What's the big deal with point buy? - Page 5
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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeGKushner
    If I wanted really random, I'd go with Warhammer and make 'em roll out their starting careers too.
    I understand, if I wanted character creation via a static point based system, I'd play Hero 5th Edition (arguably the world's most flexible game system).

  2. #42
    I stopped having my players use point buy when got tired of every single character having a charisma of 8.

    Now I use the method suggested in the Shackled City hardcover- roll up three sets of "4d6 drop the lowest," and choose the best set.

  3. #43
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    Cedric: personally, I am on the opinion that high variance in ability scores is a lot more fun than uniformity. I would rather play a character who has glaring flaws and great strengths than one who is average in all respect. Thats why I like to roll my 4d6 in order (although as in my initial post, I allow two series for player types, even if I almost always stick with my first when I am playing). 3d6 definitely has more variance, but I doubt anyone is using that method anymore...

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melan
    ranger89: I disagree with your post. I can easily imagine a roleplayer type who dislikes random stats because he wants to play a specific character with specific strengths and weaknesses - likewise, it is possible for a powergamer to obsess less about raw stats and instead focuses on using them very effectively.
    I'm not going to argue that point. The examples I listed in my first post reflect how players are in my gaming group. I'm sure there's a lot of variance out there. The point I was trying to make is that players will prefer one character creation system over another based on what they want to get out of the game. There isn't a right-or-wrong or better-or-worse side here. It seems that there have a been quite a few point-buy vs. dice roll threads in recent months that have broken down into "you're stupid"/"no, you're stupid" discussions (probably due to people like me posting snarky comments ). I didn't want to see that happen here.

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Melan
    Cedric: personally, I am on the opinion that high variance in ability scores is a lot more fun than uniformity. I would rather play a character who has glaring flaws and great strengths than one who is average in all respect. Thats why I like to roll my 4d6 in order (although as in my initial post, I allow two series for player types, even if I almost always stick with my first when I am playing). 3d6 definitely has more variance, but I doubt anyone is using that method anymore...
    Yes, sometimes I use the Organic Method of stat generation. 4d6 (drop the lowest) in order, at the end you can swap any one stat's value with another. So if you wind up with 18 int and 12 strength and you want to be a fighter, just swap those.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by airwalkrr
    "I have the worst luck at rolling dice so it's unfair to make me roll my ability scores."
    (There is no statistical evidence that luck exists. [...])
    That's not really the problem. The problem is that (in my experience) the average created by normal luck is a lot worse than you'd think based on the ability scores of characters that are actually played. Most GMs are a lot more forgiving about allowing rerolls than DMG guidelines would be (every rolled-stats campaign I've played in -- which has been pretty nearly every tabletop campaign -- either allowed 3+ sets of rolls to start with, or allowed 1s on the die to be re-rerolled), and most players are much more inclined to call a low roll "cocked" or "off the table". And when you've pretty much eliminated below-average (for 4d6, arrange to taste) characters by such methods, you also end up with a lot of extraordinary characters (40+-point buy) which tend to throw the game a little out of whack.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi_Solo
    Interesting. In our group the powergamers would prefer rolling. I think tt is because it would give them a chance to get uber-characters which is denied in point-buy.

    Or at least is denied in our point-buy of 28 points.

    Maybe powergamers prefer point-buy in groups that go with 32 or 38 or 40+ point buy. It wouldn't surprise me if the number of power-gamers (however the term is defined in various groups) that prefer point-buy would decrease as the points increase. But in our group the power-gamers want to roll the dice.
    My experience with point buy as well. The point buy I use will gaurantee you a slightly above average character but no 17's or 18's unless you really sacrifice somewhere else. It's an option, you can point buy or roll. That said, everyone wants to roll and I've found rolling usually gives results the players like better.

    However, if your players really want point buy why not let them use it? With a reasonable number of points, e.g. 28, it won't unbalance the game nor make the characters more powerful than you seem to want.

    The bottom line here, IMHO, is player choice within the agreed upon constraints of the level of power in your game. Agree on a point buy, 24, 28, 30, whatever you as GM think and put out the option. If you force rolls, what's to stop someone from just suiciding characters until they get a set of rolls the like?

