Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

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alex_greene
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Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby alex_greene » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:47 am

I've often thought about the characteristic generation phase of chargen, and wondered how, say, a character who chooses a concept of Witch, Sorcerer, Shaman or similarly magically-endowed person could be forced to roll POW on 3d6, thus running the risk of having a woefully low POW.

If a player wants to create a magic character, whether a sorcerer, shaman or whatever, and declares such at chargen, I am of the opinion that they should be given the concession of rolling 2d6+6 on POW instead of 3d6. They still have the chance of a maximum POW of 18, same as everybody else - including non-magician characters whose POW dice rolled well - but there is no risk of a "mighty shaman" rolling a 3.

Same deal goes for players who want to roll up a courtier, courtesan or similar character centered around social skills such as Influence, Insight, Commerce, Courtesy, Sing, Dance, Art and Seduction; it doesn't do them much good, really, if all their CHA dice come up snake eyes at chargen. So if a player wants to generate a socially-aware character with a career or Courtier, Courtesan, Diplomat or whatever and declares this intent at chargen, I'd grant them that concession.

Within reason.

I know, the system would be open to wide abuse - what if the character wants to be a Courtier and learn Sorcery, and declare his intent to do such? - but even so, that would still work. The courtier character has an edge most of the rest of the court would not have - he being a practicing sorcerer. And of course, to sweeten the pot, I could declare in the setting that the practice of sorcery is a hanging offence, if the perpetrator is caught. Thus, the character gets his concessions - but he also gets saddled with a huge, deadly secret that could see him get killed if it is revealed.

But at least he wouldn't be saddled with a starting POW and/or CHA in the range of 3-6.

Note: this is only with chargen where characteristics are derived from the standard dice rolls. Characteristic generation using the point system is an entirely different animal.

And this is just an opinion.

Thoughts?
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby skoll » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:55 am

The system I usually use is to allow the players to roll 5 x 3D6 and 2 x 2D6+6 and then distribute the results among the characteristics as they please. (With the 2D6+6 results going to SIZ and INT.) Additionally I allow them to reroll until the total is at least 83.
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby Loz » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:54 am

My feeling is that you wouldn't be able to realistically limit such choices to magicians or social interaction professions. You'd need to offer the same choices to warriors, thieves and so on, or risk a certain level of player frustration. In itself, this isn't necessarily a bad thing: as long as you apply the house rule fairly and consistently, players stand a better/higher chance of getting the kind of character they want, optimised for the kinds of things they would be best at.

If the goal is simply to encourage more magicians, courtiers, politicians and so on, and reduce the number of combat tanks, it might be better to focus the campaign - and make it clear before play begins - on social intrigue, magic, or a combination of the two. That way, players know what they're buying-in to, create characters with the right skills and professions for the game, and adopt the right approach from the start.

If you create and run a campaign with this ethos, it will be easier to introduce the options and adjustments you've suggested, and limit the benefits solely to the respective professions. Otherwise, you'd be better to allow character customisation and optimisation fairly and across the board to minimise player discontent.
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby DamonJynx » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:05 pm

skoll wrote:The system I usually use is to allow the players to roll 5 x 3D6 and 2 x 2D6+6 and then distribute the results among the characteristics as they please. (With the 2D6+6 results going to SIZ and INT.) Additionally I allow them to reroll until the total is at least 83.
We actually roll 1 extra die and drop the lowest, so it's 5 x 4D6- lowest and 2 x 3D6 - lowest +6 assigned however. The players can then massage 2 scores (1 up, 1 down) by 3 points as long as they're the same die roll, ie SIZ and INT, or 2 of the other 5 scores, to ensure important scores are as high as possible.
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:03 pm

DamonJynx, I do the same thing. I give them an extra roll and drop the least desireable.

I have had one player NOT drop the lowest roll though. He wanted to play a small character (under 5 feet tall), so used that lowest roll on SIZ, giving him his small character.
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby HalfOrc HalfBiscuit » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:06 am

Another possibility I've used in the past is to let each player roll up stats for, say, four or five characters each and then choose which one they want to keep.

