Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

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TrippyHippy
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby TrippyHippy » Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:14 am

The method I tend to use is roll 12D6, then match up pairs to create six stats that can be assigned to any Characteristic.

It's like a combo of random and points buy, in a sense.
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Major Tom
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby Major Tom » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:59 am

-Daniel- wrote:But again, this is a part of the Traveller experience for me. In D&D or Pathfinder or Shadowrun or .... well you get the picture. In the other RPGs I have played I visualize the character I want and build my character as close to that as I can. In Traveller, the dice give me a starting point and the process gives me a vision of who they are. The game is already going in my mind. :mrgreen:
Ok, I get that. Does that process of exploration have to come at the cost of generating characters that are not viable or credible such as a 12 year Ground Assault veteran who only has a 50/50 chance to hit a target with his rifle due to poor DEX roll?
-Daniel- wrote:Now having said all that, I am not against others using what ever process grants them the most excitement and joy. I want each player to come to the table excited to play in the game.
That's where random generation is going to kick people in the teeth. I mostly play at a club that runs two month rotations (popular games run for multiple rotations). If I got the character I just rolled up to test the system, "live," I'd be very tempted to either age him to death (negatively effecting other players character gen experience due to wasted time and having to re-do connections) or say, "you know what guys, I think I'll drop for this rotation and see what's running next month." Plenty of people wouldn't even be tempted, they'd out-and-out do one of the two no suddenly Traveler has a bad rep at the club and next time it's posted nobody wants to play. This game has to compete with strong science fiction IPs like Star Wars and Firefly for attention in the marketplace. Having a primary character generation system that will put potential players off is not going to help it do that and needing to buy a separate book to get a modern character generation system will only make it worse.
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby NOLATrav » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:17 am

I have to agree, not giving potential new players a paragraph explaining

*the role-playing benefits of 'roll 2D6 in order'

*the compromise of 'roll 2D6 choose the order'

*the freedom of '42 points buy what you want'

does seem a bit stingy... Talking a couple column inches at most, could easily be a sidebar.
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby vladthemad » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:21 am

anselyn wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:
TrippyHippy wrote: A core book - an introductory book - should have clear simple rules to follow, and not be dependent on an experienced referee's fiat. If you only put random generation in, it will put off potential new players - I can guarantee that.
Yes. This. Total agreement.
+1

The target audience should be the Mass Effect player or Firefly viewer who has picked up this book with the cool starship on the front (c.f. thread on Inspirational Reading/viewing) and has heard that apparently RPGs don't always use computers - not the old timers like us who'll play it anyway. The hurdle of a minigame to start is quite enough without adding any complications or write your own rules options.
I'm beginning to wonder why we keep having to explain this to the same people over and over. 10/10 would explain again.

Having followed a few new groups to Traveller and RPGs in general, I can attest to the fact that new players will typically follow the rules as written, so if it's 2d6 and assign in order, that's what they will do. Order as desired would probably be better, but a point buy system might be confusing to new people, and could result in min maxed characters or other types of generally broken characters. If you give new players too many options, they still tend to default to the main one.

Hmm, how about starting a vote to find out what everyone does? Possibly have First Age start a poll in this thread? Then, if we can get a consensus we can suggest that become the standard? For my vote, we roll 2d6 six times and place as desired. Lets try to remain simple though, nothing too convoluted. We actually do have some other addons we use, but for the most part it's 2d6 and place as desired.
Last edited by vladthemad on Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
PaulB
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby PaulB » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:21 am

anselyn wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:
TrippyHippy wrote: A core book - an introductory book - should have clear simple rules to follow, and not be dependent on an experienced referee's fiat. If you only put random generation in, it will put off potential new players - I can guarantee that.
Yes. This. Total agreement.
+1
Ditto.

You can't write a core rulebook and reference Rule Zero like everyone holding the book has years of experience in tabletop gaming to cover for lack of simple alternatives. The Companion won't sell if the newcomer Referee lost interest in running Traveller because the Core book generated characters that had the players leaving the table in droves.
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby paulsnow » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:55 am

vladthemad wrote:Hmm, how about starting a vote to find out what everyone does? Possibly have First Age start a poll in this thread? Then, if we can get a consensus we can suggest that become the standard? For my vote, we roll 2d6 six times and place as desired. Lets try to remain simple though, nothing too convoluted. We actually do have some other addons we use, but for the most part it's 2d6 and place as desired.
In practice it's the DMs from the characteristics (rather awkwardly called Characteristic Modifiers in the rules, which sounds to me like they should modify characteristics ..,) that are the most important thing in play.

