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Morithias
2012-12-04, 09:41 AM
For a long time people have always debated about how to generate stats in games, whether via rolling or point buy, both have their weaknesses, and both have their advantages.

The advantage to point buy is that it's IN THEORY balancing in terms of the stats everyone gets. Sadly this usually ends up not the case, with SAD characters completely dominating point buy and min-maxing heavily encouraged.

The advantage to rolling is that it's "honest" but is "honest" worth being "unfair" when someone in a d20 game rolls 14,10,10,10,10,10, while the other player via sheer dumb luck gets 18,18,14,16,12,15, which means the second player will completely overshadow the first, in likely every way.

Generally to "fix" or at least attempt to fix this problem, I use a "steal stats" mechanic, in which everyone rolls 1 set of stats (unless they qualify for reroll), and people can "steal" other player's rolls. It making rolling high stats less something that overshadows and more something that raises the power level as a whole. As now player 1 there, with his highest 14, can take player 2's stats and use them instead. True games tend to be higher in power level, but having higher stats overall makes MAD classes more legit in term of being played, and no one feels resentment over the other player getting a better character cause the random number god hates them.

So what do you think of that system? Could I improve it? Is there another better way of generating stats that I'm unaware of?

Please note that my experience is mostly with d20, however I'm sure M&M players have similar stories with powers that are completely overpowered and everyone takes. How do you deal with that when there is clearly a "best" option in point buy, and everyone needs to take it to not become dead weight?

Djinn_in_Tonic
2012-12-04, 09:51 AM
This is a fairly interesting suggestion. I can honestly say that I love it in theory, although I'd term it "using" or "mimicking" or "mirroring" stats, so it's clear that no player is denied his or her stats by someone else choosing them. "Steal" implies that they literally take away that set if stats.

Still, it looks great in theory. I may have to try it. You still have an option for one type of character to not have a useful set of rolls though, but the odds are indeed significantly lower, and it would produce relatively organic characters where every player has a high chance to have a set available that they are happy to use.

For groups of three or less, however, the DM might consider throwing in a role or two himself. Maybe even throw in a role with a group of four. And, of course, I would make sure all sets of rolls meet the recommended "total bonus of at least +1."

prufock
2012-12-04, 10:29 AM
JaronK offered an adjusted point buy system based on tier. To quote:


Option #1: Point Buy modifications. This is a quick and dirty fix that helps a bit. It's not perfect, but it's certainly something. Tier 1s get 24 point buy. Tier 2s get 28 point buy. Tier 3s get 32 point buy. Tier 4s get 36 point buy. Tier 5s get 40 point buy. Tier 6s get 44 point buy. Result? At low levels, their Tiers are nearly reversed, with CW Samurai having awesome stats while Wizards really are weak bookish types. By the high levels, the Tiers are back in order, but the difference is less pronounced through the mid levels. Obviously, you can adjust what the differences are, but this works pretty well, and most importantly it's extremely easy. The big downside is that you really can't allow much multiclassing or else it all goes out of whack. Other similar methods include rolling but letting lower Tiers get extra rerolls or bonuses after the roll, and giving free LA points to low tier classes (so, everyone Tier 3 and below gets 1 free LA, and everyone Tier 5 and below gets 2 free LA).

Personally I think 44 might be a bit much. I might go something like 25 (tiers 1 and 2), 28 (tiers 3 and 4), 32 (tiers 5 and 6).

My games use standard PB at 25, 26, or 32 points, depending on the type of game and the number of players.

Yora
2012-12-04, 10:30 AM
I think regardless of the game, there should never be any randomness in character generation. Players should be allowed to make the character they want, not having to figure out what could possibly be made of a random number generation.
Though that is assuming longterm campaigns in which the players are supposed to get invested in their characters. If it's a competitive game in which characters are disposable and one of the goals shared by the group is to find ways to make the best thing with a bad hand, there might indeed be some fun that can be had with random numbers. Like shuffling the cards in a card game. Making the best of your hand is the purpose that you play the game.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2012-12-04, 10:34 AM
I think regardless of the game, there should never be any randomness in character generation. Players should be allowed to make the character they want, not having to figure out what could possibly be made of a random number generation.
Though that is assuming longterm campaigns in which the players are supposed to get invested in their characters. If it's a competitive game in which characters are disposable and one of the goals shared by the group is to find ways to make the best thing with a bad hand, there might indeed be some fun that can be had with random numbers. Like shuffling the cards in a card game. Making the best of your hand is the purpose that you play the game.

Agreed. For long-term, high RP campaigns I let my players pick stats that fit their concepts, and only place limits if someone is going overboard with that power. For a more casual dungeon crawl though, the proposed system does indeed seem excellent.

prufock
2012-12-04, 10:34 AM
I think regardless of the game, there should never be any randomness in character generation. Players should be allowed to make the character they want, not having to figure out what could possibly be made of a random number generation.

Unless, of course, the players want a measure of randomness.

Krazzman
2012-12-04, 10:38 AM
Ah! I just love this topic... at least somewhat.

As you said: Did you feel great compared with "mr-all-stats-are-higher-than-16" when you began playing? In my first DnD experience we had a rather nice group. I rolled quite ok, the dwarf druid rolled better and the human archery built fighter rolled between us two. Later in that game 2 friends joined. One was a Paladin/Purple-dragon knight spirited charger with a 17 in intelligence as his lowest stat. Of course he overpowered the whole campaign... to the point where we even joked about that campaign as a farmhouse surrounded by high cr-monsters (Dragon in the Attic, Lich in the basement, Orc-army in the garden etc.).
Other things were when I played a Duskblade and still could fare ok despite having rolled an array that was under elite. And I was partying together with a barbarian with a 14 in charisma... as his dumpstat. And yes, this was considered fair in my old group because! the DM (or in my presented cases a player) argued that this is all about diversity. Every person is different and this is displayed better through that and yadda yadda.

I for my part used to think that PB is the only way... until I saw the downsides of it in some "builds" when one guy adviced that the [melee-class] (can't remember it anymore) should use PB 32 and take these stats: 18 16 16 8 8 8.
For my Pathfinder campaign I used the following: Generate 3 legal arrays. Array 1 is PB 25. Arrays 2 and 3 are roll 4d6b3 6times per array. After having done that you can change in array 2 and 3 exactly one die roll. (if you rolled a 6 6 1 1 you can reroll a 1 and take the higher result).
This generated quite good arrays and build a sort of security-lowish arrays.

Another method I foung rather cool was keeping sames. If you rolled 4 of a kind you added them all together. 4 2's being and 8 and so on. Although this has even more things that can go wrong between sad and mad classes.

Yet another cooler form I found was the group of six had to decide the following 6 people roll 4d6b3. forming a grid. Be it rolled arrays sorted from top to down or next to each other. giving a grind with 14 possible arrays.
After the grid is done every player can chose from this grid. Be it an array read from left to right, up to down or diagonally.

