Microlite74 Plus: Four Attributes or Six Attributes?
Microlite74 3.0 Extended uses the standard three attributes of the Microlite20 system (Strength, Dexterity, Mind) and Charisma. Strength combines two standard OGL20 attributes (Strength and Constitution). Mind combines two standard OGL20 attributes (Intelligence and Wisdom). In a tradition dating back to 0e, standard OGL20 games use six attributes: Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity, and Charisma.
In Microlite74, attributes bonus do not play as large a roll in the games as they do in later TSR and WOTC editions of the game. As attributes are less important, having fewer of them doesn’t seem to hurt anything. However, some Microlite74 players have noted that using only 4 attributes reduces the amount of knowledge they have about their characters by one-third. Some GMs have noted that it is hard to convert some characters and NPCs in published adventures. For example, take a character with a strength of 18 and a Con of 9 — there’s really no good way to assign a M74 Strength attribute that is true to the original’s outstanding strength but average constitution. Looking through early TSR and Judge Guild modules, I see even more of this problem with Intelligence and Wisdom.
Moving back to the six standard attributes for Microlite74 Plus would prevent such issues from arising and give players more info about their character for little extra character creation effort. However, it would mean there are six saving throws, one for each attribute using the current Microlite74 saving throw system. That’s one more than the five standard saving throws from the saving throw tables in 0e and 1e. The saving throw issue also makes it hard to making using six attributes instead of the standard M74 four an optional rule: I need to be able to say “Save vs X” in monster and spell descriptions. “Save vs X if using 4 attributes but save vs Y if using six attributes” would be wordy and confusing to new players and GMs.
So the first Microlite74 Plus question I’m asking on on our new Microlite74 Forum is:
Should Microlite74 Plus use the standard six attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, Charisma) of the “standard fantasy game” or the four attributes currently used by Microlite74 3.0 (the standard Microlite20 attributes of Strength, Dexterity, and Mind plus Charisma)? Why?
You can answer in a comment below, of course, but the best thing to do is join the Microlite74 Forum and answer in the Attributes in Microlite74 Plus? thread — where it is easier to have a running discussion.