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## RPG system idea

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9 replies to this topic

### #1Havok635  Members

Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:15 AM

So I'd like some feedback on a  rpg system idea. How do you all feel about a system where the player's character can lvl like a normal rpg, but certain abilities and powers are "random". Like the character is gifted in magic or is psionic(this "random" is influenced by the characters past and stats like high intellegence by increasing their chance to get it). Im just not sure how this would be recieved by players because if they want to be psionic for example its not a guaratee.

Hope that made sense, I know I didn't word it well. So any questions please ask

### #2Kenji Kousagi  Members

Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:41 AM

As in a sort of DnD roll the dice and hope you get a sweet stat? If its anything like that I would reserve it for bigger abilities instead of average.

On the other hand if its also guiding stats and the game is class based and the growth also random, I think that as long as random favors the class it wouldnt be so bad.

Let's say intelligence and strength are stats. On level the fighter class gets between 2 and 6 str and 0 to 4 int. It is still random but in a more controlled manner. The same could be done with abilities. I think that as along as the random is guided there should be to much of an issue. Especially if it is a game where you can collect lots of party members (like tactics ogre or final fantasy tactics).

Edited by Kenji Kousagi, 18 January 2013 - 11:37 PM.

### #3Sandman  Members

Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:29 AM

The main reason why it's not done in most mainstream games is because basically, it usually ends up being not fun.

If there are multiple character builds available, let me choose the one I want to play. Effectively randomising it is just irritating, and forces me to either make do with whatever junk the RNG gives me for the whole game, or restart over and over until I get something I'm happy with. Both of those are negative outcomes as far as my enjoyment of the game is concerned.

Roguelikes can get away with randomization of stats because characters are pretty much expendable anyway - but even those games tend to only randomize within certain limits to ensure your character is vaguely competent for the character class that you chose.

That said, it could be interesting to randomly (and secretly) give the character some special power. And then as part of the game, they have to discover it and figure out how to unlock it...

Edited by Sandman, 18 January 2013 - 07:29 AM.

### #4Milcho  Members

Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:41 AM

That said, it could be interesting to randomly (and secretly) give the character some special power. And then as part of the game, they have to discover it and figure out how to unlock it...

I agree with this - if all your characters start off the same (or nearly the same) and yet they have some hidden yet-unlocked abilities that are randomly given, it would be interesting to explore those abilities and their extent.

Much in the way that exploration of the world is interesting, the exploration of your character's abilities could be interesting, and probably enough to be a game in of it self.
Trying to imagine a more specific example of this (of course this is only my view and only one way that this can be done):

Say you give the player an ability to 'focus', in a very standard press and hold button X way, and your character had the hidden ability of telekinesis.
If that character focused on a small enough object (defined by the 'mass' of an object, say a vase) the vase would wobble slightly. Further attempts of 'focusing' on the vase would yield more control over the movement of the vase, until eventually your character was able to pick it up.
This effect would only manifest itself when initially focusing on a small object. If you started a brand new character with the 'telekinesis' hidden ability, and focused on a large rock, nothing would happen, nor would your ability develop further. You would only be able to lift large rocks after progressively focusing on something small at first and slowly attempting to focus on larger and larger things (e.g. vase, bucket, wooden planks, smaller rocks, etc)

By the same scheme (using focusing), say you have a character that has pyrokinesis as an ability (for lack of my imagination right now).
Focusing on that same vase wouldn't yield any results, nor would focusing on a large rock. However, if you focus on a candle, or say, a small piece of paper, you could make make it smolder/smoke, and further attempts would increase your ability to heat things up, until eventually you may be able to focus on a large rock and melt it away.

With more time and imagination, you could come up with dozens abilities, and make the player explore their character. You could have branching paths of sorts, where two hidden abilities manifest in very similar manners (focusing on a metal object would make it wobble whether you have telekinesis or er... ferro-kinesis (basically magnetic powers)). Or possibly allow multiple hidden abilities in the same character too.

As a more detailed addition to this "focusing" you could have a system where you could focus while thinking of a combination of two common elements (think http://armorgames.com/play/6313/doodle-god Doodle God) and have the different hidden abilities be revealed (only if present in your character of course) in case the player picks the right combination of things to 'focus' on (e.g. focusing on air + dirt would reveal telekinesis... sort of an odd example, but i'm shooting more for giving inspiration rather than trying to tell you how it should be done)

And this isn't even thinking about how you could possibly combine your abilities and their strength with the standard rpg level system.

