Stats as "Meters"

So I’ve been working on a PbtA game set in a multiverse and one thing I’m trying to get an initial read on is a different way to handle Stats.

I’m thinking each character will start with a certain pool of points that can be pumped into three sort of states/statuses/conditions:

Grit, Passion and Control (the theme of the setting is music-related)-- which add to a normal PbtA tired roll (2d6 6-,7-9,10+), up to a max of +3.

Think of each of those as sort of like Approaches in Fate Accelerated. Grit is when you’re really digging deep and is kind of like using brute force to solve a problem or in an interaction, Passion is kind of like when you’re emotionally invested in an exchange, and Control is cold manipulation. Obviously the application of each is open to interpretation.

You have a certain number of Heart Points that can be put toward any of those three, but the flip side is, what stats you invest in affect how others react to you. If you have a high Grit, people might think your character as being gruff, or behaving in an intimidating way. A high Passion might result in others thinking your character as impatient or arrogant, or that they may have lewd or lascivious intentions. And a high Control might be seen as manipulative or dominating. There may be other effects besides, since the setting for this is a multiverse, but I’m still thinking about that.

To reset a character’s Stat allocations, I think this would be a move, perhaps akin to a downtime action in a FitD game, or something like that.

The other aspect of this is the Heart Points themselves, they also double up as a harm tracker. If you take harm, you may temporarily lose Heart Points if you have any spare, and if not, they start to come from any that have been invested in Stats, reducing a character’s bonuses to rolls, etc. I’m thinking characters will start with 6 HP.

Looks like this is similar to PbtA Stat as Expendable Resource, but a bit different thematically.


Maybe think about it as a having 5 stats that points flow between: Heart, Grit, Passion, Control, and Harm. Give players 10 tokens and tell them to put 6 (or however many) on heart and the rest wherever they want. When players suffer harm, they move a token from any other stack to Harm. Special attacks might specify which stat the token must be moved from. Other moves may require/allow you to move tokens from one stack to another. Most moves will have you roll against Grit/Passion/Control but some moves will have you roll against Heart or Harm. Players never lose tokens, just move them around between stats.


Ah, that’s a very interesting take, and seems fairly self-contained, which is a good thing in my mind, because it keeps things simple and easy-to-understand. I like it!

I may have to try this out and see how it works, thank you, @mease19!

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The one I’m working on for Spellblades is that each of the 5 stats has 3 slots. Players fill as many (or as few) slots as they feel like, no min or max.

When players use an approach with the Blade, they roll 1d6 for each filled slot in that stat. When they use Spell instead, they roll 1d6 for each empty slot in that stat.

Crossing to a new universe seems thematically appropriate. “Who am I become here?”

Is it a bit like Lasers and Feelings? So if you’re all in on Lasers, you have nothing in Feelings and vice versa? How’s it working for the system so far?

Genius! I don’t know why I didn’t think of that, but yes, I am totally going to use this!

Thank you!

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This seems at least a little similar to how stats are handled in Masks, though there they shift because of external pressure.

Haven’t playtested it yet, but it’s conceptually very sound. You can follow it here, if you want: