Author Topic: Game Design Question  (Read 814 times)

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Offline Erik Luken

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Game Design Question
« on: July 06, 2009, 10:17:51 PM »
From a game design standpoint, should hit points scale with creature size?

All other things being equal (stats, levels, etc) should a human sized creature have less hit points than one that is considered "large"?
And the reverse, should a human sized creature have more hit points than one considered "small"?
 

Offline welchbloke

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2009, 12:55:42 PM »
Quote from: "Erik Luken"
From a game design standpoint, should hit points scale with creature size?

All other things being equal (stats, levels, etc) should a human sized creature have less hit points than one that is considered "large"?
And the reverse, should a human sized creature have more hit points than one considered "small"?
Personally, I've always thought that they should be broadly similar, after all a stab throught the heart is going to do it no matter who you are (assuming that you aren't a time lord  :) ).  I'm a fan of making stats like strength, toughness, resiliance and reaction speed the difference between different species.  Of course the gaming system would have to be set up to do that.  I guess it's easier to design and simpler to play if the number of hit points is used as an abstract measure of resiliance to damage.

That's my 2 pence anyway.
Welchbloke
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2009, 02:47:13 PM »
True.

But look at it this way. You pick up your favorite melee weapon of choice and smack a housecat. Assuming you hit, the cat is most likely in really bad shape.
Now you take your melee weapon to the zoo and hit an elephant. All you've got now is one pissed off elephant. :)
 

Offline ShadoCat

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2009, 04:13:09 PM »
I think it all depends on what the hit points actually represent.

If the system assumes identical blows from the same weapon will cause the same hip point damage, then yes.  By this I mean something like taking a standard hammer and whacking a critter on the 4th left rib, then yes, an elephant would have more hit points than a cat.  To do this, you will have to have some mechanic to indicate that it is a lot harder to get that telling blow in on a cat.

If the hit points represent the chance of being seriously wounded by any blow that connects, then I still think that the elephant has the advantage but not as big of an advantage since it will be a lot harder to hit the cat with a precise blow.  Also, given the mass of the cat, the cat will absorb some of the blow by being moved by the blow.

Taken to another extreme, you are more likely to land a telling blow with a 5 pound sledge on a elephant that on a cockroach simply because the cockroach can move faster than the sledge.

This is all good for NPCs since, as a GM, you can always adjust the challenge of an encounter.  If these are for PCs, you have to concern yourself with balance between PCs.  Will a starting cat have the same total power level as a starting elephant after taking into account all advantages and disadvantage?

Offline welchbloke

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 04:20:15 PM »
Quote from: "Erik Luken"
True.

But look at it this way. You pick up your favorite melee weapon of choice and smack a housecat. Assuming you hit, the cat is most likely in really bad shape.
Now you take your melee weapon to the zoo and hit an elephant. All you've got now is one pissed off elephant. :D  However, if you gave the housecat a toughness of 2 and the elephant a toughness of 10 and then used a combat system that reduced the damage caused due to the toughness of the target you'd come up with a similar result.  As I said before though that would be more complicated and time consuming than a straight HP system.  It's horses for courses I guess  :)
All things being equal, for straight health, and following your housecat analogy, the small critter probably should be easier to kill.  Of course, being small, the critter may be nimble and hard to hit.
Welchbloke
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 05:09:50 PM »
Smaller critters are harder to hit... Larger ones easier. That bit is already built in. Smaller critters (again ALL things equal) do slightly less damage. Larger more.

Right now, the base Health mechanic is figured by Stamina + 10 + Specialization Mod. Specialization mod ranges from +14 for caster types to +18 for melee types. The stamina (for PCs) ranges from 0-10 with 5 being "base". Some critters do exceed those boundaries.

Currently, a Very Small (no bigger than 1 ft.) creature has a Health mod of .5
Small critters (3-4ft) have .75
Medium have 1
Large (8-10ft) have 1.5
Very Large (12-15ft) have 2
and Huge (20+) have 2.5

So a goblin, being small, averages out to around 30ish Health. A human fighter is around 40 Health. The goblin is harder to hit, needing a 15+ on a d20 (not counting any bonuses the attacker has) to hit. A human on the other hand is around 9+ to hit.

Armor does not stop you from being hit (stupid D&D), but once you are hit, reduces the damage you take. Some creatures have an innate armor value (AV). Some have a mitigation against a certain type of damage (skeletons vs non-crushing, demons  vs fire, etc).

My gut says that a smaller creature should be easier to kill IF you hit, and a larger harder. It's just figuring out the correct ratio.
 

