# Josh Sawyer reveals some information about Project Eternity's attribute scores

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You can wave your hands, but you're still wrong on this.  There are many ways to scale measurable damage.  Direct tooltip scaling is only one.

Even in situations where your natural attack progression matches the defense of the target you're slinging your spell at, you are going to lose 50% of your up front damage on half of your attacks.  This doesn't even get into situations where you are targeting a high defense.  This makes accuracy a very powerful damage scaling statistic, especially on more difficult to hit targets.  The trade-off here is that on easier to hit targets, direct damage scaling is better, but accuracy is superior against normal to high defense targets.

Then there's crit mechanics, which increase your tooltip damage by 1.5x.  Anyone who's done any math in 3.0/3.5 DnD knows that you can build serious damage builds around crit mechanics, including many builds that use low base damage weapons and don't stack strength.  Ignoring critical hits as a damage scaling mechanic denotes a willful ignorance of the systems you are comparing PE to in the first place.

Finally there's DT.  Overcoming DT does favor up front damage.  But we also know that there are other methods of defeating it.  I merely suggest that we may have a stat that influences our ability to overcome DT.  Against high DT targets, such a statistic and the stat that governs it will be superior to tooltip damage scaling.

This is merely math, and logic.  You may not like this style, but so long as this is an internally consistent system that is built into the fiction and mechanics, there is nothing inherently wrong with such a system.  You can mask your personal distaste for this in logic, but not when you're choosing to ignore the math they've already given us that would tend to cut against your argument.

Sorry, this is another critical failure on your logic roll.

Let's do this step by step:

1) The desire to build a powerful damage dealing wizard, yet physically weak.

2) To be able to deal solid damage with spells, it's ok to invest in the accuracy attribure, but more importantly, it's better to invest points in the damage attribure (strength).

3) Therefore, your wizard will have to be STRONK, physically.

4) Back to point "2". Why "more importantly"?

5) Because PE's mechanics, DT + grazes, favor high damage over high accuracy.

6) With a miniumum damage of 50, you deal 25 damage on a graze. There's only a 5% chance to outright miss, if acc. and def. are equal. Of course, if your accuracy is outclassed by the target's defense, you're going to miss more often. But you still need damage, too.

7) With low damage and high accuracy you risk to have your damage outright blocked even on normal hits.

Start from point "1" again.

This is only true in cases where DT is high compared base damage (and even then only so long as there is no other scaling system to overcome DT).

I believe if you read my post, I did note that whether accuracy, DT reduction, Crit, or base damage increase were more valuable would depend on the situation and the target.  This is called "depth".

You have again ignored the potential to have a "bypass DT stat" as well, which against your hypothetical ultra high DT would be much more valuable than base damage.

The point is, that there are many avenues that scale damage; all of which are strong against different types of targets - Accuracy is stronger than base damage increases vs a low DT hard to hit target, Any stat that adjusted DT amounts would be superior against a high DT target that was easy to hit; base damage increase is the "middle road" as it doesn't face diminishing returns towards the end of the scale the way my other two examples do.  Finally, crit is a wile card.  In situations where there are extra effects on abilities/spells on critical, and allowing for fairly generous scaling on critical chance, crit can become more valuable than all the other stats.

Again; you are constructing a very specific model in your mind and are not allowing for ranges of values (How often do you expect DT to reach or exceed 50% of a spells base damage?  Because that's the point of reference you are using in your above post).  This is *not* logic, no matter what you wish to call it; we have no information telling us how DT is going to compare to base damage.  We have no information informing us how much scaling will even be involved on a per-stat basis, or even *which* stat will increase damage.

It's alright to make a taste based argument; you obviously support much more simulationist stats than we are likely going to get in PE... but that doesn't make it a logical argument.

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I think you misunderstand me because you think about strength, while I think about a ''damage'' attribute. Didn't say the damage attribute should be strength. In fact we aren't sure yet what the damage attribute is. I do agree that it's silly to have physical strength and magical strength as the same attribute. This is why my proposition do something else. Yet it does as the Devs want : to have a single attribute that govern damage.

Overall damage attribute : No fitting name yet, but it has to affect both Magical power and Physical strength.

Magical power as a skill : Higher for wizard

Strength as a skill : Higher for fighter

You are too eager to prove me wrong when in fact it IS possible to create such a system. Where common pitfall are avoided, yet having an in depth variation to make a physically strong wizard or an intelligent fighter possible.

I am not at all eager to prove you wrong. What are even the odds that literally the entirety of what you said is wrong? That's not very likely at all. I'm merely eager to constructively supplement the discussion, via analysis/evaluation.

I think you misunderstood some of what I said, and took it as my misunderstanding of your post.

I wasn't suggesting that you were suggesting "Strength" be the only stat. That wasn't an apparent problem with your example/suggestion/post. But there are 2 things:

1) Even if HALF of magical power and physical power are represented by the same stat, and the other half of each is represented by 2 different skills, you still have to, for no apparent reason, gain physical potency just to gain magical potency whenever you gain "resolve." Hence, my question about "Why wouldn't you just boost the crap out of Resolve?"

2) How does a physical strength skill factor into the big picture? If, in a typical game, you have Strength (the physical power stat), then weapon skill, then your total, effective damage with a given weapon/attack, then where does Athletics factor in? Now you've got a skill that's affecting another skill, both of which are affected by a stat. If part of Strength (and magical "Strength") is affected by a skill, why isn't part of Agility affected by a skill? Or part of Willpower (mental fortitude, etc.)? Charisma? Surely the more you practice speaking and such, the more effectively charismatic you can be? Just like a politician.

I'm not just saying "Oh my crap, your proposal is terrible. How could you think it isn't?!". I'm merely trying to be constructive, here. Sure, it makes sense in certain ways, but we have to look at the bigger picture.

Also, those questions are actually just questions, not "Haha, don't even answer because I'm using these questions to say YOU'RE WRONG! MUAHAHAHA!" bits of text.

I'm not out to get anyone. If you can answer those questions, then awesome. I just can't, so instead of providing an answer I don't have, I'm merely asking about what seems to still be an issue.

Stats represent inherent properties of our characters. It's abstract, but the game needs quantified math for the code to process it. If one stat fuels two dichotomous properties of our characters, then how do we represent them individually? If we don't, then why not, and what are the consequences of that?

I still don't believe "Strength," the stat, is going to be THE power-determining stat for both physical AND non-physical potency. But, since we don't really know either way, there's certainly no harm in discussing the hypothetical truth of such a speculation.

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 think you misunderstand me because you think about strength, while I think about a ''damage'' attribute. Didn't say the damage attribute should be strength. In fact we aren't sure yet what the damage attribute is. I do agree that it's silly to have physical strength and magical strength as the same attribute. This is why my proposition do something else. Yet it does as the Devs want : to have a single attribute that govern damage.

