Quantifying Ethics

Two days ago, I proposed an idea for quantifying the quality of role-playing in RPGs. I realize the proposal was short on details, but the post was growing longer than expected. Here, then, are the details required to turn this idea into a working set of rules. It’s assumed that you read the previous article.

For the purpose of this blog entry, I’ll stick to a scale of 7 points for the scales. That is, one end of an axis will have the equivalent of one point, the other the equivalent of 7 points. The whole thing might look a bit like this:

Good Evil

The middle of the scale actually has a slightly different purpose than any of the other fields; to underline that purpose, we’ll shift the field indices by 4, giving this scale:

Good Evil

The middle of the scale thus represents a neutral “zero” value, whereas extreme good and evil represent the opposite extreme points in relation to this neutral center.

Given that scale, here’s the first rules:

  • For each applicable axis, a player chooses a reference slot on the scale. Any value except for the neutral “zero” value may be chosen1.
  • When judging a character action according to such an axis, all values, including the neutral “zero” value, are valid options.
  1. The reasons for that should become clearer later on. []