Offline ShadoCat

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 06:45:26 PM »
Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Smaller critters are harder to hit... Larger ones easier. That bit is already built in. Smaller critters (again ALL things equal) do slightly less damage. Larger more.

Then variable HP would be consistent.

Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Right now, the base Health mechanic is figured by Stamina + 10 + Specialization Mod. Specialization mod ranges from +14 for caster types to +18 for melee types. The stamina (for PCs) ranges from 0-10 with 5 being "base". Some critters do exceed those boundaries.

It looks like starting character are going to be pretty hard to kill.  I remember one Gamma World edition that required an average of 35 arrow hits to kill a first level character....

Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Currently, a Very Small (no bigger than 1 ft.) creature has a Health mod of .5
Small critters (3-4ft) have .75
Medium have 1
Large (8-10ft) have 1.5
Very Large (12-15ft) have 2
and Huge (20+) have 2.5

Not as big of a difference as I had feared (cat=2, elephant=50).  This may actually be understating the difference a bit but to make that determination, I'd have to playtest the entire combat system.

Quote from: "Erik Luken"
So a goblin, being small, averages out to around 30ish Health. A human fighter is around 40 Health. The goblin is harder to hit, needing a 15+ on a d20 (not counting any bonuses the attacker has) to hit. A human on the other hand is around 9+ to hit.

I'm somewhat concerned that you will hit the human twice as often as the goblin but the human doesn't have twice the HP.  That's a net advantage to the goblin.

Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Armor does not stop you from being hit (stupid D&D), but once you are hit, reduces the damage you take. Some creatures have an innate armor value (AV). Some have a mitigation against a certain type of damage (skeletons vs non-crushing, demons  vs fire, etc).

That's good.  

Does wearing armor make you easier to hit?  

Can a well placed hit bypass armor?

Quote from: "Erik Luken"
My gut says that a smaller creature should be easier to kill IF you hit, and a larger harder. It's just figuring out the correct ratio.

Maybe create a "hard to kill" table for working it out.  Set humans to 1 and group creatures based on how hard they are to kill vs. a human.  Then figure the To Hit vs HP to make creatures fit that mold.  So, if a cat (for lack of a better example) is deemed as hard to kill as a human then reduce its HP by the same ratio as you increase its To Hit.

You might want to add in the quality of the hit. Thus, you are more likely to connect a grazing blow to a cat than to a human.  This is more complication, however.

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 07:15:55 PM »
Quote from: "ShadoCat"
Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Smaller critters are harder to hit... Larger ones easier. That bit is already built in. Smaller critters (again ALL things equal) do slightly less damage. Larger more.

Then variable HP would be consistent.

Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Right now, the base Health mechanic is figured by Stamina + 10 + Specialization Mod. Specialization mod ranges from +14 for caster types to +18 for melee types. The stamina (for PCs) ranges from 0-10 with 5 being "base". Some critters do exceed those boundaries.

It looks like starting character are going to be pretty hard to kill.  I remember one Gamma World edition that required an average of 35 arrow hits to kill a first level character....
A short sword does 1d6 damage. You add your raw strength to the strike for damage. So a human fighter with say a 10 strength is doing 1d6+10.
The goblin has a 6 strength, but is small. So their added damage is only +4.
Quote from: "ShadoCat"
Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Currently, a Very Small (no bigger than 1 ft.) creature has a Health mod of .5
Small critters (3-4ft) have .75
Medium have 1
Large (8-10ft) have 1.5
Very Large (12-15ft) have 2
and Huge (20+) have 2.5

Not as big of a difference as I had feared (cat=2, elephant=50).  This may actually be understating the difference a bit but to make that determination, I'd have to playtest the entire combat system.
I know. Me too :)
 

Offline ShadoCat

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2009, 05:28:20 PM »
Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Quote from: "ShadoCat"
Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Right now, the base Health mechanic is figured by Stamina + 10 + Specialization Mod. Specialization mod ranges from +14 for caster types to +18 for melee types. The stamina (for PCs) ranges from 0-10 with 5 being "base". Some critters do exceed those boundaries.

It looks like starting character are going to be pretty hard to kill.  I remember one Gamma World edition that required an average of 35 arrow hits to kill a first level character....
A short sword does 1d6 damage. You add your raw strength to the strike for damage. So a human fighter with say a 10 strength is doing 1d6+10.
The goblin has a 6 strength, but is small. So their added damage is only +4.
Quote from: "ShadoCat"
Quote from: "Erik Luken"
So a goblin, being small, averages out to around 30ish Health. A human fighter is around 40 Health. The goblin is harder to hit, needing a 15+ on a d20 (not counting any bonuses the attacker has) to hit. A human on the other hand is around 9+ to hit.

