Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Heroes, Everymen and Underdogs - Part 1

I was listening to a pod-cast today that was discussing the Iliad - a story every gamer geek should probably be familiar with - and an idea struck me.

The Iliad is set in the Age of Heroes (yeah, a TSR, AD&D2E-era book), in which the children of the gods, the heroes, were competing for glory and immortality among mortal beings, and bringing the blessings and the curses of the gods with them. What marked these heroes? Well, if nothing else, their incredible ability scores, to put it in D&D terms. Thus, the idea ...

In a campaign that ignores "race" - i.e. and all humans campaign - might it not be fun to divide the characters into broad categories based on their rolled ability scores. Now, this makes the most sense to do if you're rolling 3d6 (either in order or not doesn't really matter for our purposes). These categories might go as follows:

Ability Score Total / Category

18-54 / Underdog (and must have at least one score of 6 or lower)

55-77 / Everyman (and may not have any score lower than 8 or higher than 13)

78-108 / Hero (and must have one score of 16 or higher)

Now, what special abilities might go along with these categories? More on that tomorrow.


  1. Great idea. A party of adventurers is certainly more interesting if there are varying levels. Maybe the hero of the bunch just needs fodder/chum for baddies to munch on. Maybe the hero is really a lazy coward that will lead lessers into battle, sit back and watch, and them bloody his blade with corpses before reaping all the honor.

  2. What about characters that aren't any of these?

    Eg total 60 but has one score of 14.

  3. Those characters are dead to me.

    Kidding. If a character doesn't fit into one of those bands, I suppose the GM can either fudge it a bit or they simply don't fit into the system. I'm hoping to make a system that is based more on interesting options rather than outright perks or boons, such that not fitting into a profile doesn't really hurt an adventurer.


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