Imbalance Via Rolls


Advice

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We let the GM roll a single pool of stats, then everyone uses that same pool. It's worked out pretty well.


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I guess "balance" is not something I have problems with in the games I run, in so far as stats are concerned. Especially starting ones.

I allow each player to decide to use a 20pt stat buy, or roll 4d6 drop the lowest arrange as preferred..what you roll is what you get, and if the point buyers whine that the dice rollers got lucky..oh well, they took the chance at getting less as well.

I have also found that a player that will grouse at another players stats will also grouse at items other players may find. Advantage they may accrue or even rewards for good game play and clever ideas...some players always covet what another has.

besides in the games I run the party works as a team..and not a bunch of ego measuring wannabe heros that have to all be exactly the same, from the get go.

I guess this goes back to my old school roots of gaming and the fact that I avoid "organized" play like a plague.

No one player (character) can do everything in game well, so if you find yourself feeling like a "sidekick" maybe you have only yourself to blame, find a niche and fill it and be useful..who knows you may shine even more than the lucky "rolled" pc..but that's a lot up to the player playing not some numbers on a sheet.


TOZ wrote:
If you're going to let players reroll until they get what they like, just let them pick their scores and be done with it.

This is what I do with my group.

Oddly stat arrays seem to average out at 20-25 pt buy.


If I have an uber set what happens? Either the PC roflstomps everything and I get bored or the GM raises the level to make it a challenge.
If I have a low set? Either the PC fails to contribute anything meaningful (player dependant) or gets roflstopmed themselves and you need a new PC.

Point Buy eliminates that.

I get a PC stats that fits to my concept of the PC instead of what Fate hands me.
Its a level field for all, no one can be accused of cheating rolls.
GM hasn't got to adjust anything because people all got random 50 point buy PCs.

I can't understand why people have a downer on PB. Do people just like rolling dice?


LoneKnave wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Yeah, issues like this are why point buys are better/more reliable. At the very least you should make the 50 pointer roll again until he gets something reasonable.
Yes let him reroll til he get no stat above 8. That will teach him not to be lucky at your table.;)
Holy defensive straw-batman!

That is not what a strawman is. It is either sarcasm or bad advice.


Cardinal Chunder wrote:


I can't understand why people have a downer on PB. Do people just like rolling dice?

I'm reminded of a pic I saw online the other day. Two buttons, one labelled 'You win $1 million', the other '50% chance of winning $100 million'.

It's a gambler's thrill, essentially, and not something everybody is susceptible to.


Zhayne wrote:
burtschoder wrote:

Huh i guess my gaming experience is totally different. I ENJOY the randomness of possibly having a bad ability score. In my head it makes the character more interesting

And you can't do this with point buy ... why?

It May be the randomness he can't do.


Zhayne wrote:
Cardinal Chunder wrote:


I can't understand why people have a downer on PB. Do people just like rolling dice?

I'm reminded of a pic I saw online the other day. Two buttons, one labelled 'You win $1 million', the other '50% chance of winning $100 million'.

It's a gambler's thrill, essentially, and not something everybody is susceptible to.

To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million. That honestly seems to be the better button to pick.


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Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Cardinal Chunder wrote:


I can't understand why people have a downer on PB. Do people just like rolling dice?

I'm reminded of a pic I saw online the other day. Two buttons, one labelled 'You win $1 million', the other '50% chance of winning $100 million'.

It's a gambler's thrill, essentially, and not something everybody is susceptible to.

To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million. That honestly seems to be the better button to pick.

I would take the 1 million every time.


Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Cardinal Chunder wrote:


I can't understand why people have a downer on PB. Do people just like rolling dice?

I'm reminded of a pic I saw online the other day. Two buttons, one labelled 'You win $1 million', the other '50% chance of winning $100 million'.

It's a gambler's thrill, essentially, and not something everybody is susceptible to.

To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million. That honestly seems to be the better button to pick.

