Standard Point Buy System for 5th Edition

37 posts / 0 new
Last post

Premise: I wanted to create a point buy system for my characters to use and I wanted to model it after previous editions. I'm posting this not so much for a grand discussion but for nods that I choose correctly or shakes from those who feel I didn't. Then from those people to offer up a different suggestion (and no thank you suggesting they roll, that is not so great). [3rd Edition:] Although the books or someone on the internet suggested 10+1d8 for generation which would on average be all 14.5s which does set it slightly higher than what can be selected (which is all 14s with a point left over). So yes your thoughts please!

After researching the various editions from 3.0 to 3.5 to 4.0 to 4.E and 5th (Next) I have come to the conclusion that the current system is modeled on 3.0/3.5. The Standard Array for 5th is the Default Array for 3rd (Page 19-20 DMG) and the Elite Array for 3.5 (169-170 DMG). That Standard Array being: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10 and 8. So since it so closely mimics the 3rd edition I will be using that system. Now I’m going to mostly just explain the systems.

The suggested method for these third editions is to start with six 8s and using 25 points to spend on improving them using a chart. It is also suggested to use more or less points based on difficulty of the campaign desired. For Lowered Powered Campaigns use only 15, use 22 for Challenging, use 28 for Tougher, and 32 for High Powered. The actual chart looks something like this: 9 through 14 (the scores) cost 1-6 points and above that it goes 8p for 15, 10p for 16, 13p for 17 and 16p for 18.

Fourth Edition does it slightly differently; they ask you to take five 10s and one 8 and gives you 22 points to spend but with a different point buy system. Straight fourth edition’s standard array (17-18 PHB) is 16, 14, 13, 12, 11 and 10. Fourth Essential breaks it into 3 standard arrays (38 HoFL) (38 HoFK): a balanced one at 16, 14, 14, 11, 10, 10; a specialist one at 18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 8; and a dualist one at 16, 16, 12, 11, 11, 8. In essential the point buy option is in the Rules Compendium pages 77-78. All four of these do come out to 22 points with the following tables. A score of 9 and 10 require 1 and 2 points respectively to raise your 8 score to 10 before you can modify it further. At 11 12 and 13 it is just 1 2 3 but at 14 it is 5; 15 is 7; 16 is 9; 17 is 12; and 18 is 16.

In attempting to compare the two systems I had to convert the 4th edition into something closer to its earlier cousin. If I pull down the 10 rule and move everything to an 8 then I need to adjust the number of points given to 32 (add 10 points) and make the table from a starting at 8 perspectives by adding 2 to all the values. It turned out like this: 9-13 / 1-5 then 14/7, 15/9, 16/11, 17/14, 18/18. Basically compared to the 3rd edition chart you add 1 to every number from 14 to 17 and add 2 to 18 making it more expensive in 4th but you get more points.

Then let’s review the standard arrays to determine if one system empowers the PCs more than the other. 3rd: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8; 4th: 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10. 4th edition has a +1 on its highest and two lowest making it have a tighter stronger array. But really without looking at the bonuses and penalties how would we know? 3rd: +2, +2, +1, +1, 0, -1 vs. 4th: +3, +2, +1, +1, 0, 0. It improves the highest score to a +3 and improves the lowest score to not be a -1. Alright 4th edition PCs are stronger (in the sense that they are a bit tougher, if the monsters do not scale from 3rd to 4th to reflect this slight change in power). How? This is because the underlying system of bonuses and penalties has not shifted to reflect the points/scores (and it shouldn’t shift its fine).

Converting: 3rd edition standard array (25pts in 3rd) costs only 27 points in modified 4th edition point buy and the 4th edition standard array (32pts in modified 4th) cost 30 points in the 3rd edition point buy system. 2 points more expensive moving from 3rd to modified 4th systems and 5 points more expensive moving from 3rd standard array to modified 4th standard array. I know right? Yay math! So 30 point characters into the 3rd edition setting puts them halfway between tougher and high powered characters.

