Ability Scores

Hello adventurers of all shapes and sizes! Welcome to my guide and thank you so much for checking out to an another episode of our character creation series as it relates to pathfinder 2e. Today we’re gonna be taking a look at ability scores we’re just gonna really do a deep dive on them, if you don’t know what they’re exactly we did go over the definition in a previous article.

But basically they represent the bones of your character as so far as to say they provide a foundational understanding of how good you are at various skills and feature themselves in kind of other game mechanics and then we’ll get into all that in a little bit here. There are six of them and let’s go through each ability score so you can at least have a rough understanding of what each of them do at least in the context of character creation and let’s start with strength.

Strength

So “strength measures your characters physical power. Strength is important if your character plans to engage in hand-to-hand combat. Your strength modifier gets added to melee damage rolls and determines how much your character can carry.”

And in terms of the skills that are affected by strength there’s only one and it is athletics. We’re not gonna be doing a deep dive on skills in this article because the article would be ridiculously long so stay tuned for that one we’re just gonna be focusing on the ability scores themselves. The second score we’re gonna be taking a look at is dexterity.

Dexterity

Dexterity measures your characters agility, balance and reflexes. Dexterity is important if your character plans to make attacks with ranged weapons or use stealth to surprise foes. Your dexterity modifier is also added to your character’s AC and reflex saving throws. AC stands for armor class by the way. It’s basically the odds of your character being hit and in terms of relevant skills it is acrobatics, stealth and thievery which of course makes sense. Next we have a constitution.

Constitution

The constitution measures your character’s overall health and stamina. Constitution is an important statistic for all characters, especially those who fight in close combat. Your constitution modifier is added to your hit points and fortitude saving throws.

And it doesn’t actually have any skills that correspond to it, which is pretty interesting but given all it does do it’s certainly nothing you want to put as a dump stack because traditionally being a character you’re gonna want to survive more times than not and having more hit points goes a long way in terms of guaranteeing that.

Not to mention fortitude saves can actually be quite common so it makes sense to put a decent number in there. Now let’s move on to intelligence.

Intelligence

The intelligence measures how well your character can learn and reason. A high intelligence allows your character to analyze situations and understand patterns, and it means they can become trained in additional skills and might be able to master additional languages.

Which is super great! In terms of relevant skills you’re looking at arcana, crafting, lore, occultism and society. Now something i do want to quickly point out here. The intelligence is a much more important one in pathfinder 2e than it is in dnd 5e. D&D 5e is just a well-known dump stat doesn’t really do anything for the vast majority of characters.

Outside of wizards of course and a couple subclasses that use the wizard modifier of intelligence but in terms of pathfinder 2e it’s a great stat..i love it, let’s move on wisdom.

Wisdom

Wisdom measures your character’s common sense, awareness and intuition. Your wisdom modifier is added to your perception and will saving throws. Perception once again does a lot, it also has an impact or at least 10 have an impact on your initiative order so high wisdom typically means you get to go earlier an initiative which is really nice and in terms of relevant skills you’re looking at medicine, nature, religion and survival which all kind of go in line with awareness and intuition. Now let’s take a look at my favorite stat in virtually any Table Top Role Playing Game and that is a charisma.

Charisma

Charisma measures your character’s personal magnetism and strength of personality. A high charisma score helps you influence the thoughts and moods of others.

Under relevant skills you’ll see deception, diplomacy, intimidation and performance. If you’re a person who does a lot of role play and who typically wants things to go their way, charisma is the best way of achieving those results, i love it, it’s really good and that is actually gonna be the last of the six ability scores we’re gonna cover. Now let’s get into how they actually pertain to your character as you’re playing it. So let’s just do a quick overview here.

Ability Score Overview

So in pathfinder 2e they actually did a little bit different in terms of every character starts out with a ten in all of their ability scores you have ten charisma, ten wisdom, ten intelligence, ten constitution….etc, etc. And then based on the decisions you make in terms of your ancestry background in class you get boosts and flaws.

