More will be listed here. Though I normally just tell people to read threads entirely, I will conduct the courtesy of editing in other assumed properties into this post, and following posts in this thread will be for discussion. This guide, even moreso than the other guides of the site, is highly community-based and this subject to much discussion and revision, with the driving questions being about what can be accepted as default values to streamline descriptions.
As mentioned before, in terms of chars' stats and parameters, your descriptions are taken on the scale of "average for me is way above average for a regular person in real life." This does not apply to allies. The "ally scale," as I have been calling it, is a natural scale, which is to say that "average for this ally is average for a regular person in real life." If you want to describe an ally(ies) on the char scale, by all means, you're free to do so. Just say that you're doing that. The assumption is that they're being described on the ally scale.
Civilians naturally take the char scale, too, but some are so underpowered that the ally scale may be preferable to describe themselves in. This is very rare, but a technically available option.
Costs and damage descriptions do not follow the same scale as char info generation. If you have "average" mana and describe a spell as costing an "average" amount of MA, that does not mean that you empty your MA pool. It means about 1/12th of that, roughly speaking. Likewise, a "decent" amount of damage to your HE is not a KO if your HE is average or less. It's about 1/8th of that, give or take. These values are subjective, but it's safe to operate on roughly those ratios. That's the "feel of the game" that will eventually make gameplay here so smooth that it will seem to need almost no moderation at all.
Weapons have power factors. One sword is stronger than another (has a higher power factor), so we describe how much stronger it is ("slightly above average," for instance). The assumed power factor for weapons is simply “average,” “medium,” “standard,” "normal," or “moderate” (all the same). If your weapon is not mundane, it is still assumed to have a normal power factor unless you explicitly write elsewise. This is variable by weapon type: The “average” power factor of a lance is a bit higher than the average sword, an axe or hammer is stronger, a kusari-gama is weaker, a scythe is roughly between a lance and a sword, a whip is roughly equal to a kusari-gama, et cetera. If you somehow have a totally unique weapon, you should state its power factor relative to something that's well-known (e.g. “slightly above the average power factor of a sword” or “roughly equal to the average power factor of a spear”). Projectiles have a two-part power factor. Most of the power factor is determined by the weapon (gun, hand-cannon, arrowgun, limb cannon, buster, bow, crossbow, ballista, sling . . .), while the ammo adds a bit on to that, usually. A bow, for instance, is a little below a sword, and its weak, normal arrows bring it a bit closer, usually so close to a sword's power that the difference is negligible. Guns and their bullets are somewhat weaker, though they have the advantages of more attack speed and easily-acquired piercing capabilities. I could walk you through every weapon to beat the concept into you head, but I have a better idea for an illustration.
Note: Like all such examples, these numbers are not official by any means. We do not calculate power or damage numerically; these are just to make the point clear so that you are familiar with it when you see it in relative terms. By the way, feel free to take some stuff from these examples and throw them into your character(s).
Firearm power factors are considered to be the same as anything else: the power factor per successful hit, not DPS. Your DPS is ATKSPD * power factor. The firing rate, unless it's "however fast I can pull the trigger," is just a substitute for your natural ATKSPD. It's really very simple.
If your gun is fully automatic, it simply has an automatic fire rate that needs to be stated. If it's manual or semi-auto, the default is "however fast the shooter can make it go," but it is possible for extraneous limitations to be implemented, such as some enchantment that disables your gun from firing any more than twice per second in exchange for some special effect that it has. Whatever the cause, if it's a firing rate, it's a firing rate, so state whatever it is. If you don't state a firing rate, I'm assuming that your gun is semi-auto, which is something that you really should state in the first place.
When describing a gun's accuracy/effective range/however you want to say it, describe it relative to the gun type. If you say that it's an assault rifle with average accuracy, I take that to mean that it has average accuracy for an assault rifle, which is quite high. Maybe you have an assault rifle that operates more like an SMG than anything because of all the mods that it has, and you want to describe it as being fairly accurate for an SMG. That's fine, but, if you don't expressly say that, I'm going to assume that your accuracy description is relative to assault rifles, even if I can very clearly see that it's functionally more of an SMG.
