Building stats upon stats - too much?

I’m asking for opinion on using existing stats (in combination with player choices) to determine other stats, and those latter stats (in combination with personal skill stats) will affect results in a pass/fail/draw. Would it be too complex, and should all stats be discrete and not interlinked this much?

Sorry if this is a very long. My writing tends to get very ramble-y when I’m thinking.

So, you’re a legionnaire at the turn of the 20th century. You start out as a lowly, common cannon fodder. During your stay, you’ll make choices that affect your reputation and personality stats (and these stats will continue to change later on depending on the decisions you make when they’re not being tested) even though they won’t be tested/stat-checked yet. Not until you get further in the story.

Then a year later you get promoted to Caporal, and help your Lieutenant (a rare nice officer, but also an upper class twit who’s only there thanks to nepotism, and would rather get drunk than do any actual work - so the job basically falls on you) with training the other legionnaires.

When you get promoted to Caporal, you’ll have to make sure the company’s discipline and morale stay high. The choices you make combined with your reputation stats (are you very strict or are you cool with knowing when to bend rules every now and then, do you prefer to earn people’s trust or keep them on their toes with manipulation) will affect discipline, and personality stats (boldness, compassion, extraversion) will affect morale.

The men will trust you more if the way you lead them aligns with what they know you for, so that raises discipline and morale. Whether it be a high stat in one direction (opposed stats used for personality and discipline) or a more wishy-washy type of person.
If you’re suddenly doing a total 180 when placed in a position of authority, the men will be suspicious of you (they’ll be wondering who you’re toadying for with the promotion), so discipline and morale will suffer.

Discipline and morale of your company, combined with your personal stats (combat, shooting, intelligence, stamina), will decide whether you pass or fail in certain parts of the story. These pass/fails will influence rapport with your Lieutenant (still undecided what this rapport is for).

So, to summarise:
Personal skills (4 percent bars) → used in solo and company pass/fails
Personality (3 opposed pairs) → along with your choices, affects morale
Reputation (2 opposed pairs) → along with your choices, affects discipline
Discipline and morale (2 percent bars) → along with personal stats, affects company pass/fails

Is basing stats on other stats like this too complex? Would a player be motivated to keep track of multiple stats (even though only one, or two at the same time at most) that will be tested at certain points in the story?

I’m too close to this to see it objectively, so please let me know of your opinions. Thanks in advance for reading this text wall. :sweat_smile:


I think this sounds great! Not too much, not too little. Very interesting story too!


It’s all very well thought and pretty, and this is just my opinion, but if after a day of work + all things in life + etc, I go to read some IF and I’m presented with 11 stats that interfere with each other depending on some factor and probably another thing I’m not aware of, I think I won’t return to the stats screen again.

I’m not trying to diminish your work, but maybe if you still do all that and hide all stats it will probably make no difference to me. Though that doesn’t mean it doesn’t add to the story because it surely does. You can make it as complex as you want, and if with that complexity you can achieve different branches, achievements, plot depth and variation, it is a win to me, even if I don’t think I’ll pay attention to it (I can be totally wrong about myself too so…).

So yeah, I’m sorry if it sounded bad but it isn’t the intention. Maybe what I’m trying to say is that you use as complex system as you want to but make it work for the plot, story, characters…
Or maybe I’m just too beaten down at this time of the night.


I agree with @Loudbeat. I think that if you’re planning on including pass/fail checks, then players might get frustrated if they don’t have a lot of control and/or can’t properly predict how current choices will influence future outcomes. The more coupled you make your stats, the harder it is to predict the “butterfly effect”.


Hey, don’t worry if it sounds critical. I’m looking for opinions, feedback, and criticism, which is why I’ve put this idea out here.

It will be explained how the morale and discipline stats work in-game – they depend on you making the right choices based on your personality and reputation. That in turn is established by choices you make (previously and ongoing) on how you react to situations. So if you have a good memory and/or you’re consistent, you might not need to refer back to the stats screen.

If you want, you can change your personality over the course of the story by changing how you react to situations. For example, you can start out compassionate but become ruthless, or ambivalent between the two. But the way you lead the men has to change too.

I totally get this. Personally, I don’t like games that rely on randomness to determine successes or fails - there’s enough of that in other games I play (gacha). I won’t be using *rand for anything storyline or results-significant (only cosmetic things, and even then I might give the player an opt out). Results will always be determined by choices and stats.

I’m thinking that you should still be able to pass/draw on scenarios even if discipline and morale is low, if you choose the option where your personal skill is high.
And vice versa, if discipline and morale is high, you can choose an option where your personal skill is low and get away with it (and maybe earn a small personal skill stat boost in the process as a reward for keeping discipline and morale high?).

Does this still sound like the player has too little control or is too difficult to predict results?


From what I read, your statsception seems make sense. I think that’s what important: does your stat system make any sense in practice.

You might want to consider too on how gamey this can be and whether that gameyness gets in the way of the story you tell or not. You might be surprised that, later in the story, your system holds you back from writing story you might want to tell.


I haven’t thought of that, thanks for bringing it up. So far I haven’t really had an idea of how much of the world I’m going to explore, because I still don’t know what kind of story to set here. Tested “missions” though are easier to think up of… so that’s what I was thinking of when I created these stats.

What are you asking here? Do you mean something like some choices will check against 2 stats combined together?

like this…

*if ((charm + reputation) > 50)
    The bandits lay down their arms and join your cause.
    *goto next_scene_ally
    The bandits laugh in your face and draw their swords.
    *goto next_scene_enemy

The stat checks would be more or less like that, but using morale/discipline stats and your personal skill stat.

Note that I intentionally have the morale/discipline stat to start out high (at the moment it’s set to 80%), so you’d have to screw up to fail scenarios. 20% is your initial stats when you start the game, but you can pick what to increase during training.
So keep morale high, and you’ll be rewarded with bonus stats (these thresholds will be increased in later scenarios, so even if your stat is now higher you will still receive the reward).

You order the men to meet them in battle.

*if ((morale + combat) <= 80)
	You win!
	*if (combat <= 20)
		Your learn some things about combat from your men along the way.
		*set combat %+ 10
	*goto win

*if ((morale + combat) > 50) and ((morale + combat) < 80)
	*if (combat <= 20)
		Your learn some things about combat from your men along the way.
		*set combat %+ 10
	*goto draw

*if ((morale + combat) < 50)
	*goto lose

*label win
Your lieutenant approves.
*set rep %+ 15

*label draw
Your lieutenant finds your work satisfactory.
*set rep %+ 5

*label lose
Your lieutenant understands that losses happen, but that doesn't win you any points with him.

I’m still undecided on how morale and discipline would be directly implemented, but one would be how well they listen to commands, and the other would be how hard they’re willing to fight.