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Why is point buy so reviled?

   
IMO if every aspect of the game is determined by random dice rolls I don't see why stat generation shouldn't be too... the reason I ever liked actually playing the game in the first place was because the dice-rolling aspect ensures you almost never 100% know what will happen. That's what makes it fun for me! If I wanted to play a game where I always know exactly what will happen and am always in control, I'll play a CRPG or a shooter or something.

I don't REFUSE to use point-buy, I just prefer rolling.

Dice. Thatís one of he major components of this game. You get good rolls and you can build whatever you want, especially if the class is MAD. Bad rolls literally remove a chunk of classes, like the 3.5 Paladin., itís one of the worst offenders. I only go with Point buy if the rolls are terrible. I like well rounded characters that are at least capable at several things. Dump stats aggravate me because you are literally terrible at some things and min/max play comes into effect. If the point buy is low then thereís only a few classes that are viable.

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Originally Posted by KillerK View Post

I don't REFUSE to use point-buy, I just prefer rolling.
This

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Originally Posted by TheRoot View Post
Bad rolls literally remove a chunk of classes, like the 3.5 Paladin., itís one of the worst offenders. I only go with Point buy if the rolls are terrible.
So you roll first, and then decide to use point buy if it didn't work out? That's like trying to have your cake and eat it, no?

If the stats are generated by rolling alone, typically point buy is not an option - that's the whole point, you roll badly and you're consigned to (probably) not using those classes and being permanently weaker for the whole rest of the game.

If you are allowed to roll and then take point buy if you rolled badly... erm, what's the point? To have a chance of getting even bigger stats? Well of course, everyone wants to gamble but without actually having to take on any risk.
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Originally Posted by KillerK View Post
IMO if every aspect of the game is determined by random dice rolls I don't see why stat generation shouldn't be too...
In D&D, not every aspect of the game is determined by random dice rolls... in fact as far as character generation goes, none of them are. Only events during the game are random and those (as I already pointed out) are really a different category of things.

I'm kinda odd about this. In a face-to-face game, I prefer rolling. There's something fun about it.

However, when I play online, I much prefer point-buy. Keeps things easy to track, for starters.

On a side note, back before I discovered dedicated PbP boards and I was running a small board for my old gaming crew (which had no built in dice roller, so it was all honor code), I ended up using stat arrays to be fair, and because it was easy (I did a lot of theory crafting back then...)

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Originally Posted by Avianmosquito View Post
Everybody seems to have a giant issue with point buy everywhere I go. It's bad enough I've had people turn down games just because point buy was allowed as an option. And none of them will elaborate on why, the few that have say something always have two answers, which are "Munchkins use it!" and "It's too hard.". But the thing is, it's actually not great for munchkins because most point buy systems have diminishing returns built in that force them to dump stats to get their high stats more than if they just rolled dice, and I've never found it to take any longer than rolling dice either, so I don't get it.
I'm curious to some examples you've experienced with people hating point buy. As with others, I've seen more complaints about rolling, whether it's not rolling good enough, rolling too good, or not liking the random aspect of it in general.

Personally, I prefer point buys. I started with D&D in '83, and I just become tired of the cheating and whining.

Nowadays when I see people wanting to roll for stats for in-person games, it often falls into one of two situations. The characters are going to be used for only a short period of time (e.g. one session), or the rolling methodology is very generous.

Generally speaking, when somebody wants to play a class that has ability requirements (we're talking AD&D) and hasn't rolled high enough, I just give them the minimum characteristics to qualify for the class. That's never caused any issues.

Depends on what context the PB thing comes from: For instance, I can never come back to the old style category/priority system found in Shadowrun 5 after tasting the flexibility of point buy in ed4... now, when you come to D&D 3.xx or 5, my problem is that the DM generally does not allow enough points for a well rounded character, and forces players to overspecialize... and I just HATE to have to dump stats just so I can have decent ones in my key attributes, plus, some other posters have broached the inherent problem with MAD characters like paladins and monks.

I make no bones in being a power player enjoying playing powerful characters, even if that means needing less effort and ingenuity to overcome certain difficulties and foes. so low power point buys will drive me away like skunk smell.

At this point, it sure seems like it's random rolling that is being reviled...

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Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
That's why I said "possibly-one-off"
Correction accepted. I missed the "possibly".

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Personally, the vast majority of times I've rolled characters completely randomly (which is easier said than done in some systems), they've come out as nonsensical and I've wanted to alter some of the randomly-generated decisions to better suit a concept which matches others.
My Mileage Differs.

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Therefore I'm more likely to go in for such a game if it's a less-serious one-shot with a character who may well get thrown away soon... that's not a necessity; the point is simply that sometimes, you might want to play a game where you roll characters randomly, but not always.
Exactly. Conversely, I'm not opposed to point-buy...I just find it basically adds nothing. To be fair, randomness also adds nothing unless you use it right.
Hence my preferred approach is mixing the two, like in Traveller and the like.

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This probably sounds like an annoyingly argumentative question but I mean it genuinely: Why? What's the fun bit about being made to generate your character randomly?
Well, if there's an annoyin...oh wait, I see you know it yourself!
First: Nobody is making me generate my character randomly. I can simply skip on the game, for starters. Thankfully, ttere's no dearth of options on MW!
Second: it gives me a character who is often not exactly the way I'd want him. It seems more like I'm just taking the reins of an NPC who was already living in the settting, and serves as a spur to creativity.

