Ranking My RPG Stats
Over on Twitter last night, Gail Simone asked:
This is a fun little exercise to consider, and while I answered this briefly over on that service (because everything on Twitter still needs to be brief), I thought it would be fun to rank them out over here in more detail. I won’t be offering a d20 number for each, because I’m not nearly objective enough for such gradations, but I think I can roughly guess where each of these attributes stand in a general ranking. So:
1: INTELLIGENCE. Look, I’m a pretty smart guy. Also, I have tons of information, useless and otherwise, rattling around in my skull. Up until the rise of Internet search engines, I would semi-frequently get 2am calls from drunken friends, asking me to settle bar bets about random shit, because there was a rather-better-than-average chance I would know the answer (within an order of approximation serviceable for bar bets). Additionally, I am usually fairly quick-witted, and pretty good at communicating ideas and concepts to others. The downside is that I am still occasionally guilty of doing “-splaining” of various sorts, but that’s a function of wisdom, I suppose, not intelligence. Point is, this is easily my top stat, and I think people would look at me funny if I suggested otherwise.
2. CHARISMA. I am, at best, average-looking, and my “at best” becomes more infrequent the older I get. But beyond that, I can be pretty charming, engaging and persuasive. I can work a room pretty well, make people happy to see me, and generally make a good impression. Also, and no one was more surprised to learn this than me, I am a decent manager of humans, partly because I take time to understand folks and use that knowledge to (eventually) get everyone harmoniously pointed in the right direction. Because I am a socialized introvert, there is a time limit on how long I can do all these things, and after a few hours I usually need to run away and take a nap. But while I’m on, I’m on.
3. WISDOM. Wisdom is the Dunning-Kruger stat in the real world, by which I mean people who will tell you they are very wise are probably fooling themselves, and people who actually have a decent amount of wisdom are wise to the fact that they are, shall we say, deeply fallible across several categories. My own take on myself is that younger iterations of me believed they were wiser than the current iteration of me does. I know a lot of my own personal failings, and I’m aware there are probably more than a few I’ve missed. That said, what I do have a lot of, at age 53, is experience, and experience is a good teacher, even if all it tells you is how much of what you’ve learned isn’t applicable anymore. Mostly as I get older I realize that when in doubt, the right thing to do is to be kind. Is that wisdom? Debatable, but it means I’m not a raging dickhead all the time, and I will take that.
4. CONSTITUTION. I think I have a very average amount of constitution, and it could be better; I was exercising a lot a year or two back and that helped, but I fell off recently and that’s been catching up with me now. Be that as it may, I am mostly healthy, with no major issues other than laziness. I don’t get sick very often, and when I do (last year’s COVID brain befuddlement notwithstanding) I usually just take a 20-hour nap and my body bounces back. I’m mostly okay, you know? Could be better! But okay.
5. STRENGTH. I also think I have a very average amount of strength for a man of my age, build, and life activity. It could be better but that would require effort, and, ugh, effort, whhhhyyyyyy. Also, bluntly, when feats of strength are required at the Scalzi Compound, they usually fall to Krissy, who is, no joke, just freakishly strong and thinks nothing of the fact. Several years ago some Internet wits were trying to negg me by suggesting my wife was stronger than I was; my response to that was a) it’s not a neg, she absolutely is, and b) she is probably stronger than they are, too. I think it’s awesome my wife is a fuckin’ Amazon, personally. I’m perfectly happy to have her be the strong one in the family.
6. DEXTERITY. I mean, I once cut myself on yogurt. This is definitely my dump stat. There is a reason that the day I turned 40 I started training myself to grab for the railings on whatever set of stairs I was about to use. I have no illusions that they will be the death of me if I don’t.
How would you rank your own RPG stats?