(Disclaimer up front: if your story has a lot of visible stats, I don’t hate you…in fact I’m jealous of the complexity you have achieved. I just want to discuss pros/cons since this topic hasn’t been
discussed lately that I could see, and with the new batch of hosted games, there may be new opinions out there.)
How do you all feel about the mountain of visible stats, given on most stories? To me, it complicates things to the point that I am too intimidated to even want to start! Maybe I’m naive here, but shouldn’t we be able to tell via narrative how good we are at some things? Doesn’t it sometimes negate the inherent suspense that the impact of a choice will have when we affix a number value to it?
For example: Oh, killing that guy only hurt my reputation by 5 points…whatever those are! I’ll be fine.
When what I SHOULD be considering is, “how will these characters react to my actions, and what will they say/do?"
My upcoming spy game will make liberal use of hidden stats, as the goal is for the player to discover through the narrative who is out to betray them, as opposed to a visible “loyalty” meter or something. Perhaps as the MC level of ‘available intel’ stat increases, more info about each NPC will be revealed. I’m open to ideas about this as well. My main concern is just to keep a clean stat page and not require the player to spam the “check stats” button.
Obviously this does not apply to all traits, skills, events, etc. So, how does everyone fee about invisible stats? Do you use them in your stories? Do you plan to? Why would you pick visible vs invisible? Do you even care?