cha 18 or Str 16/Cha 16. Unless you meant that you can't get to Str 12/Cha 12 from Ancestry alone, in which case you're right.

Yep, that's what I was meaning. ^^


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Captain Morgan wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Hopefully stay as they are, because 1) Mutagens were not amazing, the onset time made it so they had to be really good to be worth it. Now they can be above and beyond!

Well, they WERE really good once they got going, but the onset times are hella wonky, yeah. That's one of my two big problems with mutagens in the playtest, the other being that you had to keep your mutagens up to date to keep them competitive, and with only 2 free formulas a level that gets pricey quick.

I think the larger problem with the alchemist isn't that it is bad, but that you need a lot of system mastery to make it great. It has a high ceiling but might have the lowest floor, which is part of what PF2 should be avoiding.

Quote:
2) The Alchemist proficiencies don't make them super dangerous, but now a fully invested Mutagenist can lay down some Fighter-tier ass-kicking.

This was actually pretty close to the case in the playtest. A mutagenist could use feats to bypass the onset time of mutagens. That meant that they could make themselves competitive with a specialist at any given thing on the fly. They can gab like a bard, punch like a monk, or sneak like a rogue.

Quote:
I'm not sure if you can give mutagens to your allies, but that would be the only situation where it could get OP. As long as only the alchemist takes them, it would be fine to go to +5 since they're weaker in combat than most classes.

The thing is though that you COULD indeed make mutagens for your allies, which people seem to overlook a lot. So it isn't just that the alchemist can punch like the monk, it is that the he can make the entire party punch like the monk. So they need to make sure the bonus doesn't make the monk double monk, because that would break the math paradigms. Making it so that the mutagens don't work on allies would be a big nerf to the alchemist.

I do agree that in the playtest you sort of needed mutagens to be at your best. Even the bomber worked best when under the effects...

Unlike most classes, the Alchemist doesn't use their primary attribute to hit. They have to spread points between DEX and INT which means it's not gonna be max for the entire campaign. So yeah, they are at -1 compared to everyone else for around half the levels. The same goes for STR builds.


If you put a lot of effort in it (or take elf) you could go with 18 in both in the campaign and keep both up on the same level
admittedly your other stats would look a bit worse


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Seisho wrote:

If you put a lot of effort in it (or take elf) you could go with 18 in both in the campaign and keep both up on the same level

admittedly your other stats would look a bit worse

There's no way to have a stat aside from your key score at 18 to start with.


Edge93 wrote:
Seisho wrote:

If you put a lot of effort in it (or take elf) you could go with 18 in both in the campaign and keep both up on the same level

admittedly your other stats would look a bit worse
There's no way to have a stat aside from your key score at 18 to start with.

Yep. For an Elf Alchemist I might try:

Str 8 Dex 18 Con 14 Int 16 Wis 12 Cha 8

Or Dex 16/Int 18, depending.


Edge93 wrote:
Seisho wrote:

If you put a lot of effort in it (or take elf) you could go with 18 in both in the campaign and keep both up on the same level

admittedly your other stats would look a bit worse
There's no way to have a stat aside from your key score at 18 to start with.

On the plus side, they've gone starfinder for stat ups.

The difference between a 16 and an 18 is only +1 at levels 1-4, 10-14, and 20. Levels 5-9 and 15-19 there is no difference.

So, an 18 is better, but it's not terrible to have a 16 in the stat you want.


Garretmander wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Seisho wrote:

If you put a lot of effort in it (or take elf) you could go with 18 in both in the campaign and keep both up on the same level

admittedly your other stats would look a bit worse
There's no way to have a stat aside from your key score at 18 to start with.

On the plus side, they've gone starfinder for stat ups.

The difference between a 16 and an 18 is only +1 at levels 1-4, 10-14, and 20. Levels 5-9 and 15-19 there is no difference.

So, an 18 is better, but it's not terrible to have a 16 in the stat you want.

Yep. A starting stat of 16 should play just fine. Heck, even if you start at 14, compared to an 18-start you're only 2 behind for 1-4 & after that 1 behind for the rest. Not ideal, sure, but it is doable.


