For Science: tell me what these attributes mean to you

edited February 2009 in Story Games
So, I'm working on this chapter for Rustbelt 1st ed. in which I explain how to modify the setting. I do this partially because I know that people love tinkering with games and I'd like to give 'em some support for that, but also because it explains a lot about the structure of the game itself. It's sort of lifting the hood and saying, "You see that thing? It does X. But you can swap it with Y, as long as you make sure not to take Z out with it, and the motor will still run" and stuff.

I came up with three examples for it: Mosswood, Frontier Suns, and Heatwave. Mosswood is a weird fantasy thing, Frontier Suns is a thinly-veiled Firefly rip-off, and Heatwave is a sort of slick, over-the-top, uber-stylized modern urban crimey thing. I'm quickly falling in love with Heatwave in particular, and strongly considering making it into a supplement later.

Unlike Mosswood and Frontier Suns, Heatwave's stylistic considerations necessitated a complete overhaul of the attributes. Mosswood needed only to have a few renamed, and Frontier Suns needed no change at all, but Heatwave calls for something completely different.

I'm very interested in the way that the terms we give things in RPGs influences the way that people play. I tried my damnedest to make Rustbelt's attributes intuitive and explanatory, and to make them imply Setting, and I think I did a pretty good job.

So, as an experiment, what I'd like to do real quick is present the Heatwave attributes, with no explanation whatsoever, and I'd like you to tell me what you think they're for, how you would use them. I already know how I intend them to work, and I'll reveal that later; I want to know what your raw impressions are. For science.

The attributes are:
Hard
Sharp
Cool
Smooth
Shifty
Likeable
Weird

EDIT: Cat's out of the bag. Those who have posted already without knowing this, I appreciate your enthusiasm and data, though.

Comments

  • Hard: Used for violence.
    Sharp: Basically an intelligence stat. Used for...intelligent things.
    Cool: It's like Charisma. You use it to impress people with how cool you are.
    Smooth: Used to charm people.
    Shifty: Used to sneak and pick locks.
    Likeable: Used to charm people oh wait I did that.
    Weird: Used for Magic.

    There you go. Watch as I turn your game into AD&D!

    Graham
  • Hard is body, muscle, and endurance. Use it to bust down doors and take a bullet.
    Sharp is wit, intelligence, and maybe dexterity. Use it to do brains stuff, or to get a head shot with a rifle.
    Cool is demeanor, courage, and maybe charm. Use it to avoid freaking out, or to impress chicks.
    Smooth is either charisma or physical grace. Use it to talk your way out of shit, or to dodge bullets.
    Shifty is a lot like Smooth. I can't tell which is which.
    Likeable is definitely charm. Use it to impress chicks or talk your way out of a speeding ticket.
    Weird is how you relate to the supernatural (now I'm totally guessing). Use it to grok Cthulhu and cast spells.

    If Smooth is supposed to be a social trait, try Undeniable. If a physical trait, try Light.
    If Shifty is a social trait, try Greasy. If a physical trait, try Slippery.
  • Hard is hit points
    Sharp is to-hit roll
    Cool is composure-hit-points
    Smooth is for social manipulation
    Shifty is underworld knowledge and getting illegal gear
    Likeable is a dump stat
    Weird is the stat that everybody wants because they want their character to be a special snowflake that's different from everybody else
  • edited February 2009
    I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE, GODDAMMIT!

    </likeable>
  • Posted By: Josh Roby
    Likeable is a dump stat
    LOL
    Man, I forgot about dump stats. Haven't played anything with dump stats in a long time. In this game, there aren't any because you give yourself whatever attribute values you want. But, due to the structure of the game, what's interesting about your character isn't what qualities he has, but what qualities he lacks.
  • I'm doing this without reading others' ideas, but I am considering what little you wrote about the setting.

