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View Full Version : Point buy or roll? Best of both worlds.

The Mentalist
2010-03-17, 12:23 AM
A system that I have taken to using is to divide the rolls for stats among the players.

Example: Three players
1 rolls 16 14
2 rolls 17 17
3 rolls 11 9

So each player gets 17 17 16 14 11 9 to play with.

I personally like having rolled stats but I have people tend to get upset when their stats blow compared to the rest.

What do you all think?

Temotei
2010-03-17, 12:28 AM
Alternatively, come up with a system just like this, except instead of just getting those scores, you make a point-buy table with increments of two or four points based on the rolls.

For example:
16|<12
18|One equal to 12, all others below 12
20|One above 12, all others equal to or below 12[/table]

I'm not sure where you would go after that. That was just off the top of my head with very little calculation...

The Mentalist
2010-03-17, 12:30 AM
That could work too. I may poke my head back in to refine that system actually.

JaronK
2010-03-17, 12:54 AM
Your system solves one big problem with rolling (uneven character power based on stats between players) but doesn't solve the other (rolls being possibly unable to support the character the player wants). For example, if you rolled something like 18, 12, 10, 11, 8, 8, you'd have great Wizard or Druid stats, but terrible Monk or Paladin stats. This discourages players playing MAD classes. That's a problem because the SAD classes tend to be extremely powerful.

JaronK

Jack Zander
2010-03-17, 12:57 AM
If you want randomness in stats but still want a fair game to MAD classes, I'd do your method, except have the players only roll 3d6. Then give them something like 6 extra points to put wherever they want to. Maybe let them take up to 3 points off a single stat and put those points on another one.

Superglucose
2010-03-17, 01:11 AM
D&D is about rolling dice, so I prefer rolling dice to determine stats.

Temotei
2010-03-17, 01:16 AM
D&D is about rolling dice, so I prefer rolling dice to determine stats.

Did you...did you read the thread at all past the title? :smallconfused:

2010-03-17, 02:47 AM
roll 4d6 per stat take the 3 highest rolls and write them all down
after that you have an array of 18d6 (6*3d6) now you can distribute each d6 however you wish (maximum 3d6 / stat)

for example you rolled 3 times a six in your 18d6 you can take all those three 6 and put them into str.

Did it for our new campaign and the characters are looking good stat wise while still being different then what you get with normal point buy

SensFan
2010-03-17, 02:53 AM
I still don't see why people dislike rolling so much. D&D shouldn't be a game about seeing who can make the best character, or how you can refine your character perfectly to perfect your needs while ignoring unneeded stats.

Yes, you may want to play a Wizard but end up with a high strength score. Just like how Ruffus the Elf may aspire to be a Wizard for all his life, but be stronger than he is smart.

As far as I'm concerned, using Point Buy ruins the game.

JaronK
2010-03-17, 02:59 AM
I still don't see why people dislike rolling so much. D&D shouldn't be a game about seeing who can make the best character, or how you can refine your character perfectly to perfect your needs while ignoring unneeded stats.

Yes, you may want to play a Wizard but end up with a high strength score. Just like how Ruffus the Elf may aspire to be a Wizard for all his life, but be stronger than he is smart.

As far as I'm concerned, using Point Buy ruins the game.

Playing a Wizard who gets a high strength but an Int of 8 means you're not really a Wizard. You're a strong guy who wants to be a Wizard, and isn't. It doesn't "ruin the game" to tell a player that he can be the bookish weak type if he wants to play that. It DOES ruin the game if he wants to play a bookish weak type and instead gets stuck with a strong idiot. Now that player can't be the character he wanted to roleplay.

The characters who wanted to be a Wizard but ended up being super strong and not very smart are not the big heroes. They're the NPCs who never made it big.

JaronK

Temotei
2010-03-17, 03:19 AM
Playing a Wizard who gets a high strength but an Int of 8 means you're not really a Wizard. You're a strong guy who wants to be a Wizard, and isn't. It doesn't "ruin the game" to tell a player that he can be the bookish weak type if he wants to play that. It DOES ruin the game if he wants to play a bookish weak type and instead gets stuck with a strong idiot. Now that player can't be the character he wanted to roleplay.

The characters who wanted to be a Wizard but ended up being super strong and not very smart are not the big heroes. They're the NPCs who never made it big.

JaronK

...which is why we allow scores to be assigned in different orders than we rolled them. :smallcool:

I agree with JaronK that the most important thing is allowing players play who and what they want.

