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Author Topic: Ruleset/System ideas #2  (Read 13235 times)
zenbitz
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2009, 10:39:27 PM »

I am just now getting to the point where Egalor has set out some "rules".  I am trying to understand generically WHY some games have rule X and some have rule Y....  I believe that 90% of it is cosmetic - like "dice pool" games where you get to roll bunches of dice.   It's not about the actual results.

On thing we need to consider is how much of the ruleset to HIDE from the player.  Hiding rules makes it much harder to min/max and game the system, but that is much of the fun for some players...  I guess you can always "publish" the rules in the PDF manual... which no one of course reads.
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2009, 04:36:17 AM »

Basic skills would mean those skills, rudiments of which might have almost every regular individual (for instance, Haggling, Outdoor Survival, First Aid, Repair etc.). PC will get a penalty when trying against these skills, if he doesn't have them checked.

While Advanced skills are those which require specific education and/or training, and could not be "tried out" if the PC doesn't have them. These might be: Picklock, Surgery, Computer Hacking, Nuclear Engineering, History, etc.

Ah, it seems like you are dividing the world into "things with defaults" and "things without defaults"   ... This is a perfectly reasonable division - but there is absoultely no reason why need a single clean division.

A mechanic that we considered for silver tree had a similar distinction.  The practical difference was that you could simply dump points into "basic" skills to gain them, while "advanced" skills required a teacher or a how-to book (how-to books would become extremely valuable) for the player to gain these skills (if he didn't get them at character creation).

Also "basic" skill could default to the applicable stat like charisma for bartering, if you didn't have any points in a barter skill.
However "advanced" skills rely on special knowledge, it's simply not possible to use only "common sense" and successfully perform surgery or computer hacking.



I also dislike D&D style class systems, they always strike me as artificial, nit-picky and un-fun.
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Jeoshua
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2009, 06:12:45 PM »

Hi.  First of all, I'd like to welcome myself to the PARPG boards.  I'm new here.

I've been making a pen and paper RPG of my own for some time now, and I've personally tried to do away with all the old preconceptions of RPGs that have accrued over the years.  These include, but are not limited to:

Experience Points
Levelling Up
Classes
Races
Etc.

Basically, my idea of the perfect cRPG takes the following form:

Stats - Body, Mind, and Spirit.  These recombine into various different derived stats that one can add points to to further customize the character

Body x 2 = Strength
Body + Mind = Agility
Body + Spirit = Health
Mind x 2 = Intelligence
Mind + Spirit = Willpower
Spirit x 2 = Charisma

Sure, I guess that seems a bit DnD influenced, but the names could be changed to whatever you want.  All in all, the 7 stat standard system seems to work well.

Skills - The ideal system has no classes, but instead you choose your skills.  This mechanic can be found in both Fallout and the Elder Scrolls computer games, as well as the Gurps and Shadowrun pen and paper games.  This is ideal. 

Taking from the Elder Scrolls series, the only way to improve a skill should be to use that skill.  Both failure and success teach you something about how to improve that skill

When the skill is low, success teaches you more of what to do
When the skill is high, failure shows you where you can improve.

That way, skills are hard to pick up AND hard to master, but not incredibly difficult to have a working knowledge of.

Experience Points - DOWN WITH XP! With the usage-based skill progression, it would be rediculous to reward people for killing things.  They already used their weapons and survived, right? So why bother rewarding them further.  This way fighters will be good at fighting BECAUSE they fight, thieves will be good at stealing because they have stolen from many people, etc etc.

This also means that in quests, there should be a tangeable reward other than just experience.  Like new equipment, money, or just the warm fuzzy feeling of a job well done.

Character Building - Without the artificial concept of levels, several other RPG mainstays are removed : Perks/Feats, Stat Improvements, and Level Scaling.  This can be worked around.

Perks/Feats - One should be able to learn new tricks when their skills have reached the prerequisite point.  Some tricks might need a teacher, others you might just be able to discover on your own.  Either way, it wouldn't happen at any kind of level up screen (ew).

Stat improvements - I think this should be automatic and based on how you play the game.  If you are an athletic person, your stats should change to show that.  If you're ultimately lazy, they should also fall.  This can lead to a "treadmill" of sorts, but that would add a bit to the game, in my opinion... use it or lose it!

