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Since the planned Gamemaster's guide / Gamemaster sourcebook is not yet published - what have you found works most satisfactorily  as "minimum characteristics" methods for adventurer characteristics / adventurer generation?   Or do you just have your players roll 3D6 and suck it up if they roll a 3?

Pros and cons of that method?

Context:   The sidebar on  p.53 of Runequest-Roleplaying in Glorantha: " ...Therefore it is Perfectly All Right to:  Reroll any die result of 1...   "

 

 

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This definitely sets the tone of the campaign.   If you want to run a "hard" campaign where the rules of the universe are unbending and tough, then make them keep what is rolled.  One of the dominant characters from my RQ3 Griffin Island campaign was a minimum size Viking.  A bad stat didn't hold him back at all, but he was very strong, so it wasn't a "bad" roll up, just a single bad stat on an otherwise fine character.   If the character was a wall of "3's" and "5's" I would have allowed him a re-do.

On the other hand, if you want your characters to be great right out of the chute, then I would recommend not rolling at all, and letting them assign a fixed value of points.  Make that number very healthy. 

My general pattern is to start harsh, and then relax things as the campaign goes along.  This allows later characters to start near the power levels necessary to perform as the more experienced original characters, and sort of represents the Hero War's progression, as the general competency of the extraordinary individuals starts to climb. 

Please note that a "by the book, the world is tough" setting is often very enjoyable and memorable -- so long as the players are forewarned what to expect, and they are able to rise to the challenge.   Some of the best players I have GM'd have come out of these sorts of campaigns, and were experts at getting the most of anything they could get their hands on, be it spell, skill, RP possibility, etc.  Other players are very "Pathfinder" conditioned though, and are used to passively doing things from their sheet when the appropriate game cues are triggered.  These types of players often need time to get into the "active gaming" mindset that a tough universe can enforce -- particularly the dreaded trollkin critical.  So un-heroic.  So deadly.

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1 hour ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

... Or do you just have your players roll 3D6 and suck it up if they roll a 3?

Context:   The sidebar on  p.53 of Runequest-Roleplaying in Glorantha: " ...Therefore it is Perfectly All Right to:  Reroll any die result of 1...   "

As written, the minimum characteristic is 7.

image.png.acd907443e65b9510f59821e7e93136d.png

Sorry, posted that before spotting the "context".

I don't think it's much fun to play characters with terrible stats, unless you have a cool character idea that demands it.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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1 hour ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Therefore it is Perfectly All Right to:  Reroll any die result of 1.

In case you want to know what that looks like, I've plotted the distributions for 3d6 straight, if you reroll 1s, or if you roll 4d6 and choose 3 (which I've seen elsewhere), as well the distributions for 2D6+6 (again straight, rerolling 1, or rolling 3 and choose 2).

image.png.d6046b2cdd83acac2e135658d6ffce84.pngimage.png.6ecb7fc28ba94543c5fabb1de0930ffa.png

They're quite generous for my taste, but that is taste.  (if you find probability curves difficult to fathom, 5% is the outlier corresponding to rolling 96-100)

If you "discard an adventurer whose characteristics average 12 or less", that's a *lot* if you just use 3D6 straight.

I quite like a combination of rolling straight, discarding results of less than 6/9 (without requiring no other is higher than 13), and discarding a character that doesn't look fun.  Also if a player can think of swapping a couple of characteristics around to make them more fun, I often allow that.

As an aside, I've never liked the 2D6+6 solution to idiocy/dwarfism in humans...  Why is having a Rabbit stronger than a STR 3 human any more believable than bigger than a SIZ 3 Human.

 

Edited by Stephen L
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2 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Since the planned Gamemaster's guide / Gamemaster sourcebook is not yet published - what have you found works most satisfactorily  as "minimum characteristics" methods for adventurer characteristics / adventurer generation?   Or do you just have your players roll 3D6 and suck it up if they roll a 3?

What I do is:

  • Take the number of characteristics and roll that number + 1 (or +1 for £D6es and +1 for 2D6+6es)
  • Roll an extra D6 for each characteristic and discard the lowest
  • Allocate the rolls to whichever characteristic you want
  • Add bonues for background/runes etc.
  • Keep the official species maximums/minimums (maxima/minima for you posh types)

So, we have 3D6 for STR, CON, POW, DEX and CHA (5 characteristics), but 2D6+6 for SIZ and INT (2 characteristics).

