Yesterday, I finished my first Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Dungeons and Dragons is kind of hard to explain, and I get the sense that it was videogames, made before videogames.
I'll probably write a multiple-post series on Dungeons and Dragons, but I thought I'd start today by talking about stats. That's the thing which causes DND to remind me of videogames. There are lots of videogames with stats, like Castlevania and Fire Emblem. I think stats are mostly in RPGs.
Okay, so here's the thing about stats: I don't know what they are.
No, seriously. I understand "attack", which is how much damage you do to enemies. I understand "defense", which is how much damage enemies do to you. But other stats? I have no idea how they affect gameplay. Why is there an intelligence stat in Castlevania? What does "res" in Fire Emblem mean? How do you BEXP a level-up?
I'm not exaggerating here. I'm sure you can look up what various stats mean and what they do, but whenever I try, I still get kind of confused and forget it quickly. I just focus on attack and defense, as if they're the only stats in existence. This majorly changes the way I play RPGs--for example, you'll rarely see me use spells--but it works for me.
Dungeons and Dragons has about ten or so stats that you're supposed to keep track of. I only understand "strength", which is attack. Other ones are dex, int, init, cha, cmd, bab, wis, and others I'm forgetting. Sounds like a foreign language, right? I wouldn't be surprised if they were taken from Popular Three-Letter Words: French Edition.
It turns out that a lot of these stats are, like, double stats. For example, the DND guys tell me that I have a dex of 13, which means I have a dex modifier of 1. I'm wondering if they're talking about Dexter's Laboratory when this is going on, but they assure me it makes sense.
Yesterday, after everyone levelled up, I brought my character sheet to the person in charge of the game, and I asked him how levelling-up works. And he got confused when he saw my stats sheet, because my stats were all wrong. I put my cha where my dex should be, and things like that. But he had mercy on me because I'm a first-timer, and he let me re-roll for stats and set them up for me.
Good News: My stats are actually good now!
Bad News: I still have no idea what they are.
Anyway, that's it for today. I'm just confirming that DND uses stats, which are the things which confuse me in other videogames. They continue to confuse me in DND.