On the matter of accuracy, if there is some extraneous factor that makes its effective range and its accuracy not a simple inversion of one another, tell me about it, because, if you give me a value, I'm assuming it to be a simple matter of physics: Accuracy decreases the further out that you're shooting. Effective range is a matter of how far out you can shoot with good enough accuracy. They're inverses.
Because guns can differ so much functionally on Houcm, infinitely more than in real life, accuracy is the only thing that I relativize by typical patterns of gun types. It's seriously common to see, going on the same example, an assault rifle that works like an SMG, especially with all the conditional abilities that so many chars have. "+10% damage and +15% firing rate on assaut rifles," one ability may read, but that char wants to use spray-and-pray tactics in this situation, be a sniper in that situation, and so on, so they get assault rifles that are modified accordingly to fit their tactical diversity while still all getting boosted by that ability. Borderlands players should be familiar with this concept. The point that I'm trying to make is that I am not going to exercise many assumed properties over guns. It's not like that makes them difficult to write out, but you do have to apply the effort to spelling things out for the sake of everyone's freedom to have variations.
Proportional damage/healing is assumed to be subject to elemental multipliers (e.g. 1.5 damage from darkness * a dark spell that normally deals 50% = 75% damage) and protective effects (e.g. Protect, Shell, Shield). If your proportional damage/healing is hard-set to ignore protections, state that in its description.
Purification and Dispulsion Paradigms
So far, everyone seems to have a good hold on statuses, purifications, and dispulsions, but here's a walkthrough for how they are assumed to work. As always, you can come up with something to deviate from the norm, but this is how it works if you don't go into detail on your own:
When an ability is used to alter at least one of your properties (alter your status), it is either a positive, negative, or neutral status effect. Negative status effects are also called status ailments, ailments, debuffs, detriments, or other negative terms. Positive effects are sometimes called buffs or just effects. Neutral status effects are often those with positive and negative effects. Some call them all enchantments, whether a chant was performed for them or not. The purposes vary all across the board, but, if it is an effect on a character, it's a status effect. You can call it what you want, but I'm going to stick with the status terms for the rest of this, as they're fairly comprehensive. Examples (with references to some ability lists):
Positive: Protect, Shell, Regen, Haste, the Nulspell series, Imx (Tixxi), -burst series (Tixxi)
Negative: Poison, Blind, Silence, Sleep, Doom, Petrify, Stone, Disable, Immobilize, Confuse, Slow, Age, Stop, Disease (For descriptions of most of these, see Dycedarg's abilities.)
Neutral: Gentle (Choh), Berserk, Dark Rain (Tixxi), Black Ice (Tixxi)
Also, some put spacetime effects into a different category because they aren't usually affected by the same things.
Purifications (such as Esuna, the much more limited Basuna, and similar effects) usually remove negative statuses, but not neutral or positive effects. If you'd like your friend to stop having the Berserk status, and all that you have is Esuna, you're SOL. Some higher purifications go so far as to pick out some neutral status effects to be removed, too (There's a White Magic spell by the name of Restore that works on Berserk in addition to pretty much all negative statuses.), but purifications are usually just for purifying negative statuses. Generally speaking, purifications (along with the statuses) run on an all-or-nothing basis; either the poison is removed or it's not. Most of Laola's poisons are an examples of exceptions; when one casts Esuna on a victim of them, Esuna becomes a relative factor; it puts the caster's MAG against Laola's, but the poisons have a higher power factor than Esuna (since Esuna is granted a low power factor when it becomes a magnitudinal spell, rather than an all-or-nothing deal), so it generally takes a couple casts to remedy a good amount of venoms. Tixxi's Zoknoo Sting inflicts another kind of poison that Esuna and other purifications won't help at all. There are others; the point is just that one can't lump them all together. However, generally speaking, purifications work on everything that they can cure at once. Esuna will remove Poison, Blind, Silence, Sleep, Confuse, Disable, Immobilize, and Petrify all at once as easily as it will cure just one of them. However, spacetime effects (like Slow or Stop) aren't generally cured by normal purifications. Higher purifications, such as Restore, will work on them, but Esuna will pass right over them.
