Is there really a "Bad" Stat?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Dark_Schneider wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:

I think the problem with int is solved by allowing the trained skills gained by int auto scale to expert at level 5. If you gain a +1 to int at level 5 you get expert instead of trained in the skill right away.

Just dont go past expert without investing with level up skill increases.
The human heritage skilled human has that kind of scaling and would never be picked if it only got to trained. (the general feat from versatile would simply be strictly better even if you wanted skills)
its a better trade off when deciding well do i want a language and expert in a skill or do I want extra hp and fort or extra perception and will. Most people will still take the hp, AC, and saves over expert but it is at least a better option than trained.

Maybe not auto-scale but at least allow to apply to any skill to upgrade up to X, which X could be Expert (safe) or Master (aggresive), Legendary could be excessive.

Also including the 1st level, allowing to use the points from Int to upgrade trained skills to Expert, if not those characters starting with 18 could have many Int points wasted forced to get other skills instead improving those it really wants.

I've suggested before that they could make General feats that are restricted by high Int to progress skills to Expert/Master, like an Int 16 level 7 general feat to take a skill from trained to expert and a Int 18 level 15 general feat that lets you upgrade an expert skill to master. It'd give more good general feats that not everyone will take and due to the limited number of general feat you won't be having more than 2 additional master skills (and the level you can take it means they lag normal skill progression by a bit)


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

One thing to consider providing when a player is rolling RK on a creature is information about the creatures behavior. Is this type of creature territorial, cowardly when bloodied, does it eat its victims or save them for later, does it hunt in packs or is it a loner. I mean yeah they should also get information about saves, weaknesses, resistances but behavior will drive what players may attempt to do besides strike until its dead.

players might find more value in RK if it gives them information that inspires how they engage it, whether they kill it or try to get it to run, or weather it might have loot caches to look for afterward. So many benefits can come from RK but its more work for the GM to come up with it.


3-Body Problem wrote:
Base stats made a lot make a lot more sense when you either roll for them or can have them change, such as getting a new body in an Altered Carbon game, than they do in games where they don't change except slowly by leveling up. In a game like PF2, they could ditch them entirely or set a primary and secondary array for each class and 99.5% of characters would be fine. They're already all but set for you and vestigial so ditching them or making them interesting in some other way for PF3 would be a big improvement.

Played a game with all stats duplicated (the same than the variant with Dex) and worked well.

We already have it for Str/Con, with one for bonus to skills, attacks and damage, and the other for HP and ST. Repeat for each stat, like Dex in the variant, but also for Int, Wis and Cha. One for bonus to skills, attacks and etc. and the other half for granting useful stuff.

Silver Crusade

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3-Body Problem wrote:
In a game like PF2, they could ditch them entirely or set a primary and secondary array for each class and 99.5% of characters would be fine.

If they set a secondary array for each class I'd drop PF2 in a nanosecond.

I like druids so I play them a lot. I think all of them started with a WIS of +4.

But other than that they've been completely different. I've had my gnome with a Str of -1 at level 20, I've had my Shoanti human with a Str of +3 at level 1, I've had characters emphasize Int, Dex and Cha to a greater or lesser extent, I've had characters with very balanced stats.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Instead of duplicate or eliminating stats, maybe reduce the number of stats: Body (old Str/Con), Energy (old Cha/Dex), and Mind (old Int/Wis)? Allow a total of +7 to distribute between them (including ancestry modifications) with a maximum of +4 in any one stat; possibly allow +1 to be added to two different stats at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th (maximum of +8, if starting at +4; which is only slightly higher than the current +7 with an apex item).

Energy or Mind could be the key stats for spellcasters, possibly based on whether they are prepared (Mind) or spontaneous (Energy).


Dragonchess Player wrote:

Instead of duplicate or eliminating stats, maybe reduce the number of stats: Body (old Str/Con), Energy (old Cha/Dex), and Mind (old Int/Wis)? Allow a total of +7 to distribute between them (including ancestry modifications) with a maximum of +4 in any one stat.

Energy or Mind could be the key stats for spellcasters, possibly based on whether they are prepared (Mind) or spontaneous (Energy).

Sounds like the Tri-Stat system that has Mind, Body, and Soul.

Body: a measure of the character's physical prowess and health.
Mind: a measure of the character's mental capacity and intelligence.
Soul: a measure of the character's spirit and willpower.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Tri-Stat sounds more like:
Body = Con, Dex, Str
Mind = Int
Soul = Cha, Wis

I was trying to align closer to previous/current editions and keep the three stats "balanced" with Fort, Ref, Will saves. Also trying to allow differentiation between strong/tough characters (Body) and nimble/trickster characters (Energy).

Energy might still end up as the "best" stat with combining Dex and Cha, but Mind will still be the go-to for the various "smart" characters (either book-learning or more intuitive).


