How often do you see finesse builds on flexible classes?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Dex is often cited as one of the stronger stats in the game, being a save granting stat and important for AC for most characters, but something that's come up recently that has me curious, how often do you see finesse-based characters build on classes with a flexible key ability score?

Swashbucklers are obviously nudged toward Dex builds naturally, and Barbarians are locked into a strength KAS. Ranged builds are obviously dex based.

But how often do you see, say, branch spear fighters? short sword rangers? Inventors? Magi?

Do you find finesse melee characters to be prevalent and common, or do people at the tables you've prefer to take the Strength or Ranged based options when those are on the table.


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I see finesse builds when the player wants to be a switch hitter OR heavily invest in charisma or intelligence over damage


Or pretty much any time you are prioritizing certain types of tactics, utility, or survivability over melee damage.

So ranged builds and spellcasters often take a lot of Dex.

I am currently playing a game with a Champion with a Dex higher than their Str. Now if I could just convince them to use a shield...

Scarab Sages

If I'm building for ranged, no reason not to have a finesse weapon. If nothing else, you'll want to cover main damage types and that's hard to do a single ranged weapon. I think hand cannon is the only thing that gets modular.


The problem in PF2 is that it is too easy to get access to full plate. If it was impossible for your medium armour wearing class to get access to scaling full plate use I think you would see a lot more deversity in builds. As it is being strength for the extra damage, gaining +1 AC and still having a +3 to reflex against most reflex saves for 1 class feat is hard to pass up.


Finesse monks aren't particularly rare, since it's the more defensive option depending on how people understand Mountain Stance and the monk has several 1d8 finesse options available. Anybody who wants to fight at range prefers dex, and if they're switch hitting (like the Drifter Gunslinger) then they want a finesse weapon. The Laughing Shadow magus is encouraged to be unarmored, which probably means you want max Dex.

For non Str/Dex with medium armor available, like the Inventor and Thaumaturge it depends on the concept for the character really. Like the Whip might be the best weapon for the Thaumaturge, but if you want to make a "fight with a whip" character the Thaumaturge is probably the best option.


I've seen mostly rogue, rangers, and swasbucklers do finesse builds.

Stats are not like they were. It's fairly easy to get a high Dex without focusing on Dex.

When I do my abilities for any class, I focus on main stat, Dex, Con, and Wisdom. Then if I don't have any other priorities, all my ability raises are Main Stat, Dex, Con, and Wisdom. Given you get a stat raise every five levels, it's pretty easy to build up Dex, Con, and Wisdom without sacrificing anything else.

That's why I don't get any complaints about MAD or stats or what not. I have found it is very easy in PF2 to have good stats without having to sacrifice much of anything else.

Stat increases are plentiful. You can start with good starting stats as well. Easy to get an 18 Dex, Con, and/or Wisdom by level 10 for every single class even for someone with low game mastery and building casually.


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In terms of actual play/anecdote? I play mainly with friends so I don't have much data (as opposed to the amount someone in PFS might have), but melee martials with a choice have all been Str-based. I've seen a Dex eidolon, if that counts.

In terms of hypothetical personal choices? I'd consider Dex-based melee more strongly if I were starting at a higher level where you feel the lower flat damage modifier a lot less. It'd still need to be a non-two-handed build, though.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:


So ranged builds and spellcasters often take a lot of Dex.

Ranged builds are Dex by default, and spellcasters are going to want Dex, especially since they probably aren't spreading their stats super thin and don't always get the best armor.

But what I was curious about was how often people are building bespoke finesse based characters on classes that don't push them that way.

An archer who has a finesse weapon in their back pocket for a rainy day is pretty banal, but how many people are building around those finesse weapons explicitly (without an in-class mandate like thief rogues and swashbucklers have)? That's why I was asking about that in the OP.

From my experience, Dex based Tiger/Wolf/Etc. monks are fairly common, and I sometimes see finesse based laughing shadow magi or finesse based rangers, but despite having the option I don't think I've ever seen a finesse-focused fighter or champion or inventor (and I think maybe one thaumaturge and summoner).

So I was just curious what other people's experience has been with finesse characters.


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I've built a switch hitter thaumaturge with mind smith and foxfire. The extra flexibility in attack options has been really nice. Could have gone explicitly ranged with a chakram but having the option to flank even with relatively poor melee damage is handy. Thankfully, thaum has the damage boosts to justify lower dice and lack of strength. I had a concept for a finesse inventor that used subterfuge armor and the scout archetype to zip around and hit things while hidden with a high stealth modifier. Have no idea if that would actually work well though.


