Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rolling Attributes in Moldvay Basic

 A lot of people believe that 3d6 in order, a.k.a. the Iron Man method of attribute rolling is the standard method in Moldvay basic. Well, it’s not. It’s the Iron Man method followed by a limited point swap method. Which makes a difference, because you can raise and lower the first three attributes in order to raise the prime requisite score for your class.

Still this can be a bit limiting, or so my players often tell me, but switching to roll 4d6 drop the lowest and arrange to taste….just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Let’s be honest, it’s for the weak. The weak player I mean, because if you roll like that, none of their characters are going to be weak in anything.

So how do you bend the system so that it doesn’t get all munchkin but at the same time makes it so that your players don’t keep rolling “hopeless” characters?

Method 1
Roll 2d6+4 for each attribute in order. I have done this plenty of times and it works fine. Characters don’t have any score lower than 6, but they also have the tradeoff that they won’t have any attributes higher than 16. Due to this upper limitation many players don’t care for this method. After many years of method 1, I finally came up with method 2. Which, strangely enough players seem to like better.

Method 2

Roll 3d6 in order. Any 1 rolled is switched to a 2. Using this simple dice trick results in a lower limit of 6 in an attribute, while maintaining the upper limit achievable at an 18.

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