Dragon Heist Characters

Dragon Heist Characters

Jan 03 Paul  

Hey everyone, as the new campaign creeps closer i wanted to discuss how i would like the zero session to go. Now this is open to debate, and i will listen to how the majority feels but i would like you to have a think about it before deciding.

The idea is this (and its not my own i nicked it off a guy named Matt Coleville) basically we go into that first session with no preconceptions or ideas on who or what you will be playing. How this would work is, we meet up at mine or online (i know Matt 🙂 ) and we roll out you stats. We start at strength and run through each individually, using a standard 4d6 and removing the lowest die. If you don’t roll at least two 15s in the stats you re-roll, completely.

Following this you would decide, based on the stats your class/race, then fill in the rest yourselves.

Let me know what you think.


How would you prefer to have the zero session run?

  • Sounds exciting, lets see what i get (roll stat and build on those) (50%, 3 Votes)
  • Dont care, either way is good. (17%, 1 Votes)
  • None of that rolling, i know what i want and want to point buy. (17%, 1 Votes)
  • DM is always right, let him choose (17%, 1 Votes)
  • I know what i want to be, so will roll stats and fit them into my character (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 6


If you want to have a look at the video i was talking about, its here, its a bit long but just watch a bit and you will get the idea:


About Paul


  • Jan 3, 2019 @ 23:39 pm

    It’s going to get a thumbs up from me.

    I liked the idea when I first heard about it ages ago but I think we were already in the midst of Tyranny of Dragons at the time. I like how it cuts out the min/maxer mentality and forces you to play something that isn’t the same cookie cutter build as everyone else. It also opens up the viability for characters to have some real flaws.

    All that said, I don’t think it’s without some issues in regards to balancing. Having two skills be at least 15 is fine but what if it swings too far in the other direction and there’s a character who has 15+ in everything? Would there be a limit to how.many stats OVER 15 you could have too?

    There could also be an issue with party makeup if say two or more people roll the ideal stats for a wizard – would we have a party with multiple Wizards? I think allowing us to swap one score for another would sort that out though.

    I’m still saying yes. It’s different and it’s interesting and I like the mental image of us all sat around the table seeing who’s going to be playing what at the same time they do. Without getting too spiritual or whatever there’s also a cool vibe of “what will my fate in this adventure be, who am I going to play?’ and that’s really inkeeping with the spirit of D&D at large. I like it.

  • DM_Paul
    Jan 3, 2019 @ 23:57 pm

    I think the likely hood of someone getting four or five fifteens from just rolling is slim enough to be worth the risk. Swapping even one stat allows you start start thinking, hmm if i put it here i can be this race, and therefore this class.
    One of the other things Colville suggests is only allowing one each of the different races, other than humans (can have an entire party of those) and its something im considering. Obviously humans will be able to take feat at level one, to balance there lack of stat plus’s but ill leave it upto the group. Im hoping everyone will work together to come up with an exciting/diverse party.
    Obviously if you are 100% against what you have gotten, I would never force you to play with that character, but rather than re-rolling maybe you could swap with someone else, this would only be if you are deadset, its wouldn’t be a swap shop.

  • Jan 4, 2019 @ 0:55 am

    As unlikely as it may be you might end up with people rolling stats that are similar. It can happen. Let’s say three of us roll really well for intelligence and a mixed bag for everything else. We’re all going to be fighting to play the Wizard or face playing the weak but smart Barbarian that can’t hit anything but can think about things.

    Just bringing up potential downsides so we can think about them before getting to the table.

    What do you mean about the races? One of each?

  • Jan 4, 2019 @ 1:50 am

    Also, we might need a little bit of thinking. For party balance. I’m for the idea, just with the addition of changing one stat.

  • DM_Paul
    Jan 4, 2019 @ 2:05 am

    If someone was a dwarf, then there wouldnt be any other dwarves in the party. This is not something i definitely want, just something Colville does with his groups.
    The problem with considering party balancing is you are now thinking about what classes you need in the group, where as the randomness of this creation removes that sort of pre-planning.
    I know what you mean about the stats, but i still think we should try it this way first,if it doesnt work we can decide on stat switching.

  • Jan 4, 2019 @ 9:20 am

    More than that I’m thinking about what classes wouldn’t work well for adventure. Druids and Rangers for example would have half their class abilities made redundant from a mechanical standpoint and a hard time justifying their desire to be in a city from a character standpoint.

    Just playing devil’s advocate. I do like the idea and think it would be fun. Just want everyone to be aware of the details before they vote one way or another.

  • Paul
    Jan 4, 2019 @ 10:43 am

    True, but that would be part of the character set up, and part of the reason for the zero session, so we can bounce ideas,
    Druid in the city? Maybe he works in the botanical gardens, and grew up always wanting to work with plants but there was a reason he could not leave the city. Ranger, could be using his skills as a thief catcher, his terrain advantage could be climbing or running over rooftops, maybe he has come in out of the wilderness to hunt a gang of poachers?

    I have confidence that between us we can come up with answers, i think the whole point of this system of character determination is the fact that you could have fish out of water issues, you have to create your persona with the numbers you have and then fit them into the city.

