# Big List of Ability Score Generation Methods

Here is a list of various methods for rolling up character ability scores I've collected. These are intended for games that use the typical D&D or OSR style of character generation.

Unless otherwise specified, all rules here are my own expression. I choose to licenses them under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

## 3d6

The classic. Generates moderately average characters with a chance of outliers.

https://anydice.com/program/1c62

How to:

1. Roll 3d6 and add them together.

2. Record the result and repeat until you have 6 numbers.

3. Using each resulting number only once, assign each to your stats.

Variant rules:

- Roll for each stat in order.

- After rolling in order, the position of two stats may be swapped with each other.

- After rolling in order, you may subtract 2 from one stat to add 1 to another stat, as long as it does not exceed 18.

- Roll 7 numbers instead of 6, dropping the lowest.

- Roll using 4d4 instead of 3d6 for a more centered bell curve.

- If any die comes up as a 1, re-roll it once and accept the new result.

- start with a free 14 and roll the remaining 5 numbers.

## 4d6, drop the lowest

This produces slightly higher results than the 3d6 method, while still producing swingy results. This is the current standard used in modern games.

https://anydice.com/program/e5e

How to:

1. Roll 4d6, and take out the lowest die result. Add the remaining dice.

2. Record the result and repeat until you have 6 numbers.

3. Using each resulting number only once, assign each to your stats.

Variant rules:

You may use the same variant rules as used in the 3d6 method.

## 13th Age Point Buy

The following table is adapted from the 13th Age SRD, licensed under the Open Game License.

https://www.13thagesrd.com/character-rules/#Point_Buy

https://www.13thagesrd.com/legal/

Players are given 28 points to buy their stats with. Scores are priced according to the following chart.

.----------------------------. | Ability | Point | Ability | | Score | Cost | Modifier | |---------|-------|----------| | 18 | 16 | +4 | | 17 | 13 | +3 | | 16 | 10 | +3 | | 15 | 8 | +2 | | 14 | 6 | +2 | | 13 | 5 | +1 | | 12 | 4 | +1 | | 11 | 3 | 0 | | 10 | 2 | 0 | | 9 | 1 | -1 | | 8 | 0 | -1 | '----------------------------'

## Pathfinder 1E Point Buy

The following two tables are adapted from the Pathfinder SRD, licensed under the Open Game License.

https://aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=84

https://aonprd.com/Licenses.aspx

Players are given points to buy their stats with. The number of points players are given to use depends on the preferred power level of the game.

.---------------------------. | Campaign Type | Points | |------------------|--------| | Low Fantasy | 10 | | Standard Fantasy | 15 | | High Fantasy | 20 | | Epic Fantasy | 25 | '---------------------------'

Scores are priced according to the following chart. A score with a negative value earns the player more points to spend.

.----------------------------. | Ability | Point | Ability | | Score | Cost | Modifier | |---------|-------|----------| | 7 | -4 | -2 | | 8 | -2 | -1 | | 9 | -1 | -1 | | 10 | 0 | 0 | | 11 | 1 | 0 | | 12 | 2 | +1 | | 13 | 3 | +1 | | 14 | 5 | +2 | | 15 | 7 | +2 | | 16 | 10 | +3 | | 17 | 13 | +3 | | 18 | 17 | +4 | '----------------------------'

## Advanced 5e Point Buy

The following table is adapted from the Advanced 5e SRD, licensed under the Open Game License, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, and the ORC License.

How to:

Players are given 27 points to buy their ability scores with. Ability scores are priced accordingly.

.----------------------------. | Ability | Point | Ability | | Score | Cost | Modifier | |---------|-------|----------| | 8 | 0 | -1 | | 9 | 1 | -1 | | 10 | 2 | 0 | | 11 | 3 | 0 | | 12 | 4 | +1 | | 13 | 5 | +1 | | 14 | 7 | +2 | | 15 | 9 | +2 | '----------------------------'

## Advanced 5e Standard Array

From the Advanced 5e SRD, licensed under the Open Game License, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, and the ORC License.

How to:

1. Players are given a predefined array of numbers: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8.

2. Assign each number to a character's ability scores as you see fit. Each number must be used exactly once.

## Dungeon World Standard Array

Dungeon World is licensed under the CC BY 3.0 license by Sage LaTorra and Adam Koebel.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

https://www.dungeonworldsrd.com/character-creation/

How to:

1. Players are given a predefined array of numbers: 16, 15, 13, 12, 9, 8.

2. Assign each number to a character's ability scores as you see fit. Each number must be used exactly once.

## 13th Age Base 13 Random Stat Generation

From the 13th Age SRD, licensed under the Open Game License.

https://www.13thagesrd.com/character-rules/#Base_13_Random_Stat_Generation_DATP

https://www.13thagesrd.com/legal/

## 6d6, assign with +8

Produces characters without any significant weaknesses or strengths.

How to:

1. Roll 6d6.

2. Assign one die to each stat, adding 8 to the result.

## 24d6

Produces a character that's almost guaranteed to have both high and low stats.

[Youtube] Video demonstration from captcorajus

How to:

1. Roll 24d6 dice, all at the same time.

2. Remove the 4 lowest dice and 2 highest dice.

3. Line up the remaining 18 dice into groups of 3, ordered from lowest to highest value.

4. Add up the dice in each group to produce a set of 6 numbers.

5. Using each resulting number only once, assign each to your stats.

Variant rules:

- If you have one or more triples that are below 6, you may take out one die from the worst triple and replace it with one of the two high dice removed at the beginning.

