Author: sasa

Encumbrance

Encumbrance

If your characters are carrying too much they get encumbered. There are two types of encumbrance:

  1. Personal: If the characters is carrying too much
  2. Party: If the party carries too much

The effect of both is the same a character which is encumbered has to pay a higher cost for each of her action. The party encumbrance system is only relevant on the world map, because in a settlement map it is assumed that the party stores the stuff somewhere and is not carrying around the whole time. During combat the characters will drop all the stuff that burdens them. The drawback is that during combat only items carried on person can be used.

Calculation of weight and encumbrance

  • Weight is measured in stones.
  • One stone is approximately 0,5 kg or 1 pound.
  • One strength point gives a carrying capacity of 0,5 Stones.
  • Every human has a base carrying capacity of 10 stones.
  • A agent has the condition “encumbered” when she carries more than her carrying capacity is.
  • A agent has the condition “party_encumbered” when the party is carrying more then the sum of the party members carrying capacity is.

Effects of encumbrance

Personal encumbrance

EncumbranceEffect
100% + x% Added Stamina Cost of x%
For every additional 15% above 100% Looses one AP

Party encumbrance

Encumbrance from partyEffect
Additional food consumptionDouble normal food consumption for every 10% of encumbrance
Drop on morale

Balancing weight values

Lvl 40 Soldier (about 50 Strength, 75 stones) should be able to wear full Plate Armor (56s) with Longsword (4s) + Shield  (8s) =  68s

Every Person can carry at least something.

Ideas to consider

Encumbrance matters: The more weight my characters carry, the slower I move through the dungeon. This became a problem in one section of Level 3 in which I had to press a button that opened a secret door, then race down the corridor before the door closed. It was several frustrated attempts before I realized I needed to abandon some of my stuff so I could run faster. ( Although TWE isn’t a real-time game this approach could also be used in a turn based game. )

Mules and bandits: Once they start paying for mules and such,you can add bandits that snatch them while they are in dungeons, thus they would need to hire npc guards as well. And food and water and equipment for them as well. So,they’ll either spend tons of money on those,or just loot the small valuables.

Different ideas. https://nethackwiki.com/wiki/Encumbrance

Decisions based on

Carry limits in games are NOT fun, particularly in hoard driven games, they only really make sense as a game feature in survival games, limits on other kinds of games only annoy the player and force them to make even less logical action, like expending hours loading and unloading crap every time they finish a dungeon or making stockpiles in strategic points (usually ridiculous ones like the front of the elevators like in system shock 2 or the middle of the street, or a barrel somewhere) to reduce commute time or forcing players to not use cool things (like potions) because you can only carry one and “you might needed later”, or forcing players to choose weapons for their kills/ammo-limit ratio rather than because they are fun to use since they can only carry 1 or 2, games need to deliver fun, not realism, we have real life for that and we are playing games to get away from it.

This, by the way, is always one of the most immersion-breaking details in RPGs for me. I’m an occasional archer, and I know for a fact that 50 arrows is a large, awkward, heavy bundle. 1000 arrows – pocket change in most RPGs – would fill a U-Haul. A spare set of plate mail is NOT an easy burden, much the less 10 of them.

Other sources

Backpack Weight and the Scaling of the Human Frame: https://aapt.scitation.org/doi/10.1119/1.4897584

Range

Range

The range of weapons etc. is based on the following table. It is kind of counter intuitive because if you want to reach the tile which is two tiles up you need a range of three. The advantage is that it allows far more options than an intuitive correct mapping from range to tiles, e.g. you can have a weapon with a very short range which disallows directional attacks.

141210878101214
1210865681012
10864346810
864212468
753101357
864212468
10864346810
1210865681012
141210878101214

Range formula

Here is the formula which is used to calculate the range:

x = |PosX1 – PosX2|

y = |PosY1 – PosY2|

(y * 2) -1 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2
(y * 2) -1 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2
(y * 2) -1 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2
(y * 2) -1 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2 (x + y) * 2 – 2
0 (x * 2) -1 (x * 2) -1 (x * 2) -1 (x * 2) -1
Defend

Defend

Defender reaction to attack

1. Dodge

AttackerDefender
Agility (+)
Armor (-)
(-) The ability to evade is reduced when surrounded by enemies

Flanking: If the defender is surrounded by more than one attacker in the cardinal directions, her evade is reduced by 30% for each additional attacker. Maximum evade penalty is 90%.