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I think it would be more likely for Paizo to remove stats entirely than to reduce them, unless they somehow still use the names of that stats we already have in the system. Still, I don't think they are exactly planning on removing stats because even if you technically could do that already on PF2e due to how linear the progression is they would need to replace it with something that would still allow characters to be beter at certain things innately without relying on your class or other things.

It would IMO be really bland if, for example, every sorcerer was equally as good with things like Medicine or Stealth that aren't a focus of your class but that currently you can choose to start with a decent Wis or Dex to be decent with them and make your character "unique" in that way.


Bluemagetim wrote:

One thing to consider providing when a player is rolling RK on a creature is information about the creatures behavior. Is this type of creature territorial, cowardly when bloodied, does it eat its victims or save them for later, does it hunt in packs or is it a loner. I mean yeah they should also get information about saves, weaknesses, resistances but behavior will drive what players may attempt to do besides strike until its dead.

players might find more value in RK if it gives them information that inspires how they engage it, whether they kill it or try to get it to run, or weather it might have loot caches to look for afterward. So many benefits can come from RK but its more work for the GM to come up with it.

In PFS1 I'd often ask such questions like temperament (as in can we roll Diplomacy/Nature/etc. to parlay or just chuck food at it). This surprised GMs and seldom if ever getting a useful result. :(

So many creatures fight to the death if only for simplicity's sake. Heck, even classic dungeon crawls had more variance than that.
(Cannot speak to PF2's breadth of creature reactions, and alternate, non-combat solutions were getting more popular every season.)

That said, my players often regret not taking a chance to RK, but part of that is because it explicitly says the information will be useful so I make certain it's useful. Sure, one could try for specific information they think will be useful, and be wrong. With a collaborative GM it seems an open-ended inquiry should work better. In that vein, Int/RK/Lore builds could be worthwhile, but like Cha, if you don't back it up with skills, you aren't getting much out of it. And if your skills overlap with another PC's, it lessens your value.
Seems it'd be wise to have at least one PC each cover Dex/Int/Wis/Cha skills (or more if so capable, and with at least one athlete).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I drafted up a ttrpg system a long time ago with 8 stats 4 for the body and 4 for the mind. Actions in the game took into account a combination of a body and a mind stat


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
exequiel759 wrote:

I think it would be more likely for Paizo to remove stats entirely than to reduce them, unless they somehow still use the names of that stats we already have in the system. Still, I don't think they are exactly planning on removing stats because even if you technically could do that already on PF2e due to how linear the progression is they would need to replace it with something that would still allow characters to be beter at certain things innately without relying on your class or other things.

It would IMO be really bland if, for example, every sorcerer was equally as good with things like Medicine or Stealth that aren't a focus of your class but that currently you can choose to start with a decent Wis or Dex to be decent with them and make your character "unique" in that way.

I don't think it's something that will be done anytime soon. However, if and when Pathfinder 3rd edition is considered Paizo will be even less tied to legacy D&D under the ORC. There still should be a way to quantify "innate potential" (stats) beyond ancestry, instead of relying entirely on background, experience, and training (skills, feats, class levels).

As far as sorcerers and Stealth, Stealth covers "blending in" (what could probably be considered acting ability, or Cha) with a crowd as well as just hiding (Dex). And Medicine often requires learning and/or empathy (to notice and recognize symptoms); Starfinder Medicine is based on Int, while PF2 Medicine is based on Wis.


I wonder if they might move to a Mutants and Masterminds-like model for stats. M&M has attributes, but each attribute is built as a package of other things bundled together that roughly cost what the attribute does, so they're really just a shorthand or, as people have said, a way to measure innate potential.

Granted, this hypothetical PF3E system would still look pretty different since M&M is a point-buy game, and I don't see Pathfinder moving away from classes any time soon.


I think the best way to handle stats for PF3 would be like lancer, just with human centric stats instead of mech centric ones. In Lancer, there are 4 stats, Hull, which boosts hp and repairs, Agility, which boosts evasion and speed, systems which boosts hacking, hacking resilience, and how many systems you can put onto your mech, and Engineering, which boosts how much heat you can take and how often you can use powerful systems. Each stat also has its own save and checks, but none of them effect your normal attack rolls. In lancer, all mechs have a reason to take every stat, so its actually a build choice. While the bulky Balor may want Hull to be even bulkier, it is also a slow melee frame, so it wants Agility, and it has some cool hacking options, so systems would be nice, and its low heat cap leaves it susceptible to a lot on hacking options, so both systems and Engineering can help there. A balor that went all in on Hull will be a unstoppable killing machine... if it can reach you before it can over heat it. Maybe you dump agility and use other systems and abilities to move around, or use hacking to move your enemies' to you. Perhaps you focus all in on systems, ignoring hull as your natural bulk protects you, and hoping the hostile hacker doesn't roll a nat 20. Theres so much more interesting and complex than "I invested everything into Hull because I need to do that to hit anything, and then I invested the rest into agility so I don't die. Now I get to decide if I want a +1 to engineering or systems."


