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CapnCJ
2011-01-24, 05:19 PM
This doesn't apply to any particular game system so I didn't put a tag in the title.

Have you ever rolled HORRIBLE but legal stats on a character and been stuck with them? What did you do about it? I have a great concept lined up, but the barely legal stats i've rolled make me feel like i'm gonna waste the idea on them. The DM wont let me roll again, saying it's the luck of the draw, which I understand but it feels kinda crappy to have my character gimped before it's even wirtten up :(

Er, to go back to the original question.. What have people done/would people do in this situation? I've played a character like this before, but this campaign is a real tough one, lots of demons and Dismissal is banned. The other characters are very powerful and I don't wanna be a dead weight.

No brains
2011-01-24, 05:30 PM
:smallamused:If this is about 3.5, I have a good soloution, though it will take careful moves and persistience.

Play a Druid! All you really need is a Wis score above 11. Have crappy STR, Your companion can be your muscle. Bad DEX, wear medium armor and ride on your pet for speed. Blowful CON, use your pet as a meat shield and layer on the armor to make the most of being attacked. Moronic INT, you get fair skill points each level, and have a few Knowledge skills. No CHA, you get +4 to command your pet, can retry free actions to handle it, and violence normally solves problems anyway.

Best of all, if you should survive to 5th level, you get Wild Shape and your stats don't matter at all any more! NO ABILITY MODIFIES WILD SHAPE- the ultimate get out dumpstat jail free card!

To keep up with the party spell wise, take craft magic item: if you have a meager 11 WIS at creation, you can improve it to 12 at 4th when you also get 2nd level spells! Then you can just make yourself perapits of wisdom to allow you to master even 9th level spells as a dunce!

Put THAT in your RPGA and smoke it!

Akal Saris
2011-01-24, 05:31 PM
My last character with horrible stats was a dwarf noble in Dragonlance 3.5. I put my best stats (13 and 11..) in dex and charisma, and took Exotic weapon: repeating heavy crossbow. He was basically the 'old patron' of the party, with his age reflecting his generally horrible physical stats. Crossbows don't use strength and the base damage was high enough that I didn't feel completely useless in combat, plus being the party face was easy enough to do with role-playing to offset my poor base bonuses.

Wabbajack
2011-01-24, 05:33 PM
You mentioned that you had a specific concept in mind. Maybe you could post it and the people here help you to make it work with the stats?

Mark Hall
2011-01-24, 05:34 PM
Been there, done that. The main thing to do is what people with bad stats do in real life... make the most out of what they have. Look at what you can do in the system that will make your low attributes less important. Build a character idea around the fact that you have low stats.

nolispe
2011-01-24, 05:36 PM
There's another option. Play an Artificer, optimise to taste. Really, Artificers don't need anything but gold and XP, and those can be dealt with if you have a group of Suckers Party Members to Exploit help boost the power of.

mucat
2011-01-24, 05:37 PM
One option is to play a Tier-1 caster (or any class a tier or two above the average for your party.). You won't be quite as good as someone with the same class but better stats, but you'll still be far from a dead weight. If anything, you'll still want to think of other believable ways to limit your character so he/she doesn't outshine other party members.

You might want to rethink the character concept too, and come up with one that fits naturally with the lower stats. The fact that he's not the most brilliant mind in wizardry or the most naturally inspired of clerics can be an interesting change from the incredibly gifted characters we often play...and make it all the more satisfying when he perseveres through sheer grit, and changes the world anyway.


EDIT: Wow, ninja'd many times! Advice still stands, though.

CapnCJ
2011-01-24, 05:56 PM
I'm stuck in a bit of an annoying situation. I had a great idea for a character and it's just not viable anymore. One of the other players advised me to make any random character, get killed ASAP, and then try again for my intended build :smallfrown:

kyoryu
2011-01-24, 05:59 PM
Depends on the system, and the campaign style.

Older campaign styles were pretty much designed around the assumption that this would happen to folks. IIRC, older D&D versions were much flatter around bonuses (except for some of the exceptional strength stuff). The given idea that you'd be changing characters with some regularity took some of the sting out of it.

