Thursday, June 2, 2011

7K - We need stats. Stat.

So, for the three of you reading this not familiar with d20, we are starting with stats. The stats are rated from 3 to 18+, with 10 being human average and 14 being the average among heroes. There are six, and they are:

Strength - Raw physical power. This mostly modifies your melee attack and damage bonuses, and also modifies skills related to muscles, like climbing and swimming.

Dexterity - Grace and speed. This modifies ranged attacks, defense, reflex saves, and initiative. It also modifies skills related to agility and precision, such as tumbling and sleight of hand.

Constitution - Health and endurance. The most important thing this modifies is how many hits you can take. It also modifies your fortitude saves. It does not modify any skills.

Intelligence - Cleverness and book learning. This modifies how many skills you have. It also modifies a number of those skills, particularly those having to do with recall and logic. One of those skills in particular is Spellcraft, critical for spell casters.

Wisdom - Awareness and emotional equilibrium. This modifies your will saves and a number of skills in which either perception or patience is key.

Charisma - Personal magnetism and persuasiveness. This modifies a number of skills having to do with social interaction.

Now, I need to decide if I am making any changes to these. On the side of keeping them as is, I need to avoid the temptation to change every piece of the system just for the sake of putting my stamp on it. The stats are an area which players will expect to stay fairly static. Messing with them too much will both undermine the whole point of using d20 (familiarity) and have cascading effects through the system.

Of course, there will be a few changes. As this is a swashbuckling game, there will be a repartee system for cutting people with your words. Charisma will power your attacks, and Wisdom will resist them. I am looking to abstract wealth out a bit, and Charisma will modify that.

There are a couple possible changes, both involving Dexterity. As a swashbuckling game, I want to ensure that the archetype of the lithe, quick swordsman is reinforced. Consequently, I might want to make Dex more important. One way to do this is to make all attack rolls be modified by Dex, and all damage rolls be modified by Strength (except possibly for crossbows). That might actually be simpler than the current matrix of melee vs. hurled vs. other ranged weapons.

However, I don't want to make Dex overwhelmingly important. Another change that I have often considered is having Wisdom modify initiative instead of Dex. After all, it seems to me that a stat that represents your awareness and coolness under fire should modify how quickly you react to danger more than your agility. It also makes the Wisdom stat a little more important across the board.

For now, I think I like the change to attack modifiers. But, I think I'm going to hold off on the initiative change. With the introduction of stress damage, Wisdom is getting a pretty big boost already. Also, one change is easy to communicate, two gets awkward. So, the final modifiers are:

Strength - Modifies the damage you deal in combat, and skills that rely on muscle power.

Dexterity - Modifies attack rolls, defense, initiative, reflex saves, and skills that rely on muscle control.

Constitution - Modifies vitality, determines wounds, modifies fortitude saves.

Intelligence - Modifies skill points, and skills that rely on mental power.

- Modifies will saves, stress, and skills that rely on awareness or patience. Determines sanity.

Charisma - Modifies repartee, wealth, and skills that involve social interaction.

As I intend this to be a heroic game, I will use a 32 point buy system. Values cost:

08 - 00

09 - 01

10 - 02

11 - 03

12 - 04

13 - 05

14 - 06

15 - 08

16 - 10

17 - 13

18 - 16

Stats cannot be bought below 8 or above 18, though they can reach those scores through racial modifiers.

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