What's better? few stats or more?


A little help here, I’m considering making a game using choice script and I’m getting hung up on one thought. Are fewer stats with a broader coverage area preferable to a larger number of more focused stats? For example Sabres of Infinity’s stats compared to Tin Star’s.


This probably won’t be a helpful response at all, but I think it depends on the kind of game you want to make. Do you want it to feel like an interactive story or do you want it to feel like a game? It’s been years since I’ve played a tabletop RPG, but I had one friend who led us through an entire campaign with only minimal die-rolling (like once or twice per two-hour session). I had another friend who had us roll dice for everything. Both were fine, but they were totally different experiences.


Depends on how you want the game to play. If your game will have hundreds of branching scenarios that you’ll require specific stats to deal with then you will want lots of different statisticstyles (e.g 20 different skills you can specialise and learn in)

If you have lots of stats but most are useless or never get used in the story beyond a couple of times then take them out.

If you want a game with a focused story that you can go down a few wildly different branches you probably only want a few skills so you can predict a bit more what the player will be doing (good or evil, smart vs cocky ect)

If you have lots of scenarios that don’t fit your stats then it might mean you need to add an extra one or two.

Personally I would focus on what your game will be based around.

  1. Are you giving players the options of lots of weapons or professions that will impact how the story plays out
  2. Or are you giving players a couple of key characteristics that will change as you make choices around thing.

Focus on one of those and use the minimum you can to avoid confusion. You can add more as your story goes or change those that seem pointless


Something to remember is that you have to make up for it weither you do one or the other. If you put a lot of skills, dont neglect any. Each skills must be usable without any being left aside and dont make it too complicated either or you will overextend yourself and that can only hurt the content.

If you dont put a lot of skills, work with the story instead. You will need to use lots of commands and such to give more content to the game (Things like character interactions and branching paths)

I’m not an author but these came from playIng every released CoG and HG titles.


I once put this exact question to someone who knows more about game design and programming than I do. He said, “you want as few as possible.”

Stats, he said, are basically just a way of tracking the long-term consequences of player choices. If I focused too much on stats before I had established what kind of choices the game would have, I would be doing things backwards.

Since my game was going to be story driven, the best strategy was to focus on the story, introducing variables only when I knew those variables would contribute something to the game. Unnecessary variables could potentially introduce loose ends that would be hard to resolve later on.

Tin Star has separate stats for pistol shooting and rifle shooting because Allan Gies wants you to make a strategic decision every time you decide to practice your shooting. He wrote a story in which it matters whether you pick up the pistol or the rifle. That level of detail fits the style of Gies’s story. There are other stories where it wouldn’t work so well.

So my strategy early on is going to be to focus on choices, and try to come up with stats (as few as possible) that best describe the consequences of those choices as I go.


Thank you all for your input, I greatly appreciate it, now I’ve just got to see if me and my coder can stay focused long enough to write a game


The only stats i inherently dislike, that completely ruin a game for me are opposing stats ie when one increases another decreases


How come? (Just curious). Sometimes opposing stats can work well (ie good/evil, law abiding/anarchist, extrovert/introvert etc). It can actually make life easier with the programming as well as you’re only altering one stat not two.


Im talking about. Ability related stats sorry i know that wasn’t clear, i just can’t get into a game where my strength and agility stat are are for some reason opposed to each other qnd when im trying to make a decision im all worried about which choice upgrades which ability. And it honestly just kills the immersion for me (except in choice of Dragon which i liked in spite of it)


I think it depends on your game. It can have many stats or few. The important thing about the stats is that it is used not just taking up space. Also many stats means you have to code more and make Var conditions more. It gets complicated. Better go with simple is okay if you not familiar with coding.