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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:38 am
  

Wanderer

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Has anyone done anything to make attributes matter more? I hate that they have to hit 16 to mean ANYTHING by RAW. I know it was how AD&D did it back at the time, but I didn't like that either (and at least in AD&D, most attributes had some mechanical impact no matter what the number was, even if they didn't provide combat bonuses).

I've been considering stretching out the bonuses from 16-20 out to 12 or 13 to 20, with 20+ following the charts as normal.

Has anyone tried anything like this? If so, how did you find it?


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:20 pm
  

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Well, there are some mechanics in game that make the attributes worthwhile. The obvious one is HP. Just start with PE and add so every point of PE matters. The same goes for ME/ISP and PE/PPE although as you level, the initial amount from the stat becomes less important.

There are a lot of things that require checks against the attribute. Battle of wills has the ME involved. The amount of weight a character is able to carry/lift is determined by PS, as are feats like forcing a door or lifting something heavy (combined PS to move). SPD is obvious - how far in how much time. Although, I'd like to see some sort of modifier to hit someone moving quickly. It's one thing to hit me while I'm running, another to hit Usain Bolt. I can't remember where I've seen it, but there are checks against PP for balance or grabbing things. I've also seen it two ways: roll under your PP on a d20, or multiply your PP by four and roll under it on a d100.

Where the stats fall is the non-physical ones. IQ can force a player to play stupid, or force the GM to give answers to a player whose character is much smarter than him or her. MA is the most limiting. I think that how convincing the character is should depend on what line of BS the player can spin. Who wants to have an important interaction with an NPC and say "roll to convince" and it works or fails based on the die?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:30 pm
  

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Veknironth wrote:
Well, there are some mechanics in game that make the attributes worthwhile. The obvious one is HP. Just start with PE and add so every point of PE matters. The same goes for ME/ISP and PE/PPE although as you level, the initial amount from the stat becomes less important.


While HP matters, ISP and PPE only matter for a subset of characters. Meaning to others that those attributes do little.


Quote:
There are a lot of things that require checks against the attribute. Battle of wills has the ME involved.


How often does that come up?

Quote:
The amount of weight a character is able to carry/lift is determined by PS, as are feats like forcing a door or lifting something heavy (combined PS to move). SPD is obvious - how far in how much time. Although, I'd like to see some sort of modifier to hit someone moving quickly. It's one thing to hit me while I'm running, another to hit Usain Bolt. I can't remember where I've seen it, but there are checks against PP for balance or grabbing things. I've also seen it two ways: roll under your PP on a d20, or multiply your PP by four and roll under it on a d100.


Sure, PS and Spd do something, but its actually minimal. I agree that I would like some sort of effect of spd on combat.

Where are the balancing/grabbing rules?

Quote:
Where the stats fall is the non-physical ones. IQ can force a player to play stupid, or force the GM to give answers to a player whose character is much smarter than him or her. MA is the most limiting. I think that how convincing the character is should depend on what line of BS the player can spin. Who wants to have an important interaction with an NPC and say "roll to convince" and it works or fails based on the die?

-Vek
"Also, apply negatives for low scores."


Ultimately, I think you kind of prove my point. The attributes are fairly meaningless except in less than 5% of cases (assuming 3d6 rolled straight). That's not great design IMHO.

Which brings me back to my original point, has anyone tried what I'm suggesting? Would it majorly impact anything I'm not considering?

And yeah, I'm happy for low scores to apply negatives as well.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:38 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
I tried a few variations on this.
I ended up going back to the default.
The reason is that it ended up making things worse not better.
This is because it simply lowered the threshold at which the 'stat race' began. When I started giving bonuses at 12 suddenly every stat choice mattered.
Deeply and truly.
And that meant that it was suddenly really hard to justify taking the moderate IQ or PP or whatever because now whatever you took affected your build, fundamentally...for the rest of the game.
Instead what I do is that I have stat checks as a mechanic.
I will say "roll against Stat*# on a D#" so say IQ*3 on a d100 or PP on d20 or whatever.
This way the number matters regardless of if it is 1 or 100... but the bonuses remain a perk for people who have extraordinary levels of stats.
I have even been considering moving the bonuses for stuff like PS upwards because of the ease at which it accumulates!
just my 2cp worth.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:18 am
  

Wanderer

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eliakon wrote:
This is because it simply lowered the threshold at which the 'stat race' began. When I started giving bonuses at 12 suddenly every stat choice mattered.
Deeply and truly.
And that meant that it was suddenly really hard to justify taking the moderate IQ or PP or whatever because now whatever you took affected your build, fundamentally...for the rest of the game.


