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Author Topic: PROPOSAL: Character Generation and Stats  (Read 7491 times)
zenbitz
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« on: July 09, 2009, 07:07:27 PM »

Here is just the beginning.  Missing many descriptions, traits, etc.  But it's better than the naked list I had before.

http://wiki.parpg.net/Character_generation_and_stats

Go ahead and comment here, or in the wiki (but "sign" your edits)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 02:58:42 PM by mvBarracuda » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2009, 07:25:20 PM »

that look good. I finally start to see  some flesh around the bone  Grin
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GarmGarf
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2009, 08:49:45 PM »

There is lots of material in this which requires addressing, but I'll concentrate on the primary stats initially.



The fact that there are both "reflexes" and "co-ordination" primary stats seems kind of imbalanced with their existence with "perception".

I believe that there is an error of concept comprehension in this system with regards to perception. Some games treat perception as the stat which deals with the sensory nerves and organs, while some treat it as the stat which deals with insight. These two concepts, in reality, are two completely different things. The insight version of perception is, indeed, a mental stat, while the sensory version of it is more of a physical stat, but more specifically, a transition stat; i.e: a stat which deals with the connections between the brain and the rest of the body (although most games treat such stats as physical ones).

Judging by the secondary stats which are affected by perception in this system, I have come to believe that perception is treated as both its insight and sensory versions in this system, which I believe is erroneous. Furthermore, there are more cases in the secondary stats where perception is treated as its sensory version than its insight version, yet perception, in this system, is treated as a mental stat (I am fully aware that Arcanaum used perception as its sensory version and yet treated it as a mental stat, but I believe that they were erroneous in doing so).

Anyways, basically, in this system, perception is being used as a hybrid between a stat of insight and a sensory stat, yet there is already a sensory stat - "Reflexes"; well I think it is anyway, although it is only used once in the listed secondary stats (there isn't much weight on it so far).



I propose the following to fix all these problems: cut reflexes; change perception to a transition stat; change coordination to a transition stat; and drop all the insight aspects of perception.

However, this would leave the system with 2 physical, 2 transition, and 3 mental stats. The existence of equal physical and mental stats seems more neat, in my opinion, so the addition of another physical stat would do this, such as beauty, however, I realize that by doing so this game's system would then become very similar to Arcanum's, and also, beauty doesn't really have much weight for being an entire base stat on its own (an alternative would be to merge beauty and charisma into a unified stat but then there would be concerns about how beauty doesn't necessary equal personality). If another physical stat could be thought of which carries enough weight than that would work well to completing this proposed system alteration (or if additional weight was given to the beauty stat).



Furthermore I propose for all the primary stats to be renamed so that they each possess a unique first letter so only a single letter would be required to symbolize each.
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2009, 12:17:37 AM »

There is lots of material in this which requires addressing, but I'll concentrate on the primary stats initially.

Thanks for the comments.

Quote
The fact that there are both "reflexes" and "co-ordination" primary stats seems kind of imbalanced with their existence with "perception".

Not sure what the reflex and coordination have to do with perception... unless you think there is a symmetry that improves it somehow?

Quote
I believe that there is an error of concept comprehension in this system with regards to perception. Some games treat perception as the stat which deals with the sensory nerves and organs, while some treat it as the stat which deals with insight. These two concepts, in reality, are two completely different things. The insight version of perception is, indeed, a mental stat, while the sensory version of it is more of a physical stat, but more specifically, a transition stat; i.e: a stat which deals with the connections between the brain and the rest of the body (although most games treat such stats as physical ones).

Judging by the secondary stats which are affected by perception in this system, I have come to believe that perception is treated as both its insight and sensory versions in this system, which I believe is erroneous. Furthermore, there are more cases in the secondary stats where perception is treated as its sensory version than its insight version, yet perception, in this system, is treated as a mental stat (I am fully aware that Arcanaum used perception as its sensory version and yet treated it as a mental stat, but I believe that they were erroneous in doing so).

