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Character Traits and Statistics in PE

Attributes Ability Scores Feats Skills Traits Experience Knowledge Character Creation Leveling Statistics

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#1
mcmanusaur

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Okay, I can tell I'm going to make a fool of myself and my limited knowledge of the DnD system used by the games that have inspired Project Eternity, but oh well. Traits and statistics. The qualities and numbers, respectively, that define our characters. What would we like to see in Project Eternity? It might be intuitive to think that Project Eternity will mirror the classic cRPGs in this regard, but there is always room for innovation.

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Statistics broadly fall into two categories: basic and derived. Basic statistics tend to be ones that you the player can directly change during character creation or leveling, whereas derived statistics are things like Hit Points, Fatigue, Mana/Magicka, saving throws, and combat statistics like attack/to hit and armor class/defense scores. I'll admit, I'm not an expert on the latter in the DnD system (though I generally find the trifecta of Hit Points, Fatigue, and Mana to be sufficient), and this post is primarily concerned with the former.

Among the most commonly used statistics in video games are those concerning fundamental attributes/ability scores; Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma in the familiar DnD system. This scheme is tried and true, but there is no reason I see why it cannot be deviated from. It's not as simple as coming up with words that sound nice, though; if one attribute is less utilized than the rest, it will inevitably become a worthless dump stat. The current system works because each ability score is equally integral, and I like to think they can be further broken down to reveal their true essence. Evidently one could probably decompose "attributes" endlessly in this manner ("what is running speed but the combination of leg muscle and reflexes?", etc.), but at some point we must draw a line and ultimately ask whether the groupings are logical. Here is a likely incomplete list of what these actually measure in my opinion, or rather things that an ideal system could possibly measure:

Physical: Raw physique (which influences melee damage, ability to perform physically demanding tasks, and maximum encumbrance), endurance (the attrition rate of fatigue), balance, speed (in the form of acceleration and agility), "dexterity" (as I describe manual skill and/or hand-eye coordination), reflexes (reaction speed, dodging), "constitution" (innate resistance versus poison and disease), sensory acuity, and physical attractiveness.

Mental: Willpower (volition), concentration (focusing of attention, and I suppose discipline is also related), creativity (use of the imagination), memory (though this is typically not included in video games), reasoning (including all high-level cognitive function), wisdom (for the sage archetype just as reasoning is for the tinkerer), awareness (by which I mean perceptual awareness of surroundings), intuition (which I suppose is social awareness), charisma (persuasive ability), and I suppose something that represents degree of attunement to magic or whatever.

Obviously I have just included magic as a mere afterthought, so the system isn't perfect, but I think that touches on quite a few things the DnD system leaves out, or perhaps includes in the form of traits instead of statistics. Is there some way we can better group these characteristics, that will give us more precise control over our character, or open up new possibilities? Do we really need separate derived statistics like saving throws, or can ability scores be rearranged to render them obsolete? Historically, some aspects such as memory and creativity have gone completely ignored, in theory left up to the player I suppose; is that how it should be?

Is character movement too neglected, and we should actually add agility separate from manual dexterity (which would still be useful for ranged attack and trade skills). Or perhaps add an Awareness attribute (I can hear the hardcore DnD crowd wincing)? Are balance and concentration best left as passive skills, and sensory acuity best left as trait modifiers?

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The other predominant form of statistic is the "skill", which can denote combat skills, trade skills, survival skills, social skills, among others. This is one part of the DnD system that I find particularly deficient, with little distinction made between the very different types of skills. Typically, at any rate, these skills contain some kind of ability check (reflecting the above attributes) and are leveled up through experience. So far I believe we know that Project Eternity will contain trade skills unlike some of the other cRPGs we know, but we don't know much else.

I'm not going to go into detail regarding which skills I'd like to see as that deserves its own thread and this one is long enough, but there is one thing I wish to harp on with regard to skills. Skills in real life are the result of knowledge and experience. Disappointingly, however, I have yet to see a game really get this right. Many games just forgo knowledge altogether, and ultimately become a game of how quickly you can collect X experience orbs to level your character, or at least their skills. While I can see this for overall leveling, for individual skills it just makes little sense to me; I think leveling all manners of skills should have a knowledge component and experience component. To this end, there should be teachers/trainers throughout the world along with a wealth of books or another medium by which knowledge is transferred, which is just as important to character advancement as grinding. That's something I'd really like to see with Project Eternity.

