I've had some thoughts on a system lately and it's starting to form more and more. The only issues with it (until I get feedback from lovely you ) is the Non-Lethal path (which wouldn't get as much combat skill or armor, not in the same way). First of all I've got thoughts on an Experience gain for more than just the Character
Weapon Experience Sword Level 1 67/500 to Level Up (Caps at Level 5)
So enemies, regular enemies, give experience, but only to the weapon you are wielding when taking down enemies. When you gain a level in the Weapon you could gain an "Ability" or choose between 2 (X-COM style). Having a weapon in your Off-Hand levels both that Weapon and your Off-Hand. In essence this is what the Baldur's Gate "experience" really is. Gain experience when you've taken down an enemy, not by slashing.
Off-Hand Experience Off-Hand levels in a way which gives you a better Shield-Arm, or a better Dual-Wielding experience. Magic Tools do not grow in Experience in the same way. Off-Hand can be split up into
- One-Handed Experience (One weapon, 1 Sword)
- Sword & Board Experience (In Essence Sword & Shield)
- Two-Handed Experience (Single Two-Handed Sword, Staff is a Hybrid)
- Dual-Wielding Experience (Two Weapons, Sword/Sword)
- Magic Wielding Experience (Off-Hand Grimoire/Magic Tool, Staff is a Hybrid)
- Unarmed Experience (Fighting with knuckles, a Hybrid with a Grimoire)
Is different, and based on your Character Level and resources (finding scrolls/buying scrolls at a merchant/Wizard) as well. A Magic Missile would shoot 2 Missiles at Character Level 3. But! Magic Wielding Experience makes Spells stronger and leveling up Magic Wielding could give you 2 abilities to choose from (X-COM style) to determine Effects of the Spell (Fire Magic Missiles? One Large Magic Missile that is charged longer?).
The Armor is purely resource based like Spells. But more like a Skill Tree in your Inventory/Equipment screen. You slay a Bandit, you grab some resources to be able to Upgrade your own armor in your inventory (No "Light Armor, Medium Armor or Heavy Armor Skill" <- Based on Character Level). Some Armor Upgrades must be done by a Craftsman in town, whom you must pay gold to Upgrade your Gear. Armor has no Levels entirely, but that [Tier] Armor would have 3 slots that you can upgrade in 2 different ways each (X-COM style). Unlocking more Armor (Higher Tiers) requires Character Level Growth. Finally, it's not like you are going to be able to strap on that guys armor that you just cleaved in half.
This is purely dependent on Questing, "Experience is only gained at the end of a Journey when you Understand it". This level determines the Armor you can wear (Tier 1, 2... 4) Weapons you use (Tier 1, 2... 4) Spells you can cast (Level 1, 2... 9). General Strength Growth. More Armor slots in your Inventory (Helmet, Gloves) a linear simplified License System (FF12).
You have to take down enemies to get resources, taking down enemies makes you better at wielding your weapon and looting enemies gives you better equipment. To be able to wear more equipment, or better equipment, you have to do Quests to grow in Level. As a Level 1 character you are limited to the gear you are Limited to basically. This system is very combat centric, like every system out there really.
Non-Lethal Approach (Feedback and thoughts needed!)
Work in progress. This is difficult because from my perspective it is a playstyle, the stealth approach. I would play with 3 party members, max 4, in a stealth approach. Mostly light armor wearing characters, more than that would feel more and more as an "attention" gatherer (Really, 6 party members in a City and specially in a dungeon would gather more attention). Stealth is a difficult matter regardless in a Party-Based game like P:E, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment. It is doable of course, but designing an open world with it in consideration I believe is very difficult, it's like building one game inside another games.
Magic & Tools
Next on the list is Magic and Tools of Magic. How do you use Magic and what are the tools for it? Who can use it?
The Grimoire of Dark Arts
All Magic, Arcane, Blood, Elemental, Necromancy and so on. Needed for the most powerful ritualistic Magic.
