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Offline Strolen

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Stats in the Citadel
« on: January 16, 2013, 12:59:25 PM »
This is an entertaining conversation that comes up quite often and I am always happy to debate it.

There is no right answer to it, just our opinions.

However, there is one thread in particular that does a great job showing each side with some of our reasoning.

So, if you are wondering about stats on the site, read this thread: http://strolen.com/guild/index.php/topic,3601.0.html


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Offline Dozus

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Re: Stats in the Citadel
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 01:16:33 PM »
When I look at other RP idea guilds and forums, I'm always struck by how much I see of the following:

Quote
Hey guys, I got a really great idea for a new race!

It's elves, but with the following:
Str+g
Dex: -x
Int: 2x/4

Favored Class: Aquatic Ranger/Power Munchkin (cross-class)

Ability: Laser Eyes: Once per day, may shoot lasers from eyes as a free action (12d7 damage).

Great idea, amirite?!

And it's considered a well-explained, brilliant new idea.

What I like about the Citadel is, free from the tether of stats, we rely solely on the story of the ideas. What sites like that would dismiss as "fluff" is the meat and potatoes of the Citadel. As has been said, we attract as many storytellers as we do gamers. At the risk of sounding xenophobic, I'd like to keep it that way.

And as has been pointed out before, with a wide variety of game systems out there, you run the risk of having to make six different additions to a sub to cover everyone's favorite system. I'd hate to be bogged down by data and errata.

That said, if someone wants to throw in a character sheet or some stats on a NPC, I won't lose my cool or even necessarily be turned off. I enjoy browsing the minutes of Ted's Kingmakers gaming sessions, even if I have little to say about them. But if I see a sub that's all stats, or just 50% stats, I'll be a sad Suzod.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 01:18:06 PM by Dozus »

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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Stats in the Citadel
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 02:59:09 PM »
When I look at other RP idea guilds and forums, I'm always struck by how much I see of the following:

Quote
Hey guys, I got a really great idea for a new race!

It's elves, but with the following:
Str+g
Dex: -x
Int: 2x/4

Favored Class: Aquatic Ranger/Power Munchkin (cross-class)

Ability: Laser Eyes: Once per day, may shoot lasers from eyes as a free action (12d7 damage).

Great idea, amirite?!

And it's considered a well-explained, brilliant new idea.

What I like about the Citadel is, free from the tether of stats, we rely solely on the story of the ideas. What sites like that would dismiss as "fluff" is the meat and potatoes of the Citadel. As has been said, we attract as many storytellers as we do gamers. At the risk of sounding xenophobic, I'd like to keep it that way.

And as has been pointed out before, with a wide variety of game systems out there, you run the risk of having to make six different additions to a sub to cover everyone's favorite system. I'd hate to be bogged down by data and errata.

That said, if someone wants to throw in a character sheet or some stats on a NPC, I won't lose my cool or even necessarily be turned off. I enjoy browsing the minutes of Ted's Kingmakers gaming sessions, even if I have little to say about them. But if I see a sub that's all stats, or just 50% stats, I'll be a sad Suzod.

I try to avoid quoting entire posts, because that's just distracting and reduces the signal-to-noise ratio in a thread, but I agree with absolutely everything Suzod just said. QFT indeed.

Whenever I make commentary on stats in posts, it's entirely a matter of stats in addition to the normal material. If I've gone to the effort of adding some form of stats to something, I see little-to-no reason not to include it in my write-up, so that someone else doesn't have to go to that effort if they happen to be using the same system. The stats aren't a substitute for the content, but they help and enhance it. But a post that entirely relies on the stats deserves every low-vote it gets.
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Stats in the Citadel
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 04:10:01 PM »
What they said.

Though I do like the idea of stats and whatnot (It sounds to me like when you get down to it, Roleplaying is just a really drawn out form of gambling! :p) All I can add, is that if this site was stat-heavy I would have been too terrified to ever make a single post and would never have stayed here. Because Stats require a knowledge of games, and I had (and still have) next to no knowledge of any actual Roleplaying games, I would not have known what numbers to tack onto anything, nor what was necessary (What the hell does THAC0 mean, anyway!? Feats? What's that crap? d20? What's a d!?).

That being said, the stat-light focus of this site actually helped me understand stats a bit more, because I was introduced to them slowly :p One day i'll actually buy a DnD book and learn something, yaknow?

Besides, someone can always request some stats for the post in the comment section, and the author could add them as a comment.

Or hell, if Strolen's interested in doing a bunch of work, he could make a little 'stats' icon on the side of a submission, and when it's rolled over with a mouse, the stats of a sub (if any were added by the author) could pop up. Meaning it's there if people want it, but it's not the main focus of the Submission.
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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Stats in the Citadel
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 04:14:26 PM »
Or hell, if Strolen's interested in doing a bunch of work, he could make a little 'stats' icon on the side of a submission, and when it's rolled over with a mouse, the stats of a sub (if any were added by the author) could pop up. Meaning it's there if people want it, but it's not the main focus of the Submission.


Considering his known aversion to stats, the chances of that are slightly higher than a cleric surviving longer than 2 or 3 levels in one of Muro's forum games.

That said, I don't think it'd be that hard to code up, and I'd probably be willing to bend my hand to it if it was something that was truly desired. Personally, I think the same effect could be achieved through using spoiler tags.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 04:19:56 PM by Chaosmark »
P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)

By the power of Bayes!

