What's your favorite method of stat generation?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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KujakuDM wrote:

4d6, Reroll 1's, if you don't particularly like what you roll you can re roll if I feel like you can justify it.

It isn't hard to play the game and not be a jackass about it. And if you need to do point buy to make sure your players aren't being crappy perhaps you should find new players.

Rolling made my players crappy.

Shadow Lodge

I just looked at the title again. People are explaining their favourite methods of stat generation, and explaining the reasons why they like them.

I've done 15 point-buy, 20 points, 25, and two sets of 4d6-reroll-1's-drop-lowest. And one set of the above. I have a favourite out of all those methods, and I'm aware that your stat spread tends to be less of a measure of what you can do than your class/feats/spells/equipment/and others.
I haven't yet rolled dice for each stat in order, but I'd want to do that for a one-shot module, where everyone does that and figures out character creation together, then the GM gives us setting information so we can come up with backstories.


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Sorry for the thread necro but I had an idea to combine rolling with a way to counteract bad rolls.

Roll 3d12 and record the rolls, we'll call these X, Y, and Z
Add 6 to each result, then subtract each result from 19
You should have 6+X, 6+Y, 6+Z, 19-X, 19-Y, 19-Z
Assign the scores as you wish.

This creates six scores from 7-18 and avoids the pitfall of bad rolling by pairing each low roll with a high one.


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Get 6 different colored darts (assigning each to a specific attribute) and throw them at a dartboard. If you hit a bullseye you can pull your lowest scoring dart as well as the bullseye and throw them again. Attributes cannot exceed 20 before racial bonuses. Missing the dartboard defaults to 1. If you hit another player, your character dies and you get sent home early.


I like rolled stats. I'm generally quite generous and will make sure my players have a decent array. I like the surprises, but not having them be surprisingly crap.

Sometimes I just


I force my players to put a 3 in every stat (post racial adjustments) and their first level must be Commoner. Then there is an unfortunate security incident at the local cat shelter. Good times...

To be serious, I use point buy, usually 25, sometimes 20, depending on the game, Mythic, and other factors. Rolling has created problems too often, marginalizing one or more of the players (not good times).


Apparently I died in the middle of typing that last sentence in my post above. Now I don't even remember what I was about to say.


Khudzlin wrote:
I don't get the hate for dump stats.

it also hurts some characters a lot more than others. My favorite class is the paladin, so I have to have decent strength and charisma. if I dump a stat I have either low dex which hurts my ac saves and initive, low so I have even less to do out of combat, low wis (saves) or low con meaning less hitpoints. Compare that to the wizard who dumps str and cha for no penalty at all


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Steve Geddes wrote:


I'm a roller all the way and I thoroughly agree with this. To me the check as to whether you like rolling for stats is whether you're happy playing the "nothing better than a 14" character in a party where everyone else starts with an 18.

which is why I prefer point buy or heavily normalized rolls. it sucks trying to meaningfully contribute when you have the 15 14 13 13 13 9 array and the guy across the table has 18 18 16 15 14 10


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I've utilized most of the common methods of stat generation, and for the most part determining what works and what doesn't comes down to player fantasy and choice. My group has fun when they are in combat and contribute, or are allowed to show-off what their character is good at. In that way, my group heavily prefers to have high stats, through either a 20 point buy or instead 4d6 seven times, drop the lowest and reroll scores below 8. Usually my group is pretty happy with that.

In regards to the problems with high-stats, this again depends on your group. My group has had some very high stat rolls. They also don't really matter in the games I run or play since the players are not masterminds with untold eons of game knowledge and book memorization. The stat allocation methods we use should reflect upon the table of players that you play with.


some methods ive used in the past that are good at combining PB and roll:

modified dice pool:
roll >=18 d6 and you use 3 dice per stat. with pools allows for dropping dice (I like 20)
I like roll in order arrays but you give them a 16 to replace any one score with. this enables them to build according to a theme and evens out the math.


GM: "Everybody gets 50 point-buy!"
Players: "You are the greatest GM ever!"