Pronate11 wrote:
I think the best way to handle stats for PF3 would be like lancer, just with human centric stats instead of mech centric ones. In Lancer, there are 4 stats, Hull, which boosts hp and repairs, Agility, which boosts evasion and speed, systems which boosts hacking, hacking resilience, and how many systems you can put onto your mech, and Engineering, which boosts how much heat you can take and how often you can use powerful systems. Each stat also has its own save and checks, but none of them effect your normal attack rolls. In lancer, all mechs have a reason to take every stat, so its actually a build choice. While the bulky Balor may want Hull to be even bulkier, it is also a slow melee frame, so it wants Agility, and it has some cool hacking options, so systems would be nice, and its low heat cap leaves it susceptible to a lot on hacking options, so both systems and Engineering can help there. A balor that went all in on Hull will be a unstoppable killing machine... if it can reach you before it can over heat it. Maybe you dump agility and use other systems and abilities to move around, or use hacking to move your enemies' to you. Perhaps you focus all in on systems, ignoring hull as your natural bulk protects you, and hoping the hostile hacker doesn't roll a nat 20. Theres so much more interesting and complex than "I invested everything into Hull because I need to do that to hit anything, and then I invested the rest into agility so I don't die. Now I get to decide if I want a +1 to engineering or systems."

I'm as much of a Lancer shill as the next guy, but even there you still run into the fact that some stats just are better than others. Maxing (or getting close to it) Hull is essentially a requirement simply because enemy damage scaling is that brutal and relying on stuff like dodge, invisibility, or (god help you) armor are far too unreliable to act as surrogates. Conversely Systems comes closest to being the Int of the system. Sure everyone enjoys extra SP to play with but at the end of the day only dedicated hackers really enjoy the investment in addition to the fact that hostile hacks or smart weapons aren't anywhere near as common as the physical attacks. That's also not mentioning most frames have at least one stat that's basically useless for their general builds (won't catch a Barbarossa taking Sys or Agi).

It's a good thought but as the saying goes, the cream rises to the top and even fairly well balanced games with minimal stats can't avoid having some more equal than others (1e 7th Sea is another example of this, all stats have their place and are desirable by all, but Panache sits atop the throne as the best one).


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After reading through this thread as a whole, I have to ask another question. What about having your KAS starting at 16/+3 instead of 18 when you make a character? Would any of you consider such a bold move in the end? Is there any benefit to not having a 18/+4 in your KAS?


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ElementalofCuteness wrote:
After reading through this thread as a whole, I have to ask another question. What about having your KAS starting at 16/+3 instead of 18 when you make a character? Would any of you consider such a bold move in the end? Is there any benefit to not having a 18/+4 in your KAS?

In general, it's agreed that such a character will work quite fine. You are only 1 point behind a +4 during half of your career, and even if it's always quite bad to be 1 point behind it's not crippling.

Now, you should preferably have a good reason for that. Otherwise, an 18 is the base expectation.

On the other hand, a 14 in your starting stat is crippling before level 5 and painful during the rest of your career.


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ElementalofCuteness wrote:
After reading through this thread as a whole, I have to ask another question. What about having your KAS starting at 16/+3 instead of 18 when you make a character? Would any of you consider such a bold move in the end? Is there any benefit to not having a 18/+4 in your KAS?

For most characters, starting with a KA mod of +3 instead of +4 effectively means taking a -1 penalty to all of my most important rolls and DCs, a penalty that can stack with all of the other status and circumstance penalties that may occur. Unless I'm playing an extremely funky and MAD build like a Mutagenist Alchemist, which doesn't rely as much on their key attribute so much as others, I would consider lowering my key attribute to be really suboptimal in a game where every +1/-1 matters.


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SuperBidi wrote:
ElementalofCuteness wrote:
After reading through this thread as a whole, I have to ask another question. What about having your KAS starting at 16/+3 instead of 18 when you make a character? Would any of you consider such a bold move in the end? Is there any benefit to not having a 18/+4 in your KAS?

In general, it's agreed that such a character will work quite fine. You are only 1 point behind a +4 during half of your career, and even if it's always quite bad to be 1 point behind it's not crippling.

Now, you should preferably have a good reason for that. Otherwise, an 18 is the base expectation.

On the other hand, a 14 in your starting stat is crippling before level 5 and painful during the rest of your career.

A +1 is a +1.

To willingly start at a comparative minus like that is insane. +1 Runes are so fundamental to game balance, not only do the books go out of the way to tells GMs that, there's entire variant rules about automatically getting those +1s to the PCs without said runes. That's how important +1s are.

-------------------------

The forums, reddit, ect have a constant stream of new players asking for advice on why pf2e feels so bad to play, and a *huge* number of them do not have a +4 in their KAS, and are instantly told to change that.

