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Help renaming stats

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simons's picture
Joined: 12/28/2008

I want people's opinions on something. Right now I am working on a wargame where each character has 3 non-combat related stats, and I am trying to collapse it into 2 (for simplicity). The three stats I currently have are:

Intelligence- This is how smart the character is. Right now, intelligence pretty much only has one use: when you are not given a specific order, you can take an intelligence check to see if you can figure out what to do on your own.

Spirit- A character uses their spirit basically to commune with other worlds. The character passes spirit checks to use meditation powers, control summoned creatures, avoid being possessed, and the like.

Save- This is kind of the catch-all of things that are not covered before. This stat protects you from blinding, poison, spells, curses, hypnosis, explosions, mind control, magic special attacks, etc.

Do you have any suggestions or obvious ways of somehow recombining these abilities into 2 things that makes some kind of intuitive sense?


MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008
Barking up a different tree

Hey Simon,

The three stats you list have three separate functions -- I don't see how you could collapse these into two stats without combining the mechanics they represent, which may have undesirable effects.

At first glance, it appears that Intelligence is the "odd man out." Spirit and Save both have multiple uses and appear to represent things the characters actually *do*. Intelligence has a single function and represents the ability to do something, but doesn't represent actions themselves.

Given that difference, my recommendation would be to adjust your "orders" mechanics to eliminate the need for the Intelligence stat. For example -- and this may be totally inappropriate since I don't know how your game works -- you could say that any two characters who didn't receive direct orders could act on their own. Or you could say that any character can try to act without direct orders, in which case you roll a die, and on 1-3 he succeeds but 4-6 he fails and cannot receive direct orders next turn.

I don't expect either of those examples to work for your game, but you get the idea.

Good luck -- I hope you'll post your ultimate solution.

ilta's picture
Joined: 12/05/2008

I agree with Mark here. Intelligence seems very limited in terms of gameplay value unless there are a lot of instances of characters having to act without direct orders.

If you don't want to lose that idea as a mechanic, then you could rejigger these into two kinds of Strength: Mind and Body.

Mind would cover the orders, most of the Spirit powers, and those Saves that primarily affect the mind, such as hypnosis or possession -- basically, Mind is a combination of how much control the person has over their brain and also raw intelligence.

Body, which represents their control over their body as well as pure physical strength and fitness, would cover the majority of the Saves (most of the ones you listed are physical tests, such as poison) and maybe some of the Spirit stuff if that idea works within your game world (is it physically exhausting to channel these things? Does meditation rely on an ability to do things to one's metabolism? etc).

metzgerism's picture
Joined: 06/19/2009
Skill, Morale, and Luck Just

Skill, Morale, and Luck

Just for shortening the names

red hare
red hare's picture
Joined: 11/09/2009
is different better or just different

hi simon,
I agree with the other posters that the "intelligence" stat seems to not be so important to the game. And it could be assigned a random dice roll which was suggested.

"Save" could be renamed "Endurance" or "Fortitude"

Good luck with the game!

simons's picture
Joined: 12/28/2008
Thinking about this, you're

Thinking about this, you're probably right, that Intelligence could probably be removed with too much damage to the game (thanks for the suggestion).

So, in thinking about this, does the name "save" sound as bad as I think it does?

TheMob's picture
Joined: 08/04/2008
simons wrote:Thinking about

simons wrote:
Thinking about this, you're probably right, that Intelligence could probably be removed with too much damage to the game (thanks for the suggestion).

So, in thinking about this, does the name "save" sound as bad as I think it does?

Yes, "save" is a bad name :)

How about combining intelligence + save and then calling it "Fortitude" (like was suggested earlier), or simply Intelligence.

If it's a war game, do you think you could combine all these 3 to one (and simply call it "Spirit" or something)?

MarkKreitler's picture
Joined: 11/12/2008
Baby and bathwater

Hey Simons,

Some alternatives for Save:
Will (or willpower)

Some alternatives for Spirit:

Joined: 01/11/2010
A little creative re-imagining

What if you kept the function that Intelligence serves but rework the flavor a bit? Roll what it does into the "Save" stat (which, yes, you should rename) and just change how you think about it working.

