Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Trollslayers - Attributes

Okay, let's start knocking out some rules...

Trollslayers will have six Primary Attributes (how original!).  They will include the following:

Strength (STR)
Dexterity (DEX)
Endurance (END)
Knowledge (KNO)
Observation (OBS)
Presence (PRE)

The first five are pretty much what the names imply, and nothing you haven't seen before in other games.  Presence includes aspects of both charisma, willpower, and magical aptitude.  In other words, it's not a dump stat.

Humans roll 3 six-sided dice for all of their primary attributes (all dice in Trollslayers are d6's, and hereafter will just be referred to by the number of dice used, not bothering to say d6 all the time - one die is referred to as 1d, two dice as 2d, three dice and add two to the result would be 3d+2, and so forth.  Also, standard rules for fractions apply unless otherwise noted, with any fractions 1/2 or higher rounding up, and less than 1/2 rounded down).

Any roll can get a bonus die if all of the dice are of the same type.  For humans, or any other race that is rolling 3d for a given attribute, that means rolling triples.  If the race only rolls 2d for an attribute, they need doubles to get a bonus die, and if they roll 4d for an attribute, they need quadruples (when there are any additions to the dice roll, such as 2d+1, the addition (or subtraction) does not affect the multiples required to get a bonus die).  A bonus die is added to the total score for that given attribute.

All player characters (and any major NPC's, if you're bothering to roll them up instead of simply assigning them stats) get to roll an extra die for all of their primary attributes, and discard the least desirable result.  This will usually be the lowest number, but it may also be a number that otherwise precludes getting multiples to gain a bonus die.  Example: Jana, a human, rolls four dice for all of her attributes - three for being human, and one for being a player character.  For her Dexterity, the dice come up 2,2,6,2.  She could take the three highest numbers, getting a 10, or she could take the three 2's, giving her a 6, but also allowing her to add a bonus die to the roll... which might wind up being higher or lower than the 10.  She chooses to drop the 6 or order to get the bonus die, and rolls a 5, giving her a total Dexterity of 11.

The racial maximum for any attribute (not factoring in any magical modifiers that may occur during the character's career) is calculated as follows: (number of dice rolled including possible bonus die x 7) + (any additions or subtractions to the attribute when rolled).  As a result, all human attribute maximums are 28.  A race that rolls 2d+1 for Strength (for example) would have a racial maximum for Strength of 19.  The personal maximum for a given attribute is 3/2 times the starting score, or the normal racial maximum, whichever is lower.  Example: Jana has a Knowledge of 20 (obviously she got a triple there) and an Observation of 15.  Her personal maximums for these two attributes are a Knowledge of 28 (racial maximum) and an Observation of 23 (15 x 3/2, rounded up).  Edit: this has since been changed

Humans, and only humans, get to add a single extra bonus die to a attribute of their choice.  Example: Jana rolled up an Endurance of 5 - sucks to be her.  She opts to add her extra bonus die to her Endurance, and rolls a 4, giving her a total of 9, which isn't quite so bad.  If adding the bonus die to an attribute would result in exceeding the racial maximum, any points over the maximum are lost.

There will also be some secondary attributes, which are based in part, but not fully, on the primary attributes.  Three are listed below (and more may follow as I think of them):

Health (i.e. hit points) - END plus half the PRE score.  Some classes will get a bonus here, but not much.

Movement - STR and DEX are added together, along with another 3d (yes, add a bonus die if triples occur, and yes, let PC's roll an extra die and drop the least desirable).  Then divide the total by a given number, based on race.  Humans would divide the number by three.  Dwarves, being slower of foot, would divide by four, whereas elves would divide by two.

Essence - an extra resource for spellcasting, above and beyond PRE and STR, the two main attributes that power magic.  Starts out at zero for some classes, while some spellcasters would gets Essence points per level.  You can also temporarily access 'free' essence by casting under a full moon, at high noon, at a 'place of power', working yourself and others up into a frenzy through dance and prayer, etc.  

That's all for now, more to come later.


  1. The rules for maximum attribute scores seem kinda wonky, to be honest.

  2. I wanted to give some room for characters to improve, even if they max out their initial rolls. That said, I may revise it later - looking at encumbrance right now, which means working out a scale for strength, and figuring our what the human maximum should be.