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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Iíve Been Converted

    Personally I prefer rolling to point-buy (I don't really have a conscious reason honestly, it just feels better to me) and I've only rarely seen any players feeling marginalized because of what they rolled. I suppose I've just had the good fortune that the only times I've seen it happen personally are with players using it as an excuse (one player frequently made this claim, including a least once where he made this claim despite the fact that both players were the same class, he had a level advantage, and the other players highest stat was a 12).

    Honestly it confuses me a bit. The difference between a 16 and an 18 is just an additional 5% chance of success. The difference between 14 and 18 is only 10%, meaning that nine times out of ten you won't even notice a difference between the two. I'm not trying to claim rolling us better here, just that I'm confused by the claim that rolling is bad because it makes the character unequal.
    Last edited by rmnimoc; 2019-08-24 at 11:10 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmnimoc View Post
    Honestly it confuses me a bit. The difference between a 16 and an 18 is just an additional 5% chance of success. The difference between 14 and 18 is only 10%, meaning that nine times out of ten you won't even notice a difference between the two. I'm not trying to claim rolling us better here, just that I'm confused by the claim that rolling is bad because it makes the character unequal.
    Except an extra +1 ability score doesn't just mean +1 to dice rolls in most circumstances. A 16 vs an 18 in con is an extra +1 fort, but also an extra +1 hp/level. For dex, it's a 5% chance to hit on ranged attacks, but also a 5% chance to pass dex based skills, 5% better initiative, and 5% better AC. For strength, it's better melee rolls, but also more damage, and better chance at strength based skills, and more carrying capacity. For intelligence, it also means more skill points, and for int/wis/cha as a caster it means more bonus spells, and better spell DCs.

    Also that 5% number is actually a misnomer, because a 5% on the dice could actually represent a 100% increase in success rate, if you were only succeeding on a 20, you're now succeeding twice as much, on a 19 and a 20. That +1 could be the difference between being able to do something at all, and being completely unable to succeed. And spread that across many ability scores, and suddenly you have a character that's just in general a lot better than one without good scores.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Iíve Been Converted

    Alright so i gotta clarify something before we move on.

    In my mind "Rolling stats" mean you roll 6 numbers then put them in the abilities you want

    but so far i have been hearing "Rolled a 16 for my int" and I'm sitting her like... "So you choose the stat your rolling before rolling it?" dont get me wrong my older brother actually did this, it was 4d6 re-roll 1s and 2s take the 3 highest but each stat that you rolled applied to the stats in order, so you could roll a 16 str but was planning on taking a wizard but after rolling your stats completely you could end up with
    Str 16
    Dex 14
    Con 9
    Int 12
    Wis 15
    cha 18
    and have to change your entire character, its a good way to get people to play outside their "Safe Zone" but it can also make players feel forced into characters that they don't enjoy, definately a stat roll system for DMs that dont know what to play or for experienced players who want to try out new classes but don't know where to start

    i mean if you tell your group to roll 3d6 and re-roll 1's you will get scores of 6-18 so an 16 in int isn't bad in that sense. my group likes higher powered characters (And thus higher challenge ratings) so we roll 5d6 re-roll 1's and 2's and you take the 3 highest on the dice and take an automatic 18 meaning we will get stat rolls of 9-18 but we are always guaranteed a perfect score in one of our stats. its a unique way of rolling stats and it works for us.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by OGDojo View Post
    but so far i have been hearing "Rolled a 16 for my int" and I'm sitting her like... "So you choose the stat your rolling before rolling it?"
    I imagine they're saying a 16 for their int, because 16 was their highest score, and they were playing an int-main class like wizard or something, so naturally the 16 is their int score.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Playing a wizard the way GitP says wizards should be played requires the equivalent time and effort investment of a university minor. Do you really want to go down this rabbit hole, or are you comfortable with just throwing a souped-up Orb of Fire at the thing?
    Quote Originally Posted by atemu1234 View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    I imagine they're saying a 16 for their int, because 16 was their highest score, and they were playing an int-main class like wizard or something, so naturally the 16 is their int score.
    thats what i was thinking as well i just wanted to confirm.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    the problem with point buy is that it favors SAD over MAD classes. <snip> I could get on the point buy cart if it allowed a greater point buy for lower tier classes. as it is, the only way to play some concepts is to roll and hope to score high.
    Neither is particularly good for dealing with this problem. When rolling, odds are better you'll have only one good stat and several mediocre to poor stats, which still means SAD classes come out on top. Sure, there are slim odds you might do very well, but there are equally slim odds you'll do so poorly you get a character that can't even meaningfully do what you wanted to begin with--and casters are no more negatively affected by this than non-casters.

    well, I believe you are overstating your case.
    I'm really, really not. This is literally the subject of significant education research, and all of it points toward "talent, as most people use the word, straight-up doesn't exist." I can't argue with your personal experience, but I can argue from research that pretty conclusively shows that almost every thing people think is a "talent"--art, writing, mathematics, memory, observation, physical fitness--is actually a skill, and almost everyone can get into the upper 10% or so if they work hard enough. Some will have to work longer than others, some will have to really focus on specific things if they want to get there, yes. But "talent" is emphatically not necessary to do so; it's almost exclusively used as a justification for not putting in the time and effort needed.

    While it's true that most people can reach decent skill in most fields, having talent means that you'll learn it so much faster.
    I never said anything about speed--only end results. If you spend five years practicing your art skills, you will be seen as "having a talent for art," even though all you did was rigorously practice your skills every day for five years. Whereas someone who drew doodles and sketches every couple of afternoons from the time they were five? They'll *also* be seen as having a "talent," even though it's exactly the same process, just distributed over "many years of childhood" instead of "a few, focused years of adulthood."

