Default Rule System

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Re: Default Rule System

Postby Lurking Grue » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:52 am

Good stuff, Neil! I'll comment those parts to which I have something to add. The ones I agree on and have nothing further to comment, I leave unquoted and uncommented.

youngneil1 wrote:STR:
- certain further weapons and armors might have a STR requirement to actually be able to use them

Yeah, the STR requirement for certain weapons and/or armor is something I've been thinking of using too. Thus, even with a correct Armor Proficiency (feat), you will regardless get part of the armor penalty if your STR does not meet the requirement. The penalty would be equal to how much your STR is under the required, up to the max armor penalty for that armor. E.g., if the STR requirement for plate armor is 14+ and you've got STR 12, the penalty for wearing it (even with the correct armor proficiency) is -2. This penalty would affect your attack rolls, etc., but the full armor penalty (given in armor stats) would still affect your skill rolls and such as normal. (Caveat: I've not fully thought this out yet, so these are just ideas.)

Also, STR would be used in tests to bash a door in or a chest open, should something like that be wanted/implemented.

youngneil1 wrote:DEX:
- initiative bonus
- certain further weapons and armors might have a {DEX} requirement to actually be able to use them

For Initiative, I was thinking of using DEX as is, not its modifier but the attribute value, in the Initiative roll. This would spread out characters according to their DEX more than the base modifier. Maybe roll Initiative with 1d10 or 2d6, instead of 1d20 (reason: have DEX matter more as the dice won't have such a wide range). Regardless of the dice used, DEX is added to the roll result to get the Initiative score. So, instead of having Joe with DEX 12 and Frank with DEX 13 both roll Initiative with +1 modifier (high emphasis on dice, low emphasis on DEX), they would roll with +12 and +13 modifiers (higher emphasis on DEX). Small distinction, but distinction regardless.

RuneQuest RPG used to have DEX requirements (along STR requirements) for weapons, back in the day, but I'm not too keen on using them myself. Sure, some weapons could conceivably have DEX requirements, like nunchucks or a ball & chain, but most medieval weapons would have so low DEX requirements, IMO, that it wouldn't matter with minimum DEX at 7. IIRC, in RQ the DEX requirements (with attributes usually in the 3-18 range) were around 6-8 for most weapons. DOn't quote me on that, though. It's been years since I've thumbed through my old RQ books.

I'll continue my reply later. Got to go now.
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Re: Default Rule System

Postby Lurking Grue » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:39 am

Continuing my previous post.

youngneil1 wrote:CON:
- bonus to HP per level
- (half) con bonus for SP per level (idea: SP representing Stamina Points, required for casting as well as use of other strenuous traits)

For increasing HP per level, I'd personally like a system where you're granted at least 50% of maximum HP increase per level. E.g., if your class normally gets 1d8 HP per level, you would not roll 1d8 + CON bonus, but instead you roll 1d4 + 4 + CON bonus. This has some variation in it, but not as extreme as the default d20 system. Then there's of course the oft used option of getting maximum HP per level automatically without rolling. (I think I will use a different system in my modules, though. I'd rather give the starting PC a few HD worth of HP right at the beginning, but have the per level increases be more moderate. So, a level 1 fighter might start with around 20-25 HP (instead of 1d10), but would gain only approx. 1d3+2 HP per level. Or something.)

For Stamina Points, your formula looks solid. CON+WIS is a good basis for them (WIS representing willpower here). How much certain classes get more SP per level is a good question. I wouldn't go all out on SP increases for any class, but would rather have feats which lessen SP costs of spells or combat maneuvers. Reason being, if (say) a mage gets loads of SP per level up (to represent growing mana pool or something), it has the side effect of increasing his capacity to do physical feats as well - which is not the intended effect (at least not for my vision). Better to have feats that gradually decrease SP costs of spells, IMO, and only have modest increases to SP per level only.

youngneil1 wrote:INT:
- bonus to Spell learning points per level
- damage bonus for damaging spells
- to hit bonus for spells which should require an attack roll (think: targeted rays)

Interesting ideas regarding the last two points above. Having INT provide a damage bonus to damaging spells and also a to hit bonus for targeted spells sounds fine. I'm not sure how d20 handles targeted spells. I think they hit automatically, but having a to hit roll for them wouldn't be completely amiss. There would need to be additional modifiers (both positive and negative, similar to ranged combat in general) and I'd wager it will need quite a lot of tweaking - unless d20 already has a ranged spell to hit roll which I'm just forgetting. The damage bonus is much more straightforward, it just needs to be in line with STR damage bonus for melee attacks, IMO, having approximately same progression (e.g., INT 12-13: +1, etc.).

