I was thinking about the roles, states, factions, classes, powers … everything. Then I had this idea. Magic: the Gathering uses Power and Toughness to determine what summoned creatures use to fight each other, and Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons has the sophisticated power system to give every character different attacks. What if one informed the other?

Imagine that rather than having all creatures using generic, “unnamed” numbers for attack and defense, they had different named attacks (power) and different named defenses (toughness-es)? That’s exactly what the combat attributes are. They’re the names of six different attack types and six different defense types, to be utilized by different classes of persona.

Generally speaking, as attacks and defenses go, each type of attack goes through as one would expect, but then there’s one defense that effectively parries a particular type of attack. One in six, that is. Better yet, let’s look at it this way: there’s one offense that effectively parries a particular type of defense. Magic has some effects that switch power and toughness… attacks and defenses that naturally cancel each other.

So here I have this idea of creating attacks and defenses separate from, but advised by, the classes of personae that appear in the game. Braves, scribes, hunters, and sneaks, as strikers, make use of certain attributes for attacks, while soldiers, smiths, scouts, and speakers make use of other attributes for attacks. Differences in roles lead to differences in priorities with attacks.

Strikers choose offensive maneuvers that deal greater damage and create openings or take advantage of vulnerabilities in their targets. Defenders choose defensive maneuvers to protect themselves and allies from harm and to create a buffer against future attacks. Leaders (support characters) focus on shoring up their weaknesses, and the weaknesses of their allies, while enhancing their strengths.