REF = dump stat?

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Moracai Moracai's picture
REF = dump stat?

I was going over the rules and I noticed that Reflex doesn't really do much when compared to other stats. From what I can see it affects 4 things

1. Initiative. This can be overcome with Moxie use, which admittedly is a finite resource.

2. Fray. This perhaps is the most useful thing REF does, but Fray could just as easily be a SOM (dodge) or INT (avoidance) skill. Besides, Fray can be pumped up to equal amounts with CP, high REF or not.

3. Pilot skills. Those could be switched over to INT.

4. Freefall. This is a really situational skill (comparable to pilot skills). Easily switched to SOM, where it belongs better in my opinion.

I don't have any particular question in mind. I just wanted to know what do you guys think of REF as an aptitude, and to know if I missed anything. I am trying to have a go at rewriting the rules, with simplificating many things and perhaps adding some depth to some other things.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: REF = dump stat?

Moracai wrote:
I was going over the rules and I noticed that Reflex doesn't really do much when compared to other stats. From what I can see it affects 4 things

1. Initiative. This can be overcome with Moxie use, which admittedly is a finite resource.

2. Fray. This perhaps is the most useful thing REF does, but Fray could just as easily be a SOM (dodge) or INT (avoidance) skill. Besides, Fray can be pumped up to equal amounts with CP, high REF or not.

3. Pilot skills. Those could be switched over to INT.

4. Freefall. This is a really situational skill (comparable to pilot skills). Easily switched to SOM, where it belongs better in my opinion.

I don't have any particular question in mind. I just wanted to know what do you guys think of REF as an aptitude, and to know if I missed anything. I am trying to have a go at rewriting the rules, with simplificating many things and perhaps adding some depth to some other things.

I think you are heavily underestimating just how powerful Initiative and Fray are as mechanics of the game. While moxie can be used to get first position, it is as you noted a finite attribute, and one that everyone has access to (if everyone, including all enemies, spends points for moxie, then the advantages of it are moot and initiative once more rules the day). Moreover, Fray is arguably the most powerful combat skill (while any given weapon skill only affects offense while you use that weapon, Fray always acts as your defense skill), and shifting it to SOM further loads up what is already arguably one of the two most important combat aptitudes, while simultaneously pushing combat bonuses in favor of melee characters (who rely on SOM already, and thus would have both their offensive and defensive capabilities supported by a single aptitude). To that end, shifting it to INT really doesn't make sense to me (it's more of a mental aptitude, and dodging crap is more of a physical thing).

It may be an under-represented aptitude in terms of the number of skills attached to it, but it should be noted just how vital those skills can be. If anything, I think there are skills which should be moved to it instead: Freerunning might be better fit in REF, while some skill more akin to raw sprinting should be SOM-based.

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morolen morolen's picture
Re: REF = dump stat?

I, for one, am of the opinion that REF and COO are so similar its silly, though one cant really combine the stats unless you want to make it super godly. Though i do agree piloting skills should be INT.

GMJoe GMJoe's picture
Re: REF = dump stat?

morolen wrote:
I, for one, am of the opinion that REF and COO are so similar its silly, though one cant really combine the stats unless you want to make it super godly. Though i do agree piloting skills should be INT.

I'm not really sure I like the idea of riding any vehicle piloted primarily by intuition. Especially if the pilot is defaulting on their check.

That said, reflexes and coordination are pretty different. One's about using your body, the other's about reacting to your surroundings. Yes, there's crossover in many circumstances, but it's worth remembering that someone who's very good at applying their strength won't necessarily be quick to do so, and vice versa.

fodigg fodigg's picture
Re: REF = dump stat?

I was under the impression that REF was just a creatively named "Initiative" stat that can be applied to a few other things, which totally makes sense to me.

In a game where you roll for initiative every turn, wounds can knock you down in initiative, and losing initiative could potentially mean your opponent gets 4 attacks before you get 1, initiative is kind of a big deal.

-fo diggity

fodigg fodigg's picture
Re: REF = dump stat?

GMJoe wrote:
morolen wrote:
I, for one, am of the opinion that REF and COO are so similar its silly, though one cant really combine the stats unless you want to make it super godly. Though i do agree piloting skills should be INT.

I'm not really sure I like the idea of riding any vehicle piloted primarily by intuition. Especially if the pilot is defaulting on their check.

That said, reflexes and coordination are pretty different. One's about using your body, the other's about reacting to your surroundings. Yes, there's crossover in many circumstances, but it's worth remembering that someone who's very good at applying their strength won't necessarily be quick to do so, and vice versa.

I think of it as:

  • COO - Agility
  • REF - Speed (but in a "bruce lee" sense, not a "jesse owens" sense)
  • SOM - Toughness

I think the terms they used are simply intended to describe these physical traits by their mental components. Your body might be agile, but the mental part of that is coordination. Your body might be tough and durable, but it's mental grit/focus that lets you ignore pain. Etc.

-fo diggity

Nahaj Nahaj's picture
Re: REF = dump stat?

It is atleast my opinion, though I've just gotten in to the meat of the combat mechanics section, that REF your get out of shit stat. The argument the OP makes has a few good points (INT for pilot, maybe COG since piloting is a learned skill) but all of the Reflex style stats in other systems serve the same purpose. For example Shadowrun has Reaction, which serves exactly two roles on a regular basis.
1) Initiative
2) Dodge

While it seems that Moxie pools are higher than Edge pools on average for EP characters the ability to declare that you go first is more of an option, but all this will do is lead to GM's giving more NPC's atleast one point of Moxie to counter this atleast once per combat. Also remember that you would be spending Moxie EVERY action phase, which means that characters would run out very quickly. This stat is not a dump stat because its always used, versus something like Charisma in D&D where 95%+ of players have no use for it ever and it is never used, you will only make a charisma check if you have a sadistic DM.