Overall damage attribute : No fitting name yet, but it has to affect both Magical power and Physical strength.

Magical power as a skill : Higher for wizard

Strength as a skill : Higher for fighter

You are too eager to prove me wrong when in fact it IS possible to create such a system. Where common pitfall are avoided, yet having an in depth variation to make a physically strong wizard or an intelligent fighter possible.

I am not at all eager to prove you wrong. What are even the odds that literally the entirety of what you said is wrong? That's not very likely at all. I'm merely eager to constructively supplement the discussion, via analysis/evaluation.

I think you misunderstood some of what I said, and took it as my misunderstanding of your post.

I wasn't suggesting that you were suggesting "Strength" be the only stat. That wasn't an apparent problem with your example/suggestion/post. But there are 2 things:

1) Even if HALF of magical power and physical power are represented by the same stat, and the other half of each is represented by 2 different skills, you still have to, for no apparent reason, gain physical potency just to gain magical potency whenever you gain "resolve." Hence, my question about "Why wouldn't you just boost the crap out of Resolve?"

2) How does a physical strength skill factor into the big picture? If, in a typical game, you have Strength (the physical power stat), then weapon skill, then your total, effective damage with a given weapon/attack, then where does Athletics factor in? Now you've got a skill that's affecting another skill, both of which are affected by a stat. If part of Strength (and magical "Strength") is affected by a skill, why isn't part of Agility affected by a skill? Or part of Willpower (mental fortitude, etc.)? Charisma? Surely the more you practice speaking and such, the more effectively charismatic you can be? Just like a politician.

I'm not just saying "Oh my crap, your proposal is terrible. How could you think it isn't?!". I'm merely trying to be constructive, here. Sure, it makes sense in certain ways, but we have to look at the bigger picture.

Also, those questions are actually just questions, not "Haha, don't even answer because I'm using these questions to say YOU'RE WRONG! MUAHAHAHA!" bits of text.

I'm not out to get anyone. If you can answer those questions, then awesome. I just can't, so instead of providing an answer I don't have, I'm merely asking about what seems to still be an issue.

Stats represent inherent properties of our characters. It's abstract, but the game needs quantified math for the code to process it. If one stat fuels two dichotomous properties of our characters, then how do we represent them individually? If we don't, then why not, and what are the consequences of that?

I still don't believe "Strength," the stat, is going to be THE power-determining stat for both physical AND non-physical potency. But, since we don't really know either way, there's certainly no harm in discussing the hypothetical truth of such a speculation.

Maybe my use of the word eager wasn't appropriate ha ha I didn't thought it means what I thought it means. Anyhow, sorry like I said before, sometime my English screws up what I try to explain.

Now for some answers to the points raised by the proposal.

1 ) Because you get points : Lets say you get one Attribute point and one class skill per level. You can boost any attribute you want, and also choose a skill that can grow. This is what will make your character unique. This would also prevent you  from raising the crap out of ''resolve''.

2) This is where it can get fun ! Maybe yes, your skill WILL help also on other calculations. Strength as a skill may give you some bonus for intimidation for example. Same can be said for other skills. And yes I do believe that skills should be what defines the ''technicalities'' of Strength, Agility, Intelligence etc etc. Not because I think it's the best way, but that is the best I can think of to have singles ''damage'', ''accuracy'', ''resistance'' attributes. Otherwise it would be very strange to have ''strength'' for example as the only way to raise magical damage.

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Maybe my use of the word eager wasn't appropriate ha ha I didn't thought it means what I thought it means. Anyhow, sorry like I said before, sometime my English screws up what I try to explain.

No worries. I ONLY know English, so I'm hardly prepared to fault you for a few slip ups in an otherwise pretty excellent use of a language that isn't even your first.

1 ) Because you get points : Lets say you get one Attribute point and one class skill per level. You can boost any attribute you want, and also choose a skill that can grow. This is what will make your character unique. This would also prevent you  from raising the crap out of ''resolve''.

2) This is where it can get fun ! Maybe yes, your skill WILL help also on other calculations. Strength as a skill may give you some bonus for intimidation for example. Same can be said for other skills. And yes I do believe that skills should be what defines the ''technicalities'' of Strength, Agility, Intelligence etc etc. Not because I think it's the best way, but that is the best I can think of to have singles ''damage'', ''accuracy'', ''resistance'' attributes. Otherwise it would be very strange to have ''strength'' for example as the only way to raise magical damage.

You also tend to get feats and such, as you progress, that seem to signify an improvement in strength. I think that makes a lot more sense. Between that and RARE attribute point gains (which I think should be contextual, and not just "You gained a magical point that can improve anything you choose!"). I just... the more you can alter stats throughout the game, the more watered-down the purpose of stats gets.

When you roll a character in DnD or whatever ruleset, and you have 18 Strength, it's assumed that that's factoring in whatever you do for a living or have done in the past (before the point at which your adult-or-close-to-adult character starts his or her adventures). It doesn't mean you just sit around on a couch eating potato chips all day, and have done that for the past 17 years (Human character example), and now, suddenly, you've got the ability to just go from there. And most of the ways in which you gain Strength are via magic/enchanted equipment, etc. Even the attribute point gains are pretty much a weird, magical abstraction of sort of innate heroicness boosting your abilities, partially just for the progression aspect of gaming that's fun to players, and not so much for some kind of believable lore consistency.

Again, not trying to shoot down your idea. Just investigating its surroundings, is all.

2) That could work. It's still a bit convoluted, though. That's one of the reasons things get abstracted. Stats are what you are, so they affect other things. Like... Intelligence typically affects how you gain knowledge. You can still gain a boatload of knowledge with a lower Intelligence, but you have tougher skill checks and slower rates of gaining that knowledge. If you read every single book on a given library shelf, with 10 Intelligence, and someone with 18 Intelligence comes along and reads the same books, they're going to understand more than you did. You can read MORE than they read, and end up understanding more than they do, total. But, all other things the same, the stat/attribute rating represents your inherent capacity in some specific regard (mental processing power, physical strength, etc.). The reason being so that you don't ever have to look back and go "Hmm... well, I've read a bunch of books now. How is my Intelligence affected?" Well, it shouldn't be, really, since it's your inherent capacity to take in and comprehend information and knowledge.

The only thing that still doesn't quite make sense in that abstraction, regarding physical strength, is that a fully grown adult with only 5-out-of-18 Strength would probably be able to work out a bit and pretty easily burn some fat and gain some muscle, etc., and improve their strength. But, then again, he's not limited to some piddly amount of effectiveness with a physical weapon, either. It's not like the strong guy can deal 100 damage with a weapon at his peak, and the most you can ever hope to deal as a weak guy is 10. But, the thing is... in the DnD system, your Strength directly calculates your chance to hit with a melee weapon. That's the type of thing Obsidian is trying to "fix" in P:E. The difference in one warrior's strength and another warrior's strength shouldn't DIRECTLY translate into a difference in accuracy, as well. Just for example. So, they want us to be able to have a weaker character who's still very accurate with a blade, and thus more frequently makes much more effective/well-aimed slices and thrusts to let the blade do all the work, rather than relying as much on force to MAKE less-precise attacks more effectively damaging.

