Character Creation Stat Draft (Trial Draft Complete!!)


Moderator Emeritus
So today I was hit with the idea that for the next D&D game I run I'd do a stat draft instead of a point based system or individual rolling.

Instead, I would roll up a number of sets of stats ahead of time based on the number of starting players. And then we'd roll randomly to see the order of the picks.

Each stat number would be attached to a specific ability, so the first person to pick would say, "I'll take the 18 Strength" because (for example) they wanted to make a barbarian.

The next person could then take from whatever is left "I'll take the 16 strength" (b/c they want to be pretty strong, too) or "I'll take the 17 Intelligence" because they want to play a wizard, etc. . .

In the next round, the person that picked second picks first and then all the way through.

In the third round, the person that went 3rd in the first round goes first, etc. . .

If at any point someone wanted to skip their turn and pick last in a round they would be allowed to and it would not affect their overall positon in the draft.

I figure for people who might join the game after it begins, or who are replacing a dead character, we'd figure out what the average scores were and then using the point system figure out how many points that'd be and they can use that amount to set their scores.

Does anyone forsee any problems with this method? Anyone ever do something like this?
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First Post
Sounds fun, I did something similiar once. Instead of a draft I had the players talk it over and decide among them who got what scores. It worked really well sicne the players were all nice and no one tried to bully themselves into getting lots of good scores.


Mod Squad
Staff member
el-remmen said:
Does anyone forsee any problems with this method?

Can't speak to your players, specifically. In general, I think this isn't a hot idea. Competition between players in character generation is asking for trouble.

The average gaming group is not nearly large enough to ensure against luck or unluck. Somoene may always go early in the rotation, or someone else always late. So now the lucky guy is responsible for taking all the good scores, and the unlucky guy feels like he's getting shafted by everybody else. In standard character generation, with each person just rolling their own dice, someone may get the short end of the stick, but at least the other players in the group weren't responsible for handing it to them.

Possibility 1 - don't make it a random roll. Set some form of order that at least tries to make sure that everyone gets a fair shake - Perhaps the higher the stat a player picks in one pass, the later he goes in teh next pass...

Possibility 2 - Don't open up all the stats in each pass. Make only as many stats as their are players available, and mix them up, so there are high and low stas available in each pass, and they don't know for certain exactly what's available.

Possibility 3 - make it fully cooperative, rather than competetive. Allow the players, as a group, to shuffle the stas around as they collectively see fit.
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Moderator Emeritus
Umbran said:
Possibility 1 - don't make it a random roll. Set some form of order that at least tries to make sure that everyone gets a fair shake - Perhaps the higher the stat a player picks in one pass, the later he goes in the next pass...

I like this idea.

Of course, the random roll was only for the first round, after that 2nd goes first and 1st goes last, next round 3rd goes first and 2nd goes last and 1st goes second to last, etc. . .

But I like the idea that the person who chooses the highest stat in a round goes last, etc. . .and if two people pick the same score in the same round, then whoever has the lowest total so far of the two gets to pick ahead of the other.

As for competition among players, my players tend to be more cooperative than competetive. I can totally imagine a conversation like this:

Player 1: "Do you have your heart set on that wizard character? Because if so, I'll just take the 14 Intelligence and leave the 17 to you."

Player 2: "Eh, take it if you want, I can take the 14, I plan to make him a multiclassed ranger as well, so I'll want to get a decent wisdom and strength."


First Post
I'd suggest allowing a liberal dose of swapping and communal picking as Crothian suggested. Stat-draft was our official method for a while and I really enjoyed it because it randomized stats while assuring that everyone was approximately equal.

I'd also consider not tying numbers to specific stats. You'll find that players who have certain concepts are unable to create those concepts because one or two stat arrays just weren't up to snuff. Imagine if the highest Int was a 14... but the Str arrays is filled with high scores. It can create tension.


First Post
Or use points buy to create the characters before doing the draft. Getting the worst character because you got one bad die roll does not sound like fun. :(

Getting the choice between a character with middling-high stats across the board, or one with a mix of great and mediocre stats on the other hand...

The Auld Grump, who likes points buy more these days...


Ben Durbin used a stat draft style system for his campaign a couple of years ago. I don't remember the details, but he was happy with the results.


Moderator Emeritus
Would anyone be willing to do a mock stat draft just to see how the characters turn out?

I'll take the first six people interested (as that will be my likely number of players).


First Post
Nemm, what are your reasons for considering stat-draft instead of point buy or rolling dice?

I considered stat-draft for my current campaign, but decided against it because of the issue you point out - it treats later created characters differently than the starting characters. Instead I went with a card draw system (e.g., 24 cards, 4 each ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, deal into 6 stacks of 4, take best 3). I found this achieved my primary goal of randomized stats while assuring that everyone was approximately equal.


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