Attribute Generation

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Lobo316
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Attribute Generation

Post by Lobo316 »

The CKG provides a few new methods for character generation. But, as experienced games as most of us are, how are you rolling up attributes for your game.

The tried and true method for your games, forever now, has been 4d6, drop the lowest. I'm actually considering and old school approach of 3d6, but may allow the player to roll 7 total scores and pick the best 6 (or something similar).

What about attributes that go about 18? The CKG does have an expanded chart in it for this, but does this come up often and how have your handled it (just used old school attribute guidlines?).

Thanks!

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Arduin »

The the attribute progression, if expanded as is, is too anemic for stats of 19-25. I created my own tables. Changed existing 3-18 table as well. If a person gets a "19", it is score of 18* on my table. It requires another point increase to reach 19. 19 is the Str of Hill Giants and has a higher progression.

Mine: ... 14-15 = +2 16-17 = +3 18 = +4 18* = +5 19 = +7

This gives real meaning to items like Gauntlets of Ogre Power which give a Str of 18*...
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by AGNKim »

4d6, reroll any 1, keep the best three. Once you get 6 numbers, arrange as you like. In my years of DM'ing / CK'ing, I've found players love high scores, but can get a little whiny over low ones. And in the grand scheme of things, they mean very little. If you have an 18 in a stat, that grants you a +3, which is essentially a +15% chance. Is that really that big of an advantage? Plus, the characters are supposed to be a cut above, so tooling around with an 18 STR and 17 CON for a Fighters, for example, seems fine by me.

In some games I have said, "Your stats are 18, 16, 14, 12, 10 and 8. Put 'em where you want the apply racial adjustments and lets go."

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Omote »

I use the Attribute Matrix Method.

This method rolls the typical 3d6 (I hate 4d6 drop lowest) but provides with a greater range of attributes without minimizing the chances of having a low or high score.

The actual rules I use can be found in this link under Character Creation Matrix.
http://sites.google.com/site/advancedca ... expansions

----------------------------------------------------------------
Don’t you hate it when rolling attribute scores for a character and you get a lousy low number? Your mind begins to spin
on which attribute is going to get that terrible score. The character you had envisioned up until this point might have a few low scores, but nothing so bad as to impact the role playing of a great character concept.

If your game master allows, suggest the following alternative system of rolling attributes. This system is called the
Attribute Matrix Method*. While you still roll 3d6 for all of your attributes, you generate a far greater range of attribute
sets to choose from. This system doesn’t eliminate bad rolls, but allows for a varied manner in which low rolls (or high
ones for that matter) can be selected without invalidating the rest of your attribute scores.

Characters using the Attribute Matrix Method pick one "line" of six attribute scores, achieved by rolling 3d6, thirty-six
times according to the following matrix and the rules below:

[Imagine a 6x6 Bingo grid here with randomized numbers in each box]

Here’s how you roll the Attribute Matrix Method:

► Roll 3d6 to generate a score and fill in the box labeled number 1 with the score you rolled.

► Continue this process until you have generated thirty-six attribute scores. The box you fill in must go in the order of
the numbers labeled in the matrix above. The numbers are intentionally spread out so that multiple poor scores or high
scores have a less likely chance to fall in the same attribute set.

► When you have filled in all thirty-six boxes with your rolls, select any line of the attribute scores (across, down, or
diagonal, much like a BINGO board). This line of scores that you select will be your character's attributes. Place these
six scores in STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS and CHA in any order you wish from your selected line of stats*.

Notes:
By using this method, the player has a greater opportunity to lessen the effects of some or all low attribute scores. This
method doesn’t completely eliminate that chance, but gives the player flexibility in selecting attributes. Most players like
to play above average characters, and this method certainly promotes that while keeping the 3d6 Bell Curve intact.

* This system assumes you are allowed to roll attribute scores and place the score in whatever attribute you want. You can still use this system for the old fashioned
down the line method, but requires some tweaks.

