D&D 5E Point Buy Arrays [Assembled]

Art Waring

halozix.com
I'm currently in the trenches designing a 5e based ttrpg, and it's time to talk about point buy arrays and the point buy system.

A lot of discussions are going on about point buys and random rolls to generate ability scores. Some say random rolls are too swingy, and that it creates too much disparity between PCs.

Many prefer the point buy system (as do I), but my biggest concern is that players new to the hobby are coming in fresh and they haven't even made a character yet, and they are already bogged down with tables and charts.

Not to mention, does a new player even know what ability scores are yet? Or how to place their scores into abilities that they will need for their chosen class. /i digress... Yes, a GM sets the standard up front as to what players do to start. Players want choices, but random rolls always end up in rerolls and wasted time.

I'm deciding to add an option of point buy arrays, for the players to choose from right out of the book to save time, so I looked it up. Below I've relisted a full list of the complete point buy array possibilities in a spoiler, taken from the wizards forums (not sure who posted it). Ive chosen seven from the list, while probably not complete by any means it should give players enough options to feel they have choices and variance, but not enough choices to cause decision paralysis.

So, the question is what are the most optimal, and what are the most varied choices to have on a list?

15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 -Standard Array
15, 15, 14, 10, 8, 8 -Adept
14, 14, 13, 12, 10, 10 -Jack of Trades
15, 13, 12, 11, 11, 11 -SAD Balance
14, 14, 14, 10, 10, 10 -MAD Balance
15, 13, 13, 13, 10, 9 -Odds
13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 10 -Thirteen-Odd

EDIT: Forum consensus is heading towards generating Random Rolls, with pooling the highest rolls for all players at the table.


5e Point Buy Arrays

See page 13 of the 5ePH under the heading "Variant: Customizing Ability Scores" using a standard 27 point buy:

15, 15, 15, 8, 8, 8
15, 15, 14, 10, 8, 8 -Adept
15, 15, 14, 9, 9, 8
15, 15, 13, 12, 8, 8
15, 15, 13, 11, 9, 8
15, 15, 13, 10, 10, 8
15, 15, 13, 10, 9, 9
15, 15, 12, 12, 9, 8
15, 15, 12, 11, 10, 8
15, 15, 12, 11, 9, 9
15, 15, 12, 10, 10, 9
15, 15, 11, 11, 11, 8
15, 15, 11, 11, 10, 9
15, 15, 11, 10, 10, 10
15, 14, 14, 12, 8, 8
15, 14, 14, 11, 9, 8
15, 14, 14, 10, 10, 8
15, 14, 14, 10, 9, 9
15, 14, 13, 13, 9, 8
15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 -Standard Array
15, 14, 13, 12, 9, 9
15, 14, 13, 11, 11, 8
15, 14, 13, 11, 10, 9
15, 14, 13, 10, 10, 10
15, 14, 12, 12, 11, 8
15, 14, 12, 12, 10, 9
15, 14, 12, 11, 11, 9
15, 14, 12, 11, 10, 10
15, 14, 11, 11, 11, 10
15, 13, 13, 13, 11, 8
15, 13, 13, 13, 10, 9 -Odds
15, 13, 13, 12, 12, 8
15, 13, 13, 12, 11, 9
15, 13, 13, 12, 10, 10
15, 13, 13, 11, 11, 10
15, 13, 12, 12, 12, 9
15, 13, 12, 12, 11, 10
15, 13, 12, 11, 11, 11 -SAD Balance
15, 12, 12, 12, 12, 10
15, 12, 12, 12, 11, 11
14, 14, 14, 13, 9, 8
14, 14, 14, 12, 10, 8
14, 14, 14, 12, 9, 9
14, 14, 14, 11, 11, 8
14, 14, 14, 11, 10, 9
14, 14, 14, 10, 10, 10 -MAD Balance
14, 14, 13, 13, 11, 8
14, 14, 13, 13, 10, 9
14, 14, 13, 12, 12, 8
14, 14, 13, 12, 11, 9
14, 14, 13, 12, 10, 10 -Jack of Trades
14, 14, 13, 11, 11, 10
14, 14, 12, 12, 12, 9
14, 14, 12, 12, 11, 10
14, 14, 12, 11, 11, 11
14, 13, 13, 13, 13, 8
14, 13, 13, 13, 12, 9
14, 13, 13, 13, 11, 10
14, 13, 13, 12, 12, 10
14, 13, 13, 12, 11, 11
14, 13, 12, 12, 12, 11
14, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12
13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 10 -Thirteen-Odd
13, 13, 13, 13, 12, 11
13, 13, 13, 12, 12, 12
 
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Art Waring

halozix.com
Random roll everything is easier and faster.
Yes, but it can create disparity between players of one of them rolls poorly, then they reroll, and keep rerolling until they are happy, that's neither fast nor easy.

Also, one player can get multiple 18s if they are lucky, while point buys cap ability scores to 15 before modifiers.

Providing ability arrays provides fast options, faster than rolling, because you simply write them down on your character sheet.
 


Art Waring

halozix.com
Don't reroll until you get what you want. That's the point of rolling.
Yes, and then you might have two players at the table, one with multiple 18s, and another with 13s and lower, that's quite a disparity is player ability before the game has started. I am simply trying to find solutions to this problem.
 