To be fair it doesn't say what happens the other 50% of the time. If the other 50% leads you to contract a horrible disease the gamble becomes less attractive. That said, 50 million is change your life money. A million could temporarily change your life or make it forever more comfortable, but it's not a whole new world.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You people realize that rolling stats has more consquences on the game than just one character being awesome?
A 50 point buy rolled character makes most encounters ridiculous, since encounters go after CR and that CR is set by a party of 4-6 normally who use a 20 or 15 point buy build.
So, if you are not playing something selfmade, there is a lot of more work for the GM in there.
I also don´t know how to make up for that CR wise, since CR goes after the average party level, not the built in power.
Somebody knows?


Lulz at people DPRing gambling.

Well this one says you have 100% chance of winning a 100k and this one says you have a 1% chance of winning $20,000,000. The obvious answer is #2!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million.

The average doesn't matter when you only get one chance.


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Marthkus wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Cardinal Chunder wrote:


I can't understand why people have a downer on PB. Do people just like rolling dice?

I'm reminded of a pic I saw online the other day. Two buttons, one labelled 'You win $1 million', the other '50% chance of winning $100 million'.

It's a gambler's thrill, essentially, and not something everybody is susceptible to.

To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million. That honestly seems to be the better button to pick.
I would take the 1 million every time.

Same here. I'd rather definitely get something than maybe get nothing.

(The other result for the second button is 'you get nothing, good day sir'.)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million.
The average doesn't matter when you only get one chance.

This is a cryptic and definitionally untrue statement. Maybe risk is a bigger factor with a single chance, but to say average doesn't matter is bizarre.


Also how hard is it to use common sense? Before people roll tell them that whatever they roll after it will need to be adjusted to fit within (for example) 20 to 30 pt buy. If its low they adjust it up. If its high they adjust it down.


Marthkus wrote:

Squirrel_Dude wrote:

Zhayne wrote:
Cardinal Chunder wrote:

I can't understand why people have a downer on PB. Do people just like rolling dice?
I'm reminded of a pic I saw online the other day. Two buttons, one labelled 'You win $1 million', the other '50% chance of winning $100 million'.
It's a gambler's thrill, essentially, and not something everybody is susceptible to.
To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million. That honestly seems to be the better button to pick.
I would take the 1 million every time.

The value of the first million and the value of the next 99 million are very much dependent on the situation of the person making the choice. To anyone who isn't rich the first million is so valuable you would have to be crazy to risk not getting it. If for example you already have a net worth of $30 million not taking the chance at $100 million would seem crazy, as 1 million isn't much money to this person.

EDIT: and I'm bad at formatting, my quote stream looks awful.


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MattR1986 wrote:
Also how hard is it to use common sense? Before people roll tell them that whatever they roll after it will need to be adjusted to fit within (for example) 20 to 30 pt buy. If its low they adjust it up. If its high they adjust it down.

If you do that, why have them roll in the first place?


Cardinal Chunder wrote:

If I have an uber set what happens? Either the PC roflstomps everything and I get bored or the GM raises the level to make it a challenge.

If I have a low set? Either the PC fails to contribute anything meaningful (player dependant) or gets roflstopmed themselves and you need a new PC.

Point Buy eliminates that.

I get a PC stats that fits to my concept of the PC instead of what Fate hands me.
Its a level field for all, no one can be accused of cheating rolls.
GM hasn't got to adjust anything because people all got random 50 point buy PCs.

I can't understand why people have a downer on PB. Do people just like rolling dice?

Most groups I have ever played in use PB, and I like that even though I am good roller.


Hayato Ken wrote:

A 50 point buy rolled character makes most encounters ridiculous, since encounters go after CR and that CR is set by a party of 4-6 normally who use a 20 or 15 point buy build.

So, if you are not playing something selfmade, there is a lot of more work for the GM in there.

I think you're overestimating the amount of work for the GM there. Even with a point buy system, the GM is going to need to do some amount of work tailoring encounters to be an appropriate difficulty level for the party just based on how optimized the party is. A highly optimized party is going to need you to make things tougher on them in order to feel satisfied, and a very poorly optimized party is probably going to need you to go easier on them lest they feel overwhelmed.

So you may well have to do this sort of adjustment anyway, even with a point-buy system.


Marthkus wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Zhayne wrote:

I'm reminded of a pic I saw online the other day. Two buttons, one labelled 'You win $1 million', the other '50% chance of winning $100 million'.

It's a gambler's thrill, essentially, and not something everybody is susceptible to.