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

Modules, Variants, Book’s Printed In the core or a separate one? How would you do it? Homebrew, House Rules, What do Official Vocabulary Guidelines State (Hot Fuzz Reference)? Variants are now Modules and House Rules are now Unofficial Modules? I don’t know it seems a bit muddled to me.

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

Oh gawd no. We don't need a repeat of this and all the twinkery that it'll encourage. Standard Array is IMO best for everyone.
I liked 4th Essential's Best: 3 Arrays, Choose One. I found that to be best, because of point buy system it was found to be fair but was discouraged from use, I guess. Balanced, Specialist, and Dualist. I wonder If I can create the same for 5th?

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

I liked 4th Essential's Best: 3 Arrays, Choose One. I found that to be best, because of point buy system it was found to be fair but was discouraged from use, I guess. Balanced, Specialist, and Dualist. I wonder If I can create the same for 5th?


I don't see why you couldn't use them. They'll definitely produce more balanced characters than I've seen from the average point buy arrays.
I always used the point averages of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10 and 8. Which is the same as the pregens without stat modifcation. That being said, I am not adverse to giving rolloffs, just everyone I knew prefered the reliablity of those stats over rolling, though I personally would go crazy and give it a try.

i am not famlier with 4th editions methods though.
I use an array and then let the player roll 4d6 once for each ability.  If they roll a higher score than what they would have with the array they get to keep it, if not the array score stands.

I've worked on it but I'm not ready to post my results. I'm trying to make just 3 (or so) simple arrays so that you can pick one based on certain simple factors like if you need one strong attribute or two. If your race mod and your class mod contribute to an ability score (the primary) or two (primary and secondary) or in an unlikely case some tertiary ability you don't use regularly for you particular character class.

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

I liked 4th Essential's Best: 3 Arrays, Choose One. I found that to be best, because of point buy system it was found to be fair but was discouraged from use, I guess. Balanced, Specialist, and Dualist. I wonder If I can create the same for 5th?


A point-buy system isn't terribly removed from an array system.  Invariably, there are only so many significant variations of what someone can buy with points.  If we build a system with sufficient constraints, the more obvious arrangements end up populating your array.

Thus I purport: to build a balanced point system, work backwards.  Construct the most impressive set(s) of ability scores you would ever dare allow a PC to assign to himself.  Then build a system that allocates points in a manner where the most extreme allocation of such points can only result in the aforementioned sets, nothing more.

So, the OP's post in summary:


3.0 rules.



Slightly longer:


Start with six 8s and 25 points.  9-14 costs 1 point per increase, 15-16 costs 2, 17-18 costs 3.



Or, for those who hate math:


8 = 0
9 = 1
10=2
11=3
12=4
13=5
14=6
15=8
16=10
17=13
18=16


This will get you the same as the array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 that was given in the playtest.  (It may also be worth noting that this lends itself to slightly lower scores than the average 4d6 remove-the-lowest, which yields about a 13 strictly on average.  A more "average" rolled array would be 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10.  However, the bonus of never having to play a score below 8 is usually worth the difference to those who use this system.)


Personally I love point buys because it helps make sure some characters are not wildly more or less powerful than others, but it still allows for some customization.

Hi,

Since this really isn't playtest session feedback I'll be moving it to Playtest Packet Discussion.

Thanks,

Monica

Monica

Wizards of the Coast Online Community Coordinator

A friendly dragon.

My bad, I wasn't sure sorry about that, I wasn't sure if it was I hope that I am still allowed to discuss this. Any who I have been fiddling to get the three arrays and I think I almost got it and I think I will reply to this post with them as soon as I'm done just give me a few more minutes to an hour just have some final tweaks (yeah I know right how much time am I going to spend with this).


