Alternate ability generation, organic point buy


Homebrew and House Rules

Lantern Lodge

I was reading the post about point buy vs rolling and I had this wonderful idea for the best of both worlds.

Take the point buy amount (ie 20) and subtract 5 (ie now 15) then make six stats, then randomly assign them to your scores(represents inherent ability) then spend the last 5 points to adjust things(represents training).

This method keeps everyone on a level field while introducing an element of randomness and makes it difficult to munchkin if scores are done last.

What do you all think?


So use a 15 point buy, and then use a 5 point buy to add on to what you have?


You can't really munchkin ability scores.

Whether you dump a score or not people have valid complaints. If you dump you are over optimising. If you don't dump them people complain that you have no weakness.

With that aside I don't see how you plan to make the last 5 points random.


Note the 'random assignment' on the 1st 15-pt. buy.

I've said it elsewhere: if you're requiring point buy, don't use random assignments. If you're going to be random, use the dice.


There is NOTHING good at random ability generation.
In my experience you always end up having at least one player with extremely good stats (80+ score points total) and one with rather crappy ones (barely getting the minimum total bonus (+3 was it?).

This only makes those with lower abilities frustrated.

I always give 72-75 score points flat and let my players assign as they want (7-18 + race).

But if you WANT to roll, let the players roll TOGETHER:

A) Every player rolls one SET, BUT every player uses the BEST set rolled.

B) Every player rolls one SCORE, and every player uses the scores the GROUP as a whole has rolled together.


We pick a rolling method, ie 4d6 drop lowest, and then add up the points. Then the gm sets a point buy and everyone builds off of their rolls up to the point buy which is usually a couple points higher than the best set.

You get "equal" characters, while at the same time vastly different stat distribution. For example I rolled 18, 11, 11, 10, 9, 9 and then someone else rolled something like 16, 15, 12, 11, 10, 9. GM set the point total at 22 so I had 5 points to add to mine, where the other guy only got 3. His character is far more balanced, and mine almost laser focused specialized.


I actually used Diskordant's method for a game once. It was fun, but one guy rolled very well, so everyone wound up very powerful. Which wasn't all bad, since most of them were subpar optimizers and they needed a bit of help in the larger combats anyway.


of course, in my opinion, these discussions are only relevant to games where the character's ability scores define their success, and not the player's ability to play the game.

Lantern Lodge

The idea here is no one can guarantee what their str is gonna be but they all end up with the points.

DracoDruid wrote:
In my experience you always end up having at least one player with extremely good stats (80+ score points total) and one with rather crappy ones (barely getting the minimum total bonus (+3 was it?).

Doesn't apply here because they build an array with points the only randomness is where the scores are assigned.,

Alitan wrote:
I've said it elsewhere: if you're requiring point buy, don't use random assignments. If you're going to be random, use the dice.

Why? This allows for the organic feel of not knowing what your char is good at while keeping everyone on par.

Wraithstrike wrote:

Whether you dump a score or not people have valid complaints. If you dump you are over optimising. If you don't dump them people complain that you have no weakness.

That is a matter of opinion for the GM and player to work out. However Dump stating here would be interesting since you don't know where it will end up.

Wraithstrike wrote:
With that aside I don't see how you plan to make the last 5 points random.

The last 5 points are not random, they represent what training the character has gone through.

Example, a baby is born with (12,14,9,15,10,12) when she is older she joins the army and trains to toughen up and get stronger (+1str,+3 con, +1 cha for 13,14,12,15,10,13)


I like it. It's like Organic Point Buy to make up a name for it.
Unlike similar methods in which your roll you stats then convert to point buy. This one lets the player buy whatever array they desire and uses the Organic roll to determine where the stats land. Buying down a stat is no longer a double boost but instead becomes a gamble. Even the extra 5 points are nice to help fix any issues with where your stats landed.


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This is really bad for anyone who has a concept in mind or preference or aversion to certain kinds of classes. All random stat generation is, but anything that randomizes order is worse.

Let's look at some examples. One with a specific generally reasonable build in mind, one aiming for a MAD class, and two aiming for more general character types.

Alice wants to play a mad bomber alchemist because it sounds fun. She wants int and dex and doesn't dare dump wisdom. Bob wants to play a monk. He needs medium good stats in a bunch of places but no stand outs. Charlie likes wizards, but will settle for sorcerer. He wants one stat and while he prefers it to be int he can have it in any mental stat thanks to the wildblood archetype. Deborah likes melee. She has a lot of options, but none of them are single stat.

Roll In Order: Alice is almost certainly fumbling for plan B for lack of one of her desired stats. Bob might potentially get adequate stats for a marginal monk because they're independent variables, but probably not. Charlie has a decent chance of getting a high stat in one of the mentals, but if he doesn't he's out of luck. Deborah is pretty flexible, but some stat arrays can still stymie her.

