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Subject: Question about character attributes rss

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B Mendez
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I am designing a game in which players can choose a character. The characters are defined by three attributes (lets call them A, B and C).

I have never created a character for a game before, but tried balancing both, attributes per character, and attributes themselves.

Characters starting attributes:


Questions:

Am I approaching this the right way? Any comments?

Thanks a lot!


By the way, if you need more information, you can check the game thread here:
Solo playable game with a Christian theme I have been working on
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B Mendez
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basm22 wrote:
..., but tried balancing both, attributes per character, and attributes themselves.


Just to clarify, what I mean by this is that all characters have the same total value of attributes; and that attributes total value (across characters) is also the same.
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Carl Qwerty
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According to this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Game-Design-book-lenses/dp/0123694...

You are approaching this the right way. In that book, the author describes a biplane game where the strengths and weaknesses of each plane is evened out the same way (adding them up). I am also using this method for a game I'm working on.
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Dan Enders
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While it's one thing to have all the values balanced, it's another thing to make sure all the values are equally important/relevant. I haven't gone over your game yet, but from glancing at the thread I can see you have a lot of thoughts about what can happen.

Just make sure that each attribute winds up having an important and as equal as possible affect. You don't want the character with a strong A stat to not have A come up all that much in the game!
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B Mendez
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bill437 wrote:
According to this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Game-Design-book-lenses/dp/0123694...

You are approaching this the right way. In that book, the author describes a biplane game where the strengths and weaknesses of each plane is evened out the same way (adding them up). I am also using this method for a game I'm working on.


Thanks for taking your time to look at my chart. Great book! Expensive too! Hope everything works out for your game.
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Paul DeStefano
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It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
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This only works if the attributes have equal value. If they are strength dexterity and total languages known in a combat game, the characters are still not equal. Inches Moved does not necessarily correlate to skill dice rolled.
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B Mendez
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danenders wrote:
While it's one thing to have all the values balanced, it's another thing to make sure all the values are equally important/relevant. I haven't gone over your game yet, but from glancing at the thread I can see you have a lot of thoughts about what can happen.

Just make sure that each attribute winds up having an important and as equal as possible affect. You don't want the character with a strong A stat to not have A come up all that much in the game!


Thanks! Yes, you make a very good point. I made me an excel document where I am also taken into consideration other elements that I need to manage: the source of character attributes, the attributes requirements of the location challenges... yes, I have a lot of thoughts of what can happen. Thanks again!
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Nate K
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danenders wrote:
While it's one thing to have all the values balanced, it's another thing to make sure all the values are equally important/relevant. I haven't gone over your game yet, but from glancing at the thread I can see you have a lot of thoughts about what can happen.

Just make sure that each attribute winds up having an important and as equal as possible affect. You don't want the character with a strong A stat to not have A come up all that much in the game!


Amen! While designing Enki-Des: The Soul Gates, I was very concerned that Training would be much more important than the other two attributes. I think I managed to make all three stats useful....
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James Hutchings
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As well as the problem of some attributes being better than others, you might also find that some combinations are better or worse than others.

For example if Charisma is used to avoid fighting, and Strength to fight, and if the player chooses to fight or negotiate, it might be a 'waste' to have points in both. Charisma 7 + Strength 1 or Strength 7 + Charisma 1 might be better than Strength 4 + Charisma 4. This is a common problem with RPG skills, where it can be better to 'max out' one skill and choose the strategy associated with it all the time.

On the other hand if Strength effects damage and Dexterity effects your chance of hitting, high Strength might be wasted if you have a low Dexterity and vice versa. So in this case Strength 4 Dexterity 4 might be better than having one attribute 7 and the other 1.
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James Hutchings
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Another problem is that you might end up balancing the mechanics at the expense of the theme.

For example you put in a bunch of traps so the Disarm Traps skill does something, not because interacting with traps is interesting.

Or you end up expanding the definition of Wisdom so that Wisdom does something.

Or the characters with high Intelligence keep getting killed. So you come up with contrived ways in which Intelligence can help you in combat, with the result that your weedy scholar character is about as good in combat as your hulking barbarian character, and the two characters don't 'feel' very different.

