3d6 Ability Rolls. Weigh In!!


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
If 8 is borderline retarded, I can only imagine what a 14 Int wizard is like, let alone one with an 18. That's a lot of genius intellects running around.

Ha ha, yeah, I get tired of young melee having the intelligence of wizards or aged strategists and the wisdom of great, all-knowing priests. Or wizards having the con of hardened soldiers. The party of Sun Tzu's and philosophers step out, everyone is incredibly fit and all have high hp.

8 int isn't borderline retard. It is a weakness, and while it might be confronting to play, the world of fantasy isn't that hard to understand. An 8 can still get a lot about the world, they can make knowledge checks (bardic knowledge anyone? The 8 int bard isn't a scholar or theorist but he certainly knows a lot of what is going on)). Or, an 8 could easily represent someone who simply isn't that invested in thinking. Maybe with their charisma they try to charm everyone and don't think deeply about this, or they rely on where their wisdom takes them. My best and favourite characters have had a stat of 7, but, that is not to everyone's taste.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
How much damage does the stick do?

Birch, oak, cherry? Gygax did tables for that, you know.


Light or heavy stick? Or, greatclub stick!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Gygax wrote F.A.T.A.L.?

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
If 8 is borderline retarded, I can only imagine what a 14 Int wizard is like, let alone one with an 18. That's a lot of genius intellects running around.

I've always been under the impression that the INT scale was kind of based on a x10, where you take your INT score and multiply it by 10.

Average guy/farmer INT 10
Most Adventurers INT 12+
Most Wizards INT 16+

for an actual IQ of 160+ for most wizards, and a 120+ for most adventurers.

Maybe I'm wrong, and Golarion is filled with clever INT 8 guys who can solve dungeons and traps and figure out complicated plot elements.


Complex? It's the butler, the priest, the corrupt wizard the seemingly innocent or the femme fatale that are behind all this.

Some adventurers remind me of Daryl from the walking dead. Pretty much a ranger, he isn't complex in thought or word, not reflexive, but he sees right through a lie of Shane because an item is brought back that wasn't mentioned in Shane's story. An adventurer can have a lowish int and a high sense motive.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Remember, every wizard who can cast 2nd level spells has a 12 Int. including every such NPC they meet.

Again, that's a lot of very smart people.


I've sometimes felt bad killing all the enemy wizards with their 18+ int which they have all the time.

I suppose I would be more comfortable with high mental stats across the board of players, if they were role-playing them astutely more often. I guess I am asking a lot though if it is something like a 20, a 16 and a 15. I don't know anyone like that.


Bomanz wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
If 8 is borderline retarded, I can only imagine what a 14 Int wizard is like, let alone one with an 18. That's a lot of genius intellects running around.

I've always been under the impression that the INT scale was kind of based on a x10, where you take your INT score and multiply it by 10.

Average guy/farmer INT 10
Most Adventurers INT 12+
Most Wizards INT 16+

for an actual IQ of 160+ for most wizards, and a 120+ for most adventurers.

Maybe I'm wrong, and Golarion is filled with clever INT 8 guys who can solve dungeons and traps and figure out complicated plot elements.

People often say that, but that is not the case. I think it was like that for one of the earlier editions. There is no direct correlation to IQ.


IQ as being an accurate representation of intelligence has also really been taken to town, strongly criticised, in recent decades. Course, ha ha, I've been called smart but never got high on an IQ test. Seen some wonderful bits of social manipulation (cha) or insightful comments of understanding on people and context (wisdom).

People in high-up positions can also get mentally lazy, convinced they have the answers, even those celebrated as strong thinkers. Perils of age, stability and respect.

Back on stats, was really surprised to see one gen a page back, that meant no character had a stat below 10. There are so many opportunities for a stat below 10!

Silver Crusade

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Gignere wrote:

I stopped rolling for stats when in one game, where we rolled 3d6 straight, and I got 2 18s and nothing below a 12. Actually 18/99 for strength.

It was freaking ridiculous, I was playing a wizard and I was out damaging and hitting the fighter. Yeah that game didn't last too long.

Because it became the adventures of "insert my character's name" and his sidekicks.

You were doing it wrong. Only fighters could have Strength above 18 and even then only fighters (and their ilk) could have more than a +2 strength bonus. 1st and 2nd ed were very good at enforcing class roles.


Mmm, and I've had a player complain how dare I try to enforce class roles. They wanted an alchemist that was good across all abilities. I want the players to have strengths, specialties and weaknesses.