Well, the distinction between mental and physical is essentially arbitrary - it all goes back to your brain.   My thinking on this is basically in reverse - what tasks will a player have to undertake?  What "roll" will he have to make?  So "perception" in this case could just as readily be a skill - albeit one that everyone has.  Some games (Chaosium) have "spot hidden" as a specific skill.   I tied it into senses (stopping at touch and taste, in face smell will probably be dropped as irrelvant) - for no real reason other than that one might get their hearing or vision damaged, or more likely effected by the environment.

I don't see the point of splitting the mental and physical parts of perception, because in-game they are always coupled, except in the instance that you could have good hearing and lousy vision and this might have a game effect (but the mental interpretation of the sensory input is not discriminated here... it could be, but ... seems silly)

Quote
Anyways, basically, in this system, perception is being used as a hybrid between a stat of insight and a sensory stat, yet there is already a sensory stat - "Reflexes"; well I think it is anyway, although it is only used once in the listed secondary stats (there isn't much weight on it so far).

I propose the following to fix all these problems: cut reflexes; change perception to a transition stat; change coordination to a transition stat; and drop all the insight aspects of perception
.

I suppose it's there becase in my RL universe, you can be uncoordinated and have good reflexes.   Lots  of games (not that his is a good reason) split up "Dexterity" into "Speed" and "Deftness".     I still (obviously) need to work out the skill tree and stats for them; that may sink reflexes.    If I had to guess now, I would say that reflexes are more important in melee combat skills compared to range.

I don't agree that insight aspects of perception shoudl be dropped... because the ACT OF PERCIEVING something requires the insight to interpret it.     Furthermore, I think that there are lots of "mental type" skills which can be made to depend more on perception than reason (which, to me, is the base for "book learning skills") , allowing someone to play kind of a savant type.

Quote
(an alternative would be to merge beauty and charisma into a unified stat but then there would be concerns about how beauty doesn't necessary equal personality). If another physical stat could be thought of which carries enough weight than that would work well to completing this proposed system alteration

Gotta have the Hitler option!  Ugly and charismatic!  Although the Charisma stat has most of the game effects, which is why beauty is just a trait, not a full fledged stat.

Quote
Furthermore I propose for all the primary stats to be renamed so that they each possess a unique first letter so only a single letter would be required to symbolize each.

I'll think about it.  In a cRPG we don't really have the same space restrictions.  In fact, I only put the abbreviated versions so that I could save typing on the wiki.   Also, for me personally it's much easier to remember what the stats are if I have 2 letters.

I think I rememeber some jokey rpg system where ALL the stats started with the same letter! 

I find it ironic that after "starting from scratch" I still ended up at 8 stats, although clearly you can reduce this to 4 or even 2.
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2009, 02:13:46 AM »

Not sure what the reflex and coordination have to do with perception... unless you think there is a symmetry that improves it somehow?

Reflexes, coordination and (sensory) perception all have to do with how the body is connected to the brain. Personally I reckon that RPGs really don't need any more than 2 transition stats (one for sensory nerves and organs and one for motor nerves and organs) considering all the other areas that would benefit more from the existence of an extra stat than having a third transition one.

However if you still feel that 3 of such stats would make the best game play, then please just make sure that they have relatively balanced weights.

Well, the distinction between mental and physical is essentially arbitrary - it all goes back to your brain.   My thinking on this is basically in reverse - what tasks will a player have to undertake?  What "roll" will he have to make?  So "perception" in this case could just as readily be a skill - albeit one that everyone has.  Some games (Chaosium) have "spot hidden" as a specific skill.   I tied it into senses (stopping at touch and taste, in face smell will probably be dropped as irrelvant) - for no real reason other than that one might get their hearing or vision damaged, or more likely effected by the environment.

I don't see the point of splitting the mental and physical parts of perception, because in-game they are always coupled, except in the instance that you could have good hearing and lousy vision and this might have a game effect (but the mental interpretation of the sensory input is not discriminated here... it could be, but ... seems silly)

Ok I think we are on different wavelengths at the moment. Basically I was making the distinction between the senses and reasoning-insight (but not how the brain comprehends sensory singles into pseudo-physical awareness).

