Issues with Stats and the point system

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Ok this one is for steveO and i know he will jump all over this one because he crunches numbers more then anyone on here so here goes


I have a issue with a "hero" having stats that do not have a modifier to them that is possitive. Any stat that is below a +1 is a shame and a failer in the developing of a 'hero'. With the common 32 point system or even the 36 point system your 'heros' would not be able to stand up do some of the higher level enemies. Your skills would suck your saves would be pitiful and possibly your HP crap. So I ask how can anyone justify these systems? as to me the just make realy strong commoners. When 'heros" are suppost to be the top tear.   
It's been explained TO YOU before. Why pollute the forums with another thread in order to be told the exact same thing you were told before? Blatant trolling attempt is blatant, brah.
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I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
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So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
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Why are you asking this again when we already wasted so much of our time answering this the last time you asked this which was only a month ago?

Normal character get PB 15 (I've got no idea what you consider normal.) which average a whooping +0 ability modifier although it can be tweaked for a +1.  The elite array equates to PB 25 (FAR below your PB 32 assuming you're even using the standard point buy methods) which can make a net +6 in ability modifiers although the elite arry isn't quite so optimized and only gives up +5.  Those "heroic" stats can be a +1 modifier to EVERYTHING the hero does compared to a normal person.  If a normal person can do something 50% of the time the hero can do it 55% of the time which is a 10% improvement; something a normal person can only do 10% of the time the hero can do 15% of the time which is a 50% improvement.

I have no idea where you get off saying "common 32 or 36 point systems" because those are far above common.  I should point out that those "higher level enemies" should be getting faced by "higher level heroes" who have had time and should have aquired items and/or spells which can increase their ability scores if that is so essential to fighting those tougher opponents.
I have a issue with a "hero" having stats that do not have a modifier to them that is possitive. Any stat that is below a +1 is a shame and a failer in the developing of a 'hero'. With the common 32 point system or even the 36 point system your 'heros' would not be able to stand up do some of the higher level enemies. Your skills would suck your saves would be pitiful and possibly your HP crap. So I ask how can anyone justify these systems? as to me the just make realy strong commoners. When 'heros" are suppost to be the top tear.

Why focus so much on the ability scores?  There are going to be normal folk out there who are better than your heroes at certain skills just because they've spent skill points in them and you haven't; 4 skill points and a +1 ability modifier are within the reach of even 1st-level commoners, and you'd need to have a score of 20 in every ability score just to do as well as them.  Does it make the heroes failures because a commoner is better than them in some way?

If you don't like a particular area of weakness, put your lowest ability score somewhere else.  There are very few characters who rely heavily on all six ability scores being good, and it's more beneficial to focus on making a few ability scores really good and then working with your strengths.  Or use one of the many different options for making an area of weakness use a different ability score than your weak one.

If you insist on having all ability score modifiers be positive, you're going to have to buy them, just like everyone else.  Amazingly, characters can and do regularly face and defeat high-level challenges using the existing system.

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For once, CJ actually put this pretty well. Not all heroes are heroic in every way. In fact, most of them aren't.

As borked as the CR system is, it assumes a 25pb or equivalent. With 32 or 36, you could almost imagine your characters have a free +1 LA or more, so you should be able to go a CR higher without bother. I'm not saying you should be able to optimise and thus take on tough foes. You don't even have to. I'm saying that 32+pb is more powerful than what's meant to be "able to stand up to some of the higher level enemies".

If you want to play a game where you are all born superhuman, by all means, play a 40pb or more. However, L1 characters are not that. They suck. They're already better than most people by virtue of having, you know, class features, but they're the kinds of folk who are supposed to be able to drub in a few goblins, not slay armies or lift trucks.
While I see no reason why anyone should play a 25 PB hero instead of the 4d6 rolls in a personal game, it's worth pointing out that D&D's scaling is such that any deviation from 10s and 11s in ability scores is significant.

In a world of 1st level commoners, even a 3rd level character is a veritable demigod compared to them. An angry rat or a murderous house cat can bite them into unconsciousness before they act on an initiative and a large bear could probably slaughter 1/2 of a large city if it had an intelligence directing it. Now, while I personally hate that the default NPC is as sturdy as a window pane (maybe a bit less), that should be your yardstick for just how much even a PC class level puts you above the everyone else.
While I see no reason why anyone should play a 25 PB hero instead of the 4d6 rolls in a personal game


4d6-drop-lowest is pretty much 25 point buy (if you round down), for comparison. 

it's worth pointing out that D&D's scaling is such that any deviation from 10s and 11s in ability scores is significant.

In a world of 1st level commoners, even a 3rd level character is a veritable demigod compared to them. An angry rat or a murderous house cat can bite them into unconsciousness before they act on an initiative and a large bear could probably slaughter 1/2 of a large city if it had an intelligence directing it. Now, while I personally hate that the default NPC is as sturdy as a window pane (maybe a bit less), that should be your yardstick for just how much even a PC class level puts you above the everyone else.


A more elaborate discussion on the same point, anchored in our world, comes to the same general conclusions. Generally, I consider that the single most important article for understanding what the game means ever to have been written.

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Ok this one is for steveO and i know he will jump all over this one because he crunches numbers more then anyone on here so here goes


I have a issue with a "hero" having stats that do not have a modifier to them that is possitive. Any stat that is below a +1 is a shame and a failer in the developing of a 'hero'. With the common 32 point system or even the 36 point system your 'heros' would not be able to stand up do some of the higher level enemies. Your skills would suck your saves would be pitiful and possibly your HP crap. So I ask how can anyone justify these systems? as to me the just make realy strong commoners. When 'heros" are suppost to be the top tear.   



1) You are literally the only person I've ever - in over 20 years of gaming - seen whine about 32 PB.  Saying 36 is too little only tells me you're probably not serious about this at all.

