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Author Topic: [Eclipse] Gender and Social Class  (Read 15696 times)
Ben O'Neal
Member

Posts: 294


« on: May 07, 2004, 08:14:13 PM »

Before I continue, I want to keep this topic strictly within the bounds of mechanical discussion. "X won't work, or won't correlate with your goal", that sort of thing. Discussion about my goals per se should be directed here.


Ok, so my goals are to include gender and social class as meaningful chargen decisions and ones which can be explored through their implications for your character and play. Neither of these choices should be The Focus of the game, merely two of the many. They should have a continuing effect throughout the character's advancement, but should not be more pervasive than species. For the sort of background I'm working from, you can read this.

I'll deal with gender first, then social class, and the two are independant.


Gender
Through discussions in RPG theory, I have concluded that my current setup does not do enough, and what it does do, it does wrong. So here are my ideas:

Attributes
One point in an attribute will cost 3 GP, and players start with 200 GP (GP = Genesis Points, they are the currency for dhargen and advancement). Attributes cost 3 GP to raise one point, skills cost 1 GP to raise one point.

Both males and females will have a different set of attribute modifiers, such that a modifier of +1 would mean that for every attribute point you bought in that attribute, you would get 1 for free. A modifier of +2 means that every attribute point you buy gives 2 free points to that attribute.

Gender modifiers stack with species modifiers (btw, the numbers in the link I gave above are irrelevant to this point because I will be re-working the numbers). If my gender gives me +1, and my species gives me +2, then when I buy one point in an attribute (costing me 3 GP), I will be increasing that attribute 4 points.

My preliminary breakdown is thus:
Males
Pow   =+2
Con   =+1
Spd   =+1
Agi    =0
Cry   =+1
Flu    =+2
Fla    =+1
Bea   =0
Inf    =+1

Females
Pow   =0
Con   =+1
Spd   =+1
Agi    =+2
Cry   =+2
Flu    =+1
Fla    =+1
Bea   =+1
Inf    =0

What I feel that this setup implies is that it is easier for a female to become more agile than a male, as it is easier for a male to develop greater power. In no way does this prevent either males from developing greater agility, or females from developing greater power.

The assumption of why it is easier to develop certain areas relative to others is not implied to be genetic OR societal, but will be explicitly defined as a combination of both.

I am toying withe the idea of allowing one +2 modifier to be swapped with any +1 modifier, and two +1 modifiers to be swapped with any 0 modifier, and this could conceptually account for "exceptional" or characters or those who "deviate from the norm".


Skills
As mentioned above, skills cost 1 GP to buy 1 point in. All skills are open to all players except a select few which require abilities be taken first.

At the moment, I feel that because attributes affect skills, any gender differences in skills would be redundant or too powerful. However, I may be mistaken, and I am open to suggestions. If I was to add anything, it would probably look something like this:

Females will be able to add their Charm skill to any attempts to haggle with a male shopkeeper or Coerce a male of their own species.

Males will be able to add their power modifer to any use of their Insult skill against other males of any species.


Abilities
Some abilities will cost more depending on gender. This particular aspect is already included, but I will extend it to a few more abilities and some I haven't added yet. In these cases the decision as to which gender pays more is larely in accordance with the sort of stereotypical logic employed in the works of Robert Jordan. For instance male magic users pay less for access to fire and earth realms, whereas female magic users pay less for access to air and water realms, and spirit costs the same for both.


The Rest of the World
Gender will play a role in the character's place within the world, in terms of the organisations, and occupations within them, that are available. Some occupations will be exclusive to males, some to females, and a bunch will be accessible to both. I haven't completed mapping out all the organisations or occupations within them yet as it is a lot of work, so I can't comment any more specific than that. The amount of work is amplified by the need to generate organisations and occupations and progression ladders for not one, but several species. Humans first though.



Social Class
Social class already carries with it significant consequences. However, I will include more to the effect of duplicating nutrition and favourable training, as well as other things, in the form of additional attribute modifiers.

Attributes
Social class modifiers stack with gender and species modifiers. If gender affords +1, and social class affords -1, then your modifier is 0. Your attribute modifier cannot be lower than 0, so even if your species and social class combined give -4 to an attribute which is given +1 by gender, your overall modifier will still be 0.

