Santharian Development

Santharian Game Projects => General Game Discussions & Newbie Area => Topic started by: Nate of Sorren on 12 July 2001, 18:35:00



Title: Stats
Post by: Nate of Sorren on 12 July 2001, 18:35:00
I'm creating this thread for some stat ideas to be discussed.  We will most likely not have hitroll, but have damroll and ac would effect the damage taken instead of the chance to hot.

The other status such as str, int, wis, con may be added and may not.  We need to keep in mind that sometimes more isn't always better.

Some stats effect how a character is roleplayed and not the physical abilities in the game.  These stats will most likely not be included since how a player chooses to roleplay would have a greater effect.  (an example is charisma).



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Greybark on 12 July 2001, 20:11:00
damroll being damage taken, AC is?



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Gean Firefeet on 13 July 2001, 05:08:00
armor class



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Koldar Mondrakken on 13 July 2001, 11:23:00
Concentration might be fine.

A stat that is slowly decreasing when the character is not resting, affecting complicate actions(magic,...) and is heavily decreased by "exhausting " actions.
A tired character might then be a weak character. Always imagined that this or a similar stat is missing in nearly any RPG. You can't be active all day without any sleep or rest.

Koldar Mondrakken, Knight of the Moonlight



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 13 July 2001, 11:29:00
Well, that would be "Endurance", I guess.



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Nate of Sorren on 14 July 2001, 05:57:00
some interesting thoughts.



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Koldar Mondrakken on 14 July 2001, 08:19:00
Hmmm.. Concentration wouldn't be exactly endurance as I always thought endurance to be more physical but of course both things would influence eachother.
The problem is that endurance is almost always used as a 'skill'( a firm value) while I see it as a stat like HP(hitpoints) and AP which might be slowly decreasing while it is 'used up'.

Similar to 'food level' or what will be used to determine if someone is hungry or not!




Koldar Mondrakken, Knight of the Moonlight



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 14 July 2001, 12:28:00
Well, most RPGs I have in mind handle it this way: There's the endurance bar, together with the hit points bar and the mana bar. If you run fast or jump or go up a mountain etc. your endurance goes back. If you wait a while and do nothing your endurance goes up again. If your endurance is down to the minimum you can't run anymore unless you pause. But aside from that usual up and down the possible maximum of the endurance bar slowly moves towards zero. If this maximu level is rather slow you have to sleep sooner or later (this represents the natural exhaustion). This decreasing of the maximum level also affects other character stats to a certain degree (if it drops below a certain line) - like strength or wisdom, which mages use. This way mages will have difficulties with succeeding in casting spells, directly related to their endurance. Looks a bit complicted, but is pretty logical, I guess.



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Koldar Mondrakken on 14 July 2001, 12:50:00
In any RPG I played, yet, I had this endurance skill but it never affected me in any of these games except Ultima 7 perhaps, so I don't think most games are a good reference, how to use this.

Also, concentration is IMO different from enfuarance as you can be exchausted and still quite awake with your mind and you can be fit with your body but certain effects like fire masses of people distract you so you can't concentrate.

Because of this I thought this might be a good idea esspecially when you skip these strange 'Mana' 'Astral' points.
But in the end it depends on the system in the whole if this would fit into it..


Koldar Mondrakken, Knight of the Moonlight



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 15 July 2001, 00:23:00
"Exhausted and still quite awake with your mind" - *hehe* not me, I fear...



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 19 July 2001, 15:07:00
But is concentration mental rather than physical? You can by mentally tired even if you are not physically, or the other way around. We also need some sort of a table that says what modifiers different races have. e.g. dwarves would have more endurance and strength than humans. Humans have basically no modifiers except for a little on strength.

And, what exactly is wisdom? The ability to learn more spells? And mana is the strength to do spells. There should also be something that allows a character to better get along with others.

Stormcrow

Psychotic Wizard-Type



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Koldar Mondrakken on 19 July 2001, 15:46:00
:lol

Just reread my own posting. Its a good example of being mentally exhausted but physical strong.

I was that tired that I didn't recognize the masses of Typos I made but I was strong enough too push the keys!

;)

Well, this friday things are finished and I'll have some free time! YEAH!  