Spell learning is something I'd wager many module authors will do differently. I don't think I'll be using any spell learing points, for example, but instead have the spells require a certain character level or feat (per spell level, not per spell), have an INT prerequisite (e.g., to learn lvl 3 spells, you need to have INT 14+), and require finding a teacher or spell book to learn it from.

youngneil1 wrote:WIS:
- (half) bonus to SP per Level (idea: SP representing Stamina Points, required for casting as well as use of other strenuous traits)
- effect bonus for healing spells

As said above, the SP formula looks solid. I like it.

Effect bonus for healing spells, though. I'd rather have it be an effect bonus for all cleric/priest/divine spells. If INT modifies arcane/mage spells, have WIS modify cleric/divine spells. Every spell which heals or damages (like Smite), receives this effect modifier. Or is it OP?

youngneil1 wrote:CHA:

I, for one, will do my best to have lots of uses for CHA in conversations (and other social interaction situations) and will do my darnest to avoid CHA being a "dump stat". Should there be a character with CHA 7 (the minimum value) in the party, I'll let him/her be a negative influence in the party's social interactions somehow. Yes, even if he/she doesn't say anything (there's a veritable dark cloud hanging above this PC and his/her anti-social disposition surrounds him/her even without spoken words). Of course I have to be careful not to go overboard with this, but my mission is clear - remove "dump stat" status from CHA.

youngneil1 wrote:That's relatively classic 3.5 D&D with the exception of:
a) SP (and CON/WIS influencing them),
b) DEX/STR together influencing to hit in melee
c) STR or DEX as attribute requirement for certain equipment and
d) Spell effect boni of WIS (healing) and INT (damage).

Yup, that pretty much covers it, the main points at least. Any other comments regarding the main attributes?
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Re: Default Rule System

Postby youngneil1 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:33 pm

Updated stat ideas based on Grue's excellent input:

STR:
- damage bonus for melee weapons
- damage bonus to thrown weapons (and other ranged weapons where muscle power directy translates into velocity)
- attribute requirement for ranged weapons that require a certain strength to use them the first place (e.g. bows or crossbows, with the caveat that for crossbows it's about reloading which in turn is a crucial part of weapon operation though)
- certain further weapons and armors might have a STR requirement to actually be able to use them (for each STR point under the requirement, one point of the regular armor's sill penalty will be transformed into a 1 point attack malus)
- certain traits might have a STR requirement
- (only) half strength bonus for melee weapon to hit bonus
- weight carry limits for systems that have individual inventories
- chance to bash in doors or chests, if those should be flagged to allow such brute force approach for opening

DEX:
- to hit bonus with all ranged weapons
- half dex bonus for melee weapon to hit bonus
- armor class
- initiative bonus (not directly the usual bonus itself, but more something like using the actual value of the attribute; note: IB right now has some varied system here)
- bonus to REF (=reflex) saving throws
- certain traits might have a DEX requirement

CON:
- bonus to HP per level (with option of having higher hit points at level one, which is already in IB; also option to roll for HP on each level up with a range of 50% to 100% of the HP range of that class + CON bonus)
- (half) con bonus for SP per level (idea: SP representing Stamina Points, required for casting as well as use of other strenuous traits; all classes have SP per level definable, so one could set them all equal and take care of SP progression by reducing SP costs of spells and other active traits by assigning SP cost recuing class traits for e.g. casting or certain physical actions)
- bonus to FORT (=fortitude) saving throws
- certain traits might have a CON requirement

INT:
- bonus to Skill points per level
- bonus to Spell learning points per level (is such are used at all by an author; viable alternatives are automatic assignment of spells on level up or training via scrolls/masters, including min. INT scores, min. levels or certain feats)
- certain traits might have a INT requirement
- bonus for damaging and healing spells for classes that use INT as main attribute for casting (typically wizards)
- to hit bonus for spells which should require an attack roll (think: targeted rays; note only certain spells will require such additional attack rolls; most spells will hit automatically; of course many spells will still allow saving throws of various kinds)

