Author Topic: I wish we just had modifiers, not scores  (Read 4947 times)

azrianni

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I wish we just had modifiers, not scores
« on: June 18, 2012, 12:33:52 PM »
I completely understand the homage bit of knowing that you have, say, a Strength of 17.

But there are VERY few cases where you use the score and not the modifier. Calculating HP, some specific cases where Charisma is factored in as a cost discount. Can't remember any others.

For new players who don't know the history, this is an unnecessary level of complexity. For new players who do know the history, it threatens to be too like what they know and thus lead them to wrong conclusions about this game being like some other game. And I've never liked games that have you generate a score only in order to generate another score, and this seems to be doing that. 

Since level increases at 3/6/9 give +2 to score, why not just give +1 to modifier and be done with it? Build in some other HP formula, simplify the character sheet, make it more like AW in how it handles stats.

Forgive me if this has already been talked to death--have only skimmed the first few pages of the forum here.

samuraiko

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Re: I wish we just had modifiers, not scores
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 04:59:39 PM »
I agree that I'd prefer to do away with the stats and just have the modifier. Or rather, do away with the modifiers and have stats that have a smaller range similar to what modifiers have. However, one hangup that I see is that the the modifier progression doesn't increase every time the stat hits an even number like in 3.x and above. It doesn't necessarily mean that the character won't get a +1 increase to a modifier each time they increase a stat, only that it may take two increases to go from a +0 to a +1, or a +1 to a +2.

I mocked up a couple of possible HP formula alternative abandoning the Stat/Modifier system and just used the stats. What do you think? Alternative Hit Point systems
"Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)" -- Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

nemomeme

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Re: I wish we just had modifiers, not scores
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 05:12:22 PM »
Resolved: create a horror/sanity mechanic that eats away at WIS points in much the same way damage degredates CON (hit points).

Also, create a magical war hammer that requires an STR of 17 to wield.

I hear you guys but I look at the ability scores and see as much opportunity as homage...  :)

(not that) adam

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Re: I wish we just had modifiers, not scores
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 06:37:21 PM »
when I elaborated this system, I've also tried to give a meaning to having scores/mods.
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

noofy

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Re: I wish we just had modifiers, not scores
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 07:40:13 PM »
Huh. When we first started playing Apoc D&D, we rolled our stats old skool style - 3d6 in order and then chose our playbook. I still might keep this as an option for OSR afficinados :)

But really, I think nemo has the right of it: The bell curve stat range is just another useful 'tag' for the game, its a mechanical opportunity rather than simple encomium.

skinnyghost

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Re: I wish we just had modifiers, not scores
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 08:33:04 PM »
Part of the inclusion of stats AND modifiers is to allow for room for hacks and other mechanics to expand.  It's funny, I've actually used and played in a game that has WIS = Sanity Points.

John Harper

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Re: I wish we just had modifiers, not scores
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 10:47:03 PM »
Backwards (and forwards) compatibility with regular D&D is nice, too.

sage

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Re: I wish we just had modifiers, not scores
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 11:00:45 PM »
We've tried to give each stat and modifier meaning. Some of those are bigger than others, but Wisdom, Constitution, and Charisma are all used. We're thinking about tweaking Load to be based on Strength instead of Str too.

Plus the other benefits: compatibility, 3d6 (or 4d6-lowest) stat generation, etc.

azrianni

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Re: I wish we just had modifiers, not scores
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2012, 08:51:23 PM »
Yeah, that's another thing that bothered me. If I can choose scores from an array and  get an average score of 12.16, or roll randomly and expect an average score of 10.5, I'm never going to gamble on the dice.

I realize a group can decide to do 4d6 drop lowest or something--I'm just saying, in the book, if there's an official alternate way of doing something, it should be equivalent to the standard way.

stras

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Re: I wish we just had modifiers, not scores
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2012, 09:33:03 PM »
Azri - the choice isn't about equivalence, it's about theme and old school.  Some people play hardcore (you rolled a 3 int, you keep a 3 int).  You're looking for balance (which is found in the lineup vs game difficulty), when the optional rule is meant for flavor and old-school theme ^_~

skinnyghost

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Re: I wish we just had modifiers, not scores
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2012, 11:23:48 PM »
I will say this for myself, rather than for the game or for Sage or anything, but I don't give a crap about balance.

If people want to have crazy ability score assignment rules, I'm down, because it'll colour their game.  Remember, though, how intrinsic the values become to the fiction you're creating with DW.  A +3 in everything is going to mean you'll have some really boring games where everyone gets everything they want.  On the other hand, having a -1 in everything is going to need a GM who is capable of a very nuanced approach to soft and hard moves - it puts the momentum much more firmly in their hands.

Tricky, but possible.  Let's say that about imbalanced ability score assignment.  Sometimes, too, it's fun to just let the dice roll and see what class you'll be based on that.  Roll 3d6, write them in order.  Pick your class based on what you get, not what you were planning on playing.