Why don’t Themes give a +2 instead of a +1?


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Hey, I purchased the Core rulebook a while back, but I’m just now sitting and reading through it. I like what I see so far, but there is one thing I’m curious about. Why do themes only give a +1?

With the default point but method, the +1 just makes it so you always have at least one attribute that starts at an odd level. I guess it works ok if you decide to go with the rolling method.

Why not just make it so that every theme gives a +2 instead so it makes a difference? What do you guys think?


I thought it was a bit weird, too. Everything else is usually a +2 or some other even number. As far as I'm aware, Themes are the only thing that only gives a +1 to an attribute.


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theelcorspectre wrote:

Hey, I purchased the Core rulebook a while back, but I’m just now sitting and reading through it. I like what I see so far, but there is one thing I’m curious about. Why do themes only give a +1?

With the default point but method, the +1 just makes it so you always have at least one attribute that starts at an odd level. I guess it works ok if you decide to go with the rolling method.

Why not just make it so that every theme gives a +2 instead so it makes a difference? What do you guys think?

Themes are there so you can qualify for Feats that require an odd number, like Heavy Armor requires 13 Strength and Technomantic Dabbler requires 15 Int.

If you don't like any feats with a prerequisite, you can throw the point in Strength so you can use a regular 5 credit backpack to get improved carry capacity, instead of 25 credits for the industrial backpack.


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Its so you don't have to have every melee character taking a strength based theme.

On the other hand, there's really almost zero point for the stat boost to be there at all, and I think it lures people in to a theme that mechanically doesn't work for them as well as it could.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Its so you don't have to have every melee character taking a strength based theme.

On the other hand, there's really almost zero point for the stat boost to be there at all, and I think it lures people in to a theme that mechanically doesn't work for them as well as it could.

That makes sense to a point. I do agree that a single +1 to an attribute doesn’t make much of a difference. I just wonder if it would break the proverbial bank if they gave a +2 instead of a +1.


theelcorspectre wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Its so you don't have to have every melee character taking a strength based theme.

On the other hand, there's really almost zero point for the stat boost to be there at all, and I think it lures people in to a theme that mechanically doesn't work for them as well as it could.

That makes sense to a point. I do agree that a single +1 to an attribute doesn’t make much of a difference. I just wonder if it would break the proverbial bank if they gave a +2 instead of a +1.

They would have to re-work the Feat rules, because nobody is going to split up a +2 just to qualify for a feat.

At that point you might as well bite the bullet and remove ability scores entirely and just list your bonuses, like they do with monsters & NPCs.

Not saying it's a bad idea... just that it's a significant change in the rules.

Dataphiles

I don't know if I'd call it a significant change. It is a minor change that would make some feat prerequisites odd. Overall you still couldn't get a score higher than 18 as the theme bonus happens before the point buy.

It is a thought that I've considered trying in a home game. You should try it too and then report back.


Dracomicron wrote:


They would have to re-work the Feat rules, because nobody is going to split up a +2 just to qualify for a feat.

At that point you might as well bite the bullet and remove ability scores entirely and just list your bonuses, like they do with monsters & NPCs.

Not saying it's a bad idea... just that it's a significant change in the rules.

I'm a bit confused. Why would they need to change up the feat rules?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This is why Starfinder needs to be using PF2-style ability score generation.


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

The +1 could also matter more if you use Stat rolls, instead of point buy.


Shisumo wrote:
This is why Starfinder needs to be using PF2-style ability score generation.

I mean I do like Second Editions Method of generating ability score. I doubt they are going to ever give the option unless they do a Gamemastery Guide and mention it.

It doesn't seem like it would be a hard house rule.

1. Every attribute starts at 10.
2. Every race gives it's listed bonus, plus an additional +2 to another attribute.
3. Every theme gives you +2 to two attributes (one of which has to be the one it would normally have given you a +1 to)
4. Every class gives a +2 to it's key attribute.
5. Choose four attributes, they get a +2 to each one.

I'm not sure how balanced it is though as far as Starfinder is.


