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Basic RPG stats usage


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#1 chaim79   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 02:05 PM

Does anyone know of info on how RPG stats are factered into the game? ie. intelegence, wisdom, vitality, etc. I am aware of the basics of what they effect, but no spacifics from anywhere. Also is there something that discusses the different RPG stat systems in detail/comparisons? Thanks. Erik of Ekedahl I am a madman running through the halls of computer latency, freeing the dark-suckers from their pedistals of atrophy... man I need some sleep.

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#2 Dalik   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 02:19 PM

If you want to make your own system then its easy to put those attributes to use, but the hard part is to make them balanced.

for example

CON = health for most games anyway

CON = 10
1 CON point might equal 10hp/level

so if the char is at level 6 with 17 CON points then do basic math

6*17 = 102HP then you can put in modifiers such as magic effect, and armor effects, potions, skills that might effect the CON pool etc..

So it just comes down to math formulas. In order to keep everything balanced then you might have to changed what the values are equal too at higher levels, say when that char reaches level 10, then 1 CON point is equal to 13 HP, or all new CON points gained after level 10 gives you 1 CON point + 3hp points.

I dont have office installed so sorry about the spelling errors

#3 Fruny   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1653

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 02:37 PM

Also is there something that discusses the different RPG stat systems in detail/comparisons? Thanks.

Buy several "pen and paper" RPG rule books and learn from them.


“Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.”
— Brian W. Kernighan (C programming language co-inventor)


#4 Fidelio66   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 11:03 PM

Those rules depend on your system. The most common one is the AD&D rule system. Here you have 6 stats, STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA which can range between 3 and 18. If you go above 18 they are written as 18/02, 18/03 etc.
Then you have hit points, mana points and armor points, which are used for weapon attack, magic attack and defense.
Nethack uses this system as well.
However I think that you cannot just use it in games, you''d have to get a license from the publisher (SSI ?)

#5 bleagh   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 04:02 AM

RPG stats are almost always way too complicated and arbitrary. I can''t believe anyone is still using STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA - it''s so alienating to people that have never used paper and pencil RPG''s.

Also the connection between the stats and the effect in-game tends to be woefully opaque - which is why you have to ask the question.

For example why not just have a health stat and if you level up then you can increase that directly.

Make up your own stats and integrate them into your own design. Keep them simple, explain what they do and bear in mind that your audience may be new to the genre.

Simple transparent stats can interact in complex ways to produce interesting results.

STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA, RIP!



-game design monkey-

#6 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 04:09 AM

>> Here you have 6 stats, STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA which can range between 3 and 18.

They''ve changed this... now those 6 stats go from 0 to infinity.

see d20 page:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/srd35

#7 Inmate2993   Members   -  Reputation: 222

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 05:00 AM

In a "generic" RPG, stats usually form the basis of an Action Resolution system. Typically with PNPRPGs, the Rules and the Worldbook are separated, so the DND rules for example are generic and useable in many places, but each worldbook would help the GM prepare stories that would put the players through various Actions and Resolutions.

In a simple example RPG, say we have a stat, Agility, and a skill Lockpicking, which depends on Agility. In our world, we find a Lock that more difficult then normal. Just for argument sake, lets say its 1d6 (1 6-sided die). A player adept in lockpicking, and with 4 Agility would resolve this lock by adding 1 to 4, Lockpicking + Agility, and then subtract 1 because it''s a difficult lock. Thus, he 1+4-1 means that he has to roll 4 or less on the die for it to work. If it works, the door is unlocked. If it doesn''t, then he''d have to wait to his next turn to try it again.

Now, when you get to a Computer RPG, theres no rule that these stats have to be at all generic. In fact, in Console RPGs, the stats tend to be specific, and usually only towards Combat situations. Like, a damage algorythm would be
Actor.Attack * Random(0.9, 1.1) - Target.Defense

What I''m basically getting at is that Stats are usually a numeric way to express what will occur rather frequently and need some form of measurement.

