[MUD-Dev] Character development [was Re: ]

Travis S. Casey efindel at io.com
Thu Apr 9 14:05:33 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Thu, 9 Apr 1998, Marian Griffith wrote:
> In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Thu 09 Apr, Travis S. Casey wrote:

> > If you want more traditional advancement, but don't want characters to
> > grow too powerful, you could combine this with a slow "growth" system.
> It would only encourage the stubborn (and unimaginative) players from
> plodding along with the game. You would on the other hand likely lose
> the more flamboyant characters.

I'm not sure why you think this would lose the more flamboyant characters
-- that is, I don't see any reason why people who like to play characters
flamboyantly would mind slow growth in power more than anyone else.  After
all, there are flamboyant characters even in muds where *no* characters
advancement is possible.

> Why not make it so that you can advance all skills and abilities, but
> the higher trained you are in some field,  the more quickly you loose
> that proficiency?  That way players can choose to concentrate on only
> a few skills,  or decide to create a more generic character that does
> nothing quite as good as a true specialist? And by ignoring a certain
> specialisation for long enough  you are no longer better than average
> in it again.  It would also help you to negate the 'pathetically weak
> newbie' problem that can be found on near all muds.

That's suggested below.  :-)  This post was really more a bunch of
randomly tossed-out thoughts about character generation and advancement
methods -- if something makes you think of another idea, that other idea
might be further down.

> > A few random thoughts on character advancement/generation... 
> > Some paper RPers prefer to develop characters in play rather than 
> > generating them at the start.  The idea is that the player may not
> > know enough about the gameworld when the game starts to be able to
> > generate exactly the kind of character he/she would want.  Thus,
> > some aspects of character generation are delayed.
> Isn't this what muds do,  in essence?  Except of course  that usually
> you have to pick your profession beforehand.

Some muds do, some muds don't.  I've seen plenty of muds where you had to
pick a race, set your attributes, etc. before you ever got into play.

> > A more concrete example of this is to give the players the ability
> > to "hold back" a few attribute/skill/whatever points and assign them
> > when they want to.
> I think something like this was implemented in Rom II ?

Could have been.  There are plenty of muds out there I've never seen, and
I'm not claiming that none of this has been done on muds before, or that
none of it's been discussed here before -- just listing a bunch of

> I think that is only fair. You haven't exactly -forgotten- what you have
> learned,  you merely got rusty in practising it.  Because you once where
> trained you can expect to pick up much quicker than somebody for whom it
> is entirely new.
> Maybe you need to have to numbers assigned to each skill that you learn.
> Knowledge and practice. Your overall skill is determined by both numbers
> but only the practice decays,  and picks up quickly once you start prac-
> ticing again. Increasing knowledge on the other hand is much harder, and
> magics/affects that cause -that- to decrease are going to be nasty...

You can forget knowledge as well, though -- indeed, some skills are
almost nothing *but* knowledge and the ability to remember it (e.g., a
"local history" skill).  I know I've forgotten a lot of what I learned in
my history classes...

I'd suggest just recording a "highest level achieved" for each skill and
not worrying about exactly how to interpret it.  Also, you might want to
make physical skills take longer to relearn than mental skills if you've
been out of practice for a while -- the character may have to rebuild
strength and stamina in the muscles needed.

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