3d6 or 4d6 Compared

As a follow-up to last night’s post on rolling up ability scores for Labyrinth Lord, here’s a screenshot of a little Excel sheet I whipped up to simulate some rolls:

Green indicates a bonus of 1 or greater, Red indicates a penalty of 1 or greater

Green indicates a bonus of 1 or greater, Red indicates a penalty of 1 or greater

You can click for a closer look, but, before you do, notice the green and red on each side. Green indicates a score of 13 or better and bonus. Red indicates a score below 9 and a penalty. As I noted last night, it’s that bonus at 13 that makes me cringe when talking about 4d6. So much green on the left side.

Something else to consider is the class requirements. In LL, only elves, dwarves, and halflings even have a minimum score required, and that’s a 9 in every case. Certainly not all that difficult with 3d6. Especially with the “trade 2 points somewhere else to add 1 to your prime req” rule, which I’ve never really liked but may consider using if we go with 3d6.

Another option, one I used in my short-lived Swords & Wizardry White Box game, was “3d6 in order, plus a 7th 3d6 roll which can be traded with any of the first six.” What I liked about this was that it helped make sure that a PC had a good chance to avoid a really bad score while not doing too much to ramp up the power level.

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