ACE · Writing Series

Writing ACE – Attributes

Last time I talked about the equipment list. It was where I started with ACE and so it seemed like the best place to start talking about ACE. The next thing I had done with the game was decide how the characters would work. What attributes would best govern the actions that ACE spies were likely to take. It was actually a little easier to think of this after having a gear list so I could just scroll through the list and see what item might require what type of attribute to use it.

Naturally ACE spies would need to be fast and have quick reflexes, giving way to Agility. They would have to be strong, probably ending up in melee fights or having to resist torture, all of which could be pulled under the Conditioning stat. Some gear is quite advanced, and some of the vehicles they’re expected to use will be as well so the Intelligence attribute is a must. Naturally firefights will come up, it’s basically not a full day unless an ACE spy shoots at someone. On top of that they’d need to spot traps and ambushes which can all be wrapped up in Perception. All of this made sense to me, and it was easy to decide to put them in the game. There were two attributes I did get caught up on. Rank and Charisma.

Charisma was eventually excluded from the game. It was a tough decision to pull it, and one of my players first questions before the game even started was something along the lines of “Is charisma included as a part of intelligence?” My logic though was that I wanted players to feel like they were the spies. They were the fast talking, problem solving, masters of the situation. I wanted every tense conversation to FEEL tense and not give them an easy out just because they had a high stat.

Rank was a different monster entirely. I wanted the better quality equipment to feel like you earned it. Like it was something you’ve achieved and like it’s a worthwhile reward. Having a Rank attribute that does little else than give you a better quality gear sort of accomplished that. It also makes for a kind of fun interaction with other ACE agents where you can pull rank over them in a sort of game-rule official manner.

If you like this look at the RPG a Month creative process, or you just like RPG a Month, consider giving to the Patreon and helping me keep this up. I’d appreciate it, and you’ll become aware of next months games and updates before anyone else!

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One thought on “Writing ACE – Attributes

  1. This is the hardest bit in creating a rules light system in my opinion.
    You need attributes with a broad range of applications to keep it simple. But that means that the Players can not develope their characters in a specific way.
    I think it works well with ACE, under the assumption that the PCs wouldn’t be ACE agents if they weren’t trained expertly in every field they may need.

    Liked by 1 person

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