While I worked on my hypothetical cards for “Generic the Hunter,” I finally figured out how to use the combat attributes I came up with almost a year ago. To make them work as card types, though, I realized they needed a little something more to give them an edge when it comes to card type.

In this updated version, I’ve gone ahead and placed each of my attributes alongside its closest Dungeons & Dragons equivalent, since that’s what inspired most of them. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted the combat attributes to sound cool and evocative. I liked some of the words I’d already picked out, like Precision and Accuracy, and that’s kind of where I started.

Strength — Prowess (offense) and Alacrity (offense)
Dexterity — Accuracy (offense) and Precision (offense)
Constitution — Fortitude (defense) and Stamina (defense)
Intelligence — Finesse (offense) and Cunning (defense)
Wisdom — Caution (defense) and Evasion (defense)
Charisma — Charisma (offense) and Courage (defense)

The next section I’m still working out. The way I picture it, there are three points at which attacks or damage can be stopped. The first is to evade the attack. This is preferable because if your opponent never hits you, you never take damage.

The second point is ignoring some of an attack. By reducing the damage you opponent deals, you take less damage when they hit you. The final point is at negation or absorption. This is when you’ve already been hit and the damage has been dealt, and you mitigate its effects. It’s the more costly, but it’s pragmatic.

Evasion beats Alacrity — prevent/dodge
Cunning beats Accuracy — prevent/dodge
Courage beats Precision — reduce/ignore
Caution beats Charisma — reduce/ignore
Stamina beats Prowess — negate/absorb
Fortitude beats Finesse — negate/absorb

In fighting games, your fragile speedster characters attempt to avoid damage by being gone before their opponent can ever hit them. They land blows at lightning speed and then disappear just as quickly. That’s damage prevention. Mighty glacier characters would tend to take the negation route under the assumption that they’re going to get hit sooner or later, and it’s better to face facts.

The third approach, damage reduction, is favored by your mario-type characters, who balance foresight with pragmatism to take a third option. Each method is equally viable, equally successful, and equally supported by the rules. It’s up to the player to play their favorite (if indeed they have one).