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

LordEntrails

Explorer
Which works great! IF all of character creation is just as fast as this bit. But in 5e, that's not the case.

So what can we do to make it the case?
...
It is fast for me. No more than 15 minutes. Usually 4-5 minutes. Don't agonize over min/maxing. Go with standard packs of equipment. Grab a few standard spells and some that might be cool or fit your character concept.

IME, it only takes a long time when someone agonizing over evaluating every possibility. Instead, come up with a concept and go with it.
 

Saeviomagy

Villager
IME, it only takes a long time when someone agonizing over evaluating every possibility. Instead, come up with a concept and go with it.
No, it takes a long time when people are new to the game and are presented with 9 races and 12 classes, many of which don't actually have obvious literary equivalents. Narrow that down to 2 or 3 of each and things get a lot easier. Not everyone knows the game as well as you and I.
 

Tobold

Explorer
Nope some of the other PCs rolled lower, I just did not mentiuon them and they chose the more basic classes like fighter (16 strength), one cleric got a natural 18 with the other stats being in the middle roughly.
I don't like the idea of one player being permanently underpowered compared to the rest of the group based on dice rolls at the start of a campaign. I actually had a PC deliberately killing off his character in order to be able to re-roll.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
Which works great! IF all of character creation is just as fast as this bit. But in 5e, that's not the case.

So what can we do to make it the case?

1. Your class is selected for you, somehow. OD&D had attribute minimums to limit your class choices down to only a few possibilities. I think the multiclass requirements probably suffice for this one. If you don't actually meet any requirements, treat your highest stat as if it is 13 and look again (or alternately set your highest stat to 13 and try again...).

2. Your race needs similar limitations. I reckon we do away with the stat bonuses and just give each race stat minimums for their best stats (of 10+ their current bonus, so a high elf has to have a 12+ dex and an 11+ int) while human has no minimums. Same overall effect (ie - dragonborn are strong and charismatic, elves are dextrous), less analysis paralysis.

3. Spells and cantrips need to be pre-selected as well. Probably break all the cantrip lists into offense and utility and then let you pick a list for each cantrip you know and roll it. And probably hand out thaumaturgy/prestidigitation/druidcraft/eldritch blast by default to the appropriate classes. I guess for spells you would split them into offense/defense/utility. Bards, sorcerors and warlocks kind of get shafted to start, but they can improve things as they level.

4. Skills and backgrounds. Cut the known skills for each class down to 2. Cut the list of traits/flaws/bonds for backgrounds way back (maybe just group them by alignment into sets). Roll random background.
Um, no? What are you trying to make here? A version of D&D for toddlers?

If you're age 10-12+ & can't handle making a 5e character, then you don't belong in this game.
 

Sadras

Explorer
No, it takes a long time when people are new to the game and are presented with 9 races and 12 classes, many of which don't actually have obvious literary equivalents. Narrow that down to 2 or 3 of each and things get a lot easier. Not everyone knows the game as well as you and I.
Yeah it's called the 5e Basic Game.
I mean you can throw the entire 300+page book at new players, but why would you want to?
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
I don't like the idea of one player being permanently underpowered compared to the rest of the group based on dice rolls at the start of a campaign. I actually had a PC deliberately killing off his character in order to be able to re-roll.
Yea. Should have probably let him reroll lol. I but I also don't like the idea of 99% of same classes having the same stats that point buy yields.
 
Towards the end of 3.5, I stopped rolling having my PCs roll scores and started doing point buy. Haven't looked back since.

I rarely saw any of those mythical "dwarf with a 6 dex and a peg-leg" PCs in my day; the lowest I saw was a 8 cha dwarf or 9 strength wizard. Most PCs I saw had multiple high-scores and lows around 12. Often, I saw PCs starting with a 17-19 in a primary stat and 15-16 or so in secondary stats. And in all my days I don't think I ever saw a fighter without a percentile Strength of 50% + in AD&D.

I don't think they were all cheaters, but I grew tired of PCs having few scores without bonuses (or penalties).
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
And in all my days I don't think I ever saw a fighter without a percentile Strength of 50% + in AD&D.
Clearly you haven't spent enough time at my table over the last 10 years or so. :)

At a rough guess, out of maybe 60 Fighters played in my current game I can think of maybe 8 who had %-ile strength benefits*, and a few more who rolled but didn't advance beyond 18.

* - including one legitimate 18.00, whose glass jaw did him in far too soon. :(
 

Valetudo

Explorer
Um, no? What are you trying to make here? A version of D&D for toddlers?

If you're age 10-12+ & can't handle making a 5e character, then you don't belong in this game.
I started playing 1st edition in 2nd grade. Kids can learn the rules easier than alot of gronards.
 
