5E Racial Ability Scores: Default Low Ability Score

Horwath

Explorer
I no longer use racial ability score boosts. Instead I have racial ability minimums.

For example, for a High Elf, the Dexterity must be 12 or higher and the Intelligence 11 or higher. On average, these High Elf abilities are higher than Human, and never below average.

I am happy with how this is working out, both for flavor and mechanics. It also allows the High Elf to be just as good as any other race in any class. A High Elf Paladin with very high Strength and Charisma? Great!



I wouldnt worry about weak abilities, but if you want, the opposite might possible. Say, the maximum score for a High Elf at level 1, might be 16 Constitution. Then allow the player to improve Constitution normally, upto 20, while leveling.
I'm on similar page.

Na racial ability boosts.

Point buy set at 16 max.

8 - 0pts
10 - 2pts
12 - 4pts
14 - 6pts
16 - 10pts

34pts total.

Human: free point buy

Elf: Dex; min 14, Con; max 14
high elf: int; min 12
wood elf: wis; min 12
Drow; cha; min 12

Dwarf: Con; min 14, Str; min 12, Cha max 14, Dex; max 14

H.Orc: Str; min 14, Con; min 12, int max 14, cha max 14

H.Elf: Dex; min 12

Gnome; Int; min 12, Con; min 12, Str; max 14

Halfling: Dex; min 12, Cha min 12, Str: max 14
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
Locking the lowest roll to a particular ability score for every member of a race is way too restrictive. It effectively means a player is defining their character with only five ability scores rather than six, and means that all members of a race are going to look a lot alike. If you want to reinforce this idea that, say, halflings are on the physically weak side, you might want to consider a gentler "Strength can't be your highest score", or at the very most "Strength can't be in your top three", rather than going all the way to "Strength must be your lowest".

It's also worth mentioning, just in case you're thinking along these lines, that no requirement of this form is a balancing factor against requirement-free humans. Freedom of choice at character creation is not comparable to freedom of choice in play; after all, once in play, a nonhuman character built this way is going to have an ability score block that looks exactly the same as a block a human character could have. In other words, if the player was planning on putting their lowest score in Strength anyway, picking halfling over human would not cost them anything at all. So you have to make sure that the other human and nonhuman racial features are balanced against each other, independent of these requirements. (This is the same balance logic as for old race-class limitations and the like.)
 
The key problem with DLAB (and DHAB) is that they're going to enforce... rather more uniformity than you want, in terms of ability score variation within a race, and in terms of what classes each race can viably play. Notably, this isn't going to lock the races into the classes you want, and it's going to lock them out of classes you do want.

Dwarves with DLAB Charisma are going to fare poorly as Paladins or Clerics. DHAB Constitution means their high stat is never going to be the primary for their class. Going to see a lot of Barbarians.

Elves with DLAB Constitution? Never gonna be Bladesingers. Actually, you're probably just never gonna see an Elf again. This may be a point in your favor.

I've mentioned it before, and I'm gonna keep mentioning it, but Alternity had a pretty standard point-buy system-- unweighted, unfortunately-- but had two alternate random generation methods in the Gamemaster's Guide: one, you picked your Profession first, and rolled 6 Ability Scores guaranteed to get your Prof minimums; two, you picked your Species first and rolled 6 Ability Scores guaranteed to fall within your minimum and maximum values.

Like, say, human is 2d6+2 for each. (Human range was 4-14.) Weren might get 10+d4 for Strength, but 2+2d4 for Intelligence. Combat Spec also got 10+d4 for STR and 8+d6 for DEX. All approximately, away from books.

And what I've been trying to do for the last twenty years is combine them, so you pick Profession and Species, average the two rolls for each score, and then adjust for minimums and maximums accordingly.

---

Still away from books, but you remember that one AD&D method where you got some ridiculous number of d6s and you allocated them to your six abilities and rolled them and... picked the best, I think?

I'm wondering if you could building something like the Alternity optional methods out of something like that. Gonna try to remember to have a look when I get back to my library.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
I no longer use racial ability score boosts. Instead I have racial ability minimums.

For example, for a High Elf, the Dexterity must be 12 or higher and the Intelligence 11 or higher. On average, these High Elf abilities are higher than Human, and never below average.

