## Re: [icons-rpg] Re: scale progression

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• I ve seen the fair/average problem before (when Mr. O Sullivan was devising FUDGE, in fact). Part of the problem is that fair has (at least) two meanings,
Message 1 of 14 , Mar 19, 2013
I've seen the fair/average problem before (when Mr. O'Sullivan was devising FUDGE, in fact). Part of the problem is that "fair" has (at least) two meanings, one of which is essentially average ("I did fair on the test") and one of which is  better than average ("It was fair weather for sailing"). Avoiding one of the two seems called for, and since there's less ambiguity with "average" I'd suggest keeping it. (Not no amibiguity, I hasten to assure the math majors.)

Yet the implication of even the above-average fair does not suggest "astonishing" or "spectacular" to me.

Mediocre might do, but it has its roots in "medium"  which is close in meaning to "average." Gah. This kind of thing is always difficult.

You have:

Weak
Poor
Average
Fair
Good
Great
Incredible
Amazing
???
Cosmic

I might have (and this is off the top of my head, because we use numbers):

Terrible
Poor
Typical
Good
Great
Outstanding
Incredible
Amazing
Fantastic
Titanic

I have Titanic as the highest because normally Strength 10 means lifting a mountain or equivalent, and Atlas--who did something similar, seeing as the Greeks thought the world was a bit smaller--was a Titan. However, there's certainly debate about what any word means: there are really only three levels: Below average to average; above average but still human; extrahuman. Then you have to fight about word meaning within those levels.

Less nice words but with a nicer set of initials (that is, in alphabetical order as a deliberate choice):

Atrocious
Fair
Good
Impressive
Legendary
Marvelous
Remarkable
Super
Titanic

I'd probably reserve Cosmic and Godlike for off the scale or for games where you deliberately set the scale higher (and also avoiding arguments over whether cosmic means better than god-like).

I think Tim is right that there are essentially two scales: one for abilities everyone has, and one for things where mere possession makes you special: almost everyone can hear, so you have to be able to distinguish levels of hearing both normal and exceptional, but no one can fly, so being able to even hover makes you out of the human realm.

John

John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)
jhmcmullen@...

From: Dethrael <dethrael@...>
To: "icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com" <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com>
Cc: "icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com" <icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2013 3:37 PM
Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Re: scale progression

I also don't think fair should be after average, you could use astonishing or spectacular for one of them.

On Mar 17, 2013, at 10:52 AM, Cameron Mount <cameron.a.mount@...> wrote:

I think Tim's idea that Cosmic is off the scale sounds right, but my real thought lies on the lower end. I'm not sure I can put my finger on exactly why, but I think of "poor" as being worse than "weak."

On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 11:41 AM, Tim wrote:

My own personal ICONS scale for Abilities:

1 Weak
2 Mediocre
3 Typical
4 Noteworthy
5 Elite
6 Cinematic
7 Extrahuman
8 Superhuman
9 Ultrahuman
10 Godlike

I put Cosmic off the scale.

These work for abilities where humans are mostly limited to 6 or below.

For powers (where just having a Power is special):

1 Weak
2 Mediocre
3 Typical
4 Good
5 Remarkable
6 Fantastic
7 Incredible
8 Amazing
9 Awesome
10 Godlike

Your mileage may vary, of course.

--- In mailto:icons-rpg%40yahoogroups.com, stevekenson <stevekenson@...> wrote:
>
> Thoughts on this Scale progression...?
>
> Weak
> Poor
> Average
> Fair
> Good
> Great
> Incredible
> Amazing
> ???
> Cosmic
>
> Not sure what should go in for level 9 (thinking about "Fantastic") or if "Cosmic" is the right one for level 10...
> _____
> Steve Kenson
> stevekenson@...
> http://www.stevekenson.com/
>

• The problem with adjectives is that it can vary from individual to individual what is a better word. Like, is Incredible better than Remarkable? Shouldn t
Message 2 of 14 , Mar 19, 2013
The problem with adjectives is that it can vary from individual to individual what is a better word. Like, is Incredible better than Remarkable? Shouldn't Legendary be higher than Marvelous? As an X-men fan, I'd like to see Uncanny way up on the list, above Amazing... but is that accurate?

I honestly have trouble sometimes remembering which level was better in MSH just going by the adjectives.

david

--- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, stevekenson <stevekenson@...> wrote:
>
> Thoughts on this Scale progression...?
>
> Weak
> Poor
> Average
> Fair
> Good
> Great
> Incredible
> Amazing
> ???
> Cosmic
>
> Not sure what should go in for level 9 (thinking about "Fantastic") or if "Cosmic" is the right one for level 10...
> _____
> Steve Kenson
> stevekenson@...
> www.stevekenson.com
>
• ... Quite so. Obviously, I m thinking of it in the latter sense (better than average, but sort of a modifier on Good as in Fairly Good putting it between
Message 3 of 14 , Mar 20, 2013
On Mar 20, 2013, at 6:54 AM, John McMullen wrote:
> I've seen the fair/average problem before (when Mr. O'Sullivan was devising FUDGE, in fact). Part of the problem is that "fair" has (at least) two meanings, one of which is essentially average ("I did fair on the test") and one of which is better than average ("It was fair weather for sailing").

Quite so. Obviously, I'm thinking of it in the latter sense (better than average, but sort of a modifier on "Good" as in "Fairly Good" putting it between Average and a solid Good).

