Gaming is one of the Leading Causes of Statistics

This article is part 4 of 4 in the series Role-playing Game Rules
  1. Role-Playing Game Basics
  2. Of Dice and Men
  3. Dice, Damn Dice and Statistics
  4. Gaming is one of the Leading Causes of Statistics

In the last article in this series, I cut the description of stats a bit short. In this article, I’ll describe the rest of the stats used in my RPG rules1.

Mental Stats

When we were discussing rules as a group, one topic that came up fairly often is how an “intelligence” stat should be interpreted. It makes sense, for example, that high intelligence enables a character to figure out the intricacies of a magical spell, and consequently have a bonus applied to spellcasting. It also makes sense that intelligence can be a factor in learning a physical skill, such as boxing.

What didn’t make sense to us is how the ability to learn one and the other should be the same thing. Experience showed quite clearly, that we had different abilities when it came to comprehending one or the other, all within our group of relatively like-minded individuals.

We therefore decided to not include a single intelligence stat, but made up several different ones that govern a character’s predispositon towards learning different types of skills.

Not so long ago, a conversation with my father-in-law revealed that there is, in fact, a theory of multiple intelligences that, while somewhat disputed, is nevertheless discussed in neuroscience. Far be it from me to make judgment on the validity of that theory, but the different kinds of intelligence it proposes very closely match what we discussed for our RPG rules.

I’ve therefore decided to ditch most of the names for stats we thought up, and replace them with their equivalent names from the theory of multiple intelligences. At the very least, that should make it a little easier to explain the different kinds of intelligence the ruleset proposes.

If you do not like this distinction, feel free to collapse all of the following kinds of intelligences into a single intelligence stat. Whenever a specific intelligence stat value is referenced in the rest of the rules, substitute your single intelligence stat value instead.

Note that all intelligence stats will affect how fast your character will learn skills associated with them. In addition, some may be used to provide modifiers for skills.

Mental stats, like physical stats, are rolled with d66+33.

Bodily-kinesthetic [pBK]
This intelligence is concerned with learning anything involving bodily movement.
Interpersonal [pIP]
Characters with a high interpersonal intelligence will have an easy time interacting with others, including teaching them.
Verbal-linguistic [pVL]
The verbal-linguistic skill is applied to anything to do with words, written or spoken.
Logical-mathematical [pLM]
Logical-mathematical intelligence deals with logic, numbers and reasoning.
Naturalistic [pNa]
Characters with a high naturalistic intelligence will be good at anything concerning nature or nurturing. The rules extend this to include a sensitivity to detecting unnatural things.
Intrapersonal [pIn]
High intrapersonal intelligence enables characters to reflect better on themselves. In terms of these rules, that can give a small boost to learning.
Visual-spatial [pVS]
This intelligence has to do with vision and spatial judgement.
Musical [pMu]
Musical intelligence has to do with music, rythm and hearing.
  1. The title is probably not accurate, by the way. []