- A die from two groups may be swapped. This can only be done once.

## 18d6

How to:

1. Roll 18d6.

2. Use the dice to create 6 groups of 3 as desired.

3. Add up the dice in each group.

4. Using each resulting number only once, assign each to your stats.

Variant rules:

- Roll 21d6 instead and drop the lowest 3.

## d8-d8+11

How to:

1. Take 2d8s. Assign one as the positive and the other the negative.

2. Roll them, and subtract the negative die from the positive die. Should result in a range between -7 and +7.

3. Add the number to 11.

4. Record the result and repeat until you have 6 numbers.

5. Using each resulting number only once, assign each to your stats.

https://anydice.com/program/3263e

## 6d8 pairs

How to:

1. Assign each attribute a starting value of 11.

2. Roll a d8 6 times and record each result.

3. Assign each die to each attribute and add it to the value.

4. Without re-rolling, assign each die to each attribute again, this time subtracting it from the value.

## d20 chart

Heavy bias towards the center values, with room for more extreme values.

https://anydice.com/program/2cd98

How to:

1. Roll 3d20, and remove the highest and lowest roll, keeping the middle value.

2. Compare the rolled value against the chart to get the ability score.

3. Repeat until you have 6 ability scores.

.----------------. | Roll | Result | |-------|--------| | 1 | 3 | | 2 | 4 | | 3 | 5 | | 4 | 6 | | 5 | 7 | | 6 | 8 | | 7-8 | 9 | | 9-10 | 10 | | 11-12 | 11 | | 13-14 | 12 | | 15 | 13 | | 16 | 14 | | 17 | 15 | | 18 | 16 | | 19 | 17 | | 20 | 18 | '----------------'

## d20

This is a joke method not intended for serious use. Results are widely swingy and break the standard high and low barriers for attributes.

How to:

1. Roll a d20 and record the result.

2. Repeat until you have 6 numbers.

3. Assign each number to your ability scores.

Variant rules:

- Rolls must be assigned in order.

## Roll for modifiers

In this example, F stands for Fate or Fudge dice. They are 6 sided dice with two sides each for -1, 0, +1.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fudge_(role-playing_game_system)#Fudge_dice

How to:

1. Roll 3dF.

2. Record the result and repeat until you have 6 numbers.

3. Using each resulting number only once, assign each to your stat modifiers.

4. Fill in the appropriate ability score value that would result in that stat.

Variant rules:

- Roll 4dF instead, drop the lowest.

## Roll for modifiers 2

How to:

1. Roll 2d6.

2. Remove the lower die. (Either if it's a tie.)

3. Subtract 3 from the remaining die and record the result.

4. Repeat until you have recorded 6 numbers.

5. Assign the 6 numbers to each ability modifier.

6. Fill in the appropriate ability score that matches with the modifier.

## Roll for modifiers 3

How to:

1. Roll d4-d4 and record the result.

2. Repeat until you have recorded 6 numbers.

3. Assign the 6 numbers to each ability modifier.

4. Fill in the appropriate ability score that matches with the modifier.

Variant rules:

- Increase 3 different rolls by 1 before assigning.

## Point buy with rolling

A way to introduce randomness while still having power to affect the fates.

How to:

Players get 3 points to put into their ability score modifiers of their choice.

Then, they roll 2dF for each attribute and adjust the modifier by the value rolled.

## Knave 2 Style

Used for character generation in the Knave 2 game.

How to:

Ability scores are listed in numerical sequence.

1. Strength

2. Dexterity

3. Constitution

4. Intelligence

5. Wisdom

6. Charisma

Roll 3d6. For each number on each die rolled, raise the modifier bonus of the corresponding ability score by 1.

For example, if you roll 2, 4, 4, you would get a +1 in Dexterity and a +2 in Intelligence.

To convert the modifiers to ability scores, double them and add 10.

Variant rules:

- Add an extra die of a different color, then roll it along with 4d6. The off-color die subtracts 1 from the ability score instead of adding.

## Cards

This method prevents getting results with extreme outliers such as all 3s or all 18s.

How to:

1. Get a deck of standard playing cards and pull out anything that is not the numbers 1 through 6.

2. Deal out six piles with three cards each.

3. Add the totals of the cards in each pile to get your 6 ability scores.

Variant rules:

- Remove a 1, 2, and 6 card before dealing. This gives results closer to 4d6, drop the lowest.

- Remove a suit so you have exactly 18 cards and will have no leftovers after dealing. This almost ensures you will have more highs and lows.

## Card Pairs

Similar to the Cards method, but uses less cards. Produces characters of about equal power to the 4d6, drop the lowest method.

1. Pull number cards out from a standard deck of playing cards equal to 9, 9, 8, 8, 7, 6, 6, 6, 4, 4, 4, 3.

2. Shuffle the cards.

3. Deal out six piles with two cards each.

4. Add together the cards in each pile to get your 6 ability scores.

Variant rules:

- Modify the card array used to affect the possible spread.

- 9, 8, 8, 8, 8, 6, 6, 6, 4, 4, 4, 3: No 18s possible.

- 9, 8, 7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4, 3, 3, 2: Probability closer to 3d6.

## Roll for Point Buy

https://sdoehren.com/RollingForPointsBuy

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© 2023. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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