Question on characteristics rolling

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Question on characteristics rolling

Postby -Daniel- » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:16 pm

I was asked by my players about using a "3d6 drop the lowest" process rather than the standard 2d6. If we do, I realize it will skew the average higher. Before I allow it, I was looking for input from anyone who has already done so.

Did it have a major or minor impact on the game? Did it even matter in the end? Is this more a "feel good" move?

I suspect the real impact is more one of perception rather than real impact, but I would like to hear from others.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby dragoner » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:31 pm

I use roll three sets and pick the one you like, arrange them as you like; does it bump the average a bit? Yes, it does. But Traveller has no "mooks", NPC's and antagonists are likely to be as strong as the players, so it is good to give the players a little extra. Just don't let them be mary sue's, but that's more in the skills than the stats.

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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby Infojunky » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:23 pm

Dan, to be honest it helped in the games where I have used it, I have a couple of people in my group who regularly roll low for stats.

I have also used the "roll 14 dice discard the lowest two and build stats out of pairs of what is left" Though for my up coming reboot I may bump the number of dice to 15 or 16 before the discarde.

Though I have been tempted to require the entire group to play either Aslan or Vargr, just I can say I have run a Cat's and Dogs game.....
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:56 pm

-Daniel- wrote:I was asked by my players about using a "3d6 drop the lowest" process rather than the standard 2d6. If we do, I realize it will skew the average higher. Before I allow it, I was looking for input from anyone who has already done so.

Did it have a major or minor impact on the game? Did it even matter in the end? Is this more a "feel good" move?

I suspect the real impact is more one of perception rather than real impact, but I would like to hear from others.
There's this chart http://shawndriscollrpg.blogspot.com/20 ... eller.html
Another option for "Nexus 6" characters is to roll 1D6+6 for each characteristic.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby Galadrion » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:39 pm

Infojunky wrote:Though I have been tempted to require the entire group to play either Aslan or Vargr, just I can say I have run a Cat's and Dogs game.....
Vargr and K'kree. Let's get this dog-and-pony show on the road...
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby -Daniel- » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:46 am

Infojunky wrote:Dan, to be honest it helped in the games where I have used it, I have a couple of people in my group who regularly roll low for stats.

I have also used the "roll 14 dice discard the lowest two and build stats out of pairs of what is left" Though for my up coming reboot I may bump the number of dice to 15 or 16 before the discard.
Thanks, nice option. Sort of a pick your stat but with some limits.

ShawnDriscoll wrote:Another option for "Nexus 6" characters is to roll 1D6+6 for each characteristic.
Hum, 8-12 range. Maybe fudge it a little down to 1d6+5 that makes the range 6-11. Can't get as high but can't end up with a 2 or 3 either. Very interesting idea.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby TrippyHippy » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:54 am

I’ve always used the “Roll 12 dice at once and distribute any 2 dice to a Characteristic till they are all spent” method.

It balances a point spend of sorts against random rolls of sorts.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:45 am

I roll 2D6 down the line and role-play with that.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby Jacqual » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:15 am

-Daniel- wrote:I was asked by my players about using a "3d6 drop the lowest" process rather than the standard 2d6. If we do, I realize it will skew the average higher. Before I allow it, I was looking for input from anyone who has already done so.

Did it have a major or minor impact on the game? Did it even matter in the end? Is this more a "feel good" move?

I suspect the real impact is more one of perception rather than real impact, but I would like to hear from others.
It is your game your running, it would make the PC's a little smarter, and or tougher but I don't think anything out of the world. As you are keeping it to results of 2 of those 3 D6 which max out at 12.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby Nerhesi » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:04 pm

Very minimal impact Ive found, and my players do feel a lot better about their characters. Keyword is feel. The difference between a 9 and a 14 is literally a +1... which isn't much due to the amount of +s they can get once the money easily begins to roll in (some trading), due to augmentation, scopes, drugs, expert software, etc etc... not to mention Skill training as time passed by.

Gun Combat 3, +2 from telescopic/biomas HUD on weapons/in helmet, +1 ballistic tracking lenses, +1 combat reflexes, +1 skill enhancement cyber... +8 from non characteristics for under half a mil. So whether it is a +9 or +11.. meh :)

It does however make them feel a lot more heroic, and allow them some much-needed resilience.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby hdan » Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:05 pm

Of course making your players like their characters is the primary concern, and as been mentioned, the plusses don't rack up too quickly, and players do like to play characters who are better than average.

But it's worth considering that a '2' stat is not incapacitated (that's '1' or '0'), just the lowest end of a functional human. Someone with a '2' Intelligence isn't a drooling vegetable (that's 0), just a very unimaginative person who rarely if ever sees more than one option to solving a problem. Likewise, a '2' Endurance doesn't mean you can't move, just that you are easily winded and have very little determination.

And by simply being careful and taking a time penalty, a Dex-2 character can merely be a bit clumsy, since their -2 DM becomes a -1DM. In fact, given that many tasks can be performed without time constraints, lower stats mostly mean that the character will take longer to do things.

Of course some tasks (like combat or other physical tasks) do have time limits, so low stats are not *just* a time sink, and are a notable disadvantage. Just not a fatal one.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:28 pm

-Daniel- wrote:I was asked by my players about using a "3d6 drop the lowest" process rather than the standard 2d6. If we do, I realize it will skew the average higher. Before I allow it, I was looking for input from anyone who has already done so.