I'm allergic to the use of "Mediocre" (my least favorite Fudge adjective), perhaps because mediocrity has come to have "less than average" or "lowest common denominator" connotation.

Both Astonishing and Spectacular have potential. I also like the suggestion of "Supreme" for the level 10 slot.
_____
Steve Kenson
stevekenson@...
www.stevekenson.com
• I loved the Marvel adjectives. :) That was my first ever roleplaying game. I like Legendary as the rank 10.  Cosmic should be off the scale IMO   Sent from
Message 4 of 14 , Mar 20, 2013
I loved the Marvel adjectives. :) That was my first ever roleplaying game.

I like Legendary as the rank 10.  Cosmic should be off the scale IMO

Sent from the SDF-5 Command Ship

From: David C <jokagaru@...>
To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 1:44:41 AM
Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: scale progression

The problem with adjectives is that it can vary from individual to individual what is a better word. Like, is Incredible better than Remarkable? Shouldn't Legendary be higher than Marvelous? As an X-men fan, I'd like to see Uncanny way up on the list, above Amazing... but is that accurate?

I honestly have trouble sometimes remembering which level was better in MSH just going by the adjectives.

david

--- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, stevekenson <stevekenson@...> wrote:
>
> Thoughts on this Scale progression...?
>
> Weak
> Poor
> Average
> Fair
> Good
> Great
> Incredible
> Amazing
> ???
> Cosmic
>
> Not sure what should go in for level 9 (thinking about "Fantastic") or if "Cosmic" is the right one for level 10...
> _____
> Steve Kenson
> stevekenson@...
> www.stevekenson.com
>

• The scale I d use: 0: Abysmal 1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Mediocre 4: Fair 5: Good 6: Great 7: Outstanding 8: Awesome 9: Incredible 10: Supreme Reasoning: Terrible
Message 5 of 14 , Mar 20, 2013
The scale I'd use:

0: Abysmal
1: Terrible
2: Poor
3: Mediocre
4: Fair
5: Good
6: Great
7: Outstanding
8: Awesome
9: Incredible
10: Supreme

Reasoning:
Terrible is definitely worse than Poor; but Abysmal is the absolute worst.  Conversely, Supreme is the absolute best; so I'd bookend the scale with these two adjectives.  If you're assigning numbers to them, I'd be inclined to put Abysmal at "zero".

Average and Typical tend to be statistical in nature (Average is the Mean, or the mid-point where there are as many examples down-scale as up-scale; and Typical is the Mode, or the point on the scale that most frequently occurs), and so don't strike me as good terms to use in building the scale itself: they're better off being reserved for use in talking about the scale.

Mediocre, Fair, and Adequate are essentially defined as "worse than Good, but better than Poor"; and Mediocre falls just short of being "good enough to get by", and so is clearly between Poor and the other two.  I'd go with Fair because it's a more broadly-applicable term than Adequate; I wouldn't try to use both because the relative definitions of Fair and Adequate are murky.

I went with "Outstanding" rather than "Superb" to avoid confusion between "Superb" and "Supreme": they just look too much alike.

Great is better than Good; and Outstanding is better than Great, but not good enough to bring the sense of awe implied by Amazing or Astounding (which, according to Merriam-Webster, are essentially synonyms: "Amazing" is "something that astounds").  I'd also put Astonishing and Awesome on par with Amazing and Astounding: all four of these imply something that's awe-inspiring.  Pick one and go with it; I chose Awesome because its most clearly about being "awe-inspiring".

However, Incredible and Fantastic take it beyond awe-inspiring into the realm of invoking disbelief (something is "fantastic" if it is "like a fantasy"; something is "Incredible" if it is "not credible").  Of the two, I'd be inclined to go with "Incredible", because the sense of disbelief is right there in the name.  When measuring human capability, Awesome is the highest that is believable; Incredible starts getting into the territory of tall tales.

And, as I said at the start, Supreme is the upper limit: it's the absolute best that's possible.  Which means that anything beyond Supreme is in the realm of the impossible.

If using 4dF as your randomizer, it's worth noting that someone with Fair (4) ability can achieve results ranging from Abysmal to Awesome; but an Incredible result is literally too good to be true.

On Sat, Mar 16, 2013 at 8:15 AM, stevekenson wrote:

Thoughts on this Scale progression...?

Weak
Poor
Average
Fair
Good
Great
Incredible
Amazing
???
Cosmic

Not sure what should go in for level 9 (thinking about "Fantastic") or if "Cosmic" is the right one for level 10...

--
Jonathan "Dataweaver" Lang

• Well, for the original Marvel Game by TSR, I added the following: 35 Fantastic 45 Spectacular (for Spectacular Spiderman) 60 Sensational (if I recall,
Message 6 of 14 , Mar 20, 2013
Well, for the original Marvel Game by TSR, I added the following:

35 Fantastic
45 Spectacular (for Spectacular Spiderman)
60 Sensational (if I recall, correctly, for Sensational She-Hulk)
90 Awesome

Other possibilities: Astonishing, Uncanny, Marvelous, Phenomenal, Godlike

--- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, stevekenson <stevekenson@...> wrote:
>
> Thoughts on this Scale progression...?
>
> Weak
> Poor
> Average
> Fair
> Good
> Great
> Incredible
> Amazing
> ???
> Cosmic
>
> Not sure what should go in for level 9 (thinking about "Fantastic") or if "Cosmic" is the right one for level 10...
> _____
> Steve Kenson
> stevekenson@...
> www.stevekenson.com
>
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