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DnD 5e has str requirement of 13 to wear chain mail and str 15 to wear splint or plate mail. Something along those lines works great.

 

I like those, but feel they should be softer. Well, and they may very well be in 5e. But, the whole "Oh, your Strength is 12? You can't wear this. Oh, it's 13? Slap it on! You're golden! 8D!" idea is a bit silly. There should be a more gradual effect of increased fatigue/hindrance whilst wearing it, versus simply being unable to feasibly wear it. If it requires 13 Strength and you have 6, then sure. No wearies. Strength of 11? Wearies, but you're gonna be less effective.

 

Along those lines...

I think ability requirements for equipment is one place where I can easily suspend my disbelief in favor of a better and clearer system. If you start introducing gradual penalties for not meeting the requirement it becomes unnecessarily difficult to understand how effective something really is.

 

Is Splint Mail with 2 points too few in Str/Con actually better or as good as Chain without penalty? What's the point of pre-reqs in the first place if you can wear heavier armor with penalty that is just as good as lighter armor without penalty?

 

If the penalties are meaningful enough to warrant their own existence you're automatically better off using gear that you meet the requirements for anyway. And then it's the penalties that become meaningless in the system. It also creates a sense of achievement for the character when they can use something that others can't.

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Having worn mail, I can tell you its not strength you require but endurance.  Fatigue is the real killer, especially if its warm and you don't keep yourself hydrated.  If you are not used to it, a penalty to doing things like walking on a tightrope too as your movements tend to be more exaggerated and you feel like you are walking under water, but that is something you can get over with experience.

 

So not keen on gating things with attribute requirements, you force everyone to play the same character in order to use certain types of weapons, and it just feels artificial.  As someone who actually knows a little about armour these requirements actually ruin it for me as they are usually done by people with no clue as to what you would actually need to use them, and unrealistic.  Just leave it as it is, I like choosing how my characters go armoured thank you and gated items are just pants.  No, the more I think about this the more I hate it, don't bring crap in from other systems!  They are crap there and they are crap here! 

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I'm not terribly concerned with the attributes representing real human (or almost-human) capabilities. Yes, there can be people who are strong, but not tough, or vice versa. How many of those do you see in fiction and gaming? How many of those have enough of a discrepancy for it to matter? In a way that can't be represented with other elements, like talents or class features?

 

With all due respect, I'm failing to see your reasoning behind being unconcerned with with attributes representing human capabilities. What would you have them do, instead? Also, when you ask "How many of these do you see in fiction and gaming," is that supposed to be part of the reasoning? "We shouldn't allow for these characters on the basis that no one ever allows for these characters"? That's a bit of an infinite loop. The state of things justifies the reason to make the state of things how it currently is.

 

I don't like trying to do this purely with talents or class features. Unless you make a talent group that's like "Endurance 1, Endurance 2, Endurance 3," etc., you just wind up with 2 options: You're character is equally as tough as everyone else who's of average toughness, or your character is exceptionally tough (just like all other above-average toughness people). That's not very exciting in an otherwise robust world. And having a spectrum of each talent like that would just be redundant, when your attribute system was already allowing for that.

 

You can tune it all you like, but without a gradient, you just create binary options. The people with the different value, and the people with the base value.

 

 

Like I said above, merging constitution and strength makes sense because neither of them is good enough to stand on its own, if we're talking about traditional ability spreads. Edge of the Empire by Fantasy Flight Games uses a general Brawn attribute and it work well enough. Traditional strength is of very limited use to people who don't rely on brute strength. Constitution is everyone's second choice. Combine them and you've got an attribute that competes with more versatile ones.

I don't doubt that Brawn works "well enough." That doesn't change the fact that there are large functional differences between "Stronstitution" and two separate attributes. I'm also not trying to say that there's no merit in the argument that Strength and Constitution are not 100% entirely separate things. I'm simply trying to illustrate the utility of each of them, as systems have used them in the past AND as systems have yet to use them. I'm not saying "do it just like someone already did it, or don't do it at all." I'm all for new designs and mechanics.

 

Also, as I've said before, it depends on what the game wants to do with the metrics. If your game is never going to use just-plain Strength much, then sure... don't use it. But, if your game is going to use something like Brawn, then just still represent both things (such that everyone who's strong is super high-endurancey, and vice versa), but the game world doesn't actually want everyone who's strong to be identical in other regards, then the attribute is failing the system in a way. Measurably, and not just "I like this more", etc. There's nothing wrong with preferences... I'm not trying to belittle preferences, but they are secondary to objective design goals and the achievement of those goals.

