Generating Ability Score Methods - Which is the best option?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Kitty Catoblepas wrote:

Goblin_Priest:

The only rule that dictates what is and what isn't a dump stat is the rule of utility. Constitution, wisdom, and dexterity are always useful and a penalty to them always hurts. Strength, intelligence, and charisma are situationally useful. A penalty to them can often be ignored or overcome.

@Everyone else:

If you eliminate bonus points from dumping, you're basically playing with 4-8 points fewer than the point buy would suggest. If stats are really that meaningful, it could really affect encounter difficulty.

Every stat has its uses. Just because you decude charisma isn't important to your fighter or wizard doesn't mean the GM won't make it matter. I rarely see dex and con below 10, sure, but wis? Some people I play with actually enjoy failing their will saves against stuff like murderous command. XD I've dumped it myself, on a ranger no less, and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I think I had also dumped all other mental stats on that guy, certainly not the brightest guy around. But he kicked ass with his halberd. Until he followed another PCs terrible assault plan and got intercepted by the guards, and was forced to do a bluff check untrained. I don't remember what I rolled exactly, but with the -2 it was pretty terrible. "That's not blood on my shirt, that's my wife's spaghetti, quick you must let me return to her before she gets mad!" did not convince anyone.

If the GM makes some stats never matter, then that's on him. It's pretty easy to make every stat come into play every now and then.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'm impressed - this thread has not only civil discussion of a contentious topic, but has some REALLY interesting ideas.

I've been using point-buy for a while, and for a number of reasons I've settled on 20pts for PCs as a reasonable place to support MAD and SAD character types imposing some limitations and choices without gimping MAD builds.

As a DM its let me do simple things to support the concept.

- Simple NPCs/monsters have their basic stat array.
- NPC/Monsters with a Name get upgraded to a 5pt. buy
- Re-occuring Named people with specific jobs/underbosses (10pt)
- Boss Monsters/Cohorts/NPC Allies (15 pts)
- Fated NPCs/Key Villians (20pts)
- Super bad ass bosses (25pts)

As a player I've begun to find it dull - similiar builds, similar dump stats. Lots of stuff already mentioned.

There was a 3-Dragon Ante character Generation system in Dragon Magazine that combined stat build with a random element that I found interesting (its not hard to find the system online). I haven't used it but it looked interesting, I've been tempted to try designing the same thing for a Harrow deck.

Having read the above posts I've found some really interesting ideas that sparked some in my own head. I've always been a fan of a "Session 0" character creation session, tends to mitigate the "everyone decides they'd like to play a Ranger (or some such)"

It seems that the whole point buy system is designed to mostly level the playing field, as a DM you can level the playing field on the back end if you need to.

Someone brought up the idea of " everyone rolls four six siders and drop the low die (abbreviated [/i]4d6(+DL)[/i] from now on) array, anyone can pick anyone's set of rolls". I really liked that, now its random but balanced within reason with respect to the other players - and MAD vs SAD should be reasonably supported by selecting an appropriate grouping.

Someone also mention the idea of rolling GROUPS of three stats of 4d6(+DL), this seems like you would end up with some very high stats, but it gave me the idea to make everyone roll 6 stats but dived into groups of 4 and 2. The DM generates a set as well.

The players can take any group of 4 and any group of 2 they like, but for each group that they pick from another player's rolls, that player can make a suggestion about the character that they are being used for. Some background element or something about that character. Feel free to hand out extra traits for players who embrace the suggestions.

SAVE THOSE GROUPINGS - now as a DM, you can use those numbers as baselines for other NPCs.


the Lorax wrote:
There was a 3-Dragon Ante character Generation system in Dragon Magazine that combined stat build with a random element that I found interesting (its not hard to find the system online). I haven't used it but it looked interesting, I've been tempted to try designing the same thing for a Harrow deck.

