If you've ever played a role-playing game, you'll know that the first thing you learn about the game mechanics is the basic stats of the game. In Dungeons & Dragons there are six basic numbers, in Rifts there are eight. Many other systems have a differing view on this. In Hydraforge, there will be ten.
Now don't be afraid. Most other systems have several basic stats, and then lots of other numbers along with them. Hydraforge has only these ten, and they will drive almost everything about the game mechanics, so pay attention.
Ten scores, divided into two groups: Physical Prowess, and Mental Prowess. This installment is about the first group and how it affects your character.
Physical Prowess (PP)
Five scores add up to make your character's physical prowess score: Strength, Speed, Stamina, Aim and Balance. These five scores average at ten, which makes an average PP score of fifty. When creating a character, your game master (GM) may opt to generate these scores in any way they choose, but I encourage all GMs to use a point system to generate them, as that will create the most balanced character.
This score represents raw power, how much your character can lift, carry, push, pull or hold. A low strength score means that your character is physically weak, but not necessarily lacking in prowess. A high STR score will grant your character a bonus to hit and damage when making melee attacks.
Any time your character does something requiring speed, whether it be running, fighting, or trying to disarm a trap, it will require raw speed. Sleight of hand, juggling, swordplay, and many other skills that require raw speed will be improved by this score. During combat situations, having a high SPD score will allow your character to act faster by granting a bonus to initiative rolls.
At some point, your character will be tested physically. This score determines how much punishment your character can take before they either need a rest, or die as a result of their injuries. Resistance to poisons, diseases, injury and physical exertion is measured by this score. What die or dice are used to roll your character's maximum hit points is determined by your STA score.
Firing a bow, throwing stones, or hitting a specific target with anything are all skills that require a good AIM score. Sharpshooters, assassins, thieves and archers will want to have a high AIM score. Having a high AIM score will grant a bonus to hit and damage when making ranged attacks.
Maintaining their footing while crossing a river, performing acrobatics, and walking a tightrope are a few examples of tasks that require a good BAL score. Characters rely on their BAL score to help them dodge attacks and stay on their feet. Having a high BAL score will also grant them a bonus to hit and damage when making finesse attacks.
Using These Scores
Any time a character attempts a task, that task or "skill" will be judged against one of their ten primary ability scores. Each ability score has a bonus (or penalty if the score is low enough) that will be added to their die roll when making the skill check.
Some skills or challenges may require a check against the character's PP or MP scores. These checks are a bit different than ordinary skill checks, and will be covered in the Skills section of Hydraforge.
Nothing written here is set in stone yet. If you see a problem with this system, have a concern, or think something could be better, please do comment below and let us know.
If you're interested in learning more about Galadir, pick up a copy of The Time Weaver, Book I of The Time Weaver Chronicles today!
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