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Sir Ironside »

If I'm a harsh mistress it is just the normal 6 rolls but they are able to select which numbers go to any favoured stat.

If I'm feeling generous, I'll let them re-roll their lowest score.

I've done other variations, depending on the group of people I'm gaming with. But I use the above mostly.

A little off-topic, but for starting HP I always give the max-hp at level 1.
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Arduin »

Sir Ironside wrote: A little off-topic, but for starting HP I always give the max-hp at level 1.
I've done the same since the AD&D days when 1 pip PC's were dying too easily...
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Lobo316
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Lobo316 »

Thanks for the replies gang. Lots of great stuff here.

AGN...I kinda like the idea of tossing out fixed attributes and say "these are your scores, go for it". Could even mix that with the 2 for 1 exchange method to allow for a tiny bit of tweaking.

Omote, I am very intrigued by your matrix solution. Very creative and actually seems like it may be fun to boot.

How have the attribute scores in your games turned out using this method?

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by DeadReborn »

4d6 drop lowest six times, reroll any scores lower than 9, arrange as desired. And for HP, I give max for first two levels. (I know, I'm a softie).
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by kreider204 »

4d6, drop low die; do seven times, drop lowest one; arrange as see fit.

A bit generous, but I assume that adventurers are usually above average individuals.

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Omote »

Lobo316 wrote:Omote, I am very intrigued by your matrix solution. Very creative and actually seems like it may be fun to boot.

How have the attribute scores in your games turned out using this method?
I would say pretty good. It is generally fun to roll in this manner, if you do not get bored by rolling 36 times. What this method does, is let's the player select the line of 6 attributes they like best but doesn't typically shaft them with a few terrible rolls. When rolling in this manner, you can really weigh the differences in stat lines making for an interesting decision making process. The players that have made characters in this way, I think, have all been pleased and had fun doing so.

As we went on using this method of character creation (we save the matrix rolls on each character sheet), we started using this matrix as a numerical representation of a character's genetic structure. It's been pretty fun in that PCs who have married off with other PCs and had children have been using these matricies to somewhat decide the attributes they will use for children, mates, etc. Weird, but fun.

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Go0gleplex »

DeadReborn wrote:4d6 drop lowest six times, reroll any scores lower than 9, arrange as desired. And for HP, I give max for first two levels. (I know, I'm a softie).
I pretty much use this same, only I use 8 as the cut off and only max HP the first level.
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Just Jeff »

3d6 six times, sort to taste. Do that a few times and pick the one you want. If the CK agrees, throw those out and repeat.

A GM once had me generate six stat columns using the "3d6 and sort to taste" method. I think my highest roll was a 12, and it stood out. The GM threw them all out and had me do it again. The second time I had five more failures and one acceptable stat column, but the GM told me to roll one more set of stats. I rolled some nice numbers that were a perfect fit for a character that had been stewing in my brain. Glad he gave me that last roll!

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by redwullf »

kreider204 wrote:4d6, drop low die; do seven times, drop lowest one; arrange as see fit.

A bit generous, but I assume that adventurers are usually above average individuals.
This is exactly the same method I've been using since 1st edition back in '85, and every version I've played since. Tried and tested over decades and 7 versions of the game (clones included).
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by clavis123 »

I have previously used 4d6, discard the lowest die, arrange scores to suit.

Now, I use the following method:

1 - Roll 3d6 to generate 6 scores.
2 - Distribute scores as desired.
3 - Apply any Racial adjustments. If your character is a race other than Human, Attribute adjustments can put a score above 18.
4 - Apply a +2 bonus to your Class's Prime Attribute
5 - Decide which other scores (or score) are Primary, and apply a +1 bonus to them.

If a character has Attributes so low as to invalidate a good character concept I'll allow a re-roll. Since my primary interest in Game mastering is currently in the Gothic genre, I think characters with one or more below-average Attributes create more interesting plot-lines.
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by zarathustra »

3d6, rolled seven times, assign in order to str, int, wis, dex, con, cha, spare.

