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For Wasteland 2, the community had significant impact on what attribute system was ultimately accepted. Is there an attribute system would you like to use? Do you have any suggestions for improving traditional concepts and systems?

 

I for one, would like to see Strength and Constitution to be merged into one (physical) Fitness stat, and Intelligence and Wisdom to be refined into a Reasoning stat. Furthermore, I would like to see Charisma evolved beyond just the ability to interpersonally influence others, but also as reflection of a character's identity, sense of self, and fidelity to it. Perhaps renaming it, Persona. Finally, I've always been fond of Perception stats. I'd like to see Perception apply not merely to detection radius of foes & traps, but of NPC motives, bluffs, and even of magical/metaphysical phenomena.

 

I would also like to see some Deadlands influence. I loved how stats started out average, but that for every character flaw (hinderence) a player chose, they were allowed to enhance another attribute. These went beyond mere numbers, and were both expected and encouraged to be roleplayed.

 

What are your views, suggestions, and hopes for character attributes in Project: Eternity?

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Your mention of mergers got me thinking... What if all stats encompassed 2 aspects? I'm not sure exactly how to divide them up (since some could feasibly be grouped a couple of different ways), but here's a SUPER rough example:


Power:

- Strength (physical)
- Focus (non-physical/soul-related, etc.)

Prowess:

- Dexterity (precision/coordination aspect)
- Agility (physical flexibility/speed/capability of movement)

Constitution:

- Endurance (physical)
- Willpower (mental/intangible)

Awareness: (A little iffy on this one, overall, though I think it should be represented in SOME form)

- Perception (visual)
- Hearing (audible)
- (Maybe even smell could go in here, for some races/characters? Or maybe vision, hearing, and smell could all be combined into a Senses facet? *shrug*. Input MORE THAN welcome here.)

Reasoning: (Pretty much directly what you suggested, Mr. Magniloquent)

- Intellect (ability to learn/acquire/process)
- Wisdom (ability to discern importance of information and make decisions with known knowledge/regarding unknowns)

Charisma: (also not sure about it, but definitely want to see it in SOME form)

- Distinctiveness (passive; could be tied to traits to decide type, such as beauty, ruggedness, innocence, etc. -- exactly HOW people find you compelling to react to over someone else)
- Manipulation (active; again, could be any number of types; a measure of your ability to actively affect people's reactions)


It's a very, very general idea. But, many things could simply check against your main stat, while others would check a certain aspect. So, you could have a Constitution of 10 (Endurance of 4, Willpower of 6), or you could have 7 Endurance and 3 Willpower. If something specifically attacked your mind, it would check your Willpower. If it specifically attacked your body, it would be endurance. But, many things might check your overall Constitution.

Like I said, I haven't even really BEGUN to work it out in detail and test it against anything. It's just a general idea. Hell, every single one of the categories could be changed, and or the facts within them. Or the way the points work, etc. I'd love input.

Edited by Lephys
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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I'd actually like to see a CRPG that moves away from attribute scores and toward an Aspect-based system. You pick some aspects at character creation: These aspects affect your interactions with NPCs (both positively and negatively) as well as your interactions with the environment. I'd also like to see a CRPG that moves away from exploring "Can you do this?" and more towards exploring "Why would you ever want to do this?" but that's beside the point.

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^ I agree with you, but, in a way, attributes are sort of the same thing as aspects.

 

If you have 5 Strength, it could be said that Physical Weakness/Frailty is an aspect of your character. You could have anything in the entire game check against your Strength score, and it would be fundamentally no different than if it checked against the binary existence of a Weakness aspect.

 

But, that's why I was thinking it would, indeed, be neat if the typical stattributes (totally calling them that from now on... 8D) were broken down a bit more into all the usual facets of a given person, as Mr. Magniloquent was suggesting. Of course, I fully understand that my above proposal is rather complex (in terms of coding and design and all that jazz) and would be tricky to tweak and hammer out all the system interactivity for.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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^ I agree with you, but, in a way, attributes are sort of the same thing as aspects.

 

If you have 5 Strength, it could be said that Physical Weakness/Frailty is an aspect of your character. You could have anything in the entire game check against your Strength score, and it would be fundamentally no different than if it checked against the binary existence of a Weakness aspect.

A few issues.

