So, this is the variant system I'm toying with.

Roll 3d6. Drop the lowest and the highest. The remaining score is your ability score. Caveats:

- If the attribute is your "prime" then roll 2d6 and pick the highest number. If you rolled boxcars, the score is 7!

If the attribute is a double prime, then roll 3d6 and pick the highest number (i.e. drop nothing). Boxcars = 7, 666 = 8. - If the attribute is a "flaw" then roll 2d6 and pick the lowest remaining number. If you rolled snake eyes, the score is 0!
- Any "4+MOD" factor in the old system (generating a range from 1 to 7) is simply "equal to your attribute."
- Any "1+MOD" factor in the old system (generating a range from 0 to 4) is "equal to your attribute -3."
- Improving attributes: Roll the exact same dice pool as used in character creation. If the result is greater than the current score, increase the current score by one.

The upsides include:

- No baggage.
- Rapid stat generation; no need to cross reference a table to convert a 3-18 score to a modifier.
- More noticeable effects at level-up/stat improvement time.
- Commonality of mechanic.

UPDATE:

What do these distributions look like (courtesy of troll)?

AVERAGE RUN OF THE MILL ABILITY SCORE

Old School, 3d6 convert to Modifier (1 = -3, 6 = +2):

Average = | 3.5 |

Spread = | 1.02288625775 |

Mean deviation = | 0.861111111111 |

1 | 1.852 | 100.000 | ||

2 | 14.352 | 98.148 | ||

3 | 33.796 | 83.796 | ||

4 | 33.796 | 50.000 | ||

5 | 14.352 | 16.204 | ||

6 | 1.852 | 1.852 |

New -- "Normal" (3d6 take the middle)

Average = | 3.5 |

Spread = | 1.37099585325 |

Mean deviation = | 1.16666666667 |

Value | % = | % ≥ | Probability graph | |
---|---|---|---|---|

1 | 7.407 | 100.000 | ||

2 | 18.519 | 92.593 | ||

3 | 24.074 | 74.074 | ||

4 | 24.074 | 50.000 | ||

5 | 18.519 | 25.926 | ||

6 | 7.407 | 7.407 |

Distribution roughly appears like a bell curve, although it is really parabolic, without the aracteristic tapering at the ends. It is roughly equivalent, though; the odds of getting a 16-18 on 3d6 (the same as my "6" above) are about 5%. We're in the same ballpark above.

ABOVE AVERAGE ABILITY SCORE

Old School: 4d6 drop the lowest (then convert to modifiers)

Value | % = | % ≥ | Probability graph | |
---|---|---|---|---|

1 | 0.386 | 100.000 | ||

2 | 5.324 | 99.614 | ||

3 | 21.219 | 94.290 | ||

4 | 37.577 | 73.071 | ||

5 | 29.707 | 35.494 | ||

6 | 5.787 | 5.787 |

Average = | 4.0825617284 |

Spread = | 0.990762073825 |

Mean deviation = | 0.767008649596 |

The odds for a Prime are the same as my core mechanic, although obviously inverted for Flawed scores. That is, the mean increases by one (3.5 --> 4.5) and lower numbers become very unlikely.

Average = | 4.47222222222 |

Spread = | 1.40408355068 |

Mean deviation = | 1.1975308642 |

Value | % = | % ≥ | Probability graph | |
---|---|---|---|---|

1 | 2.778 | 100.000 | ||

2 | 8.333 | 97.222 | ||

3 | 13.889 | 88.889 | ||

4 | 19.444 | 75.000 | ||

5 | 25.000 | 55.556 | ||

6 | 30.556 | 30.556 |

The chart doesn't reflect my "Boxcars = 7" rule, but Boxcars should occur 1/36 of the time (2.7%), and it would reduce the percentage of the time that you get a "6" as one six is a prereq for boxcars.

WAY ABOVE AVERAGE ABILITY SCORE

Old School: 5d6 drop the lowest two yields...

Probability distribution:

Value | % = | % ≥ | Probability graph | |
---|---|---|---|---|

1 | 0.077 | 100.000 | ||

2 | 1.878 | 99.923 | ||

3 | 12.037 | 98.045 | ||

4 | 33.449 | 86.008 | ||

5 | 41.165 | 52.559 | ||

6 | 11.394 | 11.394 |

Average = | 4.47929526749 |

Spread = | 0.916573125002 |

Mean deviation = | 0.775236687698 |

And finally, for a so-called "Double Prime," you get this.

Average = | 4.95833333333 |

Spread = | 1.14387458844 |

Mean deviation = | 0.901234567901 |

Value | % = | % ≥ | Probability graph | |
---|---|---|---|---|

1 | 0.463 | 100.000 | ||

2 | 3.241 | 99.537 | ||

3 | 8.796 | 96.296 | ||

4 | 17.130 | 87.500 | ||

5 | 28.241 | 70.370 | ||

6 | 42.130 | 42.130 |

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