Personality Variables vs Personality Variable (in the singular) [Poll]

I like the opposed pair system, but like @AChubbyBlackCat said, it varies. Like for me I try to give the player the choice and make sure that there is a sarcastic choice in in there. That way the player can decide how to respond and continue to build their stats. I just use string variable and have an NPC say, hey MC is so sarcastic or sincere, depending on if sarcastic stat is higher or lower. if that make sense.

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The way I’m envisioning it atm looks kind of like this:

"How're you holding up?"
	#"I literally want to die," I say in as deadpan a voice as possible. (Set personality as sarcastic, which can be changed in the stats screen.)
		*set (personality "sarcastic")
		*goto after_personality_set
	#"I could really go for a break right now. How about coffee?" I ask honestly. (Set personality as sincere, which can be changed in the stats screen.)
		*set (personality "sincere")
		*goto after_personality_set
	#"I've never been more annoyed at anything in my life," I say angrily. (Set personality as angry, which can be changed in the stats screen.)
		*set (personality "angry")
		*goto after_personality_set
	#"Better now that you're here," I say, a lilt to my voice. (Set personality as flirtatious, which can be changed in the stats screen.)
		*set (personality "flirtatious")
		*goto after_personality_set

Then, within the stats screen, where you’d have choices to go to various pages, add a choice along the lines of

*label main_menu
  *goto People
  *goto Places
#Change my personality type
  *goto Personality

*label Personality
Your current personality archetype is ${personality}. What would you like it to be?
   *set (personality "sarcastic")
   *goto main_menu
  *set (personality "sincere")
  *goto main_menu

or something similar. I kinda just whipped that up, so forgive any mistakes lol

Yeah, I wouldn’t want to do that. I’d like to allow for as much immersion as possible, without requiring every series of player-based interaction to either have the player be silent or have a tree of 10,000 choices/fake_choices

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I think I get it now. That’s interesting :hushed: I feel like I’m starting to prefer this over the others lol. I’d only advise it if you only have one book planned, though. There are more factors that might get complicated if combined with this in case you implement it on a series.

Yep. And it allows for more character depth. While fake choices aren’t totally bad to have a lot of, it’s still better if most of them have more significance on the flow of the plot rather than simple dialogue changes. More interesting that way.


Said “other”. I like when at the start of the game the personality of the MC is set and this is how they interract with the world, but I don’t think it should be set in a single choice.
Samurai of Hyuga does it - the first part of the first game functions as most IF games, with a bunch of opposed stats and each choice affects one of these, and then you reach a point where stats don’t move anymore, and instead you get an attunement stat that goes up or down depending on how much the MC act as they “should” based on that personality (and the main stat the player selected).
But even without the attunement factor, I think that would be my favorite - having choices affect stats for one or two chapters or something, and then not anymore.
A single choice would not be enough, since sometimes one is tempted to undertake a specific action that would otherwise be out of character for them, and if it happens to be that determinant choice, well, that would be bad.


That’s totally fair! There are definitely cons to having any major plot decisions come down to one singular choice.

I think the attunement stat from that game was very similar to the Legend stat from the Heroes Rise series, where the game really rewards you for sticking to the status quo, which I think is definitely a cool way to do things.

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Hmm I see the similarities between Attunement and Legend, but it’s not exactly the same, as Legend mostly rewards you for “doing well” generally, with sometimes additional rewards for staying true to MCs whole deal (mostly for the second game, with the show), while the Attunement truly “rewards” behavioral tendencies, with only sometimes boosts when figuring out things with the input system and/or very good intuition.
I prefer Attunement to Legend because of that.

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I actually don’t mind the third option and would actually like to see it done more often–and that change of heart comes almost entirely from how @Snoe does it in Freak: Amidst the Neon Lights WIP and playtest.... last update July 4th 2019

I can understand the preference for opposing stats in determining personality, but I tend to get frustrated when a game lets those stats be malleable for too long or for the entirety of a game. Like, at a certain point I want to be done customizing my MC, personality included, and just read the story instead of worrying that reacting a certain way in Chapter 17 is going to suddenly turn what was supposed a sweet character into a sarcastic grump. I also find that opposing stats, when underwhelming, tend to reveal what a writer perceives certain traits and actions to be more than they actually enhance the reading experience or MC’s individuality.

