sear wrote:This kind of brings to mind interesting higher-level topics about RPGs and character systems in general.
Do you prefer games with more character stats, skills, attributes, etc. even knowing that some of those may be less comparatively valuable, or redundant with each other? Or do you like it when games have perhaps a smaller set of those, but those stats, skills and so on are more unique and more consistently useful?
Depends on what you are trying to achieve, but in general more is better with a caveat. The stats actually have to mean something.
When you have less it reduces variability. You might think that 6 stats of 1-6 for example offers 46656 combinations. And if you are just working off the stats, then that is true. But In general RPG's use the stats to define thing, like for example a Fighter.
A fighter needs a high strength a good dexterity and a good Constitution. Which means that now your Combinations have been effectively reduced.
So you need the highest strength, so you are only going to accept the best there. Reduces it to 5 dice difference. You need good Dex and Con, So that reduces those choices as well. Form all 6 of a d6 to maybe 4 5 and 6 combinations of those d6.
Now during gameplay, you have multiple characters. 1 Wizard, 1 Priest, and a thief. The Wizard does the thinking, so that makes the INT stat pointless, so who cares what you get. The Priest covers the wisdom. So then those stats can be not important. It doesn't matter what you roll, as you'll likely never be using them. Which leaves Charisma. And everyone treats that as a dump stat, unless this character is the "face".
And that is the combination EVERY fighter will have. So You have reduced the effective combinations massively.
Now in a TT game that was ok, because you had the GM and interactions to create your character etc, using stats in an unusual way to allow you to overcome challenges.
In a PC game however it is not like that. You don't have the GM to help you get a round things in a smart way. You are constrained by the stats. The game is programmed to respond to certain things, and the stats are the pathway to those things.
In a game the potential for those GM thoughts are programmed into the Stats. So more stats essentially means potential for a more nuanced and interesting game, vs something on rails. Because we play RPG's because of the ability to do lots of things as someone else.
The advantage of a PC is that it can perform complex problems quickly. So the stats should be being used in a complex fashion all the time.
Instead of just using a single stat to define whether you manage something or not, you can combine several or all. And you can combine them multiple times, in different ways, and the results can be nuanced.
Forcing a lock. At its simplest it is Yes/no. Do you have the strength?
But you could have it as STR, with an element of WIS as that helps you put pressure on the right part of the lock to break it. CON and WIS combine for the length of time to try before you give up on it as unable to be done. INT, DEX, and maybe WIS, combine to see if each attempt damages the lock. Etc Etc etc.
Picking the lock would be a whole different thing. It would be DEX and INT, with maybe some WIS. etc
The other thing for me. Is whether we are playing ourselves or the character.
Mass effect/Fallout3 were games that you were a "character" but your skill at shooting was actually the players. You pointed your gun and pulled the trigger. Now you character may have affected it, in that you may be a little less accurate, but ultimately it came down to the players skill more than the characters. If you couldn't aim for shit, then your character was never going to hit anything. That is not an RPG, that is a shooter with RPG elements.
In a traditional RPG, your physical abilities do not impact on the characters ability. (Aside from your intellect and experience, but we can't get away from them). So the stats are important.
It's not too late. Make it Eight!