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5E What is your current way to roll stats

Arial Black

Explorer
Just started two new campaigns: one for Pathfinder's Serpent's Skull, and one for 5e's Dragon Heist.

For Serpent's skull, The DM had us roll 4d6, re-roll all 1's until they weren't 1's any more(!), keep 3, six times, arrange to suit. Pretty standard apart from the re-roll 1's bit, which I thought was exceedingly generous, although I couldn't find it in my heart to complain....:D

I rolled, in the order I rolled them, 14 14 11 15 16 12. I've had better, but I'm happy with that array. The weird thing is, I was looking forward to re-rolling lots of 1's (and imagining the re-rolls all coming up 6), but I only rolled two of them the entire time! Statistically unlikely, but never mind. Most of them were 3's, 4's and 5's. Out of the four players my array was third best. Only one 18 was rolled, no 17's at all, and I think one 16 each.

I decided to wait until the other players chose their class and race before I chose mine, on the grounds that they were new to Pathfinder while I have a lot of PF experience. However, as a group we've been playing together since 2e, and have played the same 3.5e campaign for over 15 years, so they were familiar with the class concepts, just not their execution in PF.

One chose a half-orc cleric of Gozreh. Another chose a halfling cleric of Nethys, and the third (with the worst rolled array) an elf rogue (so his one 16 became an 18 Dex). I chose a human (Mwangi) ranger, put the 16 in Str along with my racial +2, and ended up with Str 18 Dex 15 Con 14 Int 12 Wis 14 Cha 11, intending to go the TWF route.

One reason we roll together is so that we end up with a balanced group, so two out of four choosing cleric surprised me. I was even more surprised that both players were okay with it and didn't want to choose a different class, but it's their choice and I think we'll be okay. The DM said he'd play a DMPC (don't have a collective Warp Spasm out there! We've been including them for 20 years and we avoid the pitfalls) and would wait to see what we chose before he made the DMPC, but seeing our choices he's making a human sorcerer.

Last week I joined a group starting Dragon Heist. They all seemed fairly new to 5e, with not a lot of experience (even the DM). The DM wanted to use the official rolling rules (4d6k3 six times) but was concerned that someone rolling low may be discouraged. In most 5e campaigns I've been in, hit points are rolled on level-up but if the roll is lower than the set amount we take the set amount instead. Translating this to rolling stats, I suggested that we all roll stats using the official method, any player who is unsatisfied with their rolled array can opt to scrap them and use point-buy instead; a sort of safety net. The DM agreed.

There were only 3 players present: me, a guy new to 5e, and the DM's mum! The mum had a pre-gen gnome cleric apparently downloaded from WotC for her by her daughter, the DM. That left just me and the new guy, and another player will join us next week.

The dice gods were kind! In the order I rolled them: 16 15 14 16 17 8. I felt I deserved the 8, because that's an astonishing array, and much better than my PF PC, even though there were no 're-roll 1s' shenanigans! The dice don't care! I was very pleased! I set out to create a Hexblade warlock, and decided on a half-elf City Watch Detective. After racial mods: Str 8 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 17 Wis 16 Cha 19. I could have started with 18's in Dex and Cha and leave no odd numbers, but I aim to get Elven Accuracy at 4th.

The new guy rolled....astonishingly poorly. I think he got one 14, and the rest 11 or below. Never mind, he can discard them and use point-buy. But no! He insisted on playing the rubbish he rolled, and chose a dwarf charlatan archer ranger!

I'd have taken the point-buy option in a heartbeat!
 

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smbakeresq

Explorer
However you do it the best way IMO is to have Session 0 be a PC build session where all this is done. The groups can see who everyone is and choose class/race/etc based on group.

You can build PCS and get in the starting adventure easily, getting level 1 done with no problem.
 

Azzy

Newtype
With my current campaign, we rolled 4d6 (drop the lowest) 7 times picking the best 6 and assigning them to attributes as we please. If the result is devestatingly awful (like my first attempt was—three 6s and 12 was the highest roll), we are allowed one retry. This generally puts us on a slightly higher tier than normal.
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
A DM offered our group this method and I"ve stuck to it ever since: Players can pick stats as long as they fall within the parameters dictated by the DM.

