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How to Roll for Stats 5e DnD

You’ve finally found a group of friends who want to play D&D, so it’s time to make your first character. Many people like to start by rolling stats to build around those numbers. This is how you determine how charismatic or strong your character is. But how do you determine those Ability Scores in the first place?

There are a few ways to roll your character’s stats, so you should ask your Dungeon Master what they’d prefer. We cover the most often used ways below.

Manual/Rolled

This is possibly the most common option for generating character stats because there are so many variations. Essentially, you roll several d6s and add the results together for a single score. After repeating the process six times, you have your Ability Scores and can assign them as you want.

Some DMs allow players to reroll 1s. Others say that a player rolls four d6s and can add the three highest results to generate an Ability Score. Very generous DMs might rule that you can reroll your scores if you end up with multiple Ability Scores that are less than 10.

Still others impose rules about a minimum threshold for all of the Ability Scores added together to prevent players from ending up with ineffectual characters through sheer bad luck.

Point Buy

With the point buy system, you begin with 27 points and a score of 8 for each Ability Score. That means your Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom, Intelligence, Constitution, and Charisma all begin with a -1 bonus. However, one point doesn’t necessarily equal +1 to your Ability Score.

As you increase your total Ability Score, it costs more points. Increasing from 8 to 13 costs 1 point for each +1 increase. However, while 13 costs 5 points, 14 costs 7 points. You can then use your points to buy higher scores in the abilities you want.

For example, if you are creating a Rogue, you’ll likely want your highest score to be Dexterity. You can spend 9 points to bump your Dexterity up to 15. That leaves 18 points remaining. You can allocate those points into the rest of your Ability Scores.  Read more about Point Buy 5e.

Standard Array

The standard array is the simplest way to give your character stats. It comprises six scores: 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, and 15. You can choose which numbers you assign to the Ability Scores, and boom! Your character is ready to go.


Getting ready to create our new character? Check out our guides for the best (and easiest) way to get started in Dungeons & Dragons!

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