D&D 5E Point buy vs roll

Which method fo you use for generating ability scores?

  • Point buy

  • Roll

  • Both

  • Other (please explain)


Results are only viewable after voting.
I have a strong preference for rolling dice, at a table. I prefer unlimited rerolls (once a set is discarded it's gone forever). This tends to inflate the scores, but it does so for all players, so that's ok. The DM can always put a few extra monsters on the map to compensate.

If it must be remote (i.e. online), then point buy or standard array is the way to go, or some players will have some incredible luck and roll 6 times 18 for their scores. Really. Honestly. Trust me.
It's unfair to the players that really did roll their scores.

Whatever we choose, balance between all players is essential, which is why I'd never want to roll ability scores and only do a single roll. That leads to large differences between players. Not many players want to be the weakling for an entire campaign.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I was surprised that rolling is getting the most votes. Would be interesting to see if the poll of ENWorlders matches a broader poll of players.
Right now the vote shows Point Buy 45, Rolling 33, Both 22, and Other 19; as your post went in only 35 minutes or so before this one either you misread something or there's been a block-vote toward Point Buy in the last half hour.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
This assumes no character turnover. I always assume there'll be ongoing character turnover in a long campaign be it due to characters retiring, dying, cycling in and out of parties, and so forth.

We have very few character turnover even for long campaigns. We have a fairly stable group, and we focus very much on story and characters and relationships. So as long as we have some turnover (some people leaving, or a death) impacting our story, we prefer it to be because it's unavoidable due to external circumstances or because of nice story elements rather than from the purely technical reason of a player not liking his stats or being continuously jealous of the other characters (whose stats he should not know about anyway).

Luck does not result in equal footing; the equal footing lies in the randomness itself.

And I will spend at least a 100 to 1 ratio of actually playing my character rather than creating it, so I'd rather have an equal footing for the playing than the basis for generation.
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
My current GREYHAWK campaign even used lower roll than suggested and it's fine. (3d6)

To me, ability scores are overated. A highest roll as low as 12 is more than ok; +2 racial (14) and +2 proficiency bonus puts you at +4 / DC 12, which is only 1 point behind a starting ability score of 15 with +5 / DC 13 that point buy or standart array can give. Not that big of a deal but i know some people won't even consider playing a character without a 15.
 



This assumes no character turnover. I always assume there'll be ongoing character turnover in a long campaign be it due to characters retiring, dying, cycling in and out of parties, and so forth.
Yeah I tend to play characters for 5 or six years. Very different experience.

I wonder if that's a major driver or how people feel: an overpowered character is fun at first but that wears off pretty fast (a couple months at most), whereas having a concept you're really interested in (and able to express) stays engaging for years.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I wonder if that's a major driver or how people feel: an overpowered character is fun at first but that wears off pretty fast (a couple months at most), whereas having a concept you're really interested in (and able to express) stays engaging for years.

I don't think it matters as much as the reason for having an overpowering character in the first place, is it because some enjoy the feeling of power, is it because of jealousy towards other players, or is it (as I've seen a number of time) the player being afraid of either his character dying or a kind of "peer pressure" of having an efficient character ?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Right now the vote shows Point Buy 45, Rolling 33, Both 22, and Other 19; as your post went in only 35 minutes or so before this one either you misread something or there's been a block-vote toward Point Buy in the last half hour.
But if you look at Both getting away results, weirdly both have a pseudo-majority. While I have no reason to believe this is a representative poll, I'd wager any ai h poll would show pretty muddy results.
 



Oofta

Legend
I don't think it matters as much as the reason for having an overpowering character in the first place, is it because some enjoy the feeling of power, is it because of jealousy towards other players, or is it (as I've seen a number of time) the player being afraid of either his character dying or a kind of "peer pressure" of having an efficient character ?
It's not about jealousy or peer pressure if I had a sub-par PC, that's putting a quite negative spin on it. It would be more disappointment that I wouldn't feel like I was contributing to the team.

To a certain degree it is feeling like my PC is one of the best at what they do. What can I say? I don't think some wish fulfillment while playing a game is a bad thing. I've always been proud of my success at my chosen career, I don't want to play someone who's below the curve. On the other hand I don't want my PC to be a Marty Stue either I want trade-offs when I level and get an ASI, it's part of the fun.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And I will spend at least a 100 to 1 ratio of actually playing my character rather than creating it, so I'd rather have an equal footing for the playing than the basis for generation.
Whereas I like @Lanefan prefer equitable footing. It seems Lanefan is conflating equal and equitable. Point Buy is also equitable, but with a more narrow range of possible disparity. Array is equal.
 



I wonder if that's a major driver or how people feel: an overpowered character is fun at first but that wears off pretty fast (a couple months at most), whereas having a concept you're really interested in (and able to express) stays engaging for years.

Some DMs are also not good at adjusting their campaigns to compensate for either a bunch of sub-par or overpowered PCs, especially if they are running published modules. You either end up with a TPK or a bunch of bored players.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Ok. I haven't been following it regularly, but it seemed to me that point-buy was always in the lead. I could easily be wrong, however. 🤷‍♂️
Nope. I was watching it fairly closely, because rolling was in the lead for several hours and I was interested to see if point buy would gain. Then one time when I came back and looked, suddenly point buy was ahead.
 

Oofta

Legend
Ok. I haven't been following it regularly, but it seemed to me that point-buy was always in the lead. I could easily be wrong, however. 🤷‍♂️
I don't remember seeing a jump one way or another either. The numbers have been consistent once there were more than a dozen or so people answering.

Also fairly consistent with previous polls.
 


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