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Buying Abilities: Is 12 the new 10?

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  • Buying Abilities: Is 12 the new 10?

    I noticed Blue Rose, the Expanse, and Modern AGE all give 12 ability increases with the Buying Abilities option for Determining Abilities, versus the 10 for Dragon Age and Fantasy AGE. Is this low-key errata, or is there a design reason this should stay at 10 for the older games? I canít see one.

    Of course, Iím probably just overthinking this.

  • #2
    Good catch! While the point buy changed from 10 to 12, the rolling table hasn't. I haven't been able to find any explanations for the math behind point buy costs but I can tell you that moving it from 10 to 12 takes it from being less than the average ability roll to higher than average.

    With the current table, the average ability score is 1.16, which across 9 abilities makes the average 10.45. If you do some simulation, the median is mostly 11 points. One does occasionally see 12 pop up in my sim of 370 character rolls (3/22 last experiment). So them bumping it up to 12 makes it comfortably but only slightly better than average.

    A standard array for the rolling table is 3,2,2,1,1,1,1,0,0 (11 points). The 12 point array has a two instead of a one (3,2,2,2,1,1,1,0,0). The average on the ability that flips is usually around 1.45 and once in a while it gets over 1.5 which can flip the median roll from 1 to 2.

    The original 10 may have come from originally to be similar "Beefing Up Adversaries" Epic level where they get (3,2,2,1,1,1) additional ability points. I have some ideas for developing a point buy for the AGE that reflects the actual probabilities of the 3d6 roll.

    Note : there isn't a standard definition for a "standard array" but it seems to be the median of all ability roll possibilities. The one for DnD is almost that except they tweaked the highest and lowest numbers.
    [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

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    • #3
      I might be reading to much into it, but I suspect that after Fantasy Age added two new abilities that 12 seemed to be a better number. Why FAGE has 10 is probably because they discovered this through feedback.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Voneth View Post
        I might be reading to much into it
        Not possible

        This is a good observation. FAGE was preceded by Dragon AGE, both have 10 for abilities, but FAGE only has one more ability (Magic was dropped, FIG ACC added). I'd like to know why they thing 12 is better than 10 though...
        [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

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        • #5
          The book I have has 12, the PDF 10. We always went in favour of the PCs, so we have used 12 since the hardback book came out
          ᛬ᚼᛁᚾᛋᛁᚴᛁᚾ᛬ᛁᛘ᛬ᛁᚴ᛬

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          • #6
            This topic got my gears turning and I developed point buy costs for AGE that reflect the rarity of the 3d6 dice rolls. Read it here - https://herdingdice.tumblr.com/post/.../age-point-buy
            [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kythkyn View Post
              The book I have has 12, the PDF 10. We always went in favour of the PCs, so we have used 12 since the hardback book came out
              Weird. My 2nd printing book says 10.

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              • #8
                Me, personally, i have a few setting numbers that we start with based on the type of genre it is.
                HIGH FANTASY: 12 points; all attributes start at 0 and none above 3 at creation with none below 0
                DARK FANTASY: 10 Points; all at 0, none above 3; below 0 allowed but up to a -1 only
                ROMANTIC: 10 Points; all at 0; none above 3; none below 0

                it all depends on play style i guess...
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