Monday, August 10, 2009

Balancing Attributes

Helping to run an active Star Wars MUSH (online RP game), I was introduced to a lot of the best and worst tendencies of gamers. As mentioned in previous posts, one of my biggest pet peeves were the min/maxers who based their choice of Race mainly on what kind of 'super-stats' they could get. When you combined those people with the given stat maxima of several 'mega' races...well, you got trouble. I'm thinking here of races like Barabel and Coynite and Togorian and a host of others. Twinks would invariably go for one of these races then pump up their Strength and Dexterity attributes as high as they could go. So in some cases, you had things with 5D strength and 4D dexterity. Huge, fast killing machines.

From a game balance point of view, this irked me. But it also bothered me from a sense of realism. You had to look no further than Chewbacca for an example of 'realistic' attributes. Chewie was big and strong, but he was also just a bit 'lumbering' in his movements. There seemed to be a trade-off and balance there that worked with the physics of his size. He was strong, yes, but not as fast as his companions.

So, in the interest of both game balance and my own subjective sense of 'realism', I implemented the following rule:

A character of ANY race may not have more than 8D Total divided among their Dexterity and Strength Attributes. Thus, you could have a 4D Strength and 4D Dexterity (being pretty strong and pretty quick) or a 5D Strength and 3D Dexterity (very strong and moderately quick) or a 6D Strength and 2D Dexterity (extremely strong, but kind of slow). 

There was grumbling about this, of course. But I've held firm. It works for me—and it makes sense. I mean, you've got a body-builder with a 5D strength (like Ahhnold), he just is NOT going to be able to move like a small quick guy with a 5D dexterity (like Jackie Chan). Given the at lot of alien races share similar physiology to humans... and ALL share the same physics...well, like I said, its subjective, but if feels right to me.

Oh, and P.S. In my game, I've actually changed with the main six attributes are—so in the above example in my campaign, it would be Agility instead of Dexterity (in my campaign, Dexterity is separate from Agility). See this post if you're interested.

1 comment:

  1. But Rolo... the Darians are the bestest, most powerfullest race EVAR. Surely they're exempt from this! They're FAR too cool for this kind of a limiting rule. Your game sucks! I quit! :)