Thursday, May 6, 2010

YDIN - Explaining my idea of attributes and skills

Okay, attributes and skills:

Attribute high, skill high
- You are both stable and capable. Your critical hit rate is greater and you don't miss very often.

Attribute low, skill high
- It might be easy to hit and get criticals, but you stumble alot. Your fighting style is far from perfect. You know how to use a sword, but your physics aren't with you.

Attribute high, skill low
- You are good at it naturally, you hardly miss, but in cost of stability you botch often and critical hit seldom.

Attribute low, skill low
- You suck. You hit now and then, sometimes even crit, but botch quite often. Your physics and knowledge is not ment for swordfighting.

So, I think that attribute and skill balance eatch other. If I am very agile, but bad on swords, I got good change to hit (thanks to my natural dexterity) but I still got higher change to criticals, because I am not good with swords.

If I am skillful but my physics just don't work for it, I get critical hits usually... if I hit the target. Still, I don't botch that often.

If I am both agile and skillfull, I get high change for critical, low change for botches and hit most of the time. But if I lack both skill and psychics I might hit, or botch. My fighting is a stumbling and not at all certain.

I think, that maybe even if poorer dude can get higher critical possibility than better guy, it is because you suck with swords, you swing it like headless chicken running. You hit with LUCK well, but damn, you most likely hurt yourself doing it.
But if you have skills and are naturally good with swords (dexterity, agility what evah) you know what you do and don't hussle allaround. Your blows rarely hit yourself on the leg. You calculate your hits and don't just swing yer sword.

In many games systems you attributes + skills poor character cannot do a shit. Anyone played Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st edition with 30% of hit change in the beginning of the game, and got 1000's of 1000's of xp spent to get it even to every third hit misses? Yes.

BUT IN MY SYSTEM your crappy dumb crippled character who is good at picking his nose actually can swing his sword and get a deadly blow (cross your fingers not to loose grip, or hit yourself with it).

Simple, yes. Fast, yes. Realistic? Nah, adventurous, heroine, fast paced, dangerous? Yes.

I mean, even if your character sucks, he can success. I hate in rpg's when what ever I try with my character he cannot do it. Fights take eternity when miss, miss, miss, yey hit duh 1 dmg, miss, miss... Or your character tries to navigate out from the forest without navigation skill and dies in a hole alone. In my system your character, the hero can do hero stuff. Even if he isn't hero material. He is just lucky (if doesn't botch).

I give a example here:

Attribute 6 vs attribute 1. Another is highest human can be, another near crippled. Both have skill level 1, what is D6.

So, Attr 6 + skill 1 tries to do something. He throws D6 against 7.
Okay, 1 he successes which is also critical (result equals skill is critical).
Results 2,3,4,5 he successes.
Highest number of any die is always a miss. So with result 6 he misses but it also is a botch alert! Throw D6 again and if you get highest possible result (6 in this case obviously) it's critical botch.
With his skill this attribute 6 dude is quite stable in successing, but his lack of skill makes him miss every 6th.

What about our 1+1 dude?
Okay, D6 against 2 means he gets critical with result 1 (equals to skill again) and hits with result 2. Results 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 he misses and 6 is also critical threat.

Attr 6 + skill 1
- Critical 1/6
- Hit 5/6
- Miss 1/6

Attr 1 + skill 1
- Critical 1/6
- Hit 2/6
- Miss 4/6

Which one would you bet on? Okay, Lower attribute guy does get 50/50 critical WHEN he hits. But in that time other guy hits in 5/6 propability.

What about highest skills? Our other contestent is Attribute 6 skill 3 monster, other skillful but weak Attribute 1 Skill 3 person.

Attribute 6 + Skill 3 = 9. With skill 3 you use D10. Let's see what happens now?

- 1-3 Critical hit (die result equals skill)
- 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 hit
- 10 auto-miss + change for critical

And then our Attribute 1 + Skill 3 = 4 (with D10 from skill)
- 1,2,3 critical
- 4 hit
- 5,6,7,8,9 miss, and
- 10 miss + critical change.

6+3 misses every 10th (might be much for pro, but hey, you don't need dice if you wanna hit all the time eh?) and 1+3 6 out of 4.

