Future Ancestry Ability Boosts & Flaws


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Ravingdork wrote:
I actually like the new rule (save for the loss of Voluntary Flaws). It's the illogical reasoning behind it that I can't stand.

The reasoning behind the change was stated that the need for certain stats pushed people into some ancestries and away from others for a given class. The change was explicitly to make it easier to make Gnome Barbarians, Goblin Druids, Dwarf Bards, Poppet Gunslingers, Iruxi Alchemists, etc.

It's more fun to be able to put together any ancestry/class combination that catches your fancy and to simply make a viable character than to make that process more involved for some combinations than others.

Scarab Sages

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Ravingdork wrote:

Today it's ability scores because of biological determinism. Tomorrow it's ancestries because racism. Then classes 'cause classism. Sexes, sexism. Bonuses and penalties? Penalties are too negative. No losers in this game. Everyone gets a trophy!

Thing about slippery slopes is no one really knows where they begin or end.

That's not going to happen. Recognize that you're making a slippery slope argument. Take a chill pill.
Ravingdork wrote:
I actually like the new rule (save for the loss of Voluntary Flaws). It's the illogical reasoning behind it that I can't stand.

The reasoning was to make it clearer that ancestries aren't a monolith and to add nuance. Maybe wait until the Paizo actually makes a a change you don't like before freaking out.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Today it's ability scores because of biological determinism. Tomorrow it's ancestries because racism. Then classes 'cause classism. Sexes, sexism. Bonuses and penalties? Penalties are too negative. No losers in this game. Everyone gets a trophy!

Thing about slippery slopes is no one really knows where they begin or end.

Remember when Paizo was doing permanent suspensions? Sigh, that sure was a good month.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I actually like the new rule (save for the loss of Voluntary Flaws). It's the illogical reasoning behind it that I can't stand.

The reasoning behind the change was stated that the need for certain stats pushed people into some ancestries and away from others for a given class. The change was explicitly to make it easier to make Gnome Barbarians, Goblin Druids, Dwarf Bards, Poppet Gunslingers, Iruxi Alchemists, etc.

It's more fun to be able to put together any ancestry/class combination that catches your fancy and to simply make a viable character than to make that process more involved for some combinations than others.

The old voluntary flaw system already did this though, as you could turn a flaw into a boost [adding free and flaw boost to it] or add boosts to stats without one. So, if anything the new way makes things easier, as it has less steps, but I don't think it's a huge boon to making ancestries and classes match better. I know when I first saw the Sacred Nagaji, I though 'cool, but I don't need/want Str so I'll use voluntary flaws and turn it into a -Str, +Dex, +free ancestry' not 'oh, it's got Str so I'll pick something else.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Maybe wait until the Paizo actually makes a a change you don't like before freaking out.

It's in the name. ;)

Young people don't know because they haven't been around long enough to see the slow changes over a long period of time, to pick up on the patterns that grow to become all too predictable.

It won't be all at once, probably not even in the lifespan of Paizo, and it may not end up as bad as I portray, but make no mistake: options will become more limited due to societal pressure from the vocal minority.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Winkie_Phace wrote:

Remember when Paizo was doing permanent suspensions? Sigh, that sure was a good month.

Again, I don't even care if Kobold Press is going to be implementing racial advantages/disadvantages but I'm not giving my money to people whose fans main reaction to criticism is "Ban this person". So Black Flag can't come soon enough.

Scarab Sages

graystone wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

The reasoning behind the change was stated that the need for certain stats pushed people into some ancestries and away from others for a given class. The change was explicitly to make it easier to make Gnome Barbarians, Goblin Druids, Dwarf Bards, Poppet Gunslingers, Iruxi Alchemists, etc.

It's more fun to be able to put together any ancestry/class combination that catches your fancy and to simply make a viable character than to make that process more involved for some combinations than others.

The old voluntary flaw system already did this though, as you could turn a flaw into a boost [adding free and flaw boost to it] or add boosts to stats without one. So, if anything the new way makes things easier, as it has less steps, but I don't think it's a huge boon to making ancestries and classes match better. I know when I first saw the Sacred Nagaji, I though 'cool, but I don't need/want Str so I'll use voluntary flaws and turn it into a -Str, +Dex, +free ancestry' not 'oh, it's got Str so I'll pick something else.