I'm not sure I follow? Are you saying that there were no easy dump stat choices? If so, I'm okay with that.

And if a player is rolling 3d6 in order, they don't really have any choice in the matter. Granted, the rules aren't clear on whether you are supposed to roll in order (though RUE does make it clear that is what is intended, other books are less direct). So, really, it simply is more giving in rewarding the player's luck.

Quote:
Instead what I do is that I have stat checks as a mechanic.
I will say "roll against Stat*# on a D#" so say IQ*3 on a d100 or PP on d20 or whatever.
This way the number matters regardless of if it is 1 or 100... but the bonuses remain a perk for people who have extraordinary levels of stats.
I have even been considering moving the bonuses for stuff like PS upwards because of the ease at which it accumulates!
just my 2cp worth.


When would you make a stat roll versus a skill roll? Won't that step on the toes of players who have taken a skill that covers the same area? What if the attribute roll would be better than the skill percentage at that level, do you let them use the attribute instead?


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:31 am
  

Wanderer

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So this was what I was thinking, something like this:

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
IQ +1% +1% +2% +3% +3% +4% +5% +5% +6%
ME +1 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +2 +3
+1 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +2 +3
MA 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% 60%
PS +1 +1 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5
PP +1 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +2 +3
+1 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +2 +3
PE +1% +2% +3% +4% +5% +6% +7% +8% +10%
+1 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +2 +3
PB 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50%

Anything 21 and higher continues the normal chart progression.

This gives small benefits for higher than average stats without relegating the benefits to less than 5% of the population, which is silly...especially with 3d6 in order.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:39 am
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
Tywyll wrote:
eliakon wrote:
This is because it simply lowered the threshold at which the 'stat race' began. When I started giving bonuses at 12 suddenly every stat choice mattered.
Deeply and truly.
And that meant that it was suddenly really hard to justify taking the moderate IQ or PP or whatever because now whatever you took affected your build, fundamentally...for the rest of the game.


I'm not sure I follow? Are you saying that there were no easy dump stat choices? If so, I'm okay with that.

No, it is the exact opposite of dump stats.
It means that suddenly every stat is 'super critical' and you can no longer afford to take your 9 your 12 and your 14 and assign them in the way that is the best for RP... but instead if you do the RP then you are being punished, harshly, by the game mechanic.
With the way it is right now you can say "I can put this 14 in any stat and it won't matter, so my elf will be 'cute' not devastatingly good looking. or my mage could be 'smart' with out being a genius...
...now suddenly you *have* to put that 14 in IQ for the mage and you don't get the option to put it anywhere else. The fighter HAS to put the 14 in his PP...
It simply moves the "this is the One True Build" problem further down the curve from "if you roll a 16" to "all characters"

Tywyll wrote:
And if a player is rolling 3d6 in order, they don't really have any choice in the matter. Granted, the rules aren't clear on whether you are supposed to roll in order (though RUE does make it clear that is what is intended, other books are less direct). So, really, it simply is more giving in rewarding the player's luck.

I have yet to ever see a GM use that rule though. If for no other reason than unless your trying to make a vagabond or something you spend WAY to much time rolling up stats, then rerolling, then re-rerolling over and over again "dang it, missed the ME by one again"

Tywyll wrote:
Quote:
Instead what I do is that I have stat checks as a mechanic.
I will say "roll against Stat*# on a D#" so say IQ*3 on a d100 or PP on d20 or whatever.
This way the number matters regardless of if it is 1 or 100... but the bonuses remain a perk for people who have extraordinary levels of stats.
I have even been considering moving the bonuses for stuff like PS upwards because of the ease at which it accumulates!
just my 2cp worth.


When would you make a stat roll versus a skill roll? Won't that step on the toes of players who have taken a skill that covers the same area? What if the attribute roll would be better than the skill percentage at that level, do you let them use the attribute instead?

