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Old April 3, 2012, 22:42   #11
Derakon
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Vanilla has a very strong D&D influence throughout, and that extends to its stat system. This is nice and intuitive for people who are familiar with that system (which is a lot of people), and who thus know automatically that INT is the mage stat and WIS is the priest stat. I could easily imagine them being confused when they fire up a new mage and discover that they have practically no spellpoints, or a new priest and be unable to mumble their way through a prayer. So if we do end up revamping the stats, I also recommend that we rename them, to avoid invoking pre-existing connotations.

Also if we want to rework the stats, I would tend to favor transparency and simplicity of impact as much as possible. Make each stat do only one or two things, but make those things be important. Here's my suggestions for stats:

STR: prowess, carrying capacity
DEX: finesse, hit chance
CON: hitpoints (already the God-King of stats; no need to put more stuff here to make it more powerful)
INT: spell failure rate, number of learnable spells
WIS: mana pool, saving throw

Nuke CHA altogether. Don't even bother replacing it with anything. Stealth already works well as-is and making it a boostable stat would have significant game balance implications. CHA functionally has almost no impact on the game already; at worst you end up paying 6k more for stat potions from the BM for a bit. So we can just axe it, have a simpler system, and not worry about having to rebalance everything. Regarding the specific suggestions in this thread, IMO having CHA influence range is unintuitively weird, and applying status ailments to monsters is either completely debilitating or completely pointless with very little middle ground -- so you end up with a stat that is either vestigial or a gamebreaker. That sounds tricky to balance to me.

Everything else should derive from your class, race, level, and equipment. Trap detection/evasion? Class skill(s), rogues are better than everyone else. Devices? Class skill, mages are better at it than everyone else. We get the same desired result (certain classes being better at certain skills than others) while keeping our algorithms simple and transparent. Win-win.
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Old April 3, 2012, 23:11   #12
CunningGabe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Regarding the specific suggestions in this thread, IMO having CHA influence range is unintuitively weird, and applying status ailments to monsters is either completely debilitating or completely pointless with very little middle ground -- so you end up with a stat that is either vestigial or a gamebreaker. That sounds tricky to balance to me.
I don't see why there can't be middle ground. You could imagine that having a high enough charisma means that every round, you have a 20% chance of stunning a monster you are facing in melee, effectively making that monster skip that round. That seems neither debilitating nor pointless to me.

There is another reason I am loathe to git rid of charisma. If we were to get rid of it, then any future variant that wanted it would have to add it back in. I suspect that's a good deal harder than making a variants remove charisma or ignore it if they don't want it. So we might as well keep it, and in the meanwhile, why not try _something_ with it?
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Old April 4, 2012, 00:09   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
How do you envision communicating to the player all the different kinds of saving throw bonuses? Having only one Saving Throw skill is important for this reason.
Well, they could be treated as extra resists instead of saves - heck, we already HAVE resists for a lot of those effects already! Of course I think V still uses binary (you have it or you don't) resists, as opposed to percentile or dice-based resists, so that might be another change in and of itself...
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Old April 4, 2012, 00:42   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CunningGabe View Post
There is another reason I am loathe to git rid of charisma. If we were to get rid of it, then any future variant that wanted it would have to add it back in. I suspect that's a good deal harder than making a variants remove charisma or ignore it if they don't want it. So we might as well keep it, and in the meanwhile, why not try _something_ with it?
Agreed. For example, FAangband has some monsters which can be either hostile to the player or neutral; I plan to have CHA influencing that.

On the whole, while it's great to have the discussion, I'm in favour of incremental changes to the stat system.
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Old April 4, 2012, 03:01   #15
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Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
LOL! I'm still trying to wrap my mind around how that would work, too. Perhaps fizzix has a perfectly good explanation.
Well, it's really no more than an extension of Mikko's idea of aura. For simplicity, let's assume a 1v1 battle. Both @ and the monster have auras. These auras fall off with distance, and the fall off (or initial strength) is determined by player CHR and monster level. If the player is really strong and the monster is weak, the player's aura completely dominates the entire region and the monster cannot cast spells anywhere. Similarly, if the monster's aura is strong and the player's is weak then the monster can't cast spells anywhere. This is the basic idea, but it doesn't really work because there are hundreds of monsters, all with auras, and one @.