I am happy with how this is working out, both for flavor and mechanics. It also allows the High Elf to be just as good as any other race in any class. A High Elf Paladin with very high Strength and Charisma? Great!

I wouldnt worry about weak abilities, but if you want, the opposite might possible. Say, the maximum score for a High Elf at level 1, might be 16 Constitution. Then allow the player to improve Constitution normally, upto 20, while leveling.
Do you roll scores or use point-buy? Do you find the minimums stop players from choosing races at times?

I kind of like the idea of maximum scores during creation, but I wonder how often that will really come into play.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
I've mentioned it before, and I'm gonna keep mentioning it, but Alternity had a pretty standard point-buy system-- unweighted, unfortunately-- but had two alternate random generation methods in the Gamemaster's Guide: one, you picked your Profession first, and rolled 6 Ability Scores guaranteed to get your Prof minimums; two, you picked your Species first and rolled 6 Ability Scores guaranteed to fall within your minimum and maximum values.

Like, say, human is 2d6+2 for each. (Human range was 4-14.) Weren might get 10+d4 for Strength, but 2+2d4 for Intelligence. Combat Spec also got 10+d4 for STR and 8+d6 for DEX. All approximately, away from books.

And what I've been trying to do for the last twenty years is combine them, so you pick Profession and Species, average the two rolls for each score, and then adjust for minimums and maximums accordingly.
This reminds me of an idea I had a while back. Instead of giving other races a set +X modifier, I was thinking of granting extra dice when rolling ability scores. For instance, if you use a straight 3d6 or even 4d6k3, an elf might get +1 dice for DEX, making it 5d6k3, and -1 dice for CON, making it 3d6 flat. That way, the other races still have the potential to have really high scores in a "weak" ability, but it isn't as likely.

I'll spend the morning checking some numbers and report the results later today or tomorrow.
 

clearstream

Explorer
I talked to my DM tonight and what he does for creatures is pretty simple to use if you adopt our +8 max proficiency progression:

CR 0 - 4, no adjustment
CR 5 - 14 = +1
CR 15 - 24 = +2
CR 25+ = +3

The modifier is applied to all the listed in the stat block saving throws and skills, as well as attack rolls.

View attachment 114209

For example, a drow elite warrior is CR 5 so gains a +1 to DEX, CON, and WIS saves over the value listed in the stat block. It would also gain +1 more to Perception and Stealth (again, those listed in the block). And finally all of the attack rolls under that actions section (i.e. shortsword and hand crossbow).
To what extent is this not just number inflation?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Here's the problem I feel with any sort of bonus or penalty to ability scores system you have in the game... once characters are created, none of them matter anymore.

The whole point of minimums or maximums or bonuses or penalties is to distinguish how a race on the whole compares to humans. If you take a large swathe of everyday elves... they will more often than not be more dexterous that a similar large swathe of humans because of their bonus. The problem though... is that PCs aren't average. None of these perceptions that elves tend to be more dexterous than humans applies to PCs because once you introduce rolling or point buying ability scores, the bonuses or penalties disappear once the character has been made.

Case in point-- a person makes an Elf Bard and after rolling or point buying their Dexterity score and applying their racial bonus... the PC ends up with a 14 DEX. Okay. Fine. Meanwhile, the player of the Human Rogue rolls or point buys their Dexterity score and ends up with a 16. All right then. But now... what does this mean once the game begins? Will the Elf's Dexterity bonus for being an elf have any impact on the character or the game ever again in the game? Nope. Not a single bit. ALL the players are going to know and notice is that the Human is always more dexterous than the Elf, and that fact is going to be true for the entirety of the campaign. The idea of the "average elf" compared to the "average human" is washed away because the Elf and the Human in the game are not average elves and humans and the only comparison is to each other. A comparison where humans are more dexterous than elves.

