# D&D GeneralHow Do You "Roll Up" Ability Scores?

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

• ### Other

#### Parmandur

##### Book-Friend
I don't know what to tell you, if you can't see how it works out inequitably in practice.
I would suggest the issue is that it is inequitable in theory, but many people's experience suggests that it is not inequitable in practice.

#### FitzTheRuke

##### Legend
I understand what you mean with the math.

On reflection, I'm going to take this back - Can someone (hopefully a neutral third party) explain to me how getting to reroll until you get an acceptably good result could in any way be considered exactly the same, probability-wise to rolling once and accepting what you get?

Because while I understand that every INDIVIDUAL time you roll, the chances of getting any given result remain the same, but if you're able to discount all the bad rolls and only take the good ones, how does that NOT effect your results? That makes no sense to me.

#### Parmandur

##### Book-Friend
On reflection, I'm going to take this back - Can someone (hopefully a neutral third party) explain to me how getting to reroll until you get an acceptably good result could in any way be considered exactly the same, probability-wise to rolling once and accepting what you get?

Because while I understand that every INDIVIDUAL time you roll, the chances of getting any given result remain the same, but if you're able to discount all the bad rolls and only take the good ones, how does that NOT effect your results? That makes no sense to me.
In practical terms, someone who gets a mulligan on a terrible roll is likely going to get an average result.on the re-roll: at least thst is what I have observed.

#### FitzTheRuke

##### Legend
I would suggest the issue is that it is inequitable in theory, but many people's experience suggests that it is not inequitable in practice.
Isn't that more a matter of acceptance? As in you accept the inequality that is inherent with rolling? (Keep in mind that I don't have any problem with the initial inequality of rolling - my issue is the allowing of rerolls for some, but not for others. It's my experience (like it is for others here) that everyone is happy with rolls when they're HIGH, but there is a lot of contention when they are low. There are many methods to combat this contention - some of which are less equitable in practice than they appear in theory. IME.

YOU (any given you) might play the dice where they lie, and I absolutely commend you for it. But that has rarely been my experience, and I've played with literally thousands of players, having taught D&D for thirty years and run games through my store. Cheating is surprisingly common, sadly.

#### billd91

##### Not your screen monkey (he/him)
On reflection, I'm going to take this back - Can someone (hopefully a neutral third party) explain to me how getting to reroll until you get an acceptably good result could in any way be considered exactly the same, probability-wise to rolling once and accepting what you get?

Because while I understand that every INDIVIDUAL time you roll, the chances of getting any given result remain the same, but if you're able to discount all the bad rolls and only take the good ones, how does that NOT effect your results? That makes no sense to me.
Of course, it affects your results - you're removing the bad ones that fall below the minimum value floor. But does it really say anything about how you do in reaching a value above that floor? I don't think so.

#### thullgrim

##### Hero
I bet you'd roll your hit points at my table. I again tempt my players with a choice: They can take the average or they can roll; if they roll they get +2 hit extra hit points!
My players roll for hit points. If they don’t like the roll I roll for them. They have to keep mine.

#### FitzTheRuke

##### Legend
But does it really say anything about how you do in reaching a value above that floor? I don't think so.
I'm not sure I follow you here. EDIT: You mean that you're no more likely to get high results, I think - and I agree. I didn't mean to ever suggest that I think that the player who rerolls has a HIGHER CHANCE of getting good results. It's that IF they get higher results, they're certainly GOING TO KEEP IT.

The ability to reroll, when you get a low result, absolutely results in higher-powered characters.

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#### Crimson Longinus

##### Legend
My players roll for hit points. If they don’t like the roll I roll for them. They have to keep mine.
Why it is fun that sometimes the characters randomly suck? Better hit points are part of balancing for some classes, why it is good idea to randomly deny them that? It would make just as much sense to randomise whether you get your class features when you level up.

#### billd91

##### Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I'm not sure I follow you here. EDIT: You mean that you're no more likely to get high results, I think - and I agree. I didn't mean to ever suggest that I think that the player who rerolls has a HIGHER CHANCE of getting good results. It's that IF they get higher results, they're certainly GOING TO KEEP IT.
Well, yeah, sure they're going to keep it. They have to. The point I'm making is that any trial that nets the player scores below the acceptable floor levels is ignored. And any trial at or above that floor is accepted. This means that they really only get one trial result above that minimum floor, just like anyone else who got an acceptable set of values the first time they rolled. So why would we consider them to have an advantage?

#### Parmandur

##### Book-Friend
YOU (any given you) might play the dice where they lie, and I absolutely commend you for it. But that has rarely been my experience, and I've played with literally thousands of players, having taught D&D for thirty years and run games through my store. Cheating is surprisingly common, sadly.
That's one reason I stick friend & family games, despite being a regular at my GLGS as a customer.

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