Thinking about stats...


Other RPGs


Hello Folks,

I've been thinking about WFRP & related RPGs recently. One particularity is that one's ability with weapons is represented by a distinct ability, Weapon Skill & Ballistic Skill.

Those two specific ability scores got me thinking: could they be used for more than just combat. After all, "Weapon skill" (for melee strikes) concerns a form of hand-eye coordination; knowing where your body is, and how you move it. It could easily be used for skills that require fine manipulation, such as Sleight of hand, Disable Device, or certain craft skills. For "artistic" reasons, I could name it "Coordination" or "Proprioception".

Now, "Balisitic Skill" is more complicated. For one, I cant for the life of me think of any associated skills that arent just combat. And I cant think of any simple names to represent it. So I was wondering if anyone had any ideas.

Sovereign Court

Why? You have perfectly serviceable skills that do just that. Also, there is a huge difference between knowing how to fight and how to perform sleight of hand. Compounding too many skills into one leads to broken balance.


What Hama said. One can argue that most skills in many games are overly broad. One thing to be said for the Weapon Proficiency system is that just because you know how to use a single-handed straight sword of ca. 1 meter doesn't mean you know how to handle a shorter or longer blade. And if you ask those who do this sort of thing regularly even minor differences in length, width, grip and balance can lead to rather significant differences in handling. Then you get into things like a poleaxe vs. a rapier. Having a single skill for ALL melee weapons and another for all ranged is rather extreme and I don't really see how most games would benefit from condensing skills even further.
Some games already work like that. You could have a general Do Physical Things skill that encompasses all fighting, athletics, sleight of hand, etc. because the system is abstract enough and the characters are extreme enough that it works. If a system doesn't have that sort of abstract level (and from what I recall, WHFRP doesn't) I don't really see how it could benefit from trying to do what you propose.


I am confused... are you on a Pathfinder board trying to discuss Warhammer Fantasy Role Play's skill system? You would probably get a better response and a better informed group of people if you asked this on a WFRP board.


Aranna wrote:

I am confused... are you on a Pathfinder board trying to discuss Warhammer Fantasy Role Play's skill system? You would probably get a better response and a better informed group of people if you asked this on a WFRP board.

It's not like he's asking in one of the Pathfinder specific areas of the boards. These are the Paizo messageboards, not just the Pathfinder ones. There's people who play all kinds of games on here. Hell, I barely play Pathfinder now, my main systems are Savage Worlds and World of Darkness, but I still hang out here for general gaming talk and other discussions.

As for the original post... I'm with Hama and Bjorn on this one. You don't want to tie absolutely everything to one skill like that. However, I would say that maybe you could choose to allow use of the combat skills if the characters aren't trained (assuming being trained in something is a factor of WFRP) in a certain skill, giving it a penalty to a) discourage people from just pouring all their points into a "God" stat, and b) to represent that the combat skills they're using aren't a perfect match for what they're trying to do.


Ok then I will try my best;
~dusts off my rusty skills~

As I recall WFRP has a skill sytem in place to handle things like picking pockets or handling traps which default to the DEX stat if you don't have those skills. So there really is already a Stat to handle these, moving them to your weapon skills would unbalance the game as Hama, Bjorn, and Tinkergoth have suggested.


williamoak wrote:

Hello Folks,

I've been thinking about WFRP & related RPGs recently. One particularity is that one's ability with weapons is represented by a distinct ability, Weapon Skill & Ballistic Skill.

Those two specific ability scores got me thinking: could they be used for more than just combat. After all, "Weapon skill" (for melee strikes) concerns a form of hand-eye coordination; knowing where your body is, and how you move it. It could easily be used for skills that require fine manipulation, such as Sleight of hand, Disable Device, or certain craft skills. For "artistic" reasons, I could name it "Coordination" or "Proprioception".

Now, "Balisitic Skill" is more complicated. For one, I cant for the life of me think of any associated skills that arent just combat. And I cant think of any simple names to represent it. So I was wondering if anyone had any ideas.

Like what the previous posters said, and it's very difficult (and not very fun) to have game mechanics based on real world comparisons.

For example Heavy armour, such as 16th century Gothic armour (maximillian) will protect its wearer from most weapons, any weapons that are one handed have 0% to be effective. Two handed weapons have a slight chance, ogre strength and spells are more likely a worthier opponent.

Same goes with fighting skills, the famous samurai Miyamoto Musashi never lost a sword fighting duel and he openly admits he wasn't the strongest or fastest. How do you make an rpg based on that statement, very hard, nearly impossible.


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Morzadian wrote:
...the famous samurai Miyamoto Musashi never lost a sword fighting duel and he openly admits he wasn't the strongest or fastest. How do you make an rpg based on that statement, very hard, nearly impossible.

Good point.

Musashi got into a person's head better than just about anyone else who ever lived. He made Michael Jordan seem easygoing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jaelithe wrote:
Morzadian wrote:
...the famous samurai Miyamoto Musashi never lost a sword fighting duel and he openly admits he wasn't the strongest or fastest. How do you make an rpg based on that statement, very hard, nearly impossible.

Good point.

Musashi got into a person's head better than just about anyone else who ever lived. He made Michael Jordan seem easygoing.

His skill was a double-edged sword. Young "guns" kept calling him out, he kept killing them, and their families would start thirsting for revenge. He wound up taking up cross-dressing and hiding in caves. The latter gave him enough free time to write a book of some note.


LazarX wrote:
His skill was a double-edged sword. Young "guns" kept calling him out, he kept killing them, and their families would start thirsting for revenge. He wound up taking up cross-dressing and hiding in caves.

"I was the Waco Kid ...

"Little bastard shot me in the ass!"

That's my second Brooks reference in as many days!


Well, I'm getting as more negativity than I expected, but it's not too surprising. Anyway, in response:

Hama & related:

WFRP has various stats, two of which are Ws (weapon skill) & Bs (ballistic skill). Rougly, it basically turns BAB into a stat, though the expectations of WFRP relating to balance & power levels are radically different. Since there are no "classes" per say, and just a very fluid carreer system, it can get pretty dicey.

Arana: I come here to talk about wfrp because I've seen it talked about before and most WFRP boards (some of which I frequent) are basically dead.

Morzadian:
Funnily enough, your description of how a one-handed weapon would work on heavy amour is pretty close to how it works in WFRP.

The Myamoto stuff: Not all systems are great at abstracting that type of thing. I'm pretty sure it could be done in WFRP (where the str/dex dichotomy dont influence striking success) but that's a whole other discussion.

As a general note, all systems are based on reality to a certain degree. We're all just choosing whichever abstraction we prefer. I quite like WFRP (and from a pure numbers perspective, it's one of the game I find the best) but I think it might be nicer to find terminology (and associations) that are a bit less directly combat related, for those times where I would want to run something that isnt mostly combat. I know that's the main expectation, but I would like to diverge a little.

As a side note, anybody know any decent RPGs that arent built with a primary expectation of combat? I'm curious to know what's been done.


Plenty of games have combat as a secondary focus (fate, gumshoe, call of Cthulhu, ads magica...). As a general rule they seem to be stat-lite (except CoC)


williamoak wrote:
*snip*

I don't really see how this in any way argues in your favor of your proposal. You are merely stating things as they are without showing how it would be better if one does as you suggest.


Well you know how the d20 systems has ability scores; that's essentially what you're talking about...

Dexterity (Coordination) and Wisdom (Perception)

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