To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million. That honestly seems to be the better button to pick.
I would take the 1 million every time.

I would sell my 50% chance of getting $100 million to a billionaire. I'd probably get at least $25 million for it. From his viewpoint it would be a gamble with an excellent average payout.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:

A 50 point buy rolled character makes most encounters ridiculous, since encounters go after CR and that CR is set by a party of 4-6 normally who use a 20 or 15 point buy build.

So, if you are not playing something selfmade, there is a lot of more work for the GM in there.

I think you're overestimating the amount of work for the GM there. Even with a point buy system, the GM is going to need to do some amount of work tailoring encounters to be an appropriate difficulty level for the party just based on how optimized the party is. A highly optimized party is going to need you to make things tougher on them in order to feel satisfied, and a very poorly optimized party is probably going to need you to go easier on them lest they feel overwhelmed.

So you may well have to do this sort of adjustment anyway, even with a point-buy system.

It´s undeniably harder to do that for a rolled group with very different stats. While one of them can maybe solve some encounters alone, others could even combined not survive them perhaps.

With PB this get´s a lot easier.
Then a level 1 party with some characters having a 50PB is way stronger than one with only 20PB characters.
And there is no rule of thumb to guide you.
In my eyes, that needs a lot more preparation than the average party, because at least i am much more familiar with 20PB and can estimate power and weaknesses much easier. And therefore give them more appropriate encounters.


Mondoglimmer wrote:

So one member of the party decided they wanted to roll for stats and the other two didn't bother to oppose that decision (the fourth was missing at the time) so I said "Hey, sure, roll for your stats." Simple 4d6d1 method. From my end of the table things are pretty fine, but the players are less excited. In terms of point buy, three members landed around 20 points, while the fourth landed somewhere past 50. The lower members are having trouble picking up everything they wanted with their random stat arrays and are worried that the fourth's high everything is going to have them cowering behind him for the entire game.

Does anyone else use a rolling system and have to deal with imbalance like that or does everyone use point buy to avoid this problem in the first place? Should I switch to a point buy system even now that the rolls are out and on the field, rolling back the rolls? Should I just provide some extra points to the weaker members, or should I also rein in the powerhouse? Or is everything just fine as it is?

This is a big problem with rolling, odds are 1 person will get lucky and roll an AWESOME set of stats, while everyone else is at average or worse. You should do nothing. The players made their choice, though for the future you could choose something else.

I am curious, who rolled the UBER stats, the 1 player who wanted to roll, the 2 who didn't disagree or the one who had no vote? Also. I am curious about what classes they choose? If the UBER stat made a monk (or any low tier non-caster) and the others are playing spell casters, your problem will solve itself.

There are some ways to combine the randomness of rolling with the fairness of point buy. Here are some previous threads to look at;
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2na5r?PCs-using-different-ability-score-generat ion#30
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2nj6v?How-do-you-roll-stats-for-new-characters# 8
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pj2l?Character-Generation-Methods#19
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pr5y?Suggestions-for-alternative-attribute-gen eration#10
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qaqa?roll-or-points-buy-which-is-better#38

The method we currently use, take cards (12 or 18 cards, adding up to whatever power level the DM wants).
1- randomly divide cards between 6 stats, in order
2- add up each stat
3- add 1 to a stat and 4 (max 18)to another stat
3.5(optional) switch any 2 stats
4- adjust for race
The 1 is to make an odd stat even.
The 4 can make a moderate stat good (or a poor stat moderate), if you really want to play a specific class/concept.

Shadow Lodge

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My group rolls stats. We like rolling stats. Players who roll too high or too low are typically asked to reroll, with "too high" and "too low" being informally judged by the GM based on the rolls of the group at large. Often we will reroll individual stats instead of a whole array, so a character with 3 18s rerolls one of them (maybe getting a 12 instead). In my current campaign one player rerolled a low array, one rerolled a high array, and now no one feels under- or overpowered as a result of stats.

The advantage of rolled stats is the element of surprise. For example, the summoner ended up with better physical stats than he would have selected using point buy (and still with very good mental stats), which he attributed to his character growing up in the country and getting a lot of exercise on his parents' farm.

Million Dollar Button:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million.
The average doesn't matter when you only get one chance.