Upper-Class
Pow   =+1
Con   =+1
Spd   =0
Agi    =0
Cry   =+2
Flu    =+1
Fla    =-3
Bea   =+1
Inf    =+1

Middle-Class
Pow   =0
Con   =+1
Spd   =0
Agi    =0
Cry   =+1
Flu    =+1
Fla    =-1
Bea   =0
Inf    =0

Lower-Class
Pow   =+1
Con   =-1
Spd   =0
Agi    =+1
Cry   =-1
Flu    =0
Fla    =+2
Bea   =0
Inf    =-2


Skills
Social class has no impact on what skills are available to players. Perhaps I should change this, but I really like the idea that "everything is accessible, but somethings are just harder to get". I don't see how I could make skills "harder to get".


Abiltiies
Social class determines how many ability points character's start with. These are really what defines you character's coolness.


Everything Else
Social Class already has a strong impact on your place in society.



Deneument
The attribute modifiers are, I feel, a very strong deal. I see the potential for munchkining, if my understanding of the term as "playing around with options in order to get maximum efficiency with complete disregard for character concept" is correct. I'm not sure if I mind this so much, so long as it doesn't lead to other players becoming disgruntled. I may have to get a friend of mine to create a program which can analyse all possible permutations of gender, social class, and species, to help me figure out if I am getting the right combinations I want from each, and make sure no-one gets any stupid modifiers (like +5 or something higher, which would create insanely powerful characters).

So, questions:
Does this idea strike anyone as mechanically problematic?
Does what I have presented (or hinted at) cohere to the goals I outlined at the beginning of this post?
Is there any way I could better achieve my goals? (suggestions ranging from "change this and that" to "how about this whole new approach" are most welcome).

Thanks,
-Ben
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Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2004, 01:22:47 AM »

Quote from: Ravien

Males
Pow   =+2
Con   =+1
Spd   =+1
Agi    =0
Cry   =+1
Flu    =+2
Fla    =+1
Bea   =0
Inf    =+1

Females
Pow   =0
Con   =+1
Spd   =+1
Agi    =+2
Cry   =+2
Flu    =+1
Fla    =+1
Bea   =+1
Inf    =0


Males are usually bigger than females; so why doesn't your game system include rules for this?

And, according to the ladies in the office I work in, males are more attractive to them than other females. Gay men find other men attractive, and lesbian women find other women attractive. So why isn't this reflected in your game rules?

Instead your game rules indicate in the game world that women are more beautiful than men and men are uglier than women.

You seem to indicate that gender is an important focus for the game, yet you have no rules for gay and lesbian characters, and no rules for transgender characters. If gender is a focus for your game, then surely these kind of characters are important in the game?

Quote from: Ravien

Upper-Class
Pow   =+1
Con   =+1
Spd   =0
Agi    =0
Cry   =+2
Flu    =+1
Fla    =-3
Bea   =+1
Inf    =+1

Middle-Class
Pow   =0
Con   =+1
Spd   =0
Agi    =0
Cry   =+1
Flu    =+1
Fla    =-1
Bea   =0
Inf    =0

Lower-Class
Pow   =+1
Con   =-1
Spd   =0
Agi    =+1
Cry   =-1
Flu    =0
Fla    =+2
Bea   =0
Inf    =-2


Currently, your rules for social class indicate to players that social class is fixed and immovable, indicating that your game world is worse than India with it's caste system. Your game world automatically prevents characters like Conan going from the lowest social class to being a king, the highest social class. Your game also prevents stories like The Prince and The Pauper; The Prince can easily proclaim: "look at my Crystal (Cry) attribute; it's far higher than the Pauper's Cry!" and by the sizable difference it has in the game world, he can be assured that his claims are more believable than the Pauper's claim to be the prince.

Is this your intent? Is it your intent that characters in the game world reflect the average man or woman?