But, it being a game, it's all about balance. When you let a stat determine, say, a Wizard's potency at both non-physical capability AND physical capability, then all those spells-per-day limitations and such you've implemented to balance things out go out the window when he's 50% awesome with melee weapons just for having maxed out Resolve at character creation. "Oh, I'm out of spells? Well, it's a good thing there's not much of a trade-off for taking that stat that boosts my spell potency."

That's the issue being evaluated here. Based on the speculation/possibility that one stat will determine essentially your Power in P:E, physical AND non-physical power...

So, again, your proposal really only halfway handles that particular concern. It's got good ideas and makes sense in a lot of ways, but I'm still questioning potential problems that it may not actually tackle.

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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Maybe my use of the word eager wasn't appropriate ha ha I didn't thought it means what I thought it means. Anyhow, sorry like I said before, sometime my English screws up what I try to explain.

No worries. I ONLY know English, so I'm hardly prepared to fault you for a few slip ups in an otherwise pretty excellent use of a language that isn't even your first.

1 ) Because you get points : Lets say you get one Attribute point and one class skill per level. You can boost any attribute you want, and also choose a skill that can grow. This is what will make your character unique. This would also prevent you  from raising the crap out of ''resolve''.

2) This is where it can get fun ! Maybe yes, your skill WILL help also on other calculations. Strength as a skill may give you some bonus for intimidation for example. Same can be said for other skills. And yes I do believe that skills should be what defines the ''technicalities'' of Strength, Agility, Intelligence etc etc. Not because I think it's the best way, but that is the best I can think of to have singles ''damage'', ''accuracy'', ''resistance'' attributes. Otherwise it would be very strange to have ''strength'' for example as the only way to raise magical damage.

You also tend to get feats and such, as you progress, that seem to signify an improvement in strength. I think that makes a lot more sense. Between that and RARE attribute point gains (which I think should be contextual, and not just "You gained a magical point that can improve anything you choose!"). I just... the more you can alter stats throughout the game, the more watered-down the purpose of stats gets.

When you roll a character in DnD or whatever ruleset, and you have 18 Strength, it's assumed that that's factoring in whatever you do for a living or have done in the past (before the point at which your adult-or-close-to-adult character starts his or her adventures). It doesn't mean you just sit around on a couch eating potato chips all day, and have done that for the past 17 years (Human character example), and now, suddenly, you've got the ability to just go from there. And most of the ways in which you gain Strength are via magic/enchanted equipment, etc. Even the attribute point gains are pretty much a weird, magical abstraction of sort of innate heroicness boosting your abilities, partially just for the progression aspect of gaming that's fun to players, and not so much for some kind of believable lore consistency.

Again, not trying to shoot down your idea. Just investigating its surroundings, is all.

2) That could work. It's still a bit convoluted, though. That's one of the reasons things get abstracted. Stats are what you are, so they affect other things. Like... Intelligence typically affects how you gain knowledge. You can still gain a boatload of knowledge with a lower Intelligence, but you have tougher skill checks and slower rates of gaining that knowledge. If you read every single book on a given library shelf, with 10 Intelligence, and someone with 18 Intelligence comes along and reads the same books, they're going to understand more than you did. You can read MORE than they read, and end up understanding more than they do, total. But, all other things the same, the stat/attribute rating represents your inherent capacity in some specific regard (mental processing power, physical strength, etc.). The reason being so that you don't ever have to look back and go "Hmm... well, I've read a bunch of books now. How is my Intelligence affected?" Well, it shouldn't be, really, since it's your inherent capacity to take in and comprehend information and knowledge.

The only thing that still doesn't quite make sense in that abstraction, regarding physical strength, is that a fully grown adult with only 5-out-of-18 Strength would probably be able to work out a bit and pretty easily burn some fat and gain some muscle, etc., and improve their strength. But, then again, he's not limited to some piddly amount of effectiveness with a physical weapon, either. It's not like the strong guy can deal 100 damage with a weapon at his peak, and the most you can ever hope to deal as a weak guy is 10. But, the thing is... in the DnD system, your Strength directly calculates your chance to hit with a melee weapon. That's the type of thing Obsidian is trying to "fix" in P:E. The difference in one warrior's strength and another warrior's strength shouldn't DIRECTLY translate into a difference in accuracy, as well. Just for example. So, they want us to be able to have a weaker character who's still very accurate with a blade, and thus more frequently makes much more effective/well-aimed slices and thrusts to let the blade do all the work, rather than relying as much on force to MAKE less-precise attacks more effectively damaging.

But, it being a game, it's all about balance. When you let a stat determine, say, a Wizard's potency at both non-physical capability AND physical capability, then all those spells-per-day limitations and such you've implemented to balance things out go out the window when he's 50% awesome with melee weapons just for having maxed out Resolve at character creation. "Oh, I'm out of spells? Well, it's a good thing there's not much of a trade-off for taking that stat that boosts my spell potency."

That's the issue being evaluated here. Based on the speculation/possibility that one stat will determine essentially your Power in P:E, physical AND non-physical power...

So, again, your proposal really only halfway handles that particular concern. It's got good ideas and makes sense in a lot of ways, but I'm still questioning potential problems that it may not actually tackle.

Yeah I agree it solve only half the problem, in fact I thought of another problem with my proposal. If I still divide the damage down to skills, what's the point of having attributes at all . It's kind of hard to know what Obsidian will do make only one damage stat. Unless it's all down to classes ''talents'' to refine the system. Maybe there won't even have the conventional Str, Dex ... etc attributes. It's sure something I hope to have more details on really soon.

Or it could also be that there is only one damage attribute that depends on class.

Body : Damage for the fighter, resistance for the mage, resistance for the cipher, accuracy for the monk

Mind : Accuracy for the fighter, damage for the mage, accuracy for the cipher, resistance for the monk

Soul : Resistance for the fighter, accuracy for the mage, damage for the cipher, damage for the monk

... sorry just playing around some ideas.

It could be a new and fresh way to look at attributes, it make ''some'' sense. It solve the problem of the weak but powerful mage, and on a larger scale, it fit well with talents and skills.

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Ok, I tried to work out a possible attribute/skill combination that could work with Strength as damage bonus for melee and spells. I'm not sure I bring anything new to the table, but it might give us a feeling what could work. Or not, if anyone finds a big hole in this. I only worked out attributes and skills important to fighter/mage differentiation:

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

Attributes:

Strength  (damage for all)

Accuracy (accuracy for all)

Constitution (hit points)

Intelligence (spell-amount and spell-speed, also magic resistance)

I would rename at least intelligence, but since we are so used to these names I kept them here.