Heh, great minds think alike: I linked this earlier in the thread, but you may have missed it. I think you'll find it relevant to your interests.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Must have missed it - I've always wanted to use it as a starting point for play, it seemed like a neat way to begin things but I know I have at least one player who would turn his nose up at it. <shrug>

If I do a Harrow based version of it, I'll post it, it seems that it shouldn't be that hard of a conversion.

A "session 0" interactive character creation session allowing the other players to influence the character you play could be fun and interesting, at least to me. I've been a pretty big supporter of point buy, and specifically of 20 points for a while, but I would like to try something new - which may take starting a new game and forcing the players to use the new method.

Another method I wanted to try was to have everyone generate 2 or 3 rough concepts/builds, have everyone sit in a circle, deal out the outlines randomly and have the players keep one and pass all the remainders a number of times equal to the number of players-1, the player must flesh out one of the outlines as their character.


the Lorax wrote:

Must have missed it - I've always wanted to use it as a starting point for play, it seemed like a neat way to begin things but I know I have at least one player who would turn his nose up at it. <shrug>

If I do a Harrow based version of it, I'll post it, it seems that it shouldn't be that hard of a conversion.

A "session 0" interactive character creation session allowing the other players to influence the character you play could be fun and interesting, at least to me. I've been a pretty big supporter of point buy, and specifically of 20 points for a while, but I would like to try something new - which may take starting a new game and forcing the players to use the new method.

Another method I wanted to try was to have everyone generate 2 or 3 rough concepts/builds, have everyone sit in a circle, deal out the outlines randomly and have the players keep one and pass all the remainders a number of times equal to the number of players-1, the player must flesh out one of the outlines as their character.

Lol, the link *is* a Harrow conversion (and it was more involved than you might think. Check the spoiler at the end of the OP to see the full breakdown.)


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

HA! So it is!

I just assumed it was a link to the 3 Dragon Ante version, and as I already have a digital version of the original article I didn't bother to go look.

Now that I have ...GREAT JOB - your thought processes on how to start to go about doing it mirror those that have been in my head.
Breaking down all the numbers and such from the 3DA version proved to be a bit more insightful than I expected - I had always just assumed that there was an even distribution of effects. It looks like you resolved the number challenges well.

Have you thought about...I'll post that to your linked thread instead.

What I really need now is a set of cards that have the rules ON them so I dont need to refer to the article.

Dark Archive

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Hythlodeus wrote:

4d6 drop the lowest.

roll 18 times keep the highest 6
because point buy is unnecessarily stupid

Why is it "unnecessarily stupid" to have characters equal? I have players who always roll high and players who always roll low... even with the 18 rolls keep the highest 6 I have players that would end up with mostly 12-14 range and players that would have an 18 in every stat.

Shadow Lodge

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Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
Why is it "unnecessarily stupid" to have characters equal?

It's not, but point buy doesn't make characters equal. They get an equal amount of resources, but they don't end up equal thanks to the rest of the system.


Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

4d6 drop the lowest.

roll 18 times keep the highest 6
because point buy is unnecessarily stupid
Why is it "unnecessarily stupid" to have characters equal? I have players who always roll high and players who always roll low... even with the 18 rolls keep the highest 6 I have players that would end up with mostly 12-14 range and players that would have an 18 in every stat.

Which is why some of us recommend the "everyone rolls a set and everyone can use whichever of those sets they prefer" approach.

Dark Archive

thejeff wrote:
Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

4d6 drop the lowest.

roll 18 times keep the highest 6
because point buy is unnecessarily stupid
Why is it "unnecessarily stupid" to have characters equal? I have players who always roll high and players who always roll low... even with the 18 rolls keep the highest 6 I have players that would end up with mostly 12-14 range and players that would have an 18 in every stat.
Which is why some of us recommend the "everyone rolls a set and everyone can use whichever of those sets they prefer" approach.

So, can everyone use the same set, if that's their choice? If so, I might as well just tell my players they get 4 16's and two 18's because I have one player that even when I watch him like a HAWK he never rolls lower than 16 when rolling stats... he's either the luckiest player in the world, or he should go on Penn & Teller's Fool Us.


