character roll up

spent an hour rolling up a party and it was a lot of fun

as you go through the creation process throws up lots good sauce and flavour

party are urban scoundrels with a naughty, if not evil streak

 I really like the one line alignment descriptors
I agree. Having players run through creation helped build some interesting backstories. I love how everything includes ingame flavor.
Funny, I used Point Buy system for years and the 4d6 (drop lowest) felt wonderfully nastolgic, but I figured it was not going to last because of imbalances.

I was completely off base.

Other than a small houserule (hopeless character), the random stat process created a lot of roleplay right off the bat.

We got a short-for-a-halfling thug with a 5 STR and three times that in attitude from one of our gals who usually plays happy-go-lucky kender types.  And it was the 5 STR and deciding she had short-girl syndrome.  That opened up all sorts of avenues for her to pursue in creating her character.

We got the drunken priest who's gone soft (8 STR) and forgetful (9 INT) because of his alcoholism, but has a really good heart underneath the self-loathing that makes others love him (16 CHA).  (The guy who rolled this one actually rolled his stats straight down the line STR -> CHA and took what it gave him). 

We have a rash (7 WIS), slightly insane Wizard who talks to a skull of his childhood servant he carries around that he wants to bring back to life (Necromancer).

We have a Priest turned warrior Paladin (Priest - Acolyte - Fighter) who want to bring evil to bay, but without a lot of bloodshed.

Etc.

The more the random rolls created unexpected boons and flaws, the more the players created more interesting, idiosyncratic characters.  It got to be contagious and everyone eventually got into that line of thinking.

And for the first time in ages, the very first night of roleplaying this group had was just that... roleplaying.  No finding an adventure hook and getting to whatever encounter was lined up.  They simply sat down and RPed out getting to know each other and coming up with reasons they were all together, how they interacted, etc.

Granted, the Toppled Elf Tavern had a swarm of Giant Rats, lead by a Dire Rat, suddenly swarm out of the cellar from a recently opened hole, driven by fear and desperation by something even more sinister that has moved into the old warrens beneath the town.  But that only happene because *I* was getting bored and decided to wing a quick scenario on the spot after listening to them for half an hour. :P

Stat Arrays tend to just get people thinking in min-max terms and creates a sameness in retrospect.  I doubt I go back to it.
 
We have had the exact same experience. Never underestimate the importance of randomization to give your imagination something to work on. I think the biggest single factor in my disappointment with 4e is that in it's quest to be perfectly predictably fair it succeeded too well. Faced with that level of carefully plotted haemoginization it is so much harder to get big highs and lows - since the system actively seeks tour onthose out, make it neat, keep it in the middle and things get bland. When DnD got cleaned up they took away my biggest tool...my need to make it up because it was too obscure to understand and use. When it became understandable and I had to serve the math of the system like a slave, it ceased to serve me. Who'd have thought?

Well Next isn't that broken fussy animal that 2nd ed was, instead it is simple, fast and utilizes abstractions well. It has big gaps to let the breeze blow through and my players get to fill in those gaps using their imaginations. Sorry for the ramble but i only just realised that rolling stats has become an integral part of what makes DnD good again.

If they can make it so that a 14 in a primary stat is viable, then I think a lot more people would go back to rolling for stats.  In previous systems the to-hit bonus became so important your experience would be much the worse with a bad one.


Personally I'd love to see primary stats for to-hit go away entirely.  It's been suggested on these boards already, and I think it's a good idea and this could be one bonus to it.

It is refreshing to read about how random generation helps roleplaying.  I am a big fan of anything that makes a PC seem more real, and alive to a player.

I'm also a big fan of letting players play the PC they want to play (within reason).