I'm a bookish student of formula and chemicals, but, I want to do good damage in melee, have a nice ac and initiative, good hp and a passable will save, a strong will and be able to bend people to my will. Yawn. I want, I want, I want.


1E did a lot of things wrong. I would not use that as my defense.


Who cares if the wizard has 18 int at first level? This is a fantasy game comprised of heroes. Someone that dedicates their life to bending reality should probably have an absurd int. If Joe the farmer was casting spells because he has 11 int I would be offended as a wizard that he has the capability to do so.
3.5 loyalist I can sort of understand where he's coming from considering that the melee alchemist kind of gets crushed in melee. However heroes should have weaknesses and strengths.


FYI: I haven't read through the entire thread.

Dean A wrote:

So, I would like to hear from the community.

1. How do you roll your stats and why?

I'm an old school gamer as well. However, I'm new to Pathfinder, so I'm going to use the recommended system.

Dean A wrote:
2. Have you ever played with standard 3d6 stat rolls? What is your opinion of it?

Yes. I play Hackmaster 4th ed. as well and that is the way it's done. However, there is also a building point system that allows adjustment so it ends up not being as 'harsh' as it might seem.

I just keep coming back to: if it's not what the players want, but only what you want... Sorry, but that doesn't sound like a good way to have fun.

* Granted the more classes and feats that are tossed into the pot the more unlikely this becomes.

Take care,

Harry

P.S. Regardless, as a player I'd be willing to try it.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
How much damage does the stick do?

1d6 plus your STR mod.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Complex? It's the butler, the priest, the corrupt wizard the seemingly innocent or the femme fatale that are behind all this.

Some adventurers remind me of Daryl from the walking dead. Pretty much a ranger, he isn't complex in thought or word, not reflexive, but he sees right through a lie of Shane because an item is brought back that wasn't mentioned in Shane's story. An adventurer can have a lowish int and a high sense motive.

Daryl is a simple guy, but he's not stupid. Good call, 3.5L.

Taking a 7 in CHA or WIS or INT doesn't mean you're a social moron or that you're the village idiot or what have you. At least it doesn't have to, but lots of people play it that way.

I like random character generation, or at least I think I do (right up until I roll the dice.) PB is a good way to set a power level and then let the player create the character that they want.


I can understand people liking the rolling method for the randomness which can be really fun and point buy for the ability to create the character you want; but I will never understand those who say that point buy leads to dumped stats, rolling forces dumped stats. That 8 you rolled has to go somewhere.

Rolling dice can give the same arrays as point buy, the difference is that it takes the control away from the players. So if someone wants to play someone with all around average stats, they have to rely on the RNG, if someone wants to play a min - maxed character they have to rely on the RNG. The only reason someone should ever roll dice for character generation is to see what the Random Number God will present you with; any other reason is faulty. However, if you already have a concept in mind, you might as well go with point buy. If you think the point buy is too weak, go with a higher point buy (and vice-versa). If as a GM, you really don't want to see more than one stat dropped below 10 just make it a rule that no more than one stat can be dropped below 10; rolling dice can also cause that to happen and with no compensation or it can lead to multiple high stats with no penalty.


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I'm kinda surprised at the number of responses from people who only want to play heroic characters. I like playing heroes too, but sometimes it is a nice change of pace to play an adventurer instead of a hero. Adventuring is a different plane than heroics. Heroes are larger than life and set out to change the face of world and laugh in the face of danger confident that destiny will see them through. Adventurers are ordinary people who venture into danger because they have little choice in the matter.


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Personally, I will play both levels. I just want to be sure that I am not playing the ordinary commoner forced into adventure while my neighbor gets to play Beowulf in the same game.

Wildly disparate levels of power within a group tends to cause issues and general dissatisfaction for both the players and the poor GM that tries to balance it all.


I would not call that a hero. In that case my players never get to be heroes. I have thought about running something more laid back one day though.


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wraithstrike wrote:
I would not call that a hero. In that case my players never get to be heroes. I have thought about running something more laid back one day though.

Why else would someone who is superior to their fellows go adventuring if not to be heroes? The most intelligent student in the last 3 generations at the mage college is not going to go into danger because he is lacking in opportunity as senior wizards line up drooling to be his adviser. Likewise the cleric who is so wise that her deity asks her for advice is going to be on the fast track for become high-priestess of the religion, not gpoing to be sent into situations where she might fall to temptation; if someone has to be sent it will be the decently skilled but otnay-otay-ightbray priestess who always knocks over the sacred wine vessel. People who chose to be adventurers are not the best and brightest, they are going to be people who cannot get to the top except by adventuring.


