[MUD-Dev] Re: Reposts

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Sun Apr 27 00:48:30 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

> From: Chris Gray <cg at ami-cg.graysage.edmonton.ab.ca>
>: [Adam Wiggins:] 
> :Honestly, is _anyone_ on this group still using classes, levels, or
> :experience?  I'm to the point where I can't even bring myself to play
> :non skill-based muds, although classes don't bother me all that much.
Sure :-)   I use professions, levels and experience.  I do not see the correlation
between these abstractions being present and a non skill-based system.

        Note that professions are not restrictive in the sense of how classes
are on most muds and are really part of the character background.  My 
assumption is that a character enters the mud-world with some sort of 
adolescent social, racial, cultural and professional up-bringing.  The age 
of the character is generally 16+ (in human terms).  Upon reaching the age 
of entering the world, the character has certain initial skills and a pre-
disposition towards easily learning those and others based on their
background.  Any character may attempt to master any skill, thus a
character with a warrior profession may decide to learn the finer arts of
sorcery. Their progress will be slower however.  I also have a 
non-profession profession whereby a characters may enter the game
as a cobbler, cooper, tailor, etc.  These happen to be craft skills in
my system and those characters will start with an advantage in these
skills with a flatter cost in the other traditional mud skills.
        Levels are used to determine when the character receives dps
(development points) and as an arbitrary point to recalculate statistical
increases and decreases.  Its also used in calculating skill sets for
non-player characters/creatures.  It is may or may not be visible to the
character and is generally useless with regard to gameplay.  Levels or 
Ranks are used in measuring and controlling skill progression within 
the skill system.  A 4th level warrior monk might have a rank 12 sweeps
and throws skill and a rank 2 striking skill for instance.  

        Experience is awarded based on actions and roleplay.  Performing
actions generates experience, whether these actions are successful or
not.   Actions are given a difficulty rating at the time they are performed.
The more difficult the action the more experience awarded.  The more
experienced the character in the actions as defined by skill the less 
difficult the action, therefore less experience is awarded.  Kind of a 
declining return reward system.  This is visible to the character as
a general measurement tool.      

The primary method of advancement is skill progression. 

> I am. But then, my "combat" is pretty minimal. I still call my scenario
> a "starter" scenario, intended just to show other people a bit of what
> they can do. I don't even have classes, and levels don't really mean
> anything, its just that you get a strength or speed bonus, plus a hitpoint
> bonus, when you go up a level (every power of 10 experience). I've never
> been very interested in complicated combat stuff, so I've never had the
> desire to make it more complicated. Maybe I should just emulate DIKU or
> something? Anyone want to hand me a full, working combat package that
> I can just translate?

Take a trip to your local hobby shop and check out some of the paper
FRPGs.  Many of them have excellent and well-balanced systems.  They
have the advantage of many years of playtesting to ensure balance.
Some of these can be translated very easily into "machine automation".

Here's a list of a few and "my opinions" of them.

D&D/AD&D - abstract round-based combat.  DIKU does capture the feel
of this and is probably a tad more sophisticated.  Too simplistic for my
tastes.  Heavily biased in favor of armored characters.  Unusual 
preoccupation with "hit points" both in terms of character health and

Cyberpunk 2000 - Activity-based combat rounds.  Characters have a certain 
number of action points they may spend in a combat round.  Highly biased
towards characters with enhanced cyber limbs and totally stoked on all
kinds of reflex and sense enhancing drugs (hehe).  Pretty realistic gun combat
and very interesting high-tech combat eq.  That is combat is very short, swift 
and deadly.   Good implementation of shock and damage due to high-velocity
weaponry.  Lots of lost and maimed body parts, but hell most everything is
replaceable ;-).

Rolemaster - The ultimate in low-tech realism. :-)  They have a Spacemaster
system for hi-tech combat but its somewhat mediocre.  Combat is round-
based but highly granular (6 sec rounds).  Any action you can think up is
available in combat from rolling under a table to tossing a chair at your
oppenent.  Lots of critical hit tables and fumble tables with amusing and
bloody results.  Non-biased with respect to armor and equipment.  Almost
totally skill-based.  Any low-level character has a chance to take out a 
high-level with a lucky shot.  Exhaustion, blood loss and wounding affects
character actions.   Everything is percentage based and is easily visualized
by humans.  Excellent psionics implementation and loads of combat magics.
Levels and Equipment is de-emphasized.  Even spells can be fumbled or
cast extremely well.  

 As you can probably guess I am implementing the Rolemaster system
into my server.  Translation into a computer simulation has been almost
direct from "specs to code".  Perhaps this is due to the format of the rules
or because I know the game so well.  It has everything for a traditional 
fantasy setting.  So far the only thing I found missing is the so-called 
"called shot" whereby one is explicitly trying to "shoot the dragon in the 
left eye" but I plan on correcting this.


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