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Old 03-09-2006, 12:29 PM   #1
darmir
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I was wondering what was the opinion of everyone out there about how they think would be a good stat system during character generation.
Examples as:
1) An auto roll system that the user sees
2) An auto roll system hidden from user
3) A Base set of stats everyone gets, then enhanced
3a) By answering certain questions
3b) By getting xx amount of points to add or remove from base count.

Just some ideas. I am trying to figure what kind I would like to implement into my mud design.

P.S. My mud type will be RP enforced system.
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:56 PM   #2
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I find that randomly rolled characters are a bit silly on most MUDs given that there's nothing stopping someone from simply continually re-creating until they get the stats they want. If they don't continually re-create, they risk having hobbled themselves by comparison to other players who did spend the time to re-roll over and over for the best stats they can find.

Far better, I think, to give people a standard set of stats to begin with, or allocate them X points to spend as they wish on stats.

--matt
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Old 03-09-2006, 01:43 PM   #3
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Lots of RP muds require char applications. If that's the case, and it doesn't show stats until after acceptance, you don't need to worry about peeps rerolling.
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:11 PM   #4
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I prefer being able to allocate points as I see fit (that's also my favoured approach for tabletop roleplaying games). You might want to place certain restrictions (eg perhaps each player can only have one 'super stat', and maybe there are minimums for certain stats), but overall I think it's nice to allow that sort of customisation.

Randomisation can work okay if implemented in a balanced way - for example, if everyone has exactly the same stat total, but their individual stats are distributed randomly based on certain criteria, with each stat being of equal value.

The "roll 3d6 for each stat" approach tends to result in people rolling, and rolling, and rolling, until they get decent stats. I've seen muds which didn't reveal this information until a certain level, and that simply resulted in the hardcore players creating and discarding characters until they got what they wanted.

Even if you were able to stop people scrapping and rerolling characters, you'd still end up with situations where some players get "lucky" starting characters and others get really bad ones (even in an application-based system, such characters are likely to have "unfortunate accidents" so that the player can reroll).

Aside from min/maxing, some stat randomisation systems will also blocking people from playing the sort of character they want to play. If you roll a strength of 3, then you're going to have to revise your "exiled knight" idea. Intelligence 3 as well? There goes that "eccentric Alchemist" concept. Charisma 3? Goodbye "corrupt politician" concept. Even many hardcore roleplayers are going to be put off if they log on to your game and find that the only character type they qualify for is "village idiot" (it might be amusing for a short while, but the novelty would soon wear off).
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:13 PM   #5
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I myself was leaning more to a set of base stats for everyone then depending on something they chose it enhanced them.
Example:
All base stats start at 20.
Question: Is your character disfigured?
yes: charisma add (2d4)
Question: Is your character muscular?
yes: add (1d4)
no: subtract (1d8)


I just need base ideas of choices that would change the base stats other than race.

Then at the end of the selection process you remind them of their answers to the questions and say they should base their description on their answers.
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:38 PM   #6
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One possibility is random stat caps rolled at creation (not displayed to the player). I think The Inquisition uses a system like this.

However while I'm not fond of randomization dictating your character's abilities either, I think some randomization is good for variety; perhaps you could modify the above in a couple of ways:

1) roll stat caps randomly, then weigh each cap based on character's chosen race and class, and answers to questions such as: "were your parents gentry/laborers/slaves", "as a child did you play outside/read".

2) of course the total sum of stat caps is the same for each character.

3) characters can increase stats past the cap, but must spend xp to do so; prior to the cap stats can increase with use or xp spent through trains.
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:43 PM   #7
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I just had another thought... AIME uses inclinations....