Dispulsions are usually like purifications, but they work for positive statuses and some neutral statuses. They also work on spacetime effects (often even if they're negative). One can cast Dispel, use Crackdown (Dycedarg's version, Choh's version, or another), use Resonance Screech (Choh or Tori), or perform some other dispulsion method to remove Protect, Shell, Regen, Haste, and Imx (only one of it; see Tixxi's list) all at once, but also remove Slow or Stop by the same token. Dispulsions almost always run on an all-or-nothing basis. Some effects can only be dispelled by higher dispulsions (If you want to have a dispulsion of a higher 'level' of effect, it'll have a hefty cost.), like Earthen Wall (Noah, imbued by the Golem summon). Some effects can be dispelled separately, like Imx (can stack up to three times on a unit, and must be dispelled thrice to get rid of it all), and there are other tricks that some effects may have on dispulsion, so there is no supreme rule here, other than the fact that most basic statuses that are either positive or neutral will be dispelled by most dispulsion methods.
What about equipment status changes, like Zoknoo Sting (Tixxi), Prime [Ballistics] (Leilani), or any of the Cannonry (Leilani) skillset's abilities? Speaking broadly, they are not lumped in with character statuses. In other words, even if your dispulsion targets an area (like Resonance Screech), it dispels characters' status effects, not augments to their weapons. If Tixxi uses Imx and Zoknoo Sting, you can cast Dispel to remove Imx, but ignore Zoknoo Sting. You can make a dispulsion method that works on equipment, but dispulsions, by default, are assumed to dispel beneficial and neutral status effects of targeted characters, not their stuff.
What is an effect that removes positive and negative effects, and is it possible? Of course! Technically speaking, it's simply considered to be a dispulsion effect and a purification effect. Simple, no? The only example that we have so far of this is Tori's Purefeather.
Now, wait. You see that clarifying part in Learpabru's Arts? It says, “They'll last as long as they aren't purged by some purifying force or absorbed back into the Slimebrush.” Does that mean what it looks like? Yes. If you cast Esuna on a slime-covered area, slime is removed. This one also works like Laola's poisons; purifications are given low power factors and made into magnitudinal spells, where the amount of slime that's removed is based on the caster's MAG against Learpabru's MAG and the amount of poison that is cleansed is a matter of the caster's MAG versus Laola's.
From now on, when one speaks of any kind of venom, one must state whether it operates like the simple Poison status, whether it makes purifications operate magnitudinally, whether it can only be cured by certain means (or incredibly powerful purifications, like what could be allowed for some high-Level chars), or whatever. Its purification paradigm must be stated.
This hasn't come up yet because everyone is still in the low Levels with pretty much no training, but immunities to status effects requires clarification.
1) Unless otherwise stated in the explanation of a status effect of some sort or in the actual immunity's description, assume that an immunity applies to effects of the same gesture, but a different manner or source. For example, an immunity to blindness renders immunity to the "Blind," "Umbra," and similar spells, despite each causing blindness or temporarily blindness a bit differently (though Umbra can hardly be considered to be different from Blind). Immunity to poison renders most forms of simple, HE-reducing poisons useless, while it at least combats many others. Laola's poisons, for instance, would be calculated magnitudinally against the immunity and would most often calculate to be of very minute effect after the immunity is applied.
2) However, one can only go so far when one says that immunities apply across the board. Immunity to blindness won't help you when there is a flash of light in your face; the flash won't be able to inflict a lasting blindness, but the sheer fact that the flash is there prevents you from seeing for a moment. If you're wearing a blindfold or have your eyes bound, you are blinded, whether you're immune to blindness or not. Being immune to sleep won't prevent you from getting to sleep on your own volition (by default; I hope that you're not doing that to yourself . . . o.o) or by being knocked out. Immunity to poisons probably won't do much good if you drink some arsenic. Immunity to immobilization or disability will help against lasting effects on you, but won't prevent you from getting tied up. Just use common sense.
3) Immunities don't, by default, take place ex post facto. If you are blinded, then gain an immunity to blindness, you still need to remedy your blindness; the immunity only acts on incoming sources of blindness. If you are poisoned, then equip a star pendant that grants poison immunity, the poison doesn't go away; it's already in your system, so you still need to get rid of that. It does, however, protect you from any poisons other than what's already in you. Follow? Immunities take place on incoming effects, not what is already there.