Let's take one more, average joe who knows what he is doing. His attribute is 3 and skill 2 = 5 (means D8):

- 1,2 critical
- 1,2,3,5 hit
- 6,7,8 miss with higest result as threat for critical.

Same with less skills:
Attr 3 + Skill 1 (D6)
- 1 critical
- 1,2,3,4 hit
- 5,6 miss. Change for critical increases alot.

What about skillfull average?
Attr 3 + Skill 3 (D10)
- 1,2,3 critical
- 1,2,3,4,5,6 hit
- 7,8,9,10 miss. And critical botch decreases dramatically.

As you can see, everyone has good changes to success despite your skill or attribute. Biggest difference is that:
Higher attribute makes it easier to success with smaller skill, but smaller skill also increases dramatically change to critical botches.
Lower attribute makes everything harder, and if you got skill, your body cannot handle it but atleast you don't botch often. If you lack both attribute and skill you even hit well or hit really bad (take a change, lucky shots, close your eyes and hit... something).

Maybe these rules aren't the most realistic available, but everyone has a change. And if lower attribute might get better change to critical hits, which would you get:

- Crit more, hit yourself with an axe more
- Stable.

This was ment to be comment to this post, but turned out to be waaaaay longer than just an answer. So I made it own post.

Sorry if text is unclear, a bit tired and started just to flow text here! Might include some mistakes in numbers, not sure :D Sorry for that in advance.


Sami Koponen said...

Having just played the whole spring-time a Dark Heresy campaign I have to disagree with your statement: "character cannot do a shit". Yes, a character fails if he tries to attack straight up. That's why the skill / challenge element of the game is that you always arrange the situation so that you get proper bonuses for your throws. Got to kill someone? You don't go up to him and swing your sword. You get to him while he sleeps and cut his throat open. Or better, blow up the whole apartment. (The same thing goes to Praedor in my experience: the game mechanics promote nasty and unfair tactics by making straight-forward attempts relatively unsuccessful.) Nothing wrong in the rules, as I see it.

But, about YDIN's mechanics. The numbers move pretty interestingly in a table. Some examples:
(a) Attr. 3 + skill 1 and attr. 4 + skill 3 get hits almost as often (though the latter has a bit better chance of a critical success).
(b) A5 + S1 gets more hits than A4 + S3.
(c) Attr. 4, 5 and 6 + skill 1 are just as good when compared to one another.
(d) The chance of a critical failure is always somewhere 1-3%, so it's pretty rare no matter what attr. + skill combination one has.

In other words, if you want to approach this statistically, you have to think about (1) the effect of a critical success and (2) the xp (and other) cost of rising an attribute and a skill quite carefully.

Vanphil said...

Ok, you gave me enough info, so I did a bit of math :P
please note again that your logic is good imho, it's just the numbers that are asking for love.
Since I was able to look into different aspects, I'll split them up. Please let me know if the math doesn't sound good to you.

- Success rate: it ranges from 33,3% to 90%. I found out some relevant issues here:
- with an attribute value of 2, skill ranking is indifferent, the 3 of them have 50% success rate
- with an attribute value of 3 and 4, skill rank 1 grants an higher success rate than ranks 2 and 3 (66,7% and 83,3%)
- with an attribute value of 5, skill rank 2 grants an higher success rate than rank 3 (87,5% vs. 80%)
- skill rank 1 has its peak with attribute value of 4 (83,3%). Raising the attr above 4 doesn't get any benefit to rank 1 skills (the success rate will be always 83,3%)

- Crit ranges: since you write about chances of crit botches decreasing when attributes increase, I take as granted that to get a critical miss you have to roll the maximum value and then any value that is not a success.
If I'm not wrong, you set up a system where the critical success range is skill dependant (and it is 16,7% for rank 1, 25% for rank 2 and 30% for rank 3), while the critical botch range depends both on skill and attribute.
In this case, the critical miss chance ranges from 11,1% to 1%.
Please note that the "standard" crit miss range for d20 games is 5%, in your system PCs will score really a lot of criticals while they will botch every now and then, but I think it is just what you want so it is really ok.
The issues here are that:
- with attr score of 4, the lowest crit botch chance is with skill rank 1 (2,8%)
- with attr score of 5, the lowest crit botch chance is with skill rank 2 (1,6%)