Elf starts as

Str 10; Dex 12; Con 8; Wis 10; Int 12; Cha 10

You add background

Str 10; Dex 14; Con 8; Wis 10; Int 14; Cha 10

You add class stat

Str 10; Dex 14; Con 8; Wis 10; Int 16; Cha 10

You add free boosts

Str 12; Dex 16; Con 10; Wis 10; Int 18; Cha 10

You add your free +2/-2/-2

Str 10; Dex 18; Con 8; Wis 8; Int 18; Cha 10

Admittedly you would show real life wisdom 8 with that spread but it is possible

I will probably go with primary stats 16 though

also this should be delightful for minmaxers....


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Why in the world would you add your free boosts to the stats that you intend to dump with your free +2/-2/-2?

Also, I think the +2/-2/-2 is supposed to go with the ancestry step, so properly it should be done before background is applied.


Seisho: you can't add the + from the extra -/-/+ to a score with a fixed boost from ancestry.


I just did this as an example of how to calculate

I wouldn't do this kind of thing anyway

It was just an example how one could reach a 18/18/10/10/8/8 spread

tqomins wrote:
Seisho: you can't add the + from the extra -/-/+ to a score with a fixed boost from ancestry.

... okay I didn't know that


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To clarify, the extra -/-/+ is added in during the Ancestry step.

There's a general rule that you can't apply two boosts or two flaws to the same score during the same step.

The -/-/+ option does make two exceptions to that general rule, but they're very specific, designed to allow you to play characters "against type" for the Ancestry:

1) If you take the -/-/+ option during the Ancestry step, then you can put ++ on a single stat in that step *IFF* that stat has a fixed flaw from your Ancestry;

2) If you take the -/-/+ option during the Ancestry step, then you can put -- on a single stat in that step *IFF* that stat has a fixed boost from your Ancestry.

So an Elf (-Con, +Dex, +Int, +) who takes the -/-/+ option can come out of the Ancestry step with a 12 Con (-++) or an 8 Int or Dex (+--), but those are the only ways to stack two boosts or two flaws in one step of the process.


tqomins wrote:

To clarify, the extra -/-/+ is added in during the Ancestry step.

There's a general rule that you can't apply two boosts or two flaws to the same score during the same step.

The -/-/+ option does make two exceptions to that general rule, but they're very specific, designed to allow you to play characters "against type" for the Ancestry:

1) If you take the -/-/+ option during the Ancestry step, then you can put ++ on a single stat in that step *IFF* that stat has a fixed flaw from your Ancestry;

2) If you take the -/-/+ option during the Ancestry step, then you can put -- on a single stat in that step *IFF* that stat has a fixed boost from your Ancestry.

So an Elf (-Con, +Dex, +Int, +) who takes the -/-/+ option can come out of the Ancestry step with a 12 Con (-++) or an 8 Int or Dex (+--), but those are the only ways to stack two boosts or two flaws in one step of the process.

Thank you for posting this, I was about to have to myself. XD

I am surprised how many times I've had to explain this/seen it needing to be explained. Paizo was really clear about how it worked in the blog that introduced it.


it's no surprise at all! There was no explanation of the --+ option in any of the blogs. Just in passing on Know Direction. And it wasn't systematically or very clearly explained. I missed some of the nuance until I misstated it on here and folks corrected.


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Why do I expect "you can't start with 2 18s" will be the first response in like half of the "evaluate my build" type threads in a few months?


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Why do I expect "you can't start with 2 18s" will be the first response in like half of the "evaluate my build" type threads in a few months?

Yep. Hoping there are some good stat-generation tools posted early so we can point folks to 'em. As much as I love the optional -/-/+, it makes things *just* weird enough that I'm sure folks will have trouble with it

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Why do I expect "you can't start with 2 18s" will be the first response in like half of the "evaluate my build" type threads in a few months?

Hopefully it will be written at the beginning of the character creation chapter in the CRB.


tqomins wrote:
it's no surprise at all! There was no explanation of the --+ option in any of the blogs. Just in passing on Know Direction. And it wasn't systematically or very clearly explained. I missed some of the nuance until I misstated it on here and folks corrected.

Huh, maybe I'm misremembering where I heard it. I guess maybe the "can only apply double bonus to fixed ancestral penalty and can only apply double penalty to fixed ancestral bonus" was just clear to me because I really pay attention to the actual wording on that kind of thing and not everyone does. I find that happens to me a lot, and it's caused misunderstanding before. >_>

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