So, to build some background I am trying to help my DM build a fair Dice roll methods for character generation according to tiers of classes. Ex. Giving weaker classes more stat points although randomly. I'm using the Tier system which places Wizards, Clerics, Druids in and goes down to Monk, Fighter, etc. in Tier 5. (There are a couple of worthless classes in Tier 6 but they appear to be some NPC classes) http://www.brilliantgameologists.com/boards/?topic=1002.0

Basically, I'm looking for at least 5 dice roll methods that depending on what tier of class you choose, it gives you a dice roll method. I also want to be able to order these methods by averages so tier 1 classes on average will have the lowest stats and Tier 5 classes on average will have the highest. I also want to avoid crippling classes by doing so as well. (Ex allowing caveats if rolled stats are too low)

Best I've come up with so far is something similar to:

Tier 1: 3d6, Re-roll total of lower than 6

Tier 2: 3d6 Re-Roll 1s, Re-roll total of 6

Tier 3: 4d6, Re-roll total of 7

Tier 4: 4d6, Re-Roll 1s, Re-Roll 8

Tier 5: 5d6, Re-Roll 1s

Does anyone have a better system or have anywhere with a lot of the different dice roll methods along with average values? I'm not sure how I would calculate average values with these difference dice rolls.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you open to point buy systems as an alternative? That will be much easier to control and get the outcome you're looking for. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Where you say "drop 1s", did you actually mean "drop lowest"? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 15:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that higher stats will make up for the perceived disadvantages of weaker-tier classes. They're weak because of their features, and an extra +1-3 from their first-level die rolls won't make much of a difference there. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 15:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GregoryAvery-Weir Yes and no. We won't ever play a high level campaign. It's more focused to try to make it a little more balanced around mid and lower-mid level which this will help. \$\endgroup\$
    – dphil
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 15:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Start big. For example give everyone their tier level as bonus on every attribute. Once you end up with a party of monks, you know you have to scale back a bit. The power of swarm intelligence :) \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


Just Apply Penalties/Bonuses To The Roll

The problem with what you're trying to do with multiple rolling methods is that it's very complicated to actually get the outcome exactly how you want it. Each one results in different odds and distributions, and tweaking them all to get the right amount of gap for each one is going to be complex and time consuming. For the players, it leads to confusion about what each one actually means, because without probability knowledge they really can't understand what is happening.

My counter proposal is this: Roll 4d6, take best 3. Repeat 6 times to get your 6 stats.

  • At tier 3, you're done.
  • At tier 2, subtract values from the rolls you got until you have removed x points.
  • At tier 1, subtract values from the rolls you got until you have removed 2x points.
  • At tier 4, add values to the rolls you got until you have added x points.
  • At tier 5, add values to the rolls you got until you have added 2x points.

So, if you set X = 2, a tier 2 class has to reduce one of their rolls by 2, or two rolls by 1. A tier 1 class has to reduce for a total of 4. A tier 4 class gets to add 2, and a tier 5 class gets to add 4. If you want to increase the class difference, you simply make X bigger. Set it to 4 and a tier 1 class has to remove 8 points, which is really significant.

This means everyone uses the same dice, but higher tier classes are disadvantaged compared to lower tier ones. It's flexible in that you can easily change the amount of that disadvantage.

Point Buy

Any point buy system can also easily implement this, by taking points away from the top tiers and adding more to the lower tiers.

Does It Do What You Want?

A major caveat here is that it may not do what you want. At high level, having penalized stats that aren't INT is not going to stop a Wizard from mowing down a Fighter like grass. The gap between them is from their class features and can't be made up with stats.

At low level, the classes aren't nearly so imbalanced in the first place, so if you only play low level you may actually wind up creating a different imbalance instead. The idea that the classes are better balanced at low levels is one of the motivations behind E6.

I'd tread carefully at low level, especially if you want to use large adjustments.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmmmm interesting. This definitely gives me a lot to think about between the stat ideas and E6. \$\endgroup\$
    – dphil
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 17:21

Point Buy

Your system is not bad, but it still allows for a good bit of inconsistency. A poor rolling monk could still have lower stats than a lucky Wizard. Plus, most of the top-tier classes only need one good stat to be workable. The lower-tier ones need a few high scores. A point buy system is a nice solution.

  • Tier I: 20 pts on the standard D&D scale.
  • Tier II: 23 pts
  • Tier III: 26 pts
  • Tier IV: 30 pts
  • Tier V: 35 pts

That also has a bit of my own experience built into it.It allows a monk and ranger to have all the high stats they need, and a Wizard and Druid need to focus on only one stat, which they don't really mind anyway.

Mo' Levels, Mo' Problems

The main issue with a number of low-tier classes is that they just don't get enough class features that are useful in comparison to the top-tier ones. A high-level Wizard can reshape reality to his will while a high-level fighter can automatically confirm a critical hit against one enemy once per day...

If you want to make a more balanced game as it goes up, change the rates at which classes receive bonus stats and feats. Increase for low-tier classes and decrease for high-tier ones. Example:

  • Tier I: Skip every other ability increase and every other feat.
  • Tier II: Skip every third ability increase and every third feat.
  • Tier II: Change nothing
  • Tier IV: Bonus ability increase at levels 10 and 20. Bonus feat at every 4th level.
  • Tier V: Bonus ability increase every 5th level. Bonus feat every 3rd level.

That may be a bit too much. I was just trying to express the idea.At low levels the classes are actually not all that unbalanced. It's just the concept of Linear Fighters and Quadratic Wizards that you are really trying to combat. To do that you need more than just altering their starting points.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're looking to make a class like fighter, which advances primarily just by adding numbers to pre-existing stats and abilities (better attack, more hitpoints etc), balanced with a class like Wizard, which gains completely new abilities and options whenever he wants to (writing a spell in a spellbook), you simply have to give Fighter, Monk etc. more options. What options you should give them is a terrible problem to consider, but you might consider looking at other games for inspiration. I personally like the Battlemaster (not sure if I got the name completely right) archetype in 5E. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 20:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, it doesn't have to necessarily be balanced by giving Fighters "magic," but if you're looking to keep Wizard, Cleric and Druid the same as they are now, then you will have to strongly consider it. It's extremely hard to balance a class against another class that can cast the spell Wish, or ask for divine aid. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 20:07

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