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Subject: RPG-style attributes for American football. rss

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James Hutchings
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Imagine that you have characters with RPG-style attributes including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:

Intelligence
Strength
Size [not in most RPGs, but used in RuneQuest and related systems]
Constitution
Agility
Dexterity [note that, for the purposes of this question, agility and dexterity are separate]

Imagine further that you want to put these characters in a hypothetical American football team.

How would you relate attributes to positions?

Higher attributes are always better, except for Size, where high or low attributes could be better. For example, you might want a particular position to have a high Size rating because it makes them better at blocking people, and another position to have a low Size because it makes them harder to catch.
 
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G G
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I don't understand why you're not working directly off the scouting reports:

Height
Weight
40-yard time
Shuttle time
Bench Press

etc.
 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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or Madden:

Awareness, Strength, Speed, Agility, etc...
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C B
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Front Page Sports was the most accurate computer simulation there was.
The stats FPS used were:

* speed
* acceleration
* agility
* strength
* hands
* endurance
* intelligence
* discipline

I would use those.
Each position had 2 prime stats. I forget which 2 were prime for each position, but it was fairly obvious. Discipline was never a prime stat.

The 6 physical stats are fairly well obvious how they apply.
Intelligence was "football intelligence", not the player's actual IQ.
Discipline was how likely the player was to get a penalty.
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Andrew H
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I think in a Football game, you would want more specific skills/attributes than a traditional RPG. While there could be a way to derive skills from basic attributes ("catching"=int.+dex.), if the main thing the game needs is those other skills, than the math was just an extra step.

Also, the tendency is for players with high ratings in some categories, to be lower in others. For example, linemen tend to be larger and stronger, but relatively slower than receivers. You could do this in a game, for example each player has 20 points to spend among the attributes, but in the traditional "roll 3 dice per attribute" you could have a 300 pound receiver that can run the 40 yard dash in 3 seconds.

My suggestion would be that if you do use RPG attributes, they are either to categorize other skills, or to offer a bonus.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I think that a lot of RPG-style games saddle themselves with crappy attribute design because they start by inventing a list of attributes that seems plausible and then try to figure out how those should affect the game. This tends to result in some attributes being a lot more useful than others, and some attributes having conceptualizations that are only tenuously connected to their actual game effects.

I think it's usually better to start by asking what activities within the game should be improved by attributes and then work backwards to see what attributes you should model. (Especially in a board game, because keeping your rules simple and clear is important when you have to ask players to enforce them.)

Think about when being good at one activity should automatically imply that you're good at a related activity and when it should not--this should inform whether those things share an attribute in common or not.

And remember that not having attributes is a totally legitimate option. Maybe you just want to track the numbers that directly affect the game, like movement speed or throw distance, rather than trying to derive them from some intermediate "general" values. And if there are really no significant differences between characters in a particular area, then maybe you don't need a number for that at all!
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Graham Muller
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For games with a large number of players, have you considered providing stats for groups of players and then having characters add modifiers and abilities to these general Stat lines.

For American football specifically plays will also change the general Stat lines. Weakening defense to improve mobility on attack etc.
 
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James Arias
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Antistone wrote:
I think that a lot of RPG-style games saddle themselves with crappy attribute design because they start by inventing a list of attributes that seems plausible and then try to figure out how those should affect the game. This tends to result in some attributes being a lot more useful than others, and some attributes having conceptualizations that are only tenuously connected to their actual game effects.

I think it's usually better to start by asking what activities within the game should be improved by attributes and then work backwards to see what attributes you should model. (Especially in a board game, because keeping your rules simple and clear is important when you have to ask players to enforce them.)

Think about when being good at one activity should automatically imply that you're good at a related activity and when it should not--this should inform whether those things share an attribute in common or not.

And remember that not having attributes is a totally legitimate option. Maybe you just want to track the numbers that directly affect the game, like movement speed or throw distance, rather than trying to derive them from some intermediate "general" values. And if there are really no significant differences between characters in a particular area, then maybe you don't need a number for that at all!

Yeah, i'm trying to do a volleyball game, and focusing on things like "the 6 basic skills" and "things I'd do on my turn" rather than "attributes". But still thematic and all that.
 