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TOZ wrote:
Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
Why is it "unnecessarily stupid" to have characters equal?
It's not, but point buy doesn't make characters equal. They get an equal amount of resources, but they don't end up equal thanks to the rest of the system.

Not to mention the human factor. I've seen far more games thrown off by varying player skill than by the (admittedly substantial) gaps between different classes/builds.

Shadow Lodge

We are all just cogs in the system. :)


Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

4d6 drop the lowest.

roll 18 times keep the highest 6
because point buy is unnecessarily stupid
Why is it "unnecessarily stupid" to have characters equal? I have players who always roll high and players who always roll low... even with the 18 rolls keep the highest 6 I have players that would end up with mostly 12-14 range and players that would have an 18 in every stat.
Which is why some of us recommend the "everyone rolls a set and everyone can use whichever of those sets they prefer" approach.
So, can everyone use the same set, if that's their choice? If so, I might as well just tell my players they get 4 16's and two 18's because I have one player that even when I watch him like a HAWK he never rolls lower than 16 when rolling stats... he's either the luckiest player in the world, or he should go on Penn & Teller's Fool Us.

See how he does with 3d6.

If he still gets nothing less than a 16, see if you can harness that at a casino. :)

But yeah, everyone being able to use the same set is the point.

If you're happy with point buy, stick with it. I like some randomness, but also like balance, so the "everyone rolls" approach works for me.


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Goblin_Priest wrote:


I rarely see dex and con below 10, sure, but wis? Some people I play with actually enjoy failing their will saves against stuff like murderous command.

Yes, and that's where it fails. Some players like doing a max DPS character, and actually like failing their will save so that they can use that DPS on the party.

The like doing a low CHA character that tries to ruin every diplomacy check.

They like doing a low int PC that tries doing all the stupid stuff lik pushing the big red button that sez DO NOT PUSH.

To too many players, their character is just a toon. If he dies, there's another better toon, with even more DPS.

But to the rest of us, we enjoy the roleplaying. Altho death can come, it shoudl at least be heroic.

We dont play low int characters become we dont like playing stupid. etc.


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Let's not to roll vs role playing here, ok? There are thousands of threads on thousands of boards about that very subject.


TOZ wrote:
Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
Why is it "unnecessarily stupid" to have characters equal?
It's not, but point buy doesn't make characters equal. They get an equal amount of resources, but they don't end up equal thanks to the rest of the system.

Yes, I mean everyone getting the same amount of pts for pt build doesnt make them all the same.


miscdebris wrote:
Let's not to roll vs role playing here, ok? There are thousands of threads on thousands of boards about that very subject.

Not doing roll vs role. But there are valid reasons for not wanting a low stat, even if that low stat does not effect you much mechanically.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If the filthy powergamers would shower with soap and washcloth, it would help...

Dark Archive

the Lorax wrote:
If the filthy powergamers would shower with soap and washcloth, it would help...

No, the soap would just get dirty and the washcloth would get permanently stained.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
No, the soap would just get dirty and the washcloth would get permanently stained.

Oh, OK then, can the non-filthy powergamers still play?


the problem with point buy is that either a) the point alotment is to low or b) the cost of stats are to high with rolling i atleast have a shot at a desent character based arround 18,16,14,14,12,10 array rolling 4d6 reroll 1s and 2s drop lowest if no 18 highest becomes and 18, with point buy you would need 40 points to pull that off

Dark Archive

the Lorax wrote:
Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
No, the soap would just get dirty and the washcloth would get permanently stained.
Oh, OK then, can the non-filthy powergamers still play?

Yes, but they are like The ROUSes. I don't think they exist.


