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View Full Version : Wits Attribute. Feedback, opinions.



Xandros
08-27-2011, 05:43 PM
I am creating my own game. For Attributes, one that I am including is Wits. I am concerned about misunderstandings, confusion about it's uses/meaning. Particularly in comparison to other Attributes, Intelligence or Perception. While Intelligence is primarily Knowledge, Wits is mainly the active use of the mind for problem solving and deductive capabilities. One use would be deducing clues and their meaning. To spot or search would be a Perception skill. However when dealing with things (clues) that anyone could Obviously see (not need to search for or spot) or common knowledge that everyone would know (not requiring a knowledge check) Wits could be used to figure out the meaning or what happened.

Anyone can see the knocked over chair and mug, so no perception check is needed, but Wits could be used to figure out the events that happened, as an easy example. Intelligence would be important to Wizards and scientists, but Wits may be more important to Rogues or Detectives. Another way to look at it is Wits is the processing of the information.

Any feedback, ideas, ways to describe it better, or ways to make the description more succinct?

A real world example: I once worked in a restaurant with a guy who had a near genius I.Q. and was studying physics. He could quote all the theorums that he had learned. At the restaurant though, when emptying the mop bucket and refilling it, he didn't think to use the mop sink at the floor beside the mop buckets, but instead carried and lifted the mop bucket to the sink. That's an example of someone high in Intelligence, but low on Wits.

Sascha
08-27-2011, 07:33 PM
Hmm, tricky. I think I'd need your definitions of Intelligence and Perception, to see how they'd compare to that of the Wits stat, before really commenting on implementation.

As an aside, have you looked at White Wolf games? They have mental attributes split into Intelligence, Perception and Wits, so you might get some ideas from them. (Or they might be the inspiration for this :P)

Xandros
08-27-2011, 08:16 PM
Well basically the Intelligence stat is knowledge, or more accurately affects the knowledge skills. It determines languages and skill points. It pretty much follows the same definition as D&D Intelligence, except I believe (don't have the book handy right this moment) that D&D also includes problem solving (deduction) in the Intelligence description, which would fall into Wits in my case, except when speaking of a particular area of knowledge. It is a difficult distinction (or can be) so you already see where my concern comes from. As an example, a problem involving Architecture would use an Architecture knowledge check, which would be based on Intelligence. But for a problem or a clue that doesn't require any special area of knowledge, or would be common knowledge, to anyone and everyone, Wits would most commonly be used. Figuring out something based on the fact that it rained last night. Well everyone knows, or can tell that it rained last night, so there is no need to make a knowledge or Intelligence check, so if there were a situation that happened because it rained (or if that contributed) someone could use Wits to piece together what happened.

Perception is the senses, seeing, hearing, general awareness, spot, search.... Search or Spot would use Perception to find or see something that not just anyone could easily spot or see. However if it's something that is very obvious, that anyone and everyone could spot or see, Wits (or a skill based on it) could be used to figure out some meaning. For example everyone can see the feathers on Colonel Mustards coat, but Sherlock Gnome uses Wits to figure out that he was the chicken thief. Okay, that's an easy example that wouldn't really take Sherlock to solve, a DC1 effort if one even felt neccessary to make a check, but it works just for an easy example.

Wits could also be used to figure out cause and effect. We all notice something happening (or even just existing) but a Wits check will figure out what the effect will likely be. This is when Wits would likely apply in avoiding Some traps. That ball is rolling down that shoot and it will land on that plate, which will cause.... "Quick duck!"

The thing is that I know the distinctions, I am just not sure I am explaining them well.

I haven't looked at White Wolf, but I will check it out, It should help. Thanks!

Sascha
08-27-2011, 09:32 PM
Thanks. Those definitions help. And yeah, tricky, tricky situation ;) Take a look at White Wolf games for the Mental attribute category. In the Storyteller* system, Wits is speed of thought; processing power - accuracy, I should say - is still Intelligence.

(It's probably me, though, but all these things that your Wits covers sound like applied knowledge, which should be under skills and general Intelligence, and the relationship between those values.)

In any case, my suggestion is to figure out what you want these categories to represent, and maybe find some games that kinda (or very much) do what you want and study them. White Wolf is a fairly good start. I'd also suggest looking at a more-lumpy** skill-based system, like GURPS, to see how games without split stats work. Good luck with your game! ^_^



* Storyteller? Storytelling? I can never remember which is the older, and which is the newer :\ I'm more familiar with the older version, if there's any difference :P

** From lumpers and splitters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumpers_and_splitters), coined by Darwin: in short, "lumpers" look at and group by similarities; "splitters" look at and group by differences. For these purposes, I'm a stat 'lumper.'

Xandros
08-27-2011, 11:11 PM
Thanks. Those definitions help. And yeah, tricky, tricky situation ;) Take a look at White Wolf games for the Mental attribute category. In the Storyteller* system, Wits is speed of thought; processing power - accuracy, I should say - is still Intelligence. Processing power is a very good definition. I understand what you mean by "is still Intelligence". It is part of what Intelligence covers in D&D (and some other games), but could also be considered a different aspect (see real life example in OP) of the brain, much like Willpower could be. In this case I would be seperating the different uses of the D&D Intelligence stat into 2 different uses, One is knowledge and the other is thought process. Obviously they could be put into the same stat for simplicity sake. If you were to compare them to physical stats, Intelligence would be Strength, Wilpower would be Constitution and Wits would be Dexterity.



(It's probably me, though, but all these things that your Wits covers sound like applied knowledge Actually it's not, and I know this is just a lack of me being able to explain it well along with the fact that it's a subtle difference. In general, anything that would require specific knowledge, research, training, would not use Wits. It would really only work with common knowledge and information. That's a general rule. As with any rule it's possible that there could be exceptions.



In any case, my suggestion is to figure out what you want these categories to represent, and maybe find some games that kinda (or very much) do what you want and study them. White Wolf is a fairly good start. I'd also suggest looking at a more-lumpy** skill-based system, like GURPS, to see how games without split stats work. Good luck with your game! ^_^
That's a lot of what I am doing with the game. I am getting a lot from various games (Gurps is in there). Breaking them down to their basics, then rebuilding them in the structure of this game. Thanks!

---------- Post added at 10:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:54 PM ----------

I think the problem in trying to differentiate them, is the defination of Wits as active thinking or problem solving. For example trying to solve an architectural problem would be actively thinking. However that wouldn't use Wits because it requires a specific knowledge or education (Knowledge: Architecture and Engineering). Thus again my concern in defining, describing it (especially to do so without a lot of examples). I know what it is, but I have trouble explaining it. As Sasch stated, White Wolf and potentially other games may help me describe it, and I will go there. Other thoughts and ideas are appreciated though.

nijineko
08-28-2011, 11:04 AM
perhaps you could call it cunning instead. it seems you are encompassing street smarts and deductive logic into one stat there. which are basically two methods to the same goal, one being slightly more intuitive and the other being more sequence of events chain of reasoning.

Cavall
10-01-2011, 05:42 AM
In the white wolf system, Perception would cover spotting details.

Intelligence covers book learning.

Wits covers how fast you think on your feet.

So perception may have you notice something is coming up from behind you while you study ancient artworks, wits would allow you to react to it quickly, and of course intelligence would be for the art work itself.

For your purposes, wits would be useful for things like initiative, or rolls like trading barbed remarks or evading the same. (like a comedian with a heckler).