non optimized character creation.


Advice


So I came across a weird scenario that probably won't happen too often.

Player 1 wants to be a goblin, and chooses Warpriest. Not being one to dissuade a player from what they want I explained the weaknesses and what they have to be aware of while playing.

What I did not realize is exactly how bad a character will be who chooses a conflicting race vs class. The max a goblin cleric can start with in wis is 14. And, if optimized you can have one stat at 16 as your high stat not in your primary stat.

With the RAW you can't put your free stat into your races negative stat. So, it starts at 8 and you can only put 3 more +abilities into it for a grand total of 14. Now, I know they get a stat increase at 5 and 10 to get to that 18 threshold but that is a pretty rough early levels for a 14. I explained as a warpriest she will have to focus on buffs and avoid anything that targets enemies and stick to melee.

This works for her character concept of a Gorum goblin warpriest. But, I can see it being a big hindrance for some of the other classes. Halfling fighter for example.

Was this intended to punish people who don't go optimized or just a non QA side effect. In pf2 a +1 status bonus is considered really good with a +3 being godly. So a -2 is considered a big negative.

Whats your thoughts on this? Should I consider not following the rules and let them put the +2 into the negative stat for ancestry if they want to play a non optimized race/class? Or just let them struggle as PF2 intended?


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You can put the free boost in the score with the flaw. You can also take two separate flaws in exchange for an extra free boost. You can't put two boosts in the same score unless the score also has a flaw. Likewise, you can't put two flaws in the same score unless the score also has boost: https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=66 (see the side bar near step 7 for voluntary flaws.)

So you can apply the two voluntary flaws to the two scores with natural boosts, and put the two free boosts in the score with a natural flaw. This way, a goblin can start with an 18 in Wisdom. Indeed, any character can start with an 18 in any stat.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm not seeing where it says you can't cancel the flaw with a boost, in fact I see precisely the opposite:

Quote:
Dwarves, for example, receive an ability boost to their Constitution score and their Wisdom score, as well as one free ability boost, which can be applied to any score other than Constitution or Wisdom.

I don't have my books with me but that's the wording from AoN https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=66


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is nothing preventing you from applying a race's free ability boost to the statistic that receives their ability flaw. So if that's your class's prime requisite, you could have a 16 in it. The rules on ability boost explicitly prevent you from adding your free ancestry boost to one of the characteristics you already got a boost to, but not the flawed characteristic.

Edit: double ninjad!


Tikael wrote:

I'm not seeing where it says you can't cancel the flaw with a boost, in fact I see precisely the opposite:

Quote:
Dwarves, for example, receive an ability boost to their Constitution score and their Wisdom score, as well as one free ability boost, which can be applied to any score other than Constitution or Wisdom.
I don't have my books with me but that's the wording from AoN https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=66

Ah, I see that now. I assumed that you could not just negate a flaw so did not pay attention to the actual wording as well as I should have.

However, I don't consider taking 2 flaws to get a ability boost as valid. Weakening the race in another way puts them back in the suboptimal position again. But, its still good to know.


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Alenvire wrote:
Tikael wrote:

I'm not seeing where it says you can't cancel the flaw with a boost, in fact I see precisely the opposite:

Quote:
Dwarves, for example, receive an ability boost to their Constitution score and their Wisdom score, as well as one free ability boost, which can be applied to any score other than Constitution or Wisdom.
I don't have my books with me but that's the wording from AoN https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=66

Ah, I see that now. I assumed that you could not just negate a flaw so did not pay attention to the actual wording as well as I should have.

However, I don't consider taking 2 flaws to get a ability boost as valid. Weakening the race in another way puts them back in the suboptimal position again. But, its still good to know.

It's useful if you have scores you don't care about or that you want to be bad at -- like a stereotypical barbarian; choose human or half-orc, put boosts in Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, and two flaws in two of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.


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

And the Voluntary Flaw system actually lets you boost your Ability Flaw score for ancestry all the way to 18. You just have to accept two other Ability Flaws to do it.


The main question is what does the player want the PC to be able to do?
If they want to mostly cast spells and were wary of a Cleric without armor, then they can get to 16 Wis w/ solid support stats. Their saves will be 2-3 lower than a Cloistered Cleric, but they'll be just as fine a caster for nearly all non-offensive spells.

Or do they want a mini-holy warrior, one with more magic or different anathema than a Champion?
Two standard options: ranged or melee.

If ranged, there's there's not much price for a goblin.
10 Str, 16 Dex, 12 Con, 10 Int, 16 Wis, 14 Cha.
Get a background that boosts Dex or Wis, using free for the other.
For a full-caster going martial, this about as good as you get (again assuming they aren't focusing too much on offensive magic.)

Melee's a bit tougher. First, if they want a deity w/ a subpar weapon, they can use Goblin Ancestry Feats to get to Expert proficiency w/ some decent melee weapons.
Second, they have to bite the bullet since you can't have less than a 16 in your main offensive stat and expect to do well. It's either 16 Str or 16 Wis, and it pretty much has to be Str or why bother? Funnily enough, a low casting stat effects all of your spell offense, yet little else.

Funnily enough I made my first Goblin PC last night, a War Priest too.
It's doable. With Unbreakable, copious self-healing, plus Shield and/or a shield w/ Shield Block they can be a tenacious little bugger with a decent swing. And they can handle being within 30' of the front line to heal the martials, while getting in a swing on the same round. Quite useful.
He absolutely should not bother memorizing an offensive spell or taking an offensive focus spell, but there are so many valuable ones to choose from that's not much of a bother.
While I didn't do this, what's hilarious is he could MCD Sorcerer really easily and have some offense with those spells (given time).

