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  Having 'too' many skills/variables in RPGs...  (Read 5683 times)
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Offline DarkMortar

Junior Devvie

Java Padawan

« Posted 2006-12-21 10:32:49 »


I've been attempting to design my RPG combat system, yet I have a feeling there are too many 'skills' and variables involved. I DO however, want it complex, yet everything should be necessary. It just seems weird I have ATTRIBUTES that improves certain specials AND skills. Like there is Dexterity and Dodge, well The difference is that Dexterity is an attribute, and Dodge is a skill. Yet the DEX modifys the dodge to occur more often, which is weird.

Yet there are differnt kinds of attack roll:
Miss: The opponent misses you completly, no damage done.
Dodge: You dodge, and evade an attack that would have occured, no damage done.

Counterattack: If the random comparison roll was in favor, You attack back with a 'basic' attack (you are not guareenteed to hit the opponent) even if your opponent hits or misses you.

Block: You block the attack, you are hit, but damage is reduced %(20+STR)?

Scrape: You are barely hit, mimimal damage occured.
Normal: normal hit
Bleed: Your attack made the opponent begin to bleed. (can stack)
Critical: Critical damage, multiplied attack

Resist(powers failure, or ability(ex: intimidate) only): The intimidation, stun, dizzy, state failed to apply, or powers(magic) state failed.

You can block, and a scrape occurs at the same time resulting in extremly minimal, to no damage done. Same goes for critical and bleed.

My combat system is like a branch system, it expands as you continue.

(Level 1+) 5 Roles > (Level 15+) 18 Classes > (Level 50+) # Specialty Classes > (Level 100+) Aplha Classes > MAXED Level 110


Ok I have accuracy that plays a major role in deciding the type of hits. But there is all of this for accuracy,

lets say you have a carbine equipped. You will be using all of this to add to the accuracy equation:

Ranged Accuracy
Carbine Accuracy
And the Focus attribute will be a percentage modification towards it.

Well what im saying is that the roll is random in comparison to the opponents defenses,

Ranged Defense,

Well how should i go about calacuating if a dodge/block was sucessful before a miss? A miss is just a pure miss on the attacks part. So how is the attack rolls usually done, like what is compared first?

And I feel like my attributes are too similar, but I like having 10 attributes, but I need more ideas for what these attributes do, now now i have listed everything they do, but mainly these attributes do govern other skills and special attacks/abilities.

Every entitity that exist in Cosmos has his or her own set of attributes. What distinguishes amoung the various races, and classes is by the attributes and skills they possess. A Champion Knight may have powerful Strength, yet the Rogue Specialist may be better off sticking to high Dexterity. Attributes modify the skill values in almost all forumulas within Cosmos. Not only do attributes modify, but they also add values to special abilities. The special ability "Cloak" (a Rogue special) is modifyed by both the Intellect attribute and the Stealth skill for its total value. On a global scale, attributes are more difficult to upgrade as a character levels up, because they are to be geared towards specialization.

Character is assigned starting attributes based on the Role, and the Race he chooses combined together.

(Character may add 1 attribute starting at Level 2, and 1 attribute every Level after (n=2, n++) <= Level 110
I.E. Level (2, 5, 9, 14, 20, 27, 35, 44, 54, 65, 77, 90, 104) = 13 choosen attributes.


Constitution (CON) governs the character's physical makeup, known as health.
Improves the Vitality regeneration rate over time.
Reduces negative effects of bleed, dizzy, and posion states.


Strength (STR) represents the character's physical power. A character equipped with heavy weapons is most efficent with a high Strength rating, allowing him or her to carry heavy equipment while delivering deadly blows.
Adds additional damage towards melee attacks.
Every point of Strength adds +1% armor peircing towards melee attacks.
Improves amount of Vitatlity saved by a sucessful block.
Decreases weight resistance while carrying equipment (allowing character to carry more).
Decreases the negative effects of wearing armors.


Dexterity (DEX) modifys the character's reflex, allowing him or her to evade opposing attacks with immediate response.
Improves the chances of a sucessful dodge move.


Focus (FOC) is the character's ability to concentrate. Higher Focus results into improved accuracy towards attacks, as well as enhanced awareness of his or her's surroundings.
Improves accuracy of all attacks.
Improves the chances of dealing a damage value towards the maximum value.
Adds additional damage towards the "ideal range" of all ranged weapons.
Improves acuity skill checks.