Koldar Mondrakken, Knight of the Moonlight



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Langston B Hummings on 22 July 2001, 01:27:00
As muvch as i hate to refer to established game systems (AD&D)  It appears that the first determination must be what functions will the character be allowed to attempt.  If we attempt a real-world modeling then detailing is important but not to the point that the player is bogged down in min-max-ing.  
   Perhaps if we break down the list of potential actions into the respective catagories of Physical vs Intellectual?

Example.  
 Attributes Primary
Strength  :  application of brute force.
Agility      :  adroitness and skill aptitude.
Health     :  physical toughness.
Intelligence  : ability to learn and retain.
Charisma  : Strength of personality.
Wisdom    : Ability to understand how to apply ones knowledge.

Then develop direct correlations between ones resources and abilities

Example...
Endurance = (Strength+ Health) / 2 : Physical stamina.
This skill will be affected by all activities physical.
Minor activities will drain this slowly while strenuous activities will drain more quickly.  Time between camps will affect the regain rate on a logarithm eventually beconing  = 0.  (Representing the fatigue of the flesh).  This max time could be affected directly by health.

...





Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Koldar Mondrakken on 24 July 2001, 01:12:00
Perhaps another note on the concentration. My idea behind it was to replace these strange Mana/Astral/magic points in every other RPG I know and make a stat(I often said skill, did I?) that:

1.) Is heavily used by mages to cast their spells. Every spell will drain concentration and will weak them mentally. When all or a certain limit of concentration is gone there should be the danger of getting physically hurt. The mage might still succeed in his spell but it will also wound him then.

2.) the stat is the way that also common travellers need them. Hunters to find their prey, thiefs to picklock a chest, unarm a trap and so on. So they'll all need this concentration skill to succeed in their tasks.

Also Hummings proposal is certainly a good one (so I thought I should correct my point!;)  ) but also a bit too conventional?


Koldar Mondrakken, Knight of the Moonlight



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Kanga on 24 July 2001, 14:31:00
well ive thought of a basic idea for skills & stats, i dunno if its possible to actually do but ive thought of following :

well the game is prolly gonna be divided up into factions more or less, there might be 10 factions, there might be 100 im not sure, but buttom to create some kind of player-interactive enviroment game, i thought that factions would prolly be the best, well my idea goes on that in the beginning there will be perhaps 5 factions? (guessing that there will be 100 people in the beta althrough i have no idea) then there would have to be a leader for each faction, in the beginning we might as well just use ourselves until the players settle in etc, well i thought that if the leader gets a certain amount of skills/statspoints each day or week then he could divide between his members as they do sumthing for the faction, we could keep it a bit secret how much he actually gets to divide and so on, as the community evolves the players will become the leaders and with the right balance we might be able to do so the player achievements is kept for this leader and he could look over and give each player want he thinks would give that same player an advantage ingame, worries about the leader giving it all to a friend is a bit stupid cause there is no leader that will risk loosing his "power", if he does so then the members will just simply leave, much like the sorren game, if the "leader" of a country goes mad for some reason everyone leaves, the leader looses his respect and will prolly never gain any followers again so noone would actually take the risk, we could give it like a couple of months to look it over in a beta but i think it would be good, i mean a leader actually have sumthing that means sumthing for the members of his faction and he can give more active players the benefits they deserve as well as giving the hack&slash player (i doubt that we can remove em 100%) sumthing to play for as well without makin any of the characters too strong, perhaps we can make sumthing in the skills/stats that makes it more common to give out most of the skills to those not so trained in the game.

perhaps only some of the skill can be achieved like this or the other around that is the hack&slash+training part that only can be achieved to some degree.

basically i think there will be different types of players in the game, Explorers (those looking for new territories to explore whether its new dungeons or new maps to make), Warriors (the typical hack&slash boy), Merchants (perhaps its possible to make a fortune on the black market?), Questors (those that seek to do most good to their factions), Thinkers(solving all the little puzzles around the game) with lots of others to integrate, well a clever leader will get to know his members of his faction and give em what they need and thereby giving his faction an advantage to some others perhaps... there could be integrated a very big storyline on this.

a little idea ive been working on althrough i have no numbers, no nothing its an idea at least. it can be done in any scale we want after all so i dont think its gonna be a big problem althrough the programming might be i dont have a clue.



