Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: how the stats balance  (Read 9754 times)

lumpley

  • Administrator
  • User
  • Posts: 868
    • View Profile
how the stats balance
« on: June 25, 2010, 03:25:38 PM »
The battlebabe and the driver are exceptions, but for the rest of the characters:

Each stat line sums to +3.
The first +2 counts as +2, but a second +2 counts as +3.

Not much to it!

The battlebabe:
The battlebabe balances same as the others, then gets +1cool. This isn't, as it happens, a stat thing, it's a move thing. For moves, the battlebabe is a "you get this 1, plus choose 2" character, same as the hocus, but the move that all battlebabes get is +1cool. I chose to list it right in with the stats instead of as a move for more complicated reasons, having to do with cool as such, to serve imbalance between the stats in the game. It's easy to get +1weird, for instance; it's hard to get +1cool.

Imbalance between the stats is an essential part of the game's color-first design, by the way. Balancing the stats overall would be counter to the game's design philosophy and goals.

The driver:
The driver balances 1 down, to +2, when she's not in her car.

Now, most of the characters get 2 character moves, but some get 3. Maybe I'll talk about that next.

In going through the characters' stats to make this post, I spotted two exceptions. On one line the driver balances to +1 insted of to +2, and on one line the operator balances to +2 instead of +3. I'm going to look closely at those before I go to print and work out whether I have stat-imbalance reasons for them, or if they're just mistakes.

-Vincent

Matt Wilson

  • User
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 03:30:41 PM »
Quick: "stat imbalance" means...
"I don't care what Wilson says." -- some slanderous bastard on the internet

lumpley

  • Administrator
  • User
  • Posts: 868
    • View Profile
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 03:41:27 PM »
Like how there's no debility to get -1weird, but there are a zillion moves to get +1weird. Acting under fire is, take Apocalypse World as a whole, less reliable than opening your brain to the world's psychic maelstrom. Characters who are really good at acting under fire are rare, compared with characters who are really good at opening their brain.

You can see it in the moves-by-stat index, too. Some of the stats (for instance, weird) have way more moves associated with them than others.

Thus: overall stat imbalance.

Now, the stats DO balance, but not mechanically. They balance on color, on detail-of-fiction. This is what makes your decisions during character creation and improvement consequential; it's what keeps the characters from converging mechanically and becoming interchangeable as they develop.

-Vincent

Matt Wilson

  • User
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 03:57:10 PM »
So does that imply that weird is a stat that's really at the heart of AW's color, then?
"I don't care what Wilson says." -- some slanderous bastard on the internet

lumpley

  • Administrator
  • User
  • Posts: 868
    • View Profile
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 06:02:32 PM »
Huh. Maybe it does. Weird is what keeps the game from being Twilight:2000, after all.

-Vincent

Michael Pfaff

  • User
  • Posts: 336
    • View Profile
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2010, 06:19:02 PM »
Funny this got brought up today because as I was working on my "Dark Sun" hack, I was taking a look at stats and trying to figure this out.

I broke it down as follows, but I also was wondering a couple things:

A) What happens when you add more stats? Does this mess with the balance? For example, in my hack I have 6 stats (not including Hx) vs. 5 in AW. I decided to keep the same numbers and just have the sixth stat =0.

B) Why didn't you let the player choose stats as they desire instead of putting 4 "sets" of stats to pick from? Did you just not want people making ineffective characters? (i.e. putting -1 in Cool for Battlebabes or something)

Here's what I mean and what I'm considering for my hack:

The Stats
Choose one set:
+2, +2, -1, -1, =0, =0
+2, +1, +1, -1, =0, =0
+2, +1, =0, =0, =0, =0

Apply each bonus to one stat.

For example, a Warrior might choose:
Str+2, Dex=0, Con+2, Wis-1, Cha-1, Int=0
Str+2, Dex+1, Con+1, Wis=0, Cha=0, Int-1
Str+2, Dex=0, Con+1, Wis=0, Cha=0, Int=0

Jeff Russell

  • User
  • Posts: 325
    • View Profile
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2010, 06:37:36 PM »
Okay, that's pretty much what I had figured out from reading through the playbooks to figure out how to make one.

