Thursday, December 17, 2009

We are the sum of the collective human experience

(This was an elaboration on the last concept I posted except it was in a more formalized single player RPG format (could be swung to become an MMO though as well). Players are given a set of life choices to make and the results grant them different skills.)

Paths of Combat


Path of South Brook

You are from the small rural community of South Brook. You learn how to Track.

Path of the Northaven

Your life starts in the industrial city of Northaven. You learn how to Craft.

Path of Eastwick

Your life started in the imperial court. You picked up Diplomacy.

Learning (Tutorial)

Path of the Crocodile: Observe everything. Be patient, the reward comes later. You learn how to Parry your weapon.

Path of the Monkey: Skip the tutorial! You like to jump the gun. Just play! You learn how to execute a Feint.

First Blood

Path of the Martyr: You take more damage than you deal. You learn to use the Shield as a result.

Path of the Slaughterer: You kill every enemy before the time runs out. You learn to use Great Weapons as a result.

Path of the Hunter: You must use your sling exclusively. You learn to use Bows.

Path of the Skirmisher: You don’t take a single hit and kill at least half of the enemies. You learn to use Twin Weapons.

Path of the Saint: You don’t hit a single enemy. You are assigned to Standard duty.

Conflicting Orders

Path of the Soldier: You won’t refuse a direct order. You kill all of them. You unlock the ability to use Heavy Armor because of your induction into the army.

Path of the Opportunist: The bandits are paying you better. You attack your teammates. After seeing your prowess you gain the ability to Hire.

Path of the Beast: You refuse to fight an animal. You need to deal zero damage to the wolves but kill the bandits. Seeing your kind soul the wolves befriend you. You gain the ability to Train.

Path of the Legend: You need to punish evil! You kill everyone before the combat ends. After starting your legend you gain the ability to Recruit.

Battle Lines

Path of the Kingdom: You decide to defend your homeland. As such you complete quests for the Kingdom exclusively. You are rewarded by learning how to Duel.

Path of the Rebel: You decide to overthrow your corrupt government. You decide to do only the dirty work of the rebels. In order to properly serve the Rebellion you need to learn how to Assassinate.

Path of the Profiteer: Who cares who wins so long as you can turn a buck? You accumulate over a certain amount of money doing quests for either side. You pick up how to Pay Off the right people.

Path of the Pacifist: You don’t want bloodshed. You work exclusively for the Priesthood. You learn how to Abstain.

Path of the Mercenary: You don’t care who wins. You work for either side. You learn how to “Mercenary”.

Path of the Pirate: Money? Women? Sounds good right? You mostly do Pirate quests. You learn how to Raid.


Path of Order: You decide to stop the pillaging. You flee on a horse to warn the town ahead of time. You are taught how to Ride.

Path of Chaos: You join right the fuck in! You take a few pointers and learn how to Pillage.

Path of the Unspoken: You decide to do nothing. That seems to work. If no one notices you, you’re ok with that. You learn how to be Incognito.

Path of Bloodshed: You decide to stop the pillaging with your weapon in their skulls. You kill them all and learn the true nature of Bloodshed.


Track- A character or NPC occasionally leaves behind “track” every so many steps. By locating this track you are then pointed in the direction of the next track.

Craft- A crafting system allows you to make useful items and repair gear. It requires the appropriate regents.

Diplomacy- By executing a quick-time event you can smooth talk NPCs. This has a wide range of implications. From getting a lower price to getting into a secure area. This is a gamble however because you only have one chance and failure if worse than not trying.

Parry- You jerk you weapon sideways to parry an attack.

Feint- You have to hold down your mouse button to attack. If at any point you release it you immediately stop your attack and re-execute the same strike.

Shields- You learn to use full shields. By holding down your right mouse button you can move your shield out of your way and attack. (This can be changed in a setting) You can still use normal off hand weapons.

Great Weapons- You learn to use two-handed weapons. These have the advantage of range but lack in speed. Common weapon types include spears, great swords, staves, and great maces.

Bows- You can notch a bow with the best of them. While difficult to wield (your aim is an “area” not a “point”) you gain the advantage of range.

Twin Weapons- Skirmishers are some of the most feared combatants on the battlefield. They attack the flanks with rapid strikes. Using twin weapons (equipped as a single weapon) you can use weapons like, short swords, daggers, sai, clubs, foil and parrying dagger.

Standard- A simple non-violent weapon. You can still use your main weapon but your other hand hold a standard. This is a rallying point. People heading towards it gain different benefits depending on your standard. They are normally stat dependant.

