Monday, January 30, 2012

4d6 drop the lowest, Woot!

One of the items I read in the live tweeting of the D&D Next seminars was that rolling stats was once again going to be the default. My initial reaction to this was much happiness. When I mentioned it to my daughter, she had the opposite reaction. I expect at least one of my friends to also object.

Those of you who have gamed with me in person know that my luck sucks. Almost no one on the planet rolls worse than I do. So you might be wondering why I prefer random stat generation?

The answer is simple. Diversity.

Every character should be different. It, well, gives them character. With point buy every axe fighter is the same. Every bow ranger is the same. It is boring and unrealistic. Yes, I want 'some' realism in my fantasy world.

If you do sit down at the table with a character that is different at least one person at that table is going to lecture you on how you did it wrong. If you put this there, and that the other place and move that there you wind up with an extra free point, yada, yada, yada. Ugh! There is even a forum on WotC's site devoted to this very thing.

My favorite character was created using the 3d6 in order method. He had an 18 strength and a very low (had to be an assassin) charisma. The numbers gave me the idea for his backstory, and also the clue to how I was going to play him. Yes, he got paid to kill people, but there was nothing cunning or stealthy about his methods. He wore leather, but did not carry a shield, because in AD&D that was a dead giveaway that you were an assassin. He passed himself off as the party fighter. Which he really was at first as the party started off with one wizard, one illusionist and my assassin.

I would never have created him if not for the dice rolls and the rules for minimum stats for classes. But as I said earlier he is by far my favorite character. So much so that a decade later when that same DM started a 3.5 campaign I recreated him. It even fit in with the story line which was that you woke up in a magic circle in the desert of what was clearly another world or plane with no memory of how you got there.

So to the min/maxer's and the it's not fair crowd I say...give it a try, you just might find yourself having a whole lot of fun.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

1 comment:

  1. I agree with this. I love random stat generation: it makes me get creative. Having to work within arbitrary constraints and sometimes less-than-ideal conditions forces you to go beyond the obvious solutions and responses when developing the character in the first place, and often forces more thoughtful and innovative responses during play. It makes for better characters and better players, assuming the primary objective of the game is to create interesting and engaging experiences for the players. (I know some people who would argue this point.)