Class Stances

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Class Stances

Post  century6 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:30 am

Hey everyone. In case you don't know me I'm Ian one of Dan's cohorts of evil. However, recently me, Carson, and Dan have decided not to be evil and we put our heads together to create this really super cool game mechanic. Me, Carson, and Daniel have been throwing around this crazy plan to make "classes" and would like all of your recommendations.

So here is the idea, we are going to create stances which can be activated at the beginning of the encounter and last until the end of the encounter. These stances would be chosen at level 1 and would get upgrades at the 5th and 9th levels. These stances would fill in for classes and give benefits for coming up with a distinct role for your character.

For right now this is just a crazy plan we are throwing around so don't start putting these stances into your character. That said I do have some very very very early drafts.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ephXxbm8uzSvu3wUd7aMtQmApMVyxFtcG5I-3ZNwjhY/edit

We'd really enjoy any feedback. Thanks!

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Re: Class Stances

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:35 am

Mmhmm. Note, this is all pre-alpha ideas; we've just barely started discussing them (see, there's even non-combat bonuses mixed in with combat - that's how pre-alpha these ideas are). These are just the most *basic* examples of Ian's core idea to show some of the possible directions it could be taken. We're not even sure the idea will be added yet, but it'd be great to get some feedback on the basic concept.

We're also not sure how it would be implemented. Either a scaling thing like Ian mentions or a package of bonuses you get at level 1 to help specialize you more. Or maybe they might just get worked into combat talents... Or... Well, yeah - we have no idea.

Any thoughts?


Last edited by Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Class Stances

Post  century6 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:42 am

Yeah that is just my draft idea at this current point in time. Pretty much everything is on the table. We really just want your thoughts.

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Re: Class Stances

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:08 am

Core reason for an additional Class Concept:

Be nice to get extra identity and customized playstyle at level 1. Right now, you don't get a trait till level 2, which makes it harder to achieve level 1 customization in your character's combat style.

Core reason against an additional Class Concept:

It's an added rule and added complexity to the system.


Basic Concept: Add something similar to a trait-package at level 1 which lets players shape their playstyle to have a strong sense of identity at level 1 when it comes to playstyle. This may or may not come with new traits at higher levels.


Note Again: Ian's doc is just to show very basic ideas. His execution is not intended to be even close to the final product.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  Paper Shadow on Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:01 am

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Note Again: Ian's doc is just to show very basic ideas. His execution is not intended to be even close to the final product.
And that's a real shame, because I got excited at the prospect of being able to roll all my damage rolls twice at Level One...

I think it's a cool idea and all, and it'll make battles a bit more varied, but there's something that puts me off the idea, and I can't put my finger on it...

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Re: Class Stances

Post  century6 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:19 am

Paper Shadow wrote:
Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Note Again: Ian's doc is just to show very basic ideas. His execution is not intended to be even close to the final product.
And that's a real shame, because I got excited at the prospect of being able to roll all my damage rolls twice at Level One...

I think it's a cool idea and all, and it'll make battles a bit more varied, but there's something that puts me off the idea, and I can't put my finger on it...

Actually that was Daniel's concept not mine.

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Re: Class Stances

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:24 am

I'm also referring more to things like these costing pips to enter the stances, or only gain benefits once every several levels. These and more are all things that are not concrete - because this is pre-alpha... Nothing is concrete. This is the game design equivalent of sketching a stick-figure to use as a visual aid. Not to say Ian's ideas aren't good, just explaining that there's no need to assume the end result would look like this. People have already PMed me about that, a bit confused - hence all the clarifications.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  century6 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:27 am

If you can't put your finger on what exactly is wrong is there anything you think might improve it at all?

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Re: Class Stances

Post  century6 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:37 am

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:I'm also referring more to things like these costing pips to enter the stances, or only gain benefits once every several levels. These and more are all things that are not concrete - because this is pre-alpha... Nothing is concrete. This is the game design equivalent of sketching a stick-figure to use as a visual aid. Not to say Ian's ideas aren't good, just explaining that there's no need to assume the end result would look like this. People have already PMed me about that, a bit confused - hence all the clarifications.

