Saturday, July 17, 2010

In The Weeds - Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Champions has 14 core characteristics, or stats. OpenD6 tends to float between six and seven (most characters have six, but characters with extranormal abilities, like psionics or magic, have an extra one). The Icon Engine (working title) more or less splits the difference with 12.

The first block of characteristics, the physical block, has stayed the same, with Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Body. The second block, the Intellectual/Social, has been cut down by one total. I kept Intelligence and Presence, got rid of Ego and Comeliness, and added Chi (as I mentioned last time).

I can see why Ego was included as its own stat, but I've never really liked the way Ego works in Champions. I figure the game will run just as well if mental abilities roll off of INT or CHI as a core stat, or even CON in some instances (seeing as how part of CON is your toughness, your ability to gut it out through physical adversity which could be argued to be as much as function of willpower as physical conditioning).

COM looks as if it was simply added as a counterpart to Presence. One of the core Champions concepts seems to have been to add granularity to just about every stat. STR and CON go together as a pair, as do DEX/SPD, INT/EGO, STUN/BODY, PD/ED. In D&D, the CHA stat served for both force of personality and physical attractiveness; in Champions, of course they split those apart into Presence and Comeliness.

The problem is, COM doesn't serve any kind of game value. It's a dump stat, and a vanity stat, which is to say, you can put points into it just to be able to say how good-looking you are, but it has no effect on the game whatsoever. It's a waste of points.

So I dumped COM and instead added Traits (which I'll explain further in another post) and Disadvantages for being extraordinarily good-looking or ugly, tall or short, skinny or obese, with actual in-game consequences. You don't have to take any of those, of course; in the absence of specific Traits or Disadvantages, the character is assumed to look as good or not as the player wishes, just not good-looking enough to accrue tangible benefits or ugly enough to encounter actual hindrances.

The Speed Chart is morphing into a Speed Clock with only 6 segments per turn. I'm hoping this will simplify the process a little to speed play, while still keeping the unique flavor of Hero Speed.

Physical Defense and Energy Defense have been combined into one simple Defense stat. If a character wants to have a particular vulnerability to one or the other, he can take that as a Disadvantage. Recovery, Endurance and Stun are just the same as before.

So the final count right now:


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