Another old issue (see the issue about a character class using dirty underwear and farts and weapons here) of the Dragon magazine shows an intriguing take on how different DnD used to be. It was way back in 1977 when Dragon #8 featured an article by Brian Blume, proposing an overly realistic formula to calculating characters' ability scores. By using that set of rules, the character would match the actual player, drawing from his real life persona and attributes.
The current rules
Modern DnD uses a set of dice to determine the character's stats. The average is an Ability Score of 10, and there are six categories of abilities. Typically what happens is that a character will be endowed with above 10 scores for the abilities it is proficient in, while lacking in some others for the sake of balanced gameplay. For example, a Barbarian generally may have high Strength and Dexterity, while lacking in Intelligence and Wisdom.
The Dragon #8 formula
Players would have to ditch the dice and rely on their real world macho -- no kidding. The following are the attributes which were taken into account for the respective abilities:
|Strength||Divide your one rep max of your military press by 10|
|Dexterity||Subtract 80 from a 440 yard dash|
|Constitution||The number of months in a row you have gone without missing a day or school or work because of illness|
|Intelligence||Divide your most recent IQ test result by 10|
|Wisdom||Subtract the average number of hours planning for or playing DnD by 20|
|Charisma||Multiply by two the amount of times you have appeared on television or been photographed for a newspaper|
Admit it, when was the last time, if ever, that you did a military press on anything other than your pillow? Or ran competitively? Not to mention getting on television or a newspaper. And isn't it funny how your constitution score can suddenly drop to a 1 after a mere fever? Amusing? Of course. Too realistic? But of course. Playable today? You decide!
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Let us know what you think about these ultra realistic rules in the comments section!