SensFan
2010-03-17, 03:19 AM
Playing a Wizard who gets a high strength but an Int of 8 means you're not really a Wizard. You're a strong guy who wants to be a Wizard, and isn't. It doesn't "ruin the game" to tell a player that he can be the bookish weak type if he wants to play that. It DOES ruin the game if he wants to play a bookish weak type and instead gets stuck with a strong idiot. Now that player can't be the character he wanted to roleplay.

The characters who wanted to be a Wizard but ended up being super strong and not very smart are not the big heroes. They're the NPCs who never made it big.

JaronK
And you can still put that 18 in intelligence if you rolled an 18.
With point buy, especially low-ish point buy, every Wizard out there is sickly and frail, but smarter than anyone in the world.

Temotei
2010-03-17, 03:21 AM
And you can still put that 18 in intelligence if you rolled an 18.
With point buy, especially low-ish point buy, every Wizard out there is sickly and frail, but smarter than anyone in the world.

Not necessarily. It depends on the player.

Plus, rolling, being as random as it is, could give you the same results--or worse.

2010-03-17, 03:24 AM
...which is why we allow scores to be assigned in different orders than we rolled them. :smallcool:

I agree with JaronK that the most important thing is allowing players play who and what they want.

I agree somewhat ^^ The who and what though should be within the campaigns limits :smalltongue:

cheezewizz2000
2010-03-17, 03:29 AM
D&D is a game that is ultimately about the enjoyment of the players, and people have the most fun in a fair and ballanced environment. While you can argue that rolling is fair and ballanced because "everyone rolled the same dice" and "everyone had the same chance", you often end up with characters with vast gulfs in their personal power, and as JaronK has said, if a character wants to play a monk, but rolls one high stat and a mess of 10s, they can still play that monk, but they'll probably not make it much past level 1.

Point buy eliminates that and makes sure everyone starts off on the same footing. Granted you might not be able to play a super-strong wizard, but if that's the case and your players don't like that then you just tell the players to pick what ever stats they want. With a group of mature people, you'll get vaguely sensible results and everyone has a good time right from the get-go. If one person in the group is having a bad time because "my monk keeps getting hit" or "my druid barely has any hit-points", then their whining will bring the mood of the whole group down.

D&D is ultimately a game and needs to be played so everyone has a good time. The GM's opinion on what constitutes a good time doesn't matter if it is vastly different from his group's, and if they disagree the group is doomed from the start.

SensFan
2010-03-17, 03:42 AM
I started a thread about a similar topic a few years back, though its still relevant:

Before joining these forums a few months ago, I had never built a character, or played in a campaign, using Point Buy. Here, using Point Buy seems to be the norm, or at least thats my perspective of it, from the registration threads I've seen. Hopefully I'm wrong on that note.

The first chapter of the Player's Handbook explains that the attributes of characters are determined by rolling four (4) six-sided dice (d6s), and removing the lowest roll. It does not say that rolling is one of the ways to do it, it says that rolling is the way to do it. No other ways of determining ability scores are mentioned in the PHB.

The DMG has a whole host of variants availible to be used, some of which most people probably don't even know/remember. Many variants see use in a few games, perhaps even in half or so. Some of the very popular ones, possibly even the most popular ones, are the alternative systems for determining the six (6) ability scores.

I don't have an issue with variants being used in the game. I personally use a handful of those presented in the Unearthed Arcana in the games I run. I don't even care all that much that there is a variant on one of the basic principles of the game. No, what I dislike about Point Buy is I feel it is becoming the standard. I'm worried that people are seeing Point Buy as the normal way of doing it, being surprised, or even upset, at a DM that uses rolling.

To me, rolling is the best way of determining ability scores. Since joining this forum, I have made more than a few characters with the Point Buy method, due in large part to the huge number of DMs that use it. What I have found is that the characters are way too customizable. Primary spellcasters can sacrifice their Strength score to put their casting ability through the roof. Melee builds (well, alot more than just Melee builds, but they're the most common offenders) can completely ignore Charisma. And that's not even going into the complete exclusion of odd scores. Your character will be tuned to perfection. No more having moderate scores where you don't need them to be that good. Make the scores you need amazing, and the rest horrible. Someone trying to succeed as an Archer in the real world can't become dumber to make them stronger. They can't remove every bit of social grace from their body to improve their agility. No, sometimes in life you have to make due with what life gives you.