So what exactly did the Elf's Dexterity bonus at character creation get them? Pretty much absolutely nothing. At least nothing they couldn't have been gotten by just re-jiggering the points they bought or the rolls they assigned. So at that point, why even bother? The only time you ever really notice a non-human's racial bonus occurs when that player buys the highest score available for the ability they get their +2 in. Because then and only then are they assured of being "better" than their human counterpart there at the table. But ironically even that usually doesn't mean very much (in point buy especially) because the human PC can still usually acquire the exact same ability modifier as their non-human counterpart. The elf might be able to point buy and racially bump to a 17 DEX compared to a human only getting to 16... but seeing as how they are both playing with +3 DEX modifiers, that's all anyone is really going to care about. Applicable numbers-wise... the elf isn't more dexterous than the human... they both are running around with +5s for their attack bonuses, skills, and saving throws when DEX + proficiency is applied.

At the end of the day, it feels like there should be some noticeable difference for non-humans being a bit better or worse than humans in certain abilities... but once you assign or roll random numbers and apply them however you want... those feelings just go away. So its nothing you really should even think about or bother with anymore.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
This reminds me of an idea I had a while back. Instead of giving other races a set +X modifier, I was thinking of granting extra dice when rolling ability scores. For instance, if you use a straight 3d6 or even 4d6k3, an elf might get +1 dice for DEX, making it 5d6k3, and -1 dice for CON, making it 3d6 flat. That way, the other races still have the potential to have really high scores in a "weak" ability, but it isn't as likely.

I'll spend the morning checking some numbers and report the results later today or tomorrow.
1568985861484.png


So, I like this idea. While not ideal, I balanced out the racial bonus dice and class bonus dice between all six ability scores. This is only a first draft, and if you start with rolling a base 4d6k3, maybe even allow it to grow to 6d6k3 for a combination with both +1 race dice and +1 class dice, like a Elven Wizard (both +1 INT dice, for a total of +2 dice). The Elven Wizard would also have -1 dice for CON, making the dice rolled thus:

STR: 4d6k3
DEX: 5d6k3
CON: 3d6
INT: 6d6k3
WIS: 4d6k3
CHA: 4d6k3

Next step would actually rolling and building difference combinations.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
To what extent is this not just number inflation?
Well, it make the explanation short, we felt the difference between levels for proficiency was too narrow (+2 to only +6 by level 17...?) but agreed the +1 per level of prior editions was too much. We toyed with different progressions, and eventually decided +2 to +8 worked nicely. With a normal (house-rule) ability cap of 19, this makes it so ability max at +4 compared to proficiency max at +8 makes more sense to us than +5 and +6 RAW.

With other house-rules, we have (like a boost to AC based on level), our DM noticed that we were getting more powerful via higher numbers than the opponents we faced. So, a slight boost (+1 to +3) made the opponents good again.

I get the bounded accuracy thing in 5E, but like some others I think they went overboard and made it too tight. So while to some it might seem like number inflation, to our table it is creating a range of numbers for our version of bounded accuracy that has a bit more disparity.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
This reminds me of an idea I had a while back. Instead of giving other races a set +X modifier, I was thinking of granting extra dice when rolling ability scores. For instance, if you use a straight 3d6 or even 4d6k3, an elf might get +1 dice for DEX, making it 5d6k3, and -1 dice for CON, making it 3d6 flat. That way, the other races still have the potential to have really high scores in a "weak" ability, but it isn't as likely.

I'll spend the morning checking some numbers and report the results later today or tomorrow.
That is brilliant!
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
This reminds me of an idea I had a while back. Instead of giving other races a set +X modifier, I was thinking of granting extra dice when rolling ability scores. For instance, if you use a straight 3d6 or even 4d6k3, an elf might get +1 dice for DEX, making it 5d6k3, and -1 dice for CON, making it 3d6 flat. That way, the other races still have the potential to have really high scores in a "weak" ability, but it isn't as likely.

I'll spend the morning checking some numbers and report the results later today or tomorrow.
The downside, of course, is that it limits you to rolling in order.