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So... all games should use deterministic character generation?
No, of course! All games should use lifepaths, some just default to inferior point-buy or simple random rolls because not all have realized it yet!


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Forcing me to roll is in general bad - if that's somehow part of the design of the game, sure, but for most D&D-style RPGs half the point is to be able to design a character, and random generation is almost anathema to that.
Actually, that's...sorry, strictly untrue. For a sub-set of players of the D&D editions produced after the 90ies, that might be the point.
For the many, many other players, as well as players of different editions, not to mention different systems...that's a necessary backstop before we go off to have adventures.
Seems to me like you're extrapolating from your own Player Type, and forgetting that there are other Player Types out there.

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Like I said before, sometimes random generation can be fun, but most of the time it's an unnecessary restriction and furthermore rolling only ability scores in D&D is pretty ridiculous.
No, it's not.
1) Restrictions spur creativity.
2) It might not fit your preferred editions...but it fits mine!

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That's rather my point. Saying "let's randomly create characters and have some fun with them" can make for a cool game. However, it's a totally different game to the sort of game that I normally think of when I think RPG.
And that was my point. I might be inviting you to play an RPG that's not like what you're used to...and if I'm doing that, then not playing the way you're used to is at least part of the point.
Also, you have a needlessly restrictive definition of RPGs...but I think you realize that. I mean, a definition that excludes the previous editions of the games you're playing from being RPGs is kinda self-defeating, ain't it?

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If you ask me to roll a character, play it as best I can, and see how it fits the story... well, sometimes I might be up for that, but sometimes I'm going to say nope, I want to play a regular game please.
That's fine. You knowing what you want is a bonus, even if it makes you skip the campaign I'm offering!
Now, accepting what I offer and trying to turn it into what you want is where I'd start having problems - but you're not doing that.

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The rolling attributes thing in D&D, however, shows up all over the place. People say, this is the setting, this is the hook, these are the parameters within which I want you to build your character... they're asking for a design. But then they say, roll stats! That's bizarre.
Well, they might have thrown together elements that don't fit, or they might have a point you're missing. I don't think we can make a general decision for all D&D games on the Weave.

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Essentially, random character generation writ large has it's place, but it shouldn't be an inherent and mandatory part of the system (at least, not for a typical mainstream RPG... I guess I can envisage systems where it is but, again, they feel more "throwaway")
Wait, what?
D&D from OD&D to AD&D2, Runequest, Call of Chthulhu, Traveller, Tunnels&Trolls and Warhammer/40k aren't "typical mainstream RPGs"? Unlike, say, Sorcerer, where you have no random factors in chargen...
Yeah, I'm being ironic.
You do realize that there were decades upon decades of gaming where those were the most popular games out there, right? That there are whole countries today where they're more popular than the current edition of D&D?

Seems to me that it's your definition whioch needs chaning, because the world ain't about to change to accommodate it!

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and rolling as a method of stat generation in an otherwise deterministic game is quite frankly insane.
Whether your character lives or dies in most RPGs is determined by rolling...and you think a stochastic element doesn't fit chargen? Seriously?
No, events during the game aren't "a different category of things", because they also determine what kind of character you end up playing.

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Originally Posted by KillerK View Post
IMO if every aspect of the game is determined by random dice rolls I don't see why stat generation shouldn't be too... the reason I ever liked actually playing the game in the first place was because the dice-rolling aspect ensures you almost never 100% know what will happen. That's what makes it fun for me! If I wanted to play a game where I always know exactly what will happen and am always in control, I'll play a CRPG or a shooter or something.

I don't REFUSE to use point-buy, I just prefer rolling.
Also, this.

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Originally Posted by Peacemonger View Post
I'm curious to some examples you've experienced with people hating point buy. As with others, I've seen more complaints about rolling, whether it's not rolling good enough, rolling too good, or not liking the random aspect of it in general.
Yeah, same here...as this thread seems to confirm.

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Originally Posted by Vox Clamantis View Post
Generally speaking, when somebody wants to play a class that has ability requirements (we're talking AD&D) and hasn't rolled high enough, I just give them the minimum characteristics to qualify for the class. That's never caused any issues.
Also, this.

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Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
Depends on what context the PB thing comes from: For instance, I can never come back to the old style category/priority system found in Shadowrun 5 after tasting the flexibility of point buy in ed4... now, when you come to D&D 3.xx or 5, my problem is that the DM generally does not allow enough points for a well rounded character, and forces players to overspecialize... and I just HATE to have to dump stats just so I can have decent ones in my key attributes, plus, some other posters have broached the inherent problem with MAD characters like paladins and monks.

I make no bones in being a power player enjoying playing powerful characters, even if that means needing less effort and ingenuity to overcome certain difficulties and foes. so low power point buys will drive me away like skunk smell.
It should be pointed, however that the extreme impact attributes in D&D 3-5 have on the game is a weak point in the system. In many other systems and editions of D&D, having an 18 in your Strength might be nice...but it's not a requirement for playing, say, a heroic Barbarian.
(Not everyone envisions his Barbarians as Governor Schwarzenegger...some of us prefer inspiration from the source material, for example! Personally, I much prefer the tale of Jacqueline, my DCC Strength 6 battlefield terror. Yes, she was rolled randomly...and yet I wouldn't have minded playing her, no matter how long the campaign might have lasted).

In short, it would be much better if you could play a powerful character even when you only have lower stats, wouldn't it?








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