D&D 5E Compilation of Alternate Ability Score Generation Methods

overgeeked

B/X Known World
For awhile we did 1d12+6. You could re-roll but each re-roll dropped the bonus by one, so +6 on the first roll, a re-roll would be +5, another re-roll would be +4, etc. If you got to +0, you were stuck with whatever you rolled.
 

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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Nope. Only see what you wrote.
Hold please...
Ahhh.. "bedir than" is on my Ignore list. That's why I guess.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
I see...

Anyway, if you want to ignore bedir, that's up to you, but I think in this case I will repeat what they were saying because it's pretty good:

essentially, they were mentioning the Redrick Roller

Redrick Roller

This is a system that rolls stats that are point-buy legal. I've used it several times.
 

Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
I really love character generation methods. Particularly ones that leave it out of our control to some extent. It's a process of discovery, like watching an unknown seed grow to see what blooms.

The Harrow Character Generation method was created by a user known as Gulthor over on the Paizo forums back in 2016. It's a real gem. It requires a Harrow Deck and it was created for Pathfinder, but there's no reason you couldn't use it for Dungeons and Dragons.

It's not practical by any means. It's basically a Tarot card reading that turns character generation into a mini-game you play before you play the game-game. In the process, it can help you create a short background for your character through the inspiration of the cards as they are laid out. It's a lot of fun! I highly recommend it.
 
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Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
I see...

Anyway, if you want to ignore bedir, that's up to you, but I think in this case I will repeat what they were saying because it's pretty good:

essentially, they were mentioning the Redrick Roller

Redrick Roller

This is a system that rolls stats that are point-buy legal. I've used it several times.
Cool. My first cast was: Str 12, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14. And my third cast was this beauty: Str 13, Dex 13, Con 13, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 10 (how lucky can a guy get?*).

I experimented with a similar method, albeit using 20 points for Pathfinder Society characters. Out of the 54,000+ possible sets of six scores (combinations?) I was rolling something like a d280 to get one that equals 20 points. But Redrick, he's generating sets in order (permutations?), which I like, except when I'm trying to make a certain class or character--I need a little more control. Just a little, not too much.

* In reference to the number 13 (sheesh!).
 

Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
The ultimate ability score generating method is:

Choose your scores.

I've played in campaigns with this method and it works surprisingly well.

The Social Contract kinda makes it work.
 

Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
For awhile we did 1d12+6. You could re-roll but each re-roll dropped the bonus by one, so +6 on the first roll, a re-roll would be +5, another re-roll would be +4, etc. If you got to +0, you were stuck with whatever you rolled.
I assume you have to keep your rerolls, right? No "backsies".
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
The ultimate ability score generating method is:

Choose your scores.

I've played in campaigns with this method and it works surprisingly well.

The Social Contract kinda makes it work.
I once played in a game where the DM let me choose my scores. Worked fine. I didn't even have a single 18 in the end! (but I did have a 17).
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I once played in a game where the DM let me choose my scores. Worked fine. I didn't even have a single 18 in the end! (but I did have a 17).
I don’t see how the social contract would stop everyone from having 18s across the board. They’d all agree that it’s in the best interests of the party that they have perfect scores all around so there’s no deficiencies in the group.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I don’t see how the social contract would stop everyone from having 18s across the board. They’d all agree that it’s in the best interests of the party that they have perfect scores all around so there’s no deficiencies in the group.

I mean, if everyone is cool with everyone having all 18s, then go for it!

But generally, we imagined our characters whole-cloth and thought, for example, "Well, she is stronger than average, but not that strong, so let's say 13. She is very agile and good at jumping around acrobatically, so let's say 17 Dex, but she fatigues easily and had a childhood illness that she recovered from, but it left its scars, so let's say 9 Con, and so on. . ."

In this case, the social contract was that we'd all choose that way and without having to say it, we all knew that someone who picked all 18s or whatever would be looked at askance. 🤷‍♀️
 

I don’t see how the social contract would stop everyone from having 18s across the board. They’d all agree that it’s in the best interests of the party that they have perfect scores all around so there’s no deficiencies in the group.
But that makes for a boring game - which isn't the best interest of the players.

