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Roderik

Need Ideas for new charactersystem

9 posts in this topic

Hey, I just got an idea for a new way to describe your character in a RPG than by giving you stats like strength, intelligence etc. in numberform; what if you would just do what everybody would do if he describes a person? At the "character creation" or whatever it's called, you don't give your character values in predefined stats, instead you just "describe" him with a few adjectives, such as "pretty strong, good reflexes, not very much stamina, big frame, a bit slow in thinking, but with a good memory" or something like that (you can, of course also omit some attributes; you don't have to say anything about the characters intelligence, but instead describe his physical attributes very detailed; that's because this system should actually be much more flexible and "humanlike" than the traditional AD&D way of doing it). Then, based on this, the computer could of course use some number-stats system to evaluate how good you are at different things, but the player doesn't get to know those numbers. So if you want to create a thief-like character who is quite welleducated and knows a little bit about magic, you just tell the computer instead of fiddling with numbers (maybe by choosing a few attributes out of a big list or so). The problem is, how do you exactly let the computer make sense of the characters description? And about character advancement, I think a good system to use with this is one, where you actually don't really realize that your characters stats change; you just play, and in those things your character does often, he gets better, and in things he neglects, he gets worse, everything according to his main description you gave at the beginning of the game. So, any suggestions anyone? Edited by - Roderik on 6/26/00 3:47:16 PM
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Nice idea, but impossible.

A computer can, in no way, make sense of english. It can read it back to you, almost.

So first we''ll hit on this.. how could this work? perhaps you could have like a drop-down menu of choices. And have those choices out of order. Is he bulky? blah blah blah. And do it like a Mad Lib It''s feasible this way.

How do you keep people from picking the best of everything? That''s going to be your hardest question. Perhaps on the Mad Lib one you simply take away options as the point total of what they''ve selected adds up to a certain ammount. Say "super strength" is worth +8 and "weakling" is worth -5. Now, when they pick the former, they get 8 points added to their attributes. Once that number reaches a certain ammount, those worth 8 points are no longer avalible because they''d put you over the point limit. Well, this forces them to balance the character out in some ways. So.. how do you plan to accomplish this with your system? You can''t assume people are going to just make the right choices. Think of the consumer as a mean, nasty person who wants to take advantage of every mistake you might make That''ll help shore up your defenses!

J
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Well, actually I thought about it like this:
You have a big list of attributes, and in the background, there is some counter. When you pick an attribute, the counter is decreased by how much "the attribute is worth"; this counter then determines which choices are still left, until, if you have a lot of attributes, no choices are left (some choices will, of course, contradict to other ones and thus rule them out); of course, you can stop whenever you want, and your character doesn''t really have to become better if you take more choices; it''s not 1 choice = 1 bonus on some attribute, it just, well, changes the attributes in some cases, taking something away from one attribute and giving it to another one; this attributes are more to get a well defined character, who doesn''t consist of numbers, but who is described in a way everybody can understand immediately.

The idea is, that the number-system is so well hidden, that you can''t even guess what it''s like, ino rder to prevent power-gaming; and if some power-gamer freak really wants to find out how the system works and how he can make the best character possible, well fine, why not reward his effort with giving him a really good character? My game shouldn''t be about perfect balance anyway; there are maybe a few pregenerated, "wellbalanced" characters for the beginners, and "advanced" players may experiment, whatever the outcome may be.

However, as I said before, the point of all of this is to prevent power gaming and giving the old D&D-Statssystem a new twist; I mean, this system takes at last advantage of the capabilities of a computer, it wouldn''t be possible in a P&P-RPG, no?
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Niphty, you''re *kinda* wrong.

You could be given the characteristics to choose from. Then, you make sure they are all balanced and functional, and derive a system to balance the power. I''ll explain more if anyone cares, but I think I wrote this already somewhere.

"The unexamined life is not worth living."
-Socrates
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LOL.. Landfish, I think you''re not realizing what i mean. He said have the player type in some things and have the computer determine stats offa that. That''s impossible right now.

