Friday, May 21, 2010

StarCluster 3: The Bailey-Wolfe Psychological Scale

From a post by Bailywolf - from whose fingers inspiration drips like unto manna - on rpgnet, I hereby give the Bailey-Wolfe Psychological Scale. This scale is used to measure a species on seven axes. The further from human the species' rating is, the more difficult it would be to communicate with. Each axis is rated from -9 to +9.

The Bailey-Wolfe Scale

Neotropism: This is the tendancy of the species to accept new and unusual ideas, tropes, and people. It is rated from -9 (tradition-bound and xenophobic) to +9 ("Oooh! Shiny!")
Sociability: This is the tendancy of the species to form and maintain bonds with its own kind. It is rated from -9 (surly and individualist) to +9 (sheeplike)
Instinct: This is the tendancy of the species to rely on instinct as opposed to learning. It is rated from -9 (pure learning) to +9 (pure instinct)
Logic: This is the tendancy of the species to use logic as a tool. It is rated from -9 (extremely intuitive) to +9 (extremely analytical)
Foresight: This is the tendancy of the species to plan ahead. It is rated from -9 (very short term) to +9 (very long term)
Pattern Recognition: This is the tendancy of the species to act based on seeing a known pattern as opposed to thinking everything through. It is rated from -9 (must follow chain of thought) to +9 (acts instantly on perceiving any pattern)

Individuals vary. Personality Traits modify the species-wide tendancy by the amount given to the trait - if a species has a Sociablity rating of -3, and an individual of the species has the trait Helpful 3, the individual has a Sociability score of 0, which may be less than the Sociability score of a particularly surly member of a very sociable species.



  1. Nice shorthand system that gives a concise species description without pages of fluff (the fluff can come later to explain the numbers)! And a system that can used across genres and game systems.


  2. Might appropriate the "letter" scale for physical evolution, food, etc..
    then crossbreed the too for short hands
    like C-3A+2C+1 and so on to shorthand describe a species.

  3. I like this - reminds me of the social traits from Gurps Trav: First In.

    You could even randomly generate the attributes as d10-d10. I'm a big fan of random!


  4. @ Kobold:

    Thanks! :D

    @ Tim:

    What letter scale is this?

    @ Marchand:

    Yep! I'm very much intending to make a random generation available for this.


  5. Letter scale is used in more than a few SF books. It's mentioned over on Atomic Rockets, but the version I've been reading about is in James White Sector General series.

    Example: Earth Humans are DBGB (all races call themselves "humans" essentially. Each letter corresponds to some quick reference information about evolutionary status (but not intellect) diet, nature, etc.

    An lifeform that is aquatic usually begins with A (since most sapients evolved from aquatics) However plants are also A's but are rare. A V is usually near energy..and such.

    Now your own system could be made up. (Early versions made humans A, but I like White's version where humans are a bit in..since it makes a bit more sense.)

    So you combine physiological classification with psychological to get say humans as E/0/B/-2/D/-3/B/0/R/-2/0

    So E is say "Carbon Based" Then Neotropism then B "Terrestrial" then Sociability then say D Mammal and so on. Using whatever fast references you want. It be read quickly or scanned from chips. ElfZedBetadrop2Deltadrop3Beta over the radio or some such.

  6. Thanks Tim! I'll have to adapt this to the alien generators. :D