Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wisdom Revised Part 1: The Nose Job

As almost none of you might recall, some time ago I went on a tirade about the poorly conceived wisdom attribute in D&D et. al.  The definitions of wisdom in every version of D&D of which I am knowledgeable--which includes many of the recent "retro clones" but none of the post-Gygax era TSR/WoTC/Hasbro editions--do not, in my opinion, do an adequate job of defining an attribute that stands on solid ground compared with the other five abilities.  So in this two part post, I propose a significant remodel of the ol' "Prime requisite of clerics" that I hope will turn the dilapidated shanty of wisdom into a structurally and functionally sound work of art; one that is useful to non-clerics and actually relevant to the relationship between the religiously inclined and the divine powers that bolster their existence.

Since none of us are pretending that the Wisdom attribute should be a measurement of a character's philosophic or scientific learning--that, Mr. Player, is your job--my first act in the wisdom re-design is to give us a little room to maneuver.  Which is to say, I'd like to alter the terminology--just a bit, mind you; we old schoolers like some change, but it has to be bear enough semblance of the original to fit into our established structure.  Since "wisdom" has distracting real world significance that does not jibe with game mechanics, I propose to you the fresh, 21st century term: Wizdom.  Whaddaya' think?

To get to this newfangled yet familiar term, I took a cue from the food additives industry; just as "creme" and "chick'n" evoke an image of what we are eating but are removed in substance from the source material, wizdom provides pleasing familiarity with our gaming roots and acknowledgment of some sort of mental trait, but by merely swapping the "s" for a "z" we are freed from the baggage associated with the standard English word.  Yet unlike cream manque or poultry's soy-based doppelganger, wizdom, I believe, shall improve upon the original; providing a more satisfying, grounded gaming attribute--concrete in scope yet delightful to the palate.  Enjoy!