WIS:
- (half) bonus to SP per Level (idea: SP representing Stamina Points, required for casting as well as use of other strenuous traits)
- bonus to WILL (=willpower) saving throws
- certain traits might have a WIS requirement
- bonus for damaging and healing spells for classes that use WIS as main attribute for casting (typically clerics)

CHA:
- certain traits might have a CHA requirement
- at least the option to actually factor in the average conversation ability of the party or in some situations even the worst
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Re: Default Rule System

Postby Lurking Grue » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:49 pm

Let's get back to this. (Or is there any interest?)

After attributes, the logical thing would be to move to character classes, followed by skills and feats. But after thinking about this a moment, I came to the conclusion, that these are all things that will vary heavily depending on the module. Therefore, as such, there's not much sense to go very deep into detail on them. What might be sensible, would be to have the basic framework for classes, skills and feats designed/written down so the pieces are there from which the author will build these for his/her module. In addition, it would be good to have a few examples to go with "vanilla" IB, to show the new authors how it's done. (I'm a big proponent of examples. More often than not, it's the example which teaches something to you better than the actual rule as written.)

Character Class

So, what do we need to have as building blocks of a character class (of any genre). Looking at the OGL/d20 classes, they list Alignment, Hit Die, Class Skills, Skill Points at 1st level and at subsequent levels, Class Features (Weapon and Armor Proficiencies, spell casting capability, and other features, like Bardic Knowledge for Bards, etc.), and BAB & Saves progression table (incl. extra Feats).

* Alignment: Of all the things mentioned above, I think the easiest is Alignment, as we can probably ignore Alignment completely. Or what do you think? I can't recall Jer saying much about having Alignment in IB. I, for one, wouldn't want it in base IB, but could work around it if everyone else wants it in and it is to be implemented. I'd guess scripting the Alignment in, if it isn't included in base IB, should't be too much of a hassle. Anyway, what do think? Alignment - yay or nay?

* Hit Die (i.e. HP tally): Hmm, HD is a bit problematic, as even between the few of us, we have widely differing ideas how damage and HP should work. Which is all OK, of course, but complicates "standardizing" things as, for example, I'm strictly against regenerating HP and leery of HP bloat, but Karl (AFAIK) is for regenerating HP and has (IIRC) pretty high HP values in his module. Now, neither of us is right or wrong, both are equally valid ways of implementing HP in a CRPG and IB ought to accomodate us both, IMHO, in addition to accomodating other different ideas too. Thus the HD value needs to be a highly variable and customizable attribute. Something that can handle multiple dice and modifiers with ease, so e.g., 1d4+1, 2d6+3, 5d8-2, 2d6+CON modifier+3 or STR+CON+1d10 wouldn't be a problem, should an author choose so.

In addition to starting HP, another attribute would be needed for level up HP gain. Not everyone wants HP to increase on each level up the same amount (or at all) as rolled for the 1st level. For example, I'd like to keep HP values pretty low and have level up HP gain be very modest, but have the starting HP value be higher than base d20 has.

Darn, it seems I'm running out of time (again) and have to split. Sorry. I'll continue this later. But feel free to comment and critique in the meantime as much as you like.
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Re: Default Rule System

Postby slowdive » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:47 pm

Quick reply, in not a big fan of alignment ( roleplay how you want... I don't need to babysit you by adjusting your alignment if you do something I think is out of character). Alignment could be easily scripted though through localints or localobjects (as well as factions too).

HD will need to be setup in such a way to allow more custom choices, definitely.
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Re: Default Rule System

Postby youngneil1 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:13 am

Yepp, let's not use an alignment system (by default, that is). I always found it quite artifical.

Concnering HD more choices are welcome. It's good already that the class editor allows to set up starting level hp separately from hp per level. Right now only fixed numbers are available, so perhaps random rolling could be added (actually I would likely still use fixed numbers though to avoid re-load and re-roll).