Oh, and warn him that the main strength of good damage is to activate a weakness. Lots of the battle feats give good-type damage where a holy rune could suffice.

Cheers


Even then, 16 Wis is decent for a warpriest, and you don't need voluntary flaws for that.

Liberty's Edge

Honestly, a Goblin Warpriest with Str 16, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 14 sounds really good mechanically. They'll be focused on melee combat and healing rather than offensive casting, but it's a fine build at what it does.

How would you do that?

+2 Str from Ancestry
+2 Str, +2 Wis from Background
+2 Wis from Cleric
+2 Str, +2 Con, +2 Wis, +2 Cha

You could instead take even higher Cha for lower Wis, or go Str 14 and Wis 16, or switch to Con 10 and Int 12 if you want better Skills...but honestly, the above build is very solid.


Alenvire wrote:
Tikael wrote:

I'm not seeing where it says you can't cancel the flaw with a boost, in fact I see precisely the opposite:

Quote:
Dwarves, for example, receive an ability boost to their Constitution score and their Wisdom score, as well as one free ability boost, which can be applied to any score other than Constitution or Wisdom.
I don't have my books with me but that's the wording from AoN https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=66

Ah, I see that now. I assumed that you could not just negate a flaw so did not pay attention to the actual wording as well as I should have.

However, I don't consider taking 2 flaws to get a ability boost as valid. Weakening the race in another way puts them back in the suboptimal position again. But, its still good to know.

16 WIS is plenty for the warpriest and you can get that without dumping. In fact, it's probably too high depending on the build. Those guys can have 12 WIS so you can get higher CHA and STR.

THis Goblin is gonna be just fine if you focus on STR/CHA.


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To be honest optimization wise? I would totally dump wisdom as an Goblin and put the War in that Priest.

16Str/14Dex/12Con/10Wis/10Int/16Cha

Buff themself with Bless at low levels and go wild, changing to Heroism ar lvl 11.

Do you see these spell slots? They are Channel Smite and buff slots now, prepare yourself for the harm train.


Kyrone wrote:

To be honest optimization wise? I would totally dump wisdom as an Goblin and put the War in that Priest.

16Str/14Dex/12Con/10Wis/10Int/16Cha

Buff themself with Bless at low levels and go wild, changing to Heroism ar lvl 11.

Do you see these spell slots? They are Channel Smite and buff slots now, prepare yourself for the harm train.

I'd go with Magic Weapon over Bless, it's strictly better if A: your weapon is nonmagical and B: You don't expect to reliably get allies in bless radius.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Honestly, a Goblin Warpriest with Str 16, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 14 sounds really good mechanically. They'll be focused on melee combat and healing rather than offensive casting, but it's a fine build at what it does.

How would you do that?

+2 Str from Ancestry
+2 Str, +2 Wis from Background
+2 Wis from Cleric
+2 Str, +2 Con, +2 Wis, +2 Cha

You could instead take even higher Cha for lower Wis, or go Str 14 and Wis 16, or switch to Con 10 and Int 12 if you want better Skills...but honestly, the above build is very solid.

That first stat layout is exactly what she did. I mentioned some of the options to get her wis higher but she is happy with it as is. My worry was for other classes that are more dependent on those stats. Like a halfling fighter.

Kyrone wrote:

To be honest optimization wise? I would totally dump wisdom as an Goblin and put the War in that Priest.

16Str/14Dex/12Con/10Wis/10Int/16Cha

Buff themself with Bless at low levels and go wild, changing to Heroism ar lvl 11.

Do you see these spell slots? They are Channel Smite and buff slots now, prepare yourself for the harm train.

I may ask her what she thinks of using wisdom as a dump stat. See if she ever cares to do offensive casting or not. I like the idea of her going harm (currently healing) and buffing it so that she can drop all the channel smites.


Alenvire wrote:
That first stat layout is exactly what she did. I mentioned some of the options to get her wis higher but she is happy with it as is. My worry was for other classes that are more dependent on those stats. Like a halfling fighter.

That is the exact intended purpose of the voluntary flaw in the sidebar on page 26.

Take a gnome barbarian. You can apply both free boosts to strength (because it has a penalty) and end up with a stat spread of:

STR 18, DEX 12, CON 14, INT 8, WIS 8, CHA 16

Or the halfling fighter might have:

STR 18, DEX 12, CON 14, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 8

Depending on you spread background and free boosts of course.


The two flaws to get a boost when you have a racial flaw in your key stat is usually quite valid, it's a net -2 to one stat. Most games don't require that level of scraping optimization.

That said, it's not always good if you don't have a racial boost to your secondary stat, since you likely want 16 in that, and unfortunately a Str-based Gobbo Warpriest is such a case. But as has been said, 16 Wis 16 Str is perfectly viable, and 14 Wis is perfectly usable if you play around it.

As an aside, a Gnome Str-based Fighter is perfectly viable in this edition, where it never really was in PF1. Racial is -Str, +Con and Cha IIRC, you can put the free boost in Str and then drop two stats you don't need (maybe drop Int and Dex, then raise them back to 10 with the four free boosts step) to bump Str again.

You'd end up with something like
Str 18
Dex 10
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 14

Though it probably wouldn't hurt to slip some of that Con into Wis and if you aren't interested in social skills or Demoralize that Cha can go elsewhere too (you could even take one of the two flaws from the ancestry step in Cha and drop it to 10 to keep something higher).

You could have that 14 in Wis instead of Cha, which is nice for Will and Initiative.

Anyhow, I appreciate that it's much more viable now opposed to being permanently -4 Str versus a Human/Half Elf/Half Orc like in PF1.

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