Clearly you haven't spent enough time at my table over the last 10 years or so. :)
I figured the "YMMV" would be implied, but since your anecdotal evidence doesn't invalidate mine, we'll call it a wash.

At a rough guess, out of maybe 60 Fighters played in my current game I can think of maybe 8 who had %-ile strength benefits*, and a few more who rolled but didn't advance beyond 18.

* - including one legitimate 18.00, whose glass jaw did him in far too soon. :(
See, this is where I get into my problem; I played with a fair number of players over different groups, some of who never met one another. Very few didn't have a 16+ (and commonly, an 18) in their classes primary stat. Usually, they had an additional 15-16, a few 12-14s, and maybe a 10-11 for a "dump" stat. I don't think I ever saw a PC miss out the Prime Requisite XP bonus. Part of the reason was AD&D's ridiculous "15+ to get a stat bump" rule, but the trend did continue into 3e (when stat bumps were available at 12).

I saw paladins and rangers with less than an 18/% str, but raw fighters? Never. I don't think I saw many wizards without an 18 Int, (max spells known/9th level access), Clerics without an 18 Wis (max bonus spells/7th level access) and thieves without 18 dex (Max % bonus on thief skills and AC; in fact elves and halflings were even more common because you could get a 19 dex for even more uber bonus). I had thought that 3e's ability score bumps would cure the need to start with an 18, but all it did was make 20+ reachable.

So I experimented with 32 point buy in a 3.5 game. It worked. When I ran 4e for a short while, I used the default point buy spread. When I ran Pathfinder, I did High Fantasy variant PB, and in 5e I've done default amount PB.

Its worked; people still put high scores in primes, but I usually get 16 and 14 for starting scores and one-or-two 8-10s, not the uber rolls I was used to. I also got less discrepancy between the "old" players who played 2e and "newer" who played 3e; the latter tended to "roll better" then the newer. But it broke the habit, and while I do have a few players gripe about missing "4d6", they understand that it does keep their scores more honest.

Next up, rolling HP, or why none of the PCs ever had less than 75% of their potential max hp...
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
See, this is where I get into my problem; I played with a fair number of players over different groups, some of who never met one another. Very few didn't have a 16+ (and commonly, an 18) in their classes primary stat.
Getting a 16 in your prime stat, after rearrangement and racial mods assuming your race vaguely suits your class, isn't really that difficult.
Usually, they had an additional 15-16, a few 12-14s, and maybe a 10-11 for a "dump" stat.
This is very typical for my games and always has been; but we've always used 5d6-drop-2. Doesn't bother me any.
I don't think I ever saw a PC miss out the Prime Requisite XP bonus.
It's uncommon, but it happens...and not all classes even had access to it.

I saw paladins and rangers with less than an 18/% str, but raw fighters? Never. I don't think I saw many wizards without an 18 Int, (max spells known/9th level access), Clerics without an 18 Wis (max bonus spells/7th level access) and thieves without 18 dex (Max % bonus on thief skills and AC; in fact elves and halflings were even more common because you could get a 19 dex for even more uber bonus).
A few questions, to clarify:

Are you talking here about stats at initial roll-up, or stats after the characters had been played for a while and had opportunities to come in contact with stat-boost items?
And, were these initial rolls done in front of others, and on the table?

Next up, rolling HP, or why none of the PCs ever had less than 75% of their potential max hp...
Again I ask: are these rolls being done in front of others, on the table?

Though this one is a little self-selecting - if you look at a party that's been in the field for 10 adventures, chances are the h.p. values will skew high as all the low ones have long since been culled. :)

Lan-"I'm slowly coming to realize that hit point disparity within the party is a bigger headache than just sheer high numbers"-efan
 
A few questions, to clarify:

Are you talking here about stats at initial roll-up, or stats after the characters had been played for a while and had opportunities to come in contact with stat-boost items?
And, were these initial rolls done in front of others, and on the table?

Again I ask: are these rolls being done in front of others, on the table?

Though this one is a little self-selecting - if you look at a party that's been in the field for 10 adventures, chances are the h.p. values will skew high as all the low ones have long since been culled. :)
I was talking initial stat generation and regular leveling.

I make no illusion that said rolls are the result of some "creative" dice rolling when not in full view of others; a toss of 1, 1, 4, 6 gets one of the "1"s quietly re-rolled and comes up "5" before a 15 is recorded. Or that a HP roll of "1" is scooped and a higher number recorded. And I'm fully aware it was cheating; I did it and it was done to me as a DM, especially in my 2e days. All it did, really, is speed up the process of attrition. A character with mediocre rolls and below average hp will, eventually, be "culled" for one with better luck in statistical gene pool (higher scores and hp). Perhaps said "creative" dice rolling just sped us through the multitude of "Bob the fighter"s and "Lefty the Thief"s who die to goblin arrows and poison traps on our way to playing the character's we enjoyed playing. (And I understand the "war of attrition" model of D&D is beloved by some; see all the recent gushing about ToH or the DCC RPG. Not saying its badwrongfun, just that not every group liked going through 15 fighters on the way to 4th level).
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
Again I ask: are these rolls being done in front of others, on the table?
I'm sure they won't have been...

