When deciding who you want your character to be, you want to think about their abilities. Who is your character at their core? Are they a strong brute? A cunning strategist? Whoever your character is, they are represented by their ability scores. There are six ability scores, each representing a different facet of your character’s strengths. So what exactly are these stats, and how do we calculate them?
Your character’s abilities are divided into six stats, known as ability scores. These scores are strength, the measure of physical strength; dexterity, the measure of accuracy; constitution, the measure of physical health; intelligence, the measure of fast thinking; wisdom, the measure of common sense; and charisma, the measure of social grace. These stats are measured in numbers going up to twenty. The average stat for an ability score is ten, with the effectiveness going up one for every even number above it, and dropping one for every odd number below it. So now that you know what ability scores are, let’s look at how to create them. There are three methods, each with their own set of pros and cons.
The first method is rolling. For this you want to take four D6’s, roll them, and add up the highest three. Do this five more times and you have numbers you can plug in as you see fit. This is perhaps the most popular method, even being used by Critical Role. It’s a fun method that creates varied characters. Under it you can have a whole party of the same race and class and they would still feel different from each other. The issue with this method is it is subject to high and low rolls. You’re basically gambling with your character. Yes you can have three scores maxed at level one, but you can also have multiple stats below ten and have a subpar character. While one or two bad stats can actually make a character interesting, having a character with a board full of bad stats is just not fun. It can also create some resentment in the part as well depending on who got lucky.
The second method is the standard array. With this method you have your stats made for you, all you have to do is plug them in. This is the method I use, as it’s fantastic for new players to just jump into the game and go. The problem with this method is that your characters can feel the same. In fact if you have two players of the same class, their sheets could look exactly the same. This evens out through subclasses and races, and ultimately is a non factor. It’s a quick and clean method that helps quicken character creation.
The last method is point buy. In this method you have a pool of points that you use to increase your scores, as detailed in page thirteen of your player’s handbook. This allows you to create a character with three high and three low stats, or average them out. This method takes a bit longer than the others and is a tad more complicated. However it is the most fair method that creates the most varied party. It’s also a perfect fit for those minmaxers in your group. This method is perfect for seasoned players as well.
Once you have your ability scores set, you’re ready to push onto the next sections of character creation. We’ll take that on later. But for now these are the methods for creating the foundation that your character will be built upon. What method do you prefer? Let me know down below! And while creating your characters, keep those dice rolling high!