If you wanted to choose the score order, you could roll the bonus die for Dex separately and then add it to whatever pool of dice you decide to assign to Dex. But adjudicating the loss of a die for Con would be a little trickier. You could preserve the averages by assigning a four-die pool to Con and then rolling a d4 to select a random die to drop. If that's a little too fiddly, you could just say it's "drop highest" or "drop second-highest" rather than "drop lowest".
 

clearstream

Explorer
View attachment 114218

So, I like this idea. While not ideal, I balanced out the racial bonus dice and class bonus dice between all six ability scores. This is only a first draft, and if you start with rolling a base 4d6k3, maybe even allow it to grow to 6d6k3 for a combination with both +1 race dice and +1 class dice, like a Elven Wizard (both +1 INT dice, for a total of +2 dice). The Elven Wizard would also have -1 dice for CON, making the dice rolled thus:

STR: 4d6k3
DEX: 5d6k3
CON: 3d6
INT: 6d6k3
WIS: 4d6k3
CHA: 4d6k3

Next step would actually rolling and building difference combinations.
It's a very nice idea. As you say, allows other races good scores, but makes less likely. Trying consciously to dig out possible issues, maybe a 6d6k3 is just too good?
 

clearstream

Explorer
View attachment 114218

So, I like this idea. While not ideal, I balanced out the racial bonus dice and class bonus dice between all six ability scores. This is only a first draft, and if you start with rolling a base 4d6k3, maybe even allow it to grow to 6d6k3 for a combination with both +1 race dice and +1 class dice, like a Elven Wizard (both +1 INT dice, for a total of +2 dice). The Elven Wizard would also have -1 dice for CON, making the dice rolled thus:

STR: 4d6k3
DEX: 5d6k3
CON: 3d6
INT: 6d6k3
WIS: 4d6k3
CHA: 4d6k3

Next step would actually rolling and building difference combinations.
A suggestion for the analysis, show the chance of the score or better. That gives a better appreciation of what is going on. For instance, 5d6k3 has a 14.9% chance of a 14, but a 52% chance or so of a 14 or better. That's more revealing.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
That is brilliant!
Thanks! I really like it. I thought about it all day while I was at work and the more I think about it... the more I like it. It gave me another idea... but that will come later. :)

A suggestion for the analysis, show the chance of the score or better. That gives a better appreciation of what is going on. For instance, 5d6k3 has a 14.9% chance of a 14, but a 52% chance or so of a 14 or better. That's more revealing.
So, the analysis shows that 4d6k3 gives an average of 12.24, nearly a +1.75 bonus over 3d6; and 5d6k3 is 13.43, another 1.2 over 4d6k3 (roughly). I ran 6d6k3 and got 14.27 average. Here is the updated table:

1569033797530.png


The 6d6k3 combinations (half-orc barbarians, elven wizards or rogues, etc) will typically produce very good scores (14+ 66% of the time), but this is no different than player's using point-buy and spending the most in the needed ability score, then adding racial modifiers. So, I don't mind it.

Beneath the chart you see some sample sets (not in order at all) of 6, 5, 4, or 3 dice. If you notice the averages assumed for each dice group rolled, the total points are right around 75-76 points. This is the same as the maximum point-buy (75) before racial modifiers. Actually, it is about the same as the average point-buy set plus 3 for racial scores (75). I think that is pretty cool that this idea generates similar numbers to what you would get through point-buy.

I'm going to run this by my group tomorrow for our next campaign. I also thought about taking one +1 dice from races, and add it to background choice.

My other new idea was players get a dice pool of 21 dice (maybe more or less, still thinking about it). You pick an ability and roll one dice, keep adding dice and rolling more until you get a total you are happy with. You can't get a total higher than 18, and any extra points above 18 are lost. Race and class dice are added FIRST, giving "free" dice in those ability scores; there is no race penalty.

Example: Elven Wizard
INT: 2 (free Elf) + 5 (free Wizard) + 5 (#1 die) + 2 (#2 die) +1 (#3 die) + 4 (#4 die) = 19, reduce to 18.
DEX: 4 (free Elf) + 6 (#5 die) + 4 (#6 die) = 14.
CON: 4 (#7) + 3 (#8) + 4 (#9) +3 (#10) = 14.
WIS: 3 (#11) + 1 (#12) + 3 (#13) + 4 (#14) +1 (#15) = 12.
CHA: 1 (#16) + 5 (#17) + 6 (#18) = 12.
STR: 2 (#19) + 3 (#20) + 5 (#21) = 10.

I'm not sure about this idea though. I'll have to sleep on it. :)
 

clearstream

Explorer
The 6d6k3 combinations (half-orc barbarians, elven wizards or rogues, etc) will typically produce very good scores (14+ 66% of the time), but this is no different than player's using point-buy and spending the most in the needed ability score, then adding racial modifiers. So, I don't mind it.

