Wait, what? Undead have Constitution? Mindless undead have Intelligence?


Rules Discussion


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

How does that work?


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Probably the same way that mindless creatures having Wisdom and Charisma always worked.

Non-scores were always kind of clunky and inconsistent, and all they really ended up doing was making it so that you used another different ability score (or an inherent modifier of some kind) to do the same thing without really making as much sense. Can't say I'm too cut up about them being gone.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would imagine that undead constitution would represent the resilience of the undead body, as opposed to "life force". Also, I think that mindless intelligence would just represent a very basic instinct. Does that make sense?


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The base zombie has -5 int, which means 0 int.

Const is meant, i guess, to give them bonus to st ( as echo said, body resilience is a good way to see it )

Remember that what really counts is not a stat, but a trait ( condition immunities )

To make an example:

Zomvie immunities: death effects, disease, mental, paralyzed, poison, unconscious;


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Yes, they seem to have moved away from null "-" stats.

For intelligence, previously mindless creatures seem to have been given a score of 0 (or a -5 modifier)

For constitution, they seem to have gone with the theory that if something was so completely divorced from physical health and well-being that it didn't have a Con score, then having Hit Points as all doesn't make sense, and so they must have some (spooky) equivalent to a living creature's constitution.

While most places constitution is talked about in the Core Rulebook it seems to be assuming a living creature, the appendix entry on page 630 says that constitution is a "measure of your toughness and durability", which is more biologically agnostic.


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Undead having Constitution makes sense to me, after all they had Fort saves before which thematically are very similar to a CON score.

Mindless undead still have a limited amount of intelligence as well. Zombie shamblers are often likened to animal intelligence in media: they can sense stimuli, interpret it, and act based on that interpretation, so I'd say it's appropriate.


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

-5 = 0.

Must be new math.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Of course, one of the most INTERESTING "side effects" of undead now having constitutions and being affected by mind-affecting stuff and not having so many immunities baked into the role is that it's a lot easier now to have PC undead...


Can't you really compare different sheets to find out that a -5 stands for zero?

@jj: they can have const and int scores, but what makes them undeads are the immunities and traits.

https://2e.aonprd.com/Monsters.aspx?ID=423

Good luck giving a player immunity to half the mind/body stuff.

Scarab Sages

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James Jacobs wrote:
Of course, one of the most INTERESTING "side effects" of undead now having constitutions and being affected by mind-affecting stuff and not having so many immunities baked into the role is that it's a lot easier now to have PC undead...

How long until we get a Geb book with PC undead rules, and who do I need to bribe to have season 2 of Society be about establishing a Lodge there?


K1 wrote:
@jj: they can have const and int scores, but what makes them undeads are the immunities and traits.

Which are significantly reduced from PF1, making it easier to make undead PCs. Not easy, mind you, but easier. Also, look at other undead, which have less immunities. Like grave knight.


BellyBeard wrote:
K1 wrote:
@jj: they can have const and int scores, but what makes them undeads are the immunities and traits.
Which are significantly reduced from PF1, making it easier to make undead PCs. Not easy, mind you, but easier.

I accept the fact the immunities have been reduced, but I can't see working a character with all those immunities i posted.

With homebrew rules you can play whatever you want, but I will have a hard time dealing with a group of undeads PC. And I am just being Nice by saying "hard time"


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James Jacobs wrote:
Of course, one of the most INTERESTING "side effects" of undead now having constitutions and being affected by mind-affecting stuff and not having so many immunities baked into the role is that it's a lot easier now to have PC undead...

Likewise Wyrwoods are going to be a lot less rules-cumbersome this time around, I have to imagine, which is a welcome change.


James Jacobs wrote:
Of course, one of the most INTERESTING "side effects" of undead now having constitutions and being affected by mind-affecting stuff and not having so many immunities baked into the role is that it's a lot easier now to have PC undead...

I figured this was probably one of the main reasons to do it. With starfinder there are a few plant/undeadish options for players and just making it so there is a stat there however low is a lot easier to allow down the road as a player option.


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

Thank you Mr. Jacobs! I kind of thought that was where you guys might be going with it.

Liberty's Edge

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Non-ability scores really are a pain to design around, so I am glad to see them gone.


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

Same.


James Jacobs wrote:
Of course, one of the most INTERESTING "side effects" of undead now having constitutions and being affected by mind-affecting stuff and not having so many immunities baked into the role is that it's a lot easier now to have PC undead...

This reminds me of how excited I was to hear about Liminals in Exalted 3.0 when i was plyaing 2.0.

Excitment of mundane, not evil, undeads. Like an entire civiliation that is mixed with living and dead. when someone dies.. Well either they become undead. or they pass on and their body is rented by some other undead in need of a body.

So many interesting stories and interesting ways to do things.
Including someday "dying" as a player.
and coming in as a new character.. in the corpse of your old one.