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 27 July 2001, 11:24:00
Seems like a very interesting idea to me, Kanga. Of course such skill distributions done by a certain guild leader shouldn't happen every second day but only very seldom to make this feature more interesting for the gamers. People then could be encouraged to achieve something together in order to receive some sort of guild benefit. How the leader would handle such distributions is up to the guild - who gets the benefits, when and why. Guild members could vote on how to handle it, or the leader could distribute the benefits just to his liking etc. If guild members are leaving the guild they mayhaps would lose the bonus again - this will force the players to think a bit more instead of concentrating on hacking and slaying...



Title: Factions.
Post by: Nate of Sorren on 30 July 2001, 07:15:00
Here is how this could work in our land.
stat ranges from 0 to 100.

Lets say we have 50% leadership skill for the leader and 20% loyalty for the follower.
Every time a player increases a skill or gains experience the leader would recieve a bit of it.

A formula could be.
leadergain=exp*(leadership+loyalty)/2

I would guess that the longer a leader is a leader the higher his leadership should climb.  Same with the loyalty.  Each time the leader looses a follower his leadership should drop slighty, and the follower's loyalty should drop significantly.

Anyway just my thoughts if you guys were wanting to do that.  How would having many of these leader/follower relationships effect the world itself.

I do feel it will add some devotion and stability to certain players, as well as give encouragement for existing players to take newbies under their wings and show them the ropes.



Title: Re: Factions.
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 31 July 2001, 09:54:00
Nice idea. After every major happenning, a leader's ability will either rise a lot or fall a lot. In everyday circumstances, it will rise slowly. But if the followers are other players, we can't exactly control what they can/cannot think, right?

Also, in some games, you are not given any extra advantage for thinking of unique attacs. Each one is blocked by chance. Or if you are blocking an attack in a certain INTELLIGENT way, it still is judged by chance. This doesn't make any sense! I sure hope that the methiod of doing things counts for something in this game. Otherwise, it seems very simple. At least have a couple of different methods.

Stormcrow

Psychotic Wizard-Type



Title: blocking by chance
Post by: Nate of Sorren on 02 August 2001, 06:13:00
have you played oni?  If not check out a demo of it.  I would like to use that type of a handling for hand to hand combat, but there isn't a chance I can get i to work right yet.  It's beyond my skills right now.

We will most likely do numbers playing instead of you think for combat at the start.  I wouldn't have said that a month ago.  But we don't have a huge choice.  I'm hoping we can minimize the combat portion of the game as well.  I know there will be combat, but I don't want to focus as much on it as on game play.

Although this is the right time for us to figure out a combat system to use in the first version.



Title: Stats
Post by: Nate of Sorren on 02 August 2001, 06:19:00
I have been thinking about stats and the minimum we can go with to make this effective.  I will be building it so we can add more skills and stats at any time to not limit us.

I think we can suffice with:
Strength - How hard someone hits
Defense - How well they defend
Speed - How fast they move
Vitality - How many hitpoints

I think those stats are sufficient to create characters originally.  Also take note these do not include magic and does not include various skills.



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: tell me when it is done on 21 August 2001, 11:53:00
food you by food and went to move and evey thing your food gose down.what way you don't have to go eat every day!make a day and night so when you run out of food you have 2 days till you hp gose down!



Title: stats
Post by: Kanga on 04 September 2001, 09:00:00
well ive been thinking of a system that would allow almost endless "leveling" but still not overpower a character. well what i thought was that we needed some way to keep players for a long time, instead of em to say "now there is nothing more for my char to achive" so i worked on this a bit... this would only go for the stats i think and wouldnt work good for skills etc.

well basically, everyone start with 1 in their stat to show that they actually have sumthing in their stat heh, as they get better at swinging the axe while cutting down forest or lifting beer at the local tavern, their strength (or constitution depending on whether they drink those beers or not) increases now we can make it more or less endless by saying following :

stat----------effect
001 is equal to 00
002 is equal to 01
004 is equal to 02
008 is equal to 03
016 is equal to 04
032 is equal to 05
~

now if it takes for instance an hour just to get a strenght stat to go up with 1, it would take a app 2 weeks to get a modifier/effect of 5, now that wouldnt be so bad in my eyes... if you play real long for 2 weeks then you could get around a modifier/effect of 6. in the short run there would alot of increases, in the long run it would take 6+ months (with 2-3 hours play aday) just to get strenght modifier of 20, you can of course "train up" other stats & skills at the same time.