And especially if you’re more of a plot or mechanic-based game, I think a choice of different, set personalities would work better than including a personality stat that has to constantly be considered and catered to. There’s also the (reasonable) reader expectation of their personality stats actually being reflected in the narrative and dialogue itself but that isn’t always the writer’s strong suit or what they were trying to focus on. Again, Freak: Amidst the Neon Lights does it so well ^ ^ I’ll almost definitely be providing a list of three or four set personalities for my next big WIP (a farcry from what i’m doing with opposing persona, personality, and demeanor stats with the current WIP lmao)


Largely the same here. I’m not keen on anything that tries to assume actions or behaviours for me. I’d go as far to say as I wouldn’t recommend tracking personality as stats at all. Instead always give the player agency to act, or respond. It’s a lot more work, but there is nothing more jarring than picking an option and getting an unexpected expansion thanks to earlier stat locking.


Yeah, that would be the ideal option, but a lot of hard work.

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This! Especially since people can behave differently in different situations (being sarcastic with your friends and being sarcastic with your boss… are two very different things, and I’d hate the game to force the other on me, because I did the one).

I mean, unless it’s a set protagonist. Then it’d be more fine (depending on how well written they are).


How do you feel about having to choose every single response for every conversation, a la an early, pre-mass effect, Bioware game? Full disclosure, I will not do this, until and unless I rework the game in Ren’py, which is the plan, anyway.

I feel like, in a text-based game, this actually breaks immersion for me. I like my character to have their own voice. I’m not playing D&D. I’m controlling a character with their own background, whom an author created.


i’m of the same mind here and yet I really like that there were individual dialogue responses for Red Embrace: Hollywood (a vampire visual novel). It never felt tedious in that game… then again, that game is a lot about social machinations and consequence (and isn’t just text-based), so it may have just been uniquely suited to working that type of conversation in. I think the reason that works for me with this one game is probably that the narrative felt quite personal to the MC. I don’t think that game tracks personality much, though…

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I loved Knights of the Old Republic, if that’s the kind of games you’re referring to :slight_smile:

I think the character background varies per game/author preferences. Some go very blank slate, and others predefine – some strike a balance. For what it’s worth, I have no issue with predefined characters. If I’m playing a grump, I’ll happily play a grump (if the story is good). My issue is as above, when the text defines my character based on a handful of previous interactions: I’ll always be sarcastic because I was sarcastic a couple of times before. The same would apply if the game just assumed I was well-built/muscular because I chose to bully my way through a crowd, for example. I might want to play a scrawny character, but just happened to feel that was the best option at the time.

On the other hand, if I select “I lift weights five times a week”, then I would be happy for the game to assume that means my strength stat should be quite high!

Also, at any point where the text can vary, you must already have an if statement checking personalities, so why not just replace it with a choice? When you put it like that, it doesn’t seem like all that much extra effort (to me).

But, anyway! This is just my preference, here for discussion. Personality stats seem very popular in ChoiceScript titles, so I’d imagine I’m in the minority.


Personality variables usually work well as opposed stats.

Now, if you’re doing something like Torment: Tides of Numenera where you have five stats pushing against each other, I suggest doing them all as single stats.


This is conflicting me, personally.
I never put a choice at what type I prefer the most, because based on my experience playing tons of Dashingdon WIPs, HG or COG—I’ve seen variety of it, the one that already done shit, the one that has done right—each of it with their own type.

So, I conclude the good or bad of personality system in the game depends on the author.

For example of numerical value done right, like in
Smoke and Velvet
(Dashingdon WIP)

Sincerely, I never seen “set personality with a single choice” type, I’m curious what that would be. But it sounds less of freedom and putting the player in a box.

As I choose the poll with “other” option, I kinda prefer what
Samurai of Hyuga did.
You gave an interlude/prologue to collect point for opposite stat of your personality, then *it locked
for the rest of the game.

And narrative text and even the MC’s response change based on that personality, but you still got a chance to choose your own option—but it will decrease your “Attunement” stat—its ok anyways.