 

First, the intention behind aspects is that they're both positive and negative for your character to have. I'm having a hard time coming up with non-contrived reasons for why having high Strength would be a bad thing except in the opportunity cost of not having your other, perhaps more important attributes higher. Conversely, low strength is never a good thing unless you're using it as a dump stat to get your other attributes higher.

 

Second, the problem with attributes is that in this context they have an unnecessary level of granularity (or, rather, granularity in the wrong dimensions). Unless you're rolling checks (which is something I'd also like to move away from), the difference between 5 strength and 6 strength is kinda arbitrary (and even if you are rolling checks, the difference between a DC15 task and a DC20 task is just as arbitrary). Thus the choice between them is also kinda arbitrary. I can't make an informed judgement about what the game interprets as a 5 STR task and a 6 STR task unless I'm looking at a walkthrough. Aspects are much easier to judge this way.

 

Third, attributes just aren't flexible enough. You can have a "Reputation" attribute that ranges from 1 to 10, sure, but with Aspects you can have "Disgraced Nobleman" and "Accused Criminal" and "Famous Orc-slayer." Furthermore their properties means the player can gain additional aspects that reflect the events of the game and have them affect things in a 100% natural, organic, and transparent way.

 

The only problem with Aspects in a CRPG is, unlike in a tabletop game, you can't give the player freedom to come up with literally any aspect they can think of, you have to limit them to a pre-written list.

 

But, that's why I was thinking it would, indeed, be neat if the typical stattributes (totally calling them that from now on... 8D) were broken down a bit more into all the usual facets of a given person, as Mr. Magniloquent was suggesting. Of course, I fully understand that my above proposal is rather complex (in terms of coding and design and all that jazz) and would be tricky to tweak and hammer out all the system interactivity for.

It's not all that complex at all, actually: Sub-attributes as refinements of attributes is something that's been done numerous times. Personally, I don't think it solves any of the problems a traditional attribute system has, it just makes the system more complex. The additional complexity might be a good thing (or it might not) depending on the exact refinements made and the game being played, but it's still qualiatively different to an aspect system.

 

(And, indeed, aspects and attributes can peacefully co-exist in the same game: See Strands of Fate.)

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First, the intention behind aspects is that they're both positive and negative for your character to have. I'm having a hard time coming up with non-contrived reasons for why having high Strength would be a bad thing except in the opportunity cost of not having your other, perhaps more important attributes higher. Conversely, low strength is never a good thing unless you're using it as a dump stat to get your other attributes higher.

 

Second, the problem with attributes is that in this context they have an unnecessary level of granularity (or, rather, granularity in the wrong dimensions). Unless you're rolling checks (which is something I'd also like to move away from), the difference between 5 strength and 6 strength is kinda arbitrary (and even if you are rolling checks, the difference between a DC15 task and a DC20 task is just as arbitrary). Thus the choice between them is also kinda arbitrary. I can't make an informed judgement about what the game interprets as a 5 STR task and a 6 STR task unless I'm looking at a walkthrough. Aspects are much easier to judge this way.

 

Third, attributes just aren't flexible enough. You can have a "Reputation" attribute that ranges from 1 to 10, sure, but with Aspects you can have "Disgraced Nobleman" and "Accused Criminal" and "Famous Orc-slayer." Furthermore their properties means the player can gain additional aspects that reflect the events of the game and have them affect things in a 100% natural, organic, and transparent way.

 

The only problem with Aspects in a CRPG is, unlike in a tabletop game, you can't give the player freedom to come up with literally any aspect they can think of, you have to limit them to a pre-written list.

So I'm getting the impression that by "aspects" you mean qualitative traits rather than quantitative attributes/ability scores? Would aspects then be binary and "fixed", or would you aquire them over time like feats? I definitely see a lot of untapped potential in such kinds of traits with regard to fleshing out characters' background, personality, motivations, prior knowledge (not to be confused with quantitatively ranked skills that progress over time), or possibly even their mental health, and you could be required to pick an equal balance of positive and negative traits. However, if these traits actually control which dialogue options are available that might be seen as too restrictive. That said, I'm a bit skeptical that a RPG system could work without any quantitative elements, but I would be very excited if that was achieved.

