Small Number RPGs

I, and I'm sure many others, have a fascination with the Small Number RPG. A Small Number RPG is any RPG with the standard amount of player accessible information one can expect from an RPG, stats, Hit Points, Magic Points, etc., but the numbers are all Small.

I suppose what I find fascinating about them is that it's about mechanical legibility if not transparency being assured by numerical comprehensibility. It kind of makes me feel like a chimpanzee--if the numbers are too big I can't reliably wrap my head around it, but really, I'm more like a chimpanzee in a lab coat from a family friendly movie in the early 2000s, I'm actually Smart and can strategize at a high level because the numbers are at a scale where I can actually do mental math. In Small Number RPGs, even decimal places take on a communicative life of their own. Single digits remain the realm of mere mortals, double digits can be both a meaningful step up as well as encompassing a huge amount of variety (10-20, 21-60, and 61-99 all carry different impressions in different contexts), and anything getting well into the triple digits feels appropriately vast.

Not to knock games like _Disgaea_, the ultimate Large Number RPG, because the vastness of said numbers there is its own sort of maximalist indulgence. _Disgaea_ strides confidently into the point of satire, but goes so far as to loop back around to being its own compelling (or compulsive, I mean, what's the difference) experience. _Disgaea_ is cool because it tempts you into breaking it and thinking you're better than it, only for that particular Singularity, or Opposite of an Abyss more accurately, to stare right back at you and say "you thought _that_ was power leveling? Cute! Are you ready to play _for real_ now?" _Disgaea_ might be an intricately well balanced Tactics RPG with an absurd exponential curve slapped onto it, but I sincerely doubt it, it's just not what those games are trying to accomplish. The craft involved in the Small Number RPG is that because the systems are so legible and comprehensible, it offers no place for the designers to hide imbalance, lacklustre pacing, or uninteresting mechanics.

For better or worse, to some degree every RPG follows the rule that bigger number = better, and that any wide enough disadvantage in Number between you and the enemy is going to be insurmountable (cheese strats aside). The best RPGs might be ones in which that margin is widest, and understanding its systems means you can make up for your Number being at a substantial disadvantage with skill, planning, mechanical knowledge, tactical creativity, and a bit of luck for good measure. At the same time a large enough advantage in Number also means the player can just turn their brain off, and either revel in their Godlike dominance through ill-begotten powerleveling, or lament that being a bit of a completionist with side quests is going to make the rest of the game uninteresting by design. The best RPGs might be ones where that particular margin is also widest, or has some control mechanisms to hold you back from getting overpowered, and so on.

In either cause, the Small Number RPG will make those margins feel very perceptible. If a Small Number RPG can't make an enemy with 14 HP and an enemy with 20 HP feel like a vastly different threat, maybe it should hide that by turning it into enemies with 14500 HP and 20000 HP and hide the difference in more ploddingly paced combat, and hope that the player finds big damage numbers popping up on screen exciting enough that they feel some sense of accomplishment from fighting enemies with such _huge_ health bars.

What are your favorite Small Number RPGs, and why? What do you think about the psychology of numbers when it comes to games featuring a lot of numbers?

DQ games are manageably numbered and ofc good old dnd. I agree that the big numbers are kind of alienating especially at the beginning of the game. Hate starting a jrpg with 1217 HP

I’ll speak to the elephant in the room, Paper Mario one and two. Can’t think of any better example of what you’re talking about. Interested if anything else does this.

I think this is the big strength of Slay the Spire. Sure, some of the enemies have HP in the hundreds, but you start out with attacks that deal 6 and blocks that prevent 5 damage, and when you get an attack that deals 20, it feels like a big deal

I recently played through the NES game Crystalis which caps you off at Lv. 16 with a fairly conservative 255 health. It can sometimes feel a bit like you aren‘t progressing as almost all numbers (damage, enemy health, ect.) are hidden from you, but the few levels you do get feel like a more substantial increase in power. It also helps that there really aren’t any sidequests to become overpowered on. There are also pretty hard limits as to what level you can actually complete certain sections, mostly in the form of “get to this level or you can't damage the boss.”

It still manages to be a lot of fun, and fit some variety in by way of a mechanic of standing still to charge attacks so that they are stronger. You can also charge longer, or faster ,as you progress within the story so there is some amount of progression outside of the leveling system itself.