Yes, but now you don't even need to take the STR flaw. The rule change is most useful for ancestries that started with a flaw that the player didn't want in their build.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
NECR0G1ANT wrote:

The new way means you don't need a STR penalty, but you can still have one if it's that important to you.

Old way with voluntary flaw: +FREE, +FREE, -STR
New way with voluntary flaw: +FREE, +FREE, -STR (optional)

They're the same.

Uh, you could have the voluntary flaw modifiers in addition to your ancestry adjustments.

That's totally different than your example.


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Leon Aquilla wrote:
Winkie_Phace wrote:

Remember when Paizo was doing permanent suspensions? Sigh, that sure was a good month.

Again, I don't even care if Kobold Press is going to be implementing racial advantages/disadvantages but I'm not giving my money to people whose fans main reaction to criticism is "Ban this person". So Black Flag can't come soon enough.

Miss you over on the pf2e foundry discord, when you going to stop by again?


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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
graystone wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

The reasoning behind the change was stated that the need for certain stats pushed people into some ancestries and away from others for a given class. The change was explicitly to make it easier to make Gnome Barbarians, Goblin Druids, Dwarf Bards, Poppet Gunslingers, Iruxi Alchemists, etc.

It's more fun to be able to put together any ancestry/class combination that catches your fancy and to simply make a viable character than to make that process more involved for some combinations than others.

The old voluntary flaw system already did this though, as you could turn a flaw into a boost [adding free and flaw boost to it] or add boosts to stats without one. So, if anything the new way makes things easier, as it has less steps, but I don't think it's a huge boon to making ancestries and classes match better. I know when I first saw the Sacred Nagaji, I though 'cool, but I don't need/want Str so I'll use voluntary flaws and turn it into a -Str, +Dex, +free ancestry' not 'oh, it's got Str so I'll pick something else.
Yes, but now you don't even need to take the STR flaw. The rule change is most useful for ancestries that started with a flaw that the player didn't want in their build.

That was never my point though: my point was that the old system didn't prevent me from playing the character I wanted that didn't need Str even though the race starts with a Str boost. As such, the new system, at least for me, isn't doing what was advertised: making it easier to play certain race/class combos. Again, the only boon, IMO, is it has less steps and therefor easier to use but both get you to the same place.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

PCs are exceptional. Nothing about how a player’s character gets built is representative of how members of X ancestry commonly exist on Golarion. As soon as you allow for that possibility with an alternative flexible stat array, 3 boosts and a flaw does not represent an alternate balanced stat distribution, it is a way to milk more power out of your attribute array, if you can match a flaw up to a stat you don’t plan on using.

It is better for the game if players think about their character’s ancestry in terms of how they act, what they like, and what unique abilities define them instead of primarily looking at ancestry as a way to get X stat array that enables Y build.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Unicore wrote:

PCs are exceptional. Nothing about how a player’s character gets built is representative of how members of X ancestry commonly exist on Golarion. As soon as you allow for that possibility with an alternative flexible stat array, 3 boosts and a flaw does not represent an alternate balanced stat distribution, it is a way to milk more power out of your attribute array, if you can match a flaw up to a stat you don’t plan on using.

It is better for the game if players think about their character’s ancestry in terms of how they act, what they like, and what unique abilities define them instead of primarily looking at ancestry as a way to get X stat array that enables Y build.

That's certainly true enough.


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Unicore wrote:

PCs are exceptional. Nothing about how a player’s character gets built is representative of how members of X ancestry commonly exist on Golarion. As soon as you allow for that possibility with an alternative flexible stat array, 3 boosts and a flaw does not represent an alternate balanced stat distribution, it is a way to milk more power out of your attribute array, if you can match a flaw up to a stat you don’t plan on using.

It is better for the game if players think about their character’s ancestry in terms of how they act, what they like, and what unique abilities define them instead of primarily looking at ancestry as a way to get X stat array that enables Y build.

On the other hand, those ancestries that still have those flaw arrays are still automatically innately better than just about everyone else in that niche. Not like any ancestry feats can realistically match up to an extra boost in something important. Ancient elf and maybe a couple of the rare ones, if your gm even bothers with them, can compete on feat quality and innate advantages, but it's a short list at best.


Unicore wrote:
PCs are exceptional. Nothing about how a player’s character gets built is representative of how members of X ancestry commonly exist on Golarion.