    I don't think there is a clear way to demonstrate if that is the origin of talent.
    But really, does it make a difference?
    "talent is your genetics or something accidental giving you an advantage at something".
    Perhaps I did not speak clearly enough. Genetics almost never corresponds to what people mean when they say someone is "talented." Genetics covers things like having tetrachromacy (four types of cone cells instead of only 3, very slightly improving vision, particularly in dark environments), having smaller and more numerous red blood cells (which means your blood is slightly more efficient at transporting oxygen and CO2, giving you a slight edge in strength and endurance tests), having more elastic joints (which slightly improves manual dexterity), or having more effective myelination of your muscular nerves (which slightly increases your reflexes). These are "talents" in the sense of things that cannot be learned, that can have some kind of impact on your skill. But they only matter when you're already reaching extreme diminishing returns on regular training--hence why I referenced Michael Phelps, who actually does have "a talent" for swimming because of his smaller and more numerous red blood cells, giving him a slight advantage that only matters at the Olympic level, the absolute highest orders of human achievement where you have little to nothing left to learn.

    "Talent" means an inherent superiority. There is no such thing, except in very, very extreme situations. In the vast majority of Things People Would Like To Be Good At, any tiny amount of genetic or innate superiority is completely overwhelmed by developed skill. Again, as noted, it may take some people more or less *time* to develop that skill. But everyone *can* develop it, in some given skill, if they work for it. Most people aren't interested in doing that much work, though, so it never happens.

    Ultimately, though, I don't think it's important or useful to determine how much genetics and how much environment and how much choice shaped our abilities. In the end they are there, and we just have to accept that we are better than most at something and worse than most at something else, and make what we can with it.
    No. We emphatically do NOT have to "accept" that we're just good or bad at things. That's the whole point. We have the power to change this. It is this giving up, this mere acceptance that "oh, I'll never be as TALENTED as that person!" that is the monster we must fight. It holds people back. It prevents genuine achievement and happiness.

    like, roll 1d6 for genetics, and apply a modified version of point buy over that?
    it could be a nice idea.
    or it could leave everyone unhappy; those that want reliable unsatisfied because they still have to bow to some dice rolls, and those who want random unsatisfied because they still can minmax most of it.
    As with anything, implementation matters. My intent, though, was that you could point-buy normally only stats up to 12 or 13. That's you declaring "my character comes from a family with naturally high intelligence" or "her father was a rakish rogue, and she inherited his dashing good looks." Because the benefit of inheritance, family, etc. is very small, but it gets you started. After that, you'd play a mini-game where you're going through and choosing life events for your character. Some might introduce an element of randomness, but I would certainly prefer that randomness at most be an equally-valid-option kind of thing, definitely not default.

    More or less what I'm saying is: you don't like point-buy because it feels artificial, because it doesn't feel like a person who grew up, it feels like a transgenic clone made-to-order. Alright, fine; have them grow up. Actually play through the choices, events, etc. that shaped them into what they've become. Decide that your overbearing wizard father drove you into being a cerebral but still athletic person because you couldn't stand to do anything he approved of. Show that your parents scrimped and saved every penny they had, sometimes living on boiled-cabbage-soup and thin crackers, in order to put you through seminary. Actually play through running away to join the bard troupe, and how you had to spend three months cleaning the horses before they even let you touch an instrument. Etc. Doesn't that address the problem of un-naturalness? It actually makes a story out of how your character got 18 Charisma as a Sorcerer, how you had to get into (and perhaps back out of!) a Faustian bargain for your 18 Intelligence, or whatever.
    Last edited by ezekielraiden; 2019-08-25 at 12:57 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Iíve Been Converted

    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    Neither is particularly good for dealing with this problem. When rolling, odds are better you'll have only one good stat and several mediocre to poor stats, which still means SAD classes come out on top. Sure, there are slim odds you might do very well, but there are equally slim odds you'll do so poorly you get a character that can't even meaningfully do what you wanted to begin with--and casters are no more negatively affected by this than non-casters.
    actually, the odds of rolling a stat greater than 15 aren't great. most rolled characters won't have anything above 16 unless they were allowed repeated rolls. so, point buy definitely favors SAD, because a SAD class will always get what it needs with point buy, and not always with rolling. while rolling favors MAD, because MAD classes will sometimes get what they want out of rolling, and never with point buy (unless you go to some extreme like point buy 45)

    Of course, there is no guarantee that rolling will produce satisfying results. At all tables I've been in, we rolled first and we considered how to make things fair afterwards. it generally meant having someone reroll some poor stats. andd there always is someone who got better rolls, but not to the point of it being disruptive.

    I'm really, really not. This is literally the subject of significant education research, and all of it points toward "talent, as most people use the word, straight-up doesn't exist." I can't argue with your personal experience, but I can argue from research that pretty conclusively shows that almost every thing people think is a "talent"--art, writing, mathematics, memory, observation, physical fitness--is actually a skill, and almost everyone can get into the upper 10% or so if they work hard enough. Some will have to work longer than others, some will have to really focus on specific things if they want to get there, yes. But "talent" is emphatically not necessary to do so; it's almost exclusively used as a justification for not putting in the time and effort needed.

    I never said anything about speed--only end results.
    Well, then we have different ideas of what talent means, and both can be right. I myself stated that everyone can become reasonably competent at anything with enough effort, and you are not arguing against my concept of "some people learn faster".