 

I discuss relevant issues a bit in this thread, but beware my long-windedness: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/62105-character-traits-and-statistics-in-pe/

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Your mention of mergers got me thinking... What if all stats encompassed 2 aspects? I'm not sure exactly how to divide them up (since some could feasibly be grouped a couple of different ways), but here's a SUPER rough example:

 

 

Power:

 

- Strength (physical)

- Focus (non-physical/soul-related, etc.)

 

Prowess:

 

- Dexterity (precision/coordination aspect)

- Agility (physical flexibility/speed/capability of movement)

 

Constitution:

 

- Endurance (physical)

- Willpower (mental/intangible)

 

Awareness: (A little iffy on this one, overall, though I think it should be represented in SOME form)

 

- Perception (visual)

- Hearing (audible)

- (Maybe even smell could go in here, for some races/characters? Or maybe vision, hearing, and smell could all be combined into a Senses facet? *shrug*. Input MORE THAN welcome here.)

 

Reasoning: (Pretty much directly what you suggested, Mr. Magniloquent)

 

- Intellect (ability to learn/acquire/process)

- Wisdom (ability to discern importance of information and make decisions with known knowledge/regarding unknowns)

 

Charisma: (also not sure about it, but definitely want to see it in SOME form)

 

- Distinctiveness (passive; could be tied to traits to decide type, such as beauty, ruggedness, innocence, etc. -- exactly HOW people find you compelling to react to over someone else)

- Manipulation (active; again, could be any number of types; a measure of your ability to actively affect people's reactions)

 

 

It's a very, very general idea. But, many things could simply check against your main stat, while others would check a certain aspect. So, you could have a Constitution of 10 (Endurance of 4, Willpower of 6), or you could have 7 Endurance and 3 Willpower. If something specifically attacked your mind, it would check your Willpower. If it specifically attacked your body, it would be endurance. But, many things might check your overall Constitution.

 

Like I said, I haven't even really BEGUN to work it out in detail and test it against anything. It's just a general idea. Hell, every single one of the categories could be changed, and or the facts within them. Or the way the points work, etc. I'd love input.

 

I'm not sure if you were involved in the conversation or not (I'm guessing not), but we discussed something similar to this here if you're interested in reading about it: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/62051-attributes-fixed-or-increasing/page-7

I'm sort of expecting that we'll see something along these lines (combining physical and mental aspects into single attributes), but that's only speculation and I have to admit that it even if does a bit to avoid dump stats it seems a bit contrived in certain cases (are physical and mental strength truly correlated in such a direct manner?).

 

That said, I'm not sure anyone proposed checks for component "aspects" though, which might be a solution for the above problem, but then you've more or less returned to people min-maxing the "aspects" instead of min-maxing base attributes. I've played around with similar systems, and the issue I run into is that you could always group multiple components together to form different base attributes, and it even begins to become unclear which level certain characteristics belong to (how is balance, which involves both coordination and strength, abstracted?). The single-level attribute system is simple if nothing else, and the more complex you make things the more you run into problems of "why do we have a nice word for this combination of characteristics but not for that one?".

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So I'm getting the impression that by "aspects" you mean qualitative traits rather than quantitative attributes/ability scores? Would aspects then be binary and "fixed", or would you aquire them over time like feats? I definitely see a lot of untapped potential in such kinds of traits with regard to fleshing out characters' background, personality, motivations, prior knowledge (not to be confused with quantitatively ranked skills that progress over time), or possibly even their mental health, and you could be required to pick an equal balance of positive and negative traits. However, if these traits actually control which dialogue options are available that might be seen as too restrictive. That said, I'm a bit skeptical that a RPG system could work without any quantitative elements, but I would be very excited if that was achieved.

Yes, you acquire them over time, but not in the same way as feats. You'd get the "Betrayer of St. Waidwen" aspect after you've done something in the story that betrays that faction, but you don't select that aspect from a menu at level-up or anything.

 

The majority of dialogue options available would be ones that are neutral to your aspects and are available to all characters. Sometimes your aspects provide alternate quest solutions or create additional complications for you, but they don't literally affect every line of dialogue in the game.

