Attributes – removing ‘ARTS’

August 16th, 2011

I’m thinking of removing the names from the modifier groups. These being Attitudes, Repertoire, Tenets, and Status, which formed the acronym ‘ARTS’. The names do not really match all the types of modifiers that can go into these groups, and there feels like a bit long-winded when explaining things (i.e. Attributes like ‘Mentality’ have a modifier group, and the modifier group for Mentality is called ‘Attitudes’, when it’s easier to say Mentality modifier group and have done with it.)

By removing the names, it should make it clearer. The modifiers will be listed directly under the Attribute. No modifier group name to get in the way. Therefore ‘Attitudes’, the current modifier group name of Mentality, will instead be referred to as the ‘Mentality modifier group’, with the individual modifiers referred to as a ‘Mentality modifier’. It makes it easier to understand as the modifiers came across as ‘self explanatory’.

At the moment there are problems squeezing in certain modifiers like ‘body type’ (somatotype etc.), that can have many modifiers, and affect other modifiers. Body type modifier, like ‘stocky’ does not sound like a ‘Status’. The same can be said for some of the modifiers of other Attributes: language, is not really a Tenet of Reason, and sharp senses cannot really be class as part of the Repertoire of Action. By removing the names for the Modifier Groups it allows more flexibility for the types of modifiers that can be applied. It opens the door for traits, quirks, and other types of modifier – all stored under the attribute.

The body type modifier is set, pretty much like Stature itself, and does not get in the way of other trained modifiers. A stocky build gives you +1 to Strength for your Stature (so a stocky 6′ man has the strength of a 7′ man), but it does not interfere with strength training, it’s an additional bonus to any trained modifiers (so a average build 6′ man trains with weights and gains +1, but his stock build training partner ends up with +2, +1 for being stocky, and +1 for the training). Being stocky also gives bonuses in grappling, as the extra muscle on shorter leavers give an advantage.

Ripping bits out of a system that already has very few ‘stats’ may seem odd, but these modifiers allow for a lot of variety, and I think the system will be clearer without. I did like the ‘ARTS’ acronym when combined with the Attribute acronym (MARS ARTS), all very clever in a self congratulating type of way 😛 but I think it went too far, and more importantly it did not fulfil the design goal (which was an easy to remember, characterful name, for the modifier groups).

Their removal will make character sheet a lot neater and intuitive.


Categories: Thoughts |

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