Generating Stats - tricks and preferences


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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So I'm curious how the community views stat generation in Pathfinder. I still hear the phrase "roll up a character" pretty often, but I get the impression that in many cases the only thing being rolled is hit points. Perhaps I am wrong about that. It seems to me that there are two poles to stat generation, and frankly, I don't care for either one of them.

Dice Rolling:

There are various flavors of this. True old school stat generation was straight 3d6, which could feel terribly un-heroic, could grossly restrict class choices for the players, and could lead to huge power imbalances within the party. More generous dice rolling methods can make the PCs feel more heroic and reduce imbalances, but none of them guarantee that a character's stats will match up with player class preference. I see this as a problem.

Point Buy:

On the other end, we have straight point buy systems, which I gather are quite common these days. These have the virtue of engendering player freedom and achieving intra-party balance. The problems in this case arise from the powerful temptation to optimize, which is well illustrated in the various class guides floating around out there in the internets. Wanting a Wizard with an 18 INT is normal...everybody wants their PC to feel special, at least at his particular schtick. Constantly building Wizards with an 18 INT, plus CON and DEX as secondary stats and everything else dumped is, in my opinion, crap. Pure point buy leads, in my experience, to cookie-cutter uniformity among the PCs, and sucks a good deal of the flavor out of the game. Simply put, the PCs cease feeling like individuals.

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For my part, I started with the dice-rolling methods of OD&D, and was thrilled when point buy alternatives came out because I feel straight dice rolling is a poor method. Then I played exclusively point buy systems for a good while before getting frustrated with that, as well, for the reasons mentioned above. For about the last four years, I've been using a sort of mélange of the two which I find satisfies the need for player preference while avoiding the pitfalls of assembly-line optimization.

My players get the following options at character creation:

1) 18 in a single stat (before racial adjustment), and everything else 3d6, in order (8 minimum before racial adjustment)

2) 16 in two stats (before racial adjustment), and everything else 3d6, in order (8 minimum before racial adjustment)

3) 14 in three stats (before racial adjustment), and everything else 3d6, in order (8 minimum before racial adjustment)

4) Full stat line generated with 4D6, drop lowest, in order (8 minimum before racial adjustment)

This has led to some very interesting and diverse characters in my games - the clumsy but incredibly charming wizard, the wise rogue, the whip-smart fighter, etc. without putting the players in a straightjacket of limited choice. All-in-all, I'm quite happy with how the system works.

*side note: I always just assign max HP at every level, for PCs and monsters. I find that it cuts down on rocket tag.*

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So, two questions now:

- What method do you typically use to generate stats in your games?

- How would you like to play in a game that uses the above method of stat generation?


I'm point buy all the way. The last GM I played with the dice pence between characters was so great because of dice rolling, 1 to 2 players basically did everything with everyone else as back up. This happened 2 games in a row. I don't think it was build issues either, as the GM and myself (both of whom have pretty strong degrees of system mastery) pretty much built all the pcs. I've never seen such discrepencies in a point buy that's not very clearly caused by build issues. I don't even roll hp's, I use on of the methods (depending on my campaign) that auto assigns them. I had a mid level party back in 3.5 where the wizard had more hp's than the barb, and I've never rolled for hp's since.

I'd be hesitant to say the least. It looks better than a normal dice roll (most classes can work with an 18 or 2 16s) but taking everything in order is quite likely suicide.


I'm fairly new to Pathfinder, but did a little variant of dice rolling when my PCs started out. It went something like this:

Roll 3d6 six times and record the results. Whenever a result is lower than 10 pair it up with another result of your choice. For every pair select 1 roll to keep (denote the value X) and discard the other. Instead of the discarded roll, add a new value equal to 20 - X. Finally, arrange the values to whatever attributes you like.

My idea was that if players kept low rolls, they would also be awarded with high values. It turned out to be somewhat complicated. Next time we'll probably use the standard 4d6 or 4d6 with a little twist; that if the sum of one PC's attributes is too different from another PC (with some preset threshold) they'll switch their highest and lowest roll, which continues until the threshold is satisfied.


Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
I'd be hesitant to say the least. It looks better than a normal dice roll (most classes can work with an 18 or 2 16s) but taking everything in order is quite likely suicide.

