nauthiz
 subscriber, 612 posts
Thu 18 Jul 2019
at 21:35
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
I've always preferred point based systems vs random generation.  It generally leads to more consistent characters and everybody around the table being more likely to be happy with the character they're starting with.

While RNG elements can be fun to try and build around/adapt to, I prefer a more consistent experience.

I've dabbled in a few systems where character creation was heavily randomized.  In at least one, after the group was done making characters according to the rules as written, two players had gotten very lucky in different ways and had characters head and shoulders above the rest, while the others were fairly average and one was absolutely bottom of the barrel.  That was a one shot done entirely to experiment with the system, but the problems that arose in that single session would have required deliberate effort to go back and fix if there was an intention for a successful longer term game.
seraphmoon
 member, 77 posts
 I've Been Touched By
 His Noodly Appendage
Thu 18 Jul 2019
at 21:52
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
Depends. If I've already come up with ideas for the character, point buy so I can get it as close as possible to the one in my head. If I don't have any ideas or the idea I had is already taken, I'll do a couple of sets of rolls and see if I'm inspired by any of them.
facemaker329
 member, 7102 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Thu 18 Jul 2019
at 22:53
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
I have no real strong preference, although typically when I roll to create characters, I will roll at least three sets of stats just to deal with the issue of the dice failing to produce stats that will provide a functional character.

But one of my favorite characters was a literal child of the dice...a friend of mine wanted to run a Star Trek game...this is, perhaps, 20 years ago, now...

I had no idea what I wanted to play...so I went through character generation letting the dice dictate the results every time there was occasion to do so.  I ended up with a Vulcan cadet-captain who'd been orphaned and raised by Klingons and didn't give half a fig about logic, beyond how it applied to making a solid command decision.  The game didn't last long...but he was a lot of fun to play.
GreenTongue
 member, 863 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Thu 18 Jul 2019
at 22:55
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
nauthiz:
... and everybody around the table being more likely to be happy with the character they're starting with.

... if there was an intention for a successful longer term game.


I think these are the two key points.
Running a game takes effort and if the players are not happy with their characters then retention will be lower.
This is especially true in the PbP format where it doesn't take much for a player to drop out.

I like giving the choice of picking rolls or using point build.
As long as the character is in line with the others, it's all good.

This message was last edited by the user at 22:58, Thu 18 July.

DaCuseFrog
 member, 63 posts
 SW Florida
Fri 19 Jul 2019
at 00:55
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
In general I prefer rolling versus point buy.  Point buys general end up with slightly higher than average stats at best.  Dice rolling always has that chance of insane numbers.  The problem arises with my luck (at least on RPoL).  Too many times on here my stats have wound up worse than point buy would have been, while others in my groups are maxing stats.  I find myself applying for point buy games for a change of pace.

But then again, I've mostly played d&d 5e on here, where point buy isn't impressive anyway.  So I well say that it depends on the system.
Isida KepTukari
 member, 282 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Fri 19 Jul 2019
at 01:02
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
Generally I prefer point-buy, as then everyone starts out on even footing.  I know a guy who had phenomenal dice luck in rolling for stat generation.  We've tested him with multiple people's dice, even once buying a new set at the gaming store counter, and he still rolled multiple 18s.  His regular game luck for rolling is normal, but he always rolls very powerfully statted-characters.  If you have him next to another guy who rolled mostly average and a few lows, it can feel like you're starting out at a deficit.

Point buy also lets people do character generation away from the table, so it's possible to have fully or at least partially-statted out characters ready much faster (as people can sort things out on their own time).

That said, some of the most memorable characters I've played were rolled, because I took an unusual combination of stats and made very unique characters from them.
Hunter
 member, 1515 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Fri 19 Jul 2019
at 03:10
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
I've always felt that online games should use the point-buy system, not just because it's more "fair" but gives potential applicants a rough idea of the expected power level.

I prefer dice rolling for tabletop, especially when the GM lets you re-roll.   ^_^
horus
 member, 817 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Fri 19 Jul 2019
at 07:16
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
Point-build always seemed (to me, anyway) to allow a player to build a character in which they are more likely to be invested to the point of enjoyable play.

Traveller is something I'm very fond of, and when I found Traveller Plus's point-based character creation system, I was very happy.

