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RPG Character Stats Question

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I got a few basic questions about stats. Does all Characters and NPC's have the same type of stats?

I know all Characters and NPC's that can battle need HP stat.

My eFriend said I should include:

Strength
Intelligence
Wisdom
Dexterity
Constitution
Charisma


How do these stats effect characters/npc's? Do NPC's need these stats too? What are some other stats to add?

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These are the standard RPG stats, but if you have no use for them, there is no point in having them. You may find that you need more or less stat type depending on your combat system. There is no standard way to do it. It all depends on the combat system goals and depth you want in your game.

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Thanks for quick reply Tiblanc. You wouldn't happen to know a site that has a list of possible "RPG char/npc Stats" with a description of what they can do.

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You should simply try to figure what kind of stat you need instead of looking for pre-made formulas. (Because if that's what you're looking for, there's D20.)

If you just want the general purpose of those stats, it's something like this:
  • Strength: Influences melee damage, in some times, it also permits a character to wear heavy gear.
  • Dexterity: Usually influences functions that have something to do with speed, focus or agility, such as chance to hit, chance to dodge, and damage with ranged weapons.
  • Constitution: Makes the character harder to kill, usually by influencing maximum health.
  • Intellect: Either influences mana, or the effectiveness of magic.
  • Wisdom: See intellect. Some games have a stat for white magic and one for black magic.
  • Charisma: Mostly related role-play, to convince/seduce NPC. Usually unrelated to combat, except for beast masters.

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Thanks for the stat information Bearhugger. I am not looking for pre-made formula's. I am trying to find out what type of stat's I am going to need for my rpg before I start designing my Database Structure then start coding so I don't have to go back and change things overtime.


A little about what I am adding. Every item has a weight. Each character can only carry so much weight around. I'm guessing that is where Strength comes into play.
For attack's, I want item attacks, magic attacks, spell's (freeze, poison, list goes on), healing.
For my traveling system. I am unlocking other NPC's and Area's based on character Stat's, item's, if talked to NPC's, as well as completed quest's.
I also have Character Skill's (hunting, fishing, mining, wood cutting, farming, alchemy, herbalism, crafting). Not sure if these related to character stat's.

According to your description's of the stat's. I will be using the following stat's.
  • HP
  • MP
  • Strength
  • Intelligence
  • Dexterity
  • ConstitutionOpinions?

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There are so many varieties of stats you could have and so many ways they can interact. Nothing is set. If you don't understand how this works though it suggests you need more knowledge than a few forum posts could provide. Go pick up an RPG and play it, but pay attention to how it works. Look it up online and find out how the stat systems work. Do this for a few games.


Some examples:
Diablo has no charisma and few stats in general because it is more action oriented and less RPG oriented.
Oblivion has about the set mentioned above because it is less action oriented and has character interaction influencing stats to support the role playing interactions with NPCs.
Dragon Age has:
Strength
Dexterity
Magic
Willpower
and Cunning.

Strength and dexterity determine melee and ranged damage. Both plus Magic are used as requirements for putting on equipment I.E. You must have 21 dexterity for this bow, or 36 magic for this staff, etc.
Magic is used to determine spell power and unlocks high level spells while willpower is used for magical resistances and your mana pool. Will power though ALSO determines a warrior or rogues STAMINA pool which is their equivalent to mana for their special moves. This means willpower, normally a mage centric state can't be ignored by them.
Cunning is the stat used for character interaction, specifically it is used for persuasion against NPCs, but it is also used by rogues as a requirement for their moves, for some of their equipment and they even have a skill that lets rogues use cunning in place of strength in melee damage calculations. So cunning then is not just the roleplaying state that carisma is in other games. On top of that, strength can be used to persuade in the same way as cunning can but those options are called intimidate.

As you can see, you can keep a pretty normal set of stats and use them the traditional way, you can strip them down to the bare bones, or oyu can keep them and use them in new ways. I hope from this you get the since that there is no right or wrong per se, but that you need to do what is good for achieving your goals.

