Now I know that tri-stat was a system back in the day but well as a name it describes what I always have in mind and that being a game with three core statistics that nicely describe all the most important things about a character without becoming horribly specific. Those stats are Body, Mind and, Spirit, I tend to think that these cover more or less everything you’ll ever need to know about a character. Other meters, gauges and pools can be created around them or as additional advantages based off of other purchases.
Body covers a character’s physical prowess.
Mind covers the character’s intellect and perception.
Spirit covers the character’s tenacity and willpower.
Now I’m also a big fan of the FATE system and the three stats above are a bit woolly so I feel it best that the player adds a brief description to each of their stats that describes how their character represents their scores.
Let’s say Wei Yun is a great-axe wielding soldier in an Eastern Epic of some sort
Body 4 – A strong barrel like physique strong and enduring as a mountain.
Mind 2 – Some would say a great common wit, but little in the way of knowledge.
Spirit 3 – His iron will is indomitable yet he has little stomach for spiritual matters
Cao Lon is Wei Yun’s martial ally, an expert with the bow
Body 4 – Lithe and tall, like a coiled spring his delicate movements make him seem like a dancer
Mind 2 – Spent his time drinking beneath the peach blossoms charming the ladies but would sooner avoid tricky debate.
Spirit 3 – Since his youth, he was attuned to the spirit world and is sensitive to motions of both the heavens and the earth.
So here we have two characters with the same stats but with different descriptions, these then can be used by the player, other players or the law bringer to give bonuses or negatives to rolls.