Terminology Change: "Stat" to "Quality"

Posted in News, and Process
Tagged: terms, stat, quality, name, rules

Thursday, November 1, 2018

I’m working on adding a new feature to the game, and I got hung up on the name, which led me to re-think some other elements of the GUTS+ System’s naming convention. From the get-go, the GUTS+ System has aimed to have a somewhat unique naming scheme, from using “Gumption” as the main stat to using “Injuries” instead of “Health”. While reading through the rules again, using the term “stat” for what your character is able to do kept grating against me, so I decided to think about what I could change it to that would make sense.

First, my mind went to “feature”, but as I thought more about it, it didn’t feel right—features are things that come in word processors and cars. Even when it comes to humans, “features” are typically associated with “physical features”, which is patently not what I was looking for. After a bit more thinking, I landed on “quality” because that’s what those stats represent—your character’s qualities. Their gumption quality, their weight lifting quality—the things that make your characters who they are beyond their biographies.

When running the idea past some friends, I got some pushback on the term “quality” because they like to play characters who have flaws, but I still think quality makes the most sense because your character’s qualities in this case determine what they are able to do and how successfully they are able to do it. Flaws, quirks, problems or other things like that should go into your character’s Biography section and instead influence how you play that character.

So in the interest of theming, I’ve gone through and updated every instance of “stat” to “quality,” and I’ve also gone through and updated each instance of “stat point” to “quality level”. It’s not a super important change, but it makes a bit more sense thematically and will help keep things clear in the future.

As usual, if you have any thoughts on this, let me know. I’d love to hear your feedback!


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