Poll: What Type of Choices Do You Prefer?

I’d like to know the general consensus of the forum users in regards to certain COG types.
I’ve categorized most games into three main categories. I’d like to know of these three, which do you prefer and why.

  1. A stats based game that where the core gameplay revolves around maintaining the desired skills, resources etc. There is a fail state in which you do not meet the required skill check, and most choices lack the “character” or include them but are rudimentary/not the focus I.e You choose to prioritize working hours available over worker satisfaction.

  2. A character based game where your choices are more about your characters emotions, personality, and desired relationships. There may not be a fail state in some cases but players may not recieve the desired outcome exactly. i.e you brush away his hand angrily as he casts you a hurt look and shrinks back Vs you softly apologize as you place your hand on his.

  3. Both. Self explanatory really. May be equal in choice type distribution or not.

  • Stats Maintenance Based
  • Character Based
  • Both

0 voters


To better understand your question: could you tell us which games you’ve looked at and what category you sorted them in?

I suppose if I must I’d say:

  1. The Great Tournament
  2. Wayhaven Chronicles
  3. Fallen Hero
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Which category would you put Zombie Exodus SH into? It’s very stat heavy. And yet.

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I think you need a good mix of both. For me, the character part is more fun, but you need some stat based stuff in there to make things a bit more difficult. :blush:


I would place it in 3. Although, a majority of choices are stats based, there are enough choices for players to mold their characters deeply and reflects that in a meaningful way in-game. With both internal character behaviour and external.

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I would think the most successful Hybrid game of Stat + Character thus far is “Tin Star”, in addition of variety of stat based skills, it was based on our choices that influence the personality of our character … It is a good combination of gaming element plus character development :slight_smile:


I think one other thing about Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven is that its stat choices are more about using stats than setting them. Your skills are set in character creation, with opportunities to raise them later on, so when you’re making choices throughout the game, you don’t have to worry about the effect those choices will have on your stat balance. Plus a lot of personality and relationship choices, yeah. But I’d say it’s a bit more like a roleplaying game in this regard :thinking:
(And, well, you can minmax, but you don’t have to minmax to be successful at stuff :thinking:)


I agree with this. I think it also depends on the type of game you’re making. If it’s an action-focused game, it would be wiser to focus on stats more, even if you incorporate part of the character based style. On the other hand, if it’s something like a dating simulator or a slice-of-life type game, it might work better with a character based system, although putting stats in for balance wouldn’t be a bad idea. Something in the middle would be best with a system of something in the middle.

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I am aware, I was trying to get a feel for the poll’s category definitions. Because pure stats or pure characterization games don’t really exist here. The great tournament does have a plot; and wayhaven does have skill stats.

I think, personally, the best mix of Stat based choices and Personality based choices and interactions is Samurai of Hygua (I know I probably spelt that wrong, be gentle with me.)


I didn’t mean to suggest you didn’t understand it :sweat_smile: I just wanted to note how ZE:SH manages to use stats in a way where the players’ experience doesn’t end up being about trying to hone them. I find it a really effective balance.


A healthy mix of both, with a inclination towards character for me, please. :blush:

Nothing makes me regret buying a game more than a too stat-focused game. I rarely replay those, while the more character orientated games I might wear down. I want to have fun, not be a munchkin (RPG term for those who create characters based on gaming the system) and play the number game when it is not in my MC’s nature. :slightly_frowning_face:

But stats can be nice to have, as long as they won’t ruin the game by punishing you (e.g., killing you off) or messing you up at the end.


I don’t mind some stats in games myself but as long as it’s actually CLEAR what does what.

Personally, I have played a lot of COG’s where I’m like “Well, I already have a good score for X so it should be fine to do this option” only for “But your Y, wasn’t enough and you fail.” But it wasn’t even clear that it was Y in the first place and there was nothing to even hint towards that option was the Y variable.


