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#727399 04/11/20 07:47 AM
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I've normally tried to play reasonably balanced characters, but this is just a personal preference. It's lead to me having most of my character not having any crippling flaws, but also not having any over-powered strengths. Exploiting dump stats seems very common for PC gaming, particularly with any D&D setting. I'm curious how common this practice is for actual tabletop players. Is it something that most DMs will allow without question?

Agrippa #727409 04/11/20 08:00 AM
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I think it depends largely on what rules the DM sets up for character creation. I've only ever played with a roll for stat system instead of point buy and the DM I played with allowed two 20 sided dice rolls for every stat and then you could choose the highest out of those two. The games he ran contained a lot more story based role play than fighting and skills often seemed more important than stats. I also haven't played table top D&D since 3.0 / 3.5 so don't have any experience with 5e.

As for dump stats in video games I always do it. I mean, there's some stats that just don't need much of anything depending on what character class you're playing.

Agrippa #727410 04/11/20 08:02 AM
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I always like to have at least one stat that is very low. I think it makes the characters more interesting. Sometimes I even pick a stat that is actually pretty useful, like Constitution, just to handicap myself a little bit, for the challenge and for the character concept. I mean, I don't make Rogues with 8 Dex, or Clerics with 8 Wis, but sometimes I will dump a stat of secondary usefulness, even if that's going to detriment me.

Agrippa #727421 04/11/20 08:16 AM
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Dump stats is normal at the table-top, because you tend to balance out the group not the character.
Some stats just don't have much affect on your character, and your character would help the party better if you had high strengths in some areas. If you are a a 12 in all stats sort of character then you aren't bringing anything to the party.

In BG3 though, this isn't currently true. Right now it's good for the main character to have high stats in all stats, since they will be doing all the tasks.

You want strength for inventory and moving things around. Sure other party members can do it, but that require more management (and the game has poor inventory and party management, making it cumbersome to do.)

You want to have high dexterity, because the game only gives your right mail early on as heavy armor, which is demonstrably worse than any medium armor you find. So having 14 in Dex means you'll get the best AC possible. (This is a huge design flaw in the current build. You get Scale Mail +1 BEFORE you get Chain mail? Makes no sense)

You want High Charisma because you'll be the face of the group, so most of the social rolls is on you. I have heard Larian might change this, at which point you can dump Charisma honestly.

You honestly don't need high wisdom or intelligence, but the game has a lot of checks on it, so it's still decent to have. I'd say dump intelligence though, and get Lumps crown, is the best build honestly

Agrippa #727439 04/11/20 08:39 AM
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Most of the conversation choices you can walk in and have a companion that is better at persuasion or insight take over the conversation and it still progresses. There are times you don't know though or there are different skill checks as you continue to conversation tree, so it does just seem easier to have a balanced main character and flavor companions.

What I noticed so far in EA is that for maximum AC you want medium armor wearing scale mail armor +1 (15 ac) and +2 in dex (17 ac), or studded leather +1 (13 ac) with +4 in dex (17 ac) for light armor. Then a shield (+2 ac) and shield of faith (+2 ac) to get you up to 21ish ac.

Clothing only gets up to 14ac on it's own wtih +4 in dex, then mage armor ups you to 17 ac, then if you go for it you can get a shield and shield of faith to get 21 ac again.

Heavy armor can only get 16 flat, then shield and shield of faith get you 20ac.

So if you want to maximize stats, choose how deep in dex you go based on armor type. If you have +0 or negative in dex, just wear heavy armor, otherwise try to aim for at least 18-19 ac buffed, unless you want to go all in because you are using dex for your combat stat as well.

Then prioritize your combat attribute for chance to hit and added damage.

Then your constitution.

Then cha/int/wis for social and adventure skills.

Out of that there should be a stat or two you are willing to sacrifice as a dump to get the rest to something effective.

