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Yondu
2013-04-29, 07:14 AM
As an old school D&D player (I start with the red box long long years ago), I've used a lot way to build my numerous PC, 3D6 / 4D6 keep 3 best even the UA cheated build (9D6 for Strength for fighters....yeah...), and I've have an issue with the point build :
Let me explain, for example you have 25 points to create a PC, you use most of the point on the main ability in order to be the best possible..(Int for wizards, Str for Fighters,....), you have nearly always the same build for the character...
For me, it is less interresting to play a 8 intelligence fighter than a 14 intelligence fighter, especially on roleplay....things you can have by rolling the dice for abilities but not with point builds. Yes, you're a going to put your highest roll to your main ability that's certain but if you are lucky (or unlucky) high or low roll could give you roleplay possibilities... I remember a elven warrior with 18 in wisdom in ADD2, it was one of my prefered PC...
What are your point of view on point build for a character ?

Slipperychicken
2013-04-29, 07:55 AM
Point-buy is balanced because no PC will be significantly stronger throughout the game because of a random element which occurs in character generation. For example, if I roll straight 18s and another player doesn't roll above 13, I might feel guilty and he might feel cheated. Even outspoken advocates of rolled stats tend to bemoan that state of affairs.


Point-buy does, of course, usually lead players to choose a more optimal (and thus more uniform) ability score combination within the constraint. Some people prefer rolled stats, claiming it helps generate more realistic, varied, or well-rounded characters.

Akal Saris
2013-04-29, 08:08 AM
These days I tend to have multiple character concepts "stored up" that I want to try and play sometime. Point buy means that I can plan ahead to play any of them with a basic expectation for where my abilities will fall.

With that said, I don't mind rolling stats that much either. I've never much minded other PCs having higher scores than me as long as we're all contributing to the game, and generally I know enough PF mechanics that I can still build an effective character with low stats or only 1 high stat.

Krazzman
2013-04-29, 08:08 AM
In our current group I have a Cleric with 16 14 16 14 16 15 as stats.

Not bad, on the other hand a few of our other guys should've better made a caster and some others should have gone "melee".

The thing about Rolling for stats compared to Pointbuy is: one can totally screw you.

I prefer having 3 rows of attribute generation: 4d6b3 two times and one with a point buy. That way you can have a minimum of attributes and still can be lucky to get a few good rolls.

And the difference between those two in terms of: but you have the same all the time is... yes: buying stuff yields the same array for the same build but with rolling sometimes your build "can't" be achieved.

137ben
2013-04-29, 11:57 AM
With point buy, you can still put more points into other stats. There's nothing stopping you from building a 14 INT fighter if you want.

Friv
2013-04-29, 12:11 PM
There are, unfortunately, no perfect ways to generate characters.

Random generation's strength is that it forces people to branch out a little from their default. Its weakness is that it can potentially create a staggering power gap between characters.

Point-buy's strength is that it creates generally balanced characters. Its weakness is that it encourages an optimization mindset by making it so that people actually take an opportunity cost to branch outside their core competency.

There aren't a lot of ways around these facts, but I've seen a couple systems that try to strike a balance: you can use one of the "group random generation" sets, where you roll up three stat lines and let everyone in the group pick one of them, or you can use the "One stat at 16, one stat at 10, point-buy the other four" system that someone suggested at one point.

Quorothorn
2013-04-29, 12:17 PM
I don't think an INT14 Fighter is inherently/always superior to a INT8 Fighter in terms of roleplay, first of all: both offer plenty of possibilities when placed into the larger context of a complete character sheet. It's usually the player who ultimately makes a character interesting or not, IMO. Point buy simply eliminates the chance that one or more players will be numerically "screwed over": absolutely nothing is stopping you from changing up your investment of points depending on character concept. (And even if you're going "optimizing", if you want for example a trip-based Fighter you need Combat Expertise, which means INT13+, so...)

That said, I could see rolling for stats being useful if one happens to not currently have an idea or preference for what you want to play: you could then roll for your attributes and hopefully get an idea from them.

