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ElAntonius

Realistic RPGs?

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Basically, here''s the system that I''m working on that should eliminate that horrendous hp system. Instead of the character having a universal amount of hps, each part of the body is governed by wound "states". Lets take one instance, the arm. Lets say the player recieves a sword blow to the arm, and the rolls made are such that his armor/stats are unable to prevent a wound. His arm, which was previously uninjured, is now considered lightly wounded, and he recieves minor penalties to related stats (such as parrying and weapon skill). If he were to take another hit, his arm would degrade further, with more penalties, etc, until the limb would be useless. Kills would only be possible by wounds to the torso or head, or blood loss. The difference between this system and hp systems is that the player does not gain the capacity to be more wounded, he simply gains the ''skill'' to prevent wounds from happening in the first place. I''m still working on the specific math of the system, but I''d like to know what people think of such an idea, in light of a prospective game that I''d like to work on (hopefully =) Moo.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by ElAntonius
The difference between this system and hp systems is that the player does not gain the capacity to be more wounded, he simply gains the ''skill'' to prevent wounds from happening in the first place.

So, in other words, no difference whatsoever. The classic HP model does not try to pass itself off as a "number representing the amount of damage one can sustain" but more of a generalized pool of damage evasion, representing any number of factors, including dodging, ineffectual hits, etc.

Also note I''m not defending the classic HP system, I just think apples should be called apples.


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I like the system, because if someone keeps hitting your arms, and you need them to attack with your sword, you don''t do as much damage, or if they focus on your left left, and you use a sword, you will still be able to do as much damage, just not run away as quickly, etc. It is definetly MORE realistic, but still not realistic . Now, to make it more realistic, you could make it so they limp when one of their legs are damaged, or crawl when they both get to bad, and hop on one foot when one is really bad, etc. Now that would be realistic, but damn near impossible to do convincingly.

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Actually, there is a massive difference.

Lets take an hp system for a minute:
The player takes 8 out of 300 hp worth of damage, current explanations of hp would explain that it is a minor wound, lets say in the leg. However, the player could theoretically take 8hps of damage in the leg till they die.

Now lets take the wound system
The player takes a wound to the leg, and now they are considered to be wounded in the leg...they suffer a speed penalty etc. There is no actual number representing the health of the leg like there would be in an hp system, only different wound states (of which there are 4 or so), and a hit represents a degradation to the next state, or in the case of a critical hit, more than one state.

Unlike an hp system, where the players capacity to take hits increases, the wound system increases the player's capacity to evade getting hit at all. However, getting cleaved with a sword represents the same to a high level player and a low level player, something that an HP system never accurately simulates.

Think of it this way: when an experienced swordsman gets head to crotched with a broadsword, they die just like you or me. However, someone who is a skilled swordsman would prevent that head to crotching in the first place, not take the hit and magically survive.

In other words, both systems DO increase the survivability of high level players: however, the hp system makes hits more meaningless, while in my system, hits retain their same killpower, but lethal blows become less likely.

edit: ready4dis: Rest assured I'll try. I'm probably going to do the artwork for the game (though I feel far more comfortable with code and design), and my top priority is realistic and cool animations, which I believe make the world oh so believable.

Moo.

[edited by - ElAntonius on March 31, 2003 8:52:16 PM]

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But really all you''re doing is adding stat penalties to the system, which many HP systems already employ. Unless your RPG is more like an action game, where you''re actively controlling the running, jumping, shooting, swinging, and pimping that your character is doing, there''s nothing in your system that couldn''t be handled by the same system that lets Oregon Trail decide when Jimmy gets Typhoid.

For instance:

Big swordfight, Knight vs. Troll:

HP System:
Troll Attacks, Knight takes five HP damage.
Knight Attacks, Troll takes four HP damage.
Troll Attacks, Knight takes six HP damage. *Knight''s right arm is hurting!!*
Knight Attacks, *Troll deflects the blow!!* Troll takes one HP damage.
Troll Attacks, *Critical Hit!!* Knight takes 12 HP damage. *Knight is Blind!!*
Knight Attacks, *Lucky Shot!!* Troll is decapitated.

Your system (As I see it, and a little snide):
Troll steps toward Knight, swinging sword down and left with both hands, strike glances off of knight''s breastplate, but cuts him slightly on the abdomen. No action penalty, but some small loss of blood.
Knight reels from the jarring impact, and swings his own sword from right to left, slicing off the troll''s right nipple.
Troll brings his sword back up, catching the knight under his right arm, where the armor is weakest, doing some tendon damage.
The knight, now suffering from the most recent slice, shifts to a weaker one-handed grip, and tries to hit the troll. Since he''s so much slower with just one hand, the troll deflects the blow and takes it on his thick shoulder plate.
The troll tries to finish the knight off with a head thrust, but the knight ducks down and away. The jab slices a deep gash in his forehead, and blood pours into his eyes, temporarily blinding him.
Desperate, the knight lashes out one-handed, and by sheer luck his sword glides smoothly between the troll''s helmet and breast plate, cutting through his neck and decapitating him.