You mean option 4, I presume? That one has been rarely used, though it does end up generating overall stats in line with the other methods, as 4d6 drop lowest is considerably better than 3d6. I think the only players who took that option didn't have a class preference, and I know one of them (on Oracle) ended up being quite strong.

If what you mean is that taking "secondary stats" at random with a lower boundary of 8 is suicide, I can tell you from experience that it is not. The lower boundary is quite important. If it were straight 3d6, I would wholeheartedly agree with you. Going on an adventure with a CON of 5, for example, is likely suicide regardless of class, but the lower boundary turns potentially crippling weaknesses into mild ones, and raises the average of the stat lines to something well above standard 3d6. The PCs are still special without being made-to-order special. They'll never be terrible at anything, at least relative to their race, though they can have weaknesses.


Point-buy, but for the next campaign I run everyone will roll and have the option of taking the rolls of the player that rolled the best. If more than one rolled well they can choose which set to take.

I really don't like rolling, but one of the players wanted to roll, and I was only going to do it if everyone had the same access to good rolls.

Sovereign Court

I have recently used a new stat generation system.

All stats start at 10. You then get a pool of dice (8d4) to divvy up and generate the final stat(18 max) before racial mods.

So a fighter might:
Str 10+3d4
Dex 10+2d4
Con 10+3d4
Int 10
Wis 10
Chr 10

A Paladin:
Str 10+2d4
Dex 10
Con 10+2d4
Int 10
Wis 10+1d4
Chr 10+3d4

worked fairly well so far in getting PCs the players want and providing a range to numbers w/o cookiecutter feel

Silver Crusade

I have a question: in methods 1 to 3, the '3d6, in order' part, do you roll 3d6 the requisite number of times, then insert your (18, or two 16s, or three 14s) into that array, or do you have to assign your (18, or two 16s, or three 14s) to a specific ability before you roll all those 3d6s?


We do a variant of the 4d6 method.

All players (including the GM) all at the table together roll up a set of 4d6 drop the lowest.

Each of those statlines is then available for anyone to use.

Oddly, not everyone uses the same one in my experience. Someone will roll multiple 15/16s, and a couple 10/11s, and MAD classes use that statline. Someone else will roll the 18 and 8, and SAD casters use that statline.

We have also gone with 6+2d6 or 6+3d4, in order to keep pre-racial stats between 8-18, but still have the fun of rolling stats instead of the same cookie cutter point buy that most classes end up with.

The caveat is that the GM uses the same statline pool for any named recurring NPC's, although mooks/subchiefs use the normal arrays.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

My group currently does your choice of 15 point buy, or 4d6 drop lowest arrange to taste, but reroll if your point buy value is less than 10 or greater than 20. We have a little computer macro that rolls the stats and calculates the point buy value, and it just rerolls on its own so no one ever even sees the potential uber roll they may have been denied.

1e had a whole section on different stat generation methods. 4d6 drop lowest arrange to taste was the one that carried on to later editions, but there were also:

Roll 3d6 twelve times, pick your favorite 6, arrange to taste

Roll 3d6 in order to make a stat array. Generate twelve of these stat arrays then pick your favorite one.

Roll 3d6 twice for each stat in order and pick your favorite from each pair.

A crazy one from Unearthed Arcana where your stats were prioritized based on your class choice, then you rolled 9d6 keep highest 3 for your top stat, 8d6 for the next one, etc.

One of my favorite stat rolling variants is to have each player roll a stat set, then make all the sets available to all players. That way if one person rolls really well then everyone can pick that set of stats.

Our group does hp rolling, with a minor twist. After you roll your die you can have the GM reroll for you, but you have to take the GM's roll. So if you roll a 7 on a d8 you'll probably keep it, but if you roll a 1 you'll certainly take the reroll and if you roll a 2 you'll likely take it, even with the small chance of a 1. This system tends to result in characters with the high end of average for hp.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I have a question: in methods 1 to 3, the '3d6, in order' part, do you roll 3d6 the requisite number of times, then insert your (18, or two 16s, or three 14s) into that array, or do you have to assign your (18, or two 16s, or three 14s) to a specific ability before you roll all those 3d6s?

Assign first (that is...essentially pick the class you want - eg. typically 18 INT for a Wizard, 16 STR and CON for a Fighter, etc.), then roll in order.

