Wednesday, January 11, 2012

C:ADD Stats

I was whining earlier about the restrictive nature of stats, but I just can't see my way clear of them, at least in some form. Since the "Big Six" are a D&D trope, I don't have to adhere to them, though, which is good. So, here is what I'm thinking (subject to change):


     All characters possess Qualities. These are mental, physical, and/or spiritual aspects of the character that are above average. The player decides what the Quality is, there is no set list. However, it should be sufficiently broad so as to have utility. For example, Agile would cover pretty much anything that encompassed body control. Whereas Balance would only apply in very specific instances, and so not see as much use during play.
     It is not necessary that a Quality be compartmentalized. That is, it doesn't have to represent a distinct aspect of the character. For example, a character could have the Quality Constitution. It is obvious what that quality represents, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, a character could have the Quality Survivor. The character with Constitution would enjoy a bonus to rolls to resist extremes of weather and to enduring hardship. The Survivor would enjoy those bonuses too, as well as bonuses to foraging for food, finding water, and making shelter.
     Qualities are limited only by imagination. Just remember to keep them broad enough to be usable. It would be frustrating to dump your points into a Quality that only gets used every four or five sessions.

Beginning Qualities
     Characters begin play with four points to devote to Qualities. Each "plus" to a Quality costs a number of points equal to the "plus" being gained. So, to gain a +1 costs one point. To improve that to +2 would cost two more points, for a total of three. Additionally, Warriors and Mages pay additional points for Qualities outside their "comfort zone":

Quality Type

The costs given are a flat amount required each time the Quality is improved. Thus, for a Warrior to have a +1 Mental Quality costs three points. To improve it to +2 would require four points.

Ongoing Improvement
     Each level the character receives four points with which to improve his Qualities, or purchase new ones. The costs for these improvements is exactly as it is during character creation.

Final Thoughts
    Players are encouraged to devise unique names for their Qualities, just make sure it is clearly understood what the Quality represents. For example, the Quality of Survivor mentioned above could also be called Quality: Veteran of the Forlorn Marshes. Then, the player has a piece of the character's history hardwired into the character's stats. Just remember: make sure the referee and player are on the same page as to what Veteran of the Forlorn Marshes means.


  1. You've been busy. Interesting your qualities especially with flavourful names remind me a bit of Descriptors from Sorcery. I've often thought you only need 3 stats, but find it hard to drift from the standard 6 (I don't even use spd or mana/Pow in T&T).

  2. Hey, Lee. I've seen the Sorcerer quickstart, but I don't remember it very well. I really got the idea from PDQ. I like descriptive things like that, or how FUDGE does it, but I can't get into descriptors as being the foundation for the system. My main goals with the Qualities idea are:

    1) Remove stats that are essentially irrelevant. If you have a STR 10, do you really need it noted?

    2) Allow the players to describe the characters they "see", the way they see them. It also removes the notion of "dump stats" and negative mods.

    This has been surprisingly easy so far. The class thing and this were both just stream-of-conscious. The writing could be polished, but I'm pretty happy with the concepts.