Main Roleplay - Working Out A Trait System



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Whose proposed systems is the most appropriate?

  • Omni's Six-Trait Numerical

    Votes: 5 55.6%
  • Argentus' Four-Trait Descriptive

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • LoC's Power Scale

    Votes: 3 33.3%

  • Total voters
    9
  • Poll closed .

Orion

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Discussion of Kingdom Hearts: Eclipse as a re-imagined main roleplay led onto the topic of alternative mechanical systems to what we currently use: keeping specifically-enumerated stats out of any given action in the story.
We all know such freedom for writing also has its ambiguities and liberties that lead to unrealistic situations, so the discussion turned to systems we might implement to eliminate these issues while more clearly delineating what individual characters are truly capable of.

This thread is for the continued discussion of this topic, so that the main thread might be returned to other avenues of discourse. So far, we have three main candidates proposed by different users. Users are free to propose new systems, or improvements to existing ones. A poll will be added once the final candidates are definitively settled upon, which they almost are already.

Spoiler Spoiler Show
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[spoiler="Lord of Chaos - power classification]
1: Normal State. Your an average Joe, who can throw a punch, run about half a mile without getting winded, etc. Example: Average Joe

2: Alpha State. You're in great shape, good flexibility, you can run 1-2 miles without getting winded. Example: MMA fighter, Parkourist

3: Beta State. You are at the cusp of having power. Your body is a focus perhaps, for weapons or scrolls. You have knowledge of magic and can use some kind of device to further your abilities. Great shape, etc. Example: Eddie Brock's state for Venom, Level 1 Wizard who uses scrolls or talismans for abilities.

4: Gamma State. You've trained your body and mind to the point that you've developed baseline abilities. You may have one or two powers, or have memorized a couple of spells. Simple abilities that do simple things, however. Example: Jubilee, Psychic (just being able to read minds, FYI)

5: Delta State. Upon acquiring abilities, you have started to develop more potent uses. Your Mind-Reading abilities have now developed into Telekinesis as well. You can control elements at their basic state, such as fire and water. You have a small list of spells memorized. Example: Pyromancer, Scion Initiate

6: Epsilon State.
You can now control substates of elements (water AND ice, for example). If you have something like superhuman strength, you can now lift up to 2 to 4 tons. Example: Katara, Flash (Pre-Speedforce)

7: Theta State. Your powers are strong. Not only can you control things such as fire, but you can create them. You have an entire book of spells memorized, and can create spells of your own if given enough time. It's possible at this State to have some kind of ressurection ability or the like. Example: Uncle Iro (Avatar Movie, could create fire), 15-21 Level Wizard.

8: Nu State. You are essentially a Demi-God. Your old mind-reading ability has now developed into telekinesis, teleportation, mind control, and other things. You can harness raw energy without the use of technology. You can control multiple elements and create them. Example: Storm, Green Lantern, Scion Ardent

9: Sigma State. You are a God, for all intents and purposes. You can not only affect your world and change it, but that of your star system as well. You can control space or time possibly, or instead of having to memorize spells, you create them at will. You control the fate of your people, of those lower than you. Example: Phoenix, Elminster

10: Omega State. Even Gods are afraid of something. You can create and destroy galaxies at the flick of a wrist. There's no need to be "alive" because life and death have no true meaning to you. Odds are you have a connection to one or several of the planes that hold existence together. Your powers are limited only by your imagination and attention span. Example: Death, Order, Chaos. You are an abstraction at this point.[/spoiler]
 
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You gonna add a poll?

Anyway, six-trait numerical. The other too are either too complicated or too vague.
 

Rolands

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I have gripes with all three, but o[FONT=&quot]mni's is the best of the 3, I think.[/FONT] lord of Chaos' syste[FONT=&quot]m is fine for general classifications though.[/FONT]
 

Argenteus

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Obviously I vote for my own. My complaint with the numerical system is that it's both too rigid and too open to optimization. My system, every combination of descriptors is equally powerful. And it's quite simple as well.

With a stat system, if you try to diverge too much with something like a swordmage, you end up sub-optimal.

And the Ranking system seems the worst to me. It doesn't even define skills, it just defines how strong you are. Really, if we were to use that system it should be combined with another, like mine or the numerical.

Back to my point on optimization though, I think that's a major issue. With a stat bases system, there will be certain optimal combinations and not using them will make you much less adept than anyone else. It doesn't allow much trying of new things. But my system has many possible combinations, all of which are equally adept.
 
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Ordeith

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My vote goes to OmniChaos's system. Its meaning is immediately clear, and it squarely addresses the roleplay's needs.

Argentus: I agree that numerical stats don't accommodate "balanced" characters very well, but the chief purpose of this system is to decide the outcome of events when sense or mutual agreement don't make it clear. It doesn't need to account for every facet of a character's power and ability. Your descriptors are good ones, as is the division of values. None of it, however, addresses that problem as effectively as hard numbers.
 