2) You are not meant to face baddies on your own.  D&D is a team game and it's assumed that you fight as a - you guessed it - team.  Worrying about 1 character's HP or save value is stoopid.
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[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

4d6-drop-lowest is pretty much 25 point buy (if you round down), for comparison.

I understand that, but for more personal at home games, the dice system adds variety while keeping the same general average. It's a point of personal preference that makes the character's seem more organic and less like someone poured a build off of the internet straight onto their character sheet and then gave it a name. For home games with a DM that can adjust challenges, if feel it's a more enjoyable system than canned ability scores.
A more elaborate discussion on the same point, anchored in our world, comes to the same general conclusions. Generally, I consider that the single most important article for understanding what the game means ever to have been written.

Even after having read that article, I tend to dislike some of their conclusions. Ability score checks essentially don't scale with level and people remain just as incompetent at skills they never put ranks in. (Just how many people ever put ranks in jump?)

This means that everyone is roughly the same except in their specialty and hit points which, for NPCs is almost always going to be 1 or more a Profession, Craft, or Knowledge skills which are all very ephemeral skills. A masterwork weapon could be a fine blade, but it could also just include steel rather than just iron. If society needs to run on everyday miracles so that NPCs aren't being mauled to death by lice and that they can actually engage PCs, I'm willing to say that the town blacksmith is a level 3 expert or that the guildmaster of a crafts guild is 9th level.
I understand that, but for more personal at home games, the dice system adds variety while keeping the same general average. It's a point of personal preference that makes the character's seem more organic and less like someone poured a build off of the internet straight onto their character sheet and then gave it a name. For home games with a DM that can adjust challenges, if feel it's a more enjoyable system than canned ability scores.



Variety is great ... except in stats and levels.  The idea that dice offer a more varied set of characters sounds wonderful until you're the one guy that rolls awful.  PB for great justice!
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Even after having read that article, I tend to dislike some of their conclusions. Ability score checks essentially don't scale with level and people remain just as incompetent at skills they never put ranks in. (Just how many people ever put ranks in jump?)

A parallel question: After they reach adulthood, how many people work harder to jump greater distances? Or, alternatively, how many people actually jump distances so great they'd need ranks in the skill? You're limited more or less to track athletes, with experience level separating those who were track stars during college but didn't do much with it from those who compete in Olympic longjump. (There's also some variation in that the college track star might only have two ranks in Jump rather than four. Most people would only max out their livelihood skills - more on that in a minute.)

This means that everyone is roughly the same except in their specialty and hit points which, for NPCs is almost always going to be 1 or more a Profession, Craft, or Knowledge skills which are all very ephemeral skills.


This isn't as bizarre nor as ephemeral as you'd think. (That sticks more or less to the "dirt farmer" stereotype that I rather dislike, but he was proving a point.)

I'm a total amateur at, just to pick something randomly, sculpture. None of my colleagues or friends sculpt. I don't think there'd be much variation between us if we were all to try to sculpt a particular image, assuming equal tools, adequate time, and no pressure (i.e. taking 10 or 20) - no more variation than you'd expect from normal Intelligence distributions. Likewise, I'm sure that if we were to compete in longjump (or, my preference, triple jump) against each other all day and we average together our jump distances, we would probably end up with a similar distribution based on Strength (scaled somewhat by our heights, but 3.5 removed that level of simulation - Jump was one of those skills that 3.5 simplified in the name of gameplay speed.)

Similar arguments can be made at each level of expertise, particularly once Skill Focus enters the equation (which I largely think is what most of us NPCs would take). 

A masterwork weapon could be a fine blade, but it could also just include steel rather than just iron.


Not really; those are modelled using different materials (although iron and steel are similar enough that the rules treat them identically except, I think, for weight).

The usual example of normal weapons vs masterwork weapons would be comparing the cast-iron / hammer-forged steel sword to the popular understanding of the folded-steel katana (the latter being explicitly stated multiple times in the core rules to be a masterwork bastard sword - the only real-world example used in the core rules of masterworking). Variation between different grades of the same material would be too subtle to bother capturing in the rules beyond, at most, a modifier on the craft DC to make anything, particularly given that the massive (historic) difference between iron and steel barely registers as a blip in the rules.

If society needs to run on everyday miracles so that NPCs aren't being mauled to death by lice and that they can actually engage PCs, I'm willing to say that the town blacksmith is a level 3 expert or that the guildmaster of a crafts guild is 9th level.


Mauled by lice is an exaggeration, but I think most of that problem is overstatting the cat and underestimating the role infrastructure plays. A bear isn't going to be able to break down a simple wooden palisade, and if it does get in to the village and rampage (which is rare in reality - most bears in human areas are reasonably calm unless provoked, and most people are fearful enough to not provoke it!), people are going to want to take it down from a distance (ideally atop buildings or through windows) with ranged weapons, such as the crossbow (with which just about everyone is proficient).

Infrastructure is the big thing when considering society. Adventurers operate on their own, bringing all their support with them. NPCs in the stereotypical settings stay together for protection and support. Infrastructure, particularly that which includes everything available to NPCs, can often end up supporting itself to some extent, too - for instance, a settlement's taxes can be used to hire basic spellcasters to either do public works projects on their own or to build simple magic items to do that work for many (classic examples: Continual Flame streetlamps, continuous Prestidigitation refrigeration, etc), or an industry's profits can be invested in more sophisticated work techniques (Eberron worked this in at the ground level through the Magecraft spell; +5 on Craft checks is pittance for a PC but groundbreaking if employed by NPCs, particularly with masterwork tools and Aid Another help). Considering a single commoner vs the world - or even several commoners in a frontier-farmer-style settlement with no infrastructure - is biasing the scales a bit against the NPCs.

