... now with 35% more arrogance!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Class Before Ability

The original books, as is well-known, do not have minimum ability requirements for the three (four) core classes (or for the races, either.) So, although the M&M character creation example describes rolling ability scores first, then selecting class, there's no reason not to do it the other way. I've seen some people mention even requiring players to select class first, then rolling for abilities, which other people have described as "hardcore".

I haven't done this, but I've considered it. If I were running a game for people new to OD&D, I'd possibly require it, to reinforce the idea that the scores don't matter as much as in other games or other editions.

Anyone have any experiences with hardcore character creation? How did players take it?


  1. Specify class, then roll scores in order, then swap any pair, seems to work for me. And there's always the option to let the dice specify the class.

  2. The xp bonus for high scores kinda hint that they were designed to steer players towards archetypical roles--insofar as to reward the player with the high str to play the fighter.

    1. The XP penalty for low scores suggests the opposite: that some fighters are expected to be low strength. But that isn't the question I'm asking.

    2. Not quite. The -xp penalty for classes actively encourages you to pick a wizard when you roll a 6str and a 16 int.

  3. Wow, I missed this post before I posted on the gold swap. Very timely.

    When my colleague and I started up gaming again a couple of years ago, we decided on S&W/OD&D, and, in our efforts to be the badassest OD&D players we knew, we decided to select class and race and even name our characters before rolling abilities. But we each had multiple characters and expected some or all of them to die quickly, so it wasn't much of a risk.

    Folks who expect their character to live to 10th level or beyond are probably not as likely to take it so easily.