    Hard - Your ability to resist being moved by the plight of others.
    Sharp - Your ability to hurt people.
    Cool - Your ability to stay calm.
    Smooth - Your ability to avoid trouble.
    Shifty - Your ability to pass dishonesty.
    Likeable - Your ability to make friends.
    Weird - Your ability to make stuff.
  • Without having read anyone else's responses:

    Hard: Toughness.
    Sharp: Attacking things.
    Cool: How awesome you are. Probably a reactive stat.
    Smooth: Social trickery.
    Shifty: Hiding. Non-social trickery.
    Likeable: Getting people to like you.
    Weird: Supernatural/sci-fi ability.
  • Hard - Tougness
    Sharp - Perception
    Cool - Keeping calm
    Smooth - Ability to talk your way out of things
    Shifty - Lying and sneakong
    Likeable - Empathy, picking up chicks
    Weird - Doing supernatural shit
  • Hard: I've seen it all, and nothing phases me, not even your sorry-ass plight
    Sharp: Not much gets by me, whether in conversation or a crime scene investigation
    Cool: I don't get rattled
    Smooth: I end up looking good, even when what I'm actually doing is eating your face
    Shifty: I cannot be trusted, and everyone knows it
    Likeable: I make a good first impression, and people generally want to help me out
    Weird: I'm not like other people
  • Hard: The thing that makes people not fuck with you if you're a character in a Guy Ritchie movie.
    Sharp: A good detective.
    Cool: Like Fonzie.
    Smooth: As in the operator of the same type.
    Shifty: This is my cat's name, actually. But probably no relation.
    Likeable: Getting people to do things for you.
    Weird: Just weird.
  • Hard - tough, both emotionally and physically
    Sharp - how clever you are, how astute you are
    Cool - how relaxed you are, particularly in heated situations
    Smooth - how good a conversationalist you are, do you say the right things
    Shifty - how untrustworthy you are, devious
    Likeable - friendly? I can't really break this one down. potential for popularity?
    Weird - queer, strange, unusual, how much you deviate from the norm
  • Thanks, guys, these are really interesting!

    Tomorrow, I shall reveal the way the game uses them, and we can discuss the results of the experiment. I'm already fascinated by the way that several people read my mind on all attributes but one, but it was usually a different one per person.
  • Hard = aptitude for violence, ruthlessness, ability to take a hit
    Sharp = wits, alertness, reflexes
    Cool = self-control, appearances, passive social manipulation
    Smooth = verbal skills, acting, active social manipulation
    Shifty = larceny-related aptitude, stealth
    Likeable = ability to make friends, disarm cop suspicion, cement personal loyalty
    Weird = paranormal aptitude, sixth sense, ghost friends, intelligent hand-puppet, whatever
  • I described them as if a person embodied one attribute and had a really high score in same, though it probably doesn't work that way in-game. It was just the easiest way for me to get the concept across:

    Hard = How hard of a dude or chick you are, as in "I'm a badass drug dealer who killed my friend Wallace because Stringer Bell told me to. I am Hard."
    Sharp = Street smarts, intelligence
    Cool = How well you can keep a cool head or a low profile. Avoiding being noticed by those you want to avoid.
    Smooth = Charisma, fast-talk, the ability to talk people into things, get people to like you, and sound cool.
    Shifty = Sketchy motherfucker. Untrustworthy.
    Likeable = You come across as inoffensive, easy to talk to, and "normal", in the best possible way.
    Weird = People view you as out of the ordinary. Not necessarily bad, dangerous, or someone to avoid, but definitely left of what they consider "normal". It colors all of their interactions with you.

  • edited February 2009
    EDITED TO INCORPORATE NEW DATA (and stuff I missed the first time)

    Okay, before I get started, lemme copy&paste a reply that agony/Charles made to this same post on my forum on the Forge:

    Hard - Physicall tough, emotionally cold, vindictive, and likely prone to anger
    Sharp - Strong intellect, quick wits, solid hand-eye coordination
    Cool - Steve McQueen
    Smooth - Able to talk your way out of anything, able to pick up any woman from the local bar
    Shifty -Cannot be trusted, easily able to disappear from sight
    Likeable - Able to emotionally calm someone, gain someone's trust, or just appear charismatic
    Weird - Complete opposite of likeable, wouldn't appear very useful except to cause you problems.

