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3/10/2014 12:11 pm  #1


Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

So in our AD&D game, we've settled on using a system of 4d6 (drop lowest) 7 times. Then you can drop one stat and collapse the rest to create your six ability scores. This allows some choice while still bowing to the tyranny of the dice. For our first AS&SH game on Saturday, I gave the players a choice:

1. Roll as above for AS&SH stats
2. Roll 4d6 (drop lowest) six times in order
3. Roll 3d6 six times in order

For choice 2, I let the player reroll one other roll (not an ability score) later in chracter creation: HP, starting gold, starting spells, whatever came up. If s/he didn't end up taking this reroll (they were all pretty lucky with HP and gold, actually), s/he could start the game with 50 XP.

For choice 3, I made it two possible rerolls or starting the game with 100 XP.

Seemed to work as a fun way to let the players have even more choice!

They ended up creating
Amazon Pyromancer
Esquimeaux Illusionist
Kimmerian Cataphract
Viking Shaman
Celtic Fighter

Note the lack of clerics and thieves. I'm sure that won't be a problem!

 

3/10/2014 5:04 pm  #2


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

Excellent. Remember, clerics are not necessary as "combat medics" in a good game of AS&SH. Refer to the healing rules, which state that a player gets to roll his character's HD type + Con modifier following a proper night's rest. For full bed rest, it is max healing, per HD type. The idea of Esquimuax Illusionist is pretty bad-ass, IMO.


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

3/10/2014 8:23 pm  #3


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

Ghul wrote:

Excellent. Remember, clerics are not necessary as "combat medics" in a good game of AS&SH. Refer to the healing rules, which state that a player gets to roll his character's HD type + Con modifier following a proper night's rest. For full bed rest, it is max healing, per HD type.

One of my favorite rules. Allows for a little more variety in cleric portrayals and also makes the party a little less dependent on the traditional conception. Needless to say, lacking a traditional cleric may still be a disadvantage in some cases (it's not like the party can sleep eight hours in battle), but at least it's more of a trade-off rather than a total dealbreaker.
 


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

3/10/2014 9:53 pm  #4


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

Turning undead is even more valuable than healing IMO.  Of course, if your players want to do things the hard way... http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

3/10/2014 10:43 pm  #5


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

Chainsaw wrote:

Ghul wrote:

Excellent. Remember, clerics are not necessary as "combat medics" in a good game of AS&SH. Refer to the healing rules, which state that a player gets to roll his character's HD type + Con modifier following a proper night's rest. For full bed rest, it is max healing, per HD type.

One of my favorite rules. Allows for a little more variety in cleric portrayals and also makes the party a little less dependent on the traditional conception. Needless to say, lacking a traditional cleric may still be a disadvantage in some cases (it's not like the party can sleep eight hours in battle), but at least it's more of a trade-off rather than a total dealbreaker.
 

I know! It kind of blew our minds when they made their strategic retreat to rest (i.e., hired a local farmer to help toss the unconscious 2/3 of the party in a wagon and haul them to town). When I checked on the rule, I believe the general vibe was "party!" They are used to AD&D and my pointing out that whomever they stabilzed at -1 HP is weak as a kitten for a week, magic healing notwisthstanding. It turns out you can't *quite* get players to role-play a week of sitting in the dark and eating rats, but you can get pretty close.

Blackadder23 wrote:

Of course, if your players want to do things the hard way... http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png

What? Never! You wound us, sir.

Though it did take me a while to realize that the reason no one tried to turn the ghouls was because no one could.
 

     Thread Starter
 

3/13/2014 9:08 am  #6


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

I'm thinking about using the following method for determining attributes. Roll 4d6, drop lowest - six times in order of attributes. Players may re-roll one score of their choices and swap two. The resulting six scores are what they're stuck with.

As for Hit Points, I think I'll be generous and allow maximum HP at first level. Then, each level they may (a) either roll one HD (modified by CON) and add it to their total, (b) or re-roll all of their HD - including the one they just received - to re-calculate their hit point totals. The latter option tends to produce average results, but it also grants players a second chance if they rolled too many low scores previously.

 

3/15/2014 1:45 pm  #7


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

EOTB introduced our local group to a fun method that allows a lot of flexibility for people to choose the class they want and have a good score in the primary attribute, but still incorporates some potential compromise from the dice and limits stereotypical min-maxing. Here's how it goes.

1. You're rolling 4d6, keep the highest 3 to generate a 3-18 number.
2. You roll seven sets of the six attributes to compile a string of 42 numbers.

Example:
16
8
7
15
13
17
8
10
11
12
18
14
13
15
6
10
8
etc all the way to 42 numbers.