I had never considered doing it the other way, but it is an interesting possibility which would give the players more freedom (provided they're not set on playing a particular class) while still avoiding the uniformity of point-buy stat allocation. Likely wouldn't change much of anything for SAD classes, but may be beneficial to players looking at more MAD builds. I know it was more question than suggestion, but thanks, anyway. I'll have to give this one some thought.

Dark Archive

I HATE rolling in order with all of my being. I can handle rolling for stats (Focus and Foible is actually kind of neat, 2d6+6 is okay, 4d6 drop lowest is something I can stomach) but I absolutely adore the control I get over how my character is going to turn out with point buy.

Every game I've run has used point buy, and the vast majority of games I've played in have used it, too.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I've never played a rolled-stat game. Every game I've played (whether PFS or home game) has been point-buy. (Interestingly, that means that every awesome, unique, deep, and engaging PC that I've ever played (or played alongside of) has been made with point-buy. Just sayin'.)

In the homebrew I'm currently running, PCs got the Heroic NPC stat array.


Jiggy wrote:
I've never played a rolled-stat game. Every game I've played (whether PFS or home game) has been point-buy. (Interestingly, that means that every awesome, unique, deep, and engaging PC that I've ever played (or played alongside of) has been made with point-buy. Just sayin'.)

And how many INT>CON>DEX...PUNT Wizards have you played with in all that time? Just askin'.

It is obviously the case that good roleplayers don't need much, if any, nudging to play interesting, flavorful characters. If players were angels, we wouldn't need rules. Sadly, most are not.


3X3 grid.

Int Wis Cha
Str X X X
Dex X X X
Con X X X

Roll in order from left to right. 4d6, drop lowest, re-roll 1s. After you fill the grid, you may choose your score out of that ability's row or column. Once a number has been chosen, it cannot be chosen again. So, if you roll an 18 Dex/Wis, you decide to put it in Wis, you cannot choose that 18 for Dex, you must use the Int or Cha column's numbers on the Dex row instead.

Provides some nicely powered characters for my extremely small party (2 players, 1 gm with the occasional tag-along back up NPC).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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the secret fire wrote:
And how many INT>CON>DEX...PUNT Wizards have you played with in all that time? Just askin'.

The same number as I'd have seen if people's rolled stats included a highest number, a second-highest number, and so on.

My assertion is not that point-buyers never make soulless, cookie-cutter characters. My assertion is that the creation of those characters is not the result of point-buy.


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20 point buy is love
20 point buy is life

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I use point-buy. Rolling never works out for my tables.

Otherwise, I'll just tell the players to pick what they like, and remind them that the opposition will be reflected in what scores they choose.


In my group, everybody gets 85 points, and arranges them how they like for their stats, with no starting stat being above 20 (including bonuses due to race). It works for us. We used to roll up characters, and never used point buy.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
...and remind them that the opposition will be reflected in what scores they choose.

Derail:
I'm seriously considering no longer putting in the work to create full statblocks for enemies in my homebrew, instead just assigning AC, attack bonus, etc at numbers that will highlight the various party members' strengths and weaknesses regardless of whether a "real" statblock could produce those numbers.

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the secret fire wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
I've never played a rolled-stat game. Every game I've played (whether PFS or home game) has been point-buy. (Interestingly, that means that every awesome, unique, deep, and engaging PC that I've ever played (or played alongside of) has been made with point-buy. Just sayin'.)

And how many INT>CON>DEX...PUNT Wizards have you played with in all that time? Just askin'.

It is obviously the case that good roleplayers don't need much, if any, nudging to play interesting, flavorful characters. If players were angels, we wouldn't need rules. Sadly, most are not.

Rolled wizards would still be INT>CON>DEX the values would just be different. I don't really see how that is better.


Jiggy wrote:
My assertion is not that point-buyers never make soulless, cookie-cutter characters. My assertion is that the creation of those characters is not the result of point-buy.

Vis-á-vis the cookie-cutter part, point buy absolutely enables and encourages this sort of character design in a way that more random methods do not.

Much as it is with good and evil, most players are, in truth, neither great roleplayers nor shameless munchkinoids, but rather something in-between, willing to blow with the wind based on the culture of the table and "what everybody else is doing". It is these players who concern me, and these players whose behavior can be positively influenced by certain mechanical constraints.

Shadow Lodge

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Jiggy wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
What's a statblock? ;)

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Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Rolled wizards would still be INT>CON>DEX the values would just be different. I don't really see how that is better.

