View Single Post
Old 07-20-2010, 09:59 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2010
Default Re: Standard deviation on Stat distribution?

Originally Posted by Talonos View Post
Recently, I was talking to a friend about GURPS stats, and mentioned that only about three in a thousand people would have an IQ over 13, making his IQ 15 character even more incredibly smart. He asked why I said that. I said "Didn't you know? Each stat point represents a standard deviation either above or below the mean." He asked what made on earth made me think that.

About a week later, after being unable to find anything to that effect, I lamely said "Well, gee... I dunno. I thought somewhere I read something about... well, never mind. Oh well."

So, this is my question. How rare are high stats? About how many people in a population have IQ at certain levels? How about int? If I wanted to create a computer program that would randomly create a person, what distributions would I give it to work with?

Also, on a less related note, how good common would skill levels above 20 be?
I would say that it's fair to consider each point in a stat about a standard deviation.

Kromm's analysis is as follows (I can't find the original post but I copied it into a notepad document for reference):

I like p. B14 well enough, but I might add some more categories:
6 or less Crippling (literally -- you can't live a normal life)
7 Poor (you can life a normal life, with care, but never be an adventurer)
8-9 Below Average (low side of able-bodied, probably the lowest an adventurer should ever have)
10 Average (most scores for most people)
11-12 Above Average (high side of able-bodied, probably a good average for adventurers)
13-14 Exceptional (highest you'll likely meet on the street, above average for adventurers)
15-16 Amazing (highest you'll likely see or hear about, strongly defines an adventurer)
17-18 Legendary (historical "bests" and remarkable fictional heroes)
19-20 Mythic (astounding even among great heroes in fiction and folklore)
21 or more Superhuman (off-limits to humans, barely suitable for great heroes, okay for deities)

* Most people have ST, DX, IQ, HT, Will, and Per at 10; a Basic Speed of 5.00; and a Basic Move of 5.

* If an ordinary Joe is stronger, more agile, smarter, healthier, stronger-willed, or more perceptive than average, odds are good that he has an 11 instead of a 10. If his edge is so great that his friends talk about it, he might rate a 13. People in the middle are at 12.

* If an ordinary Joe reacts more quickly than average, he probably has Basic Speed 5.25. If he runs more quickly, he might rate Basic Move 6.

* I would seriously think about rating greater apparent competency using skills, not attributes. A really good hunter probably has all of Guns, Stealth, and Tracking at Attribute+1 or perhaps +2, and that sets him above his pals with only one or two of those skills at Attribute level. He almost certainly doesn't have DX 12 and Per 12!

* If an ordinary Joe is weaker, clumsier, duller, less healthy, weaker-willed, or less perceptive than average, he likely has a 9 instead of a 10. If his lack is so great that his friends talk about it behind his back, he might rate a 7. People in the middle are at 8. Likewise, if he reacts less quickly than average, he might have Basic Speed 4.75. If he can't keep up on the run, he probably has Basic Move 4.

* Don't mistake Incompetence at a skill for low attributes! Every workplace has some poor guy who -- let's face it -- sucks. My money is on him having Incompetence at a needed skill, not DX 7 or IQ 8.
lexington is offline   Reply With Quote