Level Scaling - Just.... no.... If you're dumb enough to jump headlong into a pit of velociraptors as an unskilled, unarmored idiot.... then you deserve the most ignoble death possible.  End of story.

Reputation - Fallout's reputation system left something to be desired.  You were either good, bad, or unknown/neutral.  The Elder Scrolls : Morrowind and Oblivion took this to a new level with their Faction system.  Basically, everyone had friends and enemies, and if you got in tight with one person, their friends would have heard of you, and their enemies would not trust you.  A system like this would be ideal, of course.  Instead of being known around the world as "Mr Evil"  or "Goody-two-shoes", you'd have a circle of people who trusted you, while others would hate you for your actions vis-a-vis their group, and still others would care nothing for anything you had yet done because it simply didn't affect them.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 06:50:35 PM by Jeoshua » Logged
Jeoshua
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« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2009, 06:58:12 PM »

New topic: Numbers and Dice

Since we're talking about a cRPG, and not pen and paper, I say it does not matter how difficult a mechanic we're talking about, and it should not all boil down to dice.

All stats, skills, and basically everything should be in a 1-100 range.  1 being totally useless and 100 being absolute perfection.  The "rolls" for different things should be based on a bell curve.  Most results should lie in the 40-60 range, making a roll of 1 or 100 very rare.
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2009, 07:07:43 PM »

Basically, my idea of the perfect cRPG takes the following form:

Hmm, well keep in mind we're not trying to make the idealized abstract perfect cRPG, but a system for a specific setting, i.e. no-magic, post apocalyptic earth


Stats - Body, Mind, and Spirit.  These recombine into various different derived stats that one can add points to to further customize the character

Body x 2 = Strength
Body + Mind = Agility
Body + Spirit = Health
Mind x 2 = Intelligence
Mind + Spirit = Willpower
Spirit x 2 = Charisma

Sure, I guess that seems a bit DnD influenced, but the names could be changed to whatever you want.  All in all, the 7 stat standard system seems to work well.
Um, you've listed 6 stats, not 7.

And while the 6 stats you've listed are similar to a list i might have come up with, i don't understand the purpose of basing them off mind/body/spirit.


StatsSkills - The ideal system has no classes, but instead you choose your skills.

I think a lot of us dislike classes.


Taking from the Elder Scrolls series, the only way to improve a skill should be to use that skill.
....
Stat improvements - I think this should be automatic and based on how you play the game.  If you are an athletic person, your stats should change to show that.  If you're ultimately lazy, they should also fall.  This can lead to a "treadmill" of sorts, but that would add a bit to the game, in my opinion.

I haven't played elder scrolls, but Hero's Quest had a similar mechanic, and i found it lead to a lot of boring, repetitive grinding.  Especially worrisome is the idea that skills degrade if you don't use them enough.  It seems likely that keeping your top skill at it's best would become an excessively dominant concern.  "Forget role-playing:  I need to kill, rob, smooze, whatever these people because my top skill is about to drop!"


StatsSkillsLevel Scaling - Just.... no.... If you're dumb enough to jump headlong into a pit of velociraptors as an unskilled, unarmored idiot.... then you deserve the most ignoble death possible.  End of story.

Sure, i think level-scaling was introduced to try to make RPGs accessible to the mindless, button-mashing game player.  We're not going for that audience.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 08:29:12 PM by eleazzaar » Logged
Jeoshua
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« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2009, 07:20:19 PM »

Quote from: eleazzaar link=topic=17.msg795#msg795
And while the 6 stats you've listed are similar to a list i might have come up with, i don't understand the purpose of basing them off mind/body/spirit.

Just to make sure I had all the bases covered.  The PnP RPG I have been making is much more mystical, and the stats are actually presented in the form of a Tetraktys... but that's neither here nor there, just a holdover from my thinking.

Also, the 7th stat should have been Karma, which is unrelated to the others.  Obviously my stat system doesn't translate into a Post Apoc setting too well  Undecided

Quote from: eleazzaar link=topic=17.msg795#msg795
I haven't played elder scrolls, but Hero's Quest had a similar mechanic, and i found it lead to a lot of boring, repetitive grinding.  Especially worrisome is the idea that skills degrade if you don't use them enough.  It seems likely that keeping your top skill at it's best would become an excessively dominant concern.  "Forget role-playing:  I need to kill, rob, smooze, whatever these people because my top skill is about to drop!"