 

As for a system without quantitative aspects, it's already been done: Lady Blackbird is a lovely little indie tabletop RPG where there are three components to a character: Traits (like Aspects but slightly different in that they're exclusively positive), Secrets (special abilities that can only be attempted if you have the Secret), and Keys. A Key is a goal or an aspect of the character's personality, and you gain a benefit when you "hit your key." If your key is "You hate the empire" then you hit your key whenever you do something to hurt the empire. You can check it out for free here. (The game as-is assumes you're playing the pre-generated characters, but you can adapt the system pretty easily to whatever you want.)

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So I'm getting the impression that by "aspects" you mean qualitative traits rather than quantitative attributes/ability scores? Would aspects then be binary and "fixed", or would you aquire them over time like feats? I definitely see a lot of untapped potential in such kinds of traits with regard to fleshing out characters' background, personality, motivations, prior knowledge (not to be confused with quantitatively ranked skills that progress over time), or possibly even their mental health, and you could be required to pick an equal balance of positive and negative traits. However, if these traits actually control which dialogue options are available that might be seen as too restrictive. That said, I'm a bit skeptical that a RPG system could work without any quantitative elements, but I would be very excited if that was achieved.

Yes, you acquire them over time, but not in the same way as feats. You'd get the "Betrayer of St. Waidwen" aspect after you've done something in the story that betrays that faction, but you don't select that aspect from a menu at level-up or anything.

 

The majority of dialogue options available would be ones that are neutral to your aspects and are available to all characters. Sometimes your aspects provide alternate quest solutions or create additional complications for you, but they don't literally affect every line of dialogue in the game.

 

As for a system without quantitative aspects, it's already been done: Lady Blackbird is a lovely little indie tabletop RPG where there are three components to a character: Traits (like Aspects but slightly different in that they're exclusively positive), Secrets (special abilities that can only be attempted if you have the Secret), and Keys. A Key is a goal or an aspect of the character's personality, and you gain a benefit when you "hit your key." If your key is "You hate the empire" then you hit your key whenever you do something to hurt the empire. You can check it out for free here. (The game as-is assumes you're playing the pre-generated characters, but you can adapt the system pretty easily to whatever you want.)

 

 

I see. Well, it occurred to me that if we take a step back we might realize we're not giving developers enough credit here. After all, there must be some binary (on/off) flags that apply to your character (some of which you acquire through play) and affect available options (either in dialogue or quest resolution); it's just that the majority of such that likely exist in the game's programming are not directly visible to the player. I do still believe there's a lot of untapped potential, but it's interesting to think about the fact that the "system" that the player is presented with is streamlined from and works differently to the system in terms of the actual operations taking place.

 

Hmmm... sounds interesting, so I'll check it out; however, more specifically I was wondering about cRPGs that exclusively utilize qualitative characteristics.

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^ I agree with you, but, in a way, attributes are sort of the same thing as aspects.

 

If you have 5 Strength, it could be said that Physical Weakness/Frailty is an aspect of your character. You could have anything in the entire game check against your Strength score, and it would be fundamentally no different than if it checked against the binary existence of a Weakness aspect.

A few issues.

 

First, the intention behind aspects is that they're both positive and negative for your character to have. I'm having a hard time coming up with non-contrived reasons for why having high Strength would be a bad thing except in the opportunity cost of not having your other, perhaps more important attributes higher. Conversely, low strength is never a good thing unless you're using it as a dump stat to get your other attributes higher.

 

Second, the problem with attributes is that in this context they have an unnecessary level of granularity (or, rather, granularity in the wrong dimensions). Unless you're rolling checks (which is something I'd also like to move away from), the difference between 5 strength and 6 strength is kinda arbitrary (and even if you are rolling checks, the difference between a DC15 task and a DC20 task is just as arbitrary). Thus the choice between them is also kinda arbitrary. I can't make an informed judgement about what the game interprets as a 5 STR task and a 6 STR task unless I'm looking at a walkthrough. Aspects are much easier to judge this way.

 

Third, attributes just aren't flexible enough. You can have a "Reputation" attribute that ranges from 1 to 10, sure, but with Aspects you can have "Disgraced Nobleman" and "Accused Criminal" and "Famous Orc-slayer." Furthermore their properties means the player can gain additional aspects that reflect the events of the game and have them affect things in a 100% natural, organic, and transparent way.

 

The only problem with Aspects in a CRPG is, unlike in a tabletop game, you can't give the player freedom to come up with literally any aspect they can think of, you have to limit them to a pre-written list.

