Unholy Thread Revival!
Since we're about to start our first Conan campaign in two days, I (as the GM) could use some input concerning ability generation method.
Personally I like the 4d6 method. When I use it, I usually allow 7 rolls, drop lowest, because I like high-powered campaigns.
I do not like the d10 method very much, however.
However, I have to take into account that my players for this group are all new to D20, and have varying degrees of experience with other systems. So some or all may not be happy with randomly generated ability scores.
Besides, while I understand the thought that "forced equality" is not Conanesque, I do not agree. Players are not Characters. IME players are fine with a few points of difference among their characters, but if it gets more extreme, the weaker chars' players will feel shafted.
So I think I am going to offer them the choice between using dice and distributing points. However, I am unsure what distribution method I should offer.
What I devised for an earlier (D&D) campaign (with different players) was to let them freely choose abilities with a modifier total of +12, 3 odd and 3 even-numbered abilities to avoid "cookie cutter" scores.
That's a sum of 87 points.
Another option would of course be the DMG point buy, where a 34-point buy would yield a maximum modifier total of +12 (all scores at 14), but players have to make sacrifices if they want one or two higher scores.
3x 14 and 3x 15, as described above, would be a 40 point buy btw.
The main difference is that the 87-point method makes the ability modifiers by race totally moot, while the DMG point buy allows you to still make use of it. Think of a Cimmeran character first buying Str 16 and Int 14, then applying the modifications to get Str 18 and Int 12. This costs 16 points. A non-Cimmeran character would have to expend 20 points to get the same scores (18 and 12).
So long story short -- if you allow point buy for ability generation, how many points do you allow to distribute?
I never used point buy in games I GMed before so I am kind of at a loss.