With rolling, you get some of that variety back in the game. You still get the choice to decide what you are best at. Is that not enough? Is it that horrible that your character doesn't have the maximum natural Intelligence for his race? Or that he isn't as strong as some of the world's strongest men? Is him being stronger, faster, smarter and wiser that the vast majority of people will ever be not good enough for you? Enough of this nonsense. Point Buy is akin to making people robots, as far as I can see. Fine tuning them to to what they want to do as well as they can, with no regard to doing much else.

Maybe some of you want impecably-tuned robots. Me? I'd rather play with a character that has to make due with his shortcomings, not eliminate them.

Godskook
2010-03-17, 03:47 AM
For my first game, I'm trying something different. Rolled, but you can pay xp to boost the point-buy value of your stats, to a maximum of pb = Lvl + 30. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Superglucose
2010-03-17, 03:52 AM
Did you...did you read the thread at all past the title? :smallconfused:

What do you all think?

Apparently I did so much better than you, because while I can't find anywhere in the op or title about making snarky comments about other posts, I was able to find the part where the OP asked my opinion about stat generation!

Again, i think the 5d6b3 guarantees enough high stats (with liberal application of allowing a reroll of course) that it shouldn't matter too much what the variance between players is.

greenknight
2010-03-17, 04:12 AM
Personally I prefer point buy because it's the most reliable method for me to get the scores I want where I want them. However, if you really want a die roll method of ability score generation, someone a long while ago suggested rolling 3 or 4 full sets of scores as a common pool, allowing the players to choose the set each player wanted for his or her character (re-arranging the rolls to taste). And yes, multiple players can choose the same set of scores if they want to. To me, that's the best compromise.

2010-03-17, 04:32 AM
SensFan, if each player were to roll up a random humanoid representative of the general population, most of the characters would be level 1 Commoners. If you really wanted to pick everything randomly, they'd each be living in a different location and never meet each other. Not only would they be prevented from forming an effective party, they would be prevented from forming a party at all.

To invoke the Godwin's Law of RPGs, FATAL has you roll for pretty much everything. And this works about as well as one might expect. (Though, to be fair, I expect that playing FATAL doesn't make one's brain want to crawl out of one's ears because of the randomness in character creation and leveling so much as because one is playing FATAL.)

Not that randomness in character creation is necessarily a bad thing. MAID (http://www.maidrpg.com/), I believe, does random characters, and in a way that fits with the game's general silliness. But I imagine that it's designed so that the different possible results are reasonably close to balanced with each other. And I think that the default assumption is that the adventures are all one-offs anyway, so if you dislike your character, you're not stuck with her for a long time.

JaronK
2010-03-17, 04:39 AM
And you can still put that 18 in intelligence if you rolled an 18.
With point buy, especially low-ish point buy, every Wizard out there is sickly and frail, but smarter than anyone in the world.

If that's the case then you're not going to have this super strong Wizard, now are you? The 18 goes into Int, the next highest likely goes into Con, maybe the third into Dex... it's the same as before, really.

And I never make my Wizards smarter than anyone in the world, though I almost always use point buy. 16 Int is sufficient. I'd rather have a decent Con and Dex. Certainly he won't be sickly and frail... that sounds like your group's problem, but certainly not mine.

Anyway, players should be able to play basically the character types they want, within campaign limits (if the DM wants a skillfull stealth group, obviously a Warmage is inappropriate, for example). Point Buy allows that. Rolled stats usually don't, unless you roll rediculously high stats or use a roll gen system that always rolls super high.

JaronK

cheezewizz2000
2010-03-17, 05:23 AM
Actually on topic, In a game of 5 players we used the same system that the op suggested, with the DM rolling the 6th stat. That worked out reasonably well, except for the 5 that got rolled. Many hijynx insued with the bard, wizard and rogue being weak as kittens and the barbarian about as charismatic as mud.

The game was a one-shot though, so no one suffered long-term.

Drend
2010-03-17, 05:47 AM

Volkov
2010-03-17, 08:03 AM
What if you rolled all 18s? Then your entire party would be physically and mentally perfect, and there's something weird about that.

tcrudisi
2010-03-17, 08:19 AM
Again, i think the 5d6b3 guarantees enough high stats (with liberal application of allowing a reroll of course) that it shouldn't matter too much what the variance between players is.

It might with your players, but certainly not mine. I have a lot of fluctuations within my group.