Roll And Arrange: Alice needs a two good stat array with at least one non-dump. Reasonably possible, but not certain. Bob needs a four medium stat array. Less likely but still possible and better than with RII. Charlie needs one good stat. He's about as well off as Bob. Deborah needs to have one good and one medium stat. She's probably going to find something.

Single Random Array: Unless it's a stellar array one of Bob and Charlie will be dissatisfied.

Elite Array: Bob is out, he needed two dumps at 15 point buy. Everyone else can manage.

Point Buy: Everybody's able to make their character, though Bob will have problems at low point buy.

Proposed Point Buy With Partial Randomization: Alice and Charlie are gambling on where their high stats land . Bob might be able to manage if the point buy is high enough to slap 13s in everything. Deborah is going to probably have to risk two low stats to get enough good stats to be confident of getting a decent spread and if they both wind up in strength and dex or one winds up in constitution she's going to be miserable.

TL;DR Only with high point buy can everyone play what they want. Second best is low point buy which leaves monks and similarly MAD concept builds out in the cold.

Lantern Lodge

You are assuming a class needs high stats to play, they don't.

The only actual restriction for class viability is that a spellcaster has to have (spell level plus 10) in the casting stat to cast a spell. There are no other absolute needs to play a class, bonuses are nice but they are just bonuses.

Example; So for a spellcaster the player makes an array with a 9 and the 9 lands on his spellcasting stat he uses 4 of his 5 points to up it to 13 then has at least 7 levels before the stat disallows him to cast something, and has plenty of levels to up his stat and adventures get magic to improve that stat further.

Bonuses are not needed to play a class, they help but are not needed. Anyone who hates to play without those bonuses is a munchkin, which is fine and those munchkins can go play with point buy.

The nice thing about this method is a player can use it if they want even when the GM just says regular point buy.

Lantern Lodge

If you dont believe me go build and play a character of every class with 11 for all stats.


After much research and debating it is my honest opinion that random ability score generation is nothing short of an early Gygaxian torture method taught to 1st generation DMs to make sure that players understood this one message: "Welcome to D&D. Don't get attached to your characters because their ability scores will probably suck and the traps and monsters in this dungeon have been designed to kill you all anyway."

That much being said. Welcome to point buy when I show up to play a game for 4 to 8 hours I want it to be an enjoyable exercise playing something that I want to play, not an 8 hour crap fest of me dealing with a character that I don't give two copper pieces about because I was railroaded into playing him because the dice decided to have a bad day.

But that's just me. I don't have time to waste on playing something I have no interest in.

When I was younger and didn't work 40+ hours in a week, then yeah, I could spare a day to play in a one shotter with some randomly generated character who I got saddled with.

Fact is a lot of people to prefer to play the character that they see in their minds, not the ones determined by the dice.

And if you think point buy is too limiting and rolling is too random here's an idea for ability score generation that will really blow your mind. Ability Scores Based on Character Concept and Back Ground. Here's how it works.
-You need a group of experienced players who are more focused on playing the characters in their minds and not min/maxing every last little detail for ultimate optimization. That means in they see their character as genius level smart with an Intelligence of 18 then that's what they describe but they are also honest enough to admit that this character wasn't very healthy as a child and thus has a below average constitution of 8. They are willing to take the good along with the bad because the concept it more important.
-You need a GM/DM who knows the people he's playing with and whose good a figuring out their character concept descriptions because ultimately he's the one whose going to decide based upon the character concept outline what ability scores the character is going to get.
-Is it a fair and balanced system. Well the answer is yes and no. Its fair and balanced as long as everyone agrees to be adults and play their character concept. It breaks down the moment you get someone that writes on their character sheet MY CHARACTER IS SUPER-OMEGA-UBER-AT-EVERYTHING-EVERYTHING-EVERYTHING. ALL 18S PLZ/LOLZ. But that person should either be escorted out of the room or not allowed to be involved with this group to begin with.
-Its a very mature and adult method of character creation that caters more to a group of people more interested in playing the characters in their minds and allowing the stats to reflect those characters rather than treating all at the table like children and forcing the characters to be created within preset rules and parameters.


DarkLightHitomi wrote:

You are assuming a class needs high stats to play, they don't.

The only actual restriction for class viability is that a spellcaster has to have (spell level plus 10) in the casting stat to cast a spell. There are no other absolute needs to play a class, bonuses are nice but they are just bonuses.

Example; So for a spellcaster the player makes an array with a 9 and the 9 lands on his spellcasting stat he uses 4 of his 5 points to up it to 13 then has at least 7 levels before the stat disallows him to cast something, and has plenty of levels to up his stat and adventures get magic to improve that stat further.

Bonuses are not needed to play a class, they help but are not needed. Anyone who hates to play without those bonuses is a munchkin, which is fine and those munchkins can go play with point buy.

