improving atributes minigame

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Lucasdelsur
Joined: 2015-05-05 18:43
improving atributes minigame

when a character gains a level the player choices one atribute and roll 3d6, a result equal or greater than the atribute increase that atribute by 1 point, a lower roll has no effect.

options:
*a roll of 3 dreacrease the atribute by 1 and a roll of 18 raises the atribute by 2.
*you only roll for atribute increase when your saves throw increases (this will favor fighters an thieves over clerics and mages wich is good)

Beragon
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I have done this for my games and obviously, it goes over well with the players. My rule is simply:
Each time your character gains a level, choose an ability and roll 3d6. If the result is greater than that ability's score, it increases by 1 point.

Tywyll
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Would seem that since it's random, you might as well roll for all attributes.

Beragon
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Well, it's a neat perk. Rolling for all makes it almost a given, which I personally would not want.

Lucasdelsur
Joined: 2015-05-05 18:43

that will take away the minigame: do you chose your lowest stat because its easy to improve, or do you try to improve that 17 str?

koewn
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Could get pretty involved, decision-wise. Fighter with a 15 STR has a 4.63 percent change of rolling a 16 or above to get that extra +1.

If he has an INT of 8 or 12, she has a 74% chance of rolling a 9+, or a 25% chance of a 13+, and if you let that immediately grant a proficiency, she can take a weapon style proficiency which is almost as good.

Marginal DEX characters can grab a point of AC, CON for HP, all sorts of possibilities.

It'd be interesting to run the numbers on that. I may try to model a random stat roll, then rerolls picking the lowest stat 14 times afterwards, to see what happens.

I probably won't try it this game, because I used Kiero's "group stat roll" thing he did for Liberator Mercenary Tyrant, and one of my players had **hot** dice. They're all already monsters.

jedavis
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Fighting Style is a class prof, though, and wouldn't be eligible to be gained by improving Int.

Aryxymaraki
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A variety of excellent mass combat proficiencies (including Leadership and Military Strategy) are general, though, so the idea still stands :P

koewn
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Details, details :)

Beragon
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I'm perfectly okay with a player giving his fighter an above average Int score... it's a breath of fresh air! We play rolling for stats almost by the book: roll 5 3d6 sets of scores in order, choose your preferred set, then swap any two scores.

jedavis
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Certainly! Int and Cha are not at all wasted on a fighter, especially if they can survive into the mid-levels, but they won't make you a better solo combatant.

Kiero
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...I used Kiero's "group stat roll" thing he did for Liberator Mercenary Tyrant, and one of my players had **hot** dice. They're all already monsters.


-koewn

How has that gone down with your group? Was everyone pleased that they got to share in that player's good fortune, or does that player feel a little cheated that they didn't get to benefit alone?

koewn
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Welll...I have a nontraditional group.

My wife, my eldest daughter, another adult couple, and their middle son and daughter. Age ranges from 10 to...uh..15ish? for the kids.

Only the father is an experienced player, being my college DM. My wife knows the score, but hasn't played a lot for a while (we had a 3E campaign in the early 00's). The other mother is a first-timer. My daughter's played a few sessions of ACKS (it's the only D&D she's ever played), and the other kids have only had brief brushes with 4E.

So...my wife and the other father are super pleased with the results, the others are still really catching up to what those numbers are doing for them. The high-roller was the other father; he being the college DM; and he couldn't be more pleased to have provided those scores to the party.

Alex
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Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

This is such a splendid concept that I may steal it for the Heroic Companion!

Antiquities
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

For the Heroic Companion, it might be interesting to tie it to the XP gained by adventuring, so a character who gains a level with <50% XP from adventure gets no roll, 50%-75% gets 1 roll, and 76%-100% gets 2 rolls on different stats.

Hackmaster 4e had a percentile growth system (based on AD&D 2e's percentile strength), with the die rolled for growth depending on honor and how important the stat was to the class. That would be another (more complicated) way to do it.

Aryxymaraki
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Hackmaster 5E has a similar system. Each stat has a percentile value (just as in 4E).

When you gain a level, assign a die to each stat (except Looks, which isn't a stat in ACKS anyway): d20, d12, d10, d8, d6, d4. Roll the die and add the result to that stat's fractional value. You get to reassign the dice every time you level up; it's not a permanent thing.

So you can choose to assign the d20 to your highest stat every time, or to your lowest, or to the one that's closest to passing 100 and increasing, or whatever.

koewn
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That (Alex and The Dark) is a really good idea. I did really like that "non adventuring penalty" thing from a little while ago Alex posted.

But bonuses for doing something are always better than penalties for not doing something, so, bang.

Explains the hell out of Conan, too - if he was, say, 12th or 13th when he took Aquilonia, he'd had 24 to 26 rerolls by then, max. (XP from war should count for this too)

Beragon
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Hi Lucasdelsur, regarding your options:
I think #1 is fine, though it will hardly ever occur.
I don't think the minigame should favor some classes over others, so I'm not sold on option #2. In addition, since the chance of failing to equal or exceed a chosen score is fairly high, limiting the number of chances you get to just 2 or 3 (ex: mages & thieves) over the course of a 14 level campaign could make it almost inconsequential.

Lucasdelsur
Joined: 2015-05-05 18:43

its true, one improvment throw every level should work fine.

Beragon
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Here are my thoughts on ability score generation and improving ability scores (for anyone who cares, ha ha!) and how I arrived at my house rules on the subject.

