See what I did there? I put a pun in the title of the blog entry.
Oh, the cleverness of me.
Play testing has proven a number of things. Charging into a room without checking it first is bad. Failing a saving throw can really ruin your night. Talking before swinging your sword can pay off. Going on an adventure with no cleric and no healing = a short adventure.
And sense is a big deal. I ask for sense checks all the time. Constantly. I know that some variations on B/X have added perception or sense as another attribute, and the temptation is pretty strong to do that, let me tell you. However, I like the six attributes as iconic to the system. Further, I like sense working more like saving throws do – a base modified by your level. I don’t want this to scale quite as crazy as saving throws (they can cap out at +15; sense should not be that high), but if I go with half level rounded up (as we are doing for attack rolls), this works nicely…
Human clerics, fighters and thieves, dwarf myrmidons have sense of 2 + ½ level (rounded up)
Stoutlings explorers, elf champions and human thieves have sense of 4 + ½ level (rounded up).
This means that at level 5 a character has either +7 or +9 to sense. At level 12, a character has +8 or +10 to sense.
Hmmm. Can I do the same with saving throws? If I change these to a higher starting point, I create a more narrow range of possible results… let’s say 4 base for humans, + prime requisite modifier + ½ level rounded up. This gives a human fighter a range of +5 to +8 at level 1 up to a maximum of +10 to +13 at level 12. Again, this scales nicely with other game situations. You are not going to fail every save at level 1, and you are not guaranteed of anything at level 12. Both of these are wins in my book.
Lastly, I need to add sense as a modifier for monsters as well. Monsters are making sense checks all the time too (to notice the thief sneaking or the heroes creeping around outside their rooms) and I constantly fudge it rather than having a specific stat to roll. This is one more piece of information that would give a big benefit.
I'm on it!