Level up, especially choices

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Level up, especially choices

Postby youngneil1 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:06 am

Connected with the "advancement and trainers" topic as well as obviously also tied to the rule system itself (so the thread might appear in that forum section alternatively), I thought more about the level up process:

What I like is having diffcult choices between cool options on level up (in contrast to being presented a statistical, auotomatic increase of three numbers and that's it). This might be choosing on what to spent skill ponts from a skill points pool and also include picking a feat from a list (ideally the feats have pre-requesites like charcater level and perhaps even attribute scores and instructions from a trainer NPC, see that thread).

It might also go beyond that: a branching tree with traits/feats/perks comes to mind (so some feats have other feats as pre-requisities, too). Thinking of it, even D&D 3.5 has such a tree therefore (though not graphically displayed as such and not very deep, but more broad).

Actually I like a graphic representation of such a tree, with mouse over explanations of what the feats/traits/etc. do. It would eb fine if also traits/feats/etc. further down the road would be visible already, allowing pre-planning in advance and also bringing the joy of looking forward to finally get there.

Another thing I find disturbing on level up (as well as on character creation) is random rolls for permanent gains (like rolling randomly for hit points gained or randomly rolling stats in the beginning). This is just a quick save/quick load situation creating thingy. It also makes it very hard to properly plan balance of an adventure as character strength, even on the same level, will vary a lot more with such a mechanism (and it't two fold: I would not like as player to get my party too strong too soon just because I rolled lucky on advances, but I also woudl not liek them to be under par quickly due to such one time permanent instances of bad luck either).
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Re: Level up, especially choices

Postby Lurking Grue » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:58 am

youngneil1 wrote:a branching tree with traits/feats/perks comes to mind (so some feats have other feats as pre-requisities, too).

I'd hope we don't have a traditional skill/trait/whatever tree, as in many MMOs, but instead have a list of skills that don't have to be bought in any preset order, unless there's a good reason for that (i.e. there can be prerequisites, but they're more for common sense reasons than "artificial" skill tree reasons). What I mean to say is, that instead of having a separate skill tree for each character class which has 3 branches (as per tradition) with each branch having several "sub-braches", we would just have a "simple" list of skills and feats which a character can buy/pick as he levels (some skills/feats have level prerequisites, some are for certain classes only, etc., but it is not a "tree" as such). I much prefer the PnP or traditional CRPG way of skill lists vs the "MMO way" of skill trees.

I'm doing a poor job explaining myself, again. A picture is worth a thousand words, check these screenshots for what I mean by a skill tree and what I really do NOT want to have in IB. YMMV. Da skill trees (Like the ones from Borderlands or Diablo.)

youngneil1 wrote:Another thing I find disturbing on level up (as well as on character creation) is random rolls for permanent gains (like rolling randomly for hit points gained or randomly rolling stats in the beginning). This is just a quick save/quick load situation creating thingy.

Yeah, on this I agree. Most will just reload until they get a very good roll, so if randomization during level up is wanted, it needs to have a relatively low range of variation to it, to prevent pushing players to choose between save-reload loops or "iron manning" it (and accepting gross disparity in the character's stats dependant on luck). For example, having 1-10 HP per level produces a huge variance in HP tallies as the PC levels up. Even at low levels the difference can be crippling, like at level 5 you could have a character with only 5 HP or one with 50 HP. Way too big variance for my taste.

If variable HP per level up is wanted, I'd say make it so that you're guaranteed to get at least 50% of the maximum HP per level. Instead of having 1d10 HP per level, you'd have 1d6+4 HP per level, or something.
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Re: Level up, especially choices

Postby youngneil1 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:25 am

I agree as far as pre-requisites shouldn't be there for artificial reasons only. E.g I wouldn't like to have to learn five traits I am not interested in and that are unrelated to a sixth trait I actually want to learn. That being said, traits buliding up on each other in a logical way, indicating specialization and progress are fine. To have those displayed in a good layout, e.g. A graphical tree, would be very nice. Also, I agree that we don't need MMO specs, like three different talent trees per class. Better more classes, with mor flavor, lore and guilds - will make the world more alive.

Funny coincidence, I played that min. 50% of a hp roll rule, as houserule for a long time.
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