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I've only seen a flurry ranger build for finesse/ranged combat.

Most of the characters have some kind of missile weapon, but they are vastly inferior using a ranged weapon compared to their main weapon. If Dex could be leveraged for all damage, I would see a lot more finesse characters.


With the hinted at capacity hand crossbow in treasure vault, I could see more finesse rangers come of that.

Silver Crusade

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Thalaine wrote:
The problem in PF2 is that it is too easy to get access to full plate. If it was impossible for your medium armour wearing class to get access to scaling full plate use I think you would see a lot more deversity in builds. As it is being strength for the extra damage, gaining +1 AC and still having a +3 to reflex against most reflex saves for 1 class feat is hard to pass up.

For most characters the cost isn't so much the class feat as much as it is the fact that you either have to invest 2 more feats OR cannot take any other archetype (at least not until multitalented at L9).

And that can be a pretty major cost for a great many characters.


For as common as free archetype is, sentinel is unfortunate since it lacks a 4th level feat so really it's costing you 2 feats.


I see a decent amount at my table, but they are usually switch hitters or casters who were built to be able to handle a little bit of front lines before falling back. The only pure melee one is a swashbuckler who uses the freed up stat space to also keep cha really high, as they are the party's main diplomat


I've seen a lot mostly just by virtue of seeing a lot of characters. They're better in games where the treasure by level goes out the window or with ABP so that they can benefit from switch hitting melee and range but they're not bad in normal games either.

Seen a few Rangers, a few Fighters that went the 1h route, one "dex" Barbarian but they were focused on throwing, obviously Rogues, Investigators and Swashbucklers.


My experience is mostly limited to my group of 6, but for us, it highly depends on the class. Some of us have a strong tendency to build "backup" characters, so there are quite a few ^^. DEX monks are way more common than STR ones - the current count is 3 to 1. I have one (unplayed) DEX fighter in my back pocket, as the free-hand/duellist route is great with either stat. Thaumaturges (unplayed as well) are a mix of one-handed melee weapons (STR), often with reach, and ranged builds (DEX) so far.

That's basically it. A lot of it comes down to one's vision of a class, for example, I'd be hard pressed to even consider a DEX champion, as wearing heavy armour is an essential part of how I picture a champion. Also, I picture most such classes as being necessarily "strong", so prioritizing STR and Athletics is normal for me.

The other part is mechanics. If you like damage, you basically need an extra damage feature to consider finesse weapons. If you don't have one, d10 reach and d12 weapons are just strictly superior in my eyes. I usually build for high damage, because that is my typical role.

Those are the reasons for me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I had a dex based champion in a game I ran. His character was a liberator of Desna and went blade Ally. He liked not having to move and being able to throw his weapon, but the lower damage dice hurts after you thwart getting striking runes. The ruffian Rogue/staff acrobat was often hitting for 20 or more points of damage without critting while the champion was hitting for 4 to 10. The biggest problem is definitely in characters not boosting STR enough, especially if they don’t have a source of bonus damage.


I took a look at my PFS characters.

Melee characters:

2002: Battle Cleric (Strength, wears full plate)
2005: Open Handed Fighter (Strength, wears full plate)
2006: Pick/Shield Fighter (Strength, wears full plate)
2007: Champion/Hellknight (Strength, wears Hellknight Plate)
2010: Thug Rogue (Strength, wears breastplate)
2012: TWF/Thrown barbarian (Strength 18/Dex 16, wears studded leather)
2014: THF Precision Ranger (Strength, wears breastplate)
2016: Staff Magus (Strength, wears Chainmail)
2017: Chalice Thaumaturge (Strength, wears breastplate)

No finesse users.

I do play a Dex primary monk in Extinction's Curse and a Thrown Weapon/finesse Thaumaturge in March of the Dead though.


Squiggit wrote:
Do you find finesse melee characters to be prevalent and common, or do people at the tables you've prefer to take the Strength or Ranged based options when those are on the table.

Generally my first instinct is to go dex is possible, ranged or melee.

Squiggit wrote:
From my experience, Dex based Tiger/Wolf/Etc. monks are fairly common, and I sometimes see finesse based laughing shadow magi or finesse based rangers, but despite having the option I don't think I've ever seen a finesse-focused fighter or champion or inventor (and I think maybe one thaumaturge and summoner).

