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[Half-Baked] 3d6 Attribute Advancement


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A random thought that came to me just before going to bed:

Take a game where you randomly roll for your attributes - you roll 3d6 and figure your modifier from that. However, rather than adding up your dice, record them separately - you determine your modifier directly from the dice you rolled. So maybe something like:

-1 to your modifier for each 1.
+1 for each 5+
+1 if you have two or more 6s.

If you get an opportunity to train that attribute later (you go to the gym for BOD, practice bartending for PUB, or take night classes for BOOK), you may reroll your stat and may choose to take the new result. An easy gamble for someone with a 1 - not so easy for someone with a 5 or 6.

However, you may spend XP to keep results you like - each point you spend lets you exclude a die from the reroll. So if you had a Strength of 3/4/6 (+1), you could spend 1xp to just reroll that 2 and 4. To prevent the shitty nature of dumping your XP into a hole in the ground and setting them on fire, I'd say that you only need to spend the XP if you accept the reroll - that way, Ms. Strength 3/4/6 wouldn't be down an XP if her player rolled a 1.

Now, there are a few inherent things to consider with this system. First off, it makes improving high stats more expensive without needing an explicit rule to that effect. On the other hand, it does lead to situations where someone can get very lucky and turn a 2/3/4 into a 5/6/6 - depending on the rest of the system, this could be very weird.

A possible answer to that is that accepting a reroll costs you XP equal to the new modifier, ignoring withheld dice. So that 5/6/6 is always going to cost around 3xp, while you could actually gain XP if you accept a reroll that leaves you at a penalty.


I really should stop posting hare-brained mechanics at 2:40am, shouldn't I?

The Benj

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I can see it working, if you can get past the issue of random attributes being awful.


Registered User
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I also dislike random attributes.

Maybe, if you still want some randomness, it could be solved with a fixed numer of attribute point, but the distribution (only) is random.

That way all toons are equal (if your stats are worth equal much), but you maintain a randomness at creation.


Validated User
I feel this idea might be a slippery slope to balance mechanically. I can see it being either the xp hole you mentioned where there is a lot of resources spent without any reward or it will be too easy to lock in high stats and you'll have everyone with max stats before too long.

Other things to think about, is xp used for anything else? Are stats more important than skill? How important is balance to your system? As The Benj noted, random attributes is inherently unfair and many newer systems have moved away from this. I do like rolling, but I'd rather have more stability during character creation to more reliably create the character I envisioned.


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
RPGnet Member
Validated User
IMO you should have a low attribute scale 0 to +3, since only the bonus has any application to the game. (Unless the total of the dice has some impact.).

Might I suggest Fate Dice or Hero dice points (which are 1 being 0 pts, 2-5 being 1 point, and 6 being a 2 points).


However, in your example, if I only pay for an advance... how many times may I throw XP at it before I strike out and can't throw more XP?

perhaps 1xp for an attempt and +2xp if it succeeds.


What else are XP being used for?
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