The sum of a good leader (attributes)

That is an interesting idea. In that case, influence would be an entire array of stats. Perhaps averaged within itself before being used to average the overall stat.

Either way, thanks for the idea.

I like where this is going.

At what point would the people decide you aren’t fit to be leader?

Certainly possible, maybe even probable, but what if the choices presented are equally good and bad? Meaning, whatever you decide, there will be negative consequences. For example, the compassionate thing may not be the best thing to do. In order to retain your crown, you would have to make positive and negative decisions. Maintain your balance.

Either way, it’s worth considering both ways. Or coming up with a hybrid plan. Thanks for your ideas.

(Oh, and thanks for your wonderful website.)

That’s what I want. Tough decisions. You and @dashingdon make wise suggestions. Methinks I will think further.

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humility vs confidence
ambition vs AMIABLE
compassion vs authority
insight vs experience
charisma vs CLEVERNESS
morality vs fairness
influence vs secrecy
patience vs passion
health vs productivity

Just for my own understanding: I had to look up amity and capacity. I knew what capacity meant, but I didn’t immediately think capable of learning. I knew the word amiable but not amity. So, minor adjustments.

And I really like the productivity vs health combo.


That’s quite a bit of stats to keep track of.
Maybe split them between mind/body?
And include an option for those that don’t do so well?
Like a deal with a witch or something if you fail all the marks to be king?

Well, for example, if you were ‘overly’ just and punished everyone according to the rules of the kingdom without considering the mitigating factors of their crimes (using your ‘compassion’) then they may begin to see you as a cold-blooded adjudicator and plot to overthrow you. However, lean too far the other way and people won’t respect your laws, thinking you’re too soft to run the kingdom - then they’ll plot to overthrow you just the same.

Those are the best kinds of choices. Whether you punish a poacher trying to feed his daughter the same as a bandit hijacking a farmer’s goods for his fellow bandits the same or not will have consequences to how people see you.

  • Too lenient on the poacher? People will lose respect for your royal rights and more people will steal from the kingdom thinking they can get away with it by singing a sob story.

  • Treat them equally? People will wonder why you think hard-working farmers are equivalent to highwaymen in the eyes of the law.

  • Punish the poacher more harshly? People will be upset that you seem to believe your property is more valuable than their property.

Keeping the choices in a grey area where there really is no ‘win’ situation keeps things interesting.

Probably go with ‘amiability’ just to keep the terms consistent, methinks.

True. I’d suggest a maximum of four sets of opposed qualities for this - otherwise it’s going to be a real chore to make all of them really matter!

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Perhaps “the people” are not a single unified group, but several occasionally cooperative factions with different priorities, using the same stats the MC uses. So when high Humility factions gather the most influence, a high Humility MC will succeed. But when those factions lose position and high Confidence factions gain influence, a high Humility MC will struggle.

Then, when the balance of factions begins to shift, MCs may choose to either present a different face to the world or try to shift that balance to a faction that favors their current presentation.

There really is no universally “best” set of attributes to a leader. What works in one nation, in one decade, won’t necessarily work in a different nation. Or even the same nation in a different decade! There may indeed be a “best” set of attributes in a single location at a single time, but it won’t always be “best.”

A system where the MC receives their power from how well they can match the desires of a group of frequently-shifting factions may prove obnoxiously complex, but it could reflect that reality in a believable manner. That said, I’m quite certain such a system would be more complex than I’d be willing to code. Especially if it uses all the proposed stats instead of a select few. It may be wise to seek a simpler method.


You’ve added a complexity that would make it interesting and hard to code, like you said. Simplicity would make the coding easier but the discussion less complicated. I like complicated.

But you are right. A simpler method would be a good idea. Even if it’s just slightly simpler.

They only need to be as complicated as the story. Otherwise a simple single stat would work for a simple story line. For a multi-branching story with lots of things to consider, more variables would likely be needed, to illustrate the various outcomes. For example, perhaps not all events, choices, etc… have to be based upon an average stat. Perhaps you do want to play to one side or the other. Lots of possibilities.

You could become king by force because a certain stat is high enough to influence certain people to help you. Even if it’s against the average will of the people.

This reminds me when people complain about certain video games not being complex enough or too complex. There are times during a simulation game that I want more. The simple becomes mundane.

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Oh, if this thing were as big as I want it to be (won’t happen), then there would be tons of ways to end the game. Every decision would count. Every outcome would matter. Every stat would help determine what becomes of your character, what choices you have at what times.

