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

Nathan Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Thu Aug 14 03:56:59 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Sun, 10 Aug 1997, Adam Wiggins wrote:

: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:

Of course, I don't have anything exactly like this - much of this sort of
thing is centered in the part of the body involved, rather than the
character, which makes sense in a setting where, for example, an arm could
be replaced with a steel cybernetic arm... but there are places where we
coincide..

: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)

The second element, in particular, is something I use a lot. Except that,
for my characters, both the taking pain and the not puking are mental
attributes... the physical attributes are more along the lines of taking a
steel club in the arm and still having enough arm to punch back with. Do
you, like me, force some of this behavior on players? I allow "force of
will" (player commands) to override some, but not all, of this sort of
reaction. Mobs are weak willed.

: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.

Or, possibly, the big bad hero who acts like the blood isn't bothering him
until he thinks he is alone and unobserved, and then has a nervous
breakdown, the shakes, yada yada?

: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...

Ah, you DO do the same things to your poor players that I do...

: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...

I hope that reaction (yanking the axe and drawing the sword) was a
computer handled reflex... this list is populated with wimps (kidding,
really, c'mon guys, put down that LART, it was a joke...) who don't want
to offend people's senses of dominance over their mud bodies by letting
the bodies act instinctively or reflexively, even in high stress
situations.

: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.'

   You (who happen to look like Aahz) smile politely at the guard and say,
"No, I am absolutely certain we had an appointment with your king."
   The guard's face turns white, and he faints.

:> 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.

Interesting! Mental exhaustion independant of pain/stress induced shock! I
must do something like this myself....

:> 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
: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.

Heh. Now this has possibilities...

"You? We can't take you," said the Dean, glaring at the Librarian.
"You don't know a thing about guerilla warfare." - Reaper Man,
Nathan F. Yospe  Registered Looney                   by Terry Pratchett
yospe at hawaii.edu   http://www2.hawaii.edu/~yospe           Meow






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