First the DM chooses power level. Your stat bonuses(and penalties) must add up to a specific score - depending on Heroic you want your PCs (+4 for standard +7 for Heroic)

Also : DM picks minimum and maximum stats: Usually 7 minimum and 18 maximum. (once again, it might depend on how Heroic the DM wants the PCs. You might limit the max to 15 or 16

Lastly, Once those parameters are set, Players hand pick their stats: 3 even stats, 3 odd stats.


- Players get exactly what they want.
- All players are equal
- DM doesn't get any surprises.


Here's why we settled on this method:

Often the people I play with have a very set character in mind. It sucked if someone rolled crap stats and their concept got ruined and, often the DMs would let them re-roll. So, what's the point of rolling if you just get a re-roll when it doesn't work out?

Other times, you'd have one player with amazing stats. (the fighter that's smarter than the wizard and more wise than the cleric) and another player who had abysmal stats. This way, no-one gets overshadowed because of poor luck.
 
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Draegn

Explorer
Our game is very home brewed. We have ten standard attributes each starts with 3d6, there are three special attributes that start with no dice. You have a pool of 10d6 to distribute among the attributes as you see fit. The only exception is that the amount of dice from the pool given to a special attribute cannot be greater than the amount of pool dice given to a standard attribute.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
We have two methods available; player's choice:

METHOD A

Roll 5d6, rerolling 1s and 2s. Drop the lowest 2 dice. Do this 8 times, and drop the lowest two scores. Arrange to suit. Do this all of three times, and pick the array you like best. Add up your ability scores, and if you haven't got the highest total (or tied for highest), you can start over again. Then increase all your scores by 16.66%, rounding even decimals up and odd decimals down. Finally, draw a single card from a standard deck of 54 playing cards (Jokers included) and if the result is a prime factor of your credit score, you can get a +1 bonus to each ability that has the same number of syllables as your first name.

METHOD B

Just pick whatever scores you want, I don't care.
 

smbakeresq

Explorer
TBH I have never seen so many complicated methods for stat generation as I have seen posted here. To me its way overthought, but more power to the people that hold it dear.

I don't even really role the dice for PC stats anymore, I just use Hamete Dice Server to roll 4d6-L for all 6 stats in less than a second and clear the array with the DM or approve it if I am DM. https://dicelog.com/dice
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
TBH I have never seen so many complicated methods for stat generation as I have seen posted here. To me its way overthought, but more power to the people that hold it dear.

I don't even really role the dice for PC stats anymore, I just use Hamete Dice Server to roll 4d6-L for all 6 stats in less than a second and clear the array with the DM or approve it if I am DM. https://dicelog.com/dice
Like I mentioned before, I have the players pick 3 even and 3 odd stats. Not too complicated. Their bonuses can’t be higher than what I feel should be the power of the campaign. My default is +6.
 


muppetmuppet

Explorer
I actually prefer point buy but my players all wanted to roll.

So 4d6-lowest it was and rearrange as you like. But we have 7 abilities. I added Sanity as I like Cthulu elements.

If someone rolls a hopeless character ever I will allow them to reroll but it hasn't happened yet in the 5e game.

No one else in the thread seems to have used any of the dmg extra stats.
 

pdegan2814

First Post
I just started with a DM who uses a stat-gen method I've never seen before but I think I like it. It's standard 27-point buy, but you can move your racial bonuses to different stats if you want. You still have to keep the bonuses the same size and can't stack them on the same stat, so you could have a Wood Elf with +2 Str and +1 Con, but you can't have a Hill Dwarf with +3 Dex, that sort of thing. It offers the balance of point-buy while allowing enough flexibility that people can pretty much choose any race/class combo and not feel hampered(and I say this as someone who likes the idea of each race having traits that lend them more towards some classes than others).
 

