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%

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And because there are 6 attributes, and usually 4-5 party mwmbers...this usually means that each PC has their space to ve the star.

Picking a lock and sneaking past a guard? Rogue gettheiri moment in the Sun.

Arm wrestling contest to gain the respect of a barbarian chiwften to learn some vital information? Fighter gets to shine.

Need to eat in the wilderness? Ranger got you.

Need to interpret an ancient text? Wizard up to the plate.

Need to convince two kings to not start a war? Bard can keep the peace.

Balance comes from each character being different.
I think even then class abilities enhancing the stats is what really makes those things happen. Going by ability scores alone, nobody is going to shine, because the bonuses don't matter as much.
 

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And because there are 6 attributes, and usually 4-5 party mwmbers...this usually means that each PC has their space to ve the star.

Picking a lock and sneaking past a guard? Rogue gettheiri moment in the Sun.

Arm wrestling contest to gain the respect of a barbarian chiwften to learn some vital information? Fighter gets to shine.

Need to eat in the wilderness? Ranger got you.

Need to interpret an ancient text? Wizard up to the plate.

Need to convince two kings to not start a war? Bard can keep the peace.

Balance comes from each character being different.
And that's how it works with point buy too. The difference just is that with a rolling it is perfectly possible that the one player rolled so well that their character is better at several of those things than the others, stealing their niches.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
And that's how it works with point buy too. The difference just is that with a rolling it is perfectly possible that the one player rolled so well that their character is better at several of those things than the others, stealing their niches.
Yet they won't be able to steal their Class ability niches, as @Maxperson poont South.

And, sure, results are largely the same for all 3 methods. Hence whybit isn't changing. Doesn't change that rolling is fun, fair, and the fulcrum of how the game is balanced.
 

And that's how it works with point buy too. The difference just is that with a rolling it is perfectly possible that the one player rolled so well that their character is better at several of those things than the others, stealing their niches.

A few counterpoints:
  • If a PC is stealing other PCs' niches on the regular, this is more of a spotlight sharing issue than a stats/mechanics issue - spotlight sharing is on the DM and on the players
  • Stats don't guarantee success for any given task - characters are more than their stats
  • Players can be happy for a party that has a high-statted character helping them accomplish their goals - it's a cooperative game not a contest for who has the best PC
 

A few counterpoints:
  • If a PC is stealing other PCs' niches on the regular, this is more of a spotlight sharing issue than a stats/mechanics issue - spotlight sharing is on the DM and on the players
  • Stats don't guarantee success for any given task - characters are more than their stats
  • Players can be happy for a party that has a high-statted character helping them accomplish their goals - it's a cooperative game not a contest for who has the best PC
All of this is just "it is not that bad." Balance would still be better, and introducing intentional random imbalance remains a questionable idea.

EDIT: I already asked earlier, but I being was serious. If randomly imbalanced characters are fun, why not randomise the starting level of each character?
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And that's how it works with point buy too. The difference just is that with a rolling it is perfectly possible that the one player rolled so well that their character is better at several of those things than the others, stealing their niches.
First, there is no stat niche. Niches come from class abilities. Rogues don't have skill niche protection due to their dex. They have it due to proficiency, expertise and reliable talent.

Second, WotC doesn't protect minor impingement upon a niche in any case. I can take a feat and get battle master maneuvers. I can take a feat and get cantrips. I can take a feat and be a healer. I can take a feat and be lucky. I can take a feet(hur hur) to gain fast movement.

Those feats all "steal"(in quotes because they don't) more so than any high stat would.
 

All of this is just "it is not that bad." Balance would still be better, and introducing intentional random imbalance remains a bad idea.

Fair enough perspective - just depends how much the group cares about stat balance, I suppose.
Bad idea to have any PC ability score variation* if one or more players will feel bad about it.
Not a bad idea if the table doesn't have any negative feelings about PC ability score variation.


Out of curiosity, how do you feel about some players taking the ASI vs some players taking feats that do not have any ASI boost? Or the fact that Rogues and Fighters get more ASI boosts than other classes? Or magic items like Gauntlets of Ogre Strength, a Headband of Intellect, or Ioun Stones? These things create ability score imbalance during a campaign, yes? Are these pieces of the game "bad ideas"? Or are they deemed ok b/c they are not "random" (as long as the magic items are not selected randomly from the tables in the DMG, I suppose)?


* where "ability score variation" = the grand total of all ability scores for any given character
 

ichabod

Legned
All of this is just "it is not that bad." Balance would still be better, and introducing intentional random imbalance remains a questionable idea.

EDIT: I already asked earlier, but I being was serious. If randomly imbalanced characters are fun, why not randomise the starting level of each character?
Has anyone said imbalanced characters are fun? My understanding is that random characters are fun, and that the imbalances are not significant enough (to those players) to detract from that fun. And randomizing starting level is purely about the imbalance, it's not about the things people enjoy from randomizing abilities.
 

EDIT: I already asked earlier, but I being was serious. If randomly imbalanced characters are fun, why not randomise the starting level of each character?

For our table, everyone starts at the same level. I suppose a group could be on board with random starting levels if it were discussed and agreed upon in a Session 0.

That said.... at our table, you only gain XP if you are at a session playing your character. We end up with characters of varied levels eventually. Hasn't impacted game play or anyone's feelings.
Further, if a character should perish, a new character can join at one level below the party's average level.

I know other tables prefer that all PCs have the same level (or same stat totals), which is a fine way to play.
Doesn't make it an universally "bad idea" though to have variation in PC stat totals or levels at the table. The game can continue to be fun.
 

Out of curiosity, how do you feel about some players taking the ASI vs some players taking feats that do not have any ASI boost? Or the fact that Rogues and Fighters get more ASI boosts than other classes?
All of that is fine, as these are (or at least supposed to be) balanced with each other and are choices the player gets to make.

Or magic items like Gauntlets of Ogre Strength, a Headband of Intellect, or Ioun Stones? These things create ability score imbalance during a campaign, yes? Are these pieces of the game "bad ideas"? Or are they deemed ok b/c they are not "random" (as long as the magic items are not selected randomly from the tables in the DMG, I suppose)?
Items that just replace ability score are bad ideas, and I'd never include them in my game. They completely bypass the normal score, which is terrible. On the other hand ability boosting items are fine, of course assuming the characters will get roughly equal amount of items.
 

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