# Rolling Abilities in Dungeons & Dragons

I saw some Reddit posts recently about rolling ability scores, or not rolling ability scores. I thought up a couple ideas, and started thinking about possibilities, and then went down the al-miraj hole of internet research. Listed below are the ability generating variants that I found. I broke them apart into individual pieces that can be mixed an matched. I tried to identify numbers that you could vary to fit your tastes, which I typically called N, with values people stated they were using in parentheses.

### Individual Rolls

• 3d6
• 3d6 N times, keep the highest (N = 2 or 6)
• 3d6, replace one die with a four
• 3d6+4 drop lowest
• 4d6 drop lowest
• 5d6 drop two lowest
• 1d4+N (N = 10, 14)
• 1d6+N (N = 8, 9)
• 1d6-1d4+N (N = 13)
• 1d6+1d4+N (N = 7, 8)
• 1d6+1d8+N (N = 4)
• 1d8+N (N = 7, 8)
• 1d10+N (N = 7, 8)
• 1d20
• 2d20 drop lowest
• 1d20 with a table, for complete control of the distribution
• 2d4+1d6+1d8 drop lowest
• 2d4+N (N = 7 or 8)
• 2d6+N (N = 4, 5, or 6)
• 2d8+N (N = 3 or 4)
• 3d4+2d3+1d6+3 keep three
• 4d4+N (N = 3 or 4)
• 5d2+N (N = 2 or 5)
• 5d4+N (N = 0)
• Ndf+M (N = 4 or 5, M = 12 or 13)

• Standard from 5E.
• 1 for 1.
• 1 for 1 with a minimum of N. (N = 8)
• 1 for 1, start with all at N, when one goes up another goes down. (N = 10 or 12)
• DM chosen point buy (infinite possibilities, not going there).

• Point buy with random points. (random = 8d6)
• Randomly generate a legal point buy.
• One ability can be replaced with 4d6 drop lowest.

### Cards

• Use a 12 card deck, draw two cards for each ability.
• Suggested deck #1: 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 10.
• Suggested deck #2: 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9.
• Suggested deck #3: 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9.
• Use a 14 card deck, drop the lowest score.
• Either deck suggested above, plus a 4 and a 5.
• Make a deck of 18 cards from 1-6 that add up to N. Three cards per stat.
• Optionally, three cards of the same color gives + 1
• Optionally, three cards of the same suit gives + 2
• Play a blackjack hand for each ability. Under 21 gives the hand minus 3, over 21 gives 31 minus the score.

#### Card Variants

• Play face up, one row at a time, with choice of which stack to place each card in.
• Play face up, one card at a time, with choice of which stack to place each card in.
• Add some extra cards that don’t get dealt.

### Arrays

• Standard 5E array.
• Standard 5E array, +1 for each ability.
• Standard 5E array, with N points to spend, with a max of 18. (N = 6)
• Standard 4E array (16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10).
• Average of 4d6 drop lowest six times (16, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8).
• Non-standard array as chosen by DM (54,264 possibilites, not going there)
• Each player rolls once, with DM rolling until there are six rolls.
• Do this three times, and each player can choose which of the three arrays to use.
• Each player rolls once, with DM choosing numbers until there are six numbers.
• Each player rolls once, with DM rolling a secret number that the players can swap out for any one roll.
• Each player rolls once until you have N rolls. The DM decides which two to drop. (N = 7, 8)
• Alternately, let each play choose what to drop.
• Each player rolls once until you have 12 rolls. The DM pairs off highest and lowest until you have 6 pairs. Each player can choose any three pairs.
• Each player rolls all six abilities. Whichever set of six has the highest total becomes the array.
• Each player rolls all six abilities. The players choose which set everyone uses.
• Optionally, throw out highest and lowest arrays.
• Each player rolls all six abilities. Any player can use any other player’s rolls.
• The DM can roll a set as well to give an extra choice.
• Each player rolls two sets of six abilities. Roll for order of choice, each player picks one of the sets (that no one else has picked yet).
• Each player rolls six abilities. Determine order of choice and split the individual rolls among the players.
• Each player rolls one die, keep top three, repeat six time. (best with four players, you can rotate a player who doesn’t roll)
• Roll two halves of the array from two different tables. (infinite, not going there)

### Finishing Sets of Rolls

• Roll five abilities, the sixth number is N minus the total. (N = 70 or 75)
• Roll five abilities, last ability is the top three dropped dice.
• Roll five abilities, reroll four of the dropped dice for the sixth, max 18. (for mixed sets of dice)
• Roll five abilities, the last one is N. (N = 17)
• Roll four abilities, DM gives a high and low (high = 18, low = 8).
• Roll N times, choose the best six. (N = 7, 8, or 12, higher N for lower average rolls)
• Roll six abilities, add points 1-for-1 until the total is N, with a max of M (N = 75, 85; M = 16, 18)