To "tackle" the problem of MAD/SAD a bit more there is also the depending PB. Wizards and sorcerers get less points than monks for example. Yet a Monk/Sorcerer wouldn't get that much more points. I beleive this was rather build in an agreement witht he dm. You said I want to play an Unarmed striker without resorting to ToB and casting and such and as such are going to build [this way] and got PB points according to MAD/SADness and how "strong" this build would be. But I'm not so sure where I read that and this speaking about builds beforehand might just be my imagination.

Yora
2012-12-04, 10:42 AM
Unless, of course, the players want a measure of randomness.
Possible. But in that case the player can assign all the character creation points to a number of scores on pieces of paper and draw them randomly and assign them to certain things in order. He would still have the same number of creation points as everyone else and the other players can make the characters they want.

Morithias
2012-12-04, 10:49 AM
There is one other way to do stats that my group used to use (mostly cause it was FAST)

Descending.

18,17,16,15,14,13, assign as you wish.

It makes for brutally high powered games, but when you want that kind of cinematic, superhero action stuff going on it makes for a decent show.

You all have such good ideas. I look forward to reverse engineering them to try and create my new standard. :smallamused:

nedz
2012-12-04, 10:50 AM
Well there is the round robin method where the players generate their stats and then pass them to the person on their left.

Personally I prefer something like Elite Array because is doesn't favour lucky rollers or SAD builds which tend to be casters.
Maybe add in pathfinder style racial mods which is going to give you a 17.

Jay R
2012-12-04, 12:21 PM
There is no one "best way". It depends on the game and the players.

If you are playing with people who are concerned with their own ability to have a character do exactly as much as the next character, in a game like 4E that's focused on character abilities, you'd better balance all the PC's abilities.

In a game like AD&D 2E, with players who seek a challenge, and consider the other PCs to be allies, there is no need to do so.

In a game like Champions, balancing doesn't work because, even though all players have the same number of points, designing a character is a skill like any other, and the people who are better at it have more effective characters.

In a game like OD&D, in which player cleverness and problem-solving is more important than stats, it is not necessary to balance the character stats.

"Balancing" the characters does nothing particularly for me. I cheer just as much when the other PC does something great as when mine does. I've played games in which I had the weakest character, the strongest character, and an average character. They are different kinds of games, but all fun. I admit that I don't understand people saying that any of these would not be fun - unless the other players are rivals, not friends.

But don't base your decision on anything I say. Base it on what your players want.

Yora
2012-12-04, 12:42 PM
There is no one "best way". It depends on the game and the players.
Perhaps, but those methods are for inferior games and simple-minded players. :smalltongue:

Greylond
2012-12-04, 12:47 PM
For D&D type games(AD&D, HM4, etc).
3d6 straight down. Play what you roll.

The problem with rolling anything else is that over the years Characters with higher and higher stats slowly over the years became Standard and now there's many people that refuse to play a character with Stats under 14. The Powercreep/Stat creep has gotten to bad, actually, I think it got too bad 10 years ago. To me, the most interesting characters are those with a weak stat or two.

navar100
2012-12-04, 12:59 PM
In dice rolling you don't have to be enslaved to the first roll. If Bob rolls 14, 12, 11, 10, 10, 9 while Frank rolled 18, 15, 14, 14, 12, 8, just let Bob reroll. You're not being unfair to Frank who still has his good array, and Bob will get something better. If Mark meanwhile rolled 15, 15, 13, 12, 10, 10, DM Fiat a 15 or 13 to an 18 (depending on class) to be on par with Frank and be done with it. More likely a 15 anyway considering Frank has an 8 while Mark doesn't.

Point Buy will work if you ignore the recommended value and go with a higher one. In 3E 32 points can get you a (subjective) decent paladin barely. 36 points definitely, and you might even get a decent monk as well. In Pathfinder 25 points gets you a paladin - 16 ST, 16 CH, 14 CO, 10 for the rest before racial modifiers.

There's always 27-25-23 which I've mentioned many times - a combination of dice rolling and point buy. Roll 4d6, drop lowest three times. Those are three of your scores. Take any score and subtract it from 27 for your 4th score. Another score is subtracted from 25 for your 5th score. The last score is subtracted from 23 for your 6th score. Finally add 2 to any one score. Your personal preference might hard force max 18 in a score. For example, someone could roll a 7 in his first three scores and want to do 27 - 7 = 20 for an ability score. Instead, he'll have to do 25 - 7 = 18 or 23 - 7 = 16.

Example 1:
Rolled 16, 14, 10
27 - 10 = 17
25 - 16 = 9
23 - 14 = 11

Array is 17, 16, 14, 11, 10, 9 - now decide where to put the +2. Lots of good choices depending on class then added racial modifiers.

Example 2:
Rolled 13, 10, 8
27 - 10 = 17
25 - 13 = 12
23 - 8 = 15

Array is 17, 15, 13, 12, 10, 8 - now decide where to put the +2. Not as flexible as Example 1, but final array will be close enough after racial modifiers.

obryn
2012-12-04, 01:38 PM
For D&D type games(AD&D, HM4, etc).
3d6 straight down. Play what you roll.

The problem with rolling anything else is that over the years Characters with higher and higher stats slowly over the years became Standard and now there's many people that refuse to play a character with Stats under 14. The Powercreep/Stat creep has gotten to bad, actually, I think it got too bad 10 years ago. To me, the most interesting characters are those with a weak stat or two.
3d6 straight hasn't been the default since before AD&D. Even in AD&D 1e, 4d6s3, arrange to taste was considered the default "Method I".

3d6 straight works fine in 0D&D because your stat modifiers are generally just XP bonuses. And it works well in BX/BECMI/RC because of (1) the ability score table is pretty generous, and (2) you can trade stats 2-for-1.

But in AD&D, your perks/penalties don't start applying, usually, until you're at 6- or 15+. These are pretty far down the bell curve.

All in all, though, I don't think a character who's average in every score is interesting at all. And a character who has all penalties may be interesting, but not in an "I'd love to play this character for a few years" sort of way.

-O

valadil
2012-12-04, 01:46 PM
Generally to "fix" or at least attempt to fix this problem, I use a "steal stats" mechanic, in which everyone rolls 1 set of stats (unless they qualify for reroll), and people can "steal" other player's rolls.

Steal or copy? Does stealing deprive another player of those rolls? If it's a copy, you're basically just rolling N sets of stats and letting the players each choose the ones they like best.

What ruined stat rolling for me was bad players who killed their characters when they wanted a reroll. I don't game with players like that as a general rule, but it still killed some of the fun for me.

Fecar
2012-12-04, 02:22 PM
For games just above the normal power curve, I have my players roll 2d6 +6 for each ability score. It makes the average a 15 with a minimum of 8 in any stat.

Philistine
2012-12-04, 03:06 PM
For D&D type games(AD&D, HM4, etc).
3d6 straight down. Play what you roll.