Concerning number of hp, hp regeneration and wound system I am still playing around with ideas. RedCarnival is not the final way I want to handle things like (it's more of a testing ground for me to see how far the scripting system can carry me). Using an alternative wound and regeneration system would be much easier if the toolset would allow the author to have a third value of liking shown on character portraits, optionally of course. So it would be e.g. 45/63 HP (first row), 17/23 SP (second row) and e.g. 3 CW (third row), whereas CW woud stand for Crippling Wounds here (might anyting alese like 67/100 Party Endurance). De facto it would probably come down to granting the option to display the content of up to two local/global variables (current value and max value) as colored numbers in the third row position of the portraits (in combat and on adventure map). This goes in the same direction as ideas around an effects system using colored letters to be displayed on the portraits.

Slight repetition: Where more flexibilty would also be super cool is the "which attribues influences what" level. I could imagine a system where the engine and script code does not directly use hard coded attributes for certain modifiers, but actually just proxies. E.g. melee damage would not be "Weapon damage + STR + Trait + Buff", but "Weapon damage + WeaponDamageAttributeModifier + Trait + Buff". Now, one could allow the author within the toolset to link"WeaponDamageAttributeModififer" (and dozens of of other such XXX_AttributeModifier) to the attributes of his liking, maybe be even to the average value from two attributes.

Class Skills, Skill Points at 1st level and at subsequent levels, Class Features (Weapon and Armor Proficiencies, spell casting capability, and other features, like Bardic Knowledge for Bards, etc.), and BAB & Saves progression table (incl. extra Feats)


These are luckily already integrated into the class editor, so at least in general (minus details of implementation) we should be good to go here. Perhaps the amount and level when new attribute points are granted should be made customizable, too.
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Re: Default Rule System

Postby Lurking Grue » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:40 am

Great to hear that you guys think about Alignment as I do. It is an artificial system which is really not needed nor wanted.

youngneil1 wrote:Concnering HD more choices are welcome. {snip} Right now only fixed numbers are available, so perhaps random rolling could be added (actually I would likely still use fixed numbers though to avoid re-load and re-roll).

Yes, while I'm also going to use fixed HP gain, well semi-fixed more accurately (I have a little variability in HP gain per level), there's a case to be made for pure d20/OGL way of rolling HP gain per level, if for nothing else, then for the old school feel (Gold Box, ho!). Thus, IMO, random HP gain on level up needs to be supported, as I'm sure it will be, along with other customized permutations, like having a fixed number added to a dice roll, etc.

youngneil1 wrote:Concerning number of hp, hp regeneration and wound system I am still playing around with ideas. {snip} Using an alternative wound and regeneration system would be much easier if the toolset would allow the author to have a third value of liking shown on character portraits, optionally of course. {snip} This goes in the same direction as ideas around an effects system using colored letters to be displayed on the portraits.

I'm still hoping to have the status effect letters shown on the portraits, as discussed before. Those would be shown on the top edge of the portrait to differentiate them from HP, SP, and a possible third value on the bottom edge of the portrait. In addition for custom wound effects and such, having a third (customizable) row of values on the portrait would help authors who want to use Mana Points in addition to HP and SP, for example. Having Stamina Pts. limit physicial feat use and Mana pts. limit spell use. Or it could be Chi energy for oriental adventures or maybe even Shield Pts. for a sci-fi game where everyone walks around with personal shield generators (Mass Effect comes to mind). Just firing off ideas here. For HP, SP, Mana or HP, SP, Shield, the coloring could be red for HP, yellow for SP, and blue for mana/shield/chi/psi/whatever.

youngneil1 wrote:Where more flexibilty would also be super cool is the "which attribues influences what" level. I could imagine a system where the engine and script code does not directly use hard coded attributes for certain modifiers, but actually just proxies. E.g. melee damage would not be "Weapon damage + STR + Trait + Buff", but "Weapon damage + WeaponDamageAttributeModifier + Trait + Buff". Now, one could allow the author within the toolset to link"WeaponDamageAttributeModififer" (and dozens of of other such XXX_AttributeModifier) to the attributes of his liking, maybe be even to the average value from two attributes.

It would indeed be great to have author designated attributes vs hard coded ones, I just don't know how hard that would be to implement (at this point in development). Disregarding the coding aspect, the customizable attributes would really open up the engine and remove all preset interpretations and assumptions. You could, for example, make a CRPG where the PCs are disembodied spirits on astral plane(s) or AI entities in a datanet with no physical attributes at all (i.e. no STR, CON, or DEX). Or something.