I might be interested in playing a medium-sized character with 4 strength for, like, a session. A short session. Here's the thing, though. I don't have infinite time. I can't run and and I can't play in an unlimited number of campaigns. There are tons and tons of character concepts that I'd love to play that I'll never be able to play simply because I generate concepts dozens of times faster than I can play in new campaigns, as I suspect is the case for most people who like dreaming up character ideas. I'm not going to throw away the time I could be spending playing a favorite idea because the DM decided it'd be fun to roll 3d6 in order and I got 8/10/8/10/11/4, which is what I just got when I rolled now. (I'm thinking maybe... heck, I dunno. Druid? Maybe dwarf, to patch up that Con score while boosting my casting stat. I'll eventually need magical help to cast spells, but that's how it goes. I kind of don't want to get put out of commission by Charisma damage, but that's really rare, right? I guess I could also go Gunslinger or Rogue, and pick something that boosts dex.)

(Incidentally, I rolled again, and got 15/9/14/12/13/15; I'd feel really bad playing that paladin/oracle/ninja/whatever in a party with the gimpy Druid/Gunslinger/Rogue I rolled the first time.)

Silver Crusade

Chobemaster wrote:


If, however, you look at this as the beginning of an RP improv..."OK, how can I make an actual CHARACTER (not a character sheet or character build) that makes sense w/ these scores, then it's great.

<Good stuff, cut for space>

But it doesn't make it any less fun to do this way, IF that is what your group finds to be fun.

I'd discuss this with a group before I implemented it, though. Your players may not be open to this type of gaming experience.

Y'know, I read this... and I do realize that a lot of people do like this sort of game, and that's great-- go for it. At the same time-- I read that line about looking "at this as the beginning of an RP improv..." and think to myself, if I wanted to do that, I'd go take an improv acting class at my local community college. I think you've both summed up why some people do enjoy this sort of game and why some others don't-- kind'a depends on whether you want to play some totally unexpected character and do improvisation with what you've been handed, or you prefer to have chosen and designed your role, and improv from that prewritten starting point.

But the most important point is what the quoted post ends up with: making sure your players are on board before trying to start this sort of game. I'd be rather annoyed at having a game I really wasn't interested in sprung on me by surprise.


cnetarian wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I would not call that a hero. In that case my players never get to be heroes. I have thought about running something more laid back one day though.
Why else would someone who is superior to their fellows go adventuring if not to be heroes? The most intelligent student in the last 3 generations at the mage college is not going to go into danger because he is lacking in opportunity as senior wizards line up drooling to be his adviser. Likewise the cleric who is so wise that her deity asks her for advice is going to be on the fast track for become high-priestess of the religion, not gpoing to be sent into situations where she might fall to temptation; if someone has to be sent it will be the decently skilled but otnay-otay-ightbray priestess who always knocks over the sacred wine vessel. People who chose to be adventurers are not the best and brightest, they are going to be people who cannot get to the top except by adventuring.

Being superior is not enough. You might be stronger, and smarter than most other people, but that does not mean you are intend to help them out, which is what heroes do.

1. Being a mercenary with PC class levels makes you an adventurer, but not a hero.
2. We have all seen the movies where people are forced to take actions just because nobody else is around to do it. Desire plays no part in it.
According to your last post "laughing in the face of danger" made one a hero. Just because you are better suited to handle danger, and most adventurers are, that does not mean you are laughing in the face of danger, and not struggling to get by. That is why I made the comment I did.

So now I ask what is your definition of a hero again?

Silver Crusade

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cnetarian wrote:

I'm kinda surprised at the number of responses from people who only want to play heroic characters. I like playing heroes too, but sometimes it is a nice change of pace to play an adventurer instead of a hero. Adventuring is a different plane than heroics. Heroes are larger than life and set out to change the face of world and laugh in the face of danger confident that destiny will see them through. Adventurers are ordinary people who venture into danger because they have little choice in the matter.

I tend to agree with Wraithstrike's assessment of "hero (adventurer) vs. (non-hero) adventurer"-- it's not a matter of competence and ability that separates the two, nor to me is it even whether they are much larger than life, a little larger than life, or gritty and down'n'dirty... it's what they do with their talents-- heroes rise above themselves to help people and make the world a better place (often with great difficulty, no choice about the situation they were stuck in-- only a choice about what they were going to do once thrust into that situation-- and quite often doing what they do with the intent to minimize the great risks they face to the necessary risks, not by laughing at danger and taking unnecessary chances); adventurers who are not also heroes are generally in it purely out of self-interest and really don't care if they leave the place at least as messed up (if not worse) than it was when they found it...

