Hopeless Characters?



  • Here's a bunch of quotes from books about rolling shitty stats.


    Kill Yourself, Start Over

    Sometimes a player may "roll up" a character who is below average in every ability, or who has more than one very low (3-6) ability score (such as a fighter with very low Dexterity and Constitution). The DM may declare the character to be not suited for dangerous adventure, and the player may be allowed to roll up a new character in place of the "hopeless" one. (Moldvay Basic)

    While it is possible to generate some fairly playable characters by rolling 3d6, there is often an extended period of attempts at finding a suitable one due to quirks of the dice. Furthermore, these rather marginal characters tend to have short life expectancy... (AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide)

    If your character has sucky mutations and punishing defects, you might think your character is hopeless and that you should roll over. You can roll over, as soon as this character is dead and you're generating a new one. So rush to the fore in combat. Even if your character is so misbegotten that you never lay a point of damage on the enemy, you'll at least suck up some attacks that would otherwise hurt the characters that count. Pretty soon, you're on to character number two. It is improper, however, to roll up your next character first and use that to help you decide whether to kamikaze your current character." (D20 GW)

    Invoke Darwin

    Sometimes, a player will have such incredible bad luck when rolling the dice that his character will be ridiculously weak. When all or most of a character's attributes are 8 or less the GM should declare the character "unfit" for survival and allow the player to create a new character. A character with fairly high Attribute Scores (13 or greater in all areas) might also be declared unfit if he suffers from serious mutational Defects. (Gamma World, second edition)

    Look Within for the Strength to Go On. Call on a Higher Power.

    Find your highest Ability Score. If it is less than 9, you should roll all the Scores again. You may keep the character if you wish, but he or she probably won't be suitable for dangerous adventuring! However, before you discard the character, ask your Dungeon Master what to do. Your DM might prefer that you play the character you rolled, especially if you are an experienced player. If two or more Ability Scores are less than 6, the character may have problems later on. This type of character should also be discarded, unless the DM says otherwise. (Mentzer Basic)

    Say it Loud: You Suck and You're Proud!

    Low attributes are okay. Don't be dismayed if your character has a few high attributes and a few low (even abysmally low) ones. Remember, this is role-playing, go with the flow and play your character with both his strengths and his weaknesses. This is realistic and fun. It's realistic, because nobody is perfect; just because a character is incredibly strong, it doesn't mean he or she has to be brilliant too. Just because a character is a genius, it doesn't mean he's an athlete. Or a character may be both smart and strong, but he may have a low Physical Beauty and look like a moose, or have a Spd of 3 and move like a turtle. Or he may be physically strong and handsome (a virtual Adonis) but have the personality of a rock (a low Mental Affinity) or be easily frightened, intimidated or manipulated by others because his Mental Endurance is low. Flawed characters are a blast to play! Honestly, a hero with strengths and weaknesses makes for a much more interesting and fun character to play. Try it. (Palladium FRPG, second edition)

    Opportunity for Improv!

    Obviously, Rath's ability scores (often called "stats") are not the greatest in the world. Yet it is possible to turn these "disappointing" stats into a character who is both interesting and fun to play. Too often players become obsessed with "good" stats. These players immediately give up on a character if he doesn't have a majority of above-average scores. There are even those who feel a character is hopeless if he does not have at least one ability of 17 or higher! Needless to say, these players would never consider playing a character with an ability score of 6 or 7.
    In truth, Rath's survivability has a lot less to do with his ability scores than with your desire to role-play him. If you give up on him, of course he won't survive! But if you take an interest in the character and role-play him well, then even a character with the lowest possible scores can present a fun, challenging, and all-around exciting time. Does he have a Charisma of 5? Why? Maybe he's got an ugly scar. His table manners could be atrocious. He might mean well but always manage to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. He could be bluntly honest to the point of rudeness, something not likely to endear him to most people. His Dexterity is a 3? Why? Is he naturally clumsy or blind as a bat? Don't give up on a character just because he has a low score. Instead, view it as an opportunity to role-play, to create a unique and entertaining personality in the game. Not only will you have fun creating that personality, but other players and the DM will have fun reacting to him. (AD&D 2E)




  • Rerolls? Shmeemolls!