A DM can create a system just like you mentioned here Roderik. That''s how a lot of things start, actually. A DM decide there''s a flaw, and makes a new system. Nowadays, though, it''s nearly impossble to break into the pen and paper RPG market because no one''s interested in it anymore. TSR is only alive because WoTC bought them.
Now, there is no "counter" which could do this that you speak of. There''s a FUNCTION that could do it. The function looks at what you select and takes away choices which are no longer appropriate. This way you could pick from a list of several different descriptors and the order you put them in determines their level of importance and how much the "attribute(s)" are modified. Afterall, whatever the person places first is obivously what they''re most concerned with
I see this system could work, but it''s gonna be HARD to work on and develop. I wish you luck in your endevor, and i''ll provide feedback if you want. As a programmer, i know the limits of the information systems on today''s computers as well as their processing capabilities. Really, if you can dream it, you can write it and someone can code it, but it''d be hella expensive to have a professional code some system like you''re wanting

J
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No no, Niphty, you really got it wrong; I''m of course not talking about typing in your description, I know that''s not possible! What I''m talking about is creating a character by chossing some attributes from a big list or something like this nd describing him this way. Then the computer makes sense of this description and gives the character some stats (which are hidden from the player); or maybe he doesn''t make sense of them and converts them to traditional stats, because that''s what I actually want to avoid. Whould it be possible to create a game where your "stats" only consist of a description like "Your character is: weak and pretty ugly; dumb as hell; a big liar; has small hands (hey, why not?); has a good memory; didn''t do any sports when he was younger; can''t read; is good at building useful things out of wood; had a serious accident when he was younger" or something?
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Roderik.. it''s very possible to do this. You have to be VERY good at the descriptions, and.. like i said, the order they choose them should make a difference. That''s how you''d describe yourself. You''d put your most important atributes first. This should be pretty cool You could even give them stat names and tell them to order them and still come out with a pretty good idea of what they want. With varying levels of things, though, it''ll be a bit hard to keep people from powermaxing once they''ve figured out how it works. And that will happen, and those people who''ve been playing for a while will feel cheated. So.. unless you change things around once people figure it out, then it''ll eventually be a problem

J
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I once worked for 4 days straight with minimal sleep on a text based rpg in Qbasic for fun. At the end of the 4 days, I took a break from it, and just my luck, we encountered some computer problems and in a mix up my work was deleted, oh well.

I had elimanted the need for the player to choose numbers. I had seen this done on another rpg before, so I tried it myself. Heres what you do.

You have a screen with each of the abilities of a character. Strength, agility, stamina etc...you have a rating system: poor, fair, all the way up to something like excellent or uncanny. Each rating can cover a number section, such as "poor" ranging from 1-10. I also made this up for multiple races by the way, so the possibilities per race were different. With the use of random numbers and a mathematical process which balanced out the character, the computer would generate the character possibilities up on screen. Below it, it would have stars next to the character class that these stats would be good for. The more stars in the class that you want to be, the better the stats are. So, the player sees the stats up on screen, but he wants to be a ranger, and right now, there is 1 star next to ranger, and 3 stars next to barbarian, so he doesn''t want these stats. He chooses to not accept, and then the computer generated stats switch to another random set. The player keeps going through till he finds what he wants, then he picks it. He then answers a series of questions. Hair color, alignment, eye color, etc. Enters his/her name. So then, the final over view screen pops up.

It went something like this.

Before you stands (name) a/an (race) (class). He is (height) with (hair color) hair, (eye color) eyes, (HP number) HPs, and weighs (weight). He follows the (alignment) and he worships (God).

This is followed by his defense/attack/armor etc ratings. Remember, no numbers, just words that represent a number range. To get the height, I used an equation that took into account the agility, stamina, and dexterity. Higher agilty means shorter, higher dexterity means shorter, while higher stamina means taller. It is all kinda worked out and added against a constant based on the race of the character. Then there is your height. As for weight, I took into effect Strength, Stamina, agilty, and dexterity, (I think). I pretty much had Strength and Stamina adding more weight and agility and dex taking off. Again, take the worked out number and add against a constant that has to do with the characters race, and there is your weight. Here is an example of the outcome.

Before you stands Drildor Mendaq, a Goblin Thief. He is 4''2" with yellow hair, black eyes, 115 HPs, and weighs 107 lbs. He follows the Choas alignment and worships Baal.

There ya go. Try working with stuff like this. Just have words represent number sections, and try to base other things about the character realistically on his/her stats. Enjoy


Raz



"Imagination is the key to Creation"

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Correct me if i am wrong, but what is the purpose of making this elaborate natural language interface when in the end it still gets converted into the good ole stat system?

Its not how you specify the stats, but how they work within the game rules that really matters IMHO. So a more versatile stat system would be better, maybe one allowing you to combine stats ? For instance, you have a container, you fill it with a measure of liquid representing strength, say. Screen scrolls down, you mix in some dexterity , observe results. Etc etc.

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Well Now,

I have seen a similar system at work
where skills equal points and you can
only have a maximum of so many, like
Niphty mentioned before, + 8 and so on.
Can''t remember where though. Good luck
anyway. I might uses that system myself
if you don''t mind that is.

STVOY

Mega Moh Mine!!
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