Ok, I was thinking in the shower about how stupid dexterity is…hmmm…maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned I was in the shower.
Anyway, as a stat, it doesn’t make much sense. Characters with high Dex are agile? Huh? It comes from D&D of course, but even in that game while DEX helped thieves (makes sense for lockpicking, anyway) it also lowered AC. So it was really agility. The problem is that DEX != AGI. Being a surgeon means you have high DEX, but it doesn’t mean you can dodge bullets. You could also have nice AGI but crap hands. So I think more games should have BOTH stats. A thief or a magic user could use that high dex for lockpicking or spell casting. But a warrior would need agility much more than dex. I know it seems like a silly point, but my dream game would have tons of stats and they would all apply correctly.
Ugh, I shame myself by getting in the middle of this, but technically DEX lowering AC could make sense. If you’re more dextrous with your hands, you could likely deflect blows easier. Think martial arts.
Rolemaster does that, Dex for manual dexterity and Agility for speedy dodgings.
Ah Rolemaster, with your ten stats, two hundred useless skills, six hour character-rolling sessions and nine million hideous ways to die, how I miss you.
RM is such a nerd’s system, with all that entails - really simple elegant core mechanics, vast unwieldy columns of numbers, giggle-inducingly gory criticals. Fiendishly hard to learn, but very powerful and easy once you have the details down.
Modular too, so you can just slot the combat mechanics into whatever namby-pamby story-based system you choose and instantly make it 2-3x10^5 times more awesome. Mage with sucking chest wounds? So cool.
So why not do what we used to do when rolling up D&D characters using the old (I guess it’s old?) 3d6 system?
You link Str/Con, Dex/Agi, Int/Wis, and Chr/Com.
Then you roll 2d6 for each of the four linked attributes, and then 1d6 for each individual one. Thus no stat paired with another will be more than a numerical value of 6 away from it’s counterpart. A character with 18 Dex could have an agility no lower than 12, for instance. A character with a Con of 8 could have a Str no higher than 14.
FWIW, agility always seemed to me to be full-body quickness and control–closer to what a gymnast does, while Dexterity was more a manual hand-eye coordination.