I use stat rolls for stuff like...
The PCs are out in the field on an adventure. They suddenly need to know if they have whetstones and kindling. "Roll under your IQ on d20 to see if you remembered to pack that"
The PCs are at court and introduced to "The Duchess of Benta" Roll IQx3 or MAx2 or less on d100 to know who she is (the MA is for 'hey I am charismatic so I move in social circles'...which shows how stats can work for different things)
Sometimes I allow a roll against IQ as a default skill for various lore skills... this allows for "Well it might not be true... but theirs an old wives tale in my home town that Ettercaps like this one fear the princes wood. He raises yew for bows like mine... so maybe yew wood hurts 'em sir?"

_________________
The rules are not a bludgeon with which to hammer a character into a game. They are a guide to how a group of friends can get together to weave a collective story that entertains everyone involved. We forget that at our peril.

Edmund Burke wrote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:15 am
  

Wanderer

Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:49 am
Posts: 71
eliakon wrote:
No, it is the exact opposite of dump stats.
It means that suddenly every stat is 'super critical' and you can no longer afford to take your 9 your 12 and your 14 and assign them in the way that is the best for RP... but instead if you do the RP then you are being punished, harshly, by the game mechanic.
With the way it is right now you can say "I can put this 14 in any stat and it won't matter, so my elf will be 'cute' not devastatingly good looking. or my mage could be 'smart' with out being a genius...
...now suddenly you *have* to put that 14 in IQ for the mage and you don't get the option to put it anywhere else. The fighter HAS to put the 14 in his PP...
It simply moves the "this is the One True Build" problem further down the curve from "if you roll a 16" to "all characters"


I don't know how 'super critical' a +1 or a +5% is in the grand scheme of things. I don't think giving up a +1 here or there is 'harsh punishment'.

Also, rolling in order sorts this issue out.

Coming from playing OSR B/X derived games where players could trade stats 2 for 1, I've seen players willingly sacrifice a bonus over here to improve something else more important to them. I don't think its that punitive.

Tywyll wrote:
And if a player is rolling 3d6 in order, they don't really have any choice in the matter. Granted, the rules aren't clear on whether you are supposed to roll in order (though RUE does make it clear that is what is intended, other books are less direct). So, really, it simply is more giving in rewarding the player's luck.

I have yet to ever see a GM use that rule though. If for no other reason than unless your trying to make a vagabond or something you spend WAY to much time rolling up stats, then rerolling, then re-rerolling over and over again "dang it, missed the ME by one again"
[/quote]

It's how we used to play, back in the early days. We didn't roll for a certain class but played what the stats allowed for. Though admittedly, we rolled 4d6 and dropped the lowest.

Even if you did allow the player to choose where to put their numbers, they then have choices on how to handle their numbers, but suddenly a string of 12-15 can mean something, unlike now.

Quote:
I use stat rolls for stuff like...
The PCs are out in the field on an adventure. They suddenly need to know if they have whetstones and kindling. "Roll under your IQ on d20 to see if you remembered to pack that"
The PCs are at court and introduced to "The Duchess of Benta" Roll IQx3 or MAx2 or less on d100 to know who she is (the MA is for 'hey I am charismatic so I move in social circles'...which shows how stats can work for different things)
Sometimes I allow a roll against IQ as a default skill for various lore skills... this allows for "Well it might not be true... but theirs an old wives tale in my home town that Ettercaps like this one fear the princes wood. He raises yew for bows like mine... so maybe yew wood hurts 'em sir?"


I mean, sure, that's cool. It's not a lot thought. And really its only going to impact IQ and maybe MA, not much use for it against PP (as there are already skills that allow physical expressions of PP).

