Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Holding Out for a hero

 Now you all have Bonnie Tyler's famous song from 1984 going through your head, I kind of have your attention. 

For years when we were playing AD&D we had a very relaxed method of rolling up new characters, we would roll four D6, drop the lowest number and add the rest, do this six times for the stats and then do six sets of these and chose the best set. Plus we could arrange the numbers how we wanted them to assign them to the stats we wanted to be the better ones. 

AD&D stats
Six sets of six, 4 D6 drop the lowest

We did this because not only did we not want to be limbered with really weak characters (weak characters are a pain for DM's as well as not much fun to play), but we jointly assumed that the sort of person who was going to be going off adventuring, was more than likely going to be above average in terms of capabilities. Stronger than average, better fighters, more intelligent, the most inquisitive and wise. Not content with the hum-drum life they had been given, they needed to seek adventure. 

There have always been alternative methods for creating characters, and we took this one and modified it to give us the best chance of having a character we wanted to enjoy playing. We did try playing with really restrictive stat rolling methods, but not a single player had fun, the DM struggled to make the adventures playable and not instantly deadly and we realised that most of the fun of roleplaying was being able to live out your fantasies and to play characters we kind of dreamed of being. 

There should always be an element of struggle and peril in a game, but not so much that it's just a chore and a grind trying to stave alive. We felt this relaxed rolling method worked the best for us, that and an understanding DM, if the six sets were all really pants.

I will leave you with Bonnie Tyler now so you can enjoy the Welsh singers best song ever. 

Rich 2021


  1. I do the same for my games, except we only do three sets. If it's really important to you that the group have good stats, you can always resort to stat buy options.

    1. Exactly, if the party is really weak, as a DM you end up playing mother to them rather then them having a good game.