I don't think I'd force somebody to do it in a more modern game, though. Dealing with poor stats is fine for a while (especially if you know that it's not permanent), but being outshined by someone else, persistently, for the entire course of a campaign ain't much fun.

Psyren
2011-01-24, 06:02 PM
Play a class that doesn't need stats to be effective; Classic choices are Binder and Warlock.

nightwyrm
2011-01-24, 06:05 PM
Basically, if you have bad stats, play something that ignores those stats.

CapnCJ
2011-01-24, 06:12 PM
I'd rather play something I want badly than something I don't want well, at the end of the day. Rock <- Me -> Hard Place

Comet
2011-01-24, 06:16 PM
If the game uses random character generation it's pretty much useless to design your character beforehand. You just go with what the dice tell you and make the most of it, as has been said.

Besides, it's the GM's decision. Everyone knows that there's a chance of some characters turning out less potent than others. Just have fun with it and try to survive as long as you can with a more down-to-earth sort of character.

Curious
2011-01-24, 06:17 PM
Personally, I would say follow 'No Brains' -not a very apt name, all said- advice and become a druid. No matter what you do, you will be an asset to the party.

Mastikator
2011-01-24, 06:20 PM
Best thing to do when your DM refuses to let you re-roll. Change the character concept into something you don't want, something suicidal. And die.
Then you can re-roll with hopefully better stats and the concept you want.

BAM.

Grelna the Blue
2011-01-24, 06:21 PM
Lots of good advice above.

However, if your stats truly stink, I've got a somewhat different suggestion. Make lemonade out of those lemon stats. Shelve that really cool concept for now and play a failure instead.

We get the opportunity to play superheroes relatively often. But we don't often play the supporting cast, and there is some fun in that, too. So you could try playing the nebbish who has absolutely no business being in the room when the $&!# goes down. You know, the kind of characters Rick Moranis and Joe Pesci generally play.

It's hilarious comic relief and if you live, you can honestly say you totally beat the odds. If you die, well, it's not exactly a surprise and the GM is probably not going to force you to play two characters like that in a row.

mucat
2011-01-24, 06:25 PM
One of the other players advised me to make any random character, get killed ASAP, and then try again for my intended build :smallfrown:

I would count that as "in-game response to an out-of-game problem," which is never a good thing to do.

I'm no longer sure what you're asking us. You asked what people would do in that situation, but you don't seem to like any of the viable options. The remaining one, of course, is to talk to the DM and work out a compromise that lets you both enjoy the game. You said you've tried that and had no luck, but if you really aren't looking forward to this game anymore, explain that to him calmly and ask him to help you find a solution.

Tengu_temp
2011-01-24, 06:27 PM
I'd ask the DM why isn't he using point buy. Seriously, there is a reason why pretty much all serious modern RPG did away with random character generation: because it really sucks to be the guy who rolled crappy stats.

CapnCJ
2011-01-24, 06:29 PM
Curious, i'm actually dropping a Druid for this character as I never really gelled with it, so rolling another one would be a bit, err... Well, seems pointless, particularly as the new one would be a level lower, MUCH weaker, and much poorer, as well as having no background with the party.

Mastik, i've been suggested that by 2 party members now. To be honest, i'd rather not go that route but it's a possibility.

Grelna, I actually kinda like this suggestion. I wonder how long I can survive running a bit of a punchbag? Dwarf Barbarian for sure.

some guy
2011-01-24, 07:23 PM
I would go with Grelna's suggestion. There is much glory to be found in playing a character that survives by wit and luck, instead by talent. A level gained will be a level hard earned. A level 1 barbarian with 18 Con will survive much more, but survival for a level 1 barbarian will mean much more.

The going will be tough, but when the going gets tough, the times get interesting.

It will build character.

But then again, being outshined sucks. Try to find a role in which you can be unique. And try to speak again with the DM instead of suiciding your pc.

EDIT: And about worries about being a punchbag; remember that there's a lot of chance in the game. I've seen pc's with low hp survive and pc's with high hp die. Death and life is more about tactics than high or low abilities.