This is doubly common for classes like Alchemist, which are essentially tricked by the game. They are told INT is their most important stat, which puts even DEX on a level below INT. That immediately implies a +4 INT, +3 DEX should be fine, but it's not. It's far, far more important for DEX (or STR for a melee Alch) to be a +4, and to possibly leave INT at +3.

The game's "sample builds" are so bad, that Chiurgeon still recommends:

Ability Scores wrote:
Prioritize Intelligence and Wisdom. Constitution increases your survivability, and Dexterity helps you hit with ranged attacks when violence is necessary.

IMO players here do not talk enough about how much that text needs to either be deleted, or kept up to date. That advice was insane enough that it triggered my skepticism alarm when I make my first pf2e PC, and I'm glad I didn't listen to it. There's no excuse for harmful "word of dev" build advice to be a landmine that players need to actively ignore.

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There's no single more important numbers change than one's KAS, and to indicate it's "not crippling" to knowingly take a -1 is doing all readers a disservice.

It's possible to go off book and build a PC whose KAS is not the listed one, yes. Such as the Melee Alchemist who maxes STR instead of INT/DEX. That is NOT leaving your KAS at 1 point behind, that's just doing a different build.

I'll say it again, there is no +1 or -1 that will matter more to a PC's performance than their KAS (or AC), and to ever start at +3 is needlessly hobbling the PC.

I've never seen nor heard of a PC with a +3 that used that stat to attack regularly and while self-aware, was "fine" with it.

The closest has been the Summoner or Inventor PC that do not want to attack at all, but they have a separate set of stats in their 2nd creature that does the offense, while the pacifist instead does other support-y things. Even then, the context of such a PC is all too often being discussed in terms of dissatisfaction due to non-viability.


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Trip.H wrote:
To willingly start at a comparative minus like that is insane.

Quite the hyperbole, don't you think?

Trip.H wrote:
It's far, far more important for DEX (or STR for a melee Alch) to be a +4, and to possibly leave INT at +3.

And to switch system, then. Or ask for a houserule.

Trip.H wrote:
A +1 is a +1.

Well, it's a +0.5 actually, as it will only impact you during half of your career. Also, a lot of classes are forced to have their attack attribute at +3 max.

Trip.H wrote:
I've never seen nor heard of a PC with a +3 that used that stat to attack regularly and while self-aware, was "fine" with it.

I think you haven't seen/heard much, then, as I've read many people stating that +3 in your attack stat is fine. And my Mutagenist is doing fine, really fine.

Also, I'll repeat myself: "Now, you should preferably have a good reason for that. Otherwise, an 18 is the base expectation."
Definitely, putting a 16 in your attack stat for no real reason is a bad idea.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly if all my players wanted to start with 16s in KAS to vary their builds I might adjust all encounters to give enemies a -1 to ACs and Saves. Keeps the players feeling capable and lets them be diverse. Technically it is a buff because they are getting a boost elsewhere but I think it would be fun.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Trip.H wrote:
To willingly start at a comparative minus like that is insane.

Quite the hyperbole, don't you think?

Trip.H wrote:
It's far, far more important for DEX (or STR for a melee Alch) to be a +4, and to possibly leave INT at +3.

And to switch system, then. Or ask for a houserule.

Trip.H wrote:
A +1 is a +1.

Well, it's a +0.5 actually, as it will only impact you during half of your career. Also, a lot of classes are forced to have their attack attribute at +3 max.

Trip.H wrote:
I've never seen nor heard of a PC with a +3 that used that stat to attack regularly and while self-aware, was "fine" with it.

I think you haven't seen/heard much, then, as I've read many people stating that +3 in your attack stat is fine. And my Mutagenist is doing fine, really fine.

Also, I'll repeat myself: "Now, you should preferably have a good reason for that. Otherwise, an 18 is the base expectation."
Definitely, putting a 16 in your attack stat for no real reason is a bad idea.

I've played with a few such players myself. Nobody's ever grumbled about having a 16 in their main stat that I can recall.

Honestly, if you're in the position to be claiming that every +1 matters and your character is doomed without it, I think it'd be more productive to look at the kind of game you're having rather than the system itself; remember, another common trend we see with new players, and especially new GMs, to the game is that they are regularly stacking encounters above and beyond what is suggested because they're bringing in their assumptions from other systems, like 5E, where encounter balance is more of a vibe.

Edit: Clarifying that I am in agreement with SuperBidi here, and that 16, or I guess now +3, isn't so bad if you've got a build in mind; I just noticed that it could also be construed that I'm arguing against them, that you can just have a +3 for no reason and be fine, which isn't my intent.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've played numerous games in both PFS and in private groups, online and off, under a great many GMs and playstyles. Roughly half of my characters started with an 18, and half with a 16.

THERE WAS NO DISCERNABLE DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER in the amount of fun they were to play due to that decision.


ElementalofCuteness wrote:
After reading through this thread as a whole, I have to ask another question. What about having your KAS starting at 16/+3 instead of 18 when you make a character? Would any of you consider such a bold move in the end? Is there any benefit to not having a 18/+4 in your KAS?