Instead of "figuring out what they should do" the unit is "saving against indecision" or "keeping a cool head." If that's really the only function of that stat in the entire game, while Save is covering what sounds to me like a heck of a lot of ground, i don't see why you couldn't have Save cover this as well.

I like MarkKreitler's Will, Toughness and Resistance suggestions, and to that list i would add:

Let us know what you go with in the end, yeah?

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I don't really like the

I don't really like the symmetry of your stats. The body vs mind suggestion is nice. I would say that for "Saving" you use your body vs mind according to the what you are saving against: poison (body) or confusion(mind).

In the end you have 2 stats used for 2 different purpose each.

simons's picture
Joined: 12/28/2008
TheMob wrote:If it's a war

TheMob wrote:
If it's a war game, do you think you could combine all these 3 to one (and simply call it "Spirit" or something)?

This might not be a bad idea. Come to think of it, I think combining everything into one stat might fix some of the other problems I've been having. I'll try this at the next playtest and see what everyone thinks.

Jpwoo's picture
Joined: 03/26/2009
how complicated is your game?

How complex is your game already? I say if you have crossed a certain threshold already leaving in the stats isn't a bad option. Especially in a fantasy adventure style game the kinds of players who would be attracted to this game are probably not shy about stats.

I like the idea that you could hire an ogre who has monster (literally) physical stats, but is so dumb that he can't properly complete tasks. Or hiring a cheap thief who has a reputation for running out on her jobs and going to the pub instead.

schtoom's picture
Joined: 08/31/2009
I've been toying with a

I've been toying with a dice-based game that uses a single number to represent multiple things, but I haven't gotten it fleshed out yet. For instance, you have 3 different colored dice, each with a different range/type of values. One stat could be a "save" where each die represents a different type of save, like magic, dextery-related, mental, etc. That way you only have one number to really worry about and you let the differences in the dice do the work for you. Hope that makes sense.

simons's picture
Joined: 12/28/2008
So, maybe I should explain

So, maybe I should explain the background: The game is fairly complex, and I am always looking for ways to simplify it, but it’s more than that. As of right now, the way character creation is set up, all characters begin roughly equal: they get two abilities (or one big one), from a limited list of what they can choose from. If you want to boost any of your stats, that takes one ability (although usually it’s a couple of different stats you boost). As both saves and spirit go, it seemed like both were somewhat helpful, but they didn’t really come up enough that it felt like you REALLY needed to boost them. It always seemed more worth it to get more hit points, or a higher defense. My hope is that this might change things.

And the Intelligence stat was dropped because in thinking about it, I realized that whenever we playtested games, I was the only one who put myself into a situation where I needed to use it. Given that the rules were not vital to the game, maybe I’d be better without it.

Pastor_Mora's picture
Joined: 01/05/2010
Relate to your theme

Use you theme as inspiration. It is the background of your story after all... You DO have a theme/story, do you?

Focus on dualism. The easier reference is Tao. YIN being offensive, or, what you give to the Universe, and YANG defensive, or what you get back. Maybe is the other way around, I don't recall.

It could be INSPIRATION (offensive) and KARMA (defensive) on the same principles.

Maybe, if the two players are the opposite, the offensive stat for say, the "good" can be the defensive stat of the "bad".

Maybe both can have different name for their stats. i.e. if its a demon, it can have "corruption" as an offensive stat, while the priest has "purification" as a defensive stat. Maybe those are non-combat stats and "torment" / "punishment" can be the combat stats for each.

There is also a word for "repentance by torture", but english (as you may have guessed by now) is not my mother tongue.

Keep thinking!

Joined: 07/24/2009

I wanted to post that I agree with merging them into a Mind/Body dichotomy. You could call it Discipline/Fortitude though, to give it a more militaristic feel.

If you change it to a single stat, Discipline or Training probably works.

Joined: 01/11/2010
Character Creation?

You mentioned that it's always worth more to get more Hit Points or raise another stat (i think that's what you said, at least) during the character creation. Well, if you're using a point buy system, couldn't you just discount the less worthwhile stats? Say two of the less valuable stat in exchange for a "better" stat, or three for one, etc.

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