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Author Topic: Ad&d Players Handbook Reccomends 2 15s in ability scores for player characters  (Read 1488 times)

Slambo

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It was recently brought to my attention that on page 9 of the Ad&D players handbook it says "Furthermore, it is usually essential to the
character's survival to be exceptional (with a rating of 15 or above) in no
fewer than two ability characteristics."

I don't usually play AD&D so i never noticed, but what do you all think?

Lunamancer

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I think it's misinterpreted as a recommendation, or even a requirement. I just take it for what it says plainly. The game is kind of built assuming you'll have a couple of high scores, and so if you don't have that, it's going to be difficult for the character to survive. In other words, if your character doesn't have those scores and dies, don't feel bad. The odds were against you. If you do survive several adventurers, then you're doing a great job playing!

I think if ol' Gary were real serious about every player character NEEDING two scores of 15 or higher, that the alternative attribute generation methods listed in the DMG would have taken that into consideration more directly. How hard would it be to say, roll d6, six times in order. Bump your two highest scores up to 15 if they are lower. In fact, I have a "newbie rule" where in exchange for playing a Human Fighter, you get to bump your STR to 16 and CON to 15 if they are lower. The alternatives actually listed do not guarantee the two 15's.

Svenhelgrim

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Y’all need Method V!

Shasarak

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Y’all need Method V!


I am sure you just triggered half the OSR crowd here by suggesting you choose your class first then roll.
There will be poor always,
pathetically struggling,
look at the good things you've got! -  Jesus

rocksfalleverybodydies

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"This method can only be used to create human player characters."
Maybe this is the perfect way to get a party of humans for once in an RPG game.
Is that from Dragon or some homebrew stuff?

<edit> Unearthed Arcana?  I keep forgetting to use it (I guess the Cavalier should have been the giveaway). Good to know.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2021, 10:13:13 PM by rocksfalleverybodydies »

Sable Wyvern

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It's worth noting that, in AD&D, 15 is where you generally start accruing bonuses. Values of 12 - 14 generally don't have much impact.

Slambo

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It's worth noting that, in AD&D, 15 is where you generally start accruing bonuses. Values of 12 - 14 generally don't have much impact.

This is something i was aware of.

I think it's misinterpreted as a recommendation, or even a requirement. I just take it for what it says plainly. The game is kind of built assuming you'll have a couple of high scores, and so if you don't have that, it's going to be difficult for the character to survive. In other words, if your character doesn't have those scores and dies, don't feel bad. The odds were against you. If you do survive several adventurers, then you're doing a great job playing!

I think if ol' Gary were real serious about every player character NEEDING two scores of 15 or higher, that the alternative attribute generation methods listed in the DMG would have taken that into consideration more directly. How hard would it be to say, roll d6, six times in order. Bump your two highest scores up to 15 if they are lower. In fact, I have a "newbie rule" where in exchange for playing a Human Fighter, you get to bump your STR to 16 and CON to 15 if they are lower. The alternatives actually listed do not guarantee the two 15's.

This makes a lot of sense to me as well.

Chainsaw

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When I first started playing, we basically rolled and rolled using generous methods until we got the scores that we wanted. Two 15s would not have been considered even remotely aggressive, to be honest. /shrug

mightybrain

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You have a pretty good chance (about 40%) of straight up rolling a character with 2 ability scores of 15 or higher using the 4d6 and drop the lowest method. If you allow for racial adjustments that goes up to 2 in 3.

markmohrfield

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You have a pretty good chance (about 40%) of straight up rolling a character with 2 ability scores of 15 or higher using the 4d6 and drop the lowest method. If you allow for racial adjustments that goes up to 2 in 3.

Don’t forget the modifiers for age category on pg  13 of the DMG. Want to get a +1 to your Strength? Play a Ranger, as they are always going to start as “mature” while human Fighters always start as “Young Adults” and don’t get that benefit.

Ghostmaker

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I would also like to note that high scores in attributes weren't the do-or-die thing that they became in 3E and onward.

Pat

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I would also like to note that high scores in attributes weren't the do-or-die thing that they became in 3E and onward.
If one fighter rolls an 18 followed by a 100, and the other just barely qualifies with a 9, the difference vanishes once the party finds a pair of gauntlets of ogre power.

3e had a build mentality. Everything adds, so each +1 to Strength adds to the final score, including the +2 to +6 from the gauntlets.

Old school D&D had a catch-up mentality. If you had those gauntlets, your strength score no longer mattered.

This is true for a lot more than just strength.


rickss

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I don't usually play AD&D so i never noticed, but what do you all think?
Most ignore the fact that 3d6 for each stat is Method I. Methods II-IV in the DMG produce much better stats.

In the end it's a game and campaign-level decision. How heroic do you want the PCs to be?

rickss

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I would also like to note that high scores in attributes weren't the do-or-die thing that they became in 3E and onward.
If one fighter rolls an 18 followed by a 100, and the other just barely qualifies with a 9, the difference vanishes once the party finds a pair of gauntlets of ogre power.
More "if" than "once", right?

In the interim, it really sucks to be that fighter with a 14 STR when comparing your hit ratio and damage output to a 18/00 fighter.

Pat

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I would also like to note that high scores in attributes weren't the do-or-die thing that they became in 3E and onward.
If one fighter rolls an 18 followed by a 100, and the other just barely qualifies with a 9, the difference vanishes once the party finds a pair of gauntlets of ogre power.
More "if" than "once", right?

In the interim, it really sucks to be that fighter with a 14 STR when comparing your hit ratio and damage output to a 18/00 fighter.
Does it?

Because if you both have 1d10 HD, and rolled something like 5 hp, and you're facing foes who do 1d8 damage, odds are pretty good one of you dies. All that Strength provides zero protection if the orcs get initiative, so all else being equal, it's effectively random who makes it.

Or not so random, because the fighter with a +6 strength bonus will typically take out an orc with a single hit. As a result, they will be able to face at least twice as many orcs as a fighter who typically needs 2 hits to take down a pig-snout, because the orcs will get least twice as many hits against the weaker fighter before dying.

That will encourage the S 18/00 freak to face more orcs at once, because they die so easily. But this is old school D&D, where combat between low-level characters is very whiffy. That means even a mild streak of bad luck can lead to all the brute fighter's hits missing. And each miss means all the orcs survive another round, and get another full round of attacks. Which means combat can quickly turn bad for the high strength fighter, in a way that would never happen to the weaker fighter, because the weaker fighter would never have gotten into that situation in the first place.