Item Types

by Dale M.A. Johnson


created Oct 29, '07


An item type is a property assigned to an item that defines what kind of item it is, as well as determines just who may use it. Item types are defined separately from items, and then applied to them. Every item must have a type. The basic mechanics of item types are discussed here. Item types are fairly simple and shouldn't take long for the campaign or rule set designer to set up or alter.



Each item type has a few variables that defines what it is for the player, and dictates to the engine how to handle it. These properties are:


string tName
The item type's name. For example, "Sword" or "Hat".
string tIcon
The name of the image file used as a small icon that represents this item type.
boolean bHidden
If hidden, then this item type's icon and skill level will be not be displayed on units' status screens. false by default. If set to true, then bRated is automatically set to false for this item type and cannot be changed.
boolean bRated
A "rated" item type is where each unit that can use this type has a "skill level" in using that item. For example, a unit with a skill level of 3 in "Swords" will be less effective with a sword than a unit with a skill level of 8 in "Swords". "Unrated" item types have a skill level of "N/A". true by default.
boolean bActivatable
Whether or not items of this type can be "activated" by units able to use them. For example, "Swords" would be activatable. "Herbs" would not be since they are "consumed", not equipped.false by default.
boolean bMultiequip
Whether or not only one item of this type in a unit's inventory can be activated at a time. For example, a given unit can choose to have two "Swords" active at a time (in case one breaks, they'll use the other), but they can not have two "Shields" active at the same time. false by default.
boolean bLearnable
Whether or not anyone can equip this type and eventually learn how to use it. false by default.
boolean bLinkedTo[#]
Whether or not this item type is "linked" to the item type of a given ID. If two item types are linked to one another and bMultiequip is set to false, then a given unit can only activate one item from both types. For example, if "hat" and "helmet" are linked, then a unit can active either a "hat" or "helmet", they can't have one of each at the same time. false by default.


Skill Levels

If a unit can use a given item type, then that item type will show up on their status screen, along with a numerical value known as that unit's "skill level". By using a given item, that unit will gain skill points (or simply "skill") in that type, and the unit's skill level in that type will eventually go up. The amount of skill gained in a given type is set by the item being used.


How skill is gained with an item alters depending on the item: Consumable items give skill points when used. Activatable items give skill simply for being active during a battle. Weapons are the exception to this rule! If an item is marked as a weapon, then it only gives skill points for being used in a battle.


The formula used to determine the amount of skill needed to raise a skill level is:


skill points needed = skill next * current skill level


"Skill next" is a special variable (set to 20 by default) that can be changed in a campaign or rule set's core rules. Like experience, a unit can never receive more skill than their "skill next" value.


When a skill level increases, skill is reset to 0, but any leftover skill is retained and carried over. For example, let's say you're a "Clown" class unit with 20 skill in "Large Shoes", you need 25 skill to gain a skill level. After fighting a battle with a "Large Shoes" item activated, the unit gains 10 skill points. Five of the skill points are used to raise the skill level, and the extra five are kept, leaving the unit with 5 skill total in that item type.


Skill levels range from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest). A skill level of 0 means that the unit cannot use a given item type.


Learning How to Fight

And exciting option for campaign creators is "Learnable" item types. If a given item type is set to "learnable", then any class and unit can use items of that type, even if they have a skill level of 0. However, if that unit's skill level in that item type is 0, they will be penalized for using the item: Weapon damage and accuracy will be significantly lower, healing balms will recover less hit points and magic points, armor and accessories will give lower defensive bonuses and stat boosts, etc.


This is where the "learnable" part comes in. Even though they will be penalized for using items of this type, they will still gain skill for using it. Eventually, they will gain enough skill that they will hit the "acquisition point". This is a value set in a campaign or rule set's core rules, and will likely be 40 by default. When their skill reaches this point, the item type's icon will be added to their status screen and their skill level will be changed to 1 (and any extra skill will be carried over). From here on out, using these items will come without any penalties.