Or is it your intent that players have characters who are: "dashing young nobles", "smarmy swashbuckling rogues", "powerful sorcerers", "lethal and stealthy hunters", "priest who know more than they let on, and always manage to be 2 steps ahead of everyone else", "deadly and feared psionic assassins"? People who definitely aren't average?
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Andrew Martin
Ben O'Neal
Member

Posts: 294


« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2004, 05:05:16 AM »

Quote
Instead your game rules indicate in the game world that women are more beautiful than men and men are uglier than women.

Not from what I see. The rules say that women are more able to be more attractive. It's not so much a matter of "how the other gender sees you" as it is about "how beautiful you yourself can become". The only argument against this is that of "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder", but that is largely debateable, and beyond tha scope of this topic (I'm actually a moderator on another forum so if anyone wants to debate anything at all with me I'll gladly set up a topic and provide a link, just pm me).

The stats and rules in Eclipse are defined specifically in relation to the character, not the society of the character. Power measures objectively how much physical strength you have, not how strong you are relative to other members of your society. In this same way, beauty measures your actual beauty, both external and internal. This is no less plausible than measuring constitution.

Regarding bisexuals/homosexuals/transgenders/whatever, I have thus far only presented preliminary rules for straights. This isn't a matter of non-inclusion, more that I'm not up to there yet because I haven't figured out the norm yet.

Quote
Currently, your rules for social class indicate to players that social class is fixed and immovable, indicating that your game world is worse than India with it's caste system.

You mean, exactly like medieval europe? Seriously though, what part of what I presented implies that social class is impermeable? Part of the advancement rules are specifically dealing with advancement through the social classes, both with upwards mobility and downwards. When you change social class, you take on its modifiers, reflecting your newfound ability to obtain nutrition, access knowledge, and comand respect, or vice versa if you move down.

Quote
...People who definitely aren't average?

Ummm, I can see nothing in my presented mechanics that makes players have average characters. There is every possibility that they can completely defy the average in all ways. Chargen is point-buy, and if you spend points in areas that your gender/social class/species designates as beneficial, then you get free points for doing so (kind of like a father who tells his daughter that for every dollar she saves, he will put a dollar in her account. But nothing stops her from spending it instead). How does this make them average, or limit their options?

Quote
Your game also prevents stories like The Prince and The Pauper; The Prince can easily proclaim: "look at my Crystal (Cry) attribute; it's far higher than the Pauper's Cry!" and by the sizable difference it has in the game world, he can be assured that his claims are more believable than the Pauper's claim to be the prince.

Crystal is memory and learning. Do you find it unreasonable that children of wealthy nobles possess greater education and thus have more learning capacity than children of peasants? Do you find it unreasonable that members of the lower-class have less Influence because they have never had access to the years of being taught how to command other people?

I understand that PC's may be outside of the average, and nothing I can see stops that, at all. But certainly it is reasonable to say that a peasant will find it harder to achieve the same aura of authority than a noble.

In my view, by defining what is and what isn't easy to accomplish, I provide a benchmark by which people can more easily create truly extraordinary characters. A noble male who is a terrific swordsman is nothing. A peasant girl who is his equal is extraordinary. A noble who has the influence to command armies is respectable, a peasant who rises to challenge him is heroic.

I'm saying: "Here is your world, now prove yourself."

At least, that's how I can see it. But at the very least, I can't see anything which in any way limits characters or forces them to be average.

-Ben
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Walt Freitag
Member

Posts: 1039


« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2004, 08:21:03 AM »

You've got a big loophole here.

Players will reap great effectiveness rewards by choosing combinations of gender, social class, and species in which the modifiers align. The advantage comes because the positive modifers stack up, while the negative modifiers are pegged at zero. Players will have to choose between one of these optimum combinations, or a big effectivness penalty. For each species, there will be a clearly advantageous gender and social class. (It's "gnome illusionists" and "halfling thieves" all over again, except with gender and social class instead of character class.)

- Walt
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Ben O'Neal
Member

Posts: 294


« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2004, 06:06:07 PM »

Quote
Players will reap great effectiveness rewards by choosing combinations of gender, social class, and species in which the modifiers align. The advantage comes because the positive modifers stack up, while the negative modifiers are pegged at zero. Players will have to choose between one of these optimum combinations, or a big effectivness penalty. For each species, there will be a clearly advantageous gender and social class. (It's "gnome illusionists" and "halfling thieves" all over again, except with gender and social class instead of character class.)

