Designing Believable LitRPG Mechanics

Discussion in 'All Things LitRPG' started by Paul Bellow, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    New guest post by Edwin McRae, author of Warlock: Reign of Blood.

    Even though I’ve designed narratives for several video game RPGs like Path of Exile and Ashen, I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to get lost in a deep, dark Forest of Numeracy. I’m more of a word guy than a numbers guy, which probably shows in my LitRPG work. It’s not a LitRPG story if it doesn’t feature stats, but those stats need to be designed and managed very carefully.

    I’m Edwin McRae, LitRPG author and game writer, and here’s the thought process that went into designing the mechanics for Warlock: Reign of Blood.

    Read more!

    Designing Believable LitRPG Mechanics | LitRPG Reads
     
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  2. Joshua Bender

    Joshua Bender Level 5 (Veteran) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I'm pretty much the opposite. I'm not a big believer in levels or stats, but in immersion and realism. I think you can have good LitRPG without those things. I do come from a different set of MMOs than most of the writers I've stumbled into though so I guess my perspective is different. I'm also not a tabletop gamer, so no real appreciation for character sheets, etc either.

    The worlds I build still have gaming elements in them, but I shy away from anything that isn't very realistic despite all my worlds having magic systems. Trying to make them believable is a challenge to be sure. The way I constructed Endaria was based around a ranking system for skills, etc. You were ranked by the system according to what you could demonstrate. Skill is highly based upon knowledge and not on experience points or anything. The players have the ability to learn skills via their interface, but nothing too technical. They still have to find mentors, trainers, etc to help them along. That is the ones that don't opt out of that built in teaching system. The players that remove their interface and focus on immersion gain an innate ability, akin to a natural talent.

    As the whole point is to make a natural, learning based skill system instead of just being given stuff for gaining levels, etc the players immerse themselves in the beliefs, the methods and the culture behind each set of skills. Martial skills mainly depend on actually training to use a sword, spear, staff, etc. People who are good at that sort of thing outside the game can use their skills and training inside the game, and of course they can take skills like that they learn inside the game to the outside world, to a certain extent anyways.

    The system feels more natural when writing it than say leveling up to a cap, or simply being stronger because you have more levels, or are more powerful. I've never been a fan of the leveled badass mentality. My longest played game is Wurm online, and there, even the most insanely kitted out and badass fighters still die easily in the wrong situation even if they could easily curb stomp a lesser mortal into the ground 1v1.

    They have to pay attention to terrain, height advantage from being unhorsed, being slowed by damage and manage their stamina. This is in addition to dozens of other aspects of that intricate combat system that is easy to learn, but very difficult to master.

    Realism, is the key and despite having a lot of power, players still need to use their brains along with their power to win, and I like that approach.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
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  3. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Good points.
     




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