My doc was just an example of my initial idea. Dan is totally right nothing is concrete at all. We might change 99% of it.

There is really only one objective: Determine if a stance based class system would be beneficial to Living Legends, and if so how would we execute such a system? The example was really just meant to illustrate what we are talking about.

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Re: Class Stances

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:40 am

Ian sums it up admirably.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  Paper Shadow on Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:31 am

century6 wrote:If you can't put your finger on what exactly is wrong is there anything you think might improve it at all?
It's not anything bad or good I noticed in particular, everything seems solid, I just got bad vibes from the document. Although I did notice that one of the stances give an bonus to arcane. I thought it was a design decision to keep roleplaying and combat, so why that example?

As for the use of stances, it's a good idea, and has roots to combat talents already present which gives a bonus for the rest of battle, but I think there's a better way then the example. You already select a cornerstone of your combat style when you select your Special Move. I don't think there is a need for two different combat selections. A possible idea is giving each Special Move a stance as well as its crits. This gives Special Moves more of a role in combat, since currently you just really, really hope you proc it. It also gives more options when it comes to balancing Special Moves, as you could make ones which gives a better stance but the crits aren't as amazing, while the ones with amazing crits don't give as good stances...

But that's just an idea...

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Re: Class Stances

Post  tygerburningbright on Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:01 am

This idea has some merits but I am shaken to my very core by it as well it is well too much like D&Dish stuff.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  thematthew on Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:44 am

The ideas seem pretty solid, though the way some of these are written they seem to just be extra talents instead of a stance type effect. I can see this working well or poorly depending on the design direction.

Personally, I would prefer 'classes' be providing a smaller constant bonus at all times and have a better effect that can be activated at a cost of pips at later levels.

Example (well, basically turning the duelist trait into one, but you get the idea):

Duelist (Stance)
Any time you make (an attack)/(a melee attack) with only one target, the target takes an additional 2 damage.
At level 5 you gain the following talent:

[-2] <insert name here> Free Utility
The damage bonus of your Stance improves to 3. In addition, whenever a creature makes (an attack)/(a melee attack) that only targets you you may spend 1 pip, if you do that creature is considered blinded for the duration of the attack. This effect lasts until the end of the battle or you are knocked unconscious.

At level 9 you gain the following talent:

[-4] Enter the Void Free Utility
The damage bonus of your stance improves to 4. Whenever you deal damage to an enemy with (an attack)/(a melee attack) with only one target you may mark that creature. Your allies have resist 5 against that creature, and you may immediately deal 1d8 damage to it whenever it makes (an attack)/(a melee attack) that does not include you as a target. You may only have one mark at a time, and a creature can only be marked in such a way by one enemy at a time. In addition, whenever a creature makes (an attack)/(a melee attack) that only targets you you may spend 1 pip, if you do that creature is considered blinded for the duration of the attack. This effect lasts until the end of the battle.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  Whiteeyes on Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:50 pm

It's a little rough at this point for me to say yeay or nay. I see some potential here, but I also fear it might encourage copy pasta builds if a class rewards them enough, cutting down on the creativity of the group.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  Xel Unknown on Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:16 pm

This is either a good idea that's worth trying... OR a horrible idea that should be sent into the dark deapths of hell where it crawlled out of. That's what I'm thinking after glancing at this topic. I hope to get back to this after looking it over in some more deapth to get a better idea if I like it or not.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:19 pm

Nice feedback thus far.

I'm in agreement with Whiteeyes, we definitely don't want a design decision like this to start narrowing the flexibility and creativity of playstyles. I worry that if we do things like letting players select a class-bonus that makes all their healing better, they suddenly won't feel good about taking other things. One of the nicest things about the system is that you can mix and match different kinds of abilities for no penalty. However, if you're not taking full advantage of your stance - that's an opportunity cost.

Making it something that you can enter into and out of does help fix this, but it also seems a bit awkward. I also think it would be simpler as a series of benefits that are automatically on - so agreeing with thematthew on that.

