Ability Scores



Apr 22, 2004 10:41:18
Just a quick question that I'm sure has come up before, but I haven't been able to find it. How do the DS DM's that are running a DS campaign roll stats? Are you using the base 3d6 from D&D or have some of you gone back to the old 5d4 from original DS? I used the 5d4 reroll 1's in the current game im running, but i was curious as to what other DS DM's were using.


Apr 22, 2004 11:21:20
I used an old favorite from way back when the first box set came out: All stats start at 10, roll 10d4 to distribute amongst the stats. The total amount of each die has to be applied in whole (you can't split a roll of 4 can't be split amongst two stats) and no stat can go above 20, prior to racial modifiers.


Apr 22, 2004 11:52:30
I always use the point system. That way, players can make up a whole character tree on their own time, I can control (generally) how powerful they are when they start, and I don't have to lord over them when they're making characters. I've found that an amazing number of 18's-20's are rolled when I'm not around.


Apr 22, 2004 14:01:44
Point system here. However, if you want to roll dice, here's something to think about:

5d4 comes out to a range of 5 - 20, which averages at 12.5 (basically it will result in a 12 or a 13 about 50% of the time).

4d6, drop the lowest die, works as this:
2d6 has a range of 2 - 12, averaging at 7
The two other dice will usually make it so one of those dice at least rolls the higher 50% range* (4-6), effectively "weighting" the die in the roller's favor, so the new range becomes 6 - 18, which averages at 12 (basically it will result in a 12 about 50% of the time).

So the most likely results from 4d6, drop the lowest die is: 6 - 18, average of 12.

Now, comparing those results, 5d4 isn't all that much better. However, let's add in some other fun facts:

With 5d4, you have a 1:1,024 chance of getting a 20 - the maximum result (as well as a 5, the minimum result)

With 4d6, drop the lowest die, you have about a 1:648 chance of getting a 18 - the maximum result (as well as a 6, the lowest* result)

So, with 5d4, you have a much less likely chance of getting the maximum value, while with 4d6, drop the lowest die, you have a better chance. Also, due to the nature of the bell-curve/probability system, you will more frequently be near average on the rolls with a 5d4 roll as opposed to a 4d6, drop the lowest die rolls.

Basically, I'd say stick to the PHB rolls, if you are going to use them. The 5d4 roll really isn't all that much better anyway.

* This is assuming that there are 2 dice below a 4 in the rolls, your milage will vary a bit from this, but it's a good approximation)


This also assumes that your players don't know how to roll a die so that it always gives them the results they want, or fudge the results to their favor, etc. To me, the point system is so much cleaner in the long run If you don't want them to have low stats, raise the number of points available to purchace stats with I've done 25, 30, 35, and even 40 and 45 points before Of course, the higher the points available, the more powerful the characters will be, and easier time they will have defeating your encounters.