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Ability Scores

Postby Siosilvar » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:50 pm

SOS uses a basic set of six ability scores, as follows:

Strength : Physical power

Characters with high Strength include Hercules.
Agility : Agility includes both physical agility (large-scale body movement - speed) and manual dexterity (small-scale body movement - precision).

Characters with high Agility include
Constitution : A character with high Constitution is hardy and "made of strong stuff." Integrity, tenacity, etc.

Characters with high Constitution include Rasputin.
Discipline : Knowledge, learning, focus
Skill points, or a similar system
Characters with high Discipline include Malcolm Reynolds.
Intuition : Insight, perception, instinct
Bonus languages
Characters with high Intuition include Sherlock Holmes.
Presence : ...impact? Almost identical to the original "Charisma" stat.
Power of magic (items and spells)
Characters with high Presence include Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Samuel L. Jackson.


A starting character has ability scores ranging from 1 to 10. Their ability modifiers are equal to the score minus 5.

Note that there is no "Intelligence" score; this is intentional. The player cannot just say "oh, I'll just roll intelligence; what do I come up with?". A roll of Intuition might give a gut feeling as to a course of action, or Discipline might give a learned response, but the player is responsible for the actions of his character. On the other side of the coin, the character might well still know something important that the player forgot; [finish this sentence later]

In case it becomes relevant, a (human) character loses 1 point from a random ability score every 5 years after the age of 30. The player may choose to start a character above that age with no penalty, however.

To better visualize some of the distinctions between the abilities, I present the following two tables:

PhysicalMetaphysicalMentalSupernatural
StrengthAgilityConstitutionDisciplineIntuitionPresence


PhysicalMental
FortitudeStrengthDiscipline
ReflexAgilityIntuition
WillConstitutionPresence


Standard 3.5 Skills Equivalency
Note: the full list is NOT the list that will actually be used. At this point, I am planning on keeping the skills system mostly intact, however.
Full List : Appraise (Int)
Balance (Agi)
Bluff (Int)
Climb (Str-Agi)
Concentration (Con-Dis)
Craft (none)
Decipher Script (Dis/Int)
Diplomacy (Pre)
Disable Device (Agi-Dis)
Disguise (Pre)
Escape Artist (Agi)HULK SMASH! is still a Strength checkForgery (Dis/Int)
Gather Information (Int/Pre)
Handle Animal (Int-Pre)
Heal (Dis-Int)+target's Con
Hide (Agi)maybe (Agi-Pre)Intimidate (Con/Pre)
Jump (Str-Agi)
Knowledge (Dis)Int is potentially useful, but not muchListen (Int)
Move Silently (Agi)
Open Lock (Agi/Dis)
Perform (Pre)
Profession (none)
Ride (Agi/Con)
Search (Dis/Int)
Sense Motive (Int)
Sleight of Hand (Agi)
Speak Language (none)
Spellcraft (none)
Spot (Int)
Survival (Int)Some aspects may be ConSwim (Str-Con)
Tumble (Agi)
UMD (Pre)
Use Rope (Agi)

Changed Skills (by 3.5 Stats) : Appraise (Int to Wis)
Bluff (Cha to Wis)
Climb (Str to Str and Dex)
Concentration (Con to Con and Int)
Craft (Int to none)
Decipher Script (Int to Int or Wis)
Disable Device (Int to Int and Dex)
Forgery (Int to Int or Wis)
Gather Information (Cha to Cha or Wis)
Handle Animal (Cha to Cha and Wis)
Heal (Wis to Wis and Int)
Intimidate (Cha to Cha or Con)
Jump (Str to Str and Dex)
Open Lock (Dex to Dex or Int)
Profession (Wis to none)
Ride (Dex to Dex or Con)
Search (Int to Int or Wis)
Spellcraft (Int to none)
Swim (Str to Str and Con)

Strength Skills : Climb (with Agility)
Jump (with Agility)
Swim (with Constitution)
Total: 3 inhibited (was 3)
Sio's Note: Don't really like the change here too much. Strength should not be the new dump stat, but I'm unsure what to change if anything.