Agrippa #727443 04/11/20 08:44 AM
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Dumpstattning you Intellect as a wizard, because you can easily get that headband that gives you a flat 18, is pretty stupid.

Torque #727452 04/11/20 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Torque
Dumpstattning you Intellect as a wizard, because you can easily get that headband that gives you a flat 18, is pretty stupid.



I wouldn't do that as a Wizard, because I want 20 in Int, and you can't get that if you dump it. It's only a "viable strategy" in the current EA. But you get another API on level 8, at which point you'd hate yourself for dumping that int :P
I meant for anyone who doesn't need int, it's not needed for your character, but you can get it really high.

Agrippa #727484 04/11/20 10:09 AM
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I made a wizard with minimum Intelligence, and I do not plan to even get the headband. There are so many great wizard spells that don't require high Int to work. All I need is Jump, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Fog Cloud, Sleep, Magic Missile, False Life, Grease, Mage Armor, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Misty Step, eventually Haste, etc.

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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
I made a wizard with minimum Intelligence, and I do not plan to even get the headband. There are so many great wizard spells that don't require high Int to work. All I need is Jump, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Fog Cloud, Sleep, Magic Missile, False Life, Grease, Mage Armor, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Misty Step, eventually Haste, etc.


Not sure it will really get you far in a fight. Magic Missile isn't all that good in the long run. Unless you are building a melee fighter.

Agrippa #727522 04/11/20 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Agrippa
I've normally tried to play reasonably balanced characters, but this is just a personal preference. It's lead to me having most of my character not having any crippling flaws, but also not having any over-powered strengths. Exploiting dump stats seems very common for PC gaming, particularly with any D&D setting. I'm curious how common this practice is for actual tabletop players. Is it something that most DMs will allow without question?

I think if you have a good reason and can rp it well then it is probably allowed. Some stats don't actually have to be as high as some people think they do, like Int for Eldritch Knight depending on the spells used.

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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
I made a wizard with minimum Intelligence, and I do not plan to even get the headband. There are so many great wizard spells that don't require high Int to work. All I need is Jump, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Fog Cloud, Sleep, Magic Missile, False Life, Grease, Mage Armor, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Misty Step, eventually Haste, etc.


Without the Int, you won't have many prepared spells though (int modifier + wizard level). So while int doesn't affect the spells you listed, you'll have to make choices about what to prepare.

Aurgelmir #727538 04/11/20 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Aurgelmir
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
I made a wizard with minimum Intelligence, and I do not plan to even get the headband. There are so many great wizard spells that don't require high Int to work. All I need is Jump, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Fog Cloud, Sleep, Magic Missile, False Life, Grease, Mage Armor, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Misty Step, eventually Haste, etc.


Not sure it will really get you far in a fight. Magic Missile isn't all that good in the long run. Unless you are building a melee fighter.


This. Magic Missile is reliable, but the damage is very minimal compared to other direct damage spells you get. By pumping up your Int you will also have a higher hit percentage with those spells, making the reliability of MM comparatively less significant once your character’s magic attack bonus has increased.

That really isn’t a great build in the long run (fine for EA). But you do you, though.

Personally I don’t see the fun in playing a character who sucks at doing the thing they are supposed to do. I will impose artificial challenges on myself in other games in order to make the gameplay more intense, but that is only when the game can still be beaten with enough attentiveness and skill. BG3 is very reliant on RNG, so by handicapping a character’s primary skill you are just reducing your odds of your character successfully completing actions. So then you are just mitigating the bonuses you receive by positioning your characters correctly and wearing gear that increases your success odds, which seems weirdly counter-intuitive. At least that is how it seems to me. That just strikes me as frustrating instead of fun.

But again, you do you.

Agrippa #727543 04/11/20 12:15 PM
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Hmm, yeah it does seem that the way to go for this game is to make a balanced character. I also have an issue with not being able to roll my attributes like in BG2 and instead we get a set amount of points to spare, which are a bit on the low side for me, too. I do not know if this is a Larian thing, or a D&D thing, though.

