Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Macrocosm: Attributes

Macrocosm uses four attributes to describe characters, in its most basic form. These attributes are used to modify skill roles and can be applied as the Game Master Desires.  This allows for the GM to apply unusual attribute and skill combinations as situations arise.  The basic attributes follow.

  • Strength: This relates to the power and results of checks.  Raw Strength when chopping with an axe and the emotional effect of a piece of art both fall under strength. 
  • Resistance: This accounts for resisting (or perhaps saving from) the some effect.  Willpower and Constitution are both represented here. 
  • Manipulation: Should be used in cases of change and modification.  This could be manual dexterity or even charismatic manipulation. 
  • Observation: It is simplest to point to the senses, but this represents more.  Noting a key of music or the subtext of a story also fall under observation.

Attributes range between -2 on the low end and +5 on the high end. These are modifiers that are applied to the roll.  Lower than -2 assumes a character so deficient in the particular area it would impede the heroic stories present in most game worlds.  An Attribute rated at 0 is actually the average person on the street.  Attributes of +5 are truly superhuman.

Design Note: For those of us coming through Dungeons and Dragons, only four attributes feels petty limited.  In initial design I had assumed these attributes duplicated in physical and mental subsets.  This maps more closely with the role playing games I played throughout my life. The following was my solution.

While one is more than welcome to play with the four basic attributes game masters are free to establish subsets that better capture their world or gaming philosophy.  Should your game function in a highly social world such as a song of Ice and Fire; by all meaning include a social subset of the four attributes.  Perhaps someone playing in the Star Wars universe may wish to include a Force subset.  Spiritual, Creative or even Sanity attribute subsets could be used depending on your game world.  Game Masters are of course free to use the attributes they feel best reflects their own play style / philosophy.

Value Base Attribute Physical Subset Mental Subset
+2 Strength +2 -1
0 Resistance +1 -1
+1 Manipulation +1 0
-1 Observation 0 -2

Look for part 2 which will include assigning starting values and adding an additional subset during game play.

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