Re: Narrative characteristics

From: L C <lightcastle_at_...>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2010 12:49:37 -0400

connruadan wrote:
> If not, then I would like to know what you would think about
> reintroducing "light characteristics" in HQ. In Sorcerer (from Ron
> Edwards) or in Maelstrom Storytelling (from Christian Aldridge),for
> instance, you have those broad characteristics respectively named
> Stamina/Mind or Mind/Matter/Spirit/Chaos.

I would think they would be fine for any game where the genre made sense. For instance, the only rules we have for a culture in Glorantha - The Orlanthi - have the Runes, which track to a magic keyword and personality and general linking of the soul. So a genre where keywords like that made sense seems perfectly fair. I'm not sure how often they would actually come into play, but if they were going to be used, I hardly see why they shouldn't be there.
> I know those 2 games do not use the same system as HQ2 but I like the
> idea to have just a few characteristics like body & mind to help
> players flesh out their character and, on top of that, to have
> something to rely upon when their character tries something for which
> they have no ability at all (with the -6 penalty of course) : those
> base scores would then come in play. "Of course", these broad
> abilities / characteristics would count as umbrella keywords and could
> have specializations.

To some degree, it sounds like you want them to be umbrellas that encompass everything. Not sure if I am misreading you there. Everything would be Mind/Matter/Spirit/Chaos in some form.

To be fair, do you even need them as stats? You could just tag each ability as qualifying as one or the other, and modifying it as such when appropriate.
> I know there are some difficulties There would then be a difference,
> for instance, between mental or physical abilities and social or
> magical ones : the former would have those characteristics to save the
> day when no ability is available and the latter would not have this
> option (just relying on the default score of 6).

Why? If I remember Maelstrom, social and magical would still fall under the categories. Maybe not in the Stamina/Mind split, but magic could easily fall under Mind/Matter/Spirit/Chaos, no? And social skills seem a natural for either Mind or Spirit depending.

> This difference makes no difficulty for me but there may be other
> consequences or inconsistencies I don't see (with the mechanical or
> philosophical design of HQ2).
> I hope I was clear. Moreover, I hope I did not miss the whole HQ2 point...

I'm not sure what you gain giving everyone backup scores that mean they avoid the default 6. Admittedly, even at 13 the -6 penalty puts them at slightly higher, so that's something. But as far as a broad term to describe lots of stuff (especially if the story/genre you are working with makes sense for it) then why not? I could easily see a genre where having everyone have a score in the 4 classical elements make sense. Or Body/Mind/Soul. Or the Suits of the Tarot Deck. Ultimately, it is just an ability and you define what the ability is relevant to. (At least, this is my understanding.)


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