These concerns are all legitimate, but with a little tweaking I don’t think they have to be as significant as you make them out to be. Having stun unaffected directly by armor would be fine for me; and the change to stun chance could be a spread calculated as a percentage of remaining stamina rather than directly related to the stamina number (say -10% at full fatigue, to +20% at 0 fatigue for a maximum 30% spread), so more stamina would still be better, but it would be a much less significant difference, and armor would actually increase your stun chance slightly.
There are also some different ideas for how stunning should work that have been talked about in other threads, including switching it to AP damage. These could give more granular control over how debilitating a stun is, possibly with different levels of stunning depending on the force of the blow. I’d be interested in whether there was a way of making stuns affect your initiative, and if it lowered your initiative enough, you would be dropped off of the turn order into the next one. This would make initiative more important in determining whether a stun was effective or not, but I’m not sure if there’s a way to make that work without creating a lot of initiative exceptions for stunned units.
Stunning is obviously irritating when it happens to your brothers, and overall slows battles down a bit, but currently it is only really a factor when facing orcs. It is one of the things that most quickly feels ‘unfair’ for new players if they don’t understand it. I would want it to remain fairly rare, but occurring in a wider variety of circumstances.
It’s true that there’d be room for tweaking, but the fundamental problem would remain that the amount of remaining stamina would still be determined by the fatigue stat, even when stun chance isn’t directly based on fatigue. To use an extreme example: If you have 100 fatigue and spend 20, then you filled up 1/5 of your total fatigue. As a result, 4/5 of your fatigue is filled up. If you have 200 fatigue and spend 20, then you used 1/10 of your total fatigue. As a result, 9/10 of your fatigue has been filled up. Having the stun chance be based on a percentage of the remaining amount of stamina would therefore still rely on the amount of fatigue provided by stats and backgrounds.
Also, when you try to more broadly apply my suggestion on switching to AP damage to make it more widely used, you run into the problem of the amount of AP damage either being too small or so large that it results in an effective stun – as in, characters effectively being neutralised because they can no longer take action. My shieldbash suggestion gets around this, but that’s too specific to be widely applicable. You’d need a retooling of the way AP is distributed if you want to achieve a change like that, which could break other parts of the design.
As for initiative, an ability that pushes someone further down the initiative order might be interesting – not as a replacement of the current stun, but as a new weapon ability. It would only be as useful as the stun when it pushes someone down to the next turn, in which case it’s just a stun equivalent and not a meaningful change.
Isn’t making the max. hitpoints reduce to chance to be stunned an option? High hitpoints could represent the resistance of a brother against status effects (stunned, posioned), thus making hitpoints a little more viable, once a medical system has be implemented. Or that’s at least how it works in many RPGs.
Anyway, having the stun chance decreased by shield and shieldwall bonus doesn’t seem enough to me. Have any stat influence the chance as well, so you can directly develop certain brothers to become more robust against stunning.
If stun chance needs to tied to a stat, then hitpoints would probably be a good pick. It would add a reason to pick it and make high hp enemies threatening in a way that differs from heavily armoured enemies. It does lack the dynamism that Ifish is getting at with his suggestion, since hitpoints tend to be more static than fatigue and only start to decrease when the unit is about to be killed – there would therefore be little variance in the chance of getting stunned over the course of the battle. That’s not bad in itself, but it would make it a different kind of solution.
Perhaps to add more significance not only to armor but perhaps to initiative aswell, it could be the bound stat for stuns. The faster you are compared to the enemy, the more chance you got that he can not react in time.
The hp aspect is a very fine one aswell. As stated more times already, I’d love to see more stat bound skills, and if instead there are game mechanics well even better. The current stat trinity must be broken, and diversity has to dominate giving the player even higher character management options or even so to say manual specializations.
Having initiative influence the chance of stunning seems a bit too arbitrary since your description more closely matches having stun chance be influenced by the melee or ranged skill. I’d also like the game to stay away from stats influencing the chance to stun, if possible. That is one of the things that serves as a differentiating factor between weapons and keeps stats from becoming too influential.
Isn’t this more of an issue regarding the UI not conveying that the shieldwall reduces the chance of getting stunned by the Orc-charge, though? When I first encountered Orcs, I instinctively had everyone put up their shields because they seemed particularly threatening and when I noticed the charge I kept looking for ways to ‘catch’ the Orcs before they could do it. This works well and I’ve never had that many stuns as a result, even when I was a complete novice at the game. Knowing that shields affect it is useful information that could be conveyed in some way, but I don’t neccesarily see how the stun chance itself is a problem.