Feature Feature: Battles, Skills, and Gear

Today I’ll be talking about how fights will work in Carnal Souls, how you’ll get your skills and abilities, and how your equipment will change how you play. Get yourself a cuppa. (Also sexy images within)

On Pokémon

When I was designing these systems, something that kept occurring to me was the genius of Pokémon’s battle system. It’s turn-based, but turns occur at the same time. Both players choose their moves at the same time, then the lil’ monster with the highest speed goes first. It’s extremely simple and easy to pick up, and its depth comes from the moves themselves.

Pikachu, use Flirt! Wait...

Pikachu, use Flirt! Wait…

Some moves always go first, some take a turn to charge up, while some mean locking you into an attack for several turns in a row. Choosing your attacks at the same time as your opponent means trying to guess what they’ll do, requiring forethought and planning. In that respect, it can be a highly tactical game. This is the foundation for Carnal Souls’ battle system.

Where I think Pokémon breaks down and defeats its own simplicity is with the sheets of stats and EV’s and IV’s and needless complexity that got introduced later. For many players, myself included, this is where they lost interest.

 

Show me your moves

The next question to tackle was how to give players moves and abilities. Skill trees are typically the de facto method of creating ‘builds’ for characters, choosing key abilities and specialising their stats to compliment it, but it’s not a system of which I’ve ever been fond.

The real reason we love the Zweihander

Dark Souls, as an action-RPG, did something very clever: your moves are dictated by the weapons you have equipped. This means that players not only have to bear in mind the stats of a weapon, but also the moveset it will give them. Some weapons are powerful but are difficult to use simply due to the swings and slashes they offer, while some are weaker but extremely versatile and easy to use.

In Carnal Souls, your weapons will do the same thing. For instance, a basic sword will grant you the Slash and Thrust moves. A shield would offer Block and Bash. Equipping both of these would give you four moves total (though some weapons will grant you more or less moves), each with distinct uses. I’ve outlined them below – these are not final, just a rough idea:

Slash – Basic attack. Deals normal (100%) damage, normal fatigue cost. Normal (80%) chance of hitting.

Thrust – Deals strong damage (125%), normal fatigue cost. Lower chance of hitting (70%).

Block – Raises shield to block. No damage, no fatigue cost. If the enemy attacks physically, the damage is blocked and the damage is taken to fatigue instead. The shield’s stability will reduce the fatigue damage (exactly as stability works in dark souls).

Bash – Basic attack, medium fatigue cost. Deals low damage (50%) and has a small chance to stun the enemy for 1 turn.

This means you can mix and match weapons to change up your moves. Some moves may require wielding two weapons with the same move in order to perform them, like two swords with ‘Flurry‘, a powerful two-sword attack. Two-handed weapons grant you more moves, but specialise in raw damage.

Magic weapons work the same way – a fire wand granting you Fireball, a strong fire attack, or Warmth, a slow heal over time, for example. Staffs and two-handed magic items would give you even more spells, and special rings and amulets maybe giving you even more options.

 

Using sex as a weapon

Not just applicable to married couples in need of therapy. So far we have battles with a cool system of choosing your weapons to suit your play style, offering defensive or offensive moves. But what about sex? I want temptation and seduction to be just as viable as combat, with its own risks and rewards. This, I think, is the coolest part.

Weapons, shields, wands, staffs – these grant you your physical and magical moves. Armour grants you your sexual moves.

A huge suit of plate armour would make it very difficult to appear sexy and seductive. A chainmail bikini would offer far less protection, but it would allow you to stop your enemy in their tracks, and maybe make them reconsider fighting you altogether. In Carnal Souls, skimpy armour has a real and definite usefulness, rather than simply being daft eyecandy.

I’m looking at you, Tera Online

 

So, here’s how it works. Sexual moves always go first. If both parties use a sexual move, the one with the highest speed goes first. Sexual moves do two things if successful – firstly, prevent the enemy from performing their move. Secondly, raise the enemy’s lust. If unsuccessful, the character is simply left open to attack. The low defence of sexy armours means a high risk of damage. Here are some examples:

Plate armour:

Flirt – Most basic of sexual abilities. Some cheesy pick-up line. Low chance of success, low lust damage (30%), no fatigue cost.

No other sexual abilities.

 

Tooltip prototype

Chainmail bikini:

Jiggle – Bounce up and down cutely. Deals small lust damage, small fatigue cost. Lowers the target’s attack for the duration of the fight (they don’t wanna hit you as hard now).

Present – Bend over and present yourself. Deals high lust damage, normal fatigue cost.

