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New ways to generate ability scores.

Kae'Yoss

First Post
We know point buy. Good system, doesn't require DM spervision. But some think it's boring

We also know rolling. You roll 3d6 in order. Or you roll 4d6, drop the lowest, and arrange at will. Or you roll 5d4, or between 3 and 9 d6. It's the classical method, but requires DM supervision, and many think it's boring (the same old for 30 years now and all that.)

That's pretty much everything there is for D&D.

But There was a nice article about using Three Dragon Ante to do a reading, which will generate a sort of randomised point buy - your character will be a 25 point character, or a 32 point character, but the points are distributed as the cards say.

I liked that article. If you're using point buy because of balance, but can't decide on a character, or want to do something random, it's nice. It's even fun doing a reading without generating a character with them.



Do you use any other crazy method of generating ability scores? Can you think up something interesting?
 

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Crothian

First Post
I can: Pick your own ability scores. Forget being limited by anything but yourself. Forget never being able to have the exact ability scores for your concept.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
I was playing around with some numbers for a playing card system that works for a 4-person party (and only for a four-person party, unfortunately).

Basically, each player gets dealt 13 cards. Red cards can be assigned to mental abilities, Black cards to physical abilities. Players can trade cards (and may have to, if they don't have at least three Black cards, say). No limit to the number of cards assigned to a score, but the total must be between 3 and 18. (So a player with two Red Kings might trade one for a Red 8, so he could put an 18 in one score - he can't put both Kings in one for a score of 20.)

I can't remember which values I had assigned to Ace and face cards... it may have been Blackjack values (1 or 11 for Ace, 10 for face cards).

If a player had below a certain total, he could request a reshuffle.

I dealt a bunch of demo hands while I was playing with the idea, but never actually had a chance to try it in practice. The four-person-only restriction is a definite weakness, and there are five players in our group...

-Hyp.
 

Benben

First Post
I forgot who originally published this on ENworld but I've used this system for about a 1/2 dozen campaigns and it works well.

Take a deck of cards. Draw out 2 through 6 for each suite.
Shuffle these cards.
Deal out the cards, face up into 6 piles of 3.
You will have two cards left over.
Sum up the totals of the piles, these are your attributes.
The two leftover cards can be used to replace two other cards in any pile. Generally they are used to remove "2"s from the pile.

This gives a good set of random attributes, but gives the even playing field of point buy. I really do love this system.
 


I stole this from someone here on ENWorld some time back.

Elvenshae's House Rule Document said:
2. Pick Your Poison: “Rolling” your character will be done in a different manner than normal. Players may pick their character’s base attributes (STR, DEX, WIS, etc.; before species modifiers) at will; base attributes must still begin in the 3-18 range. After attributes are chosen and before applying species modifiers, calculate the Point Value of your attributes using the following scale (modified standard point buy scale, for those following along at home):

[Picture of the Point Buy Table, with values for scores < 8]

Then, subtract 36 from this total. The result is your Hubris score; write it down somewhere on your character sheet. Then, apply species modifiers as normal. (Change)
 

Kae'Yoss

First Post
Another method dealing with cards:
This emulates 32 point buy.

You'll need 4 Aces, 2 Kings, 2 Queens, 4 Jacks, 2 Jokers (or 10s), and 10 cards of lower value (24 total).

The point buy value is as follows:
Ace: 4
King: 3
Queen: 2
Jack and Joker/10: 1
Others: 0

Shuffle and deal 6 piles of 4 cards each. Add together the numbers on the piles and look up what ability score that would be. If you get something that isn't in the charts (like a 7 or a 15), you can deal with it however you like: either give away points to another ability (maybe the weakest or another impossible number), or subtract points from another score and add it to this one (ideally something that would be illegal, anyway).
 

Roadkill101

Explorer
How about assigning fixed values of: 18, 16, 14, 12, 11 & 10. Each character will have three stats with a bonus (+3, +2 & +1 IIRC) and three stats without a bonus.
 

Pyrex

First Post
Hypersmurf said:
The four-person-only restriction is a definite weakness, and there are five players in our group...

-Hyp.

Why not just shuffle two decks (or a deck-and-a-half) together?
 


Kae'Yoss

First Post
Roadkill101 said:
How about assigning fixed values

What's wrong with you guys. I said crazy, interesting, exotic. Not booooring ;) :p

18, 16, 14, 12, 11 & 10. Each character will have three stats with a bonus (+3, +2 & +1 IIRC) and three stats without a bonus.

