D&D 5E Eight Abilities (Str-Con, Dex-Ath, Int-Per, Cha-Wis)

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The set suggested in the OP isn't bad. The only problem is Perception, which is both very important and awfully specific.

That said, if I were rearranging the stats I'd probably go with three: Mind, Body, and Soul. Where Mind covers all sorts of knowledge (and Wizardry), Body combines Str/Dex/Con, and Soul deals with faith, sanity, and so forth (and so would be used by both Clerics and Sorcerers). Perception and Initiative would both use the highest modifiers of any of the three stats - the character with high Body just has really sharp senses, the one with high Mind is constantly analysing environmental clues, and the one with high Soul is really intuitive.

All that said, I'm inclined to think that the standard six are one of the genuinely sacred cows of D&D, so I wouldn't ever expect them to change.

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist


So, what's the RPG about?

Oh, you know, driving around Maine aimlessly, going into a convenience store, thinking ya got a Coke, and then, what the heck is this?????

I would go for

Athletic cover what we need for an martial adventurer, quick, strong, healthy.
So constitution and endurance is include in athletic.
Thieve skills like pick pocket, crack a lock, disarm at trap, are a matter of training and the innate ability to work under great pressure, that I would tie to charisma.


Frumious Flumph (Your Grace/Your Eminence)
Did I hear someone say "one ability score"?

This is easily the best meant-to-be-a-joke-but-actually-works-pretty-well-holy-cow! game I ever picked up.

Back in my teenage years I made my own heartbreaker system called QuestMaster. I divided up Characteristics (innate ability, as opposed to learned ability which was measured by Skills) like this:
  • [BODY] Physical Characteristics
    • [STR] Strength (how much you are physically able to move)
    • [DEX] Dexterity (how precisely you can manipulate physical things)
    • [CON] Constitution (how resistant you are to physical interference)
  • [MIND] Mental Characteristics
    • [COG] Cognizance (how much information you are able to process at one time)
    • [SEN] Sense (how precisely you can process information)
    • [WIL] Willpower (how resistant you are to mental interference)
  • [SPIRIT] Magical Characteristics
    • [MAN] Mana (how much magical energy you can wield)
    • [POW] Power (how precisely you can manipulate magical energy)
    • [AUR] Aura (how resistant you are to magical interference)
  • [???] Social Characteristics
    • [ÉLN] Élan (how many people you are able to engage socially at once)
    • [CHA] Charm (how precisely you can manipulate people)
    • [INT] Intractability (how resistant you are to social interference)
I think I could never think of the right word for my idea of the fourth "area" of characteristic, that of social integration/manipulation. "SOUL" didn't seem correct.

EDIT: Since I've seen it mentioned upthread, I didn't have "[RCT] Reaction" as a Characteristic -- it was a Skill. Your character could train to improve their reaction speed, albeit very slowly. And I didn't have "levels," you used your experience points to improve specific things. So if you really wanted your mage could learn to get that puny spell off really quickly, but if they wanted more impressive magic they had to focus on that instead.
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Size is all but vestigial in CoC. You derive stats from it, but it's all but useless on its own. The size categories of D&D and the specific height and weight numbers work just as well without needing to be codified in a stat.
I hold the opposite. The size categories of D&D are rather crappy way to model size.

Imagine a size-athletics based game (replacing strength-constitution). And maybe we replace Dexterity with Agility, just to rename everything.

You could have a game where your core basic combat stats are:
To Hit: +Agility+Athletics
Damage: +Athletics+Size
HP: +Size
Defence: +Agility-Size

For a human-shaped medium build (for height), your Size is your height in feet times 2.

So a 5'6" person has a Size of 11. A 6'6" person has a Size of 13. A 4' person has a Size of 8.

A Halfling now has a Size of 6.

We now look at a 30' tall giant; they have a Size of 60.

That sure would make an encounter with a giant something interesting; their bonus damage on hits is +50 even with average athletics.

If that is too much, we rework Size to be a bit exponential. Each point of size is 9%, say, and 10 is 60 inches (5' even, or 150 cm)

Then someone 7' tall (210 cm) is size 14, and someone 3' tall is size 6.

Under this system, someone 30' tall is size 30ish. So +10 to damage, HP per HD, and -10 to Defence. That seems reasonable for a giant.

With this numerical size value, you could even make flanking interact with size mechanics.

And as we go from "S, M, L" to a relatively continuous value we stop running into the effect of the discontinuities at T/S and M/L. Size is just another stat. A PC with size of 20 is 11' 10" if human-shaped. If horse shaped, they are probably a centaur. The mechanics just work; they are easy to hit, have a lot of HP, and hit really hard.

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