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"You don't cheat when character building..." Topic

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07 Jan 2019 6:08 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian07 Jan 2019 6:07 p.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

Do You Ever Cheat When Rolling Up a Character?

42% said "no"
16% said "yes, sometimes"
13% said "yes, rarely"

Winston Smith07 Jan 2019 9:46 p.m. PST

Yes I did.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2019 10:06 a.m. PST

Mostly, no. But a few Traveller characters survived despite the dice (forced retirement instead), and I confess that back in the day a D&D character might have had his start when I randomly rolled an 18 when not actually rolling up a character. Can't let a roll like that go to waste, after all! grin

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART08 Jan 2019 10:26 a.m. PST


Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2019 9:33 a.m. PST

I don't understand cheating. Half the fun comes from overcoming the limitations and challenges of your character, through ingenuity or intrigue.

Mithmee10 Jan 2019 8:29 p.m. PST

Trust me I rolled up a NPC Mage who only had "1" Hit Point.

There was no overcoming that limitation and he never got to see Level 2 since he was always died during the first combat.

He did manage to survive long enough to get a Magic Missile off once hitting an Orc that attacking the party.

Though right after that he took a javelin to the chest and bleed out.

Mithmee10 Jan 2019 8:49 p.m. PST

A way to ensure that your players don't cheat is to use the following.

Each player is given 32 points that they can spend on choosing Stats.

8 – 0 Points
9 – 1 Point
10 – 2 Points
11 – 3 Points
12 – 4 Points
13 – 5 Points
14 – 7 Points
15 – 9 Points
16 – 12 Points
17 – 15 Points
18 – 18 Points

They can spend no more than the 32 points that they were given. So yes they could give themselves a 18 by spending 18 points but would only have 14 points remaining to spend.

So for example: a 16, 15, 12, 12, 10, & 9 would be:

16 = 12 Points
15 = 9 Points (Total 21 Points spent)
12 = 4 Points (Total 25 Points spent)
12 = 4 Points (Total 29 Points spent)
10 = 2 Points (Total 31 Points spent)
9 = 1 Point (Total 32 Points)

A fairly decent character to begin with and is something that could be rolled up using 4d6 dropping the lowest die roll.

Or they could go with; 15, 13, 13, 13, 13 & 11.

No great outstanding stats but a capable character.

But if you want a Stat of 18 you will end up having to take some 9's or 8's in order to get that 18.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2019 12:12 p.m. PST

I've always disliked point systems; to me, they're not nearly as fun as seeing what you get with random results.

As for the 1HP wonders, that's when you need to take steps to ensure the party protects the wizard (and make certain the wizard has protection spells). Or, one could simply use the long-standing rule that starting HP levels are always set at maximum, and only subsequent levels are rolled. (As it is, even a wizard at 4HP is likely a goner in combat…)

Mithmee15 Jan 2019 10:35 p.m. PST

True but we know there are those days where you are rolling four D6's dice and you can't roll a 5 or 6 at all and 4's don't want to roll either.

You will end up with a character who is most likely going to die a horrible death.

As for my old "1" hit point Mage he did get to see the beginning of many of adventures and I knew that he was most likely going to die.

So he was fun to have as a NPC since if he was lucky he would get to cast his Magic Missile off and then die.

Take 1st Edition AD&D the chances of you rolling good enough to create a Paladin was not likely to happen (you need to have at least one roll that has two "6's").

But with a point system the player can ensure on getting that 17/18 point ability and still have enough points left over to get a couple of 13's and make sure that you lowest value is only a 10.

So like:

17 = 15 Points
13 = 5 Points (Total 20 Points spent)
13 = 5 Points (Total 25 Points spent)
11 = 3 Points (Total 28 Points spent)
10 = 2 Points (Total 30 Points spent)
10 = 2 Point (Total 32 Points)

Meets the requirements and still be a decent but not overpowering character.

But if you go with just rolling people will more than likely end up cheating.

Now take 5th Edition D&D they give you two ways to create a character:

First – is roll 4 D6's and remove the lowest die roll this should give you an average of around 12-14 for each ability.

Second – is that you are given 27 points to spend (using the above point spread) though the highest value you can have is a "15", so no 16, 17 or 18 stat scores.

Now in 5th Edition certain races get additional stat increases for certain stats.

Like Humans get a +1 in each of the stats, which is a very big incentive to create a Human Character.

Oh and has for hit points you start with max of whatever die you have for hit points and to lowest die is a D6 for a wizard, then adding your Constitution stat modifier.

So first level Wizard would have 6 + Constitution Modifier. Oh and when you gain a level you can either roll your hit dice of take a set value.

For a Wizard that set value is "4", while a Warlock who has a D8 set value is a "5" and a Barbarian who has a D12 value is "7".

Given this a Wizard character is more likely to take that set value instead of rolling while a Barbarian is more likely to take the chance and roll that D12 since the chances of getting higher than a 7 is worth it.

Marc at work18 Jan 2019 5:28 a.m. PST

From memory, the ultimate D&D fighter was 18 00

So it needed 6 three times, then 100%.

Somehow, I doubt many were rolled for…

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Jan 2019 7:19 a.m. PST

The point of an adventuring party was that they were heroic and capable. Nobody pays to see the nine hour and a half movies about the nine people who were killed by the temple traps before Indiana Jones got through and acquired the MacGuffin. Likewise, we don't play an RPG to be those guys … we play to be the guys who got through. That doesn't mean we don't want consequences, even death of a character, but that death should be spectacular, not, as described above the dramatic tension of "will the character cast one spell before he dies in the first battle?".

One character generation system (we devised and used many) that I liked was:

1) You start with 10 in all abilities. Remember, all the children are above average.

2) Add one to the major ability for your class. If you had sub-par intelligence, you wouldn't have chosen to be a wizard, now, would you?

3) Roll (best 2 of 3d6) (or (4+2de4) sometimes) and distribute the points however you want. Also, you could take racial modifiers, but we often ignored/forgot that.

4) You can take a -2 to an ability to get an extra point. If you want roll a d6: 1 – lose the extra point; 2-5 just get the extra point; 6 – get two extra points (and two -2 penalties).

This is approach has much more limited variability when compared to the "roll 3d6" approach. And it was more deliberate.

Mithmee18 Jan 2019 2:53 p.m. PST

So it needed 6 three times, then 100%.

Somehow, I doubt many were rolled for…

Correct that is why you went out and hunted up a…

Belt of Ogre Strength

Bingo 18/100

Mithmee18 Jan 2019 3:03 p.m. PST


Some very good points there .

"will the character cast one spell before he dies in the first battle?".

Now I think he only did that once. But he was a fun NPC to add to a party.

but that death should be spectacular,

Yes like my 4th Level Elven Rogue who decided to go it alone and jump from disc to disc over a molten pool of lava.

It was going great he had made the jumps from the first two but the heat was causing his hands to sweat and during the jump to the third disc he rolled a…


Thus missing/slipping off of the rope and fell to his death into that Pool of molten lava.

Yup you just got to love certain adventures (I.E. White Plume Mountain).

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