The Megacorp RPG System uses 4 trait scores as a primary means to modify rolls. Additionally, these traits also replace hitpoints. Any damage received is dealt to a trait and reduces its score.
IQ - - The mental trait, Intelligence Quotient is a composite score of a character's memory, intelligence, creativity, intuition and so on. Any interaction that involves thinking basically adds the IQ trait score to the roll. Situations where IQ is used: Hacking, deciphering an ancient language, finding a legal loophole in a contract. When damage is done to IQ it means mental fatigue, distraction or a state of intoxication.
EQ- - The social trait, Emotional Quotient represents how charming, funny, eloquent, inspiring and etc a character is. Any social interaction would use the EQ Trait score. When damage is done to EQ that means discrediting, slandering or otherwise social stigma.
MQ - - The ethics trait, Morality Quotient represents the conviction of the character's moral compass (how committed a character is to their ethos, be it evil or good), wisdom. An interaction that requires a character's judgment, integrity, Situations where MQ is used: resisting torture, considering giving or receiving a bribe. Damage to MQ could be demoralization, numbing of ethics, loss of innocence, emotional trauma.
BQ - - The physical trait, Body Quotient is a composite of how fast, strong, and resilient a Character is. Objects and equipment generally have a BQ score to determine their structural integrity before being physically destroyed. A physical interaction with the character would use the character's BQ score. Damage to BQ is naturally physical damage and or injury. A disease would cause BQ damage (And potentially another kind of damage), so would a bullet wound.
Starting traitsTo determine a character starting trait scores, simply roll a d10 8 times, recording each result and use them to create four 2-digit numbers from 01 (one) to 00 (one hundred). Assign one each to IQ, EQ, MQ & BQ (note: higher numbers are better). For example, Vivian starts playing and wants to create a new character. She rolls a 10-sided dice 8 times. She gets the following numbers: 0, 8, 1, 3, 5, 4, 4, 2. Each of these results can be used once and each trait is composed out of two results; one roll for the first digit and one roll for the second digit. She chooses to arrange them this way-
The GM may allow players to reroll scores that are too low – its an RPG, and the players are the stars of the show.
The trait modifier is calculated by dividing the score by 10 and rounding down. In the case of Vivian, her IQ modifier would be 8. When damage is dealt to a trait, simply subtract the damage from the trait score. E.g.: Vivian is outwitted by her opponent, and she has IQ 81 but sustains 3 points of IQ damage. Her IQ will be functioning at 81 - 3 = 78 for the rest of the game. Yes, you read that correctly. Damage is permanent. Traits can be improved in special circumstances, such as genetic enhancement, cybernetic enhancement or at the G.M's prerogative.
Permanent vs Current Traits
When a new character is created, the traits that are rolled represent the permanent trait value. Meaning that a character may have 50 BQ when they are fully rested and healthy. Damage or other effects, such as locking traits via performing psionic powers, having an active genetic modification, etc, will decrease the current trait value.
For example, Amadeus, a Corp with 50 BQ is shot in combat, and is dealt 7 points of BQ damage. His current BQ value would now be 43, meaning that his BQ modifier is now +4 instead of the original +5. When Amadeus rests, he can restore some of his BQ , but he cannot gain BQ past his permanent value of 50. Increasing Permanent Trait values can be done via training and other effects in the Megacorp setting.
Gaining Trait Points
Trait scores are intended to change up and down over a play session. As described in the 'damage' section, losing a challenge roll can cause a player to take permanent damage to their traits. This means that methods to increase trait levels are reasonably common. A GM should award trait points over time as characters practice their competencies, complete missions or as generally appropriate.
Cap on gaining Trait Points
Gaining Permanent traits is part and parcel of improving your character throughout any campaign, but there is a limit to how much permanent trait value you can gain. Whenever your character would gain points for permanent trait value, the maximum amount of trait you can gain in a single day (24 hours) is equal to your PPS. For example, if your party has a PPS (single highest number of ranks in any one competency) score of 6, you can gain up to +6 BQ per day. This cap applies to all traits combined. That means a player in a party with PPS 6 would, for instance, be only able to gain +3 EQ , +2 IQ and +1 MQ in a single day.
GM note: This is a systemic safeguard to prevent players from min-maxing by endlessly increasing their traits. Also note that if a party somehow stumbles upon a more powerful chaperone, e.g.: An ICBI agent with a peak skill of 8 joins a party with PPS 3, which essentially increases their PPS to 8. This means that all party members can now obtain 8 permanent traits per day through training and experience.
Recovery after battle
During a fight, Tao was slashed on his chest (3 BQ damage) and sprained his ankle for another 1 BQ damage. He treats the cut himself with his first aid Competency, but fails his challenge with a VM of -2 and takes 2 more BQ damage as a result. The next day, he visits a doctor who treats his wound with the medicine competency with a VM of 3, and Tao recovers 3 BQ .
Since damage done to traits is permanent, recovery after damage should not necessarily be to "full hp", but instead allow one challenge for initial care, and potentially an additional one if there is continued care – and the victory margin of these challenges is the amount of trait recovery you receive. In real life, you will recover from a broken arm in a month or so, but that arm will be weaker in the future. You can also recover damage in traits other than BQ – if you suffer psychological trauma, you can see a counsellor to recover IQ , or go to a party and socialize to recover EQ and confidence after a failed speech or negotiation.
Growth with competency
A useful method to allow trait growth over time is to increase the relevant trait when a competency level is increased. For example, Tony is cooking for a dinner party and he achieves a critical success in the challenge. Everybody loved his Adobo, and his IQ trait improves by one point along with his cooking competency.