Big fan of The Funnel here. It’s a great way to weed out the unlucky 3d6ers to find the poor sod pigfarmer with enough fortune to survive a real dungeon delve but without enough fortune to not have to delve in the first place. Where the game rubber meets the real world road, though, I’m an even bigger fan of The One True Way of chargen, 3d6 In Order, because it serves as a nice and tidy player filter. If you balk at the doorstep of Big Boy D&D then you can put on your little girl underpants and hook up with Team Critical Roll.
Some poor misguided souls might tell you that DMs who use this one weird trick to keep the weird tricky bastards away from their table are Basic Bitches. They seem to think that Big Boy D&D is a means of making life easier for the DM, as though how the character stats come out makes any difference to the DM’s job.
Guys who run Big Boy D&D understand that how a character is rolled has no impact on the way the game runs. The best DMs do not craft worlds and challenges for characters, but for players. The sandbox gets stocked with high challenge areas and low challenge areas. The wheels of the campaign churn away with neutral efficiency. It is up to the players to determine which is which by throwing bodies at the campaign with the same reckless abandon as a Soviet lieutenant yeeting prisoner units at German machine gun emplacements. They roll the dice and move their mice until they get the cheese or get the net.
Neither straight 3s nor straight 18s won’t make that process any more nor less challenging for the DM. The chargen process isn’t about the DM at all. If you think it is, you’ve got to recalibrate your assumptions. The DM faces only two challenges:
- The challenge of keeping the challenges, monster treasure and trap, interesting and engaging enough for the players to want to keep poking at his campaign world to find the loot and save the princess
- The challenge of remaining impartial even when the players are acting like the bunch of window licking short bussers that gravitate toward playerhood in the first place
Master those, and you’ve mastered the game, and earned your title of master of the dungeon.