The nice thing about this method is a player can use it if they want even when the GM just says regular point buy.

You are correct that with the exception of casters you don't need bonuses to play the classes and yes you could get buy with playing a character with all 11s.

There is one problem. The D&D/Pathfinder system inherently favors the PC that has bonuses and to a certain degree the encounters are designed assuming that you have a certain average of bonuses at any given level. When you don't have those bonuses the game becomes that much harder and while you maybe having fun playing this character, your companions may not be having fun picking up your slack.

Its one thing to have fun playing. Its another thing to have fun playing at the expense of other people. Its a very narrow wire to walk even with a group that's okay with your sub-par character.

And please don't call people who prefer to play with bonuses munchkins. Fact is a lot of people take pride in their character and that pride is somewhat reflected in their characters stats. The fat kid playing a nimble elf with a dexterity of 19 isn't just doing it for the +4 bonus. He's doing it because its something he'll never be able to do in real-life. Part of the escape, part of the fantasy and the illusion of this game translates into the ability scores. For some people playing average would be just as bad as playing themselves.

All I'm trying to say is that while random can be fun its not for everybody. Point buy has its draw backs too. Long story short, there is no perfect method for generating characters. You go random and you lose the ability to design to concept. You go static point buy and you get into min/maxing.


Anthony Kane wrote:

After much research and debating it is my honest opinion that random ability score generation is nothing short of an early Gygaxian torture method taught to 1st generation DMs to make sure that players understood this one message: "Welcome to D&D. Don't get attached to your characters because their ability scores will probably suck and the traps and monsters in this dungeon have been designed to kill you all anyway."

That much being said. Welcome to point buy when I show up to play a game for 4 to 8 hours I want it to be an enjoyable exercise playing something that I want to play, not an 8 hour crap fest of me dealing with a character that I don't give two copper pieces about because I was railroaded into playing him because the dice decided to have a bad day.

But that's just me. I don't have time to waste on playing something I have no interest in.

I want your babies.

Anthony Kane wrote:
-Is it a fair and balanced system. Well the answer is yes and no. Its fair and balanced as long as everyone agrees to be adults and play their character concept. It breaks down the moment you get someone that writes on their character sheet MY CHARACTER IS SUPER-OMEGA-UBER-AT-EVERYTHING-EVERYTHING-EVERYTHING. ALL 18S PLZ/LOLZ. But that person should either be escorted out of the room or not allowed to be involved with this group to begin with.

I can genuinely say that there's a person in my gaming group like this.


If you want to introduce some form of randomness to make characters more interesting/varied, I would suggest not looking at ability scores. Instead, I recommend skills. Make a table of skills, probably based on a d100 roll so you can adjust rarity. It's not trivial work, since you have to expand out the Craft, Perform, and Profession skills, but that's not that difficult. Actually, I might even suggest using D&D 3.5e's skill list as a way of rolling up specific uses of Pathfinder skills (so "Jump" is "Acrobatics, when jumping"). Roll, I dunno, 3 times, or perhaps roll 5 times and the player picks 3. As to what to do with this, I'm not quite sure. I'm just brainstorming here. Maybe they can use half their HD instead of the skill's listed ability score if it's higher, so maybe not usable right away, but still interesting. Then it's up to the player to pick out a backstory reason as to why their character has those skills.

Lantern Lodge

First playing with random stats can be interesting because who have a character in mind but got stuck with having to overcome something. It doesnt make the character so bad as to refuse to have any attachment to it.

Besides the dice can make things weird anyway, I have a kid shadar-kai in one game and even though she had the weakest str score she was also the only one who could pass a str test to kick down doors.

I have played many under powered characters, some almost 3 levels behind, but I still survived.

If you can't play like that then don't but don't come criticizing based purely on your preferences. If you see a potential problem, mention it but don't stand around telling us why you wont play.

You should try being objective, aka looking at the merits and pitfalls without paying attention to your personal preferences.

edit; ninjad

@ Stazamos

Interesting idea, though the topic is ability scores.
RL people can't choose their scores but they can choose skills.
Makes for interesting random character if you dont know what to play though.

Lantern Lodge

Harrison wrote:
Anthony Kane wrote:

...

That much being said. Welcome to point buy when I show up to play a game for 4 to 8 hours I want it to be an enjoyable exercise playing something that I want to play, not an 8 hour crap fest of me dealing with a character that I don't give two copper pieces about because I was railroaded into playing him because the dice decided to have a bad day.

But that's just me. I don't have time to waste on playing something I have no interest in.

I want your babies.

...

So you can't love a character that isn't munchkin, reroll or go GM your own game.

honestly I don't see why you would suddenly not care about a character because their ability scores are not all perfect.

Lantern Lodge

Harrison wrote:

...

