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View Full Version : Rolled stats, why the hate?



DementedFellow
2012-07-26, 08:46 AM
I noticed in another thread that a poster stated he wouldn't play with a particular DM because he used rolled stats. I've seen this sentiment echoed several times by others. Why is there such a disconnect between players and rolling stats?

Personally, I feel it gives you a bit more excitement in rolling up a character, which is a pretty tedious process.

In addition to that, I feel that the point buy system is the most needlessly complex system out there. Try explaining how many points it costs to go from 16 to 17 to a newcomer. It would just be simpler to say, "You have a pool of X points. 1 point = +1 to a stat. Don't go higher than 18 before racial bonuses are applied." But that's not the way people do it. Instead they focus on some system that will take multiple questions to answer when trying to bring someone in to an already rules-heavy game.

Dr Bwaa
2012-07-26, 09:00 AM
Well, point-buy can feel very comforting, especially to people who care about party balance--it's no fun to be the one guy who rolled three stats under 10 while everyone else has 40-point-buy equivalents. Not to mention that (A) it's not actually particularly complex, and (B) there are a plethora of point-buy calculators available for free online (http://tools.digitalightbulb.com/pbcalc.html), so you don't even have to know how it works if you don't want to learn.

Point-buy stats basically ensure that, all other things being equal, all party members will be approximately equal in terms of power. Obviously all other things are generally not equal, but you get the point.

Personally I do prefer rolled stats. Point-buy is exceedingly boring to me, and all characters feel pretty much the same--you've got one high stat, a bunch of 10s, maybe an 8, and a couple of 12s and 13s. It's hard to justify playing classes with MAD in point-buy systems for this reason--whereas if you roll your stats, you could get lucky and have enough high rolls to make even a monk or paladin decent. Of course, it also helps if the GM alters the rerolling threshold so that nobody gets totally shafted.

DiscipleofBob
2012-07-26, 09:02 AM
Because when I roll four 18's, a 16, and a 14 before racial modifiers, I feel like I'm cheating.

And when I roll up two 6's and nothing above a 14, I feel cheated.

Glimbur
2012-07-26, 09:02 AM
Depending on if you get to assign the rolls to stats or if you go in order, it can make it unfeasible to build the character you intended to build.

If each person rolls stats separately, there are likely to be differences in who has bigger numbers and such. Why should one character be (slightly) better long term just because they rolled better at char gen?

I would point the new players at a point buy calculator, which simplifies the math. Alternately, once you have explained how the modifier comes from stats, which you will need to do eventually anyway, the point cost follows directly.

Ozreth
2012-07-26, 09:06 AM
Well, for what it's worth you won't that attitude in other online communities as much as you'll find it here as GitP is known for build and balance minded folks.

valadil
2012-07-26, 09:12 AM
In web discussion of RPGs it's easier to have a standardized set of rules. We spend a whole lot more time talking about character builds in RAW than with house rules, just because the RAW rules are the only ones everyone knows.

I think this preference for standardization extends to die rolls as well in online discussion. I also think that die rolls give us something to discuss. You can't really talk about strategies for hoping you roll all 18s. But when you say 32 point buy, there's an optimal set of stats to be found.

Finally, buying stats straight up like you suggest will work fine for casual gamers or newbies. But wily veterans will exploit it and take nothing but 18s and 8s. The point buy system rewards you for choosing a 16 instead of an 18. It's also not that complicated. Start with 8. Spend a point to bump it up 1. At 14 and up, it costs the stat modifier to increase. This isn't obvious from the chart, but once you have that formula worked out it's really straightforward.

QuidEst
2012-07-26, 09:14 AM
I don't mind rollingÖ if there's a very generous rolling system that all but guarantees you're going to get a very nice setup. But when I manage to get stuck out on the low end of the bell curve with a four on 4d6b3 and not much to show for it, it's a nuisance to work out a character who's that awful at something, especially when a number of choices are ruled out for practical reasons. Can't have a bad will save, can't have hp that low, can't take the penalty to AC, which leaves my character barely literate, staggering under the weight of their clothes, or an anathema to anybody they meet. (Making the character, I went with the massive hit to will save instead.)

The upside is that if I get a fantastic roll, that lets me feel better about playing a Bard or something less powerful.

caden_varn
2012-07-26, 09:14 AM
It depends a lot on the group. If I am playing in a game which is more about tactical combat it's good to start from a level playing field. If I'm playing in a more role-play oriented group it is not so important. It also depends if I have a good idea of the sort of character I want to play before I start - in that case it is better to be able to build the stats the way you want them.

This is particularly true with older stat rolling systems like OD&D (3d6, roll in order), as this can massively limit the classes you can play.

Craft (Cheese)
2012-07-26, 09:22 AM
Think on this: You don't have to use dice to decide your race, class, skill point distribution, your feats, or spells known, so why are ability scores special?

Though what we're really objecting to is the forced rolling of dice to decide parts of a character. If you wanna roll to get some interesting ideas, fine, but you should never be permanently stuck with something you don't want because of how the dice turn up at the beginning of the game.

Lord Il Palazzo
2012-07-26, 09:34 AM
If each person rolls stats separately, there are likely to be differences in who has bigger numbers and such. Why should one character be (slightly) better long term just because they rolled better at char gen?Characters are going to have different power levels based on the races and classes they chose, the feats and spells they pick, what loot the party finds and any number of other things. I (and my group) don't see one more source of minor discrepency* as a deal breaker and (as was noted above) some builds be just about impossible to make work with point buy.

*And it does tend to be minor as any rolls low enough to make the character actually bad get rerolled.

Anxe
2012-07-26, 09:34 AM
My group uses rolled stats pretty much exclusively. We roll them in order and then allow one stat to be rerolled and two to be swapped with each other. It's the 5th option in the DMG called Organic Characters. We like it a lot. The characters are all strong, and the reroll prevents anyone from having awful stats. Not sure where the hatred is coming from either.

valadil
2012-07-26, 10:10 AM
Oh, here's a reason why we abandoned rolling. Players don't like bad rolls. Some of them will suck it up and try to enjoy the character in spite of his stats. Others will intentionally get themselves killed off so they can get a reroll. I try not to play with that type of player, but seeing that behavior a couple times ruined the fun of rolling for me.

Eldan
2012-07-26, 10:14 AM
Also, personally? Point Buy tends to give you characters that feel more or less the same. Characters without any major flaws. I personally find it quite enjoyable to play a character with a 6 in a stat.

Jay R
2012-07-26, 10:21 AM
Rolled stats work fine - for people who think their role-playing skills, rather than their stats, are what's important (and in games in which role-playing skills, rather than stats, really are what's important).

In our current 2E game, I rolled significantly worse than the others. It's a playable character, just not as high, statistically, as the others. I carry my share of the load, and have been quite successful. But that's partly because we have a DM who sets up situations we have to think through.

In a game in which it's just direct encounter after direct encounter, and all problems are solved with die rolls, then having significantly worse die rolls would be a much bigger problem.

dsmiles
2012-07-26, 10:22 AM
No hate for rolled stats, here. I love 'em. I grew up on 'em. Everybody in my current group loves 'em and grew up on 'em. (Of course we're a bunch of old guys, but that's not the point.)
They give variety to the characters, and keep things interesting. Especially when you come up with an extremely low stat amidst 5 above average or better stats.

Hyde
2012-07-26, 10:28 AM
Have you considered that the player's problem is not the fact the DM uses rolled stats, but the apparent inflexibility of the DM to even consider something else?

When the players are directly involved (which somehow happens in character creation), the DM's opinion is no more or less important than that of any given character.

In fact, if no one objects to using an array over rolled stats, the DM probably shouldn't care too much about how the characters get their stats to begin with- what has it got to do with him? If the end result is that three people in the party have lackluster saves or hit points, it doesn't really matter how they got there.

but I digress.

I wouldn't much care to play with a DM that didn't care for my opinions, either.

obryn
2012-07-26, 10:42 AM
It depends on the game I'm running, honestly.

For AD&D, I think rolled stats are great. 4d6 drop low, arrange to taste. It's part of the excitement. For OD&D or RC, I think 3d6 (either in-order or arrange to taste, with 2-for-1 trades) is great. For WFRP2e, rolling for everything (including your profession) is the whole point. :smallcool:

For 3e, I switched to point buy after having the superman-with-commoners thing happen one too many times. I continued to use point buy all through 3.5 and into 4e, and have not gone back.

-O

Menteith
2012-07-26, 10:50 AM
It's less balanced, can really screw over some characters out of the blue, and takes away from the character creation subgame that some people enjoy. That's enough to go on, really.

- It can easily result in a character no longer being appropriate for a campaign, entirely randomly. As an example, I recently joined a PbP game where I was running a Paladin, and rolled for stats. I ended up an array that would not allow me to have a positive Charisma modifier, qualify for Power Attack, or cast spells at the same time (pick 2 of those 3). While the array did have an 18, it fundamentally was not suitable for the character I wanted to play, and would not not been appropriate for the power level of the campaign. Point Buy allows players to select what they're character is actually like, and ensures that they can make their characters playable.

- It can easily create substantial imbalances between players. If a player is rocking out 18, 16, 16, 14, 12, 12 while another player has 14, 12, 12, 10, 10, 8, it's going to power up one character for no real reason - and that is a significant power disparity. That second player is forever going to be much lower power with no way to recover it; some people might be comfortable with that, but in my experience, not many people like being randomly depowered. Point Buy ensures reasonable fairness across all players, and players can be given different Point Buy amounts depending on the class they took as an additional way to help balance a group (In my experience, Paladins or Monks can receive larger Point Buys in most groups, which helps a bit).

- It takes away control from the player. At least in D&D3.5, most of the people I game with really enjoy the character creation subgame. Figuring out exactly how everything in a build fits together, the exact ways that they qualify for this feat, how many levels of this PrC. Balancing Point Buy is part of that, and there are players who will resent the loss of control that it represents.

Doug Lampert
2012-07-26, 11:05 AM
- It can easily create substantial imbalances between players. If a player is rocking out 18, 16, 16, 14, 12, 12 while another player has 14, 12, 12, 10, 10, 8, it's going to power up one character for no real reason - and that is a significant power disparity.

I've seen worse than the above at the table. I've watched people roll arrays that would be over 60 points by point buy, and the "low" roll above could drop both 12s to 10 and would STILL not be eligable to reroll by the rules.

If character creation takes 3 minutes (original D&D), and characters have an average life expectancy of 2 sessions (so much for any continuing plot or characterisization) then rolling works fine. It's quick and easy.

If you roll in order then at least there's a CHANCE that you'll get an oddity like an orkish wizard.

But if you're taking an hour or more to build a character, expected to have a fair chance of taking that character from level 1 to 20, and the rolls would be arrange to taste so you get the same type of stereotypes that point buy gives only with pointless power variations, count me out.

Why not roll for what level your character is while you're at it? Heck, I'd have LESS trouble with that because in the long run level really would even out.

Ashtagon
2012-07-26, 11:10 AM
I love rolling for chargen. I especially like games where your PC might die during chargen.

The Glyphstone
2012-07-26, 11:32 AM
I love rolling for chargen. I especially like games where your PC might die during chargen.

Is that possible for any game besides FATAL, certain old editions of Traveller, and (technically) certain World of Darkness lines?

Melayl
2012-07-26, 11:41 AM
I like rolling for stats. Like others have said, it gives variety. I might have to play a character that has a serious penalty to a stat, sure. It might make it hard for me to play a certain class or concept, but that's ok. So you have a guy that's not a genius but wants to be a wizard. He might not be the best, but to me that just gives good RP fodder.

If your group uses rolling, cool. If it doesn't, cool. I'd go with whatever stat building style my group went with.

kyoryu
2012-07-26, 11:43 AM
I think it depends on a lot of things, really.

Fundamentally, I *like* the idea, for many of the reasons said by others above. That said, I realize it's not necessarily for every game.

It works *best* in an old-school, AD&D type game where:

1) Lethality is present, so you may have to make a new character
2) You may have multiple characters you play at different times anyway.
3) Stat bonuses are not the be-all, end-all of your character's power.
4) The game is more about what the characters do, and less about what the characters *are*/their backstory.

It works less well in games where:

1) You will probably have the same character, and no others, for an extended period of time
2) The game is more about what the characters *are*, and their identities and backstories are woven into the fabric of the game.
3) Stat bonuses are larger and more important.

As far as stat bonuses go, in AD&D a 10 gives a +0/+0, while a 16 gives a +0/+1. Even a flat 18 gives only +1/+2, and an 18/99 gives +2/+5. Given that to-hit is generally considered more important than damage, that's only a max +2 bonus to hit until you hit 19 strength, which is impossible for a starting character.

On the other hand, an 18 strength in 3.x/4e (which is probably considered a *minimum* under most point buy games) gives you a +4/+4. And many characters would be walking around with +5/+5 if they have the racial bonuses.

So, yeah, I like them, in the right game, with the right campaign, the right assumptions, and the right ruleset.

Roguenewb
2012-07-26, 11:56 AM
Both are solidly fun, so I don't really care which the DM uses (as long as the point guy is 32). Point buy allows you a large amount of fiddly control over all the tiny moving parts of a character. Rolling allows you to end up with characters who are more or less spread than a standard deviation, and thus presenting flavor choices. Also, you can end up really strong or really weak, which can be intriguing in its own right. A game composed entirely of direct combat, then it's not a good idea to use die rolls, because it's about power, and the characters are weaker if they roll worse.

WarKitty
2012-07-26, 12:04 PM
It's less balanced, can really screw over some characters out of the blue, and takes away from the character creation subgame that some people enjoy. That's enough to go on, really.

- It can easily result in a character no longer being appropriate for a campaign, entirely randomly. As an example, I recently joined a PbP game where I was running a Paladin, and rolled for stats. I ended up an array that would not allow me to have a positive Charisma modifier, qualify for Power Attack, or cast spells at the same time (pick 2 of those 3). While the array did have an 18, it fundamentally was not suitable for the character I wanted to play, and would not not been appropriate for the power level of the campaign. Point Buy allows players to select what they're character is actually like, and ensures that they can make their characters playable.

This. My worst memory with rolls is when I'd decided I wanted to play a gish. So bam, of course I get a set of rolls that gets one 18 and nothing else over 13. If I'd been playing a wizard or something, it would have been great. As it was, it rendered the character concept I had unplayable. With point buy, I'd just have gotten myself two 16's and been happy with it.

Menteith
2012-07-26, 12:19 PM
Kyoryu hit the nail on the head. In systems where I'm not as invested in my character, I probably won't mind having a bit of randomness involved in CharGen. It can add excitement to a game that otherwise would become stale after a few plays (like some current gen board game RPGs), and it's honestly really fun when you do get those awesome rolls. At the same time, it's incredibly, incredibly annoying to be shackled for real life weeks or months of subpar performance in a 3.5 campaign because you rolled poorly. Choosing to play a lower powered character is fine for some people - being forced to play a useless character isn't, and that's what bad rolls can accomplish.

Thiyr
2012-07-26, 12:25 PM
Is that possible for any game besides FATAL, certain old editions of Traveller, and (technically) certain World of Darkness lines?

I know in at least one edition of Hackmaster it's possible through a few ways (only one I know offhand is due to low Honor).

As far as rolled vs point buy, I'd say it depends a lot on the system. In all my D&D games, we've done rolls, and generally if someone gets really screwed they are allowed to reroll (for reference, though, 4d6k3, 7 times keep 6, 3 times keep one is the default start). That said, I found that the WoD system (which doesn't allow for rolls) is actually quite refreshing as a fairly strict point buy. Honestly, though, I'm not much a fan of either choice. If I'm doing rolls, I tend towards getting playable and functional sets, but if I don't get enough good stats, or get too many if the concept isn't based on more than one or two stats being good. Point buys, on the other hand, almost always feel too much like I'm trying to game the system, so conceptually it feels like I'm making my characters savants rather than characters.

Personally, I've been itching to try something I read here the last time this conversation came up: Players just choose their stats, anywhere between 3 and 18 per stat, based on the character they want to play (still subject to DM approval, and under the assumption that it's with a fairly mature playgroup in a game not intended for being just a meatgrinder. Personally I add the stipulation that non-racial modifiers are already factored in, so no gaming age penalties). That said, I also want to try a game where the characters are all DM generated based on player description, no direct input from the player (and to make up for the lack of control, the DM is also free to ignore prereqs for abilities that would be fitting for such a character).

Rallicus
2012-07-26, 12:27 PM
I have no problem with rolled stats.

You are asking the Playground though, which predominately consists of players who are very concerned about balance, builds, so on and so forth. Sometimes when I come on here I feel like I'm reading the viable builds section of an MMO forum. But hey, to each their own.

Malystryx
2012-07-26, 12:42 PM
I've always used rolled stats so dont have any problem with them.

In my campaigns i prefer high powered PC's and actively help my players optimize theyr characters and rolled stats usually give better stats then standard point buy. I could of course use higher power point buy but i prefer the randomness and not being able to have you'r stats excatly as you want them.

I also dont restrict rerolls at all so my players are free to roll as many sets of stats as they want until they are happy with they'r stats. Sometimes players roll one stat extremely low but really high in all others and decides to take that set of stats, which makes it intresting roleplaying the particular weakness.

GolemsVoice
2012-07-26, 12:51 PM
I like rolling for stats, because I like to gamble, but on the other hand, I can really see why people would dislike that system, and I would drop it if several players complained. I'm always in favor of player control over their characters.

As far as I see it, there are generally two schools of thought:

You pick what you want to be, race, class, stats, gender, whatever there is to pick,

or

you play the person you are born as, be it man or woman, rich or poor, wizard or thief (or in some cases, rat-catcher or cook).

Hylas
2012-07-26, 01:05 PM
I dislike rolled stats because it sucks to be on the low end of the bell curve.

I like rolled stats because it makes for interesting combinations rather than the standard array you get with point-buy.

Somewhere on these forums I found out about the 27-25-23 method, which I'll sum up here. Generate three stats using your favorite method. Now do the following math to get your remaining three stats:

27 - (one stat) = 4th stat
25 - (other stat) = 5th stat
23 - (remaining stat) = 6th stat
Add +2 to any of the six stats of your choice, as long as that doesn't cause a stat to go above 18.
Add racial modifiers.
Assign stats.

The end result, for Pathfinder, is everyone gets a total of +8 modifiers and half of the stats will be odd numbers. In 3.5 the stats will be +7 totaled up.

I like it because you get the random odd numbers built into the system and if you roll bad then the math gives you good numbers. If you roll good then you get some bad stats to even it out.

It's flexible enough that if you want a high power system you can either give out bigger numbers (31-29-27) or more +2s for people to spend.

In the end, I really just do whatever it is that the current DM likes.

Ravenica
2012-07-26, 01:10 PM
I prefer to use my own roll system because it generates higher averages than the standard point buys (4d6, reroll 1's drop the lowest, arrange as suites.)

Gnoman
2012-07-26, 01:50 PM
I exclusively use rolled stats in my games, though with a greater degree of padding than is normal. (Players assign scores freely, and I have them roll for seven stats rather than six, discarding the lowest.) I don't like the uniformity of point buy, and I greatly like the chance of really odd setups that rolling can produce.

hymer
2012-07-26, 04:15 PM
In my group of playing pals, we don't do rolls for stats. We don't even roll for hp any more. Stat rolling went out the door the day one guy rolled consistently good, and suddenly everyone else felt their characters' traits got overshadowed. The know-it-all noble? The soldier was smarter. The tough guy scoundrel? The warrior was tougher. The jedi, well... And to top it all off, the guy ducked around in the back of the party.
We don't roll hp any more. The last bastion of rolling hp cracked down after his barbarian became nearly unplayable at level 6. He was one of two people still rolling by then.

I don't hate rolling for stats. But I rarely like the results.

To all the people who don't like point buy because you get 'the same kind of character' every time: You could roll and point buy as close to that as you can. Or ask someone else to make a point buy array for you.

Eldan
2012-07-26, 04:31 PM
To give an example of a character I really liked, and would never even have thought of without rolling:

I played a druid in 3.5. His stats were something like Str 16, dex 12, Con 16, Wis 14, Int 8, Cha 5. Awesome stats, technically, if not perfectly arranged. Sure, the charisma is abysmal, the strength is not optimal for a druid, and the wisdom could be higher. But this guy was a lot of fun to play. This was a Viking campaign. Everyone played a more or less realistic Wiking, so no huge horn-helmeted dudes with giant axes.

Except for my guy. He was a hermit who lived outside the village in the forest. Mute. A full head taller than everyone else. Stank horribly. A beard down to his navel, and a huge many of shaggy hair. Made his armour himself out of deer hides that weren't really properly prepared. Had a wolf hound the size of a small calf that was always with him. Growled at most people, but not his dog. No one trusted or liked him, of course. Until he killed a bear that attacked the village. By himself. With his bare hands (and some magic).

I loved that guy. Would I have gotten him with point buy? No, never. Rolling gives variety. Rolling produces unusual builds. Rolling gives me inspiration.


That said, there's a hybrid method I started using after too many people compained about unfairness. Every player rolls his six stats, 4d6b3. Then everyone can choose which of those four sets to take. There. Now no one can complain that they have worse stats than the others.

Menteith
2012-07-26, 04:35 PM
That said, there's a hybrid method I started using after too many people compained about unfairness. Every player rolls his six stats, 4d6b3. Then everyone can choose which of those four sets to take. There. Now no one can complain that they have worse stats than the others.

That's an elegant solution, though it's worth pointing out that MAD classes are still more likely to get shafted than SAD ones, which point buy generally fixes to some degree with increasing costs.

Eldan
2012-07-26, 04:37 PM
In my experience, out of three to five sets from an entire group, you usually get one with a single high roll, and at least one with more balanced, even-ish roles.

That said, MAD classes are always ****ed. PB isn't fixing that on its own.

hymer
2012-07-26, 04:38 PM
Rolling gives variety. Rolling produces unusual builds. Rolling gives me inspiration.


You could roll and point buy as close to that as you can. Or ask someone else to make a point buy array for you.


That said, there's a hybrid method I started using after too many people compained about unfairness. Every player rolls his six stats, 4d6b3. Then everyone can choose which of those four sets to take. There. Now no one can complain that they have worse stats than the others.

You could still end up with a guy with a bunch of average rolls and someone else with all high teens.

The Glyphstone
2012-07-26, 04:40 PM
You could still end up with a guy with a bunch of average rolls and someone else with all high teens.

But using Eldan's method at least, the group would logically choose the set of rolls that was all high teens, and then the entire group has those high stats.

hymer
2012-07-26, 04:41 PM
Thanks Glyphstone. I guess I misunderstood.

Lord_Gareth
2012-07-26, 04:46 PM
I dislike rolled stats mostly because I prefer to define my character's capabilities and how I'll bring their concept to like. Rolled stats - and especially rolled-in-order stats - kill that and leave it in a gutter to be devoured by rats.

Eldan
2012-07-26, 04:47 PM
To make this clear, let's give a nexample. We have three players, A, B and C. They each roll stats:

A rolls: 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14
B rolls: 8, 10, 12, 13, 13, 18
C rolls: 12, 12, 14, 14, 16, 16

Player A hates his rolls. He wants to play an awesome barbarian. He takes B's stats and puts the 18 in strength.
B thinks his rolls are cool, but he'd rather like a more balanced set, since he wants to a Paladin andneeds more than one good roll. He takes C's stats.
C thinks his rolls aren't good enough to play the wizard he wants, so he takes B's stats as well, for an 18 in intelligence, since that is all he needs.

Knaight
2012-07-26, 04:52 PM
Generally speaking, if I am going to be playing a character for an extended period of time, I want to define the character. That includes not rolling during character creation. Sure, in a few particular systems (D&D 3.5) the not rolling method is a bit of a mess, but there are a lot of systems with deterministic character creation that works without fuss, and I tend to play those anyways.

Now, if a character is for a one shot? At that point, I'm entirely happy with pregens, or randomization. They could be far more randomized than D&D rolled stats as well - Fiasco is one of my favorite games for one shots, and characters in it have random professions, random relationships, random needs, and connections to random items. That's fine, as said characters are going to see one whole session of play, and probably end up dead or in prison at the end anyways.

kyoryu
2012-07-26, 04:54 PM
You could still end up with a guy with a bunch of average rolls and someone else with all high teens.

And this is only an issue in scenarios where:

1) Stats have a giant impact on game balance (they don't in older versions of D&D)
2) The expectation is you will play one and only one character for the entirety of the game. (which wasn't usually the case in older versions of D&D).

If those statements are not both true, then yes, some kind of point-buy system is more appropriate.

Menteith
2012-07-26, 04:57 PM
In my experience, out of three to five sets from an entire group, you usually get one with a single high roll, and at least one with more balanced, even-ish roles.

That said, MAD classes are always ****ed. PB isn't fixing that on its own.

That's true. I generally will give out a 38 (or higher) PB to the super MAD classes (like Monk or Paladin) just to make them functional. I also generally allow low power classes to Gesault if they'd like to, but that's neither here nor there.

Dimers
2012-07-26, 05:45 PM
I usually have a character concept in mind before I start to build it. Rolling instead of using point-buy sometimes makes it impossible to match my idea with the mechanical reality. Like other people have said, why spend a whole campaign not feeling good about the character you're playing?

Also, my dice suck. :smalltongue:

I've had good luck with the system Thiyr described -- each player just sets their own stats as they see fit. Definitely encourages connecting with the character right from the get-go, and it hasn't been abused when I've played. And now I'm intrigued by the 27-25-23 concept. Wonder how well that'd work for 4e ...

pffh
2012-07-26, 05:53 PM
I like rolling for stats but then again my group uses 4d6b3 reroll a single 1 per stat (if you rolled a 1 that is), roll three sets of stats and choose one so we are pretty much guaranteed good numbers.

Translated into point buy our stats are usually at the high end of 40-50 points.

Ravens_cry
2012-07-26, 07:03 PM
I've played exclusively with point buy and I think the hate for rolling is that there is a lot less control over your concept. Sometimes you just want to play something in particular, but rolling can easily derail that, especially in d20.
AD&D had a less formulaic approach to how statistics affected abilities, so rolling low, though painful, wasn't quite as bad, and I bet there is something to be said of the spontaneous serendipity of rolling for for ones ability scores.

Rakmakallan
2012-07-26, 07:14 PM
Confining the answer to 3.P, we used 4d6b3 in the beginning, until I realised that playing with a bunch of munchkins with streaks of bad luck severely limited our options and made the players unhappy. Thus we cranked it up to 5d6b3, no ability below 12, and so we rolled for a few years. Until the time I happened to play for the first time in a group of munchkins worse than ourselves and we ended up adopting their method. All abilities begin at 12. You have 36 points (maybe even more) which you can allocate on an 1 to 1 ratio until 18, 4 to 1 after 18, then apply other modifiers. Characters were powerhouses, players were satisfied, end of story. We switched to point-buy and never looked back.

crazyhedgewizrd
2012-07-26, 07:44 PM
I've played a game where race, class, colouring of character, background, gender and few other little things were rolled. I played a character i never would have played, but i had fun with the character.

Averis Vol
2012-07-26, 08:45 PM
I've stopped doing both PB and rolled only because it royally screws mad classes. so I jsut use a set array I give to my party; its 18, 16, 14, 14, 12, 10.
now for stats, i think thats more then fair. its strong but it isnt game changing like when my pcs (in front of me) roll 3 18s a 16 and two 14's. then the next guy (usually my brother, he gained the name fumbles due to his rolls) rolls a 16, 2 12's an 11, 10, and 13. were it not for me giving a free 18 my brother would never have a playable character (He's incredibly unlucky with rolls.)

Ravens_cry
2012-07-26, 09:25 PM
That 'unlucky' roll is actually pretty good for rolling.
All at about or above average, no negative modifiers. With the right race and class, that could work just fine.

MukkTB
2012-07-26, 09:56 PM
Rollling stats can easily end up with one character being significantly more powerful than another. That's fine for a simulation. Its awful for a game. We've played games with one guy 18/16/18/14/14/10 and another guy at 12/13/14/14/12/10. The second guy was not at all amused.

This leads to an arms race. Reroll your stats until you got a good set. If the DM doesn't let you commit suicide and try again. I haven't run anything but point buy since one of our guys decided to keep rolling stats and then have the characters stab themselves when the statblocks came out sub par. We had a nasty argument about that.

And if you have a specific character concept point buy is going to allow access much more easily.


It is possible to play any rolled stats in a group and contribute without overshadowing or being overshadowed. If you get a good statblock play a paladin or another class thats MAD but not really high tier. If you rolled horribly play a tier 1 spellcaster.

Jay R
2012-07-26, 10:50 PM
Rollling stats can easily end up with one character being significantly more powerful than another. That's fine for a simulation. Its awful for a game. We've played games with one guy 18/16/18/14/14/10 and another guy at 12/13/14/14/12/10. The second guy was not at all amused.

In our current game, that's me. And I'm having a great time playing the character with the lowest stats.


This leads to an arms race. Reroll your stats until you got a good set. If the DM doesn't let you commit suicide and try again. I haven't run anything but point buy since one of our guys decided to keep rolling stats and then have the characters stab themselves when the statblocks came out sub par. We had a nasty argument about that.

The problem here isn't point-buy. The problem is a player willing to warp the game to gain an advantage. I avoid playing with such people.


And if you have a specific character concept point buy is going to allow access much more easily.

This is true, and a good point. The ability (and willingness) to design a character out of the rolls that come up is not universal. If your players don't want to experience the good and the bad of that part of role-playing, don't roll stats.


It is possible to play any rolled stats in a group and contribute without overshadowing or being overshadowed. If you get a good statblock play a paladin or another class thats MAD but not really high tier. If you rolled horribly play a tier 1 spellcaster.

Very good advice. But also, if all problems must be solved by a die roll instead of a clever plan, stats become far more important.

Knaight
2012-07-26, 10:58 PM
This is true, and a good point. The ability (and willingness) to design a character out of the rolls that come up is not universal. If your players don't want to experience the good and the bad of that part of role-playing, don't roll stats.

The ability and willingness are largely tangential. What matters is the desire - if it isn't fun, and it won't yield a better game, then why bother? I'd call the ability effectively universal, at least among the subset of players who can design characters at all. The willingness isn't, but it's the desire that is the real sticking point.

Terazul
2012-07-26, 11:09 PM
So, I generally prefer point buy for a number of reasons. However these two things kinda stuck out as... Well:


Also, personally? Point Buy tends to give you characters that feel more or less the same. Characters without any major flaws.


Rolled stats work fine - for people who think their role-playing skills, rather than their stats, are what's important (and in games in which role-playing skills, rather than stats, really are what's important).

Yeaaaah, I kinda disagree with both of these. You can have a character with major flaws and not necessarily have a terrible array for whatever concept you're trying to produce. Personality and character flaws are not directly linked to the stats that make your class/build function. Besides, you're perfectly capable of dumping whatever you want if that's so important to you.

Furthermore, for me role playing is just as important as my stats, as it's hard to come off as a savvy trickster archer when my 3d6 in order gives me high con, a dex of 11, and no charisma to speak of. If you're going to roll and not auto-assign, players are going to move the high values to the stats they care about anyway, and point-buy merely ensures that there's no large deviation.