 

True enough. I still think attribute values already cover some possibilities for aspects, but they definitely don't cover all of them. But, as you said, they aren't mutually exclusive. I like stattributes, and like to see interesting things done with them. But then, I also like what you're calling aspects, in their various forms. I like the dynamics the combination of the two (stattributes and aspects) generates.

 

I think my favorite type of that system so far (just from my experience... I realize there are probably like 70 other better examples or something that I don't know of) is the Shadowrun PnP system of Edges and Flaws. They separate out the negative aspects and positive ones, but both cost points (Flaws basically add points, and Edges subtract points). Basically, instead of the pre-written "You're really strong and wise, but you are very cowardly!" type aspects (like the backgrounds in Arcanum, or the traits in Fallout, both of which I loved -- don't get me wrong....), you get to pick what's flawed about your character, and what's exceptional about them, individually. But you have to balance it out. If you take a 5-point Edge, you've go to take -5 points of Flaws. If you take 20 points worth of Edges, you've got to take -20 points of Flaws. It's pretty great, really. They get VERY specific.

 

I definitely think that separation is awesome. But, yeah, I'd love to see a system like that on top of stattributes.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I'm not sure if you were involved in the conversation or not (I'm guessing not), but we discussed something similar to this here if you're interested in reading about it: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/62051-attributes-fixed-or-increasing/page-7

I'm sort of expecting that we'll see something along these lines (combining physical and mental aspects into single attributes), but that's only speculation and I have to admit that it even if does a bit to avoid dump stats it seems a bit contrived in certain cases (are physical and mental strength truly correlated in such a direct manner?).

 

That said, I'm not sure anyone proposed checks for component "aspects" though, which might be a solution for the above problem, but then you've more or less returned to people min-maxing the "aspects" instead of min-maxing base attributes. I've played around with similar systems, and the issue I run into is that you could always group multiple components together to form different base attributes, and it even begins to become unclear which level certain characteristics belong to (how is balance, which involves both coordination and strength, abstracted?). The single-level attribute system is simple if nothing else, and the more complex you make things the more you run into problems of "why do we have a nice word for this combination of characteristics but not for that one?".

 

 

I believe I was actually involved in that conversation, heh. I just forgot at the time I was reading this and responding.

 

Points noted. I suppose the only truly valuable aspects of the above type of system are the more precise character facets (for example, someone might be extremely accurate with a bow, or with throwing daggers, but can't necessarily do cartwheels or run an obstacle course well -- neither Dexterity nor Agility really cover both facets, by themselves) and the idea of multi-facet checks.

 

It's not really imperative that they be grouped like I have done above. You could simply have what amounts to twice as many stattributes, then just have the possibility for things to perform checks on groupings of them (probably no more than 2 at once, though there might be some potential uses for checks of 3 at a time... I'm not sure I'd want to go much beyond that, though, as it seems like that's just getting into ridiculous-complexity land as far as the technical aspects of game development go).

 

Mr. Magniloquent's post just got me thinking... we try to group these things in other ways already, and try to cover multiple facets of a character with a single, seemingly-overly-abstracted stattribute. Intimidate: Are you a Warrior? Oh, then we'll check your Strength. Are you a Wizard? Oh, well then we'll check your Intelligence. What you're really doing is checking two different types of power. Hence the grouping.

 

But, like I said, I realize it tends to be a bit complicated when it comes to interacting with the rest of the game's design. It's just sad, though, when, say, Perception isn't even represented, except the attentiveness aspect of it, via Wisdom (a la more recent DnD rules). Why does high Wisdom automatically give you 20/15 vision and superb hearing? Why can't I make a character who's wise, but also hard of hearing and/or seeing? Why can't I make a high-DEX character with horrible balance? Specifically related to P:E, why can't I make an average-Intelligence Wizard with very strong soul power? Then, of course, the ever-troubling Charisma stat: Why can't I make a highly Charismatic person who isn't gorgeous? Or one who naturally inspires people to listen/pay attention to them, passively, but who isn't very good at actively manipulating people?

 

It's just the allure of the nuance of character creation. I want it, but then by simply trying to represent all of it in a stattribute field, you immediately threaten the whole system with overcomplexity. I'm very interested in the possibility of a happy medium there.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I believe I was actually involved in that conversation, heh. I just forgot at the time I was reading this and responding.