Shisumo wrote:
This is why Starfinder needs to be using PF2-style ability score generation.

Ugh. no.

I don't like having my choice of stats taken away. I love playing off model characters, and PF2 forces you into models


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Shisumo wrote:
This is why Starfinder needs to be using PF2-style ability score generation.

Eh. That'd lead to things like Solarians being Forced to have charisma.


theelcorspectre wrote:

I'm a bit confused. Why would they need to change up the feat rules?

Because most of the feats have an odd-numbered stat prerequisite. If we eliminated the scores and just went with bonuses, the system would look like

Everyone starts with a bonus of 0 in Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma.
Apply racial bonuses and penalties (usually resulting in two +1s and one -1)
Apply theme bonus (half a point? oh we're making it a full point now)
Add five points of bonuses to taste.

But now we have to figure out feat requirements. Heavy Armor, translated over, would be Strength +1.5. Technomantic Dabbler would be Intelligence +2.5. Improved Sidestep is Dex +3.5. So do you go down with prereqs (Str+1, Int+2, Dex+3), or do you go up? (Str+2, Int+3, Dex+4)? Seems like you should go up, because you're getting an extra half point to spend, but that might feel like you're over-committing to a stat you only took as a prerequisite.

So... a change of rules. It's not 100% straightforward.


Dracomicron wrote:
theelcorspectre wrote:

I'm a bit confused. Why would they need to change up the feat rules?

Because most of the feats have an odd-numbered stat prerequisite. If we eliminated the scores and just went with bonuses, the system would look like

Everyone starts with a bonus of 0 in Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma.
Apply racial bonuses and penalties (usually resulting in two +1s and one -1)
Apply theme bonus (half a point? oh we're making it a full point now)
Add five points of bonuses to taste.

But now we have to figure out feat requirements. Heavy Armor, translated over, would be Strength +1.5. Technomantic Dabbler would be Intelligence +2.5. Improved Sidestep is Dex +3.5. So do you go down with prereqs (Str+1, Int+2, Dex+3), or do you go up? (Str+2, Int+3, Dex+4)? Seems like you should go up, because you're getting an extra half point to spend, but that might feel like you're over-committing to a stat you only took as a prerequisite.

So... a change of rules. It's not 100% straightforward.

But you said "They'd have to rework the Feat rules" in response to "Would it break the bank to give a +2 instead". Then followed by suggesting going to dropping scores and just going with bonuses.

You could just leave everything exactly the same except give a +2 for the theme. Which is functionally the same as rounding the feat prerequisites up, but still doesn't require changing any rules.
(And lets those who like rolling dice do that.)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
This is why Starfinder needs to be using PF2-style ability score generation.
Eh. That'd lead to things like Solarians being Forced to have charisma.

Only two points.

Would you seriously try to play a Solarian with a charisma at racial minimum? Doing that is the reason that many people have complained about the class being unplayable.


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David knott 242 wrote:

Only two points.

Would you seriously try to play a Solarian with a charisma at racial minimum? Doing that is the reason that many people have complained about the class being unplayable.

I would rather the class just had a sensible key ability score. MAD being less of an issue after 5th level doesn't really make MAD not an issue with the class IMO when you still have to survive to 5th level without being annoyed to death + even with it not be as bad after 5th level you still end up with so much build-same-ness with solarians like how everyone with a solar-weapon going heavy armour because you can't afford the Dex.


David knott 242 wrote:


Only two points.

Would you seriously try to play a Solarian with a charisma at racial minimum? Doing that is the reason that many people have complained about the class being unplayable.

Sticking to the bowling ball is why it was thought unplayable at low levels (see altronus slash spaceharsk)


Comparing Point-Buy to Rolling Attributes, a roll of 4d6 drop the lowest will equal 12.244 on average with a total of 73.464 for all 6 attributes on average. Since both methods add the bonuses from Race and Theme, then that means on average, if you use Point-Buy you will be about 3 points behind someone who rolled their attributes.

To balance these out, one could say that you could say that people who point buy get a +2 from their themes instead of a +1. In addition they would need an additional two points to rival the average "attribute roller". This could be accomplished by either giving every player a +2 to their key attribute or simply 12 points to spend on attributes instead of 10.

