There was a discussion in the Discord general chat about point-buy vs stat arrays and I ranted a little. Here is what I said all copy-pasted for your reading pleasure.
so I prefer having a set stat range for several reasons over using a point-buy system
1. It levels the playing field. There are already so many ways in D&D 5e (and other systems moreso) to increase or alter stats, like race/magic items/etc that if someone has already bumped their stats high enough they can make something that can literally make another character irrelevant
Example: Why have a rogue when the fighter can Streetwise and Lockpick with the same bonuses?
Class abilities can do a lot, but if someone has the exact same stats as you when you are specialized in your skill, it makes it feel less special
2. It defends against min-maxing. It's not always a bad thing to make a character that is overly good at one thing, but so many people look at D&D as a game to be won as soon as they see numbers they want to have higher ones
How important is it that you always find and disarm traps. Is your GM going to kill you for missing one? Can you not trust your GM/other players to make up for deficiencies?
will the story always hinge on your ability to effortlessly do the thing?
(side note, if your GM requires you to minmax or specialize then do it, that's what they are designing their game around so it makes sense)
the vast majority of pre-made content, and thus the huge amount of rules in the books (average CR for level, DCs for things) are based off average stats. If you always have above average in everything then your GM will always have to treat you as a higher level for some things and it makes it more difficult to make decent challenges. If a trap has a high enough DC to be difficult to disarm for a min-maxed character, the damage is probably so high that it ends up being an instant death trap
and thus perpetuates having to min-max to survive what the GM throws at you
3. Variation in character story/narrative should always trump variation in stats.
I can build two characters with the same stat line and they will be entirely different in every other way. your stat line does not make your character. They are the mechanism in which you interact with the world, but how many people do you know only do things they are good at?
2 fighters, side by side, with the same stat block and skills chosen, can (and should) have wildly different attitudes and personalities that set them apart.
4. Limitations in choice breeds creativity.
By limiting what a player has access to means they will inevitably make more informed choices and will think harder about what they are doing.
If a player has access to everything all the time they will drown in choice. Every source book, every online addition or beta-test rule will add more to the game and can really throw players, new or old, into a spiral of indecision
There is more than enough variation in the classes/races/etc that exist in the system to keep you busy, and they are all balanced against each other using a standard array rather than "Always put highest stat in preffered stat for your class"
5. Everyone should be bad at something.
Heroic stats have their place and if that's what your game is about then do it, but for characters to feel real they should be bad at something.
a lower stat that everyone has to take (put that 8 somewhere and roll with it) forces people to have a flaw that they have to work around, usually by roleplaying their way through their shortcomings
other systems do it, Perk and Flaw systems are everywhere these days, and the easiest way to include them in D&D is to make sure that everyone has to deal with at least 1 bad statistic.
6. Ease of use for new players.
lower that barrier to entry just a little bit more and get to playing sooner
Tl;dr it's all good whichever way you choose, but those are the main reasons I have my players do the standard array
Hey there Digidicers, and welcome to the new homepage for the website! I am going to be making an effort to update this page with news, announcements, and other important information. This is mainly an effort to make up for the fact that other social media sites move really quickly and our posts get buried under a tide of information, and we want people to have a place to go for up-to-date info on what's going on with us and what to expect moving forward.
I'll just get right on that, then.
The holidays have been nuts! Schedules have been thrown to the winds and a combination of sickness, trips, work, and other hard-to-forsee things have come together to make the podcast episodes sporadic at best. We're going to get back on track at the start of 2019 and make strides to be more on point when it comes to maintaining the weekly and bi-weekly shows. Our plan is to make sure that there will be new content coming out every week, and have some fun new shows to reveal as we go along. Expect news soon about some wargaming content, some new informational shows about *how* to play D&D from a beginners point of view, and possibly some streams. Things are in the works!
We've also been really lucky to have some great creators working to make our site even better. Draconick's Blog has been updated regularly and has some really insightful articles about playing and running roleplaying games, and he's just a great guy all around so we're happy to host this local part of his blog. You can find his local blog here, and other articles he writes over on his website here!
These news updates will be archived on my blog page, but otherwise new entries will appear here before they go there, so you can read prior news posts. I'll be changing some things up as 2019 gets in full swing, so keep an eye out here.
- Your Host Mark
This week (9/15/18) I was asked to join some really great D&D personalitlies and publishers to guest on The RPG Lab's new show: Test Chamber. We were tasked with showing up with a mashup of two Monster Manual monsters as one creature and come up with stats and some idea of what it's about. The Lady Crass and I came up with the Purplith, a mashup of the Purple Worm and the Marilith, and we think it turned out pretty fantastic. Check it out below and let us know what you think of the design and statistics!
Hey there, DigiDicers! It's been a while since I posted a blog entry so I figured I would do so as a status update thing. Here goes!
First, I want to thank everyone who has joined our merry band over the last few months and contributed in the creation of some of our best content to date. Wizard James, a.k.a. Elliot Frostmoon, has joined us as an integral part of the Hazardous Endeavors crew and we couldn't be more excited! Alongside Sound Guy Stephen, Voiceover Guy Brian, The Lady Crass, and myself, we've been having a ton of fun playing in our 5th edition Actual Play YouTube series/Podcast.
Also joining the team in a collaborative role is Draconick from DraconickGaming, who is helping us keep the content flowing with well-written blog posts and in-depth discussions on various TTRPG related topics! Make sure to hit up "Draconick's Den" on the list of blogs above to see what he has going on, it's certainly worth your time.