Heavy Armor- Full armor is hard to move in and slows down your movement speed by 50%. However, it prevents all but the most brutal blows. Piercing weapons need to do more damage than the damage cap or deal 75% less damage. Blunt weapons are jut reduced by 10%.

Hire- You can pay an unsavory lot to fight with you. They are normally few in number but very strong. They act on their own but generally have good AI.

Tame- You can tame animals. Animals have a “focus” gauge that dwindles. The more you train your animal the longer its focus gauge is. You can issue commands to it with the number pad. The higher its focus gauge the more likely it is to follow that command. You can raise its focus gauge by issuing commands (it “levels up”) If an animal dies you have to tame and train a new one.

Recruit- You attract a few followers. They are normally very numerous but lack in strength. (An army of farmers is still an army right?) They act on their own but generally have poor AI.

Duel- You can challenge anyone to a duel. During combat that person can only attack you and you can only attack them until one of your is dead.

Assassinate- You can enter the combat state whenever you want by toggling this.

Pay-Off- You can avoid an encounter by offering an amount of money. If it is accepted the enemy can not attack you for 1 hour. (Or whatever it is you decide on)

Abstain- You can toggle Abstain. When you do so you can’t attack for 1 hour but you can’t be attacked as well.

Mercenary- You can offer your services with a “mercenary” offer when combat begins in an area near you. The first one to hire you gets you on their side.

Raid- You can enter into combat on either side.

Ride- You can ride a horse. This alleviates any movement penalties, however you can be knocked off.

Pillage- When you kill an enemy you can occasionally loot a piece of equipment from them. (Even players)

Incognito- Unless someone is looking at you they can’t see you.

Bloodshed- By clicking the middle mouse button over someone you target them and gain tunnel vision. Everyone outside them disappears but your strength goes WAY up while targeting them.

A man is the sum of his experiences...

(The concept behind this little write up was a concept for a MUD that allowed players to progress through character creation over their entire span of their character. Age was somewhat akin to level. Possibly base level on time spent in game?)

Premise: My goal it to create an environment where “evil” is punished but more powerful. The obviously “right” path is good or neutral.

Offensive Stats

Defensive Stats

Other Stats
Luck (die size)
Experience (Based on level- static bonus)
Stamina (Used for travel & skill use)
Wounds (Soak up negative effects wounds before you have to suffer them)

Attack (Basic Physical) = Strength + Weapon Damage + Experience + Luck
Defense (Basic Physical) = Agility or Toughness + Armor Bonus + Experience + Luck

Attack (Magic Bolt) = Magic + Intelligence + Experience + Luck
Defense (Basic Physical) = Agility or Magic + Armor Bonus + Experience + Luck

Wound Chart (100%)
(1-25) Move at Half Speed (+5% to Wound Chart)
(26-50) Cut your Strength by 25% (+5% to Wound Chart)
(51-75) Cut your Toughness by 25% (+5% to Wound Chart)
(76-90) -50% of your max energy (+10% to Wound Chart)
(91-100) Death (Reset wounds chart)

Level 1: Race (Tutorial)
-Human (+ Experience)
-Half-Elf (+ Agility)
-Half-Dwarf (Toughness & + Wounds)

Level 2: Genetics (Youth)
-Brawny (+Strength & More Wounds)
-Thinker (+Intelligence x2)

Level 3: Deity (Preteen)
-God of the Land (Gain minor buffs on Land)
-Goddess of the Sea (Gain major buffs on Water)
-God of the Sun (Gain minor buffs during the day)
-Goddess of the Moon (Gain minor buffs during the night)
-Goddess of Twilight (Gain minor debuffs during twilight) [Tome required]

Level 4: Profession- Novice (Teen)
-Acolyte (Buffs from deity are increased) [Need tome of deity]
-Soldier (Access to better gear)
-Hopeful (Access to basic general magic spells)
-Gang Member (Access to stealing ability)
-Merchant (Discount at shops, bonus when selling)

Level 5: Profession- Journeyman (Young Adult)
-Priest (Buffs from deity are increased & Minor Divine Spells) [Acolyte Only]
-Cavalry (+Weapon damage with spears & + Move speed on horse) [Soldier Only]
-Duelist (+Weapon damage with swords & + Chance to avoid) [Soldier Only]
-Archer (+Weapon damage with bows & + chance to hit) [Soldier Only]
-Skirmisher (+Weapon damage with 2 weapons & + luck) [Soldier Only]
-Jr. Officer (+Experience & Passive Abilities ) [Soldier Only]
-Journeyman (Access to more general magic spells) [Hopeful Only]
-Forsaken (+Luck & + Magic) [Requires forbidden tomb, Hopeful Only]
-Gang Leader (Access to cronies) [Gang Member Only]
-Inventor (Access to recipes & a Lab)
-Trainer (Access to beast taming)

