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Concept: Character stats;- Fortitude, Concentration and Spirit.

I'm moving on to in game character management this month, which includes how the character is displayed visually and also how it is represented in code.

With that in mind I've been going back over the character models and making sure everything is shipshape. I found several objects with missing textures or the wrong textures, as well as several objects which were incorrectly rigged. I also spent some time putting the polishing touches on the characters heads.
When making a character you can choose the head and also the hair to go with it.

The most time consuming part at the moment though is working on the code. As I continue to put the game together I am testing several ideas which could really add something of a twist to the traditional RPG trope. They are mostly things I've used successfully in other games, but those were other genres.

Some of the things I'm excited about is different damage types and different HP types as well as performance degradation when wounded. When I made my Battletech simulation I had to simplify some of the table top rules, but I really wanted to keep the idea of degradation of performance as you take damage. I did this by abstracting all the elements of the mech in to three different kinds of damage gauge.

As you take damage and suffer critical hits, your gauges will be reduced from 100% to 0%. The type of damage affects your ability to fight. For example, damage to sensors reduces your aim, Damage to engine reduces your ability to shed heat, and mobility damage is going to slow you down. This reflected very well, in a simplified fashion, the mechanics of the board game. Also damage of a particular type was more likely when you took hits in certain areas. Arm hits were more likely to damage sensors for example.

I'd say the game mechanism was very successful, but in testing it turned out that 3 types was a bit of overkill as the mechs already had heat, which acted as a cool down mechanism.

In my current project characters will have 2 different types of HP; Fortitude and Concentration. They will also have a supply of Spirit to power their attacks and movement. You can imagine these as ratings of your body, mind and mana. (or engine, sensors and heat).

Spirit is regained at a steady rate every turn but the other types of HP can only be regained through healing. As they are depleted, you will see a reduction in your abilities, so it's best not to draw out a fight too long. Loss of Concentration makes to-hit-rolls or magic much harder. Fortitude is what helps to recover Spirit, with a reduced Spirit level you won't be able to fight as long or use special attacks.

Different types of damage are more likely to reduce one or the other type of HP. Slashing weapons deal superficial but painful wounds, so the are more likely to reduce your Concentration. Stabbing weapons are usually aimed at the main trunk of the body and are more likely to reduce your Fortitude. Blunt weapon attacks act directly by sapping your Spirit. Of course each weapon also damages in the other areas, but not so much or so often.

Different monsters and armor have different resistance to the basic forms of damage. Padded armor, or insect chitin may give extra protection against blunt attacks. Close-fitting armor or Dragon's scales may protect against stabbing attacks, while on the other hand skimpy armor or soft monstrous flesh may make the character / monster more vulnerable to slashing attacks. You'll be able to see how well or how badly attacks fare against different monster types and so adjust your tactics accordingly. This also means you're going to need to find a lot of loot, because just having a good sword is not enough.

HP can be reduced by other kinds of attacks too, Spirit can be depleted by fear and if it drops too low you'll need to worry about morale. This makes it harder to fight against scary monsters, but it also give the player the option of attacking a weaker enemy with blunt weapons or energy draining magic and hopefully getting them to run away without a fight.

Right now I'm not sure on the two HPs and one cool down mechanism. I'm still tempted to add a mobility or strength rating as a third HP type. I'm going to try everything during testing and see how it works out.

Next time I'll be talking about how the two main attributes feed in to character building, and how the various other character stats come in to play.


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