    For example, the character Sorter from Revolver would be roundabout thus:
    Hard 4
    Sharp 10
    Cool 7
    Smooth 1
    Shifty 4
    Likeable 8
    Weird 7


    So here's the way I use these:

    Hard: being physically tough and emotionally hardened; intimidating people
    Sharp: being astute, intelligent, perceptive, and dextrous
    Cool: keeping your head under fire
    Smooth: being seductive, lying effectively, fast-talking, smooth-talking, putting up a front
    Shifty: being sneaky, cagey, and underhanded
    Likeable: talking someone down, appealing to someone's better nature, making friends
    Weird: being weird, freaky, quirky, and/or unorthodox

    Now, for each, let's do a break down of what was mostly on-target, what was close, and what was right out.

    HARD
    on-target
    1. "Physically tough, emotionally cold" - agony
    2. "Hard is body, muscle, and endurance. Use it to bust down doors and take a bullet." - Adam Dray
    3. "Your ability to resist being moved by the plight of others." - Christopher Weeks
    4 & 5. "Toughness." - Willow & northerain
    6. "I've seen it all, and nothing phases me, not even your sorry-ass plight" - Tony Dowler
    7. "The thing that makes people not fuck with you if you're a character in a Guy Ritchie movie." - reaction. This one is so on-target that it's scary, right down to the Guy Ritchie reference
    8. "tough, both emotionally and physically" - migo
    9. "Hard is menace and/or resilience" - MJGraham
    10. "how inured you are to suffering (yours and others'), and how well you're able to perform in the face of it" - David Berg
    11. "How good you are at being immoral and "tough", violence as well, like torture. This could be mental, and physical health and physical damage." - whiteknife
    12. "How hard of a dude or chick you are, as in "I'm a badass drug dealer who killed my friend Wallace because Stringer Bell told me to. I am Hard."" - hansel
    13. "aptitude for violence, ruthlessness, ability to take a hit" - Hexabolic

    It's interesting that many were on-target for half of it, but the other half was lost in translation. And sometimes it's a different half.

    close
    1. "Used for violence." - Graham. Close, but most of the others can be used for violence as well; depends on how you're doing the violence
    2. "Hard is hit points" - Josh Roby. Also close. It does influence how much damage you can sustain.

    right out
    1. "Hard: Grit, Willpower" - Logos7. Willpower is, in fact, the "hidden" stat; at various points in the game you get to decide how much willpower your guy has. But, in all fairness, nobody who hasn't read the game could know this.

    I'm gonna have to continue with Sharp and the others tomorrow.
  • Hard: How good you are at being immoral and "tough", violence as well, like torture. This could be mental, and physical health and physical damage.
    Sharp: Smartness and viciousness, like your ability to see anything as a weapon. Possibly more weapons skills here and mental skills like investigation or insight.
    Cool: How good you are at staying cool in tough situations, and how well you're perceived (although that probably falls into likeable), also emotional health
    Smooth: How easily it looks when you do stuff. Pulling off stuff without a hitch, and talking people into stuff.
    Shifty: How good you are at deception and trickery, although I'd say that a high shifty score would plummet your social standing...
    Likeable: How "nice" and normal you seem, despite the other stuff. Ironically, I can see this used to pass off murders easier than to do legitimate stuff.
    Weird: As an outcast you'd be able to get away with some stuff, and heavily watched in other stuff. Also maybe super powered shit if the setting has it.

    Looking up it seems the cats out of the bag, but I didn't actually look at any posts but the first before writing my post, I swear!
  • edited February 2009
    Am I too late to play? I've only read the opening post.

