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Old September 2, 2012, 19:46   #11
LostTemplar
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For me CRPG design begins from clear definitions for stats. Then you make up game effects that fit the definition and flavour of the stats as well as possible. Maybe I'm alone in this?
Maybe. E.g. I start form actions, myself. I imagine my characters and monsters and think, what they can do, when I think, what parameters I need to describe this.
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Old September 2, 2012, 19:50   #12
Mikko Lehtinen
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Oh yes. That is actually much more logical when designing a game from scratch.

Maybe I should have said: "For me, CRPG redesign begins from crafting clear definitions for the stats." You have to work with the legacy.
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Old September 2, 2012, 20:08   #13
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Angband's legacy is Moria and D&D. You can broadly characterize INT as analytical / "hard" thinking and WIS as intuitive / "soft" thinking. For example, a scientist has a high INT score; a demagogue or psychologist would have a high WIS score. A high-INT/low-WIS person can come up with brilliant ideas without necessarily thinking through the consequences; you could also think of it as "book-smart but street-dumb". Such a person is good at solving puzzles, but bad at solving riddles. A low-INT/high-WIS person would be skilled at working with and understanding other people (or animals, etc.), and would be good at solving riddles, but bad at solving puzzles.

The problem with these definitions is that they don't lend themselves well to game mechanics. Even in D&D you see this, but it's mitigated slightly by the two scores being rolled into skill checks and saving throws -- WIS is important for saving throws to protect your state of mind, while INT is needed for a bunch of skill checks. Of course those become fairly pointless if your campaign doesn't require will saves or the relevant skill checks. Angband has a paucity of skill types that INT could plausibly apply to, though the saving throw is still pretty useful.

I think if you want to have two (let alone three -- CHA is really thrown to the wolves in Angband) mental stats in Angband, you'll really need to reconsider what they are and change what they do. And probably tweak the utility of various approaches to the game so that techniques that require strong mental capabilities can't be reasonably ignored by any player.
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Old September 2, 2012, 21:18   #14
Mikko Lehtinen
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Good to hear you basically agree with me. We need either better definitions (and maybe tweaked names) or to drop one of the stats.

Every time I read a new tabletop RPG book, I tend to slightly redefine and simplify the stat definitions so that I can use all attribute checks in typical game situations. I've done this in retro-D&D versions without skills, too, and I can make INT and WIS work for me.

This kind of preparation is important for me because I tend to like the Fortune decide what happens. I want to feel surprised as a game master; totally controlling the story and applying "GM common sense" to decide who wins a conflict is boring. So I always want to know which attribute to test in a given situation.

I'm so used to thinking about stat definitions in this context that I somehow assumed every GM or game designer does this.
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Old September 2, 2012, 21:40   #15
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Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
There doesn't seem to be much interest in talking about the roles of INT and WIS in the game. That's okay. I'm still going to post my own definitions on Wednesday.
Hey, I'm interested, but you said not to talk about it until Wednesday
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Old September 2, 2012, 21:50   #16
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Cool! Yeah, I want to hear some different ideas, not influenced by previous posters. And I wanted to give people a chance to read this thread and to form their own opinion before the definitions start coming.
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Old September 3, 2012, 05:33   #17
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Derakon, different editions of D&D have quite different definitions/descriptions. You don't necessarily have to treat AD&D (?) definitions as "official" even if Angband was originally inspired by it.

Last edited by Mikko Lehtinen; September 3, 2012 at 05:43.
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Old September 3, 2012, 06:44   #18
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Mikko: oh, certainly not. I'm just providing context, and pointing out that there's some inherent difficulty in keeping the original meanings for the stats while also making them meaningful for everyone.
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Old June 7, 2013, 10:36   #19
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In Angband it often wasn't obvious to me if a skill or action will depend on WIS or INT. Actually it still isn't, I just learned some facts while playing and know them now.

Personally I think three stats are enough to make a game interesting, roughly "body", "mind" and "social".

From a players point of view, it's important to know which action will depend on which stat. It might be obvious to a DnD veteran that shooting depends on DEX, but it wasn't for me when I came to the game first. When trying to shoot a bow in real life, I wasn't challenged so much for my dexterity, but rather strengh and mental focus which I'd map to INT. Since such experiences don't tranfser well to games, the games should make clear which skilsl depen on what - e.g. does "searching" depend in INT, WIS or DEX? I still don't know, but I'd guess WIS.

For players it's definitely easier to guess the important stats for their characters and way of playing if there are more distinct and fewer stats.
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Old June 7, 2013, 12:51   #20
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Originally Posted by Hajo View Post
does "searching" depend in INT, WIS or DEX? I still don't know, but I'd guess WIS.
Trick question you asked yourself there! It doesn't depend on any of them AFAIK.
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