I would roll 4D6 6 times, ignore the lowest d6 and allocate 5 of the 6 rolls to STR, CON, POW, DEX and CHA. So, rolling [4,3,5,2=12], [6,5,1,4=15], [6,6,1,2=14], [5,4,4,3=13], [3,2,4,1=9], [5,4,3,2=12], I get rolls of 12, 15, 14, 13, 9 and 12, I discard the 9 and allocate STR 15, DEX 14, CON 13, POW 12, CHA 12. Rolling 2D6+6, I get [3,2,6=9=6=15], [4,1,5=9+6=15], [6,3,6=12+6=18], so discarding one of the 15s, I allocate SIZ=18 and INT=15.

 

Pros:

  • It is relatively easy and quick
  • You can choose which characteristics to focus on
  • You can still get unlucky and have sub-standard rolls, but it is unlikely

Cons:

  • You get higher characteristics than average
  • Ignoring a D6 and ignoring a roll might be confusing
  • You don't get the joy of playing a substandard PC unless you throw away good rolls

 

 

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1 hour ago, Stephen L said:

As an aside, I've never liked the 2D6+6 solution to idiocy/dwarfism in humans...  Why is having a Rabbit stronger than a STR 3 human any more believable than bigger than a SIZ 3 Human.

Ringworld had 2D6+6 across the board. One rationale for that is that medical advancement had removed a lot of genetic traits that lead to severely bad health or development. I think you could justify an INT of 3 for severe atypical neurological development. The fun of playing it is left as an exercise to the reader.

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Also of note, Runequest has always been a much friendlier system to those poor of stat than D&D.  Many people have played the video games where they sit around and roll up characters until they get a perfect "18" in every important stat, and bring this mindset to the table.  One of my Zoom players brought such a character to bear in my current campaign.  He was surprised just how little his physical superiority gained him.   

Runequest is just different from D&D that way.  First of all, you can increase your stats.    Typically players will find the important breakpoints, like getting to a 1d4 damage bonus, aim for those, and then be done with stat training for a very long time.  The big gains for skill category modifiers come from getting your POW to 17, which happens very naturally through play.  +5% to everything except stealth!  Heroquest rewards can come in the form of stat gains as well.....

Second of all, lower than perfect 18's work just fine.  Even later in campaigns, it is pretty uncommon for a player to have a non-magical 18 score in anything other than POW or CHA.   A 21 is just extremely rare barring magical rewards.  Getting perfect characteristics is sorta helpful, but not nearly to the extent that it is in other system.  A fighter with a 15 strength in D&D is doomed to be sub-par, no matter what his level is.  A 15 strength character in Runequest probably feels pretty good about himself in a bar fight.  Although, skill matters here more than stats -- another huge difference in the systems.

Third, the real power of the characters are through magic.  The puny 9 strength character might lack a strength bonus, but he has a spirit keeping a Fireblade on his rapier, he is instantly capable of lethal attacks even through bronze plate.  If he is a Humakti packing 12 Rune points, or a Shaman with a host of spirits at his command, then he may still be the most lethal person on the field.  Physical stats matter.  Skills matter more.  Magic matters most of all.  Or he might become an Issaries trader or Lhankhor Mhy devotee and make his impact felt in other ways than swordplay. 

 

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The last time I had players roll up characters I had them make:  6 3d6 rolls - throw out lowest; 3 2d6+6 rolls - throw out lowest.  

Determine which stats get which rolls, then for every point below 95, you get that number to distribute across the characteristics (e.g. if the sum was 90, you got +5; if it was 85, you got +10).

In the game I just started as a player, we did roll 4D6 (toss low die) for 5, 3D6+6 (toss low die) for 2, and then decided which rolls go with what characteristic.  And the GM then had us distribute additional points for every point below 97.  

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In all BRP games I always let the players throw all the characteristics that share the same dice and allocate them to their liking, and then they can re-roll one of their choice. If they still come out as underpowered I either let them throw everything from scratch if they rolled absolute garbage of everything (and you would be surprised of how many times this has happened) or give them as many points to allocate as necessary for their average to come up to 12 (in RQ) if they have bad but not terrible stats. 

Edited by Jape_Vicho
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With the importance of INT in RQ1/2, I don't allow anything that lets you pick and chose stats, but I do use 4d6k3 for attributes, 3d6k2+6 for INT.

I did actually have one campaign where I allowed point buy for attributes, but in that campaign, I didn't compute Ability Bonus from attributes, instead, you got to assign one Ability Bonus +25%, two at +20%, two at +15%, two at +10%, and one at +5% out of Attack, Parry, Defense, Manipulation, Stealth, Knowledge, Perception, and Communication. With that, the value of each attribute became equal enough that point buy worked out ok. It does lead to some optimization, have at least a 14 DEX (so you can raise to 21, I don't allow increase past 1.5x original), SIZ will be the largest of STR, CON, and SIZ ideally (since you can't raise SIZ), and INT will be as high as you can muster. But there were enough trade offs.