Now a fighter needs Strength Accuracy and Const, a mage Strength Accuracy and Intelligence, but both can't just drop the left-over stat or they will be very vulnerable. But why couldn't a mage just max out Strength and Accuracy and leave the others low. He could, that would make him a battle mage. Or a fighter boost int instead of Strength. He could, that would make him a battle-mage too, with some other characteristics. Now what differentiates mage and fighter are the class skills/feats (that are either exclusive to him or just very expensive to other classes):

Fighter:

Cleave

Shield Bash

Opportunist

Crippling Strike

Mage:

Concentration

Ignore Armor (ignores some armor not all!)

Fire Magic

Water Magic

Air Magic

Another important rule: Spells can only be cast with empty hands, so you can't cast spells and peek opponents with a sword at the same time

Now we have lots of possibilities:

Pure Mage: Very High Int, High Str and Acc

Pure Fighter: High Str, Acc and Con

Mage with all attributes the same: As a mage decent damage output, missing spell-speed means 75% damage output, as a fighter without any crowd control but with acceptable damage, less than 50% of a dedicated fighter (less accuracy and strength, no fighter feats). Has it easier standing in the thick of combat as a pure mage.

Fighter with all attributes the same: As a fighter 80% damage output (lower strength and accuracy, less points in fighter feats) and slightly faster out of combat (lower con), but is able to soften enemy with spells as long as he isn't in melee. But to cast spells he has to put some expensive skill points for example into "water magic" instead of fighter skills

A possible Battle Mage build: Passable Str and Acc, High Con and Int,  Mage class with very high Concentration skill. Maybe some points in fighter skills, for example Shield Bash (skills able to get you out of melee). To afford high Concentration and fighter skills he probably has to concentrate on one spell school.

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

Thoughts?

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Ok, I tried to work out a possible attribute/skill combination that could work with Strength as damage bonus for melee and spells. I'm not sure I bring anything new to the table, but it might give us a feeling what could work. Or not, if anyone finds a big hole in this. I only worked out attributes and skills important to fighter/mage differentiation:

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

Attributes:

Strength  (damage for all)

Accuracy (accuracy for all)

Constitution (hit points)

Intelligence (spell-amount and spell-speed, also magic resistance)

I would rename at least intelligence, but since we are so used to these names I kept them here.

Now a fighter needs Strength Accuracy and Const, a mage Strength Accuracy and Intelligence, but both can't just drop the left-over stat or they will be very vulnerable. But why couldn't a mage just max out Strength and Accuracy and leave the others low. He could, that would make him a battle mage. Or a fighter boost int instead of Strength. He could, that would make him a battle-mage too, with some other characteristics. Now what differentiates mage and fighter are the class skills/feats (that are either exclusive to him or just very expensive to other classes):

Fighter:

Cleave

Shield Bash

Opportunist

Crippling Strike

Mage:

Concentration

Ignore Armor (ignores some armor not all!)

Fire Magic

Water Magic

Air Magic

Another important rule: Spells can only be cast with empty hands, so you can't cast spells and peek opponents with a sword at the same time

Now we have lots of possibilities:

Pure Mage: Very High Int, High Str and Acc

Pure Fighter: High Str, Acc and Con

Mage with all attributes the same: As a mage decent damage output, missing spell-speed means 75% damage output, as a fighter without any crowd control but with acceptable damage, less than 50% of a dedicated fighter (less accuracy and strength, no fighter feats). Has it easier standing in the thick of combat as a pure mage.

Fighter with all attributes the same: As a fighter 80% damage output (lower strength and accuracy, less points in fighter feats) and slightly faster out of combat (lower con), but is able to soften enemy with spells as long as he isn't in melee. But to cast spells he has to put some expensive skill points for example into "water magic" instead of fighter skills

A possible Battle Mage build: Passable Str and Acc, High Con and Int,  Mage class with very high Concentration skill. Maybe some points in fighter skills, for example Shield Bash (skills able to get you out of melee). To afford high Concentration and fighter skills he probably has to concentrate on one spell school.

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

Thoughts?

The biggest problem is that you can't have a physically weak mage. As if suddently, every mages on the planet decided to add to their library all muscle mags or something. It also ruin the fact that many players would want their mage to wield sword. Flexibility remember ?

Edited by J. Trudel
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The biggest problem is that you can't have a physically weak mage. As if suddently, every mages on the planet decided to add to their library all muscle mags or something. It also ruin the fact that many players would want their mage to wield sword. Flexibility remember ?

You can sort of. Put less points in Strength, more in Accuracy and Int, so that you can cast faster and hit more often. And make sure "Ignore Armor" skill is as high as possible. He would only be 90% (or even 80%) as good as a pure mage build (dependent how much Strength damage bonus adds to the base damage) and less efficient against high armour targets. On the other hand he would be better against unarmored targets and much better against targets hard to hit (ghosts,shadows, thiefs). And I see no reason that a weak mage i.e. a mage with a handicap should be as good as a fit mage. We accept that a dump fighter would have a disadvantage against an intelligent fighter, the same could or even should happen to a mage.

How to reason out why Strength does damage bonus to both melee and spells is a different problem. If I had to, the first thing I would do is rename it

Sorry, I don't understand the last sentence. In the system I proposed the mage can wield a sword. What makes you think he can't?

Edited by jethro
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Erm, you guys do realize that y'all are speculating wildly?

AFAIK we haven't been told anything about the attribute system other than that a design goal is "no dump stats for any class," and "the same stats determine accuracy and damage for all classes." That leaves the field wide open.

Personally, I very much doubt the "damage stat" will be called "strength." That would indeed be silly as it would make you picture archmages looking like the Terminator.

Since we're speculating, though, here's an example of one solution that fits these design parameters without eliminating class differentiation:

Classes:

• Defender - melee fighter
• Archer - archer
• Wizard - wizard

Stats:

• Accuracy
• Power
• Speed

Skills:

• Strike - skill in melee
• Shoot - skill in ranged weapons
• Hex - skill in magic

Attacks:

• Longsword - strike, (A10, P10, S10)
• Dagger - strike (A20, P5, S20)
• Shortbow - shoot (A10, P10, S10)
• Crossbow - shoot (A5, P20, S5)
• Fireblast - hex (A10, P10, S10)
• Force bolt - hex (A15, P5, S15)

Skill * Accuracy * Weapon A = chance to hit

Skill * Power  * Weapon P = damage modifier

Skill * Speed * Weapon S = attack frequency

All classes get to distribute 30 points between Accuracy, Power, and Speed.