Also with regard to skills, in particular practical skills, I'd like to see some kind of profession/occupation field on the character sheet if the trade skill system is as good as I'm envisioning (which for one thing would be better than vanilla Skyrim's). Most tradeskills should involve multiple steps of transforming raw materials into finished goods, but each of these steps doesn't necessarily need its own skill for leveling. In fact, some steps of the process could have no skill check (yet still give experience), but complexity is immersive. Just as a brief overview, I could see various DnD-esque skills but a wider variety. Individual combat maneuvers (parry, disarm, shield bash), mercantile skills (appraise, haggle, bribe), stealth skills (pickpocket, sneak), various persuasive tactics (bluff, intimidate, charm, deceive, etc.), leadership skills (rally and other things to make up for lack of bards), survival skills, along with trade skills. Perhaps movement skills like swimming, climbing, and jumping, or perhaps those would be best left as derived statistics.

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Whereas a statistic is quantitative, a trait is qualitative (though it often has a numerical impact on a relevant statistic). However, traits can range from racial bonuses and penalties to feats, and also conceivably include physical and personality traits. Notably, keenness of the senses has usually been relegated to trait status, which I suppose makes some sense since they can't be readily improved. On a side note, why limit it to race? Perhaps we should choose our characters age, height, and weight during character creation, and those should confer certain physical and mental bonuses and penalties. More importantly, I'd personally like to see the use of traits widened substantially in Project Eternity. I know this would be quite difficult to implement and nigh impossible to perfect, but perhaps have us select from a list of traits in character creation that merely influence what kinds of dialogue options are open to our character? Things like attractiveness (if that doesn't become an attribute), sense of humor, body language, etc.

=================================================================================

Even with all the traits and statistics in the world, there are some aspects of characters that can't be captured in numbers or single words (here I maybe reveal that I sort of come from a roleplaying angle), and it would be cool if there were various ways to define one's character and some aspects of their past outside of "We choose your character's story, and you put a name and a face on them". Perhaps things like socioeconomic status, level of education, religious beliefs, etc. or am I asking too much?

What character creation/progression system would you like to see in Project Eternity? Does the classic DnD system cut it for you? Should attributes be rearranged? Should skills be grouped in any way, or should they all draw on the same allocation pool? Should skills in Project Eternity reflect both knowledge and experience, or should they stick to experience? Do you wish for more freedom in defining your character's various non-quantifiable traits? Did you actually read this whole post, or did I waste my time writing it?

Edited by mcmanusaur, 01 November 2012 - 08:17 PM.

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#2
mcmanusaur

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I will kill you all.

#3
mcmanusaur

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I am left to conclude that lack of a flashy title and short attention span have dictated a general lack of motivation and ability to read my post and respond to it in any thoughtful way, and thus as a last resort I choose to summarize its main points in the probably vain hopes that this will facilitate something vaguely resembling discourse. At the very least this should help me organize my thoughts.

