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How do you feel about Stats?

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How do you feel about Stats?  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. How do roleplays with Stats make you feel?

    • I prefer Stats in my roleplays.
      2
    • I don't mind stats, so long as I don't have to care about them most the time.
      9
    • I'd prefer no stats on my roleplay.
      2
    • I hate stats. Numbers are bad. GAH!!!!
      5


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I often participate in roleplays that are stat heavy or use stats to some degree. I prefer them and feel as if they promote user activity as well as a bit of competition (not to mention a goal to work towards). However, I have seen sites get very very complex with their stats and others have them... but they don't actually have any meaning or merit.

 

How do you all feel about them?


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I think stats hinder the writers' creativity and freedom of expression. I like the stories to come from plotting with the others and choosing by free negotiation which outcome is the best for causing future ripples in the desired way of continuing the story, instead of having a good story spoiled by a bad luck dice throwing.

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12 minutes ago, Elena said:

I think stats hinder the writers' creativity and freedom of expression. I like the stories to come from plotting with the others and choosing by free negotiation which outcome is the best for causing future ripples in the desired way of continuing the story, instead of having a good story spoiled by a bad luck dice throwing.

 

Ew, Dice. Had a bad bad bad experience with Dice on a forum roleplay and never look at sites that use dice. Stats are one thing. But Dice is just, ugh. No thank you. 


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Then I am not sure what you mean by stats. Usually it is rolling dice and counting 1-3 to do it, 4-6 not to do it (e.g.). I admit I prefer freeform collaborative writing as style, so I was on no such site.

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Just now, Elena said:

Then I am not sure what you mean by stats. Usually it is rolling dice and counting 1-3 to do it, 4-6 not to do it (e.g.). I admit I prefer freeform collaborative writing as style, so I was on no such site.

 

It's usually Marvel/DC, Video Game, etc. based roleplays. Characters have stats such as; Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom, Aptitude, Willpower, Spirit, etc. sometimes as detailed as basic skills.

 

Every site I've seen handles it differently, but basically you earn points to level the characters stats by posting IC either at the end of a completed thread or with every IC post. I've seen some sites require members to turn threads in for "Grades" that give an allotment of points for them to divide into their stats. 

The stats allow them to measure their characters abilities (usually in sites where there are powers like Marvel or an Anime). Sometimes Stats are focused on heavily and enforced. A lot of time they are guidelines letting you know who is capable of what. 

 


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I saw some such kind of stats on tabletop games blogs which I follow in order to get inspired with some story points (not that part). I admit I didn't understand them.

 

I think personality and skills and everything can be described in words. We are writers, we are writing together a collaborative story, so words go better than number in such descriptions.

 

Willpower: he is ambitious and determined to succeed at any cost, including backstabbing others when needed. (random example)

 

Dexterity or basic skills (to me it is somehow the same thing): (quote from one of my characters here):

 

He is very good with any blades. The nickname “Sol Picador” (Piercing Sun) comes both from his high ability with blades and his name Solano. He is rather a traditionalist in his own way, prefering his navaja to a dagger, and the smugglers on “Volante” taught him to fight with it baratero style, like in Andalucia. His machete – which is similar to the cutlass – is always handy and put to good use, but his much prized Toledo sword, obtained from a dead Spanish officer three years ago, is more often kept in the trunk. It has been used only for the ship boarding combats.
Strengths:
+ good sailor, also skilled at drawing maps and navigation
+ he can read and write with nice penmanship. He writes correctly in Spanish and with mistakes in English, but he had the ambition to learn to read and write in English when he sought the position of a master's mate on "Merciless", as he couldn't obtain and keep it otherwise.
+ he has a quick wit and a thirst for knowledge
+ playing guitar (the four-stringed requinto jarocho from his area, also called guitarra de son sometimes) and singing get him popular in any tavern or brothel, but it is also useful in the free time aboard, to avoid boredom not only for him, but for his mates.

Weaknesses:
- women – be they seducingly beautiful ones to be wooed or ladies in distress (of any age or social status) who need help he could provide
- not really wanting to kill people if there is any solution to avoid it. He can do it if really needed, but will try every way around it before doing so
- overpowering ambition and desire to win
- a strange sense of honour
- letting his hot temper and emotions get the best of him sometimes, which gets him into trouble
- recklessness
- not holding well his liquor, and sometimes he knows when to stop drinking, other times he doesn’t
 


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10 minutes ago, Elena said:

I saw some such kind of stats on tabletop games blogs which I follow in order to get inspired with some story points (not that part). I admit I didn't understand them.

 

I think personality and skills and everything can be described in words. We are writers, we are writing together a collaborative story, so words go better than number in such descriptions.

 

Willpower: he is ambitious and determined to succeed at any cost, including backstabbing others when needed. (random example)

 

Dexterity or basic skills (to me it is somehow the same thing): (quote from one of my characters here):
 


I get that, but I've seen many sites use numbers to measure the specific growth of the character. That way if two characters get into a pissing contest, it's easier to see which would come out on top without god-modding, meta-gaming or having an admin get involved each time. 

Of course the numbers are basically exclusive to the character sheet and are absent from actual IC posts. But they would act as a guide for sites that use them for said posts on what the character is capable of (while also being able to grow). 

That's just my experience with sites that use stats that I've been on. 


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I saw these too and I didn;t understand them.

 

Here the writers agree among themselves who would win and who would lose, who is importantly hurt and where, so that the writers could write together towards the same goal, no matter that the characters are against each other.

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I voted that I don't mind them but I don't want to have to keep track of them. Back in the day, I had a Fire Emblem x SMT: Persona board where we had a system that counted levels instantly for us. Levels were used to choose which kind of persona characters could use or the level of their skill sets and their type of class. That was it, though, and nobody had to actually keep track of the numbers because the forum calculated it automatically for us. Automated stats are about the only stats I'd work with though.