I like playing an idolized version of myself and I consider myself, overconfidently, as about 2-4 points higher than what I am allowed to spare. So I naturally have a dumpstat, which in this case is intelligence which is really bothering me. You could get two or one more statpoints at level 4 though, so there is that, yet uneven attribute levels generally do not get much in terms of bonuses.

I do think that the amount of skillchecks in this game, their variance and the severity of their outcomes, is a bit on the high side, so it kind of pushes you into either a broad character, making intense use of companions (requiring immense knowledge of each dialogue), and/or reloading.

VincentNZ #727582 04/11/20 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by VincentNZ
Hmm, yeah it does seem that the way to go for this game is to make a balanced character. I also have an issue with not being able to roll my attributes like in BG2 and instead we get a set amount of points to spare, which are a bit on the low side for me, too. I do not know if this is a Larian thing, or a D&D thing, though.

I like playing an idolized version of myself and I consider myself, overconfidently, as about 2-4 points higher than what I am allowed to spare. So I naturally have a dumpstat, which in this case is intelligence which is really bothering me. You could get two or one more statpoints at level 4 though, so there is that, yet uneven attribute levels generally do not get much in terms of bonuses.

I do think that the amount of skillchecks in this game, their variance and the severity of their outcomes, is a bit on the high side, so it kind of pushes you into either a broad character, making intense use of companions (requiring immense knowledge of each dialogue), and/or reloading.


5th Edition has rules for point buy attributes, which are currently in EA. You can also roll your attributes at your DM’s discretion, and Larian has said in the past that this will be an option in BG3 at some point in the future.

Warlocke #727645 04/11/20 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Warlocke
Originally Posted by VincentNZ
Hmm, yeah it does seem that the way to go for this game is to make a balanced character. I also have an issue with not being able to roll my attributes like in BG2 and instead we get a set amount of points to spare, which are a bit on the low side for me, too. I do not know if this is a Larian thing, or a D&D thing, though.

I like playing an idolized version of myself and I consider myself, overconfidently, as about 2-4 points higher than what I am allowed to spare. So I naturally have a dumpstat, which in this case is intelligence which is really bothering me. You could get two or one more statpoints at level 4 though, so there is that, yet uneven attribute levels generally do not get much in terms of bonuses.

I do think that the amount of skillchecks in this game, their variance and the severity of their outcomes, is a bit on the high side, so it kind of pushes you into either a broad character, making intense use of companions (requiring immense knowledge of each dialogue), and/or reloading.


5th Edition has rules for point buy attributes, which are currently in EA. You can also roll your attributes at your DM’s discretion, and Larian has said in the past that this will be an option in BG3 at some point in the future.


Awesome, I did not know that, so there is indeed hope. Thanks, mate!

Warlocke #727742 04/11/20 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by VincentNZ
I also have an issue with not being able to roll my attributes like in BG2 and instead we get a set amount of points to spare, which are a bit on the low side for me, too. I do not know if this is a Larian thing, or a D&D thing, though.

"Ed: Can you roll for stats? How will that work?

Walgrave: You can! In the character creation, you can accept what’s there or you can use the point buy option, or you can roll for stats. We’re going to implement I think two or three different ways of doing it. "

https://twinfinite.net/2020/02/baldurs-gate-3-interview/

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I like playing an idolized version of myself and I consider myself, overconfidently, as about 2-4 points higher than what I am allowed to spare. So I naturally have a dumpstat, which in this case is intelligence which is really bothering me.

Most classes are SAD, single attribute dependent, and only need to pump one attribute. The Wizard class, being the love child of Swen, is in a special position and can by the powers of metagaming/advance knowledge of the game, even use the primary stat of intelligence as a dump stat due to there being a magic item for 18 intelligence early on. Same goes for you if you have some hang-up on dumping intelligence (like I do).