Hey, I might not know art, but I know what I like.
engine
 member, 716 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Fri 19 Jul 2019
at 17:12
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
What I find tends to bother me about rolling is that instead of figuring out how to make the game fun despite some crappy characters and widely varying capabilities in the group, groups will concoct intricate dice-rolling schemes to set the chances of either of those situations arising to be as low as possible. When I see that in a game description, I assume the game will involve a lot of other dice fudging.
Azyur3
 member, 12 posts
 DnD 4e Apologist
 -5 GMT // USA
Fri 19 Jul 2019
at 17:22
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
I kind of have to agree with Engine on that point- dice rolling with various forms of exceptions and 'gimmies' usually allude to either a campaign with lots of one off house rules, or possibly a power level that's expected to be a bit higher then usual. I'll gladly take a dump stat and a half if it means getting to really dig into that character in a meaningful way in certain encounters.

When given the option of Point Buy v. Rolling, it's always going to be whatever the DM prefers for the given campaign, but I would usually prefer rolling publicly and not swaying from what is given. I've seen some GMs say like.....no more then 1 single digit ability stat, or all ability stats are min 10, and that's not so bad, but when it becomes "Roll 10d6, max 20 per stat x7", I just kinda wonder why people don't play point buy with min-maxed stats for classes.

Systems like World of Darkness do it pretty well where it's point buy at it's core, but with all the same pros and cons of a customized system.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 95 posts
Fri 19 Jul 2019
at 20:19
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
In much the same vein, I feel that to do Point-Buy "correctly", you have to put a lot of caps and restrictions in place for how high/how low individual stats can be. Why? Because there are far too many twinks out there that will try to jack their pertinent stats with 25s (or something equally silly) while eating multiple single-digit dump stats. I loathe min-maxing, and I find that Point-Buy tends to favor people who want to min-max.

...unless you have a bunch of restrictions to bring their purchased stats into some kind of "normal" equilibrium, in which case you might as well have just rolled with a few common sense restrictions (like 'your overall stat bonuses should add up to 0+') in the first place.
OceanLake
 supporter, 1080 posts
Fri 19 Jul 2019
at 21:16
Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
engine and others, I'd guess that point buy with crappy characters and uneven stat characters would work fine if the game is storytelling, perhaps comedic at times. Haven't seem much of that on RPoL.

BTW, Guess I also should have mentioned that the GM is always right.
engine
 member, 717 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Sat 20 Jul 2019
at 21:31
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
SunRuanEr:
In much the same vein, I feel that to do Point-Buy "correctly", you have to put a lot of caps and restrictions in place for how high/how low individual stats can be. Why? Because there are far too many twinks out there that will try to jack their pertinent stats with 25s (or something equally silly) while eating multiple single-digit dump stats. I loathe min-maxing, and I find that Point-Buy tends to favor people who want to min-max.

Thanks for coming out and admitting that. I think that's not an uncommon view.

From a GM point of view, I can see this. I do in fact put one particular restriction on my point-buy game, which is that a characters highest skill must be below X-2, where X is the target number for a moderately difficult skill check. This is so that the character can at least fail that skill check on a 1. If a 1 were an automatic skill failure in the game I play, I probably wouldn't apply that, but it isn't and I don't feel like changing that.

But really what I would prefer to be able to do, and what I'm trying to get better at doing, is running a game that simply doesn't give any incentives to min/max. In many games, min/maxing is completely understandable, because one's character is their only point of control with the game, missing is completely uninteresting, and failure means ejection from the game. It's a little silly and even a tad anti-social not to min-max under such conditions. So, I try to tamp down on those circumstances, even though the game I play is heavy with all of them.

As a player, being annoyed by min/maxing is just going to stress out a person and the table. If one doesn't want to min-max under point buy, then they don't have to and shouldn't (unless they're going the other way and making a useless character in order to annoy). But one should take care not to let their negative feelings toward a particular approach creep into their views of other players.

SunRuanEr:
...unless you have a bunch of restrictions to bring their purchased stats into some kind of "normal" equilibrium, in which case you might as well have just rolled with a few common sense restrictions (like 'your overall stat bonuses should add up to 0+') in the first place.

Maybe. I don't see that such restrictions make dice rolling that much more inherently appealing.

