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Re: [Forge-main] Re: [freeroleplay] The Ideal Mechanic

From: Ricardo Gladwell
Subject: Re: [Forge-main] Re: [freeroleplay] The Ideal Mechanic
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2003 15:45:04 +0000

Hi John,

Thanks for your . I do not believe you've posted on this forum before,
so welcome to the FRPGC. :) Keep your thoughts coming.

On Fri, 2003-11-21 at 19:50, John Kim wrote:
>       First of all, I think it's great to define first what you want.
> One of my pet peeves is people who come up with the dice to roll first,
> and only later discover what the results of it is.

The original design criterion for FRINGE was something like the above.
This is just a more specific formalisation given attempts to actually
write an RPG system.

>       These first two I find problematic, though.  Really, there is
> no universal range.  A superhero game, a WWI grunts game, and a
> kids-in-fantasy-world game will all have different ranges of numbers.
> Never mind pixies, anthropomorphic mice, and giant robots.

Please let me clarify here, in FRINGE there are two ranges, the normal
and the impossible, or human-impossible. When I say common or universal
range, I'm really talking about the first, normal range. The ranges
themselves are not closed, merely constrained for certain types. For
example, in a super-hero game you could have 10+ scores for some

I should have mentioned this in my description of an Ideal Mechanic.

>       If you try to force everything to always come out 0-10, then
> IMO you will run into all sorts of problems.  Here's a simple example.
> The fastest human (i.e. running speed) is maybe 2 times faster
> than an average human.  However, the *strongest* human (i.e. bench
> press) is more than 5 times faster than average.

Actually, I would disagree with the above: in certain free-form RPGS,
and in particular, FRINGE, the numbers themselves are totally abstract.
They do not represent a scientific measure of ability, but are a method
of describing relative ability. They do not relate to each other, you do
not compare Strength with Intelligence. The ranges merely represent a
scale, with 0 as the absence of that trait, and 5 the highest possible
ability to attain for any human. They may represent different things,
for example an Intelligence of 5 might represent an IQ of 160 or more,
whilst a Strength of 5 would represent a bench-press of some order.

Ricardo Gladwell
President, Free Roleplaying Community

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