please dont misunderstand me, i want the roleplay factor as much as you do, my area of expertice is just this ;)  



Title: typos of above!
Post by: Kanga on 04 September 2001, 09:04:00
soz about all those typos, it went a bit fast ;)  well anyway throw in your oppinion please, and we can look it through and wooohoo im a Barbarian Warrior! ;)  next stop Santharian Sage ;)  



Title: Re: typos of above!
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 12 September 2001, 16:42:00
WEll, if we're talking about level-ups, here's a few ideas. They might not be any good, but at least review them.

I'd have people have to get all around increased stats and a bunch of experience, then be able to get a level. They'd also have to get better skill in some area. Or areas.

Also, I think that gaining levels would not automatically increase your stuff, but allow you to get higher. (Limits to how much HP, strength, etc at each level.)

Stormcrow

Psychotic Wizard-Type



Title: Leveling & more
Post by: Kanga on 13 September 2001, 06:49:00
we talked about leveling in another thread i think, i cant exactly remember but i had the basic idea that leveling was out of the question more or less, i would see a couple of advantages with a experience system but it could be settled in alot of different ways with their respective advantages. i agree on that a certain stat is required for getting more in a skill thats for sure.



Title: leveling
Post by: nate on 04 October 2001, 22:08:00
I'm not set against leveling.  Leveling based on pure experience is not good I know that for certain.

I'm just thinking that maybe we can make the stats run behind the scenes instead of the primary concern of the player.

Getting the player so involved in the quests, plot, running their clan, looking for good equipment from different dungeons with friends would be nice.  If we can make the stats a side effect instead of the goal I can't help but think we will have a better "role" playing game.



Title: Re: leveling
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 05 October 2001, 16:34:00
Yes. A game should definately not be based on how high your stats are. They should just help you play better. But adding all that sort of stuff in sure seems complicated. Most games just focus on either being successful in social areas or becoming the most powerful.

Stormcrow

Psychotic Wizard-Type



Title: Re: leveling
Post by: quegon on 18 December 2001, 21:00:00
kanga I will help you with the stats if you post a list of them I will set attributes from trained stats. also stamina goes down as you move not endurance that is for how much punshment your body can take eg you get hit whilst you have a high endurance and you take only bruises home.

Quegon

Indecision kills so decide a Quick death or a slow one

 

Quegon



Title: Re: leveling
Post by: Theodorus Holzman on 19 December 2001, 14:00:00
Just giving a (stupid, hope not?!) idea: What about having to complete a quest before making a level? (Dunno if this has been said before, didn't read the post thoroughly).

"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune-they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures."



Title: Re: leveling
Post by: Capher on 20 December 2001, 11:24:00
Anyone play a game called Myst? I was thinking that to raise wisdom levels or others, but especially wisdom, you would have to think your way out of a puzzle. Maybe its a way out of or into a dungeon. Or you could add puzzles into the plot for the characters to unravel.

But what do I know?

Wisdom is given to those whom it knows.Capher



Title: Re: leveling
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 21 December 2001, 06:02:00
Lol, puzzles, but without a solution book then please, but that may discourage some people if the riddles are to complicated...(haven't solved Riven yet and have already Exile, oh dear)  

"Don't be pushed by your problems.  Be led by your dreams."



Title: Re: leveling
Post by: Koldar Mondrakken on 21 December 2001, 09:47:00
I loved Myst because the puzzles were all isolated so you could figure them out one by one. My greates prob' (and the reason I took a solution) with Riven was that all puzzles were connected and I had no idea where to start and what is for what, when and why...

Hope Exile is more the old Myst-style because I love this kind of game. Far more relaxing than Quake III and Unreal Tournamen! *hehe*

Koldar Mondrakken, Knight of the Moonlight



Title: I like monkey isalnd
Post by: quegon on 24 December 2001, 09:00:00
I prefere games like monkey island I got the whole series and I have also played every game from lucas arts rpgs that is. I also have a fetish for games like the old exile games where you have to kill monsters to gain levels and raise stats dues ex is a good one so is ultima online.