At least, that's the way I see it.

Dataphiles

theelcorspectre wrote:

Comparing Point-Buy to Rolling Attributes, a roll of 4d6 drop the lowest will equal 12.244 on average with a total of 73.464 for all 6 attributes on average. Since both methods add the bonuses from Race and Theme, then that means on average, if you use Point-Buy you will be about 3 points behind someone who rolled their attributes.

To balance these out, one could say that you could say that people who point buy get a +2 from their themes instead of a +1. In addition they would need an additional two points to rival the average "attribute roller". This could be accomplished by either giving every player a +2 to their key attribute or simply 12 points to spend on attributes instead of 10.

At least, that's the way I see it.

While your figures are completely correct, the premise that your point is based off of conflicts with how Starfinder was mathematically composed. The premise being that ability scores, which much of the mechanics of the system has to be extrapolated from, are based on the rolling generation method. The system is blatantly based off of the point buy system. This is exemplified in the application of racial and theme bonuses. In the point buy system the modifications are a part of the points as the system is at a 1 : 1. With any rolling method the modifiers pretty much have to be applied after the raw scores are generated.

While the use of point buy versus rolling is preference, I can say with certainty that the figures of DCs and CRs are based on the assumption that the PCs use the point buys system.

The effect of the difference the rolling method has in comparison to the point buy method may be a bit ambiguous. But the point still remains.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
theelcorspectre wrote:
I'm not sure how balanced it is though as far as Starfinder is.

All the extra capability for the character is horizontal - the ceiling wouldn't move an inch upward, and for a few of the most out-there builds it would actually drop it slightly. (Anything that tries for a char-gen stat at 18 that isn't the class' core stat.) I can't see any way it would break anything, but it might leave you with, say, a solarian who can afford an Intelligence high enough to actually pick up a couple extra skill points, or an envoy that wants to really make use of all three mental stats as a skill monkey and not completely suck at personal combat being able to do that thing.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I don't like having my choice of stats taken away. I love playing off model characters, and PF2 forces you into models

Starfinder's painfully-limited point buy just forces you into different ones.


"Dr." Cupi wrote:


While your figures are completely correct, the premise that your point is based off of conflicts with how Starfinder was mathematically composed. The premise being that ability scores, which much of the mechanics of the system has to be extrapolated from, are based on the rolling generation method. The system is blatantly based off of the point buy system. This is exemplified in the application of racial and theme bonuses. In the point buy system the modifications are a part of the points as the system is at a 1 : 1. With any rolling method the modifiers pretty much have to be applied after the raw scores are generated.

While the use of point buy versus rolling is preference, I can say with certainty that the figures of DCs and CRs are based on the assumption that the PCs use the point buys system.

The effect of the difference the rolling method has in comparison to the point buy method may be a bit ambiguous. But the point still remains.

That's interesting. My original premise, I suppose, was that in a hypothetical situation where a player could choose between the default point buy method or rolling for their attributes, those who would be aware of the mathematical probability of both methods would most likely go with rolling for the attributes.

It makes a lot of sense for the game to assume that players by default are using the point buy method.

I don't want to sound like I dislike the system, because I do like it. I just feel like, as default, it could prevent certain players from making characters they are 100% satisfied with. I feel as if a few extra points could help make a difference.

What do you think? What has your experiences with the system been like?


Shisumo wrote:


BigNorseWolf wrote:
I don't like having my choice of stats taken away. I love playing off model characters, and PF2 forces you into models
Starfinder's painfully-limited point buy just forces you into different ones.

Between the ridiculously cheap stat boosters and level 5 boosts I don't find this to be the case at all.