So?

I have no problem with certain combinations being more conducive towards certain outcomes. In fact, I think such a thing takes great strides towards emphasising the differences between species, social classes and genders. In the world of Eclipse, it is not the case that two different species will have an equal proportion of psionics/sorcerers/warriors/whatever. The sargni have incredibly few magic users of any kind, but it's not impossible. The keresin have very few warriors, but they too aren't impossible. And within the keresin, if one were to find a warrior, they would most likely belong to the upper-class. Also, neither the keresin nor the sargni use gender modifiers, as both genders within those species are practically identical except for superficial things (like eye colour or whatever).

My only problem would be certain combinations being the only way to achieve an outcome, which is not the case.

The focus of these mechanics, I feel, is not averages. It is the norms and factors that produce averages. It is easier to follow norms than to break away from them, and even once broken away, it is a difficult path to follow. But guess what? It is also rewarding, because you get to stand out from the crowd, and acheive your goals. It's a long and hard road for a man to become as agile as a female might achieve, but when he gets there, it is all the more rewarding for the challenge required, even though his score might be the same.


Do you suggest that social class, species, and gender should have no effect whatsoever on character effectiveness? Don't all games rely on some sort of effectiveness differential for different choices? Isn't that part of what makes a game fun?

-Ben
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Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2004, 06:40:48 PM »

I believe the point that Walt was trying to make is that relying solely on personal feelings of accomplishment to motivate players to take a non ideal combination is going to result in a fairly limited variety of characters that see actual play.  

Is it possible in AD&D to arm your elf with a mace or an axe?  Sure.  But what proportion of AD&D players in all of history have done so as compared to the overwhelming proportion who will arm them with an bow and long sword.

If that's what you're looking for, then great.  But Walt was pointing out that if you make certain combinations innately more effective than other combinations that very very few players will ever select the less effective combinations.  Depending on how extreme the relative effectiveness is, this may get to the point where even having the other combinations as an option is pointless, and you could focus your game solely on those effective combinations.
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btrc
Member

Posts: 310


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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2004, 03:58:04 AM »

I agree with Valamir and similar posters on the tendency of the modifiers to result in min-maxing characters. One thing I haven't seen mentioned is "ceilings" on levels. That is a woman with training can be stronger than -many- men, but odds are very high that the absolute strongest man is stronger than the absolute strongest woman.

It -might- also be that in terms of beauty that the most attractive woman might be more so than the most handsome man. That is, if you take "ultimate woman" and "ultimate man", both women and men might rate the female character as more "attractive".

Ceilings may crimp some roleplayers style (whadda ya mean I can't get any better?), but an upper limit on some physical characteristics based on gender is realistic. It might also apply to some social/status characteristics as well.

Greg Porter
BTRC
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2004, 05:29:17 AM »

The stacking of modifiers might be useful if the optimum sets become the default character classes.  The non-optimum sets can then be used for NPC's, giving them slightly mook-like properties.

Quote
Skills
Social class has no impact on what skills are available to players. Perhaps I should change this, but I really like the idea that "everything is accessible, but somethings are just harder to get". I don't see how I could make skills "harder to get".


I think there is a huge difference in skills training imposed by social class in most pre-modern societies.  Without a public schooling system or similar, there is little base-line learning that everyone can expect to develop, and conversely most learning is specific and local.  Social class will determine which specifics are found in your environment and what your locality is; these will significantly influence skill availablity.
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John Kim
Member

Posts: 1805


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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2004, 09:38:10 AM »

This is carried over from the http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=11095">Mechanical Gender Differences thread on RPG Theory, and in particular was in response to an excellent post by http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?p=118551&highlight=#118551">Russell.  

I agree with Russell's post, and I'll add in a bit more specific application: i.e. making something more expensive point-wise does not linearly result in rarity. If you have players who are very concerned with cost-vs-effectiveness, then even a minor increase in cost past the c-vs-e ratio of other options will mean they never take it. Conversely, if you have players who are more experimental or exploratory, they may take options regardless of the cost. In a real game there is no guarantee this will balance out.