It's not RAW, so attributes by RAW are still mostly meaningless until 16.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:26 am
  

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Comment: Yeah yeah yeah just give me my damn XP already :)
I came up with allowing attributes other than just iq to add a % bonus to skills where appropriate. IE PP adds to things like gymnastics, MA adds to seduction, etc. Just use the IQ line to determine the amount of bonus.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:45 am
  

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Comment: My comments do not necessarily represent the views of Palladium Books.
I'd rather tie attributes more closely to skills... someone with a 30 IQ and a 3 PP should not be better at sneaking than someone with a 3 IQ and a 30 PP. Using attributes as the base of skills also allows you to more easily default for skills people should know, or have the physical capability to do (i.e. aforementioned person with 30 PP)

Unsurprisingly, I have suggestions.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:18 pm
  

Wanderer

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Mark Hall wrote:
I'd rather tie attributes more closely to skills... someone with a 30 IQ and a 3 PP should not be better at sneaking than someone with a 3 IQ and a 30 PP. Using attributes as the base of skills also allows you to more easily default for skills people should know, or have the physical capability to do (i.e. aforementioned person with 30 PP)

Unsurprisingly, I have suggestions.


Absolutely agree! The disconnect is...odd?

I'll check out your link.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:34 pm
  

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
With skills I still use what is written in the book for each level, but the bonuses can take you over %100, but there are usually negatives as well, and I have differing degrees of success, just making the roll by a few % isn't as good as making the roll by %50 or more. So if you were blacksmithing and trying to make +4 damage knife, rolling a few points under the skill still would be a fail for making +4 weapons, so they would be flawed (break if roll to strike under 10) and that sort of thing. I have perks and items that give bonuses, for example I had one character recently with an effective prowl skill of %180, and the way I play prowl is each 5% below your skill you roll gives -1 to the perception check of the person you are hiding from. (Perception is a separate stat for me though) but to reduce stat dumping
Low mental stats have very noticeable effects, I moved save vs magic bonuses off PE (Because a mage would always take an IQ of12 and PE of 18 when they had the choice, rather than the other way round) because the physical stats have too many bonuses attached to them, low IQ = no problem, low pe = low hp and no bonuses to save. I gave spell failure chance for IQ under 16, bonus skills if iq 16 or higher and a maximum amunt of spells you could learn, all attached to IQ. Low MA = things being 2 - 5 times more expensive or not being sold to you at all, and you can start fights just by breathing near somebody. Low ME meant negatives to save vs torture, I also have a willpower stat, which is effectively the magic strength stat (+ to spell strength) and where the save vs magic bonus went. And the luck stat.
When a human is rolled up they can put their stats wherever they like (They are all 3d6) and is the humans adaptive power, to make up for no nightvision or bonus to stats. The other races roll and what they roll has to be in order and they can only 2down 1up.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:20 am
  

Wanderer

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kiralon wrote:
With skills I still use what is written in the book for each level, but the bonuses can take you over %100, but there are usually negatives as well, and I have differing degrees of success, just making the roll by a few % isn't as good as making the roll by %50 or more. So if you were blacksmithing and trying to make +4 damage knife, rolling a few points under the skill still would be a fail for making +4 weapons, so they would be flawed (break if roll to strike under 10) and that sort of thing. I have perks and items that give bonuses, for example I had one character recently with an effective prowl skill of %180, and the way I play prowl is each 5% below your skill you roll gives -1 to the perception check of the person you are hiding from. (Perception is a separate stat for me though) but to reduce stat dumping
Low mental stats have very noticeable effects, I moved save vs magic bonuses off PE (Because a mage would always take an IQ of12 and PE of 18 when they had the choice, rather than the other way round) because the physical stats have too many bonuses attached to them, low IQ = no problem, low pe = low hp and no bonuses to save. I gave spell failure chance for IQ under 16, bonus skills if iq 16 or higher and a maximum amunt of spells you could learn, all attached to IQ. Low MA = things being 2 - 5 times more expensive or not being sold to you at all, and you can start fights just by breathing near somebody. Low ME meant negatives to save vs torture, I also have a willpower stat, which is effectively the magic strength stat (+ to spell strength) and where the save vs magic bonus went. And the luck stat.
When a human is rolled up they can put their stats wherever they like (They are all 3d6) and is the humans adaptive power, to make up for no nightvision or bonus to stats. The other races roll and what they roll has to be in order and they can only 2down 1up.


I like the idea about moving the saves off of PE and adding to IQ because you are right, its not the most incentivising attribute. Also nice idea about letting humans put their rolls wherever, nice racial ability.