mcmanusaur's Gigantic Treatise on Mechanics
I. Statistics (numbers that quantitatively define characters)
__A. Basic statistics (directly influenced by players during character creation and/or leveling)
____1. Ability scores/attributes (one kind of basic statistic that is relatively static as characters progress; we are all very familiar with the six-attribute system that DnD uses)
________i) Could PE incorporate a more complex system of attributes, by either adding new ones or reorganizing existing ones, or is that straying too much from previous cRPGs?
________ii) Should PE distinguish between agility (which relates to speed and dodging ability) and dexterity (which usually means manual skill)?
________iii) Should PE distinguish between endurance (which influences fatigue) and constitution (which influences health and resistance to poison and disease)?
________iv) Should things like memory and creativity which vary significantly between individuals continue to go ignored in character creation?
____2. Skills (another kind of basic statistic that is generally dynamic as a character progresses)
________i) Should skills in PE have both knowledge and experiential components?
________ii) Which types of skills should be present in PE? Trade skills, combat tactics, social skills (persuasion, leadership, mercantile), stealth, wilderness survival? Is magic a skill?
________iii) Should all skills draw from the same experience pool like DnD, or should they be grouped in some way?
______a) Active skills (use is somehow triggered by the player)
________i) How many trade skills is enough, and how many is too many?
________ii) Should certain steps of the process (such as woodcutting in a carpentry skill tree, for example) have no skill check but still give experience?
______b) Passive skills (always in effect)
________i) Are balance and concentration better suited as some kind of ability score than as a passive skill?
________ii) Is there really such thing as a passive skill or is active use precisely what distinguishes a skill from an attribute.ability score?
____3. Overall character levels
________i) How should leveling work, and should ability scores be fixed or increasing?
__B. Derived statistics
____1. Hit Points, Fatigue, and Mana/Magicka (the resources that are depleted as a character is exerted)
________i) Is this system acceptable, or does it leave anything out?
____2. Saving throws
________i) Are they truly necessary, or can they be rendered somewhat obsolete by the inclusion of awareness as an ability score?
____3. Attack/To Hit and Defense/Armor Class
II. Traits (qualitatively define characters but usually indirectly confer some kind of statistical advantage)
__A. Native traits
____1. Physical bonuses and penalties
________i) Are keen senses more of a trait or an attribute?
______a) Race
________i) Will racial traits be included, or does that go against the player's ultimate freedom?
______b) Gender
________i) Is there any precedent or reason to include gender traits? (Hint: No)
______c) Age
________i) Should age influence how quickly characters learn and therefore level up?
________ii) Should there be statistical penalties to physical attributes with a bonus to something like wisdom beyond a certain age?
______d) Height and Weight
________i) Should a character's stature directly impact their strength, constitution, or agility?
____2. Personality
________i) Should a pool of selectable personality traits at character creation influence available dialogue options, or should players always be free to choose- even inconsistently?
________ii) How much of the protagonist's identity and past should the player be able to customize?
__B. Acquired traits
____1) Feats
________i) What are feats fundamentally, and what role do they perform in a game's mechanics? Do they merely serve to fill in the gaps of an otherwise flawed system?

These are all questions that will have an immense effect on character creation and progression, and that I am sure will be addressed at some point, but why not now.

Edited by mcmanusaur, 02 November 2012 - 09:33 AM.


#4
mokona

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Well, you could have primary attributes which are broken down into secondary attributes so related areas are somewhat linked.

Body consists of:

* Movement
* Strength
* Constitution
* Toughness

Spirit consists of:

* Fortune
* Magic
* Psyche

Mind consists of:

* Charisma
* Intelligence
* Perception
* Will

Reflexes consists of:

* Agility
* Manual Dexterity
* Speed

The truth is that I suspect Obsidian is already done choosing their attribute and traits system. This conversation may be too late.
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#5
mcmanusaur

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Holy crap, someone replied to this thread!

Yeah, grouping ability scores is definitely one possible solution, and you are correct that these issues might already be decided. I still say they're fun to discuss!

That said, I have a couple of questions about your proposal... What does Movement entail if not Agility and Speed? Is Fortune just a dump stat?

I suppose my system would be something like this:

Body
Major Attributes:
Strength (damage, muscleman things)
Endurance (maximum Fatigue)
Constitution (maximum HP, poison and disease resistance)
Agility (dodging, speed)
Dexterity (ranged accuracy, lockpicking, trade skills)
Minor Attributes:
Balance
Reflexes

Mind
Major Attributes:
Willpower (impacts maximum Mana, magic resistance)
Intelligence (nerd stuff)
Wisdom (magic stuff)
Charisma (impacts leadership ability and persuasion)
Awareness (intuition in combat and social situations)
Minor Attributes:
Concentration
Perception (maybe broken down into multiple senses like Search/Spot/Listen in DnD)

Soul
Souls don't exist, silly!

The major and minor attributes might have separate allocation pools, or perhaps there would be an exchange rate between the two where it cost less to raise minor attributes.

Edited by mcmanusaur, 03 November 2012 - 06:58 PM.


#6
Bacon Pancakes

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Under the Body section, you might add something like Coordination, which would affect the likeliness of your attack hitting your opponent or blocking/deflecting an opponent's attack. Unless of course that stuff is covered by Balance and/or Reflexes.
Also, it seems strange for the same skill to govern awareness in both combat and social situations.

