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Attributes - Fixed or Increasing?

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I suppose characters will have some kind of AD&D-like attributes. But - are they going to be fixed and increased only via some special way, like using an artifact or completing some major quest. Or PE will follow Diablo, Arcanum, Dragon Age and, to some point, NWN way, when you get certain amount of attribute points per lever and can distribute them and build your character in that way?

 

I have fears because with latter approach you have several builds, but mostly have one or two builds, well, fighters rarely put points into magic and wizards into str. So it all mostly turn into autoleveling. Like rogues most assured to get most points into dexterity or similar skill.


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If they are fixed then people spend more time rolling their initial character until they get the perfect rolls ... If they go up then people play with build recipes ... I have done both and support either approach ... I usually like the fixed with attribute books, fountains, and items for this style game though

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I really wish rolling for stats would die a horrible, lonely death somewhere.

 

Personally I prefer stats that mostly stay where they start. Though I must confess that the overpoweredness of the Nameless One was pretty darn sweet.

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I actually like rolling for stats a lot, but I think it should be optional. Rising or fixed I am not so sure about. I think persistant bonused should be earnable - especially through certain actions (like going an training with the military or something).

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I actually like rolling for stats a lot, but I think it should be optional. Rising or fixed I am not so sure about.
The problem is that there are essentially two possibilities: you can roll higher stats than you can buy in a reasonable amount of time, or you can't.

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Some interesting viewpoints about attribute roll/point-buy/etc. from Josh Sawyer.

 

Context: personal playstyles, game saves (he uses stat rolling as an example) -- this post has to do with content balancing

It's always our job to make the game challenging without being frustrating. By providing any mechanic, we are implicitly validating the player's use of it and it is our responsibility. A good example of this is statistic rolling in Icewind Dale. You're not "supposed" to re-roll your stats hundreds of times, but why should a player not make use of that option if we're providing it? Furthermore, how should we balance the game: for people who roll once or twice, or for people who roll until they get 16 average stats for their entire party? If we balance for the former group, the latter group finds the game significantly easier. One might say that they "shouldn't" have done that, that they ruined their own experience -- but we were the ones who gave them the tools to do it. The same responsibility applies to any mechanic, whether it's part of an advancement system, minigame, or even a save/load scheme.

 

 

Context: Thread "roll,point buy,or both for ability scores" for NWN2

Almost everything that establishes character capability and progession in D&D is determined by a rule/formula. The only exceptions are a) some methods of generating ability scores and b) generating hit points. You don't roll to see how many skill points you get. You don't roll to see when you'll get another feat. You certainly don't roll to see how many XP it will take to get to the next level or how many spells a 4th level cleric can cast.

 

Rolling dice adds a random element of risk to performing any action. The player knows what his or her PC's skills are, the DM gives an indication of difficulty, and the player has to decide what to do. It's a gamble. This is what makes the decisions meaningful and important.

 

Bob the fighter is dying near the edge of a courtyard. Frank the bard only has 4 ranks in Hide and Move Silently. Can he sneak past the ogres to save Bob? If he blows it, he'll be caught, too. But if he doesn't get to Bob, in the next few rounds, Bob will probably die. Frank could have learned invisibility last level, but darn, he learned another spell instead. He could cast ventriloquism to distract the ogres, but then he won't be able to cast expeditious retreat if he needs to escape quickly. Frank's success or failure relies partially on die rolls, but his player and character choices have a lot more to do with it.

 

Rolling for character attributes doesn't involve any element of choice or risk. You have a choice of where to place the stats after the fact, but it's not something you can opt to do or "gamble" on. The same goes for hit points. When you advance a level, you're going to roll hit points. Because of this, I don't think either should be rolled. Rolling for such long-term effects does not reward or penalize player skill or choice in any way, it simply rewards and penalizes dumb luck.

 

Apparently I'm in a quoting mood today...

 

Edit: Whoops! And somehow after reading so many posts about the general topic of stats, I forgot the main question of the OP. Awesome! :biggrin: (Fixed vs. increasing)

Edited by Ieo
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"Rolling for character attributes doesn't involve any element of choice or risk. You have a choice of where to place the stats after the fact, but it's not something you can opt to do or "gamble" on. The same goes for hit points. When you advance a level, you're going to roll hit points. Because of this, I don't think either should be rolled. Rolling for such long-term effects does not reward or penalize player skill or choice in any way, it simply rewards and penalizes dumb luck." - J.E. Sawyer

 

The problem is that there are essentially two possibilities: you can roll higher stats than you can buy in a reasonable amount of time, or you can't. - Grand_Commander13

 

Well, the major reason an addition of point-rolling would be enjoyable for me - like the adventurer hall - is if I want to play PE in basically a different "ruleset" in that instead of building a character and a party, I might instead choose to roll my stats, no more than twice, and run with it. Likewise, I might rely completely on NPC companions. I've played some very enjoyable D&D campaigns wherein it was established at character creation that we rolled for stats - no re-arranging them, first roll was STR etc, - and only after we chose a class. Afterward we could either re-roll a single stat, or change class. It made for some interesting characters, but they were pretty short campaigns. In the case of just having a stat roll option, I don't think it would take much to add in (I honestly have no programming knowledge, so I am sorry if I am wrong). I think it could work either fixed or changing, but I would like for the increasing of base ability score equivalents to be difficult and rare - I don't want the starting stats, be they rolled or bought, to be trivialized.