Mark Hall
2011-01-24, 07:35 PM
I'm stuck in a bit of an annoying situation. I had a great idea for a character and it's just not viable anymore. One of the other players advised me to make any random character, get killed ASAP, and then try again for my intended build :smallfrown:

That's possible, but I don't think highly of it.

Yes, you can try to pursue the build you want, but that build will probably be feasible at some other time in the future. These are the cards you've been dealt. Make the best of them. Try to figure out ways to make it effective and meaningfully contribute. Explore other parts of the rules, and see what you can come up with.

Not everything has to be about having the perfect build for what you want to do. It's equally possible that your character WANTED to be a big and powerful wizard, but couldn't cut it... so he struck a deal with a devil and is a warlock. Or he hoped to be a big and powerful fighter, but never could get over his childhood asthma... so he started binding the spirits of warriors to himself, letting him be who he wanted. Most powerful and frightening wizard I've ever seen? My younger brother's wizard Marsael, with only a 15 intelligence. Despite being in a party with a dual-classed thief/wizard with an 18 intelligence. He was powerful and scary because he was played will, making the most of what he had. His missed a few key Chance to Learn Spells rolls, and had to make do with what he had.

Stretch your legs. Step outside your comfort zone. Make a character memorable in spite of his stats, not because you tweaked the build to epic levels.

Rixx
2011-01-24, 07:38 PM
What are these stats? That'd probably help.

CapnCJ
2011-01-24, 07:46 PM
I feel I should make a quick post to add some background to this. I made this thread pretty much out of frustration, and I should quickly explain.

I've played DnD for about 6 years now, and in that time I've run many characters. Some have only lasted 2-3 sessions due to death, replacement, etc. Others more than a year, basically until their campaign ended. In all that time, I've never rolled over 15 in a stat. I've also never rolled stats without at least a -1 somewhere. For whatever reason, my luck rolling stats is awful. It's become a running joke in the group.

Normally this isn't a problem but this particular campaign is hard as nails, and the party can't afford dead weight. As a group we've never really optimized much before but only the strong survive here. I don't want amazing stats, I just want a fair shot at having the same start as the others. Rolling this badly every time has gone beyond fun for me and just become painful.

Edit: 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 9 Total mod of +1. legal by RAW, just.

Mark Hall
2011-01-24, 07:48 PM
What are these stats? That'd probably help.

It might not even be 3.5; he posted it as a systemless thing.

Mando Knight
2011-01-24, 08:06 PM
Edit: 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 9 Total mod of +1. legal by RAW, just.
Let's see...

Definite Druid material. 15 Wis, 13 Con. 10 or 11 in Int, distribute the rest to taste. Go Human (Feat!), Dwarf (+Con!), or Lesser Aasimar (Utterly broken for +0 LA!).

Wabbajack
2011-01-24, 08:07 PM
I feel I should make a quick post to add some background to this. I made this thread pretty much out of frustration, and I should quickly explain.

I've played DnD for about 6 years now, and in that time I've run many characters. Some have only lasted 2-3 sessions due to death, replacement, etc. Others more than a year, basically until their campaign ended. In all that time, I've never rolled over 15 in a stat. I've also never rolled stats without at least a -1 somewhere. For whatever reason, my luck rolling stats is awful. It's become a running joke in the group.

Normally this isn't a problem but this particular campaign is hard as nails, and the party can't afford dead weight. As a group we've never really optimized much before but only the strong survive here. I don't want amazing stats, I just want a fair shot at having the same start as the others. Rolling this badly every time has gone beyond fun for me and just become painful.

Edit: 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 9 Total mod of +1. legal by RAW, just.

They don't seem so bad. You could take a +0/+1 LA race with a good boni and probably play what you want. Here (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=6992.0) for example you can find a list of all lesser planetouched, some with rather nice stat boni.

mucat
2011-01-24, 08:11 PM
15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 9 Total mod of +1. legal by RAW, just.
Those aren't terrible...though they might not work with the concept you wanted to play. What was this concept?

If you want to salvage those stats, you might try something like this: middle-aged wizard (so all those odd stats either go up by one, gaining you an extra +1 modifer, or go down by onw, costing nothing.)

