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Octarinne

RPG Character stats to avoid powermaxing and dice rolling

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While designing my CRPG I''ve been thinking about the stats that the characters and NPCs will have. And I have come up with an idea that would result in players avoiding playing for building stats. It would work by linking stats by two. For example: Take two stats: COURAGE and AWARENESS. High Courage allows the character to fight tougher monster while lower courage forces the player to flee the scene more quickly. High Awareness would allow a character to "feel" danger, traps and better evaluate the strength of an opponent. While low awareness would make the player somewhat distracted. Being linked, both stats would be the inverse value of the other. So if a character has a 7/10 courage value he would have a 3/10 awareness value. Being courageous makes someone more confident and thus less aware. While being a coward makes someone more aware or his surroundings. Potions could temporarily influence the stats values to make a character "better" for a while without having the negative effect on the related stat. So if a player absorbs a potion that doubles the courage it would not affect the Awareness value. But if the courage value increases beyond the set limit the character would go in RAGE mode. Fighting out of control until the effect wears off or until he dies. And the same would apply for Awareness but would result in Fear/Paranoia. I''ve yet to think about other stats like Strenght/Muscle mass (would probably require more food and be linked with agility). But I think the concept could work well and would allow total freedom in the player''s customization of his stats. No more dice rolling for higher values. Just change the stats you want any way you want because making a stat higher makes another one lower. What do you think? --------------- Shareware CRPGs http://pages.infinit.net/bprezeau/CRPG.html

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Although I am all for eliminating the requirement of powermaxxing behavior in games, I notice some problems with your design. First of all, players will likely react negatiuvely if you take control away from them, unless they have complete understanding of the system. If you are going to have characters automatically make decisions without the players, be sure that the players have some way to control the terms under which those decisions are made.

I don''t see a correlation between courage and awareness. If I were you, I would avoid creating artifical links between abstract real world concepts. Balance is great, but sometimes you need to do away with balance to make a system realistic, or playable.

Reliance on potions or other material objects would invariably lead to powermaxing behavior. When a certain material is a commodity, the result in most games is an economy based off of power and death. Bad cycle to start off on.

Of course, if these things are something you feel would be a benefit to your game, so be it. Anything can make sense as a design, so long as you do it with style. Keep up that independant though!

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I am not sure balancing the game by balancing the characteristics is a very realiable solution. But my opinion is based on the fact I see better solutions, and inconvenients in such a thing.
for instance you say the more courageous, the less aware ... well ... a true hero is the one that even though he is brave, keep the danger in mind, otherwise, he is just a brash warrior who''s gonna get backstabbed . isn''t he ?

But as Freakshow says, why not. Maybe you can come up with a very nicely balanced system.

I merely wanted to give you a suggestion :

Why on earth increase the characteristic ?
Did you read this post in Gamasutra about the adventurer writing to his master (I think it''s in a designer''s diary, hilarious).
Frankly, if anything has to change during the time of an adventure, I would choose the characteristics last. Things like Intelligence, Physical abilities, innate abilities... I mean, you got those stats after YEARS of life, and suddendly, they start growing, growing ... mmmm. Nope. don''t like it.

So what''s the answer, well, I like the idea of skills ... call me unoriginal, but I like that. I especially liked the Stormbringer/Chaosium system (tabletop RPG) where you would get a "mark" for a particular skill everytime you got a critic. At the end of the adventure, you would throw a dice, and EVENTUALLY, increase your skill by a little score. the higher your skill, the harder the test (basically, do less than 100% -your skill, with a D100. So at 10% you have 90% chance increasing, but at 80%, you only have 20% ...)
Each stats is related to quite a bunch of skills, Agility would give a "base" percentage to any skill in that area, the player choose to increase some when he creates his character, and can increase each skill independantly, everytime they are actually used in an uncommon way (critical dice) or through practice (very long)...
The stats know become as important as they should be, because increasing in a stat means that ALL the skills underneath get boosted as well !

To summarize, well ... I think the solution is in not using the actual stat system, but rather something much more broad. This would destroy the ovesimplified scheme that we have currently.

I mean, for God sake, when I first saw computers 11 years ago, and then discovered RPG, I thought "hey! the computer could throw the dice, and deal with all those resolution tables". But no, we still use those stupid 6 stats system ... (or is it 9 ?)

Please someone looks at Rolemaster and there tables for critical shots !!! (one table per type of weapon, just to give you a nice description of what just happened when you made that critical hit with your two handed sword against that goblin).
Jeez, I still remember spending 3 hours creating a character for Warhammer ... and God knows this isn''t the most "storytelling" RPG you will find.

Well .. I got carried away .. hehe Hope I gave something useful


youpla :-P

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the thing to do is distribute the bonuses for various stats evenly, and of course make all the stats equal in utility. For example the 3rd edition D&D stat chart is superior to the 2nd in every way. For example you might get a dexterity of 14 and a constitution of 11. To maximize your power the correct choice is elf, (who gets +1 dex and -1 con) since there is a functional difference between 14 and 15 but no difference between 10 and 11. The 3e rules have changed it so that picking your race always makes a functional difference in both affected scores. Meaning that instead of trading nothing for power you end up trading power for power. Now choosing elf over human means that you will always have better dodging ability and fewer hit points than a human with identical initial scores.

So the trick is to avoid sweet spots where the rate of improvement jumps for no apparent reason, make things linear.

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Thanks for the replies.

I''ve just come to the realisation that my idea is actually a point based system. But instead of being spread over all the attributes I just put them by couples. So I''m going to scrap this idea. But I''m probably going to keep the "over the top" effects like rage. I''ve seen this in Shadow Watch and found it amusing when my characters were shot too many times and went on a rampage.

My game is aimed at the people who play Myst, CRPGs and adventure games. I want to make it simple yet very powerful. So I must plan wich character attributes will be used and how they will be used very carefully.

For example, in my game the player will be defined with as many attributes as the NPCs. This will allow the game to offer choices of actions that will correspond to the type of character played. But if the player would want to suddenly do an "irrational" or "out of character" action he will be allowed to modify his character''s personnality but not his physical attributes.

So let''s take a "moral" attribute. If the player is a "good" person he will have the choice of helping other characters. But if his moral attributes is changed to bad he now would have "evil" options. That''s just a simple example to explain the concept.

I think that this will result in players playing more in character and allow for lots of options without drowning the player in them. And it will also be very easy for the A.I. to play in character since the NPCs options will be limited to their mentality type.

More comments on this?

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>>
You sound like an open minded individual. I like it. Let me know if you need any help.
<<

Thanks. When I need help I will write a question in the appropriate forum. Although I am an open minded individual I am also very hard headed. This is why I try to work alone. Once my mind is set on something I usually stick with it. And this makes working in a team very unpleaseant for all.

But when I have enough design made I will ask the people who dwelve in here to check it out on my web site and give me some constructive criticism.

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Octa, being hard-headed is not a flaw, it''s a bonus... the people that can''t work with you are the people that don''t know how to examine themselves for ideas.

I think we have a LOT of hard-headed people in this forum, and thats why there''s such good discussion.


Give me one more medicated peaceful moment.
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