 

Points noted. I suppose the only truly valuable aspects of the above type of system are the more precise character facets (for example, someone might be extremely accurate with a bow, or with throwing daggers, but can't necessarily do cartwheels or run an obstacle course well -- neither Dexterity nor Agility really cover both facets, by themselves) and the idea of multi-facet checks.

 

It's not really imperative that they be grouped like I have done above. You could simply have what amounts to twice as many stattributes, then just have the possibility for things to perform checks on groupings of them (probably no more than 2 at once, though there might be some potential uses for checks of 3 at a time... I'm not sure I'd want to go much beyond that, though, as it seems like that's just getting into ridiculous-complexity land as far as the technical aspects of game development go).

 

Mr. Magniloquent's post just got me thinking... we try to group these things in other ways already, and try to cover multiple facets of a character with a single, seemingly-overly-abstracted stattribute. Intimidate: Are you a Warrior? Oh, then we'll check your Strength. Are you a Wizard? Oh, well then we'll check your Intelligence. What you're really doing is checking two different types of power. Hence the grouping.

 

But, like I said, I realize it tends to be a bit complicated when it comes to interacting with the rest of the game's design. It's just sad, though, when, say, Perception isn't even represented, except the attentiveness aspect of it, via Wisdom (a la more recent DnD rules). Why does high Wisdom automatically give you 20/15 vision and superb hearing? Why can't I make a character who's wise, but also hard of hearing and/or seeing? Why can't I make a high-DEX character with horrible balance? Specifically related to P:E, why can't I make an average-Intelligence Wizard with very strong soul power? Then, of course, the ever-troubling Charisma stat: Why can't I make a highly Charismatic person who isn't gorgeous? Or one who naturally inspires people to listen/pay attention to them, passively, but who isn't very good at actively manipulating people?

 

It's just the allure of the nuance of character creation. I want it, but then by simply trying to represent all of it in a stattribute field, you immediately threaten the whole system with overcomplexity. I'm very interested in the possibility of a happy medium there.

 

Yep, I agree. And it should be said that complexity isn't inherently a bad thing, especially when it's not a tabletop medium where players are responsible for calculations, but of course it's still more difficult to learn. Even still, I'd love to see an RPG represent the things you mention, and the dexterity/agility thing is a particular pet peeve of mine.

 

This is not in any way a suggestion for Project Eternity, but I suppose the only way I can see the establishment of a system that is complex and true to life, without being bogged down in terminology and construct abstractions, would be a hyper-scientific approach to attributes. Instead of constructs like "strength", "intelligence", and "charisma", you would have direct measures of muscle mass, metabolism, the immune system, facial symmetry, nervous reflexes, visual acuity, various neural metrics, and so on. However, this obviously puts magical abilities in a strange position, and would feel generally out of place in a fantasy setting, in addition to the fact that system remains vulnerable to the dump stat/min-maxing problem. I could see different measures contributing a certain weight/percentage to various checks, but this could get into "too much like real life at the expense of fun" territory, not to mention the difficulties in balancing the importance of each measure. In other words, the strength of a character's immune system would only apply to a small number of situations, whereas nervous reflexes occur every time the character performs any action, so the units of progression in each would have to be scaled such that the value of raising each is comparable. Lastly, this implicitly assumes physical reductionism from a philosophical standpoint, which is something I'm not entirely sold on (and it certainly doesn't apply in a universe where souls exist like in PE).

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I see. Well, it occurred to me that if we take a step back we might realize we're not giving developers enough credit here. After all, there must be some binary (on/off) flags that apply to your character (some of which you acquire through play) and affect available options (either in dialogue or quest resolution); it's just that the majority of such that likely exist in the game's programming are not directly visible to the player. I do still believe there's a lot of untapped potential, but it's interesting to think about the fact that the "system" that the player is presented with is streamlined from and works differently to the system in terms of the actual operations taking place.

 

Yeah, plot flags. All my system does is show the player when and what flags are being tripped (like the walking dead's "They will remember that" UI messages), and that you get to choose a few flags to set right out the gate. (You want to make being a betrayer to st. waidwen part of your backstory? You can!)

 

 

Hmmm... sounds interesting, so I'll check it out; however, more specifically I was wondering about cRPGs that exclusively utilize qualitative characteristics.