As to the comment that such systems might force player to re-start the game. I also feel this way about games which have a random element.

I was thinking that one way you could fix this would be to give the player the ability to create more than one character in the same world. Say the player develops a character with water control abilities, and then starts a new character that ends up having fire controlling abilities. If the fire-character encounters some sort of puzzle or something that would require water abilities, allow the player to bring in the water-character into the fire-characters world and play there. So, basically a sort of a single-player-persistent-world, where you can only play one character at a time, but you could switch to any character you had already made (via some system of course, not necessarily freely and anywhere)

Anyway, I went a bit overboard. If done right, I think exploration of your character's abilities could be a very interesting idea!

Edit: fixed a couple of mis-types and missing words.

### #5swiftcoder  Senior Moderators

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

That said, it could be interesting to randomly (and secretly) give the character some special power. And then as part of the game, they have to discover it and figure out how to unlock it...

I've always thought this would be an interesting way to structure a rogue-like.

Rather than letting the player choose talents, you randomly assign the character a complete set of talents upon creation, but hide them from the player. Progression is then a matter of discovering and honing your latent talents, which seems like a better analogue for real life...

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @ Amazon - [swiftcoding] [GitHub]

### #6FLeBlanc  Members

Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

Some roguelikes, such as Crawl, feature random mutations. They do add an element of surprise and tension to the game. Depending on how you play (choosing whether to worship Xom, or playing a Demonkind character, or wearing an amulet of resist mutation for example) you can either play it safe and try to avoid mutation, or dive right into the ocean of crazy and see what happens. Note that in most successful mutation systems I've seen, the mutation isn't everything. The core character abilities are still mostly under the player's control (though, of course, roguelikes tend to feature a lot of randomization as far as spellbooks acquired, etc...)

I prefer this type of system than one to where all of a character's core abilities are randomized. If I set out to play a magic-using character, for example, but every core ability I obtained was randomized and came up melee heavy, I would stop playing. I hate playing melee, so having the randomizer force me into it would only be annoying.

### #7swiftcoder  Senior Moderators

Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:08 AM

If I set out to play a magic-using character, for example, but every core ability I obtained was randomized and came up melee heavy, I would stop playing. I hate playing melee, so having the randomizer force me into it would only be annoying.

I guess that's a fair point. I'm one of those people who always play with a fully randomized character

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @ Amazon - [swiftcoding] [GitHub]

### #8Gulthuk  Members

Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:07 PM

What if you were to have conditions in place to affect the general outcome of the randomizations? Something along the lines of I'm going with an Arcane damage type class so the random generated skills will be based off those parameters. That way you can avoid the whole well I want to play a arcane dps mage but got stuck with a healer melee issue. By doing this I could play my blow things up Mage but I also will find myself learning just what powers I have at my disposal. I think that this would provide you with that randomized character skill set you want while providing a decent amount of stability to get most people to run with it. I can see myself learning how to use my abilities. But also learning about my inner powers as a character. Sorry if overly long just spent a while mulling it over and came to this idea.

### #9Havok635  Members

Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:52 AM

Thanks for all the input it was helpful. And I was going for more of latent random abilities, not forcing a class on someone or affecting their lvling. My best example is like XCOM: Enemy Unknown where the psionic able characters are random. But in the game I'm making it would be more than just psionics. I just don't want to create a condition where people stop playing because they couldn't get the character they wanted.

That said, it could be interesting to randomly (and secretly) give the character some special power. And then as part of the game, they have to discover it and figure out how to unlock it...

I've always thought this would be an interesting way to structure a rogue-like.

Rather than letting the player choose talents, you randomly assign the character a complete set of talents upon creation, but hide them from the player. Progression is then a matter of discovering and honing your latent talents, which seems like a better analogue for real life...

And ya the last statement is the feel is I was going for

Thanks again everyone

### #10Malevolence  Members

Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

This idea reminds me a little bit of Pokemon, where the IV (initial values) and EV (effort values) of a Pokemon determine what the pokemon will excel in, but are for the most part kept hidden from the player. Those interested in competitive battling can figure out IVs and breed for the ones they want, and can train specifically for the EV they want. This adds a lot of depth to a seemingly simple levelling system.

This works well in Pokemon because you can catch multiples of a character and breed/train in specific ways, etc. However, such a system may require some tweaking if you only get the one character to play.

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