Give me back my 18's

I love the new point-buy rules. I really do. I love that it encourages a wider array of point distribution. I think that is awesome.

However, I have one major gripe. I can't start a character with an 18 in a score. Well, I can if he's a half-orc fighter, but that's an exception.

18's in a primary ability score are a sacred cow and one that I heartily support the enshrinement of. To me it's a key factor in building a character. I would never, ever play a character in previous editions without an 18 in a primary ability. It's the defining characteristic of a character from a mechanics point of view.

Maybe I'm nostalgic for AD&D. I hate rolling stats and developed my own point-buy systems way before 3rd ed ever came out. But there was still something magical about rolling for stats and getting an 18. Oh, I know I can still roll but like I said, I don't like rolling. But I still want that 18. 

 

 

They should extend the point buy chart out but it is not hard to figure out the higher numbers

going from 13 to 14 costs 2 more points and it gives you a +2 modifier, same with 14 to 15 costs 2 more points.  Going from a 15 to 16 should cost 3 more points since it gives a +3 modifier.

 9 = 1
10 = 2
11 = 3
12 = 4
13 = 5
14 = 7
15 = 9
16 = 12
17 = 15
18 = 19

I let my players use this and it works fine so far.  Kept the normal 27 point buy makes them think about if the higher stats are worth it, honestly buying more than a 16 uses to many points and leaves all the other ability scores to low especialy when saving throws come up.
 

Remember this is a public forum where people express their opinions assume there is a “In my humble opinion” in front of every post especially mine.  

 

Things you should check out because they are cool, like bow-ties and fezzes.

https://app.roll20.net/home  Roll20 great free virtual table top so you can play with old friends who are far away.

http://donjon.bin.sh/  Donjon has random treasure, maps, pick pocket results, etc.. for every edition of D&D.

According to the last livestream podcast, the designers are considering a lowered array in an effort to make 18s even more special.

Given the soon-to-be-seen ability boost progression over the course of 20 levels, the designers feel that it would be prudent to assume lower starting scores. (Which could amount to things like classes not offering a stat boost at creation, and opting for straight 3d6 for rolling ability scores at creation.) 

Danny

That's just silly. Balance it around the numbers rather than forcing the numbers into balance. 18's are part and parcel of D&D history and having an 18 at creation isn't about the bonuses you get from it, it's about the fact that you have an EIGHTEEN!
Unless my memory is even more faulty than it seems - 18's were pretty rare back in the Middle Ages when I started playing. (1975) There were no point buy systems, no boosts from Race or Class. You rolled 3d6 and unless you got some sort of magic boost from a wish or item... you were stuck with your starting rolls forever.

On top of that - the bonuses were a fraction of what Next applies to ability stats.

I think I'd rather take the option of starting a little lower and being able to improve over time.
Unless my memory is even more faulty than it seems - 18's were pretty rare back in the Middle Ages when I started playing. (1975)


This is my point, though. That 18 you got from that one special roll where all sixes came up was freaking magic!

I simply want a way to do it without having to roll for stats since I hate rolling for stats. I think it's unfair to players who roll badly. 
Good riddance to the 18 as a starting stat! It wasn't until 4e where an 18 became something every hero had from level 1.
18 is SUPER stat. Conan, Stephen Hawkins, ghandi, Usain Bolt, Martin Luther King etc. Why does a character with those abilities go hunt lowly goblins? Sure everyone has to start somewhere, but these guys didnt have their super stat at level one...it came throughout their career.
So Thank you devs for making super stats special again... now please fix rolled stats so they are at the same level as array/poibt buy. 2d6+4 will do nicely
Unless my memory is even more faulty than it seems - 18's were pretty rare back in the Middle Ages when I started playing. (1975)


This is my point, though. That 18 you got from that one special roll where all sixes came up was freaking magic!

I simply want a way to do it without having to roll for stats since I hate rolling for stats. I think it's unfair to players who roll badly. 