Edited by Bacon Pancakes, 03 November 2012 - 06:57 PM.


#7
mcmanusaur

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The idea was that Dexterity could also include aspects of coordination such as aim with a bow, etc. I know what you mean about awareness, though.

#8
Osvir

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A Terraria or Minecraft approach would be cool (but from an "cRPG" perspective), wherein (see signature) you gather resources which makes your armor better, makes your potions better, get better weapons, better spells. Slowly progressing by the resources the game provides to you at your "Once a Day Camp".

Example: Day 1 you might be nothing but a commoner, Day 2 you are on your path as a Squire, Day 3 you are taking your first steps towards Knighthood/Paladin, Day 4 you become an Adept. Day 6-7 you are a Knight. Day 8-9 you become a Paladin. Day 10-11 you fall corrupted. Day 12 you are a Death Knight etc. etc. Day 20 you are Sarevok~ which could equal the same "Strength" as a level 12 character.

Reasonable resources I can think of:
* Quests
* Gear
* Craftable Loot (Herbs, Drop Salvage)
* Artifacts
* Gold/Currency
* Party Morale

For a system like this to work in a setting like P:E would require limited resources (close to no enemy respawns).

P.S. I wanted to respond somehow, began reading the OP post and lost my attention span. I'll try to read up and stay focused ^^
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#9
mcmanusaur

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No problem, thanks for the response. I agree that it would be cool if Project Eternity's world was made of blocks. Hmmm... I don't know. I'm inclined to believe that those aspects of progression in Minecraft are what make the sandbox game RPG-like. Are you saying Project Eternity should be sandbox-like, or that it should have a time-based progression, or...?

#10
Osvir

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No problem, thanks for the response. I agree that it would be cool if Project Eternity's world was made of blocks. Hmmm... I don't know. I'm inclined to believe that those aspects of progression in Minecraft are what make the sandbox game RPG-like. Are you saying Project Eternity should be sandbox-like, or that it should have a time-based progression, or...?


Sandbox would be cool :D One huge drawn isometric map.

My line of thought is:
* Camping is going to be limited (Cooldown?)
* There are going to be "in-game" hours
* Low Stamina will force you to rest eventually
* In Baldur's Gate 1 in-game hour is something like 5-10 minutes (I'm not entirely sure as I haven't paid attention to it). Time progresses in Baldur's Gate.
* In Terraria you have a "Camp" (or Build one), in P:E you have gear, potions and so on. Is it possible to apply the Terraria/Minecraft ideology (Gathering resources to "Level Up"). The time it takes for the "Camp" to Reset in P:E and compared to the time I am adventuring, I'll gather resources to Craft better gear, weapons, maybe I found a sharpening stone on my adventuring and now I have a sharpening stone and I get a +1 Sword.

But to be on the "Safe" side with Stats I'd like to see it as done in Baldur's Gate, stats are pretty un-important as you level up, but super important at character creation.

#11
mcmanusaur

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Well, first I'd like to thank the mods for moving my thread, but hmmm... I don't think you're ideas are terrible, but you might make a new thread for them. I'll be happy to discuss it there.
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#12
Odd Hermit

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Not sure traits/stats are ever going to have both realism and at the same time not be overwhelmingly and unnecessarily complex for a game.

The Elder Scrolls games had you gain skills via practice + trainers, but it was a horrible system that was easily gamed and encouraged you to grind and micromanage every little gain to build an optimal character. It made increasing certain skills either way too easy(alchemy) or way too difficult/time consuming(armor skills). It wasn't the most complex system admittedly though, but I'm not sure how they'd fix such problems. So far gaining via XP is the best system in any RPG I've played.

#13
KaineParker

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I think doing something like 3/3.5E an Pathfinder would be best. I want to keep them relatively simple(so that I can do calculations on a piece of paper) and avoid unnecessary complication.

#14
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Okay, I can tell I'm going to make a fool of myself and my limited knowledge of the DnD system used by the games that have inspired Project Eternity, but oh well. Traits and statistics. The qualities and numbers, respectively, that define our characters. What would we like to see in Project Eternity? It might be intuitive to think that Project Eternity will mirror the classic cRPGs in this regard, but there is always room for innovation.


