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D&D 3E
Concerning the point buy system (as outlined in the DMG): Normally… 
10th-Sep-2005 09:52 am
chocobo
Concerning the point buy system (as outlined in the DMG):

Normally you get 8's in all stats and then spend points to increase them beyond this. But what if you want a stat that is lower than an 8? For example, I have a character with a 6 wisdom (rolled) which I play as incredibly naive and unobservant, and it's lots of fun. Is there some standard way of actually gaining points by taking a score of less than 8 in an ability? Does anyone have a good house rule for this?
Comments 
10th-Sep-2005 04:02 pm (UTC)
what we usually do in my group is we start each ability at 3 then add in racial bonuses or penalties. then we get 58 points to spend however we want. and no matter how low or high the score is, 1 ability score increase/decrease always equals 1 point.
10th-Sep-2005 04:14 pm (UTC)
Well the idea behind the standard point buy is that raising to a higher ability starts costing more and more (reflecting how the probability difference between getting a 13 and a 14 is different from the different between getting a 17 and an 18). It's that aspect that I'm trying to preserve.
10th-Sep-2005 04:03 pm (UTC)
I'd rule that if you want a 6 in an ability score, then you'd get 2 points. However, DM descression would crop up since some people would have like 3 6s so they could get 3 18s
10th-Sep-2005 04:05 pm (UTC)
That's where the DMs need to either
a: check their players to curb powergaming
or
b: build encounters around their characters weaknesses
10th-Sep-2005 04:20 pm (UTC)
Well, taking three 6's would mean you had 31 points to spend on the other three stats. An 18 costs 16 points, so you couldn't even get 2 18s. Basically you could get an 18,17,10,6,6,6. Even if it was 1 for 1 and took three 3's you'd only get 15 extra points for a total of 40, which still isn't enough for three 18s.
12th-Sep-2005 04:43 am (UTC)
18/18/18/3/3/3 is perfectly legitimate, as far as I'm concerned, for a fighter-type. In second edition, it meant primarily that the character was going to be really, really slow, and not much else; but in third edition, things are a little different:
* The character will basically get no skill points whatsoever.
* The character will fail will saves, every single time. (And if the monsters are smart at all, one failed save is probably more than enough.)
* The character will fail in every attempt to influence another character which might be made.
* The character had better not be a paladin or a ranger- or else sure as hell won't be casting any spells.
* The character sure won't be picking up any of the feats along the expertise tree.
* The character will be extra-vulnerable to any enemy that drains any of the mental stats- they only have three points to lose before incapacitation or death.
* Just for humor's sake: the character will be as smart as the average hydra, slightly wiser than the average shrieker, and slightly more charismatic than the average spider.

The best way to deal with a player who wants to do this (assuming they're not doing it just for a good joke, but rather with the intent of powergaming) is to weight roleplaying fairly heavily- they won't be able to do it. (Or, rather, they'll sit all the interactions out.) If you want a hack-and-slash campaign, the character will still be fairly easy to deal with. Hold person? Sleep? Charm? Hello?

Of course, that's just the basic big dumb fighter stereotype- but basically a min-maxer of this sort has two options: either leave one saving throw totally useless, or put their 18s into Dex, Con, and Wis. The former leaves a BIG chink in their armor, no matter which save is vulnerable; the latter doesn't leave you with a terribly useful character. Oh, I'm sorry, did you want to carry equipment? That's nice. More than 10 pounds, and you're taking penalties. And of course you can't hit in melee, either. I hope you didn't want to be a Rogue, since you'll be getting four fewer skill points per level- not to mention that any search, bluff, diplomacy, disguise, and use magic device checks you make will be severely penalized. Obviously barbarian, bard, fighter, paladin, wizard, and sorcerer are right out. You could half-ass it as a cleric, monk or ranger, but I don't think it'd work too well for you... I guess you could be a druid, if that's your thing. Great.

Min-maxing is its own punishment, really.
10th-Sep-2005 04:04 pm (UTC)
Just looking at it on the surface (without digging into how much better an 8 is to a 6) I would just give an extra point for each point your score is lower than an 8.

So if you wanted a 4 Str for your Necromancer you would have 4 points to place elsewhere.

Just my thoughts.
11th-Sep-2005 08:33 am (UTC) - It depends...
Anonymous
It depends on what kind of game the GM wants.

If you have players who can be depended on to effectively and enjoyably play both their strengths and their weaknesses, if you want to encourage people to play larger-than-life characters with larger-than-life flaws, then go 1 for 1, and make sure that the character feels the bite of that low score every once in a while (Hi, Raistlin)

If you want to have characters that are closer to the midline on everything (and recognize that 3e fixes many of the 2e problems with this already) you make it 2 for 1 below 8, 1 for 1 up to 13 or 15, and 1 for 2 past that.
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