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[Parpuzio] Alternate name for Traits


RosenMcStern

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(*Don't like that name though, because they're not like Pendragon (Personality) Traits. More like HW/HQ 'Keywords'? At least it's a better name than that!)

Frogspawner is right, as the word Trait is historically related to personality in BRP-derived games. Any suggestion for an alternate name? "Aspects" is not a solution, as it is used in Fate with a slightly different meaning.

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The only thing that comes to my mind is the Ringworld RPG that used "Root Skills"

and "Branch Skills", although with a different mechanism than the one you use

for your system. If it were Traveller, the Traits would be called "Specializations",

although it is also not exactly the same mechanism.

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Uhm, it is not exactly the concept I am looking for. Look at the definition: a Skill is what you can do, a Trait is what you are. You may have Close Combat 50%, but it is the fact that you are a Hoplite that gives you a bonus when using a spear and a shield. The key notion is that Traits can be applied to several skills: some Traits are explicitly labeled as multi-use, while others are supposed to apply to one skill only. But yesterday, during the first playtest, the players suggested "creative usage" of some traits, for instance applying their Weapon traits to Craft rolls to repair them.

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I am afraid my English is not really up to the task. A thesaurus offers these as synonyms for approximately that kind of ability:

aptitude

art

bent

capability

capacity

competence

expertise

facility

finesse

gift

knack

mastery

proficiency

prowess

qualification

savvy

talent

technique

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I suggest:

  • character ability
  • character speciality
  • character talent
  • character specialisation
  • professional ability
  • professional speciality
  • professional talent
  • professional specialisation

Unless I'm mistaken, this will function in a similar way to MRQII's heroic abilities, so character/professional ability is probably my preferred choice.

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Unless I'm mistaken, this will function in a similar way to MRQII's heroic abilities, so character/professional ability is probably my preferred choice.

Erm, in fact you are mistaken. Traits make up approximately two thirds of a character's initial experience - maybe more. They are what makes a character basically competent, not what makes him excel.

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But it hints at a special ability or an innate predisposition, which Traits are not - or not exclusively.

Let us go for a concrete example: the Traits for Robin Hood would be:

English, Noble, Horse, Sword, Bow, Forest, Hide, Sneak ... and some others, like Jump or so. They would probably also include Crusader and/or Bandit.

Would you call English or Crusader a Gift?

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Uhm, it is not exactly the concept I am looking for. Look at the definition: a Skill is what you can do, a Trait is what you are.

Let us go for a concrete example: the Traits for Robin Hood would be:

English, Noble, Horse, Sword, Bow, Forest, Hide, Sneak ... and some others, like Jump or so. They would probably also include Crusader and/or Bandit.

Would you call English or Crusader a Gift?

I'm confused. If traits are what you are, then why is Robin Hood a horse, a sword, a bow, a hide, a sneak, or a jump. Surely, these are skills - what someone does - not what someone is.

As far as naming goes, I would suggest 'Talents' for abilties that are innate, and 'Skills' for abilities that are trained.

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It appears the traits must be named differently in order for the difference to be clear. Swordsman, bowman, forester, horseman, etc.

The only appropriate alternatives I see now are: Traits, Keywords, Features.

I like Aptitude

Definition of APTITUDE

1: inclination, tendency <an aptitude for hard work> b : a natural ability : talent

2: capacity for learning <an aptitude for languages>

3: general suitability : aptness

It sounds like it covers a broader spectrum than "skill" and would be more descriptive of the character in general.

Rod

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How about:

motif

Definition: central theme

Synonyms: concept, design, idea, logo, notion, pattern, structure, subject

element

Definition: essential feature

Synonyms: aspect, basic, basis, bit, component, constituent, detail, drop, facet, factor, fundamental, hint, ingredient, item, material, matter, member, part, particle, particular, piece, portion, principle, root, section, stem, subdivision, trace, unit, view

quality

Definition: characteristic, feature

Synonyms: affection, affirmation, aspect, attribute, character, condition, constitution, description, element, endowment, essence, factor, genius, individuality, kind, make, mark, name of tune, nature, nature of beast, parameter, peculiarity, predication, property, savor, sort, trait, virtue, way of it

Or from the world of Object Oriented programming: property (and skills are methods ;D).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like Aptitude

Definition of APTITUDE

1: inclination, tendency <an aptitude for hard work> b : a natural ability : talent

2: capacity for learning <an aptitude for languages>

3: general suitability : aptness

It sounds like it covers a broader spectrum than "skill" and would be more descriptive of the character in general.

Rod

Im with Rod on this, Ability or Abilities may work as well.

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