Alternate ability score generation system

Trainz

Visitor
Do you guys remember the old 1st edition Unearthed Arcana alternate ability score generation system ?

Well, I redid it for 3.5 classes. Keep in mind that this system works best for single class characters, because if you intend to multiclass, you often want one of your high abilities to be in a different spot then the ones for your basic class:

Alternate ability score generation system:
.................Str.....Dex.....Con.....Int.....Wis.....Cha
Barbarian.....8d6....7d6.....6d6.....3d6....5d6.....4d6
Bard...........6d6....7d6.....4d6.....5d6....3d6.....8d6
Cleric..........5d6....4d6.....6d6.....3d6....8d6.....7d6
Druid...........6d6....7d6.....5d6.....3d6....8d6.....4d6
Fighter........8d6....6d6.....7d6.....5d6....4d6.....3d6
Monk..........6d6.....7d6.....5d6.....4d6....8d6.....3d6
Paladin........7d6....4d6.....5d6......3d6....6d6.....8d6
Ranger........7d6.....8d6.....5d6.....3d6....6d6.....4d6
Rogue.........6d6.....8d6.....3d6.....7d6....4d6.....5d6
Sorceror......4d6....7d6.....6d6......5d6....3d6.....8d6
Wizard........3d6....7d6......6d6.....8d6....5d6.....4d6

I was sad when I saw that they didn't include it in the UA. That's a UA Sacred Cow if there ever was one. And it's not an issue of power gaming, because there is stuff MUCH MORE powerful in the 3.5 UA (i.e. Gestalt Characters).
 
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CCamfield

Visitor
But the Gestalt Characters aren't even supposed to be balanced with regular classes. This is... well it sounds very powerful, and I also don't like it because it forces particular numbers of dice on each attribute for a character class. Sometimes people like to play atypical characters. What if I would like my ranger to be smarter?

You could just say "you get 8d6 on one stat, 7d6... down to 3d6 for the sixth; choose which and roll".
 

Crothian

Visitor
I agree, would anything be wrong with just alloowing the character to decide which stats they want which dice pool for?
 

ichabod

Visitor
In case anyone's interested, here are the means and quartiles for the above rolls:

Code:
9d6      8d6      7d6       6d6      5d6      4d6
15.77    15.39    14.90     14.27    13.43    12.24
17       17       17        16       15       14
16       16       15        15       14       12
15       14       14        13       12       10
 

doghead

thotd
I would second (third?) CC and C: TwwL. If you want to use this, let the players decide where to place the rolls. The game is already very rigid as is, without forcing the same basic stat profile on all the classes. With that number of dice you are going to get a lot of look-alikes in the key areas.

Why the desire to play such high stat characters?
 

Trainz

Visitor
It's not supposed to be flexible. Don't you guys remember the table from 1st Ed Unearthed Arcana ? It's the same thing !

This is a generation system for someone who wants to play a typical single classed individual of any given class. If you want a PC with high stats in non-typical places, you must pick a different system (4d6, 5d6 or point-buy).

Ichabod: my die rolls go from 8d6 to 3d6. Your table goes from 9d6 to 4d6.

I am very interested about what your table represents, but I am statistically impaired, so please spell it out for me.
 
Trainz said:
I am very interested about what your table represents, but I am statistically impaired, so please spell it out for me.
As am I... especially how the mean of 9d6 is 15.77 when the average roll on 9d6 is 31.5...
 

Kalanyr

Visitor
9d6 drop the lowest 6 I assume is what he's calculating for. 8d6 drop lowest 5 etc.

The mean is the 'average' stat that will come up ie giving a whole heap of rolling of stats using those dice and averaging it out that is what the mathematical average would be.

The quartiles represent that 25% of scores on the 9d6 method will be 15 or below.
Another 25% is between 15 and 16. Another 25% is between 16 and 17. And the last 25% is between 17 and 18. <- I think this is right its been a while since I did this.
 
I'm pretty sure that the high-end scores from 1E/2E days corresponds to medium-high scores from 3E/3.5E.

For example (pulling numbers out of a hat), a CON of 16 in the old days gave you a bonus of +1 hp per level (up to 9th or 10th level). Now, you can get +1 hp per level at a CON of 12 or 13.
 

