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Designing a role-playing setting - Character Creation

ArshoonArshoon Member UncommonPosts: 71

Hello, my name is Mark, and I am a lone indie developer. I am working on a game for role-players that will allow you to host your own worlds with your own settings (think old NWN). It is being designed (slowly) in Unity and will be ready ...um, someday. I have many aspects about the game I need to hash out (Okay, more a framework than a game, so I will refer to it as a framework from here on in). I would like to get the role-playing community here involved with the design of the game, and hear opinions and advice.


This thread will be about the Character Creation process. As it stands, I am working on a skill-based system that could easily be switched to classes if the host of the world so sought such a thing. My mind has creation happening in a few steps.


Step 1 - You start with a basic look for your character, picking gender, species, race, height, weight and looks.


Step 2 - You enter your character name and spend points on the stats you want to start with.


Step 3 - You choose a background for your character based on species and race. This is what your family did/does and will grant you some background skills and maybe a stat bonus or penalty. Your background will also grant you some funds and tools.


Step 4 - You choose a template occupation or simply free-form your skills as you see fit. If you choose a template occupation, you will get the tools needed to perform your occupation, if free-form, your tools will be based on skill choice.


Step 5 - You choose traits for your character, such as wealth, night vision or combat reflexes, which will help you in game.


Step 6 - You spend any remaining money.


I would appreciate any input into this, as I am working on the background code, but seem to re-write too much, so I need to work out a document before coding. I tend to code on the fly, but that doesn't lead to efficiency in most cases.

If you aren't actively part of the solution, you have no right to complain about anything.

Comments

  • MendelMendel Member LegendaryPosts: 5,310
    Questions, mostly about step 4.  How do you propose to restrict the skills available in step 4?  And how are the skills advanced?  Is there a limit to the level cap on individual skills?  What do you define as tools, and how valuable are they?  Do you have some kind of scheme to balance/restrict skill effects, i.e., will a skill at level 1 be as useful as another skill at level 1?  Is there some mechanism to prevent players from simply choosing level 1 in every skill?  Likewise, is there a balance between the various stats and how these are used in the game?

    In general, I am not a fan of skill-systems, they tend to allow (and players tend to make) tank-mage type characters -- someone who can do a little of everything.  Is there any intent to dissuade players from doing this and encourage specialization?  Are there long-term advantages to initial specialization?  Are there distinctions between an initial specialist and a developed specialist?

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • ArshoonArshoon Member UncommonPosts: 71
    edited September 2015
    Mendel said:
    Questions, mostly about step 4.  How do you propose to restrict the skills available in step 4?  And how are the skills advanced?  Is there a limit to the level cap on individual skills?  What do you define as tools, and how valuable are they?  Do you have some kind of scheme to balance/restrict skill effects, i.e., will a skill at level 1 be as useful as another skill at level 1?  Is there some mechanism to prevent players from simply choosing level 1 in every skill?  Likewise, is there a balance between the various stats and how these are used in the game?

    In general, I am not a fan of skill-systems, they tend to allow (and players tend to make) tank-mage type characters -- someone who can do a little of everything.  Is there any intent to dissuade players from doing this and encourage specialization?  Are there long-term advantages to initial specialization?  Are there distinctions between an initial specialist and a developed specialist?

    To begin with, the skill and stat generation will be point based, so you will only have so many points to start with, so that will stop any jack-of-all-trades from being made. Skills will be restricted based on both prerequisites and what the person hosting the game world will allow. For instance, if you want to keep players from having, say, Necromancy at the start, you could do so on your server.

    The tools will be the items you would need to do basic work for your skill or profession, such as a mess kit for cooking, or a first aid kit for healing. The value of them would be low, just basic implements and other items needed for that skill.

    The stats are broken into three categories: Physical, Mental and Social. Each category has three stats: one for the strength of the stat category, one for the control and lastly one for the resistance. For instance, the Physical stats are Strength (power), Coordination (control) and Endurance (resistance). All stats and skills will have a level associated with them, and that level will generate a number of “rolls” based on the score. Each roll generates a chance for a success, and those successes are pooled to get a result number (think the WoD system, if you are familiar with it).

    Someone with a 1 in all skills will be worth little, as their ability to get any noteworthy affect with that skill will be minimal.

    I hope that answers some or all of your questions and addresses the concerns better. When I have enough information amassed, I'll put it on my website.

    Edit: I also think you're looking at this a little wrong. This is meant to be a place for role-play, and as such, needs to have superior flexibility in character creation. Restricting what people can make as a character works for class-based grouping MMOs, not for a role-playing environment where logically, anyone can learn anything, like in real life.

    Of course, in real life, you forget un-used skills, so those skills will degrade, but can be raised back to their old levels faster than other skills.

    Post edited by Arshoon on

    If you aren't actively part of the solution, you have no right to complain about anything.

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Member UncommonPosts: 2,413
    I think this sounds like a system I would enjoy.

    My only question is whether you can select one or two combat skills (with the rest as non-combat skills), or you could load up on combat skills to the exclusion of everything else.  My concern is the temptation to "twink out" a character, rather than design one realistically...basically the opposite of Mendel's concern (super specialists instead of multi talented generalists).

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  • ArshoonArshoon Member UncommonPosts: 71
    Sorry, its been a while since I looked at this forum, as it tends to see little traffic. As an update I am still working on the Framework and have a good design document as well as game code in the works. 

    Beatnik59, to answer your concern, I will have in place a limit to the starting skill level one can have at creation, as someone fresh to the world should also be fresh from training. No master swordsmen out of the gate, that needs to be earned. No warrior is a master of one weapon or style when they embark on their career, any good warrior trainer will also teach the student other skills.

    If you aren't actively part of the solution, you have no right to complain about anything.

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