4) Immunities don't have to be an all-or-nothing thing, which kinda' makes the term a misnomer. In fact, they're usually considered to be calculated magnitudinally, when derived from natural capabilities (e.g. Tixxi's immunity to poisons; it comes from the natural status of her body, so it is calculated magnitudinally) and generally just all-or-nothing when granted by some abilities that explicitly exist as all-or-nothing cases (such as immunity to poisons as granted by many accessories). An all-or-nothing deal is beneficial to everything that it covers, but higher versions of the same ailment will pass right over it. To put this into perspective, let's try some different poisons against some characters.
Poison (absolutely most basic; drops HE slightly in short intervals in proportion to the target's MAXHE): Tixxi's immunity is so strong that the poison may as well never exist, to her. No effect is placed; there is no drop in HE.
Venom (variant of poison that disables, immobilizes, and damages MA in addition to HE): Since the poison is stronger, Tixxi's immunity takes a moment to kick in. She loses a touch of HE and MA, and the poison makes her stumble slightly before she catches herself. The immunity takes over and routs the poison pretty easily afterward.
Switchsnake venom (Choh's inventory): The venom is combated and made worthless before it can be used for the switching effect; while the poison isn't particularly weak, it also isn't particularly strong.
Silene (Laola's abilities): The poison has a fairly low power factor. It means little to Tixxi, but enough exposure may see a little effect.
Digitalis (Laola's abilities): The poison has a high power factor; Tixxi's immunity fights it, but enough exposure will see to some serious problems.
Belladonna (Laola's abilities): This is another strong one. Tixxi's MS will take some damage from this, though not as much as many others without her immunity.
Aconitum (Laola's abilities): Here, we have yet another strong one, but its effects take place somewhat slowly. It's likely that the more severe symptoms will not take place much, because Tixxi's immunity will be fighting the poison down constantly.
Poison Frog (Laola's abilities): This is no stronger than the first poison; it just has an added effect tacked onto the end. Tixxi can laugh this one away.
Bianca's poisons (her abilities): These are of high power factors, and her MAG is high, so these will push some pain onto Tixxi. Tixxi's immunity still has the advantage of being in constant play throughout her whole body, but Bianca can impose enough poisons to bring Tixxi down, anyway.
Zoknoo Sting (Tixxi's abilities): Mother puss-bucket! Too strong, too strong! Fortunately, it's an aquatic-based poison, so Tixxi is fine with it.
See Tixxi, but, with the immunity being not quite as strong, the poisons are a bit more effective. The exception is Zoknoo Sting, which would be almost as dreadful as it is listed.
The Ribbon ability would block almost all of those. An exception would be Choh's Switchsnake venom, since that doesn't technically count as a negative status. Additionally, Zoknoo Sting would just surpass the immunity of Ribbon entirely. However, if assaulted from all directions so as to be totally coated in poisons (namely Bianca's or Laola's), Ribbon will basically be overwhelmed as though they are environmental factors, so they would get through and start affecting him with no resistance at that point.
You can see the difference, no? Do note that Laola and Bianca, actually, do not have poison immunities. Of course, once they get some training/Levels down, they'll probably develop abilities that will shoot them way up in the field.
5) Speaking of immunities not being all-or-nothing all the time, there are also what I like to call status resistances or status wards. You can have it be an all-or-nothing gamble; let's say that you have a 40% ward to blindness. When struck by Blind, Umbra, or another attack that inflicts blindness, you roll a 5-sided die with two winning numbers or a 10-sided die with four winning numbers, and, if you get a winning result, the blindness is negated. If you don't, it goes through without resistance. Simple, no? The same would work for sleep, disability, immobilization, poisons (though not to all of them, most likely), or whatever else. You can have any variant of this, even going so far as to combine methods by giving a condition for activation (e.g. 40% = 2 sides of a 5-sided die or 4 sides of a 10-sided die) and a magnitudinal immunity if activated (like Tixxi's or Choh's). There is a lot of customizability in how you want to resist status ailments. Of course, there are ways for status ailment inflictions to surpass these, too. For instance, if an infliction is said to have an activation rate of 140%, and you have a ward of 40% on that status ailment, your ward is negated, and the ailment is inflicted with a 100% chance. If it meets something with a 100% immunity (star pendant, for instance), it is then reduced to a 40% chance, calculated by die roll. If it has a 200% chance, it works even against a 100% immunity, but can be reduced if an immunity exceeds 100%. Where does it end? Well, that depends on how far people are willing to go, huh? >D
Health energy healing abilities do not regularly work on unconscious units. With rare exceptions, healing either takes place on conscious or unconscious units, but not both, depending on the ability. Here to explain are some classic examples.