The problem with rolling anything else is that over the years Characters with higher and higher stats slowly over the years became Standard and now there's many people that refuse to play a character with Stats under 14. The Powercreep/Stat creep has gotten to bad, actually, I think it got too bad 10 years ago. To me, the most interesting characters are those with a weak stat or two.

Leaving aside the blatant Stormwind Fallacy there, Point Buy does a better job of producing characters with "a weak stat or two" than rolling dice. While players can choose not to have any weak stats, doing so (at typical PB values) means also not having any strong stats. Point Buy also entirely avoids generating characters with "a weak stat or five or six."

Point Buy gives greater control to the players, useful for builing to a concept (or to fill a hole in an existing group). It also gives greater control to the GM, who can choose a low PB for a "grittier" campaign (not that D&D really does "gritty" well at the best of times) or a higher total for a more "heroic" game. No system of rolling dice, no matter how convoluted, can equal that.

And that's the part that really gobsmacks me. I've seen some awfully complicated dice-rolling schemes here and elsewhere (including some real corkers in PbP game ads - I think the champ was "roll 8x5d6b3, rerolling 1s, and choose the best 6; then do it twice more, and choose the best array from the 3 you've generated"), and I just don't see the point of it once it goes that far. (Or well before it gets that far, in fact.) It's so much faster, easier, and fairer to just give a high Point Buy if you want a high-stats kind of game.

Morithias
2012-12-04, 03:50 PM
Steal or copy? Does stealing deprive another player of those rolls? If it's a copy, you're basically just rolling N sets of stats and letting the players each choose the ones they like best.

What ruined stat rolling for me was bad players who killed their characters when they wanted a reroll. I don't game with players like that as a general rule, but it still killed some of the fun for me.

Copy. Sorry it's kinda a misnomer. I've started calling it "mimicing" from now on.

Morph Bark
2012-12-04, 03:59 PM
Wait, would this be actually taking someone else's stats in their place, or would this be "copying" their rolls? :smallconfused: EDIT: Got answered while posting.

In the latter case, wouldn't this mean that the larger the group of players is, the bigger the chance they all have high stats?

SowZ
2012-12-04, 04:05 PM
JaronK offered an adjusted point buy system based on tier. To quote:



Personally I think 44 might be a bit much. I might go something like 25 (tiers 1 and 2), 28 (tiers 3 and 4), 32 (tiers 5 and 6).

My games use standard PB at 25, 26, or 32 points, depending on the type of game and the number of players.

Let's look at Monk. To have decent AC, he'll need at least 16 in both Dex and Wis. To do good damage, he will also need a 16 or so in Str. To have decent health, he will need at least a 16 in Con because of his D8 HD. To have any SP at all, he needs a 14 in int or so. With a ten in Cha, that is a 38 PB.

Or a Paladin. We'll want at least 16 Str. 14 Dex. 14 Int. Con 14. Wis 14. Cha 14. That's 40 PB.

qwertyu63
2012-12-04, 04:12 PM
Chiming in with my answer to the question of generating stats.

-Roll 4d6, drop lowest. Do so 4 total times.
-You also get an 8, and a 16.
-Assign to taste.

It means you will have at least one good stat and at least one bad stat, but still leaves room for chance.

Galdor Miriel
2012-12-04, 04:15 PM
We have a great system that is a combo that we use in 4E games where your main ability is so important. You get to use either 18,14 or 15,17 or 16,16 for any two stats rolled randomly with a d6. The other stats are rolled in order once using 3d6.

This means you always have a playable character, but you might get a weakness or a strength elsewhere. It has been a lot of fun to play in 4E where you have to have a good ability as that is the way the game is built. I like it because we get the randomness, that I honestly think helps make the characters more real, and we get the ability to contribute.

GM

Morithias
2012-12-04, 04:22 PM
Wait, would this be actually taking someone else's stats in their place, or would this be "copying" their rolls? :smallconfused:

In the latter case, wouldn't this mean that the larger the group of players is, the bigger the chance they all have high stats?

Player 1 rolls 14,10,10,10,10,10
Player 2 rolls 16,16,16,16,16,16
Player 3 rolls 18,14,16,12,10,14

Player 1 wishes to play a Paladin and hates his rolls. Due to the MAD system of the Paladin, he decides to copy Player 2's rolls and use all 16's.

Player 2 wishes to play a factorum, due to the nature of the factorum being SAD on intelligence he abandons his rolls in favor of copying player 3's rolls.

Player 3 Wishes to play a balanced down to earth jack of all trades Master. She decides to abandon her rolls and use Player 2's rolls.

Player 4 enters the game and rolls 18,17,16,16,15,17.

Everyone decides to redo their characters and use this new set.

That's generally how it plays out. One player rolls a great set, everyone uses it, with maybe one exception. Of course there's no rule preventing player 3 from using player 1's rolls for a comic relief character, or self-imposed challenge, or just refusing to copy and using their own rolls regardless of other rolls.

Scowling Dragon
2012-12-04, 05:05 PM
I think regardless of the game, there should never be any randomness in character generation.

Well rolling stats can leed to great new RP directions that you would be usually too chicken to try.

Sidmen
2012-12-04, 05:21 PM
Well rolling stats can leed to great new RP directions that you would be usually too chicken to try.

It can, but usually doesn't.

I'm one of those lazy, boring types who would just prefer to use an Array. Heroic, Elite, Standard, and Mook arrays - depending on what kind of game you're starting up.

Of course, this assumes that class designers don't have their heads in the sand and make MAD classes. When a WotC class designer sits down, they should look at two abilities and design their class to work with those.

DrBurr
2012-12-04, 05:39 PM
My first campaign used Roll Stats and it went fine I think only one person had high stats and no one had terrible ones. Though my current campaign I used a point buy because I got sick of people constantly changing their minds on what they wanted to play.

Used the seven sets of 4d6 drop the lowest. And if you didn't get a single Stat of 16 or better I offered a complete reroll.

I rolled all the dice with my d6s so their wouldn't be a debate on whether or not peoples dice were better or that they just rolled badly.

I plan at some point to play some old school AD&D so I'll probably use rolls

Dr.Epic
2012-12-04, 05:43 PM
96 (or 98) point buy.:smallwink:

Morithias
2012-12-04, 05:45 PM
96 (or 98) point buy.:smallwink:

96 is straight 18s...but what is 98? It's not a multiple of 6...

Dr.Epic
2012-12-04, 05:47 PM
but what is 98?

In case you have a -2 racial penalty.

Sidmen
2012-12-04, 06:38 PM
In case you have a -2 racial penalty.

Sadly, Racial penalties/bonuses come after abilities are chosen, so you'd have to have a 20 to offset it.

And now I feel dirty, because I'm a no-good rules-lawyering geek.

Craft (Cheese)
2012-12-04, 11:06 PM
I'm slowly becoming more and more convinced that if you can represent a character's abilities without using quantification, you probably should.