Otherwise, though, to be entirely honest I view rolling for stats, especially the more "random" or wild methodologies such as the original "3d6 in order", to be almost as outdated as the old lives system in video games: an artifact whose role is no longer needed. To me, point buy is steady, useful, and customizable.

navar100
2013-04-29, 12:37 PM
The key to dice rolling for ability scores is to remember you don't have to be a slave to the rolls. If one player is lucky with 16, 16, 15, 13, 13, 12 while another player is unlucky with 14, 14, 12, 11, 10, 9, you don't have to keep it that way. Just let the unlucky player reroll. The lucky player is not being cheated because he still has his good array. The problem with point buy isn't so much the concept itself but rather those who are most vocal in support of it tend to be the ones who don't allow for enough points, with "enough" being a subjective value.

Personal opinion, in Pathfinder only the 25 point value is "enough". You can have 16, 16, 14, 10, 10, 10 before racial modifiers. That gives you a paladin, a MAD class but not as MAD as 3E. ST 16 DX 10 CO 14 IN 10 WI 10 CH 16. Racial modifiers won't hurt the build - only help or be a wash. You aren't forced an 8. Not that there's anything wrong with having an 8, but my philosophy has always been, I won't demand an 18 if you don't force me an 8. However, here you are given wiggle room if you would be ok with an 8 or 7 anyway for a few extra points. At 25 points you can have 17, 16, 14, 11, 10, 7 before racial modifiers. For a bit more extreme there's 18, 16, 14, 10, 8, 7 before racial modifiers. That's for a character who can dump Charisma for the 7 and eat the 8 somewhere, perhaps ST for a spellcaster and IN for a warrior and use favored class bonus to make up the skill point.

Rhynn
2013-04-29, 12:42 PM
I use point buy in d20 if I'm just going for a straightforward "here's some combat challenges" game. It's nice and balanced and equal. Works fine for 3E, practically required for 4E... in PF, it'd depend on whether I want a sandboxy "make your own fate" campaign (in which case, roll 'em) or a linear "here's an adventure, and another, and another" campaign (in which case, point buy).

My preference is for AD&D 2E with 3d6 (in order or arranged), maybe 3d6 twice for each attribute and pick the result you want (but in order!). I think it's more interesting having to deal with low results you didn't want than getting to have high results you did (and AD&D is less stat-critical anyway). I don't think that'd even begin to work in PF, though, because a character with all 7-13s (quite common in 3d6 in order) is basically crap.

Theodoxus
2013-04-29, 01:01 PM
My gaming group got around rolling disparity by everyone rolling a set, and the group picks the one they want to use. Kinda like point buy - everyone has the same stat block (though obviously placed where they want them) but generally more powerful than 20 or 25 points.

One twist was allowing points to be moved on a 2:1/up 1:1/down basis - so if the stat block contained 2 17s and a 16, and you really wanted an 18, you could drop a 17 to 15 and boost the other to 18. Likewise, if you had a 16 and and a 12, you could drop the 16 by 1 and raise the 12 by 1 - if you needed a feat req or whatever.

At any rate, it's made rolling characters a bit more random, without screwing anyone due to bad rolls.

SimonMoon6
2013-04-29, 02:32 PM
With point buy, you get to play the character you want to play, instead of the character that the dice forced you to play. Some consider that to be a good feature. I'm under the impression that the OP considers this to be flaw.

While there's something amusing about having to play that 9 STR fighter (because even though it's only a 9, it's your highest stat), it's not that fun when you're playing alongside that 16 STR wizard. So, balance is another good thing about the point buy system.

Even with point buy, I've played a 14 INT fighter (he needed the Expertise feat). And I've played a wizard who had a 10 STR and a 10 CHA (instead of 8 in each) simply because I didn't want to be *that* pathetic.