 

I don't think I could name one. Then again most video games we give the "RPG" label are given that label precisely because they're based around allocating stat points and such. As such, one may have escaped our notice simply by being mislabeled. I believe you could make strong arguments, for example, that The Walking Dead itself is really a JRPG at heart wearing the mechanics of a point-and-click adventure title.

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Yeah, plot flags. All my system does is show the player when and what flags are being tripped (like the walking dead's "They will remember that" UI messages), and that you get to choose a few flags to set right out the gate. (You want to make being a betrayer to st. waidwen part of your backstory? You can!)

 

Yeah, I really hope we'll have significant control over certain elements of our characters' backstories in Project Eternity, but then of course the difficulty with that is it's harder to make the main narrative conflict relevant to your character, or something. Personally I don't have any qualms with playing a character who isn't destined to save the world or anything like that, so I don't see how customization can really hurt too much.

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Character Attributes were designed by Josh Sawyer after the rest of the systems were in place.

 

Based on the Skill design in Project Eternity I think I know how Attributes are going to work, but I could not tell you what they are or how many there are.

 

Josh Sawyer's design mandate for Attributes in Project Eternity is create a system void of dump stats. Every attribute should be useful for every class.

 

I believe the way he has done this is provided every attribute with systemic bonuses that are useful for every class and perhaps systemic bonuses to class abilities as well.

 

Armor design in Project Eternity brings Dexterity back up to the same level of importance that it had in 2nd Edition, so an ability score such as Dexterity providing Deflection and Reflex defense bonuses is useful for every class. An interesting point about this is where in previous editions the Monk gained AC from Dex and Wisdom, this is not as useful for the P:E monk because they want to be hit to fuel their special abilities, so maxing Dex may not be the best idea for them.

 

A fairly traditional design works for a score like Dexterity, but it doesn't really apply to Strength, Intelligence or Charisma. One way to fix this is to apply direct bonuses to class abilities.

 

Charisma might apply a scaling benefit to the following:

 

Barbarian's "Frightening Presence"

Some Cipher powers

Rogue's feint abilities

Paladin commands

Chanter Roars

Fighter intimidate style abilities

Wizard's enchantment spells

Ranger's bond with Animal companion

Monk ???

Druid ???

Select Priest auras and prayers

 

That way every ability can be made useful for every class, like the skill design.

 

I also do not believe Attributes will provide negatives. It is possible that you will not be able to decrease an attribute below 10 if they are quantified the same way as D&D, or they will start from 0 and cap at 10 or something like that (for PCs).

Edited by Sensuki
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Yeah, I really hope we'll have significant control over certain elements of our characters' backstories in Project Eternity, but then of course the difficulty with that is it's harder to make the main narrative conflict relevant to your character, or something. Personally I don't have any qualms with playing a character who isn't destined to save the world or anything like that, so I don't see how customization can really hurt too much.

Far as I understand it, they're already planning on assuming as little as possible about your character background. Your connection to the plot is that you were the (unwilling) witness of a life-changing, supernatural event, and your goal is to figure out what it was and what it meant.

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It also makes you special I am pretty sure. If you go riiight back to the teaser lines from before the launch of the Kickstarter, the "Watcher" sounds like it's the PC.

Edited by Sensuki
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Combat stats:

 

Strength and constitution, rolled into one. How hard you hit and how many hits you can take.

Dexterity and other agility stuff. How accurately you hit and how hard you're to hit.

 

Non-combat stats:

 

Cleverness is intelligence, wisdom, stuff like that. Do you know (how to do) something.

Charisma is personal magnetism, leadership, bargaining, oratory. Can you get others to do something for you.

 

Many skills would be multi-stat.

Crafting: So you're a smart enough to make a lute, but do you have the agility to do it?

 

Performance: You're smart enough to remember the words of an opera,

but do you have the constitution to sing 2 hours straight? Do it charismatically? And then agile enough to do a backflip like the plot requires?

Edited by Jarmo
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I look at the D&D-like stats as having a certain physical-to-mental symmetry:

  • Strength -- Intelligence => implementation power
  • Constitution/Health -- Wisdom/Perception => resiliency and survivability
  • Dexterity/Agility -- Charisma/Social => dynamic interaction

That structure allows you, for example, to process mental combat in a manner that is comparable to physical combat.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Your mention of mergers got me thinking... What if all stats encompassed 2 aspects? I'm not sure exactly how to divide them up (since some could feasibly be grouped a couple of different ways), but here's a SUPER rough example:

 

 

Power:

 

- Strength (physical)

- Focus (non-physical/soul-related, etc.)