Strategy:

  • Attacker has to reduce free tiles around defender

Outcome:

  • If teh defender attacks the attacker may stumble, because she but a lor of force behind the attack.

2. Shield block

AttackerDefender
Needs shield
Costs some stamina, low stamina = malus
Can only parry attacks from front

Strategy:

  • Attack from behind

Outcome:

  • Defender shield break check
  • Attacker weapon shatter check
  • Defender shattered arm check
  • Defender stunned check

3. Parry

AttackerDefender
Dexterity (+)
Weapon gives parry bonus
Can only parry attacks from front
Costs stamina
Player can decide if he wants to parry

Strategy:

  • Attack from behind

Outcome:

  • Weapon break check

4. Armor block

AttackerDefender
Strength (+)Armor takes damage
Weapon armor penetration (+)
Type of attack (slash/strike/pierce) (+/-)

Strategy:

  • Destroy armor

Outcome:

  • Defender poise check (weapon weight (+))

5. Succesfull hit

AttackerDefender
Strength (+)Armor reduces damage

Outcome:

  • Attacker scores critical check
  • Defender take damage

Questions

How to avoid deadlocks (aka enemy is too strong to be damaged)?

Transportation

Transportation

There will be different means of transportation. Some of them are more or less a commodity for the player where others are critcial to advancing in the world. The different transportation options allow access to areas not reachable otherwise and are an essential item for exploring the game world.

Travelling by foot

Travelling by foot is possible but rather slow. Water can’t be crossed on foot. Some types of terrain take more time. Some types take a greater toll of your stamina. Roads and bridges provide the easiest travel. More time is needed to pick your way through forests and across glaciers -the treacherous marshes take the most time of all. The drain on your energy ranges from roads up through plains, forests, deserts and glaciers to those treacherous marshes again. Mountains and rivers simply cannot be crossed without other means of transporation. The going is slower after dark, and when your party members are tired. It is impossible when they are exhausted. Transports is also needed to increase carring capacity. They can be stolen though, or if it is an animal die from thirst. Last but not least it is easiert to discover a party if they use a caravan. But it also may be easier to flee an encounter if the party is mounted and the other side on foot.

Features

  • Faster Movement
  • Movement depending on wind/currents
  • Access to other areas
    • Can cross water
    • Can fly over mountains
    • Can cross swamp/lava without taking harm
  • Provides storage capacity
    • For persons
    • For items
  • Has means of self defense
    • Harpoons on a ship
    • Fire breathing animals
  • Instant Movement to other places

Types

  1. Balloon
    • Can cross everything except high mountains
    • Can and will fly in the direction of the winds
  2. Caravan
    • Provide a lot of storage capacity
    • Can only travel on roads
  3. Flying Carpet
  4. Galley
    • Some of the towns on the water have ships for hire, which will transport you to other port cities, saving you the walking time.
    • Only operate seaside and rivers
    • Can’t be operated by the party alone.
  5. Mount: Birdlike
    • Can fly
  6. Mount: Frog
    • Can travel swamps safely
  7. Mount: Horse
    • faster movement
  8. Sailboat
    • Only useable on sahllow & medium deep water in the open sea
    • Either needs a sailing crew or some people in the party with sailing experience
  9. Skiff
    • Portable to some degree
    • Can navigate only shallow water
  10. Submarine
    • Can travel underwater

Properties

  • Cost
  • Agent capacity
  • Storage capacity
  • Movement speed
  • Movement type
  • Owner
  • Position (?)
  • Upkeep

Questions

Settlement

Enter while using transport

For every type of transport a parking position exists, player spawns next to this location

USE transport in settlement

If the player is the owner of the transport and uses it she immediatly leaves the settlement using this transport. If not, a pop up dialogue appears which asks if the player wants to steal it.

