... now with 35% more arrogance!

Friday, August 24, 2012

3d6 in What Order?

I have actually seen people arguing about which order you are supposed to roll the ability scores in. Like, today, as well as other occasions.

Men & Magic has the abilities listed in this order: Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity, Charisma. AD&D has them in a different order, and so, too, do some other versions/editions.

However, it is my contention that "3d6 in order" means "in an order" not "in this specific order". That is, you say, "I'm rolling for Strength" and then you roll for Strength, and you don't swap. It has nothing to do with rolling Strength before Intelligence, or Constitution before Dexterity. Why would it matter if you knew what your Dexterity was before you knew what your Constitution was? That's not going to affect your character. Assigning scores after you roll, on the other hand, would affect your character, which is what "3d6 in order" is meant to prevent.

Just an observation.


  1. I think you're being too polite about these so-called 'people' that are arguing. Where's that 35% more arrogance we were promised?

    1. I know I'm too nice, but... Hell, if I were as openly arrogant as I am in secret, no one would read the blog.

  2. I hadn't noticed that in Man & Magic we see the prime requisites group (S/I/W) followed by the other stats (C/D/Ch). Holmes maintained the order, but Moldvay & AD&D promoted Dexterity to fourth position, explicitly grouping it a prime requisite, cementing Thieves as a Class, and subtly ghettoizing the remaining two.

    I like that the evolution of the game's classes is reflected in the ordering of the stats.

    Anyway, rolling the prime requisites first is certainly natural (though hardly mandatory).

    If you go to Delphi have your baby's destiny foretold, you wouldn't expect the Oracle to go off on how she's going to enjoy chocolate cake as an adult, but eventually come around to preferring apple pies in her dotage.