I didn't catch on that cool was a harder stat to improve, though. I did notice limited high sharp scores.

I'd love to hear how the number of moves worked out, cos I inferred that it was "have 2 moves usually, but some guys get one and pick 2, and gunluggers get 3". I figured gunluggers got more as part of their "obvious move is the right move" thing going on - they don't have other complicated stuff going on, they're just good at what they do.

Gregor Vuga

  • User
  • Posts: 115
    • View Profile
    • Red Moose Games
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2010, 06:46:05 PM »
Michael, have you looked at Tony Dowler's Apocalypse D&D hack yet? He uses the standard D&D stat array and basic moves for those stats. Since Dark Sun is essentially and AD&D game, maybe you two should cross-pollinate.

Michael Pfaff

  • User
  • Posts: 336
    • View Profile
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2010, 06:52:04 PM »
Michael, have you looked at Tony Dowler's Apocalypse D&D hack yet? He uses the standard D&D stat array and basic moves for those stats. Since Dark Sun is essentially and AD&D game, maybe you two should cross-pollinate.

I have, and it's very cool. I'll likely steal some stuff from it. :)

The main difference between Tony's game and what I'm working on is that his hack is very old-school, dungeon-crawl oriented and I'm looking to make the DarkSun hack closer to the default Apocalypse World with different playbooks to suit the DarkSun canon. Or, AW with DarkSun paint.

Shreyas

  • User
  • Posts: 149
    • View Profile
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2010, 10:36:24 PM »
Since Dark Sun is essentially and AD&D game, maybe you two should cross-pollinate.
This isn't really true; DS never really fit in with the other D&D settings mechanically or in color. In 2e it's got its own whole set of classes and restats for races because the ones in D&D just don't work.

Yokiboy

  • User
  • Posts: 70
    • View Profile
    • Erdtman.com
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2010, 12:27:23 AM »
Each stat line sums to +3.
The first +2 counts as +2, but a second +2 counts as +3.

Not much to it!
Well maybe there's a little bit more to it. There are at least 16 stat lines that are 1 point lower than the rest for that character (this is counting the Maestro D' and Faceless, only 14 without them). I did a bit of analysis on the characters, to get the feel for them, and the results are available in a PDF file on my site.

Google Docs would not let me upload any files at the moment, otherwise I'd share the spreadsheet directly.

amnesiack

  • User
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2010, 10:28:54 PM »
Well maybe there's a little bit more to it. There are at least 16 stat lines that are 1 point lower than the rest for that character (this is counting the Maestro D' and Faceless, only 14 without them).

I think the "second +2 counts as +3" is pretty important in Vincent's analysis vs yours.  Most of the "low" rows you have marked have two +2s, which would make them total out the same as the other blocks if you counted the second +2 as a +3.

Yokiboy

  • User
  • Posts: 70
    • View Profile
    • Erdtman.com
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2010, 02:52:02 PM »
I think the "second +2 counts as +3" is pretty important in Vincent's analysis vs yours.  Most of the "low" rows you have marked have two +2s, which would make them total out the same as the other blocks if you counted the second +2 as a +3.

Ah yes...

Each stat line sums to +3.
The first +2 counts as +2, but a second +2 counts as +3.

That should indeed make a difference. Allow me to redo my analysis.  :)

Yokiboy

  • User
  • Posts: 70
    • View Profile
    • Erdtman.com
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2010, 06:51:50 PM »
And it did make a big difference. Now, of course, my stat line summaries are the same as Vincent's. Only the Driver's stat line #3, and the Operator's stat line #4 are low by one point each.

However, I did have fun with the analysis of the characters, and it will help me creating new custom characters.

I will upload the new version of the PDF document Monday morning, as I'm unable to do so at this time.

Allison

  • User
  • Posts: 70
    • View Profile
Re: how the stats balance
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2011, 08:42:24 AM »
Sorry to necropost, but serious question:

Did the "one-point-short" stat lines of the Driver and Operator ever get fixed? In the playbooks I downloaded (wasn't more than a few months ago), they're still a point short. I don't know why it's been bugging me, since I haven't played a Driver or Operator, but someone in a game I'm in is playing a Driver and using the one-point-short line and so it's been sitting in the back of my head whispering to me like the goddamn maelstrom.