It matters less when you only get one chance, since you won't approach the average payout over multiple plays. The real way to handle it is to figure out what the average result is on your life, taking into account any regret on a "nothing" payout, which would reduce the value of that result below 0.

The problem as I see it is that $100 million dollars probably won't make you 100x happier than $1 million. In fact, if you don't have much - if you're in poverty or in debt or lost your retirement savings or you're just a young person starting out in life like myself - $100 million might not even make you twice as happy as $1 million. So my expected value is greater on the sure thing even though the average payout is much less. On the other hand, if you make six figures and aren't in debt, $1 million isn't going to make a big difference in your lifestyle and you might as well go for the $100.

Sovereign Court

Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Cardinal Chunder wrote:


I can't understand why people have a downer on PB. Do people just like rolling dice?

I'm reminded of a pic I saw online the other day. Two buttons, one labelled 'You win $1 million', the other '50% chance of winning $100 million'.

It's a gambler's thrill, essentially, and not something everybody is susceptible to.

To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million. That honestly seems to be the better button to pick.
To be fair it doesn't say what happens the other 50% of the time. If the other 50% leads you to contract a horrible disease the gamble becomes less attractive. That said, 50 million is change your life money. A million could temporarily change your life or make it forever more comfortable, but it's not a whole new world.

Nah, that's not actually being fair. If the 50% button can have surprise side effects, so can the other one. "You win one million. The money is unlaundered and the Mob wants it back."

Sovereign Court

@Weirdo's analysis of the million dollar button -

I think you're right. The utility of the first million dollars is very high; instantly pay off college loans or a mortgage that's stressing you out. The second million is still very nice but not nearly as good as the first one. I can't even think of anything I'd actually want to do with 100 million that I couldn't do with say, 10 million.


People are overestimating the value of a million dollars. Over 20 years it amounts to an extra 50k per year. Which is certainly an increase in quality of life, but is nothing compared to the sea change of 100 million.


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
People are overestimating the value of a million dollars. Over 20 years it amounts to an extra 50k per year. Which is certainly an increase in quality of life, but is nothing compared to the sea change of 100 million.

That's the question, though... would you rather definitely get an increase in quality of life, or maybe get a sea change ... or maybe get a goose egg?


Rub-Eta wrote:


Random and dice are okay when you roll skill checks and attack rolls. They come up so often so that it almost evens it self out. But you only roll for stats on a character once. In nature, very unbalanced.

I think this is very significant. When one small set of rolls affects your PC so much over the course of years... it's a real drag. I don't as much mind rolling if it's a one-shot or a very short game -- where whether I roll beautifully or terribly, it'll all be over soon.

I'm convinced that "haha, you rolled 3 Con!" is the reason folks want to roll. The inequality is what makes it fun for them.


threemilechild wrote:
I'm convinced that "haha, you rolled 3 Con!" is the reason folks want to roll. The inequality is what makes it fun for them.

So long as they're the ones doing the pointing and laughing.


Hayato Ken wrote:

It´s undeniably harder to do that for a rolled group with very different stats. While one of them can maybe solve some encounters alone, others could even combined not survive them perhaps.

With PB this get´s a lot easier.
Then a level 1 party with some characters having a 50PB is way stronger than one with only 20PB characters.
And there is no rule of thumb to guide you.
In my eyes, that needs a lot more preparation than the average party, because at least i am much more familiar with 20PB and can estimate power and weaknesses much easier. And therefore give them more appropriate encounters.

The thing is though, that Pathfinder is essentially a continuation of a game that some of us have been playing since 1974 (Since 1988 myself, I wasn't born yet in 1974.) In the grand scheme of things, Point Buy has only come into existence relatively recently.

It's my experiences that people who want to roll for stats are veterans of older editions (because that's what they're used to) and if you've been playing some variant of this game for as long as your players, you're kind of used to tailoring encounters for good stats, bad stats, combat-oriented characters, characters who are intentionally poor in combat for RP reasons, etc.

If you're not comfortable with adjusting encounters to fit your party, then you're probably best off with a 20PB for that reason, but it's really not the end of the world, and tuning up or tuning down the encounters as you go is something you're probably going to have to do anyway. Let's not overestimate the effect of your abilities on this game anyway, the difference between a 14 and an 18 is just +2 to some rolls. If an additional +2 to hit unbalances combat, say, then give the bad guys better armor.