Anthony Kane wrote:
-Is it a fair and balanced system. Well the answer is yes and no. Its fair and balanced as long as everyone agrees to be adults and play their character concept. It breaks down the moment you get someone that writes on their character sheet MY CHARACTER IS SUPER-OMEGA-UBER-AT-EVERYTHING-EVERYTHING-EVERYTHING. ALL 18S PLZ/LOLZ. But that person should either be escorted out of the room or not allowed to be involved with this group to begin with.
I can genuinely say that there's a person in my gaming group like this.

Whats this have to do with ability scores? Sounds like a group finding problem not a game problem, though point buy comes closer to this then randomizing with GM discretion. And if a GM that doesn't do that then its back to the group finding issue not game issue.


I know the topic is ability scores: I'm not trying to be off topic, but rather suggesting that maybe it doesn't have to be ability scores. If that's your preferred method, that is perfectly fine, but I wanted to post a wild idea. (Edit: I realized I'm not quite eloquent enough to word the first sentence in a way that makes me happy, please forgive me here... Maybe I am deluding myself and this is actually a hijack. I hope not; that's not my intent.)

People can choose their scores. Sort of. You can lift weights, play the guitar (dexterity), eat healthfully, read books and engage in conversation, keep up with the latest fashions, practice talking to people, gain confidence, etc. Admittedly, there are limitations to this. You can often tell when a child will grow up to be smart, or strong, or whatever. That's their +2 (or maybe their +2/+2/-2). Conversely, people can't always choose their skills. Maybe someone is forced into farming because they have to support the family. So what I'm saying is, you can frame ability scores and skills as being both within the realm of choice, or outside it. Edit: And to make my skill idea make more sense, roll X times, select Y of them. Of course, players need to be receptive to this, but if they are, it might be fantastic for them.

If you don't know what to play, rolling can be good, no dispute there. It's actually pretty hard to beat rolling for this. But if you have a point buy system, you can let the dice tell you what your strengths should be, then you simply reign those scores in, into whatever point buy allows. The mixed system you propose isn't bad; it's just that other posters have already commented on it, and I wanted to propose an alternative just in case it provided some sort of revelation or something (you never know). If you don't like it, that is okay; maybe someone else might. And if not, eh, whatever.

Lantern Lodge

I like it, just off topic.
(and if I dont want to be a farmer I can choose to just run away, but point taken)


DarkLightHitomi wrote:

So you can't love a character that isn't munchkin, reroll or go GM your own game.

honestly I don't see why you would suddenly not care about a character because their ability scores are not all perfect.

Some people, like me, just really don't like leaving character generation up to random chance. I would loose some investment in a character if there were certain aspects of that character that I didn't have a choice in the matter with.

You wouldn't like a character if the stats you ended up rolling all sucked and completely broke whatever build you were hoping on making for that character.

DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Whats this have to do with ability scores? Sounds like a group finding problem not a game problem, though point buy comes closer to this then randomizing with GM discretion. And if a GM that doesn't do that then its back to the group finding issue not game issue.

It was a comment on the type of people who really would "munchkin" a character's background just to get better stats using Anthony Kane's suggestion for stat load outs. The comment being "yes, these kinds of people really do exist", which for some is preaching to the choir, but I felt it still needed to be said.

Lantern Lodge

Harrison wrote:

...

You wouldn't like a character if the stats you ended up rolling all sucked and completely broke whatever build you were hoping on making for that character.

...

And what about this method would result in sucky stats? You are not rolling how high things are you only rolling where they go. If you want a dump stat then make it, this method just means you won't know were it will end up. If you dont want a dump stat then dont make one.

From a GM perspective this makes for a more balanced party with more balanced characters because few people will make extreme stats since they won't know where those stats end up yet it doesn't prevent anyone from playing the class they want.

What about the above paragraph offends you?


You know sometimes it's nice to play a character without a 20 level stat/race/class/feat/ect. build. You know, buying feats as you need them not because they are part of some chain that will give you supreme power in 10 levels. In these relaxed games you don't need to buy down two stats and follow a stat and race requirement for your build. You just play something that sounds fun role wise and let the mechanics take care of themselves. It's this fun, relaxed, often role play centric approach that gains a lot by such a method. Sure there are a lot of mechanics focused groups out there that like playing a combat sim. For these groups it probably seems alien using anything other than normal point buy.

Lantern Lodge

Perhaps an example for clarification,

I have 20 point buy,
so I make a 15 point array of 6 scores
12,
14,
9,
15,
10,
12

Then I roll for where they go,
1d6 + 1d5 + 1d4 + 1d3 + 1d2 ⇒ (2) + (1) + (3) + (3) + (2) = 11
count from top ignoring already assigned scores,
STR 14
DEX 12
CON 12
INT 10
WIS 9
CHA 15

Then add the last 5 points where would make sense for your character,
Cleric 14,12,12,11,13,15 would be good at turning undead it seems
fighter 15,12,14,10,9,15 would be a good officer
etc etc with whatever class

edit; ninjad, thank you Aranna, maybe you can help where my RL cha score fails.