Basically the only reason I see rolled get props is for the "randomness" or "variety" involved, of which I don't see any more than you could get doing the same with point-buy. And that, if simply because people are less likely to go out of their way to gimp themselves when given a choice not to, as you're perfectly capable of having an interesting character without shooting yourself in the foot. I don't see that as a compelling enough reason for me to enjoy it, personally.

holywhippet
2012-07-26, 11:41 PM
1) I kind of dislike the idea that one set of dice rolls has a really long term effect. I mean a saving throw failed might = dead for good, but if you roll poorly on your stats at the start of a campaign you might be in some serious long term trouble. Rolls for HP increase on level up is a similar concern I have.

2) Players should be able to pick their own class, dice rolls necessitate that you pick your class based on your dice rolls. So if I want to play a wizard, bard or some other class that suffers from not having at least a 16, and ideally an 18 in a stat I can't do it. Second edition was really bad for this in some parts - you needed a 17 charisma to play a paladin even though it was otherwise a dump stat.

zlefin
2012-07-27, 01:03 AM
i've been considering running a game, and using a hybrid system.
i'm considering using this one:
http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Point_Buy,_Generate_Random

basically you pick a point value, then roll on the table to get a stat distribution with that point value.

Manly Man
2012-07-27, 01:16 AM
I've always used rolling, 5d6 best three. I've only rolled anything less than a ten, before racial adjustments, once. I find it's more realistic in that people vary, and so should you expect the same of people in D&D. That sort of thing just stuck, and I've always found point buys, even the sixty-point buys, to be boring.

Krazzman
2012-07-27, 04:14 AM
I hate Rolling for Stats with a passion. Not so much that I don't game since I'm "MOST" times at the top of the bell curve as someone said here.

I played One-Shots every weekend for about 3 years. At the beginning of the week I started to think about a new character etc. and thought about a few things to take and how to distribute attributes. I came prepared from PB 20 to 32 and Elite Array. most of the time we rolled. Most of the time I changed my plans of what I planned to play. Even though I rolled well.

Let me give you a few examples of when my dice were not in a good mood.
We started a premade adventure (sunless citadell I think... the one with the zombietree in it's basement)
Anyway we generated our characters, I tried to again to get the group towards new books so I rolled a Duskblade... and rolled miserable. The other 2 went for a "optimized" Dread Necromancer (the class in libris mortis I believe) and the other went as halfling illusionist or enchanter... he had more strength than me. Character ran away as he got to the point he knew he can't do something, player rerolled and got a Goliath Cleric. Somehow those 2 died again (the dread necro was more or less fed up because she was the only one evil...) and they rolled an Elven Barbarian with 18 18 16 and 17 int (mind you my casting stat was a 14, my strength a 13) and a Favoured Soul with a similar array... my character died because of strength checks he would have made if he had 1 point more in strength... or better said exactly the stats he would have if i had used pointbuy. Rerolled a wizard with one 18 and rest 14's and a 12.

It was the first time I played 3.5 I generated an elven rogue, a bit shy, cowardly and confused most of the time... but stealthy as **** if the dm wouldn't think a rolled 1 is an auto fail... anyway I got more or less average stats. Later (we started as 3 persons + dm) 2 new guys joined us. A paladin with 4 18's a 17' and a 16 and a Wizard with at least 3 18's and jeah, then the overshadowing began.
The campaign ended because the DM didn't had any resolve left in him and couldn't come up with a way to ensure everyone fun. (it was more or less a campaign style of a house surrounded by Monsters.)

Another one would be the last time I played under our regular DM. It was said we would do a campaign. We had talked about making an all Dwarf group. I said I wanted to go Druid, because which dwarf would'nt want to transform into an earth elemental? We had a Cleric of Moradin, a Cavalier of the bear? order and a Barbarian. I being the lucky fella I am got the following end stats from him (it's Pathfinder) 18 Str, Dex 17, Con 20, Wis 19, Int 14, Cha 12. The other's? Not so lucky as me. THis lasted for 3 or 4 sessions where we advanced from level 1 to 2 or maybe 3 and afterwards D3 came out after he was ill for some time... that's the last time I heard from him.

Now, for the campaign I'm in atm, my warlock is quite lucky with his rolled stats. But seriously i could play this warlock with a 7 in every stat and would still melt faces and pwn.
For my campaign I have a good sideway to ensure at least a somewhat minimum a character has. Mind this is pathfinder again:
You roll 3 arrays. The first 2 are 3d6b3 but you write out the single dice (example: 6 4 3 2) If you have 6 of those you can reroll exactly ONE dice. (that's the reason my warlock has a 18 instead of a 16 in dex). The third one is Pathfinder 25 pb. In my campaign the Witch had some serious problems with her stats and decided she would take that pb.

Zombimode
2012-07-27, 04:41 AM
I've created characters with both PB and rolled stats. I'm fine with either.
They necessitate differences in approach for character creation though.

PB is best when you're set on a concept or two that you want to play.
Rolling is cool when you want to be inspired by the dice.

The disadvantages with rolling never bothered my personally. When I got a low set, I saw it as a challange. Imbalances in stats between the characters never were that grave to impact the fun of the players, but I can see that other people may have other experiences.

I guess PB is the more mass-friendly method.
And I probably wouldnt use rolling for 3.5.

Yora
2012-07-27, 05:07 AM
I don't care about balance or builds.

But I want to play a character that I chose to play. Not something that I happen to have to play by accident. For a oneshot game where I am not supposed to care for my character and I can forget about them after having played it three or four times, sure, why not.

Eldan
2012-07-27, 06:05 AM
Thing is, I sometimes I see rolling as a kind of challenge. I like rolling especially when I am not feeling particularly inspired. Sometimes, I get this feeling that, whatever character I'm trying to build, I have made this exact same one before.

These are the cases when I roll. It gives me a few unexpected limitations I have to work within, and limitations are what sparks creativity, in many cases. Would I ever have chosen to play a Bard with a dexterity of 7? No, of course not. But playing one who is too clumsy to play an instrument, but really, really wants to? Roleplay hook! Or the other way. It's fun to look the wizard in the eye and say "I am as smart as you are. But I chose not to study magic."

pasko77
2012-07-27, 06:09 AM
Is that possible for any game besides FATAL, certain old editions of Traveller, and (technically) certain World of Darkness lines?

In cyberpunk 2020, iirc, there are some starting flaws that are ... nasty, and randomly rolled. Not sure if you can die, I seem to recall that yes, the street gang member could actually die during creation.

Eldan
2012-07-27, 07:50 AM
In cyberpunk 2020, iirc, there are some starting flaws that are ... nasty, and randomly rolled. Not sure if you can die, I seem to recall that yes, the street gang member could actually die during creation.

At the very least, you could randomly get mortal enemies, be on the mafia's hit list or have kidnapped siblings. Before even starting the game.

only1doug
2012-07-27, 07:53 AM
As many others have said, party balance is why I dislike Rolled stats, I find that it truly sucks to be majorly disadvantaged (in comparison to others in the party) just because you had a bad roll.


That said, there's a hybrid method I started using after too many people compained about unfairness. Every player rolls his six stats, 4d6b3. Then everyone can choose which of those four sets to take. There. Now no one can complain that they have worse stats than the others.

Now that would be fine for me, everyone has an equal opportunity and the randomness is included. I can change my build concept based on the available dice rolls so I'm happy.

Menteith
2012-07-27, 08:09 AM
As Terazul rightfully pointed out, there's nothing fundamentally more "creative" about random determining facets of a character, rather than actually building said character with stats that reflect what they'd actually be like. While it can lead to new ideas for some people who wouldn't normally have explored more interesting characters, it is by no means fundamentally more likely to result in a "new" type of character.

Seerow
2012-07-27, 09:03 AM
Personally, I like the matrix method of randomly generating attributes.

You roll 4d6 drop lowest 36 times, making 6 lines of 6 numbers. Each player in the group can choose one line from this matrix (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) to use as their stat array.

With this set up, you end up with 14 different arrays for the players to pick from, so the chances of not getting at least one decent array for everybody is pretty slim. It also makes sure everyone has access to the same rolls, so nobody feels gimped because they're so much weaker than the other guy. If one of the arrays come up straight 18s, everyone can take that.

DementedFellow
2012-07-27, 09:14 AM
Personally, I like the matrix method of randomly generating attributes.

You roll 4d6 drop lowest 36 times, making 6 lines of 6 numbers. Each player in the group can choose one line from this matrix (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) to use as their stat array.

With this set up, you end up with 14 different arrays for the players to pick from, so the chances of not getting at least one decent array for everybody is pretty slim. It also makes sure everyone has access to the same rolls, so nobody feels gimped because they're so much weaker than the other guy. If one of the arrays come up straight 18s, everyone can take that.

I really like this method. Thank you so much for introducing it to me. I think the other players in my group would love it too.

Tengu_temp
2012-07-27, 09:31 AM
I don't like rolling stats for several reasons:
1. I want to define how my character looks like, what is it good and bad at. I don't want a pile of plastic to decide for me.
2. It creates resentment at the table, because you will have a situation where some players have bad stats and others have really good ones.
3. It imbalances the game even further.
4. It can screw players over for no fault of their own. A bad attack roll just means you missed. Badly-rolled stats mean you're stuck with an incompetent character for the whole game.
5. Last but not least, I mostly play games where rolling for stats make no sense to begin with. How are you supposed to do it in Mutants and Masterminds? Or Exalted? Or Spirit of the Century?


Rolled stats work fine - for people who think their role-playing skills, rather than their stats, are what's important (and in games in which role-playing skills, rather than stats, really are what's important).


So people who don't like rolling for stats are bad roleplayers now? I think we're discovered a new variation on Stormwind Fallacy.

Jay R
2012-07-27, 09:39 AM
Not all people are the same, so we won't all want to play the same way.

There are people who won't play Monopoly unless they can be the race car.

There are people who won't play games with tokens unless they get the blue ones.

There are people who won't play D&D unless they can be the specific character they want.

If they are in the game, you can't play unless they get to be the race car, the blue tokens, the character they want.

That's fine - I'm just not that person. I can play with any game piece, with any color, with any set of rolls. Get enough people like that in the game, and rolling up a character is fine.

Tengu_temp
2012-07-27, 09:46 AM
You need to be more specific in your statements then, because what you said previously was pretty much "if you care about roleplaying, rolling stats should be fine for you". Which is very different from "some people can just play any character and be happy with it".

Jay R
2012-07-27, 10:12 AM
You need to be more specific in your statements then, because what you said previously was pretty much "if you care about roleplaying, rolling stats should be fine for you". Which is very different from "some people can just play any character and be happy with it".

No, I didn't say that. You extended it there with no help from me.

What I said was, "If your players don't want to experience the good and the bad of that part of role-playing, don't roll stats."

There is role-playing in using a character you didn't control from the start. Some people don't want to experience that kind of role-playing. And that's fine. There are kinds of role-playing I don't want to experience. I certainly never said that people who don't want to experience that part of role-playing must not "care about role-playing".

I called it a part of role-playing, which is true. I never said or implied that people who don't want to experience that part don't care about role-playing.

Mine was a descriptive comment into which you injected a judgement that I never wrote or implied.

Zaggab
2012-07-27, 10:52 AM
The last time my group rolled for stats was when 1 player, using 4d6b3, didn't get a positive sum of modifiers in 5 tries. The highest roll he got during those 30 throws of the dice was 13 (rolled along with I think 3 totals of 6). He wanted to play a wizard, and really didn't care about most of his stats. He just wanted to some day be able to cast high level spells (without being absolutely dependant on magic items, it was supposed to be low-loot game).
My roll was the equivalent of a 26 point pb.
One player had 1 18, 2 17, and 12 as lowest stat (though it's possible he cheated).

After that we said "Eh, what the heck, we'll just use point buy so we can get playing some time this year".

Reluctance
2012-07-27, 01:02 PM
I find it interesting that most rolling fans tweak the system to shift the bell curve far to the right, and then place stats in order. That's not really random, that's just a high powered priority-based system, with a bit of luck attached.

It's one thing to say that rolling in order gives randomness and inspiration. I'd be down with that sort of thing for a bit, just to get my creative juices flowing. But if I want to play a wizard, then assuming my stats aren't super-high or super-gimped, the exact numbers aren't going to matter if I prioritize ICoDWSCh the same every time.

Philistine
2012-07-27, 01:45 PM
No, I didn't say that. You extended it there with no help from me.

What I said was, "If your players don't want to experience the good and the bad of that part of role-playing, don't roll stats."

There is role-playing in using a character you didn't control from the start. Some people don't want to experience that kind of role-playing. And that's fine. There are kinds of role-playing I don't want to experience. I certainly never said that people who don't want to experience that part of role-playing must not "care about role-playing".

I called it a part of role-playing, which is true. I never said or implied that people who don't want to experience that part don't care about role-playing.

Mine was a descriptive comment into which you injected a judgement that I never wrote or implied.

It may or may not have been your intent, but your inital post (which your subsequent attempts to clarify haven't changed all that much) really does read as "Real role-players roll stats; point-buy is for munchkins who see their characters as numbers on a sheet." That's no more fair than claiming that "Real role-players use point-buy; rolled stats are for people so deficient in creativity that they can't come up with a character idea without a crutch like random stats." And while we're here, I find that "relying on role-playing skill" to solve problems in game usually boils down to characters behaving way out of character, with the 8-Int Barbarian solving all the riddles and puzzles the party encounters while the 9-Cha Fighter sweet-talks all the NPCs, and metagaming flies fast and furious from all sides of the table.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned in this thread is generating a new PC to join an existing party. Especially if your group clings tightly to archetypical (not to say stereotypical) party roles - if "The party needs a Wizard!", then it's helpful if the new Wizard player can be sure of getting stats which are at least not completely inappropriate for the class/role the party and DM expect the new character to fill.

Eldan
2012-07-27, 02:00 PM
I find it interesting that most rolling fans tweak the system to shift the bell curve far to the right, and then place stats in order. That's not really random, that's just a high powered priority-based system, with a bit of luck attached.

It's one thing to say that rolling in order gives randomness and inspiration. I'd be down with that sort of thing for a bit, just to get my creative juices flowing. But if I want to play a wizard, then assuming my stats aren't super-high or super-gimped, the exact numbers aren't going to matter if I prioritize ICoDWSCh the same every time.

I don't really shift the curve to the right. I honestly find it a bit funny, though also rather bizarre, how some people seem to consider any character with a stat below 12 as weak,and any with a stat below 8 or none above 16 as unplayable. I have played perfectly serviceable wizards with Int 16 and quite fun characters with stats of 5-7 in one area.

Deepbluediver
2012-07-27, 02:13 PM
When I first started playing, I much preffered rolling for stats, and considered using point buy or stat-arrays to be boring.

As I played more, I've found that using one or the other lets people get into games quicker, since most players have some idea of what they want to play and can just slot in the appropriate scores.


The favorite set up I ever saw came about because of a disagreement about what we should use (point-buy vs stat-array) and the DM eventually got fed up and let us pick: we could either use 25-point buy, or go with the 4e stat-array, which was the equivalent of a 30-point buy. Basically, he gave the MAD classes a light edge in total points, but the wizard could still get his 20 Int, so everyone was pretty happy.

For rolling-based games my group usually kept them short and less serious, so you have fun with your character or make wacky but less optimized builds, but you wouldn't be stuck trying to play your 13 Charisma sorcerer for months at a time.
We would do things liike picking characters before rolling, then fitting in the ability scores ahead of time, or rolling for each stat in order, then choosing a class, which could lead to odd moments, like Wolfjaw, the philosopher-barbarian, or Teddicus, the grizzly-wrassling' bard. :smallsmile:



My favorite system currently uses a variation of a rule I read about in one of the forums here.
We start with the fairly standard 25 point buy, every stat starts at 8. You can gain one additional build point for every score you lower to 6 (so we don't need to deal with half-points)
The biggest change is that once we are playing, rather than increase a stat every 4 levels, you get another point of buy at every level. Stats above 18 cost 4 points each, so nothing changes if you want to pump Int or Str, but if you are finding that leaving Cha as a dump stat is hurting more than you planned, you can fix it as you play.

kyoryu
2012-07-27, 02:15 PM
So people who don't like rolling for stats are bad roleplayers now? I think we're discovered a new variation on Stormwind Fallacy.

.... no.

The point here is that in determining "success" at the table (for however you define "success") a number of factors go into that. Two of the biggest are:

1) The decisions you make at the table - which Jay R called, and I think this was poor choice of terms, "roleplaying skill"
2) Your character's stats and abilities.

In a game where the factors in category one make up the vast majority of whether or not you succeed, random stats are more viable. In a case where the factors in category two are the most important, then random stats are less viable.

I'd argue that older versions of D&D rely *more* on the first category of things, while 3.x relies *more* on the second category of things. Please note that this doesn't mean that players who play 3.x don't have those skills, just that determination of success is (arguably) less based on them than previous editions.

Or to put it another way, "the more important that character optimization is in a given game, the less viable random rolling for stats is".

RandomLunatic
2012-07-27, 02:18 PM
Is that possible for any game besides FATAL, certain old editions of Traveller, and (technically) certain World of Darkness lines?

deadEarth's chargen system is such a minefield that not only is it possible to end up with a character that is either dead or so badly crippled they will die in the first five minutes of gameplay, it is probable.

It is, however, fun in its own perverse way. (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?473443-deadEarth-why-isn-t-this-game-on-anyone-s-quot-Worst-Games-List-quot)

On-topic:
Point-buy is nice because it (theoretically) keeps all players on an even power level. Some people may be content to sit on the sidelines with their 23-point buy equivalent and watch the 40-point god roll over everything. I am not one of them. I came to play Peyton Manning, not the gorram cheerleaders.

Knaight
2012-07-27, 02:37 PM
So people who don't like rolling for stats are bad roleplayers now? I think we're discovered a new variation on Stormwind Fallacy.
There is nothing new about this variation. It's the same old re-skinning of "New players want everything handed to them on a silver player, because unlike us old school players they aren't real roleplayers" that we've seen since the advent of 2e.

Menteith
2012-07-27, 02:56 PM
Would you be comfortable rolling for what class you start play as? Doing so could easily lead to characters you wouldn't normally play. If balance isn't a concern, it shouldn't be a problem to have vast power gulfs between characters in the same group, as would likely occur. There are systems today that have random character selection (things like Talisman), and due to their nature, it's actually fine to do this sort of thing. But in a system where characters are enduring, and a single character is important to a player, it's going to rub many people the wrong way. While rolling for stats can be less dramatic than this (although, depending on system, that might not actually be true), it's the same issue, only lessened by degree. In a system like D&D3.5, which lends itself well toward longer campaigns and character development, both in a technical and roleplaying sense, preventing a player from choosing what they're actually like, for no real reason, can be frustrating.

Dimers
2012-07-27, 03:16 PM
So people who don't like rolling for stats are bad roleplayers now? I think we're discovered a new variation on Stormwind Fallacy.

Personally, I read Jay_R's text with less feeling of being judged. In games where roleplaying determines whether you interrogate the bad guy / defuse the crisis / find the perfect moment to strike ... in games where the players can convince the GM to allow something because IT'S AWESOME rather than because it works mechanically ... in games where you can justify your best stat as applying to almost anything ... then it doesn't much matter whether you roll or point-buy. I don't think he phrased it ideally, but he did note that there were games where RL talk is what counts. It wasn't just about the player.

TheDarkOne
2012-07-27, 03:22 PM
I've often thought it wouldn't be too hard to create a program that would randomly generate a set of stats for a given point buy value. i.e. so that you get random stats that are guaranteed to be of a give point buy value. Then you get benefits from both sides, party balance and randomly determined stats. I've never gotten around to it though, maybe someday. The real question is how do you set the distribution, are all possible sets equally likely, or do we make some more or less likely?

ORione
2012-07-27, 03:32 PM
I've often thought it wouldn't be too hard to create a program that would randomly generate a set of stats for a given point buy value. i.e. so that you get random stats that are guaranteed to be of a give point buy value. Then you get benefits from both sides, party balance and randomly determined stats. I've never gotten around to it though, maybe someday. The real question is how do you set the distribution, are all possible sets equally likely, or do we make some more or less likely?

Is this (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Point_Buy,_Generate_Random) the sort of thing you were thinking of? It was shown earlier in the thread.

Menteith
2012-07-27, 03:51 PM
I've often thought it wouldn't be too hard to create a program that would randomly generate a set of stats for a given point buy value. i.e. so that you get random stats that are guaranteed to be of a give point buy value. Then you get benefits from both sides, party balance and randomly determined stats. I've never gotten around to it though, maybe someday. The real question is how do you set the distribution, are all possible sets equally likely, or do we make some more or less likely?

It's also worth pointing out that just because you used the same starting value, there's no way to ensure that all arrays will be appropriate for a character (for example, a Paladin getting 18, 18, 8, 8, 8, 8 is unplayable and possible with 32 point buy).

Tengu_temp
2012-07-27, 04:17 PM
In games where roleplaying determines whether you interrogate the bad guy / defuse the crisis / find the perfect moment to strike ... in games where the players can convince the GM to allow something because IT'S AWESOME rather than because it works mechanically ... in games where you can justify your best stat as applying to almost anything ... then it doesn't much matter whether you roll or point-buy.

But it still matters a lot - in fact, I'd say that in such a game the way you assign stats matters even more. Why? Because a good roleplayer roleplays the character's stats*. And when you roll, the stat generation method is outside of your control, and can make it impossible to roleplay the character you want.

* - some people would say "stats are an abstraction, you can totally pretend your DND character is a genius even though the sheet says 10 intelligence and 8 wisdom", but I disagree. That's not good roleplaying.

Calimehter
2012-07-27, 04:19 PM
I've become a fan of handing out an array rather than using PB or rolling. I couldn't stand the savant-esque meta of the former or the random power levels of the latter.

I do like the "multiple arrays, choose 1" method presented by a few folks . . . have to give that some thought for the next campaign . . .

Ashtagon
2012-07-27, 05:01 PM
I've been inspired to make an excel sheet...


All stats start at a default value (eg. 8 in the standard point-buy)
One point at a time, points are added to a stat randomly. The probability of a point being added to any given stat increases depending on the number of points already assigned to that stat. This will result in a trend toward uneven scores.
A running tally of the point-buy value is kept.
When the point-buy value exceeds the specified minimum, the stat eneration process is considered complete.


Who would be interested in such a sheet?

Edit: sheet complete. I managed the following rather unusual roll (32-point buy):

Strength 9
Constitution 10
Dexterity 10
Intelligence 12
Wisdom 20
Charisma 9

A few more typical results:

Strength 16
Constitution 11
Dexterity 15
Intelligence 9
Wisdom 14
Charisma 13

Strength 15
Constitution 10
Dexterity 13
Intelligence 12
Wisdom 15
Charisma 13

Strength 13
Constitution 14
Dexterity 16
Intelligence 11
Wisdom 13
Charisma 11

Strength 12
Constitution 12
Dexterity 14
Intelligence 13
Wisdom 13
Charisma 15

Strength 11
Constitution 10
Dexterity 10
Intelligence 11
Wisdom 18
Charisma 15

Strength 14
Constitution 17
Dexterity 11
Intelligence 13
Wisdom 9
Charisma 13

navar100
2012-07-27, 06:38 PM
The problem is some people feel slaved to the first roll. Obviously it's not "correct" to keep rolling until you get the AWESOME, but if three players roll a good array and the fourth "got a rock" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tIhwITwhSg ) just let the fourth player reroll and don't sweat it. It's not unfair to the others because they still have their good array. Alternatively, fine tune the scores. There's Ye Olde "2 for 1" of D&D yesteryear, lowering a score by two to raise another by one, or do "1 for 1" considering the stronger relation between scores and modifiers now than in the past, or just fiat one poor score into something else. Another popular method is to roll three arrays and choose.

Point Buy has its own problems. It punishes you for wanting an 18 which I find uncalled for. The more common Point Buy amounts, 25 & 28, screw over MAD classes big time. Everyone will look the same with just the arrays anagrammed, especially the SAD classes like spellcasters.

Rolling allows for interesting arrays you can't get with Point Buy. It's not an atrocity for a player to have an 18 and no score below 10. Sometimes a player will have a 7, but he won't mind because he has an 18, 17, and a 15.

I have a long time character creation philosophy. I don't demand an 18 at 1st level. You don't force me an 8. Point Buy almost always forces that 8; hence my loathing for it.

WarKitty
2012-07-27, 07:56 PM
I've become a fan of handing out an array rather than using PB or rolling. I couldn't stand the savant-esque meta of the former or the random power levels of the latter.

I do like the "multiple arrays, choose 1" method presented by a few folks . . . have to give that some thought for the next campaign . . .

Definitely. I especially like to give out arrays that have slightly higher average bonuses when the points are spread over multiple stats than when they're focused in one stat. So if you want to play a paladin, you can have your 16-14-14 array without killing every other stat for it.

Exediron
2012-07-28, 12:13 AM
I am strongly in favor of rolled stats, although I understand why arrays or point-buy systems work for some people. The primary reasons I prefer rolled stats to any other system:


More variation
Power level differentiation
Perfect balance means no-one is good
Playing your concept
Old-school charm

Larger Variation: Point buy stats have a tendency to all look the same for a given class/role, while rolled stats have a more unique feel to them. I personally enjoy receiving at least one bad stat so that I can build it into the character, and if they're all bad, hey - I'm game for that. I have enough godlike characters, I can afford to have one or two who are ineffective in combat.

Power Level Differentiation: This one starts out the same as many people's argument against rolled stats, but bear with me.

Beneath the surface of all D&D characters are three things which determine everything about their power level: Ability Scores, Class Makeup and Equipment. The last is the most important by an overwhelming factor, while the other two maintain a close tradeoff until the end of low-mid level when ability scores become irrelevant.

In a game using any sort of balanced stat array, be it point buy or some other system, the first factor is eliminated. Therefore, between characters of the same level and class makeup, the only thing which determines their power level is equipment. I work hard to obscure the fact that below the surface everyone in D&D is the same, and rolled stats make it easier.

Perfect Balance Means No-One Is Good: I find that point buy systems make mediocre characters, not balanced characters. They also encourage classes which need fewer good stats than others. This isn't true of some of the array systems, just the classic point buy.

Playing Your Concept: This one is the most important. Not all concepts can be fulfilled by a standardized array. Let's say I want to play two characters: Anariel and Virien, elven siblings. Virien has always been better than Anariel, and this has shaped the way they interact and adventure. They're both the same level and class. How do I make Virien better than Anariel? If I'm using a point buy system, I don't. They'll be just as good, simply different. And that's all a nice and modern sentiment, but sometimes it just shouldn't be true.

That's just one example, of course. I could easily come up with more, but I think it makes the point clear enough. Of course, this assumes that you do rolled stats the way our group does - you can re-roll as needed to get acceptable stats, so long as you don't break the agreed upon bounds of good taste established by the group. A straight roll isn't necessarily any better than an array for this argument.

Old-School Charm: This one is self explanatory. I learned to play D&D rolling stats, and it doesn't feel right if I don't. But I can't claim that this is a good argument for it, it's just a reason I like it.

--=-=--

Of course, the system my group actually uses in our main game is to just pick the stats we want. Every character is extremely high level at this point, and the stats have to justify their stories. And besides, how did they make it past level 20 already if they had bad stats? The ones who have been around for all 8 years (well, most of them - no one's lived through the whole time) were the ones who rolled nearly perfect stats to start with anyway.

I'm not advocating that as a system for a normal gaming table; it requires a very specific mix of players and circumstances to be a reasonable method of generating characters.

Knaight
2012-07-28, 12:21 AM
Playing Your Concept: This one is the most important. Not all concepts can be fulfilled by a standardized array. Let's say I want to play two characters: Anariel and Virien, elven siblings. Virien has always been better than Anariel, and this has shaped the way they interact and adventure. They're both the same level and class. How do I make Virien better than Anariel? If I'm using a point buy system, I don't. They'll be just as good, simply different. And that's all a nice and modern sentiment, but sometimes it just shouldn't be true.

With basically every system, this can be done if you really want to. Define Anariel as a lower point character (or spend points on metagame resources, such as luck points), and you're done. This is a strength of deterministic character generation, not a weakness.

Menteith
2012-07-28, 12:46 AM
I am strongly in favor of rolled stats, although I understand why arrays or point-buy systems work for some people. The primary reasons I prefer rolled stats to any other system:


More variation
Power level differentiation
Perfect balance means no-one is good
Playing your concept
Old-school charm



Can't argue with Variation. Rolling for stats will almost always increase the randomness in a system. I would like to note that point buy stats and rolled stats are almost always going to use the exact same priority for a given class/roll, however (A Barbarian is going to have a high Str/Con, and a low Int/Cha most of the time). Point buy will often result in bad scores in some areas (hence the "savant" criticism of PB). Or are you suggesting a "roll Xd6, in order, those are your stats", rather than rolling Xd6 6-7 times, and assigning them?

I also can't argue that rolling is more likely to result in an imbalanced party, although I wouldn't consider that a selling point for many groups. I'm assuming you're talking about D&D, as other systems generally have additional ways of differentiating characters (Actually, D&D does as well, what with skills, feats, multiclassing, spell selection, alignment and a host of other important factors, which all make it unlikely to create identical characters). Still, even ignoring that, I would say that the thing that most differentiates my characters is the way I run them, rather than the collection of stats that they have. I have had two Wizards, of the same stats, level, and specializations, and still have two very different people who behave differently in both combat and social situations. So I'd disagree that equipment is the only way to distinguish characters.

Could you elaborate more on why you feel that "point buy systems make mediocre characters, not balanced characters."? Do you feel that it makes less interesting characters for you to roleplay? Do you feel that it creates mechanically weaker characters? I'm not totally clear on what you mean here. Additionally, it should be noted that while MAD is an issue, current day Point Buy systems generally have significant diminishing returns as an attribute increases (it's much harder to go from 17 to 18, than it is to go from 8 to 9), which helps out multi-attribute dependent classes a bit.

Virien has a higher point buy, is a higher level, has a better feat selection, has chosen a superior class that fills the same role (Virien is a Warblade while Anariel is a Fighter, for example). Look, if you make two mechanically identical characters, they'll be mechanically identical - this is true whether or not you used dice to roll stats out, or used point buy to make that concept come alive. Point Buy can actually accomplish this more readily - what would have happened if Anariel's player rolled higher stats than Virien? Now that concept is mechanically unsuitable, while if the players were determined to play that concept, differing point buys could have done so without a problem. I'm not buying your argument, here.

Rolling does nothing more than remove control over a character from the player. Pretending that it inherently makes "better" characters due to some undefined intangible, because the characters are lower power, the group is unbalanced, or because a player can't choose what's right for their idea, isn't going to make it true. Exediron, you just stated that you don't actually roll, and instead select the stats that are appropriate for your concept - which makes sense, given that it's your character. What you're doing is basically just an infinite point buy, that your group doesn't abuse. Which is really neat, but it's not an argument in favor of rolling out stats.

