Author Topic: Races and roles  (Read 14670 times)

Endorya

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2013, 12:10:47 PM »
You can have other things depend on race & class too, like game beginning and ending, allies (based on the race).
I'm going to replace races by factions. Nonetheless, the faction your character belongs to will define who is your ally and foe.
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miki151

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2013, 01:39:45 PM »
I had the idea of a 'prisoner' role, where you've just escaped from your cell somewhere deep in the dungeon with just a knife and have to work your way up (quite likely there is RL game based on this theme already).

Or an escaped convict, having everyone against you and having to hide and survive in the wilderness
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 01:44:05 PM by miki151 »
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Anvilfolk

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2013, 06:43:31 PM »
Races do give a lot of the fantasy feel to a game - although I am personally more partial to a more nearly realistic or historical theme, which the system you are describing represents better. Still I find it harder to believe that "everyone from Kingdom X is better at archery from birth"... which is kind of what you are saying when certain skills level up faster for people from Kingdom X. Races give a slightly more realistic feel.

Though honestly it makes little to no difference ;)
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joeclark77

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2013, 07:45:13 PM »
In the original Dungeons and Dragons (at least I think it was original, I played it in the 1980s), the classes if I recall correctly were "fighter", "mage", "thief", and "dwarf", "elf", and "halfling".  It wasn't possible to make endless combinations of race and class.  Doing it that way rules out silly combinations like Dwarf wizards and Elf barbarians.  You might find that something similar works fine for your game.

requerent

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2013, 08:51:08 PM »
Races do give a lot of the fantasy feel to a game - although I am personally more partial to a more nearly realistic or historical theme, which the system you are describing represents better. Still I find it harder to believe that "everyone from Kingdom X is better at archery from birth"... which is kind of what you are saying when certain skills level up faster for people from Kingdom X. Races give a slightly more realistic feel.

Though honestly it makes little to no difference ;)

Historically, that isn't untrue though. There are many bow cultures who both genetically select for natural talent and require its usage as an adolescent (and typically as an adult as well).

Anvilfolk

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2013, 10:34:09 PM »
Point taken :)

I guess another example is european swordfighting and japanese swordfighting, two styles of melee combat. It's still unclear to me whether this involves genetics or not though - are Japanese or Europeans more physically adapted to their style of swordfighting? Can we claim that a couple of dozens of generations of natural selection through warfare are enough to ensure an entire population becomes better at that type of fighting?

If not, then it simply comes down to culture and preference. In that case there's no reason to have inherent aptitudes or ineptitudes. You would simply use what is available, and therefore become proficient at that. Which leads us back to the notion that everyone starts the same, and you simply level things that you use, without regard to innate abilities.

Anyway, from a gameplay perspective I feel it makes sense to have some choice determining aptitudes towards certain skills. Conceptually, I feel race explains this better than a faction or a "class", which just an arbitrary restriction. Ultimately, what matters it the gameplay though, so the explanation is sort of moot :)
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requerent

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2013, 11:03:34 PM »
Point taken :)

I guess another example is european swordfighting and japanese swordfighting, two styles of melee combat. It's still unclear to me whether this involves genetics or not though - are Japanese or Europeans more physically adapted to their style of swordfighting? Can we claim that a couple of dozens of generations of natural selection through warfare are enough to ensure an entire population becomes better at that type of fighting?

If not, then it simply comes down to culture and preference. In that case there's no reason to have inherent aptitudes or ineptitudes. You would simply use what is available, and therefore become proficient at that. Which leads us back to the notion that everyone starts the same, and you simply level things that you use, without regard to innate abilities.

Disagreed for two reasons.

1. Just being in the presence of said culture increases your aptitude. You might've witnessed pugilist matches or lived next to a budokan temple as a child. Being the product of a culture necessarily exposes you to the concepts and intricacies valued in that society. Even the games you play as a child are preparing you for activities that that particular culture values (that's why games exist).

2. It's incredibly boring for a player to play through the entire existence of a single character. The culture they grow up in defines they're early experience and exposure to different things- this necessarily increases their aptitude. Genetics may play a larger role for survival elements (samoans are especially adapted to periods of famine and plenty, arabs for resistance to drought, africans to resist sunlight, and europeans for wearing clothing and high latitudes), but that's just a matter of categorization.

Say we divvy it up into intrinsic bonuses, aptitudes, and actual skills and experience.

Race defines our intrinsics.
Culture defines our aptitudes.
Lineage defines our skills.

With each crossing over into the other by varying orders of magnitude.


Quote
Anyway, from a gameplay perspective I feel it makes sense to have some choice determining aptitudes towards certain skills. Conceptually, I feel race explains this better than a faction or a "class", which just an arbitrary restriction. Ultimately, what matters it the gameplay though, so the explanation is sort of moot :)

It isn't moot if it plays an important part of the narrative.

Vanguard

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2013, 03:05:40 AM »
Doing it that way rules out silly combinations like Dwarf wizards and Elf barbarians.

Neither of those combinations are silly at all unless you're approaching them from the incredibly limiting standards of modern mainstream fantasy.

The dwarves from Norse myths were totally into weird magic.  Making amazing, powerful tools out of the sound of a cat's footsteps, and who knows what else.  Elves/elf-analogues (nymphs, faeries, etc) were often considered frightening and dangerous monsters that should be appeased or avoided.  What's strange about an embodiment of nature using an animalistic fighting style?

cyb_rogue

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2013, 10:07:42 AM »
Doing it that way rules out silly combinations like Dwarf wizards and Elf barbarians.

Well, AD&D rules were originally meant for tabletop battles, not roleplaying. Hence they have extreme levels of abstraction in some places (combat, etc) to speed up gameplay.