Agility (AGI) governs the character's speed of action. One with high Agility can attack quickly (melee or ranged) as well as move at fast speed with precision.
Improves speed on foot.
Improves attack speed.
Speeds up (non-powers) timer warmup for specials.


Stamina (STA) is the overall endurance of the character. Stamina allows one to run longer, and attack more without becoming tired or fatiuged.
Improves the Action regeneration rate over time.
Pool used by actions that use the Action bar is decreased.


Intellect (INT) represents the character's intelligence. A higher Intellect results into better crafting results including a superior technical ability. One with high intelligence is also more crafty when it comes to stealth.
Enhances medical healing abilities.
Enhances crafting results.
Improves experimentation results, and assembly.
Improves Tinkering results.
Governs Stealth, Computer Use, Security.


Insight (INS) is a character's ability to understand the mind. One with high Insight can revive his mind much more quickly while staying sharp.
Improves the Psyche regeneration rate over time.
Pool used by actions that use the Psyche bar is decreased.


Wisdom (WIS) allows a character to contain more knowledge of the true worlds, allowing him or her to conjuror powers more effectively.
Improves all specials that use powers.
Improves defense and resistance to opposing powers attacks.
Improves the Powers regeneration rate over time (if applicable).


Charisma (CHA) is the character's ability to socialize with others either by being friendly, or by pure persuasion.
Enhances communication with others.
Improves Intimidate and Taunt abilities.
Governs Persuade, Management.

My style of combat is "real time" or what I call "speed based" there arent "turns" the "turns" are based on your actual weapon speed, and the skills involved (Agility, and Carbine Speed, and Ranged Speed) all in an equation to figure out total speed.

Think of it like how most MMO combat is, real time and just attack. There are warm-up timers for all skills, some skills charge slower than others ect.
Pretty much, the quality of the equipment you use (especially armor, weapon) is VERY important for sucess. And level in my game, really have nothing to do with combat equations, but its more of an indicator of how many skills you were alloted and progression. Yet level does differ the miss rates, if two different levels are fighting.

Well i do not have the equations or the order in which I would go about calculations, because I need to finalize my skills and attributes and the classes. But i want to keep it fun, yet complex, and enthralling, (while keeping the programming possible on my part!! heeh Smiley ).

So help me decide garr.

Offline Breakfast

Senior Devvie

for great justice!

« Reply #1 - Posted 2006-12-21 11:55:08 »

Trust your instinct, if it feels like too much complexity, it is.

A good approach would be to design your combat engine very carefully so that you can make the calculations as modular as possible. The easier it is to change the better. Then you can start simple and make your system a little more complex until you find that sweet-spot where it is interesting but not too confusing for the player.

One way to combine depth with simplicity is to make your skills and abilities really non-orthogonal so that you sacrifice speed for power or accuracy and vice versa. That way you can have fewer skills but still make balancing them out an important skill.

As long as you can always answer "yes" to the question "is this fun?" you've got a fair chance it will work out alright.
Offline fletchergames

Senior Devvie

« Reply #2 - Posted 2006-12-21 17:14:47 »

It's overkill to have alot of statistics when the player doesn't even use them directly.  The player just sees the result of the action.

What's the point of a "Scrape"?  If it's just there to be the opposite of a critical hit, there's really no point in it.  When the attacker gets a low damage roll, hardly any damage will be inflicted.  You can just display the word "Scrape" whenever the attacker does minimum damage, but I wouldn't even bother with that.

With the "Bleed" effect, I would either make it the result of a special attack or make it happen with every attack.  Having some attacks bleed but others not makes no sense.  Bleeding could stop over time or with the application of bandages.  It would be especially cool if healers could only stop bleeding, not actually heal you.

For the "Block" defense, there's usually just an automatic damage resistance due to armor.  If you still want to have a seperate "Block" defense, you might want to just make it turn the attack into a miss (but display "Blocked" instead of "Missed").

Also, how do you "block" a ranged attack?  Maybe you could catch an arrow out of the air, but no one's going to catch a bullet unless they have some sort of "super" ability.

You might want to change some of the primary statistics into skills.  Focus, Insight, Intellect, and Wisdom are all similar - maybe make 2 of them statistics and 2 of them skills.  Agility and Dexterity are pretty much the same.  Stamina should be a skill determined by Constitution.  Charisma should be some sort of "Persuasion" skill.

It's ok to have lots of primary statistics, but it's hardly necessary.  If the player can choose their statistics at the start of the game, 10 is too many for them to make reasonable decisions.  If the player can't change their statistics at some point during the game (even if it's not at the beginning), there's not much point in even having them.