Exediron
2012-07-28, 03:34 AM
DISCLAIMER: I probably should have mentioned this originally, but I play almost exclusively core-only games. This makes a difference to how I perceive the makeup of D&D and such things as power levels. Therefore, that should always be taken into consideration when considering something I've said.


With basically every system, this can be done if you really want to. Define Anariel as a lower point character (or spend points on metagame resources, such as luck points), and you're done. This is a strength of deterministic character generation, not a weakness.

Admittedly, that is true. I'll address my thoughts on that more fully later in my reply.


Exediron, you just stated that you don't actually roll, and instead select the stats that are appropriate for your concept - which makes sense, given that it's your character. What you're doing is basically just an infinite point buy, that your group doesn't abuse. Which is really neat, but it's not an argument in favor of rolling out stats.

No, that's true. I added that at the end for context, to illustrate the fact that I do not in fact commonly use any form of formalized stat determination. Actually, I do in MERP - I'm not aware of any other commonly used systems for ability scores in that system other than rolling, however.


I'm assuming you're talking about D&D, as other systems generally have additional ways of differentiating characters (Actually, D&D does as well, what with skills, feats, multiclassing, spell selection, alignment and a host of other important factors, which all make it unlikely to create identical characters). Still, even ignoring that, I would say that the thing that most differentiates my characters is the way I run them, rather than the collection of stats that they have. I have had two Wizards, of the same stats, level, and specializations, and still have two very different people who behave differently in both combat and social situations. So I'd disagree that equipment is the only way to distinguish characters.

I'm speaking purely mechanically here, and mostly only in terms of combat. Skills rarely enter into combat, alignment doesn't at all (and is actually a part of personality anyway) and spells only do if you're a caster. Clearly, the factors which makes characters the most different are their personality and background, and that's even somewhat true in combat - personality, at least. I was speaking only in terms of numbers, however.

There's generally only a very small number of ways to do a thing best (especially if your group isn't very keen on non-core material), and the difference between two classes is almost always less than the difference between two equipment levels. I've looked through far too many hundreds of characters, and once you've seen that many they all start to look alike mechanically within a given level/equipment range.

I mostly think in terms of fighting classes because that's what I play the most of, but it's true to a lesser degree of casters. There's a limited range of truly effective techniques for any given circumstance, and you tend to see them a lot. How well they work is down to stats, level and equipment, mostly.


Could you elaborate more on why you feel that "point buy systems make mediocre characters, not balanced characters."? Do you feel that it makes less interesting characters for you to roleplay? Do you feel that it creates mechanically weaker characters? I'm not totally clear on what you mean here. Additionally, it should be noted that while MAD is an issue, current day Point Buy systems generally have significant diminishing returns as an attribute increases (it's much harder to go from 17 to 18, than it is to go from 8 to 9), which helps out multi-attribute dependent classes a bit.

It has no effect on roleplaying, unless it prevents me from making a character able to fit their background/concept. I do certainly feel that it makes mechanically weaker characters, although if everyone uses the same system that doesn't matter so much.

What I mean is that since everyone pretty much stacks their abilities in the same order between classes, if everyone has the same points to purchase, everyone tends to have the same stats. Balance isn't when everyone is the same.

Your point about diminishing returns is true, although the character who only needs one good stat instead of three is still going to have a better one than any of their three. Of course, if most of the classes which needed multiple abilities weren't inherently underpowered to start with it would be less noticeable.


Virien has a higher point buy, is a higher level, has a better feat selection, has chosen a superior class that fills the same role (Virien is a Warblade while Anariel is a Fighter, for example). Look, if you make two mechanically identical characters, they'll be mechanically identical - this is true whether or not you used dice to roll stats out, or used point buy to make that concept come alive. Point Buy can actually accomplish this more readily - what would have happened if Anariel's player rolled higher stats than Virien? Now that concept is mechanically unsuitable, while if the players were determined to play that concept, differing point buys could have done so without a problem. I'm not buying your argument, here.

If you can just assign different levels of point buy arbitrarily between characters, that undermines a basic idea of the system - party equality. And I already expressly stated the same level; not many groups will let you spawn one character higher level just because the player thinks they should be more powerful.

What I'm saying is that having point buy stats - which I generally assume to mean identical stats - takes one of the relatively few factors which control power difference out of the equation. While you certainly can still create varying power levels, you have to change things which possibly should not be changed. The feats I'll buy, but it doesn't usually work for a character to just change their class to something that works better mechanically. And the selection of (core) feats which make a real difference in combat power is pretty slim.


Can't argue with Variation. Rolling for stats will almost always increase the randomness in a system. I would like to note that point buy stats and rolled stats are almost always going to use the exact same priority for a given class/roll, however (A Barbarian is going to have a high Str/Con, and a low Int/Cha most of the time). Point buy will often result in bad scores in some areas (hence the "savant" criticism of PB). Or are you suggesting a "roll Xd6, in order, those are your stats", rather than rolling Xd6 6-7 times, and assigning them?

Well, that is the most hardcore way to do it - however, I think it should be reserved for when you don't already have a character in mind. Otherwise you have to justify having a wizard who isn't smart enough to know any spells or a fighter who can't swing a sword without pulling a muscle.

Basically, what I mean is that since the same stat will almost always receive the highest possible value for every character of the same class (as you say above), in a rolled party not every character of the same type will have the exact same highest stat. In a point buy party if the sweet spot for a high stat is 16, every fighter will have a strength of 16. In a rolled party, many of them might, but there will probably be one exceptional fighter with a higher stat and one or two with lower. There might even be one who is able to be tougher than the others while maintaining his strength of 16, thus making him more unique combat role-wise. Or other variations.


Rolling does nothing more than remove control over a character from the player. Pretending that it inherently makes "better" characters due to some undefined intangible, because the characters are lower power, the group is unbalanced, or because a player can't choose what's right for their idea, isn't going to make it true.

I'll give you credit for this - it made me think for a while, and in my evaluation I discovered something about my own argument.

Inherently, I'm not actually arguing for a rolled character, I'm just arguing against a point buy generated character. It feels too clinical to me, like every factor of your character has been tailored to suit a mold right out the door. The roll gives you a chance at realizing your concept, while the point buy only allows the possibility of compromising on it.

A straight roll does remove a large measure of control over the character, which is why it should only be used if you don't have an idea yet. However, an arranged roll no more removes your control than does an array - it's just a randomly determined array. I believe that it gives players a feeling of control over their own character's fate, rather illusory or not, to roll their own stats.

The core of my problem with the point buy system is that whatever the rules, whatever the values, every character of the same basic concept will have the same abilities if produced by the same point buy system.

I have a second problem with how the system is often used - it's not inherent, but common. Point buy pools are often set so low that you have to choose between being good at anything but your specialty and being truly good at that. Given the choice, most people (especially in a tough game) will choose the one that keeps them alive. This forces them to either sacrifice elements of their character concept or play outside of their stats, both of which are undesirable.

At the end of the day, however, there's one argument which stands above the others for why I personally don't like the point buy system: It doesn't feel right to me. In a game where the whole purpose is to experience the world through your character's eyes (or to experience the character in the world, either way), why introduce an arbitrary concept to balance the game mechanically but hinder the free creation of the character? The point buy system removes the very possibility of executing some concepts, while the dice at least leave you with hope.

Eldan
2012-07-28, 05:57 AM
Point buy will often result in bad scores in some areas (hence the "savant" criticism of PB).

I'm saying it doesn't. 8 is not bad. 8 is so little below average, it barely ever matters.

Of course, people really seem to see 14 as the new average for player characters.

The Boz
2012-07-28, 08:30 AM
My favorite is rolling for a common array: the DM rolls 6x4d6b3 and all the players in that campaign use that same array. Produces the best results, especially if the DM rolls two arrays, one slightly more balanced, the other with two negative modifiers and an 18, and lets the players, as a group, choose the one that everyone will use.

Menteith
2012-07-28, 09:36 AM
Snip

And I can see why you'd come to that conclusion from a Core-Only game. Core is a mere percent of the game's content - with the hundreds of other classes and alternate class features, thousands of PrCs and feats, and an infinite amount of potential homebrew (there's actually a decent amount of good homebrew we've gamed with, quite a bit of it originating from these forums). I would say that limiting oneself to Core material for hundreds of characters is doing far more to lock you into the same character than using a PB is, though if that's the way you enjoy the game, more power to you....

Literally off the top of my head, here are a few different ways to construct unique melee outside of Core, in ways that have nothing to do with stats, and will create unique characters distinct from each other.

Tome of Battle classes; Wildshape Ranger/Master of Many Forms; Gestalt Fighter/Rogue (I am super mundane guy!); Barbarian/Bear Warrior; Half-Orc Paladin with Dreadful Wrath; Duskblade/Trapsmith 1/Swiftblade

I'd also like to correct your misapprehension that PB is used solely to balance the game by assigning identical stats to everyone - this isn't a fundamental part of PB. As a DM, I've often assigned different PB levels to players in order to help some of the lower powered classes (For example, a Monk might receive 38 or 44 Point Buy against a standard of 32, boosting their power and allowing them to compete against stronger classes). Party equality can take on many forms, but unless everyone is playing a class of the same power level (really unlikely, in my experience), then Point Buy can be used to help out struggling characters. Dice, once again, don't have this option, and are equally likely to screw over those low powered classes even further.

When you say...

"why introduce an arbitrary concept to balance the game mechanically but hinder the free creation of the character? The point buy system removes the very possibility of executing some concepts, while the dice at least leave you with hope."

That tells me that something not right occurred with a point buy to you. PB should never be used to quash a character idea - indeed, the whole point is to allow a player to dictate exactly what their character is like, and PB enables them to create the character they envision. Rolling is inherently less likely to fit a player's vision of the character, unless they roll exactly the way they envision them already (in which case it's the exact same as PB, only more roundabout). Could you elaborate more clearly on why you feel the quoted statement above is true?

EDIT
There's no way for me not to sound like a ponce when I say this, but I honestly feel like your issue is that you're playing only in Core, and have been for a very, very long time, which has lead you to explore all of the limited options in there; rather than inherently disliking Point Buy, you dislike that you can't create an optimal, unique character you haven't already made using it. I still see that as more an indictment of Core only, rather than of Point Buy.

@Eldan - Oh I know, but it's still often said of PB critics. Just because I disagree with it, doesn't mean people don't say it.

inexorabletruth
2012-07-28, 09:46 AM
I'm with OP.

I love using rolled stats, but I also prefer low op campaigns. I like a flawed character who doesn't always get what he wants. It makes the game more exciting, and rolls help with that. But of course, I also roll first and then decide what to build.

Point buy is a great system for maintaining balance and it's helpful when you have a specific character in mind that you want to play. However, if you play with a lot of noobs and you want to keep it simple, try Simple Entry. You start with all 3s and 75 points to work with, which is enough to customize your PC however you want.

Kiero
2012-07-28, 09:51 AM
Because I hate any randomness of any kind at all in chargen. My character's basic competence should not be totally out of my control. Furthermore I build to a concept I have envisaged before sitting down to engage with the mechanics, I do not wait to have a character handed to me by the system.

I will not play any game which has only randomness in it's chargen with no option to use a non-random method. Fortunately, I play with a group who don't have much truck with random chargen either (even when we played WFRP2e, we at least chose our starting careers).

ORione
2012-07-28, 11:11 AM
People keep saying that rolling keeps you from having control. I have a houserule that can fix this: if you are unsatisfied with your rolls, you can reroll until you are satisfied.

I prefer rolling because it sometimes gives you things that would otherwise not occur to you. Like, I might get a 5 that I'll put into wisdom, and I'll see where that leads me in roleplaying. If I have a specific character in mind, and having a 5 would not work for it, I'll roll again.

I recall one game I was in where the DM had a rather odd way of rolling that gave me a cleric whose Wisdom and Dexterity were the same. The way his rolling system worked, we were given 30 (IIRC) dice that we could distribute into each stat as pleased, as long as whatever we rolled gave us at least 3 in Intelligence. We would pick the best three dice out of whatever was rolled. So, for Wisdom I did 9d6, best 3. Charisma had 7d6, best 3. Intelligence and Strength were both 4d6, best 3. And Constitution and Dexterity were both 3d6. My Dexterity dice ended up being really lucky, and tied with my Wisdom score at 17. If my character's background had depended on him being clumsy or something I would have asked if I could reroll, but I didn't really care.

Usually when I play clerics I dump Dexterity, and it probably would have never occured to me to do otherwise if the dice hadn't suggested it. I suppose you could say that I'm using the dice as a crutch for my imagination or whatever, but it works for me.

That rolling system can be a good compromise, I think. You have some control because you decide how many dice you use for each stat, but you still have randomness in it. You could adjust power levels by adjusting how many dice are available. And if you aren't happy with the results, maybe you could convince your DM to let you switch stats or roll again. If your DM is reasonable and you aren't just doing it because you want 18's in every stat, that should be fine.

Regardless of what rules you are using, the rules are there to work for the game, and the purpose of the game is to have fun. If the rules are decreasing the amount of fun you and/or others in your group are having, you should break them.

Seerow
2012-07-28, 11:16 AM
People keep saying that rolling keeps you from having control. I have a houserule that can fix this: if you are unsatisfied with your rolls, you can reroll until you are satisfied.

So now you just reroll until you have all good stats. Where is the variation there? I mean that's stupid. Why not just say "Write down whatever numbers you want on your character sheet"? Why even try to hide behind randomness?

Kiero
2012-07-28, 11:25 AM
So now you just reroll until you have all good stats. Where is the variation there? I mean that's stupid. Why not just say "Write down whatever numbers you want on your character sheet"? Why even try to hide behind randomness?

Precisely, if we're going to keep rolling until we're happy, why bother with the charade of rolling at all?

Water_Bear
2012-07-28, 12:03 PM
I hate rolled stats for four reasons; one as a Player and three as a DM.

1. Rolled stats mean you are less likely to be able to play your concept.

If I want to play a Rogue/Swashbuckler, I need a good Intelligence and Dexterity, a decent Charisma and Constitution, and Strength cannot be too low or it seriously impairs the concept. So if I don't get at least two abilities of 16 or over, I'm going to need to look for another build and thus another character with a different personality.

Of course, given enough re-rolls, you can make any concept work. But after a certain point, stop re-rolling and just pick a Point Buy system. It'll save you some wear and tear on your dice for little benefit.

2. Every group has cheaters. Mine especially.

As a DM, I have a Yellow Card/Red Card system for cheating on dice rolls, plus making everyone roll in the open. But it is almost impossible to police stat-rolling; each character requires at least 18 rolls, plus re-rolls, and when I turn back to the table there will be at least one person who suddenly got two or three 18s.

No, I cannot just kick them out. They are my friends, or close friends of other players, and there are not nearly enough D&D players in my social circle to afford to replace them. Some are actually excellent role-players, and all of them are actually nice people who I trust outside of a D&D context.

3. Rolled stats are awful for balance.

I ask my players to use a Tier-based Point Buy, which allows Paladins Monks and Fighters to be almost effective enough to compete with Bards and TOB classes, and slightly mitigates the gap between casters and non-casters.

I'm not that obsessed with balance really, but it is a concern with my highly experienced players; they often want to play fairly weak concepts/builds, but know that they have to be able to pull their weight or risk TPK. If they had to rely on weighted rolls, the group would tend to gravitate towards higher teir characters just to remain effective.

4. Character Generation takes long enough already.

I prefer for players to make their characters at home, because a well-made character can potentially take hours to make and wrangling a group of players takes long enough that every session should actually be a play session. A Point Buy allows for that to happen.

only1doug
2012-07-28, 01:38 PM
I had a character with 3 charisma once, rolled stats of 4d6k3 he was actually interesting to play, a fire obsessed wizard (CHA is interaction, so his main interaction with the world was looking for ways to burn it). The actual dice roll was 1,1,1,2, I decided to discard the 2 as if you are having a low stat it might as well be absolute minimum as 1 above rock bottom.

The entire party ended up getting fire resistance or evasion or similar, it was the only way they could survive.

Its not a style i would normally play, but the group did enjoy it and it was one of the most memorable characters i've played.



But i still prefer point buy

Eldan
2012-07-28, 01:46 PM
*snip*

See, I don't understand that. Please explain it to me. (And not just you, everyone). And I'm not mocking you, I'm serious:

Why is an array without an array unplayable? Why do you need double 16s for some build? There are very few stat requirements in the game, and most are 13+, especially on low levels. Off-hand, I can only remember TWF, which has 15+. Even spellcasters can get by with only a 15, if they put all their points into it, it will be 19 by level 16, just in time for 9th level spells.

Of course you will be a bit stronger, with higher stats. Bigger is better, and better means you have a bigger chance to live. But is it really all that important?

I'm not saying this out of some kind of "In my time, we rolled 3d6 in order, and we liked it!" feeling. I started with late 3.0, for god's sake. But my first and probably most long-lived character was a wizard with 16 intelligence and an 8 in constitution ("He's a wizard, so he should be frail!", ah, newbies...). And he functioned perfectly well.

hymer
2012-07-28, 02:03 PM
@ Eldan: Many (iconic) abilities are keyed off of stats. Monks and paladins get this in spades in 3.X. If you play a paladin with charisma 11, you may almost as well play a fighter without the bonus feats.

You can make most things work, but having a mediocre (or poor) score where your mechanics expect you to be strong gimps your character's options.

Eldan
2012-07-28, 02:23 PM
Gimped compared to what? If you have a 14 charisma with your paladin, you have a +2 to saves. That is, of course, weaker than an 18, but power is always relative. What are you comparing yourselves to, to say whether you are gimped or not? The monsters? The DM will have to tailor them to the party anyway, between tiers and the mess that is the CR system. The other players? Same, really.

And yet, here I see people who say they would never play a character without at least a few 16s.

Andrewmoreton
2012-07-28, 02:37 PM
I prefer point based systems for character design over random systems as they do make it easier to have characters of similar power . I will happily play with rolled stats if thats what the GM (and or majority of players favour).
The best example of why I think rolling stats is a bad idea is from an Ars Magica game I ran nearly 20 years ago. I had 3 players , I was allowing players to roll three sets of stats and pick the best one after rolling 3 sets of stats 2 of the players had good but not brilliant stats (one was strong in 1 area and mediocre in 3 , the other was strong in 2 areas , mediocre in a 2nd, and bad in the 4th ) the last player had rolled 3 unplayable sets of stats so I let him roll 3 more, then 3 more it was not until he had rolled about 50 sets of stats (3 A4 pages of stats) that he rolled something which was better than abysmal. Sometimes I player is just on the wrong end of the probability curve.
On a similar but opposite vein in a spacemaster game at about the same time using percentile stats I rolled 2 stats (out of 10) at a natural 100 (if the GM had not been standing watching the dice rolls I would not have dared claim such improbable dice rolls) that character was substantially better than any of the other pc's as I gained a very large bonus over them from such excellent stats

hymer
2012-07-28, 02:37 PM
I'm with you on not needing so many high scores (pb 28 is standard in my group). But things aren't all relative and easily dealt with.
If one character is behind all the others, this presents a problem for the DM (who must find opposition that doesn't slaughter the weak character outright, while still presenting some sort of challenge to the other PCs), the player (who may well end up feeling rather useless), and the party as a whole (since they're struggling to answer why they're bringing this guy along, who obviously needs lesser challenges and needs their protection all the time). And since most characters overlap at least to some degree, being inferior could qiuckly come to mean being redundant.
But it's also a matter of who needs what. Wizards are notoriously versatile characters with just 1 decent score. If you get that sort of array, playing monk will be even more frustrating than otherwise, and you may well reconsider your character concept.

ORione
2012-07-28, 02:39 PM
So now you just reroll until you have all good stats. Where is the variation there? I mean that's stupid. Why not just say "Write down whatever numbers you want on your character sheet"? Why even try to hide behind randomness?


Precisely, if we're going to keep rolling until we're happy, why bother with the charade of rolling at all?

Erm... Did you guys read all of my post? I'll highlight the part that explains why just writing down the numbers I want doesn't work:



I prefer rolling because it sometimes gives you things that would otherwise not occur to you. Like, I might get a 5 that I'll put into wisdom, and I'll see where that leads me in roleplaying. If I have a specific character in mind, and having a 5 would not work for it, I'll roll again.


I like keeping in control of the character generation, but I also like seeing what comes up at random. It gives me ideas. So, the dice generate my character's stats, but I have veto power.

And I wouldn't reroll until all of my stats are good, unless I have a specific character in mind that requires all stats being good.

hymer
2012-07-28, 02:41 PM
@ ORione: Nothing's keeping you from rolling for inspiration when you're doing a point buy.

ORione
2012-07-28, 03:16 PM
@ ORione: Nothing's keeping you from rolling for inspiration when you're doing a point buy.

That's a good idea. I do like these (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Point_Buy,_Generate_Random) charts that came up earlier in the thread.

I suppose the only other issue I have with point buy is that the ways I've seen of doing it don't allow for scores below 8. Does anyone have a good way of using point buy to get scores below 8?

hymer
2012-07-28, 03:27 PM
Well, talking to your GM, obviously. :)
But I'd probably give Ĺ point for score 7, give 1 for 6, 1Ĺ for 5, 2 for 4 and 2Ĺ for 3. If they're lowering a dump stat, I wouldn't give anything but permission to treat an 8 as anything from 3 to 7 as they like.

only1doug
2012-07-28, 03:28 PM
That's a good idea. I do like these (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Point_Buy,_Generate_Random) charts that came up earlier in the thread.

I suppose the only other issue I have with point buy is that the ways I've seen of doing it don't allow for scores below 8. Does anyone have a good way of using point buy to get scores below 8?

Simply tell the GM "i would like to start with xxx at 5 because it fits the character design i have in mind" the GM may give you some more points for the remaining stats, if they feel generous.

Water_Bear
2012-07-28, 03:37 PM
Gimped compared to what? If you have a 14 charisma with your paladin, you have a +2 to saves. That is, of course, weaker than an 18, but power is always relative. What are you comparing yourselves to, to say whether you are gimped or not? The monsters? The DM will have to tailor them to the party anyway, between tiers and the mess that is the CR system. The other players? Same, really.

And yet, here I see people who say they would never play a character without at least a few 16s.

Well, in the example I gave, a Rogue/Swashbukler, you desperately need those 'high' ability scores to stay relevant.

Your damage will be sub-par compared to the other melee characters, since you don't have Power Attack or charging and even with optimization Sneak Attack does less damage per-hit. You will have fewer skills than the other skillful characters due to all of your Swashbuckler levels, so you need a high intelligence to compensate. Even your hit points and (non-reflex) saves will be slightly worse than your companions, so a positive Constitution modifier is a huge boon.

And even then you aren't overpowered; you are fighting slightly worse than a Barbarian, slightly less useful out of combat than the Bard. You have a handful of 3/day SLAs, maybe a few Maneuvers, and a handful of useful class features. Your WBL is mostly spent on items to boost Saves, Sneak Attack, AC, and provide magical movement modes or defenses.

So, basically, to fill your role in the party (Combat/Skill-monkey) and your character concept (rakish arrogant duelist usually) you need those ability scores. If you only get the one decent score, you have to play a Factotum instead, which means adjusting a lot of back-story factors and personality. If you have no scores over 14, you have to play a Warlock and learn to enjoy the sweet taste of mediocrity.

But generally, it's because CR appropriate monsters* and equally-level NPC enemies aren't who you are comparing yourself against. It's the other players. There is a reason Xander needed to have "The Zeppo" and why Sokka needed "Sokka's Master" for their story arcs to feel complete; it's hard enough to be the weakest one in the party, but if you can't even contribute then you might as well leave.

Decent scores for low-tier PCs ensure they can contribute meaningfully. Hence why I support Tier-based Point Buy systems over random rolls.

*I actually like the CR system; for all it's flaws, it does give a good "this is what you can expect" for low-to-mid leveled play. I've never seen any other game system with something even remotely as usable for ranking the threat of monsters.

Eldan
2012-07-28, 03:48 PM
That, however, is a class based problem. I fully agree that low-tier characters need something to compensate.

However. I see a lot of people here sayin things like "A spellcaster without an 18 in his main stat isn't viable" and "I need double 16s, or I won't play" and things like that. Independently of class. And I just don't see it.

Avilan the Grey
2012-07-28, 03:49 PM
The ability and willingness are largely tangential. What matters is the desire - if it isn't fun, and it won't yield a better game, then why bother?

Exactly.
Protip: If you are not having fun, you are playing it wrong. Even if you are following the rules.

Lord_Gareth
2012-07-28, 03:52 PM
Exactly.
Protip: If you are not having fun, you are playing it wrong. Even if you are following the rules.

"Fun" is just one of those buzzwords people use to justify liking crappy games and playing incorrectly.

Ye gods I hope someone gets the joke.

Kiero
2012-07-28, 03:54 PM
I like keeping in control of the character generation, but I also like seeing what comes up at random. It gives me ideas. So, the dice generate my character's stats, but I have veto power.

I don't look for "surprise" or "inspiration" in chargen, I look for "cleaves as closely to the idea I came to the process with as possible". I categorically have no interest in "things I might not have thought of" because I know very well what I enjoy.

Water_Bear
2012-07-28, 03:56 PM
That, however, is a class based problem. I fully agree that low-tier characters need something to compensate.

However. I see a lot of people here sayin things like "A spellcaster without an 18 in his main stat isn't viable" and "I need double 16s, or I won't play" and things like that. Independently of class. And I just don't see it.

My guess would be hyperbole, but IDK. I've never made that argument myself, so I can't speak for anyone who did.

But the class issue is a big one. Even if you roll randomly, it needs to take Tier into account somehow. Otherwise you end up with an even bigger power disparity than you would normally have. Point Buy is easier to modify in that respect, and has the other advantages I mentioned above, but it isn't the One True Way of D&D.

Eldan
2012-07-28, 03:57 PM
I don't look for "surprise" or "inspiration" in chargen, I look for "cleaves as closely to the idea I came to the process with as possible". I categorically have no interest in "things I might not have thought of" because I know very well what I enjoy.

Good for you. Really. In that case, a mechanistic system is exactly what you need.

But me? Sometimes, when I play a game many times, as I have with D&D, I sit down, look at my options and have no idea what to play. I usually come up with three or four concepts, then discard half of them, since in the end, the personalities seem to come down to always the same three to five types. In those cases? Random character generation is wonderfully inspirational.

hymer
2012-07-28, 04:01 PM
@ Eldan: Nothing's keeping you from rolling for inspiration when you're doing a point buy.

Kiero
2012-07-28, 04:13 PM
@ Eldan: Nothing's keeping you from rolling for inspiration when you're doing a point buy.

Exactly, there's all sorts of ways you can voluntarily use a randomiser for "inspiration" within the scope of a planned system.

On the other hand if you're forced to use a random one, there's no way you can create the character you envisaged before hand.

Knaight
2012-07-28, 04:23 PM
If you can just assign different levels of point buy arbitrarily between characters, that undermines a basic idea of the system - party equality. And I already expressly stated the same level; not many groups will let you spawn one character higher level just because the player thinks they should be more powerful.

You explicitly stated that rolling was good because it undermined this. If you don't want it, undermining it is a good thing, and non-rolled stats are better at this than anything else. The best option is simply declaring what every attribute is, and moving on. No rolls necessary, and instead of relying on rolling for a slim possibility that you might get the character you want, you can choose to get the character you want.

As for the rest - it's less an argument for rolled stats and more an argument that the D&D point buy system is a mess. Which is entirely true.

Menteith
2012-07-28, 04:36 PM
However. I see a lot of people here sayin things like "A spellcaster without an 18 in his main stat isn't viable" and "I need double 16s, or I won't play" and things like that. Independently of class. And I just don't see it.

I can honestly say that I have never seen that statement made on these forums. Like, ever. I've seen people - correctly - say that putting one's highest score in the appropriate stat is usually optimal for a caster, but I've never been in a PbP game where someone insists on a higher stat buy, or that people are wrong for using lowered stat generation methods. So yeah, I guess I agree with you that those sorts of people would be unreasonable, and it's a good thing that they're not present on these forums. If you can provide a single link to a person saying otherwise, let me know.

Clearly, we use different means to determine our characters. I have hundreds of characters in my mind that I'd love to play, and I probably won't be able to play them all, and I have few issues adapting them to fit into a game. I like being able to pick the sort of character that I'm going to be playing, rather than have dice determine it for me. You disagree, and if you need to use a die to come up with a new character idea, more power to you. I'm simply saying why I don't like rolling for stats - it's because it removes an important aspect for character building, both mechanical and RP, and has no benefit (for me).

navar100
2012-07-28, 07:41 PM
I've mentioned this before, but I like a creation system I learned that is a combination of dice rolling and point buy.

1) Roll 4d6, best three, three times. These are three of your scores.
2) Choose one score. Subtract it from 27. That's your fourth score.
3) Choose another score. Subtract it from 25. That's your fifth score.
4) The remaining score is subtracted from 23. That's your sixth score.
5) Add +2 to any one score. (Max 18 usually but not required, such as for high powered campaigns.)
6) Arrange as desired.

Now, when you factor in racial modifiers, you get all sorts of variety, you will have at least two good stats for your primes, and if it really bothers you having an 8, you can get rid of it or keep it if you don't mind preferring to be really good at something else, and low dice rolling doesn't hurt you so bad.

Example 1:
1) Rolls: 14, 13, 15
2) 27 - 15 = 12
3) 25 - 14 = 11
4) 23 - 13 = 10
5) 15 + 2 = 17

My array before racial modifiers: 17, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10.

Example 2:
1) Rolls: 9, 15, 13
2) 27 - 9 = 18
3) 25 - 15 = 10
4) 23 - 13 = 10
5) 15 + 2 = 17

My array before racial modifiers: 18, 17, 13, 10, 10, 9

Example 3:
1) Rolls: 11, 16, 17
2) 27 - 11 = 16
3) 25 - 17 = 8
4) 23 - 16 = 7
5) 8 + 2 = 10

My array before racial modifiers: 17, 16, 16, 11, 10, 7

First example looks weaker than the others. I could have put the +2 to the 14 to have 16, 15, 13, 12, 11, 10. Probably the better choice. Racial modifiers can get that 16 to 18. That character is a spellcaster. The others can do well as warriors if need be. Example 3 makes for a really good Pathfinder Paladin. Add in a +2 for human, 19 ST, 7 DX, 16 CO, 10 IN, 11 WIS, 16 CH. If the 7 DX really bothers me, I go sword and shield so that shield compensates AC. I otherwise may lump it, wield a two-handed greatsword, and go for power.

In all three cases I admit monk is hard-pressed, even in Pathfinder, but that I call an issue with monk rather than the creation method.

Exediron
2012-07-29, 02:58 AM
You explicitly stated that rolling was good because it undermined this. If you don't want it, undermining it is a good thing, and non-rolled stats are better at this than anything else. The best option is simply declaring what every attribute is, and moving on. No rolls necessary, and instead of relying on rolling for a slim possibility that you might get the character you want, you can choose to get the character you want.

