Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ideas for new 3d6 Stats

These aren't intended to be all used at the same time.  Today I'm just exploring the idea of adding additional stats to the traditional six.  Some of the mechanics below are aimed at LotFP.  Since that's what I'm running right now that's what I'm thinking about the most.


STATFind Secret or Hidden Stuff
3-51 in 10
6-81 in 8
9-121 in 6
13-152 in 6
16-183 in 6
Additional: Roll Perception or less on d20 to avoid being caught flat-footed by an ambush.


STATStupid d30 Rule UsageAll Saves
6-81 per session-1
9-121 per sessionnormal
13-152 per session+1
16-182 per session+2
I don't really like Luck as a stat, since I tend to think of Luck as entering the game when you roll the friggin' dice. But since it has a long pedigree going back to T&T, I thought I'd give it a try.

Social Status
STATStarting ClothesFree StuffContacts
3-5pitiful beggar ragschoice of random disease or random bad limbbeggar, madman, leper
6-8filthy peasant garbdagger or woodaxeblacksmith, hedge witch, poacher
9-12respectable yeoman dresslongbow, quiver, 12 arrowslocal priest, forester, publican
13-15sturdy merchantweard6 x 10 extra starting goldship captain, magistrate, scribe
16-18minor noble finerysword, dagger, riding horse w/kitmercenary captain, bishop, alchemist
Contacts: PCs have a total number of usuable contacts equal to 3+Cha modifier.  The listings of contacts for each social strata are meant to be suggestive.

Attack Skill
STATBAB, fighterBAB, other
I was reading WFRP 1st edition for the first time this weekend, which uses Weapon Skill and Bow Skill as primary stats for characters rather than deriving them from other properties like class levels or hit dice.

STATUnarmored AC
The Dodge stat is intended for genres where most people run around showing a lot skin: Barsoom, a campaign based on Frazetta paintings, etc.

Magic Aptitude
STATMU/Elf SpellcastingMU/Elf Miscellaneous
3-5Int roll to cast any spell above 1st levelStart with only one random spell in book
6-8Int roll to cast any spell above 3rd levelStart with only two random spells in book
9-12Int roll to cast any spell above 5th level-
13-15Int roll to cast any spell above 7th levelFree Detect Magic 1/day with Int roll
16-18Int roll to cast any spell above 9th levelFree Read Magic & Detect Magic each 1/day with Int roll
The Int roll for Spellcasting applies to scrolls and devices as well as normal memorized spells.

STATCleric/Paladin SpellcastingCleric/Paladin Miscellaneous
3-5No duplicate spells in the same month.Can’t cast spells while wounded or under any fear type effects.
6-8No duplicate spells in the same week.Can’t cast spells while under any fear type effects.
9-12No duplicate spells in the same day.-
13-15One pair of duplicate spells per day.Free Turn Undead 1/day.
16-18Two pairs or one triplicate spell per day.Free Turn Undead and one other random* spell 1/day.
The Spellcasting Column hear is meant to work with my No Double Memorization house rule.

*How random is that other random spell?  Gonzo version: any spell in game.  Non-gonzo version: Roll on highest level chart cleric can cast.  Sucky version: Random 1st level.


  1. The one or other could work in a specific campaign tied to the general concept...

    And is that "Stupid d30 rule" as in "charming stupid" or in "Stupid dumb rule I don't like anymore"? Just curious, because I just started using it...

    1. Some very nice people stopped by yesterday's post to note that they didn't like the d30 rule. I was just trying to oblige them, out of a sense of good-natured fun.

    2. Oh, I missed that one... Well, the post and the corresponding joke. ;)

  2. In the AD&D campaign I play in, the DM uses a perception attribute that is the average of INT and WIS.

    Last year B/X Blackrazor suggested using the Starting Gold 3d6 as a 7th attribute - Social Status.

  3. Disassociated mechanics wrecked my car. I don't think they even cared. They just stared at me and one of them was petting a chicken.