Then before level increases, you might have:

Str 8
Dex 10
Con 12
Int 16
Wis 10
Cha 11

Not great, but they'll leave you perfectly able to function as a wizard...which in turn means you'll be pulling whatever fraction of the weight you choose to.


Having said all that, I prefer Grelna's idea of playing a schlub who is desperately over his head. Give him a background story that makes you want him to succeed, and see if you can beat the odds. He can still pull his weight...he just has to try harder and be more creative.

Don't have him spend combats making attack rolls alongside the people who are better at it than he it. Have him use terrain. Light things on fire. Dislodge rockslides. Cut chandeliers down. Break ice. Overturn boats. Charge into places he's not supposed to be. Sprint across free-fire zones to rescue downed comrades. Take lots of chances, but don't actually try to get him killed...just try to make him history's most badass schlub. Spit in the face of the Fates that wanted him to be a file clerk. :smallsmile:

Mark Hall
2011-01-24, 08:16 PM
Don't have him spend combats making attack rolls alongside the people who are better at it than he it. Have him use terrain. Light things on fire. Dislodge rockslides. Cut chandeliers down. Break ice. Overturn boats. Charge into places he's not supposed to be. Sprint across free-fire zones to rescue downed comrades. Take lots of chances, but don't actually try to get him killed...just try to make him history's most badass schlub. Spit in the face of the Fates that wanted him to be a file clerk. :smallsmile:

In short... be R2-D2. ;-)

Magic Myrmidon
2011-01-24, 08:26 PM
You could take a ton of luck feats, go into Fortune's Friend, and just rely on luck for stuff. Could work for someone who isn't naturally talented.

CycloneJoker
2011-01-24, 08:30 PM
Be a warlock. You hit touch AC and your decent invocations require no saves. At level one, all you really need to do is throw a bunch of spiders at someone.

For a bit of mozzarella goodness, be evil, get something like a Gray Elf, put your 15 in Cha, 13 in int, so it's 15, go, go Warlock 2/anything with a good will save 1, and take Dark Speech, and then have fun summoning level 88 sorcerers with Cha of 106. Wish away the ability damage, wish up +5 to each stat, and enjoy abusing the wording of suggestion to have epic level sorcerers at your command.

Mark Hall
2011-01-24, 08:32 PM
Be a warlock. You hit touch AC and your decent invocations require no saves. At level one, all you really need to do is throw a bunch of spiders at someone.

For a bit of mozzarella goodness, be evil, get something like a Gray Elf, put your 15 in Cha, 13 in int, so it's 15, go, go Warlock 2/anything with a good will save 1, and take Dark Speech, and then have fun summoning level 88 sorcerers with Cha of 106. Wish away the ability damage, wish up +5 to each stat, and enjoy abusing the wording of suggestion to have epic level sorcerers at your command.

Ok, I'm lost on the math of this one...

Wabbajack
2011-01-24, 08:36 PM
Or be a Warlock/Hellfire Warlock/Binder (with Naberius) and just assign your stats however you want.

There are tons of builds that work well with these stats, but if you have a concept in mind you should try to make it work.

Psyren
2011-01-24, 08:37 PM
I would go with Grelna's suggestion. There is much glory to be found in playing a character that survives by wit and luck, instead by talent. A level gained will be a level hard earned. A level 1 barbarian with 18 Con will survive much more, but survival for a level 1 barbarian will mean much more.

It's worth noting that the guys who don't have exceptional talent (e.g. most of us) tend to stay home rather than be adventurers.

"Wit and luck" tend to get you only so far before they get you killed.

CycloneJoker
2011-01-24, 08:38 PM
Ok, I'm lost on the math of this one...

Hive mind. A swarm of bats is 5000 strong, for every 50 members above 150 you gain +1 int and Cha, and unless I'm wrong a swarm of 150 bats would have 9 Cha, and 4850 / 50 = 97, so 9+97=106, -17 for the level of 89. I guess I was wrong, I'm kinda sleep deprived, sorry for the subtraction fail. It uses Wish to remove ability damage from Dark Speech's word of dark unity.

Anything else?

Wabbajack
2011-01-24, 08:43 PM
A Hive Mind established with Dark Speech can only have a maximum of 100 'members'.