Heal: Target one conscious unit and spend a little mana. That unit gains some HE.
Cure: Target a group of conscious units and spend a little mana. Those units gain some HE. The magnitude is greater than Heal, but split between targets evenly.
(Healra/Cura, Healga/Curaga, Healja/Curaja, and the Feyspell, Greatspell, and Grandspell versions all operate the same way, but with higher costs for more power or more radius/range. In most cases, Heal is granted a doubled range extension since its radius can't increase.)
Life: Target one unconscious unit and spend mana. It is revived to consciousness with 25% of its maximum HE.
Full-Life: This is the same as Life, but with about five times the cost for a revival to 100% health.
Raise: Target a group and spend a good chunk of mana. Unconscious units receive the benefits of the Life spell, while units that were conscious at the beginning of the spell are restored with the magnitude of Cura.
Arise: This is like Raise with more than five times the cost, and it's like Full-Life plus Curaja (often enough to fully restore an entire group). Needless to say, this spell is almost completely inaccessible, even at higher Levels.
Raise and Arise are some rare exceptions, and even they have two separate effects for unconscious/conscious subjects, just in the same spell. Notice that the entire Heal/Cure series targets only conscious units, while Life and Full-Life are only for unconscious units. Dead units are still dead.
Here's a part that you'll want to always keep in mind: All healing abilities are assumed to act only on conscious units unless explicitly stated otherwise!
As of the writing of this post, the only such abilities so far that have been mentioned in a character's lists are Noah's Life and Phoenix spells, which he won't be able to access until a higher Level, unless you count the mention of Leilani's Phoenix Down account in her inventory, which presently stands at 0. Revivals of unconscious units via abilities of regular characters should be exceedingly rare until higher Levels have been achieved.
Because of this, the most reliable (and presently the only) ways to be revived from unconsciousness are to be either a) taken to a hospital for revival or b) left alone to sleep it off for a great measure of time (depending on PS; usually a couple days at low Levels) while being lucky enough to refrain from getting killed off by a wandering monster/Villain. Be realistic: If you get floored badly enough, it takes a while to recover. Consider it compensation for being able to take several slashes to the throat and eyes, yet still being able to fight on.
This is fair because a fight with anyone who has a self-targeting ability that heals HE would otherwise go on until one could deal enough tissue damage; the healer could always use a well-timed healing ability to never be unconscious for more than a millisecond, especially with a low-cost ability, cost reductions, heightened mana/chakra recovery rates . . . This is actually one of the few legitimate reasons why some RP forums ban healing; they don't know to distinguish between conscious and unconscious healing.
Note that this does not apply to offenses unless you specify otherwise for your tech. That would suck; you could never kill anyone without overkilling them really badly from consciousness. It only applies to healing, which may pose an issue when fighting foes that are weak to your curative technique, but otherwise doesn't apply offensively. If you knock someone out, you can keep blasting them (physically, magically, or otherwise) to kill them. If you see someone who's knocked out, though, you can't just cast Nightingale, Heal, Lifeflow, or the like to keep them fighting and stop them from dying.
Oh, and, in case you didn't get it before, this applies to HE, but not tissue damage. Being unconscious doesn't stop you from getting patched up, whether by someone's abilities, just getting sewn together, or simply your own bodily functions.
Everyone clear on this? It's just a dimensional factor on healing abilities that makes things fair.
Note, however, that this has no bearing on any segregation between HE and TD healing. That, like most of the game, is something that you are totally free to design on your own. Sacrifice some cost efficiency for more versatility or vice versa and all that jazz.