Level 6: Profession- Commission (Adult)
-Noble (Access to best gear & body guards) [Requires money]
Priest (Buffs from deity are increased & Minor Divine Spells) [Priest Only]
-Crusader (Buffs from deity are increased) [Priest or any Soldier Derived Class]
-Veteran (+Experience & Access to best gear) [Any soldier derived class except for Jr. Officer]
-Guardsmen (Access to best gear & town guard abilities) [Any soldier derived profession]
-Officer (+Experience & Aura Passive Abilities) [Jr. Officer Only]
-Pyromancer (Access to fire spells) [Journeyman Only]
-Aeromancy (Access to weather changing effects) [Journeyman Only]
-Gastromancy (Access to food based magic) [Journeyman Only]
-Conjurer (Access to summoning) [Journeyman Only]
-Chaos Mage (Access to powerful chaos magics) [Forsaken or Journeyman Only]
-Phagen (Access to powerful necrotic magics) [Forsaken or Journeyman Only, Requires Book of the Dead]
-Heretic (Access to powerful heretical demon summoning magics) [Priest, Journeymen, or Forsaken Only- Requires Demon Pact]

Level 6: Profession- Master (Older)
-Lord (Access to best body guards & Able to “Own” towns) [Noble Only)
-Knight (+Experience & +Movement Speed on Horse) [Noble, Crusader, Veteran, or Officer only]
-Chosen (Able to enter an avatar state) [High Priest & Crusader Only]
-Man-At-Arms (+ Weapon Damage, + Experience, & Access to best Gear) [Any soldier derived profession]
-Warlord (+Experience & Passive) [Officer Only]
-Master Mage (+ Experience & + Magic) [Pyromancer, Aeromancy Conjurer, and Gastromancer only]
-Lich (+ Experience & + Magic) [Phagen Only]
-Demon (Regeneration & + Magic) [Heretic Only]

I AM the law

(This was just a few quick notes I had in my head a while back when examining less lethal alternatives for crowd control. The result was a prototype class for a traditional RPG. It lacks polish... or a game behind it ^^; )

Premise: An concept where the option exists to subdue instead of kill. Subduing has a different result.

Officer (Class)
The officer gains its ability over time, making it a great DPS if the situation calls for it.

-Command Presence (Influences target with your Command Presence. Aggressive targets gain Will and more passive targets loose Will via a LOS aura. Rate of gain/loss will be based on )
-Orders (Direct Will damaging effects)
-Soft Hands (If a person is low enough of Will then you can restrain them.)
-Takedown (A stun that provides Will-damage over time. The time is based on the difference be the target and the officer’s strength)
-Hard Hands (Increasing damage based on number of hits)
-Use of Force (Sudden DPS spike)
-Threat (Automatic warning. If the target is at low Will it damage their Will.)
-Deadly Force (High Burst damage every 30 sec)

(Time used in the following scenario is hypothetical)
-Command Presence (When combat starts)
-Order (On user use. 10 sec CD after that until the end of fight.)
-Soft Hands (30 sec later. 10 sec CD after that until end of fight.)
-Takedown (1 min into the fight.

Equipment (Example)
Telescopic Baton (No Command Presence gain)
Solid Baton (+Command Presence)
Badge (+Command Presence)
Uniform (+Command Presence)
Riot Gear (+ Defense, +Command Presence)
Civilian Clothing (No Command Presence Gain)

Epic Skill Grid

(This was a advancement system for either a single player or MMO style RPG. It contained a extensive image with it that detailed the entire "Epic Skill Grid". I will not upload this image as it would take a good deal of space and I am not entirely interested in having it stolen. This was obviously inspired by FF10's sphere grid. I just thought I could do it better. This also includes my "Talent" system you will see pop up from time to time. I think obscurity and uncertainty are the spice of good gameplay.)

Epic Skill Grid

A skill system that exists on a “Cube”. It is divided into hemispheres and again into subsections called “Class Regions”.

The Region which you possess the most skills in awards you their title.