    I have to add, though, that the main reason I believe in natural talent is that we (including me) would all like that it didn't exist. We believe in an egalitarian society where people are born equal and can reach whatever goal they set to, and the idea that everyone has a set of things he's innately better or worse clashes against that idea. So we want to discover that the idea of "natural talent" is wrong.
    And this introduces bias. Any scientist should know that wanting or expecting a certain result is a major source of bias. and plenty of research shows that bias is present in a lot of research.
    I can't help thinking of one century ago, when science had "demonstrated" racial superiority, and it kept finding more "proofs" for it, because it was what society wanted to hear. and then, when society became more open minded, those experiments were revised and it was discovered that all those proofs arose from bias.
    And now a lot of research is telling us exactly what we want to believe, in a field where it's very difficult to make rigorous experiments and demonstrations. Forgive me for being very suspicious of it.


    No. We emphatically do NOT have to "accept" that we're just good or bad at things. That's the whole point. We have the power to change this. It is this giving up, this mere acceptance that "oh, I'll never be as TALENTED as that person!" that is the monster we must fight. It holds people back. It prevents genuine achievement and happiness.
    Ok, I see the point of your stance (do notice, though, how it reinforces my whole "wanting to believe" suspicion"). I agree that many people use "lack of talent" as an excuse for lazyness.
    On the other hand, I've also seen young people being pushed into choosing studies they had no interest in, and were no good at, on the belief that they could do it if they really applied.
    And there's also quite a lot of research showing that pushing people too hard to overcome their flaws instead of accepting them makes them stressed and unhappy, even if they actually manage it. this lack of acceptance ALSO prevents genuine achievement and happiness.

    Especially because people generally lack skills in what they actually don't like doing. If you like doing it, you will do it more, becoming more good in the process. The opposite is also true. So when people say that they have no talent for doing something, most of the times they also loathe doing that.
    Yep, I am sure I could, i.e. learn to fill my tax revenues to a high degree of competence if I spent a lot of time learning it. But I think my life will be happier if I pay some professional to do it for me and spend my time instead practicing the stuff that actually gives me satisfaction.

    I've never seen people being put off from what they actually like doing by "lack of talent". I do have seen people being put off by excessive expectations, though.



    As with anything, implementation matters. My intent, though, was that you could point-buy normally only stats up to 12 or 13. That's you declaring "my character comes from a family with naturally high intelligence" or "her father was a rakish rogue, and she inherited his dashing good looks." Because the benefit of inheritance, family, etc. is very small, but it gets you started. After that, you'd play a mini-game where you're going through and choosing life events for your character. Some might introduce an element of randomness, but I would certainly prefer that randomness at most be an equally-valid-option kind of thing, definitely not default.

    More or less what I'm saying is: you don't like point-buy because it feels artificial, because it doesn't feel like a person who grew up, it feels like a transgenic clone made-to-order. Alright, fine; have them grow up. Actually play through the choices, events, etc. that shaped them into what they've become. Decide that your overbearing wizard father drove you into being a cerebral but still athletic person because you couldn't stand to do anything he approved of. Show that your parents scrimped and saved every penny they had, sometimes living on boiled-cabbage-soup and thin crackers, in order to put you through seminary. Actually play through running away to join the bard troupe, and how you had to spend three months cleaning the horses before they even let you touch an instrument. Etc. Doesn't that address the problem of un-naturalness? It actually makes a story out of how your character got 18 Charisma as a Sorcerer, how you had to get into (and perhaps back out of!) a Faustian bargain for your 18 Intelligence, or whatever.
    this seems like using an extended backstory to justify what you get from point buy. some extreme roleplayer maybe will take the choices by the kind of character he wants, but mostly everyone will just look at the mechanical benefits involved.

    EDIT: huh, I wanted to keep it short, but here I produced a huge wall of text.
    I am sorry. I do not want to derail the thread or escalate an argument. But I do find the discussion interesting, and I can argue for hours if I am engaged
    Last edited by King of Nowhere; 2019-08-25 at 04:36 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Iíve Been Converted

    The best advice I've seen for rolling and getting disastifying stats is to be less careful or rather take more risks. If you die, you go out in a blaze of glory. If you live, you're a badass. Less effective, probably, in the high-op 3.5 environment many people here seem to participate in, but if certainly made me feel better about subpar rolls.
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    Default Re: Iíve Been Converted

    I enjoy both die-rolling and point-buy. They are very different games, and I can enjoy both.

    But somebody who only enjoys one of those games should just play that one, just as somebody who enjoys baseball but not football should only play baseball.

    I have no problem with somebody who prefers one of these games. I just have a problem with people who think their preferences are inherently better than mine, or should be binding on other people.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elves View Post
    Is it too late to do this but with the time I rolled 4d6b3 and got an ~80 PB equivalent?

    I know 32 PB is the standard but I think 34 PB is quite good. 32 is based on the idea that 18 should either cost you in your secondary or cripple your tertiary, 34 is based on the idea that it either costs your tertiary or forces you to have two 8s, which I think is better. And then MADs get to choose between 16/16/14/14 or three 16s but two 8s.

    Then I would say 36 is good for more heroic, high-powered games.
    32 PB is not the standard. The standard is 25 PB. CharOp builds often use 32 because it's the highest PB actually mentioned in the book, much like they use flaws and other variant rules, but the standard point-buy is 25.

