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

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Mon Aug 11 18:16:26 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Mon, 11 Aug 1997, Adam Wiggins wrote:

Egad, this was quite a while ago.

> [Matt C:]
> > On Sun, 29 Jun 1997, Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
> > > 	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
> > > 	from weapon skills and multiple attacks.
> > 
> > Pretty much sums it up, although: Constitution/Endurance/Stamina
> > statistics should be increaseable, although not necessarily by a lot.
> 
> We have a lot of different stats for general physical stalwartness.
> The one which is not changable is constitution, which basically represents
> your body's actual resistance to damage - the traditional example being
> that dwarves have high constitutions due to very strong bones, thick limbs
> (relative to their height), and are very 'meaty' in general.  All
> the other stats can vary dramatically during the character's life, and
> include:

I suppose constitution would equate to metabolic stability (or somesuch)
in my world. The Physical stats (say, Strength, Agility and Endurance) are
workable - by physical exertion, you can probably add upto 20% of your
inital value to them.
 
> physical fortitude (ability to take pain without crying like a baby)
> mental fortitude (ability to watch someone be beheaded without puking)
> long-winded stamina (ability to run a marathon)
> short-winded stamina (ability to sprint 100m)
> 
> Dividing it out like this makes it possible to have a fairly wide
> range of characters as far as this is concerned - you can have a burly
> young hero who turns green at the sight of blood and whines like a baby
> when he cuts himself; an old lady whose body is frail but who is highly
> resistant to pain and emotional trauma; or a doctor who has no problem
> watching open-heart surgery and eating lunch, but isn't all that physically
> tough.
>

Absolutely - this is an excellent method for beefing out the world in
general.

> Also, at high levels the first two (fortitudes) have a large affect on
> your text.  Ie, Bubba the newbie sees:
> 
> Buffy swings her axe in a deadly arc, decapitating Bruno in a shower of
> blood!  You gag at the overwhealming smell of blood and death which
> suddenly fills the air.  Buffy turns and burries her axe into your arm!
> Agh, the pain!  THE PAIN!  The world turns red and begins to spin...
> 
> Boffo the hardened killer sees:
> 
> Buffy swings her axe in a deadly arc, decaptitating Bruno in a shower of
> blood.  Buffy turns and burries her axe into your arm, making you
> very angry.  You yank the axe out of your arm and raise your sword...
> 
> Mobs also take advantage of this when relating events to players:
> 
> You ask the shopkeeper, 'What happened?'
> The shopkeeper says, 'Buffy KILLED Bruno!  It was terrible!'
> You ask Boffo, 'What happened?'
> Boffo says, 'Buffy killed Bruno.'

This is a truly excellent premise for handling things - it gives a really
good reason why experience in gory combat gives an advantage over an
inexperienced fighter (or rather, one of a set of reasons).
 
> > Hmm, I have a rather different view on "Mana". To try and put it fairly
> > MPs (Mental Points) are the mental equivalent to SPs (Stamina points), the
> > latter dictating physical state (Normal -> Exhausted), as opposed to HPs
> > (Hit Points, which dictate injury level, to a degree - although being
> > somewhat linked to SPs, if you're tireder, you get hurt more). That made
> > no sense, so to state it bluntly: MPs dictate your mental state, from
> > normal to mentally exhausted, and are NOT used solely for magic, but for
> > anything which requires extra thought or consideration. That means mainly
> > magic, which requires mental (and sometimes physical) exertion.
> 
> Excellent.

I'm pleased with it; I dislike the notion that each object contains a
finite amount of magical, which can be so strictly measured.
 
> > Casting a spell drains your MPs, and tires you, but is related to your
> > Mana (the more Mana you have, the more MPs you'll tend to have - not the
> > sole factor - and the faster you'll gain them, but your magic will be more
> > powerful overall as well).
> 
> So is mana also a stat 'contained' in characters?  We currently have it

Yes. The 'mana' stat is a representation of your AMC (actual magical
capacitance), and MPs reflect your mental state. If you are mentally
exhausted, although you may have a very high AMC, you cannot control the
flow of mana through yourself to conduct any magics. You will recover
faster mentally if you have a high AMC (its a side effect of the sort of
build up of magical static).

> set up so that actually holding mana in your body is very difficult, hence
> it only tends to be drawn from its source (depending on what school(s)
> you follow) immediately before the actual spellcasting is going to take
> place.  This makes drawing and channeling the mana generally more involved
> than the actually spellcasting itself.

Nog. This works too - the theme of my world illustrates magic as a sort of
cross between electricity, radiation and perhaps light.

Regards,
	-Matt Chatterley
	http://user.itl.net/~neddy/index.html
"Speak softly and carry a big stick." -Theodore Roosevelt




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