As for the rest - it's less an argument for rolled stats and more an argument that the D&D point buy system is a mess. Which is entirely true.

Well, yes - I made both of these points in my post itself. The first is what I actually do, and the second is something I mentioned myself at the end.


"Fun" is just one of those buzzwords people use to justify liking crappy games and playing incorrectly.

Ye gods I hope someone gets the joke.

I don't get the joke as such, but at least I got that you were joking...


And I can see why you'd come to that conclusion from a Core-Only game....

I don't want to turn this thread into a core vs non-core discussion, so I'll just say that although you are surely correct from a logical and statistical point of view, I and my group have our own reasons for not using very much non-core material.


I'd also like to correct your misapprehension that PB is used solely to balance the game by assigning identical stats to everyone - this isn't a fundamental part of PB...

That tells me that something not right occurred with a point buy to you. PB should never be used to quash a character idea - indeed, the whole point is to allow a player to dictate exactly what their character is like, and PB enables them to create the character they envision. Rolling is inherently less likely to fit a player's vision of the character, unless they roll exactly the way they envision them already (in which case it's the exact same as PB, only more roundabout). Could you elaborate more clearly on why you feel the quoted statement above is true?

The picture you put forth of the point buy system is indeed not as I have encountered it in real world circumstances. The DMs I've had who used it have always simply gone with a set value, usually a very low one, with their explanation being that it is to prevent a lucky roller from overpowering the rest of the party. I can certainly understand and even agree with the justification of it being better able to realize your concept.

However, I still feel that it is a rather imperfect solution. I would much prefer to simply either pick my stats, or failing that to have a set pool to allocate without the gimmick of buying stats at different values. One of the things I dislike the most is how inorganic it feels to me (also how it punishes you for trying to give yourself more than one truly good ability). To me, a character generated with a point buy system doesn't feel like a character, they feel like a piece of engineering - every element designed to achieve a proper compromise of function.


There's no way for me not to sound like a ponce when I say this, but I honestly feel like your issue is that you're playing only in Core, and have been for a very, very long time, which has lead you to explore all of the limited options in there; rather than inherently disliking Point Buy, you dislike that you can't create an optimal, unique character you haven't already made using it. I still see that as more an indictment of Core only, rather than of Point Buy.

I don't think it sounds pretentious or arrogant. There is certainly some truth to what you say - however, there is also some error. It's true that my experience in character creation with the ruleset we use has led me to believe that all characters of the same role are the same if you look at them too closely, and no doubt the fact that we use a very small selection of classes has something to do with it - a lot, even.

However, I do in fact inherently dislike the point buy system. Many of my reasons for doing so may have been proven to be faulty upon closer examination, but I don't like it. I feel that it produces inorganic stats which always fall within a very small range. When I make a character with a point buy system, I have to think about what to sacrifice, what to cut, so that I can keep the important elements of their desired statistical array. The process produces an unpleasant detachment from conceptualization, a mechanical feeling to what should be a pure creative process.

Rolled stats aren't perfect. But they don't have the same problem - you stick them in where they fit and you're done. In the end, you may not get a result which is as close, but it feels more organic to me. I think rolled stats are inferior to picking your own, and they may even be inferior to a 1 for 1 stat pool assignment. I'm willing to admit that many players will exploit the other two methods, however.

Basically, it all comes down to separation of mechanics and character. Because of having to compromise to meet the artificial demands of the stat pricing structure, it feels more mechanical than rolled stats or a straight pool. An array is basically pre-rolled stats, and I count it the same. It's the same reason I don't like to change classes to get a different mechanical makeup - a class is more than just a pile of numbers you attach to a character.

Ideally, the numbers completely get out of your way. They only exist to allow your characters to interact with the world, and as such they need to be capable of producing the results of which your character is capable. A class which brings no baggage with it (interfering with the roleplaying side) is more desirable than one which does, to me. You can have a million different concepts which all fit into the broad category of 'Fighter', or 'Cleric' - but to be a Hexblade or a Favored Soul defines your character more by their class alone.

However, this is all getting much too far afield; I'll stop myself before I start going on about dangerous radical notions of a system of pure abstraction without classes or any mechanical connection to your character...

--=-=--

I'm sorry if my argument got a little strange and hard to follow at the end - the late hour and the Kahlua aren't doing anything good for my ability to put my thoughts together in an easily followed fashion. :smalltongue:

Menteith
2012-07-29, 10:37 AM
The picture you put forth of the point buy system is indeed not as I have encountered it in real world circumstances. The DMs I've had who used it have always simply gone with a set value, usually a very low one, with their explanation being that it is to prevent a lucky roller from overpowering the rest of the party. I can certainly understand and even agree with the justification of it being better able to realize your concept.

However, I still feel that it is a rather imperfect solution. I would much prefer to simply either pick my stats, or failing that to have a set pool to allocate without the gimmick of buying stats at different values. One of the things I dislike the most is how inorganic it feels to me (also how it punishes you for trying to give yourself more than one truly good ability). To me, a character generated with a point buy system doesn't feel like a character, they feel like a piece of engineering - every element designed to achieve a proper compromise of function.

If that's your experience with it, I can understand your viewpoint a bit better. Speaking as a DM, the lowest PB I've ever given a player is a 32 Point Buy (it's more fun to have access to good stats, and have me as a DM scale up challenges - I like optimizing enemies anyway), and I've increases that in many instances. I can't argue against the way you feel about it, if it's an emotional dislike - I can only present the reasons I like it, and say that - mechanically - it's going to give the players more input on their character than rolled stats will.



However, I do in fact inherently dislike the point buy system. Many of my reasons for doing so may have been proven to be faulty upon closer examination, but I don't like it. I feel that it produces inorganic stats which always fall within a very small range. When I make a character with a point buy system, I have to think about what to sacrifice, what to cut, so that I can keep the important elements of their desired statistical array. The process produces an unpleasant detachment from conceptualization, a mechanical feeling to what should be a pure creative process.

Rolled stats aren't perfect. But they don't have the same problem - you stick them in where they fit and you're done. In the end, you may not get a result which is as close, but it feels more organic to me. I think rolled stats are inferior to picking your own, and they may even be inferior to a 1 for 1 stat pool assignment. I'm willing to admit that many players will exploit the other two methods, however.

I see picking your own stats an an extension of Point Buy. Most of my players have had access to a high enough PB that they're effectively doing that anyway - I just like to keep it official so that new players know what's reasonable for the party. Again, we have different experiences with PB, I think - in many instances of your post, you dislike PB because it forces you to compromise on your character vision, sacrifice what you think your character should have, and cut parts of your stats to keep your character optimal - all problems that could be remedied simply by using a higher PB, allowing for slightly more powerful characters, but also ones that fit your vision. Also remember, this isn't a thread about why PB is a good - rather, it's a thread about why some people dislike rolling; if you like a stat gen method other than rolling, it doesn't need to be PB.


You can have a million different concepts which all fit into the broad category of 'Fighter', or 'Cleric' - but to be a Hexblade or a Favored Soul defines your character more by their class alone.


Oh, I disagree on this, strongly. Check out a character (http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=423217) of mine, that I'm using in a PbP game - he's a Factotum 3, Duskblade 2, Trapsmith 1, Swiftblade 4 - and his classes chosen certainly don't define his character. He wasn't a Factotum, who then joined the a Duskblade order, who then apprenticed himself to a Trapsmith, who then joined a Swiftblade order; he was the same person, and the classes chosen are representative of his abilities. He's a magical rogue, who's naturally skilled with the Haste spell, rather than the sum of all of his classes. I believe that classes are yet another way to express a character, rather than restricting and defining that character.

genderlich
2012-07-29, 02:06 PM
I dislike rolled stats because it sucks to be on the low end of the bell curve.

I like rolled stats because it makes for interesting combinations rather than the standard array you get with point-buy.

Somewhere on these forums I found out about the 27-25-23 method, which I'll sum up here. Generate three stats using your favorite method. Now do the following math to get your remaining three stats:

27 - (one stat) = 4th stat
25 - (other stat) = 5th stat
23 - (remaining stat) = 6th stat
Add +2 to any of the six stats of your choice, as long as that doesn't cause a stat to go above 18.
Add racial modifiers.
Assign stats.

The end result, for Pathfinder, is everyone gets a total of +8 modifiers and half of the stats will be odd numbers. In 3.5 the stats will be +7 totaled up.

I like it because you get the random odd numbers built into the system and if you roll bad then the math gives you good numbers. If you roll good then you get some bad stats to even it out.

It's flexible enough that if you want a high power system you can either give out bigger numbers (31-29-27) or more +2s for people to spend.

In the end, I really just do whatever it is that the current DM likes.

This seems like a really cool method, actually. I'll have my players use it next time I DM and see what they think.

In the game I'm playing in currently we rolled 2d8+d6 for unpredictable but generally high-powered stats, and added two +1s every 4th level. One of the characters has 30 Dex and 26 Int at level 10 with lots of magic items; I played a halfling with 4 Str and 28 Cha and had a great time.

Exediron
2012-07-29, 03:32 PM
If that's your experience with it, I can understand your viewpoint a bit better. Speaking as a DM, the lowest PB I've ever given a player is a 32 Point Buy (it's more fun to have access to good stats, and have me as a DM scale up challenges - I like optimizing enemies anyway), and I've increases that in many instances. I can't argue against the way you feel about it, if it's an emotional dislike - I can only present the reasons I like it, and say that - mechanically - it's going to give the players more input on their character than rolled stats will.

My experience with point buy is about half in computer games and half in face to face. In computer games, such as Neverwinter Nights for example, you often get a 30 point buy. With only 30, by the time you've bought yourself up to average in all your stats and an 18 in one, you've got 4 points left to spend. And that's going to make you a pretty darned one dimensional character, statistically speaking. And because computer games don't re-gear themselves to a weaker party, you'll usually get stomped flat if you don't take an 18. I played a two-weapon fighting paladin in Mask of the Betrayer, and I had a devil of a time getting a decent stat pool together for it without making her a sickly idiot.

In face to face, the problem's a bit different - at least the DM can adjust the game if they're using a super-low value. Every DM I've had in real life went with a 32 point buy for every player.

Mechanically, I still think that the point buy system is a half-measure at best. You may say that it allows more freedom of building your character the way you want them, but the buying mechanic clearly exists to prevent characters from becoming too powerful, so I have a hard time believing that isn't what the system is intended for. It's true that most of my arguments against the point buy system are eliminated by just making the value high enough, but with a high enough value it seems completely pointless to me to use a point buy system and not simply a 1 for 1 stat assignment system.

And as far as dice rolling goes, if you're allowing such high point buy values for the sake of argument you need to also consider the fact that most groups who roll dice won't force you to go with your first roll if it doesn't allow your character to work. A good DM will have a notion of what sort of stats you need, and will allow you to re-roll until you get something workable. The luck only really comes in for differentiating between the top couple percentile of characters.

Let's say I'm making myself a dashing swashbuckler who uses smarts and charm to hold his crew of veteran freebooters together.

Using a 40 value point buy system, he can be stat'd out as:

STR: 14
DEX: 18
CON: 12
INT: 14
WIS: 10
CHA: 14

[As a tangential complaint, I really don't like the way point buy generated characters tend to possess only even stats.]
Not bad. Fits his concept decently, and makes a credible, if somewhat fragile, opponent. Now we'll see what we could get in 3 rolls of the dice:

First Roll:
STR: 14
DEX: 18
CON: 12
INT: 14
WIS: 10
CHA: 17

That one was exactly the same, just with a better charisma. It works better for the concept.

Second Roll:
17, 11, 11, 10, 13, 11

That roll was garbage and gets thrown out.

Third Roll:
STR: 13
DEX: 17
CON: 13
INT: 14
WIS: 9
CHA: 15

That one wasn't as powerful as the point buy, but it fits the character just as well. In this alternate reality the swashbuckler isn't quite as good, but he's still just the same concept - a weaker version, but not damaged.
I actually rolled the dice, so I'll readily admit that they may not conform to a statistically expected 3 rolls. I possess a very pretty and rather lucky (:smallsmile:) set of 24 chrome dice which I use for my stat rolls. If nothing good turned up in the first 3, you'd get another 3 anyway, ad nauseum if need be.

In short, what I'm saying here is that rolling your stats doesn't have to give you any less freedom over your concept. The exact numbers may not be yours to choose, but you can still assemble them to make your concept just like you can in a point buy system. You have to work within the system either way, and either way you might not be able to get exactly what you wanted.


I see picking your own stats an an extension of Point Buy. Most of my players have had access to a high enough PB that they're effectively doing that anyway - I just like to keep it official so that new players know what's reasonable for the party. Again, we have different experiences with PB, I think - in many instances of your post, you dislike PB because it forces you to compromise on your character vision, sacrifice what you think your character should have, and cut parts of your stats to keep your character optimal - all problems that could be remedied simply by using a higher PB, allowing for slightly more powerful characters, but also ones that fit your vision. Also remember, this isn't a thread about why PB is a good - rather, it's a thread about why some people dislike rolling; if you like a stat gen method other than rolling, it doesn't need to be PB.

I see it as an extension of the 1 for 1 stat pool method, which to me is a very different thing from point buy. It's the 'buy' in point buy that I most dislike, which I admit is not entirely a logical feeling.

I did include some actual arguments in favor of rolling to justify my continued posting on the subject.


Oh, I disagree on this, strongly. Check out a character (http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=423217) of mine, that I'm using in a PbP game - he's a Factotum 3, Duskblade 2, Trapsmith 1, Swiftblade 4 - and his classes chosen certainly don't define his character. He wasn't a Factotum, who then joined the a Duskblade order, who then apprenticed himself to a Trapsmith, who then joined a Swiftblade order; he was the same person, and the classes chosen are representative of his abilities. He's a magical rogue, who's naturally skilled with the Haste spell, rather than the sum of all of his classes. I believe that classes are yet another way to express a character, rather than restricting and defining that character.

I can see your point of view, but I think we'll probably have to continue disagreeing on this one. I suppose I wish I felt that way too, since it would make it a lot easier for me to make characters. In my ideal system, classes wouldn't exist at all and you would simply define your character through free-floating abilities, skills, traits, etc. which make up the skillset and abilities your character should possess. Think MERP/Rolemaster with the kinks ironed out.

However, as you pointed out, this thread is about rolled stats, not gaming philosophy. I suppose we could start another thread for it, but I don't think there's really any need. We obviously come from different schools of thought, and although it's interesting to hear about the other side I don't think either of us is going to be coming around any time soon.

TheOOB
2012-07-29, 03:47 PM
I hate rolled stats, in fact I hate any sort of randomness on abilities during character creation, under most circumstances that is.

Randomness is an important part of most role playing games, but it can also be problematic.

There is a simple rule, randomness always favors the NPC.

Lets take a simple in game example, the D&D 3.5 greatsword vs greataxe. Ignoring criticals, a greatsword deals 2d6 damage, a great axe deals 1d12 damage. They both have the same max damage, and close to the same average damage(greatsword averages 7 damage, the axe 6.5), however, the sword is the better choice for players, the axe the better choice for NPCs. Here's why.

The PC is going to be in literally dozens of fights, and in most games they are expected to win most of those fights, that is, if both the PC and the NPC roll average rolls for the whole fight, the PC should win. The greatsword is much more likely to roll average than a greataxe. While rolling high is always good, you don't NEED to roll high because you should win with an average roll, but rolling low too often can cause you to lose a fight you should have won. SO for a PC, good rolls and average rolls both = winning, but bad rolls may = losing. Thus, more average rolls and less randomness is a good thing.

For NPC's it's different. An NPC will likely be in only a single fight, and with average rolls they will lose. They will also lose with low rolls, but with high rolls they may win. Thus, since NPCs will lose anyways with average rolls, they are encouraged to increase randoness and use the great axe over the greatsword.

So, as you can see, randomness favors NPCs.

The problem is, losing a single fight usually doesn't end the campaign, but losing the fight that is character creation can.

If during creation, a character rolls well for their stats, they will be very powerful and do well in fights and other challenges, but PC's are supposed to do well and win more often than not, so it's not a big deal.

But if they roll poorly during creation, they will be weaker in fights, and may often lose fights they would otherwise win, which can hurt them the entire campaign.

So by randomly rolling stats, you have little to gain, and a lot to lose.

Now, for some game systems that are designed to be harsher to the players and have characters who don't last long(Paranoia comes to mind), this can be okay, but few things suck more than being a useless comic relief character in a long running D&D campaign.

Menteith
2012-07-29, 04:26 PM
Mechanically, I still think that the point buy system is a half-measure at best. You may say that it allows more freedom of building your character the way you want them, but the buying mechanic clearly exists to prevent characters from becoming too powerful, so I have a hard time believing that isn't what the system is intended for. It's true that most of my arguments against the point buy system are eliminated by just making the value high enough, but with a high enough value it seems completely pointless to me to use a point buy system and not simply a 1 for 1 stat assignment system.

Well, yeah, there's going to be a limit on what your character is capable of. It would be an incredibly dull game if everyone was perfect in every area - few would seriously want to play with 18s in every stat. And I'm the odd one out in that I only played BG1 (I'm actually just starting up Shadows of Amn today from a decade old character, have never played the second BG), so I can't comment on computer gaming.


Dice Stuff

Unless you pull an array of 18, 12, 11, 11, 10, 10 on a Paladin, or 13, 13, 12, 12, 11, 10 on a Wizard or something. If infinite rerolls are in play, then I can probably get an array that'll fit my character, but that sort of negates every single positive thing people have said about rolling (faster than PB, more "organic", whatever that means). It's entirely possible for rolling to result in acceptable stats for everyone in the party - it's also entirely possible for rolling to result in unacceptable stats for everyone in the party. Point Buy will almost always result in acceptable stats for everyone. I think half the problem is that you're starting with 18s in your primary stat for every character, which sucks up half of your starting PB in a 32PB, and isn't required or even optimal on many builds.


In short, what I'm saying here is that rolling your stats doesn't have to give you any less freedom over your concept. The exact numbers may not be yours to choose, but you can still assemble them to make your concept just like you can in a point buy system. You have to work within the system either way, and either way you might not be able to get exactly what you wanted.

Unless you go by the actual rolling rules, and are only allowed a reroll in very specific circumstances, in which case it's very easy to make a character who honestly can't function. I actually had this problem a week ago in a PbP game - I had statted up a slightly optimized Paladin (http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=424071), and on my original roll, there was no way for me to qualify for Power Attack, have a high enough Wisdom to cast spells, and have a positive Charisma modifier all at the same time. Now, we worked out the issue, but the original series of rolls was something like 18, 12, 12, 11, 11, 10; not eligible for rerolling, but still nonfunctional. A good group can probably work out most issues, regardless of stat gen method - an average group who sticks to the rules is going to eventually shaft players due to the randomness of the rolling.



I can see your point of view, but I think we'll probably have to continue disagreeing on this one. I suppose I wish I felt that way too, since it would make it a lot easier for me to make characters. In my ideal system, classes wouldn't exist at all and you would simply define your character through free-floating abilities, skills, traits, etc. which make up the skillset and abilities your character should possess. Think MERP/Rolemaster with the kinks ironed out.

It's not like anything's stopping you from treating them that way; if you want the game to worked like that, just run the game that way. You've admitted it would be a lot easier to make characters, and that you wish you could treat them that way...seems like there's an easy solution to that problem :smalltongue:. But you're right, it's not relevant to the current discussion.

DementedFellow
2012-07-29, 04:39 PM
So, as you can see, randomness favors NPCs.


I missed something there. I don't see how your argument shows that randomness favors anyone when the max damage is the same.

TheOOB
2012-07-29, 05:00 PM
I missed something there. I don't see how your argument shows that randomness favors anyone when the max damage is the same.

Then you need to read it again. A PC will win the fight if the roll average or high, but may lose the fight if they roll low. Thus, the optimal strategy is to reduce to chances of them rolling low as much as possible by decreasing randomness.

An NPC will lose the fight if they roll average or low, but may win if they roll high. Thus the iptimal stratagy is to increase the chances of rolling high as much as possible by increasing randomness.

To put another way, if a PC always rolls 7 damage(average of a greatsword), they should win the fight, but rolling a few 12's in a row doesn't help you as much as rolling a few 1's or 2's in a row hurt you.

For an NPC, rolling 1's or 2's doesn't hurt them much(they were going to die anyways), but getting a few 12's in a row can really cause problems for the PC.

Think of it like gambling. People who visit a casino once or twice often play games like the slots or roulette, games where the is a chance to win big, but you most likely will lose money. Professional gamblers prefer games like poker or blackjack where the winnings usually are not as large, but a skilled player has less chance of losing.

The more often you make a specific roll, the more important it becomes to decrease your chance of doing very poorly than it is to increase your chances of doing extremely well.

Exediron
2012-07-29, 05:17 PM
There is a simple rule, randomness always favors the NPC...

The math here is flawed - the greatsword is a better choice for both, as it yields a consistently higher or equal result every time, statistically.

Analogy aside, I get what you're saying about character creation, but I don't agree with it. Assuming that people will require a single straight roll is like assuming that they're going to use the minimum possible point buy value every time. It isn't fair argument.


Well, yeah, there's going to be a limit on what your character is capable of. It would be an incredibly dull game if everyone was perfect in every area - few would seriously want to play with 18s in every stat. And I'm the odd one out in that I only played BG1 (I'm actually just starting up Shadows of Amn today from a decade old character, have never played the second BG), so I can't comment on computer gaming.

Nobody wants straight 18s. However, the point buy system essentially forces everybody to plateau their stats in the mid-range, with few truly high stats and no truly low stats.

As far as computer gaming goes, you've played the best one there is - I wouldn't recommend trying most modern RPGs if you'd be coming from Baldur's Gate; it's going to be a letdown. I'm something of a Baldur's Gate devotee, and have finished it start to finish (BG - BGII - ToB) with an entirely player character party 6 times, and intend to start a new quest soon. I do play in a somewhat odd fashion, however; I play no reload quests, and when a character dies they are replaced by a newly hired character. Unless it's the Bhaalspawn - if they die, I start a new party at the beginning. Naturally, the characters who survive need to have some pretty good stats...


If infinite rerolls are in play, then I can probably get an array that'll fit my character, but that sort of negates every single positive thing people have said about rolling (faster than PB, more "organic", whatever that means). It's entirely possible for rolling to result in acceptable stats for everyone in the party - it's also entirely possible for rolling to result in unacceptable stats for everyone in the party. Point Buy will almost always result in acceptable stats for everyone.

You don't need anything close to infinite re-rolls to get a decent set of stats. I never said faster is a plus - besides, the fastest system is pre-generated arrays, not either point buy or rolling. I don't think it negates the organic argument at all; the point of that argument is that you didn't precisely balance every element to achieve the best compromise on your design. However many times you rolled, you still didn't do that.

Yes, point buy will always result in acceptable results, given a reasonable value. That's because it always gives the same results. I don't think anybody seriously argues that when comparing a sufficiently high point buy to a random roll you're more likely to get stats to qualify for a class off of the roll.


I think half the problem is that you're starting with 18s in your primary stat for every character, which sucks up half of your starting PB in a 32PB, and isn't required or even optimal on many builds.

That depends entirely on what sort of game you play. The fact that it sucks up half your available points is a problem with point buy, not with the 18. And how on earth is having a high stat not optimal? It may not be the best compromise, but that isn't the same thing at all.


Unless you go by the actual rolling rules, and are only allowed a reroll in very specific circumstances, in which case it's very easy to make a character who honestly can't function...

Why would I? We aren't talking about the existing standard rules for stat rolling, we're discussing the basic principle of rolling at all. The standard rules for re-rolls don't enter into that. I could just as easily say that if you stick to the default 32P point buy you can't possibly make some class combinations valid. It's a one-sided argument where you choose to make an irrational assumption about the other side to justify your own point. You've admitted that the standard 32P system isn't what you usually use, so why assume that stat rollers use the even more sub-optimal standard rules for their method?

I have almost never played with a group that only allows re-rolls if your stats are all below the bonus range. Typically, the favored method is to set an equivalent point buy value (often 32) which you can re-roll if you're under.

DementedFellow
2012-07-29, 05:21 PM
I don't think I can agree with the basis of your argument because of the implications attached to it.

Implications such as NPCs exist to be fodder and how it is totally unfair to get one-shotted at lower levels. If anything, it adds a bit of realism to the game if a character dies. A good DM can spin that into something truly awe-inspiring. Even though both weapons have the same numerical max then suddenly it is not fair if an NPC rolls high and a PC fails to have lady luck on his side.

Maybe combat-oriented games aren't your bag buddy. Random is pretty equal. And sure you can talk about differences in terms of a decimal of a die roll and the percentages attached to it, but it won't change that one weapon is essentially 2-12 and the other is 1-12. Both have 12 at the high end.

Moreover, at higher levels it is the strength bonus or some other bonus added to the damage die that ends up doing more damage.

TheOOB
2012-07-29, 05:42 PM
I don't think I can agree with the basis of your argument because of the implications attached to it.

Implications such as NPCs exist to be fodder and how it is totally unfair to get one-shotted at lower levels. If anything, it adds a bit of realism to the game if a character dies. A good DM can spin that into something truly awe-inspiring. Even though both weapons have the same numerical max then suddenly it is not fair if an NPC rolls high and a PC fails to have lady luck on his side.

I think the implications you are making are far far worse. A standard D&D character will fight in dozens of fights, and I think it's fair to say that in most games not every fight will be a crazy difficult fight that needs all of the players resources along with a little luck and will likely end with one or more deaths. Most fights have some difficulty, and take some resources, but the PC's are expected to win. If you need to roll high for every fight, you're going to a)have a short campaign, and b)steal all the thunder from the big set piece battles to end a story arc.



Maybe combat-oriented games aren't your bag buddy.


yeah, nice try trying to attack me personally. I've been playing D&D and wargames for over 20 years, I'm the grand champion of the '05 PAX D&D open tournament, and I actually understand dice probability, having taken several college level math classes. I'm not going to claim to be a D&D god, but I know what I'm talking about.


Random is pretty equal. And sure you can talk about differences in terms of a decimal of a die roll and the percentages attached to it, but it won't change that one weapon is essentially 2-12 and the other is 1-12. Both have 12 at the high end.

Except random is not equal. 2d6 has a 1 in 36 chance of getting either a 2 or a 6, while 1d12 has a 1 in 12 chance of getting a 1 or a 12. 2d6 is less than half as likely to get is minimum result than 1d12(and it's min is higher). Averages are good, but you usually don't roll damage in a single combat enough for average to become too relevant. My point is that for PC's it's usually more important to not do poorly than it is to do well.


Moreover, at higher levels it is the strength bonus or some other bonus added to the damage die that ends up doing more damage.

And that's why that was a simple example to explain a larger picture. I was using that example of how increased randomness in a single die roll could cause small problems to explain how randomizing character creation could create proportionally bigger problems.

Menteith
2012-07-29, 05:47 PM
Nobody wants straight 18s. However, the point buy system essentially forces everybody to plateau their stats in the mid-range, with few truly high stats and no truly low stats.

You don't need anything close to infinite re-rolls to get a decent set of stats. I never said faster is a plus - besides, the fastest system is pre-generated arrays, not either point buy or rolling. I don't think it negates the organic argument at all; the point of that argument is that you didn't precisely balance every element to achieve the best compromise on your design. However many times you rolled, you still didn't do that.

Just for my sake, I want to confirm something; Are you arguing that having to make difficult, interesting decisions about your character, and choosing their merits and flaws, is a negative part of the point buy system? The bolded text in the quote above is what prompted my question. With enough rolls, I'm either going to get the stats that I wanted anyway, which begs the question of why I didn't just select those attribute anyway. It's the exact same outcome, only one is much simpler and doesn't waste time.


Yes, point buy will always result in acceptable results, given a reasonable value. That's because it always gives the same results. I don't think anybody seriously argues that when comparing a sufficiently high point buy to a random roll you're more likely to get stats to qualify for a class off of the roll.

In years of gaming D&D3.5, I haven't run into the issue you're describing. Most of my characters have been made using point buy, and they very often have highly different starting stats, even when they fill similar roles in a party. If I want a more interesting character, or more variety in a build, I'll go splatbook/forum diving until I see a race, class, or feat that catches my attention, and I'll work backwards on a character from that inspiration (Ashworm Dragoon PrC, I promise that I'll find a way to use you someday!), which keeps my character mechanically refreshing, and most of them require different stats to function. And even in instances where they don't (A gestalt Zhentarim Fighter/Rogue + Avenging Executioner, and a Half-Orc Paladin) they're very different people, regardless of their stats.


That depends entirely on what sort of game you play. The fact that it sucks up half your available points is a problem with point buy, not with the 18. And how on earth is having a high stat not optimal? It may not be the best compromise, but that isn't the same thing at all.

Why would I? We aren't talking about the existing standard rules for stat rolling, we're discussing the basic principle of rolling at all. The standard rules for re-rolls don't enter into that. I could just as easily say that if you stick to the default 32P point buy you can't possibly make some class combinations valid. It's a one-sided argument where you choose to make an irrational assumption about the other side to justify your own point. You've admitted that the standard 32P system isn't what you usually use, so why assume that stat rollers use the even more sub-optimal standard rules for their method?

Having a high stat is always a good thing, but having a 16 and a 14, instead of an 18 and a 8, can be optimal for a character. I don't need to have a perfect character to play with - while certain SAD classes can get away with an 18 on a 32PB, most of the classes I enjoy playing (I'm a sucker for bad classes) really don't function by doing that. While I don't use the 32PB system precisely when I'm a DM, it's generally what I expect when I get into a PbP game, and unless someone gives me a reason to deviate, it's generally what my players expect form me. I don't have a problem making any concept work, if I can count on a 32PB to work from - I can't count on making my concepts work off a random system. I'll try and sum up my feelings here, just so we can stop quoting sections of each others posts.

Rolling inherently takes away control from me, as a player and as a DM. It is more likely to result in an unbalanced party. It is less likely to allow me to create the character that I envision. It removes an aspect from the character creation process, making that aspect of the game more shallow. This is my character I'm making - I know exactly what they're like. I don't need dice to "inspire" me to create a new character. I have no problems coming up with creative, unique individuals I like to roleplay already. I've seen players screwed over for months at a time because of a stringent DM who played by the book with regard to rolls. I've seen hideously powerful characters stomp over challenges because they rolled well, and I've seen character concepts killed before a game started because of rolls. It adds nothing to the game, and takes away quite a bit. Point Buy isn't the best system, but it gives the most control to both the players and DM, and allows them the most control over potential issues. There is nothing inherently sacred about rolling that makes it more effective for roleplayers, and there is nothing about playing a weaker character that makes that character "better" at roleplay. There's nothing wrong with playing a variable strength group, but there is something wrong with forcing players to be much weaker than each other because the dice said so.


Whew, good to get that off my chest.

DementedFellow
2012-07-29, 05:56 PM
For the record it wasn't a personal attack. It was a statement. It if you are going to bemoan the percentages of rolling max damage and taking a hit from an NPC, then maybe a combat oriented game isn't your deal. And there is nothing wrong with that. Heck, I prefer Call of Cthulhu to D&D any day.

In my group, we have the whole idea of "Live by the dice, die by the dice." I know it is not a popular one. But it's not uncommon for someone to get mortally wounded and either be incapacitated or even killed.

The idea that fights should be a breeze and shouldn't drain the party's resources is one that hurts the verisimilitude of the setting. If the CR for the encounter is too low, then why are the bandits who are raiding trade caravans such a problem that the king needs help? If the dragon has a glass jaw then it makes the entire story arc unsatisfying.

TheOOB
2012-07-29, 07:13 PM
For the record it wasn't a personal attack. It was a statement. It if you are going to bemoan the percentages of rolling max damage and taking a hit from an NPC, then maybe a combat oriented game isn't your deal.

That's twice, look, I don't get mad easily, but you are starting to do just that. I never bemoaned getting hit by an NPC, and I never complained about combat in RPG's. It's obvious you didn't actually read my posts, or at least you didn't comprehend it.

I was discussing mathematical probability in a combat based game, and explaining how one option is typically superior to another option, and I presented a well thought out argument as to why, all you've done is try to insult me by essentially saying I don't know what I'm talking about.

Are you trying to say that PC's don't win the majority of fights that they are in, that they only win a fight if they only roll high rolls? Because if that's your claim than you obviously don't like playing games that last more than one session.

DementedFellow
2012-07-29, 07:31 PM
That's twice, look, I don't get mad easily, but you are starting to do just that. And you are getting angry over nothing.


I never bemoaned getting hit by an NPC, and I never complained about combat in RPG's. It's obvious you didn't actually read my posts, or at least you didn't comprehend it.


I was discussing mathematical probability in a combat based game, and explaining how one option is typically superior to another option, and I presented a well thought out argument as to why, all you've done is try to insult me by essentially saying I don't know what I'm talking about.
If I follow you correctly and I think I am, you are saying that because there is greater chance of getting a 12 on a d12 rather than a 12 on 2d6, then it is somehow unfair. Nevermind the fact that it is the same ratio of rolling a 1 on a d12 and damn near impossible to roll a 1 on 2d6.



Are you trying to say that PC's don't win the majority of fights that they are in, that they only win a fight if they only roll high rolls? Because if that's your claim than you obviously don't like playing games that last more than one session.
Let's say for instance I am saying those things. And that my sessions don't last long. Does that make my play time any less enjoyable? Does it somehow detract from the game as a whole to have a series of smaller stories instead of one epic journey?

But, for the record, my people do tend to win. But our scenarios are tailored to our group. The enemies fight smart and tend to do damage. Some even kill. But that doesn't mean it's a design flaw when an enemy crits or even does full damage.

EDIT: If I have somehow impugned your honor it was totally inadvertent. My bad.

Exediron
2012-07-29, 07:47 PM
Except random is not equal. 2d6 has a 1 in 36 chance of getting either a 2 or a 6, while 1d12 has a 1 in 12 chance of getting a 1 or a 12. 2d6 is less than half as likely to get is minimum result than 1d12(and it's min is higher). Averages are good, but you usually don't roll damage in a single combat enough for average to become too relevant. My point is that for PC's it's usually more important to not do poorly than it is to do well.

Your point is mathematically sound except for one thing; it isn't proving that it's in the interest of an NPC to use a more random method. NPCs aren't all the limbs of a great beast out to get the PCs - it isn't The World vs The Party. The point you're proving is that since the DM can throw countless monsters at the PCs and only needs to win once, the more random method favors the DM in the long run, as the DM can lose countless times and only needs to win once, while the inverse is true of the PC.

Personally, I believe that an NPC and a PC aren't inherently different at all, except that one of them is played by the DM and likely to be integrated into the plot. They're still people, and they still (presumably) want to make it through the fight alive just as much as the PCs do.


...

Whew, good to get that off my chest.

If you're done ranting, than surely it must be my turn...


Just for my sake, I want to confirm something; Are you arguing that having to make difficult, interesting decisions about your character, and choosing their merits and flaws, is a negative part of the point buy system?

Except it isn't! I'm not making an 'interesting' decision about my character by shuffling numbers around on a sheet like some manner of wretched time-passing puzzle game. I know my character - I don't need some combination of numbers and costs to tell me what my character is! I don't 'choose' their merits and flaws based on a floating scale in the air - they already exist; part of that character's personality.

Listen to yourself: You say you already know what character you're making - you know exactly what they're like. Well, so do I - and whatever flaws, merits, strengths and weaknesses they possess have nothing to do with what little pigeon holes I can stick their numbers into in the system. You don't want to be inspired by the randomness of the dice - I don't want to be 'inspired' by the limitations of what I can and cannot do in a crushingly limited system. The character creation process already happened - in my mind. I don't need some system to force me to recreate my character according to its guidelines. It's like trying to draw a picture, but you have a limited selection of each color, and they all have to balance out in the end. Does that 'help' you create your picture?

Rolling stats isn't perfect. It's not ideal, and sometimes it isn't even tenable. But it is never worse than playing some manner of enforced mini-game just to make the character I already created in my mind resemble itself. Do I dislike the 'aspect of the character creation process' which the point buy system brings? Yes. In the strongest possible terms. I loathe it; it's like taking someone else's mold and stamping it right onto the face of my forming character. It isn't character creation at all - it's a fight to keep control of your character. Everything negative you seem to feel about the effect of dice on your character, I feel at least as strongly about the point buy system.

If there's something wrong with forcing someone to play a weaker character because the dice said so, there's also something wrong with forcing a pre-calculated standardized power level on them just so that somebody at the table doesn't get all sad because they can't be the best one there. You aren't a better roleplayer because you play a weak character, but you are a better roleplayer because you can play a weak character. I've played the strongest characters in a group; I've played the ones in between, and I've even sometimes played the weakest characters.

For three years my favorite character couldn't even kill an opponent of his own level he was so broken. It didn't make me somehow 'better', but it didn't make me incapable of enjoying the character either. The problem with some people is they can't live with the consequences of their own choices, or even sometimes things which aren't their choices. So a character is weaker than someone else in the party. So what? If all the player liked about them was their power level, I'm sorry.

I'll gladly take a low stat roll to avoid a point buy system. If the character I was going to play won't work with those stats, I can always make them later. A character exists out there somewhere for every possible stat combination, and I can use them instead.

Maybe I have some repressed feelings about the point buy system after all...

--=-=--

See? That's a rant :smallsmile:

I don't want to make it seem like I'm angry at you - I'm not. You vented your feelings about rolling, so I decided to vent mine about point buy. I really, really don't like the point buy system. I'm not even all that attached to rolling stats, but it just clashes with me to hear someone say it hurts character creation to use rolled stats, and that point buy is the best way to realize a character. Maybe for you it is, I suppose. It never will be for me.

TheOOB
2012-07-29, 08:06 PM
Your point is mathematically sound except for one thing; it isn't proving that it's in the interest of an NPC to use a more random method. NPCs aren't all the limbs of a great beast out to get the PCs - it isn't The World vs The Party. The point you're proving is that since the DM can throw countless monsters at the PCs and only needs to win once, the more random method favors the DM in the long run, as the DM can lose countless times and only needs to win once, while the inverse is true of the PC.

Personally, I believe that an NPC and a PC aren't inherently different at all, except that one of them is played by the DM and likely to be integrated into the plot. They're still people, and they still (presumably) want to make it through the fight alive just as much as the PCs do.

That's an argument I fundamentally disagree with, but I admit it's a fair and good argument. While verisimilitude is great, I see the PC's as being something different from the PC's. The PC's are like the main characters of a movie, the plot revolves around them, even if it doesn't seem that way. As a DM it's my job to provide them with challenges to overcome, and in D&D this usually takes the form of combat. Just as having a main character die to a mook in the first act of a movie can ruin the plot, I try not to kill my characters all the time. I give them difficult, but fair challenges until they reach the end of the story arc, where I ramp up the difficulty, forcing them to use everything they've learned up and to this point.

If I'm going to kill a player, I'd prefer to do it at the end of an act or a story arc. Sure sometimes players die other times, the dice sometimes don't fall their way, but I save the real hard stuff for when it's dramatically appropriate. I see NPC's as a vehicle to drive the plot forward.


If I follow you correctly and I think I am, you are saying that because there is greater chance of getting a 12 on a d12 rather than a 12 on 2d6, then it is somehow unfair. Nevermind the fact that it is the same ratio of rolling a 1 on a d12 and damn near impossible to roll a 1 on 2d6.

You don't follow me correctly, and you obviously should study dice theory a little before talking about it.

Lets do a little example. We'll ignore strength mods for the time being. Lets say you can kill an orc in 3 turns. We'll assume every attack hits(no crits), and you go first. That means in order for the orc to win, they have to kill you in 2 attacks. Say you have 24 hp.

With a great axe they have a 1/12 chance of rolling a 12, and thus have a 1/144 chance of killing you. With a greatsword they have a 1/36 chance of rolling 12, and thus a 1/1296 of killing you.

Another scenerio, this time on the other end. Same example, you're heavily injured, and only have a few hp left, and you need to kill a kobald before they kill you. You have 2 attacks to deal 3 damage to them before they kill you(assume all attacks hit, no crit). With a greatsword you have a 1/36 chance of failing to kill them with one hit, and will guaranteed kill them in 2 hits. With a great axe you have a 1/6 chance of failing to kill them in one hit, and a 1/144 chance of failing to kill them in two.

The high random factor of a greataxe favors an NPC because it doesn't really matter if they lose, as there is always more NPC's.

Knaight
2012-07-29, 08:10 PM
In my group, we have the whole idea of "Live by the dice, die by the dice." I know it is not a popular one. But it's not uncommon for someone to get mortally wounded and either be incapacitated or even killed.
You're conflating character creation, probability, and combat. As such, this is incoherent.



If I follow you correctly and I think I am, you are saying that because there is greater chance of getting a 12 on a d12 rather than a 12 on 2d6, then it is somehow unfair. Nevermind the fact that it is the same ratio of rolling a 1 on a d12 and damn near impossible to roll a 1 on 2d6.

It has nothing to do with fairness, and everything to do with predictability. To take a different example - we have two numbers, N and M. M is greater than N by some degree. Now, add a random element, R. If the effect of the random element is 0, M+R is always greater than N+R. As R increases, M and N become increasingly irrelevant. In practice, look at it form a die perspective, setting R to various dice, N to 1, and M to 4. N+1d4 can at best equal M+1d4. N+1d6 can beat M+1d6, but it is uncommon. N+1d100 is practically even with M+1d100. Randomness favors N, objectively, and fairness has absolutely nothing to do with it.


Do I dislike the 'aspect of the character creation process' which the point buy system brings? Yes. In the strongest possible terms. I loathe it; it's like taking someone else's mold and stamping it right onto the face of my forming character. It isn't character creation at all - it's a fight to keep control of your character. Everything negative you seem to feel about the effect of dice on your character, I feel at least as strongly about the point buy system.
Out of curiosity, how is it not taking someone else's mold when you pick classes, or assign skill points, or take feats, or put rolls in order? Point buy represents a large collection of potential arrays, one of which is selected - it just isn't presented this way, as that would be a highly inefficient method of presentation involving page after page of arrays. You're fitting this aspect into one of these boxes, but at least it is a comparatively minor aspect, and there are a lot of boxes (far more than with a set of rolls). Classes, meanwhile, are the same thing cranked up to eleven. You're trying to fit a much larger aspect of the character into a single box, and to top it off you've got relatively fewer options to choose with. Multiclassing helps to some extent, but given that most combinations don't work it is pretty minimal.

I just don't see how people can object to using point buy on account of how it involves fitting a character in a particular box, and yet consider classes acceptable. The system all comes down to approximate boxes in the end, and an objection with that really seems like it should either be generalized or aimed at the most constricting boxes - classes.

Kane0
2012-07-29, 08:14 PM
I don't hate it, I just dislike it.

Mostly because back in AD&D you rolled characters like that, and you rolled characters a lot. In the more recent editions I want to have one character that I like rather than the challenge of making do with a character I rolled. Sometimes its fun to roll the stats and decide from there but most of the time rolling for stats is not helpful for giving a character concept a chance in the game.

DementedFellow
2012-07-29, 08:14 PM
So you say because the chance is greater to hit 24 in two hits it favors them more.

What about the chances for hitting twice for 2 damage total being the same likelihood and how the lowest you could roll with the other weapon in two swings is 4 damage?

See that's why I think you are reaching. You are concentrating on one end of the spectrum while totally disregarding the other end of the spectrum which has an equal chance of occurring.

Water_Bear
2012-07-29, 08:21 PM
For the record it wasn't a personal attack. It was a statement. It if you are going to bemoan the percentages of rolling max damage and taking a hit from an NPC, then maybe a combat oriented game isn't your deal. And there is nothing wrong with that. Heck, I prefer Call of Cthulhu to D&D any day.

In my group, we have the whole idea of "Live by the dice, die by the dice." I know it is not a popular one. But it's not uncommon for someone to get mortally wounded and either be incapacitated or even killed.

The idea that fights should be a breeze and shouldn't drain the party's resources is one that hurts the verisimilitude of the setting. If the CR for the encounter is too low, then why are the bandits who are raiding trade caravans such a problem that the king needs help? If the dragon has a glass jaw then it makes the entire story arc unsatisfying.

"I'm not making a personal attack, but you're just a wimp who wants breezy fights against glass jawed enemies."

I'm just going to throw down a rant here, seeing as we're talking about play-styles and the lethality of combat in our games.

I am a by-the-book DM. I have never fudged a die roll, not even once, in my entire time behind the DM screen. I have a visceral hatred for homebrew, and cringe at most re-fluffing. I make my players keep track of the encumberance of every gold piece. I make stat-blocks for all the important NPCs in advance, just in case the PCs decide to start a fight with them.

This means I am also a 'killer DM'. I throw Save or Die spells at PCs, enemies will Coup-de-Grace when logically appropriate and the average encounter is CR+4 (I like to level my PCs up quickly and usually only have one major combat per session). The party has to work like a well-oiled machine or they will get chewed up and spit out by prepared groups of professional soldiers, much less spell-casting BBEGs.

Because the game can be highly lethal, I always ensure the players have a Tier-based Point Buy when they make their character. A player without enough statistical knowledge or an inferior ability to optimize is a liability to their entire party, and to the fun of the campaign itself. Fun doesn't come out of nowhere; it takes a lot of system knowledge and a fair bit of work to make a D&D game consistently engaging and challenging.

The idea that only a munchkin who hates the idea of their precious character dying would care about the statistics behind the game, or practice basic optimization is preposterous. It is the essence of the Stormwind fallacy and an excuse for inept players or DMs not to learn the basic math behind the game.

Sorry to go off on you, but it is really reductive and insulting to imply that Optimization is for little kids who can't stand risk.

Menteith
2012-07-29, 08:30 PM
It's like trying to draw a picture, but you have a limited selection of each color, and they all have to balance out in the end. Does that 'help' you create your picture?

To continue the analogy, I would rather work from a limited selection of paints that I select than have a series of paints randomly given to me. Because even with a limited selection, I know enough to paint my picture from the paints that I've selected - and I generally plan my paintings based on what I can find at most art studios. It's only when I plan out my paintings, only to have someone shove a random handful of paints at me and say "Paint your picture" that I start to have problems.

I honestly don't see a huge difference between selecting the stats that you want, and using a high point buy. It sounds like in every instance you used a PB, you didn't have enough stats to actually make the character you wanted - in your experience, what's a "typical" stat array for you characters?

Character strength and roleplaying ability are entirely unrelated in my experience. A player uninterested in RP isn't going to be good at it whether they're running a Druid with a Fleshraker AC and Greenbound Summoning, or whether they're a Fighter with Toughnessx4. Likewise, a good RPer is going to be good at it playing a powerful or weak character - there is literally no relation between the two concepts. You aren't a better roleplayer for playing a weak character, and you aren't a better roleplayer for playing a strong one. I've played across a wide spectrum of power levels myself - but always by my choice, and I don't force other players to be weaker.

If you don't have a problem playing a nonfunctional character, that's fine for you. But from what I've seen, it absolutely sucks to be a hanger on for a party, and most players will hate it to spend years playing a character who is so utterly broken. It's not that they only like a character for their power level, but a character's pointlessness can easily derail a character concept - as the classic example, a player wants to play an unarmed enlightened master, so they make a VoP Monk. Then they realize that they aren't actually able to mechanically express what they wanted to make, due to a failing in the system. Rolling for stats can cause this entirely at random - if you don't see a problem with this, then I'm confused....


I'll gladly take a low stat roll to avoid a point buy system. If the character I was going to play won't work with those stats, I can always make them later. A character exists out there somewhere for every possible stat combination, and I can use them instead.

I still don't understand this. You'd rather play a worse stat character, one who's stats don't fit your idea, rather than make the closest approximation via point buy and still play them? Does a +/-1 to a few skill checks seriously prevent you from ever representing your idea?

Everything you've said negatively about point buy has been about how it stops you from actually making your character because it forces you to compromise on what your character's identity is, when a higher point buy seems like it would solve literally solve every one of your issues. Rolling is a problem for me, because unless I've got a good deal of time, and a high number of rerolls, it's possible that I'll never get an array that works - and in most cases, you don't get infinite rerolls.

DementedFellow
2012-07-29, 08:44 PM
"I'm not making a personal attack, but you're just a wimp who wants breezy fights against glass jawed enemies."

Is that what I sound like? Wow guys, I must sound like a real prick. I'm bowing out of this before I come out looking like more of a buttmunch.

My apologies to those I offended. Just act like I wasn't here.

Siosilvar
2012-07-29, 08:52 PM
So you say because the chance is greater to hit 24 in two hits it favors them more.

What about the chances for hitting twice for 2 damage total being the same likelihood and how the lowest you could roll with the other weapon in two swings is 4 damage?

See that's why I think you are reaching. You are concentrating on one end of the spectrum while totally disregarding the other end of the spectrum which has an equal chance of occurring.

The other end of the spectrum doesn't matter that much. If the PCs take 2 points of damage in an encounter, they ignore it and move on. If the PCs take 24 damage, they die and have to start over. Making this more predictable means that both happen less, but since the first doesn't have an impact on the PCs (more or less), only the second result (and the middle, where they take damage they have to heal) really matters.



I'd add something to the actual topic of the thread, but the only arguments I've heard against rolling stats got brought up on the first page, and I have no real preference one way or another for a game (for a build, though, I'll use 32 point buy as a baseline for comparison).

navar100
2012-07-29, 11:29 PM
Having a high stat is always a good thing, but having a 16 and a 14, instead of an 18 and a 8, can be optimal for a character. I don't need to have a perfect character to play with - while certain SAD classes can get away with an 18 on a 32PB, most of the classes I enjoy playing (I'm a sucker for bad classes) really don't function by doing that. While I don't use the 32PB system precisely when I'm a DM, it's generally what I expect when I get into a PbP game, and unless someone gives me a reason to deviate, it's generally what my players expect form me. I don't have a problem making any concept work, if I can count on a 32PB to work from - I can't count on making my concepts work off a random system. I'll try and sum up my feelings here, just so we can stop quoting sections of each others posts.


Which brings me back to an earlier point I made. If I want an 18, I shouldn't be "punished" for it which Point Buy inherently does. Warriors/MAD classes are better off with 16 & 14 than 18 & 8, buy why should they be effectively barred from having an 18 because they must suffer that 8. Non-Paladins put the 8 in Charisma and play the typical warrior boor. Paladins must choose to put it in IN and suffer lack of skills or DX and suffer AC and initiative problems. I know, an 8 is not a tragedy to be avoided, but neither is an 18 a cheat to be compensated. Even in the choose from a set of arrays option, you will not see one with an 18 that doesn't also have an 8. I don't object to having an 8; I object to being forced to have it.

Menteith
2012-07-29, 11:39 PM
Which brings me back to an earlier point I made. If I want an 18, I shouldn't be "punished" for it which Point Buy inherently does. Warriors/MAD classes are better off with 16 & 14 than 18 & 8, buy why should they be effectively barred from having an 18 because they must suffer that 8. Non-Paladins put the 8 in Charisma and play the typical warrior boor. Paladins must choose to put it in IN and suffer lack of skills or DX and suffer AC and initiative problems. I know, an 8 is not a tragedy to be avoided, but neither is an 18 a cheat to be compensated. Even in the choose from a set of arrays option, you will not see one with an 18 that doesn't also have an 8. I don't object to having an 8; I object to being forced to have it.

That's a fair point, and you're absolutely correct. I see SAD classes as incredibly poorly designed, and given that most of my groups trend toward MAD classes anyway, I think that I might just switch over to a 1 to 1 stat buy system in the future. The amount of points put into an attribute should be compensatory with the benefit that attribute provides. So yeah, you're right.

Seerow
2012-07-30, 12:14 AM
Which brings me back to an earlier point I made. If I want an 18, I shouldn't be "punished" for it which Point Buy inherently does. Warriors/MAD classes are better off with 16 & 14 than 18 & 8, buy why should they be effectively barred from having an 18 because they must suffer that 8. Non-Paladins put the 8 in Charisma and play the typical warrior boor. Paladins must choose to put it in IN and suffer lack of skills or DX and suffer AC and initiative problems. I know, an 8 is not a tragedy to be avoided, but neither is an 18 a cheat to be compensated. Even in the choose from a set of arrays option, you will not see one with an 18 that doesn't also have an 8. I don't object to having an 8; I object to being forced to have it.

Tell me, if you need an 18 to feel like your character is any good, how is rolling any better? Under most rolling systems you aren't guaranteed to get an 18 by an measure, and many arrays you roll with an 18 will have pretty meh other stats.

A 28 point buy is equivalent to the average 4d6 drop lowest roll. If you want more powerful characters with better stats, you can bump the point buy up higher. You want everyone to have an 18 with other stats good? Give them a higher point buy, just like you can give a better rolling scheme to make PCs have higher average stats.

What point buy does is make sure that everyone at the table is on the same level playing field. Because what does suck is when you have one player with an array that is effectively a 50 point buy, and another that is barely a 20 point buy. This isn't fun for the guy who rolled poorly. Especially if that guy who rolled poorly wanted to play something other than a primary caster. (This is why I like the Matrix method described up thread for campaigns that do used rolled stats, so that doesn't happen)


You ask why a character should be punished for having an 18? The answer is because it is intended to encourage diversity. You are expected to spread out your attributes. Because when you roll the dice, chance are you don't roll 18, 18, 18, 8, 8, 8. (30 point buy with no cost scaling) You roll a bunch of other values in the middle. The point buy was designed to create arrays that are similar to what you would get in rolling. When your choice is between "Increase 16 to 18" and "Increase 8 to 10" that's a no brainer, your primary stat is always better for you. When it's instead "Increase 16 to 18" vs "Increase 8 to 14" that's a harder call, and will depend on the character concept. So you don't always see character with a couple maxed stats and a bunch of dump stats. This isn't a flaw of the system, it's a feature.

Mnemnosyne
2012-07-30, 12:17 AM
To address the original topic of the thread:

It's almost totally dependent on whether I have a character I want to build beforehand or not. The worst is a lot of Play by Post DM's who want you to apply with a character concept and description, THEN roll stats only after being accepted. ...how can I do that!? How can I possibly know what my character is good at or bad at without knowing their stats? And if I don't know what my character's natural capabilities are, how can I write their background?

If I come to a game with a specific character idea that I want to build, I want to be able to build that character. Rolling stats will sometimes give me numbers that are unsuitable for the character I want to build.

On the other hand, if I come to a game without a character concept in mind, I actually don't mind rolling stats that much. Rolling those stats may help me figure out my character concept.

Response to later discussion may be forthcoming...

Exediron
2012-07-30, 12:32 AM
If I'm going to kill a player, I'd prefer to do it at the end of an act or a story arc. Sure sometimes players die other times, the dice sometimes don't fall their way, but I save the real hard stuff for when it's dramatically appropriate. I see NPC's as a vehicle to drive the plot forward.

That's certainly a perfectly valid method of storytelling, and I admit that there are some very unusual factors in my main game which cause me to follow it less than I otherwise would. Certainly, I do view some NPCs as disposable vehicles to drive the plot; if the PCs are holding a bridge action against a couple hundred Terrorsworn elite soldiers, the soldiers are nothing but blocks of statistics to me, expected to be killed by the PCs and perhaps to kill one or two of them to foster a feeling of danger.

Another factor is that due to the very small number of players, every player in my campaign plays more than one character, often a lot more. Therefore the loss of a single character is much less damaging to that player and to the plot as a whole, unless it happens to be one of the characters who drive the plot. And I've managed to maneuver most of those characters into being pretty hard to kill by this point. Actually, at this point the villains drive the plot all on their own (the multiverse is in imminent danger of being destroyed and remade in their image), so it's a moot point.

However, for more major NPCs I differ dramatically from you. I view them as my characters, albeit of less priority than the PCs. Yes, I am one of those dreaded DMs who employ the eldritch and feared DMPCs, and in vast numbers! Bwah-hah-harg! Do you blanch at the horror before you, mortals? Anyway, luckily for me nobody in my group complains. Partly because of the afore mentioned shortness of players, partly because we rotate DM shifts in the same world and all play characters in our own campaigns anyway. It's good practice, actually - playing a character in your own campaign is unbeatable practice for learning not to use player knowledge.


I just don't see how people can object to using point buy on account of how it involves fitting a character in a particular box, and yet consider classes acceptable. The system all comes down to approximate boxes in the end, and an objection with that really seems like it should either be generalized or aimed at the most constricting boxes - classes.

Well, if you read my above posts carefully you'll notice that I mention a preference for a completely abstracted class system, and prefer classes as broad and vague as possible to avoid having my class define my character. So basically, the answer is that point buy is avoidable in D&D and classes aren't.


To continue the analogy, I would rather work from a limited selection of paints that I select than have a series of paints randomly given to me. Because even with a limited selection, I know enough to paint my picture from the paints that I've selected - and I generally plan my paintings based on what I can find at most art studios. It's only when I plan out my paintings, only to have someone shove a random handful of paints at me and say "Paint your picture" that I start to have problems.

It's starting to seem to me like a major issue you have with rolled stats is that you've always experienced them without re-rolls, or perhaps believe that this is how they're always employed. A more accurate analogy would be a choice between having a limited selection of total paint volume which you could divide between the correct paints, or being given a few different random volumes to pick from which you could still assign to the paints of your choice. I have a hard time believing you couldn't still make the picture you had in mind that way.

However, if you imagined your painting as having very dominant black, white and green colors and instead had to tone those down while raising the rest, it wouldn't be quite what you had in mind either, would it?


I honestly don't see a huge difference between selecting the stats that you want, and using a high point buy. It sounds like in every instance you used a PB, you didn't have enough stats to actually make the character you wanted - in your experience, what's a "typical" stat array for you characters?

No, clearly you don't; and for you, there probably isn't any. I'll take another stab at explaining my issue with it.

The actual experience, the act, of buying out stats for a set value from a table - whatever the maximum - is to me extremely un-conducive to an enjoyable character creation. I think the point buy system feels cheesy, artificial and contrived. It imposes mechanic control on something which I'd prefer to keep it away from. If you aren't willing to have your characters power decided by the randomness of the dice, why are you so willing to have it decided by the DM?

As to a typical stat array for a character of mine, that's very hard to say. I typically play characters at such a high level in our main D&D game that any comparison to ordinary starting abilities is almost meaningless. I can give some examples of the fictional variety, however.

Concept: Hard-hitting fighter who survives by avoiding blows and out-thinking her opponents.

STR: 18 - the core ability of the concept; hard-hitting means a high strength.
DEX: 15 - good enough to get some dexterity feats and avoid a few hits.
CON: 9 to 11 - there's probably a reason she fights by avoiding blows, although it might just be common sense.
INT: 15 - out-thinking your opponents means a high int.
WIS: Concept irrelevant, probably 10-12
CHA: Concept irrelevant, determined by my mental image and idea of how she acts

Concept: Handsome and dangerous elven ranger who is a veteran of a recent civil war; now uses the guerrilla tactics and brutality he learned to punish the victors from the shadows. Uses both melee and ranged weapons skillfully.

STR: 15 or 16 - melee is supposed to be secondary, but a viable option.
DEX: 17 or 18 (19 or 20) - deadly accurate and strikes from the shadows, both of which are dexterity based.
CON: 12 to 14 (10 to 12) - not supposed to be particularly tough, but shouldn't be actively weak either; he did live through a war.
INT: 13 or 14 - quite intelligent, skilled at unconventional warfare and possible explosives if the world allows, but it's all practical knowledge and no theory.
WIS: Average or slightly below. I don't see him as the spellcasting sort, and he probably wouldn't be engaged in such a doomed quest if he was capable of better self-examination and reflection.
CHA: Slightly below average. He's handsome, but his manner is harsh and standoffish and he has deep troubles interacting with others due to the horrors he witnessed during the war.

Concept: Desperate thief who has been given a second chance by the law in return for completing one task for them.

STR: 13 - I don't see him as much of a fighter, but I do see him as climbing on rooftops and through windows.
DEX: 14 to 16 - I only see him as a moderately proficient sneaksman; it's his brain and expertise with traps they want him for, and if he was really great at hiding they wouldn't have caught him.
CON: Concept irrelevant, but probably not very high. A city man who survives by guile and stealth wouldn't have any reason to be particularly tough, and a tougher man might have gone for a line of more open combat.
INT: 18 - he's the best the city could find to do their job. If he didn't have an 18, someone else in the city would have.
WIS: Low. Thievery isn't a life for the wise, and he got caught, implying an unwise heist. Also, he took their offer - these things always end badly.
CHA: 16 - high enough to talk his way out of a lot of scrapes, and high enough to attract their interest when they saw him at court.
Basically, my general idea of a stat hierarchy is as follows (referring only to starting abilities):

Less than 5: Only for use in creating flaws. Examples would include making a character who had to have made a foolish mistake in their backstory lack common sense, or to make a character who was ostracized very unappealing.
6 to 9: General areas of significant weakness.
10 to 12: Average. Areas at which the character neither excels nor displays prominent insufficiency.
13 to 15: Strong points of the character, but lesser ones - generally, strong points which are only tangential to their actual operation.
16 to 17: Strong points which are important to the operation of the concept.
18: The primary ability or abilities of the concept - the abilities which the character is supposed to be outstanding at. Sometimes, a character will have none of these.

The last time I played an actual first level character I selected the stats for myself was a very long time ago. I only play characters that low level in other people's games, and then I don't usually get to.


Character strength and roleplaying ability are entirely unrelated in my experience.

Since that's exactly what I was trying to say, I'm going to assume you're agreeing with me instead of arguing with me. My point was that a good roleplayer can play any stat roll, not that they would want to for some reason, or that doing so makes them one. It sounds to me like you think so to, so lets move on.


Rolling for stats can cause this entirely at random - if you don't see a problem with this, then I'm confused....

I do see a problem with it. That's why you re-roll if it happens. If that same player was given a point buy which couldn't pay for the character he wanted, he'd be out of options.


I still don't understand this. You'd rather play a worse stat character, one who's stats don't fit your idea, rather than make the closest approximation via point buy and still play them? Does a +/-1 to a few skill checks seriously prevent you from ever representing your idea?