The real issue with rolling for stats is just to ensure that both the player with low stats and the player with high stats feels like they're contributing to the party, but that's something that can easily be fixed with a "party array" as has been suggested earlier, and it's something we have to deal with anyway when it comes to optimized builds vs. non-optimized ones. If your party consists of a Synthesist, a 2H invulnerable rager barbarian, a White-haired witch/Hexcrafter Magus, and a Wizard you're going to have to design very different combats than if your party consists of two rogues, a monk, and a cleric who specialized in healing.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
People are overestimating the value of a million dollars. Over 20 years it amounts to an extra 50k per year. Which is certainly an increase in quality of life, but is nothing compared to the sea change of 100 million.

$1 million is enough to be set for the rest of your life (probably).

Even with a low-yield, stable investment vehicle (most government securities pay about 4-5% with minimal volatility), that's $40-50 thousand a year in perpetuity; most people can live fairly comfortably on $40-50 thousand a year. And that doesn't prevent getting some part-time job (or even continuing to work full-time) for even more income.

$100 million is likely to bring a lot more headaches. Do some research to find out what happens to those lottery winners; this goes to their money-management skills (or lack thereof), but many of them end up in financial difficulty because they spend their winnings on expensive luxuries and then have to sell some of them to pay off their new debts. Not to mention all of their new "friends" (or "favorite relatives") looking to benefit second-hand.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million.
The average doesn't matter when you only get one chance.

IF I only have one chance to press the button, shouldn't I be doing as much to maximize my earnings?

Not that I would always press the 100 million dollar button. A 40% chance would probably be my cutoff.


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

On the original topic, the randomness of rolling can cause a lot of difficulties. Unless you place limits of some kind on the randomness; at which point, you're just tending toward point-buy or set arrays anyway.

As someone who grew up with "roll your stats" (using 3d6 in-order), I much prefer point buy. It gives me more flexibility to craft a character to match a concept, rather than trying to retrofit the concept to match the rolls.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Let's not overestimate the effect of your abilities on this game anyway, the difference between a 14 and an 18 is just +2 to some rolls.

When the difference is +2 (or more) on almost every single roll by the character with the "god stats," compared to the other members of the party, yes, this is an issue. See the original post:

Mondoglimmer wrote:
In terms of point buy, three members landed around 20 points, while the fourth landed somewhere past 50.

That is a lot more than an 18 vs. a 14 in one ability score. The 50+ PB-equivalent character probably has a 13 or 14 as their lowest score, while the 20 PB-equivalents probably have one 16 or 17 and some 12-14 scores (with some possibly in the 8-11 range). Basically, the rest of the party likely has only a +1 bonus more with their best stat than the "god stat" character's worst stat; in some cases, the "god stat" character probably has an equal to or greater than score in question as another party member's "best."

Especially if paired with a strong class choice, this can make the ret of the party feel useless. For example, a cleric that's stronger, more agile, and tougher than the anyone else in the party, has 4-5 skill ranks per level (counting Int), and can do everything a cleric normally does (cast spells and channel energy), can probably solo a lot of encounters that would be considered a challenge by the more normal party members.


Two suggestions; you can try either or combine both easily.

Suggestion 1) For the players with "low stats", let them take a template. Each CR the template ups a creature by translates to 4 points so a +5 CR template on a character with 20 point buy stats is treated as if they had 40 point buy (20 + 4*5).

Suggestion 2) Leverage the Hero Point system. For the character with a 50 point buy equivalent stat array, he REALLY has to do something incredible to be worthy of earning a point; something where he'd have a decent chance of failure. By contrast, lower-stat characters should have an easier time earning their points.


Squirrel_Dude wrote:
IF I only have one chance to press the button, shouldn't I be doing as much to maximize my earnings?

You're welcome to do the calculus and tell me which option maximizes your earnings.


Dragonchess Player wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Let's not overestimate the effect of your abilities on this game anyway, the difference between a 14 and an 18 is just +2 to some rolls.
When the difference is +2 (or more) on almost every single roll by the character with the "god stats," compared to the other members of the party, yes, this is an issue.