Sure, but nothing about the PC mechanics has to translate into NPC's as they don't have to follow the PC rules. The DM, or whoever made the material you're using, can put whatever stat they feel fits down without ever looking at the stat array players use.

Unicore wrote:
As soon as you allow for that possibility with an alternative flexible stat array, 3 boosts and a flaw does not represent an alternate balanced stat distribution, it is a way to milk more power out of your attribute array, if you can match a flaw up to a stat you don’t plan on using.

OR, you can look at it as the alternate stat array is a way to milk the system to avoid getting a flaw in a stat you want and avoiding a boost in a stat you'll never use. So you can frame it to look bad if you wish, but I don't see the point: for instances, is an elf 'milking he system' by taking the alternate stats to get a boost in Str and Con when taking a fighter instead of +str, +Int, +free, -con?


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Ravingdork wrote:
make no mistake: options will become more limited due to societal pressure from the vocal minority.

Indeed, it's a good thing Paizo has already side-stepped many vocal minorities trying to limit player options. I recall during the playtest when a poster insisted that the game would be ruined if Paladins could have the option to play any other alignment than LG. It didn't matter that they never had to play a non-lawful Paladin, the fact that other people had that choice was the hill they died on.

So, too, with the vocal minority who thought it was unreasonable to allow goblins to be a playable ancestry, rather than being relegated to generic sword-fodder option they could ignore from a non-core book. I am delighted to say that 2e has done an excellent job of bringing us many and varied ancestries to play, not just the stock fantasy classics, and has given them a number of interesting abilities to distinguish themselves with.

Even now, as a vocal minority believes that dwarves should not be able to sing warsongs of their people without sacrificing their efficacy, I'm glad Paizo has made the choice to allow ancestries to distinguish themselves based on their unique cultural, magical, and physiological capabilities through feats, rather than limit the character options based on whether this or that people are just born smarter or more foolish than another.

---

Thankfully, there is a powerful safeguard against vocal minorities in place: Paizo does not ever have to publish anything they don't want to or don't believe in just because a vocal minority disagrees with them. If Paizo publishes something, it is much more likely because they personally wants to, or else there is a demonstrable majority which show demand for it. A vocal minority--if indeed it is a minority and not just a body of people I happen to disagree with--tends to lack the critical purchasing power needed to enforce their demands, especially assuming those demands are both counter to the majority of customers and Paizo's own writers.


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Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
So, too, with the vocal minority who thought it was unreasonable to allow goblins to be a playable ancestry

This isn't true: it was a debate on them being a COMMON ancestry. Note that PF1 had options for making goblin PC's and no one said a word as they weren't presented as something you'd see as often as a human or gnome. It's understandable when PF1 material made the whole race out to be insane [pyromaniacs] vermin with recipes on how to cook human children and gnomes that all the major races attempted to commit genocide to get rid of [yes, all of that is in the PF1 material]...


the idea goblin are somehow rare and out number 50 to 1 by human is absurd

every town or city with a garbage heap should have significant goblin population

most settlement stat in 2e so far make no sense at all


25speedforseaweedleshy wrote:
the idea goblin are somehow rare and out number 50 to 1 by human is absurd

When did anyone make an argument that goblins are rare? Now rare as a PC? Sure, that was made: it was a bit a whiplash to have them go from PF1's baby eating pyromaniacs to seeing them walking down he street peacefully in most town and expecting to see one adventuring with you.


25speedforseaweedleshy wrote:
every town or city with a garbage heap should have significant goblin population

I'm offended that you would liken an entire people to being little more than the garbage dwelling offal of society. Goblins have as much potential as anyone else!

How would you like it if it was said that leshy could only thrive in the waste of others? You, young sprout, should be ashamed for your bigotry.

;P


I don't mind the ability changes myself. It was cool for min-maxing, but a lazy way to differentiate ancestries/races. No reason a dwarf should be penalized on Charisma when charisma has now become more force of personality than smooth talking. No reason elves should have a reduced con when con is more physical endurance and ability to withstand punishment.

Ability choices by race had some loose tie to the ancestry/race way back when because you didn't get much other than the stat modifications. But they have other ways to differentiate and add variety now rather than limiting important combat stats.

More dwarf bards and gnome barbarians is fine by me.


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The Contrarian wrote:
25speedforseaweedleshy wrote:
every town or city with a garbage heap should have significant goblin population

I'm offended that you would liken an entire people to garbage dwelling offal of society.