I would also like to shout out to Atticus Jackson, Nichole Goodnight, and Henry Galley of "The No Sleep Podcast" fame for stepping in and helping us make the first episode of "S.G.O. Files" a rousing success! Your support and talents helped us get that series off to a good start, and there are many more planned, so stay tuned!
Our YouTube channel has more than doubled in subs since my last blog post, our Twitter has done nearly the same, and our Discord channel is alive and kicking with a great group of people chatting with us and keeping topics going before and after our shows. And the Patreon! We're nearly half way to our channel being self-sufficient and paying for licensing costs with the generous donations we're receiving from our lovely patrons. Our first "Prestige Level" patron is even getting their Digital and Dice branded T-shirt sent out this week! It's an exciting time to be alive. We changed our RSS Feed host to a new platform and have never looked back, as Pippa.io has allowed us to create multiple podcast shows and release each of our new series as it's very own entity! You can find "The Digital and Dice Podcast", "Hazardous Endeavors", "CreaturePasta", and "The SGO Files" on iTunes, Sticher, Podbay.fm, and wherever else you listen to audio podcasts thanks to our new feed.
As we continue to grow, both as a channel and as a growing community of listeners, viewers, and content creators, I am looking towards the future with hope (and a twinge of nervous energy) because I can see the glimmer of possibility for our endeavor to bear fruit and become something akin to a living, rather than a hobby. We'll continue to strive for better quality, better energy, better consistency, and overall better series as we blaze our trail through this digital wilderness. Thank you for being on this journey with us, and remember to listen for our cry as it is shouted from the rooftops: Game on, Internets!
- Your Host Mark
We have just completed the first portion of our mentorship with The NewTubers mentorship program and would like to provide some feedback to the mods and anyone who might be considering applying to the program.
– Mark, Host of the Digital and Dice Podcast
There has been a lot of things going on in the background of the podcast lately, but mainly scheduling issues have kept us from getting a show going. What we have decided is that we will start putting out new podcast episodes every other week starring myself and Voiceover Guy Brian where we focus on Dungeons and Dragons and our updated segment: GM 201!
To start this off, I will be attempting to update this blog with the step by step of how I am building a new continent filled with intrigue, wonders, and lots of adventures for a new party to explore. Without further ado, I present the initial post and picture of how things are starting to come together.
New Campaign Map Design Notes and Process
Drew map with basic outlines and continent/island shapes
Decide scale: On a 8 ½ / 11 sheet of paper, decide on 1 inch to x miles. Decided on 1 in to 200 Mile scale to make continents instead of large islands.
1 in to 100 miles makes the SW island roughly the size of Washington State
1 in to 200 miles makes the SW island roughly the size of the Pacific Northwest
The whole map is in an area that is 1800 miles tall by 2200 miles wide which makes the whole map take up roughly the same amount of space as the Continental United States.
I decided to focus on the scale of the map because it will help me decide on relative distances between kingdoms and allows me to include a wider variety of biomes and cultures without feeling cramped.
Need to decide on how the continent is placed in relation to the equator of this particular world. I have decided that the overall world map is to Earth scale, and that this particular continent is going to be south of the Equator, as my previous maps on this planet are North. I have decided after much poking and deliberation, to have the Northernmost land mass be roughly in temperature and climate to the Southern United States and slowly go to temperate climates the further South you go.
Now that we have a better idea of scale and climate, I can start making decisions about plaement of certain geological features.
I have been doing a lot of recording and editing lately for Let's Plays and Literal Torture videos and I came to two realizations:
1. I have no idea what I am doing.
2. It doesn't matter, because I'm having fun.
I have jumped headfirst into learning programs that I'm sure can take years to master, and people actually go to school to use, with the end goal of making a final product that looks and sounds worthwhile. This goes along with learning very basic usage of Photoshop to create the intro images and thumbnails for the episodes. I know that pretty much every YouTube personality out there has probably done the same and some have even become extremely successful with their craft, and I am finally coming to terms with how difficult it really is to make this sort of thing a reality. I love playing games, and sharing my experiences with people makes me very happy, so keeping the videos coming on YouTube is overall an enjoyable experience for me.
Before I start rambling more than I already have, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has supported me in this new thing (especially the gorgeous Lady Crass) and I hope that people are enjoying the videos as much as I have enjoyed creating them.
I have been watching some Let's Plays lately (mainly the Game Grumps (https://www.youtube.com/user/GameGrumps) and Extra Play (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-7oMv6E4Uz2tF51w5Sj49w) as they play through Dark Souls I, II, and III.
Watching how much fun they are having playing this impressively difficult series of games makes me want to try them again, so I have made a deal with myself: I will play through, and beat, Dark Souls for the XBOX 360. If I can succeed, I will buy and play through Dark Souls II.
If, in some crazy parallel universe, I am able to beat Dark Souls II, I will purchase and play through Dark Souls III.
I am interested to see if people would want to watch me play through these games, and I can get them streamed as I go, but it will be pretty random when I do so. I can get the streams up on You Tube after, but the stream itself will be whenever I have some extra time.
Let me know in the comments or on Facebook if you would like to see me play through these games!
My thoughts, in order of appearance as I started up the game and proceeded to level 6:
It's been over a year since I said I would do something with this....I have plans to make something go here....
Mark Boutet is more or less three quarters of the hosts of The Digital and Dice Podcast. He is most decidedly NOT a goat or a robot. He acquired his skin fair and square as all other humans do.