They are allowed to slide any one stat out, & then all other stats underneath slide up one spot to bring the spare into play.

Next campaign will be; 3d6, reroll 1's, assign in order.

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by dunbruha »

An interesting take on character generation is the "character creation funnel" in Goodman Games DCC RPG. A group of 0-level characters are rolled (3d6 in order) with random backgrounds, and sent out on an adventure. The one that survives becomes your 1st level character, and gains a class.

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Lobo316 »

Man great stuff here. I am very fascinated by the varying degree of methods used. I find it interesting that really no one uses a "stat array" regularly.

I also think some of those methods just seem awful tough to me as well.

I have nothing against low stats btw, sometimes they can lead to intersting characters. I think an 8 is probably the lowest im comfortable with, but again, depends on what I am creating.

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Traveller »

4d6, drop the lowest, order as desired here. Don't like what you rolled? Turn all your die rolled scores in for a standard score package (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8, order as desired) and have at it.

Of course, in the Crusader Companion you can find others, some of them quite unusual.

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by ArgoForg »

4d6, reroll any 1, keep the best three. Once you get 6 numbers, arrange as you like.
This would be me, too. Although I admit the matrix idea has some merit, and I might consider trying that sometime, this generally makes my players pretty satisfied (at least, with character creation. XD).
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Lord Dynel »

AGNKim wrote:Plus, the characters are supposed to be a cut above...
This is where I think a lot of the methods either derive from or not. Which makes sense, of course. Are the characters heroes? Destined to be major players on the world stage? Or are they average joes who must forge out their destinies on their own?

I allow players to roll 3d6, 12 times. They keep the best 6 scores and arrange them as desired. No substitutions or rerolls. If they, for some reason, don't like the "best 6" then they can reroll, but they reroll two less sets each time (so the second time would be 10 sets of 3d6, then 8 sets, then finally 6 sets). No one has ever gotten down to 6 sets :). I like it because it produces some solid average scores, with a few highs and a few lows. Looking at my characters' sheets, the best set would be S10, D14, C14, I12, W11, and Ch14. There's another character that has S16, D12, C14, I12, W12, Ch11. The lowest score amongst the characters is an Int of 8.

In my games, I like the characters to be a average-ish, stat-wise, as a default. Now, if they roll 16, 15, 17, 16, 18, and a 14, for example, then if their background was a little bit more spectacular then I would understand that (and expect it, to be honest). So, I guess that the heroes being a cut above (or not) originate after the rolling of ability scores, not before. Not that there's any wrong way...this is just my preferred method. ;)
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Lobo316 »

Lord Dynel wrote:
AGNKim wrote:Plus, the characters are supposed to be a cut above...
This is where I think a lot of the methods either derive from or not. Which makes sense, of course. Are the characters heroes? Destined to be major players on the world stage? Or are they average joes who must forge out their destinies on their own?

;)
This right here is really a huge part of the equation. What are the players expectations. Some of the methods folks have posted here, I would not use simply because I think they yield to high results on the bell curve, while others just don't appeal to me, but in the end, what are the players expectations?

There is nothing wrong with "high" attribute scores, but it's all in what the players expect. I've known players that enter the game with the expectation that they are special, while other enter the game just trying to stay alive.

I prefer the later ;)

I think the character needs to forge his destiny and, over the natural course of time, become legend. I don't like games where the characters are powerful as all get out at level one.

And 4e did not help this mindset at all. All they've done is coddle the power gaming, power build generation. They don't even have negative modifiers for races any more. I never understood what was wrong with that? It's OK for a halfling to have a -1 to Str, for example. They are a small and peaceful race, it helps to mechanically define them. There is nothing wrong with a dwarf having a -1 to Dex, dwarves are not graceful, lol! Ugh!

I think players can get distracted by focusing on "high" scores. The only problem with that is that, when every score is high, then none of them stand out, and everyone looks the same.

