Maybe you should be honest about your motivations: just say, "It's not fun for me if other people think and play in ways that I don't approve of." Don't try to pretend that it's about "interesting characters" or challenging oneself to contribute in actual play, because it's not. It's purely about player vanity: "I am purer/smarter/wiser than that guy."I agree that if you can't handle even minor disparities, you shouldn't play with a group that does individually-rolled stats. (You could still do one of the rolled stats variations where everyone picks from the same pool of rolled stats; or you could do freeform, or point buy; but you shouldn't do everybody-rolls-their-own.) But you should be honest about your motivations: just say, "It's not fun for me if other people have higher stats than I do." Don't try to pretend that it's about "concept" or being overshadowed in actual play, because it's not*. It's purely about stat envy: "that guy is stronger/smarter/faster than me."
There's always the option to play an unlucky PC into an early grave, then reroll. Some DMs don't like the idea that a player might intentionally play badly, but it's all part of the creative process of rolling stats: Sometimes the player is inspired to create a character they might not have otherwise played, and sometimes the player is inspired to role play a poor sod's tragically short life.You have my sympathy, but I don't have a solution for you. I've hit the issue before the only option was to drop out of the game. Now that I or my wife DM most of our games we use point buy. If we want a high-powered campaign with higher stats we just use the heroic point buy/array option from 3.5.
There's always the option to play an unlucky PC into an early grave, then reroll. Some DMs don't like the idea that a player might intentionally play badly, but it's all part of the creative process of rolling stats: Sometimes the player is inspired to create a character they might not have otherwise played, and sometimes the player is inspired to role play a poor sod's tragically short life.
As the 'upset' person in question, I wouldn't characterize myself as upset in either case. I merely said that I'm not a fan of rolling because it introduces disparity and that's not my preferred playstyle. I also pointed out that both campaigns I play in do mitigate the randomness by allowing at least one reroll and then allowing the default array so my characters, while using the default array, are certainly perfectly viable. After all, I pointed out that I play in these campaigns, and if I wasn't having fun I would stop.
Separate from that I pointed out that straight die rolls can have huge disparity in character effectiveness. I certainly wouldn't want to make a character with no stat over 10, let alone nothing over 8 (or 3, all of which are possible if increasingly unlikely). I would probably have an issue if in a supposedly teamwork game one character started with every stat at 18 and everyone else had normal numbers. That would severely warp a campaign, you might as well play Ars Magica or Buffy the Vampire Slayer where a character imbalance is expected at that point.
To combat this I personally prefer to go point buy. This allows characters to be good at what they want, and to have one or more low stats if they want (low stats are RP gold).
What! Substandard character that dies quickly? Sacrilege! All characters must be played, no matter what the role and if the DM even gets a hint of suicide-by-goblin that character will be resurrected!
My experience is thus: in terms of the PCs' ability to solve challenges, high stat rolls have a minor effect on the campaign (PCs may perform as if 20-25% higher in level or so), while skilled players have a gigantic effect which dwarfs stat rolls.
If you don't like "upset", can we agree on "is turned off by"? I want to avoid a semantic argument and focus on the substantive.
I'm interested in hearing how you think think a campaign would be "severely" warped by having an all-18s character in it, in any substantive way besides stat-envy.
My experience is thus: in terms of the PCs' ability to solve challenges, high stat rolls have a minor effect on the campaign (PCs may perform as if 20-25% higher in level or so), while skilled players have a gigantic effect which dwarfs stat rolls. This isn't true for all games but it has been the case with my entire 5E experience.
If one or more players in the party happens to roll a bunch of 18s, but the player is of only average skill, the DM can basically ignore it and just run the same adventures he would otherwise run, and the PCs will do about as well as they otherwise would. Sure, maybe the Barbarian has 12 more HP at 6th level than a typical Barbarian, and +1 to AC, but the PCs still have to solve the Sphinx's riddle because they can't defeat the Iron Golem (despite all those 18s), and they still can't defeat 80 gnolls so a PC still has to defeat the Gnoll Chieftain in single combat--the all 18s Barbarian will do that easily, but a typical PC will still do it handily, and only a very rare PC group would consist entirely of PCs who are unable to defeat him at all. So, the effect of the 18s on the adventure is pretty minor.
Contrast this with what happens when you run a group of players who are deeply savvy about the 5E ruleset, e.g. every single PC is Mobile and Stealth-proficient and Perception-proficient and familiar with the mounted combat rules, and the party is 75% range-specialized with 25% dual-specialized in both melee and ranged combat. Now the party has options they didn't have before: they can kill the Iron Golem and/or the Sphinx, bypassing the riddle entirely, and they can engage the whole gnoll tribe in a series of mounted skirmishes (with backup mounts pre-placed at strategic locations) and degrade the gnolls until they break. The additional player savvy has a major effect on the adventure, to the point where you have to either start writing more sophisticated adventures which anticipate sophisticated players, or you have to just relax and enjoy players stomping all over standard adventures. (This BTW is why I have little use for most published adventures--they don't work as advertised vs. savvy play.)
I presume that you, @Seule, have some other standard in mind for judging "severe warp", and I'd like to hear more about it.
It's embarrassing how many times I had to mentally parse this sentence. I kept thinking "what does a Dwarf's Stats have to do with this more than any other race?"
I'd like to blame it on a case of the Mondays.
Therefore, the most overpowered character is the one with a 3 in Constitution, because that DM will ensure that he is immortal. 18,18,18,18,18,18 is therefore, at that DM's table, a less powerful array than 16, 14, 12, 12, 10, 3. ;-)
Holy crimeny, a couple years ago when we ran HotDQ, the DM let us roll stats. One of the players is....not very bright in getting concepts. So while I don't think he intentionally cheated, he most definitely didn't get what the DM was saying. When he showed up with his PC, every one of his stats was between 16 and 19. Every one. Obviously he screwed up (I'm guessing he forgot to drop the lowest dice).
But it didn't matter in the game at all. He was probably the least effective PC in the game because he just didn't get it. And forget any sort of tactical thinking. I kid you not, we completed that campaign and he still couldn't figure out how to calculate his attack and damage bonuses.
The odds of that kind of spread happening within the same party (one character all 16+, another all are so extreme that if you ever see it, get thee hence to your local lottery retailer ASAP because you're on a serious roll!If you are okay with a party where one person has every stat at 16+ and another has no stat over 8 more power to you, but that doesn't fit my concept of what a cooperative, party-based adventuring game should be.
I had a guy in my game who'd been playing 1e or variants since nearly forever. He'd lost yet another character (he was good at this) and decided to bang out another one - and in front of the table to much celebration and cheering rolled 18.00 strength for the first time in his life.Rot Grub said:In fact, there are rows upon rows of graves out my window. Many dead 18 percentile fighters with names long since forgotten. So many combat focused mechanical dreams shattered and lives cut short. I need to animate them all sometime.
Which leads to: do all of you lot who don't like random stats also de-randomize hit points?
Side question, but why would you ever lose a character sheet? Don't you leave them with the DM between sessions?No, I'm not that hard-core. I allow my players to de-randomize HP of course, per PHB rules, but when I myself roll up a PC (or NPC) I always take the average. Two reasons:
(1) It reduces the number of stats I need to remember, if I lose a character sheet. Instead I can always recompute them.
(2) It has a higher expected value than rolling.
Side question, but why would you ever lose a character sheet? Don't you leave them with the DM between sessions?