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Old May 20, 2011, 17:22   #1
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Useless stats

Takkaria, is it your intention to remove "useless" stuff from the game? If so, perhaps it's time to look at the stats system... Some stats are simply USELESS for certain classes!

Some variants (e.g. UnAngband) handle this by giving each stat multiple effects, and each effect multiple stats feeding into it. (e.g. CON affects spell points, just not as much as the "primary" stats do)... This can work, but it does also make the game more opaque to a new player.

Other games (e.g. Dungeon Crawl) simply have fewer stats - Crawl has only three: Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence. (In case you're wondering where hitpoints come from, they have nothing to do with stats and everything to do with a Fighting skill and the player's race!)

Still other games allow multiclassing, so stats that are useless for one class can still find use by switching classes, or by using "secondary" abilities. (E.g. in Dragon Quest IX, you have "spells" and "abilities"; the spells are limited to your current class, but you can always use any ability you've learned, regardless of your current class - they might just be more or less effective depending on the stat bonuses of the various classes! So a thief using Half-Inch to steal an item from an enemy will be more successful than the same character as a paladin, because the thief has a bonus to Deftness, while the paladin has a penalty!)

I know you planned on eliminating Charisma, but any thoughts on the other stats that are only "sometimes" useless? Like, what does a mage need Wisdom for? I suppose it does affect saving throws... but then maybe a better example would be priests with Intelligence! Not to mention warriors who really only care about STR, DEX, and CON!

Oh, one more thing... maybe I'm just being obsessive-compulsive here, but why are there two pseudo-mage classes (Rogue and Ranger), but only one pseudo-priest class (Paladin)? Might it make sense to give Rangers the ability to use both mage and priest spells, but reduce their melee capabilities? Of course, that leaves rangers as jacks of all trades AND the only class specializing in archery... so maybe there could be an Archer class which specializes in archery even more than rangers, but can't use spells at all? Just some crazy ideas
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Old May 20, 2011, 22:01   #2
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You make a lot of good points and a lot of what you mentioned has been brought up and may be implemented whenever someone gets around to doing it (specifically, 3rd priest class. character abilities.)

I just want to make a point about INT/WIS. There's a difference between something that's useless to everyone (i.e. slime mold juice and CHR) and something that's useless to some classes (INT and WIS). If something is useless to everyone there needs to be compelling reasons to keep it. Flavor can be considered a compelling reason and that's why slime mold juice still exists. It's also why there's more support for removing CHR than there is for combining INT and WIS. CHR is useless to every class, and is hanging on by the D&D flavor that it possesses.

With INT and WIS there are non-obvious differences between them. For example, you get stat gain in WIS from Amulets and INT from rings. That alone is a huge difference and distinguishes the classes. A priest/paladin is always going to use a WIS amulet up until the endgame. However, there's much more competition for ring slots, and mage classes may not be able to use =INT. The secondary effects of saving throw / magic devices are also important. A priest can often not worry about FA because they have such a high saving throw. Not true for a mage. Similarly, mages can blast away with wands and rods much more effectively than a priest. If we were to combine the two, I think we'd simplify a lot, but we'd also lose a lot.
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Old May 20, 2011, 22:20   #3
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I have sometimes thought if it wouldn't be a good idea to make the secondary mental skill affect spellpoints too.
But I don't think this would be a idea reasonable without making them more usefull for noncasters.
Another idea might be to add a magic resistance, like the one some monsters have, dependent on the 2 stats in some way.

On the gripping hand, if there should be useless stats for any build, is mainly a matter of taste.

btw. for a pure spellcaster game, dex becomes a dumpstat.
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Old May 20, 2011, 22:26   #4
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As it happens, slime mold juice (and apple juice) are no longer in the game -- my current character, a paladin, has Icky Green Potions of Life. He's also only briefly worn an amulet of Wisdom, favoring Regeneration early on and Trickery/Weaponmastery/ESP later. His WIS is maxed out at 18/110. Of course this is different for priests, who need much stronger spellcasting; paladins can't rely on their spells in the middle of fights anyway (minimum 5% failure rate) so maxing their WIS is less of an issue.

Which isn't to say that I support conflating INT and WIS. I think they're both important stats. It'd be nice if improving WIS had a more visible effect on your saving throw (and if saving throw difficulty depended on the level of the effect you're trying to save against), and if improving INT had a more visible effect on your magic device skill. I think I'd support removing class- and race-based saving throws entirely in favor of WIS.
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Old May 20, 2011, 23:50   #5
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
It'd be nice if improving WIS had a more visible effect on your saving throw (and if saving throw difficulty depended on the level of the effect you're trying to save against), and if improving INT had a more visible effect on your magic device skill.
It's a very easy change to make...

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