I think you're just being stubborn here. It's a closest approximation either way you go, it's just that in one of them how close it is was randomly determined. I dislike using the point buy system enough that I'm willing to have the approximation be a little bit worse sometimes (although the other side is that it might be better) to avoid it.

As to your last comment, I think that's just insulting and not really relevant. I prefer to ignore it so that I can keep this civil. No.


Everything you've said negatively about point buy has been about how it stops you from actually making your character because it forces you to compromise on what your character's identity is, when a higher point buy seems like it would solve literally solve every one of your issues. Rolling is a problem for me, because unless I've got a good deal of time, and a high number of rerolls, it's possible that I'll never get an array that works - and in most cases, you don't get infinite rerolls.

Actually, no - some of it has been about how I hate the feel of the point buy system itself, and that isn't fixed by using a different point buy system.

How often do you rush your character generation so much that you don't have time to roll for stats a few times? You don't need anything like infinite re-rolls to match a 32P buy, and a 40P can usually be equaled in a reasonably small number.


That's a fair point, and you're absolutely correct. I see SAD classes as incredibly poorly designed, and given that most of my groups trend toward MAD classes anyway, I think that I might just switch over to a 1 to 1 stat buy system in the future. The amount of points put into an attribute should be compensatory with the benefit that attribute provides. So yeah, you're right.

That's what I've been saying all along, for cryin' out loud! A 1 for 1 is better than a point buy! Why are you suddenly agreeing with him?

Menteith
2012-07-30, 12:34 AM
That's what I've been saying all along, for cryin' out loud! A 1 for 1 is better than a point buy! Why are you suddenly agreeing with him?

Oh, it's both of you. I'm agreeing with both of you - my only caveat is that in a system with SAD characters, I think that a PB system makes more sense. I'm heading to bed now, or I'd address your points more thoroughly.

Knaight
2012-07-30, 12:40 AM
That's what I've been saying all along, for cryin' out loud! A 1 for 1 is better than a point buy! Why are you suddenly agreeing with him?

A 1 for 1 is a point buy system, it just isn't the standard D&D point buy system.

elizasteave
2012-07-30, 01:13 AM
It just completely depend upon the person. Some people like rolling stats and some don't. The only thing is that how do we see it for ourselves. I completely agree with Mnemnosyne. Its totally true that whenever a person will come up with a definite character that he wants to build, then rolling stats can be a problem, but on the other hand if the person come up without a character, then rolling stats can give up an idea to him.

Exediron
2012-07-30, 01:49 AM
A 1 for 1 is a point buy system, it just isn't the standard D&D point buy system.

Uh, no? It's a stat distribution system, but a point buy system is where different stats have different values, thus necessitating buying higher stats at a higher cost. No buying occurs in a 1 for 1 system.

Krazzman
2012-07-30, 07:07 AM
Uh, no? It's a stat distribution system, but a point buy system is where different stats have different values, thus necessitating buying higher stats at a higher cost. No buying occurs in a 1 for 1 system.

Hmm yes it is? Or at least I think you mean something like you have 75 points all starting with 0. While we think about something like 30 points everything starts on an 8.

And yes if I word it like this BOTH 1to1 systems are in fact a sort of Point Buy.
In the First example the cost of getting a 16 is... 16 points. In the second one it is a cost of 8 points. If you don't like the term BUYING as you somewhere mentioned in your texts then call it different for gosh's sake. Investment or Point Allocation or ZwibblidobbliŲrš.

We all agree that the Character itself is more important. But even when deciding at the start of the creation what to play the dice can either screw you so hard you gonna think they are weighted or suddenly have the wet dream of every superhuman fanboy(those in control in germany around the 1930's) and McCrippleston the Degenerated in one and the same group.

Keep in mind that I do try not to insult any minorities but rolling is an old and inferior method of character generation for something that's more than a one-shot.

As I said in my previous post: I have had quite a bunch of "cripple"-characters that were not really worth mentioning. The two only races I could play were either Human or Halfling. Halfling since it could at least help me make the 3 I could only put in DEX to a 5.

And other situations where we had to take specific roles or had two or three guys with the same role... we had one one-shot where the wizard was better in everything than our melee"brute", the fighter. He had a 16 2 14 rest <13. While the Wizard was Stronger, had more dex, was tougher, had an equal wisdom and was as charismatic as the sorcerer who had similar rolls as our "brute". And yes having a warrior-type on level 3 with less HP than the Wizard with his Toad Familiar... it was pretty laughable. Sometimes I wished we would have done my way of stat-generation or simple Point Buy but well... that's over anyway.

And please no more off-topic spamming about why you hate PB, I think after 6 pages and about 3 of them about why PB sucks instead of rolling are enough.

Hope my examples are good enough so you can actually follow my intend of why I hate rolling for stats (the topic of this thread) and it is clear that I don't want to "bash" your opinion or say your playstyle is inferior to mine and I really can understand your point and think your distribution of abilities is unique and interesting but as our DM's just seem to not be able to introduce it. Be it either because some guys cheat or can come up with really really many reasons why the should have an 18 in str, dex, con and int, while someone generates this in a moderate way like you have shown us. Or it is harder to explain to newbies.

Man on Fire
2012-07-30, 11:14 AM
I preffer rolled stats, I never liked enforced streotypes of dumb meele classes and wizards not being good at anything not involving using Int or magic. When I roll six stats ranging from 12 to 15, it just makes character that feels more like hero from many stories.

Terazul
2012-07-30, 03:06 PM
I preffer rolled stats, I never liked enforced streotypes of dumb meele classes and wizards not being good at anything not involving using Int or magic. When I roll six stats ranging from 12 to 15, it just makes character that feels more like hero from many stories.

I... how... What does that have to do with rolled stats at all, and how does point buy somehow enforce stereotypes? If anything it gives you the freedom to set your array however you want. :smallconfused:

Exediron
2012-07-30, 03:11 PM
And please no more off-topic spamming about why you hate PB, I think after 6 pages and about 3 of them about why PB sucks instead of rolling are enough.

I'm sorry that it seems that way; I was trying to work in enough pro-rolling arguments to stay relevant. I'll just respond to your post and then I'll bow out of this thread.


BOTH 1to1 systems are in fact a sort of Point Buy...

No. Not in the way I mean, at least. It's not that I have some sort of arbitrary issue with the word 'buy', and calling it something else doesn't change what it is. I'll try to explain:

In a point buy system, the jump from one sequential stat to another is not constant. The cost to go from X to X+1 increases as the value of X increases.

In a pool or stat distribution system - such as a 1 for 1 system - the cost to go from one stat to the next in sequence is always the same, usually 1. You allocate points however you see fit, without buying higher values for more points.

If you still don't know what I mean or insist on saying there is no difference, I give up.


Hope my examples are good enough so you can actually follow my intend of why I hate rolling for stats (the topic of this thread)...

Yes. I follow your intent and argument quite clearly - it's the same one most people have against rolled stats. I just don't agree with it.

--=-=--

If we're restricting ourselves to the original point of the thread, then I would say that the thread is finished. By now it must be quite clear to the original poster why many players hate (or simply dislike) rolled stats.

kyoryu
2012-07-30, 03:19 PM
In a point buy system, the jump from one sequential stat to another is not constant. The cost to go from X to X+1 increases as the value of X increases.

In a pool or stat distribution system - such as a 1 for 1 system - the cost to go from one stat to the next in sequence is always the same, usually 1. You allocate points however you see fit, without buying higher values for more points.

I think you're splitting hairs. Both point buy and pool systems require you to allocate a fixed amount of resources into your statistics. The fact that points have a set cost in a "pool" system, and *often* have an increasing cost in a "point buy" system is very minor, and has only a modest effect on the overall system, provided that the rest of the system compensates for the fact that a flat cost per point results in, typically, a wider spread of abilities than an escalating cost would.

As an example, consider a "pool" system with the following modifiers:
0: +0
1: +1
2: +1
3: +2
4: +2
5: +2
6: +3

Now, compare that to a system with the following levels, modifiers, and costs:
0: 0 pts, +0
1: 1 pt, +1
2: 3 pts, +2
3: 6 pts, +3

These systems are effectively the same. Getting a +3 modifier costs you 6 points in either one. Getting a +2 costs you 3 points.

What's potentially *more* interesting is whether or not the points used to buy stats are fungible with the points used to buy skills/abilities/equipment/etc.

MukkTB
2012-07-30, 03:20 PM
Just for ****s and giggles I went ahead and rolled two characters up using random numbers. 3D6 in order and 4D6B3 in order. I rolled once and took the first set. Letís flesh them out.


3D6 - Str 10 Dex 12 Con 16 Int 15 Wis 9 Cha 10
I consider this an exceptionally decent set for 3D6 to produce. No serious flaws. If I had to quibble about anything it would be that Con is a defensive stat. You NEED it to be a bit higher than normal to survive but on its own it doesnít make an adventurer. Thatís what the intelligence is for. To be honest I would prefer a 12 Con and a 16 Dex but this is what we have to work with.
So I see 3 options I could follow. The first two are variations on a travelling scholar. A wizard would be easy and pretty straightforward. A rogue would fill the same kind of character role using his int and skills to be knowledgeable while still being less powerful. But Iím going to follow the third option.

Be an Elf.
Stats are now Str 10 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 15 Wis 9 Cha 10.
Iím going to go ahead and be a Duskblade with weapon finesse and a sword and board fighting style. Iíll be middle tier, fairly survivable and unlikely to completely overshadow others who rolled poorer combinations. Yes I know sword and board kind of sucks. Yes I know I could be a great human wizard with solid Int and HP enough for a beating. Instead Iím merely a competent adventurer. The thing is that with 3D6 the rest of the guys in my party are going to struggle to even be competent.


3D6B3 - Str 9 Dex 13 Con 13 Int 13 Wis 9 Cha 14
I feel pretty vulnerable having rolled this stat set. Itís worse than the 3D6 set we just discussed. Itís very likely to be the low end of my party. Furthermore the physical stats just cannot support being in the middle of the melee for very long. Iím going to have to rely on magic to see me through. Bardic magic would let me buff the group but Iím not interested in helping other people shine when I myself suck. Sorcery is a solid option but the low levels would be hard without decent physical stats. Iíd rather trade the quadratic power gain for an easier time at the start. (My group plays from level 1 and doesnít normally make it past 8ish.) So I choose a Dread Necromancer with tomb tainted soul. Pets wonít care that I have a Str of 9 when I send them in to fight. I wonít care when they bite the dust. In the meantime I can fire off magic support enjoying the action economy that comes from running my PC and his pets. And Iíll be the healing hub of the party between fights provided I convince everyone to coordinate a non-good group with tomb tainted soul as a collective feat, which would also give me political clout within the group to make further decisions.

So in both cases I was able to make characters that fit moderately well into the group they would play with, reflect my preferences, and be competent adventurers. I didnít need godlike stats or to roll over and over again to do it. In fact letís do this one last time with a really sub-par set of roles.


3D6B3 (Rolled a bunch of times until I had no stat higher than a 13.)
Str 8 Dex 7 Con 11 Int 11 Wis 9 Cha 10
Iíd like to note that this is not a legal configuration for normal 4D6B3. A +3 total modifier is what the basic rules prescribe to. In fact the first 4D6B3 I did barely squeaks in as a legal with the minimal requirement. But assume I rolled this and the DM made me play it.

Iíll be a human ranger. Why? The chassis. It gets full BAB, decent HP in 1D8, and a good number of skill points. Iíll carry a short sword but go down the archery path. But Iíll never be a warrior. Instead Iíll pick a profession and stick my resources there. Animal handling would be good. High magic or low magic there are going to be beasts and they will need tending to. Weíre probably looking at skill focus handle animal and skill focus profession stablemaster. Use the rest of my skillpoints to support that kind of profession.
Iíll attach myself to the party in the same role as an NPC Henchmen. (Assuming the rest of the party rolled more average values on 4D6B3.) Iíll negotiate for pay from someone, say if the group had a fighter with a horse or something. Iíll avoid combat. I wonít seek out adventure, and Iíll see how long I can keep this sad -4 character alive.

If the other players complain Iíll tell them that Iím not an adventurer. Would an adventurer have a -4 stat bonus and no positive stats? I'll go along doing things that my character would find interesting. Animal breeding, talking with NPCs, avoiding danger. And when the campaign ends I'll make it clear to the DM that I won't play in the next one if I can't play a character that's as competent as everyone else. I foresee having to play this statblock when everyone else is running around with an average roll equivilant to 28 point buy would piss me off quite a lot.

Water_Bear
2012-07-30, 03:29 PM
Iíll be a human ranger. Why? The chassis. It gets full BAB, decent HP in 1D8, and a good number of skill points. Iíll carry a short sword but go down the archery path. But Iíll never be a warrior. Instead Iíll pick a profession and stick my resources there. Animal handling would be good. High magic or low magic there are going to be beasts and they will need tending to. Weíre probably looking at skill focus handle animal and skill focus profession stablemaster. Use the rest of my skillpoints to support that kind of profession.

Iíll attach myself to the party in the same role as an NPC Henchmen. (Assuming the rest of the party rolled more average values on 4D6B3.) Iíll negotiate for pay from someone, say if the group had a fighter with a horse or something. Iíll avoid combat. I wonít seek out adventure, and Iíll see how long I can keep this sad -4 character alive.

If the other players complain Iíll tell them that Iím not an adventurer. Would an adventurer have a -4 stat bonus and no positive stats? I'll go along doing things that my character would find interesting. Animal breeding, talking with NPCs, avoiding danger.

And the sad thing? If you did this and posted it on the forums, about half of the posts would congratulate you for being such an excellent role-player. Truly only a brave and artistic soul would dare to be a liability to the party to stay true to their character concept!

kyoryu
2012-07-30, 03:34 PM
Just for ****s and giggles I went ahead and rolled two characters up using random numbers. 3D6 in order and 4D6B3 in order. I rolled once and took the first set. Letís flesh them out.

... stuff ...


And what you wrote proves to me, again, that the issue is that random stat generation is pretty terrible in 3.x. I don't think many people are arguing that.

And as far as overall stat power, it's really relative to the system and the rest of the party. If everyone has middling stats, then you're probably going to do okay.

And as far as the gimpy ranger, why not play him? Either he'll die, in which case you get a new character, or he'll succeed, which will be pretty awesome if the gimpy ranger is the one that somehow manages to survive the perils you're facing... but of course, if you're playing a game which is heavily predicated on having "the plot" with "the characters" that don't ever lose/die, then again you're right - random character generation isn't particularly called for in that scenario.

Swordguy
2012-07-30, 03:35 PM
I... how... What does that have to do with rolled stats at all, and how does point buy somehow enforce stereotypes? If anything it gives you the freedom to set your array however you want. :smallconfused:

"how does point buy somehow enforce stereotypes? "

By encouraging "cookie cutter" characters (ie, sterotypes). A fighter NEEDS a high strength and con, at the least, and by the time he's bought those, there's not enough points left for high mental stats - thus the "dumb melee classes".

Essentially, the argument is that with point-buy, there is ZERO chance of a character having high stats in several things (a good warrior who is also intelligent and charismatic), while with rolled stats, there is at least a CHANCE of that happening. You may not get it, but it's not a flat impossibility.

Cainen
2012-07-30, 03:47 PM
I dislike rolled stats because they didn't really carry over to 3E very well, especially not when someone makes the mistake of assuming that since 3d6 worked in AD&D, it's going to work just fine in 3E. The two have totally different attribute setups and 3d6 is *absolutely not* what 3E is designed around.

Terazul
2012-07-30, 03:57 PM
"how does point buy somehow enforce stereotypes? "

By encouraging "cookie cutter" characters (ie, sterotypes). A fighter NEEDS a high strength and con, at the least, and by the time he's bought those, there's not enough points left for high mental stats - thus the "dumb melee classes".

Essentially, the argument is that with point-buy, there is ZERO chance of a character having high stats in several things (a good warrior who is also intelligent and charismatic), while with rolled stats, there is at least a CHANCE of that happening. You may not get it, but it's not a flat impossibility.

Except if you get good rolls you're going to dump them into the stats you need (hello there, strength and con) anyway. It's not any more an impossibility at all.

15, 12, 14, 14, 10, 14. Wear heavy armor, hit things, yell at people.

kyoryu
2012-07-30, 04:01 PM
Except if you get good rolls you're going to dump them into the stats you need (hello there, strength and con) anyway. It's not any more an impossibility at all.

15, 12, 14, 14, 10, 14. Wear heavy armor, hit things, yell at people.

Presuming that it's xd6b3, arrange as desired.

Terazul
2012-07-30, 04:02 PM
Presuming that it's xd6b3, arrange as desired.

That's 32 PB. You're welcome to keep rolling with whatever combination of rerolls, best whatevers or what have you, until you get what you want instead of just arranging it in the first place, if that floats your boat, though.

kyoryu
2012-07-30, 04:07 PM
That's 32 PB. You're welcome to keep rolling with whatever combination of rerolls, best whatevers or what have you, until you get what you want instead of just arranging it in the first place, if that floats your boat, though.

If you can just re-roll until you get what you want, there's no reason to presume that a character will have less than max stats across the board.

What do you mean by 32PB? 32 points in Point Buy?

My point is that "you'll just put the good rolls in the stats you want, making the diversification argument irrelevant" is only a valid point if you assume that you can put the randomly generated scores in whatever stats you want.

Terazul
2012-07-30, 04:16 PM
If you can just re-roll until you get what you want, there's no reason to presume that a character will have less than max stats across the board.

What do you mean by 32PB? 32 points in Point Buy?

My point is that "you'll just put the good rolls in the stats you want, making the diversification argument irrelevant" is only a valid point if you assume that you can put the randomly generated scores in whatever stats you want.

....Except that's irrelevant if the original point to which the statline was made was: "you can have a competent warrior (with good stats in strength and con because they need it) who is ALSO charismatic and intelligent with rolled stats as a possibility", then it's kind of moot as a selling point when it's completely random chance, moreso if they're taken in order when I just showed I can have exactly that without all the fuss using Point Buy. :smallconfused: So not sure what you're trying to show here except that I'm even less likely to end up with that, and may not end up with a melee warrior statline at all. Which at that point is less about diversity and more about being given something you might not even want to play.

demigodus
2012-07-30, 04:20 PM
"how does point buy somehow enforce stereotypes? "

By encouraging "cookie cutter" characters (ie, sterotypes). A fighter NEEDS a high strength and con, at the least, and by the time he's bought those, there's not enough points left for high mental stats - thus the "dumb melee classes".

Essentially, the argument is that with point-buy, there is ZERO chance of a character having high stats in several things (a good warrior who is also intelligent and charismatic), while with rolled stats, there is at least a CHANCE of that happening. You may not get it, but it's not a flat impossibility.

If your fighter can survive with rolled stats that don't give him high strength and con, he can survive with point-buy stats that don't give him high strength and con.

If he does need high scores in both to survive, yes there is some chance he will get a good enough roll to have a high strength and con, with decent mental stats. HOWEVER, there is a MUCH BIGGER chance that he will not have the prerequisite high strength and con, as well as having some horrible rolls he puts into the mental stats.

The problem here is with the class, and unless you are unusually lucky, rolling is not going to fix that problem. A higher point buy will.

I just really don't see how "small chance of a playable character, very large chance of a corpse" is considered a plus for rolled stats...

kyoryu
2012-07-30, 04:26 PM
....Except that's irrelevant if the original point to which the statline was made was: "you can have a competent warrior (with good stats in strength and con because they need it) who is ALSO charismatic and intelligent with rolled stats as a possibility", then it's kind of moot as a selling point when it's completely random chance, moreso if they're taken in order when I just showed I can have exactly that without all the fuss using Point Buy. :smallconfused: So not sure what you're trying to show here except that I'm even less likely to end up with that, and may not end up with a melee warrior statline at all. Which at that point is less about diversity and more about being given something you might not even want to play.

Yes, in this case, you could just as well buy the same suboptimal stats with Point Buy.

But let's face it - most people don't. Especially in a system as stat-dependent as 3.x (which I've said multiple times is a poor candidate for random stat generations). So random stats can act as a forcing function.

And there's a big difference between "I want to play a high charisma fighter" and "I have these stats, how do I turn them into a playable character?"

Now, granted, if you're playing a single character for the entire campaign (very typical of many modern games, less typical of old-school games), then again, random stats may not be appropriate. But for the right type of game, they can work perfectly well.

It's a different mindset. In old-school games, you didn't go in with the idea that you were entitled to everything you want. Heck, you didn't even get to choose your familiar as a magic-user. The challenge was more about using what you were given, rather than designing something "optimal".

Water_Bear
2012-07-30, 04:41 PM
It's a different mindset. In old-school games, you didn't go in with the idea that you were entitled to everything you want. Heck, you didn't even get to choose your familiar as a magic-user. The challenge was more about using what you were given, rather than designing something "optimal".

I don't get the sense of elitism where if you did something a certain way in AD&D or OD&D, that is the "real man"'s choice and 3.5 players are just whiners and munchkins.

AD&D made you roll 3d6 in order, and characters were very short lived. Okay. AD&D also had THAC0 and a bunch of other ill-advised and broken rules. One of the reasons 3.5 was made was to correct perceived flaws in AD&D, just like 4e was made to try and fix the perceived brokenness of 3.5.

Personally, if my only option in D&D was to play a game where we went through characters like tissue paper and "campaigns" were composed of a series of virtually plotless dungeon-crawls, I would play nWoD instead. Story requires characters who can survive for at least the length of a narrative arc, and without a story I don't see how you are role-playing at all.

Point Buy has been shown to reliably produce characters who can survive, it has enough room even at a 32 or 28 point buy to build a flavorful character with a wider ability spread than you could expect from rolling, and it can be adjusted by Tier (or other factors) to help game balance. If your only argument is that it makes 3.5 player less macho than old-school gamers, well, that's a poor argument.

kyoryu
2012-07-30, 04:49 PM
I don't get the sense of elitism where if you did something a certain way in AD&D or OD&D, that is the "real man"'s choice and 3.5 players are just whiners and munchkins.

Uh, no.

The two types of games are very different. One's not better than the other, and I do truly mean that. I mean, heck, I'm running Burning Wheel right now, which is pretty diametrically opposed from 1e on just about every scale. Before that I ran GURPS, which was a pure point-buy system.

What I said was that:

1) in new games, much of the challenge is about the design and optimization of your character. Much of the game is about the story that is told about your character.

2) in old-school games, the challenge was about using what was at hand to overcome obstacles.

They're just different styles and skills. Optimization is just as much of a skill as what was described for old-school games. They can both be fun, with the right set of expectations going in.


Personally, if my only option in D&D was to play a game where we went through characters like tissue paper and "campaigns" were composed of a series of virtually plotless dungeon-crawls, I would play nWoD instead. Story requires characters who can survive for at least the length of a narrative arc, and without a story I don't see how you are role-playing at all.

That's a particular definition of story, and is a fine way to play, but not the *only* way to play. Not having characters that are effectively guaranteed to survive a "narrative arc" does not mean there's no story. Heck, characters aren't guaranteed to survive anything in aSoIaF, does that mean that there's no story in those books? If anything, it creates more of a tapestry woven of the individual threads of the characters, even if the overall story is greater than any individual thread. Ned Stark may die in the first book, but that doesn't mean his actions don't echo throughout the entire saga, or that the story is 'tissue thin', or that Ned's a 'throwaway character'.

Just to be clear, I'm also *not* suggesting that games where characters are presumed to survive the entire "story" means that those somehow come up with less engaging stories, etc.


Point Buy has been shown to reliably produce characters who can survive, it has enough room even at a 32 or 28 point buy to build a flavorful character with a wider ability spread than you could expect from rolling, and it can be adjusted by Tier (or other factors) to help game balance. If your only argument is that it makes 3.5 player less macho than old-school gamers, well, that's a poor argument.

Good thing that's not an argument that I've made, then! Probably a good thing, as well, that I've noted that due to the increased importance of stats in 3.x, that it's a poor choice for use in a game where you want random rolling!

Saying "hey, a, b, and c together make a fun game" does not mean that "d, e, and f together make a bad game."

Seriously, read my post on the very, very first page of this thread.

huttj509
2012-07-30, 05:24 PM
AD&D made you roll 3d6 in order, and characters were very short lived. Okay. AD&D also had THAC0 and a bunch of other ill-advised and broken rules. One of the reasons 3.5 was made was to correct perceived flaws in AD&D, just like 4e was made to try and fix the perceived brokenness of 3.5.


The ADnD DMG had a variety of different stat rolling methods, specifically because many groups would find 3d6 in order overly restrictive.

From the ADnD 1e manual:

As AD&D is an ongoing game of fantasy adventuring, it is important to allow participants to generate a viable character of the race and profession which he or she desires. While it is possible to generate some fairly playable characters by rolling 3d6, there is often an extended period of attempts at finding a suitable one due to quirks of the dice. Furthermore, these rather marginal characters tend to have short life expectancy - which tends to discourage new players, as does having to make do with some character of a race and/or class which he or she really can't or won't identify with. Character generation, then, is a serious matter, and it is recommended that the following systems be used.

[it then lists 4 methods, 4d6 drop lowest arrange as wanted, 3d6 12 times take 6 highest, 3d6 six times for each ability keep highest of the 6 for each ability (woah), roll 3d6 in order for 12 characters, pick the set you want.]

Not saying what's "right" method, but alternatives were recommended quite early on.

That said, I personally don't mind 3d6 in order occasionally, need to know when the game's being suggested though, so I don't spend mental time planning before finding out what I can do.

TheEmerged
2012-07-30, 05:31 PM
Amusing Analogy(tm) that happened to our gaming group.

When the 4th Edition rules came out for Gamma World, one of the things that got the older players' attention was the way most stats were rolled. "This is going to be old-school cool!"

Then they rolled the characters. Suddenly only two of them wanted to play :smalltongue: I tried explaining to them the system tried to minimize this (you start with either a 20 in one stat and five rolled stats, or a 18/16 and four rolled stats), for example most everything was based on the better of a pair of attributes (melee attacks were based on STR or CON, ranged attacks on DEX or INT). But most of the players took a look at their stats and suddenly didn't want to play.

navar100
2012-07-30, 06:04 PM
Tell me, if you need an 18 to feel like your character is any good, how is rolling any better? Under most rolling systems you aren't guaranteed to get an 18 by an measure, and many arrays you roll with an 18 will have pretty meh other stats.

A 28 point buy is equivalent to the average 4d6 drop lowest roll. If you want more powerful characters with better stats, you can bump the point buy up higher. You want everyone to have an 18 with other stats good? Give them a higher point buy, just like you can give a better rolling scheme to make PCs have higher average stats.

What point buy does is make sure that everyone at the table is on the same level playing field. Because what does suck is when you have one player with an array that is effectively a 50 point buy, and another that is barely a 20 point buy. This isn't fun for the guy who rolled poorly. Especially if that guy who rolled poorly wanted to play something other than a primary caster. (This is why I like the Matrix method described up thread for campaigns that do used rolled stats, so that doesn't happen)


You ask why a character should be punished for having an 18? The answer is because it is intended to encourage diversity. You are expected to spread out your attributes. Because when you roll the dice, chance are you don't roll 18, 18, 18, 8, 8, 8. (30 point buy with no cost scaling) You roll a bunch of other values in the middle. The point buy was designed to create arrays that are similar to what you would get in rolling. When your choice is between "Increase 16 to 18" and "Increase 8 to 10" that's a no brainer, your primary stat is always better for you. When it's instead "Increase 16 to 18" vs "Increase 8 to 14" that's a harder call, and will depend on the character concept. So you don't always see character with a couple maxed stats and a bunch of dump stats. This isn't a flaw of the system, it's a feature.

I don't "need" an 18. I'm perfectly fine with starting a 1st level character without an 18. I only object to being forced to have an 8. I also object to implied munchkinism because I like to have an 18. It's not a crime against humanity for a 1st level character to have an 18 and no 8. Again, I'm not demanding such a character. It's the inherent zero sum game Point Buy forces upon you figuratively smacking your hand for the audacity of wanting a high score. It goes back to an old argument I've had even in the 2E days where some DM equated have a high stat meant bad roleplaying. It was the Stormwind Fallacy in its infancy before it was named. Back in the day there really were DMs who felt it an atrocity a 1st level PC had an 18, and this was before Point Buy was even commonly considered and it was all dice rolling.

The 27-25-23 method was designed as a compromise. The point buy factor of set numbers to subtract from cuts away the extreme good/bad luck of dice rolling. If you roll an 18, 23 - 18 = 5 is terrible, so do 27 - 18 = 9. The +2 you get at the end can get rid of that low score if you want it to. If you roll an 8, 25 - 8 = 17 so you aren't screwed by bad luck or 27 - 8 = 19 for DMs willing to allow such a score for high powered campaigns. You still get a +2 to make that 8 a 10 if it bothers you. The random factor of the dice rolls provides the variety of arrays some people like. Getting a natural 15 or 16 on a roll still gives you that thrill. 25 - 15 = 10 is for a non-essential stat you would have put there had you rolled a natural 10 anyway.

That +2 at the end is key. For those players who are really bothered by negative modifiers can get rid of it. If you have really bad luck and have two 8's by rolling or subtraction, you can get rid of one. The +2 also helps for median rolls. If you roll 14, 13, 12, 27 - 12 = 15, 25 - 14 = 11, 23 - 13 = 10, giving 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 which is boring. The +2 makes the 15 a 17 or the 14 a 16, depending on what you want. The array works best for a SAD spellcaster, in my opinion, so have that 17 for your casting stat, 14 in CON for the "adventurer's tax", and do whatever with the rest. Other people really aren't bothered by an 8 at all. They're happy to have an 18 and a 17 the +2 could give them. The +2 is a lot of flexibility to fine tune the array, then you get to add in racial modifiers. (THANK YOU Pathfinder for giving humans a +2 to any one stat!)

Knaight
2012-07-30, 06:39 PM
What I said was that:

1) in new games, much of the challenge is about the design and optimization of your character. Much of the game is about the story that is told about your character.

2) in old-school games, the challenge was about using what was at hand to overcome obstacles.
A huge number of new games don't fit that description. Design and optimization of characters is a feature of a handful of exceptionally crunchy games, such as GURPS, D&D, and HERO - most of which are newer editions of older games in any case. Design and optimization of character has absolutely no connection to using what was at hand to overcome obstacles, they don't interfere with each other at all, and that is frequently a part of modern games, though obstacles are much more likely to be social or political in nature and less likely to be some variety of trap.

This, of course, assumes that we are talking about the subset of new games where "your character" is even a valid concept.

MukkTB
2012-07-30, 09:12 PM
Random dice rolls for stats fit more into a play style where combat isn't the main focus. Where you just have fun playing the role regardless of how potent/impotent you are.

When you spend a significant part of your time playing D&D as a tactical combat simulator then its totally unfair to roll random stats. You don't sit down to a game of chess where one player has half the pieces of the other player and ignore the lack of fairness. You arrange so each player has the same number of pieces at the start and their play determines what happens.