I have frequently seen this in action. In some games, the players will all go for the unusual options even with penalties, resulting in a PC group which is a collection of freaks. Conversely, making the unusual cheap doesn't mean that players will take it.

Quote from: Ravien
  Do you suggest that social class, species, and gender should have no effect whatsoever on character effectiveness? Don't all games rely on some sort of effectiveness differential for different choices? Isn't that part of what makes a game fun?  

Well, no, not necessarily.  I've played in plenty of games like GURPS, HERO, and others which have no classes or other groupings for characters.  Similarly, I had no mechanical differentiation in stats or skills between genders, cultures, or social classes in my Vinland game.  Instead, players just took the stats they felt were appropriate for the character as they played them.  It worked fine.  No one made overly burly/muscular women or literate skraelings.  

Increasing costs doesn't disallow things.  So, for example, in your system I can make an burly female noble warrior -- but she will be more one-sided and less effective overall than other PCs (i.e. her defining trait will be Power, because I don't have the points to buy up other attributes).  Do you want this character in your game?
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- John
Ben O'Neal
Member

Posts: 294


« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2004, 06:56:49 PM »

Quote
Is it possible in AD&D to arm your elf with a mace or an axe? Sure. But what proportion of AD&D players in all of history have done so as compared to the overwhelming proportion who will arm them with an bow and long sword.

Is it possible for a girl to pick up a gun and become a serial killer? Sure! But what proportion of girls in the history of the world have done so? Is it possible for a guy to crosstitch a unicorn riding a rainbow? Sure, but what proportion of guys in the history of the world have done so?

These things are reflective of choice, not capability. Choice is what I want to preserve above all things.

If a certain combination is better than others in a particular area, then great! I love the choice between "Jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none" thing. I like the option that it presents. Sure, many people may just choose to be a master in one area. Great! But some are gonna want to be a jack-of-all-trades, and that's great too.

Quote
I believe the point that Walt was trying to make is that relying solely on personal feelings of accomplishment to motivate players to take a non ideal combination is going to result in a fairly limited variety of characters that see actual play.

In my experience, these are the only type of players I've seen. When given the choice between more effective or cooler, my players have always chosen cooler, and had a blast playing with it. Actually, thinking back I can recall one player who was trying to find the most effective option, but when she saw how the other players were having fun talking about how cool their character was going to be she quickly joined in.


Greg, I have considered the option of cielings, and you do raise some good points. I'll have to have a bit of a think about it. Maybe I might wait till play-test to see what emerges. Thanks


Gareth, indeed, classes may well logically arrise from optimum sets, except that your stats say nothing about what your character does (well, practically nothing specific). Your "class" would be given by your occupation and rank in different organisations. One psionic character could be a spy, assassin, advisor, judge, detective etc. Hell, that same character could be a bartender if they wanted. So "class" doesn't really exist.

But your point about skills was exactly what I was thinking. Here's a thought, what if instead of 1 GP=1 skill point, the default was 2 GP=1 skill point, and certain skills would become "social class skills", where, say, Swordplay was an upper-class skill, and, say, Sniper was a lower-class skill, reflecting the relative experience that such classes would have with the respective weapons. I think I may do this, at it would add another dynamic to the choice of social class.

Also, no-one picked me up on this (shame!) but now that I think about it, the upper-class should not have pow = +2, because the amount of actual physical labour they do is miniscule compared to that of a lower-class person. Instead, their enhanced nutrition would only increase constitution. So I'll be changing that, making lower-class characters have more power and less constitution, whilst the upper-class have less power and more constitution.

Quote
Increasing costs doesn't disallow things. So, for example, in your system I can make an burly female noble warrior -- but she will be more one-sided and less effective overall than other PCs (i.e. her defining trait will be Power, because I don't have the points to buy up other attributes). Do you want this character in your game?

Well, with the above change it would make more sense for her to be a peasant. But yeah, I do want to see this sort of thing pop up. The exceptions are what makes things interesting. And her "one-sidedness" would simply be her being a "master of one trade". I think she would be a great character to explore. I mean, think about it. With the few facts that arise from her chargen choices, the simple description "strong female peasant warrior" conjures up images of why she is exceptional, how she is different, possible reasons why she is different, and even what her goals may be in play. And it says all of this because of the mechanics underneath. This is what I mean by making gender meaningful.