Defenders have

• Strike 20
• Shoot 10
• Hex 0

Archers have

• Strike 10
• Shoot 20
• Hex 0

Wizards have

• Strike 2
• Shoot 2
• Hex 26

So, consider a Defender with A10, P10, S10:

• Longsword: Accuracy, Speed, and Power 10 * 20 * 10 = 2000
• Shortbow: Accuracy, Speed, and Power 10 * 10 * 10 = 1000
• Crossbow: Accuracy and Speed 10 * 10 * 5 = 500, Power 10 * 10 * 20 = 2000

An Archer:

• Longsword: Accuracy, Speed, and Power all 10 * 10 * 10 = 1000
• Shortbow: Accuracy, Speed, and Power all 10 * 20 * 10 = 2000
• Crossbow: Accuracy, and Speed 10 * 20 * 5 = 1000, Power 10 * 20 * 20 = 4000

A Wizard:

• Longsword: Accuracy, Speed, and Power all 10 * 2 * 10 = 200
• Crossbow: Accuracy and Speed 10 * 2 * 5 = 100, Power 10 * 2 * 20 = 400
• Fireblast: Accuracy, Power, and Speed all 10 * 26 * 10 = 2600
• Force Bolt: Accuracy and Speed 10 * 26 * 15 = 3900, Power 10 * 26 * 5 = 1300

Under this system, your "Strike" skill would also reflect your physical training, and your "Hex" skill your mental discipline. So, unless your wizard invested heavily into developing "Strike" or "Shoot," he would be pretty near useless with a sword or bow compared to a defender or archer.

Personally I don't have a huge problem with this approach. It's IMO no worse even from a simulationist POV than the traditional d20 STR-EX-CON-INT-WIS-CHA one. A system where a single stat determines, say, both your ability to balance on a tightrope and pick a lock, or lift a big rock over your head and keep someone in a wrestling hold, or avoid catching the plague and swim across a lake isn't exactly realistic either.

Edited by PrimeJunta

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The biggest problem is that you can't have a physically weak mage. As if suddently, every mages on the planet decided to add to their library all muscle mags or something. It also ruin the fact that many players would want their mage to wield sword. Flexibility remember ?

You can sort of. Put less points in Strength, more in Accuracy and Int, so that you can cast faster and hit more often. And make sure "Ignore Armor" skill is as high as possible. He would only be 90% (or even 80%) as good as a pure mage build (dependent how much Strength damage bonus adds to the base damage) and less efficient against high armour targets. On the other hand he would be better against unarmored targets and much better against targets hard to hit (ghosts,shadows, thiefs). And I see no reason that a weak mage i.e. a mage with a handicap should be as good as a fit mage. We accept that a dump fighter would have a disadvantage against an intelligent fighter, the same could or even should happen to a mage.

How to reason out why Strength does damage bonus to both melee and spells is a different problem. If I had to, the first thing I would do is rename it

Sorry, I don't understand the last sentence. In the system I proposed the mage can wield a sword. What makes you think he can't?

You still can't be physically weak yet do massive damage with a single spell. You also said that spells have to be casted empty handed, which prevent mages who would use staffs, swords etc etc.

Erm, you guys do realize that y'all are speculating wildly?

AFAIK we haven't been told anything about the attribute system other than that a design goal is "no dump stats for any class," and "the same stats determine accuracy and damage for all classes." That leaves the field wide open.

Personally, I very much doubt the "damage stat" will be called "strength." That would indeed be silly as it would make you picture archmages looking like the Terminator.

Since we're speculating, though, here's an example of one solution that fits these design parameters without eliminating class differentiation:

Classes:

• Defender - melee fighter
• Archer - archer
• Wizard - wizard

Stats:

• Accuracy
• Power
• Speed

Skills:

• Strike - skill in melee
• Shoot - skill in ranged weapons
• Hex - skill in magic

Attacks:

• Longsword - strike, (A10, P10, S10)
• Dagger - strike (A20, P5, S20)
• Shortbow - shoot (A10, P10, S10)
• Crossbow - shoot (A5, P20, S5)
• Fireblast - hex (A10, P10, S10)
• Force bolt - hex (A15, P5, S15)

Skill * Accuracy * Weapon A = chance to hit

Skill * Power  * Weapon P = damage modifier

Skill * Speed * Weapon S = attack frequency

All classes get to distribute 30 points between Accuracy, Power, and Speed.

Defenders have

• Strike 20
• Shoot 10
• Hex 0

Archers have

• Strike 10
• Shoot 20
• Hex 0

Wizards have

• Strike 2
• Shoot 2
• Hex 26

So, consider a Defender with A10, P10, S10:

• Longsword: Accuracy, Speed, and Power 10 * 20 * 10 = 2000
• Shortbow: Accuracy, Speed, and Power 10 * 10 * 10 = 1000
• Crossbow: Accuracy and Speed 10 * 10 * 5 = 500, Power 10 * 10 * 20 = 2000

An Archer:

• Longsword: Accuracy, Speed, and Power all 10 * 10 * 10 = 1000
• Shortbow: Accuracy, Speed, and Power all 10 * 20 * 10 = 2000
• Crossbow: Accuracy, and Speed 10 * 20 * 5 = 1000, Power 10 * 20 * 20 = 4000

A Wizard:

• Longsword: Accuracy, Speed, and Power all 10 * 2 * 10 = 200
• Crossbow: Accuracy and Speed 10 * 2 * 5 = 100, Power 10 * 2 * 20 = 400
• Fireblast: Accuracy, Power, and Speed all 10 * 26 * 10 = 2600
• Force Bolt: Accuracy and Speed 10 * 26 * 15 = 3900, Power 10 * 26 * 5 = 1300

Under this system, your "Strike" skill would also reflect your physical training, and your "Hex" skill your mental discipline. So, unless your wizard invested heavily into developing "Strike" or "Shoot," he would be pretty near useless with a sword or bow compared to a defender or archer.

Personally I don't have a huge problem with this approach. It's IMO no worse even from a simulationist POV than the traditional d20 STR-EX-CON-INT-WIS-CHA one. A system where a single stat determines, say, both your ability to balance on a tightrope and pick a lock, or lift a big rock over your head and keep someone in a wrestling hold, or avoid catching the plague and swim across a lake isn't exactly realistic either.

How would your system handle social interaction or crafting ? If Attributes help skills like archery or hex. They should also provide bonuses to other skills like crafting or hiding. This is why systems who have attributes like Int or Cha exist.

Truth is it's hard to have no dump stats, because in real life, beign charismatic for example shouldn't help you with combat. The thing is, to have no ''dump'' stats, you have to make sure the stats are usefull. Not the other way around. But the more I play with a concept like Body - Mind - Soul, the more I begin to like it.

Of course it does means every class will not have the same damage stat. But each class could use the same 3 basic attributes to achieve differents things. A paladin soul could be the source of his charisma, while a rogue may use his mind to convince others. Fighters could use Body for damage while Monk may use Soul.

Edited by J. Trudel
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The biggest problem is that you can't have a physically weak mage. As if suddently, every mages on the planet decided to add to their library all muscle mags or something. It also ruin the fact that many players would want their mage to wield sword. Flexibility remember ?

