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acid2

My idea for RPG skill/class progression

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Hi, This is my first post in this forum, so - go easy on me ;) Anyway, I'm considering writing a small RPG, and one of the funnest elements of this genre of games is the ability to evolve your character, but I've never really been happy with the way its been done. So, here's a system that I thought up years ago, but have recently got round to typing up. Brief overview: A new, ambitious skill system is the foundations for the rich character formation that Atlanitis hopes to achieve. It works by having skill orbs that can be arranged in a grid like fashion. As the player evolves and advances, they have the oportunity to evolve a skill orb. This unlocks skills that they can learn. To learn skills, players must locate a teacher – and then decide on a skill path. The skill teacher will then train them gaining new skills in the skill set. As they learn new skills, the skillset orb will produce a 'child.' This child represents a single skill in the skillset. The player can carry up to five of these balls, for each skillset, and is free to rearrange them as they wish. However, the higher skills require the player embeds the knowledge of the skill orb, unlocking the higher skills. Certain skills require different circles of experience (levels), so the player must continue training them self. Concept picture I have produced a small picture for you that illustrates this concept. Here we see the start skill is "jab." It requires 1 skill orb to learn, and you will probably get this when you decide to have this skillset for your character. Then, you can either take the path to learn "backbreaker" which is an incredible damaging path - all of those slams and attacks do a LOT of damage, but require a lot of training. Or, you can take the longer path, and have more attacks that do less damage. Thanks for your time in reading this, any comments/criticisms appreciated! Of course, any questions about something you don't understand let me know and I'll try and explain. - aCiD2.

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This is quite common (atleast in the RPGs I've played..) the biggest problem with an expanding tree based system like this is that some "groups" of skills will interlink (or should, anyway), and this becomes confusing when discussing the trees in this manner. Prerequisite tables is the simplest form of handling it, but is harder to see the flow between, so at the end of the day doing both is a good way forward (trees for in-group listings, prerequisite tables for linking lists together).

Just my 2 cents.

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It's not a bad idea. FFX did something very similar, as has been noted.

It always felt like "buying" skills to me, which I naturally abhor, but I guess it's good enough.

I think that you could use this skill tree system with a different training system. I've seen it before, but I can't give you any examples, so I'll try to describe it.

You start with "jab", and your "on deck" skill is "snapkick". While you're "learning" snapkick, you can attempt to perform it, and you may or may not succeed. Once you've had it as the "study" skill long enough, and obtained enough experience, and so on, you "learn" it properly, and can use it with a 100% success rate. Meanwhile, "hook" becomes your on-deck skill, and you start working on it.

After you've learned the hook, you get to choose whether to work on palmstrike (a more advanced skill that will take more time and effort to learn) or hammerfist (which will come fairly easily to you).

Performing actions within the same schema of skills will contribute more to their close relatives than other types of moves might. This way, it will be natural for a character to develop skills in the approximate specialization of a "class" without binding them too closely to a single discipline.

I remember now! That lousy LotR RPG used a system a little like this.

I guess my point is that a progressive skill acquisition system is good, but "buying" skills with "orbs" sounds a little generic.

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Yeah, seemed familiar to me, guess it was FFX.

I've never really liked the idea of being able to shift what skills you have so easily.. in this situation removing an orb from your bag and losing the ability to Jump Kick, for example. Losing/gaining some skills this way just doesn't make much sense, though some skills, like a fire orb granting the skills of fire, would make a lot of sense and could even provide synergy with the plot. I guess maybe a mix of skill development could be used, the orbs could be used for magic/etc and the other more natural/physical skills could be gained however, but not removed once gained.

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Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
It always felt like "buying" skills to me, which I naturally abhor, but I guess it's good enough.

Is this a bad thing? Training is very similar to purchasing skills. You're spending your time learning them. In a game, most players don't want to practice on dummies before using techniques. It also allows crazy people to turn on the auto key and force their character to train like a space monkey. So a work around is allowing them to practice anything and put the experience somewhere else. I guess it's not very realistic. But you could look at as though your character is growing, and as they progress, they are allowed to train a bit in whatever they want, behind the scenes.