Actually, when I first started the current campaign, I did straight 3d6 rolls (2d6+6 for INT). We still have one original character.

If someone really was unhappy, I'd let them roll another character, but so far, 4d6k3 has made for pretty reasonable characters.

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7 hours ago, Dissolv said:

This definitely sets the tone of the campaign.   If you want to run a "hard" campaign where the rules of the universe are unbending and tough, then make them keep what is rolled.  One of the dominant characters from my RQ3 Griffin Island campaign was a minimum size Viking.  A bad stat didn't hold him back at all, but he was very strong, so it wasn't a "bad" roll up, just a single bad stat on an otherwise fine character.   If the character was a wall of "3's" and "5's" I would have allowed him a re-do.

Sounds like a cousin of (one of) my RQ2 characters (where SIZ was still 3D6, not 2D6+6). So... SIZ 6, STR 18 -- roughly a 4.5-5ft tall character swinging a 4ft (bastard) sword one-handed.

 

7 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

  

As written, the minimum characteristic is 7.

image.png.acd907443e65b9510f59821e7e93136d.png

I was influenced by my GM of the 80s -- we normally used "best N of N+1" die rolls, but no rerolls or swapping allowed. One still had the potential of getting minimum rolls (for a 3D6 stat, one could end up rolling 4x1s, so best 3 of 4 is still 3), but the average roll is tweaked upwards just a bit.

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I don't use random

If a player want to play a sorcerer and obtain INT 12 with d6 that is not very good

if a player succeed to obtain a total of 100 when another one is 83 it means possible frustration

so, depending the campaign, i define an amount to split (following the min/max and runes limits)

so if you want to have str 20, you must have air rune as the first one, and use 20 points of the amount.

 

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I am planning to begin an RQG campaign once everyone is vaccinated and plan to use the Jeff version: Let the players choose their stats. Once they have an idea of who they are, so after family story and deciding on profession and cult.

Like Dissolv mentioned above, characteristics are much less important in RQ than in for example the D&D games. And I am fine with them being heroes. After all, they are the main characters in our story.

Edited by Yinkin
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My players got to roll two sets, from up to down (no free placement), and pick one, but could re-roll any full set lower than average. 

This resulted in somewhat better statlines, but mostly just avoided outright bad and boring ones.

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13 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

In all BRP games I always let the players throw all the characteristics that share the same dice and allocate them to their liking, and then they can re-roll one of their choice.

Me too, but I understand why some people don't like it. It's essentially the same as points-buy but with each player having a different random total to spend. Sometimes you can't quite distribute them exactly as you'd want, and it does reduce how often people can have four super-stats and three terrible ones.

My spreadsheet tool actually goes one further than that, and allows you to reassign all rolls freely regardless of the dice. It generates random numbers between 0 and 1, and scales each to the appropriate dice type that you have assigned it to. If you reassign it from a D6 to a D8, it reinterprets the original number on the new scale.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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18 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Me too, but I understand why some people don't like it. It's essentially the same as points-buy but with each player having a different random total to spend. Sometimes you can't quite distribute them exactly as you'd want, and it does reduce how often people can have four super-stats and three terrible ones.

Yeah, it depends a lot on the game. in D&D, points-buy would be a given, but in RQ, I like the simulationist "work with what you got (although it shouldn't get too bad)".

It should be noted that (the errata:ed) research rules for characteristics are super generous, so as long as you do the one adventure per season, salvaging poor stats is pretty easy (as long as it's not INT or SIZ, and those are 2D6+6 already).  

Edited by Akhôrahil
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22 hours ago, Stephen L said:

if you find probability curves difficult to fathom

Actually, if you want to have a better feel, than a distribution chart, for what sort of characteristics you generate from various approaches, I've an NPC generator, so you can have a look at what a random generation looks like en-mass.

The NPCs generated are here:

https://basicroleplaying.org/files/file/833-npc-squads-txtzip-npc-squads-pdfzip/

The ones for OrlanthiWarriors were generated with straight 3D6 (but rerolling anything under 8), and straight 2D6+6 for Int/Siz

The ones for OrlanthiThanes were 3D6+1 rerolling 1s, but still 2D6+6 for Int/Siz (but now rerolling anything under 10).

 

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