Buy transport

Transport spawns at the parking position. If the parking position is occupied the player can’t buy this transport.

Sell transport

Transport which the player wants to sell must be in parking position in the settlement. When sold, it disappears.

Leaving settlement without using transport

Message appears which says that transport will be seized by the authorities

Worldmap

Attacked while in tranpsort

Simply enter combat with the party unmounted. Depending on the transport, the combat map depends on the transport (e.g. balloon, galley).

Unmounting transportation

  • Abandoning transportation
  • Ships can only be unboarded when next to land

Open questions

General

Should a list of bought transports be saved?

Worldmap

USE on Worldmap
  • Exit transport -> what happens then? Should it be possible?
  • How to mount transport?
  • How to Access storage?

Additions in future versions

  • Some types of terrain take more time
  • Some types take a greater toll of your stamina
  • The going is slower after dark, and when your party members are tired
  • It is impossible when they are exhausted
  • They can be stolen though
  • Animals must be feeded
  • Last but not least it is easier to discover a party if they use a caravan.
  • But it also may be easier to flee an encounter if the party is mounted and the other side on foot.
  • Different factions are not allowing every kind of transport (e.g. frogs are not used by imperials)
  • The embargo when leaving tranpsortation behind could change to be time dependend
  • When flying on the worldmap party can only be attacked by flying enemies or those with ranged weapons
  • When exiting transport on worldmap the transport doesn’t get deleted -> but what else?

Declined Features

Teleportation

There are some teleporters in every imperial settlement: ##LINK## Portal of Defenders of Civilisation (Podoc) Besides that there should not be a way to teleport on the worldmap. For convenience reasons there exists a ##Link Quicktravel option.

“It’s also kind of lame that the Orb works in the middle of combat, enabling instant escape–directly to Lord British’s throne room for healing, if you want–when things get tough. I certainly don’t mind cutting down on travel time, but I think the Avatar should have to visit the stone circles associated with each destination before the Orb will take him there.”

CRPG Addicts influence

CRPG Addicts influence

It was back in 2013 when I read an article in a german online news site about Chester Bolingbroke. A guy who wants to play every computer role playing game. Every. “This task is impossible and a person trying to go through it must be insane” were my first thoughts. I thought it is impossible because there are so many crpgs out there and each one takes a lot of time to play. Even when I was in my teens and had a lot of free time, which I glady put into playing crpgs, I haven’t finished most of the ones I started, because at some point they mostly got tedious and too time consuming. And I played only the best rated ones. Today, with a full time job, I hardly have the time to play at all. I probably go through two or three crpgs per year and have the feeling that I spend too much time on crpgs. I couldn’t imagine somebody working full time would suffer through all of them. So I expected that the articles were either based on minimal playing experience or the guy writing them was a bum with nothing better to do which would certainly show up in the articles in the form of a generally low quality.

So i started reading his blog and realized very quickly that I couldn’t be more wrong. The quality of each and every article is simply superb and he really plays most of the games until the end. Even the ones which are more than tedious. Since five years I follow his blog and read everything. Every article, every comment. Yes, comments also, because his blog attracts a lot of crpg players from around the world. They share their experience with the game, a bit of personal history and some insights in the grander things of crpgs. They add even more value to the already very valuable articles. I still can’t imagine that someone has the energy to follow this project for years, but apparently he has. And I am very happy about it.

If you don’t know him you can find the “Crpg Addict blog” here..

Resting

Resting

The party can rest on the Worldmap and on the Settlement Maps. Resting doesn’t restore and heal everything. This ensures that time spend travelling and battling wears the PCs down. They need a certain amount of efficency to survive. Only when they are in settlements they can fully regain their power, as resting in the wilderness always poses the risk of a random encounter.

Effects:

  • Cures Bleary-eyed (more than 8h)
  • Restores Stamina (10% per hour)
  • Restores Morale
  • Restores 1 point of health and if somene is attending you 3 points

Modifiers:

  • Resting at night
  • Without Food
  • Without Water

Pray: Priests can pray to their gods

Resting on the Worldmap

If the party rests on the worldmap it is builidng a camp. Setting the camp up needs some time and equipment. If some equipment is missing, or the weather is too bad, the positive effect of resting will be smaller. The party also needs food to rest, otherwise the resting effects are minimal.