Incompetent and messed up characters are great fun, if that's how EVERYONE is.

It is not wrong or munchkin-like to want to a play a character roughly on par with and capable of contributing to the party. This is because having nothing useful to do, ever, is BORING, and boring is not fun.

To the OP: Those last 5 points, how exactly do they work when adding to existing abilities? Is 18->19 one point, or more? Can players buy down those stats?

Lantern Lodge

The last 5 points are used as normal as though you intentionally selected the stats so far, however no buying down at this point. (ie going from 14 to 15 still costs 2 points)

edit my fighter example above, how the last 5 point were spent,
2 points went to str to increase from 14 to 15,
1 point to increase con from 12 to 13,
2 points spent to increase con from13 to 14.

I could not reduce any stat after they were placed(that would defeat the point)


DarkLightHitomi wrote:
I could not reduce any stat after they were placed(that would defeat the point)

That's what I'd assume, but wanted to be clear.

I've been thinking of something similar (12 point buy on a base of 3d6 in order) as an option for a game I'll be running eventually. I think I may like your method better, though, since it balances the players better, but still lets them get their beloved incongruent stats. ("My fighter has 16 Int! Rock!") On the other hand, it does push towards MAD builds.

As to your method, I'm cautious and every set I rolled for would be 14/12/12/12/12/12. No way would I use a dump stat if it's got a 1/3 chance of ending up in Con or Dex, and 12 is high enough it'd only take 1 point in any stat to qualify for a feat, so I'd at least have the option of playing what I planned.


At first I was hugely against this because random assortment, but then I remembered you still have racial values and the five points to -max (since you can't min, :P) I think I was mostly put off by the idea of a 13 (15 with racial) wis cleric, the fighter seems okay but I don't think I would run one on those stats because of the greater limitations of the class.

Also, I find it amusing the greatest versatility comes from 14/12/12/12/12/12 array.

This is definitely an interesting idea, obviously for people who like the idea of controlling everything about their character concept this won't work but I wouldn't mind using it or running it as a GM.

Using the system:
If I got 14/12/12/10/9/15 I immediately think oracle, maybe dragon disciple sorcerer, or bard (bard is actually a really nice class for these stats). Three points to get 16, the other two points in int for skill points. Or into wisdom if it's a bard. Then pick a +2 cha race and I have my 18.

STR 14
DEX 12
CON 12
INT 12/10
WIS 9/11
CHA 18

If we have 14/12/12/12/12/12, using the assignment, that ends up as 12/14/12/12/12/12. Point buy a relevant mental stat to 15, +2 racial to 17. So my final stats are 12/14/12/12/12/17 for the cha based caster. They'd be different if I wasn't a half-orc/elf or human. They'd even be better if I was an aasimar.

DarkLightHitomi wrote:

This allows for the organic feel of not knowing what your char is good at while keeping everyone on par.

Problem is there are only a set number of options of what your character could be good at. You can plan accordingly, especially since you control the values at each step, just not the initial placement. It means the ability to make characters just becomes that much more important. Also, because of the way pointbuy scales even starting at 12 points guarantees a 17, if you so wish. That said, if I was going for min-max I'd probably go something like 17/16/8/8/9/9


Yeah, no.

If your players will put up with this and enjoy it, more power to them and you.

I would personally rather play a flat 15-point buy than risk having my array hamstring my character concept and get an extra five points to try shoring up the random.

I don't come to the game wanting to find out what I'm playing: I already know what I want to play.

That randomized array up there? Note how the Intelligence score is the second-lowest score.

It doesn't matter WHAT class I had in mind, I'm a skill-junkie, and Int 10 simply will not do. Unless I'm playing a caster based on a different stat, Intelligence is always, always my highest score.

TL,DR: I may eat organic, but I'm not willing to build a character that way.


Luck exists. Deal with it.
The luckiest roller creates 6 stats, then each player arranges them as they they see fit.


So...inherent ability is defined by the randomized score, and training is represented by the extra 5 points. Assuming your character is an adult who, for all intents and purposes, has been doing what he loves all his life, his natural inclination is to work on the talents he already has, sometimes to the point where other abilities suffer. Inherent abilities are inclinations towards specific actions, sure, but if Joe the Wizard is naturally inclined to box, he probably either has a halfway decent strength score, or a decent DEX with the weapon finesse feat for his touch spells. Your natural abilities are already determined by the bonuses and penalties of the race, so there's really very little need to randomize it. And don't throw around the word munchkin like it means something, because all you're trying to do is incite negative feedback by calling anyone that uses the point buy system a munchkin. I make my players use point buy simply because I know several of them have dice that LOOOOOOOOVE to roll multiples of 6 and having characters with three 18's in stats is no fun for the rest of the party


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The downside to rolling dice is that some one will get a much nicer stat array than everyone else and someone will get Quasimodo.