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James Hutchings
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fur94 wrote:
I think in a Football game, you would want more specific skills/attributes than a traditional RPG. While there could be a way to derive skills from basic attributes ("catching"=int.+dex.), if the main thing the game needs is those other skills, than the math was just an extra step.


Yes, 'catching = INT + DEX' is the kind of thing I meant.

The reason for having these kinds of stats, rather than more directly football-relevant ones, is partly that I wanted to have a fantasy RPG atmosphere rather than a football simulation atmosphere, because the game will be fantasy-themed.
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Joe Salamone
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There is an old game called Pro Football Fantasm that used the following number of attributes (by position):

OFFENSIVE LINE: 20 (examples: BLOCK-FINESSE, PASS-POWER, SPEED)

QB: 20 (examples: TIMING, READ DEFENSE, AUDIBLE)

WR & RB: 20 (examples: BREAK TACKLE, PASS-HANDS, ENDURANCE)

KICKERS: 16 (examples: KICK-SQUIB, COVER-BREAK, BLOCKED)

PUNTERS: 12 (examples: PUNT-COFFIN, PUNT COVER, FUMBLE)

DEFENSIVE PLAYERS: 20 (examples: ATTACK POINT, LATERAL MOVE, READ/REACT)





 
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Andrew H
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apeloverage wrote:
fur94 wrote:
I think in a Football game, you would want more specific skills/attributes than a traditional RPG. While there could be a way to derive skills from basic attributes ("catching"=int.+dex.), if the main thing the game needs is those other skills, than the math was just an extra step.


Yes, 'catching = INT + DEX' is the kind of thing I meant.

The reason for having these kinds of stats, rather than more directly football-relevant ones, is partly that I wanted to have a fantasy RPG atmosphere rather than a football simulation atmosphere, because the game will be fantasy-themed.

Maybe the trick would be to use the position as the players class, and each class has a specific skill set that uses each of the attributes. So wide receivers use dexterity for catching, quarterbacks use it for passing, and linemen use it to parry moves by the other line. Then, a high attribute would only effect the positions skills, a linemen with a high dexterity would not be able to use the catch skill.
 
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As in D&D, Race and Class are two different things. A fantasy team roster might have an Ogre Quarterback, Ogre Kicker, and Dwarf Kicker.
 
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James Hutchings
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fur94 wrote:
Maybe the trick would be to use the position as the players class, and each class has a specific skill set that uses each of the attributes. So wide receivers use dexterity for catching, quarterbacks use it for passing, and linemen use it to parry moves by the other line. Then, a high attribute would only effect the positions skills, a linemen with a high dexterity would not be able to use the catch skill.

(rewrote my reply to this)

But it seems probable that some of these would be 'reaching', especially if you want to have an advantages to both high and low Size for all positions.

For example, offensive tackles seem to be consistently the most intelligent football players (source), so presumably Intelligence would be more important to them than to other positions, and presumably high Size would be an advantage.
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Andrew H
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apeloverage wrote:
fur94 wrote:
Maybe the trick would be to use the position as the players class, and each class has a specific skill set that uses each of the attributes. So wide receivers use dexterity for catching, quarterbacks use it for passing, and linemen use it to parry moves by the other line. Then, a high attribute would only effect the positions skills, a linemen with a high dexterity would not be able to use the catch skill.

(rewrote my reply to this)

But it seems probable that some of these would be 'reaching', especially if you want to have an advantages to both high and low Size for all positions.

For example, offensive tackles seem to be consistently the most intelligent football players (source), so presumably Intelligence would be more important to them than to other positions, and presumably high Size would be an advantage.

I think it depends on how you want the game to play. If it's more of a simulation, then yes, you would want the attributes and skills to follow a similar path to real players. If you want more of a "beer and pretzels" type of game, I think you can take more liberties.

Again, I think the tricky part will be the balance between positions, skills and attributes. If too many skills use intelegence in some way, you could have people use their tackle as a wide receiver or as a linebacker, which is pretty unlikely with regular football (it could be fine in a fantasy setting).
 
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