Update #18 - Systems Overview

The character system’s highlights:

Strength increases *max* melee damage by 1 per stat point (from -2 to +4), so if a melee weapon’s range is 4-10 and you have STR 8, then your damage range is 4-12, not 6-12 the way it works in most games, including AoD. If your STR is 4, then your damage range is 4-8. Thus STR gives you potential damage you may or may not roll rather than guaranteed +X to whatever you roll. Before you start complaining, high STR unlocks a feat reducing your attack speed with two-handed weapons, so it’s not a dump stat.

Dexterity: DEX+10 (instead of AoD’s DEX+2), so the new AP range is 14-20. Weapons’ speed will go up a bit for balance reasons but in general you’ll have 5 more action points per turn compared to AoD.

Constitution: 10+(CONx5), so the new HP range is 30-60. As before your HP won’t be increased when you level up, so don’t expect to have 200 HP by the end of the game. Also, CON determines how many implants your body can handle (CON-3). So if your CON is 4, your body can accept only one implant. If your CON is 10, you can get all 7 implants (provided you manage to acquire all 7, of course).

Perception determines your THC bonus, from -10 at PER 4 to +20 at PER 10, as well as your chance to react in combat. Intelligence determines the number of tagged skills that grow at a much faster rate, from 1 at INT4 to 4 at INT10. Charisma determines the number of party members, 1 extra follower at CHA4, 3 at CHA8.

All stats will be checked in dialogues and text adventure elements. CON, INT, and PER will determine your “non-armor” resistances (physical, mental, sensory), which will be checked in combat when grenades and gadgets come in play.





Feats:

We didn’t have feats in AoD, so it’s an uncharted area and there are many ways to handle it. For example, Fallout had a traditional setup where you get crap feats like Toughness at level 3 and literally killer feats like Slayer or Sniper at level 18 (53 feats overall, although most guides think that only 6 feats are must-have). DnD favors prerequisites: to get Whirlwind, not only you must have higher INT but also Combat Expertise, Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack, which is a lot of feats you may or may not need to get the one you really want. 

We started with a Fallout-like setup and about 80 feats (everything we could think of and then some), then removed all filler, reworked the rest and ended up with exactly 40 feats. We ditched the level requirements, leaving the stat and skill requirements for 12 feats. We will do our best to balance them and make sure they are all useful (at least to certain builds) but the list looks pretty good so far.

We’re aiming for 10 levels, meaning you get 10 feats out of 40. Some examples:

Lone Wolf (no party members):  +10 to evasion, +5% CS chance
Adrenaline Rush: +10% CS chance, +20% CS damage when 5HP or less
Second Wind: +2AP on kill
Gunfighter: +25% chance to trigger a reaction attack
Overclocked: Double the implants' bonus, reduce HP by 15
Eye for an Eye:   Chance to trigger a reaction attack equal to damage taken (stackable with other bonuses)

So the idea is that you don’t work your way up to killer feats but gain abilities and increase your bonuses. No single feat on its own will make you a killing machine. Take reaction fire, for example (think AoD’s interrupt and counter-attacks rolled into one). Your chance to “react” is determined by your PER, your weapon’s bonuses (revolvers have the highest bonus), and feats. Much like AoD’s passive bonuses that make a noticeable difference between a novice with a spear and a master capable of holding his enemies at bay, there will be a noticeable difference between a character with 5% reaction chance and 50%. Same goes for criticals or bonus AP or other stats and abilities.

Weapons:

As mentioned previously, there are 3 main categories (melee, firearms, energy) corresponding to 3 different damage types (melee, projectile, energy). Each category has different sub-categories to ensure that you have enough tactical variety. For example, if you’re a boxing enthusiast, you can go with brass knuckles, push daggers, and combat gloves, including power gloves if you want to put your energy cells to good use.

If you like pistols, you have 3 types of weapons to choose from:

  • Long Barrel – best accuracy, range, and penetration, THC bonus with aimed attacks, relatively low rate of fire
  • Multi Barrel – best grazing and critical range, very short effective range (basically, an “up close and personal” pistol), capable of firing two barrels at once
  • Revolvers – compared to the other two, it’s an average pistol that doesn’t excel at anything but doesn’t have any drawbacks either. However, it does have the highest reaction fire bonus and the highest rate of fire (on average)


Now about rate of fire: so far it takes 4AP to aim and fire a pistol. We’ve experimented with different attack costs (like 4 to 6AP for pistols but decided against it for now). Thus the main factors that determine the overall rate of fire are the magazine and reload speed.

A crappy long barrel pistol requires a reload after each shot, which raises the actual attack rate to 6AP. A mid-range pistol can be loaded with 3 bullets, which drops the attack rate to 5AP. A semi-automatic pistol a-la Mauser can take ten 9mm bullets, which reduces the “adjusted” attack rate to 4.3AP. To be clear, the actual attack rate is still 4AP and the adjusted rate represents your ability to fire 10 times without reloading (versus firing 6 times with a revolver and then reloading).

There are 5 ammo types, each with its own modifiers in terms of damage, penetration, and critical chance/damage.



Armor:

We started with a 5-piece setup: helmet, chest, left arm, right arm, boots, which works best in a fantasy game, so we changed it to helmet, jacket, tactical vest, and boots. Each item has 3 damage resistance stats (melee, projectile, energy) plus the already familiar Max AP and evasion/sneaking penalties. You’ll be able to upgrade your armor, increasing DR and reducing penalties, but the upgrade slots will be limited and won’t be done in a linear fashion the way we did it in AoD since we have 3 different DR types now.




^ the armor icons are early concepts, not the final 3D models

Speaking of armor and clothing, here is some concept art to show the overall direction:









PS. I post these updates not to impress you with my update-posting skills but to show you how the game's concepts are evolving and get some feedback, so if you have anything to say, now is the time.