  4. For Social Status, use the roll for starting money (it is 3d6x10, after all).

  5. Not LotFP specific, but I think another possible general stat could be Corruption, be it sorcery, Chaos, or radiation induced.

  6. Anonymous11:18 AM

    Oh man, I dig these! Sort of wockety, though, that everything Magic Aptitude does is controlled by Int...

    1. Yes, it is. Still musing on that.

    2. Anonymous6:36 PM

      Well, I for one can't imagine any problem with just letting the high-Aptitude character have the Read and Detect Magic for free and without any roll, for starters. And if a guy can figure out a way to nuke someone with his free Read Magic, I say he's earned it.

  7. Well, LUCK is one of the original 3D6 stats in T&T. I _really_ use it as Luck. For instance in the last game I GM'd (The Fungoid Gardens) the players were really, really low on hit points. So one of them goes "Oh maybe I did remember to pack some of those ointments". I set a high difficulty level (30 or 35, I don't remember) but the player got really lucky, rolled doubles and managed his SR. So I decided he did bring three doses of ointments along.

    1. Yeah, the most interesting use of luck seems to be on those "Neither the GM nor the player has nailed this down yet, let's use it retroactively to see if the fiction goes your way" thing. Like: is any of the silverware sharp enough to use as a weapon? Is there a chandelier? etc

  8. How about alignment also as another 3d6? 3 = chaotic, 18 = lawful. Could affect reaction rolls against monsters of whatever alignment, and maybe require checks for being able to do "against alignment" stuff.

    1. That's actually pretty cool.

    2. Kinda like Chivalry & Sorcery, yes?

  9. Back in the 90s when playing 2E we often added a 3d6 perception score to the basic 6. We pretty much just used it as a spot skill; I like the "avoid ambush" bit that is included here.

  10. Um, what if I roll stats of 5 or 16?

    1. Dang! I made two errors on the first table and didn't notice them, then copied it to make the others. Thanks! Corrected.

  11. I was reading WFRP 1st edition for the first time this weekend...

    "You've taken your first steps into a larger world." - Alec Guinness

    ...a campaign based on Frazetta paintings...

    Warrior Nudists of the Cult of St. Vallejo? Got 'em IMG already.

  12. When I played 2nd Ed, we used to use a Perception ability from Dragon Magazine. Don't recall which issue or any details.

  13. I've been thinking of including luck as a bonus you qualify for by having sufficient negative modifiers in the other stats. So a b/x character that has more negatives than positives as ability modifiers gets a +1 somewhere randomly. I just can't figure out where to put it without it being a pain in the ass (like, "oh, I really want to slam the baddie so I'ma use my luck bonus on this one!").

  14. I forgot to say that the rationale for the above is that the guy is otherwise so lame that luck has to be involved in him getting him to adulthood without dying.

  15. Great post! I would totaly play a game with these ability scores/tables

  16. @Alexey re: Consolation for low bonuses
    Have you seen Roles, Rules, and Rolls? Check out the Gnome as Consolation Prize

    @faoladh re: Starting Gold as Social Status
    From the same source, Roger the GS has a good worked example of using 3d6 starting gold as "Social Status", it's lightly genre specific and has the added bonus of speeding up starting equipment & initial henchmen-ing
    Page 3 of this sheet Old School Player's Sheet (homebrew Basic-like character generation in 5 pages)

    1. Thanks for the consolation Gnome tip. I like it. I'm thinking seriously of working in this consolation element, esp since we recently went back to rolling 3d6 six times and apparently have a lot of d6s weighted to one. :p

    2. I had a later idea for a consolation class, too: the dilettante.

  17. WFRP BS is Ballistic Skill. Bow Skill made me chuckle.

    1. Huh. I wasn't aware that they changed it, but looking around online, I see that it seems that WFRP did use the "Ballistic" term instead of Warhammer's "Bow".