    Hard: how inured you are to suffering (yours and others'), and how well you're able to perform in the face of it
    Sharp: perceptive and analytical skill
    Cool: ability to perform amid distractions, especially time pressure (filling these out in order, this was hard after Hard)
    Smooth: social ability, especially verbal, even more especially lying
    Shifty: art of misdirection and disappearance (ninjitsu + ventriloquism), both physically and in conversation (hard after Smooth)
    Likeable: modifies how others perceive you, regardless of what you're good at or how you behave
    Weird: conspicuousness -- how quickly others notice you and how much they pay attention to you

    High Weird, high Shifty, low Likeable means you set people on edge and rattle them by vanishing. Change that to high Likeable and you're a beloved bit of local color, flitting hither and yon. High Cool, low Hard means you can pick a lock with snipers firing at you, but not with a child bleeding out next to you. High Hard, low Cool means you drop your torture implements when the door slams.
  • So here i go

    Hard: Grit, Willpower,
    Sharp: Intelligence, Observation
    Cool: Charisma, Moxy
    Smooth: Talking Skills, Getting Laid Skills (on a side note smooth troopa says your mother's flap jacks are to die for)
    Shifty: Not a trait, Observation, Criminality
    Likeable: Not a trait, Charisma, Friends/lyness
    Weird: Knowledge of future events/ wierd science
  • Hard is menace and/or resilience
    Sharp is wits and/or ingenuity
    Cool is confidence and/or composure
    Smooth is luck
    Shifty is unpleasantness and/or cunning
    Likeable is docility and/or friendliness
    Weird is mysticism
  • Wait. Were you testing us? I thought we were testing you. ;)
  • Posted By: Marshall BurnsIt's interesting that many were on-target for half of it, but the other half was lost in translation.
    Well, To me, the two halves of hardness that you list are so completely different that having one stat for both seems weird. But y'know, depends what the game is about.
  • Posted By: Adam DrayWait. Were you testing us? I thought we were testing you. ;)
    Both! Isn't this fun?
  • Okay, some other things I should have mentioned in the revelatory post:

    The scale of attributes is 0 to 10, with 4 being average and 10 being freakish. You add a d10 to this, and that's your actual effectiveness, compared against someone else's roll + stat or a target number.

    The original Rustbelt attributes are Tough, Savvy, Grizzled, Slick, Cagey, Personable, Thorough, and Uncanny. As you can see, these are more rugged (and even rustic) than the Heatwave stats.

    The description for Cool got cut off. It's supposed to be "keeping your head under fire; being calm, calculating, and patient"
  • SHARP

    on target
    1. "is wits and/or ingenuity" - MJGraham
    2. "Intelligence, Observation" - Logos7
    3. "perceptive and analytical skill" - David Berg
    4. "Smartness and viciousness, like your ability to see anything as a weapon. Possibly more weapons skills here and mental skills like investigation or insight." - whiteknife. Only the viciousness here is off-target. That depends wholly on how you play your guy
    5. "Strong intellect, quick wits, solid hand-eye coordination" - agony
    6. "wits, alertness, reflexes" - Hexabolic
    7. "Street smarts, intelligence" - hansel
    8. "how clever you are, how astute you are" - migo
    9. "Not much gets by me, whether in conversation or a crime scene investigation" - Tony Dowler. Aside from the CSI. My fault; I meant "urban crimey thing" as in "we're urban criminals"
    10. "Perception" - Northerain
    11. "Sharp is wit, intelligence, and maybe dexterity. Use it to do brains stuff, or to get a head shot with a rifle." - Adam Dray
    12. "Basically an intelligence stat. Used for...intelligent things." - Graham

    close
    1. "A good detective." - reaction It's close, but, again, there's not actually any detecting that goes on. Not really.

    right out
    1. "Attacking things." - Willow You can roll it to attack, but you can also roll Hard, Cool, Shifty, or even Weird, depending on how exactly you are attacking.
    2. "Your ability to hurt people." - Christopher Weeks
    3. "is to-hit roll" - Josh Roby

    A lot of people are on the same page as me on this one, for both the mental/social and physical of it. I gotta say, though, the idea of "I'm Sharp; I cut people" TOTALLY slipped by me. I love the thought behind it, though.
  • COOL