Full-Frontal – Pull down the panties and show ’em what you got. High lust damage, normal fatigue cost. Slightly higher chance of success, but higher crit chance upon failure.

Pose – Strike a sexy pose. Deals medium lust damage, normal fatigue cost. Raises your attack a little for the duration of the fight (boosts your confidence).

 

In summary, when playing Carnal Souls you’ll have a set of abilities granted by your equipment and armour. How you play is entirely up to you. Be a chaste, hammer-wielding paladin, or be a scantily-clad seductress. Blast your enemies with fireballs while slashing with a sword, or even try to bash them into submission with two shields. These are just some of the most basic examples, with unique gear offering new and interesting strategies.

Right-click and hit ‘open image in new tab’ for full resolution!

 

Until next time!

37 Responses to “Feature Feature: Battles, Skills, and Gear”

  1. JfromfarPY says:

    Wow, just wow. Looks amazing, finally a game where the skimpy armor does it’s work, but i suppose the no-too-sexy amor also give you defensive- oriented moves? just wondering… Anyway looks great!

  2. Sapphic says:

    I’m loving the ideas of this game and I can’t wait for any kind of release. You guys seem to have the right mindset for developing the game and that’s about half the work right there.

    Keep it up, it’d be a shame to see this not happen!

  3. love says:

    go to code academy to learn the code you need for free.

  4. DeeAbel says:

    I’m liking what i’m seeing so far keep up the good work. Hoping to see a release before Christmas but I understand if it doesn’t happen these things take time.

  5. RadioReptile says:

    Pokemon, Dark Souls and Smut? This is truly a trifecta I can get behind!

  6. BabyDuck says:

    Will this be on android?. Also THIS GAME LOOKS AMAZING!!!

    • Perrin says:

      I hope so. Tablet is all I have access to for most of the day and night.
      Also has four times the processing power of my PC… So yeah.

      Maybe android releases, delayed after standard PC releases? That’d rock.

  7. Obsequious Gizmo says:

    THIS IS JUST FANTASTIC!! Everything about this is just screaming potential. I simply can not wait for your release and may very well even consider paying. fabulous, divine, beauteous, supreme.

  8. BigBadCat says:

    I hope males will get skimpy armour, too =)

  9. Dudeorama says:

    Any punching? Punching would be nice…… Magical punching would be better….

  10. Heldafenrir says:

    Will this game support racial moves? For instance will a dragon-morph be able to breath fire?

  11. Demonic1556 says:

    I’m hoping there will be clawed gauntlets or other types of weapons like that since some of us like to model our waifu into these sorts of games helps for immersions sake but I can’t wait to see more on this I can’t offer much but if you are looking for an artist or anyone reading the comments for that matter I’m free for hire and can give sample material

  12. ExcellentArchivist says:

    Never have I wanted a game more. I plan to save up some money specifically to Kickstarter this game better.

  13. Rudeus Greyrat says:

    >Zweihander

    >Elite Knight Armor

    Not canon pls fix

    Obviously needs to be Giantdad.

    • Obsequious Gizmo says:

      real men don’t feel the need to hide behind the giant set. also fuck the zweihander, CLAYMORE ALL THE WAY!! …or bastard sword it’s really just slightly a matter of preference.

      • Perrin says:

        Greatswords and other oversized weapons FTW. We need huge pillar-like bludgeons worthy of Oni, swords like massive edged paddles and crossbows like a ballista!

        • Perrin says:

          Massive evasion drop and repeat-hits, huge damage?
          Accuracy would be iffy, as the wider hit ranges on such weapons would be countered somewhat by their weight’s effect on aim and timing.

  14. Mustang Flex says:

    Everything I read on this site makes me want this game more and more!

  15. carp says:

    Really digging all of this so far. Moving on to what I would change:

    >Sexual moves always go first.

    Why?

    >Sexual moves do two things if successful – firstly, prevent the enemy from performing their move.

    OK, makes sense mechanically–can’t prevent what’s already happened.* Still, I’m imagining Thrust, and I’m imagining Present, and one of these things seems faster than the other, and it’s not the one that involves bending over.

    Maybe there’s a better way to do distraction? Granting a move of opportunity, perhaps?

    Another option is for sex moves to only prevent a move when they come first in the turn, making distraction-focused build require high speed/initiative/agility/reflex/why-are-these-not-standardized-yet.

    Or maybe sex moves only raise the opponent’s lust level, and lust gives a chance to be too aroused/distracted to do anything. I like this variant because then characters who are aroused for other reasons are also distracted, and lust-resistant characters are hard to tease, which feels right.

