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[Adonthell-devel] Basic Role Playing System

From: Kai Sterker
Subject: [Adonthell-devel] Basic Role Playing System
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 20:48:05 +0100

As we seem to have a general brainstorming session at the moment, I'll fire 
this one in. Actually, it does not differ too much from my prior posts, it's 
just more complete (I hope).

Before we can really go on and think about combat or magic, we should agree 
on the rules that lie beneath everything else.

Like what character's are there, what attributes do they have and what do 
those attributes mean. I'll give a braindump of the things I remember from 
old discussions and stuff implicitly contained in the library. There will 
also be a few of my own ideas in there.


There are four available races: Dwarves, Humans, Half-Elves and Elves.
For the final game, we have a set of 8 characters to chose from. One 
male/female of each of the above races. As they have a given background, they 
most likely will have fixed set of attributes to begin with, reflecting their 
current skills. From then on it is up to the player how they will develop.

The question is, how much should the choice of a certain character influence 
the further game?

I already said, that magic would be open to Half-Elves and Elves only. But 
should there be greater differences?


I think the general opinion is that there shouldn't be too many. I can think 
of Hit Points (HP) of course, Experience Points (EXP) and Training Points 
(TP) as critical to the player. I.e. they should appear in a prominent place.

Then there would be a couple needed for internals. They might be made 
available to the player or not.

Strength        -    affects usage of weapons/damage dealt/etc

Agility         -    affects defense, but also the 'regeneration' JT suggested

Intelligence    -    much like strength, but for use with magic. Also affects
                     available options in dialogues

Would those three be enough for everything? Our old combat calculations had 
also Luck (to determine Critical Hits/Misses) and we might want to have 
something like an Alignment.


Attributes apply to a variety of situations, whereas skills are quite 
specialized abilities. In fact, a lot of things would fall into this category.

A certain spell could be considered a skill, as could be a 'special move' 
with a conventional weapons. Picking locks, brewing a certain poiton and much 

In general, these Skills might be not known at all (and therefore cannot be 
used) or could be completely mastered. (meaning they always(?) succeed and 
have the greatest effect). A percentage might be suited best to describe this.

Learning Skills

To gain new Skills, you had to find someone to teach them. Certain 
"abilities", like a recipe for a certain potion could also be given as the 
reward for a quest or bought in a shoppe.

Skills that have to be learned would require some TP, depending on the value 
or difficulty of the Skill. The quality of the teacher and/or the attributes 
of the character would influence the initial 'grasp' of that skill. Usually 
it wouldn't be more than a few percent, but in exceptional situations it 
might be much higher (-> easter eggs).

Improving Skills

I can think of two ways to make improvements to the character:

* Learning by doing
  As the player makes use of his skills, these gradually improve. However,
  that should be a pretty slow process, depending on the Skill. Skills that
  can be used under rare circumstances might improve faster that way than
  skills that are commonly used.

* Training
  With the TP gained each time players level up, they could go to a teacher
  and take a lesson in a certain ability. Depending on the teacher, that would
  increase the skill by a few percent. There could be differences between
  teachers, so that some might be less effective than others. Also, every
  teacher could have a limit, so that you would have to find a master to gain
  mastery of a skill.

  Each training session could cost 1 TP (and whatever material goods or
  service the teacher wants).

Types of Skills

* 'Artistic Skills'
  That would include everything that involves assembling something according
  to a recipe. Potions, poisons (to 'improve' weapons with) and other things.
  (Quite a bit of McGyver feeling here ;) - "Aaargh, he has a ballpen and a
  Those Skills usually require no TP's and cannot be improved by learning.
  There could be a menu listing all the 'recipes', and if you have the proper
  reagents, selecting an item would 'create' whatever item the recipe
  describes; with a chance of failure depending on the mastery of that skill.

* Weapon Skill
  Something that very, very slowly increases by doing it. I'm a bit unsure if
  this should be D&D like, where you have a Skill for every weapon type, or
  if we should rather have 'special moves' that apply to all weapons. In
  latter case, not all 'moves' might be equally efficient with any weapon
  and/or against any enemy.
  To improve or learn weapon skills, you'll have to find a teacher.

* Magic
  Initially, a spell needs to be learned. Either from a teacher or a scroll.
  It could also be 'copied' from a monster in certain situations.
  Learning from a teacher would always succed, but cost TP's. Learning from
  a scroll might fail, depending on the character's intelligence, but is
  practically for free.
  Using the spell regularly should show a notable improvement.

* Other Skills
  Stuff like lock picking. (Don't know if we actually want to have that).

Okay, that's enough for this mail, I think.


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