#8 chaim79   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 08:48 AM

.... so I''m basicly back to building my own system from scratch... ok... I guess.

Erik of Ekedahl

I am a madman running through the halls of computer latency, freeing the dark-suckers from their pedistals of atrophy... man I need some sleep.

#9 ahw   Members   -  Reputation: 263

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 05:14 AM

Well, if you are asking about stat systems, you can, as has been said, look at existing "open" systems.
Namely, the Chaosium system (used in Chtulhu, Stormbringer...), the Silhouette system by Dreampod 9 (Tribe 8, Heavy Gear, Gear Krieg), the Warhammer system (OK, not open, but it''s one of the Great Ancient games), the Simulacres system, the GURPS system by Steve Jackson Games, the World of Darkness system by White Wolf (Vampire, Werewolf, Exalted...), and of course the D20 system (Dungeon and Dragons).

Some systems are combat oriented (you can convert your Warhammer characters almost seemlessly to the Warhammer Battle games...), others are more open (WoD uses a Physical/Social/Mental categorisation I find particularly appropriate), some are made of numerous stats that help you flesh out your character in details (I am thinking of the 12 or so stats in the Silhouette system, for instance).

Hell, there are so many approaches... each new roleplaying game designer tries to design its own system, if they feel other systems lack *something*.


The D20 system is based on ... D20 (meaning a 20 sided dice) and you have to roll the highest possible.
But there are other approaches.
In Warhammer, you have to roll the lowest possible on a D100.
In the Silhouette system, you roll as many D6 as your ability score (say, hand to hand combat), but only keep the highest dice. You have to roll higher than a set difficulty. Success is quantified by the difference between your roll and the difficulty.
In World of Darkness, you have to roll as many D10 as your ability + stat level, against a set difficulty. Each dice above the difficulty is a success. The more succesful rolls, the higher the success is.
And so on and so forth...

Each system has its own probability curves, its own "fatality rate" (as one would call it), its own way of resolving actions, and of course, how to resolve fights and manage the player''s health and damage levels.
Usually the biggest part of a rules system is its fighting system, which epitomise the more simple action resolution system.

The best thing is to PRACTICE roleplaying. Play and see what you like. Some system I love for the smoothness of the action resolution mechanism, some I love for the health and damage system, some I absolutely HATE for the same reasons
(I cannot EVER stand the magic system in DnD, for instance. I have, ever sicne this game existed, and to this very day, thought it was uber crap. Which is unfortunate as some of the spells I find really nice :-7 )

So anyway... I hope you take the time to at least check out the names I mention above, I am sure you would learn a lot from it.
Check out "demo games packages" that some of those roleplaying games offer for people to test out a "lite" version of the rules, this might give you ideas.

And please dont base your system on DnD just because it''s popular. It''s popular yes, because it''s SIMPLISTIC. Not because it''s good. It''s easier than it was now, but as has been said numerous times on these forums, a computer CAN handle complex systems, so why limit yourself to a simple limiting system when you can do something nice that give that nifty touch of realism ?

good luck


Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

#10 Inmate2993   Members   -  Reputation: 222

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 05:58 AM

Be careful about the whole dice mentality. The only reason dice are used in pen and paper role playing is because Dice are a good means of creating unpredicatble numbers. In the world of computers, we have stuff like the Mersene Twister which can produce numbers so unpredictable and with such a wide range that you can set just about any arbitrary number as the base of your own system. The trick is however to make these numbers meaningful to the player. What good is a lockpicking skill level 7 if all of the doors in the world need at least 8?

#11 Luctus   Members   -  Reputation: 580

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 06:21 AM

quote:
Original post by bleagh
Also the connection between the stats and the effect in-game tends to be woefully opaque - which is why you have to ask the question.

For example why not just have a health stat and if you level up then you can increase that directly.



Because the CON attribute is a stat determining the _amount_ of hp gained at each level.