You'll say: yes, but it counterbalanced by a greater crit chance for skill rank 3. This is why I made a very simple (and simplicistic) "points table" where I assigned 1 point for every success%, doubled for crit range, and subtracted the botch range (e.g. 50% success rate with 20% crit range and 10% botch means 50+20-10=60 points)
In this table, skill rank 3 is the best choice for attr values of 1,2,3 and 6.
Attr value of 4 doesn't have a clear winner, the 3 ranks sum up to 97 points each.
Attr value of 5 is best when paired with skill rank 2.

If you feel like to, I can send you the spreadsheet. MS Excel is part of my day job, so it literally took me more to write this comment than to do the math :)

I also came up with a quick patch for these issues, just let me know if you need a piece of advice

Unknown said...

a) keyword, better change for criticals with greater skill and less changes for FAIL (as meme)

b) A5 + S1 = hit 1,2,3,4,5 MISS 6
A4 + S3 = hit 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, MISS 8, 9, 10

Yes, with higher attribute here you can get better change for hits, but obviously with higher skill here you get better change for criticals. S1 gets 1/6 critical, when S3 almost every third. That is 50% more. Also S3 has critical failure change smaller.

c) Yes, you are better than average in attribute, but you are just training that skill. You cannot be better in that skill than you are.

d) Criticals (don't know how to % them now lol)
Skill 0 = D4 = 1/16 = 6,3%
Skill 1 = D6 = 1/36 = 2,8%
Skill 2 = D8 = 1/64 = 1,6%
Skill 3 = D10 = 1/100 = 1%
(rounded up)

Unknown said...

@Vanphil: You are more than welcome to send that file for me. I have though done step by step grid with all attribute + skill combinations, but didn't do all the % math but used "common" sense (who am I to judge is mine good).

You can also suggest that patch for me. At the upper comment I did explain some issues Sami found, and also did write critical failure changes in percentages.

My email is thaumielnerub (a) gmail (dot) com

Vanphil said...

You've got mail :)

The proposed solution is very simple, and it saves both the logic and the math. You should just let the 3 skill ranks give you 2 units of bonus points each. I suggest to change the +1/+2/+3 pattern to a +0/+2/+4 pattern.
This will cause no math issues: Skill Rank 3 will always be the best choice for success % and crit %, whatever the Attr. Level.

Also, I shouldn't mettle with the d4, since you have 6 attr levels. This little b*stard will top its success % at 75% at attr.level 3, you'll have further problems with it :)

Unknown said...

That your new pattern might work, but when you are skilless, what should you do? Give -2?

Now they are:
0 no skill D4
1 training D6
2 capable D8
3 pro D10

So in your variety
0 training D6
+2 capable D8
+4 Pro D10...

I have to compare those results to understand them properly. And also when you don't have skill, is it just -2 with D6.

And thank you for your mail Vanphil ;)

I am checking that file you sent and wow, it makes sense. Dice in Skill ratings are SR1=D6, SR2=D8 and SR3=D10 yes?

But there is only one problem... I don't like those lowered success percentages. I wanted, that characters usually success, not fail. I mean, if you used rpg rules, could you manage whole week without destroying things (humour intended, but think about it).

And there is no target number modifier for skilless actions. Without skill could require 2 throws picking worst result for success though...

Also, when throwing over it makes skill 1 WAY much easier to success than skill 3 ;)

Att 3 + 0 D6 over 4,5,6
Att 3 + 4 D10 over 8,9,10

(did I explain that rolling over means OVER the target number, not equal or over?)

My style
Att 3 + 1 D6 over 5,6
Att 3 + 3 D10 over 7,8,9,10

Rolling under your style:
Att 3 + 0 D6 1,2,3
Att 3 + 4 D10 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Att 3 + 1 D6 1,2,3,4
Att 3 + 3 D10 1,2,3,4,5,6

So dunno. Now I am overwhealmed. Biggest problem would be how to handle skilless attempts...

I really really need to think this over.