Quote:
You start with "jab", and your "on deck" skill is "snapkick". While you're "learning" snapkick, you can attempt to perform it, and you may or may not succeed. Once you've had it as the "study" skill long enough, and obtained enough experience, and so on, you "learn" it properly, and can use it with a 100% success rate. Meanwhile, "hook" becomes your on-deck skill, and you start working on it.

After you've learned the hook, you get to choose whether to work on palmstrike (a more advanced skill that will take more time and effort to learn) or hammerfist (which will come fairly easily to you).

Wow, this is very similar to the system I'm using. In mine, you have normal moves and special techniques. Special techniques use tech points similar to a fighting game with a super gauge. As you gain experience with a special attack, it uses less and less tech points. Once you master a special technique, it becomes a normal move, and doesn't cost anything to use. You can then start using a new special move derived from it in it's place. There are no misses in my system, though. There is always a 100% hit rate, if the player aims successfully.

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Im working on a skill progression system for my game as well, and yours is very similar to mine. One caveat is that I never envisioned "skill orbs" ala FFX. My game is based off of the mid-range Final Fantasy series in play style, with an ATB gauge and HP/MP. Probably the closest in playing style would be FFV.

Essentially, my system is based on skill points (SP) and finding a teacher. Each town would have a group of teachers to teach the 'conventional skills' such as weapon skills, basic magic skills, etc. They would provide this service at a set monetary value, and hence, you would quite literally be purchasing skills. Most skills won't have prerequisites so much as be separated via levels. You couldn't learn lv 10 sword use without first learning lvs 1-9.

There would be additional teachers in the world that would teach the non-conventional skills. They would typically be unique, and often require some side-quest or special item to teach the skill(s). Some may require skill prereqs, but most prereqs will be covered by the quest/item requirements. In this manner, you could certainly give a super-secret martial art to your studious mage, but he wouldn't be able to use it NEARLY as efficiently as your tough fighter. On the other hand, even if a fighter's ability to use some form of curative magic is stunted, it still might come in handy in a pinch.

The monetary cost for conventional skills is to add an additional money sink for the game. The monetary requirement will also be used to graduate the skills in terms of availability (i.e. you can't afford to buy 10 levels of the skill, even if you go out and earn 10 levels worth of SP). The quests/items for the non-conventional skills are used to either separate them via plot - you can't learn the skills before a certain point where you have access to the quest or items - or just as marks of prowess - like prizes for beating the secret super bosses (not really sure if there will be any of those.. why not?!).

The skill system is still in the early alpha stage. Once I get some more notes concerning it jotted down, I'll make a post here for critiquing.

Phew, sorry, just demonstrating some of the nuances of my skill system. I like yours too, but Im not entirely clear on how the players employ the skillset orbs. You mentioned that the limit is 5, yet your Backbreaker skill requires 6 orbs. If there are multiple types of orbs here, and Im just unclear on the issue.. could you explain it a little differently, and separate the ideas?

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The example was used earlier about punches and kicks. Different systems handle skill progression in different ways. Alternity for example, has a series of broad skills, and specialiation skills, there is boxing and also power martial arts both skills allow you too different moves. The old star wars system on the other hand had a system where you had broad attributes, and skills in those attributes. Some combat systems put unarmed combat into one category. Some roleplaying systems, have different skills for dodge, blocking, punching, kicking, etc.

This is one of the things I would like to find a book on, how too design a skill system. Although, I think finding a teacher is a good way I don't think that shouldn't be the only way to advance one skills in the game. Sometimes is good to go out and do some self discovery. For example, sometiimes it's good to go off and practice punches and kicks by ones self.

Also another point I wanted to bring up, was sometimes if you don't learn stuff in the right order it can hinder one's progress. For example, if you the roundhouse before learning the roundhouse knee, it can be detrimental, because it can wear down the body.

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