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Point buy lets me choose the character I want to play, so that is my preferred method. I'd rather have only gradual increase in stats so that the ability scores don't become hugely disparate, as in DA2 and Dungeon Siege 2.

 

If they wanted to make it more sophisticated, they could use a Rolemaster-like system with a current stat and a potential stat, with the current stats improving based on skill use. That would put a cap on stats abuse, while still making character development interesting.

Edited by rjshae
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I have not played a game with increasing stats, yet, where it didn't lead to incredibly overpowered characters.

Dragon Age 2 - with scaling system no matter what build you use, every battle will always be the same.


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I loved rolling for stats. Its the best part of the character creation process in my opinion.

Rolling is stupid.

 

Options about your character's background / culture followed by point buy. THAT is how character creation should work.

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I loved rolling for stats. Its the best part of the character creation process in my opinion.

Rolling is stupid.

 

Options about your character's background / culture followed by point buy. THAT is how character creation should work.

 

Why not work it the other way around? Roll, end up some weak bodied, seductive smart allick, and build a background around it? As I said, I think the best solution would probably to allow point-buy and roll-for-stats. I'd expect that if it were the case, it would be enabled for adventurer hall companions. too.

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I detest rolling for stats as it becomes very tedious and removes meaningful build choices from the player. Fallout and D&D provide both provide methods to increase stats but in a limited fashion so they stay reasonable.

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I detest rolling for stats as it becomes very tedious and removes meaningful build choices from the player. Fallout and D&D provide both provide methods to increase stats but in a limited fashion so they stay reasonable.

You became grossly overpowered in fallout, because of that. A walking demigod =/

 

I have not played a game with increasing stats, yet, where it didn't lead to incredibly overpowered characters.

Dragon Age 2 - with scaling system no matter what build you use, every battle will always be the same.

Why would you mention Dragon age 2 to me like that, I haven't done anything to you..

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Increasing slowly. I liked the way NWN2 (via 3.5) handled it, because it gave you a chance to redirect your character based on what you were perceiving to be useful in the game, without making a wholesale adjustment.

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I loved rolling for stats. Its the best part of the character creation process in my opinion.

Rolling is stupid.

 

Options about your character's background / culture followed by point buy. THAT is how character creation should work.

 

Why not work it the other way around? Roll, end up some weak bodied, seductive smart allick, and build a background around it? As I said, I think the best solution would probably to allow point-buy and roll-for-stats. I'd expect that if it were the case, it would be enabled for adventurer hall companions. too.

How many people genuinely want to roll only once for a random character though? ... A lot either prefer to be in complete control (i.e. point buy) or abuse rolling until they get great stats.

 

If they're going to include both point buy and rolling for the minority who genuinely enjoy random characters, then keep the two separate. You either roll or you point buy - not both. I don't want any element of luck coming into my character building.

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I loved rolling for stats. Its the best part of the character creation process in my opinion.

Rolling is stupid.

 

Options about your character's background / culture followed by point buy. THAT is how character creation should work.

 

Here you go again, Sturmbahnfuhrer.

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I'd prefer a Fallout style approach. Your main stats stay the same, while skills slowly increase over time, and occasionally, you can pick up a perk (some times through simply leveling up and becoming more of a bad ass, or through certain actions that shows the world that yes, you are the strongest dude around; etc) that will raise your primary stats.


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Start will a set pool of points and then get points slowly, much like NWN. Keep the points in low numbers so that they still mean something.

 

In NWN, there was a pretty clear difference if you had 14 dex vs 18 dex.

 

In WoW, the numbers got so ridiculous that you can't even really tell anymore the difference in gameplay between having 53645 strength and 53686 strength.

 

Lower = Easier to calculate and more impact per increase.

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Fixed, with X amount of points to add to the attributes of our choosing in character creation... instead of rolling.

Essentially, what Piccolo said. I read a while back on a different thread that someone (I know, I'm being very specific) said that characters shouldn't grow exponentially into super human attributes like they do in most games - and with this I wholeheartedly agree. It would be nice if attributes were either entirely fixed, or you could only up then by about four or five points the entire game - basically not oodles of attribute points. Also, rolling does sound pretty wonky to me - it's just a slap in the face to anyone who spends time planning out a character (like me) only to have a bad roll at the start. I don't even think it should be optional, as it's just encouraging unfair difficulty - if people really wanted to hamper themselves there should be the option to leave attribute points unassigned both at character creation and later (and also be able to lower attribute points at creation). There you've made the game difficult for yourself but it was your choice and not random chance.

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