Ability score generation

3.5/d20/OGL

So all this talk about point buy v. dice rolling ability score generation, has me thinking about the quirky ways I handle it on my games. So I am going to share how I usually handle character generation. I hope the rest of you folks can do the same. I am always looking for other ways of doing things.

1) Roll 4d6 six times. Add the three highest dice. All rolls done in the presence of the DM.

2) players may arrange the scores as they wish.

3) A player can have the DM re-roll one score. But the player is stuck with the score the DM re-rolled.

4) The 70 point minimum. This gives a net gain of +5 in ability bonuses. If the total of all the ability scores is less than 70, then a player may opt to re-roll his ability scores. This is just an option, I have players that will play the scores they have rolled, even below the 70 point minimum.

4a) If they ask, a player may BUY there points with the 70 point minimum. No score may exceed 18 nor be bellow 3; this is prior to racial adjustments.

5) When a character dies, ability scores for a new character are rolled imediatly. This is how I clelbrate the demise of my players well thought out characters Mwhaahahaha.

Sir Kaikillah wrote:

So all this talk about point buy v. dice rolling ability score generation, has me thinking about the quirky ways I handle it on my games. So I am going to share how I usually handle character generation. I hope the rest of you folks can do the same. I am always looking for other ways of doing things.

1) Roll 4d6 six times. Add the three highest dice. All rolls done in the presence of the DM.

2) players may arrange the scores as they wish.

3) A player can have the DM re-roll one score. But the player is stuck with the score the DM re-rolled.

4) The 70 point minimum. This gives a net gain of +5 in ability bonuses. If the total of all the ability scores is less than 70, then a player may opt to re-roll his ability scores. This is just an option, I have players that will play the scores they have rolled, even below the 70 point minimum.

4a) If they ask, a player may BUY there points with the 70 point minimum. No score may exceed 18 nor be bellow 3; this is prior to racial adjustments.

5) When a character dies, ability scores for a new character are rolled imediatly. This is how I clelbrate the demise of my players well thought out characters Mwhaahahaha.

Most of the time I do the 32 point buy, but I really been getting into the 75 point buy(max 18 not including racial mods) and no minimum except for int where its the only stat to require a minimum of three.

Roll 4d6. Re-roll any 1's. Take the highest three. Do this six times, and put them where you want them. Anything sucks too much, you might consider selecting a race different than human so racial mods make up some of the difference. Otherwise, you're stuck. Show me you can make a sub-herculean dweeb into a hero.

Just make 'em all 18's. What's the diff?

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Just make 'em all 18's. What's the diff?

Or all 3s. I like to call it "weinerworld".

I've done ability scores all kinds of ways. In my next game, I will do a group-roll deal: everyone rolls a set as per PHB, and then everyone gets to choose from among all sets which they want to use.

However, for my last campaign I used a method I saw on this board:

1) Take a pack of cards, and remove all the Jokers, 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s and face cards.

2) Deal six hands of four cards each.

3) Discard the lowest card in each hand (Aces are low, of course).

4) Add the totals to get the six ability scores; arrange as desired.

This created a not-bad set of characters, except we did find that several characters had one massive score and one or two really poor scores (there was a 4 Charisma, and one character with IIRC a 5 and a 6).

So, for my current campaign I modified the system slightly, by also removing the Aces and two of the 2s. Then, at step 2 deal six hands of three cards each, and omit step 3 entirely.

This led to characters that were much more 'heroic', but also led to a group of characters both I and my players were actually happy with. I don't recall just when that was last the case.

DmRrostarr wrote:
Sir Kaikillah wrote:

So all this talk about point buy v. dice rolling ability score generation, has me thinking about the quirky ways I handle it on my games. So I am going to share how I usually handle character generation. I hope the rest of you folks can do the same. I am always looking for other ways of doing things.

1) Roll 4d6 six times. Add the three highest dice. All rolls done in the presence of the DM.

2) players may arrange the scores as they wish.

3) A player can have the DM re-roll one score. But the player is stuck with the score the DM re-rolled.

4) The 70 point minimum. This gives a net gain of +5 in ability bonuses. If the total of all the ability scores is less than 70, then a player may opt to re-roll his ability scores. This is just an option, I have players that will play the scores they have rolled, even below the 70 point minimum.

4a) If they ask, a player may BUY there points with the 70 point minimum. No score may exceed 18 nor be bellow 3; this is prior to racial adjustments.

5) When a character dies, ability scores for a new character are rolled imediatly. This is how I clelbrate the demise of my players well thought out characters Mwhaahahaha.

Most of the time I do the 32 point buy, but I really been getting into the 75 point buy(max 18 not including racial mods) and no minimum except for int where its the only stat to require a minimum of three.