Lady-J wrote:
the problem with point buy is that either a) the point alotment is to low or b) the cost of stats are to high with rolling i atleast have a shot at a desent character based arround 18,16,14,14,12,10 array rolling 4d6 reroll 1s and 2s drop lowest if no 18 highest becomes and 18, with point buy you would need 40 points to pull that off

Well yeah. You want really high stats you need a high point buy or a high powered rolling method.

It's like saying you get such high stats with 20 point buy compared to 3d6 for each.


Shhhh...sneak away from Christmas Eve dinner to smurf this thread.


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Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
the Lorax wrote:
If the filthy powergamers would shower with soap and washcloth, it would help...
No, the soap would just get dirty and the washcloth would get permanently stained.

Yeah, not to mention they'd probably insist on min-maxing their bathing habits and insisting that there's nothing in the rules preventing them from stacking +4 soap with a +4 washcloth to gain a total +8 bonus using a feat from the Ultimate Cleanliness splatbook.


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Goblin_Priest wrote:
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:

Goblin_Priest:

The only rule that dictates what is and what isn't a dump stat is the rule of utility. Constitution, wisdom, and dexterity are always useful and a penalty to them always hurts. Strength, intelligence, and charisma are situationally useful. A penalty to them can often be ignored or overcome.

@Everyone else:

If you eliminate bonus points from dumping, you're basically playing with 4-8 points fewer than the point buy would suggest. If stats are really that meaningful, it could really affect encounter difficulty.

Every stat has its uses. Just because you decude charisma isn't important to your fighter or wizard doesn't mean the GM won't make it matter. I rarely see dex and con below 10, sure, but wis? Some people I play with actually enjoy failing their will saves against stuff like murderous command. XD I've dumped it myself, on a ranger no less, and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I think I had also dumped all other mental stats on that guy, certainly not the brightest guy around. But he kicked ass with his halberd. Until he followed another PCs terrible assault plan and got intercepted by the guards, and was forced to do a bluff check untrained. I don't remember what I rolled exactly, but with the -2 it was pretty terrible. "That's not blood on my shirt, that's my wife's spaghetti, quick you must let me return to her before she gets mad!" did not convince anyone.

If the GM makes some stats never matter, then that's on him. It's pretty easy to make every stat come into play every now and then.

I agree. Every stat certainly has its purpose. However, not every stat is equal. Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom rule your saves, AC, Initiative, HP, and common rolls (such as Perception). Just because your DM can concoct narrative-disrupting scenarios that rely on Charisma or Strength for a Wizard doesn't mean that the stats have equal importance.

After all, "I keep my mouth shut" carries more weight than "I don't want to fail that save."


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"DrDeth wrote:

Yes, and that's where it fails. Some players like doing a max DPS character, and actually like failing their will save so that they can use that DPS on the party.

The like doing a low CHA character that tries to ruin every diplomacy check.

They like doing a low int PC that tries doing all the stupid stuff lik pushing the big red button that sez DO NOT PUSH.

To me this sounds more like someone hiding behind their stats as an excuse to be disruptive to the group. These are the kind of people that give chaotic neutral a bad name.


Melkiador wrote:
"DrDeth wrote:

Yes, and that's where it fails. Some players like doing a max DPS character, and actually like failing their will save so that they can use that DPS on the party.

The like doing a low CHA character that tries to ruin every diplomacy check.

They like doing a low int PC that tries doing all the stupid stuff lik pushing the big red button that sez DO NOT PUSH.

To me this sounds more like someone hiding behind their stats as an excuse to be disruptive to the group. These are the kind of people that give chaotic neutral a bad name.

Truth. Changing the stats on a disruptive player's character isn't going to make them stop being disruptive, because the problem is the player, not the character.


Lakesidefantasy wrote:
Shhhh...sneak away from Christmas Eve dinner to smurf this thread.

Smurf?

Grand Lodge

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4d6 drop lowest is nice and easy. I love generating stats in front of others because of others because of the "Woohoo!" of 18s and the "...tch!" of 3s

Also if you die at least you can blame the score generation and get another chance to roll the dice.

