Sunday, January 3, 2010

Accounting Ratios and Characters.

In financial accounting I learned to use ratios to infer what happening in an accounting statement.

Point based system characters are not that different from accounting statements, you can consider all the characters point investment as assets which can be measured against the total cost of the character.

Measuring it against the total CP, is allows us to infer how effective investment is relative to the character's power level.

Ratios are for the GM and Players. Players can take the few minutes to write up their ratios for the GM. This allows the GM to scale encounters and situations based on more definite . It will take only a minute or two to write up, if your character sheet is well organized.

Overlaps are common when judging what skills go to where. Since these categories sometimes to complement each other.

Professional Ratio: All the points spent on relevant skills advantages, characteristics and attributes, that makes the character do a professional ability (that is neither the other ratios) well. Note the profession, “role” or strategy these points are intended.


Combat Ratio: like professional ratio but all takes all combat relevant expenditure of points. Note also the combat strategy or role:

  • Melee – Light (highly disbursed fighting), Medium (loose formation fighting), and Heavy (tight formation fighting).

  • Ranged – Pelter, Direct, and Artillery

Social Ratio: like professional ratio but takes all social relevant expenditure of points. Note the Social Role:

  • Diplomat, Negotiator, or Broker – make deals that will be honored

  • Seducer, Manipulator, or Leader – make others or people do

  • Talker, Spy, or Agent – Intelligence gathering and being able to appear as something else.


Background Ratio: this is the amount of points invested in making the character's “fluff” and social-economic background. This is important to some Gms as believability of a character can be set at a certain ratio if GM wants to reduce the munchkiny-ness of a character.

Looking at the Ratios we learn that...

  • Urser of Leon-Silvas

    • Combat (heavy infantry) – 84/185

    • Social (leader) - 51/185

    • Professional (soldier officer) – 86/185

    • Background (veteran)- 10/185

  • Markessa Letissia

    • Combat (self defense) – 0/185

    • Social (Diplomat/Negotiator) - 85/185

    • Professional (Administrator) – 65/185

    • Background (Patrician lady)- 89/185

  • Kayleen of Midrenn

    • Combat (Direct) – 89/185

    • Social (Agent) - 50/185

    • Professional (scout) – 117/185

    • Background (peasant)- 4/185

  • Corsan'gen Veriden Romanii

    • Combat (medium) – 63/185

    • Social (manipulator) - 70/185

    • Professional (Cavalryman) – 55/185

    • Background (Noble)- 42/185

  • Averrin

    • Combat (medium) – 76/185

    • Social (Agent) - 102/185

    • Professional (Agent) – 68/185

    • Background (Noble)- 19/185

Looking at the ratios we learn the strengths of the character and how to use ratios to work backwards for NPCs.


If you have an social encounter and made NPCs with 60/80 social (negotiator) ratios (ex. Merchant), you can already think of the potential abilities the NPCs may have at their disposal. You also may know, who in the party can best deal with this NPC. The same goes for combat.


Profession and Background is not as simple. They depend highly on context, 40/185 is what can be expected from a generic Noble, a noble with less will not “appear” or fit in as well with other nobles.


In profession, a Soldier has about 30/80 ratio. Characters without as much investment in Adventuring or Soldiering will not do as well as the soldier on a trek, feats of logistics, or survival.


So here are Accounting Ratios for GURPS. Its more for Gms and players who have more time. Personally I just try to use them as rules of thumb, since I count the amount of time I spend on my gaming hobby. You can just have these

Naming Characters with the Ratio System.

What does Jorren the Captain of the Guard 120cp tell you? Compare that to Capt. Jorren, Commander 80/180cps or Master Jorren Heavy Footman 70/180cps, or Ser Jorren Investigator 60/180cp. The second method uses the name + primary asset + primary asset point ratio. Through inference by using the primary/dominant asset, the particular role, and their ratio allows for a greater descriptive context instead of just using point totals and title.



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