Based on the comments in the previous post, it seems like many players generate their characters using the following method:
- Roll 4d6
- Discard the lowest number
- Add the remaining three together
- Wait until the DM isn’t looking
- Write down whatever numbers you want.
- Make sure one of them is a 9, just to keep yourself “honest”.
If you could graph these numbers, I bet they would form a very nice curve that peaks around 15.5. People are very predictable when generating “random” numbers.
But let’s look at a few more graphs of character score distributions. Just because. First, the standard character distribution. Roll 4d6 and discard the lowest. It produces the now-familiar curve.
We’ve seen that. Now, what would it look like if we just roll only three dice and just add them up?
That really brings the averages down quite a bit. The process of rolling an extra die and discarding the lowest moves scores upwards by about two full points. What if we went the other way, and rolled two extra dice, keeping only the three highest?
Adding an extra die moves scores up by a point. Now, try rolling twelve six-sided die, and then divide the result by four. This is basically like doing the three dice method above, except we are doing it four times and averaging the results.
It produces characters pretty much the same as the three-dice method, but the curve is much steeper. The odds against getting a weak or strong character are astronomical. Everyone is going to be more or less the same this way. I know there isn’t a nine-sided die, but what if there was? Let’s roll up our characters using 2d9.
That produces a very broad curve. In contrast to the one before it, this would give us tremendous variety in character scores. We could have even more variety by rolling a single 18-sided die for each of our stats.
This produces the broadest distribution so far, which is probably pretty realistic. It also means the average is right around 9, which is “below average” for a human being. We could correct this by rolling 2d18 and discarding the lower, but I think you get the idea by now.
Ok, I’m done with this for now.
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