D&D General Why I Love Rolling Up Characters

Jahydin

Hero
If the system is built for it, I don't mind rolling chargen. However, D&D has often not been built for it. Though, I love it in games like Traveller. It is so fun seeing a character come to life in unexpected ways, but ways in which you have a little control over.
Agree, especially in 5E where your primary attribute bonus is so critical to your character. Starting off with a 16 rather than a 12 is the equivalent of two extra Feats after all.

This is one of the areas Castles and Crusades shines. Attributes are rolled randomly, but the distribution is B/X, so the primary attribute bonus of a PC will either be +1 or +2; not that big of a difference.

But most importantly, the player gets to choose which attributes he excels at ("Prime"), along with the one assigned by their Class. This offers a whopping + 6 bonus to skill Checks and Saves, making it much more impactful.

That makes you a competent character straight out of the gate, but to further sweeten the deal is being able to add your Level to the checks as well, further minimizing the need for "good rolls".
 

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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Agree, especially in 5E where your primary attribute bonus is so critical to your character. Starting off with a 16 rather than a 12 is the equivalent of two extra Feats after all.

This is one of the areas Castles and Crusades shines. Attributes are rolled randomly, but the distribution is B/X, so the primary attribute bonus of a PC will either be +1 or +2; not that big of a difference.

But most importantly, the player gets to choose which attributes he excels at ("Prime"), along with the one assigned by their Class. This offers a whopping + 6 bonus to skill Checks and Saves, making it much more impactful.

That makes you a competent character straight out of the gate, but to further sweeten the deal is being able to add your Level to the checks as well, further minimizing the need for "good rolls".
13A has sort of the reverse tack; you get +2 to one of two stats based on your race (e.g. Wood Elf is Dex or Wis, Dragonborn with the serial numbers filed off is Str or Cha), and +2 to one of two stats based on your class (e.g. Wizard is Int or Wis, Paladin is Str or Cha.) The only restriction is that you can't double up--your racial boost must be different from your class boost.

That way, even if you do choose to roll stats, you'll always have at least a decent score in whatever your class focuses on, assuming you use 4d6 drop lowest, highest score must be 14 or more, etc. Playing to type actually results in having no choices; e.g. a Not!Dragonborn Paladin can only choose Str/Cha, because the two sources provide the same two options, directly trading versatility for narrowed focus. A Wood Elf Paladin, on the other hand, can have Dex/Str, Dex/Cha, Wis/Str, or Wis/Cha. This has the side effect of making the Human "pick any one stat" option actually being a benefit, albeit a minor one.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Agree, especially in 5E where your primary attribute bonus is so critical to your character. Starting off with a 16 rather than a 12 is the equivalent of two extra Feats after all.

This is one of the areas Castles and Crusades shines. Attributes are rolled randomly, but the distribution is B/X, so the primary attribute bonus of a PC will either be +1 or +2; not that big of a difference.

But most importantly, the player gets to choose which attributes he excels at ("Prime"), along with the one assigned by their Class. This offers a whopping + 6 bonus to skill Checks and Saves, making it much more impactful.

That makes you a competent character straight out of the gate, but to further sweeten the deal is being able to add your Level to the checks as well, further minimizing the need for "good rolls".
Yes, OSR games run on different base assumptions so I dont mind rolling characters in them.
 

Irlo

Hero
One of my favorite characters in 1e was the result of rolled ability score rolls (4d6-L, arrange to taste, if I recall properly). I wanted to play a druid, but I couldn't meet the Wisdom and Charisma requirements. I played a fighter who had been abducted as a child to be initiated into a druid sect but was kicked out when it became apparent she didn't make the cut. It's not optimal to play a 1e fighter self-limiting to druid armor and weapon proficiencies, but it was fun.

That's not the way I'd want to play every D&D game, but sometimes it works.
 

Clint_L

Hero
I will never forget rolling my first character, for AD&D. The DM was my friend's college-aged older brother, and he was using the "roll 3 dice 6 times for each attribute and keep the best result" method, one of the options in the old DMG. So the numbers were already going to be high, and I wanted to play a ranger, because Aragorn. I started with an 18 for strength, and then my friend handed me percentile dice and got excited when I rolled a 94. I didn't even know what percentile dice were, or what 18/94 strength meant, I just knew that it must be good. It was super fun.

That character also wound up with an 18 constitution and no score under 14. The DM also used the optional rule where you started with max HP at level 1, so I had a level 1 ranger wielding a 2-H sword with 18/94 strength and 24 HP. Ridiculous. I loved it.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I will never forget rolling my first character, for AD&D. The DM was my friend's college-aged older brother, and he was using the "roll 3 dice 6 times for each attribute and keep the best result" method, one of the options in the old DMG. So the numbers were already going to be high, and I wanted to play a ranger, because Aragorn. I started with an 18 for strength, and then my friend handed me percentile dice and got excited when I rolled a 94. I didn't even know what percentile dice were, or what 18/94 strength meant, I just knew that it must be good. It was super fun.
Our starts are eerily similar.

When I started, we were already using 5d6k3 as the roll-up method. The very first roll I made was an 18, which went on Strength; the rest of the rolls were more than good enough to allow me to be a Ranger - like Aragorn, which was the exact example given by the DM when I asked what a Ranger was. The main difference was my d% roll for added strength was way less than 94.

I got him in the field and at the first opportunity put him in plate mail; so yes, my first character was a heavy Ranger. :)
 

Clint_L

Hero
I got him in the field and at the first opportunity put him in plate mail; so yes, my first character was a heavy Ranger. :)
I recall that was normal for a ranger back then - it seems weird now, but in 1e rangers were typically as heavily armoured as fighters and paladins. Mine was plated up, as well.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I recall that was normal for a ranger back then - it seems weird now, but in 1e rangers were typically as heavily armoured as fighters and paladins. Mine was plated up, as well.
And they STILL surprised 3 in 6 (compared to the normal 2 in 6)!
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I recall that was normal for a ranger back then - it seems weird now, but in 1e rangers were typically as heavily armoured as fighters and paladins.
Well, there were two directions you could go: heavy, like you and I did; or light, where the emphasis was on outdoors sneakery, scouting, and movement. Rangers in 1e needed four good stats and Dexterity wasn't one of them; if you got lucky and had a 5th good stat to put in Dex (and-or were an Elf and thus got a Dex boost) then the light-Ranger option became attractive. I've seen both done well.

2e leaned hard into the "light" model; and subsequent editons have, sadly, reinforced that. My attempt to make a heavy Ranger in 3e had our resident powergamer shaking his head...but even he eventually admitted I'd done the best I could with it, suboptimal though it was.
 

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