Hopeless Characters

At the other extreme from the super character is the character who appears hopeless. The player is convinced his new character has a fatal flaw that guarantees a quick and ugly death under the claws of some imaginary foe. Discouraged, he asks to scrap the character and create another.

In reality, few, if any, characters are truly hopeless. Certainly, ability scores have an effect on the game, but they are not the overwhelming factor in a character's success or failure. Far more important is the cleverness and ingenuity the player brings to the character.

When a player bemoans his bad luck and "hopeless" character, he may just be upset because the character is not exactly what he wanted. Some players write off any character who has only one above-average ability score. Some complain if a new character does not qualify for a favorite class or race. Others complain if even one ability score is below average. Some players become stuck in super-character mode. Some want a character with no penalties. Some always want to play a particular character class and feel cheated if their scores won't allow it.

Some players cite numerical formulas as proof of a character's hopelessness ("A character needs at least 75 ability points to survive" or "A character without two scores of 15 or more is a waste of time"). In reality, there is no such hard and fast formula. There are, in fact, few really hopeless characters.

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