I like to roll the dice. In my games I have everyone roll 4d6 x6 for a stat array. Then everyone gets to pick any of the stat arrays to use for their character.

Typically this makes for much higher stat arrays than is normal but everyone has fun. The last game I ran the winning array was 17 16 15 15 15 13. It works out to a 47 point buy but no sane person (min-maxer) would ever intentionally make an array with all odd numbers. So it makes for some interesting characters.


FORE WARNING: Due to the rather hostile and negative connotation of feed back provided by the OP aka DarkLightHitomi in response to my own post, I am going reply in the best manner I know how... COMEDIC SARCASM!!! Enjoy :)

Alitan wrote:

Yeah, no.

If your players will put up with this and enjoy it, more power to them and you.

I would personally rather play a flat 15-point buy than risk having my array hamstring my character concept and get an extra five points to try shoring up the random.

I don't come to the game wanting to find out what I'm playing: I already know what I want to play.

That randomized array up there? Note how the Intelligence score is the second-lowest score.

It doesn't matter WHAT class I had in mind, I'm a skill-junkie, and Int 10 simply will not do. Unless I'm playing a caster based on a different stat, Intelligence is always, always my highest score.

TL,DR: I may eat organic, but I'm not willing to build a character that way.

[Insert Sarcasm Here]

But wait, wait, we're forgetting the whole crux of the argument here. That if you can't love a character because of their inherent randomly generated flaws then your just an optimizer munchkin who can't role play!

And lets not forget about overcoming the challenges of being an Intelligence 11 wizard. That gives you something to try for. A problem to overcome while the DM is throwing stuff that is OUT TO KILL YOU your way. Like you don't have enough issues from the DM to deal with now you get to overcome your own in-character personal issues as well.

BUT FEAR NOT: Because hopefully someone in your party generated CAPTAIN UBER AWESOME AT EVERYTHING-EVERYTHING-EVERYTHING because he rolled up three 18s. We'll all just hide behind him and let him pick up the slack while we pick our nose due to our Charisma sitting at a lovely 6.
[END Sarcasm here]

Wolf_Shay wrote:


And don't throw around the word munchkin like it means something, because all you're trying to do is incite negative feedback by calling anyone that uses the point buy system a munchkin.

[RESTART SARCASM]: Yep, that mean's I'm a munchkin. Oh, by the Gygaxian Gods how did I ever allow myself to sub come to the darkside of wanting to build the character I envision in my mind rather than the one determined for me by the dice.

WHAT A BAD PLAYER I AM. I SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN TO WANT TO HAVE FREE WILL. EVIL MUNCHINKER. I MUST BE WHIPPED AND BEATEN OFF THE FORUMS

And how could I be so stupid as to suggest an alternate method of character creation that doesn't even use point buy let alone random generation. How dare I think up a way of generating characters that relies entirely upon ones own imagination and ability to preconceive a character ahead of time. FORE SHAME, WHAT A BAD PLAYER I MUST BE. Evil imagination. Evil wants. I should know better than to desire such things and leave all my choices up to the toss of the dice. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY. THAT IS THE PURE TRUE D&D WAY.
[Once again End Sarcasm Here]

Yes, random stat generation can be interesting. But don't walk around here calling those of us that use point buy systems munchkins who are incapable of loving an organic character. Using point buy is a preference just like using random stat generation. And using point buy doesn't mean we can't love "organic characters". It just means when we come to play we'd rather play want we want, and not what the dice determine we have to play.

@DarkLightHitomi
In closing, your method for random generation is sound. Good Job. Have fun using it.

As for your "forum Etiquette", your tolerance for the "point of view" of others and discussing "points of view" that differ from your own, it needs work. Try reading your own responses to others and just try putting yourself in their shoes. If you even get the remote inkling that you might come off as rude or offensive, then you should really reconsider the wording of your response.

-AK

Scarab Sages

It's a nice idea, a good option for a player looking for a little inspiration or a challenge. I may use this next time I do a point-buy character.

Lantern Lodge

@ Kane I apologize if my response seems hostile, I am mildly autistic and so it is extremely difficult to tell what is a bad or good way to say things to others because the golden rule (treat others as you would have them treat you) no longer applies. Things I say to others would not ever bother me in the reverse situation.

So I apologize if I seemed hostile and negative, please remember that and look more for the logic in my statements as logic seems to be the most consistent in language(though rarely is paid any attention).

Besides I don't see munchkin as a bad thing, just a different style of play, but perhaps that is not how others perceive it. I will start my quest for a different word for those who..."optimize"?.


DarkLightHitomi wrote:

@ Kane I apologize if my response seems hostile, I am mildly autistic and so it is extremely difficult to tell what is a bad or good way to say things to others because the golden rule (treat others as you would have them treat you) no longer applies. Things I say to others would not ever bother me in the reverse situation.