Of course, being terribly old fashioned, I'm also tempted to say: don't come with a set view to playing a particular concept - develop one to fit the stats you roll. But I realise that wouldn't go down well with a lot of people these days ... :twisted:
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby DamonJynx » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:17 am

HalfOrc HalfBiscuit wrote:Another possibility I've used in the past is to let each player roll up stats for, say, four or five characters each and then choose which one they want to keep.

Of course, being terribly old fashioned, I'm also tempted to say: don't come with a set view to playing a particular concept - develop one to fit the stats you roll. But I realise that wouldn't go down well with a lot of people these days ... :twisted:
That's a fine way to do it also. I wouldn't have a problem telling my players that, but they might! 8)
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Chargen alternatives

Postby Deleriad » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:22 pm

My favourite semi random way is the big pile of dice. You roll all the dice at once and assign them. E.g. humans have 5*3D6 and 2*2D6+6
So you roll 19D6 and allocate them. Three each to the 3D6's and 2 each to the 2d6+6's. Most characters end up being the equivalent of just under 80 points but there is some variability.

I find Legend is complicated enough in cha gen and the characteristics are influential enough that I don't really like roll and keep.

The beauty of the big pile of dice technique is that it is a lot simpler than rolling and allocating for non-humans where you can often get 3 or more different characteristic spreads.
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby RangerDan » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:26 pm

A possible combination of random and point-buy I dreamt up once:

* Rolls stats in whichever order you like.
* For each stat your roll one d6 extra. So 4d6 for STR, DEX, CON, POW, CHA, 3d6+6 for INT, SIZ.
* Discard whichever extra die you want. So you can go high or go low.
* After the rolls, if your total is under a predetermined value (say 80 points), you add points to the stat of your choice (within racial limits) until you reach 80 points (or whichever value you want).

So if you're dead-set on a sorceror with a huge POW you would purposely pick low rolls for say STR or SIZ in order to increase the chance of being able to boost POW after rolling.
Or if you just want to play the character that gets rolled, the Universe will subtly reward you with slightly higher stats ;)
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby soltakss » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:28 pm

Sure - I'd allow anyone to roll an improved range for stats that are important to the profession, if they wish. Whilst playing a clumsy thief or a weak fighter is possible, it doesn't always make for a fun gaming experience.

What I would do is to allow the following characteristics to be enhanced in some way (turn a D6 into a 6, roll twice and take the best etc)
Scholars - INT
Soldiers - STR/CON
Thieves - DEX/INT
Wizards etc - POW/INT
Shamans - POW/CHA
Courtiers - CHA/INT

and so on.
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby Faelan Niall » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:39 pm

Personally I lean towards point buy systems, but when I do break open a random character generation game, I almost always simply let the characters have one characteristic for which they rolled the maximum. The reason for the game is the players, and I refuse to consign them to the Old School hell of Zero Level, unless they ask for that kind of game. After all no matter what their attributes are the GM always has the power to challenge them.
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby rust » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:58 pm

Faelan Niall wrote:Personally I lean towards point buy systems, but when I do break open a random character generation game, I almost always simply let the characters have one characteristic for which they rolled the maximum. The reason for the game is the players, and I refuse to consign them to the Old School hell of Zero Level, unless they ask for that kind of game. After all no matter what their attributes are the GM always has the power to challenge them.
Basically the same here. The players can get the characters they want
to play.
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby alex_greene » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:42 pm

soltakss wrote:Scholars - INT
Courtiers - CHA/INT
INT's already optimised at 2d6+6 for all human characters.
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby RangerDan » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:39 am

alex_greene wrote:
soltakss wrote:Scholars - INT
Courtiers - CHA/INT
INT's already optimised at 2d6+6 for all human characters.
I wouldn't call it "optimised", more that humans simply have an INT in the 8-18 range.

In any case, I believe soltakss' point was to give the INT roll an advantage (roll an extra d6 and drop the lowest, replace a d6 with a 6...). This can be done with 2d6+6 stats as well (or indeed any stat with a random element).
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby soltakss » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:50 pm

Exactly, roll 1D6+12, or 2D6+6 twice and take the best result, or whatever. Just to get a slight edge in that characteristic.
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Re: Chargen Concession for Magicians and/or Courtiers

Postby superc0ntra » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:27 pm

I let my players roll 5x3d6 and 2x2d6+6 and distribute as they want.
The 2d6+6 of course go to int and siz.

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