It's funny that it got moved cause I honestly thought of posting this in just the general DND Next discussion and not the playtest packet section but it seemed right to put it here, I guess I didn't realize there was two different ones.


 

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

Life just keeps getting in the way but this is what I came up with after about a week (right now):
Balanced: 15 14 13 10 10 10 [For Primary bonus from class, and tertiary bonus from race]
Dualist: 15 15 13 10 10 8 [For Primary and Secondary Bonus from Class and Race (Either)]
Specialist: 16 14 13 10 10 8 [For both bonuses into Primary from Race and Class]
They are so similar to themselves and the standard array that you could opt to have just 2 arrays amongst the four. But these arrays I believe reflected the design choices in the bonus and penalties in the 4th edition sets. 

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

16 as the max score for the Specialist? I'm used to seeing stuff more like 18 13 12 10 8 8 for a specialist character. Now, those numbers were pulled out of thin air, but hopefully they get the point across. Its extremely one-dimensional but works well if you have a favorable racial bonus to push that 13 to a 15 or so.

That's what I said, I’m assuming they put race or class bonus into both now would you recommend more extreme versions where you pull it down to two abilities who have an 8 and more high end bonuses do you feel there are more dump status [-1 penalties to them] then just one okay you may have a point. And I did consider doing that too. I made like a version one and version two of each with more extreme values. I can quickly work something up.


The modifiers are only a +1 not a +2, but you do get one from your class has to go into something meaningful (hopefully unless your character is weird). [Disclaimer: Weird is okay in D&D!]



 

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

For Your Information
Hill: Con +1
Mount: Wis +1 
High: Int +1
Wood: Dex +1
Light: Dex +1
Stout: Cha +1 
Human: Any +1, All +1 [One of which's total is +2] 

Cleric: Wis / Str / Con +1
Fighter: Str / Dex / Con +1
Rogue: Dex / Str / Int +1
Wizard: Int / Con +1
Sorcerer: Cha / Con +1
Warlock: Int / Dex / Con +1


Notice how the Rogue is the only one who’s con score should be like the fourth in the set of hierarchy and not second or third? Also note that Constitution is never made primary either, but it is always* (see above) required. It’s pretty much going to be that 13 Score then unless said character needs it stronger like sun clerics based on wisdom or war clerics based on strength might put constitution as their secondary ability and rely on the other… okay something like that I don’t know.


Hill / Mount / High / Wood / Light / Stout / Human [Shortcuts]


Hill Dwarf / Mountain Dwarf / High Elf / Wood Elf / Lightfoot Halfing / Stout Halfing / Human

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

A points buy system would have some interesting interactions with the human stat bonuses. The ability to just buy every stat as an odd number would save a fair few points and push them towards being the most tempting choice for most classes starting at level 1.

18, 14, 14, 14, 10, 10 seems like a great set of stats.   
How about this point buy, given 80 points. All stats start at 3.





































































3
41
52
63
75
86
97
109
1110
1212
1314
1417
1521
1626
1733
1842



Some examples of arrays produced:
18  12    9    9    8    8
18  10  10    9    9    8
16  16  11    8    8    8
16  15  10  10  10    8
16  14  11  10  10  10
14  14  14  11  11  10
13  13  13  13  12  12

That to me seems unbalanced, and besides just about nobody is going to want less than 8 and it shouldn't be allowed even if with points it creates a dynamic structure like that, I'll have to ponder your proposal but I was going to give some final thoughts on this and be off to keep constructing characters, so I'll be sending some more text this way soon.

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

Assuming you will choose to use your class ability bonus on the primary ability for your character (see below for details). Also assuming you will assign the primary ability for your character (see below for details) to the highest score. You assign the second most important ability for your character to the second highest score and so on and so forth.