I'm somewhat concerned that you will hit the human twice as often as the goblin but the human doesn't have twice the HP.  That's a net advantage to the goblin.
Again, the human will do nearly 2x the damage that the goblin will on a strike. It looks like it'll even out, but still needs playing to determine for certain.

This leads to a net advantage to humans.  If this is what you want, great.  If not, you might want to up the damage done by smaller critters a little.  I didn't sit down with a calculator but it seems that a +6 instead of a +4 would make the goblin pretty even with a human.

Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Quote from: "ShadoCat"
Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Armor does not stop you from being hit (stupid D&D), but once you are hit, reduces the damage you take. Some creatures have an innate armor value (AV). Some have a mitigation against a certain type of damage (skeletons vs non-crushing, demons  vs fire, etc).

That's good.  

Does wearing armor make you easier to hit?  

Can a well placed hit bypass armor?
Armor does not make you easier to hit, unless said armor pushes you into encumberance.

A natural 20 is a critical hit. A 20 ALWAYS hits. Two crit systems are outlined in the rules. The first is roll damage, apply all modifiers and then double. The second is roll damage, apply all modifiers and the bypass any AV. Sort of a "leave it to the GM preference".

Maybe leave it up to the player.  Assume that the player is looking to double damage but if the player is "going for a chink in the armor" then he bypasses the armor instead.

Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Quote from: "ShadoCat"

Quote from: "Erik Luken"
My gut says that a smaller creature should be easier to kill IF you hit, and a larger harder. It's just figuring out the correct ratio.

Maybe create a "hard to kill" table for working it out.  Set humans to 1 and group creatures based on how hard they are to kill vs. a human.  Then figure the To Hit vs HP to make creatures fit that mold.  So, if a cat (for lack of a better example) is deemed as hard to kill as a human then reduce its HP by the same ratio as you increase its To Hit.

You might want to add in the quality of the hit. Thus, you are more likely to connect a grazing blow to a cat than to a human.  This is more complication, however.

The quality of the hit could be reflected in the variable die roll. If you roll a 1 on 1d6, you grazed the creature. If you roll a 6, you land a solid blow.

I was thinking more along the lines of "Made it by X" = grazing blow, "Made it by Y" = standard blow, "Made it by Z" = critical, etc.

As I said, more complication.

Quote from: "Erik Luken"
All this said, if anyone would like a PDF copy of the rules to read through, critique, game with, turn into bird cage lining; let me know. It is fairly complete. Combat rules, character generation, Items, magic, bestiary. The mana amounts for spells are being reworked a bit, and there are some creature entries that read along the lines of "Giant Ant" and that's it. :)

I'd be willing to take a look over the weekend.  If you want, I can have the "math freak" (the one I was channeling for my above comments <grin>) of the group look over the numbers.

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2009, 07:27:28 PM »
A +6 for a goblin would actually be no reduction in damage based on size, for they have a 6 Strength.

The current scale is Very Small (+10 Def/-4 dmg), Small (+5 Def/-2 dmg), Medium (+0/+0), Large (-5 Def/+4 dmg), Very Large (-10 Def/+8 dmg), Huge (-15 Def/+12 dmg).

I should note that the goblin in the examples is effectively level 1.5, where the human is 1. Also any abilities which modify to hit and damage were not taken into account.
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2009, 06:28:57 PM »
I did notice a couple errors in the spreadsheet I've been using to figure up the stats, so all the monster stat block are incorrect. Once I fix those, I'll just drop the PDF in this thread (for those I've mailed it to, and any others that want it)
 

Offline ShadoCat

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2009, 03:45:20 PM »
Quote from: "Erik Luken"
I did notice a couple errors in the spreadsheet I've been using to figure up the stats, so all the monster stat block are incorrect. Once I fix those, I'll just drop the PDF in this thread (for those I've mailed it to, and any others that want it)
Sounds good.

I'll ignore the critters until then.

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2009, 08:26:53 PM »
I've finished the changes. Max file size is 2meg, so I can't attach it.

Here's a link. http://www.pentarch.org/eluken/Eldritch ... res_v7.pdf
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2009, 01:22:31 AM »
Got a wild hair and started to write a character generator.

This is the initial screen, about 80% coded. The other tabs have no coding yet.
[attachment=0:3odsf2mi]EAScreen1.PNG[/attachment:3odsf2mi]
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Game Design Question
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2009, 01:26:34 AM »
 

 

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