PersonMan
2013-04-29, 03:05 PM
In my experience, playing the same array for every archetype is:

1) A symptom of not having enough points for some flavor padding on top of the "take this or suck".
2) Not necessarily a problem - the difference between two Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 10 people can be huge. It's all in the roleplaying.

I also enjoy dice rolling, for the chance of an ultra-array, or an unexpected low roll. Of course, I often go into games with a character in mind already - point buy allows me to build that character, rather than hoping the dice agree with me.

Yondu
2013-04-29, 06:20 PM
Following what everybody says, if you want to play a specific character, point build is your path....
But if somebody throw the dices and determine following the result the character he will play could be also interresting (even if a balance issue on ability score can appear)... and, for my point of view, we are closer of a roleplaying character, because fortune will give me the chance to flesh out this character...

My view of point build is it for to play by the rules of the game not with, let me explain : For balance reason, everybody will have the same amount of point to buy abilities. Did everybody is the same ? No. Did a character could a genius sportsman or a strong magus ? Yes
Point build kill some classes like Paladin, Monk (We can discuss on the monk but it is not the matter) because they are dependent of too much abilities. You neek to have several decents abilities to be a playable character...
As I said previously, it's my point of view....
I will be happy to know your positions on my statement

AttilaTheGeek
2013-04-29, 06:22 PM
What are your point of view on point build for a character ?

The most interesting stat generation method I've ever seen gives each player one of three options. You can take point buy (20 in Pathfinder or 26 in 3.5), which gives you complete control over your stats, but your total stats are the lowest of the three options. You can take 4d6b3 with a single reroll of your stats. It gives you a fair amount of control in exchange for more powerful stats. The last method givess you 3d12b2, in order, no rerolls. You can wind up with incredibly powerful stats, but you have hardly any control over them.

Arbane
2013-04-29, 09:53 PM
I saw one variant I rather liked:

Roll 3d6 three times. These are three of your stats.

Subtract the highest froll from 27, the next-highest from 25, the lowest from 23. The results are the other three stats.

(Disclaimer: I haven't tried this yet in actual play, but it seems like a good compromise method.)

Slipperychicken
2013-04-29, 10:33 PM
I saw one variant I rather liked:

Roll 3d6 three times. These are three of your stats.

Subtract the highest froll from 27, the next-highest from 25, the lowest from 23. The results are the other three stats.

(Disclaimer: I haven't tried this yet in actual play, but it seems like a good compromise method.)

Average result should be 16.5, 14.5, 13.5, 10.5, 10.5, 10.5.

I just rolled {14, 6, 10} on 3d6, so my scores would be:
(27-14)= 13
(25-10)= 15
(23-6)= 17
14
10
6

17/15/14/13/10/6

It looks like you're actually hoping to roll low, because you can potentially get higher scores than if you roll high. A guy with straight 18s gets 18/18/18/9/7/5, but that guy who rolls triple-3s, though, he's gonna have a fun time with 24/22/20/3/3/3 :smalleek:

Ravens_cry
2013-04-29, 10:53 PM
While stat wise a character can potentially be largely play them, the ways you can play them can be quite different. It's the little details that the rules don't cover that make a character, things like motivations and goals, mannerisms and habits, how you interact with fellow player's avatars and the DM's retinue of characters.

Tumskunde
2013-04-30, 12:44 AM
The whole 'Point buy works in keeping character's balanced, where as random rolls can lead to 'grief' between players due to luck' is all valid.
But stats are not the only thing that defines your character, the most important part is you. All characters are Avatars, stats determine how well they can do things, but really it's all on you to define them, either by over coming thier stats, or using tham as a crutch.