When rolling up test characters I found I was checking the total of the DMs from the set of characteristics to see if the set of characteristics looked useful overall. I was happy if it was +1 or better, a 0 is OK. This suggests to me a way to allow a set of 6 x 2d6 to be rejected if it's woefully unlucky set.
TrippyHippy
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby TrippyHippy » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:26 am

vladthemad wrote:Having followed a few new groups to Traveller and RPGs in general, I can attest to the fact that new players will typically follow the rules as written, so if it's 2d6 and assign in order, that's what they will do. Order as desired would probably be better, but a point buy system might be confusing to new people, and could result in min maxed characters or other types of generally broken characters. If you give new players too many options, they still tend to default to the main one.
I'm not sure how having a point spend system is somehow overwhelming, nor how min/max ends up being any worse than randomly generating characteristic scores you don't want.

D&D 5 manages to include random, allocated scores and point spend without any fuss in it's Player's Handbook, and I've never heard anybody complain about that. The D&D default, incidentally, is normally allocated scores these days too. I never heard anybody complain about having alternative characteristic generation methods included in MgT 1st edition for that matter.

If I had to choose one method, it would be to simply allocate 42 points as default, to a range of 2-12 per characteristic, and give players a choice of randomly rolling if they want instead.

I really can't see how that is in any way too complex for a new player.
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby VenomousFiligree » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:54 am

TrippyHippy wrote:
vladthemad wrote:Having followed a few new groups to Traveller and RPGs in general, I can attest to the fact that new players will typically follow the rules as written, so if it's 2d6 and assign in order, that's what they will do. Order as desired would probably be better, but a point buy system might be confusing to new people, and could result in min maxed characters or other types of generally broken characters. If you give new players too many options, they still tend to default to the main one.
I'm not sure how having a point spend system is somehow overwhelming, nor how min/max ends up being any worse than randomly generating characteristic scores you don't want.

D&D 5 manages to include random, allocated scores and point spend without any fuss in it's Player's Handbook, and I've never heard anybody complain about that. The D&D default, incidentally, is normally allocated scores these days too. I never heard anybody complain about having alternative characteristic generation methods included in MgT 1st edition for that matter.

If I had to choose one method, it would be to simply allocate 42 points as default, to a range of 2-12 per characteristic, and give players a choice of randomly rolling if they want instead.

I really can't see how that is in any way too complex for a new player.
This works for me!
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby PaulB » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:36 pm

paulsnow wrote:In practice, it's the DMs from the characteristics (rather awkwardly called Characteristic Modifiers in the rules, which sounds to me like they should modify characteristics ..,) that are the most important thing in play.
Absolutely. Combine with the suggestion of points-buy and simplify. All six characteristics start with a 0 CharMod. Adjust up or down, -2/+2 max thresholds, all stats keeping the total equal to zero. Characteristic creation complete. If the Referee wants to allow a little more competence, make the final total value equal to +1 or +2.
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby paulsnow » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:02 pm

PaulB wrote:Absolutely. Combine with the suggestion of points-buy and simplify. All six characteristics start with a 0 CharMod. Adjust up or down, -2/+2 max thresholds, all stats keeping the total equal to zero. Characteristic creation complete. If the Referee wants to allow a little more competence, make the final total value equal to +1 or +2.
The only problem is that you do need the absolute values of STR, DEX and END for hit points,
and,
char gen relies on the small increments to characteristics as part of the personal development and benefits charts. Although this does mean that all CHAR +1s are not the same - just as in D&D.
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby PaulB » Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:01 pm

paulsnow wrote:
PaulB wrote:Absolutely. Combine with the suggestion of points-buy and simplify. All six characteristics start with a 0 CharMod. Adjust up or down, -2/+2 max thresholds, all stats keeping the total equal to zero. Characteristic creation complete. If the Referee wants to allow a little more competence, make the final total value equal to +1 or +2.
The only problem is that you do need the absolute values of STR, DEX and END for hit points,
and, char gen relies on the small increments to characteristics as part of the personal development and benefits charts. Although this does mean that all CHAR +1s are not the same - just as in D&D.
I know I can't go suggesting sweeping changes without consideration - in good grace I take your valid point, sir! A CharMod (CM) creation system would need a whole mechanical upgrade!