Organizing of the stats would be REQUIRED!

Me changing it was more for the post. As soon as I typed amiable into the editor, it looked funny. I changed it back to amity. But I like amiability as well.

Opposed stays can be tricky and if used wrongly frustrate the reader. For example I’ve known very charismatic very clever people. There are many examples of people with lots of influence who are incapable in the area their area of influence (whether they’ve just been over promoted, inherited a role or just a con artist). The same as ambition vs amiable. Not all ambitious people will step on those along the way to get somewhere, assume will build trust and and a support base.

I think you need to tailor opposed stays to a particular storyline. So say if you have a situation where you can only be cutthroat and ruthless if you want to succeed, then the amiability vs ambitious would be ok. Other times it won’t fit the storyline well at all. Perhaps even replace ambitious with ruthless or cutthroat? But ambitious might be ok in some storylines.


In all honesty I think you’d do much better to remove negative type stats. When you have opposing variables and they’re the good versus bad things it makes the choice between them too easy.

But of your opposing stats weren’t morality based it’d make wanting to raise one or the other a bit more of a dilemma and that way you could be an evil overlord but skilled and brilliant at the same time.

Choosing between intelligence and stupidity isn’t much of a choice because very few people would decide to be stupid. But if you have intelligence opposed to intuition the choice becomes more enticing. Or oppose your abilities at warfare with your political skills.

BUT just my opinion seems an interesting story to chase after. Wish you the best of luck.

I totally get what you’re saying. However, readers wouldn’t choose to be stupid. Rather, they would choose to do something ambitious which would lower their intelligence score a bit.

Some of the choices would simply be arbitrary because I’m not going to spend a lifetime figuring out what stat influences another. However, having every choice affect multiple stats would be key to making such a complicated system work.

There was another thread about one stat getting too much attention so that the others slowly degrade. I would probably come up with a dirty and quick formula for stats that affect one another. Perhaps if a choice is ambitious it will always affect certain others in one way or another. Maybe not true to real life, but that’s OK.

In the end, I will probably scale it down a lot. Just trying to figure things out right now.

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I would have to rely on beta readers and forum peps because what frustrates people probably wouldn’t frustrate me so much.

If I can figure out a formula for such, perhaps opposing stats don’t need to be the way. I can keep some of it hidden in the background. The reader doesn’t necessarily have to know why certain choices are there and others aren’t, which they wouldn’t even know unless they play a second time.

Different stat combos could lead to a different kind of King. It wouldn’t be a pass/fail situation, but more like majoring in different kinds of leadership and seeing how the country responds.

You could have a whole host of bittersweet endings where things were almost perfect, but with hints that your reign won’t be sustainable. Then maybe a “true end” where you make the best possible decisions, and have your stats just high enough to recruit important allies.

A game that did that really well was Long Live the Queen. If you got to the end and were crowned, it was only the beginning; the fun was finding all of the variations on types of ruler to be/ways to die spectacularly. So the replay value was huge, just from different stats leading to different choices or paths.

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Though it may be beyond me, I am envisioning a story arc that looks more like a tree, except that certain branches may curve back on themselves. Then near the end, choices would lead to a dozen different endings. Or more. Definite replay value.

Read through the thread on empyrean. I haven’t read it myself but it’s one where most people agreed the writing itself was great but there were concerns with the way some apposed stats worked against each other and it was released so you shouldn’t make your beta testers responsible for making sure the game works ok. You can use them ( I do) but they can also get tricky to do well especially if they’re locking people out of choices/paths

I put together a little stat test. I changed insight to intuition because that makes more sense as an opposite of experience. I also changed the opposite of morality to be tolerance. If you make decisions strictly based upon your own morals, you aren’t as tolerant of others’ moralities.

You are a King

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I recommend that you read the opposed stat vs. Single stat thread.

The problem with opposed stats is that often times the variables are not really opposite. Single stats basically accomplish the same thing (if you raise one stat, you can’t raise another) , but they are less negatively received.

As for what makes a good leader, charisma/ intimidation is the most important skill to make people trust/ fear and follow you. However, if I have advisors/ ghost writers or a figure head, I could simply be the brains behind the operations and not need people skills. Are we going to have advisors?

A leader needs defense or offense skills to prevent others from taking / using their country or products. Those skills could include strong military skills to kill internal and external opposition, people skills that include other countries protecting you in exchange for your oil or academic worth or other goods.

You should think about real life leaders and what makes them good or bad.

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