Players 1 and 2: with a 4d6b3 will rarely get below a 16 and complain that a 16 is bad.
Player 3: with 4d6b3 will end up with a bunch of 8-12 and one 15-16
Player 4: with 4d6b3 will roll several times before breaking the "minimum total bonus of +1" ... and will do it with a total of +1. (Example, in case that didn't make sense: 8 (-1), 7 (-2), 9 (-1), 11 (0), 13 (+1), 12 (+1) is a total of -2, so by the rules it is unplayable and he would have to reroll)
Players 5+: their rolls are very much random and tend to be average (one 16, a couple of 14s, a couple of 10's and an 8).

What does each player prefer to do? Well, the first two players obviously prefer to roll. The rest? They like point buy -- they do not enjoy getting one good stat and the rest crap while the other two guys always get the good rolls. I prefer point buy, as I want the players to be able to choose what they play first, not roll and go, "Well, I can't play a Paladin with these stats." I also like having balance right from the start -- if that balance changes through playing, that's fine... but I do everything I can to keep the game balanced. (It does help that none of my players understand how to make a non-blaster Wizard or non-healing Cleric).

... The average human, according to the DMG, has 10 on every stat. ... If you are going stat-buy, I personally feel that you should (before racial adjustments) fill all stats to 10 before pumping the primary stats. Adventurers are supposed to be above average all around, not just in one ability.

For starters, the default stat buy in 4e starts with 5 stats at 10 and the 6th at 8 before spending your points. Secondly, adventurers are supposed to be above average, but not in everything. If the Fighter had Str 18, Con 18, and Dex 18 with Int 13, he would be smart enough to know that his chosen profession should be as a Wizard, as that's where he'd be most likely to survive as. All adventurers should not have above average stats in everything. Having a low stat just makes sense. You can either be well-rounded or a specialist. Who makes it further in life? The specialists do. The specialist doctors make a lot more money than the family doctors.

Greenish
2010-03-17, 08:26 AM
The average human, according to the DMG, has 10 on every stat. When walking out into the world, yeah, I see people with lower stats. Unless they are in a wheelchair, I've never seen someone with 6 STR walking around, and I've met some very, very intelligent people.Where can I get those snazzy goggles that allow me to see people's stats in real life? :smallbiggrin:

Petrocorus
2010-03-17, 08:31 AM
Playing a Wizard who gets a high strength but an Int of 8 means you're not really a Wizard. You're a strong guy who wants to be a Wizard, and isn't. It doesn't "ruin the game" to tell a player that he can be the bookish weak type if he wants to play that. It DOES ruin the game if he wants to play a bookish weak type and instead gets stuck with a strong idiot. Now that player can't be the character he wanted to roleplay.

The characters who wanted to be a Wizard but ended up being super strong and not very smart are not the big heroes. They're the NPCs who never made it big.

JaronK

This is exactly why rolling stat is not good. I personally don't understand why so many games keep or have kept stat roll for so long.

The only good thing with rolling is that if you're really lucky, you can solve the problem of MADness. This is how the paladin class have been created originally (AD&D 1), and why it is so MAD now.

But anyway, i think it's better to give to all player the same amount of point to spend, while maybe forbidding them of going too low, and sadly allowing some of them to over optimizing is far better that having players that just don't like their PC and thus that don't really enjoy the play.

Gnaritas
2010-03-17, 08:33 AM
Players 1 and 2: with a 4d6b3 will rarely get below a 16 and complain that a 16 is bad.
Player 3: with 4d6b3 will end up with a bunch of 8-12 and one 15-16
Player 4: with 4d6b3 will roll several times before breaking the "minimum total bonus of +1" ... and will do it with a total of +1. (Example, in case that didn't make sense: 8 (-1), 7 (-2), 9 (-1), 11 (0), 13 (+1), 12 (+1) is a total of -2, so by the rules it is unplayable and he would have to reroll)
Players 5+: their rolls are very much random and tend to be average (one 16, a couple of 14s, a couple of 10's and an 8).

There are several scenarios i see here;
- You only created characters with your group once.
- You are mistaken and only remember the rolls that confirm your believes.
- You lie.
- This is actually happened several times.

I do not believe the last one :P
Even the first one is highly unlikely (1 in approximately 20 million just for having 2 players roll 16 or higher 5 out of 6 times)

Satyr
2010-03-17, 08:44 AM
We had a campaign were characters were built with 32 + 1d6 points. Thus, characters had all a small chance to play a bit better or worse characters.