The point I was refuting was simply the "having PCs with really high stats makes things hard for the GM". I apologize if that was not clear. From my perspective, it's pretty much the same amount of work for the GM if you have characters with really high stats or characters with really low stats. I've ran campaigns with 3d4+8 for stats, and and managing players with 22s at chargen isn't really more work than anything with much lower stats.

The problem arises when you have some characters with really high stats and some characters with really low stats. You'll then end up with some characters that are simply more capable than other characters. But this sort of thing happens anyway (even with point buy) because some characters will be built with efficiency and optimization in mind and some characters will be built in an unconsciously or deliberately suboptimal way because they like the flavor or the concept.

The same techniques you use to help the really badly built PC become effective you can use to help the really bad ability score PC become effective. The game is naturally going to produce situations in one character is going to be much more effective than another. Working around these situations is just part of doing your job as the GM. It's not like the GM isn't within his or her power to just tell someone to reroll their ability scores, just like it's the GM's prerogative to eliminate anything else they don't like from their game (e.g.the Leadership feat, the Summoner class, etc.)

It's also incumbent on good players, IMO, to avoid hogging the spotlight all the time, even (indeed, especially) if they can.

Liberty's Edge

Dragonchess Player wrote:

$1 million is enough to be set for the rest of your life (probably).

Even with a low-yield, stable investment vehicle (most government securities pay about 4-5% with minimal volatility), that's $40-50 thousand a year in perpetuity; most people can live fairly comfortably on $40-50 thousand a year. And that doesn't prevent getting some part-time job (or even continuing to work full-time) for even more income.

Uh...you can't make 4-5% on that amount of money on low risk investments in today's economy. Nor is $50k a year enough to live on in perpetuity. It'd be enough for a while, but there's this thing called inflation...

Scarab Sages

Mondoglimmer wrote:
Does anyone else use a rolling system and have to deal with imbalance like that or does everyone use point buy to avoid this problem in the first place?

Here's a personal favourite (introduced to me by another player back in 1991 or possibly '92).

Roll 7d6.
Drop the lowest.
Apply one die to each ability score.

Once that has been done repeat the same process twice more. When you are finished three dice will have been assigned to each ability score (thus generating a number in the 3-18 range).

This way you get randomly generated ability scores with a degree of control but not too much control. Points buy can lead to horribly unimaginative arrays and characters getting very samey. Since the dice are assigned before the next batch are rolled the player has to decide if they're going to raise an already high score or bolster one that is flagging behind.

It also prevents the possibility of totally random extreme rolls. If a player notices that one ability score is becoming really low they can raise it with the next batch of dice if they "don't really want it to be that low".

The 24d6 method from the front of the core rulebook shares some similarities except that, with that method, you are assigning all the dice prior to rolling. With this method you have to do it in stages. It simply doesn't work if someone's rolled the third batch before they begin to assign the second.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:

$1 million is enough to be set for the rest of your life (probably).

Even with a low-yield, stable investment vehicle (most government securities pay about 4-5% with minimal volatility), that's $40-50 thousand a year in perpetuity; most people can live fairly comfortably on $40-50 thousand a year. And that doesn't prevent getting some part-time job (or even continuing to work full-time) for even more income.

Uh...you can't make 4-5% on that amount of money on low risk investments in today's economy. Nor is $50k a year enough to live on in perpetuity. It'd be enough for a while, but there's this thing called inflation...

Municipal Bonds are still earning up to 4%. If you want an annual return instead of waiting for the bond maturity, then there are some mutual funds that invest in government securities instead of stocks. The biggest thing is that in the U.S., the gains from U.S. government (federal, state, or municipal) securities are usually not taxed (so that the recipient can keep the entire amount).

Even $30-40K per year, net, should last most people long enough to qualify for Social Security (which is adjusted for inflation) in addition to the investment income. Anyway, the point is that $1 million should probably be enough to support someone for the rest of their life, by itself; using it as seed money for baseline investment income and still working (possibly after pursuing education in a different career) to increase immediate and future income just makes things easier.

I talk about investing to young people just entering the military fairly frequently. Usually, $1 million is a rough benchmark amount for "at this point, you can normally earn enough off of the investment(s) to live on just the gains."