Each hemisphere has 100 possible placement nodes for skill pips
Each hemisphere has 4 regions (25 possible placement nodes) for skill pips
Each class region has 15 skill pips

HP: Health (This stat is multiplied by 10 for total HP)
Energy: Resource to use skills (This stat is multiplied by 10 for total Energy)
Speed: Turn Order
Strength: Physical Damage
Magic: Magic Damage
Agility: Hit/Miss Chance
Defense: Damage Reduction

Derived Stats
Healing: Amount of HP regenerated per turn (HP + Energy + Strength/6 with a cap = half damage taken before defense last turn)
Recovery: Amount of Energy regenerated per turn (Energy + Magic/4 with a cap = level)
Physical Critical: % Chance of getting a critical hit with a melee attack. (Speed + Strength + Agility/12 cap 50%)
Magical Critical: % Chance of getting a critical hit with a magic attack. (Speed + Magic + Agility/12 cap 50%)
Luck: % chance added to finding rare items (HP + Energy + Speed + Strength + Magic + Agility + Defense/35) *Note: If you end a battle with lower HP/Energy it lowers your luck.

Talent System
A player is not aware of their stats, however upon character creation they order the importance of said stats. They range from 5-15 however their total is set at 70.

Moving on the Grid
You start in one of the 4 center squares on the skill grid. Every level you can move to an adjacent square (“pip”).

Depending on which class region you have taken the most pips in you gain that class as your title. Titles grant a special passive ability. Once you have 100% completion in a given class region you can select that title at any point. You may also select any other titles you have 100% in. If you have titles at 100%, you may alternately pick your second highest title instead.
Example: Let’s say you have both Knight and Noble at 100% completion. You are working on Fencer but it is only at 80%. You had to step into Samurai for a pip or two you wanted so you have 5%. You could use either the Knight, Noble, or Fencer titles.

Title Effects
Knight- You allies gain +25% defense from the person you attacked last turn.
Monk- You can not equip weapons or armor; however you double your Healing and Recovery.
Samurai- You have to kill an opponent once you start to attack them, however you get +50% damage (after defense) when attacking them.
Ninja- You can wield two weapons.
Inquisitor- You are immune to black magic.
Paladin- You take damage to your energy before your HP.
Healer- Any amount healed by you also heals the nearest ally.
Shaman- When you are healed you also heal the nearest ally.
Beast Master- You do 200% damage to non-humans.
Alchemist- Any items you use are doubled in effectiveness.
Blood Mage- Your spells use your HP as resource inset of your Energy.
Bard- Your single target magic spells have a small range aoe on them.
Summoner- You do not need to equip the proper sigil when summoning.
Mage- Cut your magic stat in half, however the cost of your spells are cut in half as well.
Dark Wizard- Double your magic stat, however the cost of your spells is doubled as well.
Necromancer- You get healed 25% of the damage you do. However you loose 3% HP per turn.
Gunner- You can equip guns.
Assassin- You do 150% damage to humans.
Barbarian- You character occasionally won’t listen to your commands if they aren’t attacking someone. However you get +25% strength.
Hunter- You have no penalty for range.

Title Effects
Knight- You allies gain +25% defense from the person you attacked last turn.
Monk- You can not equip weapons or armor; however you double your Healing and Recovery.
Samurai- You have to kill an opponent once you start to attack them, however you get +50% damage (after defense) when attacking them.
Ninja- You can wield two weapons.
Inquisitor- You are immune to black magic.
Paladin- You take damage to your energy before your HP.
Healer- Any amount healed by you also heals the nearest ally.
Shaman- When you are healed you also heal the nearest ally.
Beast Master- You do 200% damage to non-humans.
Alchemist- Any items you use are doubled in effectiveness.
Blood Mage- Your spells use your HP as resource inset of your Energy.
Bard- Your single target magic spells have a small range aoe on them.
Summoner- You do not need to equip the proper sigil when summoning.
Mage- Cut your magic stat in half, however the cost of your spells are cut in half as well.
Dark Wizard- Double your magic stat, however the cost of your spells is doubled as well.
Necromancer- You get healed 25% of the damage you do. However you loose 3% HP per turn.
Gunner- You can equip guns.
Assassin- You do 150% damage to humans.
Barbarian- You character occasionally won’t listen to your commands if they aren’t attacking someone. However you get +25% strength.
Hunter- You have no penalty for range.

Magpie Lore (Aka Serendipiti )

In the universe of Magpie certain individuals who have committed grievous sins are given the ability to influence a cosmic good luck/bad luck energy known as the Fatestream with the help of a symbiotic creature. Organized into an autonomous but respected organization, older Serendipiti (those who can influence Serendipity, pronounced “Seren-dip-a-tie”) teach the hopefuls how to repent and accept their deeds as well as control their power. Their logo is a Magpie (So they have earned the nickname “Magpies”) due to its nature of searching for colorful things and brining it back to the nest. (“We are but Magpies searching the universe for redemption.”)