I like games where characters are competent and powerful in themselves and not so much because they are a nice christmas tree full with lametta... so I like games where characters have extraordinary abilities.

The campaign I currently play in used a 5d6b3 approach, and players could reroll all ones and twos (but had to accept them when they came up again). The results were... interesting, in a good way.

What I'd really like but am too lazy to make would be some kinf of life path system which modifies a character with random results and offer a neat orientation for a character background as well.

Amphetryon
2010-03-17, 08:55 AM
To satisfy players that want the 'fun' of rolling without unduly punishing them for bad luck, I recommend 24 point buy +3d4 additional points. Everyone is between 27 pb and 36 pb, generally sufficient for SAD or MAD characters.

ShaneLeahy
2010-03-17, 08:59 AM
The method I like for combining Point Buy and Roll is as follows:

1) Use a point buy method, normally a lower value one.
2) Next roll 3d6 for each stat, keeping the higher value, either the point buy or the rolled value.

This means that players can make the character they want but there is a random factor involved. So you may end up with a figher with a high wisdom.

As to my players, there were two schools of thought. One group would normally buy the stats they needed really high and rely on the dice to get the rest of the stats up to where they would need to be. The other group would buy their stats as if the rolls did not exist and then treat the rolls as bonus.

Overall I like the setup and am thinking of trying something like it in 4th Ed.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-17, 09:00 AM
Ok, since I can't figure out how to use Gitp's infernal rolling system, I'll use my own character builder.

13, 17, 8, 8, 14, 14

If this was a proposed wizard, how would you place the stats? 17 INT obviously, probably 14 DEX and CON, and 13 in either CHA, STR, or WIS. Any way you go, he'll have 2 dump stats before racial adjustments. I don't see how point-buy is any worse in this aspect.

Indon
2010-03-17, 09:19 AM
I still don't see why people dislike rolling so much. D&D shouldn't be a game about seeing who can make the best character, or how you can refine your character perfectly to perfect your needs while ignoring unneeded stats.

Well, the big problem with stat rolling is that it can lead to obvious power discrepancies in the party - someone gets unlucky rolling stats, and now they aren't good at anything, that sort of thing.

You don't need to use point buy to make an optimized character. You can choose, for character reasons, to have non-optimal stats. but point buy gives you that choice.

It's purely a cultural thing that most on this forum wouldn't think to take it. The system is fine.

I do not believe the last one :P
Even the first one is highly unlikely (1 in approximately 20 million just for having 2 players roll 16 or higher 5 out of 6 times)

I've seen it repeatedly in groups as well. While yes, one of those players was almost undoubtedly cheating, we've had exceptional statistical anomalies even without countin that player.

The OP's proposal fixes that, and alleviates what I feel is the major problem with rolling for stats.

The Mentalist
2010-03-17, 09:38 AM
If you want randomness in stats but still want a fair game to MAD classes, I'd do your method, except have the players only roll 3d6. Then give them something like 6 extra points to put wherever they want to. Maybe let them take up to 3 points off a single stat and put those points on another one.

I use the point rearrangement (up to six points total on a 1 for 1 basis then any further on a two for one.) I've never had a problem with MAD classes because my groups rolling method is a touch highpowered (Usually 5d6) but I like this idea I may use it for one of my lower powered groups.

Theodoxus
2010-03-17, 10:13 AM
I haven't tried this, but I think it might be a decent compromise... Have everyone roll stats, and then take the highest set and let that be the point buy limit for the group.

ericgrau
2010-03-17, 10:16 AM
A system that I have taken to using is to divide the rolls for stats among the players.

Example: Three players
1 rolls 16 14
2 rolls 17 17
3 rolls 11 9

So each player gets 17 17 16 14 11 9 to play with.

I personally like having rolled stats but I have people tend to get upset when their stats blow compared to the rest.

What do you all think?

That's a rather high average unless you got lucky. I assume you're using a method that produces higher stats than normal. The average modifier under normal rolled stats is about +1, and you get a reroll if your total modifier is below +0. So lets say you play so that the average modifier is +2. Now you should be allowed a reroll if your average modifier is below +1, which means below a total of +6. And if your high stat is below a 14, I think. I forget. Now nobody's stats blow.

Ok, since I can't figure out how to use Gitp's infernal rolling system, I'll use my own character builder.

13, 17, 8, 8, 14, 14

If this was a proposed wizard, how would you place the stats? 17 INT obviously, probably 14 DEX and CON, and 13 in either CHA, STR, or WIS. Any way you go, he'll have 2 dump stats before racial adjustments. I don't see how point-buy is any worse in this aspect.