 


Favored Race:                   16  14  13  10  10  8            Race boosts first score


Duality Race:                      15  15  13  10  10  8            Race boosts second score


Constitutional Race:        15  14  13  10  10  10          Race boosts third score (named after the pattern)


Unfavorable Race:           15  14  14  09  10  10          Race boosts fourth, fifth or sixth score (just move 09)


 


I’m going to write more on this but for now I want to get this out.

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

That to me seems unbalanced, and besides just about nobody is going to want less than 8 and it shouldn't be allowed even if with points it creates a dynamic structure like that, I'll have to ponder your proposal but I was going to give some final thoughts on this and be off to keep constructing characters, so I'll be sending some more text this way soon.



I think there's a large number of people out there who are more than happy to accept ability scores as low as 3. I know I have been in the past. I personally know several people who are fine with lower than 8 ability scores.

I've got lots of pages in my word pad (3) of text about my workspace on writing this up, although I think I'm going to tear down this thread if I can or at least point this thread into a new thread because I'd rather just display my thoughts for others to use, I could turn it into a blog I guess. I'm writing some final thoughts on the scores, I've also filled out 3 of the 6 classes for recommendations on which scores to use I might combine with some racial-ness which is already included in the thought process, I hope to paste my final answer before I sleep. Ha!

Do you want me to write some more extreme ones with lower than 8 scores, I've got only 2 in mind so far because you get limited with 25 points where there are 2 i can think of that need 26 to get a spread of even-ness on the top abilities I wouldn't worry about it so much, what is the range on the scores for rolling, and there likelihood to give me an idea for a modified point buy system.

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

That to me seems unbalanced, and besides just about nobody is going to want less than 8 and it shouldn't be allowed even if with points it creates a dynamic structure like that, I'll have to ponder your proposal but I was going to give some final thoughts on this and be off to keep constructing characters, so I'll be sending some more text this way soon.



I think there's a large number of people out there who are more than happy to accept ability scores as low as 3. I know I have been in the past. I personally know several people who are fine with lower than 8 ability scores.



thems the breaks when you take the gamble
I'd like to see a nomalized pointbuy system where a base array totalling 63 costs 0, so that 11/11/11/10/10/10 and 18/18/18/3/3/3 are considered identical.

The only reasons a "here's 63, go nuts" has never existed are some compulsive need to discourage dump-statting (which is why pointbuys don't go lower than 8), and some compulsive need to enforce a "exceptional" of 17 and 18.
I'd like to see a nomalized pointbuy system where a base array totalling 63 costs 0, so that 11/11/11/10/10/10 and 18/18/18/3/3/3 are considered identical.

The only reasons a "here's 63, go nuts" has never existed are some compulsive need to discourage dump-statting (which is why pointbuys don't go lower than 8), and some compulsive need to enforce a "exceptional" of 17 and 18.

I would have no problem with this proposal -- if all stats were equally important to all classes.  But this is not (and probably should not be) the case.  Usually 1 to 3 stats are what a character uses 90% of the time -- making an 18 18 18 3 3 3 character considerable more effective that an 11 11 11 10 10 10 character.
I would have no problem with this proposal -- if all stats were equally important to all classes.  But this is not (and probably should not be) the case.

Ah, but the thing is, using a direct '3d6 in order' still essentially creates dump-stats, in that it mandates using a class where the high numbers matter and the low numbers aren't very important.

I would have no problem with this proposal -- if all stats were equally important to all classes.  But this is not (and probably should not be) the case.

Ah, but the thing is, using a direct '3d6 in order' still essentially creates dump-stats, in that it mandates using a class where the high numbers matter and the low numbers aren't very important.


Any random method af character generation at least limits the extent of dump stats.  But I do recognize your point.  I don't think any system can avoid all problems -- which is part of the reason there is so much disagreement on stat generation.