Eva

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I'm going to have to go with Lord of Chaos' system. While the word 'balance' keeps getting thrown around, whenever it comes to a disagreement, too many personal feelings get brought it. This one is pretty much straight forward in my opinion and eliminates discussion so that battles can come to a conclusion and just move on. Too many times it's happened where despite one party clearly being powerful then the other, the weaker party tends to explode with rage and make an ass-pull rather then just accept defeat, and quite honestly it's annoying. With a plain old classification system, we simply look, point, and move on. At the beginning of the roleplay, all accepted characters can be put into the system and evaluated. While this will (of course) cause some discretion, ultimately whoever is in charge of the roleplay will effectively make that decision of who goes where.

Of course, this is just my opinion. :)
 

Orion

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The problem I see with the power scale is that it doesn't take into account mobility, dexterity, agility, power, accuracy and all that together. It doesn't give a meaningful way for a small, quick-striking, dual-knife-wielding thief-archetype to compare against a lumbering juggernaut brandishing a broadsword, and so forth, whereas the other two systems allow for at least some comparisons.
 

OmniChaos

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To add to what Jezza said, LoC power scale also leaves too much vagueness for characters who may be at different ends of the same power level. If we have two characters, one, let's say, with a power level of specifically 6.1 and one with a level of 6.9, the characters would draw, because both characters would be classified as a 6, despite one being far stronger than the other.

To add further, LoC's scale works fine on a large scale where we compare characters with vastly different levels of power, but most of the characters in this roleplay will likely fall into one of three or four categories, which would make the scale pretty irrelevant.
 

Urbane

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Something about the addition of numbers to Roleplaying really rubs me the wrong way, so I'll vote for Lord of Chaos's system. Admittedly, it's not perfect... but, the numerical system is exactly the reason I've always avoided tabletop games, and Argenteus's system just seems a bit barebones.
 

Argenteus

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Honestly, as I think about it I feel like my system and LoC's combined would work very well. We get his, to determine who is generally more powerful on a broad level, and mine to determine general proportions of ability. I of course have my major complaints with a numbers based system, and would like to avoid it, but I suppose numerical could be combined with it too.

But remember:
1. Balanced characters WILL become poorly optimized, and thus useless under a numerical system.
2. A numerical system WOULD eventual grow more dominant, and eventually every facet of your character would need to be expressed.
3. LoC's system, when alone, offers too little flexibility. Omni's offers too much, and opens the system up to optimization which we desperately want to avoid. Mine offers a great deal of freedom but has no potential for optimization.
4. We don't want this to become D&D, do we? I've got nothing against D&D, it can be great fun, but RPing on here is altogether different.
5. We must prevent optimization at all costs. This is my biggest complaint with Omni's system, it allows optimization.
 

Chromatic

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My thoughts:

- If we use numeric stats, then we have to come up with a battle system and determine how person-a's stats compare against person-b's and how that will influence things and have a way to decide on the results of one's moves against the other based on those numbers. As I see it, this could end up proving time consuming (especially on the planning end unless we've already got a combat system in place).

- The four-trait rating falls into roughly the same umbrella. What does each rating (poor, good, excellent(?), etc) mean? What proficiencies would be attached to each rating? I feel that it carries quite a bit of leeway for interpretation as RPers tend to have different opinions on what constitutes such ratings of their abilities and, without a solid ground rule for what each one means, people are likely to interpret each as they see fit.

- I feel that the power scale is more effective than people give it credit for. Admittedly, it doesn't really display a linear progression of power, more so using stages of power. But it really doesn't become too (potentially) muddied until you reach the upper echelons around the 8th, 9th and 10th levels of power. Plus, each level has its description attached to it; examples of what a person of each one would be capable of; it still leaves room for people's creativity, but sets a limitation in which they operate. At the very least, it could use a bit of tweaking; but I feel that it would be the least intrusive to the actual process of battling, which should be what we strive for.

Although if I may speak more personally, I think that, if we're talking about making a main RP for the RP forum, we should really reassess the whole idea of the RP itself. But I'll bring that matter up on the other thread. For now, I'll cast my vote; the power scale is what I feel can be best utilized.
 

Artemis

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I play D&D and also DM for my group and have been doing so for almost two years now. I thoroughly enjoy the way the stats system allows people to customize their characters, though it can get confusing at times. While numerical stats are a great way to establish very definitely what your character can and cannot do (depending on the roll of the dice), it still becomes complicated when it comes to battle. There's never any fluid way to use your stats in battle, it all becomes too technical. Just this number vs this number, and either you hit or miss. It's not the most fun thing to RP, but it would be the most consistently clear to determine outcomes.

