Category: Mechanic

Experience

Experience

Experienced gained from

  • Successful combat
  • Revealing secrets in conversations
  • Solving quests
  • Exploration

Possible extensions

Experience varies: E.g. the character who actually killed the enemy gets twice what everyone else gets. Or depends on outcome of action:

  • 2 experience points for every successful regular attack against a foe
  • 6 experience points for every critical hit against a foe
  • 1 experience point for every successful casting of a spell per points put into the spell, so for a 15-point “magic bolt,” I got 15 experience points. What’s also cool is this applies to defensive and healing spells, too.
  • 35 points for each kill

Dump experience in skills: The ability to dump experience directly into skills means that development is constant and palpable.

Decisions based on

You get experience only for things which challenge you. Killing an orc with a +15 sword and level 50 will give you nothing as a reward.

This is a good system ,though I personally prefer if games give you XP relative to the player’s and enemy’s level. Although that’s probably difficult to ballance well. Tactics Ogre has a great system, where you always need 100 XP to advance a level, but the amount you get varies strongly, depending on player and enemy level. One attack against a higher level enemy might give you 20 XP – a fifth of a level, but if you want to mindlessly grind against weaker enemies, you’ll only get one XP per hit, so you’d have to defeat 50 to 100 enemies to gain one level

Characters get experience for casting spells outside of combat, as well as for talking with NPCs. That’s a great system.

One thing I like about the game is the way experience points are earned, which is based on successful action rather than just a “kill.” I spent some time in a recent battle trying to figure out exactly what I was getting for each action. For all I know, the numbers vary considerably given the type of foe and other considerations, but for my battle with a couple of ogres, my characters seemed to get:

  • 2 experience points for every successful regular attack against a foe
  • 6 experience points for every critical hit against a foe
  • 1 experience point for every successful casting of a spell per points put into the spell, so for a 15-point “magic bolt,” I got 15 experience points. What’s also cool is this applies to defensive and healing spells, too.
  • 35 points for each kill

I do like the game’s approach to distributing gold and experience after battles. Where most games either give them to the character who struck the killing blow (Ultima IV) or distribute them evenly among party members (the default), Xyphus adopts a hybrid: the character who actually killed the enemy gets twice what everyone else gets.

You get a small amount of experience for disarming traps. I can’t remember a previous game that does this.

The ability to dump experience directly into skills means that development is constant and palpable.

Since you get experience from every battle and can spend it more-or-less immediately, character development is swift and constant

Firstly you receive half the experience for any hits you land on an opponent e.g. if you hit for 6 points of damage you would instantly gain 3 points of experience.

Directly buy power (spell and weapon skill) with XP

Secondly on winning an encounter you appear to get an experience bonus which is based on the opponent’s initial hit points multiplied by a factor – in many cases this is two but in the case of say a Ghost this could be as high as eight.

Success is heavily dependent on developing a couple dozen magic, combat, and adventuring skills, on which you directly spend experience.

I’m discovering that the game awards both individual experience (for successful actions like casting spells) and party experience. We’ve had games that have done one or the other before, but I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a game that does both.

As in Crown, accumulated experience points are spent directly on improvement of skills an attributes. Some of the weaknesses are here, too, including a sense of micromanagement that I admit might leave my final review echoing CGW’s if the game lasts too long

You gain experience when you kill monsters in the dungeon, but you have to rest at an inn to “absorb experience” and thus gain levels.

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

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