When it's necessary, though, best method is to use an array.

Morph Bark
2012-12-05, 04:33 AM
96 is straight 18s...

Which is bad, so clearly you should go 69 instead.

Jon_Dahl
2012-12-05, 08:23 AM
I let my players choose between point buy or rolling up stats. This way you can either make sure you will have the kind of character you want, or you can have a mediocre to fantastic character, depending on your rolls.

Kazyan
2012-12-05, 08:29 AM
I like the idea of 'everyone is different', but everyone whiiiiiines about unfairness in rolls. Well, our table just sort of snarks at each other about our rolls because it doesn't really matter. Anyway, GitP does. What if the 'everyone is different' aspect were relegated to the rolls you don't care about in the first place?

Choose three stats. They're 16 now. For the other three, 3d6 in order. Paladins/Monks/"But I'm a maaaaaaad class DM whine whine whine" get to arrange the 3d6s.

Jay R
2012-12-05, 08:41 AM
96 is straight 18s...

96 is straight 16s. 108 is straight 18s.

Morph Bark
2012-12-05, 09:21 AM
96 is straight 16s. 108 is straight 18s.

You start with all 8s. An 18 costs 16 points. 16 x 6 = 96.

Point buy in DnD isn't point-for-point, because one high and one low value are much better than two average ones. They also don't start at 0, because no ability score may be 0 (and Int can't be lower than 3).

obryn
2012-12-05, 09:34 AM
Point buy in DnD isn't point-for-point, because one high and one low value are much better than two average ones. They also don't start at 0, because no ability score may be 0 (and Int can't be lower than 3).
This has not always been the case. D&D didn't start with 3rd. :smallwink:

-O

PersonMan
2012-12-05, 09:49 AM
This has not always been the case. D&D didn't start with 3rd. :smallwink:

-O

Pfft. Everyone knows that 2e and the like are just myths to keep the children from misbehaving.

Morph Bark
2012-12-05, 10:27 AM
This has not always been the case. D&D didn't start with 3rd. :smallwink:

-O

I was unaware previous editions had the option of ability scores being able to be 0 from the start.

obryn
2012-12-05, 11:03 AM
I was unaware previous editions had the option of ability scores being able to be 0 from the start.
Yes, obviously that was my point. Nicely rebutted!

-O

RedWarlock
2012-12-05, 11:13 AM
Yes, obviously that was my point. Nicely rebutted!

-O

Then what was your point, exactly? MB was talking about pointbuy and the associated cost values, which I wasn't aware existed prior to 3e as a main-used generation method. Please elaborate.

obryn
2012-12-05, 11:25 AM
Then what was your point, exactly? MB was talking about pointbuy and the associated cost values, which I wasn't aware existed prior to 3e as a main-used generation method. Please elaborate.
"Point buy in DnD isn't point-for-point, because one high and one low value are much better than two average ones."

Basically - if you say there's something in "D&D" it should probably be pretty universal about D&D, rather than a method that D&D only started using in the past 12 years. :smallsmile: It's good practice to indicate the edition(s) you're speaking of.

Call it a pet peeve of mine if you wish! The winkie was meant as "Don't take this too seriously, because I know I'm not." And now I've spent way too long explaining an incidental aside.

-O

Morph Bark
2012-12-05, 11:45 AM
I've had a pretty bad day, so when I saw your post and interpreted the winkeyface differently from what you had apparently meant by it (in a "you're an idiot if you only talk about 3rd Edition" way), it kinda added to the irritation, sorry.

I've only played 3.5 and 4th, so those are the only editions I can provide information on and talk about (except for some Planescape and Dark Sun fluff, a very tiny amount). I've read some of the older Player Handbooks because I was curious and thought I'd maybe try them, but I didn't get that far when I saw a lot of tables to reference during play and 18/X Str stats. I actually didn't know if point buy was used at all prior to 3.0. Was it?

obryn
2012-12-05, 01:39 PM
I've had a pretty bad day, so when I saw your post and interpreted the winkeyface differently from what you had apparently meant by it (in a "you're an idiot if you only talk about 3rd Edition" way), it kinda added to the irritation, sorry.
Hey, no problems. :smallsmile:


I've only played 3.5 and 4th, so those are the only editions I can provide information on and talk about (except for some Planescape and Dark Sun fluff, a very tiny amount). I've read some of the older Player Handbooks because I was curious and thought I'd maybe try them, but I didn't get that far when I saw a lot of tables to reference during play and 18/X Str stats. I actually didn't know if point buy was used at all prior to 3.0. Was it?
Not really in any orthodox sort of way; 3rd was the first D&D edition that made it a primary method for stat generation. They had several clever dice methods, including a few which had "dice assignment," and BX/BECMI let you do 2-for-1 stat trades to improve your prime requisites.

I know several tables who allowed for 1-for-1 point buy in 2e, but the first time I saw really orthodox point buy in D&D was 3e. (Other games used pretty involved point-buy, though. The one that sticks in my mind most was Earthdawn.)

-O

ReaderAt2046
2012-12-05, 04:33 PM
I think I bring a new perspective to the table because several of my favorite character concepts work best with perfectly balanced abilities (i.e. all scores the same, or if that's not possible within 1 point of each other.) Thus I like point-buy for almost exactly the opposite of the usual reason, because it allows me to, if I want, produce a character with no min-maxing at all. If you use dice you'll have to play a min-maxed character becuase you roll some strong and some weak scores.

Greylond
2012-12-05, 05:17 PM
Leaving aside the blatant Stormwind Fallacy there, Point Buy does a better job of producing characters with "a weak stat or two" than rolling dice. While players can choose not to have any weak stats, doing so (at typical PB values) means also not having any strong stats. Point Buy also entirely avoids generating characters with "a weak stat or five or six."

Point Buy gives greater control to the players, useful for builing to a concept (or to fill a hole in an existing group). It also gives greater control to the GM, who can choose a low PB for a "grittier" campaign (not that D&D really does "gritty" well at the best of times) or a higher total for a more "heroic" game. No system of rolling dice, no matter how convoluted, can equal that.

I don't agree. From my experience with many different game systems over the last 30 years all Point Buy does is produce very similar characters with as many stats as possible at the "Break points" of Stat Modifiers. Also, anyone can RP a character of their exact choosing. A good RolePlayer should be able to play a randomized character.

hymer
2012-12-05, 07:05 PM
Also, anyone can RP a character of their exact choosing. A good RolePlayer should be able to play a randomized character.

Well, excuse me for being so bad at your hobby, but I actually want to have fun while I'm playing - and we obviously disagree on what's fun.
Seriously though, if you want randomness in your point buy, create it (and let me buy my high charisma druid in peace). Have someone else make an array for you without knowing what you intend to play, or roll those dice and then emulate those stats as closely as you can. A good RolePlayer should be able to come up with some interesting ideas. :smalltongue:

Samuel Sturm
2012-12-05, 07:18 PM
I use the following method:

Roll 4d6. Reroll all ones, once per die maximum.
Repeat 5 times.
If you do not have an eighteen at the end of this process, take your lowest number and make it an eighteen.