Inclinations are used during the initial login for new players. It permits builders to define and players to select certain inclinations for the race. For instance, in the elven race, most would not be exceedingly strong but amidst the elves you would find those that are stronger than most and those that are even more dexterous than others. Inclinations could include musclebound (stronger but stupider than most), scholar (more intelligent but weaker and clumsier), and on and on. Inclinations only define offsets, meaning how much the attributes increase or decrease. This means that a dwarf who selects musclebound inclination is going to be much stronger than the elf who picks the musclebound inclination. Builders should take care when developing inclinations so that one is not more advantageous overall than others or players will discover and continually select that inclination. Balance is the key. Inclinations are maintained in the inclinations area. Loading this area will allow a builder to modify, add, or delete inclinations. If you do not wish inclinations to be availble to the players, just delete all inclinations in the inclinations area and the players will not be asked to select an inclination.

Inclinations
StrOffset: The strength offset, whether positive or negative, to apply to the player for this inclination

DexOffset: The dexterity offset, whether positive or negative, to apply to the player for this inclination

ConOffset: The constitution offset, whether positive or negative, to apply to the player for this inclination

IntelOffset: The intelligence offset, whether positive or negative, to apply to the player for this inclination

Description: A description of this inclination. This can be viewed by the players when they are selecting an inclination. It should describe the advantages and drawbacks to this inclination
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:09 PM   #8
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What we do in Ilyrias is to give each race a set of base stats, and then everyone gets X points(same for everyone) that they can allocate themselves. We also have a natural max of 18 on any stat, so people can't just put all points into one stat. Incase you messed up, you do get one stat re-allocation after creation in the same manner many games allow you to change race once.

During game play people can also get up to three adjustments, -1 here +1 there, but again still limited to the 5-18 range for all stats.


We went with this method because we have a heavy focus on character customization, but at the same time wanted to keep things fair and balanced.
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:31 PM   #9
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Baram brings up a good point, it's a nice feature to be able to adjust your character's setup after creation (after creation and before some milestone). I don't know how many muds do this already but I don't think it's that many, I'd like to see more of it.
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:53 PM   #10
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While not a complete solution by any means, I'd like to propose a possibility.

Allow players to join, stat-less, in a little newbie world.  Let them run around, questing, making key character customization decisions, before advancing to the "real world".  This has several nice properties.

1) It has similar stat-setting properties as a question-answer system, but it's more contextualized and offers a less stilted presentation.

2) It has additional advantages over a question-answer system in that it is more difficult to game the system, and the system provides a natural way to determine what "questions" a player sees.

3) It offers numerous non-stat character creation advantages as well.  Descriptions, backgrounds, alignment, and so forth, can be set fluidly in this newbie world before entering the "real world", all without much of a painful character creation process.

4) Several nice, if tangential properties.  Under such a system, players can be introduced to a world without 500 pages of rhetoric (which, honestly, even for a roleplayer is a pain in the arse to read before even joining).  They can see how their character creation decisions will impact their experience (e.g. whether NPC conversation is suffficiently interesting to justify mass charisma, etc) before having to make those gameplay altering decisions.  And, hey, it's a newbie tutorial that scaffolds based on what they choose to specialize in - so if their starting stats and skills lean towards thievery, that will be because they ran around playing the nasty masked bandit, and thus the player will also be skilled in thievery commands and what not (but less skilled in, say, magic commands than a mage type!

I realize several of my points were somewhat tangential, but I wanted to give a reasonably thorough sketch of the system for those unfamiliar with it.  There are several muds that use similar systems.

As with everything, there are tradeoffs.  I leave the disadvantages as an exercise for the reader.
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Old 03-10-2006, 12:46 AM   #11
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We got around the problem by having no stats. Everything is an ability and trainable. It's been well accepted.
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Old 03-10-2006, 10:43 AM   #12
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Fern said
Quote:
Originally Posted by
We got around the problem by having no stats. Everything is an ability and trainable. It's been well accepted.
Can you explain in more detail?
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Old 03-10-2006, 02:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Fern @ Mar. 10 2006,01:46)
We got around the problem by having no stats. Everything is an ability and trainable. It's been well accepted.
Well yes, but in the end the char still ends up with 'stats'
that determine how good they are at something, which
is what stats figure into. So you're just basically starting
everyone off with 'max stats' by having no stats. Which I'm just trying to point out for the sake of the topic. It's the same as by saying you have no opinion, you have an opinion, which is no opinion

Each type of mud is different and is going to approach character creation and development differently. from no stats, to fixed stats, to random to whatever.