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10 hours ago, Faylen said:

I get that, but I've seen many sites use numbers to measure the specific growth of the character. That way if two characters get into a pissing contest, it's easier to see which would come out on top without god-modding, meta-gaming or having an admin get involved each time. 

 

This is more common on super hero RPs. I can see the merit in it but in it's own way it can be interpreted as micro-managing. I think that it can work, in the manner that you like it for, but it shouldn't always feel like it should be necessary. If Batman and Superman get into a battle we all know Batman will win with his secret kryptonite knife that he keeps in his back pocket...

 

I think, an example of a site that a "statistics" earning thing works pretty well on is a HP site one of my old friends were on. They earned points based on posting that would earn them "special application points" that they could use on developing a character or to master a new skill. I liked it because it was a good way to control the amount of people that were "Half Veela" or has an "animagus" or already mastered "Metamorphmagus" etc.

 

I voted for no but that's mainly because I prefer to leave the statistics for my job and RP for the typey typey.

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I think it's interesting to have both. I was part of a zombie-apocalypse role-play that used stats. But you could also do free form RP to just have your characters interact with others. If you wanted to gain levels, obtain objects, hone skills, etc, then you would do a 'stat' RP and there was a dungeon master RPer (different mods used this account). 

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Firstly I think that stats lend themselves better to some genres better than others. I mean a basic human game likely doesn't need stats because they're kind of already built in. I mean people already have ideas what an average human can do. They know a normal human isn't going to be lifting battleships or running at mach 2. So for them it doesn't really matter that stats don't exist.

 

But when super powers or advanced technology get involved they can be useful to show some kind of measure or comparison for how powerful they are. It works nicely to show how 2 characters stack up together. I mean when we say super strength that's a pretty broad category. Superman and Spiderman are both super strong... But Superman can pull planets around where Spiderman struggles with a firetruck. 

 

I also think that stats limiting the creative experience is a myth people keep repeating. Stats are designed to give a numerical representation of what a character can do. They're supposed to represent what a character is capable of, not drag them down or limit them so much. Though it is true they are quite useful to detect when someone is godmodding... (I mean if you know someone's strength is 5 and they're winning against someone who's strength is 100... without any kind of external reason. Like say Batman winning against Superman without an Kryptonite, magic, red sun or Superman having used his Nova flare power... Then yeah, probably a case of godmodding.)

 

That stated though stats don't tell the whole story and they really shouldn't be used as the be-all, end-all. What I mean is that circumstances change in stories. Suppose a character has 8 strength and is fighting someone with 4. Ordinarily the character with 4 is going to struggle. But conditions can change things... What if that character with 8 strength took an arrow to the knee and thus can't exert their maximum strength? What if that character with 4 strength took a shot of adrenaline? (I mean adrenaline is good stuff... it can turn a 100lb woman into a car lifting badass in real life... Sure there is a cost to be paid afterwards but still it can make a difference.)

 

For my own experience... 

I use stats on one game I run because this way we all have a pretty good idea what our characters can do, what their strengths and weaknesses are. This allows us to cover for each other and builds in a team aspect. I mean our characters have trained and worked together for some time, they know roughly what each other can do. (But we, as players, don't know that as easily because, without stats, we have no idea what each would think of their character. So while I might think my character is faster, they might think theirs is.) So stats are useful for us, as players, to know at a glance what each other can do so we can help cover each other. 

Like for example my character may be fairly evenly distributed, nothing really standing out. So they might be good to provide back up for a character who is more specialized in speed. My character can take some hits to draw aggro (focus) off their character. 

 

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I hate them. I have no interest in them, I can't remember them, I can't keep track of them,e tc. I don't enjoy them at all. 

 

That said, I feel they have their time and place and if they suit the RP, more power to them. I just won't be joining. I have a hard enough time keeping track of stuff in my tabletop games. (Which annoys me to no end because there are some cool looking boards out there with stats!)

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I'm in between "Don't mind them as long as I don't have to constantly care about them" and "I'd prefer not".

 

Years ago on a mixed anime forum we had problems with members constantly god-modding and fights dissolving into 2 pages of OOC tagged arguments and eventual staff vote. Introducing some form of mild stat system at that point seemed like a reasonably simple and systematic way to solve the epidemic. Except my main problem was that every system I saw other boards use were very detailed, members and staff had to constantly keep up on what was where and looked way more trouble than it was worth.

 

A Bleach based forum that my friend was a part of for a while had an extremely rigid and extensive system. I don't remember now much of what he explained to me about it, but it sounded like Too Much taken Way Too Far. There was no play for members to do ANYTHING outside the numbers. The problem he told me about higher-level characters (usually staff) who would corner "weaker" characters IC-ly and flex their muscles so-to-speak is obviously a member problem not the fault of stats themselves, but it was an issue that I didn't want to risk happening either.

 

It Seemed to be the....opposite extreme from the GM problem.

 

For the longest time I just....didn't bother with them. But figured I'd try something new with my New Board, see if I can come up with an in-between that lets members do what they need to while still providing a gentle nudge of guidelines.

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As long as they're balanced. If I wanted to play a pen and paper RPG with lots of stats rules like D&D, I would. But I just can't get into a play by post roleplay if it revolves around the same logic.

 

Sure, some stats saying whether I can or can't wield this, whether I can or can't beat this person who has been posting more than me, and such are fine. But when it makes a body of writing suffer (as in I have to roll a dice or invoke some rule every time my character is about to perform a certain action), then nah.

 

TLDR - In moderation, if they complement or take a back seat to the writing, rather than overshadow it.

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