Point buy is a big headache to calculate, promotes clinical min maxing and makes players risk adverse.


When I was a kid we rolled 3d6 in order and we liked it, uphill both ways!!!


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I remember the day I was first introduced to the 4d6 method. I was like, "what is this world coming to, why don't we just put on capes and play superheroes?" :p

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Jader7777 wrote:
Point buy is a big headache to calculate, promotes clinical min maxing and makes players risk adverse.

I'll agree with the first one, but that's it. That's why we use calculators.


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
"DrDeth wrote:

Yes, and that's where it fails. Some players like doing a max DPS character, and actually like failing their will save so that they can use that DPS on the party.

The like doing a low CHA character that tries to ruin every diplomacy check.

They like doing a low int PC that tries doing all the stupid stuff lik pushing the big red button that sez DO NOT PUSH.

To me this sounds more like someone hiding behind their stats as an excuse to be disruptive to the group. These are the kind of people that give chaotic neutral a bad name.
Truth. Changing the stats on a disruptive player's character isn't going to make them stop being disruptive, because the problem is the player, not the character.

Indeed, and it is not the case at our table. Just because someone enjoys being compelled to do some friendly fire doesn't mean he's fishing for every opportunity to do so. I actually consider I've got a fairly good group of players. Not perfect but no complaints as far as disruptive behavior goes.

"Just because your DM can concoct narrative-disrupting scenarios that rely on Charisma or Strength for a Wizard doesn't mean that the stats have equal importance."

Never said equal importance. But if the wizard feels he can safely get away with 5 str or 5 cha and never suffer for it in the least, then that player is not to blame for this dumping, the GM is. If you don't like players dumping, as a GM, then you have all the power to encourage more balanced arrays.


Goblin_Priest wrote:

"Just because your DM can concoct narrative-disrupting scenarios that rely on Charisma or Strength for a Wizard doesn't mean that the stats have equal importance."

Never said equal importance. But if the wizard feels he can safely get away with 5 str or 5 cha and never suffer for it in the least, then that player is not to blame for this dumping, the GM is. If you don't like players dumping, as a GM, then you have all the power to encourage more balanced arrays.

Yeah, paying attention to encumbrance/carrying capacity can make strength dumping a lot more problematic unless they put resources into boosting into fixing it.

As far as Charisma goes, just put them in a situation where the designated Face character can't do all the talking. Obviously you don't want to go overboard and make the Face feel like they wasted their own investment, but just putting the Cha 5 guy on the spot one time can have an impact if done well.


put them up against somthing that does 1d6 cha damage make them panic for only having 5 cha


Ability damage is indeed probably the easiest method to scare people from ultra low scores.

Ability checks and skills checks now and then have their uses though too. It's perfectly fine to have a charismatic face for the group, but it's also fine to require everyone to make the checks every now and then. It can apply to any stat.

For example the caster will suddenly think str might not be all that useless when the party gets stuck in a hurricane. That -3 on the str checks to avoid falling prone or swept away could prove scary as well. Especially if he picked a small race.

I try to use a diversity of challenges in my game, and maybe that's why I really don't mind if my players do some dumping. I know it's not without cost. And by now they do too, I reckon.

And I've dumped str on a few casters... mithral gets expensive you know. Ant haul perma on also chews up spell slots.


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I would like the invention of an ability score generation method to remove racial ability score modifiers while not inherently screwing with the system balance or boundaries of the current ability score generation methods. I liked one of the previous generation suggestions about electing important stats and generating bigger bonuses because of it, but I think the ranges were way too high.

I would just like to see racial choices having less of an impact on character generation than it does already. I want to play unusual races without A) being weakened because of it, or B) being inherently stronger because it is the most optimal choice for a build. I see this problem all the time in my own games, and I am entirely sick of feeling weaker because I wanted to play a dwarf bard or sorcerer, or play a tiefling alchemist, but feeling either I am weakening myself unnecessarily or just choosing the most optimal choice for the class.

