View Full Version : Designing a Real Life RPG

04-29-2009, 02:26 PM
Hi all
I've recently had the idea for creating an RPG out of real life, and I don't mean just modern settings, rather making your life into an RPG format.

Any suggestions or flames are all welcome!!

At the moment, I have the following rules:


Attributes are split into four parts, the four parts which make up you; Body, Mind, Social and Spirit.
Each of the four parts has sub-attributes which make up its parent attribute as shown below;

Body: - Stamina

Mind: - Focus

Social: - Charisma

Spirit: - Alignment

Each attribute is given a rating between 0-20 to begin with which you determine. You may want to make it higher than 20 but make sure you’re sensible about how much you give yourself, common sense is your friend here. Obviously no one has 0 for any attributes; if you do then chances are you’re not reading this...

Your body is made up of three distinct attributes and they make up how healthy your body is. These attributes may be moderately health to quite low, depending on what you do. Most modern day activities don’t require much of any of these, though it is always good to at least keep healthy. All attributes in of the Body are relative to your sex and stature, so the averages of your sex when deciding your rating.

Stamina is how much your body can be pushed to the limit before you need rest. Unless you’re a sportsperson, there’s not much use for high levels of stamina.
Stamina can be worked out in terms of how far you can walk without feeling out of breath. An attribute of 10 for example means you can run about a mile none stop at a pace to suit you. Go out and run a mile, see how far you get before you have to stop (Use Google Earth if you want to find out how far you walked).

How physically strong you are, how much force you can distribute against something. It is used to manipulate various things in the environment. Again, there’s not much use for strength unless you do something a lot that requires moving, throwing or otherwise throwing your weight around.
Strength can be worked out by how heavy you can lift, throw or hit something. You’ll have to do your own research to find out the averages for these, otherwise you can probably estimate yourself from 0-20 if it’s not that much of an important stat.

This is how fast you can move, usually relying on your “fast twitch” muscles, which helps you in those bursts of speed or avoidance, in Rugby for example, agility would be good for dodging out of other players. It also related to how fast your reactions area and helps to manipulate intricate objects; it also involves your hand-eye coordination.
Think “nimble” when you decide your rating for Agility, how nimble are you fingers, how fast can you react to something. Probably not a highly useful stat unless you’re doing things with your hands or you need to avoid people/fists and the such like.

Your mind is the none-physical part of your brain. Some people argue the existence of the mind, due to the fact that it cannot be seen. Nonetheless its affects are there in your behaviour and thoughts. The mind is very important for academics, those working with people, in the creative industry or anyone who wants to think past the act of food, sleep or sex.

There are of course many different types of intelligence. Intelligence here however is the based on the capacity for creative and logic-based thinking and reasoning. Although it is argued that people are born with predetermined intelligence, you can improve your intelligence through a various means. http://www.improvehumaniq.com/ (http://www.improvehumaniq.com/) Is a website dedicated to improving your Intelligence to start off if you’re looking to boost your brainpower.
You may want to take an IQ test to find out your rating for Intelligence. Below is a table of the averages for IQ tests.



Genius (21+)


Gifted (20)


Above average (15)


Higher average (10)


Lower average (8)


Below average (6)


Borderline low (4)


Low (2)

68 or less

Focus is your ability to concentrate on a given task, this only applies to thought however; you might be focused on thinking about something but have low willpower meaning your don’t actually do it. Focus is always good to have when you’re seeking to achieve your goals as it helps to reach it faster than if you slack.
You can probably estimate this attribute on how much you think about one particular thing which isn’t overly interesting to you, research you’re doing for example.

Memory is the ability to store and retrieve data quickly and efficiently, thus making complex and repetitive activities easier to perform. How long it takes to memorize, and how long you hold the memory increasing with your memory increase. You can improve your memory through techniques such as chunking, visual memory and many others. Memory is a valuable attribute to improve in a hastening world.
There are a few tests you can find on the internet that’ll help you determine how your short term memory is; long term memory is harder to test however, so you’ll just have to remember how good you are at recalling last week’s seminar...

Perception is your situational awareness and ability to adapt and react quickly to rapidly changing situations. This might be seen as the mental version of agility and denotes how fast you can think under a given circumstance. Perception helps you grasp how well you can understand something in relation to yourself.
Perception is hard to measure, but shouldn’t be too hard to guess your perception from a 0-20 rating.


Willpower is the ability to exert one's will over one's actions which manifests as inner firmness, decisiveness, determination, resolution and persistence. The more able you are to do something regardless of how you feel, the more willpower you have. It is a way of setting yourself up for doing something that you would otherwise leave alone. This website; http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/06/self-discipline-willpower/ (http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/06/self-discipline-willpower/) is useful for those wishing to improve their self discipline and willpower. Just think how you would be if you had the willpower to do all the things you wanted to do no matter how lazy you felt...
Willpower is based on how much you get done of the goals you set; willpower will last longer and be more powerful the higher your rating is. An estimate will do for this attribute in determining its rating.