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Cedric
    Of course, if the GM does decide to use it, I'll shut up and play, it's not like I'm going to take my toys and go home, I just want to make it clear before hand that I don't like point buy.
    That's fair. As long as a player "shuts up and plays" after logging an inital complaint, that's cool. We all have differing opinions. So long as the players understand that in the end the DMs method wins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedric
    I think it promotes static, cookie cutter, min-maxed character design.
    I think this is a hard point for the point-buyers to argue - and I am a point buyer. Look at a game with point buy and the vast majority will have all even stats and descending order or importance. Of course there are a few exceptions - the dwarven cleric with an abysmal charisma being one of my favorite! But for the most part point buy methods lean to cookie cutter characters. But ... see my next comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedric
    Of course, 3.0 and 3.5 encourage you to map out your entire character progression to 20th level and beyond before you ever swing your sword or cast your first spell. If you are using point buy, its easier to map your character progression all the way. More predictable.
    I do not think the system is what is to blame. Take driving a porsche in the middle of Montana or some other flat area where you can see for what seems like hundereds of miles. The gas pedal is right under your feet, there isn't a soul on the road ... do you end up going 140 mph just to see what it feels like? If you don't it isn't the car's fault. If you do, it isn't the cars fault. The human mind is what's to blame.

    3.0 and 3.5 make no such advances. I've read through plenty of books and I don't recall seeing a paragraph on planning your character out to even the next level. Sure, they do suggest that you have a concept in mind and you make wise choices to allow the future to have possibilities. But that just makes sense.

    Likewise with cookie cutter characters. Point Buy may lean towards cookie cutter characters, but that isn't the fault of the system, its the fault of the human mind making the character. Don't crucify a good system because we play with greedy, selfish minds!

    Personally, I feel that character generation is like Roleplaying. It is a process that needs to be taught to be done well. People who take out their first character ever want everything to go perfectly because it's their fantasy! But after you've played 10 fantasies you realize that being perfect isn't what it is all cracked up to be. What does Agent Smith say to Morpheus in the original Matrix? Something along the lines of the fact that Human beings define their existance in misery, living in it, and struggling to overcome it. [That's the gist, not an actual quote] Learning to want to play characters with flaws needs to be taught!

    I don't need randomly rolled dice to force me to learn how to play a character with a flaw. I use point buy method all the time and play characters with even two stats at an 8 just because it demonstrates their imperfection - or lack of skill. I don't need a set of dice to force me to do that.

    ULTIMATE POINT FOR THOSE WHO QUIT READING!

    The system is only a system. Both rolling and point buy are valid and can be used to create fun, balanced characters. Our arguments should not be based on exalting one system over the other, it should be looking upon those who manipulate the system with criticism!

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi_Solo
    Interesting. In our group the powergamers would prefer rolling. I think tt is because it would give them a chance to get uber-characters which is denied in point-buy.

    Or at least is denied in our point-buy of 28 points.

    I agree. Our resident power gamer was most unhappy when I did a point buy for our WLD campaign. I was getting comments of "So you think PC's are average people doing heroic things?". This was with a 28 point buy.

    This is the same player who, with rolling 4d6 and dropping lowest but with no rules in place for having to take any one set of numbers, will fill up a paper front and back with sets of stats. I mean really whats the point? You might as well just pick the numbers you want.

    rv

  10. #50
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    I generally dislike point buy for the main reason that I tend to have very good luck with dice in character generation. The most recent character I did with 4d6 drop the lowest, one re-roll if needed: 17, 17, 15, 14, 14, 13, 12 (I'm human, so no stat adjustments; the lowest roll was an 8 which was re-rolled into a 13). That's like a 55 point buy character. I don't usually roll quite that well, but I can count on at least a couple 15's and nothing less than average.

    I doubt I'd much like a campaign that didn't have a very high end point buy (32 or 36 is what we've usually used when we've done point buy) unless the concept was that we are very average people lifted into extraordinary circumstances.

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