And as for NPCs that can actually engage PCs, sure, that's what the exceptional individuals are for - and exceptional individuals can vary in many ways other than just level. The DMG demographics alone include some measure of these with your archetypal hamlet having six 3rd level characters out of a population of 200; in addition, three of those six have PC classes (as do ten other, first-level, NPCs), and it's likely that some of those high-level or PC-classed characters have better ability scores (the PC-classed individuals are usually statted using the elite array in WotC products). And those are just the random background NPCs, not the named ones that drive the story or are met in combat - I would generally view those NPCs as if they were PCs from another person's game.

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Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I don't see why anyone in their right might would actually prefer 4d6 drop lower to point buy... or, really, any kind of rolled stats to point buy. We don't (usually) roll for race, class, alignment, flaws, starting level or any of that stuff and only roll starting gold within certain parameters (would you want to roll 1d10x1d100 for starting gold?). With rolled stats like that, it's perfectly possible for one person to get a string of sub-10 stats, including one or more 3s; even if you reroll until your modifiers exceed +1 or whatever, someone else can easily get several 16+. We're talking a difference of +1 LA or more, so if you wouldn't roll a d2 for your starting level, why the hell would you want to roll for stats?
But that's just me. Some people like that sort of thing, apparently. 
A parallel question: After they reach adulthood, how many people work harder to jump greater distances? Or, alternatively, how many people actually jump distances so great they'd need ranks in the skill? You're limited more or less to track athletes, with experience level separating those who were track stars during college but didn't do much with it from those who compete in Olympic longjump. (There's also some variation in that the college track star might only have two ranks in Jump rather than four. Most people would only max out their livelihood skills - more on that in a minute.)

That's what I was pointing out. In most cases assuming higher level NPCs won't bomb other skill DCs by turning NPCs into superhumans, they'll stay just as unskilled as if they were 1st level.
This isn't as bizarre nor as ephemeral as you'd think. (That sticks more or less to the "dirt farmer" stereotype that I rather dislike, but he was proving a point.)

I'm a total amateur at, just to pick something randomly, sculpture. None of my colleagues or friends sculpt. I don't think there'd be much variation between us if we were all to try to sculpt a particular image, assuming equal tools, adequate time, and no pressure (i.e. taking 10 or 20) - no more variation than you'd expect from normal Intelligence distributions. Likewise, I'm sure that if we were to compete in longjump (or, my preference, triple jump) against each other all day and we average together our jump distances, we would probably end up with a similar distribution based on Strength (scaled somewhat by our heights, but 3.5 removed that level of simulation - Jump was one of those skills that 3.5 simplified in the name of gameplay speed.)

Similar arguments can be made at each level of expertise, particularly once Skill Focus enters the equation (which I largely think is what most of us NPCs would take).

I mean for the exact results of a Profession, Knowledge, or Craft can be adjusted based on your DM and help to ease in higher level NPCs. Items that just meet the DCs to create may be shoddy and prone to failure, Profession checks might see major drains from Guild fees or taxes, what constitutes "common knowledge" could shift wildly based on the DMs arbitration. I'll admit that with regards to "dirt farmers" I use a close approximation of above though it lean fairly leniently on giving the family free stuff without counting the labor required. 1st levels helping 2nd levels overseen by 3rd levels.
Not really; those are modelled using different materials (although iron and steel are similar enough that the rules treat them identically except, I think, for weight).

I feel that's a distinction for compatibility reasons more than a mandatory feature of the system. It allows D&D to be set conceptually any time from the Viking Age to the Renaissance without having to worry about the various technological developments that occurred in between the two.
Mauled by lice is an exaggeration, but I think most of that problem is overstatting the cat and underestimating the role infrastructure plays. A bear isn't going to be able to break down a simple wooden palisade, and if it does get in to the village and rampage (which is rare in reality - most bears in human areas are reasonably calm unless provoked, and most people are fearful enough to not provoke it!), people are going to want to take it down from a distance (ideally atop buildings or through windows) with ranged weapons, such as the crossbow (with which just about everyone is proficient).

At an average of 2 hit points, 1st level commoners are weaker than a small monkey and about as resilient as an iguana or weasel. This isn't a matter of cat's being over stated so much as 1st level commoners being painfully devoid of hit points compared to other examples.
I don't see why anyone in their right might would actually prefer 4d6 drop lower to point buy... or, really, any kind of rolled stats to point buy. ...snip...
But that's just me. Some people like that sort of thing, apparently. 



Part of it is because it often seems like those who trumpet about "rolled stats" almost NEVER play them straight.  What do I mean by "play them straight?"  Simply taking the dice and rolling ONE set of 4d6 drop lowest six times stats and then playing the character those stats lead to for a long campaign.  So often these people may have the hidden "reroll 1s" or even "reroll 1s and 2s" which they forget to mention when they say they "rolled" their stats.  They may also roll several sets of stats, or have several sets rolled to choose from, which means making it so much easier to gain a stats on the better side of normal/expected; the old "we avoid people with crap stats by having everyone roll and then everyone can use the best set of stats rolled" is a big example of that.

In the past I've said that if a player is so dependent on random stats to determine what he will play I'll allow it BUT he's only rolling five stats with the sixth stat being a balance stat of sorts to bring the total back in line with Point Buy stats.
 

My current game insisted we roll stats. 4d6 drop the lowest arrange as you want. My first roll included a 17 for my wizard. I was estatic and thought I did pretty good.


We showed up at the session and everyone had at least 1 18, and multiple 16's. Apparently it was 4d6 drop lowest, roll as many times as you want. Not exagerating, somehow I missed the "as many times as you want" clause. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

At that point why roll?  Just pick your stats and call it a day. 
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

I'm playing a Monk with all 18s! Suck it, MAD!
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
My current game insisted we roll stats. 4d6 drop the lowest arrange as you want. My first roll included a 17 for my wizard. I was estatic and thought I did pretty good.