Now, I'm not saying it makes you thoroughly unheroic if you want to get paid for your efforts (everyone's got bills to pay), but if money and power are your only motivations, you're not much of a hero.

Regarding power levels-- I don't see the starting off as 'superior' to the average guy (by a little or a lot) or starting off as rather average and ordinary-- to define whether someone is 'heroic' or not. Truthfully, I have to admit plenty of otherwise ordinary people have turned out to be heroes in extraordinary circumstances.

I'm still not generally interested in playing an ordinary person who ventures into danger because he/she had very little choice in the matter-- because I've already done that, in real life (I wouldn't call myself a hero, just a soldier doing his job-- my standard for defining someone as a hero requires more than an ordinary person venturing into danger, though). More than once. YMMV, but to me, that game feels too much like being a soldier all over again. I don't need or necessarily desire to play superheroes-- I do enjoy a nice, dark realistic game more than sunshiney happy super-powers-- but I do want to play a character who starts off feeling like he/she is at least as good, if not better, than the equivalent of troopers in the ranks like I already was when I was in the Army. Someone who is in the range of ability of a Navy SEAL or a Special Forces Sergeant-- a real one, not Hollywood bulls*** ones-- is at the point of capability that I most enjoy playing (and yeah, I wasn't that good when I was in the military-- I volunteered for Special Forces, once upon a time-- I didn't make it but at least I tried). But there's my personal reasons for really not enjoying the 'ordinary people become adventurers' games.

cnetarian wrote:


Why else would someone who is superior to their fellows go adventuring if not to be heroes?

Well, part of the reason might be to be a genuine hero. Other reasons might be for fame, glory, money, power, gain a little seasoning and combat experience-- that the really talented person may either not be able to get at the mage college (or wherever else they are), or would not be able to get as quickly, via the 'non-adventuring' avenues of opportunity open to her or him. For that matter, who says the adventuring and non-adventuring lines of advancement have to be mutually exclusive? Maybe the young noble is adventuring on the side while continuing to jockey for position at court (or perhaps finding some other balance, but still pursuing non-adventuring and adventuring activities in the same period of their life).

cnetarian wrote:


...if someone has to be sent it will be the decently skilled but otnay-otay-ightbray priestess who always knocks over the sacred wine vessel. People who chose to be adventurers are not the best and brightest, they are going to be people who cannot get to the top except by adventuring.

Only the best and brightest (and/or spectacularly lucky) are going to survive and be successful as adventurers. Have to disagree with your thought on this matter, but the not too bright priestess of your example is going to find nothing but failure and/or get killed trying (unless she's strong, tough, and may not be too bright but still has a real strong natural ability for calling on miracles from the Deity)-- unless of course it's just a fairy-tale game with all kinds of unlikely coincidences to ensure the PC's survival no matter how many times over she should have been taken out by the hazards she's been tripping over. And yeah, if the High Priest wants the mission to succeed, he is going to send one of his best Priestesses, not the expendable one. The 'not-too-bright' priestess who's just not that good at the job gets the missions that no-one really cares about and/or the suicide missions where the order has to be seen as making an effort, but doesn't expect anyone to be able to succeed at, much less make it home alive.


I've had success in rolling 24d6. (I have a lot of dice from previous board games). Once you have the large mass of dice, remove the six lowest (usually all the ones) and group them in groups of 3 for your stats. Usually this gives one score at 18, one or two above 16 and no scores below 10. You can make your better scores higher by sacrificing your worse scores. This might bet you a second 18 with an 8 in another ability, for example.

For truly heroic campaigns, reroll all 1s before removing dice and assigning.


The good news about lower stat characters, is while they can die easier, there is a greater challenge and almost no chance of soloing a dungeon/keep/den. You need those team-mates, because you aren't much better than what you are fighting.


hewhocaves wrote:

I've had success in rolling 24d6. (I have a lot of dice from previous board games). Once you have the large mass of dice, remove the six lowest (usually all the ones) and group them in groups of 3 for your stats. Usually this gives one score at 18, one or two above 16 and no scores below 10. You can make your better scores higher by sacrificing your worse scores. This might bet you a second 18 with an 8 in another ability, for example.

For truly heroic campaigns, reroll all 1s before removing dice and assigning.

