Friday, September 2, 2011

Chaos Stats and Elements

Chaos has a unique stat system. Each Element is tied to a super stat, a sort of overview stat that is the summation of all stats underneath it. The super stats are Mind (Air), Body(Earth), Soul (Water) and Style (Fire). Each super stat is broken down into four stats: Mind has Reflex, Mana, Intelligence and Technique; Body has Fortitude, Initiative, Strength and Agility; Soul has Willpower, Chi, Wisdom and Spirit; and Fire has Coolness, Charm, Muscle and Beauty.

Originally, players would roll 1d6 for each stat, and the combined result would go to the super stat, which would translate to what element they were part of. In the original the highest stats would also become the player’s class, or possible classes if they chose to multiclass at level up.

Now each super stat has a defense stat (Coolness, Fortitude, Reflex and Willpower), a resource stat (Charm, Initiative, Mana and Chi), and two descriptive stats (Muscle, Beauty, Strength, Agility, Intelligence, Technique, Wisdom and Spirit).

A quick aside to Coolness as a defense. When facing off against a Vampire trying to charm her, one player successfully defended against it. Was it willpower? No, she was simply too cool to be taken in by him.

Defensive stats are often used creatively, but can be standardized to deal with certain types of attacks. To do this, each attack type would attack against a defense type (vs. Fortitude, vs. Reflex, vs. Willpower). We could make certain abilities less effective by having Coolness reduce the effect. For example, an enemy casts a Fire spell on you, your Fortitude is what would resist catching on fire in the first place, while your Coolness would reduce damage and how long you’re on fire (because Cool people don’t catch on fire).

In the pen and paper, defense was an active thing. An incoming attack would be followed by shouts of, “block it,” and, “dodge to the side!”. To me this means that each defense needs a button or way of activating it (timed button press for fortitude, hold and move for reflex, timed tapping for willpower).

Resources are somewhat complex. They represented how much you could do, with initiative being how often you could attack (well it controlled how often you could attack). Since initiative could be staved off to wait for something to happen, I considered it a resource.  It could also be saved up to double up on actions (any more than that resulted in waste).

This sort of thing works in Turn based games, but imagining a real time game with it might be interesting. Perhaps stacking spell casts, so that spells can be used twice in a row is a possibility. But you would also have to stack active dodges and what not.

Quick aside: Though I still used the term HP, I went with the concept that HP was a combination of actual physical resistance and ego/determination.

Descriptive stats would sometimes affect character appearance. Muscle would increase how muscular the character would appear. Beauty could counter how much the muscle attribute affected the players muscularity. Agility would give the character a more lithe appearance. High Spirit would give the player a glow. This does not necessarily need to translate to a computer game (except to maybe do random characters that made sense).

Muscle and Beauty affected HP (physical and ego portions respectively). Strength and Agility affected damage. Intelligence affected spell power, and Technique affected accuracy and critical hits. Wisdom affected how much the player needed to remember versus what the character needed to keep track of (as in they could keep X number of pages of notes). Spirit was a borderline resource, as it affected how in tune with the supernatural the player was.

Some of these would change depending what kind of game they are being added to, but for the most part should be functional (especially Wisdom would need to see a change).

The stats also presented roleplaying opportunities. Things like charming an enemy with your Coolness, strength, muscles, beauty or intelligence. Sometimes you could get NPCs to join you, depending what they were impressed by. Charm spells in video games are usually temporary and for the location/fight that the player is in. To properly mimic the pen and paper system, the result would function more like Neutral Monster recruitment in Ogre Battle, or catching a Pokemon in the wild.

The stats combined with the elements can affect how people create skills (Fire is tied to Coolness, so setting yourself on fire could reduce how long negative effects stay on you). Not only that, but Ice is Water and Air, so Ice Elements could have high Spirit and Intelligence, letting them wield summon Ice Spirits of amazing power. Blaze Elements could have high Muscle and Intelligence, making them effective mage tanks. The possibilities and effects of the Elements and Stats are exponential. Adding to the variety are the possible classes/role combos that would be included in the game, meaning that a player could meet 35 other Fire Elements and not have a repeat of any class (this would be a low chance, but you get the idea).

Before exploring this further, I think I’ll talk about the 4 Role System. I’ll tackle that on another post.

Quick Guide:
Fire = Style = Defense: Coolness = Resource: Charm = Muscle = Beauty
Earth = Body = Defense: Fortitude = Resource: Initiative = Strength = Agility
Air = Mind = Defense: Reflex = Resource: Mana = Intelligence = Technique
Water = Soul = Defense: Willpower = Resource: Chi = Wisdom = Spirit