My mystic has an uber int and only an ok wisdom, i started a ysoki operative with an 18 strength, and a no charisma solarion was a pretty sensible build until the charisma damage to the solarion weapon came around.


theelcorspectre wrote:
"Dr." Cupi wrote:


While your figures are completely correct, the premise that your point is based off of conflicts with how Starfinder was mathematically composed. The premise being that ability scores, which much of the mechanics of the system has to be extrapolated from, are based on the rolling generation method. The system is blatantly based off of the point buy system. This is exemplified in the application of racial and theme bonuses. In the point buy system the modifications are a part of the points as the system is at a 1 : 1. With any rolling method the modifiers pretty much have to be applied after the raw scores are generated.

While the use of point buy versus rolling is preference, I can say with certainty that the figures of DCs and CRs are based on the assumption that the PCs use the point buys system.

The effect of the difference the rolling method has in comparison to the point buy method may be a bit ambiguous. But the point still remains.

That's interesting. My original premise, I suppose, was that in a hypothetical situation where a player could choose between the default point buy method or rolling for their attributes, those who would be aware of the mathematical probability of both methods would most likely go with rolling for the attributes.

It makes a lot of sense for the game to assume that players by default are using the point buy method.

I don't want to sound like I dislike the system, because I do like it. I just feel like, as default, it could prevent certain players from making characters they are 100% satisfied with. I feel as if a few extra points could help make a difference.

What do you think? What has your experiences with the system been like?

Out of curiosity do you take the personal upgrades into account when considering a character's given points throughout their career? Just asking because I honestly forget them myself, sometimes, and they can make a pretty sizable difference in how a character feels.


Perpdepog wrote:


Out of curiosity do you take the personal upgrades into account when considering a character's given points throughout their career? Just asking because I honestly forget them myself, sometimes, and they can make a pretty sizable difference in how a character feels.

I wasn't really considering personal upgrades, but you have a point. I think I'm more concerned with how very early level/beginner characters feel stat wise, and if they feel reasonably powerful. It seems like most characters feel confident once they reach level 5 and get their first upgrade.


theelcorspectre wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:


Out of curiosity do you take the personal upgrades into account when considering a character's given points throughout their career? Just asking because I honestly forget them myself, sometimes, and they can make a pretty sizable difference in how a character feels.
I wasn't really considering personal upgrades, but you have a point. I think I'm more concerned with how very early level/beginner characters feel stat wise, and if they feel reasonably powerful. It seems like most characters feel confident once they reach level 5 and get their first upgrade.

If your character is monostated (like a soldier) you feel pretty good starting with an 18 and the level 4 upgrade to a 19/21 with the ability booster is kinda meaningless. If you're more of a bowling ball bumping a bunch of 14s up to 16 is a hallelujah moment.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why is it a +1? So that it gives a *minor* bonus, rather than a character-defining one. This means players can choose a theme based on the concept they have, rather than "needing" to pick a specific theme because they are playing a particular class. The idea is to *avoid* One True Build as much as possible.


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Metaphysician wrote:
Why is it a +1? So that it gives a *minor* bonus, rather than a character-defining one. This means players can choose a theme based on the concept they have, rather than "needing" to pick a specific theme because they are playing a particular class. The idea is to *avoid* One True Build as much as possible.

The point is that it's almost not even a minor bonus - it's so niche as to be almost irrelevant.

If there were ways later on to get other +1s to stack on it so that it could roll over to actually provide a bonus, then it would matter.


thejeff wrote:

The point is that it's almost not even a minor bonus - it's so niche as to be almost irrelevant.

If there were ways later on to get other +1s to stack on it so that it could roll over to actually provide a bonus, then it would matter.

You mean, besides if the stat is 18 or over and your character just hit level 5, 10, 15, or 20, and it happens to be a stat that you wanted to increase?


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Pantshandshake wrote:
thejeff wrote:

The point is that it's almost not even a minor bonus - it's so niche as to be almost irrelevant.

If there were ways later on to get other +1s to stack on it so that it could roll over to actually provide a bonus, then it would matter.

You mean, besides if the stat is 18 or over and your character just hit level 5, 10, 15, or 20, and it happens to be a stat that you wanted to increase?

Unless you could use your theme bonus to get to 19 at chargen, it's not relevant. Those stat increases are +2 below 17 and +1 above, so whether you had a 16 or a 17, you still get to 18 with 1 stat bump.