When I first started playing (2nd ADD), we rolled characters using method 1. Thus, I was *forced* to play a human fighter, as there was no other class or race I qualified for.
The statline went STR 16, Dex 7, Con 3 Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 14. I also repeatedly rolled poorly on HP rolls, amassing a hefty 22 HP by level 20. This was mostly due to poor rolling, as at the time a con of 3 only gave you -2HP/level. Still he was an interesting character, and I had to break myself out of my real life personality to play him.
I used his stats to lay a framework for waht would grow within, he was strong and came from a line of warriors; he was deft with his hands, but poor eyesight meant he was clumsy with a bow; for a fair portion of his childhood he had been deathly ill, and despite his strength, he had little stamina; he didn't get as good an education as most and tended to be forgetful, though he possessed a particularly low cunning that most wouldn't expect; He was no more wiser nor pious than the next man, but he was stubborn to a fault; he was naturally good with people, while he had been sick as a child, he had read countless books on etiquette and romance.
He went from level 1 to level 20 without dying, heck he made it to level 4 before he ever took damage, made a articularly strong contribution to the party as he was the main driving force of the group, always pushing them into adventure and coming up with ways to get them out of trouble. His greatest achievement aside from being 'untouchable' was when he seduced a 'transformed-into-elf' blue dragon while the rest of the group took care of her master, eventually marrying her and converting the world's largest kingdom into a Republic after the BBEG turned out to be the king.


The thing about the rolls or the point buy is that they really don't matter when it comes to roleplaying that character.
You can roleplay an Int 8 fighter to be more cunning than a Int 14 one as intelligence is broken into 2 parts, knowledge and reasoning. You might not be as educated, but you're can be more imaginitive and cunning.
One of the most knowledgable people I know has more degrees than he could ever really need or use, and he's consistantly out smarted by his 6 year old son.

I remember 2nd ED, where the Player's Option : Skills and Powers book helped me define attributes in my head, all via the addition of the optional Subattributes. I still wish they offered this kind of system in 3.5/Pathfinder.

Still you can build an effective and stable character regardless of whatever method you use to determine your stats. You just need to prioritize for what you want to do. Using that, most classes arent as MAD as most people make them out to be. There is no class (note I mean class, not build) that ever need more than 2 stats to make them work. Monks break down into Str and Wis, Paladin's Str and Cha. Both are Warriors so Str is paramount, Monks need Wis for Ki Abilities and they can apply it to defense, Paladins need Cha for spellcasting and other abilities.
Everything else is gravy at a salad bar, tasty but usually not needed to complete the meal.

Friv
2013-04-30, 08:03 AM
Average result should be 16.5, 14.5, 13.5, 10.5, 10.5, 10.5.

I just rolled {14, 6, 10} on 3d6, so my scores would be:
(27-14)= 13
(25-10)= 15
(23-6)= 17
14
10
6

17/15/14/13/10/6

It looks like you're actually hoping to roll low, because you can potentially get higher scores than if you roll high. A guy with straight 18s gets 18/18/18/9/7/5, but that guy who rolls triple-3s, though, he's gonna have a fun time with 24/22/20/3/3/3 :smalleek:

I feel like 2d6+6 might be better than 3d6 for that system. Doing the math, there seems to be about a 1 in 5 chance of getting a 20 or above on at least one stat with 3d6, whereas with 2d6+6 the highest result you could get on the second step would be a 19, and then only once.

navar100
2013-04-30, 08:50 AM
Average result should be 16.5, 14.5, 13.5, 10.5, 10.5, 10.5.

I just rolled {14, 6, 10} on 3d6, so my scores would be:
(27-14)= 13
(25-10)= 15
(23-6)= 17
14
10
6

17/15/14/13/10/6

It looks like you're actually hoping to roll low, because you can potentially get higher scores than if you roll high. A guy with straight 18s gets 18/18/18/9/7/5, but that guy who rolls triple-3s, though, he's gonna have a fun time with 24/22/20/3/3/3 :smalleek:

There's also a free +2 to add at the end before racial modifiers, so you could have 17, 15, 14, 13, 10, 8 before racial modifiers or perhaps 17, 16, 15, 13, 10, 6 or 17, 17, 14, 13, 10, 6

There are options. Theoretically you could have done 27 - 6 = 21 and have 21 for an ability score. That could rub some DMs the wrong way, so it's fair to have a hard limit of max 18 regardless of the math. Some may also want a hard minimum of 7 for the dice rolls. 7 is minimum for Pathfinder. If someone rolls 2, 2, 1, 1 to get a 5 for a score, that can be problematic just for being, so a hard minimum 7 compensates the inherent bad luck chance.