Agility Skills : Balance
Climb (with Strength)
Disable Device (with Discipline)
Escape Artist
Hide
Jump (with Strength)
Move Silently
Open Lock (or Discipline)
Ride (or Constitution)
Sleight of Hand
Use Rope
Total: 8 and 3 inhibited (was 9)
Sio's Note: Dexterity is only slightly less useful, and still only useful for the same kinds of people it was useful for before.

Constitution Skills : Concentration (with Discipline)
Intimidate (or Presence)
Ride (or Agility)
Swim (with Strength)
Total: 2 and 2 inhibited (was 1)
Sio's Note: Ride is a bit of a stretch, but Constitution is now more useful for almost everyone.

Discipline Skills : Concentration (with Constitution)
Decipher Script (or Intuition)
Disable Device (with Agility)
Forgery (or Intuition)
Heal (with Intuition)
Knowledge
Open Lock (or Agility)
Search (or Intuition)
Total: 5 and 3 inhibited (was 8)
Sio's Note: Intelligence is less useful than before. The only "pure" Discipline skill is Knowledge.

Intuition Skills : Appraise
Bluff
Decipher Script (or Discipline)
Forgery (or Discipline)
Gather Information (or Presence)
Handle Animal (with Presence)
Heal (with Discipline)
Listen
Search (or Discipline)
Sense Motive
Spot
Survival
Total: 9 and 2 inhibited (was 6)
Sio's Note: Unlike almost all the other stats, Wisdom is actually more useful than before, as it gets a few more of the awareness and naturesy skills.

Presence Skills : Diplomacy
Disguise
Gather Information (or Intuition)
Handle Animal (with Intuition)
Intimidate (or Constitution)
Perform
UMD
Total: 6 and 1 inhibited (was 8)
Sio's Note: Charisma's social monopoly is broken, and I intend to make the UMD-equivalent required for all magic items. I'm imagining a Leadership-score-like system for magic benefits.

Nonability Skills : Craft
Profession
Speak Language
Total:3 (was 1)
Sio's Note: Nothing special, just moved some stuff that had no business being ability-derived out.
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System Design: Ability Scores

Postby Siosilvar » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:50 pm

So, I'm not sure where it started, but I got the idea in my head to replace the three mental ability scores with the Discipline/Intuition/Presence trio. I think it came from a GiantITP thread.

Shortly thereafter, I came up with the idea to split Dexterity into its two components. After some grappling with the idea, I started a little bit of work on the Champion Seven system, which you will never see in print. At that point, the abilities were the following (with both a catchy acronym and some flavorful numbers to boot!):

Physical (4)Mental (3)
StrengthDiscipline
AgilityIntuition
FinessePresence
EnduranceTotal: 7


After some effort, I gave up on that idea. It went into my "fantasy.txt" file, which is flavor notes and good ideas that I've resigned to die.

About a week ago, I wrote up a few feats for 3.5 (which you may see eventually) and then started work on SOS, with the oh-so-excellent heading of "Complete System Rebuild." After the core mechanic, I wrote down the core d20 stats, then arrows pointing to the new names.

_______Stats_
Strength
DexterityAgility
Constitution
IntelligenceDiscipline
WisdomIntuition
CharismaPresence


About halfway down the page, as I was writing "keep Fort/Refl/Will triad, find more low-magic uses for Will" on the right side of the page, it hit me that they're perfectly in order to repeat Fort/Refl/Will/Fort/Refl/Will. So next to the original table I put the three saves next to their stats, surrounded with a box and with a question mark. The left side of the page is the second table, above, in the first post.

At this point, it hit me that stats could be halved, and this would get rid of the "useless odd score" problem.