It works well for us.

obryn
2012-12-05, 07:37 PM
From my experience with many different game systems over the last 30 years...
Hey, me too! Early 80's. Moldvay Basic was my first; the well-taped book is still on my shelf. We played Keep on the Borderlands until the cover map split in half. I still have the red d20 from that set; I used to crayon it in white. It's basically a perfect sphere now. Played numerous games - TOON, FASERIP Marvel, Paranoia, Earthdawn, Mythus (shudder), WFRP, Star Wars d6, MERP, etc. And D&D editions from BX/BECMI/RC/1e/2e/3.x/4e (I missed the boat on 0e by a few years :smallfrown:).


...all Point Buy does is produce very similar characters with as many stats as possible at the "Break points" of Stat Modifiers.
...Oh. Not me too, then. Amazing how 30 years of experience can lead to completely different opinions, isn't it? It's almost like a worthless assertion of authority then, kinda?


Also, anyone can RP a character of their exact choosing. A good RolePlayer should be able to play a randomized character.
I'll raise you, "a good RolePlayer" can play any character, and randomized stats are a poor substitute for outstanding characterization at the table. I'd even be tempted to say a good roleplayer doesn't need the crutch of randomized stats. :smallwink:

-O

nedz
2012-12-05, 08:07 PM
Well back in the day we used to use 3d6 in order but I've done that.

Now I actually have character concepts I want to play and since I spend most of my time DMing: it's nice, when I do get to play, to have the luxury of doing just that.

Also: DMing I'm just supposed to throw random NPC's in the player's direction rather than have, Oh I dunno, a blacksmith with some strength rather than 9 Str and 15 Cha ? Although that might work occasionally I suppose ? "Oh I can mend you're sword no problem" *Bluff roll* "I'm a great blacksmith" *some hours of ineffectual tapping later* "The steel in your sword is very hard you know"

Torvon
2012-12-05, 11:58 PM
"The advantage to rolling is that it's 'honest'"

That is not an advantage.

I don't see why chance when creating characters would be of ANY benefit, EVER. The idea that chance decides whether other characters kick ass much more than my character is nothing I could ever understand.

If I choose to play a crappy fighter although I know my friends play clerics and druids and wizards, that's my choice. If I really want to have crappy stats, I can just tell my DM - again, it's my choice. But I don't see any advantage in letting chance decide about that.

Never did, never will.

Susano-wo
2012-12-06, 01:59 AM
I like rolling dice, I really do. Its great when you roll them bones and get, like two 18s, two 16s, or whatever.

But I am becoming convinced that PB is better. As many people have said, its even, and it sucks getting mediocre rolls when other people have kick-ass stats.

And then there's the issue of nonviable characters due to crappy stats on your Pally/Monk. :smallannoyed:

(And then there's keeping the stats in order. I mean, fun on a lark, sure, but as the normal method?!?:smalleek:)

Morithias
2012-12-06, 02:10 AM
Quick question, what do you guys do if a player enters when the campaign has already started?

Using my mimic method, I usually forced them to mimic a roll made before OOC was posted. This prevents a new poochie style character with straight 18's coming in and overshadowing everyone, since they can't alter their stats after the game has begun.

I'm just saying, if you have people who are average to above average, and a new guy enters, and without cheating rolls stats that make everyone else look like wimps what do you do?

Now obviously using point buy solves this, but what do the Rollers do?

TuggyNE
2012-12-06, 02:51 AM
I don't agree. From my experience with many different game systems over the last 30 years all Point Buy does is produce very similar characters with as many stats as possible at the "Break points" of Stat Modifiers. Also, anyone can RP a character of their exact choosing. A good RolePlayer should be able to play a randomized character.

Stat modifier break points are a bit of a challenge; however, PF's point buy system helps with that by increasing point costs at even numbers instead of odd, so for example 11, 12, or 13 in a stat costs 1, 2, or 3 points respectively, but a 14 costs 5; 15 costs 7, but 16 costs 10.

Also, I have to say that not everyone can even roleplay properly to begin with; it's a learned skill, and one that's very sensitive to negative influences. :smalltongue:

TheOOB
2012-12-06, 03:35 AM
Rolling for stats is bad for the game in the game way that giving your group a deck of many things is bad for your game. It's a tactic mostly used by GM's who are ignorant of the problems, don't care about the problems, or are actively being malicious to their players.

It's always bad to make a decision out of ignorance, but it happens often through no fault of your own. It doesn't help that the 3.5 PHB suggests players roll dice for stats, even though it's a terrible idea.

A GM not caring about their game and game balance is also bad for any number of reasons. It means they don't care if the game lasts or how much fun people are having.

Being malicious to your players in fun in Paranoia or a short game, but in most games it's also a bad idea.

Anyways, lets get into why rolling for stats is a bad idea. There are two possible outcomes to stat rolling. The whole party gets roughly equal stats, or some people get better stats than others. If the first happens, congratulations, you had the same outcome as if you did point buy. The second outcome can cause problems.

If you got to weaker stats, you may not be having fun, you may feel that your character can't contribute, or you are always being overshadowed. Anything that challenges the better party members is lethal to you.

If you got the stronger stats you may get board, as you can solve every problem easier, and most encounters are way too easy for you, you may also find your friends getting jealous.

You see, in a fight, if you roll really well your awesome for that encounter, and conversly, if you roll poorly you such for that encounter. With stats, that one roll effects the entire future of your characters.

I will admit, with the right group, sometimes power disparity can be fun, but that isn't something to be left to random chance, it should be something discussed and decided upon before you begin.

Furthermore, using another generation method lets you balance your campaign, if you want a high fantasy monty haul romp, you want your characters to be powerful so you can throw tough challenges at them. If you want a gritty or horror style campaign, you want fragile characters. Once again, don't leave this to random chance, make that choice intentionally.

Morph Bark
2012-12-06, 04:07 AM
In my group, strangely enough, the less-experienced players, or the ones less apt with optimizing, seem to have better luck with rolling than the players good at optimizing, so rolling for stats has never been a big problem balance-wise. The player with the worst luck is in fact the guy who is best at optimizing and who also often takes a leadership position in roleplaying encounters.

To the people saying "but you could end up with five or six low stats": no, you couldn't. Even by RAW the rules on rolling for stats say you need a positive overall modifier and one stat must be 14 or higher. The worst you could end up with would be 14, 10, 10, 10, 10, 8. If you want it better than that, modify it to be "one stat must be 15 or higher and the overall modifier must be at least +5". That's prettymuch how you end up with the elite array or better.

