# Real value of 4d6 in point buy?

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Anonymous

So the average of 4d6 drop the lowerst is 12.244... which equates to
about a 27 point buy. but the average doesn't tell the whole story,
since high rolls which are more probable are worth more points, plus
there is the chance you could be below 8 with 4d6.

So what would the real probable value of 4d6 be in a point buy system?

You have to first give a value to the lower stats, so lets say -1 below
8 since they will most likely be a dump stat if that low, and not worth
negative as much as a high stat.

Then you have to weed out unplayable characters. I have to look up the
possible values of unplayable characters or if that is implimented by
default. Have to go now, so I'll get back on that.

- Justisaur

Anonymous

"Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
> So the average of 4d6 drop the lowerst is 12.244... which equates to
> about a 27 point buy. but the average doesn't tell the whole story,
> since high rolls which are more probable are worth more points, plus
> there is the chance you could be below 8 with 4d6.
>
> So what would the real probable value of 4d6 be in a point buy system?
>
> You have to first give a value to the lower stats, so lets say -1 below
> 8 since they will most likely be a dump stat if that low, and not worth
> negative as much as a high stat.
>
> Then you have to weed out unplayable characters. I have to look up the
> possible values of unplayable characters or if that is implimented by
> default. Have to go now, so I'll get back on that.
>

This has been done several times on the ENWorld boards.

The answer (average value) is about 29 or 30, depending on how you
count scores below 8 and whether you use the 'hopeless character' rule.

Geoff.
Anonymous

Geoff Watson wrote:
> "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
>>So what would the real probable value of 4d6 be in a point buy system?
<snips>

> This has been done several times on the ENWorld boards.
>
> The answer (average value) is about 29 or 30, depending on how you
> count scores below 8 and whether you use the 'hopeless character' rule.

Most of the counts I've seen don't take into consideration how
suboptimal most of the stat distributions are when you roll, it's like
the differance between the default array and 25 point buy, only worse.
Still, 28 point comes out fairly close in utility to median 4d6
characters, IMO; but without the risk of a 14/10/10/10/10/8 it's more
fair to stick with 25 if letting players choose.

--
tussock

Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
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Anonymous

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 22:36:49 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye"
> <bradd+news@szonye.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:
>
> > > Also let me direct you to the thread on WotC boards that brought this
> > > up for me in the first place...
> > >
> >
> > Ugh, it's just like rgfd, except uglier and more civil.
>
> Last time I was there I found the level of on-topic thought to be
> overall more shallow.
>

This is very true, but the topic in question had a little depth (or at
least the part I was interested in), and hadn't been brought up here
AFAIK.
Anonymous

Justisaur wrote:
> How do you think my "PC" array compares to the point buys and rolling?
>
> It's 16,15,13,12,10,9

I'm the wrong person to ask about that. I personally prefer the
arrays (which are great for DMs but annoying for many PC builds).

> I was wondering if they should get more because they can't choose the
> stats, it comes out to 30 in point buy (if I got that right).

Yes, I agree that an array's point-buy value should equal that of
rolling dice, because you have a similar lack of control over both.
Although I'm not sure whether the D&D point-buy costs are reasonable --
there's a good argument that ability scores should have linear costs
instead of the "+4 costs more than four +1s" approach of the official
system.

> Also let me direct you to the thread on WotC boards that brought this
> up for me in the first place...
>

Ugh, it's just like rgfd, except uglier and more civil.
--
Anonymous

>> Going by arithmetic mean or median score, with the hopeless-character
>> rule, I'd put the value solidly at 30 points. Neither average drops
>> below 30 unless you scale low scores the same way you scale high scores
>> (and few if any RPGs take that approach to scoring).

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> Hero does, and always has. GURPS does now, because it's gone to a dead
> flat pricing structure for stats.

I was referring to D&D's non-linear point buy. Lots of games make high
scores worth "extra" the way D&D does -- GURPS used to, for example --
but nobody I can think of mirrors that at the low end of the range
(i.e., giving extra refunds for especially low scores).
--
Anonymous

On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 22:36:49 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye"
<bradd+news@szonye.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:

> > Also let me direct you to the thread on WotC boards that brought this
> > up for me in the first place...
> >
>
> Ugh, it's just like rgfd, except uglier and more civil.

Last time I was there I found the level of on-topic thought to be
overall more shallow.