Social attributes are used for interacting with people, through any means. It is the combination of your Body, Mind and perhaps Spirit along with your skills. You may want to consider your reputation, status, social skills, fame, personal relationships and material possessions when working out your ratings for each of them.

Charisma basically means how attractive you are to others in terms of your appearance, lifestyle and/or behaviour and mannerisms. Charisma is highly important for those who work with or lead a group people, it is also important for skills in attraction. The more attractive you are in this respect, the more people like you. You can improve Charisma by improving your social skills as well as working on your appearance to match the activity you are doing.
Charisma is quite subjective in that people have their own opinions of what they find attractive, what makes them follow a leader and so on. Generally, you can determine Charisma by the amount of attention you attract from others. A Charisma rating can therefore be worked out by looking at the people in your life at the moment and how they interact with you before taking a suitable estimate.

Confidence goes hand in hand with Charisma, the more confident you are the more powerful your aura of Charisma is. Confidence can also be used for interacting with people in a none-charisma based situation, such as asking someone for directions. It also directly affects how well you perform a skill, the more Confidence you have that you can do something, the more chance you have of improving or doing a really good job. Confident people generally refrain from using negative words such as “can’t, shouldn’t” and aren’t ran by things that other people want them to do but they are also able to accept criticism and praise constructively. Confidence helps you to remain in charge of your life, to not get bogged down by mistakes and to be more assertive, but can also stay calm and listen properly when needed. Confidence helps you to be able to stand out from a crowd and not be afraid to take a chance.
Confidence rating can be worked out by how calm you remain, how clear your mind is and how brave you in a new situation. If you’re not very confident e.g. you find going out a little uncomfortable, then you might give yourself a 6 or 7. If however you give huge public speeches or are a skydiver, then you might have a rating of 18, 19 or even 20.

You spirit, is the accumulation of your moral, philosophical and spiritual outlook on life. It determines how you see and interact with the universe around you and vice versa. Alignment, as featured in many RPGs would come under the Spirit part of you.

Lawfulness is how willing you are to follow the social, legal and divine laws of the universe. These laws could come from a combination of common sense, biblical, spiritual or experience-acquired laws. Examples of each would be, that running around in nothing at all is perhaps uncomfortable for some people, that Jesus/ whoever told us to love thy neighbour, that what you give you get back and that touching a fire hurts your hand. If you steal, then your lawfulness will be low 4 or 5. If you follow the teaching of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism etc then you will probably have quite a high rating, perhaps 15 or 16. If you are a member of the police force, a church or some other authoritative organisation, then you might have a 19 or 20. The pope might have 35 whereas a crazed murder might have 1 or none. If you’re not a particular follower of any rules but don’t wish to harm others in anyway, then you might have a rating of 10, 11 or12. New age followers might have a high Lawfulness rating based on their wish to promote harmony and such; many people today are new age and prefer not to been seen under the banner of religion however, therefore high Lawfulness may mean someone who is outwardly kind, helpful or perhaps is a medium, herbalist, alternative medicine practitioner etc. People who work in helping others might need a fairly high lawfulness rating, or those who need to follow rules. Generally Lawfulness is quite an abstract attribute, if you put yourself as a 10, 11 or 12 then you might want to leave it out for the sake of playing the game. Being nice directly affects your Charisma attribute, rather than your lawfulness.

Wisdom is perhaps the one of the least used but most valuable attribute you can have. It is the combination of imagination, lawfulness, adaptability, intelligence and experience in general. Wisdom helps people turn minerals and metals into computers, cars and planes. It is also the collective experiences of your life so far and helps you make better choices about various things.
While Wisdom might been seen as a passive attribute, it can be used for planning and improving things that you’re working on. Your Wisdom might increase while you level does no, at the same time your level may increase yet your Wisdom remains pretty much the same. Your Wisdom rating is subjective to you, there’s no hard and fast rule for it as you probably won’t be using it that often.


There are no fixed classes in RL RPG. Classes may be based on an activity, related to an unlimited amount of things. You might base your level on your career, a hobby or some other thing that you do or have an interest in. You can’t have classes in mundane things such as sleep, the “sleeper” class is not a useful class to have and will not count towards your total level. You can have any number of classes at any one time; there is no cost for multi-classing. Your class level represents how skilled you are and how much exp you have doing that particular activity. You gain a level in a class by earning exp from completing self-set goals, this will be explained later. Your total level is determined by the amount of levels you have in a class.