    All just suggestions, of course. It’s your game, and I”m sure it’ll come out well.

    *: Shut up, Magic the Gathering.

  16. TomeWyrm says:

    Try not to fall into the trap of making all, or even most abilities require equipment (or not having certain equipment) to use. Having a character that can actually use magic is a lot more fun than a character that has a magic wand. That wand can be sold, stolen, or break. Your knowledge of magic is a lot harder to remove (though your inspiration was CoC… so constant stat changes are probable :-p)

    If you’ve played D&D, something like feats would be nice. Abilities you get a choice of which to choose, limited by prerequisites, and capable of doing various things that are (here’s the truly important bit) inherent to your character.

    Even abilities you gain that apply to all bladed weapons (and that kind of categorical application) would be just dandy.

    • Obsequious Gizmo says:

      all i can think of when you say things inherent to your character is….

      YOU’RE A WIZARD HARRY.

      and then all i think is…

      YOU’RE A BLIZZARD HARRY

  17. Crimson Moon says:

    All of this stuff looks really good! I came here through Fen’s site and I gotta say I will be keeping an eye on all of this stuff.

  18. Jacob says:

    I’m pretty sure I will end up dual wielding shields. This description looks pretty promising, looking forward for more!

  19. JfromfarPY says:

    I have been thinking about something….
    Lust as a stat is going to be like in CoC ? means lose after hit 100 ?
    or
    What about let it acumulate and generate debuffs(ej lowering resistance, stats, stun, etc) upon reaching x number and becoming worse with each increase ?

    • WolfsTrinity says:

      Could also be something of a hybrid between the two: the usual distracted/etc. debuffs up until it hits a certain threshold, after which — instead of just giving up, dropping down, and jacking off like in CoC — you’d enter a debillitation state: massive debuffs, skills and abilities locked-out from the sheer intensity of it all, etc. — basically, if you don’t pull out whatever trump cards you’ve still got available, you’re nigh-guaranteed to lose in two or three turns but you do still HAVE a chance if you’re willing to go that far and, potentially, burn up items/abilities better used elsewhere.

      ‘Course, mechanics could also be worked into this. In addition to the obvious “lust resistance,” some form of focus/willpower that would decrease the magnitude of the debuffs/increase the threshold to cut off abilities, with items potentially tagging into all three: maybe one special ability just needs you to be able to concentrate while another requires “purity” and doesn’t give a damn how well you can focus when you’re horny but just that you ARE horny–or maybe an item or something even has some level of awareness and won’t trust itself to somebody sensitive to that sort of thing AT ALL and doesn’t care how much it’s effecting them at any given moment. Reverse for “slutty” abilities: one needs you horny, another cock-crazed, and a third CONSISTENTLY cock-crazed. etc.

      Bah. Too much of a ramble. Still have one more, too XD

      • KittyPurry says:

        I like a lot of these ideas, though I worry about it making the option of a peaceful, non-damaging resolution harder to obtain.

        And now I realize I played CoC like Undertale before Undertale even existed. Who wants to hurt the slime girl, really?! She’s so cute!

        But I do like the way you mitigate [URL=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CriticalExistenceFailure]Critical Existence Failure[/URL] with the debuffing idea. I’m just not so sure about removing the end state of a lust-based defeat.

        In some ways, just adding that debuff clause already creates that scenario of desperate attack, if someone is trying to engage in combat while the other seduces. By having that finite end state and having debuffs stack on, it creates that urgent dynamic organically, while keeping the victory condition in sight.

        Though now I’m thinking about how in CoC, you never actually see your opponent’s lust, but you do see their reaction, and how that effectively translates into stages of lust. It might be good to embrace that paradigm entirely, where list builds in stages and each stage brings with it some debuffs. If Benji is really crazy, it could even be modeled on the sex branching option system and make the “how” of lust attacks matter.

        If you flirt, it distracts their mind before their body, so it debuffs intelligence, as they think more about your words than they should. If you present yourself in a vulnerable way, it lowers their attack, as they don’t want to damage the attractive thing in front of them. If you touch or caress them, it makes their nerves more responsive, which opens them up for more touching, or for an attack to do more damage (but an attack would reset their vulnerability, as the nerves harden against the pain).

        I also like the idea that flirting isn’t just a way to improve your combatitive chances but can be a system unto itself. Flirting makes it harder for your enemy to flirt, as you establish more control of the dialogue by flirting first. Removing armor may be seductive, but actually makes combat harder as you have less defense. Basically, flirting as an end unto itself, not just a tool for combat.