To make it so that no PC rolls a gimp, I'd probably set a total score threshold.  If the random rolls do not meet the threshold, the player can add points or just re-roll.  What should the threshold be?   78? (average of 13 in all stats)  

 

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To make it so that no PC rolls a gimp, I'd probably set a total score threshold.  If the random rolls do not meet the threshold, the player can add points or just re-roll.  What should the threshold be?   78? (average of 13 in all stats)  

I went even simpler than that.  I gave them a baseline of +4 totals to stats modifiers, allowing them to keep even worse if they liked the particulars and roleplaying opportunities.  I tend to run a bit on the heroic side and the Standard Array comes up to +5 stat bonuses, so I didn't want anyone to be much worse than that.

So far, with 11 characters rolled up, only 1 had to junk their rolls.

This is all pre-racial and class adjustments.

Being a huge advocate of racial bonuses AND penalties in the interest of having the races "feel different", this is what I did:

Gave each main race a +2 to one ability and -2 to another.  For example the main race "dwarf" has +2 con, -2 chr.

Combined this with the existing ability score bonus for each sub-race.  For example "mountain dwarf" ends up with +2 con, +1 wis, -2 chr since mountain dwarf as written gets +1 wis.

When generating a PC I first have the player apply the following array in whatever order is desired: 14, 13, 12, 10, 8, 6.

Then the player rolls (4d6 drop lowest) once for each ability score.  If the roll is higher than the array score then it is used instead.

Player then applies race/class bonuses/penalties.

This method is semi-random--you ALWAYS get a playable character, there is never any need for rerolls, but at the same time with lucky rolls you can still get those really high scores.  And of course you get that nice random feel.

Human fighter generated with this method:

STR-17
DEX-15
CON-14
INT-11
WIS-11
CHR-18 (really lucky roll on 4d6 for this one)

I found it necessary to remove the halfling racial weapons for this method...they are all usable with dex and I gave halflings +2 dex on top of the existing bonuses--lightfoots actually get +3 dex!  Anyway I thought giving them a die type boost on top of this would be a bit much, and the idea of racial weapon specialization doesn't really fit halflings IMO.  I also removed the 20 ceiling on PC ability scores.

I'm not suggesting that anyone else use this method or that it be included in D&DN, just posting it in case someone like-minded would enjoy using it.  If anyone would like clarification I'd be happy to oblige.

Glad to see some positive feedback in rolled stats.

I rolled up a character (waiting on group schedule to actually play).

I went even more old school.

3d6 play where they lay

After race and class adjustments I ended up with

Str 5
Dex 14
Con 8
Int 16
Wis 9
Cha 12

I made him a fighter.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

3d6 play where they lay After race and class adjustments I ended up with Str 5 Dex 14 Con 8 Int 16 Wis 9 Cha 12 I made him a fighter.


I do like the rolling but I can't get behind the "play where they lay" because you don't get to play the type of character class you want to play.  I don't know how you're going to make a viable fighter with a 5 STR score.  I don't know if there is a minimum but it used to be a 9 stat or higher in earlier edition.  I like my players to be able to arrange their scores and play the type of character they want.  May I suggest an alternative to your method?  Allow a one Time swap of two stats... would allow for a good primary ability but 4 of the 6 remain in the order they were rolled up...

I'm not so strict on my players as a DM but when I play I put that restriction on myself.

Fighter is Dex based in this situation.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Makes sense as a Finesse weapon wielder, though unless they add feats in the final rules that allow for better damage from Finesse weapons (or better than 1/2 from Dual Wielding/TWF) I fear that even then, this fighter would be woefully underpowered (I'm thinking low STR means a penalty on damage).  If I had those stats to work with I'd make either a Wizard or a Rogue.  But to each his/her own...
Well I took magic user as my specialty and duelist.

Using shocking grasp and tumble I can attack, move through an enemy square and then leave his reach unhindered.

Took bounty hunter background for perception and sneaking and wood elf to enhance movement and areas where sneak can apply.

Will most likely play very defensive with him.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I don't think I'd be THAT restrictive; I like to give players some control over how their character will turn out without giving them too much control of it.
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