That's really interesting. I've never run across that before, but it's intriguing. You start to get better reliance on the law of large numbers with 24 dice thrown to make it less likely that you're stuck with an all-penalty character, but there's still that "thrill" of the random outcome.


hewhocaves wrote:

I've had success in rolling 24d6. (I have a lot of dice from previous board games). Once you have the large mass of dice, remove the six lowest (usually all the ones) and group them in groups of 3 for your stats. Usually this gives one score at 18, one or two above 16 and no scores below 10. You can make your better scores higher by sacrificing your worse scores. This might bet you a second 18 with an 8 in another ability, for example.

For truly heroic campaigns, reroll all 1s before removing dice and assigning.

I would have all the players use the same roll, because you will still have (most likely) 1 player who rolls good and another who rolls bad.

Shadow Lodge

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cnetarian wrote:
I'm kinda surprised at the number of responses from people who only want to play heroic characters. I like playing heroes too, but sometimes it is a nice change of pace to play an adventurer instead of a hero. Adventuring is a different plane than heroics. Heroes are larger than life and set out to change the face of world and laugh in the face of danger confident that destiny will see them through. Adventurers are ordinary people who venture into danger because they have little choice in the matter.

Wouldn't it be MORE heroic to take a stand against the evil despite NOT having near-superhero stats?


Kthulhu wrote:


Wouldn't it be MORE heroic to take a stand against the evil despite NOT having near-superhero stats?

If you survive, but if you die you will be like all those losers who went in over their heads.


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All the definitions for heroism and heroic basically use the word in the definition and refer to someone that is a hero. So...

dictionary.com - Hero wrote:
a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

Distinguished courage doesn't necessitate any level of strength, or intelligence. It just requires that one have a healthy mix of fear and hope before they partake of any action.

Distinguished ability would, in my opinion, definitely necessitate someone with abilities above the average man. It also says the person is admired for their bravery, and their noble qualities. Being capable of going into that den of undead, and coming out alive after defeating the enemy that's been plaguing the vale is heroic. Whether or not you were "mechanically better" than the enemies (which is way too relativistic to even discuss clearly -- what happens if the dice roll poorly? I've seen optimized characters go down because of one bad saving throw), doesn't mean the deed was any less heroic. Some people were afraid to do it. You were afraid, but you still did it, because you knew, you, of all people, had the best chance to pull it off.

In my original post I put "heroic" in quotations, because of the fact that I was using a very non-mechanical term to describe a supposed mechanical state. Also, to quote a movie that I can't remember for sure which one right now (though I think it's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves): "Nobility isn't a birth right, it's defined by one's actions."

Silver Crusade

Valandil Ancalime wrote:
hewhocaves wrote:

I've had success in rolling 24d6. (I have a lot of dice from previous board games). Once you have the large mass of dice, remove the six lowest (usually all the ones) and group them in groups of 3 for your stats. Usually this gives one score at 18, one or two above 16 and no scores below 10. You can make your better scores higher by sacrificing your worse scores. This might bet you a second 18 with an 8 in another ability, for example.

For truly heroic campaigns, reroll all 1s before removing dice and assigning.

I would have all the players use the same roll, because you will still have (most likely) 1 player who rolls good and another who rolls bad.

Now there's a thought-- have a couple of players roll this-- then decide either on taking the highest, or the median set, perhaps-- and have everyone use the same set of rolls to assemble their stats from (trying for a couple of sets, then choosing one, enables you to ensure that it's not one lousy roll for everyone, and-- if you go for the median or something, or announce that as a possibility, then take it if necessary-- that you don't have everyone running around with super stats based on one totally awesome roll either).

I like this option; though I think I still prefer pt buy ultimately.


I don't see how the 24d6 method is any different from a PB method. The only thing that varies is the PB amount. Minmaxing is still its disadvantage.


Valandil Ancalime wrote:
I would have all the players use the same roll, because you will still have (most likely) 1 player who rolls good and another who rolls bad.

So everyone gets an equal-size piece of the random-suck pie? lol

Here's some data for you all to mull over.

3d6 (5 sets)

8, 13, 10, 7, 8, 12 (-1)
7, 11, 10, 11, 12, 7 (-3)
8, 13, 11, 15, 9, 4 (-2)
14, 12, 9, 8, 15, 14 (+4)
7, 5, 9, 11, 12, 9 (-6)

4d6-DTL (5 sets)
11, 10,10,11,14,15 (+4)
11,16,9,14,8,11 (+2)
9,7,8,11,15,15 (0)
12,9,13,11,12,15 (+4)
11,15,9,9,16,18 (+7)

Four out of five of the 3d6 sets are terrible. Four out of five the 4d6-DTL sets are good to great, although even the worst set is better than the majority of the 3d6 arrays.