3. Now, once you have all 42, you're free to use any six (could be last one from the first set of six and the first five from the second set of six), but - this is key - they must be assigned to the attributes (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha) in the order presented in the string. So, you do not get to "arrange to taste." Using the numbers above, I could do:

Fighter:
Str 18
Dex 14
Con 13
Int 15
Wis 6
Cha 10

Magician:
Str 10
Dex 11
Con 12
Int 18
Wis 14
Cha 13

4. You'd then apply any changes for race, age, etc.

If my first guy died in his first battle. I'd make my next guy using another sequence of six from the string. The sequence for the first guy is eliminated as an option.

capitalbill and I used this method to generate some AD&D characters and liked it. Once you have your string of 42 numbers, you can either immediately select a set that meets the minimums for a class you already have in mind or you can have some fun spending time to figure out whether the dice presented you with an opportunity to play the "perfect X" or a "neat Y." You can easily wind up with an intelligent fighter or a strong magician. Anyway, something to file away.

Last edited by Chainsaw (3/15/2014 1:49 pm)


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

3/15/2014 3:38 pm  #8


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

That's pretty inspiring! I've never heard the likes of it before.


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

3/15/2014 7:06 pm  #9


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

I like this as well!


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

3/16/2014 1:00 am  #10


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

It's a lot of rolling. But what's more fun than rolling dice. I'll run this by my players. I think it's just crazy enough to work!

     Thread Starter
 

3/23/2014 7:01 am  #11


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

Some rolling rules I'd like to test : 
1- Players choose their class and automatically get a 18 in their primary attribute (or 17 or 16 if there are 2 or 3 primary attributes). The rest is rolled with 3D6 in the order.
2- The attributes are rolled collectivelly, each player rolling, at his turn, 3D6 to determine one attribute. Once we have 6 attributes, each player arranges them as he pleases to create his character.  

For the HP, I like the idea of rolling them at the beginning of each scenario. You can't be at the top each time adventure comes around the corner.http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

 

3/26/2014 2:10 pm  #12


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

Odysseus wrote:

Some rolling rules I'd like to test : 
1- Players choose their class and automatically get a 18 in their primary attribute (or 17 or 16 if there are 2 or 3 primary attributes). The rest is rolled with 3D6 in the order.
2- The attributes are rolled collectivelly, each player rolling, at his turn, 3D6 to determine one attribute. Once we have 6 attributes, each player arranges them as he pleases to create his character.  

For the HP, I like the idea of rolling them at the beginning of each scenario. You can't be at the top each time adventure comes around the corner.http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

The reason I don't like starting with an auto-18 is that I feel it should only be scored by the luck of the dice, so I would say (if I allowed your method) pick a 17 for the prime (or 16 or 15 if two or more). When the character goes from young adult to adulthood, they get to up a stat, so they can get the 18 then; otherwise, I say they need to take their chances and roll for it.  
 

Last edited by Ghul (3/26/2014 2:13 pm)


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

3/26/2014 2:38 pm  #13


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

Chainsaw wrote:

EOTB introduced our local group to a fun method that allows a lot of flexibility for people to choose the class they want and have a good score in the primary attribute, but still incorporates some potential compromise from the dice and limits stereotypical min-maxing. Here's how it goes.
...
etc all the way to 42 numbers.
...

We had to end the session a little early Sunday, so two of my players stuck around to roll up more characters. Ross (Nausa the Esquimeaux illusionist) tried this method. He *did* roll an 18 for his fourth result. But other than that . . . what a shiteshow. I think his average must have been around 7. There were so very many 5s. A 5 is actually hard to roll on 3d6! There's not all that many ways!

He kept that first set of 6. Made a legerdemainist. Which I think also managed to take advantage of the only 13 he had rolled . . .

J (Comhan and Augdisl) stuck with my idea from above. He has a berserker now. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair . . .

     Thread Starter
 

3/26/2014 2:45 pm  #14


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

  As I grow in age, I get more and more close to the straight 3d6 roll as the standard for desirable stat ranges.  But, dice are fickle buggers indeed, and of course there needs to be some variance (at least in my opinion) that straight 3d6 just won't offer except in extreme cases.  I suppose the range of scores I look for these days are pretty indicative of the scores to be found in the back of B1.  Not extraordinarily high, and probably extraordinarily low in comparison to today's standards!  But still offering some variance between character stats, although not a huge amount, and also offering some variance within a character itself.   

  Now that Chain has shared EOTB's method, I think I'll experiment with that but using only 3d6 to find my particular 'sweet spot'.  I've just been dying to find a 3d6 only method that doesn't result in a string of 7's, haha, and yet doesn't make me feel like I've created yet another 'enhanced' character with stats that are just silly.  I tend to get this from the 4d6 drop low rolls, as I tend to get more than a few 15+ stats on a single character.  As I've never been one of those player's or DM's who believes a character isn't capable of play unless he's got a positive bonus in every stat, I end up finding this distasteful.  EOTB's method may be the winner for me, in the hunt for a middle-ground 3d6 method, that offers a couple of area's of strength, and still keeps a couple of areas of mediocrity or actually sub-normal range.  Nice!  Thanks for sharing that, Chainsaw!

