Heh, sorry, took so long to compile that other post in the neighboring thread that I haven’t gotten around to comment over here for a while
Let’s get to it:
[quote]Just to clear this up, as there is a bit of confusion.
Auburney, you meant specifically the Ability SCORE as an example.
Not the modifier or usual Attributes, right?
(quote by GJsoft)[/quote]
Not exactly sure what you mean by “usual attributes”…?
But yeah, I was basically questioning the “13” part of “I got 13, so that gives me +1”
Let’s call this the attribute (or ability, as D&D inconsistently-with-most-other-RPGs insists on calling it) SCORE, shall we?
The “+1” thingy would be the MODIFIER
[quote]I will (probably) prefer an elegant simple system to another that uses a lot of text / extra rules.
That is why I played Shadowrun with the Technoir rules for instance
… but as I was gaming with Larpers, who played Pen & Paper RPGs for the first time, a “detailed/bloat” System became not only a burden, but a hassle.
(quote by Darthbinks)[/quote]
[quote]I actually like that part of the game because there isn’t just one number that affects everything (directly). It adds depth to a system and is giving you more options.
(quote by Thopthes)[/quote]
So it appears to be trade-off between Depth and Detail on the one hand, and Simplictiy and Gameflow on the other hand. Fair enough.
It seems natural, that in the interest of Depth, several layers of stats and mechanics are included. And of course by that very step, the same system can just as naturally become to complex and time-sonsuming to handle for some tastes.
[quote]Of course you could change the game to only one number for each ability. But then one could argue that when you’re already ‘reducing’ the numbers in the game you could also just reduce the number of abilities while you’re at it. So drop some of them and just use physique, mind and maybe experience or so.
That’s basically the difference between every game there is. It’s just another form of trying to project reality (I’m using this word very loosely here) onto a simplified more abstract form that allows players to use it in a game. Some games have 3 abilities, others have 10 and some don’t have abilities at all. I think the question is what you do with the options the system is giving you.
… and yet, there are way more games out there (in my perception, that is. YMMV of course) that play around with the Number and Names of their attribute stats, than games that collapse (or expand, really!) the Attribute/Modifier layers.
I’m wondering why that may be…
As an aside:
[quote]To add something new … What about System that incorporate/interweave their Stats with the mythology of the setting?
e.g. Legend of the Five Rings
I really like this approach, but the downside is that Legend of the Five Rings is only good for playing Legend of the Five Rings.
Yeah, I hear you on that.
I had a somewhat similar problem with Dogs in the Vinyard, whose four attributes and four principal modes of conflict are so tightly interwoven, that I was never actually able to reskin the game to the much-desired “Jedi on the Vinplanet”.
I ended up realizing that I would either have to add a fifth stat, or juggle the existing stats around somehow - and both would have meant effectively rewriting the whole system from scratch
[quote]Skills in M&M are just a Specialisation.
Raising an Attribute costs 2 build points and raising an Skill costs 1/2 build point.
What, theoretically, is the advantage of this, over (say) abolishing attributes and just letting people buy whatever skills they want at 1 build point per skill point?
It should come out to about the same averages… (or not, because usually people will mainly have skills that go with the attributes they are already good in? )
[quote]and that’s the only Ability score that affects your “to Hit” score (Agility/Fighting + appropiate Ranged Combat / Close Combat Skill if any)
I see. Still seems a bit odd to me, but hey - to each their own
[quote]I don’t know about you, but when I play D&D (or most other games), I use attribute checks quite frequently.
Interesting… perhaps it is my rpg-upbringing somewhere between KULT and the WoD, but… I’ve actually always tried my best to avoid just that.
I find that in most systems that have Attributes and Skills, the maths break down when you try to roll on both interchangably.
In a D&D example, how do you compare your Strength 17 to your Swim +6? One is a “roll under”, one is a “roll high and add”. Sure, the Swim skill exists, but when I need a hypothetical Skill that does not exist (say Charioteering), what do I do? Fall back on Dexterity? How do I determine the roll’s difficulty, then? How do I account for the fact that my character never had the chance to invest any skill points in this activity? (But might’ve done so, had the skill existed all along)…
I’ve always felt that these kinds of things become a mess pretty swiftly, unfortunately.