3d6 is cool for a single evening of play, maybe even a few weeks while a new campaign is being developed. But I could never commit to that type of game over the long term, especially after viewing this small data sample. If it were me who was the DM that was tired of "high powered" characters, then I'd use a 15pt PB and I would pretty much expect that every PC was going to have one single-digit stat. I think that would be fair and if my players were okay with it, then that's the way we would go.

Silver Crusade

Valandil Ancalime wrote:
hewhocaves wrote:

I've had success in rolling 24d6. (I have a lot of dice from previous board games). Once you have the large mass of dice, remove the six lowest (usually all the ones) and group them in groups of 3 for your stats. Usually this gives one score at 18, one or two above 16 and no scores below 10. You can make your better scores higher by sacrificing your worse scores. This might bet you a second 18 with an 8 in another ability, for example.

For truly heroic campaigns, reroll all 1s before removing dice and assigning.

I would have all the players use the same roll, because you will still have (most likely) 1 player who rolls good and another who rolls bad.

All Hail Valandil!

The character generation system for all future games will be dividing the dice among all the players and myself and then rolling them at once. Then we shall record the rolls and everyone makes characters.

Hail to the Rulebringer!


I have never played with 3d6. As a player, I go with whatever the GM say and don't stress - I have seen a lot of options but mostly point buy.

As a GM, however, I like a bit of randomness for my players. I used to use point buy, and 4d6 drop lowest. Then one game, I had each of my players roll a d4, add those together, and add 14. This number was the total number of d6 they had in a pool (I think it was 27), that they could divide however they wanted into six groups - each of which kept the highest 3 rolls in the group. They could put less than 3, but any short would be treated as automatic ones. So if they wanted, they could put all 27 dice in one group, and have a very high probability of an 18... but have 3s in the other 5 groupings. Or just divide it up mostly evenly - three 4d6 and three 5d6.

However, last game I ran I had access to the DnDOG forums, and I had them roll there. They have an interesting feature there that gives you a random roll for a certain point buy. I let each player use that 3 times and pick which set they wanted. This had the best of all worlds - each player was guaranteed to have a certain number of points, it still gave players some choice, and yet it was still randomized.


loaba wrote:
Valandil Ancalime wrote:
I would have all the players use the same roll, because you will still have (most likely) 1 player who rolls good and another who rolls bad.

So everyone gets an equal-size piece of the random-suck pie? lol

Here's some data for you all to mull over.

3d6 (5 sets)

8, 13, 10, 7, 8, 12 (-1)
7, 11, 10, 11, 12, 7 (-3)
8, 13, 11, 15, 9, 4 (-2)
14, 12, 9, 8, 15, 14 (+4)
7, 5, 9, 11, 12, 9 (-6)

4d6-DTL (5 sets)
11, 10,10,11,14,15 (+4)
11,16,9,14,8,11 (+2)
9,7,8,11,15,15 (0)
12,9,13,11,12,15 (+4)
11,15,9,9,16,18 (+7)

...

Those are worse even than the standard arrays for NPC's.

Basic NPCs get [13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8] which is a 3 PB.

Heroic NPCs get [15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8] which is a 15 PB.


loaba wrote:
Valandil Ancalime wrote:
I would have all the players use the same roll, because you will still have (most likely) 1 player who rolls good and another who rolls bad.

So everyone gets an equal-size piece of the random-suck pie? lol

Here's some data for you all to mull over.

3d6 (5 sets)

8, 13, 10, 7, 8, 12 (-1)
7, 11, 10, 11, 12, 7 (-3)
8, 13, 11, 15, 9, 4 (-2)
14, 12, 9, 8, 15, 14 (+4)
7, 5, 9, 11, 12, 9 (-6)

4d6-DTL (5 sets)
11, 10,10,11,14,15 (+4)
11,16,9,14,8,11 (+2)
9,7,8,11,15,15 (0)
12,9,13,11,12,15 (+4)
11,15,9,9,16,18 (+7)

Four out of five of the 3d6 sets are terrible. Four out of five the 4d6-DTL sets are good to great, although even the worst set is better than the majority of the 3d6 arrays.