Because in point buy he'd have an 18. And the next wizard in point buy, an 18. And the next one, guess what? And each one will likewise pick the number of dump stats they get which will usually be about the same... and usually all 8's. Maybe a 10 or 12 if it's kinda sorta important. And a wizard would never ever have an odd numbered stat in point buy, what a waste. Rarely would any class have one, though some might have 1 or 2 for some feat or some such.

truemane
2010-03-17, 10:35 AM
I've been criticized for spouting this theory before, but I've been playing D&D since the Red Box days and it seems to me that the tone of the game was once very convivial to rolling and is no longer.

"Back in the day" there was a very definite players vs DM feel to the game that wasn't just propagated by bad players, but was actually built into the structure of the game and the modules.

It was expected that your DM would try to kill you. It was expected that your characters were going to die in gruesome and horrible ways. It was expected that you would go through several characters per campaign (even per adventure). Different groups took this to different extremes (my older brother, for example, was very player-centred and never killed a PC his entire DM'ing career I don't think, but one of my good friends was a hard-core gamer and if you weren't paying attention, you got x's on your eyes), but part of the game was the revolving character-door.

And that lent itself to random generation. Your Thief died? Roll up a new character. 3d6. In order. See what you got. An Illusionist? Awwww... but I have magic-users! And d4 hp? CRAPPY! DM shrugs and you make it.

It didn't matter that much anyway, because one statue-mouth sphere of annihilation trap later and you could roll up something else.

But D&D is different now. The players are different. The games are different. Players are expected to invest time and effort and energy into their characters' personalities and backstories and the general assumption seems to be that this character will be around for a long time.

While, once upon a time, rolling up 5 8's and one 12 in Dexterity (Thief again?) wouldn't have bothered me, now if I had to accept stats that force a concept other than what I want to play, I wouldn't be as magnanimous about it.

Indon
2010-03-17, 10:44 AM
Because in point buy he'd have an 18. And the next wizard in point buy, an 18. And the next one, guess what? And each one will likewise pick the number of dump stats they get which will usually be about the same... and usually all 8's. Maybe a 10 or 12 if it's kinda sorta important. And a wizard would never ever have an odd numbered stat in point buy, what a waste. Rarely would any class have one, though some might have 1 or 2 for some feat or some such.

But they're doing that because they choose to optimize their characters instead of making characters with diverse inherent qualities.

If you want to make a point-buy wizard with 17 int, you can! The only thing keeping you from doing otherwise is the choice to optimize.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-17, 10:45 AM
Because in point buy he'd have an 18. And the next wizard in point buy, an 18. And the next one, guess what? And each one will likewise pick the number of dump stats they get which will usually be about the same... and usually all 8's. Maybe a 10 or 12 if it's kinda sorta important. And a wizard would never ever have an odd numbered stat in point buy, what a waste. Rarely would any class have one, though some might have 1 or 2 for some feat or some such.

I don't follow, why does it matter so much to you that the wizard has odd numbered stats? The extra +1 doesn't matter that much, like JaronK said, many people would rather have better DEX/CON and only 16 INT.

STR:8
DEX:14
CON:14/6
INT:18
WIS:8
CHA:8

Rolled Wiz:
STR:8
DEX:14
CON:14
INT:17
WIS:8
CHA:13

The difference is pretty small.

Indon
2010-03-17, 10:51 AM
STR:8
DEX:14
CON:14/6
INT:18
WIS:8
CHA:8

You don't have to do that for a point buy Wizard.

You could have:
Str:12
Dex:12
Con:12
Int:14
Wis:12
Cha:12

Now you're playing a character who's above-average in everything, a regular paragon. He's not a supergenius, but he's entirely playable as your int will increase over time anyway.

All point buy does in this respect is offer players the choice between power and the ability to make different characters. Any player can choose a different stat distribution just by choosing to make a slightly less powerful character.

tcrudisi
2010-03-17, 10:55 AM
There are several scenarios i see here;
- You only created characters with your group once.
- You are mistaken and only remember the rolls that confirm your believes.
- You lie.
- This is actually happened several times.

I do not believe the last one :P
Even the first one is highly unlikely (1 in approximately 20 million just for having 2 players roll 16 or higher 5 out of 6 times)

There's also another scenario which I strongly suspect:
- They cheat somehow.