You can sort of. Put less points in Strength, more in Accuracy and Int, so that you can cast faster and hit more often. And make sure "Ignore Armor" skill is as high as possible. He would only be 90% (or even 80%) as good as a pure mage build (dependent how much Strength damage bonus adds to the base damage) and less efficient against high armour targets. On the other hand he would be better against unarmored targets and much better against targets hard to hit (ghosts,shadows, thiefs). And I see no reason that a weak mage i.e. a mage with a handicap should be as good as a fit mage. We accept that a dump fighter would have a disadvantage against an intelligent fighter, the same could or even should happen to a mage.

How to reason out why Strength does damage bonus to both melee and spells is a different problem. If I had to, the first thing I would do is rename it

Sorry, I don't understand the last sentence. In the system I proposed the mage can wield a sword. What makes you think he can't?

You still can't be physically weak yet do massive damage with a single spell. You also said that spells have to be casted empty handed, which prevent mages who would use staffs, swords etc etc.

Ok. But wouldn't it be enough to have a physically weak but powerful mage, independent of how this power manifests itself ?

I put that in to avoid that a mage could use his spell-downtimes to hack at enemies. It's just a simple weapon-switch, like a fighter who switches between bow and sword. The mage switches between spells and sword. This could be handled differently, for example that the mage can't do anything else (like hitting people) while he is casting. Mmh, sounds ok as well, but depends on how spell cooldown is handled.

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My question remains simply this:

IF you use something like "Power" to simply represent power, then how are physical power and non-physical power represented as separate from one another? What I mean is, how do you enter some cave with soul-magic disrupting devices all around, and have one character says "Agh! My power is effectively NIL right now!" while another declares "Worry not, for these are not MUSCLE disruptors!" and smashes the enemies in the room to bits to get to the disruptors and deactivate/destroy them?

And IF the answer is "Meh, we just won't ever represent the difference in the type of power," then how will the game consequently suffer?

In other words, it's totally fine for a single thing, like Power, to be a stat that affects sheer damage output. But, I'd still value a representation of physique/physical strength, even if it gets overruled by Power in terms of damage effects.

I mean, if one stat is going to represent Accuracy for everyone, you'd think something would still represent Agility, right? Or would everyone who's super accurate, offensively, simply be really, really agile, too? There's no huge bulky guy who just has really steady aim with a bow. He's got to also be a master of parkour and yoga?

I guess it just seems weird to me if these things are no longer available as individual effects for skill checks and such in different sets of circumstances.

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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How would your system handle social interaction or crafting ? If Attributes help skills like archery or hex. They should also provide bonuses to other skills like crafting or hiding. This is why systems who have attributes like Int or Cha exist.

It doesn't. I only considered combat for the purposes of this simple demonstration. It was a long enough post as it is. I would add a few more stats and skills to handle that. I think they ought to be class-agnostic, i.e., equally useful for wizards, defenders, and archers.

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My question remains simply this:

IF you use something like "Power" to simply represent power, then how are physical power and non-physical power represented as separate from one another? What I mean is, how do you enter some cave with soul-magic disrupting devices all around, and have one character says "Agh! My power is effectively NIL right now!" while another declares "Worry not, for these are not MUSCLE disruptors!" and smashes the enemies in the room to bits to get to the disruptors and deactivate/destroy them?

I would simply have it affect the relevant skill. A magic disruptor would a penalty to Hex. A muscle disruptor to Strike. A coordination disruptor to Shoot.

If you want to add depth, you could have the field apply separate Power, Speed, and Accuracy penalties to categories like "all attacks based on Hex." So you could have a magic-slowing field, a melee-clumsiness field, a field that robbed the power from projectiles, and so on and so forth.

And naturally there's nothing stopping you from doing all the usual stuff like flagging attacks as crushing/slashing/piercing, or elemental/illusion/enchantment, and then applying various circumstantial adjustments to those.

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How would your system handle social interaction or crafting ? If Attributes help skills like archery or hex. They should also provide bonuses to other skills like crafting or hiding. This is why systems who have attributes like Int or Cha exist.

It doesn't. I only considered combat for the purposes of this simple demonstration. It was a long enough post as it is. I would add a few more stats and skills to handle that. I think they ought to be class-agnostic, i.e., equally useful for wizards, defenders, and archers.

It does ressemble much to my proposition of :

Power (Damage)

Acuity (Accuracy)

Tenacity (Resistance)

Skills :

Combat

Marksmanship

Arcana

I guess I could live with that. We could also add speed to that. Giving us 4 Attributes so far.

Power, Acuity, Speed, Tenacity

I am yet unsure about adding other Attributes for non-combat skills. They could become dump stats, and thats exactly what the devs doesn't want.

Edited by J. Trudel
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Sure, that would work too. Lots of ways to design this type of system without ending up with muscle-bound archmages.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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You have again ignored the potential to have a "bypass DT stat" as well, which against your hypothetical ultra high DT would be much more valuable than base damage.

The "bypass DT stat" would be wasted on targets with low or no DT. Raw damage is always useful.

You keep failing to understand that Josh is planning to make all "attributes" very useful for all classes.

The damage stat, Strength, will be very useful for damage-dealing or stamina-healing classes. A smart thing to do for a wizard would be, among other things, to also invest in the damage-dealing stat. Therefore, if you enjoy playing a useful damage-dealing wizard, you will be bound to play a physically strong wizard.

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You have again ignored the potential to have a "bypass DT stat" as well, which against your hypothetical ultra high DT would be much more valuable than base damage.

The "bypass DT stat" would be wasted on targets with low or no DT. Raw damage is always useful.

You keep failing to understand that Josh is planning to make all "attributes" very useful for all classes.

The damage stat, Strength, will be very useful for damage-dealing or stamina-healing classes. A smart thing to do for a wizard would be, among other things, to also invest in the damage-dealing stat. Therefore, if you enjoy playing a useful damage-dealing wizard, you will be bound to play a physically strong wizard.

Yes... So, there will be different stats that are useful in different situations, with one that is always useful, but less so compared to others in specific situations.  Basically exactly what I wrote in my previous post(s).

I think having different stats better in different situations is better, personally.  It adds another layer, and more reason to balance stats rather than maximize one over all others.

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I would simply have it affect the relevant skill. A magic disruptor would a penalty to Hex. A muscle disruptor to Strike. A coordination disruptor to Shoot.

Alright, but... A character with max Power and 0 Strike still isn't at the bottom of the spectrum for physical, striking power. They're at 50%. They'd have to have low Power AND low Strike. Versus the typical DnD system, for example, with 3 STR and 18 INT generating the minimum/maximum for both qualities, independently.

By splitting it into a stat and individual skills, you're functionally reducing the problem's prevalence by 50%, since half the effectiveness of your character (via skills) is handled separately. But, the other half is still handled by a single stat. Right?