3d6 is cool for a single evening of play, maybe even a few weeks while a new campaign is being developed. But I could never commit to that type of game over the long term, especially after viewing this small data sample. If it were me who was the DM that was tired of "high powered" characters, then I'd use a 15pt PB and I would pretty much expect that every PC was going to have one single-digit stat. I think that would be fair and if my players were okay with it, then that's the way we would go.

Don't forget, there are the racial bonuses to add, and the boost of +1 per four levels. High magic could add the usual slew of bonuses, and any dm can add a mechanic for ability scores to increase with time and focus.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think that rolling for stats was a great way to make a character back in the start of role playing. Back in 1e when there was what 6 classes/races, the randomness of the die roll really helped flesh out your character. When your only real choices where fighter, thief, or elf, it made a big difference on what your stats were.

Now, with what 11 Base clases, 8 Core clases, dozens of archtypes and prestige classes, not to mention skills and feats you can define your character more through your choices than by the randomness of your stats. I mean in reality, once you hit about lvl 4, your stats become hemongonous as just bonuses to this roll or that.

That is why I like the buy point for PF. There is no longer a need to be different from someone else because you have a 14 in STR while they have a 14 in INT. Intead you can be different because you are an Human Urban Ranger and they are a Elven Dragon-blooded Sorc.

Also, with all the choices out there, classes are more specific stat dependant. There are a lot more MAD classes than SAD classes. By rolling for stats you dramitically limit your options. That use to be the big complaint about Paladins when they were first introduced. No one could play one because no one could roll the stats required.

So while I value your opinion on the 3d6, I'm stick with the point buy. Unless I was running a one shot or something.

P.S. Thanks for the good comments about my idea about the bonuses/flaws based on what you roll. Actually that is just taken from my houserules for point buy. Basically, if you want a have a 15pt buy, than you get a free feat. If you want to stick with the base of 20, no change. If you want to start as a monster with a 25pt buy, than you lose the 1st level feat. You would be surprised at the number of people that go for the 15 pt buy.


The group I'm in has to roll 4d6 and drop the lowest. Once. No best out of three or five times. If it ends up being worse, we can use the Heroic NPC array instead. Of all the rolls I've seen under this particular GM, only one player has ever not needed to use the NPC array. However, I recently rolled stats for a backup character and finally beat the NPC array. (In general, we all roll so poorly for everything. It's laughable.)

To the OP: For your particular idea, I think it's fine if you want your players to start out weak. Building them up to be heroes, earning those high scores, feels nice when the pay off occurs. The problem is that this system doesn't allow for that to happen. You'd have to either let them eventually use point buy, make better averaging rolls, or give them a lot of gold to buy ability enhancing items. Maybe if leveling up affected ability scores more often, it would actually feel like we were leveling up in power as well instead of wealth used to simulate that power.


submit2me wrote:

The group I'm in has to roll 4d6 and drop the lowest. Once. No best out of three or five times. If it ends up being worse, we can use the Heroic NPC array instead. Of all the rolls I've seen under this particular GM, only one player has ever not needed to use the NPC array. However, I recently rolled stats for a backup character and finally beat the NPC array. (In general, we all roll so poorly for everything. It's laughable.)

To the OP: For your particular idea, I think it's fine if you want your players to start out weak. Building them up to be heroes, earning those high scores, feels nice when the pay off occurs. The problem is that this system doesn't allow for that to happen. You'd have to either let them eventually use point buy, make better averaging rolls, or give them a lot of gold to buy ability enhancing items. Maybe if leveling up affected ability scores more often, it would actually feel like we were leveling up in power as well instead of wealth used to simulate that power.

Or another 1e trope, "specials" that increase ability scores.

Dark Archive

Pet classes would dominate the world of 3d6, and Synthasist would be even more powerful. Druids / Summoners / even Summon Monster spells would need banning if you want to keep it "peasant driven".


Rolling stats just makes for more character inequality which leads to marginalization. Isn't there enough of that in the game already? Trust me, a player who feels marginalized is just an empty seat at the table with a body currently in it making you think you don't need to be looking for more players.

I don't know about anyone else, but I have enough trouble finding and keeping players without giving them more reasons to leave the game. I'll stick to point buys so everyone will be Super, which means no one is.


Derek Vande Brake wrote:
However, last game I ran I had access to the DnDOG forums, and I had them roll there. They have an interesting feature there that gives you a random roll for a certain point buy. I let each player use that 3 times and pick which set they wanted. This had the best of all worlds - each player was guaranteed to have a certain number of points, it still gave players some choice, and yet it was still randomized.