### Darkest Dungeon

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_Darkest Dungeon_ is pretty much exactly what I'm thinking about in terms of an ideal for the Small Number RPG. The game's combat design has so much depth and interlocking complexity to everything, but at the same time, an incredible amount of restraint was involved in that design as well. It's exactly the game I'm thinking of when I was thinking about even decimal places communicating something, and an enemy having 14 HP and 20 HP can be the difference between life and death.

Aside from stuff like the one major currency, the designers eliminated any sense whatsoever of the game's balance simply being a matter of having applied an exponential curve to everything. It's a starkly legible game once you've acclimated to it and gotten a sense of what everything means. Just in this screenshot alone, in the bottom right you can see this Swine Prince fella has 132 HP, putting it in Hyper Beefcake Thing territory, especially for this part of the game. There isn't a damage number up here, and these damage calculations aren't visible to the player during regular play, but compared to our player hero's health pool of 32, the Swine Prince's (5-9)x2 Single target attacks and (3-7)x2 multi-target attacks will feel appropriately vicious, and with a 12% CRIT chance that applies a 1.5x modifier to that damage calculation, a handful of attacks or even one devastating critical blow can bring your average character from max health to having one foot in the grave. I could get into how the fight works in greater detail but then I'd be here all day, so instead I'll also just say that there is a way to replace those attacks with a single target attack with the same damage roll but without the doubling modifier but it require special skills, and the targets of those attacks are telegraphed at the beginning of a round, and as well there is another little guy in the fight not pictured in the screenshot who doles out Stuns like it's going out of style, and who you absolutely cannot target with an attack, or the big guy will do instantly counter with a heavy party-wide attack, and if you accidentally kill said little guy while the big guy is still alive (to sum it up _Darkest Dungeon_ has a lot of limitations in terms of targeting enemies and lots of multi-target attacks in general so this is not as simple as just not accidentally choosing the wrong menu option), the big guy will spam said party-wide attack endlessly. And pretty much anyone who has played a handful of RPGs but hasn't played _Dark Dungeon_ could already come up with a strategy on how to approach this boss fight just with that preliminary information, and win if put in front of it with a good party composition and loadout. Mind you, this boss is also one of the simpler and more straightforward ones, too.

Even better, the game's numerical growth is where that beautiful restraint really comes in. Most Numbers, between entry power level and max power level, roughly double, at most. The health pool of the hardest version of this boss is 271, a few hairs over double. There's only the barest hint of non-linear progression, overall--those damage calculations for his main attacks end up being (9-19)x2 for the single target version and (7-13)x2 for the multi-target, which is about as elegant as an example as I could ask for in a game full of them. The single target version gets a minimum damage roll only 1 less than double of the original, and the maximum damage roll is one more than double. The multi-target version is the inverse, with the minimum being double the easy version plus one and the maximum being double the easy version minus one. Basically meaning that its single target attacks get incrementally (yet legibly) more devastating, and multi-target attacks dole out greater overall damage but with incrementally (yet legibly) less damage spikes.

There are so many beautifully legible yet still intricate things to the mechanical design of _Darkest Dungeon,_that, in fact, I am pretty sure it was while I was playing _Darkest Dungeon_ that the phrase of a Small Number RPG came to me. It all coagulates into a game that is as harsh as it is fair, in the sense that it lays out all of the information you need to make informed decisions, hides only the information that is most interesting to hide, and demands that you understand all of it all at once. And, I guess this is kind of central to my thesis statement here, if every visible number in the game that isn't a percentage or functionally a percentage was multiplied by ~ 100, I think a lot of that purity in the game's balance would be needlessly obscured. Or, maybe, the designers would have found ways to use it as a crutch to balance parts of the game with numerical adjustments rather than tactical ones. In any case, it certainly has the confidence to show you all of this information in as comprehensible a format as possible,