  • Jan 4, 2019 @ 11:17 am

    The more I think about it the more I’m on the fence. Maybe for a one off, I don’t know.

  • Jack
    Jan 4, 2019 @ 14:59 pm

    I voted but I’m still in two minds over this… Ps thanks Craig.. I’m in now…
    Why don’t we just have the one session zero and discuss and walk away with characters by the end of it?

  • Corus
    Jan 4, 2019 @ 19:43 pm

    I’m agreeing with Matt here. After looking a bit more into this I’m in two minds. It just feels like it could end up backfiring and it takes away the freedom of creating a character, it’s one step away from turning up and being given a character to use. I propose that we make characters, following your rules (no more than one of each race and class and ONLY from players handbook) and bring them as a back up in case this rolling system doesn’t work the way we would like. Some of us might already have ideas about what we want to play and if we don’t roll for that type of character it could be a big let down and put people on a bit of a downer before they even start.

  • Paul
    Jan 4, 2019 @ 22:38 pm

    Given what you are all saying, i think this probably wont work, there are no guarantees with this system, its supposed to be random to give you the chance to play something/someone you would probably never even consider.
    The impression i’m getting is that you dont want to do that, and would prefer either the normal route of choosing what you want to play and points buying your stats (normal rolling has no guarantees either, after all) or rolling stats but picking where to put them, which is fine, and is the reason for this poll.
    Obviously I would have liked to see how it played out but I am happy to go with whatever makes you happy. After all its about enjoying the game, and starting of with you not feeling comfortable with your character, or not understanding how they would play is not a good way to start.

  • Jan 4, 2019 @ 23:14 pm

    Rather than throwing the whole idea out I still think we go the route of being able to swap one of our rolls for another. That way we get abit of wiggle room, the randomness is still present and nobody walks in knowing what they’re walking out with. It’s a nice middle ground.

    Just my thoughts anyway.

  • Corus
    Jan 5, 2019 @ 0:04 am

    I’m with Craig I don’t mind doing the rolls but being able to pick where them rolls go might make it a bit more appealing so at least there’s some wiggle room. I know I’m still the baby of the D&D group, but when I create a character I create the person first and think about why they are that class and use things like their background, motivations, race to pick that class/ feats/ skills etc. So rolling for stats and then filling a character felt a bit backwards. If we are allowed to allocate the stat rolls it would feel less rigid.

  • Grom
    Jan 5, 2019 @ 1:01 am

    I find myself unable to pick an option that I am happy with from the list of options, ‘Don’t care, either way is good’ would be my choice except…

    I do not mind rolling or points buy, but I do not like the take what you get (roll stats in order) idea, this is more for people who have played every type of character class/race combination and are bored or cannot work out what to play this time (I may be experienced but I am not yet that jaded), or for players who only ever play the same race/class like my friend Ras who has played a human/barbarian in the last six games he has been in.

    Of course yes I can manage to play any class, as can most of us if pushed to it, but the problem lies in playing the character not rolling the dice, I would probably begin by reusing a previous character concept, but this is lazy gaming, characters have personalities, traits and idiosyncrasy’s that take time to come up with, and are formulated to fit with stats, style of game and class.

    This may also force people to play a class that they are not keen on or have no enthusiasm for, while also being forced to use characters with sub-par performance who lack any impact or relevance such as a fighter with poor strength (low to hit and damage), or mage whose spells are always resisted due to low casting stat, or even class abilities that do not work at all due to being based on secondary stats that got poor rolls.

    This will be even more of a problem if you are planning to ban more than one of any class or race (except human) for several reasons:

    1: One example is two people rolling both high strength and low intelligence for their characters who may end up arguing over who gets the fighter slot, one being forced to play something else which the stats do not suit as well.

    2: Another example would be that a character may be a walking liability to the rest of the party having rolled a very low con (-3 HP per HD is crippling) and low Dex (-3 AC makes you easily hit too).

    Anyway, as I said I will go with the majority, but I know that I may not be the only person who is less than thrilled by this idea, even if people may be unwilling to articulate their concerns.

  • Paul
    Jan 5, 2019 @ 1:38 am

    It was only the races that would have been restricted, but that was only something that was suggested and not set in stone. It was secondary to the concept of the rolling stats in order.
    I put it forward as a way of changing peoples process in creating a character. Rather than playjng with the same ideas or characters as Ians mate did with his barbarian, you would be placed in a position where you are looking at the stats and thinking about how you would create a persona to fit them. Why have they got low con but are super charismatic, what happened to make then that way. Maybe the group is not at that place yet, and im happy going with the normal procedure.
    Just let me know whether you would prefer to roll your stats or point buy them and we can start thinking about a session zero in a couple in months.
    I would say, if rolling I will still be using the roll 4 and remove lowest, and allowing to reroll if you don’t get at least two 15s I also decided that two minus scores is the max, any more than that would be a reroll to.

  • Jan 5, 2019 @ 7:38 am

    That’s fair enough mate, I like point buy but it does feel abit robotic at times, be a nice change. At least we’ve got a new “most commented on” post anyway 🙂

  • Paul
    Jan 13, 2019 @ 0:51 am

    Just speaking to Keith, and just in case people were wondering, only variant humans will get a feat at level one. All other classes will be normal rolls.

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