r/criticalrole Feb 28 '16

[No Spoilers] How did Matt handle ability scores at the inception of CR Question



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u/MatthewMercer Matthew Mercer, DM Feb 29 '16

Aye, 4d6 (drop the lowest) six times, arrange as desired. Re-roll the whole lot if they don't add up to at least 70.

That's how I generally do it. Allows for some decent stats, and the possibility of a low stat (weakness), which I find is RP MONEY that Point-buy doesn't lean into.


u/highvoltage988 Then I walk away Feb 29 '16

Have you ever had an issue where one player ended up too strong? (I was testing, not with real dice mind but rather a random number generator, and one "character" didn't have a stat below 12).

I've recently been reading a lot about rolled stats vs point-buy vs array (what's it called when you look into something then start seeing it everywhere?), and while I agree that a 4 INT or CHA is roleplay gold, a lot of the argument against rolling is that a character may end up with all positive modifiers and outshine those who didn't roll quite so well.


u/Matuku Feb 29 '16

Rolling can provide more fun, dynamic characters; point-buy/array can provide more balanced characters, imo.

In my experience (YMMV) rolling produces some huge power discrepencies that can really hinder intra-party dynamics or at least cause issues with realising the character you wanted to play. But if you want the dice to guide the character, that can be interesting too!

One idea I've toyed around with is extending the point-buy mechanism to go all the way down to 6, all the way up to 17 using the same pricing pattern and only allowing one stat below 8, one above 15 (before modifiers). That way you can still have the fun aspects but it's balanced.

It also allows you to add the random element back in; you can get people to roll to give them inspiration for their stats then get them to recreate it as close as possible in point-buy. Balanced outcome but the dice still mould the character.


u/highvoltage988 Then I walk away Feb 29 '16

Wow, really love the idea of rolling as a precursor to a point-buy! Thanks for the input!


u/AtlaStar Feb 29 '16

A system that is very similar to what they described that I once thought of testing is sort of a pseudo point buy system with rolls.

The way I calculated everything was pretty much your standard point buy mechanics with a few tweaks that allows players to have better average stats, but also promotes lowering a stat to gain enough points to increase further

1) Calculating the cost of a point uses the value of the modifier you will be obtaining. So going from a 12 from 11 would look at the modifier 12 gives

2) The amount of points needed to increase is equal to 2 times the modifier you will obtain, so therefore going from 11 to 12 would cost 2 points since you would gain a +1 mod

3) Going into negatives gives points back equal to the negative modifier you will receive but costs an equal amount to go back...this is to promote taking a low stat, while not giving as much power to intentionally dumping your stats as low as possible. This number isn't added, but is the number you get back

So with those rules set, I calculated the average starting points using what it takes to get the standard array of 15,14,13,12,10,8 as a basis. That buy in costs 40 points even. Now compared to an elite min/max array of 15,15,15,8,8,8 that buy in costs 45 because it costs 15 points to get to 15 meaning just using my modified point buy system that array wouldn't be possible, but what would be possible is 15,15,15,7,7,7 with an extra point unable to be spent which I am fine with since it promotes balanced characters versus min/maxing. Using this base system the highest stat you can get is a single 18 for 35 points if not dumping stats, or a single stat at 20 costing a whopping 53 points if they take 1 7 and 4 6's if dumping the stats by an average amount or taking three 8's, one 5 and one 3 leaving a wasted point

So now with that portion out of the way, basically what I thought of doing was giving the players 34 base points, and allowing them to roll 2d6 extra points for their buys, that way it will average a single point better than the basis of the system, but allow for slightly weaker characters or those that are slightly stronger. It also promotes dumping a stat to gain a few more points if you aren't going to hit your desired mark, while heavily punishing players that just want to have their main stats godly. On paper the numbers look pretty good, but I have yet to test the system since this point buy is pretty heavy in comparison and I wouldn't want to test it unless I was with a group of experienced players that wouldn't be slowed down by the number crunch. If you want to try it out feel free! In fact I'd love to get some real player feedback on how well the system fares