I am a fan of having basic attributes like the six stats of D&D as part of characters in my games. For me, it provides a way of accessing some fundamental image of the character, showing the character’s capabilities divorced of all skills, background, training, etc. It has served my games well, in my opinion.
It doesn’t seem to have a place in Pandora Excess.
Look at Borderlands – the inspiration for this game. There are no base aspects, no stats for strength or intelligence. Given that Borderlands is all about combat, this makes sense. Differentiating characters based on intelligence or personality has no role in the game.
But for a tabletop game that is something more than just combat, differentiating who can figure out the code or who is best to talk to the new employer has a purpose. It impacts on character niches.
However, I don’t believe stats – let’s call them that – are necessary for Pandora Excess. Like in the computer game, the measure of capability can be through the skills. You don’t have ranks in that skill? You have no talent that helps? Then you roll 2d10 unmodified and hope for the best.
It makes things smoother, fewer numbers, fewer modifiers, and less math. This is important because I want combat to be fast and fluid, but robust games generally slow down in combat due to choices and modifiers and the math entailed in those.
The plan for Pandora Excess is to have any Test (roll of 2d10) modified by skill, talent and advantage or disadvantage – and only one of each can be applied in the hopes of keeping things streamlined.
You can find out more about Borderlands here.
You can find out more about Pandora Excess here.