[MUD-Dev] Integrating PK

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Thu Jul 3 14:57:49 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <199707020824.BAA09163 at user1.inficad.com>, on 07/02/97 
   at 01:27 AM, Adam Wiggins <nightfall at user1.inficad.com> said:

>When I argue for 'PK', I'm not arguing for the ability to be able to
>slit throats, although this is a (small) part of it.  I'm arguing for
>unrestricted character interaction.  This includes violence such as
>fistfights, wrestling matches, and duels.  It also includes thievery
>(pickpocketing and otherwise), spellcasting (being able to cast
>silence, blind, curse, paralyze, fear, or equivilent spells on other
>players), sports (jousting, boxing, football, armwrestling), intrigue
>(posioning, 'coning' people out of money and items), and so on ad
>naeseum.  The fact that character death could come into play is
>relevant but not the whole picture.  Characters *will* die at the
>hands of other players, if it is at all possible to die in the game -
>via such innoncent seeming things as botched wound-repair, fly spells
>which wear out too early, someone leading someone else into certain
>death, or completely indirect situations like setting of an avalanche
>which buries three other players.

It is this reasoning, plus...

>What about ambiguous actions?  Maybe you just have to avoid
>these...but I build things to be neither inherently 'good' or 'bad',
>they just are. Thus I make a spell which is helpful in some
>circumstances, harmful in others. I'm pretty sure it would be
>downright impossible for the system to make judgements about when
>someone is trying to use one of these ambiguous spells 'against'
>another player.  What to do, in this situation, then?

...this reasoning that promted me to almost entirely abandon round
based combat.  There are too many scenarios where commands that are
not explicitly tied to combat can be used to kill, diminish, or reduce
another.  However the very same commands, depending on context can be
used to support, strengthed, help, etc another character.  Its
unambiguous only at the level of intention, and that is something that
is not queryable by the game:

  > cast XXX spell
  Is this spell meant to hurt somebody?
  >> no
  You cast XXX spell...

While most of you have seen the following example an untold (and too
large) number of times, the UggUgg fight I think also illuminates this
for a direct combat situation:

  UggUgg slashes at you with his Sword of Instant Beheading 
  and minor discomfort!
  > cast soakhole on uggugg
  You cast the dreaded mana eater soakhole on UggUgg!
  UggUgg sneezes and buries your in green snot!
  Your armour suddenly dissappears!  
  Your spell of magical summon protection fails!
  Your spell of magical sight fails!
  UggUgg's Nose Ring of Killer Snot dissappears!
  UggUgg's Belt of Gas Containment dissappears!  Phew!
  UggUgg's dagger of wart removal dissappears!
  > cast create mana
  You create 5,000 units of mana!
  Your mana stores are now empty.
  >cast $my_protections
  You are now magically potected from summons.
  You can now see all magically hidden objects.
  UggUgg thows a blade of painful castration at you!
  > jump!
  You leap mightily.
  The blade misses!  You are still a baritone.
  > attack uggugg with spear
  You ram UggUgg through with the spear of Icy Death!
  UggUgg now has the flu and looks a bit watery about the eyes.
  UggUgg picks up a rock.
  UggUgg bases you with a rock!  Ouch!  That hurt!
  > throw TC at uggugg
  You throw the charmed trash collector at UggUgg.
  The TC englobes UggUgg!
  UggUgg drops the Sword of Instant Beheading and minor
    discomfort near you.
  UggUgg drops the Boots of Mighty Chilblains near you,
  UggUgg drops the Goggles of Big Farts near you.
  UggUgg drops Super Nose Hair Puller near you.
  The TC has eaten everything UggUgg was carrying!  Yech!
  UggUgg is naked!
  Your spell of magical summon protection fails!
  Your spell of magical sight fails!
  Your spell of magical tummy tuck fails!
  Your spell of power voice fails!
  Your spell of land control fails!
  Your spell of bowel control fails!  
  Your spell of toe cheese protection fails!
  > stat spells
  You have no spells.
  > stat mana
  There is no mana here.
  > strangle uggugg
  You wrap your hands about UggUgg's neck and begin to squeeze!
  UggUgg prays to the Great God GooGoo!
  GooGoo mana blesses the area!  
  There is a LOT of mana here!  You skin prickles!
  > i
  You have a mana shielding sack
  > l in sack
  There are 5,000,000 TC spores in the sack.
  >empty sack on UggUgg
  The spores eat all the mana!
  There are 5,000,000 TC's here!  Wow.
  All the mana is gone!  