We showed up at the session and everyone had at least 1 18, and multiple 16's. Apparently it was 4d6 drop lowest, roll as many times as you want. Not exagerating, somehow I missed the "as many times as you want" clause. 

A great illustration of one of my points Krusk.  

I'd ask what the rest of your rolls produced but a high 17 isn't too far fetched.  What I always find interesting are those people who happen to come in with six score that are ALL at or above the 4d6 average WITHOUT dropping any dice (14) will produce.

A sad thing about DnD is that there are so many other ways to boost scores to insane levels (+5 or 6 inherent bonus, +6 enhancement bonus) that some people seem to think you should have god scores naturally just because you're a "hero" without needing do anything else for them.

As Zombie_Babies mentions if you're just going to roll until you get what you want just pick what you want.  I'll say there isn't nearly as much skill required from the player to play a god who has no "real" drawbacks.
I make my players roll stats. 4d6 drop the lowest. When I played back in the BECMI days, it was roll 3d6 and live with it. I loved it. I liked playing characters with low scores in some stats. There are stories even now that I remember of characters with scores of 4 and 5 that are hilarious or amazing. In later eras, when I played with point buys, what I found was that all the fighters had the same score and all the wizards had the same scores (or close to it), etc. I disliked that result. So, I like the randomness of scores with 4d6. However, that is a personal preference and I don't mind other people who prefer something different.

Now for the caveat with my 4d6. When I started my largest game (the one that prompted all my vampire questions and a lot of other questions), I started with 5 players (added 2 more and lost 3 over the first 6 months). 2 of them were content to roll 4d6 drop the lowest. 1 of them protested loudly that PCs had to have all bonuses and any character without all scores at +1 or better was doomed to fail. After her long protest, we settled for 4d6, re-roll 1s, drop the lowest. I think Steve mentioned what kind of point buy that equates. She still ended up with a score of 9 somewhere and protested for the 5 months she played. The remaining 2 players (both of whom learned how to play with the protester as their DM) also demanded that system. So I relented and let them do it. Yes, I know that as a DM I could have insisted on not doing it. However, doing so meant no gaming so that was my choice.

As PCs create new characters I give them the option of 4d6, drop the lowest or 4d6, re-roll 1s, and drop the lowest. I keep the player's choice in mind as I develop encounters or place treasures. I don't favor or hinder anyone significantly and no one has noticed or complained. Not everyone will like how I deal with it, I know that, but that approach has worked for my groups (actually, my other 2 groups have no problems keeping the 1s. They have found ways to have fun with low score abilities).

If a player does not like his or her scores in the end, then we re-roll all the scores not just the ones they dislike. So, the player might lose the 18 along with the 5.

I think the PHB gives some guidance that if all the ability modifiers are not greater than the total of ability penalties, then the stats should be re-rolled. I use that idea as well. That has occurred twice.
Two of my favorite characters were played in an Epic campaign I was part of (neither of them mine): one was a T9 with a Str of 8, the other was a straight Sorcerer (Elemental Savant & Planeshifter as the only PrCs) with Wis 8.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
...

As PCs create new characters I give them the option of 4d6, drop the lowest or 4d6, re-roll 1s, and drop the lowest. I keep the player's choice in mind as I develop encounters or place treasures. I don't favor or hinder anyone significantly and no one has noticed or complained. Not everyone will like how I deal with it, I know that, but that approach has worked for my groups (actually, my other 2 groups have no problems keeping the 1s. They have found ways to have fun with low score abilities).

...


What you describe here is basically the same as "make the encounters harder" just to compensate for the higher PC stats.  A "harder encounter" should mean can mean an increase in EL/CR which should also mean an increase in XP gained.  Without PCs being the intended level this means more XP for them so the level even faster.

While I am generally against using higher stats if those higher stats get treated like some kind of Level Adjustment (even if the players aren't explicitly told about it) then I don't look at things as badly.  You could play using characters who have all 18s and still create a "balanced" game but it may not resemble any kind of balance most of us know; you say you've got a group of four 15th-level character routinely taking out things like a CR 25 Red Dragon we'll expect that something is up an your "15th-level" characters may have that many HD but nothing else about them matches up to normal characters of that level.

Remember that while there are four faces on a d4 for which it can land it could also (potentially) be "balanced" and any of the four points.  When you start playing with god scores you are trying to balance the d4 on a point instead of on a face which is much harder to do.
 
Steve, you're probably correct that it should/could/would mean higher CRs and ELs. I do think there are other ways to address this ability score challenge. One way I have dealt with it is to frequently roll - using the same ruleset (4d6 drop the lowest) - for my bad guys. So, the individual baddies are just as buffed as the PCs. I don't know that using that method really changes the EL by much but maybe it does. I don't do that all the time, but I do it with any monster with class levels. I also make liberal use of terrain advantages and toss a lot of creatures with darkvision at them (none of the PCs have it) with night time encounters. I do throw some pushover battles at them too although some of those battles tend to be incredibly difficult for the PCs. I have 5 PCs now in my game who routinely recruit small armies to travel with them. In fact, 3 of them have leadership (1 just took it so he has yet to recruit his cohort). In hindsight, I would not have allowed leadership, but I did so I am living with my decision. Thus, it is hard to make encounters for them anyway. I have gotten better at encouraging them to travel just as PCs (all the cohorts are relatively new) and I think I have managed a good balance with encounters. It is actually taking them more than 13 encounters to gain a level (I know; don't count the cohorts for determining XP) due to the number of NPCs they bring. Lastly, they have yet to learn how to cooperate as a team. This campaign is 18 months old and each player frequently still functions as if his or her character is the only one out there. They have no idea how to play to their strengths of how to use each other to compensate for their weaknesses. Thus, even lower CR battles can prove challenging for them. They all acknowledge teamwork is an issue when we are not playing, but once the game starts that knowledge takes a back seat to whatever issues lead them to be independent. So, maybe I would see a bigger problem with the 4d6, reroll 1s, drop the lowest if this group was more cohesive. However, this party is proof that even really good stats cannot compensate for everything. We still have a lot of fun but sometimes I find myself shaking my head in disbelief.

