Generators: Special Dice Methods and Character Leveling

There are many ways to modify the generators so they create characters that meet the specific needs of judges. In particular, you can modify how ability scores are generated, as well as limiting the randomness of character creation so that similarly-powered sheets can be generated for convention play.

Dice Rolling Methods

When you create characters using the 0-level and Upper Level character generators, you can choose from a variety of dice methods for rolling up stats. In addition to the Crom approved standard 3d6 method and the Hugh-scoffing 4d6 discard lowest style, the generators include a few specialty methods:

Terry’s Methods

Terry Olson outlined the Tatterdemalion and Sezrekan methods in the 2015 Goodman Games GenCon Program guide. Each is designed to create more ‘extreme’ characters:

The Tatterdemalion’s Tampering

Tatterdemalion’s method makes ability scores more “swingy,” with increased odds of obtaining higher and lower values. To apply The Tatterdemalion’s Tampering, roll 1d5 and 3d7 for each ability score.

If you roll 1–2 on the 1d5: Roll 3d7 and count any 7 as a 1.
If you roll 3 on the 1d5: Roll 3d7 and reroll any 7s (same as 3d6)
If you roll 4–5 on the 1d5: Roll 3d7 and count any 7 as a 6.

Alternately, you can skip the d5 roll and simply count all 7s as 6s (creating powerful Tatterdemailion’s Heroes) or count all 7s as 1s (creating weaker Tatterdemalion’s GongFarmers).

The Sezrekan Method

The Sezrekan Method will generate ability scores that purists may consider wildly “overpowered”: Roll 4d7, count any 7 as a 6, and discard the lowest die. By the power of Greyskull!

Additional Methods

Jack’s Deformed Method

Jack Mack created a radical new table where you roll 2d10 for char gen. Along with the extra modifiers, this gives characters a much better chance of getting high and low ability scores, which is likely to make them simultaneously crippled and amazing. It also uses a slightly modified modifier table. Find out more at his blog.

2d10 Standard Method

This method uses the 2d10 method of Jack’s deformed, but caps the results at 3 and 18 and uses the standard mod bonus charts.

Mad O'Murrish

Get swingy with a method that rolls 1d16+2, giving lots of high (and low!) stats.

Average Joe

If you're feeling average then use this method that bends things to the middle: roll 6d6, then divide by two. (Round up for rolls below ten, round down for those above). Suggested by Patrick Sanders.

Adding your Own Scores

Alternately, you can roll up ability scores by hand and enter them for up to 4 characters. Just type the scores into the Optional Ability Scores box located below the Dice Method box. The scores should be separated by commas in the order of Stength, Agility, Stamina, Perception, Intelligence, and Luck. If you enter six numbers, they will apply to the first character created. You can add additional numbers to provide the scores for 4 total characters. (12 for two characters, 18 for three, and 24 for four).

A single character would thus look like: 10,9,8,7,6,5. A full group of 4 characters would look like: 10,9,8,7,6,5,10,9,8,7,6,5,10,9,8,7,6,5,10,9,8,7,6,5.

Leveling Characters for Convention Play

It's often useful to create a pool of characters that are roughly equivalent in terms of ability scores and hit points for their class, so that all players at the table start off without significant advantages or disadvantages. Giving each player a group of 3-5 sheets and letting them choose their favorite will go a long way towards achieving this goal, but the generators offer two additional ways to level the playing field:

Upper Level Hit Point Methods

If you want to create a pool of upper level characters that have roughly the same 'rolling luck' in in generating hit points, you can choose a percentage option in the Upper Hit Point Method dropdown. If you want them all to have roughly 60% of their possible max hit points based on their class and stamina, just choose that amount in the dropdown. Choosing 'normal' will generate upper level characters as usual, rolling randomly for each level based on their class and stamina bonus. (This option won't be altered by the 'Randomize Character Traits' option in the Upper Level Generator, since the default 'normal' hit point method is itself random.)

Minimum and Maximum Total Ability Bonuses

If you want to insure that all sheets are roughly on par in terms of ability scores, you can now limit total mods to certain ranges by modifying the minimum and maximum ability bonuses. For example, if you select -2 as the Minimum Total Ability Bonus Allowed, and +2 as the Maximum Total Ability Bonus Allowed, as each character is rolled up, the generator will add up all the ability score mods for Stength, Agility, Stamina, Perception, Intelligence, and Luck, and if the total bonuses are -3 or below, or +3 or above, the script will toss out that character and move on until the character created has stats in the correct range. Min/Max settings act on a single character in the Upper Level Generator, but on the whole sheet for 4-up zero-level sheets. (This way the sheet total bonus will fall into the correct range, but there will be variety between the individual characters).