Random rolls, BUT everyone can pick whatever set of rolls they want.

Boom. Problem solved. You've got the fun of RNG, and nobody has less stats than anyone else unless they want to.
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
I'm currently in the trenches designing a 5e based ttrpg, and it's time to talk about point buy arrays and the point buy system.

A lot of discussions are going on about point buys and random rolls to generate ability scores. Some say random rolls are too swingy, and that it creates too much disparity between PCs.

Many prefer the point buy system (as do I), but my biggest concern is that players new to the hobby are coming in fresh and they haven't even made a character yet, and they are already bogged down with tables and charts.

Not to mention, does a new player even know what ability scores are yet? Or how to place their scores into abilities that they will need for their chosen class. /i digress... Yes, a GM sets the standard up front as to what players do to start. Players want choices, but random rolls always end up in rerolls and wasted time.

I'm deciding to add an option of point buy arrays, for the players to choose from right out of the book to save time, so I looked it up. Below I've relisted a full list of the complete point buy array possibilities in a spoiler, taken from the wizards forums (not sure who posted it). Ive chosen seven from the list, while probably not complete by any means it should give players enough options to feel they have choices and variance, but not enough choices to cause decision paralysis.

So, the question is what are the most optimal, and what are the most varied choices to have on a list?

15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 -Standard Array
15, 15, 14, 10, 8, 8 -Adept
14, 14, 13, 12, 10, 10 -Jack of Trades
15, 13, 12, 11, 11, 11 -SAD Balance
14, 14, 14, 10, 10, 10 -MAD Balance
15, 13, 13, 13, 10, 9 -Odds
13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 10 -Thirteen-Odd


5e Point Buy Arrays

See page 13 of the 5ePH under the heading 'Variant: Customizing Ability Scores' if you're a bit confused as to what this is good for:

15, 15, 15, 8, 8, 8
15, 15, 14, 10, 8, 8 -Adept
15, 15, 14, 9, 9, 8
15, 15, 13, 12, 8, 8
15, 15, 13, 11, 9, 8
15, 15, 13, 10, 10, 8
15, 15, 13, 10, 9, 9
15, 15, 12, 12, 9, 8
15, 15, 12, 11, 10, 8
15, 15, 12, 11, 9, 9
15, 15, 12, 10, 10, 9
15, 15, 11, 11, 11, 8
15, 15, 11, 11, 10, 9
15, 15, 11, 10, 10, 10
15, 14, 14, 12, 8, 8
15, 14, 14, 11, 9, 8
15, 14, 14, 10, 10, 8
15, 14, 14, 10, 9, 9
15, 14, 13, 13, 9, 8
15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 -Standard Array
15, 14, 13, 12, 9, 9
15, 14, 13, 11, 11, 8
15, 14, 13, 11, 10, 9
15, 14, 13, 10, 10, 10
15, 14, 12, 12, 11, 8
15, 14, 12, 12, 10, 9
15, 14, 12, 11, 11, 9
15, 14, 12, 11, 10, 10
15, 14, 11, 11, 11, 10
15, 13, 13, 13, 11, 8
15, 13, 13, 13, 10, 9 -Odds
15, 13, 13, 12, 12, 8
15, 13, 13, 12, 11, 9
15, 13, 13, 12, 10, 10
15, 13, 13, 11, 11, 10
15, 13, 12, 12, 12, 9
15, 13, 12, 12, 11, 10
15, 13, 12, 11, 11, 11 -SAD Balance
15, 12, 12, 12, 12, 10
15, 12, 12, 12, 11, 11
14, 14, 14, 13, 9, 8
14, 14, 14, 12, 10, 8
14, 14, 14, 12, 9, 9
14, 14, 14, 11, 11, 8
14, 14, 14, 11, 10, 9
14, 14, 14, 10, 10, 10 -MAD Balance
14, 14, 13, 13, 11, 8
14, 14, 13, 13, 10, 9
14, 14, 13, 12, 12, 8
14, 14, 13, 12, 11, 9
14, 14, 13, 12, 10, 10 -Jack of Trades
14, 14, 13, 11, 11, 10
14, 14, 12, 12, 12, 9
14, 14, 12, 12, 11, 10
14, 14, 12, 11, 11, 11
14, 13, 13, 13, 13, 8
14, 13, 13, 13, 12, 9
14, 13, 13, 13, 11, 10
14, 13, 13, 12, 12, 10
14, 13, 13, 12, 11, 11
14, 13, 12, 12, 12, 11
14, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12
13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 10 -Thirteen-Odd
13, 13, 13, 13, 12, 11
13, 13, 13, 12, 12, 12
I think you may enjoy random point buy inspired by former EN World member Redrick

 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Yes, and then you might have two players at the table, one with multiple 18s, and another with 13s and lower, that's quite a disparity is player ability before the game has started. I am simply trying to find solutions to this problem.
What about Rolled Array? One single set of rolled scores that everyone at the table uses, random but fair.
Although I personally do prefer the security of point buy to the chance of random rolls.

Edit: i remembered this ‘stat draft’ experiment thread that happened a while back, for a different method of score generation
 
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