Wednesday, December 22, 2010

3d6, in order

After using it on both sides of the screen I've become a serious fan of rolling up characters using 3d6 and assigning the rolls in order.  That is no rearranging of scores.  Even in games where the DM doesn't require it I sometimes assign ability scores in order.  This morning, in the shower, I was thinking about 3d6, in order, what was lost when game rules moved away from that.

We need feats and doo dads and more rules to differentiate characters!
I'm sure you've heard that.  I hear it from friends and read it online.  Where I don't often hear it is from people playing "3d6, in order" games. Of flippin course every fighter is gonna be the same if you rearrange scores (esp if you roll tons of dice, reroll '1's, etc. to "guarantee" one or more 18's) so that they all have 18 STR, next highest rolls in DEX/CON and WIS/CHA dump stats. Duh! If you decide to play a fighter and then roll 3d6 in order. A lot of interesting, fun to play characters will emerge.

The player characters should be Heroes, well above the common folk.
I like campaigns were the characters are average schmucks as much, maybe more, than when they are near super-humans and "destined" heroes.   But, assuming we are interested in heroic play the above is often claimed as reason for rolling lots of dice, rerolling 1's, etc. So as to greatly increase chance of high stats.  Instead of elevating the PC's and introducing substantial power creep (thus requiring increasing monster & magic item power and leading to endless splat books, 1-up manship, and rules) I suggest degenerating NPC and esp common folk.  Farmer Bob doesn't have 3d6 abilities, he has 2d6 or 4+2d4 or 8+/-2(Fudge Dice are wonderful things), or simply 8.  Or really old school it, "normal" folk are 0lvl without stats or significant abilities of any kind.  Only PC's and henchmen have levels.

3d6, in order isn't for every game style, it isn't more better, I don't always use it. The point of this post is to encourage you to try it for yourself and find out if you enjoy it as much as I have grown to.

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