Considerations in a post stat world

question
craft
inspiration

#1

Given recent trends of games either moving away from racial stat modifiers, or even stats all together; where do people see ICRPG sitting? Is there a version of it that has a more BitD or DW style action array instead of
the traditional stats?
When I originally began thinking in this I first tried to consider stats as approaches. Kind of like what FFG is doing with L5R. In other words, as various was to attempt effort in order to overcome a challenge. Conceptually this worked and made sense, though I felt like CON would get a bit of a short stick narratively. And it wouldn’t really require to much work to sort of realign LOOT to function comparably. But going back through Core 2e I am less sure of myself.
Then I started to consider a more BitD approach, with actions as stats. And, of course, trying to keep with the ICRPG methodology I am trying to distill it down to the most basic, and usable, of actions. Holy buckets this is a rabbit hole.

What I am working with so far:
Strike
Shoot
Cast
Sneak
Charm
Observe
Know

So as not to include to many actions; some thing could distill down to basic rolls. Or maybe pair these action, like BitD, into stats/resistances for similar rolls.

What do you think? Is this even something this community considers?


#2

Now I just thought:
Strike
Shoot
Move
Cast
Communicate
Observe
Recall

Hot damn I like it!


#3

Why have different strike, shoot and cast? Why not have 1 that is contextual to what they are using and how they are using it.


#4

Whilst you are down this rabbit hole, look at World of Dungeons, Offworlders and Ironsworn. All in the same family as BitD and DW, but each one taking interesting twists. All free.


#5

I’ve been toying with the following “STATS” for a while, but haven’t really found a use for them… Yet.

Explore:
- Move
- Perceive

Fight:
- Harm
- Endure

Social:
- Influence
- Acquire

Technical:
- Know
- Operate

Stealth:
- Conceal
- Deceive

The categories could be renamed to fit classes, and all sorts of shenanigans.
The only problem I ran into, is what to roll for when trying to lift a heavy object. Otherwise they seem to fit most situations.
Loot, hack, dismember, and evolve as you see fit.


#6

You make sense here. It could just be attack, and the equipped LOOT triggers and modifies the effort


#7

This this a great long form discussion.
Think, pencil it out, try, review. Repeat till nausea. Then in a few months repeat again.

I’d agree that stats blocks are not as important as we have assumed. I personally believe that for one shots player characters should be very focused and clear on need for that adventure. So limited stat block…say 3 stats and 4 tags can easily entertain us for 55 hours of repeatability.

Flipping on that, a familiar character sheet might be just as good depending on players.

However for a long meandering champaign, flexibly allows for very distinct characters that remain effective…or very complex characters that are very specialized and useless in almost all other situations.

Now, for the interesting side of this discussion, what does the GM need to run an effective and fun session?

What semi-universal shorthand helps us create effective sessions. Creating a full on character for every NPC and or Mook is not effective on time/effort scales…but 2~3 stats, a couple of key words…and most GMs are off to the races.

I don’t think specific stat names matter too much. It’s just theme specific.


#8

Yeah you make sense here. ultimately we have to ask what our goal is with a system, how its played, and the tone we want set.


#9

Talking about a post stat world while renaming stats doesn’t make sense to me.

@NorthShoreDM
Strike = STR
Shoot = DEX
Cast = DEX/INT?
Sneak = DEX
Charm = CHA
Observe = WIS
Know = INT

So, what did we gain here? We just renamed things and left CON out. How is this any different from what we already have?

@Meadbeard
I like your approach better. I personally hate having skills in games because they can never encompass everything and they usually create a big gap between trained and untrained uses so they become too limiting in my view. I see stats as generic skills anyway.

If we were to increase the number of stats this way then we can have more “skills” without having skills per se and more diversity.

@Paxx
I agree that a couple of stats and tags is all we need, especially for quick monsters. That’s one of the strong points of ICRPG.

For one shots, having 11 stats for PCs (including ARMOR and EFFORTS) is still not a big deal. Anyone who is vaguely familiar with ICRPG can do it under 5 mins. I can even teach the whole game to a newcomer under 15 mins.


#10

Conceptually it negates relying on raw physical/mental descriptors to generate numbers for action roles. Focusing instead on how well you do a thing; rather than how inherently capable you are. It’s gained a lot of traction in the industry lately. It’s really just an exercise in changing my thinking about games.


