Strength & Dexterity
These two tables are going to come as a disappointment to some, particularly those who feel that fighters just don’t bring enough force into their campaigns. Remember, however, that my motivation for these tables did not include giving my party a lot of new powers—but to compensate for the disinterest in what I’ve been calling dump stats. Convincing players to pimp up their strength or dexterity requires no help from any table.
Strength in particular is the big disappointment. It compares very favorably with wisdom and with the father’s profession table, however. And it adds a piece of information that every player needs. This is the first time I’ve ever used a table like this without having to constantly make re-rolls. I’m quite happy with it.
I typically roll a d4 to determine which grandparents are indicated, and a d2 to determine sex of the player's siblings; I usually get asked how many older or younger siblings the player possesses, which is easily determined by rolling a die for the number of children indicated.
I haven't had much interest in rolling great-grandparents, but they could be wedged into the system if anyone wanted.
Dexterity has a bit more oomph. There may be some contentious results on it, but by and large my party has accepted them. I have a thief with a 17 Dex who rolled the “can’t fight with two weapons” result…and he gripes about it…but it’s understood that this is a peculiar circumstance that just has to occur. You may be very quick, but you don’t happen to have the balance that enables both hands to operate in tandem; one hand is far more dominant than the other.
Some might argue it belongs on the intelligence table…and I have a quick, sly answer to that. The medieval mind perceived that such abilities did not transcend from the mind, but from the body. It would not have occurred to anyone that the brain had anything with what the hand was able to do.
Perhaps that’s not fair. But Adler won’t be born for another three centuries, so I don’t worry about it.