Sucrose
2012-07-30, 09:34 PM
Random dice rolls for stats fit more into a play style where combat isn't the main focus. Where you just have fun playing the role regardless of how potent/impotent you are.

When you spend a significant part of your time playing D&D as a tactical combat simulator then its totally unfair to roll random stats. You don't sit down to a game of chess where one player has half the pieces of the other player and ignore the lack of fairness. You arrange so each player has the same number of pieces at the start and their play determines what happens.

I presume that you are including social combat, and any other situation where statistical ability might come into play, within your definition of 'combat'?

demigodus
2012-07-30, 09:44 PM
I don't "need" an 18. I'm perfectly fine with starting a 1st level character without an 18. I only object to being forced to have an 8.

28 point buy character: 18, 12, 10, 10, 10, 10

you have an 18, and no 8's. You aren't forced to have an 8, even when you start with an 18. However, if you are fine with not not having an 18, I really don't see how 28 point-buy forces you to have an 8, when your highest stat is a 16. Because it doesn't.


I also object to implied munchkinism because I like to have an 18.

There is no implied munchkinism. There is, instead a trade off; if you want something higher, something else needs to be lower. If you object to having to pay a cost for having a high stat, then the solution is to be able to arbitrarily assign your stats willy nilly. Because otherwise, there is always a cost, even with rolled ones. For example, if you put your highest rolled stat in Int, you can no longer put that roll in Con. That is a cost. Without any implied munchkinism.


It's not a crime against humanity for a 1st level character to have an 18 and no 8.

Good thing that not-a-crime-against-humanity is allowed by point buy then.


Again, I'm not demanding such a character. It's the inherent zero sum game Point Buy forces upon you figuratively smacking your hand for the audacity of wanting a high score.

Strange, I never felt this hand smack when playing with point-buy...


It goes back to an old argument I've had even in the 2E days where some DM equated have a high stat meant bad roleplaying. It was the Stormwind Fallacy in its infancy before it was named. Back in the day there really were DMs who felt it an atrocity a 1st level PC had an 18, and this was before Point Buy was even commonly considered and it was all dice rolling.

That, or you are just reading too much into a system the writers made that is fair to everyone at the table, for which the DM can arbitrarily adjust the power level before getting started. However, yes, point-buy does assume an agreement that you can't just put whatever you feel like in each stat. If you were allowed to do that, you wouldn't need a stat-gen system.


The random factor of the dice rolls provides the variety of arrays some people like.

This is the part I keep seeing and not getting. Do people really always use the exact same array when doing point-buy? Do your stats really look the same whether you are playing a SAD or a MAD class?

kyoryu
2012-07-30, 09:56 PM
A huge number of new games don't fit that description. Design and optimization of characters is a feature of a handful of exceptionally crunchy games, such as GURPS, D&D, and HERO - most of which are newer editions of older games in any case. Design and optimization of character has absolutely no connection to using what was at hand to overcome obstacles, they don't interfere with each other at all, and that is frequently a part of modern games, though obstacles are much more likely to be social or political in nature and less likely to be some variety of trap.

This, of course, assumes that we are talking about the subset of new games where "your character" is even a valid concept.

Yes, I'm very aware of those games.

Given that A) this is a D&D-centric board, B) this topic is about D&D 5e, C) this topic has mostly been about rolled stats within a D&D context, D) rolled stats is almost only ever talked about in the context of old-school D&D or its clones, I didn't really feel the need to explicitly put "D&D" in front of every single phrase.

Terazul
2012-07-30, 10:35 PM
Random dice rolls for stats fit more into a play style where combat isn't the main focus. Where you just have fun playing the role regardless of how potent/impotent you are.

What.

If I wanna sneak around and not be heard/seen, I need good dex.
If I wanna be good at seeing people sneak around, I need good wis.
If I wanna be able to convince people of things, I need good cha.
For any of these, I need good int for skill points.
And then sometimes I'm probably going to have to fight something, and need con to not die too quickly, and probably something else.
No, I don't necessarily want to have all these traits at once.

Stats are just as important in a "combat-lite" game as they are in another. Or at least they are with regards to various non-combat skills which you presumably have. You can have fun roleplaying all you want. Yes, it's important. Yes, your stats are too for these various roles, otherwise you wouldn't be playing a game that had them.

Knaight
2012-07-30, 11:32 PM
Given that A) this is a D&D-centric board, B) this topic is about D&D 5e, C) this topic has mostly been about rolled stats within a D&D context, D) rolled stats is almost only ever talked about in the context of old-school D&D or its clones, I didn't really feel the need to explicitly put "D&D" in front of every single phrase.

This being a D&D centric board only makes broad statements about new school gaming more likely to genuinely misinform, in this case portraying modern gaming as a cheap imitation of what it actually is. Moreover, as long as broad statements about all of gaming are being thrown around, the context provided by games that aren't D&D are valid, and can help people understand D&D better. On top of that, this is in the general roleplaying board, and D&D already has its own subsections, so there is really no reason to try and make this yet another D&D board.

navar100
2012-07-31, 12:04 AM
28 point buy character: 18, 12, 10, 10, 10, 10

you have an 18, and no 8's. You aren't forced to have an 8, even when you start with an 18. However, if you are fine with not not having an 18, I really don't see how 28 point-buy forces you to have an 8, when your highest stat is a 16. Because it doesn't.

Fine array, if I'm playing a spellcaster. If I want to play a warrior, it's not so hot. Paladin? Forget it. If I want to keep that 18 but raise the 12 and a 10, I'm forced to have some 8's. Otherwise, I'm forced to give up the 18 so that other needed ability scores have some oomph. Meanwhile, spellcaster gets to eat his cake of an 18 ability score and have it too by not having an 8. Point Buy cheats 3E MAD classes, i.e. the warriors. Perhaps 5E will cut down on MAD. Why 28 Point Buy? Why not 32? 36? It's almost always 28 or 25, and that hurts the warriors.

Even though I don't care for 4E, I do admit for 4E Point Buy kind of works. Classes have two primes and saving throws are based on the better of two stats. If you only care about one of your primes for your class, that can have an 18, you won't have to have an 8 at all if you choose, but your other prime isn't that good. If you prefer both primes to be as efficient as possible, you'll start with 16s in both of them if you don't want an 8, which is not terrible. Math might allow a 17 and 16 in the primes and have a 9 in a dump stat where its partner provides for the saving throw.



There is no implied munchkinism. There is, instead a trade off; if you want something higher, something else needs to be lower. If you object to having to pay a cost for having a high stat, then the solution is to be able to arbitrarily assign your stats willy nilly. Because otherwise, there is always a cost, even with rolled ones. For example, if you put your highest rolled stat in Int, you can no longer put that roll in Con. That is a cost. Without any implied munchkinism.

The implication is there when questioned why I need an 18. I know of one DM on the internet who actually does let players choose their scores willy nilly. Should I roll an 8 I'm bummed but deal with it. I've had a lot of practice with DX as my dump stat playing clerics. It is enough for me through rolling that there was a chance I wouldn't have a score below 10. That's all I need, that chance.




Strange, I never felt this hand smack when playing with point-buy...

Good for you.




That, or you are just reading too much into a system the writers made that is fair to everyone at the table, for which the DM can arbitrarily adjust the power level before getting started. However, yes, point-buy does assume an agreement that you can't just put whatever you feel like in each stat. If you were allowed to do that, you wouldn't need a stat-gen system.

Everyone being equally mediocre is fair but not necessarily a good thing.


This is the part I keep seeing and not getting. Do people really always use the exact same array when doing point-buy? Do your stats really look the same whether you are playing a SAD or a MAD class?

I've seen it. 18 in the prime, 14 in CON, 8s in CHA and one other. Paladins don't get an 18. The cleric will take 12 CON to have a decent CHA. He can always heal himself if need be.

MukkTB
2012-07-31, 12:09 AM
What

No what. Is simple. If I want to pick up some character that you haven't preconceived and play it dice rolls can be fun. For role playing you don't need to be competent. Imagine you're handed a script for a play. You're gonna be the butler. Are you gonna complain that the butler doesn't sneak very well, fails to notice obvious things, and gets caught in the end? No. You're going to have fun figuring out who the butler is. Or you're not going to enjoy performing in the play.

This is about how D&D can be played. Trying to be a bunch of hypercompetent ubermensch heroes isn't the only way to do it. You could play it as if you were a bunch of amateur actors doing your best to bring the characters you were given to life. This is about the only time that randomly generated stats can be the preferable method of character generation.

If you view D&D as a contest between players for riches and XP then you want point buy. If you view D&D as a contest between the player and the DM then you want point buy. If you view D&D as a cooperative problem solving game where the DM inserts level appropriate challenges then you want point buy.

If you view D&D as an improvisational acting session then you want random numbers. They give you a richer set of situations from which to improvise. You can play as a knight in shinning armor (high stats everywhere) or the town drunkard (nothing higher than 10). There's nothing wrong with role playing ineffective characters. Many movies, books, and TV series are populated be characters that are NOT ubermensche.

Personally I spend most of my time playing D&D from the perspective that its a game. From that perspective I draw the conclusion that a game should be 'fair.' Hence my group plays point buy. We spend a lot of time in combat. We put our efforts into finding XP and loot. We cooperate to fight level appropriate challenges.

But on occasion we have rolled stats in order with the concept that it was time to role play. Last time we did it was actually with D20. I played a college student studying biology who seemed to have a tendency to rage in combat. It was funny to roleplay all night sessions of working on a science problem and a stash of beer. (With real beer to back up my performance.) I optimized as much as I could. Then just had fun rolling the character along.

Terazul
2012-07-31, 12:20 AM
No one's saying it isn't fun. But there's nothing inherently better about it for roleplaying whatsoever. Nobody's saying that point-buy is a necessity, or that you need to be a bunch of "ubermensch heroes". Those are your words, not mine. I can play a drunkard or a knight just as fine roleplay-wise. I cooperate just fine in my games as well. I'd appreciate it if you stopped insinuating that people who prefer otherwise don't.

Augmental
2012-07-31, 12:45 AM
Fine array, if I'm playing a spellcaster. If I want to play a warrior, it's not so hot. Paladin? Forget it. If I want to keep that 18 but raise the 12 and a 10, I'm forced to have some 8's. Otherwise, I'm forced to give up the 18 so that other needed ability scores have some oomph. Meanwhile, spellcaster gets to eat his cake of an 18 ability score and have it too by not having an 8. Point Buy cheats 3E MAD classes, i.e. the warriors. Perhaps 5E will cut down on MAD. Why 28 Point Buy? Why not 32? 36? It's almost always 28 or 25, and that hurts the warriors.

Even if rolling is the only way to possibly play an MAD class without 8's and not get gimped (which I doubt), it's a lot likelier that you'll get one good stat and five bad ones, or 6 mediocre stats.

Krazzman
2012-07-31, 03:40 AM
Fine array, if I'm playing a spellcaster. If I want to play a warrior, it's not so hot. Paladin? Forget it. If I want to keep that 18 but raise the 12 and a 10, I'm forced to have some 8's. Otherwise, I'm forced to give up the 18 so that other needed ability scores have some oomph. Meanwhile, spellcaster gets to eat his cake of an 18 ability score and have it too by not having an 8. Point Buy cheats 3E MAD classes, i.e. the warriors. Perhaps 5E will cut down on MAD. Why 28 Point Buy? Why not 32? 36? It's almost always 28 or 25, and that hurts the warriors.


You know that your character can't be the aim of Zarathustra? You can't make every of your warriors the next step of Human evolution.

If you want an 18 in 3 stats you have to pay for it. Even if it is fiction you have a framework to play with. I personally played with a 40 PB group (or better said I DM'd for it). I only recently let rolls into the generating process. My GF has one point over PB, the Witch has PB due to the third row being PB and not 4d6b3 and the Rageprophet is about on the same competence level. And this framework says you can't be ‹bermensch (as someone else wrote here). I have seen builds for certain characters where it was adviced to get 18 16 16 8 8 8 (or similar) for a knight. You have to think about it this way: why would an exceptional intelligent person (aka sheldon cooper-level) work on a construction site if he could work in science or similar.

An 18 in a starting Stat means a narrow focus. Do you think Arnold, Sylvester or Dolph are dextrous? If I would stat them those 3 would range between 16 and 18 STR and about 14 to 16 Con (in their prime years). They had muscle and at least some sort of con but spending 12 Hours per day in a gym to built up muscle and a bit of endurance doesn't make you a good talker(cha)/tutor(wis)/physician(int)/tumbler(dex) or other examples. And at the start they weren't that charismatic...stallone might even have a malus to charisma due to his numb face... in the first movies of those 2 (arnold and dolph) they might have been good looking due to their training but weren't that charismatic.

While Rolling gives you a chance to have a murked character, Point Buy gives you a more rounded thing (at least for me) my Barbarian does not have to start with a 18 in strength, my other "brutes" also... my cleric does not have to start with 18 wis if i know i can get it to 19 with level 16, as someone said 15 minimum (I would probably start with a 16 due to preferences).

And now I have a question: WHY do you think you need a 18 instead of an 16 at first level? that 1 or 2 (or if crits up to 10) less damage won't hurt that much... (pun unintended) if it would Weapon Spec would be the killer of a feat choice.

Teucros
2012-07-31, 05:20 AM
It depends on the game I'm running, honestly.

For AD&D, I think rolled stats are great. 4d6 drop low, arrange to taste. It's part of the excitement. For OD&D or RC, I think 3d6 (either in-order or arrange to taste, with 2-for-1 trades) is great. For WFRP2e, rolling for everything (including your profession) is the whole point. :smallcool:

For 3e, I switched to point buy after having the superman-with-commoners thing happen one too many times. I continued to use point buy all through 3.5 and into 4e, and have not gone back.

-O

Same here.

Killer Angel
2012-07-31, 05:38 AM
No what. Is simple. If I want to pick up some character that you haven't preconceived and play it dice rolls can be fun. For role playing you don't need to be competent. Imagine you're handed a script for a play. You're gonna be the butler. Are you gonna complain that the butler doesn't sneak very well, fails to notice obvious things, and gets caught in the end? No. You're going to have fun figuring out who the butler is. Or you're not going to enjoy performing in the play.


If you play a game where you don't need stats, there's not even the need to roll them: you can play diceless.
Social skills, in D&D, are based on charisma, your cha modifier matters when you want to see if your actions obtain some result.
I'm a fan of role playing, and improvisation, and so on. But not all the peoples are the fabled silver-tongue guy that plays a part and overcomes obstacles with its wonderful speech.
You can have a moderately shy guy, with a bard character. If you don't let the effective value of its charisma, having some weight in the game, how do you handle the thing?
Stats matter, and having different characters with gaps in the global value of their stats, is not fair.

AD&D was fine with rolled stats, 3.x not so much.

Knaight
2012-07-31, 05:50 AM
No what. Is simple. If I want to pick up some character that you haven't preconceived and play it dice rolls can be fun. For role playing you don't need to be competent. Imagine you're handed a script for a play. You're gonna be the butler. Are you gonna complain that the butler doesn't sneak very well, fails to notice obvious things, and gets caught in the end? No. You're going to have fun figuring out who the butler is. Or you're not going to enjoy performing in the play.

Generally speaking, playwrights design their characters, and don't relegate that to a randomizing device. Also, the Butler is a questionably believable character if they don't have some degree of social etiquette, which means Wisdom and Charisma. If they are or are connected to the right central characters it can still work, but that doesn't change the fact that their capabilities are part of who they are, and changing that changes the character.

Grac
2012-07-31, 09:45 AM
A lot of people have complained that rolled stat means that they may come out with a ruined concept, but that doesn't even make sense: Why are you even deciding what your character is gonna be before you have the rolls?

I know that this won't make people like rolling, but it is something I can't help but wonder. Why decide on an idea for a character, and then try to work your rolls into that character? Why not wait until you have the numbers before you decide? :smallconfused:

Lord_Gareth
2012-07-31, 09:53 AM
A lot of people have complained that rolled stat means that they may come out with a ruined concept, but that doesn't even make sense: Why are you even deciding what your character is gonna be before you have the rolls?

I know that this won't make people like rolling, but it is something I can't help but wonder. Why decide on an idea for a character, and then try to work your rolls into that character? Why not wait until you have the numbers before you decide? :smallconfused:

1. Because that's still taking creative power away from the player.

2. People tend to like certain concepts, classes, or character themes and getting odd or jank rolls can seriously screw with that.

3. I dunno about you, but when a DM pitches a campaign to me, I usually get an idea for it immediately. I don't want that idea screwed over by the dice.

gkathellar
2012-07-31, 09:55 AM
A lot of people have complained that rolled stat means that they may come out with a ruined concept, but that doesn't even make sense: Why are you even deciding what your character is gonna be before you have the rolls?

I know that this won't make people like rolling, but it is something I can't help but wonder. Why decide on an idea for a character, and then try to work your rolls into that character? Why not wait until you have the numbers before you decide? :smallconfused:

Because sometimes people want to play a character or an idea, rather than having what characters or ideas they can play effectively dictated to them by the dice?

We're not in 0E anymore, Toto.

Menteith
2012-07-31, 09:56 AM
A lot of people have complained that rolled stat means that they may come out with a ruined concept, but that doesn't even make sense: Why are you even deciding what your character is gonna be before you have the rolls?

I know that this won't make people like rolling, but it is something I can't help but wonder. Why decide on an idea for a character, and then try to work your rolls into that character? Why not wait until you have the numbers before you decide? :smallconfused:

Because when someone comes up to me and says "Hey man, I'm hoping to start a new D&D game, you in?" I generally already will have a character in mind. Because stat determination often doesn't occur until the first meeting of a group, and I often will have a very clear idea of what I'd like to play at an appropriate power level by that time. Because not every group is clear on the stat gen system they use, and I might believe that I'm using one that I can control, rather that a completely random form. Because multiple players may have collaborated to ensure that the party would be reasonably balanced, and we all selected our roles in the party. And so on.

Again - would you be comfortable rolling for your character's class, skills, and feats? Literally every argument in favor of rolling could be applied to doing so; it'll create a new character, it's faster, if you don't care at all about playing nonfunctional or pathetic characters, you shouldn't mind when you get bonuses completely at odds with what you want.

Flickerdart
2012-07-31, 09:56 AM
A lot of people have complained that rolled stat means that they may come out with a ruined concept, but that doesn't even make sense: Why are you even deciding what your character is gonna be before you have the rolls?

I know that this won't make people like rolling, but it is something I can't help but wonder. Why decide on an idea for a character, and then try to work your rolls into that character? Why not wait until you have the numbers before you decide? :smallconfused:
Because the character I want to play is decided by my personal mood, ideas, feelings and so forth rather than picking from a list of options I'm equally ambivalent towards, perhaps? Does that sound strange? D&D is a role playing game; you pick a role and then play it. If I want to be a mighty wizard because my last three characters were all some kind of warrior, and the dice say "haha nope, please to be doing the same thing you've done to death already" then this is not a good rule. Using chance for resolution of small things (an individual attack roll or spell) is fine. Using chance to define what I can do for the entire campaign is stupid.

Kiero
2012-07-31, 10:58 AM
A lot of people have complained that rolled stat means that they may come out with a ruined concept, but that doesn't even make sense: Why are you even deciding what your character is gonna be before you have the rolls?

I know that this won't make people like rolling, but it is something I can't help but wonder. Why decide on an idea for a character, and then try to work your rolls into that character? Why not wait until you have the numbers before you decide? :smallconfused:

Because I don't play systems that have random chargen in the first place, and I think up my concept once I know what the setting and premise are going to be.

demigodus
2012-07-31, 01:57 PM
Fine array, if I'm playing a spellcaster. If I want to play a warrior, it's not so hot. Paladin? Forget it. If I want to keep that 18 but raise the 12 and a 10, I'm forced to have some 8's. Otherwise, I'm forced to give up the 18 so that other needed ability scores have some oomph.

Yes, it is sub-optimal for a melee character to take an 18 in an average point-buy. I'm still not seeing the problem with the concept of point-buy, so much as the game design.


Meanwhile, spellcaster gets to eat his cake of an 18 ability score and have it too by not having an 8. Point Buy cheats 3E MAD classes, i.e. the warriors.

Once again, you are using poor class design to attack, not the class design, but point-buy. While your examples do point to a flaw in 3.5, that flaw is not in point-buy.


Why 28 Point Buy? Why not 32? 36? It's almost always 28 or 25, and that hurts the warriors.

In my example I used 28 point-buy because that is supposedly the average for dice rolls, and that was sufficient to prove your statement wrong. I'm more than happy to work with even 50 point-buy if you want. Makes disproving your statement, as well as making viable melees even easier..


Even though I don't care for 4E, I do admit for 4E Point Buy kind of works. Classes have two primes and saving throws are based on the better of two stats. If you only care about one of your primes for your class, that can have an 18, you won't have to have an 8 at all if you choose, but your other prime isn't that good. If you prefer both primes to be as efficient as possible, you'll start with 16s in both of them if you don't want an 8, which is not terrible. Math might allow a 17 and 16 in the primes and have a 9 in a dump stat where its partner provides for the saving throw.

Starting from the second sentence of this paragraph, you are discussing how classes work in 4E, not the Point Buy system designed for 4E. You are confusing "good class design" with "good point buy design" and "bad class design" with "bad point buy design". Classes are not part of the point buy system.

In fact 4E's point-buy is just 32 point buy, with an extra restriction (can only have 1 stat below 10), and certain stats are more expensive to bump up to (13->14 costs 2 instead of 1, 17->18 costs 4), so that overall, getting a stat to 18 actually costs 18 instead of 3.5's 16. The difference that you like is entirely class design, so if that fixes the problem, maybe your issue is class design, not point-buy itself.


The implication is there when questioned why I need an 18.

The system never asks that question. The DM or other players might. However, asking "why do you need an 18" does not necessarily imply munchkinism. They could be asking why you are taking an 18, when having a 16 in that stat is more optimal. In that case dumping an 18 in there anyways may very well be the opposite of munchkinism.


I know of one DM on the internet who actually does let players choose their scores willy nilly. Should I roll an 8 I'm bummed but deal with it. I've had a lot of practice with DX as my dump stat playing clerics. It is enough for me through rolling that there was a chance I wouldn't have a score below 10. That's all I need, that chance.

Then there is the chance that you roll stats that make having just a single 8 look downright awesome. In the first rolled stat game I played (2E), I ended up with a Druid with 18 wis, 4 int, and 9 dex. (the other stats were in the more normal range). Because that is what the dice decided upon. I have had a 3.5 game where the highest stat I had was a 14, and I rolled a 3 (promptly put into Con at which point I immediately applied the ghost template to my character).

Yes, rolled stats might allow you to get all above 10's. They might also give you utterly horrible stats. Whenever I roll for stats, I don't consider having a single 8 and the rest above 10 to be "bad". As far as I'm concerned, that is actually lucky. So if we are comparing the worst cases of point-buy and rolled stats, the question is more, what would you do if you rolled a 6, an 8, and no 18's/17's. How would you handle that?

Honestly, I don't mind not having an 18. I do mind having horrible stats. I prefer point-buy because there is no chance of me having to play someone who is pure crap at stuff. Sometimes that is good, but usually I prefer not to.


Everyone being equally mediocre is fair but not necessarily a good thing.

mediocre is supposed to be a 10. If you have a single 18, you are awesome.

Anyways, in that case play with higher point buy?


I've seen it. 18 in the prime, 14 in CON, 8s in CHA and one other. Paladins don't get an 18. The cleric will take 12 CON to have a decent CHA. He can always heal himself if need be.

Does not compute. You claim SAD and MAD use the same array, then list examples of SAD classes having an 18, and the Paladin not taking an 18...

Tyndmyr
2012-07-31, 02:05 PM
Fine array, if I'm playing a spellcaster. If I want to play a warrior, it's not so hot. Paladin? Forget it. If I want to keep that 18 but raise the 12 and a 10, I'm forced to have some 8's. Otherwise, I'm forced to give up the 18 so that other needed ability scores have some oomph.

None of that is forced. It's merely making decisions. You're not forced into any of those things, it's merely a matter of what combo you want more.

And, if the answer is "I want the 18, and also no 8s, and also all my other important stats to be pretty high"....cmon. You gotta take SOME downside somewhere. Or talk your DM into letting everyone have all the stats.

jaybird
2012-07-31, 02:14 PM
If you view D&D as a contest between players for riches and XP then you want point buy. If you view D&D as a contest between the player and the DM then you want point buy. If you view D&D as a cooperative problem solving game where the DM inserts level appropriate challenges then you want point buy.

If you view D&D as an improvisational acting session then you want random numbers. They give you a richer set of situations from which to improvise. You can play as a knight in shinning armor (high stats everywhere) or the town drunkard (nothing higher than 10). There's nothing wrong with role playing ineffective characters. Many movies, books, and TV series are populated be characters that are NOT ubermensche.

Stormwind ahoy.

What if I want to play a sociopathic Wizard who's spent his entire life cooped up in his tower and has precisely zero understanding of how people function and roll nothing lower then a 10? In point buy I could assign him 7s in Wis and Cha.

How about a gentlemanly Bard who aspires to the polymath ideal, willingly sacrificing the benefits of specialization in exchange for being skilled in as many things as possible, and rolls 18/18/18/3/3/3? In point buy I could give him an array full of 12s and 14s and call it a day.

If you want to play an ineffective character voluntarily use a lower point buy, there's nobody stopping you.

MukkTB
2012-07-31, 03:14 PM
I don't think so. Point buy is essentially access to the set X of arrays out of a set of all possible arrays. All arrays in X have a certain character, a certain level of power. Rolling dice gives you access to all possible arrays. The set of all arrays is greater than the set of all point buy arrays for a given point buy.

Therefore rolling dice gives you a larger pool of possibilities. These possibilities make for possible interesting options. A knight and the town drunk in the same party. You pay for the options in the loss of game balance and fairness. Its not Stormwind. Its a legitimate either/or choice. You choose game balance OR you choose a greater variety of possible situations from which to role play.

jaybird
2012-07-31, 03:24 PM
I don't think so. Point buy is essentially access to the set X of arrays out of a set of all possible arrays. All arrays in X have a certain character, a certain level of power. Rolling dice gives you access to all possible arrays. The set of all arrays is greater than the set of all point buy arrays for a given point buy.

Therefore rolling dice gives you a larger pool of possibilities. These possibilities make for possible interesting options. A knight and the town drunk in the same party. You pay for the options in the loss of game balance and fairness. Its not Stormwind. Its a legitimate either/or choice. You choose game balance OR you choose a greater variety of possible situations from which to role play.

Stormwind's all about the false dilemma. In fact, it's all about the exact false dilemma you've just set up. "You can either play a mechanically sound game, or you can roleplay better". If you don't get why that statement is wrong, there's no point in me continuing to beat my head on a brick wall.

MukkTB
2012-07-31, 03:41 PM
A fallacy is when something is false.

You have a choice. You can have a wider set of scenarios from which to play OR you can have game balance. I'm not pulling this out of my ass. I'm describing the very real effects of a particular choice. If you can think of some way of having characters of different power level who are also balanced against each other tell me. But I think that's an oxymoron and claiming that its possible is a fallacy.

It would be a fallacy to claim that either side of the choice is better than the other objectively.

All I'm claiming is that one option offers balance and the other option offers scenarios that would not be possible with game balance.

Then I'm stating that these scenarios have value as a point of interest.

So if you want to claim stormwind fallacy you're going to have to do more than invoking that name.

Menteith
2012-07-31, 03:53 PM
A fallacy is when something is false.

You have a choice. You can have a wider set of scenarios from which to play OR you can have game balance. I'm not pulling this out of my ass. I'm describing the very real effects of a particular choice. If you can think of some way of having characters of different power level who are also balanced against each other tell me. But I think that's an oxymoron and claiming that its possible is a fallacy.

It would be a fallacy to claim that either side of the choice is better than the other objectively.

All I'm claiming is that one option offers balance and the other option offers scenarios that would not be possible with game balance.

Then I'm stating that these scenarios have value as a point of interest.

So if you want to claim stormwind fallacy you're going to have to do more than invoking that name.

Except that one can very easily accomplish that by giving out different arrays or Point Buys to the various players. So if someone wants to make an character that can't meaningfully contribute, they'll still have the option outside of rolling - it's just that they're intentionally choosing to do that, rather than having such a character forced on them. There's nothing wrong with playing useless characters; there's quite a bit wrong with being forced to play a useless character. It's not purely a question of game balance, although it's a nice perk - it's about control and choice. Arrays and PB give control to the players and DM, and allow them to make choices - rolling removes that control from the players and DM, and forces them to accept what comes of it.

demigodus
2012-07-31, 03:58 PM
I don't think so. Point buy is essentially access to the set X of arrays out of a set of all possible arrays. All arrays in X have a certain character, a certain level of power. Rolling dice gives you access to all possible arrays. The set of all arrays is greater than the set of all point buy arrays for a given point buy.

Until you roll the dice. Then you are left with exactly 1 array, versus Point Buy's multitude of array options. You are saying this as if you could choose what numbers you are rolling...


Therefore rolling dice gives you a larger pool of possibilities. These possibilities make for possible interesting options. A knight and the town drunk in the same party. You pay for the options in the loss of game balance and fairness. Its not Stormwind. Its a legitimate either/or choice. You choose game balance OR you choose a greater variety of possible situations from which to role play.

Both a knight and the town drunk can be made with the same point buy using 3.5. Because once you know how to optimize, you have a much larger variety of choices. Now if you mean the town drunk who is also stupid, clueless, and utterly incapable at all forms of combat, then yes that might be hard with a high point-buy. But I'm not really sure how being able to play the guy who doesn't contribute to the party, pisses off everyone they come across, and gets in bar fights he can't win is anywhere near good roleplaying in a team game.

obryn
2012-07-31, 04:07 PM
It's inarguably true, mathematically, that there are more possible sets of attributes based on random die rolls than the subset of attributes which can be generated via point buy.

However.

(1) The distribution is not even; rolled stats have a high central tendency, and fewer outliers. Assuming a fair rolling method (that's something other than "roll until you get something you want") the likelihood of seeing at least one 16 in a point-buy is almost 100%, while the likelihood of an 18 in a given score is far better than 1/216.

(2) Just because a set of potential stats exists, it doesn't necessarily follow that such a set will be interesting to play. You can't infer "greater interest" from "greater variety" unless you can somehow show that the greater variety actually has a net positive effect on interesting and/or enjoyable characters.

(3) If you have criteria for an "interesting set of scores" that's more than "a bunch of numbers determined by dice", the odds that you get a set you find interesting approach 100% in point buy, but not in rolling. The varying set sizes are completely irrelevant to an individual character. (That is, it doesn't do my Fighter any good that there's a set with straight 18's out there somewhere if I got a bunch of 10's.)

This all assumes you have a dice rolling method that puts constraints on re-rolls and so on. If you don't, then dice rolls and point buy are pretty indistinguishable - with the exception that you can get way more powerful characters with infinite rerolls. As mentioned, the set of possible arrays is larger, and so are the set of powerful arrays.