Or games where you can never know beforehand whether a skill choice will raise the skill, lower it, or make a check against it.

it’s also hard to know when your skill is high or low, as different authors use different valuess, and it’s almost never stated how much you’ll need. And so the players end up minmaxing, instead of roleplaying.


This is a tough one. I don’t like games where a stat means a hard success or failure, yet without stats there’s no way to check that the character is capable of doing what’s needed. I’m writing (slowly!) a game in which a professional thief has been hired to steal an artifact from a museum. He (or she) can choose to raise lockpicking or sneaking skills, or both to a lesser extent, but I don’t want the reader to end up having to get onto the grind wheel to make progress. That obviously means there have to be other ways to get around some of the obstacles and that means extra writing and more time needed…

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I’m sure there are ways around it!

I often run dungeons and dragons sessions and I rarely do skill checks that result in just a binary “you succeed” or “you fail”. I like the Dungeon World method of partial successes or partial failures that lead to complications or consequences.

I’m actually really unfamiliar with the choicescript language. I’m just setting out. Do you mind if I use this scenario to practice? Let me know if I get something obviously wrong.

# Use your lockpicks to open the door.
__*if lockpicking > 80
____Your ear picks up an effortless click of the latch, and you’re through.
____*goto next_room
__*elseif lockpicking > 40
____You fiddle with the latch, but there’s something unfamiliar about this particular make. You slip through, but you hear a shout from down the hall.
____set guard_alert +1
____*goto next_room
__*elseif lockpicking > 20
____You can’t quite a handle on the lock fast enough to avoid notice. The guard sprints down the hall towards you, but you overcome the pressure, smack open the lock, duck into the room, and slam the door in the guard’s face just before he can get to you. You hear him shouting and hollering from out in the hall.
____set guard_alert +5
____*goto next_room
____The lock remains infuriatingly stubborn to your efforts. The guard actually struggles to pull you away, you’re so dead set on figuring the blasted thing out.
____*goto jail

I’ll admit to being biased towards character-based choices. Mostly because I like it when a story not only takes into account what my character does, but also who my character is. Seeing how my main MC Elena played out in Wayhaven Chronicles was a treat. And when the generally throw-away cosmetic options I chose came up as in-story effects in both Seven Heirs of Ophaesia and A Drop of Night, I was honestly a bit thrilled. I do think stat checks have their place (which is why my main WIP has stat checks), but I also think that other things need to compliment these stat checks as a means to get you actually invested in the idea that “hey, my choices matter.” (which is why I added the “missing limb” variables)

You’re pretty much nailed it. However, in pen and paper RPG (or in most cases, DnD campaign), the consequences of the rolls are often “made up in spot.” By that, I mean the DM usually improvises based on the dierolls (which are often awkward and absurd) and the lore-tolerance of the campaign.

Doesn’t mean that a campaign isn’t planned out before, but if the d20 gives you 11 on a final boss fight and ppl start arguing whether it should pass or not, the 0th rule usually takes place.

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I think the dice system is part of the allure for pen-and-paper Dungeons and Dragons, because no matter how high or how bad you chances are ( or how good your skill are), there is still a chance for you to make an impossible hit (or success rate ) in cinematic fashion, of course the roll of 1 is always a fumble no matter how good you are…

The reason ? The God/Goddess of Luck is there watching, I think it was Tymora in Forgotten Realms … so we will contribute these outcomes as our devotion towards the Goddess of Luck , and it is logical too… The DM may sometime play this role on the behalf of the Lady Luck , something like based on our devotion towards the Lady on the course of our character’s life journey , the DM may record down a number of “favours” gain from the Lady, so with a roll of 1…DM can judge the Lady will bestow a favour in order to save a character from a certain “unfortunate” outcome, it can only be used for a roll a 1 since that is the automatic failure… and with a roll of 19 can be elevated to 20 in the “favour” system …

So i would feel that the pen-and-paper D&D is more flexible , and can be more fun depend on the “skill” and innovation of a good (and fair) DM… Problem only arise when there is a “power struggle” between DM and the players…