Also, current conditions are somewhat of an anomaly. Unless something drastic happens to completely dismantle existing economic structures, the modest improvements over the past few years will continue (or even possibly accelerate, depending on certain events).


Zhayne wrote:
Forthepie wrote:
I tried to GM for my friends who are used to a roll system. They complained that the 25pt buy was too limiting.
A bit of a harsh judgement, I admit, but my first thought would be that they only want to roll so they can cheat. I can't imagine finding 25 points 'limiting'.

Considering that my players average what would be a 42 or so point buy (we roll, but I offer a generous array as an alternative), and that's how I prefer them to be, yes 25 seems limiting.


Mondoglimmer wrote:
Does anyone else use a rolling system and have to deal with imbalance like that or does everyone use point buy to avoid this problem in the first place? Should I switch to a point buy system even now that the rolls are out and on the field, rolling back the rolls? Should I just provide some extra points to the weaker members, or should I also rein in the powerhouse? Or is everything just fine as it is?

I use roll for stats in my games, but I use a method designed to get high stats. To deal with the possibility that someone might still manage to tank the rolls, I offer an array that (according to a point buy calculator) would be 46 points.

It's all about style. I like to run high adventure, "stand tall and shake the heavens" kind of games. For those, high stats are excellent. For gritty, scape by in whatever you can scavenge kind of games, low stats would give more tension. An AP is designed with an expectation of 15 -20 point stats. So, if it's a problem, and how to deal with it, depends on your game style. If you're running an AP, or a more gritty or down to earth/humble heroes game, then you probably ought to have the specific player redo stats to be on the same level as the others. If you plan to go big, then let the others redo stats with the same value as the high roller.

In the future, no matter which system you use for stats, apply it evenly.


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This thread again...

Point Buy is the devil and every time someone uses it a puppy dies.

Balance is an illusion and stats do not determine everything. Class selection, available resources, and system mastery I find separate characters at the table far more than stats ever will.

The class system is not based around balancing stats among players, nor should it be.

If you want to impose 'balance at all costs' you are better off playing a different edition tbh.

If your goal is less varied results, 2d6+6 keeps scores with a fairly high average and prevents any low end stats. I prefer a game where my players have the options to do what they want with their characters and 2d6+6 facilitates that perfectly.

I actually use 3d6 replace the lowest with a 6 and have been very pleased with the results.

As far as breaking the game goes, wizards broke the game regardless of how high their STR and CHA scores were before, so just giving them the chance to have an ever so slightly bigger AC and HP count really doesn't change anything.

By imposing Point Buy the only person you are really helping is the min maxer who already had plans to circumvent the rules of the game.

As far as game design goes, Point Buy is terrible and is changing 3.x for the worst.


I haven't seen one method that actually works. If I roll enough times I may actually get a set that is usable.

Our group has played since 2nd Ed, so when 3rd came out we had our own system for rolling the dice and dealing with low rolls; pity it never worked for me. :)


4d6 drop the lowest, everyone rolls all together and the GM also rolls a set.

After they are all generated, anyone can choose any statline they like from the list.

The GM will also use this same list for Named "important" NPCs, instead of the base numbers for NPCs.

This balances the excitement some people feel with rolling, with the avoidance of a really bad night with the dice.

And, depending on the rolls and the class you want to play, not everyone will even pick the same statline, since the MAD player might take the 3 16s and a couple 10s, while the SAD caster takes an 18 a 14 and a couple 8s.

Because, what's the point of playing Heroes/Anti-Heroes if you don't have any better stats than joe the dirt farmer.

I liked the old Darksun logic... everyone starts at 3rd level. Because everyone under 3rd level died in the desert on the way to the party intro, or is still in the slave caravan.


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Rolling for stats requires maturity to deal with the fact that other players at your table may roll better than you. If that is not acceptable to you, then you shouldn't agree to play in a game with rolled stats.

Another good idea for rolled stats is that none of the players should see each other's rolls/character sheets. This will eliminate a large percentage of the whining.


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Tormsskull wrote:

Rolling for stats requires maturity to deal with the fact that other players at your table may roll better than you. If that is not acceptable to you, then you shouldn't agree to play in a game with rolled stats.