I look for a system that (as "best" possible) balances the following goals:
1.  Balancing characters -- esp. avoiding overpowered characters.
2.  Creating character variety/personality -- typically a standard array leads to only a couple of different, effective choices for each class.
3.  Promoting "inspiration" -- a character with interesting ability mixes outside usual constructions for the character's class. 
4.  Efficient and simple -- I hated the old roll 3d6 six times for each stat and keep the best system.   
5.  Flexible enough to allow a player to create the character he/she wants to play.
6.  Prevent excessive, artificial character "optimization" (or at least the necessity for such). 

Unfortunately, random methods are good at 2, 3, and 6 while being vulnerable on 4 and 5, and being horrible on 1.  Arrays are horrible on 2 and 3, vulnerable to 6, but excellent on 1, 4, and 5.  Well constructed point buys are excellent on 1,2 ,and 5, vulnerable on 3 and 4, and horrible on 6.  Hybrid methods are usually horrible on 4 and often on 6, while being good on the others.  I do not know an ideal system -- even for me, let alone others.
From another thread:

Start with the array of 11/11/11/10/10/10

±2 = ±1 point
±4 = ±2 points
±6 = ±5 points
±7 = ±9 points

Default point-total would be zero.  "Elite" would probably be about ten.
I'm really glad to see people working on this.  I've always used a point buy (well since 3x anyways) to keep things "fair"  I understand many people are happy to get handed a low score and then role play it but for others they don't want to play a human that adds all those ability boosts only to find they are still way behind the rest of the group due to bad luck.

I'm low on time for ideas right now.  The 3x system is familar to many of us and I would be happy keeping things close to it.  Also I like having a set level of play for the game too.  Maybe one game I give a 25 point buy and the next I give a 32 point buy for a more heroic feel.

I think the system needs a few more restrictions like maybe the max buy is 17 or maybe you have to have x number of odd vs even scores after buying your stats.
I think the system needs a few more restrictions like maybe the max buy is 17 or maybe you have to have x number of odd vs even scores after buying your stats.

But, once it starts getting convoluted with "no more than" or "must have x of", it gets pretty obvious that the books are attempting to do the DM's job of shutting down abusive builds, and the collateral damage is a system far more complicated and bloated than it ever needed to be.

All stats should start at 8, rather than 10 for point buy.
I think the system needs a few more restrictions like maybe the max buy is 17 or maybe you have to have x number of odd vs even scores after buying your stats.

But, once it starts getting convoluted with "no more than" or "must have x of", it gets pretty obvious that the books are attempting to do the DM's job of shutting down abusive builds, and the collateral damage is a system far more complicated and bloated than it ever needed to be.




balancing the game IS the desginer's job. it is way too abusive to be able to dump stats to 3, you will see people with nothing but 18's and 3's and just accept that when they make a save in any of their stats that are 3's they will fail.

unless stats are unimportant in the game having characters with all 11's and ones with 18's and 3's will not be balances and will make one inefective and one overpowered
Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
Any random method af character generation at least limits the extent of dump stats.  But I do recognize your point.  I don't think any system can avoid all problems -- which is part of the reason there is so much disagreement on stat generation.

I look for a system that (as "best" possible) balances the following goals:
1.  Balancing characters -- esp. avoiding overpowered characters.
2.  Creating character variety/personality -- typically a standard array leads to only a couple of different, effective choices for each class.
3.  Promoting "inspiration" -- a character with interesting ability mixes outside usual constructions for the character's class. 
4.  Efficient and simple -- I hated the old roll 3d6 six times for each stat and keep the best system.   
5.  Flexible enough to allow a player to create the character he/she wants to play.
6.  Prevent excessive, artificial character "optimization" (or at least the necessity for such).


What about something like this?