Attending a companion: Helps the companion to heal faster.

Conserving food: Meat or other food rots, so it has to be conserved if the meat should be added to the food reserves.

Equipment: Sleeping Roll

Encounters: Party may encounter NPCs during rest. If so, some members of the party will enter the encounter with their condition listed as asleep.

Fireplace: Making a fire restores stamina faster and food and water is used more efficiently. A fire draws more encounters, because it can be seen for a long distance. It also cures the conditions cold.

Hunting for Food: Some campsites are better suited for hunting than others. Forests are good. Icefields, deserts and highways are bad. The Player has to decide who goes hunting. During the hunt these agents could encounter some wild animals, etc. Also enemy NPCs could wait with raiding the camp until some PCs are gone for hunting, thus reducing the amount of defenders.

Scout: Is a scout in the party the player gets feedback, if e.g. lighting a fire makes an encounter more likely or not. He also gives an overall assesment of the situation: Which dangers are about, wild animals, etc.

Party size: The bigger the party the higher the chance of an encounter

Resting in Settlements

Resting in an settlement usually requires the party to pay for in an inn, unless they have the invitation to do so in someones house. They could also scout for empty houses and rest there, but they could be discovered by the local guard or maybe attract local thieves.

Encounters: Party may encounter thieves during rest. If so, some members of the party will enter the encounter with their condition listed as asleep.

Inn Quality: The better the Inn the faster the party recovers. A higher price of a musn’t reflect in a better quality. The inn costs per party member. The cheapest one carry a risk of disease and theft.

ToDo

  • Implement UI
  • Implement mechanics

CRPG Addicts influence:

Read more about his influence or visit his blog.

It’s system of resting and restoration is, at first glance, drawn from Might & Magic. The party can rest for 8 hours at almost any location, and 8 hours of rest fully restores hit points and spell points. That makes it sound a little too easy, just as Might & Magic noften was, but you have a supply of food that continually depletes as you move and rest, and you can’t rest if it’s gone. nMight & Magic had that, too, but the difference here is that food is rare and expensive. You can find some in the wilderness and buy it in town, but a few days’ supply costs a couple hundred gold pieces, and at the beginning, at least, finances are tight. This means that you can’t abuse the rest system, and the game manages to find that nice balance between individual combat difficulty and accumulation-of-combats difficulty that characterize Might & Magic and Wizardry, respectively.

A few more thoughts on the resting issue: Might & Magic II could have ramped up the tactical level by including more serious consequences to resting too often. Right now, there are only four, and none of them are consequential enough to worry about:

  1. You risk getting attacked in your sleep. Easily countered with the “Instant Keep” spell, and random attacks aren’t that common anyway.
  2. You use a unit of food. But food is cheap and you can carry 40 units. If you could only carry five or six meals, or if each one cost a bundle, it would encourage the player to be a bit more sparing with how often he or she rests.
  3. You age a day, and once you hit 75 years of age, there’s a chance your characters might die. My characters are all still 18, though (in contrast to the first game, when they aged four or five years in the first town alone), and I’m sure by the time they’re in their 30s, I’ll have the “Rejuvenate” spell. Making the aging faster, or eliminating the spell, would encourage more care in the passage of time.
  4. Your NPCs charge for their services. Right now, I’m paying 40 gold pieces per NPC per day, or about a twelfth of what I find in a typical battle. If NPCs charged more (and they do increase their fees as the levels go up), I guess that would make more of a difference.
  5. I would have preferred if the game had really made you stop and think before hitting that “r” button–if it had encouraged to squeeze every step out of each day. Another alternative would have been to only heal half, or a quarter, of your hit points and spell points with each rest.

It only gets better in future games as the number of spells increases and give you more options. Because you can only recover spells by sleeping, and because you can’t go to sleep in most places until you’ve cleared them, the game strikes a good balance between individual-combat difficulty (as in Might & Magic) and accumulation-of-combats difficulty (as in Wizardry).

