Opposed stats?

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Opposed stats?
« on: March 03, 2014, 01:46:54 PM »
I'm in the blue-sky phase on an idea for a day-after apocalyptic hack (most non-zombie Apoc RPGs I've found are set decades after the fall and populated by full-blown wastelanders, and I wanted to get the feel of band-of-survivors stories like Day of the Triffids, The Stand, etc). One idea I want to work with is mutually opposed stats, and I'm wondering if anyone has tried a way of doing this that worked or didn't.

Specifically, I'm looking at two sets of personality attributes, GUTsiness/CAUtion and HARdness/COMpassion. My first thought is something like "When stat A reaches +2, stat B is reduced to +1 if higher and cannot raise above +1; when stat A reaches +3, stat B is reduced to 0 if higher and cannot raise above 0."  (So a character who is maximally gutsy will be somewhat in cautious, and a very compassionate character will be less able to do what needs to be done).

Thoughts?

Re: Opposed stats?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 03:03:09 PM »
Take a look at the Angel skin for MonsterHearts, if you haven't already.  It uses opposed stats in an interesting way.

Re: Opposed stats?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 01:16:59 PM »
Another idea--already was planning to keep starting values low (to reflect how much surviving the apocalypse will change a person's personality/bring out what was there all along), maybe the opposition can be baked into the improvement options. Something like, the list has a straight +HAR that you can take the first time you advance that, then another option that gives you another +HAR but with -COM attached...

Re: Opposed stats?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 01:07:23 AM »
Arkham Horror board game by Fantasy Flight Games (current edition) does speciously this. I think you might have thought that already but there's no harm in mentioning it.
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Re: Opposed stats?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 01:35:50 AM »
>> GUTsiness/CAUtion and HARdness/COMpassion.

Looking it at it from a player's perspective:
(a) you're making me do math
(b) I think GUTsiness is HARD and HARDness is COOL
(c) shouldn't I roleplay things like caution and compassion?  Are we going to actually roll to see whether my character is compassionate enough to save his dying buddy or something?

Looking at it from an MC's perspective:
There's no reason to keep that math running on the PC anyway.  I can't think of a situation where I'd do this, but if you really want to you can always apply it at the moment of play.  e.g.: "Ok, you're trying to guide the twisty wire through the electrically-charged tiny hole in the three-inch plate while the cold water is rising around your ankles...  You need to be cautious here, except you're gutsy +3 so you're really bad at being cautious, so...  (MC does a little math)  You're at a +0."

ETA: Actually I thought of a couple situations where I might apply similar logic to a die roll, but I would use it as a mechanic for a custom move leveling a particular Threat against a particular Stat.  You could do it against any Stat, really.  Maybe there's a scene where the Battlebabe really really has to keep these babies entertained or else they're gonna scream, so the MC calls for a Silly roll.  "What's Silly?"  "The opposite of Hot."  So jiggling a stat bonus in the opposite direction might be potentially useful as an MC mechanic.  But I still don't think it works as a PC Stat.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 03:39:23 AM by As If »

Re: Opposed stats?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 05:56:11 AM »
Pendragon had a system of virtues to worked like this. To me AW would be a good game to try out something similar. We already have a bunch of stuff to roll that would/could go unrolled in other games.
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Re: Opposed stats?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 06:18:11 AM »
Yeah, but Pendragon needed that structure to ensure that players were behaving like chivalrous knights.

Re: Opposed stats?
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2014, 08:32:28 AM »
So if someone needs a system to ensure how their PCs act it is a good place to start! ^_^
Our blog about gaming - Guild Redemund's Blog - Blog for Gaming in various forms (and stuff)

Re: Opposed stats?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2014, 08:52:01 AM »
Specifically, I'm looking at two sets of personality attributes, GUTsiness/CAUtion and HARdness/COMpassion. My first thought is something like "When stat A reaches +2, stat B is reduced to +1 if higher and cannot raise above +1; when stat A reaches +3, stat B is reduced to 0 if higher and cannot raise above 0."  (So a character who is maximally gutsy will be somewhat in cautious, and a very compassionate character will be less able to do what needs to be done).

That's a setting conceit, not a versimilitude one.  There are enough examples of compassionate characters in fiction getting the will to do what needs to be done from that compassion.  See, for example, Molly Weasley being the one to kill Bellatrix Lestrange.  Also:
Quote from: Terry Pratchett's Men At Arms
     If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you are going to die. So they'll talk. They'll gloat.
    They'll watch you squirm. They'll put off the murder like another man will put off a good cigar.
    So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word.

It feels like a rule that is both fiddly and unnecessary to me as a general rule.