D&D 5E Why I Am Starting to Prefer 4d6 Drop the Lowest Over the Default Array.

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Side question, but why would you ever lose a character sheet? Don't you leave them with the DM between sessions?

As for h.p., just like with stats the game has dice for a reason. :)

Lanefan

The game certainly has dice for a reason, but how those dice are used to maximize fun at a table can vary wildly. If my DM had me roll to see if I successfully got out of bed this morning and justified it with "the game has dice for a reason" my eyes would roll back in my head so hard they might never come front again.

P.S. 7000 posts! Nicely done.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Oofta

Legend
Side question, but why would you ever lose a character sheet? Don't you leave them with the DM between sessions?

Huh. I've never even considered the DM keeping character sheets as an option. Do you regularly do that? Why?

People sometimes hand me their character sheet to "review" and I glance at it for a moment or two while "hmmming" importantly. But honestly? I normally don't give two figs. Unless someone is doing something I don't understand I don't really care. I trust my players, and if they wanted to cheat there's little I could do to stop them anyway.
 

As for h.p., just like with stats the game has dice for a reason. :)

Sure, but I find stats far more interesting than HP. From a roleplaying standpoint, HP variation (unlike say Int variation) is just noise as far as I am concerned. So, the roleplayer in me doesn't care about rolling HP; and the powergamer in me doesn't care about rolling stats because the average is better; so there's nobody at all inside my noggin who cares about rolling HP or finds it interesting.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Huh. I've never even considered the DM keeping character sheets as an option. Do you regularly do that? Why?

People sometimes hand me their character sheet to "review" and I glance at it for a moment or two while "hmmming" importantly. But honestly? I normally don't give two figs. Unless someone is doing something I don't understand I don't really care. I trust my players, and if they wanted to cheat there's little I could do to stop them anyway.

If I'm DMing I'm already having to keep track of quite a few papers. i don't want to be bothered with carrying around everyone's character sheets too.
 

Soul Stigma

First Post
For those of you fiddling with papers, just go digital. My players have their character sheets, but they were generated and are saved in Hero Lab. Losing sheets becomes a non-issue.


Sent from my iPhone using EN World
 

RotGrub

First Post
Random chargen also allows for some unexpected great role playing opportunities. Got a 5 or a 6? Great opportunity there to play that out in the game. It adds variety as well. I personally really don't like how array always results in cookie cutter PCs. Every fighter has the same stats. Every wizard has the same stats, etc, etc. Boring.

so yeah, I really like random chargen. But that doesn't mean array doesn't have value as well. It's faster to create a PC, and you don't have to worry about someone cheating.

Was it Tenser or Otiluke that uses Gauntlets of Kobold Power?
 
Last edited:

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Was it Tenser or Otiluke that uses Gauntlets of Kobold Power?

No idea. Otiluke isn't mentioned in the 1e Rogue's Gallery. Tenser is, but doesn't have anything like that listed. It does say Tenser, despite being a magic user, loves battle and will often forgo his spells. So he probably wouldn't have had something like that.
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
That might be a good option for some games, but I do know players who would be very disappointed they couldn't play a low strength fighter. A character who had no choice but to survive by his wits alone.

dunno about wits alone, but as I mentioned, I'd probably put in several types of "Fighter" that specialize in various ways. I would imagine such a player would pick one of them instead of the "brute" version.

Of course, in my games combat isn't king. What you do in the campaign and how you interact with the world is what measures your character. I've seen players with powerful characters enter my game and end up having zero impact on anything important.

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.

poetic. I bow to your obviously superior gamemastery and will hop right off your lawn after this post. Yet, if mechanics are of so little importance in your game...why have them? Or rather, why have mechanics govern the parts of the game that are of such little importance to you? Just play "let's pretend" and call it a day.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
This whole discussion wants me to do an experiment. To have the players all put their highest values in they most non essential traditional stats, and see what kind of game that would be, if much different at all. I know my players pretty well, and the biggest thing I'd be anxious to see is how they alter traditional tactics. I think it could make for a fun and unique adventure.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Sadly, I remember a poster on a different "roll vs point buy" thread a while back that basically said that if they suspected someone purposely got their character killed that they would force the player to continue to play the same character.

It was probably me. And if it wasn't, I agree with the idea....
But as I've explained, if you've rolled your stats in my game it's because you CHOSE to do so & did so knowing you were expected to play the resulting character, whatever it may be, in good faith. Trying to kill them off because you rolled poorly & want better stats won't work in my games.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Huh. I've never even considered the DM keeping character sheets as an option. Do you regularly do that?
Yep. Character sheets stay here between sessions (unless someone wants to take one home to re-do it or something, not all that common). And when I play, my sheets stay with the DM between sessions.
A few reasons:
- so they're all in one place
- so if you don't make the next session we've got the info we need (your PC is still in the party even if you're not there to play it)
- now and then I run some stats or analyses on characters, it's useful to have the raw data

Obviously, during the sessions the players have their sheets.