    For one thing, stats are going to be mutable. Your stats will change in the campaign (for better or worse!). Second, I'm all for the challenge of playing a shitty character. With that said, shitty dudes don't become adventurers for no reason!

    Allow me to introduce The Zodiac of Dwimmermount that occasionally grants a boon to those less blessed in natural ability who go on to become adventurers. :)

    Characters with particularly shitty stats only make it to become an adventurer because of some boon they've received from this Zodiac. Is it magic that somehow attunes to the less endowed? Is it the gods taking pity on the less fortunate?

    After rolling your character, determine if your character qualifies for a boon of birth that helped them to become an adventurer. To qualify, one of these must be true:

    • All stats 9 or less
    • One stat is 6 or less

    And:

    • If one stat is a 3, roll twice and choose which result you want.

    Each of the following boons is associated with a Zodiac sign of Dwimmermount. Roll 1d12 on the following table to determine your boon.

    Roll d12 Zodiac Boon
    1 Sun turn undead as a cleric or +1 to turn / #HD if cleric
    2 Moon touch heals 2 hp per level (as "lay on hands")
    3 Star +2 to saving throws vs. Spells
    4 Jester +2 to saving throws vs. Wands
    5 Rogue hide in shadows and move silently as thief or +10% if thief
    6 Cataphract +1 to all attacks and damage
    7 Throne +15% to experience earned
    8 Flames +2 to saving throws vs. Breath
    9 Key find secret doors as an elf or 1 in 3 if elf
    10 Skull +2 to saving throws vs. Death
    11 Euryale +2 to saving throws vs. Stone
    12 Ruin A quiet death in a gutter. Roll a new character.


  • Cool. The boons are a much better solution than simply re-rolling or suicide.

    A note about shitty, hopeless PCs though... in Mike and John's LDnD campaign I tried to "suicide" a shitty PC (Brother Claustus the Anemic) and he lived a surprisingly long time (3rd level I believe). Brother C even survived a night with me asleep at the table and the rest of the party playing him as the Party's thief, so don't necessarily despair.



  • @JohnY said in Hopeless Characters?:

    Cool. The boons are a much better solution than simply re-rolling or suicide.

    A note about shitty, hopeless PCs though... in Mike and John's LDnD campaign I tried to "suicide" a shitty PC (Brother Claustus the Anemic) and he lived a surprisingly long time (3rd level I believe). Brother C even survived a night with me asleep at the table and the rest of the party playing him as the Party's thief, so don't necessarily despair.

    Ha! That night will never be forgotten.

    Drunkenly Sleeping Yusk: "I send Hazeem forward..."
    Everyone Else: "Hazeem's not there! You're playing Brother Claustus!"

    Which happened at least 2d3 times.

    But, yes, I had been holding onto that Zodiac table for something and then had a eureka moment (after dwelling on it for two days, consulting Google, various forums, G+, etc.) that using the Zodiac boons for shitty stats works great.



  • Also, rolling on this table is optional. If you have an 18 in one ability score and a 3 in another, you don't have to roll on the table. And, you might not want to.

    Because, beware: if you roll a 12 on this table, you don't have a choice to roll a new character; you must!



  • Hey all, take note I've tweaked the requirements for a hopeless character. If you have a stat of 6 or less, you may choose to roll. A 3 indicates you may choose to roll and if you do, roll twice and choose one of the results.

    Remember: if you roll 12, your character dies and you must refill stats. See warning in previous post.



  • Question: I rolled a "1" (Turn undead as a Cleric). Any problem with elves, or dwarves for that matter, turning undead?



  • @JohnY said in Hopeless Characters?:

    Question: I rolled a "1" (Turn undead as a Cleric). Any problem with elves, or dwarves for that matter, turning undead?

    No problem at all. Such is the mysteries of the Zodiac.


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