So I apologize if I seemed hostile and negative, please remember that and look more for the logic in my statements as logic seems to be the most consistent in language(though rarely is paid any attention).

Besides I don't see munchkin as a bad thing, just a different style of play, but perhaps that is not how others perceive it. I will start my quest for a different word for those who..."optimize"?.

No worries, and I apologize if I came off a bit harsh there. I prefer sarcasm over rage posting. It tends to lighten the mood while still conveying my point. I did not know about the autism and I am sorry if my response forced you to openly state this on a public forum.

As I stated earlier your method seems sound. I would highly recommend taking an hour and producing several pages of stats generated using your new found method. The statistics over the coarse of say 100 uses of this ability score generation system will start to give you an idea as to weather or not the method is sound in practice. It really is the only way to proof your concept as only through the repeated process of generating the ability scores many times over will any flaws in the method begin to show themselves.

Lantern Lodge

Anthony Kane wrote:

...

The D&D/Pathfinder system inherently favors the PC that has bonusesA and to a certain degree the encounters are designed assuming that you have a certain average of bonuses at any given levelB. When you don't have those bonuses the game becomes that much harderC and while you maybe having fun playing this character, your companions may not be having fun picking up your slack.D

As a note,

A: Any game will favor those with bonuses.

B: 3.# is designed for reality and then expanding on it, read Alexanders essay "D&D: Calibrating Your Expectations" located below.
http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/587/roleplaying-games/dd-calibrating-yo ur-expectations-2

Pathfinder simply made PCs more powerful and did a little streamlining but DCs are still based on what average people can do.

C: How hard the game is depends entirely on the GM adjusting to the characters playing (this is an expected part of game play, in fact is the biggest reason behind having a GM).

D: This is part of finding a group you like to play with, if they fit your style you will have fun, if they don't you will have trouble. This rule is universal to all games. Not that my characters have ever needed someone to pick up the slack, but isn't the party making up for each others weaknesses the entire reason why people play different classes in the "classic" party makeup?

So I have declared my style, and you have declared yours. Why can't that difference of style be respected for what it is, and supported? Why must the styles of others be trashed? Because they don't match your style?

edit; ninjad though the last response actually goes to many more then just you.

No worries about the autism, it doesn't bother me, just make dealing with people hard because people don't in general use logic anywhere near the extent that I do, and because logic is so heavy in my thinking it makes it much more difficult to predict( and use) the non-logical, and language is generally not very logical.

I also apologize, because your last post makes me think I mis-estimated your negativity as well(which I need to estimate from word usage and such and that changes from person to person)


@DarkLightHitomi

You will find that I tend to speak in general terms. My "group" is actually fairly eclectic and ranges greatly in terms of "gamer" experience from the recently indoctrinated N00B to someone who hasn't played since 2nd edition.

Me personally, I'm usually saddle bagged with being the GM. Mostly because I have the most experience and the best imagination when it comes to managing the campaign world. (I've been around since the early days of 2nd edition thru present).

When I do get to play I try to avoid "power games", "meat grinders", and "build competition" groups as I have a lot of issues with people that just play the game to "win" and build the most optimal beast possible using the RAW as I feel as though they are missing the entire point of "Role Playing".

And please don't take it as a trashing of your "style". Its a game, play it however you want. Just be educated enough to realize that not everyone wants to play your style, or my style, or any style but their own.

To reply to your post
A: Unfortunately a by product of the 3.0 to PF era of the D&D system has almost trained people to expect to have a certain amount of bonuses. Especially when 3.5 standardized NPC generation with point buy. True the system will always favor the character with bonuses, the problem is that people expect to have those bonuses now-a-days when playing with this system.

B: In my honest opinion this is the area where D&D/PF has the most issues. The system ranges in its approximation of "real world difficulty" based upon what the "average person" can do from being spot on accurate to completely borked. It really is kinda all over the place with some tasks that should be really difficult being amazingly easy to pull off while other tasks that should be really easy are next to impossible to pull off. But I blame this more on the games design than the people playing it.

C: This is true when you are playing casually. I don't believe the same holds true for any officially sanctioned events. This is to keep the playing field level but it also ties the GMs hands so that the adventure is written as is and played as is. If its too hard for your group in these sanctioned events then the official answer is, too bad. Still this would be the difference from casual play vs a sanctioned event.

Also please remember I come from an older time when the adventures were written to kill you and TPK the party in an afternoon. If anyone here remembers "THE TOMB OF HORRORS" then you'll be able to relate to what I'm saying here. Back then I fondly remember it was literally us (the party) vs the GM whose soul mission that afternoon was getting his perverse high off killing everyone.

