Question: How would you characterize the moments in this account in which stats are referenced or dice are rolled? What is happening in these moments? How do they differ from the rest of the account? How do they differ from each other (that is, how are the stats lookups different from the dice rolls)?
These are moments when a DM needs to know how well a character performs specific tasks. A character with fabulous strength is less likely to fail in tasks that require brute force, but when other factors are involved she may have different results. The rolling of dice adds the factor of chance to the narrative, keeping it interesting and less predictable.
Exercise: Create 2 characters from different ability values
Character 1 – Leah
Str – 6 | Dex – 14 | Con – 12 | Int – 16 | Wis – 9 | Cha – 11
Leah is a bright young girl who is very curious and often impulsive. She likes to dismantle and rebuild things, sometimes breaking people’s things in the process. But she doesn’t mean harm – it’s just a matter of not being capable of measuring the consequences of her actions well enough. She actually has a good heart and just doesn’t care much about rules. Sometimes people get mad at her, but they most often tend to see her as a kid with a free spirit, so the mischief is easily forgotten by those who know her well.
Leah is good with manual arts and crafts and can move swiftly. She would be a smooth dancer if only she cared to practice it, but chaotic dancing suits her tastes better. Her interests involve understanding how things and minds work, observing and learning by imitation. Money is not important to her for the wealth and status, but as a resource useful to fuel her need for exploration and knowledge.She doesn’t take good care of her own health and physical strength, often forgetting to eat and sleep. For this reason she is physically fragile and prone to illnesses.
Str – 16 | Dex – 12 | Con – 11 | Int – 9 | Wis – 14 | Cha – 6
Sean likes to explore the world. As a young boy he learned to love the outdoors and practice sports. Physical activity makes him happy, but he also tries to cultivate a healthy state of mind and look for peace and wellness whenever possible. He is not too fond of reading, writing or studying for prolonged hours. For him, those are static or indoors activities, and he favors being outdoors, always on the move. Sean almost never engages in arguments with people who think differently, and tends to just leave them talking to themselves. People usually see this as an anti-social behavior, and see him as aloof or weird. In truth, he is just trying to let people be what they want to be, and look for his own interests.
Sean and Leah have in common their will to explore things and their openness to the unknown, but their practical interests are very different. When they became friends, Sean began trying to protect Leah and convince her to take better care of her health, while Leah would try to awaken his interest in intellectual activities and stories. Since none of them are controlling and both like personal freedom, their personalities rarely conflict with each other.
Leah’s creativity and love of technical knowledge and exploration could be appropriate for the professions of rogue and wizard, but I think the focus on magical things, not magic itself, is more related to the rogue than to the wizard. She likes mechanical things that may or may not be magical. Also, Leah is not much of a dutiful student – she prefers trial-and-error method and passion as motivator. Bending the rules is not a big problem for her, if that is needed in her explorations.
Leah is a halfling who had great influence from gnome culture. Her father used to travel as a merchant to a neighbor gnome village and she ended up making friends with gnomes from a toy shop. There, she learned from their curiosity for tricks, magical items and mechanical things. People in her own village tend to see her as weird because of that, but the toys and trinkets she brings them put an end to any teasing comments once the other halflings start marveling at them.
Leah’s alignment is chaotic good. She prizes freedom, curiosity and choice over honor, dutifulness and obedience. She may trick people for pleasure, but never knowingly harm them. She also tends to go out of her way to help someone in real need. She hates people trying to control her actions.
Exercise: Try to think of one or two examples of well-known historical, public, or fictional figures who match each category
Exercise: Pick two people from the given list. For each one that you pick, write down what you think their strength, charisma, wisdom, intelligence, dexterity, and constitutions scores are.
Str – 8 | Dex – 14 | Con – 14 | Int – 12 | Wis – 8 | Cha – 14
Human Wizard – Neutral Good
The Bride (Kill Bill)
Str – 12 | Dex – 18 | Con – 14 | Int – 14 | Wis – 12 | Cha – 14
Human Fighter – True Neutral
Background could be ‘Criminal’. Her stats would need to be a bit overpowered. =P