How would you like it if it was said that leshy could only thrive in the waste of others? You, young sprout, should be ashamed for your bigotry.

;P

The first AP I tried out happened to be outlaws of alkenstar in which, the goblin population all lived in the city dump... Lol


The Contrarian wrote:
25speedforseaweedleshy wrote:
every town or city with a garbage heap should have significant goblin population

I'm offended that you would liken an entire people to being little more than the garbage dwelling offal of society. Goblins have as much potential as anyone else!

How would you like it if it was said that leshy could only thrive in the waste of others? You, young sprout, should be ashamed for your bigotry.

;P

goblin prosper anywhere

garbage heap help them escape the ignorant oppression of longshank


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

I don't mind the ability changes myself. It was cool for min-maxing, but a lazy way to differentiate ancestries/races. No reason a dwarf should be penalized on Charisma when charisma has now become more force of personality than smooth talking. No reason elves should have a reduced con when con is more physical endurance and ability to withstand punishment.

Ability choices by race had some loose tie to the ancestry/race way back when because you didn't get much other than the stat modifications. But they have other ways to differentiate and add variety now rather than limiting important combat stats.

More dwarf bards and gnome barbarians is fine by me.

everytime see a ancestry with flaw on dex con or wis just throw it aside never bother to build a character with

despite how amazing catfolk dance are never build a catfolk before 4th errata


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Unicore wrote:
PCs are exceptional. Nothing about how a player’s character gets built is representative of how members of X ancestry commonly exist on Golarion.

Sure, but nothing about the PC mechanics has to translate into NPC's as they don't have to follow the PC rules. The DM, or whoever made the material you're using, can put whatever stat they feel fits down without ever looking at the stat array players use.

Unicore wrote:
As soon as you allow for that possibility with an alternative flexible stat array, 3 boosts and a flaw does not represent an alternate balanced stat distribution, it is a way to milk more power out of your attribute array, if you can match a flaw up to a stat you don’t plan on using.
OR, you can look at it as the alternate stat array is a way to milk the system to avoid getting a flaw in a stat you want and avoiding a boost in a stat you'll never use. So you can frame it to look bad if you wish, but I don't see the point: for instances, is an elf 'milking he system' by taking the alternate stats to get a boost in Str and Con when taking a fighter instead of +str, +Int, +free, -con?

I think you are missing the point:

PC starting attributes actually have nothing at all to do with wether halflings generally are less strong than orcs or elves tend to be less hardy than dwarves. The bioessentialism question is whether in inherently has to be more difficult for halflings to be strong and good as mauler fighters for example. This whole conversation about attribute variance and ancestral tendencies is irrelevant to how players should feel free to make their character.

I am not arguing against the new 2 free attribute variant rule, so I don’t understand the second argument at all. I am in favor of players not having to take optional flaws to “overcome” starting attribute penalties. As soon as that becomes an option than 3 boost ancestries appear to be better than other ancestries, just because of attribute stat array. I don’t think that is good for the game, which is why I don’t think we’ll see more of it going forward. Will existing ancestries get Errata’d out of it? I doubt it, but only because it is already done and would be a massive thing to change. Not because that change wouldn’t better represent what ancestries for PCs are supposed to represent about the character. Attributes should just not be the most important decision point in selecting an ancestry.


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Unicore wrote:

I think you are missing the point:

PC starting attributes actually have nothing at all to do with wether halflings generally are less strong than orcs or elves tend to be less hardy than dwarves. The bioessentialism question is whether in inherently has to be more difficult for halflings to be strong and good as mauler fighters for example. This whole conversation about attribute variance and ancestral tendencies is irrelevant to how players should feel free to make their character.

I don't understand your "milking" comment if it's no about attributes then: "it is a way to milk more power out of your attribute array". It why I replied, as you brought up attributes, no me.

