07 March 2021

Character generation on a grid

I like the old-school rules, but there are things I have always tweaked and twisted to fit my own taste.  For instance, the old 3d6 in order for character ability generation.  I'd like to see the players get a character they can live with right out of the gate.

3d6 in order is cool if your play-style is more loose or sandboxy. For longer campaigns I'd like the players to have a character they'll enjoy playing long-term without having to go through a drawn kind of funnel process.  I wanted something that was like 3d6 in order, but more likely to give a viable character for campaign play. I also didn't want anything that smacked of "character building", no point buy, no optimizing, no rolling extra dice, or putting the scores where you want.

So, we used a 6x6 grid of scores generated by rolling 6 sets of 3d6 in order.  Each player chooses a row, column, or diagonal, in either direction.  Each set can only be used once, counting the forward and reverse reading of a set of numbers as two different sets.

Some of the players were a bit uncertain about this, but once they saw the characters they came up with they got what I was aiming for.  Each character had reasonable scores in their prime requisite(s) but their best score might be something totally not needed for their class, eg. the charismatic fighter, the hyperintelligent thief, the wise mage.

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