What are proficiencies trying to model?

We generally avoid negative consequences for better attributes, and I disagree that high intelligence corresponds much with any meaningful kind of derangement. We remember those stories because they’re interesting, not because they are accurate. Travel through academic circles and you’ll meet uncounted numbers of unbelievably intelligent people who are nevertheless completely ordinary in temperament.

Currently intelligence is a vastly underserved attribute in game anyway. It does not need nerfing.

Exectly what I was thinking. 100% agree.

Not true, intelligence might be OP in real life but in the circumstances of the cataclysm it is by no means OP. Most of the advantages you just named would be either useless or only marginally useful when compared to advantages like greater strength, stamina, disease resistance and pain tolerance. The only really big advantage that you name that would be worthwhile are that you learn quicker and by extensions have an easier time figuring things out. This would allow you to learn things like survival skills quicker. Have a much easier time acquiring advanced skills like chemistry.

No, it’s very true. It’s still the most OP stat. Pain tolerance could be argued to be a product of having a strong mind, and intelligence makes you a better fighter as well. Remember the quote by Robert A. Heinlein, “The real weapon is between your ears and under your scalp - provided it’s loaded.”

To your point about “academic circles” having normal people, well, yes, again, as I said, most of them are only eccentric, because most of them are nowhere near the level of Terry Davis and Nikola Tesla. And about it “not being accurate”, well: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289616303324 https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/association-between-major-mental-disorders-and-geniuses
There exists also a bounty of quotes by intelligent people correlating this, so while you may disagree, your grounds for disagreement are less solid than my argument.

I wasn’t suggesting a straight nerf. I completely agree that intelligence is vastly underserved. My point was a buff to make it more realistic while also adding a change to ensure that not every character becomes a MENSA member. A moderately high intellect would have basically no negative impact on your game, while still allowing you all the things that 13 int allows you. I also agree that negative consequences for better attributes is generally bad, but intellect is a very different thing to strength or dexterity. And you wouldn’t really see the true negatives until getting past about 16.

In terms of buffs, it should provide a flat bonus to learning and reading speed, no doubt. But it should also provide a bonus to your combat abilities. Not sure exactly how yet, but it should. Many of the best fighters in the world are also accomplished in their normal lives (see: Mirko Filipovic, Tor Troeng, Takeya Mizugaki, Jeff Monson, Terry Martin, Fedor Emelianenko) and a very common term in MMA is “fight IQ”, referring to their deftness in making split second decisions in the heat of combat - which sounds suspiciously like intelligence to me. That obviously doesn’t mean it should supersede Strength as a combat stat, Strength should still give more tangible bonuses to combat. But I remember reading Strength was due for some reworking in terms of its relation to stamina and weariness, so it wouldn’t become a dump stat anyway.

Being a supergenius with 20 Intelligence who can master any skill in a week and gets combat bonuses should naturally have some tradeoffs, is the argument. If Intelligence is made more realistically worthwhile, a 20+ Intelligence CDDA survivor will be like Ozymandias from Watchmen. If stat points become more difficult to obtain, or if character creation truly does make it basically impossible to start with a super high intelligence, then the tradeoff may very well be just “you have to get there first.” As it is, getting to 20 in anything is not very hard once you know what you have to do.

Intelligence as a stat doesn’t need to describe every possible thing we refer to as intelligence. Speed processing and snap decision making make more sense as perception for example. And as a demonstrably very smart person, I can assure you, excellent memory and learning skills don’t correlate all that well to combat ability

This is a conversation that belongs in another thread. Regarding proficiencies though, having intelligence have some impact on learning would be fine. I would suggest that it be more of a penalty for low int than a bonus for high, as proficiency learning times are set to the low end already.

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When you say that intelligence is over powered, what kind of intelligence are you talking about? Higher Maths and Linguistics aren’t likely to get you very far in the apocalypse, and a strong sense of emotional empathy would probably be a handicap for someone who needs to be ready to slaughter countless numbers of recently-human flesh puppets.

There are clearly forms of intelligence which would be great - but we still can’t really break intelligence down into useful objective categories with all our current science. It’s still a guessing game.

Strength is somewhat easier obviously, but its still a great deal more complex than we usually model. Realistically you’d be looking at a number of different, not strongly correlated abilities, like upper vs. lower body strength (and several less important specific breakdowns), core cardiovascular ability, and so on.

Sprinters aren’t Weightlifters, and long term endurance athletes focus on entirely different strengths than either of those - can’t have a pro weightlifter’s muscle mass and expect your cardiovascular system to keep up with it for long.

Linemen in US Football are huge, but they can only get away with that because the pace of the game allows them constant breaks in the action to recover from each play - make them play basketball or soccer and they’d be dead before the game was over.

Then you have dexterity, which of course is modeling incredibly unrelated stats, like balance and proprioception for full body motion, manual dexterity for being able to perform precise work with your fingers, and raw reaction time. These stats are almost completely unrelated to each other in real life, but we lump them together as this ‘dexterity’ thing.

As for perception - that’s really just yet another aspect of intelligence, combined with sensorial acuity, which should technically be broken down into its components - sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, balance, pain sensitivity, heat sensitivity, and so on.

Being able to see well has no bearing on your hearing, but being highly tactile might mean bad things for your pain sensitivity…

Anyhoo, claiming that one ultra-abstract stat is the end all and be all of survival flies in the face of many millions of years of evolution. We have all these abilities because they’re useful in various different circumstances, and its hard to predict which circumstance will be the next one to challenge our survival. The only thing we can say with some certainty is that overspecialization is deadly in a rapidly changing environment.


A simple system could be that you give every proficiency a difficulty rating to simulate how intelligent you need to be to easely understand and learn it (cooking isn’t horribly difficult but advanced electronics will be difficult to master for most). Than you give a flat penalty for every point of intelligence you are under the difficulty but give diminishing returns for every intelligence point above the difficulty. This is for game balance reasons since you can only go so low under a intelligence difficulty but people will have an easier time going way above it (mutations and bionics).

This is already the state of play, we get balance feedback all the time only to find out people are playing with large numbers of mods, meaning they’re *actually playing a different game.

As it turns out we do this reflexively, so that’s good :smiley:

I don’t follow, the descriptive thing is a subset of a points system, the points system is strictly harder to get right as it’s attempting to condense more disparate facts down to a single number.
IMO the points system only gets a pass because it’s “conventional”, it’s wildly inaccurate.

I fail to see how the status quo is any better.

So you’re recommending we build a monitoring system into the game to track people’s builds, and perhaps their lifespans, and have that reported back to a central server for analysis and tuning? In a word, no :smiley:

It’s an interesting idea, and I wouldn’t mind it being an option, but I don’t see it being the option as a major attraction of RPGs is building your character. You already have this by simply playing randomized characters and startscumming.

This is not true. Intelligence plays a role in the function adjust_for_focus, which is used to scale all experience gain in game (at least, that I know of. It certainly does for proficiencies and skills).

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That sounds like a very minor factor overall. If it only affects how quickly you regain focus than I don’t see how that has a meaning full impact on learning difference between the imbecile and cephalopod.

I didn’t say anything about regaining focus.