How To Get the Best Dieroll

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How To Get the Best Dieroll

Post by ragray »

One of the most important parts of the class creation procedure is rolling for the initial attributes of the player character. The outcome will have consequences that persist for the rest of the game. So it is worthwhile to take some time repeatedly rolling the die until you get an excellent outcome.

The question now is, "What is the easiest and quickest method for deciding when a die roll should be saved and when it should be discarded?". I have found a method that I think helps a lot in making these decisions, but you have to agree with its premise.

The premise is that the best outcome is the one that awards you the greatest total number of attribute points. I realize that there are character classes for which certain attributes will be largely insignificant. If you can see no benefit whatsoever to be derived from a particular attribute, then simply ignore it when you follow my procedure and the selection process will be shorter.

Another possible objection is that it is better to focus on maximizing those attributes that are most useful in the earliest phase of the game and then fill out other attributes in due time. That is indeed what one generally does over the course of a game. But I think the real question is this:

"Given a notional set of player characters initially differing only by the outcome of their respectively die rolls, and assuming that an equal number of attribute points have been awarded to each after a couple of level ups, is the most desirable PC for the long run likely to be the one that started with the greatest number of attribute points?".

If you think so, then this technique should be helpful. Of course, totaling up the eight attribute values (after the discretionary points have been allocated), is too difficult and tedious a task to carry out after every die roll. However, the task becomes much easier if we allocate the discretionary points with the policy of giving as many attributes as possible the exact value of 60. Why? Because we are going to take what we shall call the defect of each attribute by subtracting its value from 60 and then minimize the total defect of all eight attributes..

Obviously, each attribute we can turn into a 60 can be immediately ignored because it contributes nothing to the die roll's total defect. It is fairly common to be able to make four 60's and often five. Given that we intend to save a die roll only when its total defect is ten or less, it is easy to quickly decide when to discard the die roll instead. Of course, if you do save the die roll, you need to remember what its total defect was so that you will know when a better die roll occurs.

"But I don't want to waste discretionary points making 60's!" The method does not lock you into that. You are able to reallocate the free points at any time even if you previously saved the die roll. You lose nothing by using this method of comparison.

"What is 60 all about?" Well, if you chose to leave the initial attribute setting at 50, then the most any die roll will ever give you for that attribute's value is 60. (At least that is my experience, but I am confident in saying this.) That makes 480 points a theoretical upper bound for total attribute points. This remains so even after the discretionary points have been allocated. I have never encountered a die roll for which the total points after allocation of free points was 480 or more. I have had several whose total was 477 (defect 3) and one very rare case in which it was 479 (defect 1). It is possible, but hard as hell, to get 479.

"What if I adjusted the initial attribute settings?" I have no experience with that on which to base an opinion. It could plausibly lead to attribute values greater than 60 before free point allocation. In that case just stick to the definition:
defect = 60 - attribute value.

The defect will be negative, of course. Just add it algebraically.

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Re: How To Get the Best Dieroll

Post by Wyka »

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