Have an inventor with a 2 handed Rapier [1d8] with versatile b at 1st that went well and an elf inventor with subterfuge armor that stared with a speed of 40'. I don't do summoners/champions and so far my thaumaturge are ranged.

As far as people I've played with I've seen Ranged Reprisal champions, an archer inventor riding their construct and a rapier thaumaturge.


I have 3 Dex-based martials on classes that can choose either Dex or Strength. My Dex Eidolon and my Paladin are switch hitters (and both raise Dex and Str as I need the damage and the ability to wear a heavy armor). My Inventor is a bit inefficient...

Finesse builds, outside classes with damage bonuses, are overall weak compared to Strength based builds, especially at low level (but it's most players' experience).

Also, you say that Dex is a strong stat. That's only partially true. Once you have your max Dex bonus to AC, the stat is just there for 3 skills and Reflex Saves. It's still very interesting, but Constitution and Wisdom are easily as good. So outside Unarmored builds Dex is good but not stellar.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I also have a dex based dagger champion character. They primarily melee, but throw daggers during emergencies. The dex helps out with the thievery checks for disabling traps.


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What's more important

Doing 4-7 more damage on a hit?

Actually being able to hit something at further than 10 feet?

If all your fights are on the ground, indoors, on flat surfaces, in small rooms, go strength.


I think you do need to leverage switch hitting to make a finesse build worthwhile over standard strength builds. I hope we get more finesse thrown weapons in treasure vault to make these build more straight forward. Starknives are nice but d4s are sad.


For that reason, the dagger champion is not bad if you build for extra range. Pick up strong arm from rogue and you've got a free returning rune from blade ally. Dagger is a pretty popular weapon among the gods too apparently.


aobst128 wrote:
I think you do need to leverage switch hitting to make a finesse build worthwhile over standard strength builds. I hope we get more finesse thrown weapons in treasure vault to make these build more straight forward. Starknives are nice but d4s are sad.

Not really, the main advantage of finesse is that it frees up stats. In combat alone, that might typically just be the difference of being able to throw vs some more damage, but there's also more nuance to it; nit having to invest in str leaves you more boosts for defense and skills stats.

The trade I most often seen is something like a magus or the like eschewing str for int and opening up more non combat applications to their abilities and stronger spells, or people dropping str on favor of cha so they can make use of social skills (deception and intimidate both of which having combat application as well). Probably also worth noting that frightened 1 is usually better than 4-7 damage if your party has good teamwork

I do feel finesse gets the most tactical benefit if they opt for switch hitting, since most finesse weapons are d4s or d6s anyways, but it's not the only way that you can get a benefit


Alchemic_Genius wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
I think you do need to leverage switch hitting to make a finesse build worthwhile over standard strength builds. I hope we get more finesse thrown weapons in treasure vault to make these build more straight forward. Starknives are nice but d4s are sad.

Not really, the main advantage of finesse is that it frees up stats. In combat alone, that might typically just be the difference of being able to throw vs some more damage, but there's also more nuance to it; nit having to invest in str leaves you more boosts for defense and skills stats.

The trade I most often seen is something like a magus or the like eschewing str for int and opening up more non combat applications to their abilities and stronger spells, or people dropping str on favor of cha so they can make use of social skills (deception and intimidate both of which having combat application as well). Probably also worth noting that frightened 1 is usually better than 4-7 damage if your party has good teamwork

I do feel finesse gets the most tactical benefit if they opt for switch hitting, since most finesse weapons are d4s or d6s anyways, but it's not the only way that you can get a benefit

Fair point for mad classes like magus and inventor. I'd argue that switch hitting is a more appearent benefit. Especially with fighters and champions that don't save stats with dex over strength with full plate. I have been enjoying the extra boost in wisdom with my dex thaumaturge though.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Finesse melee weapons don’t innately free up stats though. If the idea is that you are only attacking in melee, strength based characters usually end up better off, not just because of attribute to damage, but because finesse weapons are often a die step behind strength ones. There are a few more deadly finesse weapons than STR ones, that bring damage totals up with critical hits, but that requires good accuracy and the ability to attack a lot.

Also, as superbidi points out above, Dex is actually a pretty easy attribute to side step in PF2, and an attribute of finishing returns to specialize in. Max dex limitations from armor+the need to have explorer’s clothing at least for runes limits the shine of having a really high dex, especially as an 18 dex lands you 1 higher point of reflex than Bulwark.