Quegon



Title: quests, tasks, puzzles
Post by: Myrik on 23 February 2002, 20:49:00
I will certainly have all the above.  Characters won't be based on levels.  We have thrown out a lot of ideas and we have decided to go with the complex method instead of the easier one.  There is a level associated with skills.  various actions require certain levels of skills but there is no level of a player.  We have structured this thing so that performing the same action over and over for a solid hour won't change stats more then performing a couple of harder tasks.

Skills increase while you rest, rather than when your actually performing that activity.  Kind of like working out in a weight room.

a task is a one step event a player may perform for a very minor reward.  a quest is a series of tasks getting told the next step as you go.  A puzzle is where the player collects hints to guide them towards various tasks that need completed.

None of these will be in the version we are coding now, but I certainly feel they are an important part.



Title: Re: Stats
Post by: Aya Sei on 28 February 2002, 22:18:00
Don't make the stats too complicated !! People won't join if they have 20 different stats, it will just be really confusing and people wont know what is good or what is bad unless they read liek 3 pages on stats. I say keep it simple, give the basics, such as  Streangth, Hit Points, Stamina, Magic Points, and possibly some sort of meter telling how hungry the cahracter is? I dont know if you will all agree with me, but i say simple is the safest and most popular way in general.


The heart of a warrior....the mind of a thief.Character description



Title: Forgive me if I refer to Rubies of Eventide too much...
Post by: Rubentide on 02 March 2002, 21:23:00
Yah what it says right there ^ :D   Ok, in Rubies of Eventide, its alot more real than alot of games, as in any race can be any class and can learn any skill no matter what class they are.  In other words you can have an Ogre (the most mentally incapable character IG) Mage with a 9 in mace.  The way that they balance this out is that they will have tremendous dp (development points) cost as compared to the leshy (the most adapt with the brain).  

They also have an hp/bp system. Hit Points and Blood Points. A mace, because it is bash/crushing damage, does more hp than a rapier (since you tend to stab more than slash or bash with a rapier), which does lots of BP.  You have 1/3 of bp as you have hp.  They also have mp/ep.  Mana Points and Essence Points.  Essence Points could be defined as Soul Points.  

You would really actually have to go and play (its quite free right now, as its beta, just sign up and you get an account, you can dl the game before your cd gets to you) to see how it works, maybe do something similar, but put it into your own style (I read the stuff about originality :D ).  oh yah, and a sorcerer in rubies can learn a summoning spell or an illusion spell..  They did this for more diversity, and I think complete freedom to train would be good (although you do have to be a troubadour to be able to learn bardic magic, as its an exclusive magic that is more ?empathic? (whatever the word is for "born with it") than most other magics that can be learnt.  K, I'm done.



Title: Re: Forgive me if I refer to Rubies of Eventide too much...
Post by: Gandoria on 22 April 2002, 12:17:00
I have an idea that I "Hope" Would be good...

Anyway, they would also have fear and Adrenaline (Or other names) Which would be connected, to solve the equality problem characters would reduce the power to roughly match that of the enemy, but if they are scared they will get adrenaline and their Stats will bost up to liven it up a bit, eg...

A halfling sees a large orc still in the woods, charging towards it he draws his short sword. The ogre notices the pathetic animal and merely swats at it with his club. The halfling feels the pain from the larger character then adrenaline fills his body, he ignores the chest wound then stabs at the ogre...

Now fighting at the same strength level both characters enjoy a challenging fight, so...

This would encourage weaker players to pick a fight on larger characters with more confidence, meanwhile large veteran ogre wont be able to charge into an inn and kill 30 new players making the new players get bored and wander off...
What do ya think?

Long live the Razarek, rightful Orc lords.Come Help out at the island of ... http://pub30.ezboard.com/btheislandof



Title: Complicated Stat system
Post by: Myrik on 25 April 2002, 12:53:00
A complicated stat system in my opinion is fine as long as the player doesn't have to allocate points, and do research to play the game.  If the stats come natural by using the skill then you avoid having to have the player mess with stuff at all.

We will do more studies on this later of course.  As of right now I envision a few bars to represent the currentLevel of an attribute compared to the user's maxLevel.  For example a current hitpoint bar showing the percentage of the max hp level.

