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Monte Carlo

Character generation processes should be fun.

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Hello.

 

Rolling-up a character in the old-skool IE games was fun. As Psychoblonde said in another post, re-rolling stats using virtual dice is fun. Not point buy. Not select-a-character-and-go. No, listening to the theme music whilst drinking beer and clicking to get great stats.

 

Now I know some very serious hard-core types like playing gimped characters as a challenge. More power to your elbow, and if you want to donate those unused ability score points to me I'll happily take them.

 

Anyhoo, on to character generation. It should be fun. It should be a mini-game. Look at the personality test in Jagged Alliance 2. Consider the background rolls for careers in the P&P sci-fi game Traveller. What about those crazy background traits in Arcanum?

 

I don't have a load of answers here, but can some consideration be given to making the process of character generation really, deeply cool in of itself. Give it more love than you'd usually expect. Amaze us. Delight us. Indulge us. Make rolling-up a character so cool that I'd want to do it again just for the hell of it. Stats, character background info (even if it is just for immersion rather than tangible performance), personality info, race / sex / class dealt with in a different way (maybe genders from different classes have different roles in their cultures and you get a comment when you go off-piste), starting equipment, money, appearance...

 

Do NOT make it streamlined and 'convenient' (i.e. dumbed-down), a race to the bottom like, ahem, other RPG developers.

 

What do others think?

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Hello.

 

Rolling-up a character in the old-skool IE games was fun. As Psychoblonde said in another post, re-rolling stats using virtual dice is fun. Not point buy. Not select-a-character-and-go. No, listening to the theme music whilst drinking beer and clicking to get great stats.

I completely agree. I love rolling stats in the IE games.

 

Also, rolling stats allows players to have optimised or gimped characters as they see fit.


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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I would very much like to see something of this nature included too.

 

Character creation in some modern RPGs seems pretty much limited to customising appearance and picking your class and gender, I would enjoy a more immersive or at least detailed experience.


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I wholeheartedly hope they will go the BG/Arcanum/Fallout way of interesting character generation, instead of, as an example, mass effect was done, IE 3 questions and then youre off. It HAS to be deep. I usually spend a good 20+ min on my first char in games such as BG/ARC/Fallout ETC.


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The thing about rolling stats is I think it makes it harder to balance the game because you have to make it easy enough for gimped or average players to beat the game while everyone just rolls until they get high rolls for their characters making it a lot easier to beat the game.

 

If you have a set number of points to spend then the developers know what stats you'll have and how to design challenging combat for those characters.

 

If people want to play gimped players maybe just don't spend all stat points at character creation or use a trainer to adjust them, but I see the point in it being more fun to roll a low number and play it that way instead of guessing how much you should gimp yourself.

 

I guess they could make the rolling range really small to compensate for this (like a range of 5), but i don't think that would be as fun. The difference between 20 or 25 points.

Edited by Grimlorn
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No, nothing random. Anyhow, Sawyer is too much of a balance hound to allow it. He's enslaved to the gods of balance.


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The thing about rolling stats is I think it makes it harder to balance the game because you have to make it easy enough for gimped or average players to beat the game while everyone just rolls until they get high rolls for their characters making it a lot easier to beat the game.

 

.....

 

You could just as well make a gimped char with "bought" stats, for an example a mage with 18 stre and 10 intellect. or a Fighter with 8 strength and rest in wisdom and intellect. They will be just as gimped as badly rolled char.


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The thing about rolling stats is I think it makes it harder to balance the game because you have to make it easy enough for gimped or average players to beat the game while everyone just rolls until they get high rolls for their characters making it a lot easier to beat the game.

 

.....

 

You could just as well make a gimped char with "bought" stats, for an example a mage with 18 stre and 10 intellect. or a Fighter with 8 strength and rest in wisdom and intellect. They will be just as gimped as badly rolled char.

That's true.

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I think an "answer some questions about your character"-type generation process, like in VtM: Bloodlines or Jagged Alliance would be ideal. Perhaps some options would gift you with more stat points (they could be more or less obscure, or unlock after the first playthrough, just to not make things unbalanced). I find this method to be a lot more fun than pressing the "reroll" button repeatedly.

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I wouldn't mind that system, aluminum, but the devs would have to be careful to make sure the answers wouldn't be sufficiently reasonable in order to let the player know what the outcome might be.


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Randomized stats != fun.

 

I spent hours creating characters in NwN. It had the perfect amount of customization options available.

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Here's another vote for rolling the stats. That was a fun part of the BG series that I really, really missed in NWN2. Wait...missed? Not just missed. I was truly dismayed that we just BOUGHT stats. I mean, what fun is that?

 

Or, perhaps to satisfy both sides, have an option of point buy OR die roll? I imagine that shouldn't be too hard to implement.

Edited by TCJ
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I enjoy going through the process of answering questions to generate a character like in Jagged Alliance 2 or Daggerfall, but I want to have the option to make manual changes to whatever the end result is, like in Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines.