Not if the values are assigned in order. Then a Wizard could easily end up with a STR, WIS or CHA higher than his CON or DEX. That's what I'm talking about in the OP.


the secret fire wrote:
Vis-á-vis the cookie-cutter part, point buy absolutely enables and encourages this sort of character design in a way that more random methods do not.

I think the 5E point-buy methodology would appeal to you.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

the secret fire wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
My assertion is not that point-buyers never make soulless, cookie-cutter characters. My assertion is that the creation of those characters is not the result of point-buy.
Vis-á-vis the cookie-cutter part, point buy absolutely enables and encourages this sort of character design in a way that more random methods do not.

Only if by "more random methods" you mean "methods where you don't pick which stat gets which number". In any method in which you get to see the numbers and then decide which stat gets which number, the "cookie-cutter" is equally prevalent, regardless of how the numbers themselves were generated.

So yes, there is indeed one dividing line between methods that results in more or less ability to create the cookie-cutters. But that line divides whether or not you get to put the numbers where you want, not whether the numbers were generated by dice or points.


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the secret fire wrote:
Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Rolled wizards would still be INT>CON>DEX the values would just be different. I don't really see how that is better.
Not if the values are assigned in order. Then a Wizard could easily end up with a STR, WIS or CHA higher than his CON or DEX. That's what I'm talking about in the OP.

Then you break the game down into classes having effective min stats, so that what you play is more determined by what you roll. (Even with your method. For example monks are about impossible to play)

Rolling stats is just a good way unbalance your party. AD&D supported rolling stats better because each stat had vast dead-ranges. PF doesn't do that.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

the secret fire wrote:
Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Rolled wizards would still be INT>CON>DEX the values would just be different. I don't really see how that is better.
Not if the values are assigned in order. Then a Wizard could easily end up with a STR, WIS or CHA higher than his CON or DEX. That's what I'm talking about in the OP.

That has nothing to do with whether you generate the numbers by points or dice. You could just as easily have players generate a set of six stats using point-buy and then randomly assign the numbers to different abilities.

The difference between enabling cookie-cutter stat spreads or not is about whether you pick or randomly assign your stats. Your additional assertion that it has something to do with whether the individual numbers are bought or rolled is provably wrong.


20 point buy is my go to option. Your method is allright Id still just prefer everyone to use point buy. I've not experienced the game any different by rolling or point buying exccept when it comes to mechanics, so the cookie cutter thing doesnt affect me. As GM Id prefer everyone be on a similar level. Rolling just doesnt allow that in my experience. You can of course build in all kinds of failsafes into rolling but the more you do the less random it will be. Might as well be point buy anyhow. YMMV


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Pretty much what Jiggy said...

If I saw my stats Had high str, wis, and cha, then I could roll up a cleric or Oracle....

Now, if you are saying you have to pick your class THEN roll your stats IN ORDER then that would just end horribly. What happens when you pick wizard and you end up with a 10 int? You literally cannot cast anything other than cantrips... Or hihg str, con, and cha but an int of 13? You pretty much end up a failure of a wizard...

Oh and I love how people liek to say rolling creates less "cookie cutter" builds but create really crazy ways to limit the distribition of dice rolls (4d6 drop the lowest, roll 3d6 and add the square root of pi, ect.). That right there produces very cookie cutter things as well because now everyone is rocking awesome stats across the board...


I just realized... we are missing a certain poster who is quite well known for thinking point buy is the devil...


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Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Then you break the game down into classes having effective min stats, so that what you play is more determined by what you roll. (Even with your method. For example monks are about impossible to play)

That's why you give the players enough control to play the classes they want before imposing randomness on the rest of the stat array. I'll pour out some of my 40 for the poor monk, who is unplayable for a variety of reasons (blah, blah...quiggong...blah, blah).

Quote:
Rolling stats is just a good way unbalance your party. AD&D supported rolling stats better because each stat had vast dead-ranges. PF doesn't do that.

Rolling secondary stats actually doesn't imbalance the game much. Some toons will end up a little bit stronger than others, but they'll all be about equally good at their primary schtick, whatever that is.


PIXIE DUST wrote:
Now, if you are saying you have to pick your class THEN roll your stats IN ORDER then that would just end horribly. What happens when you pick wizard and you end up with a 10 int? You literally cannot cast anything other than cantrips... Or hihg str, con, and cha but an int of 13? You pretty much end up a failure of a wizard...