I guess that's true.  It's really a question of realism vs abstraction.  It does have it's benefits, too tho.  If you just aren't strong or smart enough to do something, you don't necessarilly need to make a new character, just strength-train or study or whatever.  Either way it would need to be more difficult to lose a stat than to gain it.

Quote from: eleazzaar link=topic=17.msg795#msg795
Sure, i think level-scaling was introduced to try to make RPGs accessible to the mindless, button-mashing game player.  We're not going for that audience.

Just throwing that hat into the right, hoping nobody ever even suggests it as a serious idea  Grin
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 07:46:39 PM by mvBarracuda » Logged
zenbitz
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« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2009, 08:42:48 PM »

Jeoshua -

Welcome.  You should check out:
http://wiki.parpg.net/Proposals:Mechanics

Nothing there is concrete (it's not even officially a Draft).  I periodically, when I get somewhere on a section post it to the forums for comments.

My first operating assumption is that converting a PnP game to computer is probably not the correct methodology.  Although there are some commonalities in the game design, the parameters are very different.

My second assumption is to build the game from the outside in. Start by thinking about what players will do/ will want to do/can do, and build up skills/attributes/traits/ etc. from there. 

I don't think skill (or item) "degradation" is going to work very well from a playability standpoint.  I do think we can work out a better attempt at non XP based improvement (via learn-by-doing and learn-by-study)... but it's far from trivial.

"die rolls" are more or less irrelevant to a computer game.  What you really need to do is to define the inputs and outputs of the task and assign probabilities to the outcomes.   As a concrete example of why d100 is silly - what if I want (as a designer) to make an event occur 1 in 10,000 times?  I need to roll a d10000.  But floating points are good for this...
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Gaspard
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« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2009, 09:04:15 PM »

/EDIT/ sorry I know my input deals with only a very narrow aspect of this discussion Sad /EDIT/

Jeoshua -
I don't think skill (or item) "degradation" is going to work very well from a playability standpoint.  I do think we can work out a better attempt at non XP based improvement (via learn-by-doing and learn-by-study)... but it's far from trivial.

I personally have not yet stumbled upon a cRPG with a good implementation of learn-by-doing and/or learn-by-studying.
usually I'd need to start 'grinding' the same way some do with exp but instead of mass-killing etc I'd be stuck with repeatedly doing the same thing over.

For example if I'm playing a certain type of character and a quest calls for another type of skill that my character does not qualify for. Of course I could try to get that quest during a second run through the game with that 'other kind of' character, but I wouldn't say that's quite the same thing and might not be fun/possible in certain situations.

Experience points give you the flexibility that during a game you have the possibility to stop at one point and continue instead in another (if not totally then different enough) direction.
So let's say that for ten 'levels' I went in the gun-wielding scoundrel direction and then I could instead continue on as a scientist-doctor. The learn-by-doing and/or learn-by-studying system allows me to do the same thing but I'd consider that (in this case at least) annoying as HELL

Isn't that why the experience-based leveling system is used on most games of this kind ? It sort of gives you the desired result in a fashion without too much fuss.
So how about.. m.


Would that be implementable that experience points just have a lesser impact on the development of your character ?
Like a hybrid system then.
As in you could use the experience-based general leveling up to make changes to your 'naturally' evolved skills-abilities. As in your spear-throwing skill goes up as you move south on the coast and keep hunting seals on the way. So at one point you get a general level in addition to your skill level-ups that gives you the choice to either give a special kick or twist (perk, bonus) to your spear-throwing skill OR you can instead boost your animal skinning skill..
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zenbitz
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« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2009, 10:08:19 PM »

Quote
I personally have not yet stumbled upon a cRPG with a good implementation of learn-by-doing and/or learn-by-studying.
usually I'd need to start 'grinding' the same way some do with exp but instead of mass-killing etc I'd be stuck with repeatedly doing the same thing over.

I have not written one (yet) either.   
I have reason to believe that removing "grinding" is not a high priority with commercial software games, and there aren't that many indy games to get a good sample.