Beneath the chart you see some sample sets (not in order at all) of 6, 5, 4, or 3 dice. If you notice the averages assumed for each dice group rolled, the total points are right around 75-76 points. This is the same as the maximum point-buy (75) before racial modifiers. Actually, it is about the same as the average point-buy set plus 3 for racial scores (75). I think that is pretty cool that this idea generates similar numbers to what you would get through point-buy.
It is looking promising. Am I right in supposing that there won't be other racial ability modifiers, i.e. the elf character gained extra dice for race and class, but will not also get the +2 DEX in the existing rules? That would rule out a 19 or 20 score at character generation... by no means a bad thing.

Perforce the rolls benefiting from extra dice are not relocatable: are the vanilla rolls relocatable?

Your table isn't clear on whether MAD classes are getting two class dice. Do they?

My other new idea was players get a dice pool of 21 dice (maybe more or less, still thinking about it). You pick an ability and roll one dice, keep adding dice and rolling more until you get a total you are happy with. You can't get a total higher than 18, and any extra points above 18 are lost. Race and class dice are added FIRST, giving "free" dice in those ability scores; there is no race penalty.

Example: Elven Wizard
INT: 2 (free Elf) + 5 (free Wizard) + 5 (#1 die) + 2 (#2 die) +1 (#3 die) + 4 (#4 die) = 19, reduce to 18.
DEX: 4 (free Elf) + 6 (#5 die) + 4 (#6 die) = 14.
CON: 4 (#7) + 3 (#8) + 4 (#9) +3 (#10) = 14.
WIS: 3 (#11) + 1 (#12) + 3 (#13) + 4 (#14) +1 (#15) = 12.
CHA: 1 (#16) + 5 (#17) + 6 (#18) = 12.
STR: 2 (#19) + 3 (#20) + 5 (#21) = 10.

I'm not sure about this idea though. I'll have to sleep on it. :)
This, I do not like. It's much less interesting, while also being more easily abused, than your first idea. Also it's super-clunky to drop points.

Under RAW 4d6k3 a player rolls 24 dice of which 18 are placed on scores, and they gain about 1 die worth of bonuses from race. Under "racial ability dice", an elf monk might roll 26 (or is it 27?) dice of which 18 are placed on scores. Is that correct?
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
It is looking promising. Am I right in supposing that there won't be other racial ability modifiers, i.e. the elf character gained extra dice for race and class, but will not also get the +2 DEX in the existing rules? That would rule out a 19 or 20 score at character generation... by no means a bad thing.
Correct, the dice replace the flat racial bonuses. Whether a race normally gets a +2 or +1, they get one die. In the table are our house-ruled variants, but you could go with the RAW racial modifiers if you wanted.

Perforce the rolls benefiting from extra dice are not relocatable: are the vanilla rolls relocatable?
I am not sure what you are trying to get at here. You can't relocate any rolls. When you roll, you are rolling for a particular ability. Each ability is a base 4d6k3, with one die added for class (for one ability), two dice added for race (in two separate abilities), and losing one die for race in one ability--reducing that ability to 3d6 only.

Your table isn't clear on whether MAD classes are getting two class dice. Do they?
No, MAD classes only get one die, just like SAD classes. My table shows my initial idea of which classes get a bonus die in which ability. I kept it balanced so each ability is granted a bonus twice (e.g. INT gets a bonus for Sorcerers and Wizards). Some of these choices, due to keeping the balance, are a bit of a stretch as to why that ability score gets a bonus die. For instance, I choose Sorcerers to get a bonus INT die because we changed Socerers to CON and INT instead of CON and CHA, with CON as their spellcasting ability score.

I wanted balance because I didn't want several STR, DEX, and WIS bonus, with some CHA and a maybe a CON and INT. I did this to try to keep each ability as important in this regard as the others. So far I am okay with it, but other tables could choose different scores of course.

This, I do not like. It's much less interesting, while also being more easily abused, than your first idea. Also it's super-clunky to drop points.