Did you lower the bonus threshold at all?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:55 am
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
I did lower the bonus threshold to 13+ but as the bonuses for the non physical stats are of lesser effect, and players tend to have trouble playing different to their iq, ma and me it didn't make much difference. Attaching meaningful bonuses to the other stats was more effective.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:13 am
  

Wanderer

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kiralon wrote:
I did lower the bonus threshold to 13+ but as the bonuses for the non physical stats are of lesser effect, and players tend to have trouble playing different to their iq, ma and me it didn't make much difference. Attaching meaningful bonuses to the other stats was more effective.


Awesome! Do you have a write up of your house rules anywhere you'd be willing to share? I'd love to see your change to the threshold and all the other bits and bobs!


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:10 am
  

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Roleplaying out attributes can be a lot of fun. My favorite character has an M.A. of 2, and my concept of the character is to portray him as functionally mute due to crippling speech impediments. Thus, my character isn't allowed to speak in-character during the adventure, and I have to stay quiet for most of the game other than for declaring my actions, writing messages, using body language, et cetera.

Playing a character with a low M.E.? Have your character give into indulgences and succumb to temptation more often. On the flipside, the "will of iron/incredible discipline" that comes with a high M.E. isn't just a mechanic, it should be a character trait. Characters with high M.E.'s should be determined, purposeful, and stubborn when they think they're right.

Playing a character with a low I.Q. can be fun. Playing super-high-IQ characters is often trickier. They tend to have intense curiosity and less interest in many traditional or typical pursuits outside of their main topics of interest.

Playing a character with a very low P.S. and P.E. can be interesting. They are likely to be very careful about dangers, hazards, and health risks. Taken to an extreme, they may be hypochondriacs. High P.E. characters, by contrast, are likely to be more confident about dangers and risks.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:37 pm
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
Hotrod wrote:
Roleplaying out attributes can be a lot of fun. My favorite character has an M.A. of 2, and my concept of the character is to portray him as functionally mute due to crippling speech impediments. Thus, my character isn't allowed to speak in-character during the adventure, and I have to stay quiet for most of the game other than for declaring my actions, writing messages, using body language, et cetera.

Playing a character with a low M.E.? Have your character give into indulgences and succumb to temptation more often. On the flipside, the "will of iron/incredible discipline" that comes with a high M.E. isn't just a mechanic, it should be a character trait. Characters with high M.E.'s should be determined, purposeful, and stubborn when they think they're right.

Playing a character with a low I.Q. can be fun. Playing super-high-IQ characters is often trickier. They tend to have intense curiosity and less interest in many traditional or typical pursuits outside of their main topics of interest.

Playing a character with a very low P.S. and P.E. can be interesting. They are likely to be very careful about dangers, hazards, and health risks. Taken to an extreme, they may be hypochondriacs. High P.E. characters, by contrast, are likely to be more confident about dangers and risks.

You can still play like that and not have those stats, and normal gamewise there isn't really a difference between IQ: 15 and IQ: 1, except that you can't be a wizard.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:14 am
  

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kiralon wrote:
You can still play like that and not have those stats, and normal gamewise there isn't really a difference between IQ: 15 and IQ: 1, except that you can't be a wizard.


Exactly!

Equally, giving a small benefit to someone who is above average shouldn't break the system.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:16 pm
  

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Comment: My comments do not necessarily represent the views of Palladium Books.
Tywyll wrote:
kiralon wrote:
You can still play like that and not have those stats, and normal gamewise there isn't really a difference between IQ: 15 and IQ: 1, except that you can't be a wizard.


Exactly!

Equally, giving a small benefit to someone who is above average shouldn't break the system.


Palladium is one of those examples of things that are very resilient because they are so poorly made. It's hard to break the system without a big hammer, because the system mostly works by slowly sliding downhill.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:48 pm
  

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Mark Hall wrote:

Palladium is one of those examples of things that are very resilient because they are so poorly made. It's hard to break the system without a big hammer, because the system mostly works by slowly sliding downhill.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

So true!

Honestly, that is one of the things I love about old school systems. I don't necessarily view disparate mechanics as a whole as poorly made, but yeah, I agree Palladium qualifies (my god, PF1 doesn't even talk about handling movement in combat for Pete's sake...is it free, does it take an action, who knows?). They're still loveable despite all that of course! While more modern systems are certainly designed better than old school ones, they are harder to DIY because they are so engineered that changing X could break any number of things!


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