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Offline Mr_Light

Senior Devvie

Medals: 1


« Reply #3 - Posted 2006-12-21 20:47:17 »

personaly I love to have many knobs to turn the idea is to have a kind of rock paper sissers thing going to avoid 'super players' or properties not beeing used cause they suck to much compaired to other abbilities leaving whole part of your program/game unused.

on a totally differend note I don't understand te need for 110 levels. frankly I only see effectively 3 lvl's in for example wow thats high lvl normal lvl and low. no one cares about if your 34 or 35 which defeats the whole level bit cause thats nothing more then a catagory, ok, yeah, sure, it's abused as a trigger for allowing increase in stats. but those indicaters don't need to be at the surface,

It's harder to read code than to write it. - it's even harder to write readable code.

The gospel of brother Riven: "The guarantee that all bugs are in *your* code is worth gold." Amen brother a-m-e-n.
Offline DarkMortar

Junior Devvie

Java Padawan

« Reply #4 - Posted 2006-12-21 22:44:00 »

Some things I need to mention however, is the all weapons have a minimum and a maximum damage value, and based on focus, you have a better chance of rolling towards a maximum value.

Yet the Bleed, I do have special abilities that do cause bleed "and more of it, more easily"

Medical classes do have a first aid type of deal to stop bleed, same goes for posion, and states.
Yet Powers (magical) classes have similar effects.

Also there arent arrows in my game hehe, its "ancient sci-fi", ok that doesnt make sense, but its like in classic SWG, KOTOR, and even anarchy online.
There is melee and ranged classes, and both are better at certain things.

You can block a ranged in my game by the armor bands and shields of course and suffer minimum to no damage.

Block does happen twice as much as dodge, depending on the skill levels of course, but if bother are equal you will block more.

Yet i cant seem to tone down the attributes, if it was turn-based yes, but since its real-time, the difference between :

DEX: dodging, miss
AGI: movement speed, attack speed

So i feel like i cant combine those.

I am also going to lessen the weapon skills:

I will keep:

Ranged Speed
Ranged Accuracy
Ranged Efficency
Melee Speed
Melee Accuracy
Melee Efficecy

But i will reduce this:
Pistol Speed
Pistol Accuracy
Pistol Efficeny

down to one skill
Pistol Experitise: improves all 3 of those sections.

so a final speed equation would include these:
(Agility, pistol expertise, ranged speed, pistol (weapon) speed)

But what is your policy on armor. Right now my roles Have different armor encumberances:

SENTINEL: 80% armor mitigation (best with heavy armor)
CHAMPION: 60% armor mitigation (best with medium armor)
ENFORCER: 40% armor mitigation (best with light armor)
ROGUE: 20% armor mitigation (best with padded armor)
POWERS: 0% armor mitigation (best with robes)

Anyone can wear in armor they want, but a Sentinl will get away with wearing heavy armor way better than a Rogue can, the rogue will be highly encumbered and slower, and less effective. Yet im not sure if my encumberence should be a set rate like this or "improved."

There are 3 bars And regeneration as stated in the attributes is important.

VITALITY: (RED) Characters health, when 0 you die of course (typical), regens SLOWEST.

ACTION: (ORANGE) Characters "attacking bar" Think of this like the endurace bar in oblivion. Every weapon on my game that does not use magic, uses this bar. This bar goes down the quickest, when a weapon is used. It also goes down if you sprint, jump ect. Stamina governs this. I keep Stamina and Constiution speaeration, because Constitution governed health, and stamina is action regeneration rate. Regenerating the action is very important so you can attack.

PSYCHE: (BLUE) Ok this is like the bar used for standard magic, and healing (HEALING IS VERY IMPORTANT). Also goes down if you craft, or survey for resources. Regens slower than action.

And the game insnt purely fighting either, there will be crafting and business as well. Charisma is used for business and social bribery think of it like D&D or KOTOR, you persuade peoples.

Offline fletchergames

Senior Devvie

« Reply #5 - Posted 2006-12-22 16:23:15 »

I assume efficiency affects how much "action" gets used up.

My main point previously was this: you don't need a bunch of statistics because the player will never see them.  It's ok to have statistics, but don't make the game statistic-twiddling the main focus of the game.

In the game I'm designing, I have only 5 main statistics, but there are other statistics that are determined in large part by the main ones (even if they're not skills).