It appears that you may have not made the concept error that I believed you had, and in turn mistook my communication of a concept error as a different one I did not intend to convey.

I don't agree that insight aspects of perception shoudl be dropped... because the ACT OF PERCIEVING something requires the insight to interpret it.     Furthermore, I think that there are lots of "mental type" skills which can be made to depend more on perception than reason (which, to me, is the base for "book learning skills") , allowing someone to play kind of a savant type.

Let's say that an individual acquired knowledge and learned concepts all their life, and then an incident happened where they lost their sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell - basically they has no sensory perception at all. However, before they died, they could still think, and they spent the final days of their life just pondering about the universe and philosophy, using their [insert type of perception's name] to aid their quest at discovery or personal revelation or whatever it is they are doing. This is the type of "insight perception" I was referring to, not like the type of perception that translates the sensory messages into pseudo-physical awareness that the brain comprehends.

Another example would be where there is an individual who excels as physically perceiving everything everyone says or gestures, word for word and motion by motion. The act of this data being sent through this individual's sensory nerves to their brain is extraordinary efficient. However, once it gets there, this person lacks the [insert type of perception's name] to get what people actually mean - they take things to literary or lack the ability to make presumptions or connect concepts. This is an example of the lack of the type of "insight perception" I was referring to.

We may have been thinking of different splits in concepts. Were we?
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zenbitz
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2009, 09:03:12 PM »

Not sure what the reflex and coordination have to do with perception... unless you think there is a symmetry that improves it somehow?

Reflexes, coordination and (sensory) perception all have to do with how the body is connected to the brain.


Well, but so does strength.  So all physical "stats" are connected to the brain.  The distinction is at least somewhat arbitrary.

Quote
Personally I reckon that RPGs really don't need any more than 2 transition stats (one for sensory nerves and organs and one for motor nerves and organs) considering all the other areas that would benefit more from the existence of an extra stat than having a third transition one.

However if you still feel that 3 of such stats would make the best game play, then please just make sure that they have relatively balanced weights.

I am not sure I see a strong pull either way (2 or 3 stats).  The balance is of course, trickyish... but in general RPGs do not have all 7-8 stats balanced.   You can also balance the point cost of them.

Quote
Let's say that an individual acquired knowledge and learned concepts all their life, and then an incident happened where they lost their sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell - basically they has no sensory perception at all. However, before they died, they could still think, and they spent the final days of their life just pondering about the universe and philosophy, using their [insert type of perception's name] to aid their quest at discovery or personal revelation or whatever it is they are doing. This is the type of "insight perception" I was referring to, not like the type of perception that translates the sensory messages into pseudo-physical awareness that the brain comprehends.

Sure, I agree they in principle separable.  I just don't see a game point of separating them.

Quote
Another example would be where there is an individual who excels as physically perceiving everything everyone says or gestures, word for word and motion by motion. The act of this data being sent through this individual's sensory nerves to their brain is extraordinary efficient. However, once it gets there, this person lacks the [insert type of perception's name] to get what people actually mean - they take things to literary or lack the ability to make presumptions or connect concepts. This is an example of the lack of the type of "insight perception" I was referring to.

I just think that in a game, the effect is always the same.  Either you can percieve the SIGNIFICANCE of something, or you can't.   I think that the more practical aspects of what you call "insight perception" I have just rolled into the "Reason" stat.  Again, they could be separate from each other... but I didn't really see a good game reason for it.

I have added definitions to the wiki page, probably that will clarify what I am thinking,.
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GarmGarf
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2009, 06:55:31 AM »

Well, but so does strength.  So all physical "stats" are connected to the brain.  The distinction is at least somewhat arbitrary.

What? Strength is physical muscular power; nothing to do with how the muscles are connected to the brain. The stats of coordination, reflexes and perception have to do with the connection between the body and brain.