A lot of players going through _Darkest Dungeon_ for the first time end up feeling that the game is unfair, and I don't blame them, for obvious reasons, because the game is intimidating on purpose. If they stick to it, though, they learn more and get better, and they find that the game is, in fact, not unfair, but in its own way, unforgivingly fair. The numbers, being comprehensibly bite sized, lay it pretty bare. You were simply taking risks you didn't realize you were taking, committing tactical missteps you didn't consider, not exploiting weaknesses or not seeing the efficacy of the tools you were provided. _Darkest Dungeon_ will make you realize all of those increases are cumulative, that you can get a bit of blood from every stone, and you're going to need to in order to keep progressing. You were wrong to scoff at the difference between a healing ability healing 2 points and 3 points, a DoT increasing from 1 to 2. All of that adds up to put you closer to that cumulative numerical point where you're even with the enemies, and it might even on occasion make you feel like you're just slightly over them. Of course, the game has hard controls for making sure you can't get over it by too much, Quests have difficulty tiers (of which there are 3, more or less) and Heroes have Tiers too (of which there are 3, more o less). Heroes of a too high level can't go into a lower Tier, where they would likely dominate Hilariously, you can send in lower level tier Heroes into whichever Tier Quest you want, if you have no regard for them making it through in one piece mentally or physically, anyway. In fact, in the "Easy" gameplay difficulty setting (I could get into how hilariously slim the difficulty difference really is, I really think this setting is more like Faster than Easier, but never mind), it lays this pretty bare--one of the few changes made in this difficult mode is that basically Tier 2 Heroes can still enter Tier 1 Quests. And they do dominate, but, well, it isn't much help for Tier 2 or 3 quests...

And so the Numbers ramp up, but not much. They increase by perceptible amounts. You feel the increases about as much as you would expect, and your heroes begin to feel powerful in comparison to the challenges put forth. You recognize there's a substantial difficult increase between Tier 1 and 2, but you also find that the spike isn't so bad after you can numerically get on top of it, learning some more tricks along the way too of course, new party comps, new combos, honing the way you move your way through quests. Everything starts to feel really good, and yes, you reckon with the fact that the game was always fair, you just needed to get much better at risk assessment, and because you do, that becomes obvious.

Why I rant and rave about _Darkest Dungeon_ as one of the GOATs (despite forgetting to make room for it on my [Insert Credit Video & Game Poll]( submission, oops!!!) however, is because of the transition between the middle and final difficulty environment (basically, Tier 2 to 3). I should point out that numerically speaking, there aren't _that_ many Numbers that increase by a totally unexpected level, as in, a way we would think of as mildly to moderately exponential rather than linear. The baseline for enemy accuracy is bumped up more than linearly, max damage of attacks gets a decent bump, Debuff Resistance is scaled in such a way where your really suppressive strategies are going to require more luck but nothing is rendered obsolete. Most players will enter their first Tier 3 Quest brimming with confidence, having seen a cavalcade of horrors, and will most likely begin one and end up seeing mostly recognizable threats. They hit harder, have more health, and some of your old tricks don't work quite as well, but nothing is that different, right?

It's likely during that first Tier 3 Quest that _Darkest Dungeon_ will pull the rug out from under you once again, because not only are all of those reasonably increased numerically communicated threats acting upon you cumulatively, but that's also when old enemies get new moves, and new more dangerous combinations of enemies appear, and most deliciously, brand new enemies that only appear in this Tier come to absolutely ruin your day. Tier 2 has a few of them, but the Tier 3 enemies are really interesting in the sense that they aren't so numerically impressive as to feel like they're just arbitrarily made more threatening than any other enemy. Rather, most of them simply represent vicious new tactical challenges you have to overcome. If any _Monster Hunter_ fans who have played a lot of any of the games before _X/Generations_ are reading this, think of the first time you tried G Rank hunts in any of the games before _Generations_ and lost your damn mind when a familiar monster whips out a new attack without warning and shreds through your crappy High Rank armor for ~ 60% of your health bar. It's a lot like that.

It's at this point that _Darkest Dungeon_ once again makes many player feel that the game really is unfair after all, that the player numbers are just not large enough, that all of their tricks and strategies were child's play. I mean, all of these numbers point to that, how are you supposed to contend with this climb in incoming damage or these meaty health pools? This is a really common sentiment. Doubly so once it kind of sinks in that the numerical advantage available for you to build into isn't going to keep you feeling that same sense of security you probably had during the middle tier. Once again, though, the solution is just that there is, somehow, more depth to uncover, more effective strategies, more ways to assess risk and even more importantly maximize reward. I guess this turned into a _Darkest Dungeon_ review at some point but to bring it back to the concept of the Small Number RPG, the Numbers at this point really don't leave you with any hope of returning to a position where you feel in control because your numbers are big enough. It communicates your only option; get better, and it's saying you need to get better at a game you probably thought you were totally hot shit at already. And, boy, overcoming that second major difficulty hike and being able to look back in that same way as the first one, and accepting that, no, the game wasn't unfair, you just hadn't yet learned everything about it, was so, so fulfilling. I had _Darkest Dungeon_ slap me back down from that point after dozens if not over a hundred hours of play, _twice,_ before I finally felt like I was capable of beating it on a third near complete playthrough. Maybe that makes me not very good at the game, but damnit, I really can't think of any other single game where I had to put in probably something approaching 200 hours before I felt capable of beating it once and for all (mind you, I had become so intimidated by the final challenge that when I finally committed myself to it, I crushed it beyond all recognition, which was itself a pretty goddamn satisfying way to experience it I must say), and I was still learning things by the end of that third playthrough.





