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From:	"Travis S. Casey" <efindel at io.com>
To:	mud-dev at null.net
Subject: [MUD-Dev]  Modeling spells/skills as collections of affects

On Wed, 10 Sep 1997, Shawn Halpenny wrote:

[about helping others]

> 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?

You could keep information about what helping does for each task, 
possibly keeping it by general task type.  For example, you could 
keep data on how to figure out how much a helper helps, with a limit
on how much total help can be given.

Strength tasks:
add:  helper's Str  (I'm assuming a linear scale for examples)
limit:  none
flags:  none

learning a skill:
add:  max((helper's Int + skill) - (learner's Int + skill)), 0, helper's
      Cha/2, helper's Wis/2)
limit:  learner's Int/2
flags:  exclusive (i.e., only the best helper counts)

Thus, anyone can help you with a strength task, but only someone whose
Intelligence+skill in a skill is better than yours can help you learn
a skill.  (I threw Charisma and Wisdom in there as limiting factors...
in order to make a good teacher, someone should be able to keep the 
student's attention and be patient.)  However, no amount of help will
help the student past a certain point -- thus the limit.  The 
"exclusive" flag on learning isn't strictly realistic, but it's more
realistic than letting several mediocre teachers add up to one 
excellent teacher.

What can characters be helped with?  Well, many paper RPGs differentiate
between tasks and actions.  Basically, an action is something
that is done very quickly and that someone else can't help with:  for
example, a single swing of your sword at any enemy.  A task takes place
over time and others can help with it:  e.g., moving a rock, picking a
lock, or learning a new skill.  The same idea may be useful for helping
to decide what can and can't be helped with on a mud.

       |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'  Keeper of the rec.games.design FAQ:
     '---''(_/--'  `-'\_)      http://www.io.com/~efindel/design.html

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