If two individuals were to swap minds, they would keep their mental stats but would swap all physical stats (e.g: strength). I suppose they would swap all transition stats too if their physical brains and nervous systems were kept to the hosted bodies, and just the data contained in the brains were kept to the individual's existence in this transformation (and this is why transition stats are considered to be physical stats in many games).

The rule of thumb is: if two people swapped bodies, they would swap their physical stats but keep their mental ones.


I am not sure I see a strong pull either way (2 or 3 stats).  The balance is of course, trickyish... but in general RPGs do not have all 7-8 stats balanced.   You can also balance the point cost of them.

Point cost balancing isn't the best way to go, in my opinion, because it just seems cleaner and more systematic if all stats have the same weighting. Plus if they are all equal in weight, then it doesn't give any influences to the player on the character customization choices (no: "I should choose that cheap stat to save points", or "I should choose that expensive stat because it is obviously important").


Sure, I agree they in principle separable.  I just don't see a game point of separating them.

I just think that in a game, the effect is always the same.  Either you can percieve the SIGNIFICANCE of something, or you can't.   I think that the more practical aspects of what you call "insight perception" I have just rolled into the "Reason" stat.  Again, they could be separate from each other... but I didn't really see a good game reason for it.

My point is that they are more separate than any other bindings of stats in your system. I think it is a bit ridiculous to bind these two, yet not bind coordination and reflexes.

I'll accept that "the accuracy and efficiently of the collection of data by the sensory organs", "the accuracy and efficiency of the transport of this data through the sensory nerves", and "the accuracy and efficiency of the immediate comprehension of this data into pseudo-physical awareness" could all be condensed into one stat, but throwing in insight into that stat would be like throwing in willpower into the fitness stat.

I think that it would be better to put all the intuition features of the perception stat into the reasoning stat, possibly as a unified "intelligence" stat.


I have added definitions to the wiki page, probably that will clarify what I am thinking,.

Here are some possible concise definitions for each stat (I wont include perception though), and I'll also include some proposals for alternative names for the stats:


Strength
Suggested Name: N/A
Definition: Physical muscular power.

Fitness
Suggested Name: Constitution
Definition: Overall body endurance.

Coordination
Suggested Name: Dexterity
Definition: Accuracy of motor nerves and organs.

Reflexes
Suggested Name: Agility
Definition: Efficiency of motor nerves and organs.

Reason
Suggested Name: (Intelligence)
Definition: Faculty of understanding.

Charisma
Suggested Name: N/A
Definition: Appealingness of personality.

Willpower
Suggested Name: N/A
Definition: Mental influence resistance.


I think that any names ending in "ness" or "ing" don't seem very sophisticated. Names ending in "s", such as "reflexes" seems a bit out of place as well. This is the reasoning behind most of my alternative name suggestions - the stats would seem more integral.

Intelligence is in brackets because I don't necessary think that it is better than 'reason", but because I made a proposal for it within my post.

For coordination, you gave a reason in the wiki ("to prevent clash with charisma"), and also because dexterity seems more like a stat's name in my opinion (probably due to unjustified intuition).

A further argument for the name change of reflexes is because "reflexes" seems to imply that the stat is used more for counter attacks than being the stat which governs the general speed of the character's actions, including initial attacks.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2009, 06:57:07 AM by GarmGarf » Logged
zenbitz
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2009, 08:15:35 PM »

Quote
The rule of thumb is: if two people swapped bodies, they would swap their physical stats but keep their mental ones.

Hey, I took Philosphy of the Mind in college, too... that doesn't make it a rule of thumb.

Also, I am avoiding D&D names whenever possible (pretty much stuck with charisma)... because I have an irrational hatred of D&D.  