 

And yes, Strength isn't super valuable to everyone. But it shouldn't be. If you want a weak character, you should be able to make a weak character. The whole "attribute viability" problem is when Stat A isn't viable for Class X. If I'm a Wizard, and I have no use whatsoever for 1 or 2 attributes, that becomes a problem. That's what they technically fixed with Pillars' system. The problem is that they made everything affect the exact same things for all classes. And/or that the classes are too restricted in what kinds of things they can and cannot do. That's a bit of a side-topic, though. But, Constitution is a go-to stat because staying alive is always good. In fact, usually, the only reason you WOULDN'T want to spend points in Constitution is when you choose a class that gets piddly HP bonuses from Constitution points (be it initial HP or per-level gains). So, in my mind, that problem is with the HP/class design, and not with Constitution as a basic character metric.

 

 

@1varangian:

 

I hear ya, but honestly... you're either going to do all the math no matter what because you need all the uknowns to be knowns for your min-maxing urges, or you're just going to ride the intuitive flow. If you're more casual and have an interest in wearing some heavier armor for its style/armor value/what-have-you, then you're just going to go "Oh, okay... the heavier it is, the slower my actions are or the more stamina I use whilst wearing it and doing things (etc.)". That's a pretty intuitive relationship. "Do I want to be a bit slower but have heavier armor? Yes? Cool."

 

It's really not that big of a deal. I mean, if that's a problem, then attribute points are a problem from the get-go, as every point you put into ONE stat is a point that another stat lacks. I don't see that as a design problem, but just as a side effect that means you have to do a little bit of work the more picky you are about exact values. Any system should be intuitive enough for people to just pick what they want without doing a ton of math IF they're not already inclined to do all the math and be super particular about their values. This is one way in which the d20 DnD attribute values work well, though. If you add one more point to Strength, and you know Strength determines your chance to hit with melee weapons, and you know you roll 1-20 to try and hit things, then you can intuitively comprehend the value of +1 Strength in that regard. If plus one point of strength affects your chance to hit by 3%, it's not as clear. Now you have to math, unless you're a math-oriented genius-brained person, in which case, go you. :)

 

 

Having worn mail, I can tell you its not strength you require but endurance.  Fatigue is the real killer, especially if its warm and you don't keep yourself hydrated.  If you are not used to it, a penalty to doing things like walking on a tightrope too as your movements tend to be more exaggerated and you feel like you are walking under water, but that is something you can get over with experience.

 

I understand that, but if you abstract things out into numbers the way that game code has to, it wouldn't actually be PURE endurance. If you drop 40lbs of chainmail on a tiny person with no strength, they're going to collapse in like 10 seconds. Even if they can jog for miles under their own weight. Again... this doesn't mean that if you have a 300lb Strong Man Competition guy, that he can definitely wear full chain and perform physical activities for hours on end. So you're right in that just checking Strength for stuff isn't really cutting it. But, you can't really separate fatigue from strength, as it plays a part in that.

 

It's a bit like Perception or Dexterity/Agility completely deciding your precision on their own. You might can see really well, but not be able to aim where you're looking, or vice versa. Going back to Strength and Endurance, you see this all the time in Ninja Warrior. That's the best example I can give. Some contestants have the strength necessary to overcome many of the obstacles with ease, but wane around the middle of the course (or fail to hold themselves up through a whole obstacle). Others can go for days climbing around with their fingertips/hanging/swinging/etc., but hit certain obstacles and lack the strength to get past them (they can't lift themselves high enough, etc.). It's two pretty clear factors. Are they completely separate? No. Are they the same thing? Not at all. What's the best way to represent them in an attribute system? I don't know. That's an excellent question that we should discuss, I feel, but I don't think disregarding these truths about everything helps any attribute system in the least.

 

Many traditional systems don't do it perfectly, but I don't think discounting everything about the way they do it is the answer.


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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Restricting armor and weapons by stats would explicitly betray what was probably the single biggest guiding goal for Pillars' design -- an elimination of traps and unviable builds. If you don't already know ahead of time what equipment you will want to use throughout the entire game, you can get hours in and suddenly hit a roadblock when you learn something you want or need is unusable.

 

Sure, they could give you a list of every moment req during creation, but that is a massive amount of information to ask a new player to process, in the middle of a system that is already full of new info.

 

This is the fundamental hurdle any attribute system will have to overcome, if it is to be at all applicable to Pillars. It must be actively difficult take unviable builds, regardless of character concept. So, every stat must be useful to every class and nothing can be restricted based on stats.

 

Different systems can be great on their own terms, and I'm sure there are useful things in then that can be applied here, but these core values can't be sacrificed; this is Pillars'system's fundamental identity.