Also, we eliminate weird situations of getting larger stats through things like reincarnate and screwing with the balance of race choice. Choosing a high mental stat race and then being reincarnated into a high physical stat race is a good way to game the system. You need to die to do it, but it's there.


You also need to be lucky on the roll, since the race you come back as is random (and the table does not favor high physical stat races). That makes it a pretty bad way to game the system, actually.


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I've been thinking about a system with a fix to racial mods by eliminating racial penalties, giving a choice of stat to give a +2 to based on race, and giving another choice of a +2 from options relevant to their class, with a rider that you can't put your two +2s in the same place.

So for example a Dwarf would get +2 Con or +2 Wis, and a Fighter would get +2 Str or +2 Con, so a Dwarf Fighter could have +2 Str and +2 Con or +2 Con and +2 Wis. I'm just not sure how to handle the humans, and half orcs/elves.

But yeah, I really don't care for the whole "this race doesn't have a bonus to the key stats for this class, so it's a terrible choice" phenomenon.


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Sure, paying attention to encumbrance works... Unless you get a Handy Haversack.

Sure, forcing social rolls works... Unless you take a trait.

Sure, heavy winds works... Unless you cast Enlarge Person.

Sure, ability damaging monsters work... But it also makes players why rely on that stat wished they had dumped less useful attributes.

But honestly, how often do these downsides come up compared to the upside of a higher primary stat? If you're regularly taking special effort to punish your players for dumping stats, aren't you just better off banning dump stats?

I'd actually like to see it go a step further -- A method designed to ban dumping and encourage investment in your build's least useful stats.


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Jader7777 wrote:

4d6 drop lowest is nice and easy. I love generating stats in front of others because of others because of the "Woohoo!" of 18s and the "...tch!" of 3s

Also if you die at least you can blame the score generation and get another chance to roll the dice.

Point buy is a big headache to calculate, promotes clinical min maxing and makes players risk adverse.

A lot of this is about game style.

Old school dungeon crawls, where the GM is expected to be an adversary and out to kill you, tend to lead to a lot of dead characters and natural selection (and suicidal tendencies) will weed out the weak and feeble - like the Int 12 wizard. At which point, the general expectation for those who rolled low is that it's only temporary, and they can be blase' about character death because they'll just roll another character. Same for those who borked up their point buy.

In a more narrative game style where character plot is heavily interwoven into the main story line of the game, the characters at the start of session 1 are expected to be the characters at the end of session 80. Permanent death and retirement are the exception, not the norm, as it means losing the story of the character you were building with the GM, and odds are, any replacement character will not get the same amount of investment/coolness as your original.

There are other ways to play this game, those are just the main two I have seen and played.

I tend to see min-maxing more in the old school style games as they lend themselves towards being as powerful as you can to survive the GM - and whether this is done by dice or by point generation only changes the degree of control over how they do so. If they roll an 18, two 16s and three 6s, you can bet they're not going to put a 16 or 18 in Charisma for their wizard.

I tend to see more death-aversion in narrative style games, because the continuity of character is important. What creation method is used isn't directly tied to that.

What the point generation system does is the following:

  • Rolled stats make building a new character more "exciting", by making it a gamble.
  • Point buy makes a new character more "fair", by ensuring everyone starts off with the same resources.

Different tables have different tastes.

Jader7777 wrote:
Point buy is a big headache to calculate

I usually do it in my head. It's simple addition - basically the same math as adding together the pips on the d6s, and less complicated than working out your attack bonus in the mid-levels when buffs are flying around the table.

The default method of point buy I use for NPCs (and recommend to new players) is as follows (everything not listed is 10):

  • 15 point: Three 14's; or one 14 and one 16
  • 20 point: Two 14's and one 16
  • 25 point: Two 14's and two 16's

Where I generally take that as a starting point and adjust to suit from there. But then I also usually put hard caps on point buy of between 8 and 16 when I GM.

