As I understand it the policy for SD is to limit the information available about your Stats and skills. You are not give point values or chances of success. You are not told how many UE it will take to reach your next level. The most you are given are vague descriptions such as Slow, Feeble and Average for Stats and Terrible, Competent and even Aspiring for skills. You are not even told what the order is from lowest to highest in each.
And I even think I understand the reasoning behind it. First and formost SD is about Roleplaying. Talking to people, making contacts, taking risks and getting payoffs. Also as people IRL we know the general aspects of our ablilities, ( I am smart and friendly, but I am a bit of a klutz an I am very unlucky, ect.) not specifics. And finally I think the GMs wish to avoid Stat/Skill whores (aka Munchkins) and discussing character Abilities ooc.
So here are my points.
1) Stats and skills are tools for RP. They set limits on what a character can do within the story and allow them to effect the environment and others. Otherwise we would need only speaking and posing to rp, no need to code stuff at all.
2) Limits are good. Blind limits are increadibly frustrating. Imagine a job where you supervisor stood right behind you and everytime you tried to do something, they would say "nope you can't do that." or "okay, you can do that." Sure, eventually you would learn what he/she would allow, but how long would you really want to keep that job? Could this be why their are fewer and fewer people logging in?
3) Because there is limited information on skills and stats, most newbies that are interested in keeping there characters alive will keep them safe in a cube or coffin trying to get their stats/skills up to a level where they think they will survive. (cubing anyone?)
4) It seems that SD puts more emphisis on standing in the community (Rep) than on how powerfull a character really is. But most newbies won't see it that way. They will think that if a person has a Bad ass rep, they must also have Bad Ass Stats/Skills. Also if there are no other people on to RP with, reputation impresses nobody.
5) Character growth. I would love to see how my chacter is growing from the wet behind the ears immigrant to a mover and shaker. Not in rep terms but realisticly in what I am actually able to do.
okay before I get flamed for not appriciating all the work that has been done or for not suggesting something different, let me speak. I really like this game, warts and all, and I want to continue to play it. I have GMed in the past so I know how much work that is and I have coded enough to realize that Johnny, Kevlar et al. are way out of my league. I only have one real outlet for RP and Sindome is it.
As for my suggestions, only two for this subject.
1) let us know what the level definitions are for stats and skills. Or at least let us know the order from lowest to highest. (I always thought incompotent was worse that poor.)
2) redo character generation to let the newbies know what stats effect what skills. And for pete's sake note which skills are fully supported within the game. When somebody drops 40 points in a skill at chargen and then finds out it is useless, they are probably going to leave and are not going to come back.
(Edited by Mensaboy at 1:38 pm on Mar. 2, 2006)