(these are all examples from real RPGs).
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B Mendez
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I guess I'll see soon enough.
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Lacombe
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There is absolutely no way to tell without knowing both the relative values of the three attributes and the rates of diminishing [or possibly even increasing] marginal return associated with higher values within one particular skill [I suspect this will be your bigger problem]. More particularly, assuming these are going to be compared in random-die-roll / skill-check fashion against strength / difficulty values of challenges, etc, you'll need to know the probability structure associated with each value of each attribute.
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B Mendez
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NateStraight wrote:
There is absolutely no way to tell without knowing both the relative values of the three attributes and the rates of diminishing [or possibly even increasing] marginal return associated with higher values within one particular skill [I suspect this will be your bigger problem]. More particularly, assuming these are going to be compared in random-die-roll / skill-check fashion against strength / difficulty values of challenges, etc, you'll need to know the probability structure associated with each value of each attribute.


Yes. shake
Well, thanks for your comments. I am working on it and will test. I guess I'll report back my findings/results.
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B Mendez
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Thanks all for your comments.
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art gamer
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NateStraight wrote:
There is absolutely no way to tell without knowing both the relative values of the three attributes and the rates of diminishing [or possibly even increasing] marginal return associated with higher values within one particular skill [I suspect this will be your bigger problem]. More particularly, assuming these are going to be compared in random-die-roll / skill-check fashion against strength / difficulty values of challenges, etc, you'll need to know the probability structure associated with each value of each attribute.


In other words, Playtest!!!
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apeloverage wrote:
As well as the problem of some attributes being better than others, you might also find that some combinations are better or worse than others.


I think that resembles the way it is in real life, but on the other han, if you compesate for it in the game mechanisms, it might work out.

I thinks that it also aids replayability, to find out through playing how can you overcome the limitations of the characters and still make it through.

It is also great for solo play! Taking the game as a different character each time.

Another way would be a clever coop mechanism.

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Lacombe
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artgamer wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
There is absolutely no way to tell without knowing both the relative values of the three attributes and the rates of diminishing [or possibly even increasing] marginal return associated with higher values within one particular skill [I suspect this will be your bigger problem]. More particularly, assuming these are going to be compared in random-die-roll / skill-check fashion against strength / difficulty values of challenges, etc, you'll need to know the probability structure associated with each value of each attribute.


In other words, Playtest!!!


Well, it would be perfectly possible to create a probabilistically / mathematically "balanced" set of values if the system they were being applied to was of a sort that would admit to such analysis, with no playtesting at all... but there's no indication here of what the system will be or how the values will be used.

Playtesting won't give you a good idea of what the probability system looks like, simply on account of the necessarily small sample size. It's possible, in fact, that playtesting would lead you to make mathematically unbalanced choices if you had a few games that played out weirdly and tried to "fix" them.
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Shaun Toochaos
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this style only works if you assume that an increase of 1 point is equal whether it is 1-2 or 5-6 if this is true then everything works out, if on the other hand it is not you must playtest to get your numbers right and just start from what you have already
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Lacombe
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basm22 wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
There is absolutely no way to tell without knowing both the relative values of the three attributes and the rates of diminishing [or possibly even increasing] marginal return associated with higher values within one particular skill [I suspect this will be your bigger problem]. More particularly, assuming these are going to be compared in random-die-roll / skill-check fashion against strength / difficulty values of challenges, etc, you'll need to know the probability structure associated with each value of each attribute.


Yes. shake
Well, thanks for your comments. I am working on it and will test. I guess I'll report back my findings/results.


Well, more than that, I was hoping you'd give a few more details concerning the application of these character attributes. What, exactly, are you going to do with them?
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David Boeren
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danenders wrote:
While it's one thing to have all the values balanced, it's another thing to make sure all the values are equally important/relevant


I'm with dan here, the numbers mean nothing, the EFFECTS of the numbers are what's important. If strength is twice as good as dexterity in the game, then a character with +1 STR should have -2 DEX.

And the only way to tell that is with plenty of playtesting.
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B Mendez
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NateStraight wrote:


Well, more than that, I was hoping you'd give a few more details concerning the application of these character attributes. What, exactly, are you going to do with them?


Solo playable game with a Christian theme I have been working on

This is a thread that I made about the game I am working on. The actual values for the elements that come into play is what I am currently working on. Thanks.

(edit: fix the link)
 
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B Mendez
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design
Re: Question about character attributes
New version of the characters. I have made the differences only 1-2 value points.

Another option to test, in a multi-player game, all players with the same starting attributes 2,2,2; giving the players more control and choices.

 
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