Seems random number generation is ubiquitous in the "traditional" RPG (since the original Dungeons & Dragons pen & paper rules were published in 1974). That being the case, I'm interested in making a similar style of RPG, but using (mostly) deterministic methods rather than relying primarily on random numbers.
I remembered the old Kroz
games, which kept me glued to my 386 PC for days on end when I was younger. (If you aren't familiar with the series, the game (and the Turbo Pascal source) can be downloaded from the publisher
as freeware. Requires DOS/DOSbox to play.) Although more accurately an "adventure puzzler," I think it would be an idea to take its deterministic design principles and apply them to a more casual-style RPG-like game. According to the original author:
Samuel Stoddard wrote:
Kroz's main inspiration was probably Rogue, which Scott used to play, but disliked for its randomness and reliance on chance.
( Source: http://www.rinkworks.com/apogee/s/2.8.1.shtml
I am considering expanding this type of play by transitioning things to deterministic resolution. Some things are relatively easy to transition, such as attack damage. Some things would not transition, such as AI behavior (and, optionally, level design). Of course, there are other things that could
be switched-over, but that's where it may get tricky. These would primarily involve skill checks.
Typically, a skill level provides a character with a roll bonus, making them "better" (more likely to succeed) at using a skill. An average climber might have a Climbing level of 0; an experienced climber might have Climbing +6.
One idea I've gravitated toward is to have a skill "requirement" that would allow a character to bypass chance. Something like forcing a skill check, but only if the character does not meet the "requirement" (so even if the character is an inexperienced climber, it would not necessarily mean he would automatically fail). Of course, this brings with it potential issues -- for example, taking into account situations that might require a "minimum" amount of skill which, if unmet, would result in "auto-fail", or making some actions have "strictly checked" requirements, which would simply be a standard DC check (i.e. a skill check would be required regardless of skill level).