Slipperychicken
2013-04-30, 09:36 AM
There are options. Theoretically you could have done 27 - 6 = 21 and have 21 for an ability score. That could rub some DMs the wrong way, so it's fair to have a hard limit of max 18 regardless of the math. Some may also want a hard minimum of 7 for the dice rolls. 7 is minimum for Pathfinder. If someone rolls 2, 2, 1, 1 to get a 5 for a score, that can be problematic just for being, so a hard minimum 7 compensates the inherent bad luck chance.

Under Arbane's system, only if your highest roll was 6.



Subtract the highest froll from 27, the next-highest from 25, the lowest from 23. The results are the other three stats.


I get what you're saying, though. Potentially having starting ability scores as high as 24 before racials can raise some balance issues.

Rhynn
2013-04-30, 10:12 AM
I get what you're saying, though. Potentially having starting ability scores as high as 24 before racials can raise some balance issues.

The odds of triple-3s on 3d6s is, what, ((1/6)^3)^3 ? That's ... 0.0000099% ?

Probably not worth worrying about.

PersonMan
2013-04-30, 11:52 AM
Following what everybody says, if you want to play a specific character, point build is your path....
But if somebody throw the dices and determine following the result the character he will play could be also interresting (even if a balance issue on ability score can appear)... and, for my point of view, we are closer of a roleplaying character, because fortune will give me the chance to flesh out this character...

Yes, but then you're playing a different character.

If I want to play a character who needs to be smart, but get rolls that saddle me with a bad Int, I'm not playing the character I wanted to play, even if I can have fun with the one I got rolled.


My view of point build is it for to play by the rules of the game not with, let me explain : For balance reason, everybody will have the same amount of point to buy abilities. Did everybody is the same ? No. Did a character could a genius sportsman or a strong magus ? Yes
Point build kill some classes like Paladin, Monk (We can discuss on the monk but it is not the matter) because they are dependent of too much abilities. You neek to have several decents abilities to be a playable character...
As I said previously, it's my point of view....

Actually, many people give differing levels of PB based on class tier to balance them out.

Or just give high PBs in the first place. A Wizard doesn't care much if he gets 26 or 36 point buy, but a Paladin/Monk will be quite happy with that.

Also, rolling kills Paladins/Monks harder than PB - unless you can talk your DM into letting you reroll until you get a good Paladin/Monk array, which could take quite some time.

navar100
2013-04-30, 12:11 PM
Under Arbane's system, only if your highest roll was 6.


Missed that part. As I learned and talk about it, you can subtract any roll from any number.

Arbane
2013-04-30, 12:26 PM
I feel like 2d6+6 might be better than 3d6 for that system. Doing the math, there seems to be about a 1 in 5 chance of getting a 20 or above on at least one stat with 3d6, whereas with 2d6+6 the highest result you could get on the second step would be a 19, and then only once.

That might work better. Thanks.

Friv
2013-04-30, 01:44 PM
That might work better. Thanks.

No problem.

Although now I have to admit that my original math was wrong!

I did both sets of math on the incorrect assumption that you were using (27 - First Roll), (25 - Second Roll), (23 - Third Roll), rather than (27 - Highest Roll), etc.

With that in mind, the chances of breaking 18 on either system drop precipitously. To break 18 on the 3d6, your highest result rolling 3d6 three times needs to be 8 or below.

The chance of rolling an 8 or below is 26%. The chance of doing that three times is only 1.7%, so only one player in 50 is going to have a score of 19 or above.

On the other hand, 2d6+6 still gives you a more balanced system, since you would have to roll three 1 in 36 chances to break 18 at any point. It does tilt more towards the 8-14 range, mind you, which could be good or bad depending on how you look at it.