View Full Version : Name some Real Life Physical and Mental Attributes

Mr. Mask
2014-12-24, 02:21 AM
In games we have our Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom and Intelligence, Charisma, etc.. There are similar stats in other RPGs (most of them). Some of them seem rather abstract, and some seem to combine a lot of elements into one stat. Others seem to separate aspects that would seem to be closely related (like Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution).

What are some real life physical and mental attributes? Aspects that can be separated which can be said to effect our rolls actions' results? Note that these can't be too specific, like being skilled at writing a thesis on cheese because you worked at Wensleydale Creamery.

Athleticism or physicality is certainly one, which could probably be broken down further into multiple attributes. You might have something like Spatial Reasoning as part of your "agility" stat.

What are your thoughts?

2014-12-24, 04:55 AM
Um... attributes of this kind are abstractions of a rather complicated real life picture. If I had to be more precise I might split the physical side into:
- Strength (possibly split further into upper, lower, and core)
- Weight (with quite a few things, eg climbing, hinging on strength:weight ratio)
- Coordination
- Balance
- Precision
- Flexibility
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Immune health
- Poison tolerance
- Heat tolerance
- Cold tolerance
- Pain tolerance (with mental overlap - happy people are much more able to tolerate pain than unhappy, or to put it otherwise, pains feel much worse when you're already miserable, etc).

There's also a fair bit of room for overlap here, eg between cardiovascular fitness and immune health.

And the mental side is much more complex again.

Edit: overall, I wouldn't bother, even if the current stuff doesn't really model people who are great at balancing but terrible at throwing, or hefty people that can lift great weights or swing a heavy weapon really well but would really struggle with rock climbing or an endurance task etc.

2014-12-24, 07:54 AM
biggest one that comes to mind is common sense. PC's have a high tendency to never roll it.

Frenth Alunril
2014-12-24, 09:28 AM
The Japanese have "Wa" or, "Nihon no wa" which is a measure of the cultural appropriate-ness of your thoughts and behaviors. It is similar to being involved in an inside joke, you either "get it" and enjoy your time participating or you are left out.

It has little to do with charisma or physical beauty, and it is easy to see how it can become a bad thing in the wrong application, like southern poll taxes.

Red Fel
2014-12-24, 09:54 AM
Yeah. Mental attributes are a huge ball of wax, because so many overlap. For instance, Common Sense should give a synergy bonus to everything. Social Adroitness is a valuable attribute to have, but it generally gets a bonus from Observation for the ability to pick up on social cues you should know, from Cultural Awareness for concepts with which you may need to be familiar, from Charm and Wit to help put people at ease, and from Comeliness, which is not an inherent stat, but a relative stat, depending on the setting's aesthetic values.

In an academic setting, Information Retention is a priceless skill to have, but Recollection is what allows you to access that information. Comprehension will allow you to adopt new information, but Integration will allow you to adapt it to your existing basis of knowledge, and Analysis will help you apply it.

And at some point, you wonder: Am I overthinking this? That depends. What's your Introspection stat?

2014-12-24, 12:48 PM
I like Handiness as an attribute, representing a general ability to use tools, make useful things that can be reasonably hand made, etc.

2014-12-24, 09:01 PM
One thing that I've always wanted to integrate into a game is the idea that some "attributes" are both beneficial and not.

For example, Stubbornness. Having a high stubbornness would make you resistant to mind control affects or even charisma checks to change your mind. That's beneficial. However, it also means that you won't change your mind when you're wrong (penalties to skill checks, penalties to learning new things) and generally people think you're a jerk (penalties to charisma checks).

Whereas, having a low Stubbornness stat would mean the reverse.

Or Size (not size category, but rather your size within that category). Having a large size means it's easier to intimidate people and people would have a harder time pushing you around (physically that is). But you're also going to have a harder time being nimble and agile (fat men make for rather poor gymnasts and being extremely muscle-bound is often similarly problematic).

And so forth...

Jeff the Green
2014-12-25, 12:46 PM
Grit is the ability to diligently and passionately work toward a long-term goal.

2014-12-26, 06:40 AM
Emotional resilience comes to mind.
How well can you deal with walking through a slaughtered village? What if the only slaughtered are children? What if your brother was among them? Will you just need a moment to recollect yourself? A few hours of sleep? Extensive psychological counselling over the rest of your life?

You may also want to tie this to empathy somehow.

Of course, I believe this is all better played out than governed by a stat, a table or whatever you have, but it may suit your purposes.

2014-12-26, 10:02 AM
Perception would be one of those attributes that is both mental and physical.
Eyesight, can be measured objectively in both eyes even
Hearing, same as hearing, can be objectively measured for each ear
Smell, probably harder to test but can be done, for each odor probably
Thermoception, ability to reliably and objectively tell what temperature something is
Proprioception, ability to sense where each of your body part is without looking
Balance, ability to sense which direction is up and down
Stereognosis, ability to sense the surface texture and shape of an object through touch (often just called "physical sense" and wrongly clumped in with thermoception)
Taste, ability taste different tastes
Chronoception, ability to sense the passing of time

That's 9 human senses, include fantasy races with non-human senses and you can also get echolocation (like bats and dolphins) on Grimlock with blindsight, Electroreception (like shark have) and Magnetoception (like some birds have). Hell, bees can see the polarization of light.
And that's not even taking supernatural senses into account, like telepathy, ability to see into the "ethereal realm", ability to sense "magical currents", ability to "sense evil", etc.