Try reading the OP.


Jiggy wrote:

That has nothing to do with whether you generate the numbers by points or dice. You could just as easily have players generate a set of six stats using point-buy and then randomly assign the numbers to different abilities.

The difference between enabling cookie-cutter stat spreads or not is about whether you pick or randomly assign your stats. Your additional assertion that it has something to do with whether the individual numbers are bought or rolled is provably wrong.

You are apparently looking for reasons to argue with me. This is quite an impressive red herring you've caught considering that no one in the history of gaming other than perhaps mental patients has ever used point buy and then assigned the stats randomly.

Pedantic doesn't begin to describe the point you are trying to make.


PIXIE DUST wrote:
I just realized... we are missing a certain poster who is quite well known for thinking point buy is the devil...

He's covered.


You still end up with some really dumb stuff.

For instance. Lets take the wizard. Anyone who wants to play anything other than a buffer/summoner, would want an 18 in their casting stat (int in this case). If you randomly roll your stats down the line there you can very easily end up with a case like:

16 str
10 dex
8 con
15 wis
18 int
16 cha

That would end up a very crude mage out side of his spells... What good is a 16 str for a mage? Unless he is playing at high level and abusing mythic or playing an Eldritch Knight, a wizard should very rarely be running up into combat. A low dex murders what little AC a wizard has an makes any spell with a ranged touch pretty muhc impossible (1/2 BAB pretty much may as well be 0 BAB). Low con murders what little HP a wizard has to start with. Wis is kind of useless for wizards who already have high will saves anyway... and charisma is pointless for non Cha-casters, paladins, and faces...

What if the guy just wants to play his wizardened old mage (the Gandalf guy...i.e. what every new player wants to play when they say they want to play a wizard)? What if the guy who rolled it is the quiet person who pretty much refuses to play faces?

That is the problem with forcing stats in slots, you FORCE people to play things that maybe they did not want to play. And if you force someone to play something they don't want to, they won't have as much fun as they would have if they got to play the guy they wanted. And point is a game if they are not enjoying themselves?

Shadow Lodge

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the secret fire wrote:
You are apparently looking for reasons to argue with me. This is quite an impressive red herring you've caught considering that no one in the history of gaming other than perhaps mental patients has ever used point buy and then assigned the stats randomly.

But that is what would solve your problem. Randomizing which stat goes where. Not choosing rolling over point buy.

If you can still choose which scores go where, it doesn't matter if you rolled them or picked them out yourself. The cookie-cutter effect still happens, because the player puts them in the class-determined optimal order.


TOZ wrote:

But that is what would solve your problem. Randomizing which stat goes where. Not choosing rolling over point buy.

If you can still choose which scores go where, it doesn't matter if you rolled them or picked them out yourself. The cookie-cutter effect still happens, because the player puts them in the class-determined optimal order.

Jesus people, read the OP. "3d6, in order (8 minimum before racial adjustment)" is not an ambiguous choice of words.

Shadow Lodge

I already answered your OP. Now I'm responding to your later posts.


TOZ wrote:
I already answered your OP. Now I'm responding to your later posts.

You should try staying with one account in a single thread.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
the secret fire wrote:
You should try staying with one account in a single thread.

I've done that before. It gets boring. And there is a reason not to.


the secret fire wrote:
TOZ wrote:

But that is what would solve your problem. Randomizing which stat goes where. Not choosing rolling over point buy.

If you can still choose which scores go where, it doesn't matter if you rolled them or picked them out yourself. The cookie-cutter effect still happens, because the player puts them in the class-determined optimal order.

Jesus people, read the OP. "3d6, in order (8 minimum before racial adjustment)" is not an ambiguous choice of words.

Again, this creates problems since you end up with stats in places that the class NO GOOD. For instance, what good is high str to a wizard? He is not going to be going up into combat and he as Ant Haul to account for carrying capacity (if he even reaches his limit since he is not running around in armor).

Most importanly, most people have a vision or an idea of what they want THEIR character to be. With your system, you would be telling them "no you cannot play that, play something else" instead of with Point-Buy or even dice roll (where you can put your stats where you like) where you can help them and foster their idea (of if skilled enough, can build the idea themselves)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
You should try staying with one account in a single thread.
I've done that before. It gets boring. And there is a reason not to.