 

Also, I'd rather have character creation done out of character, before the game starts, rather than have some sort of in-game sequence that you have to play out like in Fallout: New Vegas. I thought the New Vegas thing was kind of fun the first time, but it got really old on subsequent playthroughs. Character creation in Arcanum, on the other hand, is always fun, no matter how many times you go through it.

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I agree that creating characters should be fun, but I see no need for rolled stats to be included in order to make that fun a reality. I mean, Darklands had some of the best character creation processes of any game ever, to the point where I would sometimes spend literally hours on end just making and considering party members, but the only random aspect of the creation system was initial formula and saint distribution. If the system is innovative, engaging, and complex enough, randomization only detracts from the experience.

 

It doesn't hurt, of course, that any game design choice that trends towards something Darklands did is almost guaranteed to make me pee myself with excitement.

Edited by LadySpace

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The thing about rolling stats is I think it makes it harder to balance the game because you have to make it easy enough for gimped or average players to beat the game while everyone just rolls until they get high rolls for their characters making it a lot easier to beat the game.

The solution is simply not to balance it for gimped characters. The point of gimped characters is that they alter the nature of the challenge, be they roleplaying challenges or tactical challenges.

If you have a set number of points to spend then the developers know what stats you'll have and how to design challenging combat for those characters.

Which tends to make all combat the same. If this level of balancing is desired, then you need to scale all of the encounters anyway, and I certainly don't want that.


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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It needs customization and I would love it if the character creation process was Fallout-like. Pick your stats, skills, abilities etc. I'd love it if the game had traits and perks, as well. You need to be able to tweak the appearance of your character, too (unlike in Fallout).

 

As much as it fits the IE games, I do not want to see rolling in any way, shape or form present in the character creation process. It's random, for starters, which is bad. Almost everyone will roll for hours until they get perfect stats anyway - it's only a time sink.

Edited by True_Spike
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Rolling-up a character in the old-skool IE games was fun. As Psychoblonde said in another post, re-rolling stats using virtual dice is fun. Not point buy. Not select-a-character-and-go. No, listening to the theme music whilst drinking beer and clicking to get great stats.

 

No. It was a chore, and even beer doesn't help much. Music was also boring and repetitive, especially in Baldur's Gate. I prefer Arcanum or Fallout style.

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I personally like to fill in complex tables with lots of figures everywhere, allocating points so as to actually build the character I want to play. Fallout was great at it, so was KOTOR.

 

Rolling dices ? No thank you. Be it for pen & paper RPGs, or for compurter RPGs, I have always disliked it, prefering the point allocation system that allow better balance, are less tedious, and allow you to actually customize your character.

 

As for the option / minigame method of creation, why not ? But there should be a way to bypass it and jump to the character sheet. FNV came close to it, where a draft character would be created based on your answers to the doctor, then you would have an opportunity to change it manually.

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Ah, the old problem of rolling vs point-buy for generating stats.

 

Point-buy should be the obvious winner since rolling and re-rolling is tedious but still many prefer the last one. Why ?

 

Probably because with point-buy you feel you end up with sub-par characters. A simple fighter build requires Strength + Constitution, but anything more complicated depends on 3 to 5 stats to work well.

An example: A NPC mage companion needs only 18 Intelligence and he is good to go, but if YOU want to play a mage then you want him to also have dexterity for armor class, constitution for good hitpoints and willpower to resist mind magic. Why ? Because you're the damned hero and it's annoying to walk around with an absolute glass canon for an avatar.

 

I think this is why people prefer rolling, they want their character to be just a bit better than the rest, NOT a demi-god but a HERO nonetheless.

 

I would personally prefer point-buy, but with a good variety of flaws, traits and backgrounds that give bonuses to stats while gimping you in some other way.

 

P.S.: Temple of Elemental Evil had both, but point-buy characters were weaker than rolled characters even on an average roll. That is bad design.

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I think an "answer some questions about your character"-type generation process, like in VtM: Bloodlines or Jagged Alliance would be ideal. Perhaps some options would gift you with more stat points (they could be more or less obscure, or unlock after the first playthrough, just to not make things unbalanced). I find this method to be a lot more fun than pressing the "reroll" button repeatedly.

 

I like this too. It's really fun to have a bit more creative character creation than numbers. I love Arcanum's backgrounds they were pretty funny.

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Oh yes. I just bought Arcanum from GOG. I've probably already spent at least an hour on the character generation screens, reading up all the crazy backgrounds you can choose from. (I haven't even come around to actually creating a character yet because I can't decide.) Now that kind of stuff makes creating a character fun.

So, what will Project Eternity have to offer?

"At a minimum, players will be able to specify their main character's name, sex, class, race (including subrace), culture, traits, ability scores, portrait, and the fundamental starting options of his or her class (gear, skills, and talents)."

That already sounds pretty interesting. I'm sure the character creation process will be fun regardless whether they allow you to roll your stats.

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How about if you would get few extra points by rolling the stats instead of buying them. That way rolling the stats have some incentive

No need for that. People who roll will just keep rolling until they get better than average stats. Unless their point is to get whatever they roll first or gimped characters.

 

I find point buy fun and rolling tedious. I do agree with complex character generation system with lots of options that takes a long time to complete.


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