In a house rule-y world, a weapon would knock a mod off a character per D. A Blade does 2CM damage, while a Laser Carbine does 4CM. Armour would have to be changed as well. So, a TL7 Flak Jacket offers 1CM protection.

I'm tormented by the simplicity of a system like Into the Odd where you just hit and hurt people without rolling any dice.

I'll wander off now and quietly mutter to myself in the corner.
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Matt Wilson
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby Matt Wilson » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:16 pm

PaulB wrote: I'm tormented by the simplicity of a system like Into the Odd where you just hit and hurt people without rolling any dice.
Stop scaring the grognards!
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby anselyn » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:55 pm

PaulB wrote: I'm tormented by the simplicity of a system like Into the Odd where you just hit and hurt people without rolling any dice.

I'll wander off now and quietly mutter to myself in the corner.
Well, starting on Traveller-8 now is good. It's day will come! I'd like a lot of skill use to be more GUMSHOE like. I'll be making proper comments along these lines sooner or later ..
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby RajunCajun3025 » Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:10 pm

If they want to keep things simple just add in a "Second" method allowing them to allocate the six rolls as they see fit and add a "typical point spread" so they can get stats even faster. Since it takes longer to explain save the point buy system for the companion. Just my two cents. I don't have a problem with the random rolls just not having the flexibility of where to put them.
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:31 pm

I hate to say this guys, especially as someone who has been playing Traveller since 1977...

I don't care what system is in the book, I really don't. Almost every game I have ever played in, the Referee has had some minor houserule that they throw in and it never seems to ruin the game.

My personal favorate, and the one I use most often when running a game, is roll 2D 7 times and allocate the best 6. My second favorite is roll 3D and drop the lowest (a Boon!).

Every game will do it slightly differently, and back in the LBB1-3 days, the rules said the same thing they say now, and we cheerfully ignored and played the game we wanted.
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby -Daniel- » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:42 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:I hate to say this guys, especially as someone who has been playing Traveller since 1977...

I don't care what system is in the book, I really don't. Almost every game I have ever played in, the Referee has had some minor houserule that they throw in and it never seems to ruin the game.

My personal favorate, and the one I use most often when running a game, is roll 2D 7 times and allocate the best 6. My second favorite is roll 3D and drop the lowest (a Boon!).

Every game will do it slightly differently, and back in the LBB1-3 days, the rules said the same thing they say now, and we cheerfully ignored and played the game we wanted.
Amen Brother Rikki. :mrgreen:

I admit, I love to read rules that are clean and clear, but in the end I can't remember a game I haven't house ruled in one way or another.
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:01 pm

BUT, there are what 3 different topics on this subject, so obviously it is a hot button topic.
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby anselyn » Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:23 am

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:I hate to say this guys, especially as someone who has been playing Traveller since 1977...
I don't care what system is in the book, I really don't.
But surely the logical extension of this is that you don't need any books. You don't need Traveller to exist in print in order to play Traveller. This book isn't for you and that's fine.

You are presumably here altruistically to make the next version of Trav the best it can be for the people that aren't you. It may be enlightened self-interest to ensure that you play a living game rather than a dead one, some people care about that. But if you really don't care what's in the book - why are you here?
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby anselyn » Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:38 am

-Daniel- wrote: I admit, I love to read rules that are clean and clear, but in the end I can't remember a game I haven't house ruled in one way or another.
I'm the same. I really think I can't/shouldn't run playtest games as I can't GM and simultaneously deeply focus on getting every little nuance of the rules-as-written right; keeping the story moving is more important to me.

For a playtest - as far as I can see - you need to be the pickiest rules lawyer you can be. You need your brain in literalist mode when you read the rules and you should assume nothing sensible or implicit from previous versions of the game. You have to run the rules exactly as written and see what the effect of them would be for a new player who doesn't have the confidence to change anything. Additionally, we could get into a whole other discussion about the issues around new=young player and the implications there for engaging with challenging text.

But what's the outcome if all this works? A game where we've minimised the bits that we'll houserule because we can't help ourselves but do it. The game that's the best we can make it. Surely, worth aiming for.
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Re: Roll 2D in Order for your Stats

Postby MongooseMatt » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:13 pm

A note here about characteristics: This is not a D&D-type scale, despite the similarity. A characteristic of 2 is not great, but it is the DM that is generally used, and that is a different kettle of fish.

Basically, really high or really low stats need not be crippling in Traveller (especially in a game with augments).
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