    (25 PB is the cost of the elite array, by-the-by. The cost of the nonelite array by PB rules is 15.)
    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    I'm really, really not. This is literally the subject of significant education research, and all of it points toward "talent, as most people use the word, straight-up doesn't exist." I can't argue with your personal experience, but I can argue from research that pretty conclusively shows that almost every thing people think is a "talent"--art, writing, mathematics, memory, observation, physical fitness--is actually a skill, and almost everyone can get into the upper 10% or so if they work hard enough. Some will have to work longer than others, some will have to really focus on specific things if they want to get there, yes. But "talent" is emphatically not necessary to do so; it's almost exclusively used as a justification for not putting in the time and effort needed.
    What you're quoting from the research is not what you're claiming, though. What you're quoting is that skill = talent + effort and that effort > talent, not that talent = 0 which is what you're claiming.

    You straight-up said that some people have to work longer than others to achieve the same level of mastery - that is what talent is. I mean, no ****, you can make up for a lack of talent with more hard work, but someone with more talent and the same amount of hard work will still be better.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Iíve Been Converted

    I use point-buy to balance the classes. Clerics, Druids, and Wizards get 21 points; Rogues and Bards get 25; and the fighting classes get 29. Since my group is only 4th level after a year and a half, it goes a long way to balancing the party dynamic. They still feel sorry for the wizard.

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    Default Re: Iíve Been Converted

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    I imagine they're saying a 16 for their int, because 16 was their highest score, and they were playing an int-main class like wizard or something, so naturally the 16 is their int score.
    Quote Originally Posted by OGDojo View Post
    thats what i was thinking as well i just wanted to confirm.
    I mean... Like I've said in earlier posts... It just depends on the game and the expectations of the DM, Players, and Group as a whole. If the game is about characters pulled from the fabric of the world who may or may not have made optimal choices, a perfectly acceptable (and viable) way to simulate this is with 4d6b3 IN ORDER (no rerolling) and just run with it. This will, no doubt, be a very specific type of game and most will probably not like it (thought I thoroughly enjoy it) because it takes the super long process of character creation and slashes it down. Pick race, pick class, roll stats, plug them in, calculate, play. Super streamlined and easy. Most people on here like the charcter creation minigame, so I know this is an unpopular opinion on these forums. That's why I've been careful to make sure that I've said that it depends of the game and the expectations of the DM, Players, and Group.

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    My solution to stats discussions is this:

    I let players generate their own stats. They can roll if they want, or use point buy, or just write in the numbers they'd like. SO many advantages:

    1) No one is unhappy they don't have enough for hteir concept.
    2) Players who want really low stats (lower than point buy allows) can get those too.
    3) No complaining that someone else rolled higher.
    4) It's fast and you can get to the interesting part of character generation more quickly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    Rolling is best saved for short-lived characters and campaigns, or meat-grinder style games where variety is more valuable than certainty.
    You have to look at where rolling came from.

    Since 3.x, a large % of your character's power comes from your attributes.

    In earlier D&D, attributes really weren't that big a deal. They were nice, but they didn't decide the game. I don't think that you even got a bonus from STR until you got to 15?

    So while rolling is fine for OSR, for 3.x/PF, 4e, or 5e, it simply provides too wide a range of power levels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post

    What you're quoting from the research is not what you're claiming, though. What you're quoting is that skill = talent + effort and that effort > talent, not that talent = 0 which is what you're claiming.

    You straight-up said that some people have to work longer than others to achieve the same level of mastery - that is what talent is. I mean, no ****, you can make up for a lack of talent with more hard work, but someone with more talent and the same amount of hard work will still be better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OGDojo View Post
    in our campaigns we always roll out our stats, sure you "Get lucky or unlucky" At creation but thats part of the fun, turning your disadvantageous ability scores into a cool and interesting character, your thinking "Oh in order to have fun you need good stats" nah i played a Goblin campaign where we started with 6's and an 8 and had the time of our lives. even with our wizard being unable to cast spells and our rogue failing almost every check, it was still fun because from a roleplay aspect it was hilarious and different and playing out those scenes made up for all of the small stats ever. so team "Roll da Stats" for me cuz it gives your character more personality.
    Yesss! I've had so much fun with random stats, be they good or bad. That sounds like a really fun campaign to play in.

    I prefer to do rolling, as do everyone I play with (except for one person who wants to do point buy), and I and some of the others when they GM let you roll two rows, so you get to choose which lineup of stats you want.

    Like, I first roll 12, 13, 11, 18, 8, 10. Then roll 17, 5, 10, 14, 12, 15. I can choose which of these I want to use. Which can make for some interesting decisions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    actually, the odds of rolling a stat greater than 15 aren't great. <snip> so, point buy definitely favors SAD, because a SAD class will always get what it needs with point buy, and not always with rolling. while rolling favors MAD, because MAD classes will sometimes get what they want out of rolling, and never with point buy (unless you go to some extreme like point buy 45)
    The odds are better than you think--an array slightly better than the elite array is the expected value six sets of 4d6k3, as shown by anydice math. Your highest-result-in-six-rolls has mean 15.66, SD 1.43. With over 84% probability you roll better than (15.66-1.43) = (14.23) = 14, and the rules already prevent characters from having no stat higher than 13 when rolled as-is. Thus rolling effectively guarantees at least one stat of 15-or-higher, and that's good enough to guarantee that SAD classes still hit min requirements (main stat 19 before level 17), while MAD classes are as likely to get bad arrays (like 14/12/11/10/9/8) as they are good (like 16/16/14/12/10/8). (And high PB, when PB caps at 18 in a stat, means you always have points for secondary or even tertiary stats.)