This made me simplify things so that if the situation would be that @'s aura is dominant, then the monster has a reduction of range. If the monster's aura is dominant, then it may be able to cast spells far enough away that @ cannot, so it has an edge. It's not perfect, but it's easier than trying to extrapolate the 1v1 approach to multiple monsters and not make a muddled mess.

and Nick, don't worry, I'm not actually planning on doing this, I certainly won't have the time to. I just found it a lot of fun to think about.
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Old April 4, 2012, 06:49   #16
Mikko Lehtinen
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Like Derakon, I favor transparency and simplicity of impact very strongly. My approach in Fay has been to:

1) Invent a couple of new skills, with one of the stats having a very strong effect on them.
2) Stats as such don't have many effects. For example, Wisdom governs just Saving Throw, Perception, and priestly magic. (INT+WIS together give you Lore points.)
3) Remove unimportant skills to make room on the character sheet for new, important skills. For example, I joined Disarming into Perception.
4) Invent lots of scenarios in the dungeon where the skills are really important! Usually it's a pure 1d100 under skill score, and often you can try only once.

For example, Perception tests are made when you:
  • search for traps
  • disarm nonmagical traps
  • pick locks (only one try! you can close and lock the doors again, which is very helpful for escaping)
  • search for warding runes in walls
  • search for hidden items in closets
  • search for hidden torches, mushrooms, or faery portals in "interesting vegetation" grids
  • identify the effects of fountains, which can be very beneficial or harmful. "You smell disease."
  • try to notice an invisible monster next to you
  • *Identify* non-potion items with your Lore proficiency

When your starting warrior has a high Wisdom, you will really notice it while adventuring in the dungeon, and feel good about your choice! Similarly, low-Wis characters will suffer for it.

I disagree with Derakon that class should be made more important. Your class already governs almost everything that your character can do, including the most important things, spellcasting and fighting. Since I wanted to make stats and races really matter, I made the class influence on "secondary" skills much less pronounced.

Last edited by Mikko Lehtinen; April 4, 2012 at 19:09.
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Old April 4, 2012, 07:00   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
STR: prowess, carrying capacity
DEX: finesse, hit chance
CON: hitpoints (already the God-King of stats; no need to put more stuff here to make it more powerful)
INT: spell failure rate, number of learnable spells
WIS: mana pool, saving throw
Even though I have totally different ideas, I like this too. This approach doesn't allow as much flexibility when choosing your own "build" for your character, but it's simple and nice!
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Old April 4, 2012, 09:10   #18
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It may well be that Derakon's idea is the right choice for Vanilla!

Rebooting stats so that they can be used for shaping different character concepts would require radical changes to the game, and I don't think people want Vanilla Angband to change that much. For example, my idea doesn't really fly if every character eventually maximizes all stats.

But the benefits are huge, too. Here's an example of the various possible warrior or rogue builds in FayAngband:

You probably want to take a high score in either STR (heavy weapons) or DEX (light weapons). You may want to take high scores in both stats: it makes you more flexible in the choice of weapons, but doesn't really boost your combat skills that much. Actually taking just average scores in both STR and DEX is okay, too -- you'll do just fine if you find a good medium weight weapon.

All the other stats are quite equal in importance. Put your ability points where you want!
  • INT for Mapping and Alchemy, both really useful skills. It also affects Lore, which lets you identify objects.
  • WIS for Perception and Saving Throw, also essential skills. It also affects Lore.
  • CHR for Magic Device skill, wand (and spell) range, and cheaper prices.
  • CON for hitpoints.

It's almost as if you were playing Sangband! Even better, in this stat-based system your equipment choices become more interesting.

For spellcasters the only thing that changes is that you probably want a high score in your spell stat. That's a no-brainer in Fay. Otherwise the choices are pretty much the same as for non-spellcasters.

As Derakon suggested, I have considered renaming my mental stats. Perhaps Logic, Awareness, and Aura?

Last edited by Mikko Lehtinen; April 4, 2012 at 09:24.
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Old April 4, 2012, 12:23   #19
PowerWyrm
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This change would make races with low INT completely unsuitable for clerics no?
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Old April 4, 2012, 15:47   #20
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Hey Mikko, where is this magical new version of Fay that has all these features I've never heard of before? Or did I just never get far enough in the existing version to see any of them? For reference, the version I have right now is 1.11
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