Did it have a major or minor impact on the game? Did it even matter in the end? Is this more a "feel good" move?

I suspect the real impact is more one of perception rather than real impact, but I would like to hear from others.
I have used this method since the late 1970s with no real ill effects. Yes, the players are above average, but not too out of kilter. I feel it is a minor impact. I also allowed them to place the rolls where they liked, so they get the type of character they want to play (big and dumb or skinny but smart, or big and clumsy or whatever). I found the Social Status tended to be the dumping ground for the lowest characteristic, so I worked hard to incorporate that characteristic into the game.

Of course, then some of the villains were also rolled that way...
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby Reynard » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:57 am

When I was invited into a Pirates of Drinax online game, I rolled normally and ended with someone with less than stellar scores (a 4, couple 5s and a 7 reduced to 6 during creation). We were told we could modify to closer to average but I saw the character a challenge and playable.

Turns out true. She is an aslan whose not as tall or physically fit as normal and took damage from a gang beating that took a bit of her muscle strength. Her low social was perfect when gong through her early years as an outcast scavenger and later a pirate. The rest of her character paths created a brilliant engineer and from then on she was very much a valuable team mate.

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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:11 am

Role-playing a Khan character is boring. Role-playing a Chekhov character is more interesting.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby hiro » Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:09 am

It's good to have characters that present a challenge to the player. There are different ways this can be achieved.

Roll 2d6 and apply down the line as SD suggests or any of the other methods. Limit the number of terms a character may serve. Limit the number of skills to a function of INT and EDU (sum the two normally but you can work out other mathematical solutions). There are more that others will know better than I do.

There are opportunities for a player to improve stats in chargen at the expense of skills, I like that kind of balance.

Current game I am running and the ones I'm playing in were the same system others have posted, roll 3 sets of 6 2d6 and choose the set you prefer and assign as you see fit. One GM stipulated SOC could not be the lowest stat, smart really cos lots of people will dump their lowest roll into SOC. I don't have that rule, I'd rather have smart peasants than dumb nobles.

I'm not keen on characters with uber stats, I prefer they max out at 12. For most players I think it's not easy to role play a character with INT, EDU or SOC over 12.

ETA: Both the game I am running and the game I am playing had house rules where INT and EDU had a +1 by virtue of the setting: Evolution is a wonderful thing: People are smarter (and I wanted players emphasizing skills using those stats).
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby Condottiere » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:59 am

I like playing lots of underpowered characters, in exchange for a couple of more customized ones; though since they were below average, customization tended to take a hold there too.

As they say, it's not how big your stats are, it's how you use them.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby -Daniel- » Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:56 pm

For me, I guess it also depends on what you call over powered and under powered. Using 7 as the average roll on a 2d6, I would expect that a character who has all six numbers under 7 might be a little underpowered. Say a 343543 would not be good in my way of looking at things. yet doing a 2d6 straight down the line could end up this way. But I do understand and agree I would not really want to see an ABA9BA either.

I want to thank all of you for you input into this thread. I am seeing some fun possibilities. :mrgreen:
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:06 pm

I've found that the vast, vast majority of players in my experience do enjoy a challenge. Very few players out there want a cake-walk. However, I've also found that the players enjoy a challenge presented to them by the situation, or the enemy, not by some statistic on their sheet.

As for challenges arising from the character's themselves, mine prefer a bit more of a complex issue (moral, ethical, complex, far reaching, career/lifestyle decisions etc) rather than the simple "my character isnt as dexterous/fast/smart enough".

As GM, I also prefer to challenge them with creativity, story, plot and adversaries.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:10 pm

-Daniel- wrote:For me, I guess it also depends on what you call over powered and under powered. Using 7 as the average roll on a 2d6, I would expect that a character who has all six numbers under 7 might be a little underpowered. Say a 343543 would not be good in my way of looking at things. yet doing a 2d6 straight down the line could end up this way. But I do understand and agree I would not really want to see an ABA9BA either.

I want to thank all of you for you input into this thread. I am seeing some fun possibilities. :mrgreen:
No prob - and dont forget through character creation, you can end up with CCC999 or what have you. Regardless, in no way is it overpowered (imho and experience GMing with a 5 players for over 2 years now) considering the lethality and the complexity of issues that can be faced in Traveller. If you have a +1 higher DM to all dex and int skills compared to your colleague, don't think that in any ways transforms you into an walking demigod.

I find this is more of a personal taste and preference rather than having any logically significant impact on the dice rolls.
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Re: Question on characteristics rolling

Postby Reynard » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:48 pm

"I would expect that a character who has all six numbers under 7 might be a little underpowered."

One thing I've seen in Traveller games I've experienced is doing character creation together with players and referee. This helps prevent a player claiming they had a fantastic lucky streak of rolls but also for the player and ref to decide if a character is, in fact,... not so lucky. If agreed upon, there should be no issue rerolling a lousy hand or judging a certain bad roll will be forgiven to move the process along especially if the player likes how the character is developing. The ultimate situation is a playable character without munchkining it. Traveller chargen is not complex.

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