I was reminded of this method for rolling attribute scores by another blog mentioning methods of character generation. For simplicity I'm going to be talking about rolling stats in D&D, but this can easily be tweaked to many other systems that have random attributes.
In the right type of game I like the idea of rolling 3d6 in order for stats, but it's never fun when you have a character that has better scores than another character in five out of six attributes. The benefits, which can be really fun and create interesting characters, just don't outweigh the balance issues to me. In-party balance is the one type of balance I strongly support.
The idea of this method is to capture the unpredictability of straight rolling but keep the party balanced.
- One player rolls 3d6. Every player at the table takes turn to note down this score in an attribute of their choice. (Optional: No player may choose an attribute that another player has chosen for this roll)
- The next player rolls 3d6 and the players assign this score to an attribute in the same way.
- Continue until all attributes are assigned.
Characters will have the same attribute totals but not have complete control over where they put them. Likewise, characters can start off weaker or stronger than average but will still be relatively balanced against eachother. I've never gotten to try this method, so hopefully someone will give it a go in their own game.