# Thread: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

1. ## Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

I'm writing a character generator program for my Computers Seminar project here in school. I want it to be fairly robust, and was wondering about the different ways that people generate attribute scores.

The methods that I know of so far:
--Classic: 4d6, drop lowest
--Point-Buy: Everything starts at 8, modify by x amount of points
--Elite Array: You get this, this, and this, assign as you like (I forget what the numbers are).

Are there any other big ones that I'm missing, or are these the most common ways that people get the attributes?

 If this is in the wrong forum, I apologize in advance. Wasn't really sure where to put it.

2. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

I have a DM that just makes us roll 3d6 and take what you get. Kinda leaves things more to chance to make it interesting. I've also seen players go for a 5d6 drop the 2 lowest. I dont like that one, unless its meant to be an overpowered group.

3. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

I've seen a few others, but they're essentially variants on what you've got there:

• 5d6 drop two
• 32 point buy (rather than the standard 25), seemingly a common method judging from forum activity
• 3d6 straight, no arranging by preference
• 1d20
• 2d10
• 1d10+8

Those are the ones I can remember seeing more than once, but of course there are plenty of wacky generation methods out there.

4. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Originally Posted by Glawackus
--Elite Array: You get this, this, and this, assign as you like (I forget what the numbers are).
15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8

5. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

6d3 is something I've been meaning to try. Gives you a score between 6 and 18, with an average of 15. Very high powered, but has some potential.

Another one I've considered is 1d12+1d8. Score between 2 and 20, with the average at 11 (not much higher than 3d6's 10.5 average). Makes for more broadly oriented characters.

Finally, I've tried the Champion array: 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8.

6. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

6d3 has an average result of 12.

7. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Our group uses one of two;

1. Standard 4d6, drop lowest

or

2. 3d6, re-roll 1's (6-18, tends to come out on par with the above...functionally)

Though our favorite is having the other players vote on your real-life ability scores, and using those. =)

8. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

As a programmer also, here is a note when actually doing the programming:

Don't mistake a random number 2-12 to be the same as 2d6. The probabilities of the individual numbers are different. Namely, for 2-12 random, each number has an equal chance, whereas with 2d6, the chance increases as you approach the mean (with 7 being the most common result).

Generation methods:
3d6
4d6b3
5d6b3
Unusual Variants (6d3, 1d10+8, etc)
Grid-Method (shown here), which uses another generation method as well.

9. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

There's also the "just pick whatever scores you want" method, but that won't work for most groups.

10. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Originally Posted by Crow
Though our favorite is having the other players vote on your real-life ability scores, and using those. =)
I though i heard of a site or a group or something that came up with a criteria for generating your real world stats. If anyone knows of it send me a link!

11. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Originally Posted by Jacob Orlove
6d3 has an average result of 12.
Not quite. For calculating the averages of dice, it's the least possible plus the most possible, divided by 2.
1+3=4
4/2=2
6*2=12

Nevermind, I forgot that odd-sided dice have whole number averages. This is what I get for originally doing it in my head.

12. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

There's the "click on the + button until you get straight 18s" which is mostly used in computer games.

Also, there's 5d4 (Dark Sun) and "any 6 scores that add up to 75" (which makes more sense in 2nd ed, I suppose).

There's also the variant where you aren't allowed to switch your scores around - e.g. roll [3 of 4]d6 six times, and keep the stats in that order.

13. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Originally Posted by Fax_Celestis
Not quite. For calculating the averages of dice, it's the least possible plus the most possible, divided by 2...
Actually, it's just the least plus most divided by 2. All of the numbers on a single die are equally possible

14. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

I use 2d6 +6. This generates an average of 13, with a range of 8-18.

I've also used 1d10+8. I don't like this as much.

15. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Originally Posted by Kurald Galain
Also, there's 5d4 (Dark Sun)
Ooh, I kinda like that one.

16. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

My group has long used 4d6, reroll ones (untill it's not a one), take best three - so you might want to include the option to ignore certain numbers should they come up.

17. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

OP, you've actually sparked my mind (during school, no less) enough to write a generic "dice roller" function. Nothing stat-wise and nothing special (no best-of or min-value modifiers) but still workable.

Of course, it's in Java... /geek

18. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Originally Posted by Swooper
My group has long used 4d6, reroll ones (untill it's not a one), take best three - so you might want to include the option to ignore certain numbers should they come up.
That's technically 4d5 [pick best three] + 3

19. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Originally Posted by Fax_Celestis
Finally, I've tried the Champion array: 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8.
Where did this come from?

20. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

I vaguely remember this system from my rec.games.frp.dnd days; I know I've seen it posted here at least once, but the details are a bit fuzzy:

Stat 1 = 3d6
Stat 2 = 3d6
Stat 3 = 3d6
Stat 4 = 27 - Stat 1
Stat 5 = 25 - Stat 2
Stat 6 = 23 - Stat 3

Arrange as desired.

21. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Originally Posted by crimson77
Where did this come from?
I think it was made up somewhere on these very boards. It's a decent array, as far as arrays go.

22. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

My group uses an even simpler method. The DM sets a score value, usually 80 or 85. Your six stats must add up to that number. No stat can be higher then 18 + racial modifiers + stat bonuses from levels, and no stat can be lower then 3 after racial modifiers are applied, (which means a Dwarf would have to put a minimum of 5 points into Cha).

1) Every PC starts out on equal footing. Your bonuses always add up to the same exact amount. No resentment because of poor die rolls.

2) Every PC can customize what they want.

3) You can make your PC truly shine at an ability.

4) If you really want to dump an ability (Wis and Cha are popular) you can, but then you must accept the consequences on your roleplaying (a low Wis PC should make poor tactical decisions, a low Cha PC should have trouble communicating - even with other PCs, etc) and in combat (expect poison, ability drain, ability damage, etc).

1) Builds with MAD tend to suck if the base stat points are generally low. For example, a Gish build has a hard time with just 80 stat points.

2) Builds with MAD generally pwn if the stats are generally high. A well built gish with 100 stat points can do almost anything, destroying niche protection.

23. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

My group uses: 4d6 x 7 (as opposed to 4d6 x 6). Drop the lowest roll, drop the lowest total. Makes things somewhat higher powered, but doesn't overblow it. Generally prevents you from having penalties.

24. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Lessee.

4d6 reroll 1s. Drop lowest.

2d6+6.

1d6+12.

1d6+1d4+1d8.

1d6+1d12.

2d12.

4d6 (no dropping)

These are all styles of games I have played/used.

OH YEAH.

Stat Matrix. 3d6 in each slot of a 6x6 grid, take any row, column, or diagonal of 6 stats.

25. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Here's one I haven't read around here, quite yet:

18d6, roll all at once, put in groups of three. Highly customizable, can make for some overpowered characters, but it's fun to roll fistfuls of dice. Works best with smaller, 'monopoly/Shadowrun/Warhammer' style dice.

26. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

One interesting variant I heard of was rolling 24d6, drop the lowest 6, and arrange as desired (no score above 18 or below 3).

27. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Let's not forget the Standard array, used for generating normal NPCs: It's 8,9,10,11,12,13 if I remember correctly.

28. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Originally Posted by Indon
Let's not forget the Standard array, used for generating normal NPCs: It's 8,9,10,11,12,13 if I remember correctly.
And the Mundane array (11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10).

29. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

Originally Posted by Fax_Celestis
And the Mundane array (11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10).
And the "DM hates you" array (8,7,6,5,4,3).

30. ## Re: Generating Those Six Magic Numbers

I use the following method, though I don't think I have ever seen anybody else use it. I roll 3d6 12 times, drop the 6 lowest entries.

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