Probably the same as like every tactical game? You are probably worse than the guy that started with 18 (and from how the crit system works, going with 16 for your attacking stat hurts more compared to like 4e and 13th age) but like you're probably fine.


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Ravingdork wrote:

I've played numerous games in both PFS and in private groups, online and off, under a great many GMs and playstyles. Roughly half of my characters started with an 18, and half with a 16.

THERE WAS NO DISCERNABLE DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER in the amount of fun they were to play due to that decision.

Plus, there's martial characters like Thaumaturge that can't start at 18 in DEX/STR because their KAS is something else. Thaumaturge remains very effective despite that. (And they don't need 18 cha either really - only a couple implements care and Esoteric Lore really only needs to dodge critical failures so)


Trip.H wrote:

[...] To willingly start at a comparative minus like that is insane. +1 Runes are so fundamental to game balance, not only do the books go out of the way to tells GMs that, there's entire variant rules about automatically getting those +1s to the PCs without said runes. That's how important +1s are.

Ugh, yeah that hyperbole def taints the whole thing as a bit over-emotional.

I will point to Needle Darts as a way that literally all casters can get a scaling damage floor, and the ways in which the cantrip breaks the norm clearly signpost it as designed as tool for casters w/o STR or DEX investment to have a scaling "magic crossbow" type option always available.

They knew PCs had trouble with KAS leading to Strikes being even worse of an option for casters than others, so they added a "crossbow" that keys into the casting stat. It's literally the only damage cantrip available to all spell traditions. And having that cantrip ready at the caster maxed KAS instead of using a -2 DEX/STR is important enough for Needle Darts to be invented w/ Paizo's limited time budget.

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I do think asking the same question about setting oneself up without a +4 in one's KAS could also be swapped to talking about AC for illustrative purposes.

Yes, it is "doable" and sure one might be technically "fine" picking the wrong armor on purpose, causing a -1 handicap. It's survivable. Maybe they are in the backline, so they don't invoke that defense that often. It's always possible to make excuses.

But IMO it's completely nonsensical to insist that one who understands the math tied to such a number would willingly wear the armor that does not reach max bonus available to them. If flavor is that important, it can be homebrewed.

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There is just no reason *to* gimp one's KAS. It's very hard to argue that any other stat could ever take priority, meaning there is no real comparative cost here. +5% miss/crit chance, plus whatever other benefits, is just straightforwardly the first priority. And when players ask "Is it a good idea for my Druid to start with +3 WIS?" We should be honest that by default, the WIS stat is the #1 priority.

I've got a Summoner/Witch planned out, and even with the need for CHA and INT for the Dedication later, I've got 0 temptation to go +3 CHA, +3 INT. It'll be +4 and +2, at least until L5 (if gradual boost is not used).

pf2e's math is kinda... bad at L1, 2, &3 (mostly the HP and damage #s) which means those starting values are when it's the *most* important.


ElementalofCuteness wrote:
After reading through this thread as a whole, I have to ask another question. What about having your KAS starting at 16/+3 instead of 18 when you make a character? Would any of you consider such a bold move in the end? Is there any benefit to not having a 18/+4 in your KAS?

If the game was rebalanced around that, sure, otherwise no. I know there's classes like thaums that already have to start with +3 in their to-hit stat but I don't think thats comparable because those classes usually get stuff to compensate for that, while a barbarian with a +3 Str is literally worse for the sake of being worse.

I think Paizo probably thought about this for the Remaster but ultimately they gave up because it would have changed the math of the game? Why I think they probably thought about it? Because when they removed ability scores I'm pretty sure they thought how to do 19s and 21s in the new system, so if your max at 1st level was +3 it could have been that at 5th level you could jump to +4, +5 at 10th, +6 at 15th, and +7 at 20th, removing apex items in the process. Probably this could happen in 3e?

Silver Crusade

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Trip.H wrote:


There is just no reason *to* gimp one's KAS.

And this is where you're quite wrong.

Everybody agrees that, in general, you should maximize your KAS (ESPECIALLY if it is your attack stat). But

1) Sometimes KAS is NOT your attack stat and therefore it is less important to raise it to +4
2) Sometimes you have some good reason to desperately want to spend that stat point elsewhere. Maybe it is for flavour (this IS still a roleplaying game and everything does NOT and SHOULD NOT be about what gives you the biggest DPS). Sometimes you have a good mechanical reason for your particular build.

When you're saying there is no reason you are indulging in the WORST type of badwrongfun. You're saying that YOU know better than the player how to make their character, that YOU get to decide what is optimal and how acceptable it is to be non optimal.

Now, if I'm playing with a newbie I'll certainly very explicitly point out why they might want to strongly consider increasing their KAS. I'll explain the tradeoffs they're making. But it is THEIR decision and not mine. THEY get to decide what will be fun for THEM


Ravingdork wrote:

I've played numerous games in both PFS and in private groups, online and off, under a great many GMs and playstyles. Roughly half of my characters started with an 18, and half with a 16.

