Why 21?

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alex_greene
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Why 21?

Postby alex_greene » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:49 pm

How do they calculate the racial maxima for all human characteristics as 21?

Did they decide that the racial maximum derives from the sum of the highest score on 3d6 (18) and the lowest score (3) yielding 3 + 18 = 21?

If so, what about INT and SIZ, rolled for on 2d6+6? Surely they should have a maximum, therefore, of 18+2+6 or 26?

I only ask this because of the question thrown at me elsewhere, namely how to work out the racial maxima for humanoid races such as dwarfs, elfs, giants and ogres, whose characteristic spreads do not match those of humans.
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Loz
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Re: Why 21?

Postby Loz » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:18 pm

You're on the right lines.

Its the maximum value + number of dice, so 18+3 (for 3d6) = 21.

With INT and SIZ this would yield 18+2 = 20, which is a bit odd, so they're also considered as 21 for parity's sake.

Calculating a maximum on a creature with 3d6+6 would be 27 (24+3).
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Re: Why 21?

Postby Captain Jonah » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:14 pm

Maximum dice roll plus number of dice plus 1 for any adds.

2D6 + 6 gives max 21
3D6 gives max 21.
4D6 gives max 28
3D6 + 3 gives max 25
1D6 + 12 gives max 20

Your 3D6 + 6 would be max 28

etc etc.

Dates back to a much much earlier version of Runequest when many of the races had some, erm, interesting dice rolls for stats :lol:

Unless its been changed and I didn't notice :roll:
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Re: Why 21?

Postby PhilHibbs » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:30 pm

Captain Jonah wrote:Maximum dice roll plus number of dice plus 1 for any adds.

Dates back to a much much earlier version of Runequest when many of the races had some, erm, interesting dice rolls for stats :lol:

Unless its been changed and I didn't notice :roll:
I don't think that has ever been a RuneQuest rule.
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Re: Why 21?

Postby alex_greene » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Shadowrun adopted this rule for their system, but if the concept behind the rule did originate with RuneQuest clearly the above-outlined rationale has vanished in later iterations, leaving the rule but no explanation as to its origin.

It beats AD&D, though which allowed a Str 18(00) but no matching Int 18(00) or Wis 18(00).

I'll just put it down to a legacy code function call. :)
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Re: Why 21?

Postby Deleriad » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:57 pm

RQ3 had min+max rolls but that was rather horrible for anything with adds. E.g. STR 3D6+18 gave a a maximum of 57.

My own house rule has long been maximum roll plus 1 per die plus 1 for any adds.

*Probably* should be the case that 4D6 is about the maximum variance for a normal, adult specimen.

E.g. If you have a hypothetical Venusian elephant species with a SIZ of 10D6 then, in theory, you could find a normal, adult male elephant that is SIZ 10. Probably more accurate to say that their SIZ is 3D6+24. This takes into account the (sort of) geometric expansion in SIZ. Using RQ 3 then (this is rough figures from memory) SIZ 2 was roughly 6 kg heavier than SIZ 1 while SIZ 32 would be about 50kg more than SIZ 31. So a normal variance of 3D6 would probably correspond to the limits of normality.
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Re: Why 21?

Postby soltakss » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:13 am

PhilHibbs wrote:
Captain Jonah wrote:Maximum dice roll plus number of dice plus 1 for any adds.

Dates back to a much much earlier version of Runequest when many of the races had some, erm, interesting dice rolls for stats :lol:

Unless its been changed and I didn't notice :roll:
I don't think that has ever been a RuneQuest rule.
RQ2 (the original one) used this for calculating Species Max POW. I think everyone used it for other characteristics as well.

Actually, come to think of it, it might have been +1 for every extra 6. I remember that +3 gave an extra +1 species max but +2 didn't, so perhaps the wording was more complex.
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Re: Why 21?

Postby jwpacker » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:54 am

"No characteristic may be increased for any reason (including magic or divine intervention) beyond the maximum amount rollable on the characteristic dice (18 for humans) plus the number of dice rolled (3 for humans). Thus, no human may have any characteristics higher than 21."

