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%


No, not really. It just seems people like to gamble to get good stats. Like I said, if gaining power was not part of it, you could just randomise between balanced arrays.
Far more than that has been given as a reason for rolling stats in this thread. And if it hadn't, so what? If people enjoy gambling for good stats, what's your problem? If you don't like it, just don't do it. And as it turns out, some people do randomize in ways that aren't unbalanced. And at least one of the ways to do that has been mentioned in this thread.

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Victoria Rules
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.
Here a character gets xp only for those things in which it participates. Whether the player is present or not is not a factor. Also, my game has level drain (uncommon) and occasionally items will appear that can grant levels or xp on the spot (e.g. Deck of Many Things). Couple all that with advancement tables that vary by class, and yeah - the party where everyone is the same level is a real rarity once anyone gets beyond 1st.
Further, if a character should perish, a new character can join at one level below the party's average level.
Same here.
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.
It's also edition-dependent. 3e and 4e are far less forgiving of in-party level variance than are 0-1-2-5e.


Victoria Rules
Maybe my problem is I started 1ed roll 3 dice in order. I find the stats don't matter as much as most people think they do. Plenty of ways to raise them as you level. Again hyperbole unless you only play dungeon crawl combat centriq games. Then I'd probably agree with you. But not my thing.
In fairness it seems @Horwath is coming from a 3e background; and in 3e low stats are indeed more debilitating than in 0e-1e. That said, I got a Wis-7 character up to 11th level in 3e, so it can be done. :)


Victoria Rules
not for an adventurer.
As I said, and I think many here will say, average Con for a PC is 14.
That means that you are trailing by 3 HP per level on average.

and at 5th level, when fireballs start flying left and right, that is minus 15HP, half damage of fireball is 14. you are losing one failed save buffer with that low stat.

from last 2 campaigns, we had 11 characters with con 14 and 1 with 16(dwarf barbarian OFC)

at 5th level that is 55HP, a wizard with 8 Con would have 17 HP. with 14 Con that would be 32.

55 vs 32 is much less of headache for DM to have during encounter building than 55 vs 17. Because at 55 vs 17, whatever irritates a barbarian(counting in rage), kills the wizard.
55 vs 17 is very typical for a 1e party at around 6th-ish level: the 17 is the squishy mage while the 55 is the front-line tank. Nothing new to see here.


Morkus from Orkus
WotC included them as they are THE sacred cow that they can get themselves to kill already.
same with ability scores, just use modifiers.
Just for the sake of argument, I will accept the sacred cow claim here. It doesn't matter WHY they included rolling, since they did include it they accounted for the entire range of randomness in their calculations. Rolling falls with the acceptable(according to WotC) range of imbalance.

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