The Symbiode
A small creature about half the size of an adult human stomach with long tendrils is swallowed and allowed to take root. It extends a small fleshy appendage up threw the body and out of the mouth in order to respirate. It interlaces its own awareness of the Fatestream with that of the person it is bonded to. In order for a potential Magpie to join their ranks, they traditionally hunt in a sea on their Symbiode’s home planet. (It is VERY hard to do as they are bastions of luck) It is said that luck is responsible for the joining of a Magpie and its Symbiode. (Symbiodes are affectionately called “Fish”)

Song of the Magpie
One is for sorrow and Two's for mirth…
Three's a blessing and Four's a curse…
Five's a battle and Six is a birth...
Seven is heaven but Eight’s in hell…
Nine’s devil, dark and fell…

This song is the mantra of a Serendipiti. It originally was meant to teach prospective that luck is fickle. However, it has become used as a form of divination used by some Magpies. (However that goes against the teachings of the Magpies) Most Serendipiti use it as a guide to how not to fall to evil. (See “Death” below)

The Serendipiti Scroll
-Serendipity is chaos. It cannot be known. It can not be controlled, nor swayed.
-Fortune does not favor us. We favor fortune.
-You are a conduit of chaos and must conduct yourself like a patron of peace.
-The definition of good and evil is intent. Master this and your will shall be the law.
-Search long and hard before your journey arrives at a conclusion.
-All things are temporary. All things are void. All things exists somewhere between threes two states.
-A Serendipiti simply knows. A wise Serendipiti knows simply that he does not know.
-Evil is not cleansed from the body. It stains you forever.
- Humility is the mark of a good Serendipiti but selflessness is the mark of a great one.

There are those who are more interested in self gain than repenting. They are selfish and continue down the path of evil. They dance on the knife’s edge between life and death. A Serendipiti’s power is related to the cleanliness of their soul. A Magpie’s ability to influence good luck on the world weakens as they sin and get closer to evil but gain more control over the ability to enact bad luck on those around them. Only those who embrace the concept are called “Pandori”. Their ability to influence the negative is great and terrible, much greater than that of the Serendipiti. (The Serendipiti only loose their power but the Pandroi always increase their power)

The Fatestream
Luck is an ether-like stream with ups and downs. (looks like a randomly generated bump map overlaid onto the material plane in 2D) The deeper the pocket, the worse the luck and the more raised it becomes, the greater the chance for good luck. Serendipiti bump that map up in an area around them. Pandori depress it merely with their presence. It normally takes about 10 pretty major offences to be counted as “evil”. (Hence the number of verses in the Magpie Song) A malicious act is anything you consider wrong but do anyway. A major offence is something that hurts someone else grievously. (Killing a person in cold blood is about this level) These “sins” cannot be wiped. They cannot be counterbalanced with good deed. They are simply a stain you cannot remove.

In the universe of Magpie, only the truly evil die forever. People can suffer physical injuries; however they will not pass on if they are good people. Evil people can die and tend to rather quickly. Good people who have their bodies destroyed exist as spirits.

Phantom Limbs
A soul is a tangible, yet incorporeal thing. It’s not uncommon to see soldiers walking around with a ghostly red arm terminating in a stub. It takes a great deal of focus, but they can turn it caporal for a short time. They can sense real world feelings as a very dull ache or tingle and are ethereal. They do not provide much in the way of support for other body parts- however due to their unique interactions with the body they seem to be able to support it a little. Their feeling can be akin to a strong wind flowing and they appear as transparent red. Phantom limbs start to deteriorate and become harder to caporalize with the more stains you have on your soul. A Magpie’s soul is so connected with the Fatestream that they can see the very stream by looking into a phantom limb they have. (Most sacrificially maim themselves in the repenting process)

Slang Terms
Serendipity- The influence Serendipiti have on the Fatestream.
Magpie- A Serendipiti or Pandori. A slang, informal term. Normally used as a derogative term. (“Fuck’en Magpie!”)
Hook Lip- A derogatory term for Magpie.
Fish- The Symbiode of a Magpie.
The Devil’s Luck- The luck of a Magpie. (“See that! He’s got the devil’s luck!”)
Red Coat- A person who’s lost a good amount of their skin. (“Let’s give him a read coat?”)
Floss- Picofilimant. (Thin enough to cut threw the bonds of atoms, strong enough to support a full grown man)
Shade- A “bad” spirit. (“That shade-son-of-a-bitch!) Alternately it could just refer to a bad person with phantom limbs.
Walking Dead- A bad person. (“Your’s nothing but a walking dead! Next bullet between your eyes ends you bitch!”)
Thieves’ Fingers- A nickname for phantom fingers only. (“If you’re not a shade then why are you sporting thieves’ fingers?”)
Undead- A clone made for labor. They live and entire life in a simulator (up to 21) while they grow in the pods. They are made to run jobs for people and they LOVE it because it’s what they are made to love.