I moved on to make a table of conversions between the two systems, from 3 to 36 in the old and 1 to 18 in the new. "5 + abil. mod" was my game.

The next page is a few ideas for the system, but after that is a whole page devoted to explaining the ability scores, and along the side is "Physical ↔ Metaphysical" all the way from Strength down to Presence.

At this point, with the notes I have on my desk at this moment, I decided to ask for a forum. A few threads should be coming soon with the rest of my notes.
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Re: System Design: Ability Scores

Postby Draz » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:39 pm

Still envious of your skill with the forum code for Tables ... ;)

Siosilvar wrote:So, I'm not sure where it started, but I got the idea in my head to replace the three mental ability scores with the Discipline/Intuition/Presence trio. I think it came from a GiantITP thread.

That actually sounds like CRE8 during a certain iteration.

Overall, this is definitely not the worst system of ability scores I've ever seen. I thoroughly approve of renaming Dexterity to Agility, as well as being clearer about what the different mental scores represent.

Am I to take it that Intuition is the mental score that represents how quickly you think on your feet? (Based on it being the associated mental ability for Reflex saves.) If so, then ... well, it probably won't have anything to do with divine casters anymore, will it? Other than that, I think I'm ok with "Intuition" representing mental quickness. Works well for ranger-types and monk-types.

I think Fortitude <--> Discipline and Will <--> Presence seems backwards. Fortitude <--> Presence and Will <--> Discipline makes more sense. Although frankly Fortitude seems innately physical and Will seems innately mental; only Reflex really seems to make sense in both categories.

Which ability will govern social skills? Intuition?
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Re: System Design: Ability Scores

Postby Siosilvar » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:27 pm

Draz wrote:Still envious of your skill with the forum code for Tables ... ;)

Siosilvar wrote:So, I'm not sure where it started, but I got the idea in my head to replace the three mental ability scores with the Discipline/Intuition/Presence trio. I think it came from a GiantITP thread.

That actually sounds like CRE8 during a certain iteration.

Overall, this is definitely not the worst system of ability scores I've ever seen. I thoroughly approve of renaming Dexterity to Agility, as well as being clearer about what the different mental scores represent.

Am I to take it that Intuition is the mental score that represents how quickly you think on your feet? (Based on it being the associated mental ability for Reflex saves.) If so, then ... well, it probably won't have anything to do with divine casters anymore, will it? Other than that, I think I'm ok with "Intuition" representing mental quickness. Works well for ranger-types and monk-types.

I think Fortitude <--> Discipline and Will <--> Presence seems backwards. Fortitude <--> Presence and Will <--> Discipline makes more sense. Although frankly Fortitude seems innately physical and Will seems innately mental; only Reflex really seems to make sense in both categories.

Which ability will govern social skills? Intuition?


Actually, I think it did come from a comment on CRE8 somewhere.

Intuition is pretty much a narrower version of the Wisdom score - the one rangers and monks already use.

As for social skills, using the standard 3.5 skills:
Intimidate: Presence v. Discipline
Bluff: Intuition v. Intuition
Diplomacy: Presence v. Presence (and probably an actual opposed roll, not just roll v. static)
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Re: System Design: Ability Scores

Postby Draz » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:53 pm

Siosilvar wrote:Intuition is pretty much a narrower version of the Wisdom score - the one rangers and monks already use.

Yep, but the way you've changed it, it will become even more iconic for Rogues. Not that that's a bad thing.
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Re: System Design: Ability Scores

Postby Siosilvar » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:17 pm

Draz wrote:
Siosilvar wrote:Intuition is pretty much a narrower version of the Wisdom score - the one rangers and monks already use.

Yep, but the way you've changed it, it will become even more iconic for Rogues. Not that that's a bad thing.

Ah, rogues. Actually, I think a better clarification would be the iconic "this person had this stat", like the exclamation in the 1e AD&D DMG: "Rasputin had an 18 constitution!"
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