I wouldn't call dwarf wizards and elf barbarians silly. Dwarf wizards might be more inclined toward earth and maybe fire elemental magics. Warriors of tribal, primitive, nature-dwelling elves might well be considered "barbarians" (but don't call'em that, or they'll make shishkabob out of you).

joeclark77

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2013, 02:04:05 PM »
D+D was a naked ripoff of (or "homage to") Tolkein, with classes and races taken right out of the Lord of the Rings.  In that context, allowing a player to play a dwarf wizard or elf barbarian would indeed be silly.  I did not mean to imply that those combinations would not work in your game, only to suggest that the idea of having races as classes might be a valuable one for simplifying your players' choices and imposing some context to the choice.  If any of your races can play any of your classes, then whatever backstory you create about the races is irrelevant.  The race choice has no context and there's no real reason to have more than one race anyway.

Rickton

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2013, 06:59:20 PM »
I agree that having races just give bonuses to stats or skills is boring, but you can make races give other unique bonuses or penalties as well.
Crawl does this to some extent. As a few examples, they have snakemen who are resistant to poison but move slowly, vampires which feed on blood rather than food, a species of dwarves that can't heal naturally on their own but have high damage resistance, mummies which don't need to eat but can't use potions either, trolls who regenerate wounds quickly, but have to eat constantly or risk starving to death, etc.

The idea of having some enemies be friendly towards you based on your race/faction is interesting too.
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Endorya

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2013, 09:26:35 PM »
I had the idea of a 'prisoner' role, where you've just escaped from your cell somewhere deep in the dungeon with just a knife and have to work your way up (quite likely there is RL game based on this theme already).

Or an escaped convict, having everyone against you and having to hide and survive in the wilderness
Somehow that reminds me of Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim.

There is a bunch of ideas that I'm building on how you, the main character, will start its adventure. That one is included!
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Endorya

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2013, 10:19:50 PM »
Races do give a lot of the fantasy feel to a game - although I am personally more partial to a more nearly realistic or historical theme, which the system you are describing represents better. Still I find it harder to believe that "everyone from Kingdom X is better at archery from birth"... which is kind of what you are saying when certain skills level up faster for people from Kingdom X. Races give a slightly more realistic feel.

Though honestly it makes little to no difference ;)
What I meant was having factions specializing themselves in particular features. Though "anyone" in any faction can be a good archer, a particular faction could have discovered the best bow building technique or the best bow training method, making them particular good at shooting with a bow, on the other way, some other faction founded by a wizard, could have passed a higher magic level throughout its followers which were then passed down to these followers' descendents.

Taking history itself as an example, the Japanese forged the best sword and developed the best swordsmen the world as seen (Samurai). Many other types of soldiers such as the housecarl, mamluk or the english longbowmen, appeared only in a certain realm or region.

The faction the player will born in (which can be randomized or specified), will in fact slightly change its mental and physical attributes for obvious reasons. A faction dedicated to the use of blunt weapons will definitely possess a higher strength, the same way a faction dedicated to dexterity and calculation would possess a superior aptitude to breed better bowmen.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 09:51:50 AM by Endorya »
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requerent

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2013, 11:50:23 PM »
So are you looking to do something like this?

(Race <---> Culture ---> Locale ---> Parents <---> Apprenticeship) <---> (Events)

Race: Species, special traits, abilities, size, weight, sexual dimorphism, propensities (chance to 'be a natural' at something they've never tried before).
Culture: Highly valued skills are emphasized in education, games, and lifestyle.
Locale: A subset of culture, whereby special demands of the land and interactions with inhabitants further specify what sort of exposure an individual has to certain ideas.
Parents: A player is likely to be more exposed and knowledgeable about things that his/her parents specialize in.
Apprenticeship: The occupation that the player trains for throughout young adulthood.
Events: Special events that provide additional unique context to the origin story-- such as being cursed by a witch, inheriting an heirloom from a distant uncle, or being captured and tortured by goblins as a young child.


If you could describe your plans as a simple formula, how would you do it?

Endorya

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Re: Races and roles
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2013, 10:29:33 AM »
So are you looking to do something like this?

(Race <---> Culture ---> Locale ---> Parents <---> Apprenticeship) <---> (Events)

Race: Species, special traits, abilities, size, weight, sexual dimorphism, propensities (chance to 'be a natural' at something they've never tried before).
Culture: Highly valued skills are emphasized in education, games, and lifestyle.
Locale: A subset of culture, whereby special demands of the land and interactions with inhabitants further specify what sort of exposure an individual has to certain ideas.
Parents: A player is likely to be more exposed and knowledgeable about things that his/her parents specialize in.
Apprenticeship: The occupation that the player trains for throughout young adulthood.
Events: Special events that provide additional unique context to the origin story-- such as being cursed by a witch, inheriting an heirloom from a distant uncle, or being captured and tortured by goblins as a young child.


If you could describe your plans as a simple formula, how would you do it?
That's a rather nice approach! I think you basically said pretty much all that could be done. However, my approach would be a bit simpler. Since there are no races, the start point would be similar to every faction.

The formula should start with the following structure and order:
Locale » Culture » Parents » Apprenticeship » Events
I think the locale has more influence over the culture than the other way round. I mean, if you live in a forest you will build stories and games around that place; the forest will dictate the available resources and bind their crafting and life style accordingly.

The mentioned formula should start with the following structure and order:
1 - Generate the world
2 - Pick a random spot in the world
3 - Check selected spot for temperature, amount of wild life, conflict level etc...
4 - Build the culture around step 3 elements (with some level of randomness).
5 - Set parents: their alignment, wealth, social class and their profession
6 - Choose apprenticeship
7 - Apply events from a huge event library
8 - Apply all variables and settings to the player's character

I think this will be the way to go.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 10:41:44 PM by Endorya »
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