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Be careful not to put the cart before the horse. The stats are very important to ta player, because they tell him how advanced his character is, but as a designer, you need to transcend that and look at how the stats will serve your engine. What will they be used for? Maybe you don't need to split up strength and constitution, if you don't need characters to be either high-damage and low-defense or vice versa. Similarly, if Intelligence determines magic power, what governs magic resistance? Are you using the same constitution that protects against physical damage? Will Int do both, causing powerful wizards to also be largely immune to spells? DO you need another stat, Fortitude, that controls your magical resistance independent of your casting power? Do you want to make a distinction between dexterity (the ability to make hits or parry) and agility (nimbleness for moving and dodging)?

Remember, the "standard" stats are not set in stone, the early PnP RPG designers used the Platonic physical virtues from ancient Greek writing (also the original source of the four paracelsian elements of water, fire earth and wind) because it seemed to make sense for them and their system. Your system might not need the same tools.

Think about your game and how these elements will interact, don't shackle yourself to an early idea. If you find yourself two months down the road wondering how to rebalance your whole game so that Constitution isn't useless, don't be afraid to just get rid of it and replace it with armor stats or something else.

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Quote: Foundersim

(hunting, fishing, mining, wood cutting, farming, alchemy, herbalism, crafting). Not sure if these related to character stat's.

According to your description's of the stat's. I will be using the following stat's.
  • HP
  • MP
  • Strength
  • Intelligence
  • Dexterity
  • ConstitutionOpinions?

    Ideas and suggestions:

    Hunting, Fishing, Mining, Wood Cutting, Farming, and Crafting are dealt with Strength, Dexterity, HP, Intelligence

    Alchemy and Herbalism are dealt with MP, Intelligence.

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Find out what roles your players will take on, and what tasks they needs to do. Then create the stats that you need. Don't look at what other games are doing too much, because those stat systems were invented to solve different problems.

DnD is a party game. It's intended to have each player take on a role, with one class filling in the weakness of the other. The stats also work out for actual role playing. You might want a bard with very low charisma for amusement purposes, but that kind of stuff doesn't work out well in a video game because you just have a character that will be unable to complete the game. It all gets endlessly complex, and it's just a racket to sell more books, and new editions with slightly modified rules.

Other games that are intended to be played solo have entirely different systems that support what a single player needs to do.

You could even just use the player's level in all calculations, and have a character down to just role and level. Lots of game use a system like this. You don't even have to get stronger, you just have more options available to you. You could specialize further with perks. Both DND and games like Call Of Duty use perks.

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You could even just use the player's level in all calculations, and have a character down to just role and level. Lots of game use a system like this. You don't even have to get stronger, you just have more options available to you. You could specialize further with perks. Both DND and games like Call Of Duty use perks.

I agree with this, it could just come down to level and role for any such calculations, however, there will not be much variation between characters (of the same role). But, even then, with stats there usually isn't much variation between character, especially of the same role/class.

The problem with stated characters being so similar is because the game is designed with a specific role (as opposed to class here). In most cRPGs the role of the character is liitle more than a glorified courier or pest exterminator. Because these roles pretty much requier the same abilities in the characters, the characters all tend to have the same abilities. Sure, one character might use a magic missile spell to kill a bunch of rats, and another might use a crossbow, but in terms of gameplay, it is really just different graphics.

The problem isn't in the actions, but what the player has to use those actions for. In the end in most cRPGs it comes down to killing things or talking to NPCs.

This means that all the ancillory skills and abilities that the designers give their characters get used very little (if at all) in the games and the only reason a player would put resources into them is if they are limited in the amount of resources the game rules allow them to put into the main abilities and skill, or they don't know if those abilities or skills will be needed at all (and so try to cover any posibility just in case).

I run pen and paper RPGs, and players get to do much more in them than they do in cRPGs (like chase scenes, puzzle solving, etc), but this is not because PnPRPGs are more flexiable as these events I use are preplanned, just like they would be in a cRPG. I design the scenario, I work out the rules I need and the values those rules use. I work out the dialoge that will lead the player to it and so on, everything that would need to be done for a cRPG. But, you just don't see these types of scenarios in cRPGs.

Most cRPGs are just over burdened by stats, far more than they need. So, when designing your game you need to look at the actions you will have the player making, and also the frequency that you will have them using them. If certain actions are only going to be used a couple of times in your game, and then the player might not even use them at all if they make certain choices, then you should reconsider including those actions in the game (and the stats associated with them).

You might do this by just removing the actions and stats from your game, or (more hopefully) you might see this as an opertunity to add more variety to your game and increase the useage of these actions and make their inclusion worthwhile.

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