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Old 10-24-2018, 09:12 AM   #80
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Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Pyramid #3/120: Alternate GURPS V

Originally Posted by bert View Post

Well, as always it is a question of elegance vs versatility. Having more attributes gives more details in characters by just looking at the numbers; having just four core attributes makes everything simple and elegant.
At the same time, 18 years of proposals from dozens of authors gradually blew the original model of "ST, DX, IQ, and HT all cost the same, and are the only things you can improve" out into "DX and IQ cost more, and you can directly adjust HP, Will, Per, FP, Basic Speed, and Basic Move." For instance, Per was always there in the form of Alertness, while Extra Hit Points and Increased Speed came later, from different people, and the idea of DX and IQ costing more was an optional rule way back in the days of Roleplayer. To me that suggests that the basic elegance didn't sit all that well with players or writers, who eventually grew four scores into 10 (more, when you throw in Charisma, High Manual Dexterity, etc.) but maintained the illusion of simplicity by treating just four as basic.

As the system's nominal guardian, I'm supposed to be conservative in this regard. As a gamer, I often feel I'd be happier with more attributes. I've put dozens of schemes on paper, but I've never actually tried any of them in play. I tend to come back to something like this:
  • Strength (ST): Physical strength, but kept on the 1-20 scale so rolls against it make sense. Actual strength would be multiplied by a separate Size trait, which could be real size (as for dwarves and giants) or equivalent size (as for supers). The latter would cost slightly more because it wouldn't come with drawbacks like being easier to hit and see, and needing more expensive armor.
  • Agility (AG): A measure of balance and flexibility, governing whole-body movement such as Acrobatics, Dancing, Jumping, and melee combat.
  • Dexterity (DX): A measure of manual dexterity, governing fine motor skills in areas like Filch, Leatherworking, Pickpocket, and Sleight of Hand.
  • Health (HT): Physical fitness and resistance, pretty much what it is right now.

  • Presence (PR): Social intelligence with a catchier name, governing just about any skill that could be seen as social, including not just Influence skills but also stuff like Leadership and Public Speaking.
  • Alertness (AL): Awareness of the real world, governing a lot of the same stuff it does right now: Scrounging, Search, Tracking, etc. – but also (and most likely controversially) vehicle operation and ranged combat.
  • Intellect (IN): Pure braininess, governing arts, sciences, and technical skills that aren't otherwise the realm of DX or AL.
  • Willpower (WL): Mental resistance to fatigue, fear, pain, and PR skills.

  • Power (PW): Raw supernatural ability, limiting such things as damage dice for spells and super abilities, and maximum ST boosts from stuff like Power Blow.
  • Awareness (AW): Awareness of the supernatural world, governing spells and abilities for finding and detecting things, plus resistance to supernatural forms of obscuration and illusion.
  • Control (CN): Control of supernatural ability, used as the base for success rolls for most spells and abilities that affect the world.
  • Resistance (RS): Resistance to being directly controlled or affected by magic, psi, and the like.

  • Basic Speed: How quickly you react to changes in the environment. (AG + AL)/4.
  • Movement: How fast you walk, run, swim, fly, etc. (AG + HT)/4.
  • Hit Points: Same idea as now. (ST + HT)/2, multiplied by the same Size trait that adjusts ST.
  • Fatigue Points: Same idea as now, but not used for supernatural gifts. (HT + WL)/2.
  • Essence Points: Used instead of FP to power supernatural gifts and absorb supernatural harm. (PW + RS)/2.
It goes without saying that skills would be spread out as much as possible among the attributes, but especially AG, DX, PR, AL, IN, AW, and CN.
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <>
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