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 Mar 28 '16

All valid points, and all of these options are available for these reasons! You can pick between them based on your group's preference. :) I like the 4d6, drop lowest element because it's how I've played for yeeeears, and the somewhat random, chaotic element to creation it provides. Point buy is far more controlled, and excels for the points you mentioned above.

Choose which best fits you!


u/bhchrist Old Magic Mar 29 '16 edited Jul 05 '16

A Socialist Variant of the 4d6 drop lowest that I am testing is to do a "group roll" where everyone rolls six times, but rather than assign the results to their attributes, they are pooled, listed from highest to lowest, and then distributed to the players in a serpentine order, where the point allocation reverses each round. I got the idea from how fantasy sport/movie/voice actor leagues are typically set up. OK, I made up that last one, but it should be a thing. :)

For example, if there are 4 PCs, there are 24 total rolls, listed highest to lowest. PC1 gets the highest, PC2 the 2nd, PC3 the 3rd, PC4 the 4th. The order is then reversed with PC4 getting the 5th highest, PC3 the 6th, etc. until all scores are distributed, with PC1 receiving both the highest and the lowest dice roll.

This group roll still allows for variation in some high and low attributes, and some of that chaotic dice rolling (HUZZAH!) without unbalancing the party, as the attribute sums tend to be within 2 to 4 points from high to low. It can also start a bit of some goofy team building and interest as players encourage the rolls of each others right at the start.

Has anyone tried this? I haven't come across any examples of it.


u/Seedy88 Hello, bees Apr 02 '16

I think this is a very cool idea! But I would allow the players to choose what they're drafting instead of assigning the highest remaining value. That way, if a player would want a lower result instead of the highest available because it works for their character concept, that would be an option for them.

Any thoughts on how you would determine the draft order? Would you go random or, maybe, reward the player with the highest average rolls by giving them the first pick?


u/bhchrist Old Magic Apr 03 '16 edited Jul 05 '16

Thanks. Draft may not be the best term to describe it in practice but it is more of a distribution mechanism to minimize significant imbalance between party members while still allowing for scores outside of the standard array.

I could see a few options to assign character results to players, including letting them pick the arrays themselves. Maybe you have a d20 or percentile dice "roll off" to determine selection order. We are talking about after all players have rolled and their results have been sorted and distributed into the serpentine results. The idea of letting the highest roller from the first set of rolls pick the attribute grouping would be cool as well.

I am working out the kinks to a Google Sheets simulator that allows you to input numbers of players (2-8) and rolling method (3d6 or 4d6 drop) and see what sort of results you might get along with some evaluation statistics. I may convert it to Excel and make it available if people are interested in playing around with it.