Roleplaying games are interesting creatures. While you can most assuredly play any kind of game using any kind of system, there's no doubt that certain systems lend themselves more readily to different genres and play styles. This means that a good developer needs to ensure that the whole system supports the type of game chosen in order to assist the Game Master with running it. This means that any fiction, mechanics, examples and, ideally, even pictures should all be tightly focused on the type of game concerned.
I've certainly found the difficulties inherent in doing this while determining the skills and, to a lesser extent, the attributes involved in the game.
My attributes include the tried and tested: Strength (physical might), Agility (dexterity and physical precision), Resilience (capacity to withstand injuries, toxins), Perception (sensory information and interpretation), Charisma (persuasion and charm) and Intelligence (knowledge and mental processing power). I've also added two others that aren't so common. Intuition (subconscious mind, psychic resistance and Extra Sensory Perception) and Tenacity (conscious will and ability to continue despite adversity).
Now attributes are still a bit tricky. They all need to be useful so that none of them become the automatic 'dump stat' which rarely comes up no matter the character concept. You also want to keep from privileging one stat above all others. Tenacity was that privileged stat for me for awhile but I've wrangled it down. They also need to be broader than skills and not just because attributes are something we all have a little bit of while skills are things we can be clueless about. It's nice to be able to make a range of pairings beyond the usual Charisma + Deception range, if you get my drift. Okay, sure, the pairing range isn't necessary in a game but I kind of like it.
I'm also including Derived Statistics which is where a particular aspect of the character is defined by their attributes. In some cases this is easy to define. My health points are based off doubling your Resilience + 3 for the battered range and then equal to your Tenacity for the Misery and the Critical health range. The latter two both include rather simple blood loss mechanics but that's a subject of another post.
Resilience represents how much damage your character can take before things start going wrong. Tenacity represents how much damage your character can take while their body is in a whole lot of pain before you pass out or are otherwise incapacitated.
Some derived statistics are a little trickier to determine.
Just look at Initiative.
I could justify Initiative in several ways:
Perception + Intelligence (ability to see and interpret the threat before anybody else)
Perception + Intuition (snap decisions based off subconscious processing of visual / auditory data)
Perception + Agility (ability to interpret sensory information and then physically react to it)
Intuition + Agility (subconscious aware of danger before it hits coupled with speed of physical reaction)
The tricky is to determine which derived statistics make the most sense in the context of the game.
At present I have:
Intuition + Agility. Intuition represents your ability to realise what is about to happen so that you can react accordingly and Agility represents your ability to actually respond to such threats. This allows for situations where the Game Master suddenly declares that everyone should roll Initiative before describing the danger in front of them. In a game of exploding bombs, sudden assaults in the black out, and imperceptible temperature drops that herald the approach of *something*, this makes a lot of sense to me.
Is this the only derived statistic possible?
But at present it works for me.
What do you guys think?