Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Method I for Gary's Birthday

So it's Gary Gygax's birthday, as I was reminded by this Tumblr blog:

Suggested Options for Rolling Character Stats in AD&D

I love this quote:

"Character generation, then, is a serious matter, and it is recommended that the following systems be used."

"3d6 in order" is a legendary hallmark of early D&D, but I came up with Basic Set D&D (3d6 in order, with lowering one stat to raise another) and then right into AD&D. We generally used Method I.

So let's get on with the serious matter of rolling up a paper man for AD&D, using, oh, Method I:
6-4-1-1 = 11
5-5-4-3 = 14
6-6-5-5 = 17
5-5-3-2 = 13
6-1-1-1 = 8
5-5-3-2 = 13

I can put them in the order desired. So let's make this guy a halfling thief!

Str 10 (11 -1)
Int 13
Wis 8
Dex 18 (17 +1)
Con 14
Cha 13

Not bad. With max HP he's HP 6, and has AC 6 without any armor and AC 2 with leather. That's probably survivable.

I could have done a dwarf fighter with 18 Con, a cleric with 17 Wis, a magic-user with 17 Wis . . . I was tempted to make a Str 18 Half-Orc Fighter/Assassin, too, with Con 15 (14+1) and Cha 6 or Int 6 (not bright, but wise and deadly?) So much fun.

Happy birthday Gary.


  1. I wasn't aware that 4d6-drop-lowest went back that far, all my grognard friends gravitate to the 3d6 Method II so I had always assumed that was the original.

    1. I think people gravitate towards whatever sounds the most hardcore, but back in the day in 1981 when I started, we used 4d6 drop lowest for AD&D because the DMG said so.


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