Damage dice do surpass attribute bonus to damage, but finesse melee weapons lose out pretty big on both counts. Tanking STR is not a good idea in PF2 if you will be fighting in Melee. It hurts your damage, it hurts your AC (heavy armor requires some STR), and it can really limit your carrying capacity if your character is carrying any tools or kits.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Most non-thief finesse builds wind up boosting strength too in my experience. Monks and switch hitters both like that approach. The only reason not to boost strength is if you really need a mental stat.


Karmagator wrote:
That's basically it. A lot of it comes down to one's vision of a class, for example, I'd be hard pressed to even consider a DEX champion, as wearing heavy armour is an essential part of how I picture a champion. Also, I picture most such classes as being necessarily "strong", so prioritizing STR and Athletics is normal for me.
Unicore wrote:
I had a dex based champion in a game I ran. His character was a liberator of Desna and went blade Ally. He liked not having to move and being able to throw his weapon, but the lower damage dice hurts after you thwart getting striking runes. The ruffian Rogue/staff acrobat was often hitting for 20 or more points of damage without critting while the champion was hitting for 4 to 10. The biggest problem is definitely in characters not boosting STR enough, especially if they don’t have a source of bonus damage.

The Dex-based champion in my game joined at 3rd level with Str 12 and Dex 18 and relied on her velociraptor animal companion for damage. Tikti is a tailed-goblin liberator of Grandmother Spider and wears light armor. Now at 16th level her ability scores have improved to Str 18 and Dex 20, so she personally Strikes more often and sends her velociraptor provide a flank to a rogue.

The 1st module, Trail of the Hunted, of Ironfang Invasion involved hiding in the Fangwood Forest while hunted by Ironfang patrols. Forewarned in Session Zero, my players all created characters with high Dexterity for good Stealth: two rogues, a ranger, a druid, and later the champion Tikti. And all trained in Athletics, Nature, and Stealth. The next two players joined at 6th level in Fangs of War, where the party was not hiding any longer, so their sorcerer and monk did not have as much emphasis on Dexterity; for example, the monk has equal Strength and Dexterity. Sometimes the environment calls for different priorities than maximizing combat effectiveness.


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Thing to question.

Is it a problem that Dex is never really the answer if you want to do only melee range?

Isn't it... Good game design that BY it's design, one stat is the melee option and one is the ranged option?

Outside of the playtest kineticist with help of a feat, nobody can use strength for ranged accuracy

I don't think I want parity between these stats functions.

I think it's clearly as designed on the tin. Go Dex if you want ranged, use finesse melee weapons because ranged in melee is sometimes a very bad idea and your can usually pair it after agile easy enough.

Maybe some don't like it that cut and dry. I get that.


Martialmasters wrote:

Thing to question.

Is it a problem that Dex is never really the answer if you want to do only melee range?

Isn't it... Good game design that BY it's design, one stat is the melee option and one is the ranged option?

Outside of the playtest kineticist with help of a feat, nobody can use strength for ranged accuracy

I don't think I want parity between these stats functions.

I think it's clearly as designed on the tin. Go Dex if you want ranged, use finesse melee weapons because ranged in melee is sometimes a very bad idea and your can usually pair it after agile easy enough.

Maybe some don't like it that cut and dry. I get that.

I agree. The stats seem pretty balanced to me. Although, to be devils advocate, extending rune essentially allows strength users to make ranged attacks, albeit, inefficient ones.


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aobst128 wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:

Thing to question.

Is it a problem that Dex is never really the answer if you want to do only melee range?

Isn't it... Good game design that BY it's design, one stat is the melee option and one is the ranged option?

Outside of the playtest kineticist with help of a feat, nobody can use strength for ranged accuracy

I don't think I want parity between these stats functions.

I think it's clearly as designed on the tin. Go Dex if you want ranged, use finesse melee weapons because ranged in melee is sometimes a very bad idea and your can usually pair it after agile easy enough.

Maybe some don't like it that cut and dry. I get that.

I agree. The stats seem pretty balanced to me. Although, to be devils advocate, extending rune essentially allows strength users to make ranged attacks, albeit, inefficient ones.

Good point actually


aobst128 wrote:
to be devils advocate, extending rune essentially allows strength users to make ranged attacks, albeit, inefficient ones.

To rebut against the devil's advocacy, the Extending rune is only inefficient when compared to bows or successful Risky Reload. For crossbows and firearms used normally the action cost is the same. For spells the action cost is generally the same and the range is better. For thrown weapons the action cost is the same and the range is a lot better.


