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

Adam Wiggins nightfall at user2.inficad.com
Wed Sep 10 21:42:07 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

[Shawn H:]
> > l
> Bubba is here digging the Panama Canal.
> > help bubba
> Sorry, digging the Panama Canal is a one-man job.
> I wouldn't want to see that.  Nor would I want to see two Panama Canals
> being created side by side because Bubba and Boffo both decided to start
> digging in the same room.
> Perhaps the grouping system could be used.  If you are in the same group
> and in the same place as Bubba and you've typed "help bubba" or somesuch,
> your stats are merged with Bubba's whenever the digging action is
> performed.  I seriously doubt this would work in all cases and could lead
> to an occasionally unwanted situation where Bubba doesn't have say, the
> intelligence to learn a spell, but if Boffo decides to "help bubba" as
> Bubba's learning the spell, suddenly he could catch on.  That example was
> rather weak, but it illustrates the possibility of situations where you
> wouldn't want helping someone to benefit that person in such a blatant
> fashion.  How to distinguish the situations?
> Anyone else already doing something like this?

These sorts of things are really common on Arctic.  Typically you have a
large object of some sort (a boulder, a bookcase, whatever) which takes a
certain amount of strength to move.  When you type 'move rock' or whatever,
it sets you to a state where you are actively trying to push the rock.
Every pulse the rock checks to see if the total strength of all the characters
pushing on it is >= its total required strength.  Generally a bunch of people
is the easiest way to do it (there's no spacial constraints to deal with);
a smaller group with really strong members (and possibly a mage to hand out
strength spells) can do it with fewer.

This makes for a nice cooperation puzzle without involving any combat.
One of my favorite setups is the first place I saw this kind of puzzle.
The situation is a heavy boulder in a river bed which takes a minimum of 3
(very strong) people or four normal people to move.  Inside is a room which
can only fit a single person; as soon as that person goes in the boulder falls
closed.  The cave inside is a single room containing a tough critter of some
sort.  The person inside can only leave when the folks outside shove the
boulder aside again.  The critter inside is guarding a cache containing a
spellbook which usually has a powerful spell of some sort in it.  (On Arctic
the only way to learn any descent spell is to find a spellbook and study it.)

Since Arctic not only allows but actively encourages players to stab each
other in the back (both physically and metaphorically), this made for lots
of interesting situations.  You have someone in the group who has a grudge
against the person going inside, and takes off once they're in, making it
impossible for them to get back out until the folks outside find someone else.
Also, you had to bring one extra person anyhow, since the person who was inside
couldn't help from that side - bad coding maybe, but it actually made things
a little more interesting.  And never mind the fact that the critter inside
was fairly difficult and fleeing was nearly impossible unless you managed
to yell to your buddies outside and then time it perfectly to flee just as
they lifted the boulder.

Lotsa fun with this simple concept - no reason it can't be taken further.

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