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D&D General How Do You "Roll Up" Ability Scores?

How Do You Roll Up Ability Scores in D&D?

  • 3d6 in order, no modification

    Votes: 5 4.0%
  • 3d6 in order, can trade points between stats

    Votes: 2 1.6%
  • 3d6 placed, no modifications

    Votes: 3 2.4%
  • 3d6 placed, can trade points between stats

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4d6 drop the lowest in order

    Votes: 4 3.2%
  • 4d6 drop the lowest placed

    Votes: 35 28.0%
  • Some other stat rolling system, in order

    Votes: 2 1.6%
  • Some other stat rolling system, placed

    Votes: 3 2.4%
  • A predetermined array of stat values

    Votes: 22 17.6%
  • Some sort of point buy

    Votes: 37 29.6%
  • Literally just decide what the stats for the PC should be

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Other

    Votes: 11 8.8%

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
You are making a new PC for a D&D game. How do you generate ability scores for the character? Why do it that way? Is it your choice, or the GM's? If you are the GM, how do you require players "roll up" scores? Why?

In either case, does it change based on campaign or edition, or does your table(s) do it the same way no matter what?
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I have my players roll stats a bit differently. After they decide what class and concept they want we roll stats. They get to pick two stats to be 5d6-2L, two stats to be 4d6-L and two stats to be 3d6. That lets them give the greatest weight to the stats they feel their class and concept need most, two normal, and two "dump" stats. However, because of the random nature of rolling, sometimes a "dump stat" will be high and sometimes a "main" stat will be low.

In order to make sure that they get their concept, I then allow the swapping of one pair of stats. If you look at the array, it adds up to 72 stat points(straight 12's = 72). We like our PCs to be a bit more heroic than that, so we have a minimum of 78. If your rolled stats are below 78, then you roll 1d6 with strength being 1, dex being 2, etc. and assign +1 to that stat. You do this until you are at 78. The only exception is that a stat cannot go above 18 in this manner, so if your d6 roll would result in a stat being 19, you re-roll the d6.

An example. I want to create a Battlemaster Fighter who is going to be a great leader when he grows up. So I decide to place my rolls in the following manner.

S: 5d6-2L
D: 3d6
C: 4d6-L
I: 4d6-L
W: 3d6
Ch: 5d6-2L
I end up after rolling(and I rolled these just now)

S: 18
D: 12
C: 9
I: 12
W: 13
CH: 12

That totals 76 so I rolled two D6 and got 5 and 6 and my wisdom and charisma went up one and now I am at 78.

S: 18
D: 12
C: 9
I: 12
W: 14
CH: 13

Now I have the choice to swap two stats and have a bit of a dilema. Do I swap wisdom and charisma to help me with the leadership aspect, or do I do something about that low con. Since I'm going to be in combat a lot most likely and have a bunch of stat raises coming, and I plan on growing into the great leader, I will swap wisdom and con. Then pick race and apply racial bonuses.

Edit: Oh, and I clearly voted other.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
You are making a new PC for a D&D game. How do you generate ability scores for the character? Why do it that way? Is it your choice, or the GM's? If you are the GM, how do you require players "roll up" scores? Why?

In either case, does it change based on campaign or edition, or does your table(s) do it the same way no matter what?
I gave players a choice recently...we had a lot take the Old School options...

Standard Array: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8

Standard Roll: 4d6 drop lowest

Two by Two by Two: Roll two strong (6d6 keep 3), two good (4d6 keep 3), two weak (3d6)

Three Up, Three Down: Roll three up (10+d6, 10+d8, 8+d10), and three down (15-d6, 15-d8, 17-d10)

Character Wheel: Roll 3d6 eighteen times, arrayed in the character wheel, select a set of 6 contiguous stats

Old School: Roll 3d6 physical dice six times, with a witness, in this order: Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha. Discuss a boon with the GM to offset the risk of lower stats – an extra uncommon magic item, a bonus feat, more spells in your spellbook, a few extra regional or backstory variant human traits, etc.

Rolled Point Buy: Roll 8d6 – the total is how many points you have for making your character point buy

Standard Point Buy: 27 points
 

ezo

I cast invisibility
We have recently gone to a "predetermined" system and just use the modifiers, the scores themselves are no longer used.

For example, if you are a dwarf barbarian, the dwarf gives you +1 Con mod. The barbarian gives you +2 Str mod and your choice of +1 to either Dex mod or Con mod.

Finally, you get two additional +1 mods to put where you want.

In total, this gives you +7 modifiers in total for all PCs.

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
We have recently gone to a "predetermined" system and just use the modifiers, the scores themselves are no longer used.

For example, if you are a dwarf barbarian, the dwarf gives you +1 Con mod. The barbarian gives you +2 Str mod and your choice of +1 to either Dex mod or Con mod.

Finally, you get two additional +1 mods to put where you want.

In total, this gives you +7 modifiers in total for all PCs.
This is like the PF2 approach. I generally like it. If you are "building" a character, you shouldn't really start with random stats.
 

DammitVictor

Trust the Fungus
Supporter
I like to do a stingy point buy, or a selection of modest arrays, and then let players roll 4d4 in order against their purchased abilities. That way they're guaranteed minimum functional stats for the class/role they want to play, and are more likely to have "happy accidents" in their dumpstats instead of bolstering their prime requisites.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
I've never played at / run a table that wasn't 4D6-L placed. The only variation I've personally seen is where I recorded everyone's results from that method, and let the players choose whichever one of the generated arrays they liked the most.
 


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