The 1980 edition of the red, hard-bound RuneQuest rules. A little ambiguous, in the case of dice plus a fixed modifier...
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Re: Why 21?

Postby alex_greene » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:57 am

jwpacker wrote:"No characteristic may be increased for any reason (including magic or divine intervention) beyond the maximum amount rollable on the characteristic dice (18 for humans) plus the number of dice rolled (3 for humans). Thus, no human may have any characteristics higher than 21."

The 1980 edition of the red, hard-bound RuneQuest rules. A little ambiguous, in the case of dice plus a fixed modifier...
Wow. A 32 year old rule. :D I seriously expected to see it carved in stone ...

Back then, I don't think they had fixed modifiers. Did they?

In any case, you could rule that every d6, and every +6 points or fraction thereof, counts as one die; so if you had a race with extraordinary INT, say, 3d6+12, their species maximum would be 35 (18+12+3+2 for two lots of +6 fixed modifier) or some such.

I throw this idea open to the rest of you out there. What do you think?
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Re: Why 21?

Postby Simulacrum » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:37 pm

That's what I have always played with (because my RQ goes back 32 years, I admit) and is assumed in Age of Treason. The 3-21 range for all human characteristics irrespective of whether 3D6 or 2D6+6 is useful for my take on things, since it gives a fixed measure of what is more than and what is less than, human. I don't let characteristics drift upwards of there without recognising a change in nature along the way.
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Re: Why 21?

Postby mwsasser » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:10 pm

I think stuff like this has turned confused a lot of us new to the system from time to time. There are a lot of little things like the 21 racial maximum we wonder where it came from and why it's there. A lot of it are hold-overs and "thats the way we've always done it" types of things. It's a hold over rule from decades ago that might not have been justified as well as it could be in the new version.

I don't mind that at all but I think that book authors need to let us know why some things are they way they are on occasion. Just remember that we don't have the database of knowledge you might have. It's that way a lot in life, we expect people to know things we do and when we base an argument on data the other person doesn't know they look at you funny.

Books like Vikings or Age of Treason are written with the expectation you don't know much about whats going on and they don't seem to fumble the ball as often.
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Re: Why 21?

Postby PhilHibbs » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:29 pm

mwsasser wrote:I don't mind that at all but I think that book authors need to let us know why some things are they way they are on occasion. Just remember that we don't have the database of knowledge you might have.
The "book authors" don't work for Mongoose any more, although Loz does occasionally post here still - but that means that there are three distinct sources of information - 1) Loz and Pete who can give confident answers but not offical Legend answers, 2) the Mongoose staff who can provide official Legend answers, and 3) fans like myself and most of the other posters on this thread who chip in with house rules and personal interpretations.

So far we have a category 1 answer of "max + dice" answer from Loz, which puts a human's max INT and SIZ as 20 but which he arbitrarily overrides to 21, and a category 3 answer of "max + dice + 1/6 adds" from Alex and Jonah which gives 21 for all human stats.
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Re: Why 21?

Postby alex_greene » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:44 pm

The only reason why they needed maximum stats in the first place was to create game balance. Theoretically every human could reach 21 STR and 21 INT - you're pretty much fixed in terms of SIZ unless you get some sorcerer and trade points of SIZ for XP to "buy the stats" - but no further.

I think they did that for the purpose of game balance, pure and simple, so minmaxers can't come in and say something like "My last three incarnations all had maximum STR, and the Legendary Spell of Bulimia allows me to transfer some of their STR between incarnations, so I start play with this incarnation having inherited 50 STR before I roll 3d6, thank you very much."

Or some such.
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jwpacker
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Re: Why 21?

Postby jwpacker » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:36 am

Also, straight out of the old tome in my possession, not only is there no way back then to raise either INT or SIZ at all "through normal means", but you can only raise your STR and CON to the highest of your starting SIZ, STR or CON. If all three of them are 13 when you roll up, that's the highest they'll ever be.

That said, it is really just historical data at this point.
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Re: Why 21?

Postby RangerDan » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:00 pm

Somewhat off-topic, but what exactly is gaining SIZ in game terms?
Bulking up like a body builder? Getting fat?

