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TOPIC: Is heart a dump stat?

Is heart a dump stat? 4 years 8 months ago #3572

  • Anarak
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After all of my 7 play­ers, 6 hav­ing con­sis­tently ditched heart, it makes me won­der if Heart isn’t really a dump stat (as tra­di­tion­ally) and could use some more thought.

Usu­ally i’d respond that if your party doesn’t invest in a social attribute then its the narrator’s job to bite them on that side, but in prac­tice it doesn’t really go that way.

Thing is, that you don’t really need to have heart that high since the way skills work in this game, you just have it at a reg­u­lar 4 or 5 at most, and then use skills, since attrib­utes don’t inter­act with skills past dice allowance. Adding up, while all other attrib­utes have prac­ti­cal and impor­tant appli­ca­tions in derived stats (reflexes, aim, power, dam­age, soak, steal­ing ini­tia­tive, etc) and what­not, the same can’t be said about heart. If you have the skill, heart wont ever be touched again, and you only really need 23 skills to cover all sides of heart.

I’ve even come up with some thoughts on intro­duct­ing social com­bat so heart could play a greater role, like instead of reflexes you use a derivate stat called speech and add up a heart skill to it, or some­thing like that.

What are your thoughts?
Last Edit: 4 years 8 months ago by Anarak.
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Is heart a dump stat? 4 years 8 months ago #3574

  • Allan
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I would think that partly its impor­tance would come down to PA’s at the table. And as the genre is S&S, it prob­a­bly is a back­wa­ter stat.

Not so sure about Social Com­bat. We played Game of Thrones (Green Ronin ver­sion), in a much mod­i­fied set­ting. They had intrigue mechan­ics, but it always struck me a wrong. With that sys­tem you could con­vince an enemy to do some­thing for you. I don’t remem­ber exactly how it worked, I just remem­ber that seemed to be pos­si­ble with the rules.

My take on social intrigue/​combat etc is that a person’s ini­tial feel­ing is not going to be changed, you should really be only able to work on the peo­ple who are already pos­i­tively minded to the player char­ac­ter.

So social com­bat would be for me, less about con­vinc­ing the enemy and more about con­vinc­ing the fence sit­ters and unde­cided with win­ning argu­ment.

I like what you are sug­gest­ing, any­thing that expands the scope of the rules is good.

Allan
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
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Is heart a dump stat? 4 years 8 months ago #3577

  • Michael
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I don’t find a dump stat, but prob­a­bly still the least impor­tant stat for most types of char­ac­ters.

We all know that Blade is designed for quick res­o­lu­tion, for mov­ing the action, the plot along quickly. This does of course also per­tain to social deal­ings. By default, in Blade you are not meant to play out a seduc­tion or manip­u­la­tion in detail. You are meant to sketch what your char­ac­ter is doing, how he is approach­ing the sit­u­a­tion in a sen­tence or two and then roll the dice. And the result of that Nego­ti­a­tion or Seduc­tion or CG or HT Check is as bind­ing for the involved NPC and PC as is the result of of a Knock­out Check.

So yes, we are in prin­ci­ple very much in favour of some­thing like social com­bat, but not of an involved mechanic with Maneu­vers and what­not. Because it is not a fre­quent fea­ture of the sup­ported genre of Sword & Sor­cery.

Which is also the rea­son why HT is indeed often the least impor­tant Attribute. I also usu­ally see HT at 3 or 4 and as the low­est Attribute, but at least in my games of S & S this springs from the type of sto­ries we tell and the type of pro­tag­nosits cre­ated by my play­ers. They usu­ally are men and women of action with rough edges, not really like­able peo­ple — bas­tards, but just short of being total bas­tards, the way heroes of S & S tend to be. It only fig­ures that such peo­ple don’t have high HT scores.

That said I have seen a few rogu­ish manip­u­la­tor types with HT and CG scores in the region of 7+, espe­cially in my cam­paigns of a more picaresque and city-​based type. Those guys were incred­i­bly effi­cient at get­ting their way with pretty much all other peo­ple. What I really haven’t seen at all, only very rarely, were guys with HT 5 or 6.
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-​colored sun
Of secret worlds incred­i­ble, and take
Their trail­ing skies for vest­ment when I soar.

Clark Ash­ton Smith, The Hashish Eater or The Apoc­a­lypse of Evil
Last Edit: 4 years 8 months ago by Michael.
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