Under RAW 4d6k3 a player rolls 24 dice of which 18 are placed on scores, and they gain about 1 die worth of bonuses from race. Under "racial ability dice", an elf monk might roll 26 (or is it 27?) dice of which 18 are placed on scores. Is that correct?
First, I am not entirely convinced it is a good idea. It is a bit clunky and cumbersome...

But to clarify, the dice are 21 with race adding two dice and class one die. The difference compared to normal 4d6k3 is you keep ALL the dice you roll. Originally I had thought of you only can count three, and any additional dice you allocate to the ability can replace one die. I go back and forth about this, but might not use it at all so who knows?

To give you a concrete example of the original (first) idea: a Dragonborn Cleric

Dragonborn (+1 WIS die, +1 STR die, -1 DEX die), and Cleric (+1 WIS die)

While you don't have to roll in order, you do have to choose which ability to are rolling for. In essence, this is the same thing really. Given this will be a Cleric, I am going to roll for WIS first (hey, I want to know how good it will be!).

WIS: base 4d6k3 + 1 die (race) +1 die (class) is 6d6k3. Rolls are 5, 3, 1, 4, 3, 1
Sigh, not very good but I had my chance with 6 dice... Keeping the best three gives me a WIS 12. If you look at the table, that is definitely low for my PRIME ability score, but at least it is a +1 modifier and I can improve it of course.

With a -1 DEX die, I am definitely planning to wear armor, but I need to know how strong my character will be so I am rolling STR next.

STR: base 4d6k3 + 1 die (race) is 5d6k3. Rolls are 2, 6, 5, 5, 6
Wow! I wasn't planning on being THAT strong. Keeping the best three is a STR 17! Well, at least I know I can handle the heavy armors. :)

Since DEX is my weak spot, I might as well roll it and get it out of the way.

DEX: base 4d6k3 - 1 die (race) is 3d6. Scary... Rolls are 2, 5, 1.
Well, I was worried bad luck would hit me here. My total is 8. Looks like a point-buy dump stat LOL! That will hurt my AC a bit, and I might spend my first ASI to get rid of it. Depends on how the character developes.

Now, all the other scores are unmodified 4d6k3, so I'll roll those "in order".

CON: 4d6k3, rolls are 3, 3, 5, 4. So, I have a CON 12
INT: 4d6k3, rolls are 3, 5, 5, 4. So, I have a INT 14
CHA: 4d6k3, rolls are 4, 5, 4, 2. So, I have a CHA 13

Final ability scores are: STR 17, DEX 8, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 12, CHA 13.
(With RAW, this would be a 28 point-buy build, so 1 point more than normal.)

As you can see, my prime ability score (WIS) ended up as one of my lower scores despite being 6d6k3. But since class dictates where a bonus die goes you are committed. If you wanted to do the extra bookkeeping, it would be possible to roll your scores as 4d6k3 first, and then roll the bonus race/class die to replace some of the dice you rolled. But in order to do this, you would have to keep the original dice results recorded or on the table.
 

clearstream

Explorer
Correct, the dice replace the flat racial bonuses. Whether a race normally gets a +2 or +1, they get one die. In the table are our house-ruled variants, but you could go with the RAW racial modifiers if you wanted.
I wouldn't want. I like that they are replaced.

No, MAD classes only get one die, just like SAD classes. My table shows my initial idea of which classes get a bonus die in which ability. I kept it balanced so each ability is granted a bonus twice (e.g. INT gets a bonus for Sorcerers and Wizards).
Makes sense. I like that MAD get only one die.

To give you a concrete example of the original (first) idea: a Dragonborn Cleric

Dragonborn (+1 WIS die, +1 STR die, -1 DEX die), and Cleric (+1 WIS die)

While you don't have to roll in order, you do have to choose which ability to are rolling for. In essence, this is the same thing really. Given this will be a Cleric, I am going to roll for WIS first (hey, I want to know how good it will be!).

WIS: base 4d6k3 + 1 die (race) +1 die (class) is 6d6k3. Rolls are 5, 3, 1, 4, 3, 1
Sigh, not very good but I had my chance with 6 dice... Keeping the best three gives me a WIS 12. If you look at the table, that is definitely low for my PRIME ability score, but at least it is a +1 modifier and I can improve it of course.