Interesting question. Difficult to answer. I think first and foremost we need to look what the "me" wants and then try and incorporate our ideas together. Make 1 thought stronger by adding 1 thought on it :)

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]Statistics broadly fall into two categories: basic and derived[/u]. Basic statistics tend to be ones that you the player can directly change during character creation or leveling, whereas derived statistics are things like Hit Points, Fatigue, Mana/Magicka, saving throws, and combat statistics like attack/to hit and armor class/defense scores. I'll admit, I'm not an expert on the latter in the DnD system (though I generally find the trifecta of Hit Points, Fatigue, and Mana to be sufficient), and this post is primarily concerned with the former.


^Good read to understand the consistency of this thread.

Among the most commonly used statistics in video games are those concerning fundamental attributes/ability scores; Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma in the familiar DnD system. This scheme is tried and true, but there is no reason I see why it cannot be deviated from. It's not as simple as coming up with words that sound nice, though; if one attribute is less utilized than the rest, it will inevitably become a worthless dump stat. The current system works because each ability score is equally integral, and I like to think they can be further broken down to reveal their true essence. Evidently one could probably decompose "attributes" endlessly in this manner ("what is running speed but the combination of leg muscle and reflexes?", etc.), but at some point we must draw a line and ultimately ask whether the groupings are logical. Here is a likely incomplete list of what these actually measure in my opinion, or rather things that an ideal system could possibly measure:


If stats are important for different types of roles (A Paladin requires a high Charisma because it is what keeps Morale up and boosts Leadership, but you would have to sacrifice Dexterity which gives your Paladin less Mobility might have to sacrifice the ability to Lead, which is equally important) then a dump stat will generally follow. A Fighter requires a high Strength, but hardly needs Wisdom. In P:E I suspect that your Fighter could have a high Wisdom, but in turn you would have to sacrifice Strength. We are going to have 6 party members and they will fill up each role. I see the party as a body with arms and legs, one character will function as the right arm holding a sword, one as the shield/left-arm. One will be the footwork and Mobility whilst one Protective and Earthern with shielding buff's. The one who excels at fighting might not excel at casting Magic, and likewise the other way around. I want stats to be spread out between all my Companions and Characters, and I'd like a "Jack of All Trades" type of character to be generally weaker than everybody at everything (the only strength being, being a "Jack").

Sorry for the bolds just thought it'd be easier to read it (I'm experimenting, please tell me if it is just frustrating/distracting).

]Physical:[/u] Raw physique (which influences melee damage, ability to perform physically demanding tasks, and maximum encumbrance), endurance (the attrition rate of fatigue), balance, speed (in the form of acceleration and agility), "dexterity" (as I describe manual skill and/or hand-eye coordination), reflexes (reaction speed, dodging), "constitution" (innate resistance versus poison and disease), sensory acuity, and physical attractiveness.


^Informative for the reader. "How is Physicality represented in video games and what is it?" type of thing.

]Mental:[/u] Willpower (volition), concentration (focusing of attention, and I suppose discipline is also related), creativity (use of the imagination), memory (though this is typically not included in video games), reasoning (including all high-level cognitive function), wisdom (for the sage archetype just as reasoning is for the tinkerer), awareness (by which I mean perceptual awareness of surroundings), intuition (which I suppose is social awareness), charisma (persuasive ability), and I suppose something that represents degree of attunement to magic or whatever.


^Informative for the reader. "How is Mentality represented in video games and what is it?" type of thing.

Obviously I have just included magic as a mere afterthought, so the system isn't perfect, but I think that touches on quite a few things the DnD system leaves out, or perhaps includes in the form of traits instead of statistics. Is there some way we can better group these characteristics, that will give us more precise control over our character, or open up new possibilities? Do we really need separate derived statistics like saving throws, or can ability scores be rearranged to render them obsolete? Historically, some aspects such as memory and creativity have gone completely ignored, in theory left up to the player I suppose; is that how it should be?


I personally don't have an input on this. But I do think that's a great question.

Is character movement too neglected, and we should actually add agility separate from manual dexterity (which would still be useful for ranged attack and trade skills). Or perhaps add an Awareness attribute (I can hear the hardcore DnD crowd wincing)? Are balance and concentration best left as passive skills, and sensory acuity best left as trait modifiers?