Use the 'bucket o' dice' system then. Roll 18d6 and then arrange them in 6 sets of 3. Best of both worlds - Random numbers but you get to 'build' your character's ability scores. 

Ability stats at character creation is only important in some form of organized play. The point buy system in the current version of the rules will work well given the stat boosts for Race, Class and advancement. 

You really can't have a system that allows you to assign an 18 to a character and then provides boosts for Race and Class. It's bad enough that you can build an STR 18 Half-Orc Barbarian/Fighter as it is... Especially since the system doesn't apply any penalties for certain races or classes. In the case of the Half-Orc, there's no mechanic that applies negatives to the build - it would be up to the DM to create situations where being a Half-Orc causes some problem.     

dude just play a human and take the +1...

check out the Homebrew Campaign Setting i'm working on, my customised character sheet for the final package, and a numbered index for all the bestiaries.

There is almost no reason to ever point buy. Point buy gets you a 15/14/13/12/10/8 (27 points) before race/class.

On average a rolled PC has 16/14/13/12/10/9 (31 points) before race/class. This is before you take into account the high amount of "luck" (aka cheating) that tends to be the norm with rolled PCs. Sadly, point buy PCs won't be balanced against rolled PCs unless 32 point buy becomes the norm. If you want 18s, you are better off rolling then using the gimpy point buy.
The fact that you can point buy to 18 has deminished the value of having an 18. It's not special at all anymore.

18 as the highest a human can achieve, and that fact that it's rare: that's the sacred cow. So if you want a chance at it, you should have to roll.
They should extend the point buy chart out but it is not hard to figure out the higher numbers

going from 13 to 14 costs 2 more points and it gives you a +2 modifier, same with 14 to 15 costs 2 more points.  Going from a 15 to 16 should cost 3 more points since it gives a +3 modifier.

 9 = 1
10 = 2
11 = 3
12 = 4
13 = 5
14 = 7
15 = 9
16 = 12
17 = 15
18 = 19

I let my players use this and it works fine so far.  Kept the normal 27 point buy makes them think about if the higher stats are worth it, honestly buying more than a 16 uses to many points and leaves all the other ability scores to low especialy when saving throws come up.


If my group did point buy, I would use this. Then just change the starting points if you want to have a character with higher stats. Stats in 5e influence your character a lot more than they did in past editions, so a lot of players want lower starting stats. Plus it gives your character somewhere to go as he adventures and gains stat bonuses.

The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.
The fact that you can point buy to 18 has deminished the value of having an 18. It's not special at all anymore.

18 as the highest a human can achieve, and that fact that it's rare: that's the sacred cow. So if you want a chance at it, you should have to roll.




just because in real life i am not showing off my 24 con doesnt mean 18 is the highest a human can achieve

Usain Bolt is cheating using drugs to get them speeds. most the guys that play conan are too...

18 as the highest a human can achieve, and that fact that it's rare: that's the sacred cow. So if you want a chance at it, you should have to roll.



I thought 20 was the highest in D&DN
20 is the highest you can have an ability score at through raising it with various bonuses.  
18 is the max you can roll on the 3d6, but +1 race and +1 class can get you a 20 at level 1.

The whole rolling method should be removed from the game, point buy or stat array are the only fair and balanced way to go.

Making rolling the default ability score method and the most optimal, ie average rolls = higher than array, and only way to get a 16-18 before modifiers, is pure garbage game design.

That is why I like my expanded chart and now that I think about it will up the points to 31 next time.

New players should not be told that rolling is the default method it should be an array that is the easiest, fastest, and fairest way to do ability scores.

Remember this is a public forum where people express their opinions assume there is a “In my humble opinion” in front of every post especially mine.  

 

Things you should check out because they are cool, like bow-ties and fezzes.

https://app.roll20.net/home  Roll20 great free virtual table top so you can play with old friends who are far away.

http://donjon.bin.sh/  Donjon has random treasure, maps, pick pocket results, etc.. for every edition of D&D.

