Risk Assessment -- was (Re: Ho hum)

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Sun Apr 13 21:18:41 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

> From: Ling <K.L.Lo-94 at student.lut.ac.uk>
> Subject: Re: Ho hum
> On Sat, 12 Apr 1997, Nathan Yospe wrote:
> > On Sat, 12 Apr 1997, Ling wrote:
> >
> > Hmmm. Did any of us provide personal life stuff?
> Dunno, I thought I'd provide those snippets of information so you guys
> know my leanings and background.  *shrug*  The main bit being untrained
> which means I like to think I've got the aptitude and intuition for coding
> but I don't know all the computer jargon (there's a distinct trend to name
> and patent anything which moves).

Hey, OK.  I'm a old dog, who has trouble learning new tricks, though
not quite as old as C. Gray. (giggle).  12 years mostly as a consultant.
My training in computers is on-the-job learn-as-I-earned, although I have
formal college Fortran and Cobol.  I'm definitely an open-minded sort when
it comes to new computer goodies.  I also have 2 brilliant and lovely children
who I keep as far away from the Inet as possible. ;-)

> > :Nathan:  How on earth does your intepreter conducts the risk assessment?
> > :Eg:
> > :> shoot rifle at tank
> > :You sure?
> > :> yes
> > :You die but luckily it wasn't painful coz that one had the latest
> > :vapouriser thingibob (manufactured by Grestel).
> > :etc
> > 
> > You mean, how does it decide to ask "you sure"? That's pretty simple.
> > There is a probability weight on prefered interpretation of a command,
> > with comparative risk being a crude product of action effectiveness and
> > consequences. This is part of the command interpreter, and is tied
> I would have thought that'll be fairly tough to calculate.  Does it every
> ask 'You sure?' when it's obviously a low risk action?

I am very interested in this aspect of the game.  It is a very important
piece to the system I wish to implement.  This is also a key element
in paper & pencil RPGing.  The Gamemaster must make a risk assessment
when a character attempts to perform a maneuver.  This assessment
is used to modify a characters chances to perform a given action and
is also used to calculate a reward.
Generally this sort of calculation is done by a human gamemaster.  It is
handled this way on many Mushes that engage in heavy RP.

I think I have posted some of this on rgma but I will go into a little
more depth here.  I quote much of this from FRPG material.

Maneuvers or actions are divided into two types.  There are Static
Maneuvers and Moving Maneuvers.  Static maneuvers comprise the
execution of skills like tracking, hiding, picking locks, disarming traps,
reading runes, using items, perceptions, influence and other complex
or unusual activity not involving significant movement.  Moving
maneuvers include climbing, swimming, riding, stalking and any complex
or unusual movement (tumbling, dodging, acrobatics, etc.)

There are nine levels of difficulty used when assigning a difficulty
level to a maneuver.  

For example the climbing skill (a moving maneuver) and its 
modifications (using a percentile system):

Climbing a ladder ...  routine... +30
Climbing a tree with lots of low limbs ... easy... +20
Climbing a tree with some low limbs ... light... +10
Climbing the rough, brick wall of a cottage ... medium... 0
Climbing a tree with limbs no lower than 20' ... hard... -10
Climbing a rough, stone wall in the rain ... very hard... -20
Climbing the smooth wall of a fortress .... sheer folly... -50
Climbing the oil slickened glass tower of Snid ... absurd... -70

Another example is the hiding skill (a static maneuver) and its 
modifications (using a percentile system):

Hiding behind a large barrel in a dark cellar ...  routine... +30
Hiding behind a bush on a pitch black night ... light... +10
Hiding behind a bush on a moonlit night ... hard... -10
Hiding behind a bush in broad daylight ... extremely hard... -30

Translating this type of decision making by a GM into an expert
system is not a simplistic preposition.  At least I don't think so.
Maybe someone can provide some unique insight into this for

Also, one of the features is the ---  
> > :> shoot rifle at tank
> > :You sure?
> > :> yes
from above which should occur for those maneuvers above the
medium grade of difficulty with varying messages implying the
difficulty of course.


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