Yes I'd personally want to see more mobility, movement (running, leaping, dodge rolling, dashing, charging, jumping). We are going to get a Prone stance animation according to Tim Cain in update #16.

#15
Osvir

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----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The other predominant form of statistic is the "skill", which can denote combat skills, trade skills, survival skills, social skills, among others. This is one part of the DnD system that I find particularly deficient, with little distinction made between the very different types of skills. Typically, at any rate, these skills contain some kind of ability check (reflecting the above attributes) and are leveled up through experience. So far I believe we know that Project Eternity will contain trade skills unlike some of the other cRPGs we know, but we don't know much else.


^Informative like some of the above quotes.

I'm not going to go into detail regarding which skills I'd like to see as that deserves its own thread and this one is long enough, but there is one thing I wish to harp on with regard to skills. Skills in real life are the result of knowledge and experience. Disappointingly, however, I have yet to see a game really get this right. Many games just forgo knowledge altogether, and ultimately become a game of how quickly you can collect X experience orbs to level your character, or at least their skills. While I can see this for overall leveling, for individual skills it just makes little sense to me; I think leveling all manners of skills should have a knowledge component and experience component. To this end, there should be teachers/trainers throughout the world along with a wealth of books or another medium by which knowledge is transferred, which is just as important to character advancement as grinding. That's something I'd really like to see with Project Eternity.


I like this quote.

Also with regard to skills, in particular practical skills, I'd like to see some kind of profession/occupation field on the character sheet if the trade skill system is as good as I'm envisioning (which for one thing would be better than vanilla Skyrim's). Most tradeskills should involve multiple steps of transforming raw materials into finished goods, but each of these steps doesn't necessarily need its own skill for leveling. In fact, some steps of the process could have no skill check (yet still give experience), but complexity is immersive. Just as a brief overview, I could see various DnD-esque skills but a wider variety. Individual combat maneuvers (parry, disarm, shield bash), mercantile skills (appraise, haggle, bribe), stealth skills (pickpocket, sneak), various persuasive tactics (bluff, intimidate, charm, deceive, etc.), leadership skills (rally and other things to make up for lack of bards), survival skills, along with trade skills. Perhaps movement skills like swimming, climbing, and jumping, or perhaps those would be best left as derived statistics.


Culture could be a form of "Character Creation" skill choice? I read somewhere that Cultural Background will be a choice (Like in Arcanum) in P:E at character creation. Could Culture decide which strength your character has in Crafting? Perhaps Crafting is defined by your Culture?

==================================================================================

Whereas a statistic is quantitative, a trait is qualitative (though it often has a numerical impact on a relevant statistic). However, traits can range from racial bonuses and penalties to feats, and also conceivably include physical and personality traits. Notably, keenness of the senses has usually been relegated to trait status, which I suppose makes some sense since they can't be readily improved. On a side note, why limit it to race? Perhaps we should choose our characters age, height, and weight during character creation, and those should confer certain physical and mental bonuses and penalties. More importantly, I'd personally like to see the use of traits widened substantially in Project Eternity. I know this would be quite difficult to implement and nigh impossible to perfect, but perhaps have us select from a list of traits in character creation that merely influence what kinds of dialogue options are open to our character? Things like attractiveness (if that doesn't become an attribute), sense of humor, body language, etc.


I don't get the [Golden Rod]. Meaning that Stats should be abundant and more of a resource level up point? (In Baldur's Gate statistics are near non-existent except at character creation, which would define them as "Qualitified" rather than "Quantified"). I also like what you underlined yourself.

=================================================================================

Even with all the traits and statistics in the world, there are some aspects of characters that can't be captured in numbers or single words (here I maybe reveal that I sort of come from a roleplaying angle), and it would be cool if there were various ways to define one's character and some aspects of their past outside of "We choose your character's story, and you put a name and a face on them". Perhaps things like socioeconomic status, level of education, religious beliefs, etc. or am I asking too much?*


* Was thinking about that whilst reading this paragraph. Interesting, but would it be too time consuming? Also *shrug*

What character creation/progression system would you like to see in Project Eternity? Does the classic DnD system cut it for you? Should attributes be rearranged? Should skills be grouped in any way, or should they all draw on the same allocation pool? Should skills in Project Eternity reflect both knowledge and experience, or should they stick to experience? Do you wish for more freedom in defining your character's various non-quantifiable traits? Did you actually read this whole post, or did I waste my time writing it?