20 is the highest you can have an ability score at through raising it with various bonuses.  
18 is the max you can roll on the 3d6, but +1 race and +1 class can get you a 20 at level 1.

The whole rolling method should be removed from the game, point buy or stat array are the only fair and balanced way to go.

Making rolling the default ability score method and the most optimal, ie average rolls = higher than array, and only way to get a 16-18 before modifiers, is pure garbage game design.

That is why I like my expanded chart and now that I think about it will up the points to 31 next time.

New players should not be told that rolling is the default method it should be an array that is the easiest, fastest, and fairest way to do ability scores.



Another important fact to realize regarding rolling is that while variation above/below the average is possible, variation generally favors the player. For example, a player who rolls and gets 17 15 13 10 8 6 is still significantly better off than the player with a 27 point buy simply because he doesn't truly care about the 6 and 8 going into his dump stats. Any positive variation above the average will greatly benefit a rolled PC (such as rolling a 17 or 18) while negative variation (such as a single roll of 6 or less or a few 8-11s) really don't affect the character all that much as most PCs have a few dump stats to choose from.

So not only does rolling provide a more powerful PC on average than one made with a 27 point buy, but any variation in rolling tends to favor the PC more often than harm them.

18 as the highest a human can achieve, and that fact that it's rare: that's the sacred cow. So if you want a chance at it, you should have to roll.



I thought 20 was the highest in D&DN



It is right now. But until 3rd Edition, 18 was the natural human maximum as determined by rolling 3d6.

As I see it, this sacred cow is the only good reason for not replacing the ability score with the ability mod.
Another important fact to realize regarding rolling is that while variation above/below the average is possible, variation generally favors the player.


The most important fact to realise regarding rolling is that rolling is random and randomness is random.

It's pointless to allow random rolling because of the basic possibility that someone will get stupidly high rolls and be completely overpowered and thus will overshadow everyone else in the game even if they're trying not to, or that someone will get stupidly low rolls and not want to play that character at all because they're worse than a peasant and therefore have no business being an adventurer, let alone a hero.

And what happens then? You can't ask the person who rolled high to reroll, they'll chuck a hissy fit. And you can't force the person to play a crap character because that defeats the purpose of playing a game in the first place. So you end up forced to accept an overpowered character and to let an underpowered character reroll. Neither of which are a very desirable outcome and both of which defeat the point of rolling in the first place.

For example, a player who rolls and gets 17 15 13 10 8 6 is still significantly better off than the player with a 27 point buy simply because he doesn't truly care about the 6 and 8 going into his dump stats.


One of the reasons why I like the point-buy system of Next is that it encourages you to spread your ability points around. Dump stats only exist because you need to put your best ability scores into the appropriate abilities, and when given an unlimited variation of options, most people will min-max not out of any desire to cheat the system but purely out of common-sense. Nobody WANTS a dump stat. So if you encourage greater variation in stats, like limiting the highest number while allowing points to still be attributed elsewhere, then people are more inclined to at least go for averages that minimise downsides, ie. 10's.

I'm simply saying that where you put the balancing line should be at 18 rather than 17, simply due to the nostalgia of having 18's in previous editions as a defining characteristic of a powerful character. Ultimately it's just a number and you could balance the system around just about any number, whether it was 20, 40, 100, or 18. I just want it to be 18 for sentimental reasons.
It's pointless to allow random rolling because of the basic possibility that someone will get stupidly high rolls and be completely overpowered and thus will overshadow everyone else in the game even if they're trying not to, or that someone will get stupidly low rolls and not want to play that character at all because they're worse than a peasant and therefore have no business being an adventurer, let alone a hero.


Yet every "default" point buy system I have ever seen puts characters at the level of scores that I would call "stupidly high rolls."

Also, rolling - with strict rules about how the scores can be rolled and what can be done to them after the rolls to get "the character you want" - is nowhere near pointless.