@“Polaco Yunque”#p44620 I agree that the big numbers are kind of alienating especially at the beginning of the game. Hate starting a jrpg with 1217 HP

Even worse is when obsolescence is a natural consequence of the game's overall numerical progression. As someone who has that particular packrat compulsion when it comes to lots of RPGs, I somehow am worse about it in _Final Fantasy_ games than in other games even though it so easily communicates how dumb I am for it. I really have to tell myself that, no, now that our health pools are deep in the 4 figure range, I _don't_ need these 99 Potions that only heal 100 HP for emergency spot healing in between battles.

In perhaps my most all time hated Large Number RPG, _Final Fantasy XV,_ the Potions, which can be bought for a quickly trivial amount of gil almost anywhere, healing _fifty freaking percent of current max HP,_ feels like an admission of guilt for how horrendously designed that game is with regards to the legibility of its numerical information.

I guess if we're including action RPGs, most of them from 2D generations use pretty small numbers.

I’ve been trying to learn Caves of Qud and I noticed that game has this quality too. The highest HP I have leveled a character to is in the 50s. Monsters can have 8 points. The weapons are about 1D2-1D6 damage. I spent mental time working out which had higher expected value: 1D4 ||2.5||or 1D3+1 ||3||. A healing item may heal 4-5 HP/turn over 5 turns. You get hit by a rifle and it takes 11 HP and is terrible news. I’m not certain it makes it more parsable though, especially the dice math… which is obscured by a “classic” Roguelike to-hit mechanic that isn’t exposed in-game and makes it super hard to compare weapons.

The Jersey Jack pinball games also have an intentionally deflationary scoring structure. A “good” score is like, 5 figures.

@“SkeletonCounter”#p44625 Can concur. Crystalis is a real gem and I just recently finished a playthrough on Nintendo Online. (Good thing my copy of the SNK Collection is still unopened?) : P

The progression and your powers feel pretty natural as well. I only found myself grinding at 1-2 points in the game. It is bad that some bosses won't even take damage if you aren't a certain level though.... But aside from that gripe, I really feel like this was what Zelda 2 would have been closer to if they stuck to the overhead design of the first one. I also credit this game as the stepping stone to coming to enjoy A Link to the Past as much as I still do now. More so than the original Zelda (too obtuse for my young kid brain) or Zelda 2.

The challenge with making a small number RPG is there‘s nowhere to hide. bigger numbers allow a smoother ramp to where you don’t really need to always feel like your latest level up did much. small numbers also reduce the amount of level ups you get across the game, which can be challenging for pacing. I‘ve been thinking about this a lot lately for REASONS and I’m not sure that I‘ve got the solutions here yet. On the one hand, with large number RPGs you care less about your level and more just generally knowing you should always be grinding a bit. with small number RPGs you might have more specific goals to reach but if they don’t significantly change things for you it‘s extremely noticeable and the whole thing kind of falls apart. I definitely see why it’s uncommon, but… it‘s certainly something I’m thinking about.

For me Fairune is a good example of a small number ARPG. It has an Ys-like battle system where you run into enemies. Enemies that are one level weaker than you give you 1 exp, enemies two levels weaker give you 0 but instantly die. enemies that are the same level give you 2 exp but do 1 damage to you. enemies that are one level higher give you more exp (I forget how much) but do two damage so you might die. much stronger enemies do a lot of damage and you can't hurt them.

It's all very simple and clear and it works pretty well! I might have the numbers a bit off but that's the general idea.

Casting thread resurrection on this thread to rant and rave about a brilliant new development in the Small Number RPG, in the form of some of the more ingenious combat mechanic overhauls in Darkest Dungeon 2.

For the uninitiated, the now two _Darkest Dungeon_ games have a rich strategic turn based combat system with some key design elements that I think already set it apart from a lot of other games. I'm excited and impressed at the idea that _Darkest Dungeon 2_ did somehow manage to streamline some of the first game's systems as well as make a great deal of it much, much more legible. It also makes the game's combat feel so much more brisk and active, it is really really cool.