I think it comes down to how people want their battles to play out. If this is going to be a combat heavy RP, which I imagine it will somewhat be, will you all want your outcomes in battle to be definite, or even predetermined? This streamlines the combat, no frou frou business to take care of, just clear results. Or do you want fluid combat, based on another system, that will require you to be more creative though it is not very concise and relies on RPers to decide the fate of the outcome as opposed to a number vs number outcome? This could easily get out of hand, with battles lasting forever or clearly weaker characters still continuing to fight just because they don't want to lose.

So I know this isn't D&D, but I thought I would share my experiences and how it could possibly relate. That being said, I prefer the more creative approaches to combat, but knowing that no one really likes seeing their characters lose, or battles drag on forever, a numerical system would provide a lot of order to the battle chaos.
 

Dari

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We can't just put two people in a ring with nothing but their fists, wits about them, and your basic melee weapons and let them fight each other using their wits, with nothing even remotely extravagant about being a gladiator and let a Judge make the call when the combatants can't?

1. stats can be superficial, higher > lower respectively. Controversial from those just beneath it, either way fairly problematic when you want to compare 9 points to 10.

2. -see above-

3. This should be taken into consideration with a panel of judges, but its most arguementive because of the vagueness of how mortals, greater mortals, gods, and greater gods are classified. Between better judgement, i guess this system effectively died with Morpho, Keagan, Lance, Josh, Mits & Co.

I propose a panel of judges. 20 people max. There should be requirements, such as victories and experience to be gained to increase abilities and proficiencies in combat. Fighting another roleplayer mid-roleplay should count at least 4-times the standard gain amount considering an NPC pending on how presented (often they are hardly threatening).

These conditions are realistic to actual life patterns. Successfully completing a grade to advance to the next stage of your education can parallel to advancing in overall stamina, dexterity, and intelligence. Several other factors, would be exposure to new information to rightly boost intelligence. Completing tasks for people to gain trust, earns Charisma. Fighting battles, and prevailing gains strength and resilience. Figuring out and solving puzzles, is the likely parallel to strategic prowess and ability to think on your feet rapidly.
 
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Argenteus

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Rather than fight for my stats system - it seems I have lost entirely - I think it's better for me to contribute to your system, Omni. While I'd LIKE to see my system used, it seems the people would prefer we work out the kinks with yours.

So the first priority, in my opinion, is thus: How do we eliminate powerbuilds? As is, balance is a problem. A player putting points into only one or only a few areas is far better off than one seeking the middle way. Here's how I would propose to fix this:

Numerical stats ARE used, but instead of freely assigning your numbers, players allocate certain preset values across their stats, with how high they are being dependent on rank (Perhaps as judged by Chaos' system).

Suppose a 'Level 1' player gets the following points to assign to your 6-trait system:

Spoiler Spoiler Show


They could assign these fixed values to any they like. An example set would be:

Spoiler Spoiler Show

This would be the cranky old war-wizard.

These stats would increase at an even rate, and go up as the player solves challenges -- either combat or non-combat. Thus this improvement to your system would prevent exploitation. Story events or RP-Manager discretion could cause an increase of all stats or a specific stat, but specific stats should be done sparingly.

What do you think of this modification of Omni's system? It's still the same basic numerical system, but with added restrictions to prevent powergaming.
 

OmniChaos

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I was actually thinking of suggesting a "class system" to limit growth abuse, so I've no quarl with the idea.
 
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I think you've got the idea of balance a bit wrong. Let's say I have 40 points to work with...

- Strength 10
- Magic 10
- Defense 10
- Agility 10
- Intelligence 0
- Charisma 0

And let's say for some unholy reason I allocate the points like so. Sure, it may seem like the character is as overpowered as a nuclear bomb tipped with Superman on the end. However, someone that dumb could likely be taken care of by simply saying "Hey look out, there's a cart full of naked woman headed towards you!" And then stabbing him in the back once his dumbass turns around.
 

Argenteus

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True, but that means that if your allocation was:

Strength: 0
Magic: 30
Defense: 0
Agility: 5
Intelligence: 5
Charisma: 0

Then who cares about the stats you left behind? Sure, a boar is better at diplomacy and your not the MOST intelligent, but you have enough brains your not easily tricked, enough agility you can dodge if you get in serious trouble, and enough magical power to obliterate anything that comes near you.

At any rate, even if you don't go THAT far, it offers too much freedom for way OP characters. People will get crazy with optimization and it will become like D&D. If no players in you D&D group and big optimizers then it's not a problem, but if even ONE is, the rest either have to optimize themselves - and if you don't, your screwed - or be left behind. Sure, the host could kick the optimizer out, but is it really fair to punish someone for using the system to it's fullest? Better to control the system to PREVENT such abuses. My modification of Omni's system will do just that.
 
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A character with that build would get taken out in one shot, pretty much a glass cannon. Even with perfect agility it would be impossible to avoid every attack, let alone with average agility.

And you compare the system to D&D, but it's being used for a Kingdom Hearts RP. It'll be fairly easy to dictate just how far people can go with their templates.

Let's just see how the system works out first, before thinking of retooling it already...
 
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