Boost: So a boost…an ability boost normally increases an ability score’s value by two. However, if the ability score to which you’re applying an ability boost is already 18 or higher, its value increases by only one. At 1st level, a character can never have an ability score that’s higher than 18. When you gain a multiple ability boosts at the same time, you must apply each one to a different score.

Now this is especially important because there are free boosts that you can apply to any of your scores. What this essentially means you can’t double down on one. Make sense…perfect! Now there’s also flaws.

Flaws: If your character has an ability flaw you decrease that ability score by two. You can also elect to take two additional ability flaws when applying the ability boosts and ability flaws from your ancestry. If you do, you can also apply one additional free ability boost.

So basically you take on two flaws, you gain a free boost. Something worth noting is your ancestry provides a decent chunk of your boosts and flaws and because you can’t double down it means you can’t create some super min-max monstrosity.

That being said! i do think that there are a couple builds that could really benefit from that, especially if you’re planning on multi classing a little bit later on but in terms of this article you just really need to know that everyone starts at ten, boosts increase that number by two, you can’t double down on boost at least not from the same source essentially and we’ll get into that a little bit more later on.

And if your level one you can never increase it past eighteen, if you do increase it past eighteen on later levels, instead of a boost doing two they only increase it by one and in terms of flaws they’ll always decrease by two and when you’re creating your character in terms of the ancestry stage you can elect to take two flaws and receive a boost in return.

Now that is kind of a more optional rule so some dungeon masters or game masters might not allow it. But that being said! i don’t see any real harm with it at least out of the gate. So use it at your own discretion. Now let’s move on to an alternative method of rolling ability scores.

Alternative Method: Rolling ability scores

Now this is something that a lot of people are gonna get a kick out of a word of caution i would not recommend doing this if you’re a brand new player and i would make it as a game masters decision where it’s either a one way or the other. You don’t really want to mix people doing this because it’s very difficult to commit to a player or a character rather.

When you feel like they are performing in an inferior way a relative to the rest of the group, if that makes sense. Like no one wants to be the worst player, so if you’re gonna roll ability scores that just be aware that there’s gonna be at least one person who’s likely to feel that way and if one person rolls incredibly well then odds are might actually be more than one person who feels that way but this is how you do it.

Step 1:

So step one roll four-six sided dice or 4d6 and discard the lowest die result. Add the three remaining results together and record the sum. Repeat this process until you’ve generated six such values. And then you kind of get to decide which value you want for each of your ability scores.

Step 2:

So step two is to apply your boost and everything else from your ancestry. But your character gets one fewer free ability boosts than normal. Ability boosts can not raise a score above eighteen which of course makes sense. So to break it down four die six remove lowest result repeat six times and then apply those to whatever stats you’d like.

Then step two apply the boosts and flaws from your ancestry but you gain one or you actually lose a boost. So you kind of gain a flaw..i don’t know you lose a boost and then you can’t raise it past eighteen regardless of what level you are. So pretty cool and as cool as ability scores are they really don’t matter too much in of themselves, what does matter though is your ability modifiers. So moving on here.

Ability Modifiers

So you can see that the higher your ability score is the higher your modifier is. So if you have a i don’t know let’s go with a 16 and your intelligence. Your intelligence would have a modifier of +3. Typically you’re gonna want to aim for even numbers if at all possible to gain kind of the most bang for your buck.

But since this game doesn’t really do point buy and since you start out by 10 and add or subtract to you pretty much always guaranteed with an even number unless you start splitting of course. Now let’s take a quick look at where the stuff is actually located on the character sheet.

So you’ll see it’s in the top left hand corner right there! pretty easy to spot and then you’ll take those modifiers and kind of transfer them to various points on the sheet based on what they’re being used for. For example you’ll put your strength modifier in with your melee weapon damage and along the side athletics and skills column. So it all really does make sense.

Conclusion

That being said, that’s gonna boat wrap it up for this article. Comment down beneath what’s your favorite ability score, do you prefer rolling or do you prefer the way they recommend doing it with the ten and then the boosts everything else and do you think that taking additional flaws are worth the boost. I don’t know let me know what you think down beneath in the comment section. That being said! thank you so much for checking out guys, i really do appreciate it. I hope you all have a great day and as always happy adventuring.

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