The Undead
The working part of the world is comprised entirely of clones. Undead live an entire life in a dream world while they grow that much resembles that of 20th century earth. Their lives make them perfect at one thing. There are 16 models (each referring to their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator).

(Composer | Crafter | Performer | Promoter)
(Inspector | Protector | Provider | Supervisor)
(Champion | Counselor | Healer | Teacher)
(Architect | Fieldmarshal | Inventor | Mastermind)

Soldier- Efficient killing machines. These brutes stand 6’6 with a grotesquely muscled body and a neck as thick as they come. Always perspiring they are dominating towers of pain. Not able to process thoughts not given to them beyond basic pre-programmed ones before the mission they are nicknames “Toy Soldiers”. They have no pain receptors and three hearts to handle the excessive amounts of drugs dumped into their bodies. Their life expectancy is only one mission due to the dangerous situations they are put into and the drugs they are fed. They are biologically created to run at the maximum levels a human form can reach for 24 hours only. After that they die. (If they do not do so prematurely) They have no “Pre-Life”- just conditional training. Soldiers can takes a full clip from a hand gun and keep moving with no concern for themselves.

The Fatestream & Karma
From a writing perspective the Fatestream is essentially karma. When you do good, good things happen. When you do evil, evil things happen. The Fatestream is not actually “randomly” created as the Serendipiti believe- it is pocked with good and bad discussion. It passes like a river throughout all existence and freezes any action taken into itself.

Chess Based MUD

(This was an unfinished concept. I am adding it as part of the "Post Semester Concept Dump". It was a work in progress on a Chess based MUD. Players waited in a lobby and had to fill up a team with the proper number of each class. They took turns and each time it was a different players turn. So every piece had to go. Players had to start as pawns but unlocked the ability to become other pieces threw earning points based on their performance.)

Pawn- “Gang” (Tank)
Knight- Teleporter (Tank)
Bishop- Fighter (Striker)
Castle- “Archer” (Striker)
Queen- Healer (Leader)
King- Revealer (Leader)

EXP Gain
King (Levels up by completion of goals.)
Queen (Gains EXP during combat at a steady rate. Looses EXP when King gets hurt.)
Castle (Gains EXP based on damage dealt)
Bishop (Gains EXP based on rank vs. other characters)
Knight (Gains exp based on how little damage it took. Exp = Level x1000 – amount damaged)
Pawn (Gains exp based on number of other surviving members)

-Order: Summon Ally (The selected pawn summons an ally adjacent to it. HP and status effects are shared. Max of 8) [OsN, OsS, OsE, OsW]
-Order: Attack (The selected pawn does a special attack at a diagonal)
-Order: Grapple (The selected pawn will shut down a pawn in front of it, skipping turns it’s next turn.)

Knight- Teleporter (Tank)
-Jump: You teleport an (“L) [Command: J then NU, ND, SU, SD, EU, ED, WU, WD]
-Parry: You can not move but return an attack when attacked [Command ParOn ParOff]
-Blood Oath: You can teleport back to your king at an adjacent square. [Command BoN BoS BoE BoW]

Bishop- Fighter (Striker)
Castle- “Archer” (Striker)
Queen- Healer (Leader)
King- Revealer (Leader)

Sale of Commission

An MMO based on the concept of “Sale of Commission”.
Experience is used only for skills and stat increases.
Money is everything. It buys gear and it buys commissions.
To enter into a different unit you must buy a commission from another person in that unit.
If you want to sell your commission you must offer it first for 1 day to the unit you are in. Then it goes up in the “Royal Officer’s Society” (an auction house) where it can last anywhere from 1 day to 7 days.
If you are buying a higher rank in the same post you only need to pay the difference.
NCOs are played by NPCs following orders. (Most of the time)

Officer Ranks
Ensign- In charge of a Unit (5 men*)
Lieutenant- In charge of a Squad aka 2 Units (10 men*)
Captain- In charge of a Platoon aka 3 Squads (30 men*)
Major- In charge of a Company (Infantry & Militia), a Troop (Cavalry), or a Battery (Artillery) which consists of 3 Platoons (90 men*)
Lt. Colonel- In charge of a Battalion which consists of 3 Companies (270 men*)
Colonel- In charge of a Regiment which consists of 3 Battalions. (810 men*)
*All counts do not include the Officers.