For an example of a rolling system I have always enjoyed, one need only reference the suggestions put forward in the 1983 D&D Basic Set

Step 1: Roll 3d6 in order
Sub-step: If you don't get at least one score of 9+, or get two scores of 6 or less, re-roll.
Step 2: Pick the race/class you want to play so you know your prime requisite(s)
Step 3: You can lower any ability score (besides Dex, Con, or Cha) by 2 points to raise your Prime score by 1 point - but you cannot split those two points to different scores, cannot lower a score to less than 9, and cannot raise your prime score above 18.

Lets everyone play the character type they want
Promotes having your scores differ from character to character, even if you like playing the same class all the time.
Prevents "unplayable" scores
...and sure, someone has a chance to roll all their scores 16+ while someone else only manages "reasonable" scores - but I view that as both an exceedingly rare event and a feature, rather than a bug, since every ability score does something (not necessarily important or powerful) for every class, but the impact of scores when the modifier range is only -3 to +3 from scores of 3 to 18 isn't horribly significant in "outshining" anyone.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

For an example of a rolling system I have always enjoyed, one need only reference the suggestions put forward in the 1983 D&D Basic Set

Step 1: Roll 3d6 in order
Sub-step: If you don't get at least one score of 9+, or get two scores of 6 or less, re-roll.
Step 2: Pick the race/class you want to play so you know your prime requisite(s)
Step 3: You can lower any ability score (besides Dex, Con, or Cha) by 2 points to raise your Prime score by 1 point - but you cannot split those two points to different scores, cannot lower a score to less than 9, and cannot raise your prime score above 18.


I've played with that system, and a hundred dozen other variations.

I have seen on multiple occassions characters like this: 10, 10, 7, 11, 7, 6 and the opposite end of the scale, 18, 17, 18, 16, 7, 15.

It seems that you don't quite understand the concept of "randomness".
There are 3 methods available for character creation. If you don't like a particular method, don't use it. Each group is going to have their own preferences.

I would like to see more options!
Rolling 5d4, discard lowest (max roll becomes 16).
4d6, keep choice, but characters must have a range of modifiers before Racial Adjustments.
Super Array (18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8).
If its the ends of the bell curve you dislike with rolling just use rules to reroll "too low" sets and use a cap on stat modifiers (we used a max +10 total mod from all stats in 4th), if higher force the player to lower stats by 2 until max stats are +10 (or what you prefer).
As long as the group agrees on this beforehand there should be no resentments for having to lower your lucked out stats a bit.
For an example of a rolling system I have always enjoyed, one need only reference the suggestions put forward in the 1983 D&D Basic Set

Step 1: Roll 3d6 in order
Sub-step: If you don't get at least one score of 9+, or get two scores of 6 or less, re-roll.
Step 2: Pick the race/class you want to play so you know your prime requisite(s)
Step 3: You can lower any ability score (besides Dex, Con, or Cha) by 2 points to raise your Prime score by 1 point - but you cannot split those two points to different scores, cannot lower a score to less than 9, and cannot raise your prime score above 18.


I've played with that system, and a hundred dozen other variations.

I have seen on multiple occassions characters like this: 10, 10, 7, 11, 7, 6 and the opposite end of the scale, 18, 17, 18, 16, 7, 15.

It seems that you don't quite understand the concept of "randomness".

I understand "randomness" just fine - there is no call for you to start saying I must be unable to grasp a concept just because I disagree with you.

Your two example characters that you have seen multiple times? Both are playable in my view, even if in the same game as each other.

Sure, the first has three scores with no modifier at all, and three that are -1 (going off the -3 to +3 modifier range I mentioned before)... but guess what? The game is built so that a character with +0 to any particular score is good enough to handle the challenges they should expect to face.

You know, so that the word "bonus" actually means something from +1 upwards rather than the game treating +2 as the "floor" for being "good enough."