These examples below portray the "Main Weapon" Strength, the Grimoire is really the Power tool and the Spells within it. Grimoire+Hand would throw spells from the Grimoire real fast, but it would also be weaker than throwing spells with a Wand. Having a Sword in your Main Hand would allow you to cast spells with the sword at a long range but it would really be weak. You could send your Sword (Force Throw) at enemies, enchant the Sword with powerful Magic and so on.
* Hand & Grimoire: Arcane, Fastest & Weakest.
* Wand & Grimoire: Arcane, Fast & Weak.
* Dagger/Sword & Grimoire: Blood Magic. Weak Arcane Magic.
The Crystal of the Mind
Mind-Magic/Psionic, a Cipher's tool. Usable by a Wizard too.
Holy Scripture and the False Word/Song
Paladin, Chanter and Priest. Using a Grimoire on a Paladin/Chanter/Priest makes them "Fallen" or "Corrupted" in the Eyes of their Faith.
Poems, Songs, Chants, Partiture
The Chanter's tool for singing, a Rogue, Monk and a Priest can use it well too.
* The Druid's Tool of choice. Strong Elemental Magic, if Staff's aren't necessarily 2-Handed (putting a sword in an off-hand) the Magic would be weaker but the Wizard/Druid could fight close range better. A Grimoire and a Staff would cast slow strong Magic. Only having a Staff on a Wizard would let him cast the strongest Low-Tier to Mid-Tier as well as some limited High-Tier Magic. Mon, Druid, Wizard and Chanter preference.
* A Monk could use the Staff to channel Elemental Magic for close range (Hitting the Earth with the Staff sends an avalanche or a rock slide towards the enemy). This is really interesting (IMO) for a Monk because the Monk doesn't necessarily "strike" the enemy but asks for the aid of the Soul of the Land. A horizontal wavering with the Staff could send a Wind Slash at enemies.
* The Wizard would use the Staff as a power tool, whilst the Druid uses it as a Naturalist. Using the Nature in combination with their Faith, giving and taking. A Wizard would only take from the land when using Elemental Magic, without giving anything back (Which could give other consequences). A Druid could very much dislike a Wizard holding a Staff.
* Chanters use the Staff to vibrate their voices, as if tuning, enhancing their voices and/or in a way to shatter bones and nerves with a powerful verse of sound, vibration and frequency. Metal Staff's purely.
With this list went through, could Items determine the Class?
I've got a Fighter, I go through the first prologue area (take down some enemies along the way) I get slightly better with a Sword & Board (not even close to leveling it up, 1/5th of the first level perhaps), got some better gear from the resources I gathered. I get to town, finish the first initial Quest and I gain 1 Character Level (Now Level 2). I remember Obsidian saying something about "Quick fast early levels". I'm in the first town and I've got some gold so I can upgrade my armor at the Craftsman, maybe there is 1 Companion or 2 in this town that I can recruit as well.
As the Equipment Screen is like a "Skill-Tree" I choose to go to the Wizard and upgrade my Off-Hand to a Grimoire instead, so now my Fighter is in essence a Fighter/Wizard. I can keep a Shield in the inventory and switch around for situations between Grimoire and Shield. Likewise, if I make a Wizard and I pick up the Sword I suddenly have a Wizard/Fighter. Using the Grimoire in battle and taking down enemies would not give me Sword & Board experience (as it isn't equipped) but instead experience in Magic Wielding.
With Items and Equipment being tied to Classes, you could make a Chanter a Chanter/Druid, or a Druid a Druid/Barbarian and so on and so forth. Being able to upgrade the armor accordingly to your "Build". In Baldur's Gate there is a limited amount of experience that you can get, so choosing a Build early is important for the Growth of your character (Unlike TES, where Experience is Abundant and you could become a Master at Everything).
Have a great wonderful day
And of course... thoughts?
Edited by Osvir, 15 November 2012 - 10:29 AM.