Fair. I'd disagree on the action cost of thrown weapons since returning exists. Furthermore, the relevancy of extending is up in the air depending on what levels you're likely to be playing since it's a relatively high level rune. I'm not sure how I feel about it honestly. It seems like it does step on the toes of ranged builds a bit.


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aobst128 wrote:
I'd disagree on the action cost of thrown weapons since returning exists.

Also a fair point.

The range of thrown weapons is still generally rather short though.

aobst128 wrote:
I'm not sure how I feel about it honestly. It seems like it does step on the toes of ranged builds a bit.

Yes. I would have preferred that the rune was uncommon at least.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Martialmasters wrote:


Is it a problem that Dex is never really the answer if you want to do only melee range?

Isn't it... Good game design that BY it's design, one stat is the melee option and one is the ranged option?

Is that really accurate, though?

There are classes and weapons specifically designed for Dex based melee. It's already a feature of the game, one that just doesn't work as well for certain classes. In fact, Paizo sort of created a problem and then solved it by making certain weapons worse and then giving certain classes oversized damage bonuses when using those weapons. Is that good design? Or is it just kind of a roundabout way of limiting build variety? Reminds me of the problems people have with small arms in Starfinder or firearms in PF1.

Plus, as stated by others here, level is a huge factor in the discussion. The value of Strength as a source of damage is monstrously significant at level 1, but gets progressively less impactful the higher your level (especially if you have another source of damage from a class feature). I'm not really sure that's good game design either.

If it were simply strength = melee and dex = ranged, that would probably be fine, but that's not how the game works.

Part of the problem is that the discussion of value gets really muddied by other factors. Like how much is stealth, thievery, and acrobatics worth compared to strength's extra damage and athletics? Kind of an asymmetrical comparison.

Or ranged combat. The ability to wield bows and crossbows much more effectively is a huge boon for Dex focused characters. A high strength, low dex character can feel genuinely helpless against an enemy out of their reach they can't move closer to.

But then on the flip side, published encounters are often designed with that in mind and built to accommodate builds without good ranged-options, so how valuable is that advantage really?

These things are a little tricky to quantify and I think ultimately makes the conversation a lot more nuanced than simply "not this"


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Oh I agree but I looked at those wrinkles as part of the good game design.

It means if you want to be an optimal finesse melee user, there are still options for that. It's just not barbarian.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

You know, it's weird. A lot of people say having low strength matters less at higher levels. And it is true that it will become a smaller percentage of the total damage you deal. But when you compare the absolute damage of a maxed strengh 10 Dex build vs a maxed Dex 10 strength build... The absolute difference between their respective damage gets larger as you level up. Higher damage dice and a static mod that keeps on growing means a level 20 finesse fighter with the elven curve blade deals 36.5 damage, and a strength based falchion fighter does 47.5 damage. They'd only have a difference of 4.5 vs 9.5 at level 1.

I think most finesse fighters should aim to start with 14 strength or so, and at least pump it to 18 as they level, if they want to keep up with damage. That also boosts their damage with the composite bow, and you really need to leverage ranged attacks to make up for that lower damage.


The difference is greater, but when compared to enemy hp totals isn't nearly as impactful as it is in the early game.

More than the damage, switch hit builds want str so they have half a shot at pulling off trips and grabs and to eventually transition into plate for the improved AC.

The only other issue is finding a reaction you can use while ranged and lacking the mental scores or weapon to make one for all, fake out, or amp guidance work. Amp message will give you one, but you'll have to do some digging (or play a half-elf to void multitalented prereqs) to find one that doesn't rely on your party.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
The absolute difference between their respective damage gets larger as you level up. Higher damage dice and a static mod that keeps on growing means a level 20 finesse fighter with the elven curve blade deals 36.5 damage, and a strength based falchion fighter does 47.5 damage. They'd only have a difference of 4.5 vs 9.5 at level 1.

Does absolute difference matter as much? Because while you're right, to put it another way the level 20 strength fighter is doing ~30% more damage with the numbers you presented than their finesse counterpart, while the level 1 strength fighter is doing about ~110% more.

Part of it also comes down to the value of strength for the finesse character themselves. The +2 damage from 14 strength is a lot at level 1, but at level 20, +2 damage instead of higher will saves or more HP is kind of a harder sell. And when you're using your composite bow you only get half that value too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One problem with the rogue, swashbuckler and the Investigator though is that the bonus damage you do is precision damage, which has all the failings of physical damage and then additional, fairly common creatures with full immunity, making even hearty class-based precision damage boosts something that can really double back and kick a character in the face.