What they introduced is the Token system, which is I guess sort of closely related to Buff/Debuff system which the game does still use but it ends up operating on its own level of strategy and is usually the focal point of much of combat. In both games, there are Buffs and Debuffs, which operate exactly how you'd expect. They're applied to characters or enemies via abilities and the effects last for X amount of rounds of combat or battles or whatever. Tokens superficially resemble Buffs and Debuffs but behave quite differently. Instead of conferring an effect for the length of a turn, they're applied to targets and stay indefinitely. As far as I can tell they also end up being able to be stacked three times, and a single character or enemy can, as far as I have seen so far, any number of different kinds of Tokens being applied to them at once.

How a Token's effect is triggered and expended is by the relevant interaction happening by or to the target (there are a couple Tokens that do just last for a turn but never mind that). As in, a positive and defensive Token like Block which reduces incoming damage by 50% is activated when the target is taking damage. An offensive debilitation like Blinded which reduces chance to hit by 50% is triggered when using an attack, and so on. Tokens being resolved happens simultaneously, so long as they are relevant to the interaction. For instance if a character has a Dodge Token (50% chance to dodge an incoming damaging attack) and a Strength Token (50% damage increase on next attack), attacking will spend the Strength Token but the Dodge Token stays until they are being attacked. Or, if they are being attacked and they *also* have a Riposte token (Automatic Counterattack when hit with a damaging attack), all 3 Tokens get spent at once--they have a good chance at Dodging the incoming attack, and then they will immediately counterattack spending the Riposte Token, the damage of which is boosted by 50% from the Strength Token.

Also worth mentioning that generally speaking if a Token's benefit isn't contextual like Riposte, it's all based around modifications of either 50% or upgraded versions of some Tokens like Block and Dodge that confer 75% benefit. In the first game Character attributes included stuff like a Dodge score and an Accuracy score, nope, it's all just Tokens now. Chance-to-hit calculations are either guaranteed, on a single coin toss (because the character has a Blinded Token or the enemy has a Dodge Token), or 2 or more coin tosses in sequence (Dodge+ gives 75% chance to dodge so two coin tosses in a row basically). Only other main thing I can think of is that if a Token has a clear opposite, such as the Strength Token (50% Damage boost on next attack) and the Weak Token (50% damage reduction on the next attack), the application of its opposite cancels it out. So if you have a Vulnerable Token (Next incoming attack deals 50% more damage) and an ability that gives that character 2 Block Tokens, using it gives you 1 Block Token and clears the Vulnerable Token.

It is a really elegant way of compressing an impressive amount of strategic information all at once. Here's an example, take a look at my Man-At-Arms, the heavily armored white haired eyepatch guy on the far right in the left group, which is the player character party, if you can't tell from how we're sorta rough but not mean looking people while the other guys are clearly ruffians and rogues:

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The row of five little icons below the red bar (health) and the row of white squares (stress) is the current Tokens he has. Admittedly I used an ability that applies a bunch of Tokens at once to prove a point, but this is still just the first round of combat. This is a moderately high number of Tokens to look at all at once, but it's not super high either. The little white diamonds under them are stacks, and the difference between Gold and Blue tokens is generally that they are Positive and beneficial (yellow) or Negative and detrimental (blue).

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From the left to the right:

  • - The shield is the Block Token, 50% Damage reduction.
  • - Teal Skull is the Combo token, one of the enemies applied this one and it's bad. It means one of the enemies will target him with a special more dangerous attack, generally.
  • - Spiky Ball is the Crit Token, next attack is a guaranteed Critical strike.
  • - Swoopy Spiky Ball is the Riposte Token, next two attacks he is hit by will trigger a Counterattack.
  • - Speaker Icon is the Taunt Token. On an enemy's turn, if they can hit this character with a damaging attack, they are forced to do so or use a buff or heal. This applies to the next two enemies that can target this character and are attacking. This is Blue because it's a negative Token but obviously I am using this mechanic to my advantage.
  • In other words, all of this tells me that within the next two enemy turns, this character will likely be hit with a strong attack, but he will have reduced the damage by half, he will automatically Counterattack, and the first one will be a Crit. So he's protecting the rest of the party for the next two enemy attacks, and is dealing back a good amount of damage at the same time. I applied _six_ of those tokens with _just one_ ability on his turn, granted it's an upgraded version of the ability and usually only gives 4 (the normal version gives you the Taunt and Riposte, the upgraded version gives you the 2 Block Tokens).