Two of my favorite characters were played in an Epic campaign I was part of (neither of them mine): one was a T9 with a Str of 8, the other was a straight Sorcerer (Elemental Savant & Planeshifter as the only PrCs) with Wis 8.



I've played plenty of characters with 8s over the years - using point buy.  The one I'm currently playing is the first non-4e, PB character I can recall playing that didn't have an 8 in something (I try not to have 2 8s in part because of teh suk and in part cuz of teh chez).  He's got two 10s, though, and one of 'em is in Con.  ;)
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]


I'd ask what the rest of your rolls produced but a high 17 isn't too far fetched.  What I always find interesting are those people who happen to come in with six score that are ALL at or above the 4d6 average WITHOUT dropping any dice (14) will produce.

Currently level 10. 


Str 11, Dex 11, Con 11, Int 21, Wis 13, Cha 14. I'm a grey Elf and have an item giving me a +2 int hat. game is also signifigantly below WBL.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

Currently level 10. 

Str 11, Dex 11, Con 11, Int 21, Wis 13, Cha 14. I'm a grey Elf and have an item giving me a +2 int hat. game is also signifigantly below WBL.


Are those the current stats or the initial stats and which modifiers do they include?  I know a Grey Elf is +2 INT/DEX and -2 STR/CON (and a bit munchkin for a wizard ;)) and as level 10 there should be two +1 bumps.

Anyway, assuming those aren't adjusted by race (which really only affects INT when it comes to PB) but do include the +2 level boost (to INT) and the +2 INT item so you started with INT 17 the point buy equivalent would be 33 points which is very good.  Of course if racial mods are included the level boosts would have gone somewhere else that drops it two points and honestly DEX and CON at 11 aren't much different than they would be at 10 which can get it down to ePB28 and still be just a playable.  They're a touch better than expected and yet eveyone else is much better....  
I know I will hear it for this but with a con that low you are not a glass canon you are just a corpse that has not been killed yet. Yes the int is good for being a wiz and I know you have spells to cast to make yourself better. However with a max of 40 HP which is almost impossible to do, you are a 1 hit and you are dead and if not dead you are into system shock for lose of half your HP and your are almost dead or dead. Just some CR10 creature which is a fair battle for 4 level 10 char which is the stupidest thing thy ever did but non the less. Brass dragon young adult, clay golem, fire giant, Couati and a bunch of others.

Hell even a level 9 wizard or sorcerer with magic missile can do a max of 25 points of damage which could kill you depending on your current HP and if you play with system shock as 1/2 your max HP or 50 points or damage. in either case you are toast.

The rolling of the 4 dice and drop the lowest I find makes for the best variety of char if you happen to be that poor sap that rolls poorly well you have 3 things you can do. 1 play the char kill him off and make another, 2 ask to re roll the dice and do a whole new set of stats, 3 play the char as best you can, but you know in the back of your mind you know you will be rolling a new char very shortly.

Krusk I commend you for playing that char and good luck with it but if I were you I would start on another char so that when this one is dead you have one ready to go.
The rolling of the 4 dice and drop the lowest I find makes for the best variety of char if you happen to be that poor sap that rolls poorly well you have 3 things you can do. 1 play the char kill him off and make another, 2 ask to re roll the dice and do a whole new set of stats, 3 play the char as best you can, but you know in the back of your mind you know you will be rolling a new char very shortly.



Thank you for explaining - perfectly, no less - why rolling for stats is a terrible idea.  If you roll and you don't roll well you'll end up suiciding, re-rolling or just dying and making a new guy anyway - which all beg the question: Well then why the did you bother rolling in the first place?  ;)
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Well to quote Forest Gump "Life is like a box of chocolates you never know what your gonna get" but if you pick that chocolate that you do not like do you finish it or just get another one to try? Me I finish it as fast as I can then try something different. See I really do see the point system like this. It is something they tried and they figured they would leave it instead of taking it out, but they added different ways for you to get your stats, because doing the same thing and coming up with the same result is the definition of insanity. So lets see the point system is an insane way to make char because of this point you will always gravitate to make your char the best you can. So if you make 5 fighters out of those 5 by the time you reach level 20 the stats will be very close together the builds will be very much the same, and that goes for all classes.
Umm ... here's the deal: You openly admit that the result of rolling poorly is that the character is junked.  The next step, then, is to make a new character which, of course, means rolling more stats.  If those stats suck you junk that character and then make a new one.  You repeat this until you luck into a roll that makes you happy.  So, *ahem*, why the did you roll in the first place?  If all you're gonna do is off characters - even if they legitimately die cuz their stats are that terrible - until you get one with a set of stats you like, you may as well just assign the stats you want from the get go.  What you're doing isn't randomly assigning a set of stats at all - it's just BSing that you are. 

What Point Buy does is start everyone at the same approximate level of power so the DM knows how to create effective encounters.  It prevents stat jealousy and gives everyone the same chance at survival (on a scale, anyway).  Rolling cannot do that - and you've confirmed that nicely with your example.

By the way, that insanity thing you tried to pull?  Yeah, it's not like that at all.  Like, at all.  See, the insanity thing is like this: Repeating the same action (ok so far) while expecting different results (and that's where you fail).  PB, by design, attempts to repeat the same results.  That's the whole friggin' idea
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Well first off the insanity thing comes from a pretty smart guy just so you know and my words may not be the exact words he used they are the same meaning. Here is the quote anyways. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Now to the issue of rolling the dice. If you roll you may get lucky and get good stats now do all the stats have to be good umm no just some of them. with an average of 14 I think it is with the 32 point system and 12 with a 25 point system unless your DM dose all the leg work and ensure that the enemies you face you have a chance in defeating then you have no chance at all. If they use the books in most cases you have no chance at all. Example, we were just learning the 3.0 system there was 4 of us at level 1. In the back of the book there was a little trial battle using goblins I think there was 3. This should have been a easy battle for us we used the 25 point system from what I remember and the goblins slaughtered us. These are level 1 goblins! there is no way in hell they should have been able to beat 4 players even just starting out.