Note: A key supporting element is that for magical objects and spells
to survive they must continuously consume mana.  Should they be unable
to aquire the mana they need they self-destruct.  The real weapons now
are mana attacks.  But then woe be the chap who sneaks in with a
non-magical bodkin and pricks the battling mages in the arse while
they mana fight.  He might just win the war.

Note also that Boff could considerably aid Bubba in this fight by
variously manipulating the mana flows about UggUgg to deprive UggUgg
of mana while leaving Bubba with mana.  The obvious step is a soakhole
spell as above, but Trash Collectors also eat mana and could be just
put near him...or a mana magnet put near Bubba to attract the mana
from about UggUgg, or even a mana pipe...  Indirection is the name and
key: the more, the better, and the more vicious.

Quick thinking is definitely of value -- most especially as I'm
deliberately making many states increasingly unstable as they leave 0.
 The result is that while you can use magic to (say) blow one of your
stats sky high, that ultra-high stat is very unstable, and if your
opponent counters appropriately you'll lose all you gained and more
immediately.  The hope of course is that your opponent is slow enough
that you can take advantage of your stat gain for a round or two to
get some serious damage in.  THe problem is that your opponent may
also have blown a stat high, or have launched an attack which takes
another of your stats to near-zero.  All very very fluid and (sorta)

Thus the decision processes like:

"Hmm, He's big and strong, but he hasn't tried magic attack yet.  He's
either low on mana, low on spells, or holding out.  His sword does
appear to be enchanted tho.  I'll guess that he's mana low, so I'll
throw a mana eater on him to see if I can't destruct the sword. 
However, he also been doing some serious damage to me with the
cleaver, so lets kick him in the goolies and try and wrestle it away
from him.  Of course, that'll leave my head unprotected, so if he
strikes for my head, forget about kicking him, block with the shield
there and stab him in the gut with the dagger I have in my other hand.
 If I do that I'm not going to have time to do the mana eater, and he
could easily block me there with his buckler, so if he does go for my
head, forget the mana eater and the stomache thrust, and lets cast a
sink hole on the ground beneath him.  Oh yeah, and forget everything
if he attacks my torso, and just block.

"Yeah..that should do it.  Leave me pretty wide open if he attacks my
arms or legs, but I don't have time to actively defend there much
right now, and my guard spells are still in pretty good shape.

"Okay, lets do it.

"DAMN!  The sod has lots of mana!  Bastard just thew a mana sink on
me, and then reflected my own mana sink back on me to boot!  I lost
over 5,000 mana!  All my spell guards are gone!  Most of my armour is
gone,  My dagger is gone,  My keys are all gone...  Still, it looks
like he's really out of mana now 'cause his sword destructed -- even
if after taking out most of my left leg.  I still have a couple spells
left, so I *could* create some mana, summon a dragon and sic it on
him.  Of course if he has any spells left he could then reflect it on
me... Hmmm  That would hurt.  I think I'll heal myself, hope he
doesn't catch it and divert the heal to himself, and then cast a
sinkhole on the ground beneath him.  That'll use almost all my mana
and all my spells, but it might make him think I'm tougher than I
really am...  If the sinkhole sticks he should be disabled for long
enough for me to finish him off.

"Oops.  He really got me.  I'm almost dead.  I could drop my recall
bug to teleport back to my castle, but he might have a tracer or a
band on me.  That would be deadly.  OTOH he's stuck in my sinkhole and
looks almost dead as well.  I could try and finish him off -- should
be a piece of cake unless he's still got something up his sleeve..."

J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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