I havn't determined how to or even if it's necessary to show skills.  If we didn't show skills it would certainly add a new level of realism the rpg.  Like I said earlier we will visit these issues a bit later and do some additional research.



Title: Re: Complicated Stat system
Post by: Edwark on 27 April 2002, 16:34:00
I do like the idea of stats improving as they are used, and I like the idea of no levels.  This tends toward competition rather than good RPing.

Also, I like the idea of there being many stats, rather than just 4 or 5.  Istead, I think there should be a few main areas (say, four or five:p ) and then each of these areas would contain a few sub-areas.  For instance, Reasoning (the ability to get along with people and avoid conflicts), Street Wisdom, and Charisma would all go under Appearance.

Well, that's about all for me, escept that I'm making a table-top PRG with my friends, and I could share those stats and sub-stats with you guys if you like.

"And the youngest of the family is moving with authority! Building castles by the sea, he dares the tardy tide to wash them all aside!" - Jethro Tull



Title: Re: Complicated Stat system
Post by: Gandoria on 28 April 2002, 02:59:00
I used toplay a lot of table top Rps but something something... :rolleyes
I kinda stopped but they still fun. Anyway... watya all tink bout my fear and Adrenaline Stats...

Long live the Razarek, rightful Orc lords.Come Help out at the island of ... http://pub30.ezboard.com/btheislandof



Title: Re: Complicated Stat system
Post by: Tekradon on 28 April 2002, 20:20:00
I kind of like the idea Gandoria.  I do agree that, as in real life, any given person has at least the slightest, most far-out chance of killing another, no matter how much stronger that other person is.  That's why I suggested the idea of not gaining HP (is opened a different post for this).

"Deep red are the sun-sets in mystical places. Black are the nights on summer-day sands. We'll find the speck of truth in each riddle. Hold the first grain of love in our hands." -Jethro Tull



Title: Q
Post by: Raoneth on 16 May 2002, 12:14:00
Um... probably a stupid question, but:
Are you thinking of putting stats and rules and other shit (sorry) in to the "adventures of sorren" RPG board?

Memeto viti.



Title: Re: Q
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 16 May 2002, 12:39:00
Nope, that's for the 3D game only.


Contact Artimidor - Webmaster & World Development Admin
The Santharian Dream - Where fantasy dreams come true



Title: Stats
Post by: Myrik on 16 May 2002, 14:22:00
The Adventures of Sorren and The Lands of Sorren games will not be effected by these changes at this time.  It will not be my decision to make if the Adventures of Sorren decide to adopt the stat gaining formula's but I'm of the opinion the the system we have now is too complex for human players to calculate and has to be part of game server itself.  I don't think it would be appropriate for a play by post system.

The Lands of Sorren could potentially use a similar system.  I have considered this, but the person to add the code would be me and I think my time is better spent focusing on developing the 3D game itself.



Title: i am back for the time being.
Post by: King Arthur of Camalot on 16 May 2002, 19:01:00
i am back i have not got to read the rest of this forum but it look like this place has grown.



Title: um, yeah...
Post by: Raithe on 29 August 2002, 18:22:00
On the top end of stat complexity is a system I composed myself; it uses eight primary stats, with three 'factors'- substats- for each.  Basically, the factor value and skill values are added together, along with a multiplier based on skill mastery- as you can see, it gets quite complicated quite quickly.  This is only further compounded by the derived stats (Body, Mind, Spirit, each of which has two seperate ratings- stamina and vitality). I intend on using it if I am ever able to design a codebase myself; unlikely, but hey, I can hope.  
The nice thing about the system is that the players can choose how much they want to know; they can have a simple set of descriptive texts (You're remarkably strong, extremely agile, slow-witted, of impressive presence... etc), all the way up to a complete list of the numerical values of each of their factors.  Something for everyone.
At the extreme opposite end of the spectrum is the Tri-Stat system in use for BESM RPG (Big Eyes, Small Mouth- generic anime with kits for most popular series).  This divides everything up into Physical, Mental, and Spiritual with perks and flaws to represent specific abilities (ie, strong but slow or weak but fast).  Yes, I did borrow heavily from this concept in designing my own...
It's very simple, but gets the job done just as well as a more complicated system.  It's all about what you feel comfortable with.