 

Which is all to say, I think the best solutions to the original issue was said a few times pretty early on -- put a check in the relevant scenarios that, if you're playing a magically strong character, replaces the text with something more appropriate; justify it all in fiction better, making physical strength a prerequisite for strong magic; or, my favorite and something I'm expecting in Deadfire, replace all stat checks with skill checks.

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By the Emperor, the quote function on this forum is bad. Well, here goes.
 

 

I'm not terribly concerned with the attributes representing real human (or almost-human) capabilities. Yes, there can be people who are strong, but not tough, or vice versa. How many of those do you see in fiction and gaming? How many of those have enough of a discrepancy for it to matter? In a way that can't be represented with other elements, like talents or class features?

 
With all due respect, I'm failing to see your reasoning behind being unconcerned with with attributes representing human capabilities. What would you have them do, instead? Also, when you ask "How many of these do you see in fiction and gaming," is that supposed to be part of the reasoning? "We shouldn't allow for these characters on the basis that no one ever allows for these characters"? That's a bit of an infinite loop. The state of things justifies the reason to make the state of things how it currently is.
 
I don't like trying to do this purely with talents or class features. Unless you make a talent group that's like "Endurance 1, Endurance 2, Endurance 3," etc., you just wind up with 2 options: You're character is equally as tough as everyone else who's of average toughness, or your character is exceptionally tough (just like all other above-average toughness people). That's not very exciting in an otherwise robust world. And having a spectrum of each talent like that would just be redundant, when your attribute system was already allowing for that.
 
You can tune it all you like, but without a gradient, you just create binary options. The people with the different value, and the people with the base value.

 

 
Attributes are a tool. Nothing more and nothing less. In case of Pillars, they're only one of several ways to customize your character. In another game, they might be more important, but in Pillars they're just one of several moving pieces. It's different in systems that make them the primary source of math, but there's different ways to do that, too. And no matter what we do, a bunch of numbers can't portray the broad spectrum of human (or human-with-funny-ears) capability.
 
Also, I'm not sure where you're getting an infinite loop from. Those characters are allowed. Games allow them by splitting strength and constitution. Fiction allows them because, well, it has no stats to begin with. And yet, most of the time the disparity between someone's strength and endurance isn't very significant. If someone relies on strength, chances are they want good constitution anyway. If someone doesn't, they can get away with mediocre constitution too.
 
Class features and talents are sufficient because it's just not a very important distinction. If you want someone who's tough but doesn't have much "aggressive" strength... a fighter focusing on defensive abilities fits the bill, even if strength and constitution are the same thing.
 

I don't doubt that Brawn works "well enough." That doesn't change the fact that there are large functional differences between "Stronstitution" and two separate attributes. I'm also not trying to say that there's no merit in the argument that Strength and Constitution are not 100% entirely separate things. I'm simply trying to illustrate the utility of each of them, as systems have used them in the past AND as systems have yet to use them. I'm not saying "do it just like someone already did it, or don't do it at all." I'm all for new designs and mechanics.
 
Also, as I've said before, it depends on what the game wants to do with the metrics. If your game is never going to use just-plain Strength much, then sure... don't use it. But, if your game is going to use something like Brawn, then just still represent both things (such that everyone who's strong is super high-endurancey, and vice versa), but the game world doesn't actually want everyone who's strong to be identical in other regards, then the attribute is failing the system in a way. Measurably, and not just "I like this more", etc. There's nothing wrong with preferences... I'm not trying to belittle preferences, but they are secondary to objective design goals and the achievement of those goals.

 

Right, and I'm also speaking about practical design goals. I don't see any real utility in keeping them separate, as opposed to merging them. The possibility of someone who is strong but not tough, or vice versa, isn't enough. There are functional differences - and making them the same attribute works better.

 

And yes, Strength isn't super valuable to everyone. But it shouldn't be. If you want a weak character, you should be able to make a weak character. The whole "attribute viability" problem is when Stat A isn't viable for Class X. If I'm a Wizard, and I have no use whatsoever for 1 or 2 attributes, that becomes a problem. That's what they technically fixed with Pillars' system. The problem is that they made everything affect the exact same things for all classes. And/or that the classes are too restricted in what kinds of things they can and cannot do. That's a bit of a side-topic, though. But, Constitution is a go-to stat because staying alive is always good. In fact, usually, the only reason you WOULDN'T want to spend points in Constitution is when you choose a class that gets piddly HP bonuses from Constitution points (be it initial HP or per-level gains). So, in my mind, that problem is with the HP/class design, and not with Constitution as a basic character metric.

