[MUD-Dev] [MLP] Why care about levels? (was: The use of ecolo gy models)

shren shren at io.com
Mon May 6 06:13:49 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Fri, 3 May 2002, Damion Schubert wrote:
> From shren
>> In any system I've designed, I've always put in diminshing
>> returns for almost all stats.  I like GURPS a lot for this reason
>> - you rarely see n/10/10/10 characters in GURPS because, at some
>> point, you have choices like 1 more point of IQ or 3 more points
>> of a lower stat.  I think this does a lot to differentiate
>> characters.  At some point, one stops pumping your prime stat and
>> starts working on the other stats, but this point is different
>> for everyone.

> Not having played GURPS recently, I may be fuzzy on this but how
> does this differentiate characters?  It would seem to me that this
> would push everyone's stats towards equality over time.

Well, here's how I see it.  In most games, players seek the highest
possible stat that's most relevant to thier class.  So if they have:

  Most Important Stat: 20
  Useful Stat: 10
  Unimportant Stat: 10
  Worthless Stat: 10

and you offer them one of any stat point, they take the 20 to a 21 -
because it's the "most important" stat.  (I've got to find a way to
patch the games I play to use the above names *grin*)

If you have some kind of point buy system, then things (in my
experience) tend to be a little more varied.  Say the cost for the
next stat level costs ((current level - 9) * 10).  So if you want to
raise a 20 to a 21, then it costs 110 points.  If you want to raise
a 10 to an 11, it costs 10 points.

If there is any *real* utility to be had out of the other stats,
then at some point most people will stop putting every single point
they get into "Most Important Stat" and put at least a few into
"Useful Stat".  With Most Important at 20, and Useful at 10, one can
get 4 points of Useful for the cost of 1 point of Most Important.

Many won't buy any Useful at this point.  Further down the road:

  Most Important Stat: 100 (990 points to raise 1)
  Useful Stat: 10 (10 points to raise 1)
  Unimportant Stat: 10
  Worthless Stat: 10

The point at which a lot of Useful is a better choice than a little
bit of Most Important will vary from player to player.  Or at least
that's my thesis.



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