This is the same group that I've played D&D with since 2nd ed. They really do get stats that good. Of course, in a WoD game one of those two managed to get 6 successes on 5 dice without a specialization (which is impossible). So yeah -- I suspect they cheat.

But I've watched them roll before, the other DM has watched them roll, and they just rarely get below 16's.

I know the chances of it happening; I have studied statistics. I also know what I experience every time we create new characters. It's for this reason that I always do point buy when running games, and it's for this reason that the other DM quit having everyone roll and just said, "Just give yourself three 16's and three 18's, since that's what those 2 would have anyway."

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-17, 10:57 AM
You don't have to do that for a point buy Wizard.

You could have:
Str:12
Dex:12
Con:12
Int:14
Wis:12
Cha:12

Now you're playing a character who's above-average in everything, a regular paragon. He's not a supergenius, but he's entirely playable as your int will increase over time anyway.

All point buy does in this respect is offer players the choice between power and the ability to make different characters. Any player can choose a different stat distribution just by choosing to make a slightly less powerful character.

I know, and I like point-buy because it lets you play any kind of character you want, but there really is little reason for a wizard to use that array. not only does he get more out of INT than any other stat, but w/ 32 pt. buy he could afford:

12
14
14
14
14
14

Draz74
2010-03-17, 11:01 AM
The method I like for combining Point Buy and Roll is as follows:

1) Use a point buy method, normally a lower value one.
2) Next roll 3d6 for each stat, keeping the higher value, either the point buy or the rolled value.

This means that players can make the character they want but there is a random factor involved. So you may end up with a figher with a high wisdom.

I used to like this method, until I played around with it a bit and realized that it rewards SAD classes even more. Dump several stats in the point-buy phase (while buying an 18 in one), and those stats become more likely to improve by rolling 3d6 for them.

I haven't tried this, but I think it might be a decent compromise... Have everyone roll stats, and then take the highest set and let that be the point buy limit for the group.

Or have everyone roll stats, then let everyone pick any array they want from the group's rolls. That way, if there were two decent but different arrays rolled, you could actually end up with a group with a bit of variety. (E.g. half the group has 17, 15, 12, 12, 11, 7 and the other half has 16, 15, 13, 13, 12, 10.)

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-17, 11:18 AM
Or have everyone roll stats, then let everyone pick any array they want from the group's rolls. That way, if there were two decent but different arrays rolled, you could actually end up with a group with a bit of variety. (E.g. half the group has 17, 15, 12, 12, 11, 7 and the other half has 16, 15, 13, 13, 12, 10.)

Hmm, I like this idea. None of the nasty unbalance and rigidness of normal rolling.

Quietus
2010-03-17, 11:26 AM
There's also another scenario which I strongly suspect:
- They cheat somehow.

This is the same group that I've played D&D with since 2nd ed. They really do get stats that good. Of course, in a WoD game one of those two managed to get 6 successes on 5 dice without a specialization (which is impossible). So yeah -- I suspect they cheat.

But I've watched them roll before, the other DM has watched them roll, and they just rarely get below 16's.

I know the chances of it happening; I have studied statistics. I also know what I experience every time we create new characters. It's for this reason that I always do point buy when running games, and it's for this reason that the other DM quit having everyone roll and just said, "Just give yourself three 16's and three 18's, since that's what those 2 would have anyway."

Actually, it IS possible to get 6 successes on five dice; WoD supports exploding dice, so that any 10's they rolled would be rolled again, and could create additional successes. This may or may not have been what happens.

As an aside, there's two stat generation options that I've toyed with mentally. The first being "4d6b3, then point buy to X", where X is your preferred power level of game - I usually use 32. So you get the randomness of the dice, and if you're below the power curve of the party, you get to point buy up to meet it. This ensures some variation and randomness in every character, while still making sure everyone gets stats they personally find acceptable.

The other? "Don't bother rolling, pick your stats within the normal range. Don't be stupid about it, talk to me if you want an unusually high set." I've found that most players, when given this option, will pick reasonable numbers. The couple of times that I've been given a set that ranged from 12-18, with at least three or four stats at 16+, I've simply asked the players to "buy" the high stat with a great character bio. The first did so, and I got three pages of backstory and plot hooks to use as I saw fit. The second decided he didn't want to put in the extra work, and scaled his scores back a couple of points. The reasoning behind this method? I can scale up enemies if I have a party that is unusually high-powered, quite easily. A feat change here, and slight buff there, leave mooks as is to let my high powered players blow through a couple challenges... it's not tough. Players feel REALLY GOOD about themselves when they take down a half-dozen orcs in two rounds at level 1, by the way. But this way, their stats are determined strictly by their own choices - if they aren't happy with them, they have no one but themselves to blame.

tcrudisi
2010-03-17, 11:52 AM
Actually, it IS possible to get 6 successes on five dice; WoD supports exploding dice, so that any 10's they rolled would be rolled again, and could create additional successes. This may or may not have been what happens.

