Bill White's roleplaying game design blog, with emphasis on narrativist or story-heavy games.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Rune Saga: Attributes

There are four attributes whose function in play is to influence narrative control.
  • The attribute associated with Swords is Bravery.
  • The attribute associated with Coins is Cleverness.
  • The attribute associated with Stars is Virtue (or Piety).
  • The attribute associated with Staves is Wisdom.
The value of an attribute for a character is equal to 2 plus the number of runes of that suit in the character's pentad. So Prince Daemien (with two Staves and a Coin) has Bravery 2, Cleverness 3, Virtue 2, and Wisdom 4.

I'm still reading and reading about Greimas, so let's see if we can map the four attributes into the semiotic square.

Remember that a semiotic square is constructed like this:

S: semantic category

s <---> non s
~(s|non s) <---> s & non s

~S: semantic anti-category

that is, a positive term contrasts with a negative term (the top row), each of which has a corresponding complement below it, consisting of contradictions of both the positive term (both positive term & negative term)and negative term (neither positive term nor negative term).

S: 'Honor' ['Valor']

bravery <---> cowardice
foolhardiness <---> prudence

~S: 'Survival' ['Discretion']

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A communication Ph.D., I teach public speaking and media-related courses in the middle of PA. I do research on scholarly/scientific communication, and I write & play roleplaying games.