Quote
I have frequently seen this in action. In some games, the players will all go for the unusual options even with penalties, resulting in a PC group which is a collection of freaks. Conversely, making the unusual cheap doesn't mean that players will take it.

Cool, sounds fun.

But for the record, these mechanics are not meant to result in rarity. They are meant to make gender meaningful. I would be perfectly happy if every character challenged the norms, because now they are meaningful for having done so. They are more integrated into the game world for having decided to set themselves apart from it.

Also, for the record, right from the get go I wanted players to bring their own balance to the game. A sorcerer can kill a man in one action without the man having any chance of defending himself, but to do so may result in the sorcerer being knocked unconscious and thus being at the mercy of anyone else around. So the balance is in the player's hands. I saw a perfect example of this when I ran a session for my 3 sisters and brother. He had managed to cut off one of their heads, and had injured the other. It was clear that he would kill her in his next blow, so she mustered all her psionic power and tore his body apart in a shower of red mist, rendering her unconscious for the next few hours, during which time she was kidnapped by the last player left alive (don't ask why they turned on each other, it's a long but funny story).

So in short, I don't care about imposing balance on player choices, so much as I care about making choices enticing and interesting. Players make their own balance.

-Ben
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2004, 11:16:13 AM »

Quote
But for the record, these mechanics are not meant to result in rarity. They are meant to make gender meaningful. I would be perfectly happy if every character challenged the norms, because now they are meaningful for having done so. They are more integrated into the game world for having decided to set themselves apart from it.


Does this extend into play? I'm wondering how advancement works - can a character get more beautiful in play? If so, then I think that you'll have made gender meaningful in a simulative sense in play. If not, then all you've done is to make it a meaningful choice in chargen. Once in play, two character with the same strength have the same strength no matter what it cost them to get it. The only effect that might be felt is in what they "didn't take" in order to pay the larger cost - a pretty nebulous and hard to notice thing.

If, OTOH, the player had to pay for their unusual natures with something concrete that was likely to come into play, then the effect of gender would be more felt.

Mike
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Ben O'Neal
Member

Posts: 294


« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2004, 07:18:52 PM »

Hey Mike. Yes, these rules were specifically designed to work for advancement and chargen. For example, on your character sheet you would have "Attribute[Gender+SocialClass+Species mod] : Actual Score [score modifier]", so that a human male peasant might have "Power[+4] : 22 [+11]". So during the game, as he advanced, everytime he spent one point on power, he would get 4 for free (5 in total). All attributes can be increased during play.

Quote
If, OTOH, the player had to pay for their unusual natures with something concrete that was likely to come into play, then the effect of gender would be more felt.

Hmmm, I'm not sure what you mean by "concrete...likely to come into play", but it sounds intriguing. Would you care to elaborate? I'm a sucker for anything that adds another fun tactical layer to play!

As to advancement and how it works, it's gonna need playtesting (I think that it will need to be sparse to maintain the challenge and longevity of the game). But it's rather subjective and involving. When a player's character does something "very risky/heroic/exceptional/extremely benevolent or extrememly malevolent", then they (or someone else in the group) can call for a vote. A vote must be decided unanimously in two "rounds" of reasoning. The vote is about how risky/heroic/whetever the action(s) was, and how much of a reward it deserves. The reward will be in points to attributes, and sometimes reputation points. That's the short short version. Without levels or distributing rewards based on useage (which both have problems for play), it's really hard to quantify advancement, but I'm certainly still open to any suggestions.

The only other idea I've had (which sounds really fun to play but takes away the "human" focus of advancement and merely begins to reward exploration or following what the GM wants) is to invent a type of gem/stone/artifact which are coveted throughout the world for two reasons: 1. they can be "absorbed" to increase a persons power; and 2. they can be used to control other people's minds (one use, probably for a limited amount of time). In this way, this gem/stone/artifact resource would become the focus of play (hence doing what the GM wants on order to find these things) and would require a sacrifice between either advancement or powerful in-game use. I think it's a cool idea, but I'm not sure it's exactly what I want for Eclipse. ie: I don't want Eclipse to become "Tomb Raider".

