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Old November 16, 2008, 08:47   #1
Nick
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[FA] Spellcasting stats

I'm considering (in fact, have implemented in development) giving each school of magic two spellcasting stats. So mages would use INT for mana and DEX for failure rates, druids WIS and DEX, priests WIS and CHR, and necromancers INT and CHR.

Advantages:
  • Charisma becomes a real stat;
  • The fail rate stats seem reasonable 'realistic' expressions of what the classes are doing to cast;
  • It's really nice and symmetrical.

Disadvantages:
  • Requires some rebalancing;
  • Pure casters have two stats they need to concentrate on now.

Any opinions? And is this like what the 'Design a Magic System' guy has done in his game?
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Old November 16, 2008, 11:28   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
I'm considering (in fact, have implemented in development) giving each school of magic two spellcasting stats. So mages would use INT for mana and DEX for failure rates, druids WIS and DEX, priests WIS and CHR, and necromancers INT and CHR.

Advantages:
  • Charisma becomes a real stat;
  • The fail rate stats seem reasonable 'realistic' expressions of what the classes are doing to cast;
  • It's really nice and symmetrical.

Disadvantages:
  • Requires some rebalancing;
  • Pure casters have two stats they need to concentrate on now.

Any opinions? And is this like what the 'Design a Magic System' guy has done in his game?
Needless stirring aside, I used three... mana, spells to learn, and failure rates...

Andrew
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Old November 16, 2008, 11:57   #3
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Originally Posted by andrewdoull View Post
Needless stirring aside
Hey, just quoting something I read in a blog somewhere

Quote:
I used three... mana, spells to learn, and failure rates...
OK. With mine the spells to learn is rolled in with mana - but IIRC there are more spells to choose from in Un.
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Old November 16, 2008, 17:54   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
  • Charisma becomes a real stat;
  • The fail rate stats seem reasonable 'realistic' expressions of what the classes are doing to cast;
  • It's really nice and symmetrical.
The first and third are really weak justifications. The second merely weak.

Why not just change Charisma to something else (maybe, Faith), or would that be too much of a break with Angband tradition.
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Old November 16, 2008, 18:51   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
I'm considering (in fact, have implemented in development) giving each school of magic two spellcasting stats. So mages would use INT for mana and DEX for failure rates, druids WIS and DEX, priests WIS and CHR, and necromancers INT and CHR.
...[*]Pure casters have two stats they need to concentrate on now.
Adding another stat to worry about as a spellcaster makes me uneasy. The trouble is that a warrior only has to consider str dex and con, which makes character generation acceptably simple. Already with casters you have to worry about their main spellcasting stat, enough str to carry things, enough dex to hit something with bows when they run out of mana/don't have a powerful enough spell to cast, and enough con to survive. Adding yet another stat to the mix might cause headaches.

It gets even more confusing with those hybrid classes, which may end up being good at nothing.

Two things may be helpful here: 1. put an optimized starting stat-distribution in the help files to give those new to a class something to work with, 2. make sure that spellcasting is powerful enough to compete with classes that require less micromanagement.

Having to deal with so many extra stats in Un and Ironband really turns me off... Perhaps my concerns are more anxiety- than gameplay-related; I've suicided more druids in NPP than I care to count because I just can't settle on a stat distribution that I can be happy with.

In any case, giving a recommended stat setup in the online help would be really useful for players new and old.
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Old November 17, 2008, 05:03   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
I'm considering (in fact, have implemented in development) giving each school of magic two spellcasting stats. So mages would use INT for mana and DEX for failure rates, druids WIS and DEX, priests WIS and CHR, and necromancers INT and CHR.
I separate mana and failure rate stats in Iron. Allows more customisation of spellcasters which I think is good. Can cast a few sophisticated spells, or a lot of simple spells.

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Old November 17, 2008, 06:10   #7
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The answer is to make all stats important to all classes.

The simplest thing to do is to go to a three stat model where failure rates are taken from DEX and the mana limit from STR and mana regeneration from CON. Spell learning would be based solely on level.

More complicated is to take spell learning and give it to INT along with something universal like experience multiplier.
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Old November 17, 2008, 06:24   #8
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OK, I'm tending to favour putting it back the way it was now. Further opinions? Commentary on the fickleness of maintainers is optional.
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Old November 18, 2008, 00:39   #9
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Personally, I feel that a pure caster spiking INT has been a staple of RPGs for decades and is relatively accurate. A fighter in real life has to deal with Strength, Agility, and Stamina (CON), just like in the game. A wizard "in real life" would need to emphasize intellect, memory, dilligence, and possibly stamina depending on the physical mechanics of how spells are cast. One of the reasons people roll "pure" classes of any sort is to simplify gear selection and to be really high in one aspect. (Like rogues in WoW can spike the hell out of AGI on any gear, where druids need to have 4 out of the 5 stats pretty high.) Part of making a hybrid class is that you know you're going to have decisions to make on gear selection, which is a burden some people avoid by playing a "pure" class.

Regarding CHA, I also think this is a wasted stat when we're not talking about minion classes. Unless there was some aspect to the game added that would be affected by CHA, like the chance a monster would help you. Granted, historically the paladin class in RPGs has been centered around CHA, but in games like D&D he has a lot of abilities that are based on charming, interpersonal communication, intimidation, diplomacy, and dialogue. *bands are based on combat and only combat, so CHA loses most of its value.

That's how I see it anyway.
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Old November 20, 2008, 12:48   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald Jonker View Post
Adding another stat to worry about as a spellcaster makes me uneasy. The trouble is that a warrior only has to consider str dex and con, which makes character generation acceptably simple. Already with casters you have to worry about their main spellcasting stat, enough str to carry things, enough dex to hit something with bows when they run out of mana/don't have a powerful enough spell to cast, and enough con to survive. Adding yet another stat to the mix might cause headaches.
Which is why Bandobras went both ways with Unangband and made every stat useful for warriors. e.g. Intelligence affects your to-hit chances as well as dex and particularly benefits throwing, wisdom (foresight) your armour class, charisma reduces the chance of enemies using ranged attacks against you and so on.

Quote:
Having to deal with so many extra stats in Un and Ironband really turns me off... Perhaps my concerns are more anxiety- than gameplay-related; I've suicided more druids in NPP than I care to count because I just can't settle on a stat distribution that I can be happy with.

In any case, giving a recommended stat setup in the online help would be really useful for players new and old.
Or just making sure all stats are beneficial in some way, but differ in the best playing style supports each stat distribution.

Take Intelligence for a Mage in Unangband. This determines how many spells you can learn. But it is deliberately designed that you can keep your intelligence low, and boost other stats (particularly Dex and either Wis or Con for mana), because the reality is you can rely on maybe 10-15 spells or less for most of the game. You of course lose the flexibility of having a wide range of spells to choose from. But the trade off is a lot more mana and lower failure rates...

Andrew
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