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I do think that the amount of skillchecks in this game, their variance and the severity of their outcomes, is a bit on the high side, so it kind of pushes you into either a broad character, making intense use of companions (requiring immense knowledge of each dialogue), and/or reloading.

Disagree! Lower it and Bards and Rogues would have less of a role in the game. Anyone can be pretty good at being a face if you give it a little effort and likely many of these rolls will be easier as your characters get more skilled with levels.

I believe there is a cultural problem of people being overly cuddled, combined with negative enforcement from persistent bad game design with a heavy overreliance with binary outcomes; good or bad. This has made many players (including myself) into compulsive save scummers. D&D's RNG-fiesta makes this even worse, and Larian has been vocal about being conscious of this fact and has stated they designed the game to mitigate excessive save scumming. If there is a clear binary outcome in BG3; you most often have several chances to avoid "failure". Even failing multiple checks and getting your brain eaten by the illithid early game is more like an interesting roleplaying experience that has no permanent ill effect than outright failure. On top of that you have the illithid wisdom power (which admittedly may or may not lead to evil outcomes later down the line), and I believe GM/game awarded inspiration points to re-roll skill/ability checks.

BG3 will likely be your best shot at breaking with the shameless save scumming tradition. Apart from when rolling and re-rolling 10 thousand times for that uber stat character of course lol.




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Agrippa #727749 04/11/20 06:25 PM
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'Dump stats' are generally 8 in the modern D&D incarnations, which is not a number to be sniffed at. It is only marginally less than average and barely a 'dump' stat at all. This can change if your racial build has a penalty to the same stat, of course.

I've been at tables where players had characters with 3 or 4 in a stat. This was usually in the days of rolling and reallocating on a 1:2 basis (so you could lower your rolled 12 by 4 to increase a 15 to 17 elsewhere). CHA was the one that used to frustrate me the most, because players used it as an excuse to play arseholes. INT was another one, of course, and I've players making ridiculous and disruptive decision 'because my character is really stupid'. Attacking the Emperor as he hands out the quest is just one example I can remember.

All that said, I've seen some good RPing with characters having very low stats. Like most character-developing mechanics, it all depends on the player to make it work well.

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Originally Posted by Seraphael
Originally Posted by VincentNZ
I also have an issue with not being able to roll my attributes like in BG2 and instead we get a set amount of points to spare, which are a bit on the low side for me, too. I do not know if this is a Larian thing, or a D&D thing, though.

"Ed: Can you roll for stats? How will that work?

Walgrave: You can! In the character creation, you can accept what’s there or you can use the point buy option, or you can roll for stats. We’re going to implement I think two or three different ways of doing it. "

https://twinfinite.net/2020/02/baldurs-gate-3-interview/

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I like playing an idolized version of myself and I consider myself, overconfidently, as about 2-4 points higher than what I am allowed to spare. So I naturally have a dumpstat, which in this case is intelligence which is really bothering me.

Most classes are SAD, single attribute dependent, and only need to pump one attribute. The Wizard class, being the love child of Swen, is in a special position and can by the powers of metagaming/advance knowledge of the game, even use the primary stat of intelligence as a dump stat due to there being a magic item for 18 intelligence early on. Same goes for you if you have some hang-up on dumping intelligence (like I do).

Quote
I do think that the amount of skillchecks in this game, their variance and the severity of their outcomes, is a bit on the high side, so it kind of pushes you into either a broad character, making intense use of companions (requiring immense knowledge of each dialogue), and/or reloading.

Disagree! Lower it and Bards and Rogues would have less of a role in the game. Anyone can be pretty good at being a face if you give it a little effort and likely many of these rolls will be easier as your characters get more skilled with levels.

I believe there is a cultural problem of people being overly cuddled, combined with negative enforcement from persistent bad game design with a heavy overreliance with binary outcomes; good or bad. This has made many players (including myself) into compulsive save scummers. D&D's RNG-fiesta makes this even worse, and Larian has been vocal about being conscious of this fact and has stated they designed the game to mitigate excessive save scumming. If there is a clear binary outcome in BG3; you most often have several chances to avoid "failure". Even failing multiple checks and getting your brain eaten by the illithid early game is more like an interesting roleplaying experience that has no permanent ill effect than outright failure. On top of that you have the illithid wisdom power (which admittedly may or may not lead to evil outcomes later down the line), and I believe GM/game awarded inspiration points to re-roll skill/ability checks.

BG3 will likely be your best shot at breaking with the shameless save scumming tradition. Apart from when rolling and re-rolling 10 thousand times for that uber stat character of course lol.





Yeah I have an issue with my PC being only of average intelligence. However, if there will be rolling I assume that I can just roll to get 2-3 more stats, so that is fine.

I agree that the issue with save-scumming is that it is a result of perceived failure. However I do not see how Larian breaks that up. If I succeed a check I am rather content with the result, if I fail I often have to face severe consequences and some checks are extremely hard to pass, too, even if your stats are good. Like when they make you pass two skillchecks in a row for the same result.

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Originally Posted by VincentNZ

Yeah I have an issue with my PC being only of average intelligence. However, if there will be rolling I assume that I can just roll to get 2-3 more stats, so that is fine.

I agree that the issue with save-scumming is that it is a result of perceived failure. However I do not see how Larian breaks that up. If I succeed a check I am rather content with the result, if I fail I often have to face severe consequences and some checks are extremely hard to pass, too, even if your stats are good. Like when they make you pass two skillchecks in a row for the same result.

I don't mind average, just dislike playing an imbecile when this hasn't been fleshed-out in roleplaying games since early days of Fallout.

I might remember this wrong, but I got the impression than Larian has even provided some "red herring" options that are worded in a way that should and does make the check harder - even accounting for someone using that option with their best skill. So always defaulting to your best skill/ability might not always be your best option.

We are conditioned to think of success as the only acceptable outcome, both by binary design and likely by a bit of a hero complex that these types of games promote. I believed the example I mentioned about the illithid sucking your brain dry "break that up". Let me break that down for you in more detail:

1. Chance to kill illithid even before conversation, you are given loads of clues as to what is going on and don't need to put your arm into the crocodile's mouth so to speak. Most people do of course because they are used to being cuddled even against their own stupidity. Like jumping down the gaping black hole w/o Feather Fall and arriving dead on the scene in Underdark (statistics revealed over 40% of players did this). Gravity can be a bitch lol.
2. Chance to succeed multiple checks to avoid "perceived failure".
3. Even with what would be "catastrophic failure"/game over in any other game, you are instead rewarded with a challenging and interesting combat, and experience you don't otherwise get.

This game design is the staple of the game (though there are certainly exceptions as there should be), but I suspect you being so triggered by perceived failure means a hefty amount of confirmation bias on your part. All the other mechanics also work to limit the bad-RNG, several companions who can be used and built to limit any weaknesses etc, etc.

I would suggest there probably will be implemented a difficulty setting with optional easier skill checks, but I suspect your ego couldn't live with playing at lower difficulties too...am I rite? wink

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Agrippa #727792 04/11/20 07:16 PM
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Dump stats are extremely common. Role-playing flaws is actually quite fun.

However the mechanical limitations are that the most common dump stats by far are CHA, INT, and STR. 5e does introduce saving throws for these abilities but they are kind of stretch to rationalize and uncommon. Most importantly though, these stats really all suffer from being able to dump the stat, and letting someone else take care of the problem. If I have 12 INT, but my part's wizard has 18 INT, I might never see a return on my ability score investment.

BG3 does improve on this a little bit. STR is generally pretty useful on everyone for the carry weight and jump distance. A lot of INT checks are rolled when exploring so each party member contributes for more chances to succeed. But it is a puzzle that no tRPG has really solved to enable complete build freedom.

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