Andreaz
2012-12-06, 06:11 AM
I use fixed stats, and generally they're quite high.
The set for my(pathfinder) warlord psion swiftblade gestalt is 18 18 16 14 12 10, same as my esper knight cleric.
In Exalted my characters tend to have a lot of extra health levels, and the cost to increase attributes is decreased slightly, with its training time facilitated.

obryn
2012-12-06, 09:20 AM
In my group, strangely enough, the less-experienced players, or the ones less apt with optimizing, seem to have better luck with rolling than the players good at optimizing, so rolling for stats has never been a big problem balance-wise. The player with the worst luck is in fact the guy who is best at optimizing and who also often takes a leadership position in roleplaying encounters.
Well, my goodness - it was so obvious! All we need to do is enlist the help of an interested, balance-minded, poltergeist or deity to tweak peoples' dice rolls so that the inexperienced players get better rolls.

I think this is a perfect plan to rescue dice-rolling, guys. I don't know how we could have missed it. :smallwink:

-O

Greylond
2012-12-06, 11:20 AM
You can have random stat rolls and still have a good game. I'm tired of point buy because I'm tired of seeing the same players play the same character over and over and over. Random rolls encourage someone to try something different and not always play the same thing.

And some of the best GMs I've ever played with are those that use Random Stat rolls and those that are antagonistic toward the players. Point buys, especially those that allow everyone to have super high stats are ok, if you are into playing that sort of game, but I'm not. I like having characters that are lower power level at start. Starting out as an Olympic quality character just isn't as fun for me any more. I like having a character that starts out slightly better than an average peasant and work their way up to being a Hero.

Rizban
2012-12-06, 11:39 AM
For D&D, I always use 4d6b3 with the option of 28 point buy if you don't like the roll and don't qualify for a reroll.

The "best" system is whatever the DM and players like using.

Mark Hall
2012-12-06, 11:57 AM
Hackmaster's new edition has what I consider an interesting compromise.

You begin with 40 build points. You then roll your stats 3d6, seven times (the traditional six + looks). If the stats are bad (IIRC, two or more 5s, or nothing of 13 or more), you can "shopkeeper" them... hand them off to the GM to do with as he pleases. If they're better than that, you play them.

If you choose to keep your stats in the order you rolled them, you get 50 bonus BP.
If you switch two stats, you get 25 bonus BP.
If you put them in the order you wish, you get no bonus BP.

While you select your race, BP are used to buy your class (with differing costs by race... it is easier for a half-elf to be a charming rogue than it is a half-orc), your skills, your proficiencies, your specializations... everything. You can also spend BP to increase your stats, with it getting more expensive as your stats rise. You can also add to the BP total by getting Quirks and Flaws... either random rolling for maximum BP, or cherry-picking for a bit less. Quirks and Flaws are also useful for getting Honor as the game progresses (Honor being both a social and metagame mechanic).

If you've got an exotic character combination in mind (a dwarven wizard or a half-hobgoblin rogue), you're usually best off playing the stats as they lie, since your class will cost you a fair bit. If you're playing something more traditional (a dwarf fighter or a human anything), you can afford to switch some stats around... our elf wizard bit the bullet and switched her Strength and her Con, because the Elf hit to Con is pretty severe (4 points), and she needed that way more than she needed strength. As it is, the first hit she took in combat... at 3rd level, no less, ToPped her, and put her out of the fight.

CarpeGuitarrem
2012-12-06, 12:02 PM
I like to roll a bunch of d6es (15 per player), and then inform the players that they get to fight each other to the death for their stats.

I mean...what?

*innocent whistle*

Philistine
2012-12-06, 12:05 PM
In my group, strangely enough, the less-experienced players, or the ones less apt with optimizing, seem to have better luck with rolling than the players good at optimizing, so rolling for stats has never been a big problem balance-wise. The player with the worst luck is in fact the guy who is best at optimizing and who also often takes a leadership position in roleplaying encounters.
Are you advocating "hope the players with the clearest understanding of the rules always have bad luck with the dice" as a solution to the general case? That doesn't seem like a terribly reliable balancing mechanism. What happens if the optimizer has one good day, like, ever? Does his character spend that campaign just straight-up outclassing everyone else in the party six ways to Sunday?

I'm also curious why you felt it necessary to specifically call out the optimizer's participation in RP encounters. If you don't mind me asking, was that meant to be surprising to others, or do you find it surprising yourself? (Though it does raise the question, what if this player were playing an inarticulate character? Whether a gruff and brutish barbarian, or a shy, socially inept thief, there are any number of character archetypes for which "taking the lead" in social situations would be wildly out of character. Of course, he could also just avoid those archetypes that he doesn't find enjoyable to play.)


To the people saying "but you could end up with five or six low stats": no, you couldn't. Even by RAW the rules on rolling for stats say you need a positive overall modifier and one stat must be 14 or higher. The worst you could end up with would be 14, 10, 10, 10, 10, 8. If you want it better than that, modify it to be "one stat must be 15 or higher and the overall modifier must be at least +5". That's prettymuch how you end up with the elite array or better.
Or just use PB, in which case it never even has a chance to become an issue in the first place. Stat Floors like this are one of the tamest ways I've seen to reduce (or remove) the randomness from "random" stat generation, but it still ultimately amounts to "reroll until you get something you like." If random stats are such a good thing, then embrace it fully! Take the bad (there will be bad!) with the good, and do your best with whatever the dice give you! Because once you start adding conditions on what outcomes on the dice are acceptable, it's a very small conceptual step from there to simply bypassing the dice altogether for character generation.

CarpeGuitarrem
2012-12-06, 12:28 PM
Interesting thought: what if you did fully random rolls, but then worked in some sort of specific character ability or such for each natural 1 or 2 rolled during stat rolling. This could represent a unique ability that the character had acquired or developed as a way to remain competent or standout, despite their low scores.

For instance, if you rolled 2, 4, 1 for Dexterity, you'd have 7 Dex, but you'd also have two "knacks" that your character had thoroughly rehearsed and practiced to the point of being automatic. They may not be terribly adept or nimble, but they've made sure that they know how to do those things routinely.

If you rolled 2, 6, 3 for Intelligence, you'd have 11 Intelligence, but you'd also have one specific thing that you could call on for esoteric sorts of knowledge, sometimes oddly helpful to the situation.

If you rolled 1, 1, 6 for Charisma, you'd have 8 Charisma, but there'd be two particular narrow groups of people ("favored enemies", so to speak) for whom you got large situational modifiers to make Charisma-based rolls.

3, 5, 2 for Constitution? Average, but you get something (perhaps a type of poison) that you're especially resistant towards. Wisdom was 4, 1, 5? Also average, but there's one type of thing in particular that you tend to notice well. I'm a bit stumped for Strength.

I may have to implement this in a game.

nedz
2012-12-06, 01:00 PM
Surely the special ability ought to be linked to the (low) stat ?

Beware of unintended consequences.