And yeah, that second set of stats is really impressive overall... but thanks to this little thing called "class" the character still can't do everything... you know, like how an 18 Int doesn't give a Fighter spells to cast.

Further, when ability scores are set up the way they were in BECM, the actual modifier doesn't really have that huge of an impact - each score added its modifier to very limited things that affect all classes equally, but did not play as large a roll in derived statistics (AC, attack rolls, damage, HP, and so on) as class choice and level did.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

Sure, the first has three scores with no modifier at all, and three that are -1 (going off the -3 to +3 modifier range I mentioned before)... but guess what? The game is built so that a character with +0 to any particular score is good enough to handle the challenges they should expect to face.


You would not be a fun person to have as a DM.
Sure, the first has three scores with no modifier at all, and three that are -1 (going off the -3 to +3 modifier range I mentioned before)... but guess what? The game is built so that a character with +0 to any particular score is good enough to handle the challenges they should expect to face.


You would not be a fun person to have as a DM.


You have absolutely nothing to base that statement on - every DM is a different game experience, even if one seems at first to have similiar traits to those you have disliked at other games.

That is, unless you absolutely must have a character at a higher power level than the game math assumes in order to have any fun at all.

See, numbers on the character sheet is just one portion of the fun of playing an RPG, not the whole of it.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

You have absolutely nothing to base that statement on - every DM is a different game experience, even if one seems at first to have similiar traits to those you have disliked at other games.


Sure I do.

Sure, the first has three scores with no modifier at all, and three that are -1 (going off the -3 to +3 modifier range I mentioned before)... but guess what? The game is built so that a character with +0 to any particular score is good enough to handle the challenges they should expect to face.


See, told you.
You have absolutely nothing to base that statement on - every DM is a different game experience, even if one seems at first to have similiar traits to those you have disliked at other games.


Sure I do.

Sure, the first has three scores with no modifier at all, and three that are -1 (going off the -3 to +3 modifier range I mentioned before)... but guess what? The game is built so that a character with +0 to any particular score is good enough to handle the challenges they should expect to face.


See, told you.



Personally I would pick the DM who is able to articulate his point of view in words of 3 or more syllables...and doenst go neener neener, you are wrong cus I say so. But thats just my personal preference of fun :p

I agree however that randomness is NOT what 90 % of dice rollers use. If you have random rolls but tgen get to reroll or fiddle with the numbers after they are rolled, then they are not random anymore. 
How about another option, a compromise me and a friend who loves to roll ability scores came up over a late night skype session.

The core of this is to use both the 4d6 drop lowest and the 27 point buy system from the playtest packet.

Step 1.  Roll 4d6 keep the highest 3, roll 6 times.
Step 2.  Purchase your ability scores using 27 points and chart in book, now why did you roll you may ask? The answer is the only way to purchase an ability score higher than 15 is if you rolled it, and for every ability score you purchase that equals a rolled stat it costs 1 less point.

Use the chart from my first post in thread for the costs, ie same as book but 16 = 12 points, 17 = 15 points, and 18 =  19 points.  But since the only way to purchase a 17 for example is if you rolled it buying at 17 will only cost you 14 points because of your 1 point discount for buying a rolled ability.

Yeah not the simplist thing, not for new players it combines rolling and point buy.  Still think the default method in book should be an array.

But to the point at hand using this system keeps things in balance for the most part the point totals for all players will be within just a couple points of each other, 16-18 starting ablity scores will be rare and rolling that 18 is still exciting.

Remember this is a public forum where people express their opinions assume there is a “In my humble opinion” in front of every post especially mine.  

 

Things you should check out because they are cool, like bow-ties and fezzes.

https://app.roll20.net/home  Roll20 great free virtual table top so you can play with old friends who are far away.

http://donjon.bin.sh/  Donjon has random treasure, maps, pick pocket results, etc.. for every edition of D&D.