Actually, that's +4, +3, +2, +1, +0, +0.

In point buy, these scores would equal 41 points. That's beyond what I usually use. When I'm feeling real generous, I give them 35 points, otherwise 32 (and that's "High Powered" according to the DMG).

One thing I don't quite like with fixed arrays are that they not always support characters that need several ability scores (okay, that array of yours is quite powerful, but that's because it has quite a high point cost. With more "normal" values, you'll either punish those who want to play a focussed character, or those who want a versatile character.


Those arrays can be used to supplement run-of-the-mill point buy, though. For example, you could tell them that they got 32 points to spend, and example arrays for that are 16, 15, 14, 14, 10, 8 or 18, 16, 10, 10, 10, 8 (just some examples). This combines the advantages of point buy (you can tailor your scores to your character) and array (it's quite fast).
 
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Pyrex said:
What does said score do?

Nothing, really, other than two things:

1. It keeps the players honest, in that no one is going to want to be the guy with a 30 Hubris score when everyone else is in the -5 to 5 range.

2. It provides the DM a way to focus all the random stuff in the game world. Need to know who the thieves pickpocket in the middle of the night? The guy with the highest Hubris. Need to know whose starship gets broken into? Hubris. :)

It's mostly the first, though.

EDIT: The above array actually gives bonuses of +4, +3, +2, +1, +0, +0.
 

Roadkill101

Explorer
I've never messed around with point buy. I like the fixed array, because all characters are balanced in the sense they have all have the same range of stat values and bonuses. From there it's just a matter of how the stats are assigned to apply the bonuses to meet the characters needs.

It may be on the powerful side but I look at characters as being the Hero's, and the extra oomph from the stat bonuses, helps insure their survivability (especially at lower levels) to actually pull off some heroic deeds.
 


Cam Banks

Explorer
I'm not usually big on random chargen, but one trick I used to use was rolling 8d6 and having the players assign the dice to their ability scores. You had to assign an entire die and the value showing on it, you couldn't split it up. Each ability score started at 8, so if you didn't assign a die or dice to a score you'd at least have that.

I think we decided that 20 was the cap, so that if you rolled incredibly well (all sixes) you could have 20, 20, 14, 14, 14, 14, but that never happened. You could probably afford to drop one or two dice from the initial pool if you were aiming for a low-powered campaign.

An interesting variant on this was that if you assigned a die to an ability that was favored by your race (such as Dexterity for elves) that die was automatically a 6. Likewise, if you assign a die to an ability score that was ill-favored, it would automatically be a 1. This only applies once per die if multiple dice are assigned, with the remaining dice adding their face value. If you use this system, the standard ability score modifiers are ignored.

Cheers,
Cam
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
I use "mod totals" which basically say do your stats between 3-18 so the modifiers add up to a given total (9, for my latest game). 3 even, 3 odd, then add racials of course. It's point buy, but expressed in a much simpler way and without placing any extra value on high stats.

"But then doesn't everyone have 18s in all their useful stats? And 3s in the others?"
No. I want versatile, extraordinary PCs for heroic adventuring. This gets the job done. Even with mod total 9 one of my 3 PCs didn't have an 18 in anything. I hate how hard point buy makes it to get 16-18s. I *want* players to have those.

I've never heard of anyone else doing it this way, but it's a lot easier to make characters and to judge a character's power under this system (great for fast NPCs).
 

ivocaliban

First Post
Patryn of Elvenshae said:
It provides the DM a way to focus all the random stuff in the game world. Need to know who the thieves pickpocket in the middle of the night? The guy with the highest Hubris. Need to know whose starship gets broken into? Hubris. :)

I really like this idea. Instant karma's gonna get you...
 


Treebore

First Post
Crothian said:
I can: Pick your own ability scores. Forget being limited by anything but yourself. Forget never being able to have the exact ability scores for your concept.


Exactly. This is the absolute perfect way to make sure the players are playing characters they want to ply.

If you can't go that far then have them roll a generous system, like 4d6, reroll untill nothing is lower than a 3, take the highest 3. Arrange as desired.

Nothing I hate more than being forced to play a character with lousy stats. So I'm sure not going to force someone else to play such a character, unless they like to.
 


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