We covered the memories and traits systems that control the stats of the peons a while ago in this blog post. After some questions on twitter, we thought we would explain the system in slightly greater detail.
Every peon is given three memories when they are spawned – these memories will determine the stats of the peons. As the peon remembers more of the memory, their stats will improve. Memories themselves are split into different categories – physical, emotional, misc and spiritual. For instance, a memory about playing sports will be a physical related memory, a memory about being christened in their teen years would be a spiritual one.
Each trait is also assigned to one of these categories. A trait is a modifier that will also change stats. Traits are rolled based upon which memory was picked.
For instance, a physical trait could be “weak legs”. This could be picked when a sports related memory is rolled. This could represent a sports related injury, so even if the peon in question did a lot of sports, they injured themselves at some point. Alternatively “strong legs” may be picked, showing that all this sport related activity helped make the peon a strong person.
Some traits are not affiliated to a certain memory, but there is a chance for them to be rolled in association with any memory. Things like being scared of the cold (alternatively enjoying being cold). Some traits will also change the peon AI. For instance, a peon who is scared of the dark will be less likely to go out at night. This allows for some interesting roleplay as well as making the peons more individual. Some traits look identical on paper; for instance “chatty” and “friendly” both provide +2 to friendliness – the key difference is that a “chatty” peon will talk more to the other peons (see all about ideas and communication between the peons in this blog post).
Once the memories are all rolled and the traits are picked for each one (either 0, 1 or 2 traits per memory) the next step is to make sure the traits make sense. For instance, a peon can’t have the “weak arms” and “strong arms” traits and they can’t have “brave” and “cowardly”. When a conflict appears like this, the system will randomly remove one of the contradictory traits.
Finally, as ever peon is unique, we add a random trait that can come from any of the categories. This does have a slight bias toward misc traits, but makes things more interesting. It is possible (but very unlikely) for a peon to have no traits – in this situation we don’t do anything. Everyone is unique even if they are bland!
This is how the system generates peons when they are spawned. However, Fringe Planet will ship with a “Peon Builder” – which allows for a peon to be custom designed. This allows the player to uniquely pick traits and create peons which the system would never allow for. Physical looks as well can be altered with the peon builder. It’s quite a lot of fun to min/max peons to give you a harder/easier experience.
There is a lot more to read about Fringe Planet… why not try: