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Chapter 4: Variant Rules / Ability Scores Variants / Point Buy


Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 183
Merisiel is an elven rogue with the criminal background. She starts with 10 in all ability scores and reduces her Constitution to 8 for being an elf. She decides to voluntarily lower her Strength and Intelligence to 8 each, gaining 4 flexible Ability Points. She has now set her minimum scores: Str 8, Dex 10, Con 8, Int 8, Wis 10, and Cha 10.

In Step 2, she starts by determining how many points she has to spend. She gains 2 dedicated Ability Points in Intelligence and Dexterity for being an elf, 2 in Dexterity for being a criminal, and 2 more in Dexterity for being a rogue. She also has 19 flexible points to spend: 15 plus 4 for the two ability scores she voluntarily lowered to 8.

Merisiel purchases an 18 in Dexterity, which costs her the 6 dedicated Ability Points plus 11 flexible Ability Points. Spending her 2 dedicated Ability Points in Intelligence brings her to a 10, which she’s happy with. She now has 8 flexible Ability Points left. She’s worried she’ll be too frail with a Constitution score of only 8, so she spends 4 flexible Ability Points to increase it to 12, leaving her with 4 Ability Points left over. Finally, she raises Wisdom and Charisma each to 12 because it’s inexpensive but still grants her bonuses; this uses all her Ability Points, leaving her with Str 8, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 12.

When she reaches 2nd level, she gains 2 Ability Points. She decides to save these until 3rd level, when she gains 2 more. She then spends 3 of her 4 Ability Points to raise her Constitution from 12 to 14. She then saves up for more Dexterity, gaining 2 Ability Points each at 4th and 5th levels, then 3 each at 6th and 7th levels. She spends all 11 Ability Points at 7th level to gain a 20 in Dexterity! Unless it helps her to have an odd score (for example, to satisfy a feat prerequisite), it’s usually best to wait until she has enough Ability Points that increasing a score will increase her modifier—just in case she changes her mind.