 

3/26/2014 5:49 pm  #15


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

You bet, man. All hail EOTB!


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

4/03/2014 3:29 pm  #16


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

Ghul wrote:

The reason I don't like starting with an auto-18 is that I feel it should only be scored by the luck of the dice, so I would say (if I allowed your method) pick a 17 for the prime (or 16 or 15 if two or more). When the character goes from young adult to adulthood, they get to up a stat, so they can get the 18 then; otherwise, I say they need to take their chances and roll for it.  
 

I agree with you but since being told that this method worked pretty well for a more heroic feel to the characters without overpowering them (the other attributes being straight 3d6s), I've been thinking about trying it.
 

 

4/03/2014 4:54 pm  #17


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

Ghul wrote:

Odysseus wrote:

Some rolling rules I'd like to test : 
1- Players choose their class and automatically get a 18 in their primary attribute (or 17 or 16 if there are 2 or 3 primary attributes). The rest is rolled with 3D6 in the order.
2- The attributes are rolled collectivelly, each player rolling, at his turn, 3D6 to determine one attribute. Once we have 6 attributes, each player arranges them as he pleases to create his character.  

For the HP, I like the idea of rolling them at the beginning of each scenario. You can't be at the top each time adventure comes around the corner.http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

The reason I don't like starting with an auto-18 is that I feel it should only be scored by the luck of the dice, so I would say (if I allowed your method) pick a 17 for the prime (or 16 or 15 if two or more). When the character goes from young adult to adulthood, they get to up a stat, so they can get the 18 then; otherwise, I say they need to take their chances and roll for it.  
 

We're supposed to start at young adult?  I've got to read these rules!!! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/embarrassed.png
  We do 2d6+6 for each characteristic. Keeps the average higher with a fairly low chance (still) of an 18. 
 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

4/03/2014 5:24 pm  #18


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

mabon5127 wrote:

Ghul wrote:

Odysseus wrote:

Some rolling rules I'd like to test : 
1- Players choose their class and automatically get a 18 in their primary attribute (or 17 or 16 if there are 2 or 3 primary attributes). The rest is rolled with 3D6 in the order.
2- The attributes are rolled collectivelly, each player rolling, at his turn, 3D6 to determine one attribute. Once we have 6 attributes, each player arranges them as he pleases to create his character. 

For the HP, I like the idea of rolling them at the beginning of each scenario. You can't be at the top each time adventure comes around the corner.http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

The reason I don't like starting with an auto-18 is that I feel it should only be scored by the luck of the dice, so I would say (if I allowed your method) pick a 17 for the prime (or 16 or 15 if two or more). When the character goes from young adult to adulthood, they get to up a stat, so they can get the 18 then; otherwise, I say they need to take their chances and roll for it.  
 

We're supposed to start at young adult?  I've got to read these rules!!! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/embarrassed.png
  We do 2d6+6 for each characteristic. Keeps the average higher with a fairly low chance (still) of an 18. 
 

Pretty sure starting age is 15+1d4. Makes you wonder what Hyperborean middle schools are like. I stared my game in Fish (year 2), telling the players that their characters all got serious about finding some training duing Bat (year 13) when it was clear that the weak or unprotected would not make it.

     Thread Starter
 

4/05/2014 1:06 pm  #19


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

Lately I have been having players roll 3d6 three times and 4d6 drop the lowest three times, then arrange to suit. It seems to help them get the scores they need for requirements, but also keeps they average score reasonable. I may try the 2d6+6 method at some point, I kinda like it.


ravengodgames.blogspot.com ~ cartography, writing, game design
Author, Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess
 

4/21/2014 2:37 pm  #20


Re: Character Generation: Choices, choices, choices

Hey ghul, I may have accidentally hit the report button trying to respond to the statement...sorry about that, still figuring this stuff out
          I really like the idea of rolling hit points at the beggining of every session, such a mechanic has never been tried by our gamming group but will certainly be discussed next time!  
         I also was thinking about age, how would you guys handle someone who wanted to start play as an older character?  Maby it's a mid life chrisis, or only late in his(her) age needed to respond to the call to duty? would you let the player add any bonuses for age? dissallow creating chars beyond starting age? maby make the stat boost a level requirment? Has not come up in our campeighn, but i often do make characters far older and mature then i am in real life,  after all, it's fantasy role play....How would you GMs handle such a player request?

 

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