I have made some really good progress in the RPG tonight. Refined the stats to make them signify what I want them to, and ended up coming up with a very strategic combat system utilizing one single bar for all abilities (Health, Stam, Mana).
This kind of headway gives me hope that I'm actually on to something here. Of course play testing will iron out the kinks and refine the rough stuff I have right now, but this is major for me. I still feel the combat system is a bit rough and overly difficult (perhaps TOO strategic) with the single bar. The key is going to be finding the balance where challenging is still fun and not lean over into 'cheap and OMG THIS SUX'
For example: Enemy B attacks Player A. A takes 10 damage which lowers his Vitality from 50 to 40. He can still use his abilities which cost less than 50, but it puts him at the risk of losing the battle if the enemy manages a successful attack the next round. Or he can simply use a basic attack at the cost of no vitality and hope the enemy isn't able to cast any more highly damaging abilities. I like the idea of choices mattering. And a one bar system makes those choices visceral and real as if everything (specifically in combat) matters. Sure you could pop a potion to regain lost vitality, but what if you've suffered a broken limb or a serious injury and your cap is lowered because of it?
Yeah, this is what I've been doing tonight.
Oh, and sorry for the lack of updates. I should have realized keeping a blog up to date was like a kind of kryptonite to me :p