Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The FHB project - part 3 - Attribute generation and basic task resolution

I've decided that I want a character's race to affect his attributes, therefore, before I can design the races I need to work out my attribute generation system, and related to that, the task resolution system.


I quite like D&D's attribute range of 3-18, so we'll go with that, however I don't like the idea of races providing a flat bonus to attributes, so we need a new way of adjusting attributes.

We could change the die-type used, but that would radically change the range of attributes generated, so instead I look at skewing the results whilst still keeping them in a 3-18 range.

One of the attribute generation methods in various forms of D&D is to roll 4d6 and take the highest three. This, I think is a good starting point for my attribute generation system.

Attributes can be Normal, Slighted or Favoured. Normal attributes are rolled on 3d6. Favoured attributes are rolled on 4d6 dropping the lowest number and finally, Slighted attributes are rolled on 4d6, dropping the highest number rolled.

The Favoured/Normal/Slighted attribute categories are simillar to the system used to Tales of Garghentihr, though I didn't make the connection until I'd decided on it. The terminology may be changed for the final version.

For example, if we're creating a character with Favoured Agility and Slighted Personality, the die rolls and final scores could look like this.

Strength ------- 4,3,1 ----- 7
Toughness ------ 2,1,1 ----- 5
*Agility ------- 1,3,4,5 --- 12
Intelligence --- 6,5,6 ----- 17
Willpower ------ 2,1,5 ----- 8
-Personality --- 6,2,2,5 --- 9

Whilst we had some pretty bad rolls, and the highest attribute turned out to be one of the Normal ones, I'm pretty happy with this as a generation system.

To allow greater customisation I'm going to allow one pair of attributes to be swopped, under the condition that if swopping a favoured attribute, the new favoured attribute must be higher than what was rolled, and if swopping a slighted attribute, the new value of the slighted attribute must be less than what was rolled, so in the example above, we could swop Agility with Intelligence, or Personality with anything except Agility or Intelligence. Any of the other attributes could be swopped freely.

Task resolution

Now that we have our attributes, I need to know how to use them in task resolution. The obvious one would be d20 or 3d6 and a roll under system, but I like percentiles.

The easy way to make attributes in a 3-18 range usable with percentiles is to multiply them each by 5. Since we don't want to throw away the existing attributes, we'll have a new stat, called a Success number.

Using the results above, we have the following success numbers:

Strength ------- 7 ---- 35
Toughness ------ 5 ---- 25
*Agility ------- 12 --- 60
Intelligence --- 17 --- 85
Willpower ------ 8 ---- 40
-Personality --- 9 ---- 45

Next we'll look at the races and classes.


QE said...

I like the skewed probabilities in place of flat modifiers.

I might start my own FHB (although I agree that it's all a bit meta and doing so deliberately won't have the same worth).

Anonymous said...

If Personality is slighted, shouldn't you drop the six, leaving it with a score of 8, not 9?

-Personality --- 6,2,1,5 --- 9

Madcat said...

You are quite right.

The reason is that I originally rolled 6,2,2,5, then thought I'd added things wrong, so adjusted the die-roll printed.

Now re-adjusted to the original correct value.