That sounds like a fun new (to me at least) system p
I still dont like players starting with a stat higher or equal to 18 as I think it diminishes the feeling of it being something special. I like that high stats is something you grow in to, a development of your mental and physical prowess if you like.
Why not just let the DM tell the players how they will determine starting stats? There have been a plethora of ways to get six ability scores (or seven, or eight, depending on what variations you used) over the years, and every one of them still works just as well as it ever did. Just because the player's or DM's book has N different systems listed doesn't mean that the DM can't use the (N+1)th system. Only the DM knows what power levels will or won't work in his/her campaign.
Why not just let the DM tell the players how they will determine starting stats? There have been a plethora of ways to get six ability scores (or seven, or eight, depending on what variations you used) over the years, and every one of them still works just as well as it ever did. Just because the player's or DM's book has N different systems listed doesn't mean that the DM can't use the (N+1)th system. Only the DM knows what power levels will or won't work in his/her campaign.



I think the issue here is two-fold.

1. If you're going to try to have some form of 'organized participation system' like Pathfinder Society then there has to be some form of baseline character generation system that sort of levels the playing field - like the current Next point-buy system.

2. It also goes to play balance. If you have one group that rolls 3d6, in order, and just plays the Character that comes up... then you're going to wind up with a very different interaction with monsters who were designed with the assumption that people were going to be using a system that generates more powerful initial Characters.
NOW, we should all UNDERSTAND the impact of... letting people roll 24d6, select the 18 best dice, and then arrange them in any six desired 3 die groupings to build a super-being. The DM SHOULD understand that the monsters that might slaughter the first group of low-power Characters will be a cake-walk for the second group and design accordingly... 

But without some baseline Character Generation System, the designers leave themselve open to unfair critisism for 'lack of play balance' or whatever.
        
Kazadvorn, I think you're going to get complaints about game balance no matter how the baseline stat generation system is set up. I do agree that there's a need for a reasonable baseline system, for inexperienced DMs, but it should be kept simple. For those purposes, I'm fond of point buys (think 3E), because they eliminate the random effect of dice rolling that can easily screw up play balance, particularly for the rookie DM. However, I still think that the means of character generation needs to be left up to the DM, because:

1.  The experienced DM can adjust encounters, fudge dice rolls Surprised and make other adjustments to compensate for Mr. Irolledall18s and Ms. Irolledall3s. , even if they're playing in the same game.

2.  I've found that most experienced DMs have a favorite way of generating characters, and experienced play groups have favorite ways as well. (My own favorite usually results in very good characters with one or two unfortunate stats.)

Other than for inexperienced DMs, though, I firmly believe that stat generation should be up to the DM, even for tournament play. The only time that a uniform system is important is for transportable characters. And why not let the entity that's organizing that kind of things (like the RPGA, for instance) handle that? i.e., let the DM -- or the überDM, in the case of the RPGA -- decide how stats will be generated.

Hmm... I guess that brings me down on the side of a point-buy system as the baseline, doesn't it? Well, so be it.

I think the issue here is two-fold.

1. If you're going to try to have some form of 'organized participation system' like Pathfinder Society then there has to be some form of baseline character generation system that sort of levels the playing field - like the current Next point-buy system.


Organized Play will almost certainly use Point Buy or Array as the default. Right now Encounters is allowing the DMs to determine how they want characters made, but Encounters is different from most Organized Play as characters are not usually continued.

2. It also goes to play balance. If you have one group that rolls 3d6, in order, and just plays the Character that comes up... then you're going to wind up with a very different interaction with monsters who were designed with the assumption that people were going to be using a system that generates more powerful initial Characters.
NOW, we should all UNDERSTAND the impact of... letting people roll 24d6, select the 18 best dice, and then arrange them in any six desired 3 die groupings to build a super-being. The DM SHOULD understand that the monsters that might slaughter the first group of low-power Characters will be a cake-walk for the second group and design accordingly... 