    So...yeah I don't quite buy that the math is on your side here. Rolling still guarantees that, by level 20, a character can get 19 in their main stat (14 + 5 points), meaning all SAD casters (who are far and away the bulk of SAD classes) always hit their necessary minimum no matter what, the rules literally don't let them fail to hit it. And they have decidedly better than a 16% chance to get a better array. While the poor MAD char is now just as likely to get "only one good stat" as they are to get "several good stats." I really don't see how MAD comes out meaningfully ahead; MAD loses as much as it gains, and SAD arguably loses less than it gains.

    Spoiler: Side-discussion about talent
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    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post
    What you're quoting from the research is not what you're claiming, though. What you're quoting is that skill = talent + effort and that effort > talent, not that talent = 0 which is what you're claiming.
    The vast, vast majority of the time, when people are saying "talent," they're not saying "skill = talent + effort." They're saying "skill = talent." Effort doesn't come into the equation. They use phrases like, "I wish I had talent like you." And then when you tell them you don't "have talent," you just worked really hard, they rebuff you and say that they could never do that. Almost everyone--again, I have both work experience and research to back me up on this--sees talent as a barrier to entry into a wide variety of skills and careers they explicitly say they would enjoy having. If you're only using "talent" to mean "pre-invested work," you're radically differing from the way almost everyone uses the word; you're not wrong, per se, but you should expect people to argue with you. If you mean it as something genetic, something that just inherently makes Sam better at X than Pat, then you're simply speaking in error--very few things humans do can be traced down to the genetic level, and exceedingly few people actually possess any meaningfully divergent genetics.

    Hence my repeated example of people like Michael Phelps; he does have a special genetic trait that makes him better at athletics than other people. He also lost to people who don't have that talent, until he developed his skills. Even though genetics can influence things, it's only determinative when you're looking at the absolute bleeding edges of skill. So if "talent" simply means pre-invested effort, it is not, and never has been, the barrier almost everyone treats it as being. That's what I've been saying all along. Literally from my very first post on the subject (bold added for emphasis):
    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    Talent as most people use the word doesn't exist. There are *very small* amounts of talent that do exist, and they occasionally matter in the absolute bleeding edges of human achievement, e.g. a generic predisposition to smaller-yet-more-numerous red blood cells can help someone like Michael Phelps push to be tenths of a second faster to get a ton of gold medals rather than a mix of silver and gold. That is a "talent" that cannot be learned and innately provides a real, albeit small, advantage. Way too many people mistakenly conflictconflate prior (accidental) practice with "talent"--oh, I could never do calculus, I don't have the knack for it. Wow, your art is so pretty, I wish I had talent like you! Bull friggin' hockey, all of it.
    You straight-up said that some people have to work longer than others to achieve the same level of mastery - that is what talent is. I mean, no ****, you can make up for a lack of talent with more hard work, but someone with more talent and the same amount of hard work will still be better.
    That is not how the word "talent" is defined in any dictionary I have access to. Specifically, from Dictionary.com (as just one example): "a special natural ability or aptitude." And from the synonym study under the word "ability": "2. Ability, faculty, talent denote qualifications or powers. Ability is a general word for power, native or acquired, enabling one to do things well: a person of great ability; ability in mathematics. Faculty denotes a natural ability for a particular kind of action: a faculty of saying what he means. Talent is often used to mean a native ability or aptitude in a special field: a talent for music or art." Note the contrast between acquired and native. Or consider Merriam-Webster's entry for "talent":
    Quote Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster
    1a : a special often athletic, creative, or artistic aptitude
    b : general intelligence or mental power : ability
    2 : the natural endowments of a person
    "Talent" is explicitly defined to be native, natural, innate; it's not something you get from work, it's just something you inherently possess, without doing any work whatsoever, not even *unintentional* work. Anything that can be made up for with work is not "talent" as the word is used. I wouldn't keep harping on things like Michael Phelps' unusual blood cells if I didn't mean that as a clear example of "talent" as the word is typically defined.

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    Well, then we have different ideas of what talent means, and both can be right. I myself stated that everyone can become reasonably competent at anything with enough effort, and you are not arguing against my concept of "some people learn faster".
    See above. If when you use the word "talent" you only mean "some people have extra preparation/pre-practice," then you're right, but we will have been talking past each other due to this nonstandard usage. If you mean "talent" to include any amount of innate ability to succeed that simply can never be approached by someone without "talent," then that part doesn't meaningfully exist for anything but hyper-specialized cases like the Olympics, where you finally get to see humans hit the ultimate skill plateaus.

    So we want to discover that the idea of "natural talent" is wrong.
    And this introduces bias. Any scientist should know that wanting or expecting a certain result is a major source of bias. and plenty of research shows that bias is present in a lot of research.
    Bias in research is certainly a concern, and because science is empirical rather than deductive, I will never be able to tell you totally for 100% certain that no bias is present. However, I can tell you that at the university level, this is understood to be the extremely well-supported consensus. Natural, innate talent that clearly separates "haves" from "have-nots," doesn't exist. Pre-invested effort that people don't realize was pre-invested effort? Absolutely exists, and is a significant part of what shapes our interests and preferences....but it's also not "talent" as most people use the word.

    Further? I think it's incorrect to assume that all scientists want/expect this result. I think it's more likely that a fair number of people would believe innate-inborn-natural-talent is a real thing--after all, so many regular folks do, why would scientists be any different? Some of them would because they have elitist perspectives, whereas others might simply allow for the fact that talent exists but isn't determinative. The research pretty clearly shows that innate-inborn-natural-talent effectively doesn't exist; it does, but to such a minimal and minor degree that, barring the most extreme situations, it makes no meaningful difference.

