Last time we narrowed down the dice types to single six sided dice for Lovecraft: The Role Playing Game. Now lets talk about base character metrics.
So far – L:RPG is a dice pool based game that uses six sided dice (d6). It has to accommodate a range of era types and complex, modern day characters. Together this suggests certain character metrics.
Most role-playing games use a high level attribute system, and many combine this with a skill system of some kind. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel here, so lets go with Stats and Skills. Each is a type of dice pool, and Skills are categorized by a governing Stat.
A major issue with dice pool games are – the number of dice you have to roll at any one time, as well as the number of throws you make during your turn.
L:RPG is a game with human characters. Both Stats and Skills then should have natural upper limits based on human norms. Also, limitations on Stats and Skills do not necessarily have to be the same.
Let’s start with Stats.
- Limited number of Stats. L:RPG has four: Physique (PHY), Finesse (FIN), Academics (ACA) and Perception (PER)
- The human range is up to 5 dice, with the average human having 2 dice or 3 dice per Stat. An average person then has 10 dice to distribute among four Stats
- Stats differ from Skills in that they are colored by the intention of the character, ie Stats have multiple colors, but Skills use a single color
- Stat colors can produce non-standard results based on how they are colored
- Stats limit the number of Skills you can use of its governing type
- Stats are a lot harder to improve over time than Skills
And Skills are different from Stats because…
- Humans know many Skills and can learn more Skills with experience, therefore Skills can be very numerous
- Skills represent pure competency, which includes pure knowledge and experience, therefore it is represented by a single color
- Skills represent a type of expertise that reduces the chance of spectacular failure through an understanding of your own limits
- Under certain circumstances, you can elect for Skills to improve your results
- Skills can be improved more easily over time through practice, research and instruction than Stats
I have picked the number five (5) as our magic number for limiting our dice pool size. Five is still a lot of dice in your hand if you are throwing a combination of pulled from Stats and Skills – but that represents the effort of the highest human attainable Stat and the highest human attainable Skill, working together at the same time.