[MUD-Dev] Level abstractions - Realism vs Game Issues

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Sun Jun 29 19:41:44 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

> From: Caliban Tiresias Darklock <caliban at darklock.com>
> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Level abstractions - Realism vs Game Issues
> On Fri, 27 Jun 1997 22:07:31 PST8PDT, "Jon A. Lambert"
> <jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
> I like the idea of doing away with levels entirely, and instead using an
> array of skills. I also like these skills to increase with practice, but
> through experience points. In other words:

I understand.  You subdivide the global XP total into XP counters for each
skill and assign points when the skill is exercised.

> 	You use a skill: you get an XP. 
> 	You succeed: you get another XP.

I assign XP for failure also.

> 	That XP is applied to that skill.

Right. I prefer to keep the abstraction and put it all of it in a global 
pool for some of the game reasons I mentioned earlier.  Your method
comes closer to "realism".

> 	When the XP applied to a skill is equal to the skill's level,
> 		the skill goes up by one point.
> 	When the skill is at its maximum level, the XP instead goes into
> 		a surplus XP pool.
> 	The surplus XP pool is used to buy new skills that one does not
> 		have, as well as to increase base statistics. 

Nathan has some interesting ideas about how increases in certain skills
will pull along other skills.  For instance, activity improving a 
"writing" skill will affect the "reading" skill.  Its sort of like
related skill categories/groups.  
Hint: Why don't you repost some of your skill-net goodies, Nathan?
I do have 2 classes of skills when it comes time for a character to
do development.  Skill categories and individual skills.  Spending
points to improve "one-handed edged weapons", a category, will provide
a small improvement in all of these weapons.  Spending points on a single
skill "short sword" will provide greater improvement, but only in the 
specific case.

> Someone may point out, what about hit points or mana? These concepts, I
> feel, are not specifically relevant (I have other ideas on them), but
> they can also be increased like any other statistic when a player uses
> surplus XP.

They may be relevant if the assumption is they automatically increase 
in a levels implementation.  Hit pts. and mana pts. figure into the power 
equation because they are often tied to it.

> However, let me point out the following ideas about mana and
> hit points:
> 	Hit points are static. You have X hit points plus your usual
> 	constitution bonus, period. Your additional ability to survive 
> 	comes purely from skills like dodge, parry, and increased damage

   We are pretty close on this, I suspect. I have a species maximum for 
base hit points.  For most of the humanoid-size species its around 100.  
The wild boar that was mentioned in another thread has a species max of 180 
hps. Hit points are actually an abstraction of concussion damage and are 
tied to creature size/fortitude.  Thus while the boar is half a humanoid's
size, it's fortitude is incredible.  How they relate to combat is probably 
unrelated to this discussion.  Let me just say that "wounding" figures more 
into it than concussion points.

   Players may start with as many hit points as they wish.  That is I 
implement hit points as a skill, body development.  For every skill 
rank purchased in this skill you get about 5-10 hit points.  Again the
gain is species dependent and maximums cannot be exceeded (through natural
   So upon creating a character I can develop 5 ranks of body development 
skill to give me some starting hit points.  Upon attaining level 2 I need
not develop this skill at all, so hit points would remain unchanged.
   Power points or mana have their own skill categories and are quite
similarly done.  These also have species maximums but these are tied
to other things, not size/fortitude.

> 	from weapon skills and multiple attacks.
> 	Mana is irrelevant. You cast a spell, and that spell's skill
> 	drops to 0. Depending on the difficulty of the spell, it can
> 	regain power quickly or slowly, sort of a spell level. As a
> 	rough guideline, every X seconds (X being the level the spell
> 	is currently gained at) you regain your intelligence or wisdom
> 	rating in the skill for that spell. 

   Interesting.  I use the method of spending of mana (power points) when
a spell is cast.  Healing and Power recovery in my system is very slow
and might be "unfun". :(  I have yet to test this out.  We are talking
mud-weeks here for certain wounds (broken bones, etc.)  Mana isn't as
bad around 3 points per hour of sleep.  This is species dependent also.
There are magical/herbal means to speed this up.


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