D&D 5E How do you handle randomly rolling for stats

CapnZapp

Legend
(This post started out as an aside to a reply to the following post but I decided there would be better chances of a discussion in a new thread)

I let the players do what they want, but they all chose the array.
Whenever the DM offers you a choice of chargen method, ask yourself - what are my chances of "gaming the DM" :)

For example, I don't think it is too uncommon for a DM to "reasonably" say "choose either random rolling or the default array; you have to keep what you rolled but if you're super unhappy with the results you can resort to the default array instead."

Are you aware this very likely results in a significantly higher average than if the DM just stated "everybody starts with the default array, full stop."

That is because you simply roll - if you roll great (or at the very least "interesting") you keep that result. Otherwise you plead, whine or bully your DM into allowing you to switch to the default array. :cool:

Thus making the default array approximate the mathematical floor of results rather than the average.

---

The proper way of giving out this choice would instead be (this is just one example to illustrate my point out of many):

Choose either random rolling or the default array. If you don't like your random rolls, you can instead choose the following array: 15, 13, 12, 10, 8, 6

That is, the "fallback" array is less generous than the array you're initially allowed to choose.

(It's obviously important you tell this to the players before they make a choice. Otherwise they're likely going to try to cajole you into allowing them to keep the default array, or make a re-roll, or whatever)

Also important: This fallback array shouldn't be merely a cosmetic downgrade either, like an array such as 15, 14, 13, 10, 8, 6 where you get to keep the only numbers that matter, the top 2 or arguably top 3. In my example above, I intentionally only retain the top 1 number; everything else is downgraded and your lowest stat is now a mechanically impactful weakness)
 

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the Jester

Legend
When I'm running my game, the players roll for stats, but I review the array and if it is boring- which is completely subjective but includes results that are too good, too bad, or too middle of the road- I have the player reroll.

When I'm making a pc, I prefer to roll stats in order and see what I can make.

I utterly despise any D&D character generation method that precludes any chance of a pc having a 3.
 

ichabod

Legned
Thus making the default array approximate the mathematical floor of results rather than the average.
The default array is not the average for 4d6 drop low six times. The average of 4d6dl has a 16 instead of a 15. This is why I use point buy with 30 points and you can buy a 16 for 12 points.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The default array is not the average for 4d6 drop low six times.
That's why I said "approximate" :)

As an aside to the aside, it is good and correct that the random method has a HIGHER average than the known static one.

An example where this went wrong is where you, per the rules, can either roll randomly for hit points each level, or you can take the average rounded up.

Risk is inherently risky (duh!). It needs to come with reward. If the reward for avoiding risk is greater, the obvious choice for any rational gamer is to avoid the risk.

Especially since rolling low for hit points is a more severe penalty than rolling high is a bonus. Having more hit points than "expected" is very nice, but having fewer is downright crippling.

The starting array yielding a lower average than random rolling is good and correct.
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
When I'm running my game, the players roll for stats, but I review the array and if it is boring- which is completely subjective but includes results that are too good, too bad, or too middle of the road- I have the player reroll.
Sure. That the DM is subjective is not a shock.

However, as many of you know, something like this ("what do you mean I need to reroll, I only got two 17s!") is unacceptable to many groups that prefer to keep chargen somewhat objective.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I say you can use any of the three methods in the PHB: array, point buy, or 4d6 drop lowest, arrange as desired. If you choose to roll, you must keep the results of your rolls.
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
I use this house-rule:

1. Everyone starts with a magic item of their choice, from Table B.
2. Everyone then rolls their stats, using the 4d6 method.
3. Add up all the bonuses. (For example: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 = +5 total bonus)
  • If the total bonus is +4 or lower, the player can reroll them if they want. OR they can keep them, and start with a feat.
  • If the total bonus is +9 or higher, the player can reroll them if they want. OR they can keep them, and forfeit their starting magic item.
6. Otherwise, the player must keep the set of stats that they rolled.

Before we used this house-rule, though, we had a different (and simpler) one: roll your stats using the 4d6 method. If you like them, great! If you don't, you can throw them out and use the standard array.

And a third method I've used in the past: everyone rolls 2 sets of stats, using the 4d6 method. Keep the set you like best.
 
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mamba

Legend
I recommend the array, but if you want to use another method, go for it. You will have to live with the results though unless they are truly horrendous
 


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