    Also lmao while alt-tabbing to continue writing this post I also found out that holding Alt zooms in on player characters and enemies and gives you clear explanations of their current tokens, DoTs, and Resistances:

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    What a fantastic UI, seriously. Just from a glance I'm sure you can tell that my Bleed, Blight, Burn, and Disease resistances are buffed because they're yellow, the Combo Token is an eye-catching Teal because of its danger, everything is color coded, it's got nice fonts, even that fake Gothic font is very legible.

    When it starts to get really interesting is when you acclimate to it and see just how much the combat system revolves around the strategic application and use of Tokens and how synergies and good plays become so easy and fun to see and try out.

    For instance, there's a character who has moderately damaging attacks that also apply a Token, one Attack applies a Dodge Token to him, and the other applies a Blind Token to the enemy. One Knight enemy used an ability that gave it 2 Block Tokens and 2 Riposte Tokens, meaning attacking it was going to be costly. To undermine this, I had the character above attack a different enemy to gain a Dodge token, and on the next turn, I used the attack that applies a Blind token on the Knight, it didn't do much damage because of the Block, but it cleared one each of the Block and Riposte Tokens, and because of the Dodge Token I had, the Knight's counterattack missed, plus, I'd gave the next counterattack a chance to miss as well. I risked targeting the Knight with a squishy character, the second counterattack also missed, and while that attack didn't do much upfront damage, it applied a pretty decent DoT. So in the span of 3 moves I was able to completely neutralize what would otherwise be a pretty tricky to deal with situation.

    There's a ton of other little stuff that is really exciting, how to clear lots of pesky enemy Tokens at once by using AoE moves, how some moves can spend Tokens for other benefits like this one that will Heal 10%+X(10%) for each Positive Token on the target while spending them (with the upgraded version spending and also clearing Negative Tokens, meaning that one ability on the Man-At-Arms that gives him 4 Positive Tokens and 2 Negative Tokens can heal him for 70%), and the character class synergies that come from that.

    In summary, this game rules.

    Also that particular sequence of events went exactly as intended, he got shot for 0 damage only to fatally counterattack the enemy who dared try, and the deadly attack did a piddly 4 damage, only for him to deal that and more back.

    Unfortunately things did not continue going well for this party, which was kind of inevitable due to my own negligent play they all developed vehement dislike of each other and petty in-fighting led them to waste time and push each other into stress meltdowns in the middle of fighting for their lives. Double unfortunately my tanky guy who I wanted to take and thus mitigate a large portion of all incoming damage also had a personality failing that caused him to phase out of existence (and thus be untargetable until his next turn) and destroy positive tokens when he got stressed out, and homie was already going thru a lot rn. We have lost the Tragic Orphan Girl-on-fire already and this run may be coming to a close shortly.

    I think its been mentioned on the show, positively and negatively, but Ikenfell is one of the tightest SRPGs I've ever played battles always take place on a 3x12 ish grid and attacks all have their own simple chess-like ranges that makes it a really easy to wrap your head around and figure out the best ways to position your characters for the widest range of attacks

    @“Just_Walli”#p47055 I've never played Ikenfell but for whatever reason your description of it made me remember Into The Breach!! A masterpiece in making systems that are so simple on paper yet so complicated in practice.

    have you played stoneshard? i watched a playthrough of it last year. it has small numbers. it's still in early access though and not due out until end of next year


    @“tapevulture”#p47061 have you played stoneshard? i watched a playthrough of it last year. it has small numbers. it’s still in early access though and not due out until end of next year

    Never even heard of it but whoa, that is one hell of a premise.

    Not an RPG but I remember in middle school finding it completely fascinating, after being exposed to Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, that in Magic The Gathering dealing 1 or 2 damage can be considered a highly beneficial effect.

    I wonder why there seems to be a West vs. East divide over the aesthetics of small vs. large integers in game design?

    @“2501”#p47238 I think it‘s not a west-vs-east thing so much as a paper-vs-digital thing. With analog games you don’t want to do calculations that tell you whether you're doing 1247 vs 1248 damage, so large numbers like that were never really an option.

    Ah, I missed that you were referring to the Pokemon card game! That's actually a very good point that it and Yu-Gi-Oh! add zeroes. Can't speak for Yu-Gi-Oh!, but for Pokemon I imagine that made the numbers look more similar to the video games.