Tonight one of the players in our game is, most likely, going to retire their character and roll up a new one, which got me thinking about one of my favorite topics. Character creation.
I think that there are a lot of good methods to roll up a character, but the key word there is roll. I can't get into a point buy system. No rolling? No thanks. For the unenlightened a point buy is basically a method of character creation in which all the attributes start at a set point and using a pool of points the attributes are raised. The end result is usually a character with two real high scores and a low charisma. Not always charisma, but I think you get the point. There are a couple of reasons why I do not like the point buy, which seems to be the favored method of many power gamers out there.
One, it means that all the characters in the world are essentially of the same power level. For me there is something unrealistic about that, not everyone is created equal. Even in the heroic world of medieval fantasy some characters should be better than others and some should be weaker. It makes it fun to have a crappy character every once in a while, all players should try it.
Two, you always wind up with the exact character that you want. Everyone has that 18 that they need for their main attribute. I actually really like the idea of rolling for stats in order and making the character based around them. Sort of like real life. Plus, when you do actually get that 17 or 18 it really means a lot.
And three, rolling for stats is extremely fun and I am not sure why anyone would want to deny themselves the opportunity. Some players have their lucky dice or a special way they throw them down in an attempt to coax something strong from them. And without rolling all aspects of character creation are completely in the hands of the player. Sometimes it's fun to work with what you get.