-Luctus

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#12 ahw   Members   -  Reputation: 263

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 06:22 AM

oh I was just showing various examples to illustrate the fact that there are quite a lot of possible approaches.

I didnt even mention things like various dice being use for various damage calculation (1d3+2 for a dagger, 2d8+2 for a sword, etc),
damage multipliers system (a weapon does a certain amount of damage multiplied by the margin of success of a combat roll),
or even damage classes (say, a dagger is class (A), a sword is class (D). The actual damage being based on the Margin of Success of a dice roll, looked up in the appropriate class table. These tables tend to give number that increase exponentially rather than geometrically like the damage multipliers).

My point is there is a SHITLOAD of way to approach the problems and each has its own advantages.

And as you put it nicely, each is designed to fit in its own universe (or rather, the universe stats are calibrated to fit the system).
Some systems are rather lethal (most modern systems I know of, in fact), while some emphasize "clash of titans" experience (the old ones, Warhammer and Dungeon and Dragons for instance).

Which type you prefer to use is a rather difficult question, as the classic DnD like systems, with their "clash of titans" attitude, will tend to make the game quite enjoyable in the paradigm of a computer game. Stats that increase regularly, bigger and badder monsters to fight. All this is good for the reward process (positive feedback, IIRC ?) that seems to work best for a cRPG.
On the other hand, in a pen and paper RPG, the emphasis is on campaign play, which means that players SHOULDNT improve too quickly and should be more careful about what they do. This is term is translated in game mechanisms that make everything much more difficult, lethal.
Attacking a full plate armored knight on horse when you are a footsoldier with leather and a pitchfork is doable with a *lot* of thinking and roleplaying on the player's part, but a brute force approach like you would see in a cRPG would get killed you. In one go, probably.

Again, I think these little things are much easier to comprehend when one has actually played proper roleplaying games. Not just the computer kind.


Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

[edited by - ahw on February 10, 2004 1:33:20 PM]

#13 TechnoGoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2648

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 06:26 AM

There have been so many stats systems over the years, that it doesn't really matter what one you base yours on. But don't get caught in the whole pen and paper mentality since they don't need to apply to computer rpgs. In fact why not take advantage of computing power and include a massive number of stats. why have 6 when the computer can handle 60 just as easily? The player might not be able to keep track them all, but thats fine don't show them to the player. You could have the body divided in into:

Head,
upper left arm, torso ,upper right arm,
left hand lower left arm lower right arm, right hand
trunk
upper left leg , upper right leg
lower left leg lower right leg
left foot right foot



then give each body part its own set of stats.
With this you could perform tests using specific body parts. Right handed and picking a lock? Thats right hand corrdination + lockpicking.
Your Female character trying to pursuade the male guard to let you pass. Thats head beauty + torso beauty + speaking skill.

basicly don't get bogged down using an existing system, instead create one that you feel is most approprite to your game.

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I'm a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document



[edited by - TechnoGoth on February 10, 2004 1:27:27 PM]

[edited by - TechnoGoth on February 10, 2004 1:29:03 PM]

#14 chaim79   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 08:25 AM

quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
Your Female character trying to pursuade the male guard to let you pass. Thats head beauty + torso beauty + speaking skill.




mention the above to my girlfriend and that would be my
head->attachment_to_torso = false.

Erik of Ekedahl

I am a madman running through the halls of computer latency, freeing the dark-suckers from their pedistals of atrophy... man I need some sleep.

#15 chaim79   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 08:35 AM

Thanks for all the time and input, I kinda think what I will be doing is something similer to Diablo2 for health (vit stat) if you dig around in modding stuff they have a set base for health then (per character) an amount of health added per vit level. This looks to be the easiest method for that, (and no, just cuz the computer can compute complex systems doesn''t mean I have a hope of balanceing them).