 

Compare strength with any other attribute in regards to how many concepts it's useful for. Someone who dumps dexterity will be easier to hit, have a hard time escaping danger and be slow. This is largely system-agnostic, assuming they use a traditional attribute spread. Dumping perception means being less aware of danger. But strength? A magician or archer who dumps strength will only be worse at the sort of tasks they won't be participating in anyway.

 

Constitution remains the forever secondary choice even if there are no classes. No one wants it to be low, because it's dangerous, but no one will focus on it, because you can't do anything with it. Even strength has more utility, because constitution is purely passive. Constitution just makes it harder to hurt you. And sometimes lets you power through obstacles in a challenge, but you could make a case for strength here as well.

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Right, and I'm also speaking about practical design goals. I don't see any real utility in keeping them separate, as opposed to merging them. The possibility of someone who is strong but not tough, or vice versa, isn't enough. There are functional differences - and making them the same attribute works better.

I'm not seeing the illustration of "better" here. Don't get me wrong... you've made good points, but only in support of the idea that Stronstitution isn't something that simply cannot work. In other words, "yes, combining them can be a feasible thing to put into a video game."

 

I haven't seen anything that shows why one stat works anything even close to "better" towards the goals of an RPG. You said stats are just tools, and this is true. However, tools can be very specialized. A sledgehammer and a claw hammer are both hammers, but they're very different tools. An RPG inherently calls for certain tools over others, purely because the goals its trying to accomplish are not that of other games. "Might" is like something out of the Dragon Age games, where you pump a bunch of points into your stats, for some reason, at every level (because those stats don't actually measure the idea of a character in a world. They just measure video gamey values about your video gamey avatar -- they're just values for the game to do math with so you can deal damage and have health.)

 

 

 

But strength? A magician or archer who dumps strength will only be worse at the sort of tasks they won't be participating in anyway.

 

... Says who? Why will the magician be restricted to not-doing Strength-related things? And, if so, why is that the attribute system's fault via the inherent function of a separate Strength stat, and not just "this is the way these developers decided to make these stats work"? And why is it not the class system's fault? Or, to go higher, what about class design suggests that it's bad to let Wizards take advantage of Strength and other stats, instead of just restricting them to a "magic damage" stat?

 

 

 

Constitution remains the forever secondary choice even if there are no classes. No one wants it to be low, because it's dangerous, but no one will focus on it, because you can't do anything with it. Even strength has more utility, because constitution is purely passive. Constitution just makes it harder to hurt you. And sometimes lets you power through obstacles in a challenge, but you could make a case for strength here as well.

 

 

It's no more passive than Strength. They both work in conjunction whenever physical feats are performed. Strength, for example, could affect how hard of a blow you could block with your shield without falling down or staggering, while Constitution would affect how many times you could block whatever your Strength allows. No matter how you look at it, if you combine them into one stat, then everything you could possibly measure with strength, that's also affected by Endurance/toughness/constitution/what-have-you is going to benefit greatly from BOTH. The whole point of metrics is that they're separate. People don't want a character who's good at one thing to automatically be equally good at another.

 

There are a ton of little problems with traditional attribute systems, and these could probably be solved with simple tuning and re-thinking, rather than just taking away what they do well. They measure your character's individual components so that the game's systems can use these values to determine how your character's experience in a given situation is going to differ from another character's. What you do with them after that is not the fault of the very notion of character metrics. It's the fault of how the systems are using this data. Though everyone's just going to say this is ridiculous, if Charisma affected your climbing ability, that would be no less of an inherent flaw in the system than Strength affecting your endurance.

 

Strength does not determine your endurance. There are people with varying endurances, despite having high strength. You either want to represent this, or you don't. If you don't, then so be it. But you can't try to act like that variance isn't there, or that it doesn't affect anything.

 

But, when people first made wheels, then had to make wheels for some other vehicle, such as a train, they didn't go "Oh, this is a different thing, and we need a wheel that fits these rails better than just a flat wheel that falls off of them. So, something about the old wheel doesn't work... let's just throw all of that out, then! Shape of the wheel: circle? Nope! Can't use that! It's no good! MAKE IT A SQUARE WHEEL!" No. They recognized that the circular shape was just fine, and that it was specific factors about the wheel's form that needed to fit the rails. Likewise, small problems with DnD stats, for example, are not a reason to discard the entire stat system as inferior or obsolete. Only parts of it are problematic.


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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kind along the line of what Lephys is saying. You lose all the nuance and extra depth that constitution could bring if utilized correcting by combining it with strength. If we had just three stats for pillars 1 I think people would be suprised at how much would be affected. A lot of smaller nuanced attribute checks for different events and conversations would just disappear that all together would fundementally change the way the game felt/played. Its an aspect I actually hope they capitalize on more in deadfire.

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