A comment, then a question:

A comment, then a question:

A comment, then a question:

Last night I was chatting with a friend who isn’t familiar with DW and I described it as, “The game you thought you were playing when you were 12 years old playing D&D.” I can’t remember if I read that on here somewhere or if I actually had an original thought 😉

I’m still plugging away at my Ars Magica hack and I want to nail down the stats. At the moment I’ve got 3 mundane stats that everyone has (body, mind, spirit) and 3 arcane stats that only people with the Gift have (casting, book, parma).

So my question is:

Are three stats enough to define a character?

I’m definitely aiming to make mundane folks less complex since the focus is supposed to be on the magi, but I still want there to be enough crunch that companion characters feel interesting and relevant.

17 thoughts on “A comment, then a question:”

  1. I don’t think its the stat-count that matters as stat-distribution across the moves. If one stat is used more than 50% of the time, its an issue. Melee/Wizard did fine with 3.

  2. That makes sense. At the moment I have 3 moves based on Body (H&S, Volley, Defend), 2 moves based on Mind (Spout Lore, Discern Realities) and 1 based on Spirit (Parley).

    My first instinct is to add another physical stat called Dexterity or Agility so that Body doesn’t cover quite so much.

  3. Interesting. I’m open to adding more basic moves but after a bit of brainstorming I haven’t been able to come up with any moves that are broad enough to be considered basic. Many of the playbooks include moves based on the other stats, but they are specific to those “classes”.

    I’m not finished with the special moves section. Perhaps that’s somewhere to look for places to balance.

  4. BESM made it work. However that system had a framework for disadvantages  so you could model the characters that had a high body score but where not as strong or not as fast as you would expect . Ad Dungeon World is not conducive to this sort of detail having more attributes might be better.

  5. One thing to consider if you are chaning the number of stats is how advancement is going to work. Moving from 6 stats to 3 you should probably also update the advancement rules to only give +1 to a stat every 2nd level rather than every level.

  6. That’s a good point, Konrad. This particular hack will use a different advancement mechanic than DW so it won’t matter here, but it’s still a good thing to keep in mind.

  7. Oh man, an Ars Magica hack of AW/DW? Hells yeah!

    I would start from the basic moves. What do you want the PCs to be doing. Then see if that works for the stats you suggest.

    I might look at Sagas of the Icelanders for a hack that has basic moves divided into groups for two types of PC. In Sagas its Male/Female, but in Ars Magica I could see a different set for Mages and Companions. For example, maybe Mages don’t get H&S at all.

  8. I’m waiting to hear back from Gregor Vuga about Sagas – I suspect it probably does a bunch of the things I have in mind.

    I hesitate to exclude anyone from the basic moves, but there will definitely be a separation between magi and companions.

  9. Yep, I suspect it will. Sagas does a great job of really essentialising the division between male and female roles in the sagas. There’s a kind of powerlessness and constriction to both sides of the gender divide which really drives the game thematically. And like any good divide, there are playbooks and moves that transgress and mediate the border. A+ hack design.

  10. Hi.

    I’m…not sure Sagas is a good template. It’s always good to look at other hacks when you’re making your own, because there’s a lot of cross-polination and shared ideas. But Sagas is very insular, very niche. It doesn’t lend itself to hacking as much as other interations..I think. I’d be happy to be proven wrong!

    I think Ars Magica was at least partially an influence on Vincent with AW, or at least it was the foundation of his gaming/design career.

    So I’m not super familiar with AM, but I’d go back to AW to see how a lot of tose things work there. I’m specifically thinking of gang and follower rules for Companions (Chopper and Hocus especially), the hardhold and establishment rules for the laboratory (Hardholder, Maestro’d) and workspace rules (Savvyhead).

  11. That’s all good advice. It’s always a good idea to go back to AW to see what any given hack changed, how they did it, why they did it, and to judge for yourself whether you think it was successful and why.

    I’m not suggesting using Sagas as a template as such, but it’s a game that divides playbooks into two groups (more or less) and then gives each a different set of core moves. So it’s an example that that can be done, and that it can be done well. The Magus/Companion division could be handled in a similar way, but yeah, it would involve taking inspiration from Sagas, not hacking it, as such.

  12. Thanks, Gregor!

    It’s been fun to see bits of ArM in AW – Vincent does acknowledge that the covenant rules especially were a big influence on his work.

    Any word on the Sagas PDF? I understand you were having some issues with artwork?

  13. Yeah, both the illustrator and graphic designer took a lot more time than I anticipated. I’ll be organizing things differently with any new projects that’s for sure. Well, live and learn.

    Either way, the book is at the printer and it will go on sale next week. I haven’t made an official announcement yet becuase I’m waiting to see the finished print. You heard it here first.

  14. Hamish is right though. The division of core moves might be a useful one.

    There are also two playbooks (the Monster and the Child) which are very much supposed to be support characters (or even antagonists).

    I think it’s basically all in how you set up your moves.

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