I am starting to DM a new group of players, most of them with no experiance or played only once before.I also recruited a veteran player, who was willing to let me DM the game.
I asked all the players what character's they wanted to play ahead of time, and I would create the character's for them (most of them had none of the books and we have little time to play). Luckly we have all of the roles covered, and they were happy.
Being new to the game, I was bought into the idea of standard array (16,14,13,12,11,10 off the top of my head) and point value. But when I asked the veteran what he wanted to play (Eladrin Wizard), he offered that he at least roll his stats. I thought this was dangerous, because in my head he was going to vastly differ in strength from the rest of the group, either really weak or a freaking . But I let him win, being the stubbern guy he is.
But luckily I stumbled onto this thread, and now instead of rolling a d20 (his idea, I didn't say he was a good veteran) the 3d6 meathod creates much better balanced characters then I had anticipated. And now I'm starting to like the idea of random generation of stats.
...Crap, 5 Character sheets with recaculation to be done.
One of my DMs had a rather unusual way of doing attributes. He got out a d12 and 5 index cards and he rolled the d12 6 times for each card (in order of str, dex, con, int, wis, cha) in front of us and wrote down what the roll was. Once he finished he went through and added 6 to each stat and then gave us our pick of stat groupings. We ended up with some odd stated characters still, but none of them sucked.
Stone Cold Monkey:
again, missing the point. You don't get wizard with fighter's body, because you don't start the character saying "I'm going to make a wizard"
You roll the stats, see what you get, and then say "Ok, with stats like these, this character would be a wizard"
Hence, they're "born", not "made".
Yes, I understand that, but my point was no matter what dice are rolled, it doesn't change how the player thinks. Personally, I tackle almost every situation in RPGs with stealth, guile, and misdirection. If I'm playing a fighter, they tend to be a swashbuckler or infiltrator/commando style, if I'm playing a wizard, they lean toward divination and transmutation (illusion if the DM gives me half chance of them working). If I roll dice that would give me a weak sneaky character and more of front line fighter/cavalier/paladin type most of the tactics I use don't work well (without of meta gaming the rogue player character in the party). My friend is the opposite. He can't really play a non-front line fighter type. I don't remember him ever playing anything but a dwarven fighter. I even seen players that have a hard playing uncharismatic characters because as person they were good with persuasion and managing people.
You can make the argument about being a well rounded player, but I only like playing rogues and wizards types. My friend is only happy if he is playing a tough-as-nail brick character. Sure we can play other classes, but we have no interest is doing so. It would be like forcing a gamer to play a FPS (or whatever genre) they have no interest in. Sure is might be the best FPS game ever, but if the player doesn't like those type of games they won't enjoy the game no matter how good it is. Why force some one to spend their entertainment time doing something they don't want to do?
My point is some players have limited 'acting' range (for what ever reason), and only play that class even if they aren't playing it. So you end up with the stats of a frail wizard with the mind of a muscle-bound barbarian.
those players would be better off not playing this way :)
not saying it's for everyone. But if you play this way, you don't get fighters in wizard bodies or vice versa.
I don't think that you have played this way, it's not as difficult (from an "acting" standpoint), because you don't get invested in your character until after he's survived a couple of encounters.
I've never really done any serious roleplaying, but I'm curious to what you mean by not being invested in your character. Even if I was given a randomly made hero, I would still care about him, otherwise, why would I care whether he succeeds or fails?