Prism Chapter 2 Stats

Art copyright  Doug Beekman, used with permission2.1 The Purpose of Stats

We represent each character's basic nature with eight numbers, called stats.  These are mostly permanent; they may change over time, but rarely drastically.  The eight stats, and what they represent, are:

Art copyright  Lou Frank, used with permissionFor each stat, the character has a number from -25 to +25.  A zero represents the average value of that stat, while the high positive or negative values represent the world's best and worst.  For example, a person with a Dexterity of 0 might have learned to juggle, but not be especially good at it, and still bumps into walls now and again; below -15 might be classified physically handicapped; a +20 or higher is an Olympic gold-medal-winning skater or gymnast.

2.2 Generating Stats

For each of the eight stats, you may either assign a value from -25 to +25, based on your conception of your character, or roll the dice.

Art copyright  Doug Beekman, used with permissionIf you assign the stat value, you pay a cost in character points equal to the value you assigned.  (Thus, choosing a negative stat actually gives you more character points rather than costing you points.) The GM will usually require assigned stats to be between -25 and +25, and can overrule or deny any assignment you want to make.  Most of the time, you will assign five or more of your stats.

Alternately, you may choose to roll the stat; this costs nothing, no matter what you roll, but, of course, you must accept the roll of the dice for that stat.  You cannot "rearrange" your rolled stats in any way.  If you find you need to gain or lose a few character points later, you cannot change the value in a rolled stat, only an assigned stat.  Roll 5d10 and subtract 27, and record the result as the value of that stat.  You should also write the letter "r" next to the number so you'll be sure not to try to alter it later during character creation.

Art copyright  Eyal F., used with permission2.3 Race and Gender Modifiers

Characters in some games may be non-human, whether aliens, elves, computer programs, mutants, or whatever.  For these races, some of the stats may have a different average.  For example, elves are, on the average, more magically apt but less physically strong than humans.

When you are assigning stats, it is up to you to take this into account.  Since you will probably be assigning at least half of your stats anyway, your assignments will reflect your image of dwarves or Vesuvians.

However, for those stats you roll, to keep these averages in line, your GM may want you to apply a small modifier for some of the stats.  Some GMs may even want to use the same system for the differences between males and females, though for most races these will be smaller in magnitude.

Some people object to race or gender modifiers, feeling that they place an unfair absolute limit on, for instance, how strong a female can be.  It is important to realize that these modifiers do not place limits, but simply maintain averages.  Thus, a female elf will, on the average, be weaker than a male human.  If we are using dice to roll a stat, a small modifier maintains that average.  It is perfectly in the spirit of gaming to create a super-strong female elf, substantially stronger than the average male human.  Usually, you would do this intentionally, by assigning the stat, not randomly by rolling; in this case, you can assign as high a stat as you like, provided the GM doesn't mind and you are willing to pay the character point cost.  However, if you happened to choose to roll the dice, you should use the modifier: after all, even a super-strong female elf is weaker than a super-strong male human.

If you find that these modifiers bother you, the simple solution is to assign more of your stats.


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