People sometimes hand me their character sheet to "review" and I glance at it for a moment or two while "hmmming" importantly. But honestly? I normally don't give two figs. Unless someone is doing something I don't understand I don't really care. I trust my players, and if they wanted to cheat there's little I could do to stop them anyway.
Nothing to do with trust or cheating or any of that, just practicality.

Lanefan
 


JonnyP71

Explorer
Yep. Character sheets stay here between sessions (unless someone wants to take one home to re-do it or something, not all that common). And when I play, my sheets stay with the DM between sessions.A few reasons:
- so they're all in one place
- so if you don't make the next session we've got the info we need (your PC is still in the party even if you're not there to play it)
- now and then I run some stats or analyses on characters, it's useful to have the raw data

Obviously, during the sessions the players have their sheets.

Nothing to do with trust or cheating or any of that, just practicality.

Lanefan

I do exactly the same thing for exactly the same reason - I have a case in which I keep character sheets, party loot sheets, party maps and notes. At the start of a session I hand them all out, at the end of the session I collect them all back, and between sessions I use them to update the campaign blog. They do occasionally take their sheets home to rewrite - and I would estimate the frequency at which they then forget to bring the sheets back is roughly 1 in 3.
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
I played with rolls exclusively from 1981 to about 2014 (when 5e came out), and have since pretty much done array (it's just easier, and you never have to worry about a player fudging rolls when they make a PC on their own).

Both have some pretty good advantages, and I'm a big proponent of random char gen. Then again, my group have never been optimizers, so we couldn't care less if you had a PC with lower than normal stats. It never affected our game play. And no one in my group was petty or jealous, getting upset if another PC had better rolls. We were all part of the same team, so it's no big deal. Just like I wouldn't get jealous or upset if we all spent $5 on lottery tickets and one of us happened to win $50 while the rest of us only won $5. Good for them for getting lucky! And it's fair, because we all had the same opportunity. Now, if the DM allows a reroll for someone? Then it becomes unfair unless they do that for everyone. So we were all happy with our set and played with what we had for 30 years with no issues.

Random chargen also allows for some unexpected great role playing opportunities. Got a 5 or a 6? Great opportunity there to play that out in the game. It adds variety as well. I personally really don't like how array always results in cookie cutter PCs. Every fighter has the same stats. Every wizard has the same stats, etc, etc. Boring.

so yeah, I really like random chargen. But that doesn't mean array doesn't have value as well. It's faster to create a PC, and you don't have to worry about someone cheating.

Yeah, this. With Standard Array and Point Buy, it's difficult sometimes to play outside the box. I really like Fighters in 5e, but I never like the stereotypical one. I also really like Faces, or a Smart Fighter. So how do I make an Oberyn Martel? So I put that 12 or 13 in Cha for a measly +1 when it should be more, and I've sacrificed my Con to a 10 to do it. But if I roll, I'm more likely to get the higher stats I want for my charismatic, yet competent fighter. I haven't sacrificed competency as a fighter for fluff in role play. And if I roll bad stats? Well, then I can change my concept. Or I, when I DM, just allow default to standard array if you don't like your one roll.
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
For those of you fiddling with papers, just go digital. My players have their character sheets, but they were generated and are saved in Hero Lab. Losing sheets becomes a non-issue.


Sent from my iPhone using EN World

I like a paper sheet, but I upload all of mine to Google Docs, so if I forget then I just pull out my phone.
 

Oofta

Legend
Yep. Character sheets stay here between sessions (unless someone wants to take one home to re-do it or something, not all that common). And when I play, my sheets stay with the DM between sessions.A few reasons:
- so they're all in one place
- so if you don't make the next session we've got the info we need (your PC is still in the party even if you're not there to play it)
- now and then I run some stats or analyses on characters, it's useful to have the raw data

Obviously, during the sessions the players have their sheets.

Nothing to do with trust or cheating or any of that, just practicality.

Lanefan

Ahh, thanks. I've never done that, I was curious. Nowadays of course, everyone has their character sheet online and I share a dropbox folder if they want to put it there.
 

Oofta

Legend
Yeah, this. With Standard Array and Point Buy, it's difficult sometimes to play outside the box. I really like Fighters in 5e, but I never like the stereotypical one. I also really like Faces, or a Smart Fighter. So how do I make an Oberyn Martel? So I put that 12 or 13 in Cha for a measly +1 when it should be more, and I've sacrificed my Con to a 10 to do it.
I do this on a pretty regular basis. Then again I almost never max out my primary stat with point buy, and I play more generalist type characters.

But if I roll, I'm more likely to get the higher stats I want for my charismatic, yet competent fighter.
Only if you allow rerolls or other adjustments. With a standard roll 4d6 drop lowest the numbers in most cases will be within a point or two on average. They can always be significantly better than average of course. They can also be significantly worse.

