Dice, Damn Dice and Statistics

This article is part 3 of 4 in the series Role-playing Game Rules
Vitality [bVi]
Vitality represents your character’s ability to cope with any kind of internal attack on it. This stat influence resistances to poisons and illnesses, as well as recuperation time.
Endurance [bEn]
Endurance regulates for how long your character can keep up strenuous physical activities. These can include anything from travelling under harsh weather conditions to what most RPGs would refer to as hit points.
Strength [bSt]
The strength stat regulats how hard a character can hit, what weight they can lift, and similar feats of muscle power.
Litheness [bLi]
The litheness stat represents the body’s ability to flex and bend. It’s roughly equivalent to the agility or dexterity stat in other RPGs, but doesn’t bring speed of movement into the mix.
Speed [bSp]
Where litheness takes into account the physical flexibility of a body, speed regulats how fast it’s muscles react1.

Sensory Stats

Sensory stats are a slightly tricky beast, as various non-human characters may have senses other than those we humans sport. The following sensory stats are therefore illustrative for any strongly humanoid species, but may be expanded by other stats as required by the game.

A second, even trickier part to this is that we have more than one organ for most senses, if you can even make that statement. Adjusting a one-eyed character’s eyesight stat by halving it as some games do might make sense in some situations, but can be completely pointless when it comes to figuring out if a character caught some event from the corner of their eye — here it strongly depends which eye we’re talking about.

Lastly, different animal species have very different abilities when it comes to sight: some see in near-dark, while others can make out objects at enormous distances. Similar abilities are commonly ascribed to some fantasy races, which begs the question of how to reflect these abilities as stats.

Back when I was designing this set of rules, I was of the mindset that they absolutely must be reflected as stats, but that yields a fair number of them. If you want to simplify the stats below, feel free to do so. Just e.g. turn all sight-related stats into a single sight stat. Anywhere else in the rules where a specialized sight-related stat value is used, you’ll then use your combined one’ instead.

The following sensory stats are rolled as d100.

Tactile [sTa]
Represents the character’s sense of touch, and is useful both as an aide to general perception as well as when performing very fiddly tasks. The ability to feel temperature, while strictly speaking a separate sense, is subsumed in this stat.
Olfactory [sOl]
The ability of a character to smell and taste. Our ability to distinguish different flavours by taste alone is rather limited, and most of the work is done by our sense of smell. Therefore, taste is subsumed into this stat.

The following sensory stats make sense mostly when describing extraordinary strong or weak abilities in one area of sight or sound. As such, the range of values normal humans should occupy is artificially limited to 25-75 by rolling these stats as d50+25. Anything in that range is considered to be relatively normal. Racial modifiers are applied, and other modifiers may be applied at the game master’s discretion, so that the final results may lie well outside this range.

  1. It could be argued that this is mostly a question of how fast the nerveous system operates, which would make this more of a mental stat, but it’s grouped here according to how it is most often applied. []