D: I agree that not everyone should be able to do everything. Otherwise what would be the point. (You may as well play 4th edition at that point). What I mean is that you need to be able to do your job, your role, with some degree of competency, and part of that competency is reflected in the stats. I agree that there needs to be roles in the party. Its part of what makes this game fun. The fact that you can't do it all and the learning of teamwork to overcome in game problems.


Anthony Kane wrote:
FORE WARNING

Forewarning

Anthony Kane wrote:
FORE SHAME

For shame

Anthony Kane wrote:
WHAT A BAD PLAYER I AM. I SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN TO WANT TO HAVE FREE WILL. EVIL MUNCHINKER. I MUST BE WHIPPED AND BEATEN OFF THE FORUMS

(I laughed so hard) :O! I don't think you can use 'beaten off' like that.

Anthony Kane wrote:
(You may as well play 4th edition at that point)

Don't be silly, that has the (distorted) holy trinity at the heart of it. (Tank, Ranged DPS, Healer)

Anthony Kane wrote:


[/END Sarcasm here]
Anthony Kane wrote:
[/Once again End Sarcasm Here]

Forgot your /'s ;P

DarkLightHitomi wrote:
I will start my quest for a different word for those who..."optimize"?.

I prefer to think of optomisers and munchkins as different things. Optomisers being people who work for something RAW that is probably never meant for the light of play (Jumplomancer, Chicken infested commoners, 1d2 crusaders, hulking hurler, etc). They do it because they can, because it's funny, because it works and is completely rules legal. Whereas, a munchkin is someone who would play those kinds of builds in a game. They do it to be the best, to win, to be the most powerful.


DarkLightHitomi wrote:

The last 5 points are used as normal as though you intentionally selected the stats so far, however no buying down at this point. (ie going from 14 to 15 still costs 2 points)

edit my fighter example above, how the last 5 point were spent,
2 points went to str to increase from 14 to 15,
1 point to increase con from 12 to 13,
2 points spent to increase con from13 to 14.

I could not reduce any stat after they were placed(that would defeat the point)

So, pretty much a regular point buy...


1D6 for children. 2D6 for the pre teens and teenagers. Assume any dice that roll 1 get the character relegated to NPC serfs.
My sarcasm shows how realism spoils the game yet again. :)

Lantern Lodge

Goth Guru wrote:

1D6 for children. 2D6 for the pre teens and teenagers. Assume any dice that roll 1 get the character relegated to NPC serfs.

My sarcasm shows how realism spoils the game yet again. :)

What are you rolling for? And why would a 1 make them a serf? PCs automatically succeed on their top 1% of people check.

-----------------------------

Realism is like anything else, in need of moderation, too little and the game is unrelatable, too much and the game is boring.

I try to avoid the extremes and yet play around with the balance. It can make things interesting if you don't go too far.

So don't blow things out of proportion, please.

Lantern Lodge

Belle Mythix wrote:
DarkLightHitomi wrote:

The last 5 points are used as normal as though you intentionally selected the stats so far, however no buying down at this point. (ie going from 14 to 15 still costs 2 points)

edit my fighter example above, how the last 5 point were spent,
2 points went to str to increase from 14 to 15,
1 point to increase con from 12 to 13,
2 points spent to increase con from13 to 14.

I could not reduce any stat after they were placed(that would defeat the point)

So, pretty much a regular point buy...

For the last 5 points yes.

For clarity, the stats are not rolled but the stat placement is.


I'm sorry if my sarcasm offended you, or if you were sniping back.
I'm kind of confused as to how this build works.
The last 5 points to represent training, is that from childhood to the start of adventuring?
Some systems have the character build throughout childhood education and basic training. Some games died from lethal character creation.
This is why I think any random backstory generation is several miles of bad road.

Lantern Lodge

Well the first points that get randomly placed represent the inherited traits.

The last 5 points do represent training which is not random.

(allowing you to "fix" if you suddenly can't play your selected class)

It is not supposed to be random background. It just gives the idea that someone who is weak might train to be a fighter and to make up for the initial weakness, this can add to BG if you want it too (as something the char has struggled with) but doesnt have to be.

Lantern Lodge

I know its necro but I was reading The Alexandrian and this was just the perfect statement for my point, so I put it here for posterity and to see if anyone else has yet tried the method in the op and liked it.

The Alexandrian wrote:

Found here, around the middle.

...
The counter-argument[to rolling for stats], of course, is that nothing stops me from making a wizard with his highest abiltiy score in Wisdom. True. But there is a distinct difference between facing a challenge and dealing with a self-imposed handicap. Just as there is a difference between being given a character and seeing what you can make of it and carefully scultping every detail of the character for yourself.

And I think there's also a tendency to read the word "challenge" and think that I'm merely talking about the gamist side of the game. But I'm also talking about a creative challenge. The act of creation does not always have to begin with a blank slate. In some cases, deliberately eschewing the blank slate will give unexpected and extraordinary results which might never have been achieved if you limit yourself to a tabula rasa.

...

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