12+1d6            13-18, Avg 15.5
11+1d6            12-17, Avg 14.5
10+1d6            11-16, Avg 13.5
09+1d6            10-15, Avg 12.5
08+1d6            09-14, Avg 11.5
07+1d6            08-13, Avg 10.5

Then arrange however you see fit.
I'm all for rolling stats.  Well, in theory - I always seem to roll low, and my fiancée ends up with multiple scores of 16+.  For myself, personally, I prefer to have a character who's effective but doesn't outshine anyone else's, which is another reason I always point buy.  Anyway, I've figured out some of the odds behind rolling 4d6 and dropping the lowest.  Here are some numbers for your consideration:

Show
Your odds of rolling under 8 for at least one stat are about 15.18%;
Your odds of rolling under 8 more than once are about 1.08%.

Your odds of rolling 16 or higher on at least one stat are about 56.73%;
Your odds of rolling 16 or higher more than once are about 17.85%.

Mean (average) roll is just over 12;
Median roll is just under 12;
Mode (most common) roll is 13.


But, really, it all comes down to your party's preference.  However.  If you do decide to roll, you must stick with your results.  Re-rolling every time you end up with a below-average array ruins the whole point, and you just end up with a crazy strong group of characters.  Cheating's bad, mmkay?
This topic has been discussed much more over in the general thread, I took some of the ideas and rolled them into one generalized rule that is more flexible that lets the DM dictate the min/ave/max that fits the balance of the campaign he has planned, it guarantees everyone rolls into that range, and is easily verified if done off table.  The point buy has been replaced with a rolled modifier stack, though the roll could be skipped reverting it into a point buy.  The dice pool is saying which abilities to stack the modifiers on, you can rearrange (or not) when done, every dice added to the pool increases the average by .33.  The regular rolling methods can be used as long as they are rounded to the min/ave/max, or the DM can just say we are using 3d6 straight so deal with it.   There is no point arguing what min/ave/max should be because every DM has a different opinion, the only thing that matters is that players agree with their DM rather than leave the game.

2nd post is an example that makes it easier to understand, although writing and reading math is always harder than it is to simply do, so please try the idea before you comment; in practice only the DM has to do the math, the players just count the dice pool.  There could also be a d20 and d100 list of arrays made with this method ranging from balanced 14',13' and 12's, to high 16's or high 18, for those who prefer not rolling but want a random yet balanced pick.   (4e standard arrays are created using its point buy) 

Even though standard play has used 8-18, they may very well want to change it up if they are promoting a different style of play, so this rule is intentionally flexible on DM fiat in dictating the range.   It has to be that way because only the DM can balance the game for the party, as splitting the party would be required if he tried to balance the game for individuals.

community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/...

Apparently I had worked out my final result, but never bothered to post it, here it is, but obviously I would have to update it now with different classes. I'm really surprised, I remember this and I went looking for it and finally found it, I named it oddly. Sorry for keeping you waiting, but it seems like from what I've read after my last post that maybe, I'm looking at this the wrong way. Shouldn't you role play through your scores? Doesn't rolling do that, creating you with your own faults and abilities and powers? I'll post something new when I'm done.


How it Works


Unfavorable: Class Bonus is usually added to 1st ability, sometimes 2nd, Racial Bonus to 3rd or worse.


Tertiary Ability: Class Bonus is added to 1st ability, Racial Bonus to 3rd.


Secondary Ability: Class Bonus is added to 1st ability, Racial Bonus to 2nd.


Primary Ability: Class Bonus is added to 1st ability, Racial Bonus to 1st.


A             Maxed War Cleric: 18 Str, 14 Con, 14 Wis                          Human: +2 Str or +2 Con and +2 Wis


B             Moderate War Cleric: 16 Str, 16 Wis, 14 Con                     Human: +2 Str and +2 Wis


C             Mixed Sun Cleric: 18 Wis, 16 Con, 10 Str, 10 Dex              Human: +4 Str and +2 Dex


D             Ranged Sun Cleric: 18 Wis, 16 Con, 10 Dex, 10 Str           Human: +4 Dex and +2 Str


E              Slayer Fighter: 18 Str, 16 Con, 12 Dex                            Human +2 Str


F              Protector Fighter: 18 Str, 16 Con, 12 Dex                        Human: +2 Str