Funny. I did present my own thoughts and ideas for something but you suggested I should make my own thread about it :p

The most important part I feel is that don't make statistics trivial, they are what defines our characters ability to interact with the worlds. E.g., I don't want a Dragon Age 2 Fighter on steroids (except if I drink a Potion which basically is P:E's take on steroids), I don't want to see this in either Statistics or Animation/Special Abilities/Powers.

#16
mcmanusaur

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Not sure traits/stats are ever going to have both realism and at the same time not be overwhelmingly and unnecessarily complex for a game.

The Elder Scrolls games had you gain skills via practice + trainers, but it was a horrible system that was easily gamed and encouraged you to grind and micromanage every little gain to build an optimal character. It made increasing certain skills either way too easy(alchemy) or way too difficult/time consuming(armor skills). It wasn't the most complex system admittedly though, but I'm not sure how they'd fix such problems. So far gaining via XP is the best system in any RPG I've played.

Hmmm... I'd say the problem with that system was what you said about having to micromanage to optimize each level up. It doesn't have to be about optimization though (I hated that aspect of TES); perhaps knowledge and experience "skills" are leveled up independently, but it's the average between the two that dictates effective skill level. For the record I don't think that there should be armor skills at all in PE, and even with proficiencies I'm hesitant.

#17
mcmanusaur

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If stats are important for different types of roles (A Paladin requires a high Charisma because it is what keeps Morale up and boosts Leadership, but you would have to sacrifice Dexterity which gives your Paladin less Mobility might have to sacrifice the ability to Lead, which is equally important) then a dump stat will generally follow. A Fighter requires a high Strength, but hardly needs Wisdom. In P:E I suspect that your Fighter could have a high Wisdom, but in turn you would have to sacrifice Strength. We are going to have 6 party members and they will fill up each role. I see the party as a body with arms and legs, one character will function as the right arm holding a sword, one as the shield/left-arm. One will be the footwork and Mobility whilst one Protective and Earthern with shielding buff's. The one who excels at fighting might not excel at casting Magic, and likewise the other way around. I want stats to be spread out between all my Companions and Characters, and I'd like a "Jack of All Trades" type of character to be generally weaker than everybody at everything (the only strength being, being a "Jack").

True, but in my opinion a dump stat is only a problem when the same stat is the dump stat for every type of character. Luck, for instance, is something that all characters could benefit from but no characters particularly need, and that's when I have an issue. Nice body metaphor. And yes, the specialization vs. jack-of-all-trades is an important question that I left out. Most DnD games and MMO's promote specialization and even in extreme cases min-maxing, whereas other single-player RPG's tend to be more friendly to jacks-of-all-trades. To me it's a balancing act; you definitely want some sense of definition to a character and an incentive for group adventuring (though some people do like soloing these games), but when it becomes a game of min-maxing it's just boring and predictable. Min-maxing is in particular something I'd like to see fixed in Project Eternity, but that requires that each class is viable in a variety of builds and that most attributes are valuable to each class. Though of course the negative side of that is if you have many different viable builds for the same class and so on, what use are classes?

Yes I'd personally want to see more mobility, movement (running, leaping, dodge rolling, dashing, charging, jumping). We are going to get a Prone stance animation according to Tim Cain in update #16.

Indeed. And if movement plays more into things, that opens up more room to separate agility and dexterity as I suggested. Prone? That's exciting.

Culture could be a form of "Character Creation" skill choice? I read somewhere that Cultural Background will be a choice (Like in Arcanum) in P:E at character creation. Could Culture decide which strength your character has in Crafting? Perhaps Crafting is defined by your Culture?

Ooh yeah, that could be one way of doing things. It would be really cool if you could have some choice in cultural background; I wasn't aware of that. And yeah, crafting would make decent sense to me.

I don't get the [Golden Rod]. Meaning that Stats should be abundant and more of a resource level up point? (In Baldur's Gate statistics are near non-existent except at character creation, which would define them as "Qualitified" rather than "Quantified"). I also like what you underlined yourself.