I haven't sacrificed competency as a fighter for fluff in role play. And if I roll bad stats? Well, then I can change my concept.

One of the things I have a problem with is that if 3-18 is the normal range of stats for a person (barring curse/disease) then a 4 intelligence for example is not just "slow". It's mentally handicapped and probably not able to function in society without assistance. At a certain point a low stat is not "fluff" as far as I'm concerned.

It just sets up weird things where the guy with the low intelligence and wisdom is played by a smart person and their character is still making brilliant suggestions. I want to allow them to have fun, but at the same hand someone with the intelligence of a baboon should not be a criminal adventuring mastermind.

But that's just my pet peeve. To me, ability scores are more than just "fluff" and if you don't play that way it's fine.

Or I, when I DM, just allow default to standard array if you don't like your one roll.

So you effectively guarantee above-average characters. I just see that as leading to the "5E isn't hard enough" complaints.

But it is better than the alternative. The last game I was in that was "roll for stats" we were all forced to roll (we asked if we could use the Living Campaign point buy instead) and were told no. Then my wife rolled really poorly and was forced to use that character. We didn't last long in that game, which was too bad.

BTW: None of this means you're playing wrong of course. I'm just cranky because I woke up early and haven't had any caffeine yet. :yawn: So sorry for the ranting.
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
I do this on a pretty regular basis. Then again I almost never max out my primary stat with point buy, and I play more generalist type characters.


Only if you allow rerolls or other adjustments. With a standard roll 4d6 drop lowest the numbers in most cases will be within a point or two on average. They can always be significantly better than average of course. They can also be significantly worse.



One of the things I have a problem with is that if 3-18 is the normal range of stats for a person (barring curse/disease) then a 4 intelligence for example is not just "slow". It's mentally handicapped and probably not able to function in society without assistance. At a certain point a low stat is not "fluff" as far as I'm concerned.

It just sets up weird things where the guy with the low intelligence and wisdom is played by a smart person and their character is still making brilliant suggestions. I want to allow them to have fun, but at the same hand someone with the intelligence of a baboon should not be a criminal adventuring mastermind.

But that's just my pet peeve. To me, ability scores are more than just "fluff" and if you don't play that way it's fine.



So you effectively guarantee above-average characters. I just see that as leading to the "5E isn't hard enough" complaints.

But it is better than the alternative. The last game I was in that was "roll for stats" we were all forced to roll (we asked if we could use the Living Campaign point buy instead) and were told no. Then my wife rolled really poorly and was forced to use that character. We didn't last long in that game, which was too bad.

BTW: None of this means you're playing wrong of course. I'm just cranky because I woke up early and haven't had any caffeine yet. :yawn: So sorry for the ranting.
I have been really lucky when rolling, I guess.

I do the stat array "floor" because I have been DMing newbs, people who have never played, so I wanted them to be competent and survivable. They wouldn't know what stat envy is. As Matt Colville says, people like rolling dice. Next time I might give them the option to use whichever method they like, but I really don't relish trying to explain point buy to them, and I only have 2 PHB. None of my last group had anything but a character sheet.

Sent from my SM-G900P using EN World mobile app
 

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.

<tangent>

This is a perfect example of what I strive to do when roleplaying an Int 8 character. Int 8 isn't unable to function--but you're on the left side of the bell curve, and you just don't get things that smarter people take for granted.

And it is hard to roleplay! Outside of the corner case where I'm playing a taciturn, hermitlike druid with a beast-like mentality (just ask yourself, "what would a smart wolf do in this situation?") or a one-off monster like an orc whose role is basically to die gloriously, it is really difficult and painful to roleplay someone who makes bad decisions due to "not getting it."

It's just simpler and better IMO to have a PC with higher Int so the issue doesn't arise. So yet another reason I like rolled stats is because, like KahlessNestor, I like it when I happen to get an array with high enough secondary/tertiary stats that I can invest in stats that are important to my roleplaying agenda (like a decent Intelligence) without creating tension with mechanical effectiveness. 17, 14, 13, 10, 12, 8? Right then, that's a narcoleptic Battlemaster human fighter: Str 13, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 10. Sleeps his troubles away, waking only to earn more loot in a dungeon crawl to support his sleeping habit.

</tangent>
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
This whole discussion wants me to do an experiment. To have the players all put their highest values in they most non essential traditional stats, and see what kind of game that would be, if much different at all. I know my players pretty well, and the biggest thing I'd be anxious to see is how they alter traditional tactics. I think it could make for a fun and unique adventure.
You mean like Fighters put their highest stat in Intelligence, and wizards but their best stat in Charisma, that sort of thing? I feel like it's one of those things that sounds more interesting that it would actually turn out. People don't give Intelligence to fighters because fighters have no way to leverage that Intelligence, outside of what any class could do. They would play differently, but ultimately they simply would do the things they normally do less effectively.

If you want to make a game where random determination of stats has bigger impact on gameplay, I think you need less classes, but with more features that can actually use the different stats.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top