Dark Archive

Chengar Qordath wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
"DrDeth wrote:

Yes, and that's where it fails. Some players like doing a max DPS character, and actually like failing their will save so that they can use that DPS on the party.

The like doing a low CHA character that tries to ruin every diplomacy check.

They like doing a low int PC that tries doing all the stupid stuff lik pushing the big red button that sez DO NOT PUSH.

To me this sounds more like someone hiding behind their stats as an excuse to be disruptive to the group. These are the kind of people that give chaotic neutral a bad name.
Truth. Changing the stats on a disruptive player's character isn't going to make them stop being disruptive, because the problem is the player, not the character.

Well, then you have the other side of that coin and the reason why all dwarves are unattractive at best in a friend of mine's game. Basically, due to players that would dump Wis or Int or Cha but then actually play their character as very wise, very intelligent, and very Charismatic, he is very very critical of your stats not matching your character. Which means if you want your character to be attractive, you need to have a Charisma of at least 12.. and that's just attractive. The fact that appearance is a MINOR part of Charisma is lost on him due to his hatred of players dumping Charisma then playing a supermodel character. Hence, why I say most dwarves are unattractive. It's also why I almost always play Charisma based classes, since I like to use actual photos to get an idea of what my character looks like... and he's like "Uh no you can't look like that with a Charisma of only 11" so I just play a damn sorcerer.

A disruptive player needs to be dealt with as a disruptive player, but instead too many GMs go the route that ends up with schoolyard punishment. One kid acts up, the entire class gets punished equally.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Kitty Catoblepas wrote:

Sure, paying attention to encumbrance works... Unless you get a Handy Haversack.

Sure, forcing social rolls works... Unless you take a trait.

Sure, heavy winds works... Unless you cast Enlarge Person.

Sure, ability damaging monsters work... But it also makes players why rely on that stat wished they had dumped less useful attributes.

But honestly, how often do these downsides come up compared to the upside of a higher primary stat? If you're regularly taking special effort to punish your players for dumping stats, aren't you just better off banning dump stats?

I don't have any problem with challenging the low stat, even when rolled. As far as I'm concerned, providing those challenges makes the choices have consequences. And I'm also OK with PCs fixing their problems with feats, compensatory magic, and so on. Even the easy solutions mean the player is addressing their choices and that ties up some resources.


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
miscdebris wrote:
Let's not to roll vs role playing here, ok? There are thousands of threads on thousands of boards about that very subject.
I'm pretty sure DrDeth can't go for a single day without making a post where he rants about the evils of those filthy badwrongfun having powergamers, and how he wishes he could force them all to have DrDeth approved GoodRightFun.

I call BS. Show me where he's "ranted" about his method of play over those of others. He has a different philosophy, I have a different philosophy, you do, so does everyone else on the bloody boards. He's merely offered opinions--his opinions and they are not "rants". No one is attacking powergamers. This has been a surprisingly civil thread, given the topic. Calling out and attacking someone by name is poor gamesmanship simply because you disagree with them.

You want to know a powergamer, meet me. I loathe point buy, have for decades rolled 4d6 drop the lowest with rerolls of 1s and 2s and have recently switched to 1d10 +8 as my preferred method for my players to create characters. Heroes should have heroic stats, in my opinion, and leave the crappy rolls to the NPC classes and certain NPC characters the players interact with. But do I condemn those who don't do things my way for having badwrongfun? Not once have I ever done that that I can recall, and if I have done that, let me apologize now.

But to reiterate, I've not seen a single attack on powergamers in this thread, and no accusations of "wrongbadfun". I may actually have made the most contentious post on this whole thread. But don't accuse someone of something they didn't do.


Bill Dunn wrote:
I don't have any problem with challenging the low stat, even when rolled. As far as I'm concerned, providing those challenges makes the choices have consequences. And I'm also OK with PCs fixing their problems with feats, compensatory magic, and so on. Even the easy solutions mean the player is addressing their choices and that ties up some resources.