        • Stereo says:

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  20. Gruey says:

    On the topic of battle and skill systems, there are a couple of others that spring to mind.

    For instance, using a specific skill from certain items may lead to a form of mastery, where it becomes transferable (you do not lose it when you un-equip the item). This would potentially add too much complexity to the system though, as you’d have to decide which skills would be able to be learnable in such a fashion, and whether there would be restrictions in equipment to using said skill.

    A second concept is proficiency. IE the more you use a certain skill, the more effective it becomes in general. Alternatively, the more you repeat the same move on an enemy or foe, it may become less effective.
    The former is more prevalent in games where a skill levels up (and potentially unlocks new ones – though there’s no reason it can’t be simplified to some form of percentage) whereas the latter would serve to increase the importance of mixing it up and using different skills.

  21. rutheni says:

    Speaking of Pokémon, I really liked the variation that the contests brought in gen 3. Any plans for stuff like exhibition matches or something like that, where you’re not focusing on combat effectiveness so much as style?

  22. WolfsTrinity says:

    As much as item-based stuff makes sense, especially but not exclusively from a pure mechanics standpoint, it does also leave something of a bad taste in the “realism/believability” department.

    Maybe something of a highly simplified tier system:
    Player stats eg: raw strength, height — mostly indirect, behind the scenes stuff it would be doing anyway but also a few common-sense things like not letting the skinny, four-foot nymph swing around a Giant’s Zweihander without SOME bullshit to justify it.
    Weapon type/armor type/etc Mastery: background junk, chance-to-hit, etc but also modifies weapon-specific abilities, potentially locking/debuffing or replacing/buffing them based on the individual weapon. Potentially add more dramatic buffs tied to Mastery, similar to FoE where mastering a job unlocks a powerful, never-before-seen ability.
    Specific weapon/armor/etc: What you’ve already got. Not arguing with that.

    Seems complicated when I type it out like that but basic idea to allow things from:
    Broadsword +1 Generic — basic; standard formula buffs/debuffs based on mastery and being built for normal-sized people. Either strictly that, some abilities only available at “proficiency,” or the detailed-but-simple: Two abilities at “hopeless,” three at “proficient,” last one at “skilled” or “master,” and eligible for the all-broadswords/swords ability gained at “No, srs, stap. Use something else, for fuck’s sake.” or: final skill rank.
    to
    Ergonomic Rapier — very easy to use; reduced effect/no effect based on mastery, extra masterygain, etc. Presumably either a semi-wimpy starter crutch or later-game prize.
    or
    Ludicrous whip-sword — gimmicky master’s weapon: locked, one ability, or generic “flail in vague enemy direction” action and reduced skill-XP gain if used below required mastery. Potentially has OWN, additional mastery-meter due to being such a bitch to use.
    Also, obviously, the Giant’s Zweihander above.

    Thinking, though, I’m sure you guys have already got plans for that sort of thing. May as well keep what I’ve already typed out, though.

    Last thing on my (second) little stream-of-consciousness suggestion-rant is that something I’ve kinda wanted to see in a game for awhile is a “skill rust” mechanic. Nothing horribly major and crippling but just for something like: if you had your character train up bows before going off to swing a sword for three months, they’d have to snipe a few goblins/spend some time on the archery range if they wanted to use that bow again for anything terribly important.

    Mechanically, I’d assume this would be either a separate gauge or just flat skill/mastery draining with pre-trained skills releveling faster(moar headache-complications could potentially screw with this, of course). Would also be great to have in-character notifications of it, shit like “It’s been awhile since you’ve used your .” ie: “equip that bitch or see consequences” up to “You think back on the you’ve got lying in the dust/used long ago/etc.” ie: *Hey, man! You know that thing your character used to know how to do? Yeah, ’cause they can barely remember.”

    • WolfsTrinity says:

      Aww, crap. “Great” idea, me, using format-code brackets instead of ones that might show up XD. Even though it’s still pretty obvious, lemme clarify that those conspicuous blanks in the last paragraph quotes were supposed to be — Weapon type/specific weapon — in both quotes. Woops.

  23. fapfapfap says:

    I have a question regarding armour granting sexy skills – how would nakedness be handled in that regard ? After all, you’re sending some pretty explicit signals if you’re trucking around only wearing jewellery and some shoes.

  24. Erebus says:

    So Fenoxo said your taking a more art approach towered erotica text gaming and sense you used that Pokémon photo are you going to just touch it up and replace the sprites with big boobed Orcs or something or is it going to relie on text descriptions of the battle like other E.T-games (E.T go home)

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