Ah, yes, I did mean 17 or above, my apologies.

But the rest of my post stands. You want a way to get a bonus from the +1 theme stat point? Put it into a stat so "If there were ways later on to get other +1s to stack on it so that it could roll over to actually provide a bonus, then it would matter" comes into play.


Pantshandshake wrote:

Ah, yes, I did mean 17 or above, my apologies.

But the rest of my post stands. You want a way to get a bonus from the +1 theme stat point? Put it into a stat so "If there were ways later on to get other +1s to stack on it so that it could roll over to actually provide a bonus, then it would matter" comes into play.

But that's the point, you can't. At character creation, you can't get over 18 and if you're below it, it won't matter, since you'll go to 18 whether you're at 16 or 17.

Note: if you're rolling scores, then it would be useful to turn an odd score into an even one, otherwise it doesn't matter. Except for what I consider a serious niche of feat prerequisites.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Why is it a +1? So that it gives a *minor* bonus, rather than a character-defining one. This means players can choose a theme based on the concept they have, rather than "needing" to pick a specific theme because they are playing a particular class. The idea is to *avoid* One True Build as much as possible.

The point is that it's almost not even a minor bonus - it's so niche as to be almost irrelevant.

If there were ways later on to get other +1s to stack on it so that it could roll over to actually provide a bonus, then it would matter.

You say that, and I agree, only I see it as a feature, not a flaw. If its "almost irrelevant", it means people won't choose a theme for mechanical advantage, they will choose a theme for story and character potential.


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Metaphysician wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Why is it a +1? So that it gives a *minor* bonus, rather than a character-defining one. This means players can choose a theme based on the concept they have, rather than "needing" to pick a specific theme because they are playing a particular class. The idea is to *avoid* One True Build as much as possible.

The point is that it's almost not even a minor bonus - it's so niche as to be almost irrelevant.

If there were ways later on to get other +1s to stack on it so that it could roll over to actually provide a bonus, then it would matter.

You say that, and I agree, only I see it as a feature, not a flaw. If its "almost irrelevant", it means people won't choose a theme for mechanical advantage, they will choose a theme for story and character potential.

I'd almost rather just not have the bonus. It seems like a trap to me. "My character needs to be smart, so I'll take the theme that gives intelligence." Then you figure out levels later that the +1 never had any mechanical effect at all.


I agree. Either the bonus should be +0 or +2, but +1 literally does and means nothing.

As is, I just build my characters with an "11 point buy" as my theme will likely boost a score that I invested in anyways. Though I suppose I might one day go for wanting to play the "dumbest scholar ever" or the like and my method would no longer work.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well I feel the +1 pain. In my home game I just +1 at first and another at Level 10 to the same stat for the Theme to even it out. Since the theme does give bonus at different levels. It solves the problem for the most part.


I usually use that +1 to raise my dump stat.

There's still ability damage and drain in this game and that +1 gives me a bit more of a buffer for a dump stat.

...There's no reason you can't dump 7 points into a stat, then apply that +1 theme bonus to make it a nice round 18 stat. Then add that 1 point to your dump stat.


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Matt2VK wrote:

I usually use that +1 to raise my dump stat.

There's still ability damage and drain in this game and that +1 gives me a bit more of a buffer for a dump stat.

...There's no reason you can't dump 7 points into a stat, then apply that +1 theme bonus to make it a nice round 18 stat. Then add that 1 point to your dump stat.

As long as your theme adds points you were going to spend elsewhere anyway, it doesn't matter at all whether the theme points or the spent points went where.


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I do sometimes agonize over Theme because some feats are worth planning for (common culprits include Heavy Armor and Mobility), and I want to make sure that my Theme puts a point in either the ability I need, or in something I was going to put points in anyway.

EXAMPLE: Dragonbot's theme is (of course) Dragonblooded, which gives a bonus point to Charisma. Because he is a Shock & Awe soldier, I was going to put a couple points into Charisma anyway for Demoralize checks. Then I can put that spare point into Intelligence (for 13), and at level 5 upgrade that to 15 and grab Technomantic Dabbler so I can cast Supercharge Weapon on my big lightning explody gun or my dragon roar shout projector.