Exactly this. Investing resources into shoring up a character's weaknesses is exactly how the game is supposed to work. If they need magic items, spells, feats, and traits to mitigate their dump stat, they're still spending character creation/growth resources, just like they would be if they changed their point buy around. The guy who spends traits, magic items, and class features to mitigate his dumped charisma is not using those resources to bump up his damage, saves, spells, or anything else.


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So I tried my hand at that no-racials attribute generation. It's not quite like normal stat generation, but I wanted to create a few options with lower variance due to the fact that there isn't any racial modifiers to help boost low rolls.

Basically, I think 4d6 just doesn't work without racial modifiers, which are predictable increases to your attributes. So tried to find something good for that crowd that likes to roll for their attributes but...yeah. In addition, people who like the idea of rolling low will also hate this. I have no idea WHY you like that, because I think it is silly. I'm thinking up a way to do it but I think it'll just be too unwieldy. Maybe using more lower valued dice, but I think that again reduces variance and that wouldn't be what those people would be looking for. Maybe using higher dice, like 4d8 drop highest, might do it?

I tried my hand at a random stat generation, but I think it is quite shoddy. And the pointbuy system needs evaluation for higher than Standard Fantasy. I threw in a low-powered but I doubt anyone actually uses low-powered point buy anyway. Unless you like playing commoners with swords, that is.

Spoiler:
Premise

No race has a racial stat modifier. The presumption with this system is that each race will have two ability score increases and one penalty. While you are likely to have at most one stat beneath 10, most of your stats will generate at an unusually high rate, but this is largely to account for a lack of racial adjustments, and to ensure any race is going to be as powerful as they would without attributes

Non-racial Precise Rolling Stat Generation
When determing statistics, you must elect for each attribute it's generation method from the following:

You can roll to determine Primary Stat, Both Secondary stats, Tertiary, Insignificant stat and Weakest stat 1d6 for each ability score. 1 is Primary, 2-3 is secondary, 4 is tertiary, 5 is Insignificant stat, 6 is Weakest stat. Reroll any repeats.

Primary Stat: roll 1d4+15 (average: 17)
Secondary Stat 1: roll 1d4+12 (Average: 14)
Secondary Stat 2: roll 1d4+12 (Average: 14)
Tertiary Stat: Roll 1d4+9 (Average: 11)
Tertiary Stat: Roll 1d4+9 (Average: 11)
Weakest Stat: Roll 1d4+7 (Average: 9)

Non-racial Point-buy Generation
When using point buy, you must determine a minimum stat for each attribute from the following:

Epic Fantasy:

High Stat: 16
High Stat: 16
Medium Stat: 14
Low Stat: 10
Low Stat: 10
Lowest Stat: 8

High Fantasy:

Highest Stat: 16
High Stat: 14
High Stat: 14
Medium Stat: 10
Low Stat: 8
Low Stat: 8

Standard Fantasy:

Highest Stat: 14
High Stat: 12
High Stat: 12
Medium Stat: 8
Medium Stat: 8
Low Stat: 7

Low-powered

Highest Stat: 12
High Stat: 10
High Stat: 10
Medium Stat: 8
Medium Stat: 8
Low Stat: 7

You have 11 points to invest into all attributes. Each increase in an attribute is weighted the same amount of points, but you cannot increase a single stat above 18.

Grand Lodge

Raynulf wrote:

A lot of this is about game style.

In a more narrative game style where character plot is heavily interwoven into the main story line of the game, the characters at the start of session 1 are expected to be the characters at the end of session 80.

Let's be totally honest about this hobby, how many 80 sessions heavily plot interwoven campaigns are you, and to a lesser extent the typical player in?

TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'll agree with the first one, but that's it. That's why we use calculators.

I bet its right alongside your protractor for vertical distance measurement along with your excel sheet of encumbrance listings.

Shadow Lodge

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Nope, it's right here, smartass.

I also have it on my phone.

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