D&D 5E What do you consider "good" ability scores?

In my experience, all 4 arrays would be playable in the same party. The last one of course would have a more limited class selection, but would have the "best" stats for the arcane trickster/wizard.
The 3rd one would be as good but with a wasted 18 on wisdom.

Too good stats is also nearly impossible as most classes don't need too many stats to be functional in 5e.
Probably the monk and the barbarian can make the most of each and every stat.
 

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Mercurius

Legend
I don't think there is a right answer, as different players and groups have different assumptions about what is "good." Some feel that a character that doesn't have at least one 18 and average of 14 or higher sucks; others feel that a True Roleplayer wears bad ability scores like a badge of honor, and exceptional ones with shame.

Problems generally arise in two ways: One, when there is disagreement in-group about the basic assumptions; and two, when a player is significantly above or below the rest of the group and someone is unhappy about it (I emphasize that and).

I think it really comes down to what the basic assumptions of the campaign are, as the DM and players want it to be - not as the rules say, or as whatever one's perception of the larger D&D community is. Are PCs meant to be "average people" or overall more talented and capable than average? And if so, to what degree? As with most elements of a campaign, this starts with the DM's vision of the campaign, and then adjusts accordingly with player in-put.

As with 99% of such things, there is no right answer, just campaign and group-specific agreements.

Speaking for myself and as a DM or player, I tend to prefer when a group has some variability in scores - because random generation is fun - but that the range isn't too wide, maybe something like average scores ranging within 2 points of each other (e.g. all players with an average of 10-12 or 12-14, etc). My personal preference is 12-14 for most campaigns. Or, as a baseline, arrays like this before any adjustments:

16, 14, 14, 12, 10, 8
18, 14, 12, 12, 10, 8
16, 16, 12, 12, 10, 8
16, 14, 12, 12, 10, 10

All total up to 74, or an average of 12.33. Or I might simply say, "take X points and distribute them as you like." And yes, that means a PC could have three 18s and three below average scores if they want. Or "roll sets of 4d6 until you come up with your first score that averages 12-14 or simply 12 or higher."
 
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To the actual question:

One score 14 or above and the sum of bonuses should be +1 and above.

That was actually the 3e requirement for a playable character (which we actually had one in our group that made it to 11th level, together with one character with several 16+ scores).
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Anything that allows me the ability to play the character I want to play, and not be screwed over by math. I used to be perfectly ok with dump stats, until I encountered a saving throw I couldn't possibly succeed at in 5e.
 

Gimby

Explorer
Randomly generated scores can be interesting sometimes when you are after some inspiration for a character - if I've got a character in mind then I'd prefer to use an array - one +3 and one +2 after lineage modifications is probably sufficient. Random generation for a recent character gave 18,17,14,12,10,4 and so a 4 Str fairy wizard was born, which is out of my normal range.
 

Just talking raw numbers, before thinking class or race, a "good" set of scores is one where all six are 12+. Everything gives a positive modifier that way and racial bonuses and future ASIs or feats that give bonuses to stats give you flexibility to where you assign the scores. I would take the 1st set first overall and the 3rd set second. I would only use the 2nd set if I were forced to and that 4th set I would treat like a horse with a broken leg and put it out of it's misery. I would not play if I were forced to use it and I never let players have PCs with scores that horrible in any game I run because I do not allow dump stats.
 

Horwath

Hero
those are good, some really good. much above baseline of pointbuy/default array.

I'm considering option of default array for every character,no racial bonuses or any additional ASIs after, just feats.
Some races will require minor tweaks.

array:
18,16,14,12,12,10.

Not having option of laters ASI's leave more room for feats, having higher start might be minor issue, but having primary capped at 18 would balance that out later.

If you need some powerful heroes for your PCs, you might use: 20,18,16,14,12,10 array or if you want to have it more closer to common folk, you could have array: 16,14,14,12,10,8
 

CreamCloud0

Explorer
Personally I would rank the second array the ‘best’ of those, mostly because IMO part of the fun is in your character having failings and overcoming them, the spread has three good scores, one okay one and two poor ones, for me that’s infinitely more interesting than a character who can already do everything from the word go
 

Corinnguard

Explorer
Personally I would rank the second array the ‘best’ of those, mostly because IMO part of the fun is in your character having failings and overcoming them, the spread has three good scores, one okay one and two poor ones, for me that’s infinitely more interesting than a character who can already do everything from the word go
What makes the first set appealing to me is that your character isn't going to be 'average'. They're going to stand out and do things most people can only dream of. ;)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
17, 17, 14, 13, 10, 7 is probably my ideal starting array.
Yeah, I can get behind this.

The two 17s make it solid while the 7 makes it playable from an entertainment standpoint.

For any non-Cleric give me prime-stat 18, Wisdom 7, and the rest somewhere in between; and I'm good to rock all night. :)
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
To the actual question:

One score 14 or above and the sum of bonuses should be +1 and above.

That was actually the 3e requirement for a playable character (which we actually had one in our group that made it to 11th level,
Facetious question, but were you in the 3e game I played in? I don't recall seeing you there... :)

Because I played that character, and she might have been the best one I've ever had in any game.

She started at raw 1st with one 15 and nothing else of note (and one 7), net starting bonus of +1 or +2 (I forget now), and made it to 11th level in a fairly lethal campaign.
 


le Redoutable

I mean you no harm
Yep; and the utility of low Wisdom is that I can make the character fun, entertaining, and memorable. :)

And fun and entertainment is why we do this, right?
I used to be unlucky, and it was nothing appealing confronted to lucky players ( yes yes you speak about characters not players )
 

Hussar

Legend
For me, I probably wouldn't play the fourth one, just because I'm not really good at "joke" characters. I don't really enjoy playing them. The other three would be no problems though.

In 5e, I pretty much always just stick to standard array. Makes a solid character, nothing too strong or too weak, a good all rounder.

As a DM, I adore players who do the point buy and the 16 16 16, 8 8 8 array or whatever it is. Just makes my life so easy to challenge them. I just have to do a fair array of challenges and it's bound to hit that weakness often enough to make it sting. Like that adventure I ran where the cave in required a 10 Str to be able to shift the rubble. Oh yeah Mr Dex Archer? Not so useful now are you? You get to wait while the rest of the group digs you out.

Dump starting when I'm DMing just warms my evil DM's heart.
 

le Redoutable

I mean you no harm
two points here :
do you use Luck to influence Dice rolls ?
( I used to refer to Randomness in spite of )
( euuh the other point I miss out )
 

CreamCloud0

Explorer
What makes the first set appealing to me is that your character isn't going to be 'average'. They're going to stand out and do things most people can only dream of. ;)
Player characters are already above average, that second array is already enough to build a great sorcerer or warlock, priest or dex paladin, a ranger archer, bard or rogue, the only classes that would really struggle with those stats is probably a fighter or barbarian
I guess it’s not my place to say don’t have your power fantasy I just don’t get that need myself, rather an interesting character with flaws than an overpowered one IMO.
 

le Redoutable

I mean you no harm
what if you're a Super yourself and the Rules permit only " above-Average " Characters
( btw, to which stat would belong the Luck flag ? )
 


Hussar

Legend
Not to dive off into the whole die rolling chargen thing but, this is exactly why I don't die roll characters anymore. You've got four characters here. Normal baseline 5e Standard Array is 72 points if you add all the stats together. Three of these characters are over 80 and one is 89. One is lower than 72 - that fourth set.

But, my point is, shouldn't die rolled characters be far closer to 72 than that? Three of these aren't just a little bit more, they're a LOT more.

I guess I just don't get the appeal.
 

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