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STR: 1 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 3 | CHA: 3 | INT: 3

Current guild quest: --

Offline Ted

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Re: Stats in the Citadel
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 04:54:48 PM »
I submit as a gamemaster and vote as a gamemaster. Everything I post is geared towards potentially being useful to someone for a game, and every vote I cast is against that fleeting question: Would I be willing to incorporate this submission into a game I've run?

In fact, Scrasamax can definitely feel proud that I liked his submission Romero Coultier enough to ask him for permission to use that Character in my CRTF campain.

Stat blocks are useful to me. They are often more concise than a lengthy physical description of a character, something that I absolutely hate doing. I've had many submissions under the thrall of Mathom because I can't be assed to put the Strolen Chrome on them to make them shiny and superfluously flowery.

Some days, I want to just throw down a stat block, summarize the information within for heathen non-believers who haven't switched to GURPS yet, and call it good.

Honestly, it is my personal feeling that voting a submission down due to in-game statistics is short-sighted and rude. The initial response from Cheka Man for this came just two days after OmegaDraco joined our ranks. Would you call having an established, respected member of the community saying "It's okay but too many stats you need to rewrite before I'll vote" a nice welcome to the community? Are we incapable of selectively skipping stat blocks and looking at the further merits?

There's a reason Agrivaine Dorset was submitted as a stub- I couldn't be assed to give him a long-ass spiel about his backstory, his motivations, his appearance, or to concoct amusing stories about him. Looking at his stat block, you can figure out pretty much everything but the backstory, and it's not terribly hard to do.

My feelings are that anything created for a specific game or system should be allowed to stand on their own with those details included. Each author should be allowed their own style and way of posting- I've long ago accepted that my vote totals will only average between 3-4.5 points because of my posting style- even if that style is different from what we expect.

EDIT: Fixing HTML and a typo
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 06:20:35 PM by Ted »
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Stats in the Citadel
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 05:38:50 PM »
Oh, yeah - one thing I forgot to mention which Ted's opinion reminded me of: While I don't post stats and the like myself, I will strongly advocate the right for others to do so, and believe voting something down because there are numbers in the post is wrong.

Don't get me wrong; if the post is nothing BUT numbers with no depth, then it may be worth a low vote. But if it is a plausible submission which happens to have statistical information which some people may find useful, I see no problem with that.

As it stands, if I see a post which is mainly stats and the like, I won't vote it low. In fact, I probably won't vote on it at all. This isn't me trying to be rude. It's simply me saying "I have no idea what these numbers mean, so I don't have a right to give you a rank for them. I will leave that up to the people who know what they are talking about!"
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Stats in the Citadel
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 07:03:33 PM »
Where's Captain Penguin when you need him?

Here's the good news, folks. There is never more than 1 statnik on the site at any 1 time. Though they love their "numbers", statniks seem to hunt the internet savannah solo.

I remember a guy named Matare_Thunder. He posted Elric Saga/Melnibone subs with boat-loads of stats. MoonHunter and Ria demolished him for weeks, until he finally gave up and left the site for good. I guess we have evolved from that era, and now we simply prod the statnik gently, ever-vigilant not to offend :P

Full Disclosure:

1. I hate seeing stats on Strolens, but at the same time, truth be told, they don't bother me when I see them. Does that make any sense?
2. I Love Ted. He knows that.
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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Stats in the Citadel
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 09:06:32 PM »
I take points off for subs with stats simply because they break the spell. Doubly so if the stat is supposed to convey something critical to me. I want to be pulled into the sub and fully marinade my brain in its juices. Not get the crunchy bits stuck in my teeth. I moved to rules-lite systems to get away from stats and to let the story and characters drive things.
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Stats in the Citadel
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 09:45:52 PM »
Honestly, it is my personal feeling that voting a submission down due to in-game statistics is short-sighted and rude. The initial response from Cheka Man for this came just two days after OmegaDraco joined our ranks. Would you call having an established, respected member of the community saying "It's okay but too many stats you need to rewrite before I'll vote" a nice welcome to the community? Are we incapable of selectively skipping stat blocks and looking at the further merits?

I fully agree with you here. I couldn't vote a sub low because of something in addition to its story. You have a really rad item with a great story and you want to throw down some d20 stats to top it off? I'm all about it. I avoid down-voting as a rule, particularly for "principled stances" like "Stats are icky".

By the same stroke, if a sub was just stats, I'd ask for more details and background. I appreciate your Dorset character sheet being submitted as a stub. If you'd posted it as a sub, I wouldn't have down-voted, but I certainly would have asked for meat on the bones. I would have to disagree with you here:
I couldn't be assed to give him a long-ass spiel about his backstory, his motivations, his appearance, or to concoct amusing stories about him. Looking at his stat block, you can figure out pretty much everything but the backstory, and it's not terribly hard to do.

I live for the long-ass spiel about backstories, and looking through his sheet, all I can deduce is he's an experienced soldier of some sort. And if posts were system-specific with just stat blocks to fill in the details, I'd be thoroughly lost. A good story in the vernacular is what I look for in subs; any stats attached I mostly consider technical errata to support the interesting bits.

Summa: Despite what my first post in this thread might suggest, I have nothing against stats. If you're down-voting at the sight of number, I think you a reactionary and ask you to stop. But stats-only subs are something I would have little interest in viewing or voting on.

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