So lets break down Krusks char a little shall we just for fun.
Lets start with HP he is a wizard he gets 1D4 crappy ass HP in the first place as we all know but it is what it is. Lets say he maxes out with all his rolls. that is 1D4x10 for 4x10 for 40 HP he gets nothing from his con for easy as pie there 40 HP it is.
Ok now AC well lets see he gets 10 ok well nothing from dex because that sucks too he cast mage armor or improved mage armor, even. well that gives him a 14 or a 16 lets say he cast shield too so now that is 16 to 18.

at 10th level a fighter level 10 has an attack of 10 lets give him the same kind of str that krusk has \int so 21 that is a +5 to hit well lets see as long as he dose not role a 1 he can hit the 14 with a 2 oops no he hits the 16 too so the only thing that saves Krusk is the 18 so that is 2 spells to get that AC. chances of him getting it not likely unless he has quicken spell and then at that the fighter still only needs to roll a 4 to hit him, without a magical weapon. now lets give him a greatsword and power attack he takes 5 from his attack ok so now he needs a 9 to hit granted but he still hits that is 2D6+6+10 even with minimal damage he gets 18 that is 45% of the wizards HP. so playing a char with low HP and crappy AC is suicide anyways so why not just roll the dice and hope for a little luck.

Now I'm not saying low stat char can not be fun to play because I know they can be, just saying that the chances of them remaining alive for any long period of time is not likely unless your DM fluffs everything for in your favour.
Well first off the insanity thing comes from a pretty smart guy just so you know and my words may not be the exact words he used they are the same meaning. Here is the quote anyways. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein



First off, I have no idea whether or not I'll be able to break this trainwreck of formatting up properly - just know I tried.

Anyhoo, yeah, I know exactly what the quote says - and means.  You, apparently, do not.  This is why I pointed out what I did.  What you think is insane about PB is actually what it's designed to do.  When you use PB you're not expecting different results at all.  The idea is to replicate the overall results across the board.  Do you really not understand this?  Like, fo' realski?

Now to the issue of rolling the dice. If you roll you may get lucky and get good stats now do all the stats have to be good umm no just some of them. with an average of 14 I think it is with the 32 point system and 12 with a 25 point system unless your DM dose all the leg work and ensure that the enemies you face you have a chance in defeating then you have no chance at all. If they use the books in most cases you have no chance at all. Example, we were just learning the 3.0 system there was 4 of us at level 1. In the back of the book there was a little trial battle using goblins I think there was 3. This should have been a easy battle for us we used the 25 point system from what I remember and the goblins slaughtered us. These are level 1 goblins! there is no way in hell they should have been able to beat 4 players even just starting out.



Umm ... I've got over 20 years playing this game that says you're full of it.  We've used 25, 28 and 32 PB and never anything more.  We've never had any problems at all.  We're playing PF right now and I'm playing a Wizard/Cleric with stats that are S10, D15, C10, W14, I18, C13.  Don't recall the PB (and I think PF's is slightly different than WotC's - not sure).  We all used the same generation method and we all have similar stat layouts - some more balanced than mine.  The point is that we haven't had any problems surviving and the DM is using the PF CR system to set up the battles.  So yeah, I think you're full of it. 

So lets break down Krusks char a little shall we just for fun. Lets start with HP he is a wizard he gets 1D4 crappy ass HP in the first place as we all know but it is what it is. Lets say he maxes out with all his rolls. that is 1D4x10 for 4x10 for 40 HP he gets nothing from his con for easy as pie there 40 HP it is. Ok now AC well lets see he gets 10 ok well nothing from dex because that sucks too he cast mage armor or improved mage armor, even. well that gives him a 14 or a 16 lets say he cast shield too so now that is 16 to 18. at 10th level a fighter level 10 has an attack of 10 lets give him the same kind of str that krusk has \int so 21 that is a +5 to hit well lets see as long as he dose not role a 1 he can hit the 14 with a 2 oops no he hits the 16 too so the only thing that saves Krusk is the 18 so that is 2 spells to get that AC. chances of him getting it not likely unless he has quicken spell and then at that the fighter still only needs to roll a 4 to hit him, without a magical weapon. now lets give him a greatsword and power attack he takes 5 from his attack ok so now he needs a 9 to hit granted but he still hits that is 2D6+6+10 even with minimal damage he gets 18 that is 45% of the wizards HP. so playing a char with low HP and crappy AC is suicide anyways so why not just roll the dice and hope for a little luck.



dood, Krusk rolled his character.  He didn't use PB.    Had he used PB he would be on par with the rest of the characters stat wise because that's what PB is meant to do and does

What I've been saying over and over again is that rolling the way you do it is stupid and pointless because you don't respect the roll.  You roll crappy so you suicide and roll again - hoping not to roll crappy.  That's that li'l insanity thing you're talking about to a T, by the way.  And it's why PB is inherently superior. 

What I can't figure out is how you can repeatedly confirm everything I've said without seeing it.  Like, at all.

Now I'm not saying low stat char can not be fun to play because I know they can be, just saying that the chances of them remaining alive for any long period of time is not likely unless your DM fluffs everything for in your favour.