So, I love any type of personality system especially opposing stat only if— it didn’t change and locked to stay on my preferable side of pairs.
Maybe some people could relate with me, I’m worried at personality stat when playing a wip/HG/COG games and always anxious if it’s changes. Every choice made, I will check the stat to keep it stay on side of pairs I like.

Because just in case maybe in that game has “stat check” when I was playing my first HG game, I didn’t knew if there would be stat check based on personality … so what happened next is out of my liking.

So since that, I learn from mistake and got this weird anxious toward personality stat LOL

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I do too – but I rarely like the way that fixed personality is implemented. Like others have said, even a generally angry person shouldn’t have to always be angry, even when the situation is obviously inappropriate.

My preferred approach would be to get the choice of tone in each response I make, so I’m the one choosing my “voice,” and let my consistency or inconsistency in those choices affect how others perceive me while not locking me into always using any one tone. So the more consistently I’m sarcastic, the more people will react to me that way, but I’m not turned into an idiot who can’t stop being sarcastic in front of, say, an Elder God.


I mean, that would be on brand for an old roommate of mine, so I can see it happening with a pc :joy::joy:

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Somebody please write that scene (I mean, somebody whose Elder Gods aren’t sarcastic themselves).

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I voted for opposed pairs. The way I do personality stats in my story, I let the reader choose the actions, but let the reactions after the choice be based on the personality stats.

I don’t exactly have a “set personality” at the start, but I have variables called “traits” that boosts a certain personality stat. So you can choose to be extroverted for example, which makes choosing introverted choices have less of an effect to the stat overall.

I’m disappointed my What if opposing stats actually used two variables? thread didn’t gather much interest. Using two variables for opposed stats basically functions like fairmath, so your earlier choices have a greater effect on your personality, while later choices will have a diminishing effect as time goes on.

I haven’t really tested how well it holds up since I’m still fairly early in my story, but I figured I’d bring it up. :slightly_smiling_face:


Don’t mind me, I’m just using this thread to put down some notes for personal use.

Personality Implementations I enjoyed;

Occasionally uses a Hybrid personality system (Humor+Morbidity: Dark humor, Confidence + Morbidity: Direct creepiness etc), something that’d be interesting if expanded on.

Three unopposed variables: Confidece, Humor, Morbidity
Two opposed variables: Resentful/Accepting, Ethical/Expedient
One hidden variable: Depressed

Uses flat numbers to increase stats throughout via reaction choices, stat checks to flavour text (not much, just sentences and quips)/ determine other people’s perception of MC. Stat check flavour text isn’t heavy, but coupled with flavour choices, it still feels like it shows MC personality. I think this is the most common type of personality implement on this site.

This is the first game I played that had text so heavily flavoured by customisable MC personality. I was awed.

Five sets of opposed variables: Impulsive/Calculated, Perverted/Chivalrous, Charming/Stoic, Drifter/Protective, Brutal/Finesse

Personality locks after the first few chapters, and after that going along with that rewards you with attunement. Whole paragraphs differ with personality stat checks, which I found immensly enjoyable. Personality implementation wise, I’ll pick this series as my favourite.

Another similar implementation is Freak Against the Neon Lights.

FH doesn’t have personality variables. MC personality is largely predetermined, but considering the trauma and predetermined course of action (and utility for the MC Puppet), this makes sense. Due to the premise of the plot being less open and more set/limited, the predetermined personality feels natural and neutral. Additional flavouring can be done through the few flavoured choices.


Limited Premise allows for limited personality without making it feel too limiting.

Personally, I prefer whole paragraphs of personality trait tailored flavour text, more than a single sentence.

The whole game shouldn’t be flavoured with a single type of personality; If there are multiple personality variables, use all of them. Which is why I prefer opposed stats than separate stats. Stat checks for separate stats tend to go for the single highest stat. It makes the character flat.

Generally, people should be able to choose whatever choice without feeling like they’re breaking character. You can accomplish this by putting stat checks after the choice to give different flavour text when appropriate ( Ex: A usually stoic and reserved MC may act slightly awkward or aloof when choosing a geniune choice, but not as a stat fail. Other characters may also act appropriately surprised when you “show another side of yourself” that way). Situations should also be taken into consideration.