As for the other stats I''ll be working with some friends who are big in RPGs and see what we can do. We probably will not be doing anything we PNP RPGs, we''ve never actually played any of them or had any interest in them. (pulling out flame retardant covers for PC) But will be baseing our choices on RPG games that we have played (see any RPG made for Genesis, Sega CD, PS 1&2).

Thanks again for all the input.
Erik of Ekedahl

I am a madman running through the halls of computer latency, freeing the dark-suckers from their pedistals of atrophy... man I need some sleep.

#16 bleagh   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 10:28 PM

quote:
Original post by Luctus
Because the CON attribute is a stat determining the _amount_ of hp gained at each level.



See, that''s what I mean... There''s no biological link between constitution and health - it''s just a D&D habit.

If you''re not familiar with the D&D stuff then CON is CONfusing. At the beginning of the game you have to make a choice about whether to increase CON or some other statistic - but you are not equiped to make this choice, since you have no experience of the game world.

Much better in my opinion to offer the player a choice on level up when he/she has experience of the game world. And much better to offer a direct increase in a stat - should you increase health or sword-fighting skill?

RPGs offer very interesting gameplay but they are really hampered a reliance on historical terminology - hit points, stat abreviations like CON, d20 + 1, etc. - all of which is very alienating to people who are new to the genre.




-game design monkey-

#17 ahw   Members   -  Reputation: 263

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 03:33 AM

That''s because you are using old RPG systems
I started DMing Tribe 8 two weeks ago, and most of the 7 players had never heard of Tribe 8, let alone pen and paper RPG for most of them. But they caught on really quickly to the whole system.

Of course, subtleties like which stats to increase to have better chances of survival take a bit of experience, but that''s why I am here to help, eh.
Still I have been waiting for a VERY long time to see a damage system on computer that would be as interesting as many of those I have seen on pen and paper RPG. I have always been surprised at the level of "realism" PnP players actually WANT compared to computer games where they could be handled totally transparently, but are not :-S
Go figure...


Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

#18 Iron Chef Carnage   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1828

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 09:37 AM

I''d like to support the various suggestions for making your own. The oldest systems were based on the Greek virtues. There were virtues of the mind/soul (the Greek word "psyche" [pronounced "soo-kay"]means both, but is often translated just as "soul") like wisdom, intelligence and justice, and there were physical virtues ("gymnasticae" ["him-nas-ti-kay"]) which were strength, speed, agility, endurance, dexterity, and the like. How complex do you want your system to be?

Final Fantasy Tactics had like four stats for the character, and the rest were defined by class. I think they had brave, faith, speed and basic attack and defense stats, which were almost totally bound to equipment. Others just use attack and defense as their standards (combat being the primary activity) and match STR against CON for physical damage, DEX against AGL for hit %, and INT versus WIS for magical damage.

Read as much as you want, and assimilate features you like, but don''t feel constrained. I''ve often complained about the general lousiness of HP systems, but they do the job just fine for most. Good luck with your project.

#19 TechnoGoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2648

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 09:47 AM

That reminds final fantasy tactics had an intersting system for armor. Bascially armor had two stats defence and HP as well as possibly some other bonuses. Defense decresed the damage you took, and HP increased your characters HP, in other the characters HP was not just how much damage the character could absorb but also how much their armor could absorb.

so a character with 50HP puts on a suit of platemail(Def 50,HP 250). The characters final HP would be 300. Also you could destroy armor so destroying the plate mail would reducde the characters HP to 50.

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document



#20 Raghar   Members   -  Reputation: 92

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 10:49 AM

Creation of RPG system is comparable to writing compiler. I did it 2 years.

So I would recommend to learn from existing RPG systems and hope they wont bite you becose you'd not be able to understand them completely.

RPG from consoles are in fact more or less using just one system, more or less modified.

quote:
mention the above to my girlfriend and that would be my
head->attachment_to_torso = false.


She dislikes her face and torso? Strange.

[edited by - raghar on February 11, 2004 5:52:00 PM]




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