    on-target
    1. "Cool is confidence and/or composure" - MJGraham
    2. "ability to perform amid distractions, especially time pressure" - David Berg
    3. "How good you are at staying cool in tough situations, and how well you're perceived (although that probably falls into likeable), also emotional health" - whiteknife
    4. "Steve McQueen" - agony
    5. "how relaxed you are, particularly in heated situations" - migo
    6. "I don't get rattled" - Tony Dowler
    7. "Keeping calm" - northerain
    8. "Your ability to stay calm." - Christopher Weeks
    9. "Cool is demeanor, courage, and maybe charm. Use it to avoid freaking out, or to impress chicks." - Adam Dray. Not so much on the "impress chicks" and "charm," typically. Although it's not impossible.
    10. "How well you can keep a cool head or a low profile. Avoiding being noticed by those you want to avoid." - hansel

    close
    1. "self-control, appearances, passive social manipulation" - Hexabolic. Self-control is right, but the other stuff is off.
    2. "Like Fonzie." - reaction. Like Fonzie when he faces the armed burglar? Yes. Like Fonzie when he fixes the jukebox and says "Ayyy!"? No.
    3. "Cool is composure-hit-points" - Josh Roby

    right out
    1. "Charisma, Moxy" - Logos7
    2. "It's like Charisma. You use it to impress people with how cool you are." - Graham. Turn MY game into D&D, will ya?

    I'm not sure what to make out of this
    1. "How awesome you are. Probably a reactive stat." - Willow. Willow, help me out? I'm not getting what you mean.
  • Marshall, I'm confused. What are you looking for, here? I thought you were making sure your terms were clear. If you are, then when someone guesses wrong, that would imply they're not.

    Graham
  • Graham,

    This is For Science. In the sense of inquiry into the nature of things; not so much in the disciplined, Scientific Method sort of way. Not really to find out whether the terms are clear (because they will be explained in the text; I have no worries about that). This whole thing is me saying, "Look! A thing!"

    That "thing" is the point here. Through this experiment, I've pointed it out (and also supported my hypothesis, which is fun). I'm currently tabulating data so that I can illustrate & state it as clearly as possible.
  • SMOOTH

    on-target
    1. "Talking Skills, Getting Laid Skills (on a side note smooth troopa says your mother's flap jacks are to die for)" - Logos7
    2. "social ability, especially verbal, even more especially lying" - David Berg
    3. "Charisma, fast-talk, the ability to talk people into things, get people to like you, and sound cool" - hansel
    4. "verbal skills, acting, active social manipulation" - Hexabolic
    5. "how good a conversationalist you are, do you say the right things" - migo
    6. "As in the operator of the same type." - reaction
    7. "Ability to talk your way out of things" - northerain
    8. "Social trickery." - Willow
    9. "Smooth is for social manipulation" - Josh Roby
    10. "Smooth is either charisma or physical grace. Use it to talk your way out of shit, or to dodge bullets." - Adam Dray. Depending on the GM and your description of your action, yeah, you might use it to dodge bullets
    11. "Used to charm people." - Graham

    close
    1. "How easily it looks when you do stuff. Pulling off stuff without a hitch, and talking people into stuff." - whiteknife
    2. "Your ability to avoid trouble." - Christopher Weeks

    right out
    1. "Smooth is luck" - MJGraham

    not it, but damn cool
    1. "I end up looking good, even when what I'm actually doing is eating your face" - Tony Dowler
  • Oh, that's sad. I thought we were helping you design your game. I'm not sure what we're doing, otherwise.

    Graham
  • Sad? Graham, I'm trying to point out a thing that can help everyone design their game!

    See, with science, you discover and explain the nature of things. With engineering, you take the stuff that science dug up, and use those principles to build something. Game design is a kind of engineering.
  • Marshall, what does that actually mean? What are we actually doing in this thread?

    Graham
  • There's a THING here. An important thing. I've been trying to say it for years, but I don't know how, so I'm trying to illustrate it through (gestures wildly) all this.
  • SHIFTY

    on-target
    1. "art of misdirection and disappearance (ninjitsu + ventriloquism), both physically and in conversation" - David Berg
    2. "How good you are at deception and trickery" - whiteknife
    3. "Cannot be trusted, easily able to disappear from sight" - agony
    4. "Sketchy motherfucker. Untrustworthy." - hansel
    5. "larceny-related aptitude, stealth" - Hexabolic
    6. "how untrustworthy you are, devious" - migo. Cool thing: thanks to the structure of the mechanics by which you influence other characters to do what you want, you can actually roll Shifty to break a promise.
    7. "Lying and sneaking" - northerain
    8. "Hiding. Non-social trickery." - Willow
    9. "Used to sneak and pick locks." - Graham