So, if you had a physical strength check like... say, an arm-wrestling challenge. How would you handle that? If you check Power, then a supposedly-physically-weak character with maximum Power would still do pretty well, even with 0 Strike. If you don't check Power, and just check Strike, then what's the point in Power? What is Power actually representing at that point?

Does that make any sense?

I'm wondering if it's possible to use a single stat to represent both physical and non-physical "strength," while still allowing for situations and checks to only physical strength or only non-physical strength.

Maybe we just don't worry about that sort of thing, and we just convert all such checks to Power checks? Or we just do Power + appropriate-skill, and don't worry about the fact that all characters share the same contribution from Power to both physical and non-physical feats of force? I dunno... just seems like the game would suffer a bit for that. It's a pretty big distinction (applied to skill checks and such, typically, in a variety of situations) to just shrug off is all.

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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Does that make any sense?

I'm wondering if it's possible to use a single stat to represent both physical and non-physical "strength," while still allowing for situations and checks to only physical strength or only non-physical strength.

Yes, you are making sense. But the simple truth is if you don't have a strength attribute that only measures your physical strength you can't do a simple pyhsical strength check.

You can do one that tests strength as represented by the strength/power attribute. And this could still be just physical strength if the magic power of a person in this magic system somehow depended on his physical strength.

Or a system might be possible where you can use a combination of attributes and skills to calculate a number that represents your raw phyiscal strength with the magical strength part excised. But I don't think that very likely, I'm just mentioning it to be thorough.

Edited by jethro
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I meant to add "and isn't self-defeating," but forgot to. In other words, if you say "Hey, we're not gonna have 2 stats, but instead, just ONE! 8D!", then you have to implement additional stats/skills/measures to allow for physical strength to be separated from non-physical strength, then what was the point of combining them in the first place?

You can do one that tests strength as represented by the strength/power attribute. And this could still be just physical strength if the magic power of a person in this magic system somehow depended on his physical strength.

Ahh, but if physical strength begets magic power, then we're back at "you can either be physically AND magically powerful, or physically AND magically feeble, but never physically feeble and magically powerful or magically feeble and physically powerful." In other words, there would be no functional distinction in the game's design, even if all characters still technically possessed individual physical capabilities AND magical capabilities.

Imagine if you combined, say, Strength and Agility. Well, even with any amount of Stre-gility, you'd still have the ability to knock a door down as separate from the ability to deftly perform a backflip. However, you can now ONLY have a character who can either do both, or none. If you JUST want to be able to do a backflip, you have to be a powerhouse, too. And vice versa.

It's just... a strange, seemingly arbitrary mish-mash. Especially when a staple of RPGing is being able to have distinctly unique combinations of the various character properties between individual characters.

*shrug*. I think a Strength attribute and a Vigor attribute (or something) might work well. Basically, Vigor would represent all things non-physical. So, a Warrior's (for example) soul-powered damaging abilities might draw their value from Vigor-only, while standard "I swing this weapon with my arm muscle and strike you" attacks would draw their value purely from Strength. If you used a soul-based ability that had a weapon-swingy attack as a base, then the two would stack. But, that wouldn't have to be true of every single ability, and the Warrior wouldn't have to have the same number of Vigor-based abilities as another class.

Everyone will have soul-"magic" abilities, regardless of class, so Vigor will always be useful. You healing with your soul? You heal more potently. You creating a shockwave with your soul? You create a bigger, badder shockwave. Yet, your Strength will still be separate. Kind of soul-fatigued right now? Well, you can still use conventional attacks to great effect if you've got high Strength.

But, this seems to go against the expressed idea of "one stat for damage/potency for all classes." Hence the question marks that remain.

*shrug*. This is all just a bunch of speculation. I mean, I value speculation, and discussion and exploration of possibilities. Very much so. But, at the same time, I'm sure Obsidian has this worked out (or is working it out) far better than we are here, thus far. So, as far as finalized P:E goes, I'm content with waiting and simply finding out what's what.

In the meantime, it's simply fun to discuss and possibly hit on interesting gems of analysis that maybe even the devs can benefit from. If not, at least we each get to benefit from them in our own personal evaluation of attributes and how they could work and the effects of their implementation, etc.

Edited by Lephys

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 wonder if it wouldn't have been better if they had splitted the whole attribute thing, like in primary and secondary attributes.

Mages could then have a  melee-power attribute, that would share a pool with other secondary attributes, or perhaps even share the skill-pool, but a different pool then the primary attributes, so it wouldn't be a dumb-stat.

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Alright, but... A character with max Power and 0 Strike still isn't at the bottom of the spectrum for physical, striking power. They're at 50%. They'd have to have low Power AND low Strike. Versus the typical DnD system, for example, with 3 STR and 18 INT generating the minimum/maximum for both qualities, independently.

Check the example again: they would actually have 0 speed, 0 accuracy, and 0 damage when using a sword. It's multiplicative, not additive.

So, if you had a physical strength check like... say, an arm-wrestling challenge. How would you handle that? If you check Power, then a supposedly-physically-weak character with maximum Power would still do pretty well, even with 0 Strike. If you don't check Power, and just check Strike, then what's the point in Power? What is Power actually representing at that point?

In this extremely limited example with only three stats and skills, I'd use power * strike * [unarmed]. If it was a real game I might have some other skill that was more appropriate.

I'm wondering if it's possible to use a single stat to represent both physical and non-physical "strength," while still allowing for situations and checks to only physical strength or only non-physical strength.

It probably isn't. Which is why I use "power" rather than "strength." It's a different abstraction.

Further, I would contend that there is no such thing as "strength." It's always contextual. Someone who is good at power lifting may or may not be good at shot putting. Shot putting and power lifting are different skills. Skills may have synergies, of course, so that it's likely that someone who's good at power lifting is better at shot put than someone who's good at chess but not power lifting, assuming neither has specific training in shot put.

Maybe we just don't worry about that sort of thing, and we just convert all such checks to Power checks? Or we just do Power + appropriate-skill, and don't worry about the fact that all characters share the same contribution from Power to both physical and non-physical feats of force? I dunno... just seems like the game would suffer a bit for that. It's a pretty big distinction (applied to skill checks and such, typically, in a variety of situations) to just shrug off is all.

I was envisioning all checks as stat * skill * tool. It would make no sense to check just "power", without some way you're using it (the skill) and something you're using it with (the tool). There would be a very limited number of stats, a somewhat limited number of skills, and a broad range of tools, ranging from "unarmed" to "epic sword of manly manliness" and "meteor strike".

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I meant to add "and isn't self-defeating," but forgot to. In other words, if you say "Hey, we're not gonna have 2 stats, but instead, just ONE! 8D!", then you have to implement additional stats/skills/measures to allow for physical strength to be separated from non-physical strength, then what was the point of combining them in the first place?

