[MUD-Dev] Modeling spells/skills as collections of affects

Jeff Kesselman jeffk at tenetwork.com
Mon Sep 1 18:27:37 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

At 05:21 PM 9/1/97 PST8PDT, Brian peirce wrote:
>Hmm.. looks like I'm SOL unless someone has a scanner and zips me a 
>gif... sigh.  Would it be possible to post an abstract of the system 
>that outlined in very general terms the approach used by the Hero 
>system?   (I'm stuck _way_ out in the boondocks).

Hmm, lets ee if I can in very general terms.

Tehr are a handful of quanttaties defiend on charcters, such as BODY
(demage for determinign death) STUN (damage dtermining unconciousness) and

Then there are a set of standard "powers" taht derfine effects on those.
For instance, energy blast which is any ranged attack versus stun, or
"ranged killing attack" whgich is the same versus body.  (Each does soem of
the other kidn of damage too but we are talkitgn abt primary effect.)

A gun is a ranged killing attack.  A firehouse would do an energy blast
(with possible advantages for area of effect, more on that below.)  A
Phaser on Kil lwoudl do ranged killign as well, a phaser on stun woudl do
energy blast (with perhapse the "STUN only" advantage again explaiedn below.)

The defiference between the two is typed a "specvial effect".  SFX are
defined by the judge and paleyr and do not effect the system except in
extrem,ely monor ways delaign iwth interractiosn with limitations (see below).

This basic pwoers ar then given 'advantages' and "disadvanatges".  Both the
gun and the phaser have the disadfvantage "obvious accesible focus" (power
is contained in an object that can be taken away with a successful grab) A
gun might have the disadvanmtage "charges" (in thsi case bullets i na clip)
and the disadvantage "doesnt work in water".  The stun pahser migth have
the adbatnage "No normal defense" (goees rigth through armor) with a
specil defnese of force fields.  Advatnages and disadvantages combine to
create a single multiplier (or divisior) on the power.

There are various pwoer "frameworks" tyhat allow you to combine multiple
effects itn oone "power".  the Phaser for isnatcen coudl have a
"multipower" that lets the plaer chose between stun and kill settings.  
These also effect cost.

Special effects coem msot into play form character disadvantages (as
oppseod to player disadvantages). For instance, a player might be allergic
to lead.  Thus beign attacked by a guin successfully might cause the
allergy symptoms to kick in.  Special effects are also used by teh judge to
judge 'reasonableness" of something. Even if the player hadnt thought to
take 'doesnt work under water" as a disad for the gun, I as a judge wouldnt
let a bullet go mroe then about 3 feet underwater.

Hero si extremely elegently baalcned and is a ery compelte simualtion
system.  Thsi just scratches the surface of what its capable of.  Space
Marines and Wizards can not onyl be built using the same components but are
thus fully interoperable.


Jeff Kesselman
Snr. Game Integration Engineer
TEN -- The Total Entertainment Network -- www.ten.net

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