CCamfield

Visitor
Trainz said:
It's not supposed to be flexible. Don't you guys remember the table from 1st Ed Unearthed Arcana ?
Well, actually, no, not really. It's 2004, not 1984 or whenever the original UA book comes out. I myself want to have some flexibility in character generation, not be shackled to the traditions of the past. YMMV.
 

Trainz

Visitor
CCamfield said:
Well, actually, no, not really. It's 2004, not 1984 or whenever the original UA book comes out. I myself want to have some flexibility in character generation, not be shackled to the traditions of the past. YMMV.
This is by no means intended to be shackles. This is to be ANOTHER option that players could pick, in ADDITION to the systems already in place. If you want an optimum single classed representative of the class you picked, you could choose that system. If not, you pick one of the other systems.

More options != shackles !

And I also did this as an exercise in nostalgia ! :)
 

Grazzt

Demon Lord
Unless I am mistaken, the original UA system mentioned above was included so players had a better chance of getting into a class they really wanted (such as paladin, which required a Cha 17 to get into).

The system (at least under its original intention) isnt needed in 3e/3.5 since they removed ability score requirements for classes.
 

ichabod

Visitor
Trainz said:
It's not supposed to be flexible. Don't you guys remember the table from 1st Ed Unearthed Arcana ? It's the same thing !

This is a generation system for someone who wants to play a typical single classed individual of any given class. If you want a PC with high stats in non-typical places, you must pick a different system (4d6, 5d6 or point-buy).

Ichabod: my die rolls go from 8d6 to 3d6. Your table goes from 9d6 to 4d6.

I am very interested about what your table represents, but I am statistically impaired, so please spell it out for me.
Ah, sorry, I thought the old UA was 4-9, so I just went with that without looking to closely. For 3d6, mean and median are 10.5, Q3 is 13 and Q1 is 8.

The mean is the average of all of the possible rolls, and that is for the sum of the three highest dice out of however many were rolled. The median is a prefered measure of the center, it is the number that half of the rolls are below, and half of the rolls are above. For example, if you have 1, 2, and 6, their mean is (1+2+6)/3 = 3, but their median is 2 (the middle number).

The quartiles are an extension of the median. The first quartile is the highest number that no more than 25% of the rolls are less than or equal to. The third quartile is the highest number that no more than 75% of the rolls are less than or equal to. These numbers are just typical numbers that statisticians use to describe distributions of numbers.

I'd go with at least 5d6 for the alternative to this system, maybe even 6d6. I haven't analyzed the ordinal probabilities for the type of system you're proposing, but the straight medians come out to slightly better than the ordinal medians for 5d6, which suggests the ordinal medians for 3-8d6 are actually significantly better than those for 5d6.
 

D+1

Visitor
doghead said:
Why the desire to play such high stat characters?
Two [edit!], no THREE things you need to remember about the UA method: First, it was supposed to be used only for human characters. Second, high stats were the ONLY stats with bonuses before 3E. This was an attempt to get bonuses PERIOD, which simply because of the way the game was built required high stats. Third, the dice ranged from 9d6 down to 3d6 - seven stats all told. That's because UA added Comeliness as a seventh stat. just 2cp.
 
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CCamfield

Visitor
Trainz said:
This is by no means intended to be shackles. This is to be ANOTHER option that players could pick, in ADDITION to the systems already in place. If you want an optimum single classed representative of the class you picked, you could choose that system. If not, you pick one of the other systems.
Sorry Trainz, I've been pretty harsh in this thread. I guess if 5d6 might be the other option for rolling for stats this would be pretty balanced. Compared with 4d6, it's rolling a lot more dice.
 
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Crothian

Visitor
Trainz said:
This is a generation system for someone who wants to play a typical single classed individual of any given class. If you want a PC with high stats in non-typical places, you must pick a different system (4d6, 5d6 or point-buy).
But trying to define the Typical single classed isn't workjing to well. For your typicals you have clerics and druids getting 3d6 Int, menaing they aren't going to be too bright. I don't think that is typical for them.

Also, Grazzt is right about why these type of character generation was in place. The reason to have this is no longer needed.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Well, actually, no, not really. It's 2004, not 1984 or whenever the original UA book comes out. I myself want to have some flexibility in character generation, not be shackled to the traditions of the past. YMMV.
It's actually 2019, and the shackles to traditions past are holding just fine 🍥
 

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