Unicore wrote:
I am not arguing against the new 2 free attribute variant rule, so I don’t understand the second argument at all. I am in favor of players not having to take optional flaws to “overcome” starting attribute penalties. As soon as that becomes an option than 3 boost ancestries appear to be better than other ancestries, just because of attribute stat array. I don’t think that is good for the game, which is why I don’t think we’ll see more of it going forward. Will existing ancestries get Errata’d out of it? I doubt it, but only because it is already done and would be a massive thing to change. Not because that change wouldn’t better represent what ancestries for PCs are supposed to represent about the character. Attributes should just not be the most important decision point in selecting an ancestry

That's not really true though: 3 boost ancestries would only be better IF both set boosts happen to fall into stats you care about and the flaw is in something you don't care about. That means a gnoll +str, +int, free, -wis isn't a boon for a sorcerer. Or take an elf: even if you want +dex and +int, no one wants -con. I think far more combos don't align than do, meaning it's not automatically more attractive.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My argument isn't that 3 boost ancestries are always better than 2 boost ancestries, it is that 3 boost ancestries are capable of higher stat arrays than 2 boost ancestries in more relevant attributes, as long as you are willing to eat the flaw.

The ability to flaw 1 or 2 attributes in PF2 is not as equal a trade for getting more higher attributes as I think it was initially hoped to be, and as a result, players looking primarily at numbers (with a desire to get the most high numbers in the most important places, recognizing that 1 or 2 or even 3 of their attributes are things that they can build their character around not using) see the loss of voluntary flaws and the inclusion of more 3 boost, 1 flaw ancestries as a power boosting loss, not an actual loss of flexibility in what ancestries can play what classes.

I think the bigger issue is that attribute flaws don't really impact the game equally, and thus having a bunch of players sitting around waiting for ancestries with flaws in STR, INT or CHA and Boosts in at least 1 save stat is more of a numbers game, than it is about introducing interesting new peoples into Golarion.

My reading of Impossibly Lands book ancestries and the general sentiment in RPG design today is to avoid encouraging the idea of "Dump stats" and at looking at physical or mental abilities as something that can be traded in for more power than a baseline average. Focusing ancestries around feats and heritage options really encourages more creativity from the design perspective than "this is the strong people" or "this is the smart people." Adding the "but they are very unsociable" is not as brilliant a balancing factor as it may have one time seemed in RPG design. We just don't use raw attributes for nearly as many things as older versions of the game, so raw attributes themselves only matter where other choices are being applied to them. This generally makes attribute flaws less relevant to character balance than it ever was before.


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One problem, they half-assed it and those 3boost/1flaw ancestries are still there. Except now, you can no longer compete with them on boosts so you need some really strong ancestry feats or innate perks to be worth considering. Stuff like ancient elf's speed, bonus multiclass feat and ageless patience or strix's early permanent flight.


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Iruxi remain the best warpriests only because of their stats. Although, might be more of a problem of the warpriest itself needing everything except intelligence.

Scarab Sages

aobst128 wrote:
Iruxi remain the best warpriests only because of their stats. Although, might be more of a problem of the warpriest itself needing everything except intelligence.

They also have a very good bite attack feat, which even clerics have proficiency in, as well as an ancestral lore feat that granst WIS-based skills, which warpriests are good in.

Which illustrates by ancestry flaws being optional is not a problem for me - a lot of what defines an ancestry is in the ancestry feats & heritages.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
The Contrarian wrote:
25speedforseaweedleshy wrote:
every town or city with a garbage heap should have significant goblin population

I'm offended that you would liken an entire people to being little more than the garbage dwelling offal of society. Goblins have as much potential as anyone else!

How would you like it if it was said that leshy could only thrive in the waste of others? You, young sprout, should be ashamed for your bigotry.

;P

My goblin character's favorite saying is, "one person's treasure is another person's trash" Have you seen the trash heaps in a dragon's lair?


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Yes the problem is they've moved from "some ancestries had some minor difficulties to playing certain classes" to "the older ancestries are mechanically superior in the pursuit of certain classes."


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Malk_Content wrote:
Yes the problem is they've moved from "some ancestries had some minor difficulties to playing certain classes" to "the older ancestries are mechanically superior in the pursuit of certain classes."

I don’t think it really presents itself as a problem from a development level that core rule book options (and very early, broad lost omen options) are at the higher end of mechanical balance. I mean they always can go back and errata out the existing 3 boost and a flaw options, but I don’t think there will be broad calls for it.


I mean yeah its not that big of a deal all things considered. It's probably just a +1 in your characters third most used stat.

But still given thar its totally avoidable by just printing actual stat lines, I think it's worth hoping for the future.


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graystone wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I actually like the new rule (save for the loss of Voluntary Flaws). It's the illogical reasoning behind it that I can't stand.