With a -1 DEX die, I am definitely planning to wear armor, but I need to know how strong my character will be so I am rolling STR next.

STR: base 4d6k3 + 1 die (race) is 5d6k3. Rolls are 2, 6, 5, 5, 6
Wow! I wasn't planning on being THAT strong. Keeping the best three is a STR 17! Well, at least I know I can handle the heavy armors. :)

Since DEX is my weak spot, I might as well roll it and get it out of the way.

DEX: base 4d6k3 - 1 die (race) is 3d6. Scary... Rolls are 2, 5, 1.
Well, I was worried bad luck would hit me here. My total is 8. Looks like a point-buy dump stat LOL! That will hurt my AC a bit, and I might spend my first ASI to get rid of it. Depends on how the character developes.

Now, all the other scores are unmodified 4d6k3, so I'll roll those "in order".

CON: 4d6k3, rolls are 3, 3, 5, 4. So, I have a CON 12
INT: 4d6k3, rolls are 3, 5, 5, 4. So, I have a INT 14
CHA: 4d6k3, rolls are 4, 5, 4, 2. So, I have a CHA 13

Final ability scores are: STR 17, DEX 8, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 12, CHA 13.
(With RAW, this would be a 28 point-buy build, so 1 point more than normal.)

As you can see, my prime ability score (WIS) ended up as one of my lower scores despite being 6d6k3. But since class dictates where a bonus die goes you are committed. If you wanted to do the extra bookkeeping, it would be possible to roll your scores as 4d6k3 first, and then roll the bonus race/class die to replace some of the dice you rolled. But in order to do this, you would have to keep the original dice results recorded or on the table.
Yup, it looks good from the on-paper run-through. Your WIS was likely to be positive, and very unlikely to be negative. There were still some surprises, taking the character in interesting directions (which I think one just seldom seems with points-buy or allocate-as-desired. As you know, I don't mind a lower tidemark (lower average stats) but I feel like most folk would find that character playable. Were I playing it, I would be thinking about how to make use of that INT? Perhaps Investigation from my background... an investigative cleric... maybe looking into knowledge domain.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Yup, it looks good from the on-paper run-through. Your WIS was likely to be positive, and very unlikely to be negative. There were still some surprises, taking the character in interesting directions (which I think one just seldom seems with points-buy or allocate-as-desired. As you know, I don't mind a lower tidemark (lower average stats) but I feel like most folk would find that character playable. Were I playing it, I would be thinking about how to make use of that INT? Perhaps Investigation from my background... an investigative cleric... maybe looking into knowledge domain.
Overall I liked the example. It makes sense for a fledgling character. Saying he is inquisitive and maybe more a theologian than a practicing cleric is a nice idea.

There are variants to this idea which could give it more customization. For instance, let's look at the rolls for WIS and STR where his bonus dice are used.

WIS: base 4d6k3 + 1 die (race) +1 die (class) is 6d6k3. Rolls are 5, 3, 1, 4, 3 (race), 1 (class)
STR: base 4d6k3 + 1 die (race) is 5d6k3. Rolls are 2, 6, 5, 5, 6 (race)

If we designate which dice are the "bonus" ones, say those rolled at the end, making the 3 the race die for WIS, the 1 the class die for WIS, and the last 6 the race die for STR. Now, what if players could switch their race dice? Moving the 3 from WIS to STR and the 6 from STR to WIS. Then, we would have the revised scores:

WIS: base 4d6k3 + 1 die (race) +1 die (class) is 6d6k3. Rolls are 5, 3, 1, 4, 6, 1
STR: base 4d6k3 + 1 die (race) is 5d6k3. Rolls are 2, 6, 5, 5, 3

This would raise WIS from 12 to 15, while only decreasing STR from 17 to 16. The WIS 15 is more "playable" by many players than the 12.

Personally, I am fine with the system as is. It was pretty poor luck to roll that badly for WIS, but to me that is one of the challenges of such a system. The variant idea is more for tables who want a bit more leeway.

Also, if the base 4d6k3 for each stat is too high (I know you've been exploring more average 10.5 options), you could start with a base 3d6, and for the racial penalty (if you keep it), make it 3d6k2. That might be a bit harsh, but it is a thought.
 

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