But without some baseline Character Generation System, the designers leave themselve open to unfair critisism for 'lack of play balance' or whatever.


There is a baseline: the Array, which is one of the three standard methods of character creation. If characters are generally below the array, the DM will know that the monsters will be stronger against them, and vice-versa. Rolling will allow for both stronger and weaker characters, and each group will have it's own preference.
I think I'm gonna' take akaddk's position here but less for his "18's are magic" reasoning (which I totally respect even though it isn't as much of a factor for me--there's plenty of things I like having for their "magic", nostalgia or whatever). In my case I just think the more gradient we have in PC stats, the more of a range of characters we can use it to describe, and more diversity is better. As it is you have 9 degrees of ability proficiency (-3 to +5) the highest you only see in cases where an optimal stat combines with class and race advantages, the lowest three you seldom see because players tend to allocate their points to avoid these (unless they're a 'dump stat' type player in which case they're consistantly in the stat they hope never gets used--which is functionally the same). Either way this brings us down to a range of just five degrees for ability scores (0-+4). That's not a lot of fine detail, especially since the differences between each point are so triflingly small when weighted against the hugeness of a d20 that they almost don't even matter. Dropping from a five point common spread to a four point common spread would be even worse.

As far as the dice versus point buy thing, here's my take. Point buy is better for fairness. In groups where one guy would freak out because he rolled all 8's and 10's and someone else got an 18 and nothing lower than a 16--point buy is the answer. Personally I like dice rolling a lot better because the rolls have a nice organic spread (especially if you roll 7, drop lowest which gives you nice highball numbers) instead of the usual 18 or two 16s with the rest 12s I see a lot with point buy. Characters feel engineered for min-max potential and the results are just not as interesting.

It'd be nice to roll for stats, total them and then have a pool of handicap points to fill in the holes if your stats fall beneath par--points you could spend to kick an unheroic character back into play.
Now with 100% more Vorthos!
I remember when I did this, who would have guessed how different the packet is now:
POINT BUY


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


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                                                              Light Halfling:                     5


Mountain Dwarf:             2                                                              Stout Halfling:                    6


High Elf:                                3                                                              Human:                                                7


Wood Elf:                            4


 

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

Another important fact to realize regarding rolling is that while variation above/below the average is possible, variation generally favors the player.


The most important fact to realise regarding rolling is that rolling is random and randomness is random.

It's pointless to allow random rolling because of the basic possibility that someone will get stupidly high rolls and be completely overpowered and thus will overshadow everyone else in the game even if they're trying not to, or that someone will get stupidly low rolls and not want to play that character at all because they're worse than a peasant and therefore have no business being an adventurer, let alone a hero.

And what happens then? You can't ask the person who rolled high to reroll, they'll chuck a hissy fit. And you can't force the person to play a crap character because that defeats the purpose of playing a game in the first place. So you end up forced to accept an overpowered character and to let an underpowered character reroll. Neither of which are a very desirable outcome and both of which defeat the point of rolling in the first place.

 

Personally I'd allow random rolling for later players, ones who've exausted their usual tropes, and want to just create random characters in which case random class and race would also be good so weird combinations or unexpected come up, sort of like random characters in DOTA or the like. In Crazy Monkey's tour through first edition I rolled for my character, only time I've ever rolled. 4d6 drop lowest, arrange as you like. so thats 16, 14, 11, 11, 10, 10 (alright but my Cleric got 16 Con and 14 Wis, almost all the other players had 2 high starting stats) I was Human and so my stats did not get to modify. It's funny I would have loved to dump a bunch of my stats. i had 36 physical 36 mental (10 to Cha/Int, 11 to Str/Dex) the 10s and 11s were just normal, didn't matter and didn't add anything to my character, it was cool though, I did roll the highest on HP with a perfect 8. Which is why I grabbed that 16 in my Con instead of Wis like I planned to have gone to a casting cleric style. So yeah I am not a fan of rolling unless the point is for a random attributed character you have to try to play at which point you might as well assign them randomly (in order). Arrays are nice, they are prefigured out point-buys but you have the point buys near by as well. That is what my earlier post was, trying to create more arrays, or unifying them, but yeah there were lots of things that came together. I should update it for the newer playtest packets, also you said there were new rules, didn't notice. I did see there are more races, more classes but less subclasses.