That means 7 int, 4 cha and no casting.

Psyren
2011-01-24, 08:47 PM
A Dark Speech-formed Hivemind has a maximum of 100 members (BoVD 33.) This is insufficient to produce the spellcasting abiliy (You need 150 creatures to get Int/Cha 10, thus no spells are possible.) And the spellcasting only kicks in if you make it up to Cha 18 (550 creatures.)

NINJA'ed, dammit!

CycloneJoker
2011-01-24, 08:55 PM
A Dark Speech-formed Hivemind has a maximum of 100 members (BoVD 33.) This is insufficient to produce the spellcasting abiliy (You need 150 creatures to get Int/Cha 10, thus no spells are possible.) And the spellcasting only kicks in if you make it up to Cha 18 (550 creatures.)

NINJA'ed, dammit!

I guess I just skipped it since I had Fiendish Codex I open next to it. Whoops. Still, throwing 5000 bats will kill a lot of things at first level, and I am going to figure out a way to get more in a hivemind.

Arillius
2011-01-24, 09:11 PM
I feel I should make a quick post to add some background to this. I made this thread pretty much out of frustration, and I should quickly explain.

I've played DnD for about 6 years now, and in that time I've run many characters. Some have only lasted 2-3 sessions due to death, replacement, etc. Others more than a year, basically until their campaign ended. In all that time, I've never rolled over 15 in a stat. I've also never rolled stats without at least a -1 somewhere. For whatever reason, my luck rolling stats is awful. It's become a running joke in the group.

Normally this isn't a problem but this particular campaign is hard as nails, and the party can't afford dead weight. As a group we've never really optimized much before but only the strong survive here. I don't want amazing stats, I just want a fair shot at having the same start as the others. Rolling this badly every time has gone beyond fun for me and just become painful.

Edit: 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 9 Total mod of +1. legal by RAW, just.

Those are not that bad for stats at all. With a halfling rogue or sorcerer you can put the highest into dex and cha and become the party face, unless your party has one already. 17 cha goes to 18 at lvl 4, focus mainly on spells and skills that let you talk your way out of close quarters fight and maybe some stealth.

Sine
2011-01-24, 09:37 PM
I feel I should make a quick post to add some background to this. I made this thread pretty much out of frustration, and I should quickly explain.

I've played DnD for about 6 years now, and in that time I've run many characters. Some have only lasted 2-3 sessions due to death, replacement, etc. Others more than a year, basically until their campaign ended. In all that time, I've never rolled over 15 in a stat. I've also never rolled stats without at least a -1 somewhere. For whatever reason, my luck rolling stats is awful. It's become a running joke in the group.

Normally this isn't a problem but this particular campaign is hard as nails, and the party can't afford dead weight. As a group we've never really optimized much before but only the strong survive here. I don't want amazing stats, I just want a fair shot at having the same start as the others. Rolling this badly every time has gone beyond fun for me and just become painful.

Edit: 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 9 Total mod of +1. legal by RAW, just.
1. Dump Con and Wis. Play a d4 HD class and/or don't wear protective gear for 'bonus' points.
2. Roleplay your low Wisdom. Ex: charge first into the thick of battle, insult the king in his court, etc.
3. Reroll when this character dies. Rinse and repeat until you get decent stats or your DM switches to point buy.

Chuckthedwarf
2011-01-24, 10:56 PM
Actually, these stats don't seem to be THAT bad to me.

Of course, it's nothing close to regular high power build, but it's pretty much the elite array from DMG (or was it PHB?) and it's not all that unplayable.

I'd play with stats like this; any caster can achieve full casting by appropriate level with 15 (+1 at 4, 8, 12, 16, bam 9th level spells. Or items, but then there's the usual disadvantages.) to it's main casting stat, and while things like Con and Dex can be useful, they can still be ignored.

Since your current campaign is "hard as nails" and druid doesn't fancy you (I can understand why...) you might have to resort to more behind-the-scenes roles... Suicide is always the option, but I wouldn't be too rude about it, if you're gonna die at least try to make it reasonably heroic or funny.