Well, onto your point, such as it is...yes, using point buy after the first stats are assigned in methods 1-3 and then randomizing might achieve the same effect. But then again, it might not. Standard point buy favors certain scores as the most efficient points/modifier allocations.

Say I assign 15 point buy to the five remaining stats after the single 18 is allocated in option 1 (this would be a pretty generous number, but humor me). Not knowing where the stats will land, the mechanically most efficient allocation of those points would get you stats of: 14, 14, 14, 12, 8 ; 14, 14, 14, 10, 10 ; or 14, 14, 12, 12, 11 if you're just strange.

Say I'm playing a Wizard, and really want a 14 CON and/or DEX. The point allocation that gives me the best shot at getting a decent modifier on these stats (one of the above) is going to be the dominant option, and is what min-maxers would gravitate towards. Worse yet, in a 10 point buy for the remaining five stats, a straight 12, 12, 12, 12, 12 might end up being quite common. No, I don't think doing a point buy and then randomizing would actually solve the problem.

I would also have to choose a different point buy number for each of the categories 1-3 so as to maintain the balance between the options, with the potential of throwing the whole system into chaos should I get it wrong.


Yes I always felt like in random stats you are giving a character, while with non-random stats you can make a character.

I feel like the latter allows for better role-playing while the former allows for better world immersion.

If PF was a Roguelike then random stats would just be part of the fun. But it isn't like that so random stats could make you play a crud character for years...

Most rolled stats systems that I have seen work just make everyone end up with obscene point buy equivalents, so it's like playing the game on easy mode.


PIXIE DUST wrote:
Most importanly, most people have a vision or an idea of what they want THEIR character to be.

There is something to be said for the idea of getting most of what you want, but not every single thing.

If giving the players everything was the goal, we wouldn't even have point-buy systems; we'd have pick-stat systems.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
the secret fire wrote:
we'd have pick-stat systems.

Honestly, if I thought my players could do it without huge arguments, that would be all I use.


the secret fire wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Most importanly, most people have a vision or an idea of what they want THEIR character to be.

There is something to be said for the idea of getting most of what you want, but not every single thing.

If giving the players everything was the goal, we wouldn't even have point-buy systems; we'd have pick-stat systems.

You answered your own retort.

There is something to be said for not getting everything you want and having a point buy does that while allowing people to play want they envision. Who cares if strength is useless for a wizard? What if I wanted to play a weak wizard who relied on spells for mundane activity? I can't do that if I roll a 16 for strength.


I normally use point buy but I'm thinking next time I will just say use the heroic array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) so that there is less room for huge optimization variations and everybody gets 1 flaw stat and there is only a moderate spread on bonuses or penalties.

I am generally fine with whatever character stat generation process the DM uses, but I prefer balanced stats between PCs.

If you want random but still want overall balance I'd suggest assigning a point buy total for each character and then roll one random stat at a time, leaving the last to be determined by the remaining point buy points after calculating how much the rolled stats cost. This way the exact numbers are random but the distribution is overall balanced even though it is not fully optimized.


Voadam wrote:
If you want random but still want overall balance I'd suggest assigning a point buy total for each character and then roll one random stat at a time, leaving the last to be determined by the remaining point buy points after calculating how much the rolled stats cost. This way the exact numbers are random but the distribution is overall balanced even though it is not fully optimized.

Compare the following arrays of supposedly equal value.

17 15 13 12 9 7 total mod: +4
16 14 14 12 10 8 total mod: +7


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
You answered your own retort.

Surely you are clever enough to realize we are talking about two different shades of grey here, not polar opposites. How much of what a player wants should be given is at issue here, not whether or not they should get any choice in the matter, at all.

Quote:
There is something to be said for not getting everything you want and having a point buy does that while allowing people to play want they envision.

And yet what they "envision" so often ends up being bland mechanical efficiency. Funny that.


Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Voadam wrote:
If you want random but still want overall balance I'd suggest assigning a point buy total for each character and then roll one random stat at a time, leaving the last to be determined by the remaining point buy points after calculating how much the rolled stats cost. This way the exact numbers are random but the distribution is overall balanced even though it is not fully optimized.

Compare the following arrays of supposedly equal value.

17 15 13 12 9 7 total mod: +4
16 14 14 12 10 8 total mod: +7

Just rounding up/down to the nearest even number would fix his method without much fuss.

That's a good idea, by the way, Voadam.

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