Also, in Ye Olden Days there were some disadvantages to being large (ie having a high SIZ score).
Iirc your Stealth skill was penalised, and maybe some other things I can't remember.
In Legend a high SIZ is generally an advantage.
Are any of you using some kind of penalties for high SIZ (in Stealth for example)?
Or are you using SIZ only as a disadvantage in in-game things (Ie. "Sorry Rolf, the gap in the wall is too small for you to fit through").
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Re: Why 21?

Postby Deleriad » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:19 pm

RangerDan wrote:Somewhat off-topic, but what exactly is gaining SIZ in game terms?
Bulking up like a body builder? Getting fat?

Also, in Ye Olden Days there were some disadvantages to being large (ie having a high SIZ score).
Iirc your Stealth skill was penalised, and maybe some other things I can't remember.
In Legend a high SIZ is generally an advantage.
Are any of you using some kind of penalties for high SIZ (in Stealth for example)?
Or are you using SIZ only as a disadvantage in in-game things (Ie. "Sorry Rolf, the gap in the wall is too small for you to fit through").
I don't think in Legend that it's possible to change SIZ though I could be wrong about it.

Personally I'm glad that SIZ isn't hard-coded as a disadvantage. I normally handle it as an ad-hoc factor. After all, if you're SIZ 30 and your hiding behind a 10 foot tall wall then it will hide you every bit as effectively as it will hide someone who's SIZ 5. And someone who is 6 foot tall is every bit as easy to see on the open plain as someone who is 4 foot tall.
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Re: Why 21?

Postby jwpacker » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:55 pm

RangerDan wrote:Somewhat off-topic, but what exactly is gaining SIZ in game terms?
Bulking up like a body builder? Getting fat?
Do the current rules allow you to improve your SIZ? I'll admit, I've not gone and looked through them yet for that particular ruling...
Also, in Ye Olden Days there were some disadvantages to being large (ie having a high SIZ score).
Iirc your Stealth skill was penalised, and maybe some other things I can't remember.
In Legend a high SIZ is generally an advantage.
Are any of you using some kind of penalties for high SIZ (in Stealth for example)?
Or are you using SIZ only as a disadvantage in in-game things (Ie. "Sorry Rolf, the gap in the wall is too small for you to fit through").
A high SIZ, back in the oldest days, cost you Defense, Parry and Stealth. And something I totally forgot, a high POW also cost you Stealth - you were just so darned potent, people would notice you!
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Re: Why 21?

Postby RangerDan » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:39 pm

jwpacker wrote:Do the current rules allow you to improve your SIZ? I'll admit, I've not gone and looked through them yet for that particular ruling...
I feel a little stupid for asking this, because in Ye Olden Days SIZ (and INT) was fixed.
But I believe that in the current incarnation any attribute can be increased at the cost of one 1 IR per current point?
Don't have the book on hand to check.
jwpacker wrote:And something I totally forgot, a high POW also cost you Stealth - you were just so darned potent, people would notice you!
"I sense a disturbance in the Force..."
Would be very suitable for some settings actually.
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Re: Why 21?

Postby jwpacker » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:36 pm

RangerDan wrote:
jwpacker wrote:Do the current rules allow you to improve your SIZ? I'll admit, I've not gone and looked through them yet for that particular ruling...
I feel a little stupid for asking this, because in Ye Olden Days SIZ (and INT) was fixed.
But I believe that in the current incarnation any attribute can be increased at the cost of one 1 IR per current point?
Don't have the book on hand to check.
In fact that's correct, per the copy of Legend I have open here. I guess that's bulking up rather than some Tibetan Bone Stretching exercises.
jwpacker wrote:And something I totally forgot, a high POW also cost you Stealth - you were just so darned potent, people would notice you!
"I sense a disturbance in the Force..."
Would be very suitable for some settings actually.
And the time's just about right for that sort of thing being "in the air" - first released in 1977, I think. I totally buy it for most settings, to be honest. One of those "conversations fall silent as he walks into the room" sort of effects.
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Re: Why 21?

Postby Mugen » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:20 pm

RangerDan wrote:Or are you using SIZ only as a disadvantage in in-game things (Ie. "Sorry Rolf, the gap in the wall is too small for you to fit through").
This :)

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