Building Blocks 27: Stats 3


What it represents:

  • ·         How quick and nimble you are
  • ·         How adept your fingers are
  • ·         Your hand-eye coordination
  • ·         Your agility, reflexes and balance

How you know if you have it:

  • ·         You can replicate tricky dance moves on the first try
  • ·         You are so flexible people ask if you have bones
  • ·         You can catch flies with chopsticks
  • ·         You can walk a tight rope while juggling chainsaws

How you know if you don’t:

  • ·         When it comes to dancing you have 2 left feet
  • ·         You fall over all by yourself
  • ·         If you tried to touch your toes something would break
  • ·         You catch things with your face
  • ·         Your middle name is critical fumble

Racial modifiers:

  • ·         Halflings, elves & drow: +2

Skills that use it:

  • ·         Balance
  • ·         Hide
  • ·         Move Silently
  • ·         Open Lock
  • ·         Tumble

Feats that have a dexterity prerequisite:

  • ·         Combat Archery – 21
  • ·         Dodge – 13
  • ·         Manyshot – 17*
  • ·         Mobile Spellcasting – 13
  • ·         Improved precise shot – 19*
  • ·         Improved Sneak Attack – 21
  • ·         Precision – 13
  • ·         Rapid Shot – 13*
  • ·         Shot on the Run – 13
  • ·         Shuriken Expertise – 13
  • ·         Two Weapon Fighting – 15*
  • ·         Improved and Greater Two Weapon Fighting – 17*
  • ·         Two Weapon Defense and Blocking – 15
  • ·         Weapon Finesse – 13

*rangers receive these feats for free and do not need to meet the dexterity requirements.

How it applies to gameplay:

  • ·         Primary modifier for ranged and thrown attacks
  • ·         Modifier applies to Armor Class up to your armor’s maximum dexterity bonus
  • ·         Primary modifier to your reflex save
  • ·         With weapon finesse feat, attack modifier for rapiers and light weapons

Special considerations:

  • ·         An armor’s max dex bonus only limits how much of your dex mod applies to your AC, it does not limit dexterity in any other way.

Who likes it:

  • ·         Ranged combatants
  • ·         Builds with light or no armor looking for defense.
  • ·         Finesse builds
  • ·         Two weapon fighters

How much should you have:

Most characters will consider dexterity a dump stat.  Even with feat requirements.  Ranged characters generally won’t find an advantage to having more dex than required for ranged feats. To hit is usually not enough of a determining factor to warrant more dexterity than required for those ranged feats.  Bow users will typically use bow strength to utilize their strength for damage.  Repeater builds have no such option making them more likely to invest high in dexterity.

In the case of two weapon fighters the same is typically true.  Since dexterity is not determining to hit and AC is not typically enough of a concern to go for max dex especially when armor max dex often is lower than a dex mod granted by qualifying for these feats.

Finesse builds opt to use dexterity for to hit instead of strength.  However, given that hitting is not generally difficult and finesse builds still use strength for their damage modifier, finesse builds are not very common since they need 2 stats for to hit and damage – and one of those stats would affect to hit anyways.

Defensive builds may opt for dexterity.  Heavy armor builds will generally not go any higher than they need for feats.  Stat boosting items will cover the little, if any, difference between your dex mod and max dex bonus.  Light tanks and monks will get far more use out of dexterity.  Monks and unarmored characters have no limit to how much dex will help their AC, but even then only so much is prudent.  For every 2 points of dexterity you only get 1 AC and with diminishing returns this becomes less profitable.  Considering that monks will need a 17 for TWF (18 for grandmaster of wind) an item usually is sufficient to fill out dexterity to desirable measures. 

The only characters that are really going to go big on dexterity are strong defensive go big or go home finesse builds.  Otherwise, determine how much dex you need for your feats and enhancement requirements (including tomes and stat increases only) and/or how much dex you can benefit from for defense if you care about that.  Take the minimum you need to achieve those goals.

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