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Lord Dynel »

Lobo316 wrote:This right here is really a huge part of the equation. What are the players expectations. Some of the methods folks have posted here, I would not use simply because I think they yield to high results on the bell curve, while others just don't appeal to me, but in the end, what are the players expectations?

There is nothing wrong with "high" attribute scores, but it's all in what the players expect. I've known players that enter the game with the expectation that they are special, while other enter the game just trying to stay alive.

I prefer the later ;)

I think the character needs to forge his destiny and, over the natural course of time, become legend. I don't like games where the characters are powerful as all get out at level one.

And 4e did not help this mindset at all. All they've done is coddle the power gaming, power build generation. They don't even have negative modifiers for races any more. I never understood what was wrong with that? It's OK for a halfling to have a -1 to Str, for example. They are a small and peaceful race, it helps to mechanically define them. There is nothing wrong with a dwarf having a -1 to Dex, dwarves are not graceful, lol! Ugh!

I think players can get distracted by focusing on "high" scores. The only problem with that is that, when every score is high, then none of them stand out, and everyone looks the same.
I agree on most/all points, hoss. I can't honestly say I know, with certainity, what power level of heroes my players want to play prior to rolling their characters. Now, I know what I like to see but I also know that might not be what the players want. But as I was saying before, if they roll the heroes - characters wh stand out head and shoulders above the "average" - then I've got no problem with that. I don't want any preconceived notions that the PCs are they are great right out of the box. They need to earn the favor of the gods, they don't have it to begin with.

A point you made, Lobo, sums up a lot of my thinking - "I think the character needs to forge his destiny and, over the natural course of time, become legend. I don't like games where the characters are powerful as all get out at level one." :)
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Omote »

I for one don't like low-level PCs with a ton of high stats. Sure, if they roll and get high scores, fine. But having all 6 attributes in the teens kind of stinks. In my games, I occasionally give PCs the ability to raise a stat. This can be done through magical means (usually) magic items, or through simply gaining levels with a the Advantage/Talent system I use. Many consider raising attribute scores with magic items and level gain as "power gamerish." I disagree. Players want to have cool characters, and tend to appreciate such gains more through play and level gain than if they do all front-loaded onto their character at 1st level. I think these type of attribute gains actually foster roleplay, and give the GM some statistical room to work with when designing adventures.

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Lobo316 »

Omote wrote:I for one don't like low-level PCs with a ton of high stats. Sure, if they roll and get high scores, fine. But having all 6 attributes in the teens kind of stinks. In my games, I occasionally give PCs the ability to raise a stat. This can be done through magical means (usually) magic items, or through simply gaining levels with a the Advantage/Talent system I use. Many consider raising attribute scores with magic items and level gain as "power gamerish." I disagree. Players want to have cool characters, and tend to appreciate such gains more through play and level gain than if they do all front-loaded onto their character at 1st level. I think these type of attribute gains actually foster roleplay, and give the GM some statistical room to work with when designing adventures.

"Did you hear the the Book of Ebon Flame resides in the Tombs of Gersidi? Well they say that to those who read that tome come the benefit of clarity of mind." (+1 INT, or +1 WIS, etc.).

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Oh, I don't think anyone is disagreeing wtih that Omote. I don't play with level based attribute advantages, but I don't mind them coming from magic items at all. I don't mind powerful characters, I just want the players to earn that status. If I want super heroes, I'll play a super hero game, heh, heh.

I like your example there actually, nothing wrong with that.

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by koralas »

Having experimented with many different methods of rolling and point-buy systems, 4d6/drop low, arrange has been my favorite method.