Really, while you can use them as "pro tip" character building advantages, theme isn't intended to have a big effect on a character, mechanically... that's why it only gives small extra bonuses every six levels. If themes had big effects, we would be compelled to never try weird cross-stat combos, like my Stellifera Mechanic Icon (Intelligence and Charisma) or my Barathu Solarian Solar Disciple (Str/Cha and Wis).


I don't mind the small bonuses at 1st, 6th, etc. They give lots of flare and helps give the character a little built-in background. I just think the ability point is forced arbitrarily. It just doesn't really do anything in the short or long term.

I almost always end up with 11 STR for any character that won't really need STR just because if I decide later in my character's career that I want a heavy arm, I can easily accomplish that. Or if I just want a cheaper backpack, that's now possible too. I don't need to pick a STR based theme for this, I just take the "extra" point that's floating around and putting it there.


Link2000 wrote:

I don't mind the small bonuses at 1st, 6th, etc. They give lots of flare and helps give the character a little built-in background. I just think the ability point is forced arbitrarily. It just doesn't really do anything in the short or long term.

Most game rules are arbitrary. That's why they're game rules. Your own post says that the extra point DOES do something: You get a cheaper backpack or heavy armor with a stat bump.

Themes are flavor with minor stat benefits. As you say, "flare." Increasing them to a +2 pushes them into the "major stat benefit" category and suddenly you only have themes that benefit the character mechanically from the stat bump.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

My feeling is this: so long as the bonus stays only at +1, all themes are open to all characters. I really love going with an unexpected theme as a character twist.

Aba Calling is a Priest Gadgeteer Operative who is a ship-to-ship salesperson for Abadar Corp. She has the Priest theme because she has quite innocently taken up Abadar as her faith. Her job is her religion. Does that +1 in wisdom do anything for her? Nope. But being a priest in addition to a salesperson is what really makes her character.

Because the +1 is so small, I can be more open about the themes that I choose, and not worry excessively about the optimization calculations.

Hmm


Dracomicron wrote:


Most game rules are arbitrary. That's why they're game rules. Your own post says that the extra point DOES do something: You get a cheaper backpack or heavy armor with a stat bump.

Themes are flavor with minor stat benefits. As you say, "flare." Increasing them to a +2 pushes them into the "major stat benefit" category and suddenly you only have themes that benefit the character mechanically from the stat bump.

The reason the point does anything at all is that the rules forced it in by including random odd-numbered prerequisites.

They could have just as easily made the stat bonus nonexistent and had just had all the feats and things be based on even-numbered scores (12 or higher STR for Heavy Arms, for example). The cheap backpack still provides a +1 effective, as it raises max bulk regardless. The game would play exactly the same without saying "Hey! If you are an Icon you get +1 to your CHA that does NOTHING mechanically!" In terms of flavor, the rest of the theme gives plenty, a +1 is not needed.

The +1 feels clunky and makes you think that you are getting something when in reality, you gained nothing and the rules were built around that nothing, to make it seem like you gained something.

Just for clarity, I don't care if it gets bumped up to a +2 or not. I think it just shouldn't have been a +1 to begin with. Overall, I love Starfinder and have been (and will continue) playing it as is with no complaints. That doesn't mean I don't see something and ask myself "Why did they even bother with this?"


Hmm wrote:

My feeling is this: so long as the bonus stays only at +1, all themes are open to all characters. I really love going with an unexpected theme as a character twist.

Aba Calling is a Priest Gadgeteer Operative who is a ship-to-ship salesperson for Abadar Corp. She has the Priest theme because she has quite innocently taken up Abadar as her faith. Her job is her religion. Does that +1 in wisdom do anything for her? Nope. But being a priest in addition to a salesperson is what really makes her character.

Because the +1 is so small, I can be more open about the themes that I choose, and not worry excessively about the optimization calculations.

