Parsec: Functionless Attributes

Now that I’m down to just three jobs, I remember that one of those jobs is writing Parsec, so I’m trying to buckle down and work on it in a more disciplined way.

As I go through the text once again, I have re-habilitated my rules on Status, which is basically a measurement of your social and economic standing in the setting. The thing about Status is that there are almost no actual rules attached to it. It is sort of a measurement, a note about your character like the place of their birth (but more important, I hope, for a game).

The reason I decided to bring Status back after I cut it out is that I want Parsec games to have a strong sense of economic realities of the setting injected into them. I don’t want Star-Trekkish homogeneity because I think that’s less plausible than faster-than-light travel. I think we’re going to have phasers and warp drives before we have an economy without scarcity, without wealth on the one hand and the poverty on which wealth depends on the other.

But it does feel odd to put something forward as important when it won’t be involved in spending points or rolling dice or doing the other things that attributes usually do in an RPG. Maybe its just that I don’t want to tell players how Status must function, only that they have to take it into account in some way.

What do you think about something on your character sheet that doesn’t really have rules attached? Should I give it leverage in the system or drop it, or is it not a problem?

2 thoughts on “Parsec: Functionless Attributes

  1. That wouldn't work with the system as it is not – since your dice-pools and your Status are both basically on a 1-10 scale, it'd be too much of an advantage.

    I got to playtest Parsec while I was out here, but didn't get to playtest social conflicts where Status would really come up. It went really well, and people had fun, but its still a challenge to find a way to make it so I don't *have* to be there for it to go well.

    Anyway, thanks for the suggestion…


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