G             Duelist Fighter: 18 Dex, 16 Con, 12 Str                            Human: +2 Dex


H             Sharpshooter Fighter: 18 Dex, 16 Con, 12 Str                  Human: +2 Dex


I               Rogue: 18 Dex, 16 Con, 10 Str, 10 Int                            Human: +4 Str and +2 Int


J1            Dragon Sorcerer: 18 Cha, 16 Con, 12 Str                         Human: +2 Cha


J2            Dragon Sorcerer: 18 Cha, 14 Con, 14 Str                         Human: +2 Cha or +2 Con and +2 Str


K             Fey Warlock: 18 Int, 14 Dex, 14 Con                               Human: +2 Int or +2 Dex and +2 Con


L              Wizard: 18 Int, 16 Con, 12 Dex                                      Human: +2 Int


Hill Dwarf:                      1


Mountain Dwarf:             2


High Elf:                         3


Wood Elf:                       4


Light Halfling:                 5


Stout Halfling:                6


Human:                         7


 


Goal: 20, 16, 12


Primary Ability: 17, 15, 11, 09, 08, 08                         7E, 7F, 7G, 7H, 7L, 7J1


Goal: 20, 14, 14


Primary Ability: 17, 13, 13, 09, 09, 08                         7A, 7K, 7J2


Goal: 18, 18, 14


Secondary Ability: 16, 16, 13, 08, 08, 08                   7B


Goal: 18, 16, 16


Tertiary Ability: 16, 15, 14, 09, 08, 08                         7A, 7K, 7J2


Goal: 18, 16, 14, 12


Primary Ability: 15, 15, 13, 11, 09, 08                         7C, 7D, 7I


Goal: 18, 16, 12


Unfavorable: 17, 16, 10, 08, 08, 08                             3C, 4C, 5C, 6C, 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D, 2E, 3E, 4E, 5E, 6E, 2F, 3F, 4F, 5F, 6F, 2G, 3G, 6G, 2H, 3H, 6H, 2I, 3I, 6I, 2L, 4L, 5L, 6L, 2J1, 3J1, 4J1, 5J1


Secondary Ability: 17, 15, 12, 08, 08, 08                   1E, 1F, 1G, 1H, 1L, 1J1


Primary Ability: 16, 16, 12, 09, 08, 08                         4G, 5G, 4H, 5H, 3L, 6J


Goal: 18, 16, 10, 10


Secondary Ability: 17, 15, 10, 10, 08, 08                   1C, 1D, 1I


Primary Ability: 16, 16, 11, 10, 08, 08                         2C, 2D, 4I, 5I


Goal: 18, 14, 14


Unfavorable: 17, 14, 14, 08, 08, 08                             3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 2K, 6K, 2J2, 3J2, 4J2, 5J2


Tertiary Ability: 17, 14, 13, 09, 08, 08                         1A, 2A, 1K, 4K, 5K, 1J2


Primary Ability: 16, 14, 14, 11, 08, 08                         3K, 6J2


Goal: 16, 16, 14


Unfavorable: 16, 15, 14, 09, 08, 08                             3B, 4B, 5B, 6B


Tertiary Ability: 16, 14, 13, 10, 08, 08                         1B


Secondary Ability: 15, 15, 14, 11, 08, 08                   2B
 


 




AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

Personally, I've always preferred rolling the stats... but that "may" have something to do with the fact that my lowest scores were 16s that way... and no, not cheating either... hahaha...  but that aside, In this edition, I think doing your best to get at least a +1 in every attribute "may" be worthwhile due to how skillz are handled now.  Since the rolls are ability checks and then if a certain skill pertains to it, you can add whatever to it or something, I don't really know what I'm talking about here... hahaha.  but anywho, If using a point buy system, I would try to shoot for as many 12s and 14s as possible, so as to make sure you get at least a +1 in everything you roll.