--
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous

On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 23:06:36 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye"
<bradd+news@szonye.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:

> I was referring to D&D's non-linear point buy. Lots of games make high
> scores worth "extra" the way D&D does -- GURPS used to, for example --
> but nobody I can think of mirrors that at the low end of the range
> (i.e., giving extra refunds for especially low scores).

GURPS sort of used to, but that was more that it under rewarded for
the middling-low scores. It's all fixed now, though.

--
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous

On 23 Aug 2005 15:16:19 -0700, "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com>
carved upon a tablet of ether:

> Although I'm currently using my very complicated method:
>
> Roll 4d6 drop lowest for first 3 scores with a minimum of 9, 7, & 5.
> Then for the next 3 scores subtract those rolls from 27, 25 & 23
> respectively THEN you add +2 to one score which can't go over 18.
>
> I'm wouldn't even know where to begin on what this method would be
> equivelent to for everything else, I know it's 77 points total, which
> is more than the average of 4d6, but not sure where it compares if you
> take out unplayable characters.

Well, it seems to run from about 29 points up to 45 at the max.

--
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous

On 23 Aug 2005 20:47:07 -0700, "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com>
carved upon a tablet of ether:

> I was trying to make one between broad and focused, but not TOO good
> for one or the other. I don't like too focused because of the balance
> issues, and that's one of the problems I find with point buy. It
> allows you to be too focused. You can make a character with 18 in one
> (or two if high end point buy) stat and neglect everything else. This
> makes a character that is usually very offensive, but can't stand up to
> much, which makes for short and deadly fights.

I tend to see that as self-correcting.

--
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous

On 23 Aug 2005 20:47:07 -0700, "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote:
>Rupert Boleyn wrote:
>> I'm anti-rolling because you can get quite unpleasant effects if the
>> party ends up with widely varying results.
>>
>
>Exactly that too. I've experienced it a couple campains ago, that's
>why I've been searching for a better method. I thought my current
>method (the complicated one) solved the problem, but with 8 deaths over
>7 levels, something is seriously wrong, so I'm looking at the ability
>scores again.

Please don't take this as a criticism, but what about those 8 deaths caused
you to conclude that the most likely cause of such frequent character death
(and thus the most likely place to look for a solution) was specifically the
characters' ability scores?
Anonymous

Justisaur wrote:
>> Exactly that too. I've experienced it a couple campains ago, that's
>> why I've been searching for a better method. I thought my current
>> method (the complicated one) solved the problem, but with 8 deaths over
>> 7 levels, something is seriously wrong, so I'm looking at the ability
>> scores again.

Aardy R. DeVarque wrote:
> Please don't take this as a criticism, but what about those 8 deaths caused
> you to conclude that the most likely cause of such frequent character death
> (and thus the most likely place to look for a solution) was specifically the
> characters' ability scores?

After reading about the PC deaths in more detail, I'm fairly confident
that the cause has very little to do with the game at all, and a lot to
do with the players themselves.
--
Anonymous

Justisaur wrote:
> So the average of 4d6 drop the lowerst is 12.244... which equates to
> about a 27 point buy. but the average doesn't tell the whole story,
> since high rolls which are more probable are worth more points, plus
> there is the chance you could be below 8 with 4d6.
>
> So what would the real probable value of 4d6 be in a point buy system?

Heck, let's give it a shot! I think in this case, actually testing the
method is better than doing the math.

I rolled 10 stat arrays with the 4d6, drop lowest method. Here they
are:

8 11 12 12 16 16 Point value: 31
8 10 11 12 12 16 Point value: 23
10 12 14 14 16 16 Point value: 38
9 11 12 13 13 14 Point value: 24
10 11 12 14 15 16 Point value: 33
9 12 12 14 15 18 Point value: 39
9 13 13 13 15 17 Point value: 37
7 9 11 13 14 14 Point value: 20 (counting 7 to be worth -1 points)
10 12 12 14 15 17 Point value: 37
7 9 10 10 11 14 Point value: 13

Well, I think this shows perfectly why I don't like players rolling
their ability scores. The tenth array would qualify as a "hopeless"
character, and could be rerolled, but the others are all valid.

The real problem is that there is a 19-point difference between the
worst and the best array. This leads to pretty large power differences
between characters. There are also two "valid" arrays that I feel lead
to very weak characters: the fourrth and the eighth one.

Basically, I think 4d6-drop-lowest is too high variance. I'd advise
everyone to stick with point-buy, or find a method with a lower spread.