We're playing a 1E campaign, 4 players, each has a pool of 4 characters to choose from. 5 characters have died permanently thus far - I no longer have the stats for those. 3 have died and been brought back by some means. 3 characters have been level drained by undead at some point, 1 character has been level drained twice. All the characters were rolled at the table using the normal 4d6 method and started with max hp at 1st level.

We have:
16 characters now at level 3 or above, the highest has reached level 8

Of those 16:
5/14 single-classed characters with a +10% xp bonus, and one of the multiclassed characters has a 10% bonus in one of their classes.
2 multiclassed characters
2 Fighters with 18/% strength, the highest being 18/75%, a human female who moved above normal maximum by magical means.
One of the fighters with 18/% strength has 2 stats below 6, and no other bonuses beyond the strength.
5 Fighters or Fighter subclasses with a strength of 15 or less, and therefore no hit/damage bonuses.
2 characters with 3 or more stats of 15+, 1 is a Monk, the other is a Cavalier. The Monk has 1 18, and 3 17s and does not outclass the rest of the party
3 characters with no stats higher than a 14. (one has 13,12,11,9,9,8)
8/16 are human
None have maximum hit-points for their level! One managed maximum at 2nd and 3rd level, but that soon evened itself out (he rolled a 1 at 4th level).

The main party of 8 have a spread of 3 levels between highest and lowest, it does not cause a problem. 8 of the characters are 'backups' playing a side campaign arc, these 8 are all now level 3-4.

We have a wide variety of characters with different abilities, differing spell selections, hugely varying stats and hit points.

The game is still FUN.
 
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Its worked; people still put high scores in primes, but I usually get 16 and 14 for starting scores and one-or-two 8-10s, not the uber rolls I was used to. I also got less discrepancy between the "old" players who played 2e and "newer" who played 3e; the latter tended to "roll better" then the newer. But it broke the habit, and while I do have a few players gripe about missing "4d6", they understand that it does keep their scores more honest.
Do you ever have players ask to have you roll up a set on 4d6 for them? It's what I would do as a player if a DM had reservations about rolling due to past experiences with cheaters. It's a compromise which ought to satisfy both sides.
 
Do you ever have players ask to have you roll up a set on 4d6 for them? It's what I would do as a player if a DM had reservations about rolling due to past experiences with cheaters. It's a compromise which ought to satisfy both sides.
The one player who repeatedly complains about PB does because he feels it doesn't generate high-enough ability scores; I doubt *MY* rolling 4d6 is going to appease him, if you know what I mean. Basically, he likes the concept of PCs being more "organic" as far as a wider array of scores and hp totals, but he also wants to be the on "above average" side of it rather than the below.

Which is ultimately why I stopped; the uncertainty of dice rolls you are stuck with for the rest of the campaign often encourages "rounding errors" to creep in in favor of the PC. Nobody wants to be a 3rd level fighter with 14 hp, no one wanted a wizard with a 14 Int. I'm 90% certain any attempt to go back to rolling would trigger the "start with an 18, no score without a bonus" mentality again.
 
The one player who repeatedly complains about PB does because he feels it doesn't generate high-enough ability scores; I doubt *MY* rolling 4d6 is going to appease him, if you know what I mean. Basically, he likes the concept of PCs being more "organic" as far as a wider array of scores and hp totals, but he also wants to be the on "above average" side of it rather than the below.
Well, maybe. It depends on what his expectations are. There's about a 55% chance you'll roll up a set of ability scores with at least one 16+ in it, which is better than anything that can come out of point buy. If he's just trying not to get cheated out of his fair shot at decent scores, it might satisfy him.
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Towards the end of 3.5, I stopped rolling having my PCs roll scores and started doing point buy. Haven't looked back since.

I rarely saw any of those mythical "dwarf with a 6 dex and a peg-leg" PCs in my day; the lowest I saw was a 8 cha dwarf or 9 strength wizard. Most PCs I saw had multiple high-scores and lows around 12. Often, I saw PCs starting with a 17-19 in a primary stat and 15-16 or so in secondary stats. And in all my days I don't think I ever saw a fighter without a percentile Strength of 50% + in AD&D.

I don't think they were all cheaters, but I grew tired of PCs having few scores without bonuses (or penalties).
Wow. I have a Dwarven druid here on ENWorld in a Pathfinder game with rolled stats. He has a 5 Cha. Dirtiest, fouliest, smelliest dwarf you ever met.
 

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