I use the Standard Array method of generating ability scores. Each character starts with: 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10. These scores may be assigned to abilities as desired. Each class has an ability requirement: 13 Strength for Fighters, 13 Wisdom for Clerics, 13 Dexterity for Rogues, and 13 Intelligence for Wizards.

Racial Adjustments

Humans receive two bonus ability points to distribute however they like. Elves gain +2 Dexterity and +2 Wisdom. Dwarves gain +2 Constitution and +2 Wisdom. Gnomes gain +2 Dexterity and +2 Intelligence. Halflings gain +2 Dexterity and +2 Charisma.

Bonus Ability Points

Characters then gain one ability point to distribute as they wish every even level.

Standard 4e D&D gives characters a bonus ability point every three or four levels plus an additional point to all six abilities at 11th and 21st levels. My system of gaining one point every other level averages out to about the same thing but characters start realizing the bonus earlier and receive a steady bonus more often. I had trouble rationalizing a +1 gain to all six scores at 11th and 21st level so this system of spreading out the gains works better for us.

Last Words

This method does not generate god-like characters but it does create above average characters with no low scores and characters are guaranteed to be able to meet the requirements for whatever class they wish to start in. Also, every character starts out on an even footing.

I have to admit, I do miss rolling ability scores. For me that’s kind of a core part of the game. But ability scores are just too important to leave to luck. That’s why so many alternative methods have appeared over the years to counter the bad ability score roll.