    Especially because people generally lack skills in what they actually don't like doing. If you like doing it, you will do it more, becoming more good in the process. The opposite is also true. So when people say that they have no talent for doing something, most of the times they also loathe doing that.
    Yep, I am sure I could, i.e. learn to fill my tax revenues to a high degree of competence if I spent a lot of time learning it. But I think my life will be happier if I pay some professional to do it for me and spend my time instead practicing the stuff that actually gives me satisfaction.
    Unfortunately, a lot of things don't actually work out this way. For example--again, citing my own work experience--there are a lot of students who are really passionate about chemistry, biology, or medicine. They really, really enjoy learning about and discussing these fields. But they haven't learned to do the math they need in order to get degrees/certifications in order to get the job. And the math is a struggle. It sucks. Some studies have literally shown that merely thinking about math causes actual, measurable pain (pain receptors firing in the skin and pain-response sections of the brain responding) for some students that struggle with it.

    Helping students realize that they are not just destined to be bad at math forever because they aren't "talented" enough is an enormous part of the tutoring process. Building people up so that they realize, hey, even if learning this sucks now, it's a necessary building block to something I really want to do, something that will help me live a happier and more fulfilling life. Much like how many people fail to stick with a gym membership or workout routine, because the gains are often slow at first, and they often hurt (I actually gave myself a minor injury my first time lifting weights--couldn't bend OR straighten my arms without SCREAMING pain for about 24 hours, and minor aches for about two weeks!)

    I've never seen people being put off from what they actually like doing by "lack of talent". I do have seen people being put off by excessive expectations, though.
    As noted, I have, frequently. I have also had the joy of working with students over the course of a couple of years, and then when they started to get anxious or frustrated or depressed, I could look them in the eye, smile, write down a quick math formula, and say, "Remember when you thought this was hard? Now you can do it in your sleep. This new stuff is just what the old stuff was...back when it was new to you." And I've gotten some genuinely pretty moving smiles out of it. People frequently don't realize how much their own misperceptions about learning new skills hold them back. It's a serious problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    this seems like using an extended backstory to justify what you get from point buy. some extreme roleplayer maybe will take the choices by the kind of character he wants, but mostly everyone will just look at the mechanical benefits involved.
    I mean...yes. That was the point. You aren't just artificially declaring "I have the best stats evar!" You have to actually earn them. Sure, you earn them by having to work through backstory and select from specified paths. But your stated problem with point buy was that it felt unnatural. This method is literally grounding it as naturally as it can possibly be. Anything less than this wouldn't be point-buy anymore.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    The odds are better than you think--an array slightly better than the elite array is the expected value six sets of 4d6k3, as shown by anydice math. Your highest-result-in-six-rolls has mean 15.66, SD 1.43. With over 84% probability you roll better than (15.66-1.43) = (14.23) = 14, and the rules already prevent characters from having no stat higher than 13 when rolled as-is. Thus rolling effectively guarantees at least one stat of 15-or-higher, and that's good enough to guarantee that SAD classes still hit min requirements (main stat 19 before level 17), while MAD classes are as likely to get bad arrays (like 14/12/11/10/9/8) as they are good (like 16/16/14/12/10/8). (And high PB, when PB caps at 18 in a stat, means you always have points for secondary or even tertiary stats.)
    MAD classes want an 18. I've never seen a primary caster accepting less in their casting stat (exception for some codzilla that uses spells only for buff and heal). in fact, there was a discussion a while ago about whether, in low point buy, it was better to have INT 18 DEX 8 or INT 16 DEX 14. Clearly, many people think that a single +1 to their casting stat is worth a -3 to initiative, AC and ranged touch attacks.
    And rolling gives only a 30% chance of getting a top stat better than 16.

    We are quickly approaching the point where it becomes moot, though, as MAD classes, being casters, have already so many advantages that it doesn't really matter the stat generation technique. A wizard played at high optimization can do very well even with 14 INT.

    Anyway, I always rolled stats with the premise "if the stats suck, you get to roll again". this ensures that MAD classes are never screwed too much... but it can still hurt wizards, as they may get good stats without getting anything above 16.
    In the end, the way we use rolling is quite alike to the way others use point buy: we want a certain kind of stats, and we are guaranteed to get a certain kind of stats. We may get lucky and have a secondary or tertiary stat higher than planned, if we get lucky. it's a nice boon for the fighter to have one more point of AC, or for the monk to have 1 more skill point per level, but it's not game-breaking, it doesn't lead to overpowered characters.

    And now that I'm thinking about it, I really think that this method of "rolling stats until they are good enough" keeps the best of both worlds.
    - You are guaranteed that you will have stats to make your character work.
    - Almost always, the stats will be balanced between the party. Sure, there is a chance that somebody is going to roll 18 18 17 15 14 14, but c'mon, how big are those? almost always, nobody ends up with an overpowered character. most people here can remember one time it happened, because most people have have been playing for decades. if it happens, still no great tragedy most of the time. Having a second 18 to put in CON for a fighter or wizard is nice, but it doesn't affect the game that hard.
    - there is still enough variability to make the characters feel more organic. maybe the fighter will end up with a better-than-average charisma. maybe the cleric is clumsier than most. those differences have a small impact on the game, but they help to avoid all characters of the same class to look identical.