Consider that almost all cRPGs use PnP mechanics (or in the case of SPECIAL, a derivative replacement of PnP game GURPS) with almost no thought or conception as to why this might not be the smartest thing.
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2009, 10:35:10 PM »

So let's say that for ten 'levels' I went in the gun-wielding scoundrel direction and then I could instead continue on as a scientist-doctor. The learn-by-doing and/or learn-by-studying system allows me to do the same thing but I'd consider that (in this case at least) annoying as HELL

Isn't that why the experience-based leveling system is used on most games of this kind ? It sort of gives you the desired result in a fashion without too much fuss.

As part of the solution (which i like in XP-utilizing games too) the acquisition of (at least some) new skills/abilities could be tied to events in the game world rather than simply spending points.

For instance if you wanted your rouge to gain scientist skills, you would need to find a scientist willing to teach you, probably at the cost of $$$ and/or some quests, and of course the loss of several weeks/months.

Someone who already possessed science skills might be able to get that NPC to improve his science skill -- though you wouldn't want to link all skill advancement to finding teachers.

I think books and manuals have been mentioned elsewhere as another possible source of new skills.  In silverTree we even discussed having an equipment slot that indicated what book the character is currently reading, as a way to "focus" on improving a particular skill, or eventually gain new ones.
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Gaspard
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« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2009, 10:53:46 PM »


Quote
I personally have not yet stumbled upon a cRPG with a good implementation of learn-by-doing and/or learn-by-studying.
usually I'd need to start 'grinding' the same way some do with exp but instead of mass-killing etc I'd be stuck with repeatedly doing the same thing over.

I have not written one (yet) either.   
I have reason to believe that removing "grinding" is not a high priority with commercial software games, and there aren't that many indy games to get a good sample.

Consider that almost all cRPGs use PnP mechanics (or in the case of SPECIAL, a derivative replacement of PnP game GURPS) with almost no thought or conception as to why this might not be the smartest thing.


I agree with you, that's true indeed

Here's a couple of questions that might help or just narrow down the various possibilities, when answered (maybe I've missed the discussing of these somewhere, maybe then someone can point me to an appropriate thread/page):
1) is there going to be a sort of 'level cap' ? As in maximum character level. It's understandable in an exp-based game, I did not come up with an exp-less sytem equivalent
2) how many skills can the character possibly have maxed out. If 100% is max then let's say I have my Steal, Diplomacy and Melee Weaponry maxed to 100%, none of the other skills should be able to reach that anymore (thus the level cap thought). OR I could have more skills that are less developed, a 50% Steal, 50% Diplomacy, 50% Melee W., 50% Guns, 50% Survival, 30% etc.

I guess none of us would like to play a game in which the character would become god at one point, it's a downfall of many cRPGs in my eyes, and/or if the level cap has been used the rest of the game lacked enough interesting content (interesting storyline/detailed gameworld lore/interesting items/your configurable home base) to keep me playing if I'd reached the player character's limits (Fallout 3 is one of those games, the neat graphics does not weigh up the lack of an interesting game world/main/sidequests)
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zenbitz
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« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2009, 11:26:00 PM »

1) is there going to be a sort of 'level cap' ? As in maximum character level. It's understandable in an exp-based game, I did not come up with an exp-less sytem equivalent
2) how many skills can the character possibly have maxed out. If 100% is max then let's say I have my Steal, Diplomacy and Melee Weaponry maxed to 100%, none of the other skills should be able to reach that anymore (thus the level cap thought). OR I could have more skills that are less developed, a 50% Steal, 50% Diplomacy, 50% Melee W., 50% Guns, 50% Survival, 30% etc.

You are assuming the conclusion.  How can there be a level cap if there are no levels?
The skill system is not defined, so 100% has no meaning.   but just to not be esoteric for a moment...

The way I see it - there is no such thing as 100% in any skill.  There is always some task that carries some chance of failure... as you move up in skill, more difficult tasks become easier.

I suppose that without implementing anything special, one could play the game for a bazillion hours and "max" ALL skills (or at least get them to where it's exponentially difficult to improve them).   But I suppose the earth would freeze solid before that.

I think the pages you are looking for (and this  just notes currently:)
http://wiki.parpg.net/Zenbitz:_Thoughts_on_innate_abilites_%28stats%29
http://wiki.parpg.net/Zenbitz:_Thoughts_on_skills
http://wiki.parpg.net/Zenbitz:Thoughts_on_task_resolution

This are not yet "game mechanics"

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