6 months ago ::
Dec 09, 2012 - 1:32PM
The roleplaying AND the mechanics are both important in a roleplaying game. The former is the RP in RPG, the latter is the G.
Ignoring stat arrays is fine if you like 'here's your role, play it', but most players I've met approach their characters from a 'I want to play this specific character', at which point random stat rolls fail miserably. If you really want to play, say, a brilliant wizard or 'the strongest man in the kingdom' (hyperbolic, yes, but ...) and you get nothing higher than a 11, you're out of luck. You should be able to play the character you WANT to play, not just get handed a pile of stats and 'make do'.
This is why I will *always* use point buy.
Why? That's the fun for us.
I mean, sometimes, sure. But mostly our understanding of the game is to 'play what you get'. It takes some skill, but offers higher rewards.
Who is more impressive for taking out a bandit/robber, Superman or Joe the Farmer? Superman can do (effectively) anything, with no fear of failure. Joe is just like you and me. When he does something it's like us being able to do it. It's believable, and relatable, and that's what makes it interesting.
I'm not saying other styles are invalid, only that they're invalid for us (and not objectively necessary).
Why aren't there more players with this mentality?
Anyway, when I have my players determine their ability scores, I actually use an array AND roll for them:
I start with a lower than normal array, like so: 14,13,12,10,8,6. These could be lower or higher as you like but represent the MINIMUM each score could be. Assign as desired.
Once assigned roll (4d6 drop lowest) in order for each score. If you roll higher than what you have from the array you get to keep the higher score. I guess you could use plain 3d6 instead if you wanted.
Works like a dream, characters are always reasonably effective at their desired role, re-rolls are never needed, yet things are still random.
If anyone likes this (including you, WOTC) you are very welcome for the freebie
Afterthought: this is already how the random roll method is, with the difference that the starting array is set to all 3s.
6 months ago ::
Dec 09, 2012 - 2:46PM
May 27, 2012
Saelorn, how do you deal with monsters such as the Ape in the bestiary that have an INT of 5? Do they also have an IQ > 80 and all the learning potential that could represent? Are they on a different IQ scale? Do you even care what the Ape's INT score is because as a DM you would have a monsterous Ape in a fantasy setting behave similar to how you would expect an Ape to behave in the real world?
I haven't yet adjusted to the scale shift with Next, but back when they had INT 3 (IQ ~60), I played them that way. A fantasy ape is pretty comparable to a very dumb human. They can use tools, but probably not build them.
Apes (and possibly raptors) aside, though, an animal with INT 3 or higher is just a design error. They act like INT 2 for all purposes other than ability damage.
The metagame is not the game.