    the horror stories against rolling - those of people without any roll above 14 being forced to play alongside people with no rolls below 15 - only happen when you apply strict "you keep what you roll". and when everyone get good stats, the one guy who'll get superb stats won't outshine the others mu

    I mean...yes. That was the point. You aren't just artificially declaring "I have the best stats evar!" You have to actually earn them. Sure, you earn them by having to work through backstory and select from specified paths. But your stated problem with point buy was that it felt unnatural. This method is literally grounding it as naturally as it can possibly be. Anything less than this wouldn't be point-buy anymore.
    but then you still run into the problem that every character oof the same class feels the same, will have made the same choices to justify the same stats.

    perhaps this is a problem not understood by some people here because they are used to complex snowflake builds. they have the system mastery to make every character unique, and the will to use it.
    Some of us can't or won't do that. Or maybe we are slowly being pulled along the river that is increasing optimization. regardless, I don't play "a half-ogre half-ettin swiftblade with 2 levels of paladin of chaos and 3 more prestige classes that will focus on some specific school of martial manuevers". No, you play a fighter, a cleric, a wizard, or a rogue. Maybe a monk or a druid or a barbarian. Anyway, when you play two fighters, you don't want them to be a copy of each other. rolling stats is a step to make the new fighter different from the old one, a fundamental one when you can't or won't differentiate by bizzarre builds.


    Spoiler: Side-discussion about talent
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    Well, it really seems we are talking of very different things. say what you want about dictionary and "most people", what I'm talking about for talent is always about the fact that some people can learn something very fast, and some others instead take a long time to do the same. And some people can excel with little effort, while some others try hard but can't get past reasonable competence. And it's very different from what you talk about, and none of the things you mention relate much to that.

    Regarding genetics and the mind, we don't know that much about it to really draw any conclusions. heck, it was maybe one or two decades ago that we realized 95% of our DNA isn't useless as initially assumed. And we also discovered that, contrary to previous belief, difference in lifestyle lead to difference in DNA that can be inherited. that just to say that a lot of stuff we assumed we knew about DNA has been turned on its head in recent years; we can't be sure of much.
    As for mind sciences, I can't say much because it's not my topic, but I'm under the impression that the stuff we don't know about the human mind is even more than that we don't know about genetics. And we can only make generalized statistical claims, while the concept of talent refers to the individual.
    Not trying to pull an argomentum ad ignorantiam here, but I just don't think there aren't many scientific claims we can make on those fields.

    Importantly, when I say "innate talent", I don't mean necessarily "hard coded in your dna". Doesn't even have to be innate. No, I just mean all kind of stuff that made you better at something and worse at something else that do not depend on your conscious choices. As I made the example of the guy who learned to swim as a child because he lived by the sea, and I consider him "talented" at swimming. Of course I don't think he's got different DNA, and from the perspective of brain science we have a clear explanation.
    But I am talking from the perspective of doing some introspection on your life. And from that perspective, it absolutely doesn't matter how or why you can swim so well but you tire fast when hiking uphill. what matters is that one comes naturally and the other doesn't.

    But I absolutely must debunk the flat "talent is just the result of hard work". When I started elementary school, I was immediately a genius in mathematics. I NEVER put ANY effort into it, yet I always got perfect scores. So when you say "that guy doesn't have talent, he just practiced more", I imagine you saying it about me and my early mathematical skill, and I want so much to shout NO, I NEVER PRACTICED! I listened the lesson once, and I could do it easily. Often, from it I already figured out the stuff that we'd be told the next lesson (do notice that the gap between me and other kids gradually filled, because they were putting effort in improving and I wasn't) (also, do notice that I scored high in mathematical competition at national level at the time. maybe my experience is so peculiar because I am an outlier?) Instead, I practiced drawing a LOT, because I was actually bad at it and I needed to recover bad marks. And I'm still bad at drawing. All that practice got me from sucking hard to being halfway decent, and then I forgot it all the moment it wasn't required of me anymore. Now, maybe I was better at math because of genes? maybe it was because my parents bought me some kind of games and not others? Maybe it was because I liked practicing some stuff more than others? I don't know, and it's not really relevant for the purpose of figuring out my life.

    I want to also comment on teaching, because I also teach in high school, but I teach to kids, not adults. And this may also contribute to us seeing this from opposite perspectives.
    My kids arrive from middle grade. they have lots of new topics to study, and everything all of a sudden is much more difficult. they also have to struggle with a new environment. Most importantly, most of them are never going to study chemistry past the second year. they will study a lot of new things, and they have to decide what they want to specialize in. So I think that I don't have to teach them a lot of chemistry, but I do need to teach them whether they'd like to keep studying chemistry or not.
    And the speech I give on the first day goes something like "chemistry is great and I hope you will like it. But I know some of you won't. If you end up not liking the topic, it's ok. Do your duty, don't create problems, reach the suffficient mark - the way I give marks, it's not hard - and you'll pass without too much hardship. For those of you who will be interested, instead, I hope you'll appreciate some of the cool stuff I'll show you".
    Different mindset for different students. Research shows that students at that age have a lot of expectations put on them, are very stressed as a result, and I don't want to put more weight on them with an attitude of "you CAN be good at it, you WILL be goood at it, if I have to see all of you at remedial lectures every afternoon".
    And when a student is having a hard time, I can tell them that should consider a career that doesn't involve chemistry. Because they are at an age where they must choose what to do, they don't have to be good at my topic. (don't mistake me for being dismissive, I also tell them that they can get competent, and that I never gave an insufficient mark to a student who seriously applied. i push them to reach competence, just not to excel if they don't want to)
    And when my students discover that I rock at lots of logic-mathematical related stuff I tell them that I don't feel a genius. I get easily some stuff that is difficult for most. I find difficult some stuff that is easy for most. I have my talents and my difficulties, just like everyone else, and hey, society requires so many different people that no matter what your talent is, there is a place for you, isn't that cool?