04-29-2009, 03:00 PM
I preferred the first edition. ;-)

It's an interesting idea, but I think it is possible to do something like this with existing generic systems... I know a lot of folks have made GURPS characters of themselves over the years.

The tricky part isn't the rules system - it's the adventure. I've had some adventures in my life, but they do not come as closely together as they do at the tabletop.

It would, however, make the commitment point for the players a lot easier to achieve.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
04-29-2009, 06:02 PM
Cool idea, Desolrit. Me and my gaming buddies did something similar with the O L D E R editions of dnd(1E). I like how thorough you are with this and plan to lurk this thread.

Strength was always the easiest to determine, just use the old edition dnd rulebook. It determined strength by how much one can lift over one's head, controlled. i always liked this method for you needed to be pretty well-rounded in strength to lift dead weight, controlled, over ones own head. It really does use every muscle.

With the rest of the stats, I'll have to find my O L D notes and share them here. We put alot of time determining the rest.

It's beginning to come back to me. We had pages on this.

Intelligence was determined by a combination of grades and education.

Wisdom. We had pages on this. Determining this was complicated.

Dexterity was determined through sports, how many sports, what sports, physical activities, etc.

Constitution was also determined through sports, physical activities, the impact kinds, and whether you were sickly or not.

Charisma was determined by leadership responsibility through teaching, coaching, clubs, prowess with the ladies/men, etc.

Highest stat i ever saw with our method? Probably a 17. Which makes sense, since we were all around 18-22 years of age. The rest were around average. The intellectuals did better in Intelligence, whereas the athletes were higher in Strength and Constitution.

Please remember, we had pages and pages of notes of questions for each stat except strength, which when taken, inevitably came up with one's personal score.


05-05-2009, 11:06 PM
Well, i've used many systems to create an image of myself. the trickiest term come across so far is "intelligence" - your education does not measure this. I prefer "reason" or "scholarship" to intelligence. Intelligence is how well you make use of the knowledge and ability you got... just my opinion. If its IQ you are after, thats also a measure of potential, not actual "smarts".

My suggestion is to find a system that focuses strongly on character above combat and plot, and see if those facets can be used to describe how you see yourself. I've written my own system, including attributes (http://www.incarna.net/iweb/cf/Attrib.aspx), and it requires a lot of play testing to get things right for the rest of the world, when it all seems just so easy in your own mind.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-05-2009, 11:13 PM
I put a couple of tests on one of my threads: Ever wanted to know your personal stats? Take the tests and find out. (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10314)

Have some fun and take the test.

I've also created systems throughout my years of gaming and i agree with you, difficult. I would love to see some of your ideas on stats. You should start a thread and post your ideas for the rest of us to see.

06-29-2009, 01:20 PM
This is actually pretty cool. Good stuff.

06-29-2009, 05:55 PM
Well, i've used many systems to create an image of myself. the trickiest term come across so far is "intelligence" - your education does not measure this. I prefer "reason" or "scholarship" to intelligence. Intelligence is how well you make use of the knowledge and ability you got... just my opinion. If its IQ you are after, thats also a measure of potential, not actual "smarts".

Actually, in the game Aftermath!, characters do not have an intelligence score. To quote the book: "These rules use six Attributes: Wit (WT), Will (WL), Strength (STR), Deftness (DFT), Speed (SPD) and Health (HLH).... The Wit Attribute is not a measure of the character’s intelligence. The native “intelligence” of a character depends on that of the player. The player may decide that his character is smart of dumb, as he likes. Wit, however, has an important effect on the character’s ability to learn. Wit is also a measure of the character’s ability to discover “Hidden Things” and, in general, to observe and interpret things that are out of the ordinary."

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-29-2009, 06:11 PM
Wow, a flash from the past. Now, where is my old Aftermath box set. I feel like reading through it tonight. It is would be a great way to kill an evening.

06-29-2009, 06:15 PM
Wow, a flash from the past. Now, where is my old Aftermath box set. I feel like reading through it tonight. It is would be a great way to kill an evening.

Haha... I love me some Aftermath! God it's so hard to find though. I assume it's out of print anymore?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-29-2009, 06:28 PM
Haha... I love me some Aftermath! God it's so hard to find though. I assume it's out of print anymore?
I believe so, but you can always pick up some Aftermath stuff on Ebay.

I found a site a few years back that supports it and, i guess, fans submit their scenarios/modules/homebrew rules, artwork, etc, i gotta find it and list it here. In fact, once my class is done, i will endeavor to find it and list it on this site.

Nice meeting another Aftermath fan, Korhal23. http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/images/icons/icon14.gif

06-29-2009, 06:28 PM
That's really very smart, although it makes a table with a mix of player intelligence level a little bit of a bummer for the folks that aren't stark raving geniuses. At least with an INT score on a character sheet, the GM can get away with saying "your character knows better."