I guess the reason I want to split coordination and reflexes is that PERSONALLY, I have good reflexes and mediocre coordination.  I mean, you can be can excellent at fine motor control skills (say... lock picking or piano) but have poor reflexes or "speed".  Are getting hung up on the difference between "Responsiveness" (reflex-response) and "Decisiveness" (reflex-initiation?).  It takes coordination (and good vision/perception) to shoot a gun; it takes good reflexes to quick draw it.

I find all your arguements reasonable, but no really compelling.  I think the process is basically arbitrary, anyhow.  I think we should continue on with "non stat" traits and perks, and start figuring out the details of the skill system.  I think as the whole system comes together it will be easier to see if some stats are too powerful or under utilized and we can merge/split/modify them.

I agree that there are some assymetries, but I think 4x4 physical/mental works pretty well.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2009, 08:17:27 PM by zenbitz » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2009, 09:49:21 PM »

Hey, I took Philosphy of the Mind in college, too... that doesn't make it a rule of thumb.

What? I've never been to college (yet).


Basic reasoning can derive that rule:

 - Any stat contained in the data of the mind is a mental stat
 - Any stat contained in the hosted body is a physical stat

Swap minds:

 - The two individuals keep the data of their minds, and hence their mental stats
 - The two swap their bodies, and hence their physical stats


Also, I am avoiding D&D names whenever possible (pretty much stuck with charisma)... because I have an irrational hatred of D&D.

I've only played D&D once and not in depth or for very long. I don't know much about it.


I guess the reason I want to split coordination and reflexes is that PERSONALLY, I have good reflexes and mediocre coordination.  I mean, you can be can excellent at fine motor control skills (say... lock picking or piano) but have poor reflexes or "speed".  Are getting hung up on the difference between "Responsiveness" (reflex-response) and "Decisiveness" (reflex-initiation?).  It takes coordination (and good vision/perception) to shoot a gun; it takes good reflexes to quick draw it.

(I understand the difference (check out my concise definitions)).

Provided that there is enough weight for both, then it is fine to have them both implemented into the game as separate stats. Merging these stats wasn't really my goal here, but rather to change the details of the perception stat (although I do currently believe that there may be too many transition stats, if they are all weighted equally, then there is no problem).


I find all your arguements reasonable, but no really compelling.  I think the process is basically arbitrary, anyhow.  I think we should continue on with "non stat" traits and perks, and start figuring out the details of the skill system.  I think as the whole system comes together it will be easier to see if some stats are too powerful or under utilized and we can merge/split/modify them.

Ok, that is probably the best course of action right now.


I agree that there are some assymetries, but I think 4x4 physical/mental works pretty well.

It would, but the perception stat that you implemented isn't just a mental stat. It's a hybrid mental-physical stat (part of it is contained in the data of the mind while part of it is contained in the hosted body).
« Last Edit: July 11, 2009, 09:59:06 PM by GarmGarf » Logged
zenbitz
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2010, 09:29:30 PM »


Maximinus writes;
Quote
Sounds like a good idea. Did you have range values for the basic stats (Strength, and so on?). Would you want them to be linear, of bell-curved, or something other pretty weird?

Good question.   I think I noted somewhere that I was using 1-100 just for simplicity and mapping to a decimal probability.  1-10 would probably be fine, but having that extra decimal can be useful for training purposes.  For example, an 88 Strength might be roughly equivalent to an 81 strength, just closer to 90.  But computers are great at interpolating so it might as well be fine-grained about it.

As for linear vs. log or bell curved... I am not sure it really matters much when we are dealing with 'normal' humans.    I would guestillmate that 100 (maximum human) is maybe 4x as strong as an average guy.  Perusing olympic weightlifters... the standard record seems be be ~2.5x mass in a "snatch" lift.  An average guy could probably lift half his weight.  So 5x stronger seems pretty close to good enough.   so 100 is 5x stronger than 50.  Linearly, that's pretty dead simple (+1x per 10 points).  I don't see a good reason to make that non-linear in effect.

The fact that 'real humans' are (presumably) normally distributed about average doesn't seem relevant unless you are randomly generating stats. 