#11

Thinking is good. I re-read my post and it may sound like I don’t see any value in exploring different approaches, which is definitely not the case.

You have a good point yet I don’t see stats as inherent capability. I just see them in a more general way. To determine an outcome, someone has to roll something and stats give just that. Whether they represent inherent capability or how well you do a thing is irrelevant from my point of view.

Let’s consider this trivial example: A PC wants to persuade someone to do something. In a story game without any mechanics, or at least without a mechanic specifically for this action, I, as a DM, can rule either way (success or failure). In a game that has mechanics, the player rolls some dice to determine the outcome. This we all like, otherwise we would be playing story games instead. In addition to that, we don’t want a blanket success/fail percentage - we want our choices to matter (character building) which in turn becomes various bonuses and/or penalties.

Now, in light of this, does it really matter whether we add our CHA bonus or Charm bonus to a roll? It is almost the same thing.

Having said that I agree that having numbers for action roles rather than intrinsic physical/mental capabilities can make more sense. That’s why I said I like Meadbeard’s list better than yours because the options you stated weren’t sufficiently different from what we already have. Now I see that what you both proposed are the same.

TL;DR I like it. Instead of STR etc. we can have Strike, Shoot etc. Removing traditional stats and replacing them with a limited number of skills can be very good.

Meadbeard replaced 6 regular stats with 10 “skill stats”. But we need to have effort for each one of them too OR effort can be group based like Explore effort will affect both Move and Perceive in this case.


#12

Yeah, if I consider the statistics as approaches rather than qualities (not unlike new l5r) this works. I like it.


#13

Lots of us on similar pages here, it seems.

I grouse about D&D stats and much prefer something functional that lets the silliness of some of the “strange bedfellows” Traits go by the wayside. Why exactly is a guy who can run fast going to be a better bow shot again? What do you mean, because I am not good at influencing people I don’t have good Self control willpower?

My own version I toy with ends up answering the comment someone made above about CON getting short shrift by kind of merging it with Armor Class and Saving Throw functions in a Fate- style conceptualization of “Survival” or “the ability to avoid being taken out of the game due to Too much damage or stress or missing a crucial save or whatever.” This framework also lets there be more room for payer facing rolls for defense and solo gaming, btw.

One version pulls Atomic Robo style Modes into the mix:

Action
Intrigue
Discovery
Expertise
Humanity
Resources
Survival

I like modes because it is more suited to the kind of stuff a player wants to do in a game. There is another part of Fate Toolbox that talks about just using Classes as your modes. Could be on to something there.

Another way I have considered doing it is to take my list of Approaches that I use to make sure I give all the players a variety of stuff to do, and also so I can quickly label a few as EASY/HARD when I am doing short notes for a given scene or Location or NPC or whatever:
EASY/HARD APPROACHES
* Force/Fight/Shoot
* Move/Sneak/Careful
* Dodge/Endure/Recover
* Think/Learn/Cast
* Sense/Find/Detect
* Talk/Will/Help


#14

Pulling from another current thread… DW-style general and class moves with loot giving the modifiers.


#15

I’d say that it depends on the resolution mechanic we use…
Do we use a pool of dice? A single d20? Or perhaps ROLL+INT Ă -la Dungeon World?

They are both tied together. Do we need descriptors, stats, Aspects or something else? What else is there, anyway? Ideas?

Let’s also ask ourselves: why do we use dice to resolve actions in the game? I personally enjoy the tension they provide. So bigger numbers mean nothing to me, in fact, they ruin that tension. Too big a bonus in INT and you ask yourself, following my interpretation: why roll? If you fail you feel the game is pretty dumb and if you succeed you just roll your eyes: I knew it.

Too big a DC and you feel like the GM is overcompensating for something or trying to be unfair. Or the game is badly built, either way, it ain’t fun. Of course, there are exceptions but they are usually part of a specific challenge (tensiooon!).

But depending on the answer, to why do we use dice to resolve actions, the resolution mechanic might require to be different to feel appropriate to the game we play. Peace!


#16

I agree with the tension thing. I have been running a BitD game and man is every roll steeped in tension, its like a gods damned noir thriller all day. Dnd 5e above lvl 5 tension in dice is pretty reduced; sure it happens sometimes, but I don’t feel like a roll has the same weight as it did in 2e.


#17

Even then. My players are level 2 at my table and there are already +7 To Hit bonus… it’s hard to make enemies as strong as them without it being unfair.