Sunday, January 06, 2013

Wisdom is for the player

When it comes to attributes I've decided to leave wisdom to the player.  For me this attribute has always been controversial.  The "character would be wise to do this and not that" situations seem to arise.  These not only create dispute as to what the character would or would not do, it also limits player immersion.  When a character has 7 wisdom somehow the player always makes the right calls.  Yet when the character has 15 wisdom it is the character who makes the right calls.  This gives me the feeling the player isn't playing the character, but rather using a tool.  Which is in my opinion contrary to the purpose of role playing games.

For this reason I've made characters have two different attributes.  One is illustration which measures the level of knowledge and abstract thinking.  The other is enlightenment, which as the word says measures how illuminated your character is to the world.  So while illustration may measure the academic preparation the character has, enlightenment measures the spiritual development.  A very illustrious character may still be very foolish.  Less so an enlightened one, but the player should play one much more wisely.  Either way there is no roll to help the player decide what is the right thing to do.  In that regard wisdom is left to the player.

In regards to magic, illustration is the key attribute for magic user while enlightenment is the one for clerics.  In between there is a third supporting attribute: mettle.  Mettle measures the character's conviction.  A very educated character may still have a weak character.  Having very high illustration while keeping your mettle low will not make your character's illusions work very well.
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