I like random generation and its "this is the lot you have been given... work with it" philosophy. The primary drawback of random generation methods is that they frequently give sets of scores that most players in my experience are unhappy with. I've tried many many score generation systems over the years and ACKS is my personal favorite ability score generation system. What it has going for me:

1) 3d6 – the only method for generating a non-skewed, bell-curved set of outcomes between 3 and 18. (I find this desirable.)
2) Rolling scores in order – stays true to the "lot you've been given" philosophy and eliminates the tendency of "cookie-cutter" scores according to class.
3) Rolling five sets of scores and choosing one – this significantly mitigates the the chances of getting a set of scores a player is unhappy with and almost always generates at least one set that represents a person of overall above average ability (this latter part I also find desirable).

Now for me, this method frequently outputs interesting and perfectly acceptable sets of scores. But it is not entirely perfect to others I've played with – it still often leaves players who want to play a certain character unsatisfied. The method almost always gives at least one score of 14+, but rarely in the right place for the player. Enter my house rule: "Swap any two scores". I find this makes for a happy compromise between the "gifts you've been given" and "tailoring your PC to your vision" philosophies.

I started (but have not been able to play in a long time) a campaign with a heroic, swords & sorcery feel to it. I'd like to see characters that feel like Conan, Aragorn, Gandalf, Gotrek and Felix, Fafhrd and Grey Mouser... etc. If these characters were given ability scores as in ACKS, they would have mostly average to above average scores across the board. In other words, their score spreads look heroic (and most players like having a set of scores that look heroic). For clarification, I personally set the standard measure of a "heroic set" to have at least 1 score of 14+ and no scores below 10.

If the player rolled a "heroic" set of scores at the start... then great! Often however, it happens that an average set is rolled, or a good set is rolled but it doesn't look heroic – like a couple 13s and the rest average, or you get a set with an 18 and a 4, 6 and 7, and so on. In other words, you get a set of scores that are totally playable, but they don't feel heroic.

Enter my 2nd house rule: At each new level, choose one of your abilities and roll 3d6. if the result is greater than the chosen ability's current score, increase it by one point. So if someone rolled a heroic set right off the bat, then they probably won't benefit much from this (and they don't need to), but for everyone else who rolled a few average or below average scores... over time, they can be great too.

I also like how this 2nd house rule models self-improvement and that the more improved you are, the harder it is for you to improve yourself more.

Alex
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Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

I am totally totally totally TOTALLY stealing these.

koewn
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OK.

So, over 100,000 characters, rolling straight 3d6 obvs. gets you a character with (ignoring rounding) 10.5 in every attribute.

If we roll those 100k characters, then *always* try to reroll the lowest attribute 14 times, we get:

12.7
12.6
13.2
13.8
14.6
15.7

which isn't necessarily a good model in practice, but kind of shows how it skews averages.

Beragon
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I'm trying to understand what those scores represent. Are they the scores average guy has at level 14 using the rule? Technically, you get 13 opportunities, since you don't roll at 1st level.

koewn
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Whoops. Rerunning at 13 rerolls, it doesn't materially change - losing about .1-.15 on each value or so.

And that average is their state at 14th, taking 100,000 characters, rolling 3d6 in order, and for 13 levels picking the lowest stat at each level and attempting to improve.

But it's not really representative of the system. One would want to delineate different Prime Reqs, roll the original character, swap two scores, then start rerolling each level based on some weighting of your prime reqs vs. attributes where you have penalties, and then come back and say "Characters with one Prime Req may look like this on avg.; etc".

Beragon
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Something must be off then. Best case scenario, if a character with all 6 scores being 10.5 succeeded all 13 times and you always applied the bonus to a lowest score, then the scores would look like:

13.5
12.5
12.5
12.5
12.5
12.5

koewn
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They're not 10.5 in the model; they're rolled randomly (they average out to 10.5 amongst the 100k characters modelled). So like this:

Original:
6
7
8
10
15
16
New
13
14
14
15
16
18

(this guy was lucky!)

Then the "New" stats, all 100k of them, are averaged.

Tom Hudson
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No, something's wrong here. Are you rolling for every stat at every level?

The original post had successful rolls increase the stat by 1. So you can't have a stat total more than 13 points higher than what you started with.

koewn
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Hah, wow - I derped that up back and forth. Bad week for coding apparently. Wasn't rerolling multiple stats, but I was just assigning the roll to the stat.

With a simple +1:

STAT: 10.85529
STAT: 10.67734
STAT: 10.98565
STAT: 11.53343
STAT: 12.54543
STAT: 14.24921

jedavis
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The nittiest of picks: 1d8+1d6+1d4 will also generate a non-skewed, bell-curved distribution between 3 and 18, as will 1d10+2d4. They're still bell-curves centered on 10.5, just with higher variance.

CharlesDM
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I believe on this forum in another post someone said the best of 3d6 (six scores) five times was roughly equivalent to 4d6 (six scores) one time. I, too, very much like "organic" characters and was dissatisfied with ACKS' raising of primes producing same-y characters.

I returned to Len Lakofka’s generation method (from Dragon #39):

“Roll 4d6 seven times. Record the sum of the three highest six-sided dice. If that sum is six or less, reroll at once. The sums must be recorded in order. The player is allowed two chances to alter the numbers as recorded. She may switch the positions of two of the numbers and she may discard one number – not necessarily the lowest one.”

Adapted to ACKS, the "discarded" number becomes the character's starting wealth/template number, and of course there's no raising of primes.

Alas, I have no attribute improving mini-game ...