    close
    1. "Shifty is unpleasantness and/or cunning" - MJGraham
    2. "Shifty: Not a trait, Observation, Criminality" - Logos7. Although I gotta say that I don't know what you mean by "not a trait"; can you elaborate?
    3. "I cannot be trusted, and everyone knows it" - Tony Dowler. This is close because you might be able to keep your Shiftiness on the down-low; it just depends on how you play your guy
    4. "Your ability to pass dishonesty." - Christopher Weeks
    5. "Shifty is underworld knowledge and getting illegal gear" - Josh Roby. This is just close because it's all underworld, and acquiring gear is a pretty loose thing. I love the thought behind it, though

    right out
    1. "Shifty is a lot like Smooth. I can't tell which is which." - Adam Dray

    a cat's name
    1. "This is my cat's name, actually. But probably no relation." - reaction
  • What does your important thing concern? The percentage of roleplayers with different play histories who can nevertheless heard the same word and think of the same character aspect? The way roleplayers form word associations based on expectations derived from prior play? The way that an individual attribute name takes on meaning in the context of the attribute list that includes it? The way that attribute names, word associations, and list contexts combine to say, "Here is what's important about characters in this game"?
  • LIKEABLE

    on-target
    1. "Your ability to make friends." - Christopher Weeks
    2. "Getting people to like you." - Willow
    3. "Empathy, picking up chicks" - northerain. Although you can also pick up chicks by being Hard, Sharp, Cool, Smooth, or even Weird, depending on the chicks.
    4. " I make a good first impression, and people generally want to help me out" - Tony Dowler
    5. "Getting people to do things for you." - reaction
    6. "friendly? I can't really break this one down. potential for popularity?" - migo
    7. "ability to make friends, disarm cop suspicion, cement personal loyalty" - Hexabolic
    8. "Able to emotionally calm someone, gain someone's trust, or just appear charismatic" - agony
    9. "How "nice" and normal you seem, despite the other stuff. Ironically, I can see this used to pass off murders easier than to do legitimate stuff." - whiteknife
    10. "modifies how others perceive you, regardless of what you're good at or how you behave" - David Berg
    11. "Not a trait, Charisma, Friends/lyness" - Logos7
    12. "Likeable is docility and/or friendliness" - MJGraham
    13. "You come across as inoffensive, easy to talk to, and "normal", in the best possible way." - hansel

    close
    1. "Used to charm people oh wait I did that." - Graham
    2. "Likeable is definitely charm. Use it to impress chicks or talk your way out of a speeding ticket." - Adam Dray

    right out
    1. "Likeable is a dump stat" - Josh Roby
  • Posted By: David BergWhat does your important thing concern? The percentage of roleplayers with different play histories who can nevertheless heard the same word and think of the same character aspect? The way roleplayers form word associations based on expectations derived from prior play? The way that an individual attribute name takes on meaning in the context of the attribute list that includes it? The way that attribute names, word associations, and list contexts combine to say, "Here is what's important about characters in this game"?
    Yes!
    It's about subjectivity, and how to embrace it, and maybe even make it your bitch.
  • (Fair enough. I do relate to the thing about not quite understanding what you're trying to say).

    Graham
  • WEIRD

    on-target
    1. "queer, strange, unusual, how much you deviate from the norm" - migo
    2. "Just weird. " - reaction
    3. "People view you as out of the ordinary. Not necessarily bad, dangerous, or someone to avoid, but definitely left of what they consider "normal". It colors all of their interactions with you." - hansel

    close
    1. "As an outcast you'd be able to get away with some stuff, and heavily watched in other stuff. Also maybe super powered shit if the setting has it." - whiteknife
    2. "Complete opposite of likeable, wouldn't appear very useful except to cause you problems." - agony
    3. "conspicuousness -- how quickly others notice you and how much they pay attention to you" - David Berg
    4. "Weird is the stat that everybody wants because they want their character to be a special snowflake that's different from everybody else " - Josh Roby
    5. "I'm not like other people " - Tony Dowler