See the following:

Main Statistic:

{attribute name="Agility" basecpcost="Attribute CP Cost"}Agility measures a character's ability to move quickly and easily.  Agility determines a character's accuracy and sequence, so it's useful for anyone.  It's essential for the use of ranged weapons.{/attribute}

Statistics Derived from Agility:

{statistic name="Dodge" formula="(Agility + Ingenuity) / 10"}A character's Dodge score is reduced from his/her opponent's Accuracy when the opponent attacks the character.{/statistic}

{statistic name="Ranged Accuracy" basecpcost="" formula="40 + Agility"}Ranged Accuracy is the percentage chance that a character will successfully hit an enemy with a ranged attack.{/statistic}

{statistic name="Ranged Power" formula="Agility / 3"}Ranged Power measures the average damage inflicted by a character with a ranged weapon.  The weapon itself may increase this amount.{/statistic}

{statistic name="Sequence" formula="Agility"}Sequence determines how quickly a character acts in combat.  Characters with higher sequences will generally act sooner in combat.{/sequence}

Skills Affected by Agility:

{skill name="Lockpicking" formula="Agility + Ingenuity"}Lockpicking measures a character's ability to pick locks.  Some locks will be easy to pick, and others will be difficult.{/skill}

{skill name="Traps" formula="Agility + Health"}Traps measures a character's ability to find and disarm traps.  As with locks, some traps are easier to find and disarm than others.{/skill}

Basically, your formulas are equivalent to my derived statistics.  I think you would be better off to combine some primary statistics (i.e. dexterity and agility) and make some way to give bonuses to one aspect of the statistic but another (e.g. a bonus to dodge but not to movement speed).
Offline DarkMortar

Junior Devvie

Java Padawan

« Reply #6 - Posted 2006-12-24 23:18:09 »


Ive been replacing the weapon expertises(skills) with these new skill things:

Weapon Types:
One-Hand Melee (clubs, 1h-sword, daggar,ect)
Two-Hand Melee (2h-sword, pikes,mace,ect)
Polearm (spears,pikes,ect)
Light-weight Ranged (pistols,ect)
Repeating Ranged(carbine,rifle,ect)
Precision Ranged(ie. sniper rifle,ect)
Heavy Weapon (RPGs, nade launchers, some flamethrowers,some snipers,ect)
Dangerous Weapon(ie. flamethrower,chemical,acid,ect)
Rocket Propelled Weapon (RPGs, nade launcher,ect)
Grenade (all types of nades)

A lot of weapons use dual different types.

Like most 2h-swords are:
Two-Hand Melee and
Heavy Weapon

So the equations will (Two-Hand Melee + Heavy Weapon / 2) and it will take the average points between the two, so you need to be pretty balanced in bother skills)

But a lot just use one like a pistol : Light-weight Ranged

Anything I'm missing, or comments?

All of them have the 3 section:i.e.
Unarmed Speed
Unarmed Accuracy
Unarmed Efficency

Am I missing any other 'type' of weapons.

Offline fletchergames

Senior Devvie

« Reply #7 - Posted 2006-12-25 14:23:42 »

It sounds good, but it would be better if each weapon were only one type.  Having "Heavy Weapons" for weapons that are in other groups but just happen to be heavy seems strange.  Some kind of encumbrance statistic would make more sense.

If Polearm and Two-Hand Melee are going to be seperate, you shouldn't include pikes in both.  When you have a type called "Two-Hand Melee", you probably shouldn't seperate out Polearms anyways.

Lionheart just has 3 weapon skills: Unarmed, One-Hand Melee, Two-Hand Melee, and Ranged.  Fallout has Unarmed, Melee, Lasers, Guns, Heavy Guns, and Thrown.

Maybe you could have something like Unarmed, One-Hand Melee, Two-Hand Melee, Guns, Heavy Guns, and Grenades/Rockets/Flamethrowers (with some sensible name).

If you want the ranged weapons to be split up as much as they are, it only seems fair to split up the melee weapons just as much.  You would have at least clubs, polearms, and swords.  Whether they're one- or two- handed would be irrellevant in that setup.
Offline DarkMortar

Junior Devvie

Java Padawan

« Reply #8 - Posted 2006-12-25 22:41:53 »

Hmm, i will most likey remove the Heavy Weapon side, since i do have a way for heavier weapons to encumber.

Every peice of equipment in my game has 'weight' and Strength helps decrese the encumber, and Agility helps movement speeds.

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