Another good idea for rolled stats is that none of the players should see each other's rolls/character sheets. This will eliminate a large percentage of the whining.

I've never encountered that problem.

Most of the problems I have had with stat generation come from over imposing DMs who need to control the players more and more.

Like I said earlier, class selection, resource management, and system mastery set players apart more than stats ever will.

Sovereign Court

Call me an iron fist but I don't like mixing stat generation methods at the same time and do no allow it. Everyone rolls, use an array, or point buy.

Liberty's Edge

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Well I guess I am lucky enough to where my players play with each other and not so much against each other.

We roll for stats and largely look at it this way, a d20 is a representation of 100% with each number on the d20 5%.

someone with an 18 in a stat gets +4 (20%) bonus on something
while someone with a 14 gets +2 (10%) difference of 10%

I dont see the random dice rolls being an issue unless you get a player who wants to powergame and WANTS to overshadow his fellow gamers... at which point you probably dont want to play with them because if they cant overshadow the others.... they will look for loop holes or google ways to break or abuse the game system... essentially using knowledge of the game in place of stat bonus.

for us, using the rolls has been exciting, and the randomness is invigorating.

I have seen this system abused by people min/ maxing with good dice rolls, or well chosen placement of stats from fair to good rolls. In addition to chosen races coupled with classes and modules expanding options.

Really its up to the GM to mitigate, look at the stats, if they seem off for the rest of the group, change his or the groups. If you are blessed with mature friends then it wont be a problem. If the stat differences are so outlandish, then your friends will just tell you and you hash out a problem together, the beauty of having friends I guess?
The players and the GM present fixes that everyone can live with, and the GM who has forsight of the games encounters will be the final judge.

Point Buy or Rolls, it all depends on the players, are they min/ maxers? Power gamers? If they want to break or ruin the system they will do it... they dont need dice to. Dice can make it more obvious what their intentions are... but not necessarily easier.

Shadow Lodge

I don't think point buy is a terrible way to generate stats. It is just not particularly interesting for me - and yes, I have tried it. Part of the fun in character creation is figuring out exactly what stats I have to work with. Sometimes the numbers will be more even, sometimes there will be a bigger range between my highest and lowest stat. 18s feel more fun when you roll them than when you buy them.

I have never seen a player feel that they did not contribute because of their stats, though I have seen some frustrated by a poor build. I have never seen a character appear overpowered because of their stats, including a paladin in our current game who rolled two 18s. However, part of that definitely comes down to the fact that we all treat it as a team game, and no one wants to play a character with a 50 point value array when everyone else has arrays worth ~20 points.

There are plenty of ways to reduce randomness to a "safe" level without getting rid of it entirely. Setting an acceptable range of values (by point-buy value, total modifier, or lowest/highest stats) outside of which arrays must be rerolled, rolling 2d6+6, or rolling a pool of arrays from which to choose rather than each player rolling their own array are all good ideas.

Mondoglimmer wrote:
The lower members are having trouble picking up everything they wanted with their random stat arrays and are worried that the fourth's high everything is going to have them cowering behind him for the entire game.

While not getting everything you wanted is expected when rolling, if the lower players' major concern is qualifying for feats such as Power Attack, Combat Expertise, or Raging Vitality, consider waiving those prerequisites as part of a solution.

I would also politely ask the player who rolled very high if he/she would voluntarily reduce their stats to be on par with the others, or play a significantly suboptimal build (which with their stats should be able to contribute just fine). Explain that you're not trying to punish them for rolling well, but that if their character is significantly overshadowing the others in play you will need to make some sort of adjustment to keep the game fun for everyone, which might be challenging for you if you're not used to big power differences between players. Many players will appreciate this reasoning and be very cooperative.

Alternatively, you could try running the kind of game that's fun for characters of disparate power levels. I don't have personal experience with this, but it can work.

Million Dollar Button:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Squirrel_Dude wrote:
To be fair, the second button has an average payout of $50 million.
The average doesn't matter when you only get one chance.
IF I only have one chance to press the button, shouldn't I be doing as much to maximize my earnings?

No, you should maximize your utility. Which is why it's important to figure out whether $100 million actually represents that big of a difference in happiness compared to $1 million - and whether any regret over getting nothing would worsen the expected outcome of the gamble for you.

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