I was going to comment that the rule that characters only get 1 HP restoration from 24 hours’ rest is kind of stupid. Then I thought about it and realized that resting for 2 months to go from death’s door to perfect health is probably about accurate. In much later AD&D-based games like Baldur’s Gate, one night’s rest restores all hit points, I think.

Rest and HP recovery rules in AD&D tabletop have always been brutal. You recovered 1 HP per day of normal rest, and if you were doing a full-on “stay in bed all day” with someone attending to you, you could recover 3HP per day. It was assumed players would use magical healing to get back into fighting shape faster.

Keyboard commands

Keyboard commands

Here is an overview of whcih keyboard commands exist and what effect they have based on the map they are executed on. Bold ones are the same on every map.

KeyWorldSettlementBattlefield
(1-0)Show player statsShow player statsShow player stats
(a) ttacknoneInitiate combatAttack
(c) ast a spellCast a spellCast a spellCast a spell
(e)nterEnter a locationEnter location, climb stairs, etc.none
(g)etnonePick an item upPick an item up
(i) nventoryDisplay inventoryDisplay inventoryDisplay inventory
(l)ook atnoneLook at somethingnone
(q)QuicktravelQuicktravelnone
nonenoneQuit combat
(r)estRest and set up campnonenone
(s)earchnoneSearchnone
(t)alknoneTalk with NPCnone
(u)senoneInteract with object on mapnone
E(x)it to WorldmapnoneLeave settlementLeave battlefield
(w)aitEnds player turnEnds player turnEnds player turn

Todo

KeyWorldSettlementBattlefield
Shift + (1-0)Set active playerSet active playernone

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Settlement map

Settlement map

Settlements describes every map where NPC interaction can take place. It can be a village, castle but also a patch of forrest, cave, etc.

Agents on the map

All NPC agents have to be defined and created manually.

Player: Single Agent, Main Character NPC: Fixed PC spawn: Fixed NPC spawn: Fixed

Features

  • Buildings with multiple levels
  • Cutscenes
  • Interacting with doors (Open/Close/Knock/Bash)
  • NPC conversations
  • Quicktravel

Features ToDo

  • Trading with NPCs
  • Pick Pocketing
  • Recruiting NPC, Army
  • Resting
  • Attack
  • Close
  • Hide
  • Open
  • Search
  • Use Item
  • Theft
  • Traps Disarm/Set

Additions in future versions

Random settlements

All bigger areas will be generated randomly, a size up to 1024 x 1024 is supported. Hand crafting a map with a size of 1024 x 1024 is very time consuming if done properly. If time is limited (which it always is) the map will be very generic and will be interesting only in a few parts where more time was invested. They idea is that these special parts are still hand crafted but embedded in a random map. This will give the player the feeling that she is actually exploring a huge world. Let’s give two examples:

  1. Big cities: The cities will be filled with shops, homes etc. The player can explore them, rob them, etc. But there may be some special places to discover for her. She can spend a lot of time searhcing for them or (which is the intended way) she has the quicktravel bookmark to go there.
  2. Forrests: The player can wander around and hunt for animals, maybe he may even stumble across a camp of gwarr or another interesting site. But most of the time she will just wander around feeling lost…like in a real forrest. If there is a point of interest in the forrest she can quicktravel to it.
Battlefield map

Battlefield map

Battlefields are maps for combat only. If it is a random encounter on the worldmap a battlefield is chosen according to the tile on which the encounter took place, e.g. if the encoutner took place in hills the battlefield features hills. For sepcial encounters it is possible to create a battlefield specific to this encounter.

Player: All party members and allies NPC: Fixed / randomly generated PC spawns: Area NPC spawns: Fixed / Area

Features

  • Attack

Features ToDo

  • Defend
  • Hide
  • Open chests
  • Shoot
  • Wait
  • Spawn player @ fixed area
  • Spawn Loot
  • Spawn random enemies

Additions in future versions

Random battlefield

While travelling aorund the worldmap the player may encounter hostile NPCs and a combat will start. To give a bit of variety these combat maps will be created randomly.

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