In practice: everybody has 1 or 2 more hp per level. Aside from that, not much. Martials do a few points more damage and are +1 attack melee and ranged. Casters are pretty much the same aside from HP, because they're usually min-maxed anyway.

E.g.,

STR+ 17 ("rounded" martial chassis, 20pt buy)
DEX: 14
CON: 14
INT: 12
WIS: 14
CHA: 7

STR+ 20 (same thing, 50pt buy)
DEX: 16 or 18
CON: 18 or 16
INT: 14
WIS: 14
CHA: 7


I usually run point buy but I also do the following;

"Stats can only be dumpped to 8"

If at all. Races that auto dump tend to count for this as well though if I say you can't dump stats, I will still allow races that lower a stat to be picked.

Liberty's Edge

We've settled on a method we like so much it is likely to be permanent.

(1) Write down STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA.

(2) To each stat, assign one of these: 15, 14, 4d6, 4d6, 3d6, 3d6. Each must be assigned once.

(3) Roll your stats (4d6 is drop lowest).

(4) If your total modifiers don't add up to +5, you may start from the beginning.

The thing we like about this is that unlike point-buy, you end up with some unusual results, like, say, a fighter who rolls a 14 Intelligence on 3d6. Unlike pure random rolls, it's impossible to get completely screwed out of playing what you want to play, except maybe the worst of the MAD classes.


Does anyone else use the stat generation method of, everyone just chooses whatever score they want?

I legit think it’s superior to point buy or dice rolls.


I've used it in the past, b ut DMs allowing that are rare, it's usually more productive to use dice generations methods, until you get an array that you can live with.


voideternal wrote:

Does anyone else use the stat generation method of, everyone just chooses whatever score they want?

I legit think it’s superior to point buy or dice rolls.

I wouldn't trust me with that method...


You'd do a Conan Array character? Must admit, I've been tempted in the past, but up to now, I've resisted the temptation, even if I do include a couple 18s and never have a carac under 12...


All my players would have 100s till I told them they can only do 18. Then they would have all 18s.


Yep, that's what I call the Conan arry, since I once tried to stat him and came to the conclusion that all his stats (except Intelligence, which is only at least 14) were 18 or higher.


voideternal wrote:

Does anyone else use the stat generation method of, everyone just chooses whatever score they want?

I legit think it’s superior to point buy or dice rolls.

I saw this idea many years ago, I don't remember where.

Each player chooses the stats they think are appropriate to their character. The DM then figures out a "Karma" value (like, how many points the character is from a base value). Whenever something bad needs to randomly happen you choose the person with the highest "Karma" and they get hit with the bad random event, then reduce their "Karma". When all "Karma" values are 0, you reset and start again.

Example of how I might do this (I don't use it, but I find it interesting);

Players A chooses Hercules, son of Zeus (point buy = 70)
Players B chooses Bond, James Bond (point buy = 40)
Players C chooses Farmer with potential (point buy = 20)

DM thinks, 20 is the standard point buy, so lets give them
Karma = (Their PB-20)/10

Players A gets 5 Karma
Players B gets 2 Karma
Players C gets 0 Karma

During play a wandering monster (an animal) attacks. Instead of rolling randomly to see who it attacks, the monster attacks Player A. New Karma values are;
Players A gets 4 Karma
Players B gets 2 Karma
Players C gets 0 Karma

In the city a thief targets the group for pick pocketing and they all look like they have cash, so the thief targets Player A. New Karma values are;
Players A gets 3 Karma
Players B gets 2 Karma
Players C gets 0 Karma

After 4 more "random" events that target Player A 3 times and Player B 1 time, the Karma values are;
Players A gets 0 Karma
Players B gets 1 Karma
Players C gets 0 Karma

After 1 more event targeting Player B, the values are reset to original numbers.


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voideternal wrote:

Does anyone else use the stat generation method of, everyone just chooses whatever score they want?

I legit think it’s superior to point buy or dice rolls.

