Let’s talk about stats baby

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7 Responses

  1. Runeslinger says:

    In favor of other games, I have not picked up a D&D book since 1990, but I have followed the shifting tides over the intervening decades.

    There is a lot of stridency in posting about 4e which is pretty tedious to read as someone who has moved away from ‘The Grand Old Lady’ of games, and must be extremely frustrating for those who are invested in it.

    I enjoyed reading this post precisely because it offers solutions instead of invective, and options instead of complaints.

    • greywulf says:

      Agreed. And yes, it’s very frustrating.

      I would much rather offer solutions – moaning serves no purpose and Fourth Edition is a flexible enough beast to be able to handle any amount of tweakery.

      As written, the 4e Core Rules offer one possible way of playing the game (heroic, combat heavy fantasy), but that’s far from being the only way. My own group favours more intense role-playing with just one or (at most) two combat encounters per session. 4e delivers just what we need to do that, in spades. It’s all a matter of presentation, really.

  2. Jack Colby says:

    4e is most certainly not the first edition of the game where you can stand a chance of survival with low stats. Check out the original game sometime… the stats have almost no effect whatsoever except to qualify for certain classes and as guidelines for roleplaying your character. That’s why 3d6 in order was perfectly fine for that edition.

    • greywulf says:

      Checking my copy of Molvday (ever in armreach!) to make sure I’m not dreaming, a low CON score does lower your hit points/level. With a CON of 6, Classic Derek the Fighter would have had (at most) 7 starting hit points.

      I think I misworded though. What I mean to say is that in 4e D&D, a starting character with stats of 3d6 in order begins the game with a reasonable chance of surviving his first combat encounter. In Classic D&D (or any edition where the heroes gain 1HD/level), that’s not always the case. When it comes to playing with a group of gamers used to Classic D&D’s ways (ie, they’ve got a batch of backup characters on standby) that’s a part of its charm. For newer gamers unused to this though, that hit point buffer could well be a godsend.

      Hope that clears it up a little :D

  3. Mike says:

    One of the things that puts me off of 4e (and most other games that do it) is the lack of random character generation. There’s something magical about “rolling” up a character. I really don’t understand why point buy has become the gospel. There’s lot of other games to do point buy with, but D&D should be random. That’s part of the charm of the game IMO.

    • greywulf says:

      One of the options for generating stats in 4e is still 4d6, drop lowest. It’s in the PHB, page 18 offered as Method 3 (the other two being use the array, and points buy). You can do it in the Character Builder too, though I’ll admit it’s a less popular option than it was before.

      Like you, I miss that rolling up characters isn’t the default any more, but I can see the benefits that using an array brings. It does level the playing field between characters and put an end to those players who “somehow” manage to roll 18s far to frequently to be statistically possible :D

    • drow says:

      fortunately, that’s not really inherent to the game, and trivial to change. 4e with stats rolled on 3d6. magic, done.

      my current campaign is that way, it’s working out fine.

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