What seems to make sense to me right now is to have the effect be linear, but have the character cost be non-linear (so that it's more expensive to go from 80->90 than 60->70 in terms of 'character points' or other resources)


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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2010, 11:30:09 PM »

This proposal looks great. I especially like the idea of the modifiers, and have some thoughts on extending it a bit. From my experience, a larger space of possible character designs leads to a more unique game experience, more replayability, more character attachment, and generally more fun.

How about some modifiers that are negative in some way but give you other bonuses or just more points to spend? Also, there could be compound modifiers that affect multiple primary and/or secondary stats.

Here are a few I thought of:

Missing arm
  • +X points
  • You can only wield a one handed weapon. A one handed weapon that somehow involves two hands, like an improvised hand crossbow, would be either impossible to use or more difficult (slower reload?).
  • You get negative modifiers to several secondary stats, e.g. carrying capacity, climbing (which I think should be in the list of secondary stats but currently isn't), that sort of thing.
  • Like other disfiguring modifiers, many people find you repulsive and don't trust you. I'm not sure how this might be implemented. Maybe this implies the "ugly" trait. Or maybe it gives a negative modifier to something akin to "trustworthiness".

One can imagine a long list of physical disfigurements with unique penalties. Missing fingers from frostbite or fights, bad vision that needs lenses to correct (hard to find, of course). A missing eye. Walking with a limp. Hey, it's brutal out there.

Two more:

Addicted
  • +X points
  • Sets "Resistance to drug addiction" stat to 0
  • Stats penalties across the board, especially athletics.
  • Requires you to find and use drugs or take more severe penalties, or even some ongoing damage.
  • Bonus modifier to drug trafficking profession. Since you need to be around a constant supply anyway, you might as well stock up and make some profit from it.

Ravenous Eater
  • +X points
  • A penalty to resistance to hunger and/or a higher requirement for daily food

Maybe taking taking Ravenous Eater is not so bad if one plans on focusing on food related professions.

I don't know how much you have thought about the point spending system, but I like the idea of spending them on both types of traits. Maybe +1 to a primary costs more than +1 to a secondary, because +1 to a primary would end up boosting several secondaries.

Another aspect I think would be great to highlight in the character system is how the character handles weather. It seems to me that weather, and especially bitter cold, will be a central theme in the game. This is in the wiki page on the setting:

Quote
It should snow. There should be blizzards. It should suck to get caught out in a blizzard. Being able to predict the weather (read the sky) will be a useful skill. The days temperature (lows and highs) should be important, at least during winter or in tundra areas.

There's a lot of depth to the gameplay that can be built around the cold. I see resistance to cold is listed in the secondary stats already. I imagine it would be one of the most important stats and would have a lot of modifiers. New Blood characters could get a bonus because they were born in the cold and it is all they know. Clearly the clothing the character is wearing would provide bonuses. A warm meal could provide a temporary bonus for a few hours, encouraging the difficulty and risk of building a fire to heat food. The fire itself would provide warmth as well, of course. I haven't seen building fires mentioned anywhere, but it seems that would be an important aspect of survival, especially overnight.

Also, how about a stat called "predict weather". If the game had already computed the weather into the future, the player could attempt to view the next few days of weather, with increasing error the farther in the future one tries to predict and the lower one's Predict Weather stat is. Not having a high enough stat would lead to unscripted, unanticipated incidences of being stuck out in nasty weather because you failed to see it coming. I have a lot of thoughts on the weather system and how the PC can predict the future weather, but I want to write them out coherently before I post them.

Edit: I posted ideas for a weather system and predicting weather at http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=651.0
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 05:30:02 AM by pirum » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2010, 09:54:19 PM »

These are some good ideas... although I have yet to meet a gamer who would make a one-armed character or blind character.

Quote
I don't know how much you have thought about the point spending system, but I like the idea of spending them on both types of traits. Maybe +1 to a primary costs more than +1 to a secondary, because +1 to a primary would end up boosting several secondaries.