I dont know if I could trust myself there, I like heroic generalist characters so im worried my paladin would end up being 18 16 16 16 16 18


well, if the DM is ready to let you assign the scores you deem fit, he must be ready to deal with strong characters with no real weakness in their 'dump' stats


My group generally does point buy (20 points) or we roll, 4d6 dropping the lowest one, nine times, take the best six. Generally depends on what we are doing. If we're doing a converted old campaign (Greyhawk, FR, Lankhmar or Dragonlance) we tend to roll, since that's the spirit of the earlier versions. For APs and Pathfinder oriented modules, etc, we use the point buy.


I think the only risk of any attribute generation system is an unsatisfied player.
If the player chooses, they’re never unsatisfied.
As a GM, you can always use higher CR monsters.


Quote:
4d6 dropping the lowest one, nine times, take the best six.

<eyebrow lift>

Calling math majors: what is the likeliest array with this method? (Show calculation.)


Depends. Usually, Roll combined with Point Buy.

How it is done:

Step 1: Do whatever Rolling method I decided on.
Step 2: Calculate what your Point Buy number of Points would be as if you got those numbers by doing point buy.
Step 3: If the number of Points is below a certain amount (usually 25), use that certain amount instead. If it is higher, use the number of points you got to do a Point Buy.

Combines the randomness of Rolling with the player choice of Point Buy. I usually do 2d6 reroll all 1s, add 6, with a minimum Point Buy of 25. Sometimes I do Dice Pool (24 dice) combined with Heroic, meaning each score gets a minimum of 2d6 + 6 reroll all 1s, and make the minimum Point Buy 30.


As an old gamer, I a huge fan of dice rolling, it was the thrill of the rolling dices when i created my first character that gave me knack of RPG... I've seen the trend of point buy and it dissafisfies me a lot because it make all characters the same and are a huge trend to hyper optimization and make all characters boring for me...as a DM, when the group can be trusted, I tend to tell them build your character as they want with the abilities to build a character, it is more satifying for them and treating them as responsible adults create a good Roleplay, I only modify their ability if there is abuse, but it is almost never the case... it does not modifiy a lot the gaming and mastering, only an additionnal challenge for me and for them..


Yondu wrote:
As an old gamer, I a huge fan of dice rolling, it was the thrill of the rolling dices when i created my first character that gave me knack of RPG... I've seen the trend of point buy and it dissafisfies me a lot because it make all characters the same and...

Three different 20pt-buy characters with racially-adjusted starting attributes looking absolutely nothing like each other:

Str: 15 (all bumps)
Dex: 14
Con+ 16 (dwarf martial w/cleric dip, 15,14,14,14,12,7 20pt array)
Int: 12
Wis+ 16
Cha- 5

Str: 7
Dex+ 16 (elf arcane, 17,14,14,14,7,7 20pt array)
Con- 12
Int+ 19 (all bumps)
Wis: 12
Cha: 7

Str: 14
Dex: 14 (moonlight stalker ninja multiclass, 14,14,13,13,12,12 20pt array)
Con: 12
Int: 13 (for Combat Expertise)
Wis: 12
Cha+ 15 (all bumps)

Quote:
are a huge trend to hyper optimization and make all characters boring for me...as a DM, when the group can be trusted, I tend to tell them build your character as they want with the abilities to build a character, it is more satifying for them and treating them as responsible adults create a good Roleplay

If you just let them take what they want, then how is that different from "hyper optimization"? When every build is perfect out of the gate, how is that not boring for you, the GM, if optimized point-buy characters are boring? ...I don't get it.


I love to plan out and carefully build each character, so point buy has my favor in this.


Quote:
If you just let them take what they want, then how is that different from "hyper optimization"? When every build is perfect out of the gate, how is that not boring for you, the GM, if optimized point-buy characters are boring? ...I don't get it.

Optimization works hand in hand with restrictions. Point buy and dice rolls are boh restrictions, and optimization is making the best thing possible within the given restrictions.

When you don’t restrict attributes, there is no restriction to optimize. The game paradigm shifts from “What’s the best fighter that I can make with a 20 point buy / a die array of 8/10/14/12/16/13?” to “I want to make this specific kind of fighter, and I think he has these attributes, so he has them.”

If an a!#%~$* player comes along with a 99 in all attributes, you probably will have problems with him regardless of attribute generation method, and you get to find out early, as opposed to later.

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