The reasoning behind the change was stated that the need for certain stats pushed people into some ancestries and away from others for a given class. The change was explicitly to make it easier to make Gnome Barbarians, Goblin Druids, Dwarf Bards, Poppet Gunslingers, Iruxi Alchemists, etc.

It's more fun to be able to put together any ancestry/class combination that catches your fancy and to simply make a viable character than to make that process more involved for some combinations than others.

The old voluntary flaw system already did this though, as you could turn a flaw into a boost [adding free and flaw boost to it] or add boosts to stats without one. So, if anything the new way makes things easier, as it has less steps, but I don't think it's a huge boon to making ancestries and classes match better

But the old rule was inelegant since the "you can't stack stat boosts without a flaw" or "you can't stack stat flaws without a boost" was a rule that existed nowhere else in the game.

The "I'm going to play a Dwarf Bard" so I start with 18 Cha, 16 Dex, 12 Con, 12 Wis, 10 Str, and 10 Int is a full stat boost better than doing it the old way (which is going to top out at 10/14/12/10/12/18) so in making the new rule they made these sorts of combinations stronger *and* easier to create.

I think the only characters that really were better with the old system were the "I have decided I absolutely do not care about 2 stats, so I'm going to have two 8s from level 1 to level 20" characters, which is a thing I just personally dislike.


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It was a way for archers to get +2 from propulsive by level 5 and have decent health. That and human drifters that opted for non finesse weapons to better fit the mold of a switch hitter by dumping int and cha. That did enable drifter builds but archers are probably fine.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But the old rule was inelegant since the "you can't stack stat boosts without a flaw" or "you can't stack stat flaws without a boost" was a rule that existed nowhere else in the game.

I don't agree. It was quite simple: you can't double up boosts except to turn a flaw into a boost. It's not rocket surgery. A lot of things in the game are LESS elegant than that.

Dark Archive

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I'm gonna repeat myself but I still think they should add three stat/flaw option for every ancestry, even humans :p


CorvusMask wrote:
I'm gonna repeat myself but I still think they should add three stat/flaw option for every ancestry, even humans :p

Makes sense, this would allow the player to choose to keep the ancestry base stats or to use the 2 boosts.

That said the humans are the base chassis to all ancestries what flaws they would have? They could be the exception being the only one without three stat/flaw option. Instead they could have a more consistent half-ancestry rules than just half-elves/orcs (they could have half any ancestry to compensate).

Dark Archive

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They could also be only ancestry to have flaw they can choose based on how paizo would decide to handle this.

(like so far their options are either "add three stats and flaw option to every ancestry" or "you can choose to ignore ancestry's suggested scores which are just flavor and either take two free picks or three free picks and free flaw picks". Latter is probably how they would choose to handle it if they add it back, but I do think that has its own issues regarding how easy it makes to dumb a specific stat always)


I don't think thay would do this once that part of the idea of give the option of 2 free boosts is to "nerf" the interest in humans.
If they allow 3 free boost + 1 free flaw to humans once again they would be mechanically more interesting than most ancestries for those want min/max a character.


min maxer are using half elf human anyway


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So I agree that the +2-1+Free spread did edge a lot of ancestry/class combinations out of the realm of optimization, including ones that made sense on the surface (dwarf bard, catfolk cleric, elf champion, gnoll druid, lizardfolk witch). However, I also see the point of people who appreciated the potential ancestry-coded flaws provided for worldbuilding and roleplay opportunities.

Here's an idea I had to compromise the two positions: during character creation, each player always assigns two free boosts. But, before they do, they have the option of first taking a set boost and a set flaw specific to their ancestry. This represents the average case for that ancestry, but with the acknowledgement that there are plenty of people at the edges of the bell curve that don't fit the average case, especially among adventurers.

Elves for example could get +Dex-Con. So if I wanted the typical lithe archer, I could go +Dex+Wis+Int-Con and be perfectly happy fitting the archetype. Or, if I wanted to break the mold and go for a front-line barbarian, I could forgo the preset stats and put my two free boosts into +Str+Con, trading one fewer boost for zero flaws.

You could even use this feature to tailor some ancestries to particular regions. A character guide could contain a line like "Goblin from this region have the optional starting ability scores of +Cha-Con instead of +Cha-Wis to reflect the highly spiritual goblin tribes found here."

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