So people build characters that will be fun to play, who generally have weaknesses to provide challenge.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I mean, if everyone is cool with everyone having all 18s, then go for it!

But generally, we imagined our characters whole-cloth and thought, for example, "Well, she is stronger than average, but not that strong, so let's say 13. She is very agile and good at jumping around acrobatically, so let's say 17 Dex, but she fatigues easily and had a childhood illness that she recovered from, but it left its scars, so let's say 9 Con, and so on. . ."

In this case, the social contract was that we'd all choose that way and without having to say it, we all knew that someone who picked all 18s or whatever would be looked at askance. 🤷‍♀️
Sure. And that's how I'd do it. But my experience with players as a DM is such that the entire party would have 18s across the board. Which is why things like the standard array exist. To let players make the kinds of choices you talk about without having carte blanche to be cheesy.
But that makes for a boring game - which isn't the best interest of the players.
I agree, but in my experience, a lot of players want a boring game...at least for a time. While they learn and mature. But hopefully they grow out of it. They want to win all the time. They don't want to risk anything. They want to be invulnerable. They don't want to be challenged. Power gaming, min-maxing, munchkin...it's all about the no risk power fantasy. It's about the most boring way to play that I can imagine. But it's incredibly popular.
So people build characters that will be fun to play, who generally have weaknesses to provide challenge.
Again, I agree. But most of the players I've dealt with do not.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
But my experience with players as a DM is such that the entire party would have 18s across the board.

I'm sorry you have to deal with players like that. Obviously, this system is not for everyone and even in my case it was a one-off campaign. I definitely would not try it with some groups and if we had tried this when I was a tween/teen the results would have been disastrous.
 

Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
I don’t see how the social contract would stop everyone from having 18s across the board. They’d all agree that it’s in the best interests of the party that they have perfect scores all around so there’s no deficiencies in the group.
That's an interesting point of view Overgeeked.

I would say try it and see what happens.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Cool. My first cast was: Str 12, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14. And my third cast was this beauty: Str 13, Dex 13, Con 13, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 10 (how lucky can a guy get?*).

I experimented with a similar method, albeit using 20 points for Pathfinder Society characters. Out of the 54,000+ possible sets of six scores (combinations?) I was rolling something like a d280 to get one that equals 20 points. But Redrick, he's generating sets in order (permutations?), which I like, except when I'm trying to make a certain class or character--I need a little more control. Just a little, not too much.

* In reference to the number 13 (sheesh!).
2 more advantages of this method:

1: It really puts the standard human back on the map, because if you get all odd scores, +1 to every stats is really nice

2: It can be flexible: I use it a lot, but I don't use the order. like for example, I just got 14 13 13 10 11 13 - I would distribute those scores as I see fit for a character... but it still constrains me somewhat. It seems like a good array for a MAD concept. It can result in more well rounded characters too. For example, my fighter (dex-build, standard human) had these stats
Str: 12 (+1), Dex: 16 (+3), Con: 14 (+2), Int: 12 (+1), Wis: 14 (+2), Cha:11 (0)
 

Demonspell

Explorer
I have my players rank Stats, Specials, and Support from most important (1) to least important (3).
Rank 1: All stats start at 10 and the player can spend 32pts on a 1-1 basic to increase their stats, nothing can be above 18.
Rank 2: All stats start at 8 and the player can spend 32pts on a 1-1 basis to increase their stats, nothing can be above 18.
Rank 3: All stats start at 8 and the player can spend 28pts on a 1-1 basis to increase their stats, nothing can be above 18.
 

Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
I have my players rank Stats, Specials, and Support from most important (1) to least important (3).
Rank 1: All stats start at 10 and the player can spend 32pts on a 1-1 basic to increase their stats, nothing can be above 18.
Rank 2: All stats start at 8 and the player can spend 32pts on a 1-1 basis to increase their stats, nothing can be above 18.
Rank 3: All stats start at 8 and the player can spend 28pts on a 1-1 basis to increase their stats, nothing can be above 18.
What are "Specials" and "Support"?
 

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