Whereas, MOAR damage!!!! from a 2 handed D10 or D12 will almost always just make it so that every enemy can be treated like a nail. Splitting your damage output into different types can be useful and interesting in some encounters, but precision is almost never the solution of a damage type that will help against a difficult creatures weaknesses or immunities. You definitely do not want a whole party of finesse-based characters.

This also makes the higher average damage of the STR-based character a little more valuable at higher level than a pure % of damage analysis will indicate. A creature with 10 physical resistance might end up surviving an extra 4 or more hits from finesse melee combatants.


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Unicore wrote:
A creature with 10 physical resistance might end up surviving an extra 4 or more hits from finesse melee combatants.

Clarifying: You are saying that because of the lower total amount of damage done per hit by the finesse combatant, yes?

Not because resist physical 10 would apply to both the base weapon damage and the precision damage separately.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

If you want to make a melee martial, finesse is not as good as str in combat. Full stop. Exceptions include of course classes designed for it, like swashbuckler.

And this is how it SHOULD be since dex does a lot more than strength does.

Now, if you want to make a stealthy fighter who is also equally good at range, dex is your friend.


Besides rogues, I've only played a finesse melee Dex-based monk and flurry ranger.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
CaffeinatedNinja wrote:


And this is how it SHOULD be since dex does a lot more than strength does.

That's the conventional wisdom, yes. But if hardly anybody is going that route maybe the balance isn't as obvious as we think it is.


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It feels like "do more damage" or "better avoid damage" is a reasonable tradeoff you see in lots and lots of games. So the question should be "does each stat give enough" is the fundamental question.

Like a totally viable reason for preferring dex should be "I want to be super sneaky" since Stealth is a Dex skill.


Monk does a good job of balancing the stats since you're only allowed unarmored defense so higher dex always results in higher AC accept for mountain stance of course. Dex monks are usually tankier while strength monks do more damage. It's a little murkier with other classes because medium and heavy armor exist. You have to leverage your advantages as a finesse martial like switch hitting and/or stealth to compete. Higher reflex is always handy too. Basically, have a second plan outside of just making rapier strikes. Anytime I think of doing a finesse martial, it's usually some kind of switch hitter. Inventor is in a particularly interesting position to be one because of dual form weapon. Might need to try that out at some point.


Squiggit wrote:
CaffeinatedNinja wrote:


And this is how it SHOULD be since dex does a lot more than strength does.
That's the conventional wisdom, yes. But if hardly anybody is going that route maybe the balance isn't as obvious as we think it is.

Dex does do a lot of things. Several skills get their ability bonus from Dex. Dex adds to both AC and Reflex saves. Certainly looks to me like Dex does more things than Str does.

Building impressively high damage dealing melee weapon combatants isn't one of them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don’t have a problem with the current state of things, but in actual play it is easier to get around the “issues” of a low dex than it is for a low STR. An 8 in either is problematic for any martial, but beyond that STR based martials easily don’t gain nearly as much from trying to get their Dex to 18 as Dex based martial do from boosting STR.

Switch hiring with more than 1 weapon is tough if you don’t have a 12 + STR. Leather armor still requires a 10 STR, and if you are a martial starting with a 16 attack stat you need a 12 STR to avoid penalties. At the point you can make a 1 point accuracy difference between STR or DEX, the extra damage die step or 2 is likely to make up your damage difference.

A lot of incorporeal/other creatures with resistance to physical damage have full immunity to precision damage so the class-based damage boosters also have limits.

I also like making stealthy characters, but like the static damage difference, proficiencies and consumables can pretty easily overcome a 2 to 4 point attribute difference. Just a silenced invisible character is prolly in pretty good shape for the occasional sneaking.

Yes, at 18 a martial has managed a +1 reflex save over the bulwark heavy armor character, but that could be up to 4 stat boosts for that +1, and 6 for a +2. For non monks, getting heavy armor on a STR build will always exceed dex AC. Maxing Dex all the way doesn’t even help because you need explorer’s robes for runes, which is where your item save bonuses are coming from.

Having an 18 Dex by higher levels isn’t impossible for many melee martials, but it can be expensive for little pay back. Most finesse and even switch hitter martials will get more from getting that STR to 18.

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