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Intelligence (as a stat name) is weird


Brainless Void
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Especially in the Geneforge Series. Shapers in general (shapers, guardians, agents) should be intelligent as a primary requirement, before being accepted in an academy or school of shaping. Remember the in the start of G3, all students have to endure very hard academy work, learning, studying, memorizing all about the shaping arts. Surely no intellectually challenged people can be accepted at school. So, a very low intelligence stat feels and looks weird for someone who should be at the intellectual top of the society. Maybe it can work, if we look at it relatively where 1 Int stat is generally considered as very high compared to the intelligence of the average citizen. But it still looks weird to me.

 

In the game, Int really just functions as a stat that increases you essence and spell energy, so it feels even weirder. Maybe just replace it with a different name for possible remakes? What could be possible replacements? Its really weird isn't it, or maybe its just me. 

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Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence were all old stat names in Dungeon and Dragons as well as other old paper role playing games which Jeff used to play. So they continued over into early computer role playing games. It's just what game designers were used to and continued into "modern" times.

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The 3-18 range generated by 3 six sided dice in D&D/AD&D worked fairly well to generate a bell shaped curve allowing for scores above and below 10 to be interpreted as standard deviations above or below the human (and demi-human) mean.  Jeff uses a simpler system.  I suppose that we could decide that a score of 0 represents a 50th percentile human and higher scores represent abilities above that 50th percentile.  So a one would be above average.  

 

An alternate (and I think better) way of interpreting Jeff's system is that the scores represent how skilled you are in using your strength, intelligence, dexterity, etc.  After all, a full grown adult is unlikely to increase their strength by a factor of five or ten in a relatively short time and extremely unlikely to increase their intelligence (potential not learning) at all.  But they can increase their skill in using their intelligence which is reflected in the various bonuses that they get for having the higher skill.

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There's a very clear lineage from the D&D system Edgwyn describes down to Geneforge.  The Ultima series initially copied the six AD&D stats, but by its most influential game, Ultima IV, had dropped down to just three: Strength, Dex, Int.  Jeff has specifically cited Ultima as one of his main influences.  The game mechanics influence is particularly clear in Exile, but the Str/Dex/Int triad has persisted through every version of every Spiderweb game.

 

love Edgwyn's idea that the scores represent skill in using an attribute more than the attribute itself.  Haven't heard it before.  It makes a ton of sense, given that the attribute scores start out at a base of 1 or 2 (depending on the Spiderweb game) but are easy to raise -- most dramatically for creations and NPCs, where they all rise on their own every other level.

 

If I had to guess, though, I'd put 2/3 odds on Int in the Geneforge remakes working like it does in Avadon and the Avernum remakes, where its most obvious effect is increasing spell power.

 

It will be interesting to see if Jeff uses skill trees there, too.  Could make the different classes significantly more distinct from each other than they were in the originals.

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I think intelligence in the game that starts at 1 doesn't mean that a person is smart or foolish. 


Remember: A non-sentient rogue Fyora of level 6 would have int 3. Does that mean that a Fyora is smarter than the player character at start? I don't think so. I think it's just meant for mechanical reasons to give you your essence and spell energy. 

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