Morph Bark
2012-12-06, 01:01 PM
Are you advocating "hope the players with the clearest understanding of the rules always have bad luck with the dice" as a solution to the general case?

I am not. I am only stating what has been the case for my group so far.


I'm also curious why you felt it necessary to specifically call out the optimizer's participation in RP encounters. If you don't mind me asking, was that meant to be surprising to others, or do you find it surprising yourself?

I don't find it surprising (blah blah Stormwind Fallacy blah). I meant to show with that that he is both able to make the most of low stats as well as participate easily in RP encounters where rolling is less or not involved. In such a case, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that other players have higher ability scores that are easier to work with and make them shine more in encounters where rolling is more involved, which is mostly the case with non-RP encounters (or rather, rollplay instead of roleplay encounters).

This has worked for my group so far. If it won't in the future, we'll change it. :smallsmile:

Until then, we'll keep rolling. We like rolling. We don't mind the randomness. If we did, we wouldn't be playing DnD.


Or just use PB, in which case it never even has a chance to become an issue in the first place. Stat Floors like this are one of the tamest ways I've seen to reduce (or remove) the randomness from "random" stat generation, but it still ultimately amounts to "reroll until you get something you like." If random stats are such a good thing, then embrace it fully! Take the bad (there will be bad!) with the good, and do your best with whatever the dice give you! Because once you start adding conditions on what outcomes on the dice are acceptable, it's a very small conceptual step from there to simply bypassing the dice altogether for character generation.

Our usual method is "4d6b3, reroll 1s". Our most recent campaign is the standard 4d6b3. Half the players don't seem to mind their bad rolls much once we've gotten started (they just have that initial feeling of "darn, I got a bad roll", even if they had an extra 18 to compensate :smalltongue:), the other half love it. Players have even come up with Flaws for one another based on low scores or bits of RP (often tied together). Plus, one of the most memorable characters had Int 3. :smallbiggrin:

obryn
2012-12-06, 01:08 PM
Until then, we'll keep rolling. We like rolling. We don't mind the randomness. If we did, we wouldn't be playing DnD.
How would your perspective be different if your "optimizer" got all the good rolls and your "non-optimizer" got a row of 10's with one 13?

-O

Lokk
2012-12-06, 01:08 PM
The way my group usually goes is 4d6 drop the lowest rolling 7 times and dropping the lowest. Works out well most of the time. If someone rolls a really bad set like nothing over 13 we let them reroll. Usually you end up with at least one 18 if not a 20 after your racial bonuses. Keeps some element of randomness, you usually end up with 1 or 2 decent stats and some times you get someone with 3 or 4 that are 16+.

We aren't really fans of standard arrays and I hate having to explain point buy to new players every time we play. Its also just plane fun to have someone be hilariously bad one abilities skill set. (Fun times when the guy with wisdom 5 is on watch)

RedWarlock
2012-12-06, 01:24 PM
For my next d20-based game, I'm going to use this:

Roll 4d6, drop the lowest, five times.

Point-cost the results via the point buy chart. (I prefer PF's)

Subtract that from the point-buy build total (25 in my case) and use that to generate the 6th number. If the remaining points go outside the chart (higher than 18 or lower than 8, lower than 3 with my expanded chart), reroll the dice and start over.

CarpeGuitarrem
2012-12-06, 01:48 PM
Surely the special ability ought to be linked to the (low) stat ?

Beware of unintended consequences.
Yeah...this is what I'm wary of.

Jay R
2012-12-06, 04:12 PM
Interesting thought: what if you did fully random rolls, but then worked in some sort of specific character ability or such for each natural 1 or 2 rolled during stat rolling. This could represent a unique ability that the character had acquired or developed as a way to remain competent or standout, despite their low scores.

The first thing I expect to happen is complaints from the person who rolls a lot of 3s and 4.

Kazyan
2012-12-06, 04:57 PM
The first thing I expect to happen is complaints from the person who rolls a lot of 3s and 4.

Yeah, but then you would be complaining that you are merely average (9-12)compared to the rest of your race. Which is petty.

Jay R
2012-12-06, 05:52 PM
Yeah, but then you would be complaining that you are merely average (9-12)compared to the rest of your race. Which is petty.

No, they would be complaining that Their characters are inferior to all the other player characters. Nobody cares how good or bad the 99.9999% you don't interact with are.

nedz
2012-12-06, 06:38 PM
Yeah, but then you would be complaining that you are merely average (9-12)compared to the rest of your race. Which is petty.

6+2+1=9, with two specials
3+3+3=9

2+5+5=12, with one special
4+4+4=12

etc.

Knaight
2012-12-06, 06:41 PM
It really depends on the game. I generally favor deterministic character generation, though there are games where that doesn't work as well (e.g Fiasco). This doesn't necessarily mean D&D style point buy, particularly as I favor simpler methods when they work. Take Qin: You have 5 stats that go from 1-5, you split a number of points between them (I think 14), and you're done. However, because of how the game is designed the whole concept of being single ability dependent is absurd, so there is quite some variety.


Yeah, but then you would be complaining that you are merely average (9-12)compared to the rest of your race. Which is petty.
This also depends on the game. If it is supposed to focus on big heroes, then there is a problem. Similarly, if it is something like Dead Inside where being anywhere near as functional as a typical person is a gigantic blessing, it is a problem.

ReaderAt2046
2012-12-06, 11:16 PM
None of these proposals seem to allow you to play a balanced-stat character the way PB does.

SowZ
2012-12-06, 11:51 PM
None of these proposals seem to allow you to play a balanced-stat character the way PB does.

An array does. I like arrays. They don't favor people who are better at character creation as much and are simple to explain to newcomers.

I think the last time I played a game I gave an 18, 16, 15, 13, 10, 9 array. Because my group was almost all new players. If that group went back to D&D, I'd probably do Point Buy, though.

nedz
2012-12-07, 04:49 AM
In 3.5 PB favours SAD characters, e.g. casters.
Arrays weaken SAD builds and help MAD builds, a little anyway.

Kaerou
2012-12-07, 08:01 AM
I like points buy, but it always ends up being min-maxed, but I don't blame anyone for min-maxing it really.

My group usually goes 4d6 and reroll 1's and sometimes 2's.

I have pondered giving an extra 1d6 or 3-4 points to assign after this roll set to gie the players a little control over the results. Which will usually counter an inevitable 6-9

hymer
2012-12-07, 08:19 AM
If your players min-max their point buy, they'd probably min-max whatever other stat generation system you come up with.
Min-maxing isn't a problem inherent to point buy. If indeed it is a problem, as you point out.

ReaderAt2046
2012-12-07, 08:29 AM
An array does. I like arrays. They don't favor people who are better at character creation as much and are simple to explain to newcomers.

I think the last time I played a game I gave an 18, 16, 15, 13, 10, 9 array. Because my group was almost all new players. If that group went back to D&D, I'd probably do Point Buy, though.

By a "balanced-stat" character, I meant a character all of whose stats are identical, or at least within one point of each other.