[Edit]
In 081712_Classes File we have the Warlocks and Sorcerers. At the time it did not have a point-buy system (081312_Character Creation), I used Fourth Edition which was Identical to Third Editions (via Unearthed Arcana, where a lot of Fourth Edition Tweaks Come From). You cannot create as extreme cases as before, but I think it all could be done well. I like how in that one it told new players that a 6 sided dice was the ordinary cube ones found in most games, just in case they didn't make the correction.

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 have never been a fan of the Ability Score system where you have a score that means absolutely nothing until you convert it into a modifier. If the only difference between 16 and 17 is that 17 will progress to 18 earlier, then why not just have progression go half as fast and do away with scores completely, just have 3 Str go up to 4 (which give you +3 and +4 bonus to attack and damage respectively).

4th edition seemed to make a very half hearted attempt at giving scores meaning by having your Con score give HP and 3rd/4th both used odd numbers as requirements for feats, but I can't see how such minor things justify increasing the complexity of the numbers at the very core of a game that is apparently trying to be simple. I don't recall seeing any similar mechanics in Next.

If they don't want to remove scores completely, an alternative would be to use them with the point buy system. Something along the lines of:
Score -> Modifier
10 -> 0
11 -> 1
13 -> 2
16 -> 3
20 -> 4
25 -> 5
etc.
So you roll 15 for Str and get +1 from Race and Class, giving you a score of 17 which gives you a +3 modifier. If you then get +2 to strength from levelling or megic items or whatever, your score becomes 19 which is still only a +3 modifier. That way a wizard with Gauntlets of Ogre Power (+4 Str) goes from 10 (+0) to 14 (+2) but a barbarian only goes from 17 (+3) to 21 (+4). Similar to gaining XP, it is harder to gain more Strength when you already have lots.
We goofed around with an Ability Generation system that just boosted all 1's to 2 which gave a range for characters of 6 to 18 (3d6).
12 became the 'average joe +0' score and each level above or below that gave the character a +1 or -1...
So Strength 18 was +6, but much harder to get because we were rolling 3d6. But in those days there was no Race or Class bumps for Ability... and no gaining Ability bumps for leveling up...

It was nice to give meaning to each number above or below the median... but +5 and +6 did show up from time to time and seemed excessive in terms of Combat... It was not such a game breaker for 'Skill Checks'.     
I would never, ever play a character in previous editions without an 18 in a primary ability.




That's a bit extreme to me, and I never saw that sort of attitude until 3rd Ed, back in my 1st/2nd Ed days, not every character every person played started with an 18, thank god.

I hope they lower the array, and remove the class bonus to an ability score. 

For my next campaign I might go super old school and have the players roll 3d6 down the line!
My old experience with rolling was that characters
were either overpowered or underpowered.  In
some cases, that's great, but generally the process
was roll and then whine at the DM about the scores
that were rolled and there was always some fudging.  
In the cases of the great rolls people would want to
back down that 18 to a 16 to keep their modifiers
and then boost that horrific 9 they rolled to a 10 and,
in effect, lose a point.

The point-buy system gives you plenty of flexibility to
value specific stats while giving your character a weakness.
 Nothing is more boring than than a character with three 10's.  
I love the idea of ensuring that characters have a 9 or
even an 8.  It values teamwork and ensures that you are
taking advantage of your class skills.  People who get
really hung up on their weaker stats generally are
sending off that message that they feel like they should
be able to do anything ...  

That's just now how the system is built.
I never played a character with an 18 at creation. Not when rolling stats and not with point buy.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)