When faced with a player that has generated a low score and they complain about it, I simply tell them it is an opportunity for roleplay. Unfortunately, most players opt to put that low score into Charisma, and I think that is a great shame since most "heroes" tend to be fairly charismatic individuals. It also comes back to haunt them, often at the worst of times as their "uncouth" behavior buys them more trouble than it is worth. Of course usually this is left to the CK to call out as most people do not play their character with a low Cha score properly, and treat themselves as a normal person, or actually trying to act charismatically. I remember a player doing this, giving a speech that was actually quite eloquent, delivered in a convincing manner, with great poise and demeanor. When things went south he was upset, and I told him it was great that HE could do such, but his character lacked the charisma to pull off such a great feat of personality effectively, and as usually happens when someone tries to over-reach their own abilities, there are bound to be gaffs, blunders, and missteps. Just as people really have to learn to act within their means, he eventually got the message and started playing the character appropriately, and oddly enough, those personal interaction encounters seemed to become easier to "overcome". Just as Alignment presents the general world view of the character, attributes provide the general back drop of the makeup of the character, strong/weak, smart/dumb, understanding/clueless, agile/klutz, healthy/sickly, personable or commanding/uncouth or off-putting.

Personally, I like to have a couple of high scores, and find low scores as enjoyable due to the roleplay it can allow. I had a Magic-User character back in 1st Ed. with a low Wisdom score, and by low I mean it was 5 or 6. The character was often shaken through great stress and a bit absent-minded. The DM and I worked out a system where at times of increased stress, or extremely rushed, he would have a chance of making a mistake when casting his spells (particularly area of effect spells) and targeting the wrong area or selecting the wrong spell to cast. The DM would point out the situations (based on HP levels, stress, etc.) and call for a Wisdom test with modifiers as he deemed fit. It created many memorable moments, and at times I intentionally did something a bit "off" for comic effect, or even to heighten the tension... now nothing over the top but just a nudge that was within character. I also played a fighter of 12 Str but a Cha of 17, this was in 1st Ed again, and he was incredibly fun to play, his goal was to eventually lead a small army of his own, which he did, receiving a land-grant on the wild lands of the kingdom, and made a Baron. Eventually he worked his way up to become the "Lord of the Armies" and elevated to a "Prince of the Realm", the highest non-royal noble title gained only by special order of the king.

Personally I find playing a character with all high scores a bit boring, not my style, not that there is anything wrong with that style if it is your bag... I guess it could be my affinity for the Greek Tragedies and the flawed hero syndrome...

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Lord Crimson »

For C&C, I prefer to use:

1) Roll 3d6 straight down the line.
2) Get a 3d6 re-roll on one result.
3) Swap any two scores.

So it keeps a lot of the feel of old-school versions of D&D, but allows a player to:

A) mitigate any one "low" score.
B) swap two scores to better play a class the player particularly wants to play.

It's worked fairly well so far. Of course, if the scores are particularly atrocious across the board, I allow a complete mulligan.
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by zarathustra »

My current method;

Roll 3d6 six times, apply in order-S, I, W, D, C, CH.

If none above 12, nudge highest one to 13.

If all up total mods are -3 or worse, roll again.

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by gideon_thorne »

A good example of a fantasy character with obviously low scores across the board, but a plucky attitude. Joxer the Mighty. Me. I love playing characters like this. Heroes are all well and good, but side kicks can be a lot more fun if you have the right attitude. :)
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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by Rikitiki »

One of our favourite characters was a Half-Orc fighter with an INT score of 5 (I think, might have been 4 even). He pretty much worshipped our paladin and, so, became his squire. That paladin became known to us as the 'rainbow knight' due to the many colors he'd turn every time the Half-Orc screwed something up -- like when the paladin told him to feed his warhorse: and, not being told different, kept on feeding it and feeding it and feeding it. :lol:

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Re: Attribute Generation

Post by csperkins1970 »

I use the old 4d6, drop the lowest die, method.

For ability scores above 18 I use the following (based on old AD&D):
19: +4 instead of +3/+7 (averaged to 5)
20: +5 instead of +3/+8 (averaged to 5.5)
21: +6 instead of +4/+9 (averaged to 6.5)
22: +7 instead of +4/+10 (averaged to 7)
23: +8 instead of +5/+11 (averaged to 8)
24: +9 instead of +6/+12 (averaged to 9)
25: +10 instead of +7/+14 (averaged to 10.5)
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