A Re-Return to YARC and Rolling the Stats


I do bounce around between projects. I’m working on a little supplement for Dark Streets & Darker Secrets, a monster book for Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, an adventure for Swords & Wizardry, a system neutral GM Aid, and all the stuff that goes on her at the blog and on the podcast. So what the why not one more thing?
I don’t remember where but someone was talking about their own house rules and fantasy heart breaker and that got me thinking about YARC. Since it’s been a few years, let’s start from the beginning. YARC stands for Yet Another Retro Clone. It isn’t ground breaking in my mind. It’s just me taking the best bits from across the retroclones and adding a bit of my own spin to some things. So with any home brew idea, you have to start somewhere. Well, I have to admit that of all the clones, my favorite is Swords & Wizardry. It’s easy to convert any of old school stuff into. I’ve used it behind the screen as an easy way to do NPC’s for Labyrinth Lord and 5E. So yep it’s handy. So that’s it in a nutshell.
So where’s the best place to start? Rolling them stats, of course. There’s tons of methods and I’ve played around with bunch that popped into my head but this one has stuck. And it came from running Dungeon Crawl Classics and was something that I totally made up on the fly. The players like it, it’s easy and keeps pretty much with the old school philosophy. I call it 3d6 Hi-Lo.
Step One: Roll 3d6 in order twice.
Step Two: For three of the attribute scores the player may choose the higher. But for the other three scores the player has to take the lower of the the two. Here’s an example:
Str: 8/15
DEX: 10/14
CON: 14/11
INT: 12/8
WIS: 10/14
CHA: 9/6

Let’s say we want to make cleric so the first choice is easy.
Str: 8/15
DEX: 10/14
CON: 14/11
INT: 12/8
WIS: 10/14
CHA: 9/6

Since clerics get in combat a lot, we’ll want a good strength.
Str: 8/15
DEX: 10/14
CON: 14/11
INT: 12/8
WIS: 10/14
CHA: 9/6

Now it’s a little tougher. What do you want to suck at? Maybe a cleric should have an average charisma. It might help convert folks. But that means average dexterity, constitution and he won’t be that bright. We decide that this cleric will one of war and have his deeds rather than his words speak for his god. And that will leave us with this stat block:
Str: 15
DEX: 10
CON: 14
INT: 8
WIS: 14
CHA: 6

And that’s it. So just like so many things on the blog (like the crazy city idea I’m working on), I’ll post more as the inspiration hits. Keep those dice a rollin'[.

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