-O

TheOOB
2012-07-31, 04:10 PM
I should note from the mechanics vs roleplay point I've seen several players roleplaying ruined by making horribly unoptimized characters. Like the level 7 melee fighter with 8 str and con. How does someone with the main two fighter stats at 8 become a fighter in the first place, how did they get to level 7 without dying. What possible reason is there for my character to travel with this person?

Roleplaying is determined just as much(if not more) by actions rather than words, and you need a certain level of ability to back up your actions. If I want to play a character who's gritty and fearless, I'm not going to dump WIS and take a Will penalty.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. You notice how video game rpgs used to have random character generation, and they don't for the most part, tabletop rpgs are doing the same thing. Apart from the obvious fact that random stats make inequality among the group which can only lead to bad blood, random stats hamstring you, they don't allow you to create the character you want. If I want to play the party wizard, and I roll all 14's, I'm screwed. For other classes those would be great stats(bard comes to mind), but for a wizard not having a 16+ means my character will be underpowered at best, completely ineffective at worst, heck without at least 15 I won't even be able to cast 9th level spells at level 17.

Using another method to generate stats(point buy, or some other method), give flexibility. It allows the players to create the character they want, and succeed or fail on their own merits, not random chance. It also allows the system designer and/or GM to set the power level of the campaign the way they want to. A 32 point buy party in D&D 3.5 can take much tougher encounters than a 25 point buy party, especially at lower levels. Do you want your characters to be really powerful, and be able to throw powerful foes at them and give them a chance to survive, give them more points. Do you want to focus on smaller foes, and make it so ever encounter carries a large risk of death, even weak ones, use less points.

When writing a story, or making a movie, the creator doesn't roll a bunch of dice to decide what the main character can do and how good they are at it, why should an RPG character be any different.

Jacob.Tyr
2012-07-31, 05:14 PM
When I got to the 5th or 6th page of this thread I assumed I had misclicked and gone to page 1 of the thread, as it became full circle very aptly.

I'm going to have to say that, having never heard of it before, I am horribly excited to try out the 27-25-23 stat system.

Definitely worth reading, lots of great opinions in here. Thumbs up to all the well thought out and passionate viewpoints.

navar100
2012-07-31, 05:40 PM
You know that your character can't be the aim of Zarathustra? You can't make every of your warriors the next step of Human evolution.

If you want an 18 in 3 stats you have to pay for it. Even if it is fiction you have a framework to play with. I personally played with a 40 PB group (or better said I DM'd for it). I only recently let rolls into the generating process. My GF has one point over PB, the Witch has PB due to the third row being PB and not 4d6b3 and the Rageprophet is about on the same competence level. And this framework says you can't be ‹bermensch (as someone else wrote here). I have seen builds for certain characters where it was adviced to get 18 16 16 8 8 8 (or similar) for a knight. You have to think about it this way: why would an exceptional intelligent person (aka sheldon cooper-level) work on a construction site if he could work in science or similar.

An 18 in a starting Stat means a narrow focus. Do you think Arnold, Sylvester or Dolph are dextrous? If I would stat them those 3 would range between 16 and 18 STR and about 14 to 16 Con (in their prime years). They had muscle and at least some sort of con but spending 12 Hours per day in a gym to built up muscle and a bit of endurance doesn't make you a good talker(cha)/tutor(wis)/physician(int)/tumbler(dex) or other examples. And at the start they weren't that charismatic...stallone might even have a malus to charisma due to his numb face... in the first movies of those 2 (arnold and dolph) they might have been good looking due to their training but weren't that charismatic.

While Rolling gives you a chance to have a murked character, Point Buy gives you a more rounded thing (at least for me) my Barbarian does not have to start with a 18 in strength, my other "brutes" also... my cleric does not have to start with 18 wis if i know i can get it to 19 with level 16, as someone said 15 minimum (I would probably start with a 16 due to preferences).

And now I have a question: WHY do you think you need a 18 instead of an 16 at first level? that 1 or 2 (or if crits up to 10) less damage won't hurt that much... (pun unintended) if it would Weapon Spec would be the killer of a feat choice.

As I keep saying over and over, I don't need an 18 at 1st level. I object to being forced to take an 8 because of it, via Point Buy. I don't care for the zero-sum. It hurts warriors while spellcasters much less so. Every warrior dumping CH with the 8 is that lack of variety that has been said Point Buy facilitates.

However, my preferred method now is 27-25-23. I still see 8s with 18s. It's inherent. Roll an 18, 27 - 18 = 9 is the best you can do. Some may go 25 - 18 = 7 for a true dump stat if 27 minus another number gives a more preferred score, say 27 - 10 = 17. However, the choice is up to the player via the +2 you get at the end. The player chooses to have the 8 or not instead of the math forcing him to. I used this method for a new group I'm running. A couple got luck and had no 8 at all and used the +2 at the end to get an 18. Of those who had an 8 before the final +2, it was 50/50 of those who kept it and those who made it a 10. That's what I like, player choice directing the math. In Point Buy, the math does most of the work for you.

Pure dice rolling has its own imperfections. This method corrects for it.

Knaight
2012-07-31, 06:02 PM
Pure dice rolling has its own imperfections. This method corrects for it.

To some extent, sure. However, if you get 3 high scores or 3 low scores you've still got a forcibly unbalanced set. It would be easier to use the 27-25-23 method where you just pick 3 numbers, generate 3 more, then add the +2 (or don't add the +2).

navar100
2012-07-31, 06:14 PM
Yes, it is sub-optimal for a melee character to take an 18 in an average point-buy. I'm still not seeing the problem with the concept of point-buy, so much as the game design.

But the spellcasters get to enjoy the 18. That is an unfairness I don't like. Why should warriors be denied an 18?


Once again, you are using poor class design to attack, not the class design, but point-buy. While your examples do point to a flaw in 3.5, that flaw is not in point-buy.

I would argue the class design is fine but Point Buy doesn't fit it. I like that 3E has scaling modifiers to scores such that a 12 or 14 means something where as in 2E they were both worth the same diddly squat. I find Point Buy overvalues 16+.



In my example I used 28 point-buy because that is supposedly the average for dice rolls, and that was sufficient to prove your statement wrong. I'm more than happy to work with even 50 point-buy if you want. Makes disproving your statement, as well as making viable melees even easier..

Dice rolls may average 28 Point Buy over infinite rolls, but it's only the instance of the character creation moment that matters and that fluctuates from 28. I couldn't have a character of 17, 16, 14, 12, 10 even with a generous 32 Point Buy which I could get with rolling. That's 35 points. There are DMs out there who use 36 points. You still might have an 8 with an 18, but there's a lot of flexibility it is more player choice than math choice. DMs who use 36 points tend to like dice rolling. However, the more a DM likes and promotes Point Buy, the total he likes to use tends towards 25. 32 Point Buy advocates are out there, but the majority is 28 and 25, and those values hurt warriors like heck with Paladin/Monk suffocating.




Starting from the second sentence of this paragraph, you are discussing how classes work in 4E, not the Point Buy system designed for 4E. You are confusing "good class design" with "good point buy design" and "bad class design" with "bad point buy design". Classes are not part of the point buy system.

In fact 4E's point-buy is just 32 point buy, with an extra restriction (can only have 1 stat below 10), and certain stats are more expensive to bump up to (13->14 costs 2 instead of 1, 17->18 costs 4), so that overall, getting a stat to 18 actually costs 18 instead of 3.5's 16. The difference that you like is entirely class design, so if that fixes the problem, maybe your issue is class design, not point-buy itself.

The point is Point Buy I find works well enough with how 4E functions. It's a square peg for a square hole. In 3E, which I play and Point Buy got its start, it is a square peg for a round hole.


The system never asks that question. The DM or other players might. However, asking "why do you need an 18" does not necessarily imply munchkinism. They could be asking why you are taking an 18, when having a 16 in that stat is more optimal. In that case dumping an 18 in there anyways may very well be the opposite of munchkinism.

I never said Point Buy is asking the question. Other people are. I should not have to justify why I may want an 18. If I want it just because I really do want that +4, I should not be tsked tsked for it or have eyes rolled at me, metaphorically speaking not accusing anyone in particular.



Then there is the chance that you roll stats that make having just a single 8 look downright awesome. In the first rolled stat game I played (2E), I ended up with a Druid with 18 wis, 4 int, and 9 dex. (the other stats were in the more normal range). Because that is what the dice decided upon. I have had a 3.5 game where the highest stat I had was a 14, and I rolled a 3 (promptly put into Con at which point I immediately applied the ghost template to my character).

Yes, rolled stats might allow you to get all above 10's. They might also give you utterly horrible stats. Whenever I roll for stats, I don't consider having a single 8 and the rest above 10 to be "bad". As far as I'm concerned, that is actually lucky. So if we are comparing the worst cases of point-buy and rolled stats, the question is more, what would you do if you rolled a 6, an 8, and no 18's/17's. How would you handle that?

Honestly, I don't mind not having an 18. I do mind having horrible stats. I prefer point-buy because there is no chance of me having to play someone who is pure crap at stuff. Sometimes that is good, but usually I prefer not to.



mediocre is supposed to be a 10. If you have a single 18, you are awesome.

Anyways, in that case play with higher point buy?

I've played plenty of characters with an 8. Heck, even a 7. I don't hate 8s. I object to mathematically being forced to have one. With rolling it's enough I had the chance of not getting an 8 even if I rolled one. Now with my preferred 27-25-23 method, I have more choice. I control the math; the math does not control me.



Does not compute. You claim SAD and MAD use the same array, then list examples of SAD classes having an 18, and the Paladin not taking an 18...

Semantics problem. Should have typed "except the paladin" because he can't dump CHA.

navar100
2012-07-31, 06:27 PM
To some extent, sure. However, if you get 3 high scores or 3 low scores you've still got a forcibly unbalanced set. It would be easier to use the 27-25-23 method where you just pick 3 numbers, generate 3 more, then add the +2 (or don't add the +2).

In the extreme case you roll three 18s, you now have 18, 18, 18, 9, 7, 5. Add +2 for 18, 18, 18, 11, 7, 5. The 5 might be a problem for game play and role play. By game play I mean the game as a whole, not necessarily that particular character's game mechanics. If this really bothers colloquial you, just reroll. Dice rolling has that extreme. I don't need the system to be absolutely perfect in every way. As DM I'd be fine with a PC of this array.

You can force max 18s so that a player who rolled an 8 can't do 27 - 8 = 19 then add +2 for a 21. That is probably what most people would do. I'm not going to advocate allowing for scores higher than 18.

jaybird
2012-07-31, 06:42 PM
But the spellcasters get to enjoy the 18. That is an unfairness I don't like. Why should warriors be denied an 18?


STR 18
DEX 12
CON 14
INT 6
WIS 6
CHA 14

There, a charismatic warrior. Alternatively, if you don't want dump stats,

STR 18
DEX 10
CON 12
INT 10
WIS 10
CHA 10

Not to mention people have previously stated that it's easy to give warriors higher point buys to balance out their MAD.

If all else fails...it's still not a flaw of point buy, it's a flaw of 3.5 that casters are SAD. Just as Fighters are STR/DEX/CON dependent, a Wizard should be INT/WIS/CON dependent, INT for spells/day, WIS for Save DCs, or something like that. If every class relied on a similar number of stats, your objection to point buy wouldn't hold water - so it's not a problem with point buy.

Knaight
2012-07-31, 06:48 PM
If all else fails...it's still not a flaw of point buy, it's a flaw of 3.5 that casters are SAD. Just as Fighters are STR/DEX/CON dependent, a Wizard should be INT/WIS/CON dependent, INT for spells/day, WIS for Save DCs, or something like that. If every class relied on a similar number of stats, your objection to point buy wouldn't hold water - so it's not a problem with point buy.
It's a flaw of 3.5 that SAD exists at all. All six stats should be significant for everyone, otherwise what's the point of even having them?

demigodus
2012-07-31, 07:25 PM
It's a flaw of 3.5 that SAD exists at all. All six stats should be significant for everyone, otherwise what's the point of even having them?

The non-important stats still do stuff. They can still be significant at times. They just aren't all significant for the character to do what it is good at.

I don't see why a class's key feature should key off of all 6 stats. You don't have to be an all rounder to be good at one thing.

jaybird
2012-07-31, 07:33 PM
It's a flaw of 3.5 that SAD exists at all. All six stats should be significant for everyone, otherwise what's the point of even having them?

This, basically:


The non-important stats still do stuff. They can still be significant at times. They just aren't all significant for the character to do what it is good at.

I don't see why a class's key feature should key off of all 6 stats. You don't have to be an all rounder to be good at one thing.

Why does a Barbarian have to be smart to get really angry and smash things? He only needs to be smart enough to know what to smash, and sometimes not even that (FB). Why does a Wizard have to be strong to cast Fireball or Fly? He only needs to be strong enough to lift his spellbook and materials pouch.


Alternatively put: Does a surgeon's bench press affect his ability to do heart surgery? Does a janitor's IQ affect his ability to mop floors? Does a movie star's common sense affect his popularity?

Knaight
2012-07-31, 07:38 PM
Alternatively put: Does a surgeon's bench press affect his ability to do heart surgery? Does a janitor's IQ affect his ability to mop floors? Does a movie star's common sense affect his popularity?

No, but in all of these cases these things affect other parts of their lives. Intelligence past a certain point isn't necessarily useful for janitorial work; that doesn't mean that it isn't useful for a janitor.

Theoboldi
2012-07-31, 07:43 PM
No, but in all of these cases these things affect other parts of their lives. Intelligence past a certain point isn't necessarily useful for janitorial work; that doesn't mean that it isn't useful for a janitor.

Of course, but that is already represented by the rules. A wizard can always benefit from being able to carry more stuff, and a barbarian can use more skill points or a higher will save, without the classes actually needing those stats for their class features. Which are the things they actually need to be able to do, like the janitor being able to mob the floors.

jaybird
2012-07-31, 07:46 PM
No, but in all of these cases these things affect other parts of their lives. Intelligence past a certain point isn't necessarily useful for janitorial work; that doesn't mean that it isn't useful for a janitor.

Right, the part of their lives that ISN'T their job, in modern day, or class, in D&D, hence the terms MAD and SAD - ___ Attribute DEPENDENCE. A janitor doesn't depend on being smart to be a janitor.

navar100
2012-07-31, 07:53 PM
If all else fails...it's still not a flaw of point buy, it's a flaw of 3.5 that casters are SAD. Just as Fighters are STR/DEX/CON dependent, a Wizard should be INT/WIS/CON dependent, INT for spells/day, WIS for Save DCs, or something like that. If every class relied on a similar number of stats, your objection to point buy wouldn't hold water - so it's not a problem with point buy.

If all classes were MAD Point Buy would suck for all of them. I already mentioned Point Buy fits into 4E. Should 5E be similar with making all classes DualAD then it could work. However, I don't play nor want to play 4E and Point Buy working for it is not a selling point for me to do so. I like 3E and find Point Buy doesn't fit it. It's not 3E's fault. Point Buy just doesn't work for it, tough noogies to Point Buy.

jaybird
2012-07-31, 08:24 PM
If all classes were MAD Point Buy would suck for all of them. I already mentioned Point Buy fits into 4E. Should 5E be similar with making all classes DualAD then it could work. However, I don't play nor want to play 4E and Point Buy working for it is not a selling point for me to do so. I like 3E and find Point Buy doesn't fit it. It's not 3E's fault. Point Buy just doesn't work for it, tough noogies to Point Buy.

How so? If all classes depended on 2 attributes, plus Con, one of the biggest arguments against point buy is moot. If 28 point buy is too low, then go to 32. If 32 is too low, how about 36? The point isn't to make classes MAD so that point buy sucks. The point is to make all classes dependent on the same number of attributes so that they all get the same benefit out of point buy. If a Wizard is getting 18 Int and 18 Wis, the Fighter's also getting 18 Str and 18 Con, and the Rogue is getting 18 Dex and 18 Cha.

Knaight
2012-07-31, 08:54 PM
Of course, but that is already represented by the rules. A wizard can always benefit from being able to carry more stuff, and a barbarian can use more skill points or a higher will save, without the classes actually needing those stats for their class features. Which are the things they actually need to be able to do, like the janitor being able to mob the floors.

However, due to the extent to which class powers dominate everything else these things are largely trivial. That high strength score on the wizard is completely irrelevant, given how everything it does is better done by spells anyways. A few skills being a few points higher on the barbarian is generally trivial as well. With the exception of attributes that directly support the class in question, attributes are near pointless.

Karoht
2012-07-31, 09:11 PM
There is a fellow in my playgroup who used to insist on rolling his stats no matter what point buy we went with. Aaaaand somehow never rolled anything less than a 16. Ever. He loved rolling his stats. Off the table, or before the session started. Where no one actually saw him roll these epic stats.
But that was okay, because as far as his playstyle was concerned, this guy could have had all stats at 20, and rolled nothing but 20 for any action he performed, and would still somehow be the least effective party member the majority of the time.

I started playing with rolling. I thought it was fine, and I didn't mind playing an underpowered character. So for years with my old play group, I tended to be the weakest link, and most of the time we could point to my starting stats as the major reason. Since most of the party empathized with me, I didn't feel so bad about it.

Then one day...
I rolled up a really good character. Nothing game breaking, but it was the first game I EVER played where all stats were above 6. I even had an 18. Just one! It was awesome.

The. Entire. Party. Was. Butthurt.
And guilt tripped me for having a character that was (about 2 points difference if point buy, like having a 26 when the rest of the party has 24) slightly more powerful than theirs. They later forced me to roll a new character after two sessions.
(For reference, their starting stats would be like the equivilant of them all getting a 26 point buy to my 16-ish)

And from then on, any time any character in the party was stronger than me, not only did they gloat, but typically abused the advantage in game. Part of why I don't play with those people anymore. And when point buy came along, and I proved I was better at optimization than they were when given a level playing field, my goodness where they ever butthurt. The department of Butthurt must have been swamped with Butthurt complaint forms.
Thats why I don't play with those people anymore.

TL:DR-So I dislike rolling because if I roll crappy I feel it all game long, and if I roll well I get treated like crap for being lucky for once. Or I feel guilty for the rest of the party. Or both. I also don't like cheaters or people who just magically never roll low.

demigodus
2012-07-31, 10:43 PM
However, due to the extent to which class powers dominate everything else these things are largely trivial. That high strength score on the wizard is completely irrelevant, given how everything it does is better done by spells anyways. A few skills being a few points higher on the barbarian is generally trivial as well. With the exception of attributes that directly support the class in question, attributes are near pointless.

If you focus entirely on combat, then yes, only the key stats for a class are relevant. Kinda like how if you only judge a surgeon based on how well he does his surgeries, not on how well he handles his home life, how he gets on with others, etc. then only the stats that directly effect surgery skills are relevant.

I really don't see an issue with that.

I like my wizard not needing to use 6 different stats to be able to cast a single spell. 2 stats (1 for determining number per day, 1 for save DCs), I wouldn't mind. He is going to need that charisma if he ever intends to open his mouth in a conversation without casting charm on whomever he is talking to...

BootStrapTommy
2012-08-01, 01:43 AM
10 12 14 14 16 18
or
8 12 14 14 18 18



When players whine about rolling stats, sometimes I just throw this at them.
They can choose between those two to do as they wish. Mostly when I'm lazy.

TheOOB
2012-08-01, 01:46 AM
It's a flaw of 3.5 that SAD exists at all. All six stats should be significant for everyone, otherwise what's the point of even having them?

It's important from a game design statpoint to have stats that can be safely dumped. Not that they won't be useful, but that your characters primary function won't be inhibited. If I were designing for D&D, I'd try to make each class have 2 primary attributes, 2 secondary, and the other 2 have no specific emphasis for that class.

Kiero
2012-08-01, 05:20 AM
Alternatively put: Does a surgeon's bench press affect his ability to do heart surgery? Does a janitor's IQ affect his ability to mop floors? Does a movie star's common sense affect his popularity?

A surgeon's fitness directly impacts their ability to concentrate and stay focused for 16 hours straight on a complex surgery.

Krazzman
2012-08-01, 06:21 AM
As I keep saying over and over, I don't need an 18 at 1st level. I object to being forced to take an 8 because of it, via Point Buy. I don't care for the zero-sum. It hurts warriors while spellcasters much less so. Every warrior dumping CH with the 8 is that lack of variety that has been said Point Buy facilitates.

However, my preferred method now is 27-25-23. I still see 8s with 18s. It's inherent. Roll an 18, 27 - 18 = 9 is the best you can do. Some may go 25 - 18 = 7 for a true dump stat if 27 minus another number gives a more preferred score, say 27 - 10 = 17. However, the choice is up to the player via the +2 you get at the end. The player chooses to have the 8 or not instead of the math forcing him to. I used this method for a new group I'm running. A couple got luck and had no 8 at all and used the +2 at the end to get an 18. Of those who had an 8 before the final +2, it was 50/50 of those who kept it and those who made it a 10. That's what I like, player choice directing the math. In Point Buy, the math does most of the work for you.

Pure dice rolling has its own imperfections. This method corrects for it.

Again... I hope you get my message this time. That 18 is not what you need. And you even said: "I don't want it". Then why the f* are you arguing about it? And believe it or not. Your problem with PB are what it is with the system. And no 3.5 point buy isn't a square for a round thing. It fits. It generates what you should do. If you want to have a super strong guy or super tough then use higher PB for those classes that are MAD. And as you said the PROBLEM with MONK and PALADIN are this MAD system together with the suck-abilities from thos classes. Pathfinder for example made it easier. As monk there you need Wis and Con + 13 dex and maybe str if you want to be an archer. Or or or. The Paladin now no longer needs wis and intelligence (in 3.5 only intelligence wasn't that useful). The Paladin is down to 3 or maybe 4 attributes, like warriors.

Another thing. You don't need to have an 8. And from your way of arguing here I dare to say if you have 3 options of which you can choose 2 you would throw the same line of arguing as here so that you can get to work with an inferior model of roll (Roll 1d8, get according to table. 1 = you get nothing, 8 you get all 3). Except that in my example there is an 1/8 chance you get all albeit with 3d6b4 it is far less likely.

And your preferred method? It is quite cool but what would you say if I come with a uncharismatic wizard with 24 Intelligence and 5 charisma? Unlikely you say? But this is fair, I now have a +7 modifier means until 7thlevel spells i get a bonus slot, for up to spell level 3 i get one additional.

And even if I'm cool and don't abuse a rolled 3: the minimum intelligence such a wizard would have is 20.

This system can make utterly riddiculus chars like 24 22 20 5 3 3 or if you really don't care for your dump stat: 26. I don't care if you say that this is unlikely. This is the point about rolling, sometimes it generates bad characters. Would you really play a fighter with 24 13 12 12 11 5?

DAD (Double Attribute Dependency) is the sanest way to build classes on. Throw in the need for Con on everyone and you are set.

The point we make (at least what I want to make) is: The dice can screw you over... the dice can destroy you fun (see Karoth)... the dice can nullify your concept but they can help it. Point buy gives you a fixed value to create the character you want.

On a more abstract level:
Would you like to have a fixed income or would like to gamble more? livin from a minimum, barely surviving witht he chance to get a lot of money or loose everything? I think you are aiming for a fixed income since you have to pay people. Decide between employed in a good and safe job or unsafe job without insurance playing lotto.

Deepbluediver
2012-08-01, 08:13 AM
Do you think Arnold, Sylvester or Dolph are dextrous? If I would stat them those 3 would range between 16 and 18 STR and about 14 to 16 Con (in their prime years). They had muscle and at least some sort of con but spending 12 Hours per day in a gym to built up muscle and a bit of endurance doesn't make you a good talker(cha)/tutor(wis)/physician(int)/tumbler(dex) or other examples. And at the start they weren't that charismatic...stallone might even have a malus to charisma due to his numb face... in the first movies of those 2 (arnold and dolph) they might have been good looking due to their training but weren't that charismatic.

Not to get off topic...but here's something totally off-topic!

Dolph Lundgren (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolph_Lundgren#Education) has a masters degree in chemical engineering, and was reportedly a straight-A student throughout his education.

This looks like some one who rolled for stats, and got mostly 18's. :smallbiggrin:

Krazzman
2012-08-01, 09:07 AM
Not to get off topic...but here's something totally off-topic!

Dolph Lundgren (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolph_Lundgren#Education) has a masters degree in chemical engineering, and was reportedly a straight-A student throughout his education.

This looks like some one who rolled for stats, and got mostly 18's. :smallbiggrin:

But then again... how likely is this? And another thing I for myself think... maybe dolph is a Gish :O or he took some +skill feats and items (to better describe it education != intelligence). But it is a great feat he did graduate with a straight-A.

jaybird
2012-08-01, 11:08 AM
A surgeon's fitness directly impacts their ability to concentrate and stay focused for 16 hours straight on a complex surgery.

You're absolutely right. That's why I believe 2+Con is the ideal degree of MAD - Con represents fitness.

Vizzerdrix
2012-08-01, 11:24 AM
Rolled? Point Buy? Baaaah! Real men use the Elite array. :smallcool:

On a side note, I've been forced to reroll stats that are "too good*", but I've never been forced to redo point by.




*5 18s, and a 17. and I ended up with a 14 and nothing else over 10 :smallfurious:

Ashdate
2012-08-01, 11:36 AM
But the spellcasters get to enjoy the 18. That is an unfairness I don't like. Why should warriors be denied an 18?

This really sounds like a problem with class/stat design, rather than point buy.

kyoryu
2012-08-01, 12:00 PM
As I've said before, rolled stats are fine in *certain types of games*. The typical 3.x game is *not that type of game* for many reasons.

Let me give you an analogy. Let's say that a typical 3.x game is chocolate cake. Chocolate cake is yummy. Most people can agree with that.

Strawberyy rhubarb pie is also yummy. It's also a totally different experience than chocolate cake. We can talk about "Rhubarb: why the hate?" and the question is really framed by what dessert we're trying to put the rhubarb in.

If you think about putting rhubarb in chocolate cake, it's gross, nasty, and icky. Nobody would eat it, it would be a terrible taste.

A lot of *other* things have to be in place for strawberry rhubarb pie to work - and a lot of those things don't necessarily work in chocolate cake, either. It's two very different experiences. Sure, they're both sweet overall, and they're both desserts.

But for the love of <deity>, don't put rhubarb in chocolate cake. But that also doesn't mean that strawberry rhubarb pie is bad, or that it's better than chocolate cake, or that chocolate cake is better than strawberry rhubarb pie.

Deepbluediver
2012-08-01, 12:41 PM
Rolled? Point Buy? Baaaah! Real men use the Elite array. :smallcool:
I like arrays; but I think they work best in systems with robust racial modifiers, so that the same-ness gets broken up somewhat.



On a side note, I've been forced to reroll stats that are "too good*", but I've never been forced to redo point buy.

I've been forced to redo Point buy. Our DM had us submit our character sheets for approval before starting; most often he just gave them a cursory glance unless there was some really unusual combo, which I tended to avoid.

Then one day I submitted (as a joke) my sheet for a cleric with 20, 6, 12, 4, 17, 6 (30 point buy in our unique system, plus racial modifiers, but otherwise legal).
The DM was going through the sheets, and it played out like this-

DM: *checking all character sheets and handing them back* Fine. Fine. Fine. *gets to mine* Fi- *stops, looks more closely*
DM: No.
Me: But I just wanted to-
DM: No. *rips character sheet in hald*
Me: It's for-
DM: No. *crumples remains into a ball*
Me: *open mouth, but before I can even speak*
DM: NO! *gives me the look of death*

Luckily I had a back-up on hand, since I had kinda expected my first choice to get shot down. :smalltongue:

Avilan the Grey
2012-08-01, 04:54 PM
I preffer rolled stats, I never liked enforced streotypes of dumb meele classes and wizards not being good at anything not involving using Int or magic. When I roll six stats ranging from 12 to 15, it just makes character that feels more like hero from many stories.

And if you roll a character with two 3s and one 18 and the rest between 7 and 11? :smallbiggrin:

eggs
2012-08-01, 05:40 PM
Comic relief!

KnightDisciple
2012-08-01, 09:28 PM
I prefer rolling because point buy tends to very same-y builds and encourages sub-par stats in one or more places.

Our group does "Roll 4d6, drop the lowest (don't remember if we reroll 1s once), roll 3 sets of 6".
One idea we came up with was rolling 5d4 instead. Less chance of 18s, but a better chance of 10 or better.

Either way, I think rolling more than one set is the way to go. It's especially good if some people have worse luck with d6's...

In theory I like point buy, honestly. But in practice, between starting at 8, and the quickly-escalating cost for anything beyond 14-15, it's...not fun.

TuggyNE
2012-08-01, 09:57 PM
As I've said before, rolled stats are fine in *certain types of games*. The typical 3.x game is *not that type of game* for many reasons.

Let me give you an analogy. Let's say that a typical 3.x game is chocolate cake. Chocolate cake is yummy. Most people can agree with that.

Strawberyy rhubarb pie is also yummy. It's also a totally different experience than chocolate cake. We can talk about "Rhubarb: why the hate?" and the question is really framed by what dessert we're trying to put the rhubarb in.

If you think about putting rhubarb in chocolate cake, it's gross, nasty, and icky. Nobody would eat it, it would be a terrible taste.

A lot of *other* things have to be in place for strawberry rhubarb pie to work - and a lot of those things don't necessarily work in chocolate cake, either. It's two very different experiences. Sure, they're both sweet overall, and they're both desserts.

But for the love of <deity>, don't put rhubarb in chocolate cake. But that also doesn't mean that strawberry rhubarb pie is bad, or that it's better than chocolate cake, or that chocolate cake is better than strawberry rhubarb pie.

Oh, this, so much. 3.x just isn't designed primarily for the sorts of games that rolling works well with.

Vanvidum
2012-08-03, 03:11 PM
I rather like rolling for stats, it (ideally) encourages more creativity in terms of character development. You're less likely to get a bland min-maxed distribution, and might be able to establish the character as someone unique. For long-term games heavy on roleplaying, dealing with a character's potentially unusual ability scores is just a bonus. After all, most of us in real life have different occupations, skills, and abilities in adulthood than we thought we'd grow up to have.

Ultimately though, if this isn't a character you expect to be that invested in, it's probably not worth the risk or difficulty in making it all work. No reason to make things complicated for a one or two session character.

Maybe my current character (pathfinder campaign) is coloring my opinion though. When I was rolling his stats, the first rolls were way too low, low enough that I could reroll. That's when the dice gods decided to show me mercy, and I rolled hot... After race and level adjustments, my wizard has (in order) stats of 12, 15, 12, 20, 18, 18.

Those amazing scores greatly changed the character concept I had. Originally I was thinking that I'd like to do an artificer-type who was something of a stereotypical wizard, whose dream was to build a new race of thinking, feeling constructs and unlock the secrets of life itself. Instead, I went with an unusual wizard that was a people-person. It made sense to me that he might specialize in Enchantment as an extension of his natural charisma and ability to read people, and helped inform my decision on traits and backstory.

I suppose after that happy accident, it's no surprise that I'm comfortable with rolled stats. :smallbiggrin: