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Monte Carlo

Character generation processes should be fun.

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I loved character backgrounds in Arcanum as well.

 

I'm kinda neutral on the method of stat generation (rolling or point buy) but I did like character backgrounds.

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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.

Point buy based on different points, such as 10 for low powered, 15 for standard, 20 for high powered, 25 for heroic. Even something along the lines of not requiring the player to spend all ability points before continuing. I'd prefer something like this because it accomplishes the same thing and doesn't require me to sit at my computer for 30 minutes and roll the dice over and over if I want a particularly high or low powered character.

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Loved the iterative approach of the Darklands system, but given this game won't have the sheer scope in terms of time and open play, it would make sense to narrow down the range and make it a bit more fine-grained. If I remember right, Darklands started the character creation at 15 years old and advanced in increments of 5? And let you terminate the process at 15 and start at that age, or go right through to your twilight years.

 

In the context of Eternity though, I'd say, maybe also start it at 15 but force a minimum number of iterations until you're say, 18 or 20 years old, and optionally allow advancement to ~30. Increments of one or two years. Further, perhaps instead of the fairly static "so I was a soldier for the next 5 years" approach, perhaps have the advancement steps be presented in the form of two or three background-appropriate multiple-choice questions per iteration.

 

 

Don't care about the raw stats so much but I'd be curious to see if this iterative advancement system would create enough diversity that no allocation whether random or manual is needed. You have stock-standard base stats on your non-playable 15-year old self, and that dynamically changes as you go through the process.


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Keep the complexity. Remove the random rolling.

Hell, wasn't 3e IWD2 more complex than what we got in BG and such? I thought it was, but easier to understand.

 

Not random but flexible, complex and detailed, but easy to understand is my vote.

 

Also voting for a customizable biography tab.

Edited by SirthOsiris

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Rolling is absolutely amazing in PnP because DM can give you only few tries and then build the character around that. It allows to create a character who is't fixed on killin machine but has more natural and mediocre stats like normal human being, or to create somebody with great strengths, but also great weaknesses.

In CRPG's, rolling is nothing but cold metagaming and adds nothing to difficulty of making a good character and should be avoided.

 

Aside from classes and skills, I want to see backstories or strengths/weaknesses system like in GURPS, SPECIAL, Arcanum. Something very cool like your magic working better under the sky than in dungeons and such.

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Rolling is the enemy of OCD must have best points people. When I played baldurs gate in 98 for the first time, or haha IWD the amount of time I spent rolling stats for all of my party members was absurd.

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Yep, I agree that Character Generation should be one of the highlights of the game, both for its inherent (hopefully) complexity but also, why not, for its presentation: it could also be integrated inside the game together with the tutorial (why not, if they manage to justify that kind of approach?).


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I want it to mirror IE games, most of which had random dice rolls. I know Sawyer hates it, but I will grind him down like Volourn banging on about Dwarves.

 

I also want the character generation GUI to look as beautiful as possible, maybe a mixture of that granite effect in BG1 mixed up with more of a character sheet style.


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Like I posted in the other thread, I do not see how rolling random stats is role playing a specific character that you want to play. Perhaps a compromise is that rolling will always give the same number of stat points, but they will just be distributed randomly. This way players who dislike stat gambling can just craft their character without worrying about being 'gimped' because the random selection has the same number of points as just buying. Also, if random is chosen the stats should be locked unless the player rolls again... this way the player is not tempted to 'fix' the stats. Players whom really desire random stats would get what they want too!

 

So... fixed number of points available when rolling or buying, but rolling locks the player into whatever the gods chose for them. Sounds good to me.


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Yep, I agree that Character Generation should be one of the highlights of the game, both for its inherent (hopefully) complexity but also, why not, for its presentation: it could also be integrated inside the game together with the tutorial (why not, if they manage to justify that kind of approach?).

 

I like this! With one request, while we're wishing for fishes: I'd prefer to be able to skip the tutorial if I wanted and use an alternate character creation screen. Having to sit through a tutorial/basic opening section more than once kinda sucks when you go to replay or if you like to make multiple characters with different classes/personalities.

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No to rolling and yes to point buy.

 

I agree that character creation should be something fun in itself, though. I literally spent hours in Darklands and Arcanum, and I've lost count of the times I've restarted the early areas in Fallout just to try out the quirks. The thing is, the fun part of those things are hardly the stats. It's the pasts you come up with as you choose your characters. Darklands had you choosing backgrounds and literally all the details of how the chars spent their lives before the adventure. Arcanum had you choosing specific pasts and quirks/flaws. And Fallout was yeah. You're not JUST choosing what the characters can do. You're choosing who they ARE.

 

What we know about PE is that it'll allow you to choose culture. Considering what they said about cultures and ethnicities, it should be interesting. I'm hoping for a lot of options, as well. Some of it might be cosmetic, but as long as it lets you customise the character and how they got there!


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Why not have both rolling and point buy options? As a programmer myself I don't think that would be too hard to implement. But if there is any randomness involved with rolls I'd like to see an option to get genuinely random numbers instead of pseudo-random. Maybe some kind of agreement could be worked out with random.org to download a bunch of random numbers when you reach the character creation stage.


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Hi! Long time Obsidian fan here. I think character generation should be tied heavily with the lore. There are a few options that I think can be explored:

 

1. Soul system

Since souls play an important role in Project Eternity, perhaps we could have a mini-quiz game ala the Ultima Series by Richard Garriot. In those Ultima series, you were forced to choose between 8 competing virtues to see which is the primary one. My idea is that since whatever characters you generate, it would likely have gone through a number of past lives (per the lore on souls). So, we could have a series of questions based on your past lives which requires you to decide on complex dilemmas. A cliched one could be:

 

(a) You have ascended to the throne as the monarch in the Eastern Kingdom of Aronach, after a bitter political struggle with your rivals. Surrounding you are five smaller kingdoms have co-existed peacefully with your kingdom for centuries. Unfortunately upon your coronation, there is unsettling news that three of the five kingdoms are planning a joint attack to take advantage of your weakened situation. Do you:

 

(i) Marshall your armies for an all out assault;

(ii) Send your diplomats out to sue for peace;

(iii) etc...

 

These scenarios could be used to

(a) determine the initial state of souls your character may have;

(b) decide what sorts of perks your character may have.

 

If you were an extremely nasty person, probably you would have an extremely fractured soul. Playing as a mage would require a very different playthrough vs. one which you were a goody two shoes. One could redeem one's soul in-game itself, but it should be difficult. I think this is better than starting on a blank slate in terms the condition of one's characters' soul.

 

2. Origins scenario ala Dragon Age: Origins

I really like the origins scenario in DAO. Since there's 5 classes, perhaps there could be 5 origins or some permutations between race and origins, so that starting scenarios make sense.

 

Just my 2 cents of though... :)

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I don't mind having rolled dice as an option in character creation, but I think a point buy system should be present as well.


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ive got a couple ideas for character generation and customization

 

at the beginning, make it optional to answer multiple choice questions to determine what class to play or even what your starting stats are

 

then, have a very highly detailed up close view of the characters that you only see at character creation and in the inventory/character screen. what i mean by this is having highly detailed views of what your character looks like when inspecting them up close, but when the camera is isometric again it can use a LOD setting in the engine to make them use fewer vertices and save on performance. this would all be subject to how theyre presenting the game, this assumes 2d backgrounds and 3d characters, which was something someone said in another thread

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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 agree with this.

 

Also, seriously, people enjoy sitting there, and clicking a button until they get the points they want? That is... masochistic sounding, hah. In ToEE they had random rolls and point buy, so I think something similar could be worked out, couldn't it?


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I'm in the "no rolling, but a questionnaire sounds potentially interesting". If stats matter about as much as they do in D&D 2E, I think it is safe to allow a "roll the dice" option as well, though. The combat delta between "good stats" (that you can get through point-buy / questionnaire and "superb stats" (that you can only get through rolling for hours on end) is small enough that it largely disappears by the time you hit 3rd / 4th level. However, if stats are more important (basically means that you don't level up very quickly) then there should only be one system for balance reasons.

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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 disagree.

I like to have contol over the creation of my character, and answering questions is unpredictable.


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I am probably a very boring person, but the most fun I get when creating a character is from reading ALL THE DESCRIPTIONS of ALL THE OBSCURE TRAITS!11 So, the more of those, the better the process. And the game.

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you can watch my triumphant procession to Rome

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point buy > Rolling > Questions imo. Rolling doesn't add anything but how long it takes for me to get the stats I want. But at least it does let me get what I want eventually. I don't like the idea of questions; I want to build the character as precisely as possible.

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I am probably a very boring person, but the most fun I get when creating a character is from reading ALL THE DESCRIPTIONS of ALL THE OBSCURE TRAITS!11 So, the more of those, the better the process. And the game.

I completely agree with this. I will not be mad if it takes me an hour to make a character. With a creation tool that deep I would make characters that I may never even play.

Edited by ogrezilla

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Thinking the talk about the state of one's soul might have the potential for initial traits? Better souls gives another attribute or two, fractured souls take away attributes but maybe give something else (bonus trait/feat/skill points)?

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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 disagree.

I like to have contol over the creation of my character, and answering questions is unpredictable.

 

Questionnaires can be good if it's not exactly meant to create a character, like in Ultima 4. Your character is already created in Ultima 4, but he's on Earth, and the laws of Earth are different from Britannia. After answering the gypsy's questions, your character is then thrown into Britannia nearest the settlement that represented the virtue you chose most and last. Each settlement represented a profession that 'best' reflected their virtue, and that's what your character is stuck with, whether they like it or not.

 

I'm getting the feeling that PE isn't that kind of RPG though, and the character is already an existing part of the world. And since I prefer it anyways, I'd like to see a point-buy system with the option for random rolls.

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