# Ways of players getting Ability Scores - I require some help!

#### _HERETIC_

##### ᴇx ɪɢɴᴏʀᴀɴᴛɪᴀ ᴀᴅ ꜱᴀᴘɪᴇɴᴛɪᴀᴍ
Hey!
I am currently making my own TTRPG set in the 21st century which is conceptually inspired by books, movies and games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R, Metro, Escape From Tarkov, Last of Us, The Road and a few more and focuses heavily on harsh survival, semi-realistic aspects.

While I am making this, it is weirdly something rather simple which seems to be puzzling to me however. And that is players getting their ability scores.

Some of the ways of doing this that I have seen is the roll around the table method where each player simply rolls one set of (for example) 4D6 and discards the lowest until the have all of the ability scores covered, essentially making their own standard array together.

Then there is of course the normal way of simply letting each player roll 4D6x7 (or whatever dice it may be) drop lowest and letting them distribute their results and then there are twists of both of these approaches.

The problem, if you can call it such, that I have is that I want a certain level of "dynamic-ness" while not having the players be too underpowered score wise as combat is supposed to be rather deadly to simulate a level of realism.

I could theoretically just leave this out and let the GM and players choose the method themselves. But I do want to offer at least a few options of getting scores.
Do you guys maybe have any ideas or suggestions? Am I maybe worrying too much?

#### Dannyalcatraz

##### Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
You could use a hybrid method: roll stats and give them a pool of bonus points to distribute as they see fit. That way, you get the dynamics of a randomized system, but you also have a safety net/empowered players to customize the results a bit.

If I were doing this, I’d construct the bonus point pool very simply- either a total that is mathematically equivalent to 1pt per stat, or the result of another dice roll of no more than 2 dice).

#### dbm

##### Savage!
The 2d20 games use a lifepath system, where the life events you roll for your character influence their stats. Some games like GURPS have an un-constrained point-buy system where your pool of points can be spent on stats or other aspects of your character. Some other games have a point-buy with guide-lines in place that have pools for stats distinct from other facets of your character.

Personally I favour some kind of point-buy, probably the more controlled option as that limits the temptation for min-maxing.

#### _HERETIC_

##### ᴇx ɪɢɴᴏʀᴀɴᴛɪᴀ ᴀᴅ ꜱᴀᴘɪᴇɴᴛɪᴀᴍ
You could use a hybrid method: roll stats and give them a pool of bonus points to distribute as they see fit. That way, you get the dynamics of a randomized system, but you also have a safety net/empowered players to customize the results a bit.

If I were doing this, I’d construct the bonus point pool very simply- either a total that is mathematically equivalent to 1pt per stat, or the result of another dice roll of no more than 2 dice).
That definitely sounds like a pretty neat idea to have a safety net, as you called it.
Players could simply roll a additional 1D4 each, the result of which are points they can freely put into any of the scores in question.

Alternatively, and that might be a bit more of a mess, the GM could roll something like 3D6 or something along those lines which is a "party pool". But I feel like that might result a bit too much into a in-balance within a group as it might mean that players are unintentionally yoinking a majority of these points, depending on what they are building towards.

#### _HERETIC_

##### ᴇx ɪɢɴᴏʀᴀɴᴛɪᴀ ᴀᴅ ꜱᴀᴘɪᴇɴᴛɪᴀᴍ
The 2d20 games use a lifepath system, where the life events you roll for your character influence their stats. Some games like GURPS have an un-constrained point-buy system where your pool of points can be spent on stats or other aspects of your character. Some other games have a point-buy with guide-lines in place that have pools for stats distinct from other facets of your character.

Personally I favour some kind of point-buy, probably the more controlled option as that limits the temptation for min-maxing.
The lifepath system is something I will look into as that sounds like a rather interesting implementation of a ability score rolling system and something like that would fit quite well as there is a focus on what the character one is creating did in the past.

Thanks for pointing that out to me!

dbm

#### Dannyalcatraz

##### Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
That definitely sounds like a pretty neat idea to have a safety net, as you called it.
Players could simply roll a additional 1D4 each, the result of which are points they can freely put into any of the scores in question.

Alternatively, and that might be a bit more of a mess, the GM could roll something like 3D6 or something along those lines which is a "party pool". But I feel like that might result a bit too much into a in-balance within a group as it might mean that players are unintentionally yoinking a majority of these points, depending on what they are building towards.
I thought about a party pool version, but rejected it because non-game RW interpersonal issues could influence or BE influenced by the distribution. Especially true if there’s an imbalance between the players’ experiences & expectations within the hobby.
The 2d20 games use a lifepath system, where the life events you roll for your character influence their stats.
I’m not familiar with the 2D20 Lifepath system, but the name suggests it’s a spiritual successor to the way Traveller’s career paths influenced character design. Also, some games had skills & abilities that would feed back into character scores. Taking “Athletics”, for instance, might improve some or all of a character’s physical stats.

And tangentially, the old Central Casting books used to grant bonus gear and so forth, depending on what experiences the tables said the PCs had before the campaign started. I can totally see some stat bonuses coming out of something like that as well.

#### ichabod

##### Legned
I actually collect different ways to generate ability scores, at least in D&D. The list is here, if you want to look it over.

#### _HERETIC_

##### ᴇx ɪɢɴᴏʀᴀɴᴛɪᴀ ᴀᴅ ꜱᴀᴘɪᴇɴᴛɪᴀᴍ
I thought about a party pool version, but rejected it because non-game RW interpersonal issues could influence or BE influenced by the distribution. Especially true if there’s an imbalance between the players’ experiences & expectations within the hobby.
Yeah, I am definitely leaning away from that as I feel like that could result in some issues unless your group works well together and there isn't some sort of friend favouritism as that alone can result in massive issues down the line.

For now as RAW I just have it as each player rolling the 4D6x7 take away lowest with them rolling an additional 1D4, the result of which represents the bonus points.
I actually collect different ways to generate ability scores, at least in D&D. The list is here, if you want to look it over.
I will definitely check it out and see if anything stands out or looks like it could fit in well.
Thank you all for helping me out in this rather simplistic but (for me) somewhat complicated problem!

#### aramis erak

##### Legend
The 2d20 games use a lifepath system, where the life events you roll for your character influence their stats. Some games like GURPS have an un-constrained point-buy system where your pool of points can be spent on stats or other aspects of your character. Some other games have a point-buy with guide-lines in place that have pools for stats distinct from other facets of your character.

Personally I favour some kind of point-buy, probably the more controlled option as that limits the temptation for min-maxing.
CORPS 1e/2e used a dual point system. One pool for attributes and advantages, a separate one for skills. Disads boost either.
Technically, GURPS 3 also does so - you're only allowed to spend 2×Age (in years) on skills.

oWoD used multiple pools of pools.
EG: 9 attributes in 3 groups, base of 1 each, and one group gets 7 levels, another 5, and the remaining one 3.
around 30 skill like abilities, in 3 groups: Skills, Knowledges, and Talents. Soemthing like 13/10/7
A pool of points for backgrounds
A pool of points for virtues
A pool of points for powers
Then, at the end, a few points used to buy extras in any of the prior pools. Or to buy advantages from the player's guides. More of these points obtainable by taking disads.

#### pawsplay

##### Hero
Roll 3d6 down the line, allow the player to swap one score with a 15. Basically the method used in WWN and some versions of Rolemaster.

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