Monday, December 8, 2014

Tyrant DM!

Talking about myself, here.  Or at least my plans for when I finally get some time to run my Gamma World/Marvel Comics mashup campaign.

Usually, I'm sort of easy-going when it comes to players rolling their ability scores.  I let them make PCs at home, so they essentially get unlimited mulligans when rolling stats.  What the DM doesn't know won't hurt him, right?

But in this new campaign, I'm thinking of taking a hard line.  Why?  Well, because I actually want to give players a choice of how they roll their stats, and need to be able to enforce it.  I'm going to give my players a choice of rolling 3d6 six times and arranging to taste, or rolling 4d6-L (or with slight differences depending on character type) but in order down the line.  This choice becomes meaningless if they just ignore the first set rolled and do it again, or roll both methods and take the better set.

Anyway, I'm thinking of possibly going so far as to suggest they tell me what PC type they want to play and which method of rolling they prefer and rolling the numbers myself.


Will the players revolt against this power trip of mine?  Possibly.  And I'll be the big softy I am and let them do it how they want in the end, because playing it their way is better than not playing at all.  Besides, who cares if you've got an 18 Strength when you're facing off against a cyborg tyrannosaurus? 


  1. Why roll dice a all??
    For each starting player character, he assigns each ability score one of six values; 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 & 17
    ; no duplicates allowed, and place as desired. Next, select your character’s race as non-human races will have modifiers to certain ability scores. Finally, declare your character class.
    this method allows a PC to belong to choose any class he wants. no PC feels slighted playing with a character concept that he doesn't like just because his initial luck was poor.

  2. Rollin g is quicker and the tyranny of the dice lets players discover a character they might not have otherwise played, and have fun with it. If you end up with a shabby rolled character well that character just isn't a star the next one may be.
    I oce rolled a character that was average down the line except for a good charisma score the DM actually offered to let me reroll but I felt the character was fine the way he was, that was the only characterr to survive the entire campaign.

  3. I definitely prefer the tyrannical method, particularly because it puts all the players at the table together at the same time, so they can discuss character concepts before the first session and maybe get ideas on how their characters can interact and know each other.

    Or it can backfire horribly and you get a group of characters who are suspicious of other people, don't want to work in groups, and you have to create complex coincidence-based plot hook backgrounds that somehow include every member of the non-party so they have a reason to work together.


  4. Why roll dice at all? That's a good question, probably deserving of its own post (actually I may have covered that in the past).

    For this campaign, at least, certain ability scores are not really as necessary. Mutant Future is classless, so no one "must have" a high score in a certain area. And as JDsivraj notes (and I've found this true for myself as well), sometimes rolling gives you that character that looks underpowered but turns out to be fun and effective due to how it's played, rather than how its ability scores give it a boost.

    And personally, I've come to dislike arrays. Sure, maybe it's "fair" but in old school games that fairness may not be as necessary as it seems to be in 3E+ D&D.

    Luckily my core player group all signed on to the idea of strict rolling for this game. And it will be fun to have a char-gen and background building session to start the campaign.