THERE WAS NO DISCERNABLE DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER in the amount of fun they were to play due to that decision.

This is silly to say.

We all know the math behind this not optional. Assuming it wasn't a mislabeled KAS like INT for Alchs, you had the exact same 5% diff for the relevant attacks/saves. You can't disprove math with a "it was fine for me" personal anecdote.

The most charitable way to read this is a loose translation into "The game was plenty easy without starting +4 in my KAS."

That's a very different thing to say.

I've got no idea what the #s look like as far as tables/campaigns that have PC deaths or other combat defeats, but that RAW outcome is supposed to be a real danger.

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The entire concept of a combat number discussion has to be within the context of a fight that can be lost. If victory is assured, numbers loose meaning. If they do matter, then yes, that +1 is pretty damn important.


pauljathome wrote:

And this is where you're quite wrong.

Everybody agrees that, in general, you should maximize your KAS (ESPECIALLY if it is your attack stat). But

1) Sometimes KAS is NOT your attack stat and therefore it is less important to raise it to +4
2) Sometimes you have some good reason to desperately want to spend that stat point elsewhere. Maybe it is for flavour (this IS still a roleplaying game and everything does NOT and SHOULD NOT be about what gives you the biggest DPS). Sometimes you have a good mechanical reason for your particular build.

When you're saying there is no reason you are indulging in the WORST type of badwrongfun. You're saying that YOU know better than the player how to make their character, that YOU get to decide what is optimal and how acceptable it is to be non optimal.

Now, if I'm playing with a newbie I'll certainly very explicitly point out why they might want to strongly consider increasing their KAS. I'll explain the tradeoffs they're making. But it is THEIR decision and not mine. THEY get to decide what will be fun for THEM

Everything I am saying is in the context of the wider discussion. I have read a bunch of posts with regret about not maxing the KAS, picking a hard to stat class/arch combo, ect. That's common. Meanwhile, I don't think I've ever seen someone "regret" starting w/ a max KAS because it's "too optimized" or something.

I have also seen a lot of players giving unqualified (no asterisk) approval of builds that are going to be mathematically disadvantaged, and piloted by newbies. More on the reddit than here, as the account barrier here filters most newbies to the reddit.

IMO the posters here often forget just how far above the norm they are in terms of experience/ game knowledge.

The "good ending" for those newbie posts is when someone directly explains the mechanics behind what the KAS means. It's *never* about deciding for someone else, it's about explaining why that stat matters more than the others. And once they understand, 99/100 will pump it to +4 because it's just that much of a no-brainier.

So many new-ish players don't know every equation that's going on under the game's hood.

I didn't even realize that my first character *had* a class DC, nor that it was tied to INT, until I was close to L5 and re-read Powerful Alchemy.

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Yes, players who know what they're doing can deal with a permanent -1. IMO, advice on this forum often looses sight of the average player and grossly overestimates that strawman's system knowledge.

Yall, I have failed to convince players to maybe step/stride away instead of spending their last action to strike at max MAP. It's a jungle out there.

It is not badwrongfun to explain and emphasize the importance of a PCs fundamental statistics aligning with their combat options.


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Trip.H wrote:
The entire concept of a combat number discussion has to be within the context of a fight that can be lost. If victory is assured, numbers loose meaning. If they do matter, then yes, that +1 is pretty damn important.

If we consider a fight where you attack half a dozen of times you have roughly 38% chance for this +1 to actually change a miss to a hit or a hit to a crit. Considering that half of the time you'll be at the same bonus than a +4 starting character, we are speaking of 18% of the tough fights where you'll land an extra hit. Considering that you have another stat with a +1 that can also affect the fight positively, even if obviously far less than your attack stat, we end up with an impact in 15% of the tough fights. So I think Ravingdork's "NO DISCERNABLE DIFFERENCE" is pretty close to reality (even if I think the capitals were too much).

Still, discussions about viability are impossible to settle. What is viable to X is not viable to Y. So you can consider that this change is enough to make a character non-viable while Paul thinks otherwise and none of you can be proven wrong because it's a matter of personal preference.

From my experience, there's a big focus put on attributes and "optimal builds" when in reality what makes you win a tough fight has more to do with tactical acumen and, obviously and unfortunately, the impact of luck.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Trip.H wrote:
The entire concept of a combat number discussion has to be within the context of a fight that can be lost. If victory is assured, numbers loose meaning. If they do matter, then yes, that +1 is pretty damn important.

If we consider a fight where you attack half a dozen of times you have roughly 38% chance for this +1 to actually change a miss to a hit or a hit to a crit. Considering that half of the time you'll be at the same bonus than a +4 starting character, we are speaking of 18% of the tough fights where you'll land an extra hit. Considering that you have another stat with a +1 that can also affect the fight positively, even if obviously far less than your attack stat, we end up with an impact in 15% of the tough fights. So I think Ravingdork's "NO DISCERNABLE DIFFERENCE" is pretty close to reality (even if I think the capitals were too much).