Sorry, that was implied.   The tricky part is balancing it.  Because lets say you "realize" (being an astute power gamer) that certain secondary stats are VASTLY more important than their 'sisters'.  Such that it's worthless to spend points on the parent stat, only on the key secondary stats.

For example "resistance to cold" and "resistance to heat" have the same parents.  But one is obviously WAY MORE USEFUL in this game.

Quote
Another aspect I think would be great to highlight in the character system is how the character handles weather. It seems to me that weather, and especially bitter cold, will be a central theme in the game. This is in the wiki page on the setting:

There is 'resistance to cold' (or maybe susceptibility, I forget), but you have to tread a little carefully here, game design wise.    It's like having "winter clothes" which are required to go outside.   All characters have to have them.  If they don't have them, they can't go out  - hence, "not wearing clothes" is not a realistic character option.  It would be kind of like "having no legs". 

So for "resistance to cold" to be an interesting statistic, there has to be a reasonable reason for that stat to vary over certain characters.  Obviously, all characters have to be able to survive SOME cold weather.  Do 'resisters' just require less clothing?  Can they tolerate -40C while everyone else stops at -30C?   

Actually this one works rather well-- if you imagine that at some level of cold X time of exposure you start to take "damage" (generalizing here), then clearly a resistant character would take damage at a lower rate and/or after a longer time.

I think the key regarding "cold" and "bad weather" is that the "average bad weather" (whatever that is, -20 or so) should be tolerable by all characters with no ill effects.... it's only the EXTREME "plot device class" weather that matters.

Quote
The fire itself would provide warmth as well, of course. I haven't seen building fires mentioned anywhere, but it seems that would be an important aspect of survival, especially overnight.

Similarly, making a fire has to basically be automatic, and all characters who want to travel in the wilderness (i.e., all characters) have to have this skill.   So it's not really a skill.  It's just that when you camp for the night, you always set a fire.   

The way to make this interesting is to have areas where you CANNOT make a file (no wood or other stuff to burn; or it would attract unwanted attention).    Sort of analogous to RPGs where "you cannot rest here". 
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2010, 12:37:08 AM »

So for "resistance to cold" to be an interesting statistic, there has to be a reasonable reason for that stat to vary over certain characters.  Obviously, all characters have to be able to survive SOME cold weather.  Do 'resisters' just require less clothing?  Can they tolerate -40C while everyone else stops at -30C?   

Actually this one works rather well-- if you imagine that at some level of cold X time of exposure you start to take "damage" (generalizing here), then clearly a resistant character would take damage at a lower rate and/or after a longer time.

I like the idea of taking damage below a certain threshold, determined by your cold resistance stats. So it's not like there's a hard barrier of weather a PC can and can't go out in, it's just that he'll take damage at different rates.

I was looking more into the effects of cold on people today and found this information on frostbite and windchill: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/windchill/. The second page of the downloadable brochure is interesting, it discusses how in 2001 the way windchill is measured was revised to more closely reflect how humans lose heat. The chart models frostbite as a function of temperature, wind speed, and time. We can translate this to the game by modeling "cold damage" as a similar function of temperature, wind speed, time, and a modifier from the "resistance to cold" stat.

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I think the key regarding "cold" and "bad weather" is that the "average bad weather" (whatever that is, -20 or so) should be tolerable by all characters with no ill effects.... it's only the EXTREME "plot device class" weather that matters.

Personally, I'd like to see the standard, unscripted weather be an issue too. Maybe even at the beginning the PC can handle going out in the average blizzard, but only for a limited amount of time and he'd better bring supplies. And even then, the weather might shift for the worse and he dies. As the game progresses, the PC could tolerate being out longer in colder storms.

As for clothing, something that might work would be to give the PC and almost every NPC have standard warm weather clothing, which gives a +0 modifier to cold resist. Finding more advanced clothing might give a positive modifier, and in the rare cases when someone has inferior clothing or none at all they get a negative modifier. I imagine clothing as a mechanic the player will not have to think about very often.
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