Even renaming the attributes, could go a long way, I think. If you have a preset array of six attributes, but you can name them as you wish AND determine how/what they influence, you'd practically have most of the advantages of totally customizable attributes, but possibly in an easier to code implementation. But as I've said before, I know nothing of coding so...

youngneil1 wrote:These are luckily already integrated into the class editor, so at least in general (minus details of implementation) we should be good to go here. Perhaps the amount and level when new attribute points are granted should be made customizable, too.

Yes, I undestand. However, what I was more after here though, was how they would be implemented "better" and how we would customize them, i.e. how they would differ from base d20/OGL. Also maybe to spark discussion here on how they could be designed so that they easily suit many differing styles of play and genres. So that the customization options would be already thought out and defined before the engine hits beta (or so) and to test them in earnest before release. Or something to that effect.

SNEAK EDIT: Well, if we're going to have dice rolls for HP gain on level up (for "old school's sake"), why not go the whole hog and have an option to roll attributes too. Yes, regardless what I said upthread. ;) Rolling attributes in e.g. Gold Box games was kind of fun, after all. I never went overboard with that, though. Never spent more than 5 minutes rolling for one character. Once I got good enough values in GB, I went with it. Never did cheat, btw, and set all attributes to 18. What's the fun in that? Maybe we could have the computer roll all 6 values at once, which you can then assign to attributes as you see fit (and then the race mods etc. are added). I'd prefer that to rolling all 6 values and assigning them in the order rolled (with no player input) as hard core as that would be.
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Re: Default Rule System

Postby youngneil1 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:00 am

The option to rename attribute sounds great to me, too. Like already possible for e.g. gold/funds. A label for attributes. Of course, the full monty of allowing to customly assign effects to attributes would still be the coolest thing.

Also, good ideas for further usage of a third row with points on the portraits. Chi, Mana, Shield points... great! Perhaps somebody will do a horror adventure and have something like Mental Stability there :twisted:

Concerning implementation of BAB, saving throws, etc. I could imagine that having a simple points per level adder for Saves like for BAB (e.g. 0.75) would be easier than a table (but that's really minor as it's a one time only work to fill out the table).

The option to randomly roll attribues is of course welcome. I would - again - likely not use it, but hey, I see a lot of people having fun with it. What I would appreciate is some option to define how much attribute points a further increase of an attribute costs (so that it gets more expensive to buy the real high attribute values). Also theoption to define min. and max. values under/over which attributes cannot be raised/lowered on character creation (plus racial effects, of course) as well as the option to assign on which level how many new attribute points are granted (see above already).
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Re: Default Rule System

Postby Dorateen » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:40 pm

I'm in a Might & Magic mood with the impending release of MMX. One of the things I liked about the 3 - 5 installments was that different ranges in attributes had little descriptions. So a Might of 50, or something like that, was labeled "Fantastic". They also had things like "Superior" and "Ultimate" or whatever, as the score increased. I think this was viewable when you clicked on the attribute button in the character screen.

I'm not suggesting this be implemented for the IceBlink engine. But all this talk about attributes remined me of that, heh.
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Re: Default Rule System

Postby Lurking Grue » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:08 pm

youngneil1 wrote:Perhaps somebody will do a horror adventure and have something like Mental Stability there :twisted:

Yeah, Sanity Checks! :shock:

youngneil1 wrote:The option to randomly roll attribues is of course welcome. I would - again - likely not use it, but hey, I see a lot of people having fun with it. What I would appreciate is some option to define how much attribute points a further increase of an attribute costs (so that it gets more expensive to buy the real high attribute values). Also theoption to define min. and max. values under/over which attributes cannot be raised/lowered on character creation (plus racial effects, of course) as well as the option to assign on which level how many new attribute points are granted (see above already).

I'm not sure I'd use it either, but in the interests of Old School, it would be nice to have rolled attributes in. I'd see this as a choice for the author, not the player, what system to use for attributes, as having both systems in the same game (module) rarely works well, it often favors one or the other. So it ought to a be that the author chooses to use either point buy OR rolling dice for attributes, not both.
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