Imagine a world - an alternate universe, really - where Gygax and Arneson decided to go with a completely different set of terms to describe their game. In an infinite array of possible dimensions, this is not only a probable version, but one that definitely exists somewhere out there. I kid you not. Behold (more words after the pictures):
|Some minor details got lost in the transfer, but please, compare|
(open in a new window to get an even closer look ...).
|One more time for single viewing pleasure.*|
This is of course (but not only!) about that post I wrote on Monday how charisma might better be replaced by something else (here). It resulted in some very interesting discussions and there was way more feedback than I would have thought possible for something I wrote. An interesting experience. There also were some people on g+ who wouldn't see a benefit in changing charisma, as the term does what it is supposed to do. With this, I can't agree. To question a rule helps to understand it. To understand a rule opens it to change, to evolution even. Anyway, I thought instead of arguing my case any further, I'd rather demonstrate what I meant. That's why I threw this little thought experiment together.
I worked mostly with synonyms or abstract variations of the original words. Some I really like, some are just for the sake of change.** Saves stay the same, because it would be a good description in any dimension ... The rules are not changed, just how things are labeled is different (but still means more or less the same). And that's, as far as semantics go, rather cosmetic. The effect, on the other hand, is immense. You can play D&D with this sheet, no problem. It would sound very different, though.
See for yourself how words alone, even if they mean the same, change a game without changing any rules.
For what it's worth, I had a blast making it. Any merit beyond that is for the reader to decide ...
** I'm actually quite happy with the results. "Traits" and "Runes" are the only two I'm not really satisfied with and "Worth" instead of "Charisma" was questioned by the girlfriend. But that's a Community quote. You can't go wrong with a Community quote ... [EDIT: Which was exactly what I did, I quoted wrong. Using "Value" instead of "Worth" would have been the right quote (reference to the pilot of the show, for those interested). And thanks to Timrod, Commander in Chief of the Cave of the Dice Chucker blog, for making me go and look, instead of trusting my poor old brain (sorry, man, I was so sure I remembered it correctly).]