As I said the last option was just mentioned for completeness sakes. Mathematics does that to you ;-)

You can do one that tests strength as represented by the strength/power attribute. And this could still be just physical strength if the magic power of a person in this magic system somehow depended on his physical strength.

Ahh, but if physical strength begets magic power, then we're back at "you can either be physically AND magically powerful, or physically AND magically feeble, but never physically feeble and magically powerful or magically feeble and physically powerful." In other words, there would be no functional distinction in the game's design, even if all characters still technically possessed individual physical capabilities AND magical capabilities.

No. It means you can't be magically powerful in the same way a standard wizard does it. My example attribute/skill system allowed a mage with low strength but fairly high magic power. With advantages against animals and clothies/other mages and disadvantages against armoured targets. If you put that mage against the standard mage he would probably win.

In the case of PE we only know that the attribute strength influences, maybe even defines magical damage, but not that magical damage is the only stat influencing magical power. I.e. magical damage is not equal to magical power. Compare a machine-gun to a high-caliber rifle. Shot for shot the rifle is much more powerful, but under normal circumstances the machine-gun is.

(...)

But, this seems to go against the expressed idea of "one stat for damage/potency for all classes." Hence the question marks that remain.

Well, I would interpret Sawyer as saying "one stat for damage for all classes", not potency. That could be a big difference

*shrug*. This is all just a bunch of speculation. I mean, I value speculation, and discussion and exploration of possibilities. Very much so. But, at the same time, I'm sure Obsidian has this worked out (or is working it out) far better than we are here, thus far. So, as far as finalized P:E goes, I'm content with waiting and simply finding out what's what.

In the meantime, it's simply fun to discuss and possibly hit on interesting gems of analysis that maybe even the devs can benefit from. If not, at least we each get to benefit from them in our own personal evaluation of attributes and how they could work and the effects of their implementation, etc.

Even devs make mistake. In rare cases even big barn-door mistakes. So our discussion has the same value as every experiment that tests the speed of light. Even if all the previous experiments have shown the assumptions to be correct it is better to test one more time from a different angle. If our problems are solved in Sawyers system he and his henchmen surely have long abandoned reading this thread. If on the other hand someone here found a weak spot he might have silently revised his system. Or silently concluded that the positive features of his system are more worth than that one weak spot. No system will be perfect after all. I don't care about the "silently" at all, we all win if the system is well designed.

Edited by jethro
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Check the example again: they would actually have 0 speed, 0 accuracy, and 0 damage when using a sword. It's multiplicative, not additive.

Point taken. I missed that bit. Of course, that means your character would either have to be allowed to wield a sword, but just stand there and never actually swing it (attack speed 0), or you'd just literally be incapable of even holding a sword while moving your arm in such a way that the sword actually touches something else. Which is mildly silly. I mean, a small child can pick up a stick and hit something with it. He can't really have 0 skill at Stick without lacking the ability to grasp a stick and move his arm at the same time.

I would say that's probably an unintentional side-effect. If that's so (if), then to remedy that, the default skill in all things would have to be 1, not 0. Thus, the equation becomes additive, functionally, in regard to the skill that's "lacked," simply multiplying the rest by 1 (adding + 0), at the minimum.

Or, obviously, the character could simply lack the sheer ability to even wield such a weapon to any effect, whatsoever.

In this extremely limited example with only three stats and skills, I'd use power * strike * [unarmed]. If it was a real game I might have some other skill that was more appropriate.

And yet, "power" would still be contributing to both physical and non-physical skills, simultaneously. So, again, it comes down to the example of the character with the minimum of any given skill either having ZERO functionality in that skill (if the skill rating can actually be 0) or a minimum of their Power value (if the rating starts at 1).

Otherwise, the system works quite well.

Further, I would contend that there is no such thing as "strength." It's always contextual. Someone who is good at power lifting may or may not be good at shot putting. Shot putting and power lifting are different skills. Skills may have synergies, of course, so that it's likely that someone who's good at power lifting is better at shot put than someone who's good at chess but not power lifting, assuming neither has specific training in shot put.

If you take much more complex meanings of "strength/power." Then yes. I'm merely referring to it's simplest, base meaning. An arm with more muscle is physically more powerful than an arm with less muscle, all other things the same. A weak arm can have maximum training and skill, or zero training and skill, just as a strong arm can. So, if you were to compare JUST the sheer strength of two people at shot-putting, then the stronger person would put the shot farther than the weaker person.

All this really proves is that sheer "strength/power" does not equal effectiveness. That doesn't mean that there's no such thing as sheer power. The question, when it comes to a game, isn't whether or not sheer power exists. It's whether or not to represent it separately from other modifiers that contribute to effectiveness, or to simply abstract it all into one effectiveness rating and slap the label of "strength/power" onto that. It's not WRONG to do that. You're correct in that the terms often refer to more than just measured force. I'm not trying to argue against that at all.

Strength, a la DnD, for example (even if it's not perfectly done), is meant to represent your raw physical power. This is why it modifies other values, most of the time. Sure, there are sometimes sheer Strength checks (such as maybe if a big chunk of debris falls, and a character is attempting to hold it up while others get out from underneath it). There's hardly any particular skill involved in pushing upwards against a bit slab of stone that's trying to crush you. Even if their was, like I said, two people with the exact same amount of skill and differing amounts of physical strength would have differing amounts of trouble actually holding up that heavy debris. That's the whole point. The only difference would be their sheer strength.

I was envisioning all checks as stat * skill * tool. It would make no sense to check just "power", without some way you're using it (the skill) and something you're using it with (the tool). There would be a very limited number of stats, a somewhat limited number of skills, and a broad range of tools, ranging from "unarmed" to "epic sword of manly manliness" and "meteor strike".

See above example of ceiling debris threatening to crush people/seal off a doorway. I don't know that any amount of Unarmed skill, or any tool, would really have any significance in the success of such an abstracted check, since you're not trying to strike the debris, or utilizing any kind of accuracy, whatsoever.

And, again, that system works very well. The problem isn't that system. It's simply that it doesn't change the fact that a single stat representing to completely separate things would still be a bit of an issue, in regard to the representation of those two things, individually. Also, I want to emphasize the difference between the direct representation of a character facet, by a stat, and a stat's modification/influence on a skill/tool/ability/etc.

(I'm not trying to be snooty and suggest you don't know the difference. I'm simply trying to ensure the clarity of my point, as it lies with one and not the other, so as to avoid confusion as generated by me.)

@Jethro:

I don't argue against anything in particular that you've said, really. I'm simply referring to a baser meaning of strength/power than you are. So, while correct in isolation, the thing you're referring to (as I said above to PrimeJunta) is more total effectiveness than the individual, sheer contribution of Strength that only really makes sense to represent in a numerical quantification system of abstraction (RPG ruleset).

Edited by Lephys

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