One alternative that has been around for a while, but that I haven't seen mentioned here is for the GM to give the players an array of ability scores (or a choice of arrays) to place how they'd like. If a game has 6 ability scores, that's 720 different permutations, after which someone can customize with things like choice of race, profession, feats, or other things. When I make pregenerated characters for my games, they are all based of a single standard array.
facemaker329
 member, 7103 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Sat 20 Jul 2019
at 23:05
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
I've never found min-maxing all that understandable, but I also tend to play 'generalist' characters who may not excel at any single specific thing but are generally competent at several different things.

My 'favorite' min-max experience was with another player in my old roommate's home-brew game...this guy wanted to be a combat God, and put everything he could into the associated attributes...but, as a result, his character was so mentally limited that he struggled to understand the operation of a basic door-latch.  When we entered a castle that had knobs, instead of simple latches, he couldn't even get out of a room without resorting to bashing the door down.

Having a phenomenal dodge ability will only keep you alive so long when you're too stupid to recognize the same kind of trap you already set off five other times.  And nobody was sorry to see that character go.  That one has forever tainted my opinion of min-max playing...it's one thing to have *A* dump stat...it's another thing when half your stats are abysmal so the other half can be stellar.

While I realize that not every point-buy player approaches the game that way (because some of us enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to work around characters' flaws and limitations), it's much easier for players who are so inclined to do so with a point-buy system.  Depending on the rules in use, there are ways to do that with dice-roll systems, as well (some will let players 'sell down' stats for points to add to other stats), the very premise of randomly-generated stats limits the options for it, to a certain extent.

With the right group of players involved, I couldn't care less which technique is used for the initial character build.  Good (in my estimation) players won't abuse point-buys, anyway, and 'bad' players will game the system, no matter what it is.

This message was last edited by the user at 20:13, Sun 21 July.

Hunter
 member, 1516 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sat 20 Jul 2019
at 23:06
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
facemaker329:
Good (in my estimation) players won't abuse point-buys, anyway, and 'bad' players will game the system, no matter what it is.


Quote for the day.
horus
 member, 820 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sun 21 Jul 2019
at 06:37
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
In reply to Hunter (msg # 18):

Yup, a point to ponder.  In every instance where I played in a point-buy system, the game master had final approval on any characters created.  Never had any problems with min-maxers.

The players and game masters work together to create a world and a series of adventures.  The whole point of all this creative effort is to have fun.
engine
 member, 718 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Sun 21 Jul 2019
at 21:40
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
Min-max bashing is lame.
donsr
 member, 1655 posts
Sun 21 Jul 2019
at 22:01
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
min maxing  is lame.
seraphmoon
 member, 81 posts
 I've Been Touched By
 His Noodly Appendage
Sun 21 Jul 2019
at 22:12
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
Min-maxing has its place.
engine
 member, 719 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Mon 22 Jul 2019
at 03:40
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
donsr:
min maxing  is lame.

It can be, if it's done to deliberately ruin someone's fun. Mostly it's just another way to make characters and bashing it is divisive and tacky.
horus
 member, 822 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Mon 22 Jul 2019
at 06:28
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
Jeez... come on folks.  All I said about min-maxing was that we never had a problem with it.

Your game, your rules.  If you want to permit min-maxing as a GM, by all means, have at it.  If you don't, it's still your call.
icosahedron152
 member, 972 posts
Mon 22 Jul 2019
at 11:06
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
horus:
In every instance where I played in a point-buy system, the game master had final approval on any characters created.  Never had any problems with min-maxers.

This happens in my games, too. Long live Rule Zero. :)
pdboddy
 supporter, 694 posts
 EST/EDT [GMT-5/GMT-4]
Mon 22 Jul 2019
at 11:24
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
I much prefer a point buy system over a randomly rolled one because it offers you more choice.  It also lets the GM have control over how powerful the characters are and allows the GM to better customize the story and bad guy characters to the player's characters.
Andy G
 member, 1 post
Wed 24 Jul 2019
at 15:59
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
I've not used it, but I really like the Warhammer 4th edition character generation system, which gives players the option of choosing their options (stats, career, race etc) or taking bonus exp as a reward.  It seems to offer something to both sorts of player.
Rockwolf66
 member, 60 posts
Sun 4 Aug 2019
at 21:05
Re: Character Creation: Point Buy Versus Rolling
I honestly prefer an initial point buy. That way everyone stays on the same power level.

That and with random rolls you get people with terrible attributes playing with people who have great attribute. That and some people's rolls are unfortunately not so random.