About 3 years ago I played my first real game of DnD and wound up loving it. It's a deep complex game that allows players to express themselves not just through roleplay but through gameplay, thanks to its varied and extensive stats and the many ways you can use them.
When I went about creating my table-top rpg I started off using DnD rules, as I got used to playing I felt that the gameplay, while great for people willing to spend time to understand, is still overwhelming to a large number of people. I wanted to create a system that allowed players to have that same freedom, but allowed for easier entry into table-top RPG's.
I've played more RPG's than I can count, but the first RPG where I actually noticed and cared about stats was Grandia, one of my biggest game design influences. You see, in Grandia, your stats are so heavily tied into your character, you can't just ignore them and make progress. They increase with usage, not just on leveling up, not only that, you unlock skills only through improving certain stats through practice. Level up fire and sword, and you unlock 'Lotus cut'. I wound up loving this system and to this day still have a lot of reverence for it.
I hate grinding, but that system made me want to fight just so I could get that 1 extra point in my Sword stat so I could unlock the mysterious "???" ability on my ability list.
Nowadays it's hard to find games that don't just resort to perk trees, allowing you to level however you want as you gain general experience. It doesn't matter how you play, and to me, that's a mistake.
So I wound up making my system with those elements in mind. I wanted players to not only have to care, but want to care about how their character is progressing. In order to do that I knew I needed the stats to play into the game in more ways than one. I wanted both combat and non-combat usages for stats, and I wanted skills to be tied to them as well.
The stats break down into 3 core choices...
Strength : Physical and mental fortitude.
Wits : Quickness of thought and reaction.
Knowledge : Grasp of technical and complex action.
Improved alone you can see each of these are fairly standard achetypes.
A fully strength build is a bold and intimidating fighter, one who's very presence can be sensed in a room, one who can make others feel meek before even showing their capabilities.
A fully wits build is the charismatic and quick thinking rogue, the pirate or swashbuckler who can get themselves into hairy situations and just as easily escape the danger they often find themselves in.
A fully knowledge build is the wise and seasoned veteran who knows best that the environment and their readiness for anything is their greatest tool. They are perceptive and if need be, deceptive.
From there you can mix and match to arrive at all sorts of archetypes.
Do you want a charismatic rogue who manipulates people with a quick mind and hand? Level up Knowledge and Wits.
Do you want an adaptable fighter who deal high damage but retreat when things get hairy? Level up Strength and Wits.
Do you want a support tank who can provide tactical abilities while fending off opponents? Level up Strength and Intelligence.
Once you level up a core stat you then can begin to train in a sub-stat. For instance, threats, a strength based skill, is used to calculate your characters ability to frighten others inside and outside of combat. Initiative, a wits ability, decreases the amount of time in till your next turn. And Item Expertise, a knowledge passive, allows the user of items to apply their own stats on top of the items stats.
In The Warborn you play as an assassin and these changes to stats simply changes what kind of assassin Fay is. Does she rely on brain or brawn more? In time, in future titles, I'd like to develop this further allowing characters entire class to be influenced by how they build their character.
Next week, Part 2 of combat, will cover the combat system and my intentions for it.
Thank you for reading,