But as mentioned, that may be KULT still being stuck in my head
[quote]First of all, the newest edition of D&D really simplified skills.
You get your proficiency bonus in two or three skills (and this bonus does not reach a +3 value until third level or so) abd use ability scores otherwise.
Ah, that’s where GJsoft’s remark about the confusion came from, I guess.
See, you’re actually talking about the Modifiers, not the Scores.
As I recall from our D&D 5 game, my Rogue had Stealth +5, which consisted of my Dex +3 and my proficiency Bonus of +2.
I’m arguing for “why have a Dex of 16 (or 17, I don’t actually recall that about my character, tellingly ), just in order to arrive at the all-important +3 modifier?”
Why not give me a “Dex +3” right away?
[quote]n 3rd DnD uneven numbers of ability scores are used for prerequests, even numbers get you a modifier.
the feat Dodge needs Dex 13
(Amlash) (and Thopthes said pretty much the same thing too)[/quote]
Okay, I’ll buy that. But I still argue it can be considered as needless numbers-bloat.
I keep hearing this argument where
but… the only 2 concrete examples we’ve seen so far were
- carrying capacity
- feat prerequisites
Are there more?
Because if not, I stand unconvinced that these two items (of which the first one is a minor side mechanic, and the other one I’ll debate in a second) could not just as easily be handled somehow differently.
@ Carrying Capacity:
It’s rather simple, actually. Since your Attribute Modifier for all Attributes is [ (Attribute-10) / 2 ] (rounded down), you could just revert that formula and determine Carrying Capacity in whatever way you determine it now (Strength times something or other, I’d guess?), and even arrive at pretty much the same numbers.
Or, you know, just simplify the Weight mechanic as well, while you’re at it?
And make it an actually meaningful mechanic that actually sees some use and helps contribute to an entertaining game,for a change… But I’m drifting off topic, that may be an issue for a whole different threat…
ahem, where was I? Ah yes, the other thing:
@ Feat Prereqs & Ability Damage:
If these are the only justification for odd numbers on Attribute Scores that’s left, how’s about this idea:
You can effectively halve the needed range of Attribute Scores by conflating the odd numbers and the even numbers. Imagine, for a moment, a D&D where Attributes only went up to 10.
A score of 5 would give you no modifier, a score of 6 would give you +1, a 7 gives +2… and a 10 gives you +5.
So it’s all still there. And the Feat Prereqs can work just as fine off of those numbers, why couldn’t they?
After all, where’s the realism, with regard to Attribute Damage, that sometimes the Lich’s touch (or the severe disease or whatever else causes such Damage), sometimes it will make me less able to carry stuff around. But I’ll still be fine with all my Feats.
And sometimes my ability to [insert feat that has a Strength prereq] will be lost due to such Damage… but I can still carry my full load just fine, thanks.
That seems to make no sense.
Even disregarding that Strength seems to be the only Attribute with a Derived Stat based on its Score (and not Modifier) so far, anyways. And that probably not a huge load of Feats have Strength Prereqs, either…
So it seems there would be no (or hardly any) points of conflict, if the Attributes were indeed to be conflated into a range of 1-10 (or more likely 4-10, as kids these days seem inexplicably scared of having worse than a -1 modifier in their games anyways ).
And from that thought experiment, it is but a minor step to abolishing Attribute SCORES entirely, and just going with the Modifiers (-1 to +5) instead.
I’ll gladly change my mind on the above, however, if and when someone shows me the handful of derived stats that are based on Dex, Wis, Int, Cha and Con SCORES (and not Modifiers).
Because if these exist, yeah okay, maybe a valid point can be made about the system really needing those Scores.
One could even make Carrying Capacity into a Skill, “Carry”, simple as that. Gets the Strength Modifier added to it, as other Skills do, but can get Skill Points (and/or Proficiency Bonus) as well.
(Rationale: experienced wanderers for example, have an easier time carrying huge-ass rucksacks around for hours on end, than beginning weekend hikers. It is known.
Also, ever saw those skinny third-world guys who carry shitloads of bricks around on their heads? They won’t all have a strength of 16, I don’t think?
Evidently then, Carrying Stuff is as much about technique as it is about Raw Muscle Power, anyways…)