-Ben
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2004, 01:56:06 AM »

Quote from: Ravien

One psionic character could be a spy, assassin, advisor, judge, detective etc. Hell, that same character could be a bartender if they wanted. So "class" doesn't really exist.


What I'm suggesting is that the optima produce a sort of class de facto.  I understand that your system is not prescriptive that way, but if the optimum choices are easy to spot then you might as well assume that they will be used.

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Also, no-one picked me up on this (shame!) but now that I think about it, the upper-class should not have pow = +2, because the amount of actual physical labour they do is miniscule compared to that of a lower-class person. Instead, their enhanced nutrition would only increase constitution. So I'll be changing that, making lower-class characters have more power and less constitution, whilst the upper-class have less power and more constitution.


I'd be wary of that - some ruling classes have had physical power and prowess as part of their defining characteristics.  Think of all the states that have had military requirements for citizenship, ort a ruling class defined by its combat abilities - knights, equites, samurai etc.  All of these might legitimately get a power boost.  OTOH, cosical class like this merges with profession to some extent, as one usuallyt limits the options of the other.
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Maarzan
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2004, 10:35:26 AM »

I have looke dshortly at the pdf I have seen some deviations from what was shown here.So I will keep my comments to the post here.

From what I have seen I suppose the intend was to create a believeable world for exploration with a special ephasis on society.
Unfortunately some points seem to run awry to this intend.
Please correct if my take on the intend was false.

Attributes.
Having seen different tables I wonīt comment details. While I like seeing a ganetic base and the abilty to improve based on your aptitude looks good.
But I wouldnīt include the attribute gender base modificator into mental attributes limits because the difference seems to be in the distribution but not in the limits.

Size is really lacking, even if it wouldnīt be a classical attribute. Size would probably stack, sometimes positively sometimes negatively with other attributes that would have probably to be readjusted.
For example women have in reality a higher CON regarding most subpoints but they lack size when it comes to damage and toxic resistance. Size is also awkward if you want to use stealth or rapid direction changes (acrobatics) and is probably leading to your perception on higher female AGI (Ever thought of dividing hand manipulation and body manipulation)

Personally I would think a diminishing return would be nice when investing in higher attributes.

Beauty is an attribute I canīt see the way you see it. In my eye beauty is strictly a question of culture. This is also shown by the changing ideals over time and culture.

Social class
The social classes look a little bit broad stroked. I would imagine a much broader influence of culture on it, especially with different races.
That the social class should have no influence on skills isnīt understandable too. Social class in a formalize society like most ages on humanity was primary about rights and access to ressources. And this includes the right ojn certain jobs and the funds to do the training.

Another question would be the continuing effect of class after character creation. If someone was trained from youth for a class fitting job this will have an impact on the way he thginks and works. Most probably much more than a change of class that was triggered by an unrelated event.
But why should the noble poet get a bonus to leadership later when he never used the option to train in his youth and probably never left his noble household. (as indicated by his GP split)

Jobs/classes
I miss this construct when everything else gets formalized. This would solve for example the problem whether the upper class has a power bonus. The noble knight probably has one and the noble academicaly trained minster probably not. But the serve bound man-at-arms probably has this bonus when his master had the wisdom to feed and train him for best effort.

Skills
A fancy idea of mine is that skills and skill use should indicate changes of attributes. Have you thought about buying skills only and dedicating these points then to the attributes connected?

So much this time.
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Ben O'Neal
Member

Posts: 294


« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2004, 08:23:34 PM »

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I'd be wary of that - some ruling classes have had physical power and prowess as part of their defining characteristics. Think of all the states that have had military requirements for citizenship, ort a ruling class defined by its combat abilities - knights, equites, samurai etc. All of these might legitimately get a power boost. OTOH, cosical class like this merges with profession to some extent, as one usuallyt limits the options of the other.

Yeah. I've tried really hard but short of giving every single possible profession in every single possible combination of species/gender/social class it's own set of everything, I can't think of a neat way of taking everything like that into account. And don't get me started on how hard it would be to take into consideration people changing professions and social class over the course of their life. Like so many people have been so willing to profer: I need to draw the line somewhere between game and reality. I draw it here, right between "Not Quite Enough" and "Far Too Much".

