Re: Worldscale (was Abilityscale)

From: Graham Robinson <graham_at_...>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 08:54:28 +0100

>Graham said:
><The numbers in AR don't really work - it was published a bit early in the
><games history, before people really got to grips with how easy it was to
><have characters with 'run fast 3W2' and such.
>There is something not quite right about that logic,but i�m not sure....
>The ratings that the animals have,have nothing to do with how quick a
>character can raise his skills.Because:the worldscale must be absolute,to be
>of any value.It�s all about comparing.Not comparing humans to anything
The ratings of animals has EVERYTHING to do with how quickly a character can raise his skills. The point of ratings in Hero Wars is not to realistically represent the world but to allow good stories to be told. If someone wants to be able to run faster than a horse, wrestle alligators (and win), fly higher than an eagle, or whatever, then the numbers the creatures have need to be set as a challenge. The numbers in Anaxial's work fine for beginning characters, presenting them with some real challenges, and some creatures that are too scary to approach. After a few sessions though, they start to present no challenge. That makes the numbers a bit useless during a game.

As I said in my original post, the numbers work pretty well for comparing horses and wolves, or whatever - they're internally pretty consistent. However, if you're going to use the creatures in a game, you'll need to tailor them to your own group. The numbers that have been used elsewhere are taking into account that most campaigns will not have starting level characters, hence they don't match the scale in Anaxial's very well.

Even from a simulation point of view, the existence of characters with run fast 3W2 is significant. (Remember - if you're determined, 20 game sessions adds a mastery to a skill...) Characters can quickly get these skill levels, and if you want horses to be fast or snakes to be agile, then the numbers need to reflect this. At 5W, a horse is 'as fast as the fastest starting character' - not that fast really. At 5W2 it becomes 'as fast as a character that has spent an awful lot of hero points on being fast' - much more significant. Humans make a good place to compare anything with, as they are at the centre of most stories we want to tell. Plus, if you can compare anything to a human you CAN compare anything to everything, as you have a scale.

In the end, I think you need to realise that Hero Wars is not simulationist, whatever that means in an overtly magical world. An absolute world scale is not needed to tell good stories, and in many cases gets in the way. Having a feel for that scale can help, but don't get tied to it. And certainly don't shoot the messenger when he tries to explain why (in his opinion) the numbers used in one book don't fit the scale...


Graham Robinson

Albion Software Engineering Ltd.

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