In the Year of Our Lord, 1066, Uther Pendragon, Duke of Normandy, sailed his army across the English Channel and defeated King Vortigern at the Battle of Hastings. He moved quickly to consolidate his rule over the island, which lasted from A.D. 1066 until his death in A.D. 1215. In that year, the boy Arthur, foster son of Sir Ector of the Castle of the Forest Sauvage, was revealed to be Uther’s son and heir by pulling the sword Excalibur from the stone. Although he had the backing of Merlin, and the miracle to substantiate his claim to the throne, Arthur was immediately beset by rebellion, led by King Lot of Orkney. With war brought the usual scavengers of civilization; monsters who seized the opportunity to pillage and wreak havoc on a defenseless people. Arthur, guided by Merlin, re-established the national Adventurers’ Guild that his father had previously abolished. A royal stipend was given to the Guild to train up new heroes to fight the darkness which had spread over the land.
It is said that part of the charm of early D&D was rolling your character’s stats, and working around the limitations that resulted. I don’t disagree, not totally, anyway. But 3d6 in order can make some fairly suboptimal characters. 4d6, drop the lowest die is better, but one can still wind up with a character with a 3 in one or more abilities. In my opinion, rolling 2d6+6 is the best way to roll for character abilities/stats–one can still roll an 18, but the lowest score that can be rolled is an 8. However, one can still enjoy the “charm” of having a character with low–but not debilitating–ability/stat scores by using an array. Consider the 4e Standard Array (pre-Essentials): 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10. Those are pretty good scores. If I were playing B/X, and rolled those scores, I would probably be estatic. Drop those down a point each, though, and it’s getting closer to what one might consider a pretty good roll: 15, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9. Drop them down another point, and one has a character that one can work with: 14, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8. One more point-per-stat drop, and one has a character similar to what I tend to see quite a bit: 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 The next decision one needs to make is how to assign the scores. The easiest way, of course, is for the player to assign the scores himself, but if one wishes to inject a little more randomness into the situation, one can assign each ability score a number between 1 and 6, then roll a d6. Assign the ability scores of the array to the number rolled. For example: STR = 1, INT = 2, WIS = 3, and so forth. The player is using the 14, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8 array. He rolls a 3, which is the number for WIS, so he assigns 14 to WIS. He rolls a 6, CHA. His CHA is now 12.
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