By saying that I was kinda just making the point that statistics are numerical and vary in rank, whereas traits are more qualities that you either have or you don't.

* Was thinking about that whilst reading this paragraph. Interesting, but would it be too time consuming? Also *shrug*

Yes, certainly I myself am not even convinced it would be worth the time that would have to be put in to implement something like that.

Funny. I did present my own thoughts and ideas for something but you suggested I should make my own thread about it :p

Ah, I'm sorry then, I must have misunderstood how it dealt with statistics and traits. My bad; feel free to explain.

Anyway, thanks a lot for the well thought out response, it's really appreciated.

Edited by mcmanusaur, 04 November 2012 - 07:39 AM.


#18
Osvir

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True, but in my opinion a dump stat is only a problem when the same stat is the dump stat for every type of character. Luck, for instance, is something that all characters could benefit from but no characters particularly need, and that's when I have an issue. Nice body metaphor. And yes, the specialization vs. jack-of-all-trades is an important question that I left out. Most DnD games and MMO's promote specialization and even in extreme cases min-maxing, whereas other single-player RPG's tend to be more friendly to jacks-of-all-trades. To me it's a balancing act; you definitely want some sense of definition to a character and an incentive for group adventuring (though some people do like soloing these games), but when it becomes a game of min-maxing it's just boring and predictable. Min-maxing is in particular something I'd like to see fixed in Project Eternity, but that requires that each class is viable in a variety of builds and that most attributes are valuable to each class. Though of course the negative side of that is if you have many different viable builds for the same class and so on, what use are classes?


In Baldur's Gate a "Jack" is an available option (A Fighter/Thief/Wizard Multi-Class) which is very difficult to manage and is pretty worthless the first couple of levels and will always be worse at everything (granted) but still serve the purpose of being able to "fill" in where needed. My main Wizard is out of spells but my "Jack" still has some so he can throw them Buff's or that weaker Magic Missile to finish off a difficult and persistent "Physical Resistance" Monster.

Indeed. And if movement plays more into things, that opens up more room to separate agility and dexterity as I suggested. Prone? That's exciting.


Most probably used for dungeon crawling (Or like in the opening area of MGS for Playstation, crawling under things).

Ooh yeah, that could be one way of doing things. It would be really cool if you could have some choice in cultural background; I wasn't aware of that. And yeah, crafting would make decent sense to me.


I think Obsidian stated this, I suggest you read the Kickstarter Updates (for information) and I believe the Culture thing I mention is in there somewhere.

By saying that I was kinda just making the point that statistics are numerical and vary in rank, whereas traits are more qualities that you either have or you don't.


Ah okay, gotcha :)

Ah, I'm sorry then, I must have misunderstood how it dealt with statistics and traits. My bad; feel free to explain.


Haha I was kidding around, you were correct that I should create my own thread about it as it covers the area of "not having statistics at all" but instead have a "resource based" system (like Minecraft or Terraria) but in the form of a cRPG instead. XCOM is a great example on how this is done in a Strategy game (you gather resources from the aliens, research and craft new items based on what material exists in the game which you use to make your party stronger).

Anyway, thanks a lot for the well thought out response, it's really appreciated.


No worries bro :)

#19
mokona

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That said, I have a couple of questions about your proposal... What does Movement entail if not Agility and Speed? Is Fortune just a dump stat?

The Movement stat measures how fast a character can run or, to put it differently, how much distance they can cover with their legs in a given increment of time.

Agility measures aptitude for gross motor skills, those that involve the entire body, such as dancing, acrobatics, and sword fighting.

Speed measures reaction time to external stimuli. It governs who gets the first action in a fight, and how quickly you get to act again after you take an action in combat.

Fortune gives a character 'luck dice' they can use to turn a failed roll into a success (sometimes...).

#20
Hormalakh

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Finally read this thread. It was tough. But I did it. I hope you're happy OP.

As for anything that I'd like to add. I think a souls perspective would be needed to your stats. Everything else seems pretty D&D standard.

Also "Brevity is the soul of wit."





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Attributes, Ability Scores, Feats, Skills, Traits, Experience, Knowledge, Character Creation, Leveling, Statistics

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