810 NCOs (NPCs)
162 Ensigns
81 Lieutenants
27 Captains
9 Majors
3 Lt. Colonels
1 Colonel
Total: 1,093 members of a Regiment

Militia (Does Home Missions. Low in number)

Ensign/Militia- 250 LBs
Ensign/Cavalry- 150 LBs
Ensign/Infantry- 100 LBs
Ensign/Artillery- 200 Lbs

Captain/Militia- 600 LBs
Captain/Cavalry- 400 LBs
Captain/Infantry- 300 LBs
Captain/Artillery- 500 LBs

Major/Militia- 1,300 LBs
Major/Cavalry- 900 LBs
Major/Infantry- 700 LBs
Major/Artillery- 1,100 LBs

Lt. Colonel/Militia- 2,700 LBs
Lt. Colonel/Cavalry- 1,900 LBs
Lt. Colonel/Infantry- 1,500 LBs
Lt. Colonel/Artillery- 2,300 LBs

Colonel/Militia- 5,500 LBs
Colonel/Cavalry- 3,900 LBs
Colonel/Infantry- 3,100 LBs
Colonel/Artillery- 4,700 LBs

A Regiment works like a guild. The Colonel is the Guild leader. The Lt. Colonels are Officers in the guild. Majors and Captains are like senior members. Lieutenants are average members while Ensigns are the newbies. A guild can have way more officers than it has spots.

A Colonel can authorize a Campaign. It is a series of battles fought to gain prestige points for the Regiment as well as pay and experience for his/her men. The Colonel organizes the army. (Puts people in the spots) If there are not enough people- NPC officers called “Mercenaries” take their spot. During a mission he/she can issue orders in a screen channel (overlays the text onto the screen), ping the map as well as give orders to any Unit with the highest priority. During each stage of the campaign the Colonel can join any one battle. Being a Colonel is a noble affair and should the occasion arise where a Colonel is required to lift a sword- the battle is already lost. They tend to leave the violence to the brutish underlings and command from a dignified distance.

A Lt. Colonel runs a Battle. Each campaign has 3 battles per stage. (Sometimes more options are open but the Colonel chooses which 3 to do.) After the Colonel organizes the army they can make changes and pre-battle the Colonel can approve the changes. (Or deny them) The Colonel has the final say. However, each battle has several objectives. The Lt. Colonel must decide which Company to assign to each objective. During a mission he/she can issue orders in a screen channel (overlays the text onto the screen), ping the map as well as give orders to any Unit with the second highest priority. It’s highly irregular for a Lt. Colonel to engage in such a vulgar affair as bloodshed. A Lt. Colonel requires a cool head rather than a warm musket.

A Major is responsible for an Objective. Completing or failing objectives determines how many prestige points the Regiment Gains at the end of a successful battle. (They loose prestige if they fail a battle) During a mission he/she can issue orders in a shout channel (visible for a good distance), ping the map as well as give orders to any Unit with the third highest priority. A Major rarely gets into combat- but it is not unheard of as he/she is on the front lines. A Major should prepare for the rain and hope for sunny skies.

A Captain is responsible for leading & outfitting troops. Before each match the Captains decide what type each Unit is. (Cavalry, Artillery, Heavy Infantry, or Light Infantry) During a mission he/she can issue orders in a say channel (visible only at a normally visible distance), ping the map as well as give orders to any Unit with the fourth highest priority. A Captain may find himself/herself in combat. It’s a good idea for Captains to have experience in man to man combat.

A Lieutenant is responsible for leading the troops in the heat of battle on a man to man level. During a mission he/she can issue orders in a say channel (visible only at a normally visible distance) as well as give orders to any Unit with the sixth highest priority. A Lieutenant is often in the down and dirty of combat himself/herself. A good Lieutenant is an expert soldier.

An Ensign is little more than a soldier with a badge. Responsible for a handful of men and their safety an Ensign is far divorced from the upper echelons of strategy and circumstance. During a mission he/she can issue orders in a say channel (visible only at a normally visible distance) as well as give orders to any Unit with the sixth highest priority. An Ensign should make a name for himself/herself with his/her weapon! The best Ensign is a living one.

NCOs are the grunts of the army. Trained to do one thing, they do it with a fair degree of competence. (When the Officers are looking…) Skilled and equipped to utilize either the thunderous cannons of the Artillery, the battle-hardened steeds of the cavalry, the explosives of

Alternative to Traditional Hit Point Systems Literature Review

Alternative to Traditional Hit Point Systems Literature Review

By Scott Gladstein
English 102, Section FA09222
Professor Lynn Gelfand

On the subject of alternatives to hit points in contemporary games today the girth of information is decidedly small. There are very few academic sources that discuss the matter in any great detail and those sources that that do are very rarely creditable. The majority of the information on the subject is hidden away in the design documents of the games themselves- the exclusive prevue of the designers and their teams. More often than not one will find themselves wading through the games themselves to ascertain the mechanics used do decide mortality.

