Characteristic (Description)


Only through putting together a character sheet for wiki use have I noticed that the official (and several unofficial) sheets have a column for a 'description' of a characteritic score.

As this isn't mentioned in the rulebook at all, I wondered if it was a hangover from a previous edition, whether it was just a little additional character 'colour', or whether folk played it as having any in in-game effect (somehow emulating Ability Specialities, for example).

Just curious, really.



Can't believe I didn't notice that.

I only started Ars recently (year and a half ago) read the fourth ed book (which I got for free) and liked it so I immediately bought the 5th ed book, so I read them back to back, which has since led to a little confusion in my head.

IIRC the descriptions were basically just a way to flavour your character so they stood out from other characters with the same stats, eg say we both have characters with a 3 in strength, your description might be "muscled", mine might be "stocky". The feel you would get is that your character has more the toned muscular physique, whereas mine is probably just a large hulking mass of a guy. I think that officially the description was meant to be a single word, but since it has no (that I know of) actual mechanical effect, I wouldn't worry too much about that if you want to use something a little longer (eg "lighting fast", "quick witted", "Barrel chested").

Found it in my 4th ed PDF:

I believe characteristic specializations functioned like ability specializations way back in 3e - if my memory isn't failing me. At any rate, in ArM5 they are completely descriptive, having no mechanical effect.

That being said, you can still have a specialization in a characteristic - but it's now a minor Heroic virtue. ( HoH:TL, pg. 107 - "Mythic (Characteristic)")

That's great, thanks all - a typically thorough answer from this ace forum.

I think we'll go without the descriptions, as we're not having any trouble differentiating between similarly statted characters... and it'd be hell to squeeze that extra column onto the character sheets...



It's also a useful way to characterize grogs which are potentially handled by a multitude of players. If there's regular player fluctuation in your group, it's an easy way to give some insight into what the characterizing intent was behind the given stats - some kind of "physical" equivalent to Personality Traits.