Tattooing...Thoughts?

Tattooing has been mentioned as a profession by Steve sometime back, while there are next to no details on this at the moment, I have been spending time theorizing what it might entail.

Will tattooing be part of the enchanting skill line or will it have its own line, personally I think it would make sense to have it related to enchanting in some way.

I would imagine tattoo's will give some sort of bonus, will they just be stat bonuses, possibly increased resistances or will there be more exotic type abilities that could be activated on some sort of timer to provide bonuses for a set time period. Maybe the tattoo could be one use only then it vanishes from your skin and will need to be reapplied.

What will provide the magical force behind the tattoo, will it be the pattern or design of the tattoo or will it be the magical properties derived from the ink or perhaps a combination of the two. If the ink provides the power behind tattoo could you experiment with different ingredients to provide different effects.

It has also been mentioned that dye crafting will be in game, will the dye be produced by the tattoo artist or will it be another profession, say alchemist who produces them thus creating some interdependence between the two professions.

How will new tattoo's be discovered, by finding patterns in lore books, experimenting with existing patterns and dye's, perhaps many of the more intelligent creatures may have tattoo's and examining them may unlock new advancement for the budding tattoo artist.

I know this is all just theory, but I will just throw it out there to see if any others have thoughts and ideas. 

Comments

  • Interesting idea. Any other games that have had tattoos that I played they were purely cosmetic, and in most cases after character creation were never really displayed prominently since clothing and armor cover them. Dragon Age had the Qunari facepaint that acted as armor or buff (but since they couldn't wear head armor, achieved balance), XCOM2 had extensive cosmetic options that you could display depending on the different armor easily. It would be interesting to see if they did implement such a system, whether things like cosmetic skins would overwrite or still allow different areas to be displayed.

    Then there is the problem if they make it a profession thing, does not having tattooing make your character less competitive? So you either end up with a purely cosmetic system, or one so watered down on the stat application side to be negligible. I guess the argument could be made that if someone doesn't carry potions they are making a choice to make their character less competitive, so a viable system could be put in to place, if they want to go that far in depth.
  • From a min maxers point of view if tattoo's were to provide a buff, then yes they would become essential, and no doubt there would be some tattoo's that would become the metta but then this can be true of every aspect of a games combat systems. Eventually the meta is worked out depending on your class and people will gravitate towards it, or those who desire to be ultra competitive.

    But it is just theory and speculation on my behalf with what tattooing could possibly be like.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited November 2017
    Tattoos are a pretty fun concept, but one that I don’t think any MMOs have added. We used to have a pretty fun system in a pen and paper game I used to run many years ago now. It went a little something like this: When a player chose to have a tattoo, there were five main choices they needed to make:
    • Power
    • Placement
    • Type
    • Design
    • Ink Composition
    Power
    A player could have one Prime tattoo and two Minor tattoos. A Prime tattoo would provide a little more than twice the potential power of a Minor (so if a Minor provided 1d6 protection, a Prime would provide 2d8).

    Only three tattoos were allowed as these were infused with the player’s body and there was only a certain level of power that could be imbued into a single body. Of course someone did try to push the envelope, but the results were… let’s just say undesirable.

    Placement
    Purely cosmetic: head, torso, right leg, left leg, right arm, left arm. Players often liked to choose the placement that made the most sense for the type and design, but not always. Looking cool was typically the driving consideration for placement.

    Type
    Three main types of tattoo: Protection, Detection and Enhancement.

    Detection: poison, magic, demonic presence, vampires, necromantic magic, invisibility, etc. This would not reveal anything, simply send a tingling/burning/stinging/or whatever you decide, sensation through the tattoo when the effect is encountered. If you have a tattoo that detected invisibility, when there was an invisible creature or effect in place the tattoo would itch simply alerting the player.

    We had a dwarf in the group who chose their Prime tattoo as Detect Gold. That one worked out really nicely (especially because he had them on his legs, so I could tap him under the table and he could then act out his detection however he wanted – over time he became rather neurotic with his gold fetish).

    Protection: fire, lightning, cold, poison, disease, magic, psychic effects, demons, necrotic damage, slashing damage, bludgeoning damage, etc. Protection tattoos provided a small resistance to a specific effect in the case of damage, or an additional to a saving throw in the case of a non-damaging.

    One player’s back story was their family had been killed by werewolves so they chose their Prime as a protection from lycanthropy.

    Enhancement: focus, stamina, persuasion, spellcasting, toughness, striking a specific creature type, charm, crafting. This would provide a small addition of say +1 to hit against demons, an increase in durability or effect on crafting an item, or a small modifier to persuasion rolls.

    A blacksmith player took their Prime as an enhancement to their knowledge of metals. This allowed the items they crafted to be of a finer quality, that could withstand more damage, and be able to accept the stresses of more powerful enchantments.