Still, discussions about viability are impossible to settle. What is viable to X is not viable to Y. So you can consider that this change is enough to make a character non-viable while Paul thinks otherwise and none of you can be proven wrong because it's a matter of personal needs.

I'd generally agree. Pluses are seen as "central"...and they are...over time...sort of.

But a +1 here or there won't change everything.

Of course, with Inspire Courage, Dirge of Doom, or a +1 to DC on a caster with AOE, you're probably hitting more than one person. So that effect IS multiplied. But still.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
ElementalofCuteness wrote:
After reading through this thread as a whole, I have to ask another question. What about having your KAS starting at 16/+3 instead of 18 when you make a character? Would any of you consider such a bold move in the end? Is there any benefit to not having a 18/+4 in your KAS?

Most of my characters start with two 16/+3, rather than having one 18/+4. It works great.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The determining factor for me in deciding between a 18/+4 or 16/+3 KAS is how many rolls I typically expect to basing off of that stat in any round of an encounter. If the answer is only 1 per round, then a 16 is always going to be sufficient, especially as it probably means that I am going to be making at least one other roll per turn based off of another attribute.

It makes sense to me that a player of a fighter or a barbarian might feel like an 18 is a must if they plan on making 2 attacks a round minimum. It also makes sense that many casters will feel the same, as casting an offensive or debuffing spell that targets 2 or more enemies is 2+ rolls against that stat as well. But if you are a support caster, or a hybrid character that will be casting spells and attacking with weapons regularly, you have a lot more flexibility with 2 +3s than an +4/+2 to start, especially considering you will have 2 +4s at level 5 and 2 +5s at level 15, compared to aa +4/+3 at level 5 if you started with that +4, then +5/4 at 10 through till level 20.


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Trip.H wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I've played numerous games in both PFS and in private groups, online and off, under a great many GMs and playstyles. Roughly half of my characters started with an 18, and half with a 16.

THERE WAS NO DISCERNABLE DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER in the amount of fun they were to play due to that decision.

This is silly to say.

It's silly to say that's silly. You cannot measure 'fun' by numbers - if Ravingdork found no discernible difference in the fun, then you cannot argue that point because fun is a subjective feeling.


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Trip.H wrote:
We all know the math behind this not optional. Assuming it wasn't a mislabeled KAS like INT for Alchs, you had the exact same 5% diff for the relevant attacks/saves. You can't disprove math with a "it was fine for me" personal anecdote.

He is not saying that. He's saying that 5% difference in hit/miss ratio can't really be felt by a human in a game where these probabilities are around 50% with a spread of about 30%.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?


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Bluemagetim wrote:
Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?

i would hope they feel a big, comparable contribution from their other class features to compensate. But the fact that a +2 is a massive, great class feature is really an argument that dumping +4 to +3 is comparable to throwing away half the benefit you’d expect from class features.


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Bluemagetim wrote:
Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?

Its actually a decently common complaint that I see that none of the other martials feel as good as fighter does just from the +10% to hit fighter has.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Next question. Ive seen this posted on the forums in other topics but, Are monster ACs balanced against the fighters to hit, with +4 from attributes, and current magical gear expectations?


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Bluemagetim wrote:
Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?

And, to add to that question, does anyone who plays a monk feel like they are "gimped" because they can't maximize their AC? Explorer's clothes can't be maxed out until level 10, after all.

Trip.H wrote:

This is silly to say.

We all know the math behind this not optional. Assuming it wasn't a mislabeled KAS like INT for Alchs, you had the exact same 5% diff for the relevant attacks/saves. You can't disprove math with a "it was fine for me" personal anecdote.

It's a good thing nobody is trying to disprove math, then. At best they're trying to disprove that you need to feel terrible if you haven't maximized your CAS. Like, you yourself even keep bringing up the multiple posts of players who've had +3s and "felt bad:; people here are explaining ways to mitigate those bad feelings through build diversity and using their personal experiences as evidence.

Or are you trying to claim people here don't understand that +3 is less than +4?


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Bluemagetim wrote:
Next question. Ive seen this posted on the forums in other topics but, Are monster ACs balanced against the fighters to hit, with +4 from attributes, and current magical gear expectations?

What do you mean by "balanced"? On average, a non-fighter martial will hit an on-level monster on an 8 or 9 with +4 from attributes (scaling to +5 and standard magical gear. I've got the spreadsheets to prove it.


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Bluemagetim wrote:
Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?

Have you seen literally any build discussion involving martials?

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Bluemagetim wrote:
Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?

Honestly? I always feel happy for the fighter that they get to contribute after they failed all the skill challenges in the first half of the adventure.


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Perpdepog wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:
Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?

And, to add to that question, does anyone who plays a monk feel like they are "gimped" because they can't maximize their AC? Explorer's clothes can't be maxed out until level 10, after all.