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I have looke dshortly at the pdf I have seen some deviations from what was shown here.So I will keep my comments to the post here.

Yeah, this post represents the most recent ideas, and totally overrides the pdf.

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But I wouldnīt include the attribute gender base modificator into mental attributes limits because the difference seems to be in the distribution but not in the limits.

Already done. There are no limits (well, none based on gender). The mechanics only represent distribution -or likelihood/potential- of attributes. All character's have a limit of 100 for all attributes.

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Size is really lacking, even if it wouldnīt be a classical attribute. Size would probably stack, sometimes positively sometimes negatively with other attributes that would have probably to be readjusted.
For example women have in reality a higher CON regarding most subpoints but they lack size when it comes to damage and toxic resistance. Size is also awkward if you want to use stealth or rapid direction changes (acrobatics) and is probably leading to your perception on higher female AGI (Ever thought of dividing hand manipulation and body manipulation)

Actually, size does exist, but on a large scale. The ~1' difference between males and females is nothing compared to the difference between one size category and the next. "Small" is half the size of "Medium", which is half the size of "Large" and so on. These sizes carry with them differences in Toughness and Damage Reduction/Amplification.

Regarding hand manipulation and body manipulation, there is no point in Eclipse.

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Personally I would think a diminishing return would be nice when investing in higher attributes.

Already done. Have a look at the table in the "Attributes" chapter. The left column is your attribute, the right is your modifier. The modifier is what is used in-game, thus diminishing returns.

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Beauty is an attribute I canīt see the way you see it. In my eye beauty is strictly a question of culture. This is also shown by the changing ideals over time and culture.

Actually beauty is very much innate, and I'm sure that should you look, the only way beauty standards have changed over time is according to social class, where it's been shown that more "plump" females are more likely to produce male offspring, and thus become more desirable for upper-class men in societies where females marry upwards. If you're interested in this just PM me and I'll send you a few papers you can look into.

Beauty also measures internal beauty, such as how nice you are to other people and how friendly you are. This is why it can be raised (it doesn't make much sense to grow incredibly physically beautiful over time).

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The social classes look a little bit broad stroked. I would imagine a much broader influence of culture on it, especially with different races.
That the social class should have no influence on skills isnīt understandable too. Social class in a formalize society like most ages on humanity was primary about rights and access to ressources. And this includes the right ojn certain jobs and the funds to do the training.

They are broad necessarily (see the top of this post). Skills are in the pipeline (see one of my earlier posts). Certain professions will be only open to certain social classes.

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Another question would be the continuing effect of class after character creation. If someone was trained from youth for a class fitting job this will have an impact on the way he thginks and works. Most probably much more than a change of class that was triggered by an unrelated event.

I'm not sure what you are saying here. If you are implying that a change in social class should not carry with it a change in the person, then you are right, it doesn't. It carries with it a change in how that person can now improve themselves. They don't lose points, they just find them harder/easier to come across now that their class has changed.

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But why should the noble poet get a bonus to leadership later when he never used the option to train in his youth and probably never left his noble household. (as indicated by his GP split)

Because he is a noble. Other nobles will treat him like a noble (if a bit of a pompous/stupid one), and the lower-classes will treat him as a noble. Just the mere fact of his station is enough to carry weight in Eclipse's society.

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I miss this construct when everything else gets formalized. This would solve for example the problem whether the upper class has a power bonus. The noble knight probably has one and the noble academicaly trained minster probably not. But the serve bound man-at-arms probably has this bonus when his master had the wisdom to feed and train him for best effort.

Again, without specifying different complete sets of everything for every profession, this becomes hard to model. But professions do have minimum requirements, so it becomes a non-issue.

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A fancy idea of mine is that skills and skill use should indicate changes of attributes. Have you thought about buying skills only and dedicating these points then to the attributes connected?

No I haven't considered this. An nteresting idea though. But I couldn't possibly hope to introduce it without gutting a huge chunk of my game and re-working everything again.

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So much this time.

Thanks for your input! Appreciated.

-Ben
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