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Author Topic: Starting at the end. Some hiccups with a new stat system.  (Read 711 times)
SageThe13th
Member

Posts: 15


« on: May 05, 2010, 06:47:59 PM »

I'll been working on a new method(new to me at least) for stating out characters.  The basic idea is that rather than going through a couple layers of characteristics, such as stats, skills, and equipment bonuses, that all feed into the final result, the player simply decides what his or her character is going to be capable of, such as having a 10 to hitting in melee.  Then later determining what composes the final ranking usually splitting it between training and gear.

I decided to go this route for a few reasons:

First, the system uses a point buy model for character growth with a non-linear cost structure where each rank costs (base cost x rank).  So if melee accuracy has a base cost of 1, then that first rank will only cost 1 point, the next rank will cost 2 points for a total of 3 points spend to get there, and so on and so forth.  This system didn't work well when the final result was based on multiple characteristics that all had to be bought separately as over spending in one area would cost a lot of extra points for no real benefit.  This is a big deal because I want to make sure similar point value characters are in relative balance with regard to one another.  Even beyond that I'd like to work it so that multiple characters have a decent chance of beating a single character that equals their combined point total.  Which wasn't going to happen with a linear cost structure.

Secondly, building characters based on what they do rather than what they're made of is more straight forward and faster; especially for NPC and minor characters where it usually won't matter what their base stats are.

Unfortunately, this method has some draw backs when it comes to equipment.  My problems thus far:

Equipment changes.  Which means that the ability ranks the equipment is tied to change with it.  This begins to complicate things with regard to character points.  Getting better gear is easy to handle, just charge points for the increased ranking.  But, what about losing equipment or switching to worst equipment?  Again, the easy solution is to just refund points because the rank decreased.  Of course this means that a character could switch from a +2 gun to a +1 gun and then spend the refunded points on something unrelated like intimidation.  I need a more elegant, logical solution that doesn't require players to rework their characters to much each time they change gear.

My other problem is buying and selling stuff.  Currently, I'm trying to work out a way to have both character points, spent on the ranking itself, and resource points, which are spend on the equipment.  Right now the two just overlap so if my character has 10 ranks in something, 2 of which come from an item, I'll will have spend 55 Cp (the cost of 10 ranks) and 3 Rp (the cost of 2 ranks) on the item.  So, to justify the Rp that is spend I also need to add a third set of points so that the other 8 ranks have something extra being spend on them.  The actual system right now has four sets of points.  Cp which is spend to get the final result and three other sets of points which are spent to define what goes into that result.  This means that characters are balanced with regard to Cp costs even if their other costs will fluctuate quite a bit.  That's all well and good, but it's pretty complicated.  It would be nice to come up with something simpler.  Now, I could try to handle the whole thing with just character points and make it easier to work with.  But, I've seen other games that try to do that and it doesn't seem to work out very well at all.  I haven't been able to think up any other solutions.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Also, you come up with any other issues this system might have feel free to tell me.  I'm probably haven't thought of everything that could go wrong yet.
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Jeff Russell
Member

Posts: 44


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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2010, 03:02:31 AM »

Howdy Sage (can I call you Sage?),

   Well, I don't know what's goin on with your other two point systems, but here's my thought on the specific issue you bring up here.

What you could do is have a one-way conversion rate of CPs to RPs. So, when you're making your character, you get a stack of CPs that you can spend. Likewise with leveling up and what not. You can convert some of those to RPs for X CPs buy Y RPs (whatever works). However, once turned into RPs, they can't go back. So, when you buy/sell/trade equipment, it all happens in RPs. Likewise, if you lose equipment, you lose the associated RPs. That would make losing equipment pretty painful, but I think the way to balance that is to make equipment have slightly more positive effect on your ability to do stuff, since using RPs is a little bit "riskier" than straight up CP usage.

Does that sound helpful at all, or is it taking you in the wrong direction?
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Jeff Russell
Blessings of the Dice Gods - My Game Design Blog and home to my first game, The Book of Threes
SageThe13th
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010, 09:02:24 AM »

Yeah, it's fine if you call me Sage.

The other two point sets are advancement points, which represents time spend learning or training to do something, and fate points, which are spent on things that are largely outside of character control, but not player control, such as inherent character traits, luck, and destiny.  As these two systems are more or less stable they aren't giving me as much trouble as resource points are.  So they're not very relevant right now.

I had come up with idea similar to the one you're mentioning.  Reading over your post I'm starting to think I may have dismissed the idea a little to quickly.  Having equipment be a risk for added benefit actually works pretty well now that I think about it, since equipment is the only way for regular humans to have certain capabilities, like having ranged weapons, or only being able to pick locks with tools.  I'm not to keen on the idea of being able to permanently lose Cp if your character's stuff gets lost for good, though.  I guess this gives me some new things to think over.
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Locke
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 10:13:39 AM »

i have a similar mechanic in a lot of ways check my system in sig.  I had to work through many of the same issues.  The hardest was making the skills and attributes function together and keep the scores under control without gett out of balance.  I also used a much more dynamic rolling system than d20 which made things a bit harder.
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Check out my game Age Past, unique rolling system, in Beta now.  Tell me what you think!
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Thanks!
Jeff Mechlinski
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