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

Adam Wiggins nightfall at user2.inficad.com
Fri Aug 15 11:59:54 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

[Nathan Y:]
> 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..

Good point.  Now that I think of it, the old constitution stat is really
just a holdover from our more typical beginings.  Really it's just a general
indication of the 'toughness' of your flesh and bones.  If you replaced
an arm in our limbs list with one made out of metal, however, you'd
instantly get all the properties of metal as far as taking damage.
There are spells and such to turn limbs to stone and so forth.  Now that
I think of it, your con stat is applied to your limbs regardless of their
material, so a dwarf who gets an arm turned to stone actually has a 'tougher'
arm than an elf with the same effect, at least as far as stone arms go.
*scratches head* hum, guess that works out okay.

> :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.

Yup.  Think we chatted about this in the berserker thread.  In that
respect I think you and I represent the extreme as far as the player
only being the character's mind - they are still subject to the normal
urges, desires, and instincts of whatever body they inhabbit.  I for one
love this effect, but to many it represents loss of control.  Of course, I
actually captitalize on that effect - being a 'berserker' basically means
being able to almost completely loose control of your character during
intense combat.  It's a difficult balancing act to actually go 'berserk'
when you want to and stop before you hurt yourself or others to the point
of being unrepairable.

> :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?

Right...haven't gotten this far, but I figure there will be effects
when you're right on the edge of breaking down, plus commands to calm yourself

> :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...

Heh, well as a player I find it somewhat more exciting than:

Buffy swings her axe in a deadly arc, decaptitating Bruno.
Buffy burries her axe in your arm.
> wounds
You have a massive, gaping hole in your arm.
> say ouchie

> :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,

Oh yes.  You can try to control your own 'reactions' with settings (ie,
setting your aggressiveness to Ghandi levels will keep you from ever
wielding a weapon if you can help it) but in many cases you won't be
able to help yourself.  Thus:

Colbey the battle-scarred veteran says, 'That's it.  From now on, I will
never fight or wield a sword again.'
An arrow comes flying in from the north.  Colbey draws his sword and cuts
the arrow out of the air in one smooth motion.
Colbey says, 'Dang.  Old habbits, ya know.'

> 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.

As I've said, this is the heart of CRPG as far as I am concered - the
character.  What would it be like to see the world through the eyes of
a bloodthirsty Kzin, or an 18" sprite?

> :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.

Reputation is great for mob stuff.  Also allows a lot of customization
when actually creating the mobs - you can give them a personality.  Ie,
the brazen hero type who, when seeing the greatest enemy of his race,
grabs his sword and runs after said enemy.  Most everyone else of his race
would have turned white and crept away as quickly as possible.

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list