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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 30 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: character skill vs player skill  (Read 974 times)
dugfromthearth
Member

Posts: 65


« on: July 20, 2010, 10:06:26 PM »

In a FPS it is all about player skill.  In an rpg it is usually all about character skill.

Meaning a lvl 10 fighter should beat a lvl 9 fighter.  That's what lvl 10 vs lvl 9 means.
If a player knowing the system better or being more clever is what determines the outcome, then the character becomes less important.  It is less roleplaying and more a mechanics system the player is working through.

But I find that few rpg's are really roleplaying games.  For a true roleplaying game you don't necessarily need any rules or combat.  You just hang out and chat with your character's friends.  Roleplaying games tend to be what I call "silver age" roleplaying.  The character's have names, costumes, different styles - but they go out and fight their foes in a fairly ruthless and logical manner.

If a game session is going to consist of 2 hours of roleplaying/investigation and 2 hours of combat - I had better having something to do with my brain during those 2 hours of combat.  The 1st edition D&D fighter just attacking each round got old after the 2nd round.  In HERO I love making characters, but they still tend to use the same power each turn.  They are exciting shiny baubles that are not that fun to actually play.

The game that to me has the most fun choices for play is City of Heroes.  I love to play a controller - I have a list of powers to choose from.  Damage my foe, heal my ally, freeze one foe temporarily so they cannot attack, make my foes weaker, etc.  I am constantly adjusting what I am doing to match what is going on.  I don't just repeat the same action because it is the best thing I can do.

So what I am really looking for is combat with options and a flow.  I want to think each round what should I be doing.  I want to do it in character - I don't want every character to trip their foe, every character to shoot a gun, etc.  So far I have not found it in a game.  Even working on game design I haven't come up with it.
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Callan S.
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Posts: 4268


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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2010, 02:30:05 AM »

The game that to me has the most fun choices for play is City of Heroes.  I love to play a controller - I have a list of powers to choose from.  Damage my foe, heal my ally, freeze one foe temporarily so they cannot attack, make my foes weaker, etc.  I am constantly adjusting what I am doing to match what is going on.  I don't just repeat the same action because it is the best thing I can do.
It's worth considering that if you had written the combat rules for city of heroes, and in particular written the controller rules, you might not find it nearly as interesting as you do now. There's a certain mysterious stranger element that, of course, you cannot replicate in your own design (though there may be get arounds).

When it comes to designing yourself, the artifice and mechanics are stark and obvious and may make you think you've failed to make what you've wanted because of that obviousness. When someone else does it, the mechanics and artifice are still there, but it's so terribly easy to look past them because it's all hidden by the unknown elements. Even though what you might make might be by and large mechanically identical to what they made.
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dugfromthearth
Member

Posts: 65


« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2010, 12:38:52 PM »

good point.

I am a casual player of the game.  It is quite possible that expert players have it down to a science - like an expert blackjack player mechanically choosing to hit or stay based on the cards.
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davidvs
Member

Posts: 13


« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2010, 08:54:41 PM »

So what I am really looking for is combat with options and a flow.  I want to think each round what should I be doing.  I want to do it in character - I don't want every character to trip their foe, every character to shoot a gun, etc.  So far I have not found it in a game.  Even working on game design I haven't come up with it.

I'm still working on the setting for my RPG, so I have yet to write about it at The Forge.  But it does what you want, and the rules are done, so I'll link to it in case it can be of help.
http://www.davidvs.net/games/dvreem.shtml
(Please no replies or helpful comments about the game until it merits its own thread.)
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