Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Genesis of Traits

I've been using Traits for a while - since Blood Games II back in 2007 - but I've kept them applying only to character personalities. I got the basic idea from Risus' cliches, not from Fate's Tags/Aspects. I've been a fan of Risus for a long while - it's an elegant extremely light game system. I didn't read Fate until SotC came out, and since I didn't care all that much for SotC, I didn't use them 'til I got StarBlazer Adventures at GenCon in 2008. Risus' cliches are ranked and free form, and are meant to be used as descriptors and mechanics equally. I used them to apply to the character's personality, so that the personality would be of mechanical use to the character.

Applying Traits to things other than personality is due to two game system mechanics - Precis Intermedia's Gimmicks, and Fate's Aspects. Both are descriptor mechanics applied to many different things, and work the same wherever applied. I really liked that, and decided - rather than creating a new mechanic or importing Gimmicks or Aspects - I'd use Traits which are already integrated into the system and are similar descriptor/mechanics.

This frees up a *lot* of overhead trying to get random generators working properly. The generator I came up with for systems doesn't have to account for making perfectly natural results, because the creator can edit them simply with some re-arrangement and application of Traits after the fact. I don't have to make sure the worlds come out in order, hottest to coldest, because you can re-arrange the results. I don't have to worry about small differences between worlds because Traits takes care of that. I don't have to generate governments or cultures, again because the creator can apply Traits as needed. I don't have to worry about the differences between planets and moons, because the re-arrangement and Traits deal with that. Does this world make more sense as a moon than a planet? Make it a moon! Want to make this vaguely earth-like world different from that one? Make one Stinking 3, Jungle-clad 2, Thick-Atmosphere 2 and the other Chilly 3, Flinty 2, Hardscrabble 2.

I'm enjoying this!


No comments:

Post a Comment