From anything but a cinematic standpoint, the first system is just as good as the second one. Random numbers can decide when a limb has been hit and how much damage the wound did. Standard RPG math can sort out action penalties, increasing or decreasing the probability of such an event taking place.

Even if you manage to make this system as badass realistic as you suggest, what player will be able to take advantage of it? The Fallout system was enough, and if you want to make it better, make it better with animations and particle-based blood splatters.

This desire to model every nuance of an artificial world is a recent folly that I myself have been guilty of. I don''t know how many of you guys read Plato, but the Gorgias is a good reference here. Game design is a knack, not an art (techné). We aren''t concerned with creating the truth of a world, we''re concerned with giving the impression of a world. If this trend continues, we''ll have people on the art forums looking for good modellers to make protons for the virtual molecules in their games. Don''t go nuts with this stuff.

Besides, there''s no such thing as a computer game that doesn''t use numbers to represent stats. Even if you have a nearly analog system, the computer will have numbers for each variable. Use the modified HP system, just don''t show players the numbers, and for all intents and purposes your goal will be attained.

That was long and fairly negative, and I apologize on both counts. I hope this criticism turns out to be at least a little constructive.

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The two systems you''re describing will still work essentially in the same way..you''re really just playing with words.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Didnt the Fallout engine have a slightly similar approach?

Wounded arm less accuracy with weapons?
Drugged, overall fatigue and uselessness.
Slower movement.... less action points.

I think you should use your system. As for realistic.. Hmmmm
Dont think it will be done anytime soon

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I disagree.

BTW, I don''t mean uber-realistic, what I mean is better than HP systems, both in terms of verisimilitude and fun.

Put it this way, in an hp system a player can be killed by 1 hp papercuts.

I am NOT attaching a counter of any sort to this system, in other words its NOT that your leg has any sort of percentage...only a current state.

What I''m proposing is shifting the balance from ''tanking'' to ''evasion''.

In an hp system, lets say a goblin does 6 damage. On a critical he might do 18, which is still insignificant to a player with 300 hp. Yes, that goblin may rack up that 300 damage, but never is there the possibility that the goblin will do 298 damage in a single blow.

In the system I''m proposing, that goblin could still do a significant amount of damage to a high level player, lets say he lands a critical hit, and the player loses the use of an arm. This is balanced by the fact that a critical hit is fairly unlikely, given how skilled the PC is vs the goblin. But there remains the chance of critical damage, and attrition is much more serious.

I see this as more than cosmetic.

BTW, Iron Chef, I do not mean to make this ''badass realistic'', though I think that would be great. What I mean to do is create a system where low level creatures can still present a danger, and (see my post in the XP systems thread) 50 lv 1 creatures can challenge a lv 50 player, something that I do not believe hp systems simulate well.

Yes, Fallout did a great job of simulating varied wounds, but that is not the approach I care to take. It bothered me how you could eventually easily survive bullet hits in that game.

Oh and apology accepted. =)

Moo.

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The paper-cut phenomenon is a very real problem and I wholeheartedly support any attempt to eliminate it. I guess what I''m getting at is that HP systems aren''t bad because they abstract damage, they''re bad because you can actually have enough HP to be chewed on by a bear without dying.

The problem is that it becomes an argument of the beard. After all, how many papercuts does it take to neutralize your leg? Can you actually be cut enough to be rendered unable to walk properly? If so, then each cut has to do some damage.

You continue to insist that your system won''t use a numerical representation of health, but that you''ll have "states". I foresee a real problem with that. Let''s say you have five levels of hurt: 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. 0 is unhurt, 4 is amputated/killed. Heck, let''s say you have between 0 and 10. That''s a lot of states. Now, let''s take a really weak, but not insignificant, hit. A slap. You get slapped in the arm. Is that enough to take your arm from 0 to 1? No? Then you are effectively invincible to slaps. You could get slapped a billion times and your arm would still be unhurt. If it does take you from 0 to 1, can another take you from 1 to 2? 2 to 3? Either you''ll reach a point at which you BECOME immune to slaps, or else you can be horribly crippled by ten slaps.

I advise you to use at least a percentage if not an HP value for this. And have it affected differently by different attacks. Slap injuries could regenerate, while blood loss or cutting wounds don''t. It''s helluva complex, and I wish you luck.

For my clumsy attempt, take a look at http://www.adeliedreams.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=146

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I really didn''t finish my thoughts on that last one. your idea about being able to avoid being hurt is a very noble one. i''ve always loved seeing my little guy parry an attack. The fencers and swordmasters in Ogre Battle 64 had a pretty good chance of blocking and I always found it gratifying to see them take a hit on the blade and then chase the enemy back acros the field to slash the crap out of them.

If you can make that real, then you''re the man. If you can''t, try to fake it.

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