There are a vide verity of role-playing games on the market today. They range from multi million dollar game titles developed by major studios and sold in stores across the world to home brewed alternative rules written by amateurs and distributed on the internet in a peer-to-peer fashion. To get at the “guts” of a game though, it is easiest to look at pen and paper role-playing games. Their main selling point is normally the creative game mechanics they showcase so they are prime source materials when examining alternative to hit points in contemporary games. Most notable is Dungeons and Dragons. Dungeons and Dragons has been a staple in the pen and paper gaming community since its earliest editions and some credit it with maintaining the genre as a whole. More recently they have moved from their third edition line of rules (Cook, Tweet, & Williams, 2000) to their four edition of rules (Heinsoo, Collins & Wyatt, 2008). Dungeons and Dragons is very reliant on a traditional hit point system and when one talks about an alternative to a traditional hit point system they are generally comparing it to Dungeons and Dragons. The most popular franchise that uses a hit point system that is outside the mainstream is Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 franchise which is now in its fifth edition (Priestley & Chambers 2008). They utilize a distinctive “wound” system in their table top rules and is generally considered to be an effective substitute especially when dealing with a lot of things getting attack simultaneously (such as in a war). Also of note was the Eldritch RPG (Cross & Petras 2008) system which uses a “defense pool” system that unfortunately does not receive a lot of attention in the market because of the small scale distribution of the game.

When looking into a subject like this, the sources are not always recent. Digging in the past presents a good deal of alternatives to contemporary games. Seeing where the mechanics came from is a great place to get ideas about where to go with them in the future. In particular there was an interview with one of the Dungeons and Dragons early mechanical designers, Dave Arneson, conducted by GameSpy (Rausch, 2004) which provided a historical context that framed the development of hit points very well. Likewise there was an RPGNet interview with Gary Gygax (Lynch, 2001) that shed a good deal of light on the subject matter as well. Even though a they didn’t directly address the topic of mechanics design directly, the context of which the design took place was enough to discern information about how they designed it and what they had in mind when they did.

While not on par with an interview with the father of role playing game, several other sources gave interesting viewpoints on the subject of traditional hit points and their alternatives. An article on TechRadar by game critic Luis Villazon (2009) highlighted hit points specifically and described them as “a weird leftover from 80s games”. He is a distinguished critic and has written in several different magazines so it was a rare treat to find a citable critique of contemporary hit points. Another critic, Ben Croshaw (who is made famous by the “Zero Punctuation” web show) constantly stands in opposition of the overuse of traditional mechanics. Particularly in his most recent review of the most recent Wolfenstein game (Croshaw, 2009) he discusses the overuse of the “regenerating health” mechanic that a lot of contemporary designers use in first person shooter games to retain the familiarity that traditional hit points have with their target demographic.

Interestingly enough a lot of factual support for the success of traditional hit point systems comes from the financial records of some of the industry’s top companies. The best example was the financial success of SquareEnix in their first half financial results (Wada, 2009) when you compare it to the annual report by Games Workshop in 2009 (Games Workshop Group PLC, 2009). Despite the economic downturn in the United States Games Workshop has had increasing success across the board while SquareEnix has been impacted negatively over the last few years. Games Workshop is a company who’s mechanics tend to embrace alternative systems for hit points while SquareEnix is another company that is heavily reliant on traditional hit point systems (Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Quest, ect). While a game company’s choice of hit point mechanics is hardly a major factor in their financial situation, the focal point of Games Workshop (primarily a table top games company) is more reliant on good game mechanics than a company like SquareEnix (primary a merchandising and story based video game company). This is reflected not only in the future plans of the companies as described in the reports mentioned before but in their corporate profiles. (The Thomas International group does a great job showcasing this in their report on Games Workshop)

The best information was obtained through reading and learning different game systems. (Exploring design documents would probably yield similar results.) A lot of information on the subject is not creditable and one should be very careful in respect to that. A good deal of the information compiled could not be cited despite ascertaining that it was in fact true by checking more creditable sources. Using the information I collected, I created a quick, easy, reference guide for designers to utilize when considering using an alternative hit point system for their own game. Because of the prevalence of Dungeons and Dragons and how familiar the average designer is with their system, I framed the options as alternate rules for the Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 rulebook (as the 4th edition rules are still new). Utilizing the rules presented in the reference guide, designers can quickly test alternatives to hit points and start a dialogue about the possible implications of using alternatives to traditional hit point systems.