I mean monks literally get special treatment in starting with expert armor, something not even the other class that get legendary armor gets.


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MEATSHED wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:
Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?

And, to add to that question, does anyone who plays a monk feel like they are "gimped" because they can't maximize their AC? Explorer's clothes can't be maxed out until level 10, after all.

I mean monks literally get special treatment in starting with expert armor, something not even the other class that get legendary armor gets.

That's because champion doesn't start out unarmored, and can pick up heavy armor at level 2. Medium armor gives +5 armor at level 1 vs. the monk's +4 max from Dex, and heavy gives +6 armor at level 2 vs. the monk's...still +4 from Dex.

So starting with expert armor is mostly so they don't have some of the worst AC in the game at low levels.

Quote:


Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?

Everyone would have you think that, yes. It's a class feature, it's the simplest martial class feature, but it's not overwhelmingly strong. You might as well ask if every martial besides barbarian feels bad because they don't get barbarian's +4/8/16 to damage. Much like barbarian, it's just so mind-numbingly straightforward that simplistic DPR analyses overrate it and pretend things like Sneak Attack or Hunter's Edge don't exist.

Lagging behind on attack bonus/save DC is rarely fun, but I'm not about to roast someone's character concept because they decided not to do the (purely mechanically) optimal thing. That's between them and their table.


Calliope5431 wrote:
MEATSHED wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:
Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?

And, to add to that question, does anyone who plays a monk feel like they are "gimped" because they can't maximize their AC? Explorer's clothes can't be maxed out until level 10, after all.

I mean monks literally get special treatment in starting with expert armor, something not even the other class that get legendary armor gets.

That's because champion doesn't start out unarmored, and can pick up heavy armor at level 2. Medium armor gives +5 armor at level 1 vs. the monk's +4 max from Dex, and heavy gives +6 armor at level 2 vs. the monk's...still +4 from Dex.

So staring with expert armor is mostly so they don't have the worst AC in the game at low levels.

I am aware why they have it, but bring up if monks feel bad because they can't max out their ac while they have a special benefit to make up for how they can't max out their ac isn't really a point.


MEATSHED wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:
Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?

And, to add to that question, does anyone who plays a monk feel like they are "gimped" because they can't maximize their AC? Explorer's clothes can't be maxed out until level 10, after all.

I mean monks literally get special treatment in starting with expert armor, something not even the other class that get legendary armor gets.

That's exactly my point. Monks demonstrate why you need to look at more than just your CAS when building your character. It was an example in response to,

Trip.H wrote:

I do think asking the same question about setting oneself up without a +4 in one's KAS could also be swapped to talking about AC for illustrative purposes.

Yes, it is "doable" and sure one might be technically "fine" picking the wrong armor on purpose, causing a -1 handicap. It's survivable. Maybe they are in the backline, so they don't invoke that defense that often. It's always possible to make excuses.

But IMO it's completely nonsensical to insist that one who understands the math tied to such a number would willingly wear the armor that does not reach max bonus available to them. If flavor is that important, it can be homebrewed.

By this logic monks aren't doing it right because their armor doesn't let them reach their maximum AC value. Furthermore, monks' AC can match that of other characters even if they take a +3 in their Dex. Examples like this are why it's important not to fixate on singular elements, like CAS.


MEATSHED wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
MEATSHED wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:
Question. Does everyone playing a non fighter martial feel like they are not optimal because they have 2 less to hit?

And, to add to that question, does anyone who plays a monk feel like they are "gimped" because they can't maximize their AC? Explorer's clothes can't be maxed out until level 10, after all.

I mean monks literally get special treatment in starting with expert armor, something not even the other class that get legendary armor gets.

That's because champion doesn't start out unarmored, and can pick up heavy armor at level 2. Medium armor gives +5 armor at level 1 vs. the monk's +4 max from Dex, and heavy gives +6 armor at level 2 vs. the monk's...still +4 from Dex.

So staring with expert armor is mostly so they don't have the worst AC in the game at low levels.

I am aware why they have it, but bring up if monks feel bad because they can't max out their ac while they have a special benefit to make up for how they can't max out their ac isn't really a point.

I entirely agree.

Personally, I see very little benefit to starting with two 16s rather than a 14 and an 18, but if you think that the +1 modifier is your character concept's hill to die on, I'm not going to argue with you. And after all, there are people who want to roleplay a "weakness" and think that dumping Con is a fun challenge rather than a nightmarish game of Russian Roulette like I do. It's a playstyle.


Bluemagetim wrote:
Next question. Ive seen this posted on the forums in other topics but, Are monster ACs balanced against the fighters to hit, with +4 from attributes, and current magical gear expectations?

iirc monster stats are balanced to give the +4 non-fighter a 55~60% chance to hit vs an on-level opponent assuming your weapon is up to date and you boost that chance to hit at every opportunity. Most of the game is structured this way.

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