Maho-Tsukai
2011-01-24, 10:59 PM
Those stats are not actually all bad with the right race. I have a few build ideas you could play and actually be a competent character. The 1st a Lesser Aasmair Cloistered Cleric. Put the 15 into wisdom, the 13 into con. Put a 11 into dex. Take a 9 in strength and a 9 in charisma. With racial modifiers you will have Str: 9, Dex: 11, Con: 13, Int: 10, Wis: 17, Cha: 11. Kinda sucky, but not in this build. While you ARE a cleric your a CLOISTERED cleric. Your not going to be clericzilla buffing himself up and smacking people with a mace. Rather, as soon as you possibly can, your going to take Zen Archery and extra turning (to offset the fact you can't turn/rebuke all that much due top crap Cha.). This will allow you to focus completely and totally on wisdom since due to Zen archery you make ranged attacks with wisdom as appose to dex and focusing solely on wis in turn makes you a better caster. Simply put, you can be a perfectly good "caster cleric" since 17 wis is actually fairly good for a level 1 cleric(I've seen and MADE level 1 clerics with 16 int...so yeah) and you can use ranged weapons off your wisdom as well meaning if you focus entirely on being a caster your essentially a 1-stat character.

The other builds are almost the same as this one in the fact both of them focus on one stat and one stat only, and making the best out of it. With a +2 Int race(Like a Grey Elf) or a +2 Cha race(Like a Spellscale) you can be a reasonably good wizard or sorcerer with a 17 as your starting casting stat(which is, again, respectable.) Likewise, if you want a high single stat then try being an anthropomorphic bat from savage species. You may get some penalties(I forget what, if any, they are.) but you get +6 wisdom meaning at 1st level if you put the 15 in wis after racial modifiers you got 21 wisdom, enough to cast all your druid spells, and while your other stats may suck your a DRUID, once you get wildshape you can have whatever stats you want.

Also, speaking of wild beasts, if you REALLY don't want to be a caster in this case you may want to try and take an "uber race" that has a nasty LA(And maybe even racial hit dice). Sure, the LA and racial hit dice will be a pain, but your stats go from crappy to awesome and despite the LA a melee type can afford to take such races since they don't really get all that much from having lots of class levels sans BAB and such...

On, and finally, one last idea. While It's sure to get an auto-denial by your DM it never hurts to ask for the permission to play a venerable dragonwrought Kobald. Yeah, it's broken. Yeah, it has a high chance of auto-denial, but if your DM is not a RL Stick-in-*** "paladin" then he/she MAY consider making an exception to the usual auto-denial due to the situation(The difficulty of the dungeon, the party needing somebody useful ect...) Yeah, you will get some negative stats, but there are Kobald sub-races that can allow you to shift your stats as you like.(The one that has -2 int is ideal for a cloistered cleric build since venerable + Dragonwrought gives you + 3 to all mental stats and since you only get a -2 to int you still get a +1 to it, in the end. I believe it was the Jungle Kobald but I can't be sure.)

Since venerable + Dragonwrought gives you +3 to all mental stats and no age penalties you can basically chose your casting stat and be an awesome caster. I would personally use a Cloistered Cleric using that one enviornmental Kobald race that gets -2 int instead of -2 con in that case. with 15 wis, 9 cha, 9 int, 10 dex, 13 str and 11 con you end up with 18 wis, 12 cha, 10 int, 12 dex, 9 str, 11 con which are ok for a cloistered cleric planning on being focused on wisdom and only wisdom. Again, take Zen Archery if you want to use ranged weapons without having to worry that your dex is meh. I am just partial to clerics, though. If you want to go arcane you can easily do a similar thing with int or cha(and thus be a wizard or sorc, respectively.) though lack of a "zen archery" type feat means that when your not casting you aren't all that great at anything else(your dex will be low and with out a zen-archery type ability that means you will be crappy at using ranged weapons.) but with the right buffs it's not that bad and if you survive long enough to get some gold(which a wizard/sorc should be able to.) you can forget mundane ranged weapons and just use wands and other magic items as your offense when you don't want to/can't cast.(Though if you do this you will be totally useless in an anti-magic field in the rare chance one should pop up in the campaign.)