    right out
    1. "Weird is mysticism" - MJGraham
    2. "Knowledge of future events/ wierd science" - Logos7
    3. "paranormal aptitude, sixth sense, ghost friends, intelligent hand-puppet, whatever " - Hexabolic
    4. "Doing supernatural shit" - northerain
    5. "Supernatural/sci-fi ability. " - Willow
    6. "Your ability to make stuff." - Christopher Weeks
    7. "Weird is how you relate to the supernatural (now I'm totally guessing). Use it to grok Cthulhu and cast spells." - Adam Dray
    8. "Used for Magic." - Graham

    There's no supernatural in the Heatwave setting, but nobody could have known that. This fact of not-knowing and the results it produced are relevant.
  • edited February 2009
    Posted By: Marshall BurnsIt's about subjectivity, and how to embrace it, and maybe even make it your bitch.
    Given that this is For Science, I'm expecting something Einsteinian about now...
  • I'm gettin' ready to post a bunch of statistical renderings of all this, but I don't know about Einsteinian. I'm not so good at explaining things, let alone pithy sayings.
  • Ok, I was gonna do statistics, but then I got Little Big Planet. Besides, all the data is there, with complete transparency, for anyone who wants to look.

    Now, one thing that's going on here is how you can use words that are particularly colorful, and intuitive and evocative when paired with a sparse setting/style description. But that's pretty obvious by now, right? Nobody's still giving characters stats like "Strength, Vitality, Agility, whatever" because they haven't thought to do it any other way, right?

    Here's the other thing, and it's the really cool one. With the exception of things that make no sense with regard to the game's system ("to-hit roll" and such), the definitions you guys came up with could be used without changing or breaking anything. All it would require is a shared understanding among the group of what the attributes mean.
  • I was just thinking about how Harry Dresden might figure in with those traits. I know he isn't so slick or modern, but he's a pretty good example of a detective-type anyway. (Compare him to the main character in Life, for instance.)

    Sharp is the one trait Dresden can consistently rely on. His Sharp collects all his failures and dead ends and rolls them up into one big win.

    His Smooth bottoms out: he lies so poorly he rarely bothers trying, and his constant witticisms are his way of saying "uh".

    Despite his lack of Smooth, his basic Likeability has helped him out on occasion and in the long run, though it rankles him when he's liked by a bad guy or disliked by a good guy, and it kills him that good guys who like him get hurt.

    His Hard is low enough to put him at a tactical disadvantage, particularly with female villains.

    I'm not sure what to say about his Cool. His inner state can be volatile and easily manipulable. But he is aware of that. In the end, manipulating Dresden may be a good way to up the ante, but a bad way to bend or break his will. But I'm not sure. A lot of the tension in several of the books has come from whether Dresden will keep or lose his Cool in a good way or in a bad way.

    Even without considering the supernatural, he's certainly Weird -- I mean, he still carries around a staff and charms, and he's still listed in the phone book as a wizard rather than as a detective. That would be weird regardless.

    ***

    So it looks to me like he has one trait for the win (Sharp), two traits for falling on his face (Smooth and Hard), and two traits for inner conflict (Likeability and Cool).
  • Posted By: Marshall Burnson-target
    1. "queer, strange, unusual, how much you deviate from the norm" - migo
    2. "Just weird. " - reaction
    3. "People view you as out of the ordinary. Not necessarily bad, dangerous, or someone to avoid, but definitely left of what they consider "normal". It colors all of their interactions with you." - hansel
    How does a player use this stat in the game?
  • Posted By: Adam Dray
    How does a playerusethis stat in the game?
    Creeping people out and impressing people who value weirdness; also, doing stuff in an unorthodox or just plain weird manner. That "stuff" could be anything from shooting a gun (while hanging down from the rafters) to driving a car (in reverse at top speed through heavy traffic) to hiding yourself from view (by hunching your head down, pulling your hands into your coatsleeves, and pretending to be a coat on a coatrack).
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