Asmor's Geek Blog

AARPG WiP: Calculators, Vitality & Toughness

by on May.01, 2011, under Creations

One thing that sets AARPG apart from other RPGs is that I expect every player to have a calculator. Nothing fancy, just something to allow you to quickly and easily add, subtract, multiply and divide. You can probably get a solar powered calculator from the dollar store.

It seems a bit odd, granted, and I expect that there will be some who either feel it’s too onerous a requirement (to which I reply, how is being expected to have a calculator any different than being expected to have a set of dice?) or perhaps even unnecessary. To that last group, my reply would be, sure, you can add, subtract, divide and multiply 2-digit numbers in your head… But why bother? I could spend 5-10 seconds calculating 97/14 in my head, or I could just punch it into a calculator.

This brings me to the damage system I’m going to be using, consisting of vitality and toughness. A base, level 1 character will have a toughness of 10 and 10 vitality points, before other modifiers.

You can think of vitality points as your hit points, except one point of damage doesn’t equate to one point of vitality. Rather, you divide damage taken by your toughness, and that’s how many VP you lose (rounded down). As an example, if a character with 10 toughness takes 46 damage, that’s 4 VP lost.

Armor improves toughness, and characters may have a piercing rating which reduces their opponent’s toughness. For example, if a rogue with piercing 2 attacks an enemy with toughness 13, the enemy’s effective toughness would be reduced to 11 against the attack.

Magic frequently interacts with VP directly, completely bypassing toughness. Healing restores VP, and offensive magic takes away VP. Thus, magic is┬ácomparatively┬ámore effective against well-armored enemies, while physical attacks are better against ‘squishies.’

2 comments for this entry:
  1. dennis

    Workable and the bypass mechanic is interesting but what’s the impact on speed of gameplay? Balance will be a consideration between physical vs magic damage sources. Depending on how balanced you want them of course and what your balance mechanism is for magic in general. Ie time based or magnitude based. Not a fan of time based myself even though I ended up with a form of it in my design.

  2. Asmor

    I haven’t settled down yet on how I’m going to be rolling for damage, but I suspect determining the amount of damage will take longer than converting that to VPs lost.

    Damage may well get up into three digits, but it’s unlikely to be 4. Toughness is pretty much guaranteed to always be 2 digits. So that’s a total of 6 button presses on the calculator, tops. (123/45=)

    As far as balancing magic vs. physical, I can’t say much until I figure out exactly how I’m doing damage, but I’m going to try to get it so that magic tends to do about the same amount of VP loss as damage does, against someone with an ‘average’ toughness.

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