ehren37

Explorer
Everyone rolls 1-2 sets of 4d6, drop lowest IN ORDER. Meaning 1st roll is Str, 2nd roll is Dex, etc. Record them. At this point anyone can use any of the arrays generated, or use point buy if they don't like anything anyone rolled. This allows the weird randomness of rolling, while avoiding stat envy because multiple players can all have the same stats.
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
I just started with a DM who uses a stat-gen method I've never seen before but I think I like it. It's standard 27-point buy, but you can move your racial bonuses to different stats if you want. You still have to keep the bonuses the same size and can't stack them on the same stat, so you could have a Wood Elf with +2 Str and +1 Con, but you can't have a Hill Dwarf with +3 Dex, that sort of thing. It offers the balance of point-buy while allowing enough flexibility that people can pretty much choose any race/class combo and not feel hampered(and I say this as someone who likes the idea of each race having traits that lend them more towards some classes than others).
You mean I can play a smart wizard without being a gnome?! That’s nice.

The only problem wth that is half elves get the a +4 in total modifiers. That rule makes it even better to be a half-elf.
 

pdegan2814

First Post
You mean I can play a smart wizard without being a gnome?! That’s nice.

The only problem wth that is half elves get the a +4 in total modifiers. That rule makes it even better to be a half-elf.
True, though the Half-Elf's two +1's were already movable, so it just means you can move the +2 away from Charisma to something else. It's by no means a perfect method, but I think it's a pretty good way to add a little flexibility to the standard point-buy.
 

Sleepy Walker

First Post
I have honed in on a method which is both flexible and relatively fair.


-Set aside 6 numbers. I like an array of 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, and 6 for a generally more powerful character to start
-roll 6 sets of 2d6. (re-roll 1 is optional)
-combine one set aside number with one 2d6 roll.
-There should now be 6 attribute scores ranging from a single 18 to a single 4 depending on player choice and luck.


It allows flexibility in attribute generation on multiple levels.
-The chosen pool of numbers allows a DM to fine tune the attribute generation with more precision than adding d6s or re-roll 1 type actions
---For example: a pool of 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 6 is a vastly less powerful a character than 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6

-The pool of numbers results in less swing than purely rolled results
-The combining of scores means that the player can choose to min-max or shore up weakness
-The rolling of the 2d6 allows some uncertainty and swing to influence the process
-The entire process allows the player to feel the satisfaction of manipulating numbers for his or her character, while keeping uncertainty, and preventing extreme cases unless a DM wants such things to happen.
 

W

WhosDaDungeonMaster

Guest
So, Sleepy, your method averages 11 then? That seems a bit on the low side compared to the standard set or point-buy systems.
 

Horwath

Hero
Point buy.

Only.

27 pts or 32 if we want high powered PCs

Also option to "trade" racial +2 bonus for racial feat or skill feat from UA or some underpowered feat from PHB.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Still using a fixed array since the start of 5e... it's faster than point-buy, and completely eliminates whinings like "my scores are unplayable" and "oh how unlucky I am I rolled poorly".
 

W

WhosDaDungeonMaster

Guest
I know you say it jokingly, but I am now considering 9d2
Maybe 4d4+2.
I've actually use the 4d4+2 method and found it works very well (of course, picking up those pointy dice can be difficult :) ).

Stats range from 6-18 with average of 12, and less than 5% of the rolls end up as 6, 7, 17, or 18.
 

Sleepy Walker

First Post
So, Sleepy, your method averages 11 then? That seems a bit on the low side compared to the standard set or point-buy systems.
The way I have my current players roll, no (re-roll all 1's). This is easily modifiable of course. Other things to note is that I run a decently modified 5e and I started my campaign at level 10, so all the characters have additional feats and ability improvements to further change things.

Right now I have one character with a 20 and a couple 14+ stats, and another with 18 and 17. The other two characters a more balanced, with a couple 15+ stats and a number of 10+ stats. Each character, save one, has a detrimental stat.

So far everything has been working well, even the player with the worst rolls has been quite capable. This might not be true for vanilla 5e, where a character is just about required to take 12+ for con and have a 16+ main stat or two. I personally recommend re-roll all 1's, to keep the minimum stat a 6, which then pushes the math above an average of 11.

*edit 2: I just like this method because different campaigns or different factors can be accounted for and the DM has a stronger hand at the wheel while not taking all luck and improving player choice.
 

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