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I'm likely to put down a disparate plethora of thoughts on this board as I take a fresh look at the AEONS™ project and determine what will bits will survive the transition to AEON:engine™. Discussion is more fun than bouncing ideas off the inside of my own skull. As you are all no doubt aware characteristic modifiers have been with us from day one, with the very minimal modifiers of Original D&D and Classic Traveller through the more fine-grained systems like RuneQuest 3 to what seems to be a general tendency towards quantitatively increased bonuses today. At the same time there has been a move towards more coarse-grained situational modifiers in an attempt to limit the amount of book keeping at the table, like the advantage / disadvantage rule of D&D 5E or even the chunky modifiers suggested in OpenQuest. Now, personally I have never been a fan of big skill modifiers based on characteristics, especially in a skill-based game like Basic Roleplaying. Remember that many iterations of BRP don't have characteristic modifiers for skills. I don't believe there is enough variation in human potential to make a great difference, certainly not as much as training / research / experience. Coupled with the move away from relatively insignificant modifiers in games, I'm seriously considering to completely remove characteristic modifiers for skills in AEON:engine™. This has led me to look back at the point of characteristics in the first place. If they no longer determine whether you are better or worse in game terms, what do they do? Quite a lot, it turns out: Hit points, power points, and damage are still determined by characteristics. There are always characteristic rolls for situations where skills are not appropriate. Characteristics are the foundation of the player's image of a character.