And that's why you use PB.  It removes the chance of someone having crappy stats because you set the same standard for everyone.  How do you not see this?  How can you not comprehend that rolling over and over again until you get something you want isn't random stat generation and would be completely unneeded if you used PB?  Srsly, dood.  Are you ok?
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Well first off the insanity thing comes from a pretty smart guy just so you know and my words may not be the exact words he used they are the same meaning. Here is the quote anyways. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein


That's apocryphal. The quote has been attributed to Mark Twain, Ben Franklin, and Confucious as well. A bit of Googling suggests that its earliest origin was actually a 1981 Narcotics Anonymous handbook; I shouldn't need to remind you that all of those 'sources' (including Einstein) were dead long before 1981.

Now to the issue of rolling the dice. If you roll you may get lucky and get good stats now do all the stats have to be good umm no just some of them. with an average of 14 I think it is with the 32 point system and 12 with a 25 point system


1) Don't "think". Check. If you have to spend evenly on every ability score - more on that in a minute - then 32 gets you four 14s and two 12s (or four 13s and 2 14s). 25 points lets you buy five 12s and one 13. 
2) No character (at least those who attempt to excel) needs all six ability scores. As CJ noted earlier, in common fantasy, even the superheroes have at least some areas lacking. In D&D terms, a Fighter has little, if any, need for the mental scores in general (some require 13 Int for Combat Expertise, or a moderate Charisma if they're aiming to be an intimidator, but by and large all they really need is Strength and Constitution). Thus, having weaknesses is fine.
3) Wizards' NPCs are all statted out using the "elite array", which is the assumption for most strong characters. It's 15/14/13/12/10/8. That, you'll note, is 25 point-buy. 

4) This is the most important: The 25-point-buy elite array is the statistical average of 4d6-drop-lowest.

unless your DM dose all the leg work and ensure that the enemies you face you have a chance in defeating then you have no chance at all.


The CR system assumes the elite array (25 point buy) so the DM doesn't need to do any legwork there. You will roflstomp them if you use your insane 36-point-buy PCs against monsters balanced for point-buy 25.

If they use the books in most cases you have no chance at all. Example, we were just learning the 3.0 system there was 4 of us at level 1. In the back of the book there was a little trial battle using goblins I think there was 3. This should have been a easy battle for us we used the 25 point system from what I remember and the goblins slaughtered us. These are level 1 goblins! there is no way in hell they should have been able to beat 4 players even just starting out.


Then you're idiots. Sorry, but that's the case. Were you expecting a "challenging" encounter to be trivial?

Three CR 1/3 goblins are an EL 1 encounter. Since your party's average level was 1, this was an EL = average party level encounter, which the DMG clearly shows is "challenging". The DMG (page 49 in 3.5; it's almost identical in the 3e book but I don't have a page ref) says:

Challenging: Most encounters seriously threaten at least one member of the group in some way. These are challenging encounters, about equal in Encounter Level to the party level. The average adventuring group should be able to handle four challenging encounters before they run low on spells, hit points, and other resources. If an encounter doesn’t cost the PCs some significant portion of their resources, it’s not challenging.


In other words, it was supposed to be taxing and can be seriously threatening to at least one of you. 

Let's look at this more objectively.

A CR 1/3 goblin has 5 hit points, AC 15, saves of +3/1/-1, a melee attack of +2 (1d6, average 3.5) and a ranged attack of +3 (1d4, average 2.5; they only have one javelin each).

The DMG gives the following stats for Point-Buy 25 level 1 Fighter / Cleric / Rogue / Wizard (the stereotypical party).
Fighter: 12 hp, AC 18, saves +4/+1/+1, Melee +3 (1d10+2 dwarven waraxe; average 7.5), Ranged +2 (1d6+2 shortbow, average 5.5); one feat.
Cleric: 10 hp, AC 17, saves +4/-1/+4, Melee +1 (1d8+1 heavy mace; average 5), Ranged -2 (1d8 light crossbow, average 4.5), 3 spells/day.
Rogue: 7 hp, AC 15, saves +1/+4/+0, Melee +1 (1d6+1 short sword; average 4.5 or 8 with Sneak Attack), Ranged +2 (1d6 light crossbow; average 3.5, or 7 with Sneak Attack). 
Wizard: 5 hp, AC 12, saves +1/+2/+3, Melee +0 (1d4 dagger, average 2.5), Ranged +2 (1d8 light crossbow, average 4.5) or by spell
NOTE: The NPCs have no racial abilities at all.
NOTE: 
The NPC stats don't list weapon choices, but have some masterwork weapon modifiers. I've replaced those with the starting package weapons from the PHB (even though there are better choices - shortbows? Really?) 

You'll note that one hit from the fighter or the cleric, or one sneak attack from the rogue, instantly kills a goblin, while even the wizard can withstand a javelin (and that assumes you don't have the wizard hanging back where range penalties kick in on the thrown javelin). Most characters have about a 30% to 40% chance of hitting the goblins on any given attack, while the goblins have at most a 55% chance of hitting the wizard with a javelin (and everyone else is better defended, and the wizard is likely out of range and covered by the cleric). The wizard and cleric (with their 15 in their key casting ability) have DC 13 first-level spells; using ones that have Will saves will work on the goblins 70% of the time and can probably kill them easily (try casting Sleep).

It looks like three goblins, assuming they're spread out enough so you can't one-shot them with Sleep and that the terrain favors no particular party (and that no one fights like an idiot), would cost this party about 20% of their partywide resources or so to finish, which is about bang-on for the definition of "challenging".

What did you do, put the wizard up front and try to stab them to death?



So lets break down Krusks char a little shall we just for fun. *SNIP*


You're looking at a spellcaster as if he were a frontline fighter. Aren't you forgetting his spells?

He's INT 21 and level 10. AC is irrelevant to him - for instance, if he's ever expecting battle, Mirror Image alone means an infinite attack bonus fighter would only hit him 11% of the time, and lasts for 10 minutes. (Area spells don't pop images unless they also come with an attack roll, such as Whirling Blade.) False Life raises his hit points by 15. His short spell range is 50', but most of the good mid-level spells are medium-range (200 feet). He's also high enough level to have Contingency cast, so even if he's seriously under-equipped, he still can set up a contingency for "If I am attacked in melee, Dimension Door me 150 feet away from my attacker.") Your fighter isn't even going to get close, let alone get that attack off.