    You, on the other hand, have students who are already set on a specific career. maybe they'll work with chemistry and will need to learn it more to advance in their career. maybe they just want to learn, but the important thing is that all your students actually do want to learn the stuff you're teaching them. you have to help them overcome the obstacles along their path, while I have to help them choose a path in the first place. Hence the different perspectives

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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    MAD classes want an 18. I've never seen a primary caster accepting less in their casting stat (exception for some codzilla that uses spells only for buff and heal). in fact, there was a discussion a while ago about whether, in low point buy, it was better to have INT 18 DEX 8 or INT 16 DEX 14. Clearly, many people think that a single +1 to their casting stat is worth a -3 to initiative, AC and ranged touch attacks.
    And rolling gives only a 30% chance of getting a top stat better than 16.
    Is that an 18 or a 20? I never go for a 20 at level 1 for my casters, it's typically overkill. So a 16 with a +2 racial is fine.




    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    but then you still run into the problem that every character oof the same class feels the same, will have made the same choices to justify the same stats.

    perhaps this is a problem not understood by some people here because they are used to complex snowflake builds. they have the system mastery to make every character unique, and the will to use it.
    Some of us can't or won't do that. Or maybe we are slowly being pulled along the river that is increasing optimization. regardless, I don't play "a half-ogre half-ettin swiftblade with 2 levels of paladin of chaos and 3 more prestige classes that will focus on some specific school of martial manuevers". No, you play a fighter, a cleric, a wizard, or a rogue. Maybe a monk or a druid or a barbarian. Anyway, when you play two fighters, you don't want them to be a copy of each other. rolling stats is a step to make the new fighter different from the old one, a fundamental one when you can't or won't differentiate by bizzarre builds.
    I mean, you really don't need to go that far out into the weeds. A TWFing focused Fighter and a Two-hander Fighter and a Switch hitter Fighter are all going to have very different statlines. This argument doesn't make much sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    The odds are better than you think--an array slightly better than the elite array is the expected value six sets of 4d6k3, as shown by anydice math. Your highest-result-in-six-rolls has mean 15.66, SD 1.43. With over 84% probability you roll better than (15.66-1.43) = (14.23) = 14, and the rules already prevent characters from having no stat higher than 13 when rolled as-is. Thus rolling effectively guarantees at least one stat of 15-or-higher, and that's good enough to guarantee that SAD classes still hit min requirements (main stat 19 before level 17), while MAD classes are as likely to get bad arrays (like 14/12/11/10/9/8) as they are good (like 16/16/14/12/10/8). (And high PB, when PB caps at 18 in a stat, means you always have points for secondary or even tertiary stats.)
    Using bell curve probabilities by SD is not appropriate for a discrete function. The actual probabilities aren't that hard to calculate.

    The argument here isn't about getting a high stat, it's about getting 18. Chance of getting an 18 via rolls is 9.3%. Standard PB allows you to guarantee 18 + 14, but it's not really enough for MADder classes (e.g. not enough for 16 + 16 + 14).

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    If you're only using "talent" to mean "pre-invested work," you're radically differing from the way almost everyone uses the word; you're not wrong, per se, but you should expect people to argue with you.
    Not what I mean.
    "Talent" is explicitly defined to be native, natural, innate; it's not something you get from work, it's just something you inherently possess, without doing any work whatsoever, not even *unintentional* work.
    What I mean.
    Anything that can be made up for with work is not "talent" as the word is used. I wouldn't keep harping on things like Michael Phelps' unusual blood cells if I didn't mean that as a clear example of "talent" as the word is typically defined.

    See above. If when you use the word "talent" you only mean "some people have extra preparation/pre-practice," then you're right, but we will have been talking past each other due to this nonstandard usage. If you mean "talent" to include any amount of innate ability to succeed that simply can never be approached by someone without "talent," then that part doesn't meaningfully exist for anything but hyper-specialized cases like the Olympics, where you finally get to see humans hit the ultimate skill plateaus.
    You appear to be refusing to recognise the in-between viewpoint that innate talent exists (and is not extra preparation) but only forms a limit on skill at, as you say, the elite of the elite. Why?

    (EDIT: e.g. perfect pitch. You don't need perfect pitch to learn music, but in a lot of cases it will be much harder without it.)
    Last edited by magic9mushroom; 2019-08-27 at 12:39 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post
    Using bell curve probabilities by SD is not appropriate for a discrete function. The actual probabilities aren't that hard to calculate.

    The argument here isn't about getting a high stat, it's about getting 18. Chance of getting an 18 via rolls is 9.3%. Standard PB allows you to guarantee 18 + 14, but it's not really enough for MADder classes (e.g. not enough for 16 + 16 + 14).
    You need to clarify which Point Buy. You certainly can get 16 16 14 in Pathfinder using 25 Point Buy before racial modifiers. 20 Point Buy gets you 16 16 14 after racial modifiers easily enough.

    In my opinion the efficient thing to do in Pathfinder Point Buy is buy the 16 and let the racial modifier make it 18. MAD classes have it tough getting an 18 at 1st level using Pathfinder 20 Point Buy, but 16 16 14 is good enough. At 25 Point Buy an 18 is easy.
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