Hmm

And I am fine with themes being open to everyone, I love all of my characters as well regardless of their efficiency. I just think it would have been simpler to have just dropped the bonus altogether and had the rules be based purely on even-numbers as everything else seems to work off those even numbers (similar to 2E).

I feel that because they put a +1 there, it made things more complicated than it needed to be.

I have a group I'm GMing for and 2 of the players are brand spanking new to RPGs in general. When one showed me their character sheet, she had her Damaya Lashunta Envoy ability scores as: STR 10, DEX 10, CON 8, WIS 15, INT 15, CHA 15. It was really difficult explaining to her that although her stats were fine, that having three 15's hinder her more than help. She didn't understand how a 14 was just as good as a 15 in the vast majority of cases, and why she should turn one 15 into a 14 and one into a 16. After explaining how modifiers work, she eventually came back to me asking how to get rid of that "odd" point. I told her she can't, built into the system. I then gave her suggestions in putting it towards STR, DEX, WIS, or INT for meeting feat prerequisites, and showing her what those feats are.


You have a point, for sure, but it leads into what I was discussing earlier...

The next step would be removing ability scores altogether, and I'm not sure if Paizo is ready for that. Once you've eliminated all reason to have odd numbers, you shouldn't have the ability to have odd numbers. Just go with bonuses instead.


Dracomicron wrote:

You have a point, for sure, but it leads into what I was discussing earlier...

The next step would be removing ability scores altogether, and I'm not sure if Paizo is ready for that. Once you've eliminated all reason to have odd numbers, you shouldn't have the ability to have odd numbers. Just go with bonuses instead.

Though once you're past 17, increases are +1, so you'd still need half steps there.


Dracomicron wrote:

You have a point, for sure, but it leads into what I was discussing earlier...

The next step would be removing ability scores altogether, and I'm not sure if Paizo is ready for that. Once you've eliminated all reason to have odd numbers, you shouldn't have the ability to have odd numbers. Just go with bonuses instead.

I don't think the "2-number ability scores" will go away entirely, it would definitely need some sort of replacement. Modifiers provide a "small number" to utilize for many aspects of the game, but the score itself provides a "large number" for aspects of the game where small numbers don't cut it such as holding breath, carrying limits, etc.

2nd Edition removed odd numbers from the character creation process and they still definitely use the "2-number ability score system" for those very reasons.


I'd drop that +1 for a bonus/class skill to a second skill in a heart beat.


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thejeff wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Why is it a +1? So that it gives a *minor* bonus, rather than a character-defining one. This means players can choose a theme based on the concept they have, rather than "needing" to pick a specific theme because they are playing a particular class. The idea is to *avoid* One True Build as much as possible.

The point is that it's almost not even a minor bonus - it's so niche as to be almost irrelevant.

If there were ways later on to get other +1s to stack on it so that it could roll over to actually provide a bonus, then it would matter.

You say that, and I agree, only I see it as a feature, not a flaw. If its "almost irrelevant", it means people won't choose a theme for mechanical advantage, they will choose a theme for story and character potential.
I'd almost rather just not have the bonus. It seems like a trap to me. "My character needs to be smart, so I'll take the theme that gives intelligence." Then you figure out levels later that the +1 never had any mechanical effect at all.

It, by definition, can't be a trap, since the player isn't *losing* anything they could have had. Instead of that +1 Intelligence, which barely matters, they lose out on. . . +1 something else, that *also* would have barely mattered. The only possible loss are the other Theme abilities, except that those, by and large, are *also* tangential to munchkin efficiency.


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Metaphysician wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'd almost rather just not have the bonus. It seems like a trap to me. "My character needs to be smart, so I'll take the theme that gives intelligence." Then you figure out levels later that the +1 never had any mechanical effect at all.
It, by definition, can't be a trap, since the player isn't *losing* anything they could have had. Instead of that +1 Intelligence, which barely matters, they lose out on. . . +1 something else, that *also* would have barely mattered. The only possible loss are the other Theme abilities, except that those, by and large, are *also* tangential to munchkin efficiency.

We may have different definitions of trap.

Losing a better fit for concept because they thought the stat bonus mattered is a trap to me.

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