### Rolling as Sets

• 1d20 with a different table for each ability.
• Roll two low rolls, two medium rolls, and two high rolls. (rolls = 3d6, 4d6, 5d6)
• Roll N sets and choose which one to use. (N = 2 or 3)
• Have the DM roll the N sets, all players choose from them.
• Roll abilities in a 6×6 grid. Each player chooses a unique line in order (either direction).
• DM can remove lines.
• Player conflict removes a line.
• Roll Nd6k3 for your least needed ability, (N+1)d6k3 for the next least, and so on up to (N+5)d6k3. (N = 3 or 4)
• Class based or player’s choice.
• Roll Nd6, keep the N-6 best dice, split them how you want into two abilities. Do that three times. (N = 6 or 8)
• Roll Nd6, keep the N-9 best dice, split them how you want into three abilities. Do that twice. (N = 11)
• Split N points among your stats. Abilities with 0 points get a typical roll, abilities with 1 point get a better roll, and abilities with 2 points get a much better roll. (N = 3)
• Assign each roll to an ability before making the next roll. At the end, you can swap two ability scores.

### Distributing the Dice

• Each player gets N dice to spread among their abilities. Then they roll, keep three highest. (N = 18, 21, or 24)
• Optional minimum of two or three dice.
• Optionally roll 2d6 as 2d6+1.
• Each player rolls N dice, and spreads them among their abilities. (N = 20, or 36)
• Each player rolls N dice, keeps the best 18, and splits into six sets of three. (N = 24)
• Every score starts at 8. Roll 7d6. Add to abilities as desired.
• Roll 72d6. Count each number from 1 to 6. Those counts are your six abilities.
• Redistribute points over 20 to the lowest abilities.

### Ordering the Abilities

• Player chooses which number goes to which ability.
• Rolls are done in order for each ability: The first roll is Str, the second Dex, …
• For arrays, roll 1d6 for each number to determine which ability it goes in, rerolling duplicates.
• For arrays, roll 1d6 for lowest four, player choses last two.
• After random ordering, you can swap any two abilities.
• Player can choose where the rolls go, or assign the rolls randomly and get +1 to any ability.

### Rerolls

• Reroll any number below N (N = 6, 7, or 8).
• Reroll any number above N (N = 16).
• Reroll any N or less on a single die. (N = 1 or 2)
• Reroll any N or less on a single die once. (N = 1 or 2)
• Reroll the lowest number until the total is at least N.

### Change to a Specific Number

• Any roll below N becomes N.
• Any roll below N becomes N, and the extra points are subtracted from the highest ability.
• Any roll over N becomes N.
• Any roll over N becomes N, and the removed points are added to the lowest ability.
• Lower a roll by 2 to increase another by 1. Can’t go below N. (N = 8)
• Three of a kind under 4 count as 17, three of a kind over 3 count as 18
• Four of a kind are 1 = 16, 2 or 3 = 17, 4+ = 18

### Rerolling Sets

• Reroll any set without one N+. (N = 14, 16)
• Reroll any set without two N+s. (N = 15)
• Reroll any set with a total less than N. (N = 80 or 75)
• Reroll any set with a total more than N. (N = 82, 85, 100)
• Reroll any set with a total bonus less than N. (N = 1, 2, 4)
• Reroll any set with any roll <= N. (N = 8)

### Other

• Roll a d6, a d8, and a d10. Abilities are 10+d6, 15-d6, 10+d8, 15-d8, 8+d10, 17-d10.
• Roll two d6 and a d8, Abilities are 10+1st d6, 15-1st d6, 8+2nd d6, 17 – 2nd d6, 8+d8, 17-d8.
• Roll six dN, label them A-F. Abilities are M+A-B, M+B-C, …, M+F-A. (N = 6 or 8, M = 13)
• Roll 3d6 three times, min N – 18. Subtract them from N for the other three abilities. (N = 23)
• Dice points: 3 = 18, 2 = 1d4+14, 1 = 8+1d4+1d6, 0 = 1d4+1d6+1d8 (infinite possibilites, not going there)
• Draft: Each rolls six abilities, roll initiative, choose one in order, choose one in reverse order, repeat 3 times.
• Roll 3d6 drop lowest. Get an array like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Add array to rolls as desired.
• Roll three stats, min 7, subtract each one from 25 to get the other three stats.
• Roll 1d4 three times, each roll determines two stats: 1 = 12, 12; 2 = 11, 13; 3 = 10, 14; 4 = 9, 15.
• 4d6 drop lowest or (5E point buy plus a free feat).