Linkavitch
2012-12-07, 10:08 AM
My group did roll 4d6 per stat, 7 times. Drop the lowest roll of each 4d6, tallying up the remaining 3, and drop the lowest of the 7 final scores. After that, you may put them in any order you wish, or trade 3:2 or 2:1 for optimization.

That's how our resident half-orc fighter/barbarian got a +7 to con and str, and a -2 to wis, int (before racial characteristics) and cha.

CarpeGuitarrem
2012-12-07, 10:21 AM
None of these proposals seem to allow you to play a balanced-stat character the way PB does.
Well, that's because playing a balanced-stat character isn't the point of a random system. These proposals are geared not to produce balanced stats, but to ensure that a character won't get totally borked by a bad roll.

The point of randomness is to have stats which are in part dictated by the whims of chance. Which means that they often won't be balanced.

ReaderAt2046
2012-12-07, 11:03 AM
Well, that's because playing a balanced-stat character isn't the point of a random system. These proposals are geared not to produce balanced stats, but to ensure that a character won't get totally borked by a bad roll.

The point of randomness is to have stats which are in part dictated by the whims of chance. Which means that they often won't be balanced.

I know that, I'm just saying that a lot of the time I want to play a balanced character, so that's part of why I favor point buy. If you want a min-maxed character, fine.

PersonMan
2012-12-07, 12:31 PM
I know that, I'm just saying that a lot of the time I want to play a balanced character, so that's part of why I favor point buy. If you want a min-maxed character, fine.

It seems to me like you're jumping from points A to C here. "Balanced" stats that are all within 1 or 2 points of one another do not mean you aren't playing a min-maxed character. A monk, for example, will generally want 14/14/14/14/14/14 more than 18/16/12/8/10/8, so to 'min-max' they will choose the first array.

Another point, not exactly related, but something I think some people don't consider: a 'mix-maxed character's stats are often more representative of a realistic person - someone naturally strong and tough, for example, will often tend towards physical activity, since people generally enjoy things they do well; whereas a "balanced" character is someone quite strange - either they suck at everything, are mediocre at everything or are like jack-of-all-trades superpeople, rather than being generally average and having a few unusual traits.

ReaderAt2046
2012-12-07, 12:44 PM
I was specifically referring to balanced or min-maxed stats. Sorry for not making that clearer.

CarpeGuitarrem
2012-12-07, 01:02 PM
I know that, I'm just saying that a lot of the time I want to play a balanced character, so that's part of why I favor point buy. If you want a min-maxed character, fine.
I'm attempting to picture someone telling an AD&D player that their stat rolling is "min-maxing".

hymer
2012-12-07, 01:28 PM
@ CarpeGuitarrem: Some people 'accuse' rollers of wanting to roll because they are actually hoping to get better stats than either the point buy or the other PCs. So that's one way. Another way is making new characters until you get one with sufficiently high stats.
So I don't think it's utterly impossible. But most/all of the actual min-maxing obviously comes from what you do with the stats once you've rolled them.

SowZ
2012-12-07, 03:13 PM
By a "balanced-stat" character, I meant a character all of whose stats are identical, or at least within one point of each other.

Ohhh. Well, an array could function that way, too. Go all 15s and 14s, no problem.

Greylond
2012-12-07, 04:39 PM
The thing about Random Rolls is that a lot of time you can end up with a character that never occurred to you but you actually come to really love playing.

hymer
2012-12-07, 04:54 PM
What's to keep you from rolling those dice for inspiration, then, even if you're using a point buy or array? Because another thing about Random Rolls is that sometimes it wrecks things.

Greylond
2012-12-07, 05:08 PM
Cause I don't consider rolling random to "Wreck Things." ;)

CarpeGuitarrem
2012-12-07, 05:11 PM
What's to keep you from rolling those dice for inspiration, then, even if you're using a point buy or array? Because another thing about Random Rolls is that sometimes it wrecks things.
It does make you consider an array that doesn't on the face seem interesting. It depends on how willing you are to let the system partially dictate your choices.

It's worth noting that in 3E and forward, stats are super-important, so that not having a high stat can be crippling. If you ease up on that constraint, stat-rolling becomes a lot more viable. In older D&D, the bonuses given on stats were much smaller, and I think that's one reason it worked so well.

Dungeon World is also a game where I'd expect random stat rolling to work really well, because success and failure both drive the story forward, so failing a lot of rolls is not a crippling thing.

RedWarlock
2012-12-07, 05:14 PM
Which is where I like my roll-5-and-PB-the-sixth.

I look at it this way: I don't want anyone outshining anyone else on a permanent, ongoing basis unless they want to be outshone. You are entirely free to not spend your remaining points and take lower than the party average, if you think it'll make a better character. But you don't get to be better than everyone else just because you rolled lucky once.

nedz
2012-12-07, 07:21 PM
Which is where I like my roll-5-and-PB-the-sixth.

I look at it this way: I don't want anyone outshining anyone else on a permanent, ongoing basis unless they want to be outshone. You are entirely free to not spend your remaining points and take lower than the party average, if you think it'll make a better character. But you don't get to be better than everyone else just because you rolled lucky once.

Nice idea, but what happens if they roll really well and have negative points remaining ?

RedWarlock
2012-12-08, 01:21 AM
Handily, that is where my modified PF chart has numbers running down to 3 for negative points. If they exceed 16 pts over on the rest of their rolls, either stick them with the 3, or make them reroll. Can't decide which is better.

3 -16
4 -12
5 -9
6 -6
7 4
8 2
9 1
10 0
The rest as the PF standard chart.

SowZ
2012-12-08, 08:45 PM
Handily, that is where my modified PF chart has numbers running down to 3 for negative points. If they exceed 16 pts over on the rest of their rolls, either stick them with the 3, or make them reroll. Can't decide which is better.

3 -16
4 -12
5 -9
6 -6
7 4
8 2
9 1
10 0
The rest as the PF standard chart.

I'd be perfectly happy with a Str of 3 for my wizard if I roll so well I can have max Int, good Con, good Dex, and good Wis. I'd actually go middle aged and have 2 Str, whatever. I'll just be super careful around poisons.

RedWarlock
2012-12-09, 04:14 AM
I'd be perfectly happy with a Str of 3 for my wizard if I roll so well I can have max Int, good Con, good Dex, and good Wis. I'd actually go middle aged and have 2 Str, whatever. I'll just be super careful around poisons.

Yeah, true. Okay, if they exceed the point value even after getting a 3 for the 6th stat, they must reroll.

scurv
2012-12-10, 11:39 PM
Char generation....never a fair to everyone way to do it. Fact of life. point buy or die roll. Someone is going to complain about something.

But when I dm i'll let players do rerolls on stats or dump more points into a pool, if they tell me a good story about why they should have that stat/skill and give me a plot hook to work with (And you would be surprised how often they think hard about doing that)