I'm aware. That's what I meant when I said they had "no specialization". I specifically remember that he had 3 dice from attributes, 1 from skills, and 1 from a merit. This was 2nd edition WoD, where you only get the exploding dice if you had a specialization -- which required 4 dice in your attribute or your ability. Since he had neither, it was a literal impossibility to achieve 6 successes. (I actually used to be a ST Mod on the old New Bremen chatroom, if anyone actually remembers that.)

I actually sort of like the idea of letting people each roll 1 number and that goes for the whole group, as was presented earlier. I may have to try that sometime. I'm not quite as big on the idea of giving people a point buy after rolling, as I just don't think it can be done to truly make things equitable for all players. I'm a big stickler for having things be fair right out of the starting gate. I also support Draz's method, as it would work at my table. The two who like to roll would get to keep their own rolls and everyone else would be equal in power. Of course, then I'm stuck ramping up all the encounters some, but that's a small price to pay to have parity out of the starting gate.

Indon
2010-03-17, 12:01 PM
This is the same group that I've played D&D with since 2nd ed. They really do get stats that good. Of course, in a WoD game one of those two managed to get 6 successes on 5 dice without a specialization (which is impossible). So yeah -- I suspect they cheat.
I think most likely, your friends have weighted dice, probably in addition to their cheating.

I know, and I like point-buy because it lets you play any kind of character you want, but there really is little reason for a wizard to use that array. not only does he get more out of INT than any other stat, but w/ 32 pt. buy he could afford:

No, there is not much mechanical benefit out of other statistical options. But not all the choices people make in the game need to be about maximizing the mechanical benefit.

That's my point. The game shouldn't have to force people to make diverse characters, people should have that choice and if they want diverse characters, they can take it. If they don't, then that's obviously not on their list of priorities.

SensFan
2010-03-17, 12:28 PM
The method I like for combining Point Buy and Roll is as follows:

1) Use a point buy method, normally a lower value one.
2) Next roll 3d6 for each stat, keeping the higher value, either the point buy or the rolled value.

This means that players can make the character they want but there is a random factor involved. So you may end up with a figher with a high wisdom.

As to my players, there were two schools of thought. One group would normally buy the stats they needed really high and rely on the dice to get the rest of the stats up to where they would need to be. The other group would buy their stats as if the rolls did not exist and then treat the rolls as bonus.

Overall I like the setup and am thinking of trying something like it in 4th Ed.
That seems much worse than either normal point buy or normal rolling. Now every Wizard is guaranteed to have 18 intelligence, since putting 8s everywhere else isn't a big deal.

ericgrau
2010-03-17, 01:40 PM
But they're doing that because they choose to optimize their characters instead of making characters with diverse inherent qualities.

If you want to make a point-buy wizard with 17 int, you can! The only thing keeping you from doing otherwise is the choice to optimize.
This is a fallacy, as it almost never actually happens, and with reason. If you don't optimize and everyone else does, and the DM matches the monsters to them, the game will get annoying as you start sucking.

It's also an excitement killer. If you aren't trying your best and still at risk of failure, it isn't really a game. If you are holding back to keep from dominating, well except when things get hairy, you aren't really at risk of failure. Anything that limits the players must be a rule, not an arbitrary choice. Or at the very least an agreement made among all the players so that one person doesn't break it while the rest adhere to it (which is really the same thing as a rule). Campaign ending cheese is obvious and wouldn't get past the DM even if someone did attempt it (unlikely), but lesser forms of optimization are a bit more fuzzy and need rules or at least some kind of agreement.

Optimystik
2010-03-17, 02:01 PM
Apparently I did so much better than you, because while I can't find anywhere in the op or title about making snarky comments about other posts, I was able to find the part where the OP asked my opinion about stat generation!

Wrong, he was asking an opinion on HIS specific system for stat generation, not a general poll on rolling vs. point buy. So yes, you do fail reading comprehension.

And I fail to see how simply asking you a question is snarky, though your overblown response certainly was.