 

Prowess:

 

- Dexterity (precision/coordination aspect)

- Agility (physical flexibility/speed/capability of movement)

 

Constitution:

 

- Endurance (physical)

- Willpower (mental/intangible)

 

Awareness: (A little iffy on this one, overall, though I think it should be represented in SOME form)

 

- Perception (visual)

- Hearing (audible)

- (Maybe even smell could go in here, for some races/characters? Or maybe vision, hearing, and smell could all be combined into a Senses facet? *shrug*. Input MORE THAN welcome here.)

 

Reasoning: (Pretty much directly what you suggested, Mr. Magniloquent)

 

- Intellect (ability to learn/acquire/process)

- Wisdom (ability to discern importance of information and make decisions with known knowledge/regarding unknowns)

 

Charisma: (also not sure about it, but definitely want to see it in SOME form)

 

- Distinctiveness (passive; could be tied to traits to decide type, such as beauty, ruggedness, innocence, etc. -- exactly HOW people find you compelling to react to over someone else)

- Manipulation (active; again, could be any number of types; a measure of your ability to actively affect people's reactions)

 

 

It's a very, very general idea. But, many things could simply check against your main stat, while others would check a certain aspect. So, you could have a Constitution of 10 (Endurance of 4, Willpower of 6), or you could have 7 Endurance and 3 Willpower. If something specifically attacked your mind, it would check your Willpower. If it specifically attacked your body, it would be endurance. But, many things might check your overall Constitution.

 

Like I said, I haven't even really BEGUN to work it out in detail and test it against anything. It's just a general idea. Hell, every single one of the categories could be changed, and or the facts within them. Or the way the points work, etc. I'd love input.

diablo did it.  in fact most roguelike games do this, heck even DnD uses derived stats for some stuff.  heck it is the basic idea of attributes in a stat based game.

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I'd actually like to see a CRPG that moves away from attribute scores and toward an Aspect-based system. You pick some aspects at character creation: These aspects affect your interactions with NPCs (both positively and negatively) as well as your interactions with the environment. I'd also like to see a CRPG that moves away from exploring "Can you do this?" and more towards exploring "Why would you ever want to do this?" but that's beside the point.

 

Agreed. For this reason, I like the FATE system (derivative of FUDGE) quite a bit. Intentions and choices matter more than anything else, and the mechanics are quick. That being said, I love tactical combat. I liked AD&D, but was consumed by 3 Edition. I belive computers allow players in the modern world to enjoy both.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i like to see a 50/50 leveling of atributes some points to level up a specific atrribute you can get each 3rd lvl . while atributes can allso be level up like a wizard who is using magic and other intelegent /soul based skill. would slowly grasp more of that parth of his desteny then a warrior the training of abilityscore would go diffrent ways ofcoures depending on what you do. all made in a manor that you can only get like 10 to 30 procent of a stat point from using skills each level, so that we player dont use like 100 houres of game play just to level up stats. you could allso make quest that would open op a window for traning skills and atribute.. other then that i usely been cheating with stats so making it in a way wher you just think nah it more fun to pplay it then cheat it would be nice :)

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i like to see a 50/50 leveling of atributes some points to level up a specific atrribute you can get each 3rd lvl . while atributes can allso be level up like a wizard who is using magic and other intelegent /soul based skill. would slowly grasp more of that parth of his desteny then a warrior the training of abilityscore would go diffrent ways ofcoures depending on what you do. all made in a manor that you can only get like 10 to 30 procent of a stat point from using skills each level, so that we player dont use like 100 houres of game play just to level up stats. you could allso make quest that would open op a window for traning skills and atribute.. other then that i usely been cheating with stats so making it in a way wher you just think nah it more fun to pplay it then cheat it would be nice :)

oh i just thought of something els like different races who where more adept in stats like Elfs more wise more agile would have it ezy to level up them aspect in their adventuring then lets say constitution afflicted Attribute or Brute force. oh and sry about my bad spelling ;)

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