I like this idea. I may make use of it.

I like having some randomness and not agonizing over whether to dump stats or where those last points should go. I think I get more interesting characters just assigning rolls.
But I hate the power variance that comes with most die-rolling methods. I don't like playing the outlier in either direction: The stats god or the wimp.

Here's a question for the optimizers out there: Part of the value of point buy is the flexibility it offers. Stats chosen for a particular build are more valuable than a random set, even at the same point cost. How much should that be valued? A normal 15 pt buy is better than a random roll worth 15 pts. Would you take a random 20 point roll over a normal 15 point buy? Where would you draw the line?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't understand the question. How can you have a random 20 point roll? Do you mean which would you rather have, a 15 point or a roll that averages out at around 20 points.

Well let me ask you this, which would you rather have, 3d6 or 4d6 drop the lowest.

The reason I ask is that the average for 3d6 is going to be 11. Given 6 stats that means the average points are going to be 6. So of course it is better to take the 15 points. Say the roll is 4d6 drop the lowest. Well, based a lot of math I did when I was younger that averages to 14. So for 6 stats that would be a 30 point buy. In that case it is better to take the roll over the points.

I think it is funny that most people now like the point system when unless you are in a 25 - 30 point game, you are actually starting a character out at a lower starting value than what was the typical roll at the time of 4d6 drop the lowest. I remember when the point system first came out and most of the people I know hated it. They wanted to keep their rolls. Though now, people are willing to start out a little weaker to make sure they have that perfect character.


TClifford wrote:

I don't understand the question. How can you have a random 20 point roll? Do you mean which would you rather have, a 15 point or a roll that averages out at around 20 points.

Well let me ask you this, which would you rather have, 3d6 or 4d6 drop the lowest.

The reason I ask is that the average for 3d6 is going to be 11. Given 6 stats that means the average points are going to be 6. So of course it is better to take the 15 points. Say the roll is 4d6 drop the lowest. Well, based a lot of math I did when I was younger that averages to 14. So for 6 stats that would be a 30 point buy. In that case it is better to take the roll over the points.

I think it is funny that most people now like the point system when unless you are in a 25 - 30 point game, you are actually starting a character out at a lower starting value than what was the typical roll at the time of 4d6 drop the lowest. I remember when the point system first came out and most of the people I know hated it. They wanted to keep their rolls. Though now, people are willing to start out a little weaker to make sure they have that perfect character.

Yes 4d6 dropping lowest would usually beat the typical point buy, but if someone is dead set on starting with 18-20 in their best stat, there is no way for the rolling method to guarantee that.

If I rolled 14 for all stats basically a 30 point buy, I will happily trade it for a 25 point buy since most classes only need 1 - 3 stats that are great to good, and the other 3 stats can pretty much be anything, so the additional point buys resulted from rolling is just wasted.

Being able to tailor the stats especially for SAD characters is much better than wasted artificial point buys that can result from rolling.


STR: 10
DEX: 11
CON: 8
WIS: 7
INT: 12
CHA: 10

Is what I just rolled..

And wow... that sucks.

I guess I'll go with Commoner for my Class too while I'm at it.

Silver Crusade

TClifford wrote:


The reason I ask is that the average for 3d6 is going to be 11. Given 6 stats that means the average points are going to be 6. So of course it is better to take the 15 points. Say the roll is 4d6 drop the lowest. Well, based a lot of math I did when I was younger that averages to 14. So for 6 stats that would be a 30 point buy. In that case it is better to take the roll over the points.

Your math is slightly off for 3d6, and way off for 4d6 drop the lowest die.

3d6 - the average is 10.5, not 11. So a dead average set of rolls will be a 3 pt buy, not a 6 pt buy.

4d6, keeping all 4 dice, gives you an average of 14.

4d6, take the best 3, gets you a median of 12, mean of 12.24, and mode of 13 (if you've forgotten what 'mode' is, it's the single most commonly occurring number out of the possible results). Range is still 3-18.

Yes, once upon a time when I was in a statistics class, I actually worked out the probabilities for some of the common die roll combinations-- 3d6 and 4d6 (just as test examples), 3d6 reroll 1s, 4d6 best 3, and 4d6 best 3 reroll 1s-- fortunately I kept the spread-sheet...

4d6, reroll 1s, take the best 3, gets you median and mode of 14, with mean of 13.43. Range is 6-18.

3d6, reroll 1s, gets you median, mode, and average of 12. Range 6-18.

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