    Design
    The design of the tattoo was entirely up to the player but a few standard conventions were used. A Triskelion was used for the Protection tattoos, but the specifics were left up to the player. We had one made of tentacles, one of swords and one of crescent moons that looked a lot like the Biohazard symbol. Often the symbol was part of a larger tattoo, but it could also simply just be the symbol itself – the players’ imagination was the only limit.

    Ink Composition
    The final decision for a player was the composition of the ink. This went hand in hand with the type of tattoo and was used to denote the cost of the tattoo process, and in the case of some powerful effects, to promote a little quest for the player to undertake in order to gather a rare resource.

    For the Minor tattoos, the tattoo artist usually had the inks available (depending on the city) but for many Prime tattoos, there would be something required that the artist simply did not have (eg. Rakshasa Fur). These goods could be traded, or purchased from the larger cities, but more often than not, the players chose to acquire them on their own.

    Removal
    Tattoos could be removed by very skilled artisans for a hefty price. The disruption to the energy of the player was profound and it would leave all tattoos null for a period of 48 hours, and would prevent any new tattoos being applied for a period of 7 days for a Minor and 30 days for a Prime.

    Removing the tattoo was really rupturing the connection between the body/soul of the player and the enchantment so the penalties were severe. I also always made it pretty expensive, even in the largest capitals. It was a dangerous practice and could not be left to some backalley artist – no one decided to try that (probably from the wicked grin on my face when someone broached the idea).

    The system was a lot of fun, but not so pervasive that everyone always had all three available tattoos. Most were gained over time, once people had a feeling for their characters.

    I understand that in an MMO people are more likely to utilise the tattoo system as simple stat boost but I believe that if handled correctly with a broad range of potential bonuses and effects you would find a lot of interesting and different choices. You just have to derive a system where the straight +stat is not as fun or engaging as another effect.
  • Bajjer said:

    I understand that in an MMO people are more likely to utilise the tattoo system as simple stat boost but I believe that if handly correctly with a broad range of potential bonuses and effects you would find a lot of interesting and different choices. You just have to derive a system where the straight +stat is not as fun or engaging as another effect.
    Thanks for posting great food for thought, with the last paragraph I agree if there were a good deal of variety as to what tattoo's did then it could lead to some interesting and hard choices the player has to make. But it would need a good deal of variety, with some passive and some active effects.

    Steve has mentioned a tattooing as part of the professions, hope we get some more hints in the future.
  • I love this system. One thing that could change it up for an MMO is to just completely remove any +stat bonus entirely, so that all the choices are more situational and nothing will be a “must have”.

    So no +stamina or +agility or +dodge, but instead keep all the flavour stuff like +damage to demons or +fall distance before taking damage or stuff like that which is situational but fun. Nothing that is a must have, but something that will add to the flavour of your character and will be useful to certain playstyles. So nothing that a tank would have to have, or a ranger would have to have, but all bonuses be equally useful for all classes.

    I think the talented people at Intrepid could take this system and make it work perfectly in an MMO context.

  • @Lazerou Nice idea. It works perfectly when you have a bunch of people around a table and their focus is story, but yes, in an MMO things change a little for a percentage of players who are not focused on story at all and only on the maths.

    So a great compromise. 

    I like the +fall distance, great for the rogues that want to climb all the things! 

    I agree that the talented guys at Intrepid should be able to come up with hundreds of flavourful effects for players to choose from.

    I was always a fan of being able to see further in the dark, which would work great in Ashes, depending on how they tackle light in dungeons. So a tattoo with a little bonus of a few extra feet of night vision would be something that I would choose. 
  • I look forward to spending hours figuring out what kind of tattoo i want and where i want it to be. Even if no one sees them because they are under my clothes and armour, it will still take me a long time.

    @Bajjer it sounds like your games were pretty amazing. What ruleset did you play?

    It would be cool to fashion yourself as a demon hunter and have a detect demon tattoo, a protection from demonic attacks and then a plus to damage to demons.
  • nabler said:
    I look forward to spending hours figuring out what kind of tattoo i want and where i want it to be. Even if no one sees them because they are under my clothes and armour, it will still take me a long time.

    @Bajjer it sounds like your games were pretty amazing. What ruleset did you play?

    It would be cool to fashion yourself as a demon hunter and have a detect demon tattoo, a protection from demonic attacks and then a plus to damage to demons.
    The main set we played was a heavily modified version of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. The ruleset was just a little more well rounded for roleplay, more characterful. 

    And I like the Demon Hunter idea. This is what they were pretty much always used for by us: to really add some flavour to the character, to have fun. No one min-maxed or gamed the game, we just created characters and builds that worked for us. I get that an MMO is different and the maths really comes into play, but it doesn't have to intrude too much, if we don't let it.
  • If they give stats (and there is no alternative) they need to be hideable tbh. If I want to be a top player and raid I don't want to be forced to have a tattoo on an obvious place. Especially if everyone else has the same tattoo. I know this sounds weird since I am against cosmetic battle gear but I think cool looking army is something people need to earn and actual character looks and tattoos should be completely customizable.
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