Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Yet Another D&D Stat Generation Thing

 TLDR: what it says on the tin. But this time it's a kind of fun sub-game around rolling 'down the line' (stats in order).

The following is written in a kind of stream-of-consciousness mode and comes straight from my Evernote notepad. The page it's on is called A Boulder and Two Blocks; it's about different ways to generate numbers with only 1d20 and 2d6. 

Roll 2d6, stats in order. The “third die” has fixed outcomes of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. You can use each number only once and can add only one number to each roll. E.g. you roll a stat, sum the 2d6 and then add one of the fixed outcomes (removing it from the list of options for the future). No retracing your steps!

I used this order because I couldn't think of the "right" order off the top of my head.

STR: 5+4=9, +3 = 12
DEX: 5+5=10, +1 = 11
INT: 4+3=7, +2 = 9 (here is where things turn, I was hoping for a wizard but using a 6 only would get me to 13, so I punted)
WIS: 5+3=8, +6 = 14 (going for the cleric)
CON: 5+1=6, +5 = 11
CHA: 6+3=9, +4 = 13

Tweak? Player chooses the order of the stats before rolling. That would allow them to prioritize certain prerequisites and if they don’t pan out they could switch plans earlier. Let’s try it again but go for a Thief. Back up plan is a Dwarf or Magic User. Order is DEX, CON, INT, STR, CHA, WIS.

DEX: 3+1=4 (shit!), +4 = 8 (punt)
CON: 4+2=6 (groan), +2 = 8 (punt, come on intelligence!)
INT: 6+5=11 (bingo), +6 = 17 (wizaaaaard)
STR: 3+3=6, +3 = 9
CHA: 4+3=7, +5 = 12
WIS: 5+4=9, +1 = 10 (whew, saving that 1 for last could have turned out badly)

One more tweak. Decide on next stat to roll as you go? More fluid and less analysis paralysis up front. So sequence is declare stat, roll dice, add fixed value, repeat.

It’s fun. Like a mini game. It gives the player some control, perhaps increases chances of an 18, but also makes two or more 18s impossible. In fact, if you rolled boxcars six times your stats would be 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13. Snake eyes characters would be 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3. Ugh. So there’s still a chance a GM would allow a re-roll. Let’s say if your stats total 55 or less you die during character generation (Traveller style). We’ll call it the “I can’t drive 55” rule (this one’s for you, Sammy). Odds are 90% for a player to roll a total of 56 or better based on 12d6+6+5+4+3+2+1, so you are ditching the bottom 10% of characters. Worst stats then might look like 10, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9. But they would tend to vary more than that unless the player was shooting for the middle with their choices.

[ONE MORE TWEAK. The ≤55 character, instead of dying, becomes the first retainer of your new character. Give the character a basic load out, a dumb name like Toad or Donk, a red tunic and a death wish. See how great you can make their death in game!]