32 divided by 6 is just over 5. why only 32 points if that makes the average ability score a 5. What am I missing?

there was a method in a dragon magaizine a while back (cant remember what issue and cant check since im stuck at work) that my players really liked, it involved cards or a.... three dragon ante deck i think. we ended up with some real random numbers and that lead into somr really good chr. development.

Sir Kaikillah wrote:
DmRrostarr wrote:
Sir Kaikillah wrote:

So all this talk about point buy v. dice rolling ability score generation, has me thinking about the quirky ways I handle it on my games. So I am going to share how I usually handle character generation. I hope the rest of you folks can do the same. I am always looking for other ways of doing things.

1) Roll 4d6 six times. Add the three highest dice. All rolls done in the presence of the DM.

2) players may arrange the scores as they wish.

3) A player can have the DM re-roll one score. But the player is stuck with the score the DM re-rolled.

4) The 70 point minimum. This gives a net gain of +5 in ability bonuses. If the total of all the ability scores is less than 70, then a player may opt to re-roll his ability scores. This is just an option, I have players that will play the scores they have rolled, even below the 70 point minimum.

4a) If they ask, a player may BUY there points with the 70 point minimum. No score may exceed 18 nor be bellow 3; this is prior to racial adjustments.

5) When a character dies, ability scores for a new character are rolled imediatly. This is how I clelbrate the demise of my players well thought out characters Mwhaahahaha.

Most of the time I do the 32 point buy, but I really been getting into the 75 point buy(max 18 not including racial mods) and no minimum except for int where its the only stat to require a minimum of three.
32 divided by 6 is just over 5. why only 32 points if that makes the average ability score a 5. What am I missing?

All stats start at 8 and points have different costs as they get higher.

I believe it is outlined in the PHB or DMG as to the cost of certain ability scores.
fh

Yes the 32 point buy system is in the DMG. In any point buy system introduced by WotC all stats start at 8.

The Three Dragon Ante method introduced in a Dragon Mag a while back, as mentioned above, is kind of neat. You basically use it like a tarot deck and place tokens on cards representing your stats. Depending on the type of card you flip over as you do your reading gives different options, most simply move tokens one way or another, others add or subtract tokens, and yet others let you purposefully shift some tokens at your will. Kind of a neat system.

Another neat way that I have seen, which sort of combines the balance of the point buy system with the randomness of dice, is to choose how many points you want the players to have(28, 32, ect), and put an eight in each stat. Then for every point you roll a d6. A 1 puts the point in strength, a 2 in dex, ect.

You tend to end up with more balanced characters then players will often make if left to their own devices, since statistically you should roll fairly evenly. But in actual practice you will normally have one decent stat(15+) one poor stat(9 or 10) and the rest will fall in the middle.

Technically this method can make slightly more powerful characters then is possible in point buy for the same number of points, since every die roll puts a point in place and in normal point buy higher stats cost more, but again practice shows that since most players stats fall in the middle the effect is pretty negligible.

Also something that might want to get thought about is setting a ruling for that character who keeps rolling 1's or 6's. Its unlikely but always possible for them to somehow score about 18. Before they begin you probably want to flatly state that any roll that would put a score above that is a re-roll.

Or if you are big softy like me decide that if the gods favor their stat that much then it can go all the way up to 19.

In my group you can choose between two methods:

(1) Standard 4d6, drop the lowest, arrange as you want. Or,

(2) A heavily modified version of the method on Dragon#346, with Three Dragon Ante cards. One of the modifications is that you move around d6 instead of tokens. (We likey the rolley of the dicey)

With (1) you can make any class as usual, because you can arrange stats. With (2) you get what you get (sometimes rolling just 3d6 on some abilities), you might get a bonus if the cards favor you, and you get a reading you can use to mold up your character's personality.

DmRrostarr wrote:
Yes the 32 point buy system is in the DMG. In any point buy system introduced by WotC all stats start at 8.

Point Buy, no wonder I missed this in the DMG.

we have always used 4d6 keep the 3 highist arrand as u like. if its gonna be a meatgrinder we sometimes do 5d6 keep 3 highest

I'm used to running high-powered games. We roll 4d6 but re-roll any result of a 1, including repeat rolls. Then subtract the lowest. Repeat for 6 scores and arrange as desired.

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

I usually use one of two methods (both from the DMG), which the party chooses at campaign start by majority vote: Point Buy (either 28 or 32) or Organic (re-roll all ones, rolls must be witnessed by the DM). Depending on the group, I sometimes restrict the organic characters to certain ranges of total ability modifiers (+5 to +8 or +6 to +9 usually).

We've always use the 4d6-lowest roll 6 times. Roll for each stat. Then repeat the process three times and choose the set you like best. Then put the numbers by any stat you'd like.

We found that this balances out the stats and gives the player more say in their stat numbers. I've been toying with point-buys for a LONG time now, but am still looking for one I like.