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Maldin's Greyhawk

New Player Character Stats

by Denis Tetreault
Version 1.0



People have varying degrees of sensitivity to the world around them. This new characteristic ("Per" on my custom character sheets) is a measure of the ability to notice subtle (and not so subtle) things that may be within their range of senses. It is completely independent of any other characteristic - I do not use a formula relating it to Intelligence or Wisdom. I've known many people with either high perception or low perception, and all combinations of Intelligence and Wisdom. Some immediately notice a mosquito flying 10 feet away, or a quiver in someone's nervous voice, while others have great difficulty avoiding moving buses or realizing a long-time friend is on the verge of tears.

Game Use

Perception is generated as a separate die roll when the character is created, and depends on the method you use in your personal campaign. I use the 4d6 method, where the lowest die is discarded, and the players can then arrange the individual numbers as they like as appropriate for the class they wish to play. Players may therefore choose to place a high number or a low number as Perception, depending on what they want for their PC's abilities, background, etc. And of course, there are other stats which compete for the high rolls (Str and Con for fighters, Int and Dex for wizards, etc.), so there is much possibility for great variation among player characters. In my campaign, players tend to put higher perceptions on thieves, wizards, and rangers then other classes, but that is by no means a rule.

In my campaign, I use d100 perception rolls (which we affectionately refer to as "perceptiles") as a replacement for surprise. Also, if there is something going on or something present that the players may not be looking for specifically, I'll have them roll a perceptile to see if they notice it. I often use it when NPCs interact with them, who may or may not be honest with them or may be up to something. It is also works when PCs are on guard duty, approaching ambushes (or otherwise being observed or followed), detecting distant sounds or activity, or passing an unusual physical or magical feature.

The success or failure depends on the nature of the situation. Something that I determine would be very difficult to detect would mean rolling equal to or less then their ability score (say, 14 on a d100). Something that may be easier to detect may require rolling equal to or less than two, three or four times their score (28, 42 or 56 on a d100 in this example). PCs that have taken the non-weapon proficiencies Alertness or Observation get the advantage of a +10 bonus on any perceptile rolls (not cumulative, so there is no advantage to taking both proficiencies).




Willpower ("Pow" on my custom character sheets) is a measure of the mental fortitude, the force of will, a player character may have. How focused and disciplined can a PC be under stress? How much mental punishment can the PC withstand before his mind crumbles into insanity, withdraws into catatonia, or succumbs to brainwashing?

Game Use

Though still an almost independent characteristic for player characters (ultimately), generating Willpower is a bit more complicated then the other characteristics. Also, generating this number for certain other creatures is done differently.

Willpower is generated after all other characteristics have been rolled, placed, and modified according to race. The player then rolls 3d6. To this number is added a modifier according to the character's intelligence:

Intelligence   Modifier
     < 15          none
     15-16         +1
        17           +2
        18           +3
       19+          +4

Normal human maximum is 18, and this number can only be exceeded by either magical means or by the non-magical method mentioned below. Also, Willpower can never be higher than Intelligence + Level. If a PC's Willpower is greater than Int+Lvl, then the latter number is used, and increased by 1 each time they gain a level until their true Willpower is reached.

Willpower is a stat that is actually used rather infrequently in my campaign, though its use is expanding. It can be used as a saving throw in certain situations involving mental attacks, or when the mental stamina or will of a character is tested under grueling situations. I can think of many places in the Planescape campaign world where the latter would be particularly appropriate, where the environment is not only physically dangerous, but also mentally dangerous. In these situations, I use Willpower in the same way I use Perception. I determine the difficulty level of the situation and have them roll a percentile.

Willpower is also used in my campaign under two other very specific conditions.

In the pre-history timeline of my campaign world I have encorporated the Earthmaster materials from Columbia Games' HarnWorld supplements. Interacting with Earthmaster ruins and artifacts involve the use of Willpower. For example, the manipulation of Godstones require a special Willpower check.

Also, Willpower is used in a special attack/defense form know as Spirit Combat. The practise of Spirit Combat is also the only non-magical method of increasing Willpower, much like exercising your mental muscles. The downside is that no other form of "exercise" is more dangerous! Outer planar creatures are accomplished in this form of combat, and their stats are generated differently. That will be discussed on the Spirit Combat page.


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This page last modified on December 20, 2004