I'm not at all certain that this is something we'll end up doing - or even trying. It *does* solve a key problem with the system, which is the lack of ability to specialize at level 1 (while some players like trying lots of things out and specializing as they level up - many others just want to make a tough, armored character that protects his allies at level 1). I'm not certain though that this is something we need a new game mechanic for. It might be more elegant to work these into items that you can take for your character.

That said, it does have a strong appeal in that it would elegantly mimic the idea of, "Class Features". The selection of combat talents mimics power-selection of other rpg systems. Traits and items can attempt to mimic class features, but you get them at such a slow pace that they can't give you that core identity at level one if you want it.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  Xel Unknown on Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:31 pm

After looking at this more, I mostly just don't get the point to this... It feels very much out of place for this system and while yes it in pre-alpha, that only lets me cut it only some slack. The biggest oddball is the Arcana-bonus ones cause why are you mixing combat and non-combat in this way? It's just... Not right... And goes aganst the spirit of this game system in my mind. I hope it'll look better after some better rewrites to the system.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:35 pm

You might want to read my first post in this thread. I specifically mention the fact that it's mixing combat with non-combat as an example of just how pre-alpha it is, because that would never happen in the end result.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  century6 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:34 pm

Paper Shadow:
I just wanted to illustrate that these properties can include many different ideas. Increasing checks is a way of giving bonuses and in many characters and I've noticed a trend for people to define themselves around arcana checks and I think there should be a reward for creating specific roles in combat. We could easily create stances for people who like... thievery checks.

I can see your reason why you might thing that this just an additional power that could be attached to the special move, but I am hoping that these stances will bring roles to characters while still keeping with Daniel's idea of flexibility. Special moves are awesome and sometimes are a part of an overall role for a character, but special moves were really meant to substitute for critical hits. I don't want to mess with a system that so far is already working great.

thematthew:
Yeah, I would like that too.

tygerburningbright:
Yeah, they were just examples of what was theoretically possible. You could all make this pony applicable, but I'm really just interesting in what people think of the base system.

Whiteeyes:
Yeah I'm concerned about that too. I want LL to remain creative, but I'm also a big fan of people specializing in certain roles. I miss being able to be the best at something. In 4e when someone needed healing everyone turned and looked at the cleric because they were the best at it. I think everyone has had that kind of experience where the group looked at you to save the day one time or another. Its just harder to find in LL, which sometimes makes me sad.

In short guys I'm attempting to get the best of both worlds. I want this game to be creative and flexible, but I also want people to be the best a particular role. It might turn out to be an impossible task, but I think its worth trying at minimum. It sounds like the arcana check bonus idea is pretty much out the door at this point. So lets not even discuss that.

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Re: Class Stances

Post  century6 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:43 pm

Okay guys I got rid of the arcana bonus thing so it is less confusing.

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Re: Class Stances

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:44 pm

Sweet. Yeah, we've made it clear that non-combat bonuses never get mixed in with combat bonuses in the system - which was why it was confusing people.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  century6 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:49 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:That said, it does have a strong appeal in that it would elegantly mimic the idea of, "Class Features". The selection of combat talents mimics power-selection of other rpg systems. Traits and items can attempt to mimic class features, but you get them at such a slow pace that they can't give you that core identity at level one if you want it.

Yeah that is a good point. Maybe we should get rid of leveling thing I was pondering. Leveling is really only useful for destinies.

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Re: Class Stances

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:53 pm

getting rid of the leveling aspect might also make it feel less D&D-esque while still providing exactly what we want. Then as you level up, traits could be used to further customize your playstyle, or spread it out.
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Re: Class Stances

Post  Xel Unknown on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:55 pm

The second biggest thing that I don't get is:
Weaponmaster Stance wrote:[-2] 1st Level:
Minus one to the pip cost of Hammer of Thunder or one of its variants.
From what I understand, it means that you can use two pips to reduce the pip cost of a weapon by one? That makes no sense...
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Re: Class Stances

Post  century6 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:01 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:getting rid of the leveling aspect might also make it feel less D&D-esque while still providing exactly what we want. Then as you level up, traits could be used to further customize your playstyle, or spread it out.

Okay no more leveling then. Its silly and doesn't go with the system.

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