I won't pretend that I'm a very big fan of the HP system. I never liked the idea of a character being distilled down to simply a number. You get punched for 12 damage 10 times, and your 120 hp character dies. Punched to death, what a way to go. Sure, if you get hit hard enough that can happen in reality, but it's not exceptionally likely.

So instead of a health number and a magic number, I opted for 2 of each.

I'm still tweaking this system (and in MSpaint, I'm trying to conceptualize how it would look to keep it simple), so bear with me here.

There are 4 different meters, instead of the standard two.

Blood, Pain, Soul Power and Fatigue.

Blood is simply the amount of blood your character has, and starts at 100%. As you are hit, some attacks could cause the character to get cut, or stabbed, or impaled, or some other form of laceration. Characters of course bleed when these things happen. As you bleed, your blood meter goes down. Wounds will naturally clot themselves up to stop the bleeding, depending on the severity, the speed of which depending on the size of the wound. Once you have lost enough blood, your character will become disoriented from blood loss. This will cause them to miss more often, move more clumsily, and probably a few other specific things I haven't thought of yet. When it drops to a lower point than that, your character passes out and becomes unconscious (something to note about unconscious characters is that they are not dead, but are entirely vulnerable and unable to defend themselves from atack). If they continue bleeding after that, it will hit 0 and they will die. The amount of blood a character has doesn't change, but stats can make a character less likely to take wounds that bleed, make the wounds heal faster, or let a character continue on longer before becoming disoriented.

Pain is the amount of punishment your character can take and starts at 0%. Physical attacks and most kinds of magical attacks, instead of dealing damage, will deal pain. The pain meter goes up as you take it, and once it reaches a certain point, your character will be in extreme pain. This level of pain makes physical actions cost more than they normally do and may even cause more pain themselves. When pain reaches 100%, the character passes out and becomes Unconscious. The amount of pain a character can take can be increased by stats, the amount they take from attacks can be reduced, and the Extreme Pain threshold can be lowered or even ignored for some classes.

Soul Power is the amount of magical energy a character has. It is your basic MP that has been standard in games for a long time, with one exception. Once players spend enough Soul Power on spells to reach a certain point, it becomes harder to cast spells and cast time, as well as spell cost go up, and spell effectiveness goes down.

Fatigue is the amount of energy a character can expend. As characters use physical actions (some of which are combat actions like throwing a punch, some are defensive such as blocking, and some are non combat such as running through a field), they gain Fatigue. Fatigue fades when you don't take any actions. As a fight goes on, Fatigue builds up, and as it does, characters become less effective. When this effectiveness decline starts depends on the stats of the character, but each successive stage will reduce the speed, power, and defensive capabilities of a character by certain degrees until they reach 100% Fatigue. At this point, the character becomes Exhausted and only able to take a few actions (actions such as falling over, maybe rolling over once or twice, etc. Just small actions that may help them not die). The Fatigue will fade slowly and the character will stay Exhausted until enough of it fades and they can get up. If they take any of those minor actions, it will stop the fading for a moment but otherwise they are just slightly less helpless than Unconscious in the Exhausted state.

Like I said, this is still a work in progress, but I think a combat system in which you have to not only try to whittle down your opponent but also pay attention to yourself and make strategic decisions in combat is a good thing.

There are also several other things I'm planning on working in such as players getting hit enough times could start bleeding internally, or possibly what to do if you get your head sliced off or bitten off by a dragon. But those will come later. I think 4 separate numbers is more than enough to worry about right now.

Posted by Glyph, the Architect | at 8/17/2010 05:48:00 PM


Post a Comment