ITO Bound Stat Generation

Have posted math similar to this, but now it's (1) specifically in the context of Odd-like rulesets and (2) comparable to stats that would be generated using 3d6.

Suppose three saves: {X, Y, Z}. Set each to 10, and roll 3d6:

  1. +2 X, –2 Y
  2. –2 X, +2 Y
  3. +2 Y, –2 Z
  4. –2 Y, +2 Z
  5. +2 Z, –2 X
  6. –2 Z, +2 X

The outcomes:

  • Random but bound.
  • Range from 4 to 16, like 4d4 but not annoying.
  • Always add up to 30 and average to 10.
  • Always even numbers, every 2 pips being 10%.
  • Very rarely a boring, default array of [10, 10, 10].

If I were doing a game with four ability scores, I would set the character's "main stat" equal to 16 and randomize the remaining three using the above process. That's because I think games that rely heavily on both classes and stats can be kind of annoying, where if you get a mid main stat that kinda sucks.


  1. While I support your goal here and your solution, are you certain that "roll three times on the following table and do arithmetic" is less annoying than 4d4?

    1. yep! i think d4s are ugly, and just 4d4 by itself wouldn't lead to the array being bound.

    2. One way that you could implement something similar (whether it is better or worse depends on your aesthetics, obviously) is via cards - take the 1-4 value cards of three suits of a playing card or Tarot deck, shuffle, and sum the first four for the first value, the next four for the second, and the last four for the third.

    3. that's really neat and potentially vibey!

  2. I'm a sucker for the relatively high variance of 3d6 with the standard 3-18 range, but I like this as an alternative. I'm at work and so can't consult my copies of ItO and EB, but my recollection is this method would reduce the number of starting packages/failed careers one could roll up.

    1. good point! the highest ability score will always be in {10, 12, 14, 16}, so if you have d6 hp then that's only 24 possible options. another axis could be which of your three stats is higher, but that would mean redesigning backgrounds from the ground up. and honestly when i look at ITO i'm mostly looking at the easier mechanics than the flavor stuff :)


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