Do whatever YOU want, it's your game. I will chime in my own personal opinion since this is a forum and all . I think if you take the system of 'add points' to a base set of stats, you end up with every class starting with the same stats. There is always a set of stats that's optimal for every class. And excluding a player's first first char, everyone they make will be of this value set of stats.

If you are big into RP, i've always like the old Ultima style char creation where you answer a set of questions to determine your type of char and get stats based on that. If you are big on DnD then the random roll is most true. How do you prevent players from rolling over and over? Well you just don't care, or you code a roll system that does dicerolls from a pool, that way you can't roll perfect stats for every spot, since the pool would be depleated by the time you get xx the way through. Or you could only give that char xx rolls, then block the name from ever being used again, or for at least some set time period. Make sure the player knows he/she has xx re-rolls then that name will be blocked out, even if they drop link before all rolls are up. Shrug, again just do a system that works best for your type of MUD.

I have coded about 5 char creation systems from simple to complicated, and for now I've set on a total random roll, and then giving the players the ability to train up their stats to all max-3, and then when they go through a remort process, in which we set their hp/mana/move back to 0, they get to level up and gain hp/mana/move all over again and that's when your stats really matter . So that gives the players time, opportunity and fun to top off whatever stats they didn't get a perfect roll for. In the end the difference between a bad roll and a great roll is really only a few hours of playtime killing/questing.

Tank
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Old 03-10-2006, 04:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (darmir @ Mar. 10 2006,07:43)
Fern said
Quote:
Originally Posted by
We got around the problem by having no stats.  Everything is an ability and trainable.  It's been well accepted.
Can you explain in more detail?
There's no rolling involved in our system.  If you want to be stronger and carry more or wield heavier weapons, train carry strength.  If you want to hit harder, train hit strength.  If you want to hit faster, train hit strength etc etc etc (the term 'train' at LoK is equivalent to 'practice' elsewhere).

As far as the 'no opinion but you have an opinion because it is no opinion' - I suppose that is one way to look at it.  But the upside is that we don't have people spending hours in autorollers trying to roll a beautiful starting position.  I know how addictive that is - heck, I've done it myself on other games.

I also know that that time spent rolling is just time not playing the game for all its worth.
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Old 03-10-2006, 05:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (SirTank @ Mar. 11 2006,04:27)
Do whatever YOU want, it's your game. I will chime in my own personal opinion since this is a forum and all . I think if you take the system of 'add points' to a base set of stats, you end up with every class starting with the same stats. There is always a set of stats that's optimal for every class. And excluding a player's first first char, everyone they make will be of this value set of stats.
I disagree with that.

Our system is also classless, so while there may be a popular archtype, there really is no perfect stats for them as you may choose one or two different skills.

You also have to factor in what the stats do in order to choose a system that's good for you. In our case things like HP/MP are not determined by a single stat, instead it's two stats that play into it(with different weights). But each stat also has another effects, for example Con and Agility factor into HP. Con also can help with things like elemental damage and poison resistance, where Agility can help you be faster and dodge more blows. It's a trade off, do I want more Con so I get big HP and some decent resistance, or do I want to put more into Agility to get a smaller boost to HP but a higher rate of dodge. If balanced right, both are an equally good choice, it's up to you're play style. Obviously if you want to be a ranged combatant you probably don't need the dodging effect, but if Agility also factors into how fast you can shoot your bow... well then you're back to equally good choices.

But you are right, it's really up to you with your mud. What system do you think you're perspective players will enjoy? We choose ours based on the fact that we want things in Ilyrias to be as open to customization as possible, without becoming unbalancing. Whats the goal for your game?
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