Huh... Totally missed this, interesting. Will need to keep this in mind for conversions.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Uchuujin wrote:
Huh... Totally missed this, interesting. Will need to keep this in mind for conversions.

Yeah. Same. I've read several undead entries several times over and for some reason, it didn't really hit me until today.


James Jacobs wrote:
Of course, one of the most INTERESTING "side effects" of undead now having constitutions and being affected by mind-affecting stuff and not having so many immunities baked into the role is that it's a lot easier now to have PC undead...

All of my yes!

Plus it makes it easier to have construct characters as well.

And now we don't need to worry about having extra rules baggage for the eventual return of vermin companions.

I've never been a big fan of the stat substitution game either. The fact that this is the first game I have seen that does away with it warms my heart.

I also think the -5 Int = vermin, -4 Int = animal, -3 or higher Int = beast formula is quietly elegant. Not sure why, but I do.

Silver Crusade

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Another side effect is that Enchanters get a boost. In 1e, Enchanters were cool but very limited (there were odd cases like Kitsune Fey Sorcerer), but now...

Have you seen the Wiz Enchanter's Focus spells? Dread Aura lasts a minute, no save Frightened. In 2e this school is a powerful choice.

And now Sorshen can defend herself against the Tyrant.

Dark Archive

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Stack wrote:
Non-ability scores really are a pain to design around, so I am glad to see them gone.

Yeah, I always hated nonabilities.

Bugs, like ants and spiders and wasps, have their own friggin' craft skills, let alone abilities like the power to intimidate (or be intimidated). Mindless? Not so much. Bees can *do math.*

And Con as a non-ability was always non-sense. My *car* has vital parts that can be damaged, and can be 'poisoned'. It's very much got a 'health' score, even if it isn't alive. I feel like the word 'Constitution' gives the impression that it's actually supposed to mean 'alive,' and if the stat had been named 'Durability' or something, it would have been easier to grok handing out to robots or undead or furniture.

Too much corner-case design came about because of them, like various feats or class abilities or monster abilities that allowed Vermin to be trained 'despite being mindless,' or various workarounds like 'undead now get extra hit points from a high Charisma score.'

Very glad to hear that nonabilities are dead as dodos.

Exo-Guardians

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Set wrote:
Stack wrote:
Non-ability scores really are a pain to design around, so I am glad to see them gone.
Very glad to hear that nonabilities are dead as dodos.

Except for Familiars.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Perpdepog wrote:
I also think the -5 Int = vermin, -4 Int = animal, -3 or higher Int = beast formula is quietly elegant. Not sure why, but I do.

Is this actually defined somewhere? Or is it just an observed trend?


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Saros Palanthios wrote:
Set wrote:
Stack wrote:
Non-ability scores really are a pain to design around, so I am glad to see them gone.
Very glad to hear that nonabilities are dead as dodos.
Except for Familiars.

Which, no surprise, brings back the host of old non-ability issues from PF1.

Silver Crusade

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

Also thankfully Vermin is no longer a thing in P2, we have Animal and Beast.


Ravingdork wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
I also think the -5 Int = vermin, -4 Int = animal, -3 or higher Int = beast formula is quietly elegant. Not sure why, but I do.
Is this actually defined somewhere? Or is it just an observed trend?

Just an observed trend on my reading through the bestiary. Animals that used to be considered vermin, insects and arthropods and the like, all seem to have Int scores of -5. Traditional "animal" animals, like dogs and horses, and dumber magical beasts like bulettes, have -4. It seems to be an unofficial rule for beasts that they have animal-like bodies, but a -3 or higher score. Things like griffons and chimera, etc. I think that is what qualifies a beast as a beast. Higher intelligence without the typical biped bodyplan that defines humanoids.

Edit: Nope, it is spelled out in their creature types. I'm just a doofus and didn't read them.

"Animal Trait: wrote:
An animal is a creature with a relatively low intelligence. It typically doesn’t have an Intelligence ability modifier over –4, can’t speak languages, and can’t be trained in Intelligence-based skills.
Beast Trait wrote:
A creature similar to an animal but with an Intelligence modifier of –3 or higher is usually a beast. Unlike an animal, a beast might be able to speak and reason.


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Purple worms are animals.

With a burrowing speed.

Which means (some) gnomes can talk to them.


How's that go? "...Yup, nobody understands you when you're purple..."


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

If I remember correctly, Danny Vermin was a nemesis of Johnny Dangerously. :-)


Quandary wrote:
How's that go? "...Yup, nobody understands you when you're purple..."

I think the purple worm appreciates it when the food announces itself.

Shadow Lodge

I know there's been an ongoing cadre of wannabe lich PCs, and maybe this edition will make it actually plausible. Also, yeah, not having ability score substitution will take some adjustment, but this will hopefully make things a bit simpler.

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