Now I'm not saying low stat char can not be fun to play because I know they can be, just saying that the chances of them remaining alive for any long period of time is not likely unless your DM fluffs everything for in your favour.


As I showed above, 25 PB is the standard and needs no refluffing.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

so Krusk rolled and got crappy stats. Now playing that char can be fun not saying it will not saying it will not. but I can for see him being dead very soon if his DM dose not fluff things for him. That being lowering damage making an enemy miss on an attack or 5. Now PB is nothing but someone taking a number and going I think this is fair well just like in life gaming is not fair, and if someone has better stats then you well that is life. The PB way allows you to have twins with the exact same crap from 2 different people. Now I like variety in my games and everyone starting out with 8 and having x number of points to start play with to make your char is just silly. Now in a video game this works but not in table top and should be taken out of all systems. Unless you are going to do something like this.

Everyone starts with 8s then the DM takes and writes on paper 25 32 36 40 and say 42 points that would be for 5 players or so then you draw one out and that is the number of points you have to work with. that will create the variety in char creation and in the types.


Kingofswing, I've been posting here for a long time and I don't think I've ever come across anyone as full of it as you before.  You keep talking about rolling for variety but you also tell us how you never, ever accept any variety.  For you, it's ubergawd stats or suicide.  How is that variety?  Seriously, I want you to explain to me how rolling until you get the stat set you want gives you any variety whatsoever.  Holy derp, Derpman.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

OK contingency spells can help granted it and against a melee char I see spells helping out a lot yes but the fact is that it normally only takes one hot to put most party wizards into the danger area. Then you have ranged against them too. Wizards have their place in the game do not get me wrong their place is back at a tower creating magic items for the real adventures like they should be. Not out on the battle field where they can be killed. If your AC sucks in any class then you are simply dead the same thing with your saves if they suck you are dead dead dead. There is no build that I know of that has a 10 AC and has done well or lived very long.

Now not saying all stats have to be super high but as a "hero" I think nothing should be lower then a 10 which is a pure 0 to mods. I do think you should have 3 higher stats, with the possibility of 2 being extreme. so something like 18 17 17 10 10 10 is good but is a 42 point system which everyone seems to be to high. I can not see it I see something like this as average for a "hero". Even a 18 17 16 10 10 10 would be a good hero starting package but that is a 36 point system I think.
Now not saying all stats have to be super high but as a "hero" I think nothing should be lower then a 10 which is a pure 0 to mods. I do think you should have 3 higher stats, with the possibility of 2 being extreme. so something like 18 17 17 10 10 10 is good but is a 42 point system which everyone seems to be to high. I can not see it I see something like this as average for a "hero". Even a 18 17 16 10 10 10 would be a good hero starting package but that is a 36 point system I think.



So ... uhh ... why don't you just write that down on your sheet every time, then?  I mean, we know you'll roll and suicide and roll and suicide until you get something similar (ok, let's be honest - you want something even better than that) anyway.  ;)
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

I would take I if I get it but something like that I would not suicide the char. To me stats like that are good for heroes, they donot seem to way out of wake. But some would tend to disagree and say these are GOD like.
Yeah, cuz they are.  Did you even bother to read the stuff Tempest said?  You know, the stuff that explained why the stats you think are just normal are way, way out of spec?  You, like, totally should an' junk.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

If you roll you may get lucky and get good stats now do all the stats have to be good umm no just some of them. with an average of 14 I think it is with the 32 point system and 12 with a 25 point system unless your DM dose all the leg work and ensure that the enemies you face you have a chance in defeating then you have no chance at all. If they use the books in most cases you have no chance at all. Example, we were just learning the 3.0 system there was 4 of us at level 1. In the back of the book there was a little trial battle using goblins I think there was 3. This should have been a easy battle for us we used the 25 point system from what I remember and the goblins slaughtered us. These are level 1 goblins! there is no way in hell they should have been able to beat 4 players even just starting out.

If 25 PB isn't enough, how did the goblins manage to beat you?  Unless you've got something more to say about the situation, the default goblin is a 1st-level warrior with the equivalent of 15 PB.

You had them outnumbered, they were using an NPC class, and they had lower ability scores than you.  And none of that stopped them from wiping the floor with you.

If the problem was that your ability scores weren't high enough, it would have been impossible for the goblins to beat you, because their ability scores were lower, and their challenge (your party) was tougher.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Well with the goblins it could have been bad rolls on our side and good ones on theirs but that is part of the game that you can not factor in.

Now lets look at the PBS from a different angle. The points I put up there or 18 17 17 10 10 10 gives you a total MOD points of 10. With the 32 point system and the with the 14 14 14 14 12 12 that gives you a total MOD points of 8 but to go up 2 MOD points you need to go up 10 points to get this. Now that it craziness, there is no way in hell that should be the case. with the 25 point system you get a total of 6 MOD points. Now these can go up and down depending on how you spend your points agreed but to have MOD points totaling 6 and you are a hero umm no you are a walking rug who will soon be laying on the floor of the orc that just killed you and used your skin to keep his floor warm. Point system is flawed dice rolling is flawed picking your stats is flawed. System is flawed all round until WOTC figures something out for D&D next it will remain flawed. Just wish everyone did not think that having good stats means you are GOD like. It is as if you do not have 1 or 2 8 stats you are power gaming or trying to be a god. Where I feel if you have anything lower then a 10 you are nothing more then a snot nosed like punk char who is about to get his ass wooped by the ant that just came over the hill.
dood, you don't understand how the game works - we get it.  There's no need to keep telling us over and over again.  ;)
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]