Early February will see the release of my first roleplaying system, USR, which I'm really excited about. This is the beginning of a series of posts looking at characters in USR, starting with one of my favourite literary heroes of all time - Sherlock Holmes.
Wits - Observant (+5), Chemistry (+4), Deduction (+5), Geography (+2)
Action -Handgun (+3), Fencing (+2), Boxing (+2)
Sherlock Holmes is a renowned consulting detective from London, England. He is well known for his baffling powers of deduction and superior investigative skills. He knows much about the minutiae of seemingly random topics, such as cigar ash and varieties of mud, but this vast knowledge serves him well in his investigations. Although a loner, he does have one companion: Mr John Watson, who accompanies him on his many adventures.
So what do these stats tell use about Mr Homes? Having a high Wit score means that he is a very intelligent man who is perceptive and cunning. He also knows how to handle himself in a brawl, so hit Action is his secondary stat. His lowest attribute is Ego, which is due to Holmes' irritability, loner lifestyle and apparent rudeness towards others.
His specialisms sum up his life experience and what he has learnt through his countless cases. He is incredibly observant and well-versed in chemistry. The bonuses you see are added to their respective rolls when Holmes wants to use a specialism. For instance, if he were to use his Chemistry specialism, he would roll 1d10 + 4, the result ranging from a respectable 5 to a mind-boggling 14.
As you can see, characters in USR are very easy to make and advance. Attributes don't increase because they are very broad and someone can't automatically get better at everything within a given attribute. Instead, characters either level up a current specialism or add a new one that they have a logical reason for acquiring. This means that characters will gain experience through good roleplay and advance according to their character.