[MUD-Dev] Re: Leaving characters in play

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Mon May 18 23:44:23 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

From: Adam Wiggins <adam at angel.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Monday, May 18, 1998 1:06 PM

>On Sun, 17 May 1998, Travis S. Casey wrote:
>> On Saturday, 16 May 98, John Bertoglio <alexb at internetcds.com> wrote:
>> > Now when our system is finished, I guarantee that no player will score
>> > one hit kill on another player...but that is a different story.
>> Never?  Why not?  It certainly isn't realistic not to allow one-hit
>> kills under any circumstances, and the more powerful the weapons in
>> your game become, the less realistic it becomes.

Ok, I made an overstatement. First, the low probability is only valid for
fully healed, rested individuals who are significantly lower in skill than
their opponent. We will carefully manipulate luck to give the weaker player
a fighting chance. Usually, the stronger player will win, all other things
being equal. But the agressor will feel some fear during the combat.  PK
will not be spell, spell, spell, you're dead. In our world, a one-shot PK
will be such a rare event that even the killed individual will be proud to
brag about it. (A arrow to the eye is a pretty spectacular shot, after

>> If, for example,
>> your game includes shotguns, grenades, and other such weapons, such a
>> rule starts to look silly.  If you go on into the kinds of
>> superweapons available in some SF, it becomes downright ridiculous.

I would love to be able to model worlds outside of swords and sorcery. The
problem is that those worlds lend themselves so well to this kind of
gaming. The problem with warfare after the age of massed muskets (a better
inflection point would be the Boar War in South Africa), combat became so
deadly that most kills were made by people who never saw their opponents
(artillery). While effective, the advanced weapons make the actions of
small units and heros somewhat irrevelant. Notice that most games that
model the modern era do so on a larger scale than the solo hero or party of
6. The ones that do (X-Com and BattleTech comes to mind) do so by
essentially modeling medieval combat by introducing powerful armour which
can absorb large amount of damage. This gives players the time to get to
know their heros before they are killed and replaced.

Note the world of Dune. Advance technology virtually neutralizes high-tech
weapons so small scale combat is fought with psionics, bladed weapons and
poisons. I would guess that Herbert did this to introduce the notions of
personal honor and combat into a highly advanced empire.

You are right of course about the flaw in my argument. BTW, a Wizardry
Tiltowait makes most super weapons seem feeble in comparison...but even
such a spell would probably fail to do you (totally) in if I poach the next

>Perhaps players get a certain amount of 'luck' each day.  A one-hit
>killing blow can be avoided if you have enough luck.
>% throw grenade Boffo
>You lob a grenade at Boffo.
>It explodes.
>Boffo comes crawling out of the cloud of dust, coughing and sputtering,
>singed but otherwise unharmed.
>Boffo says, "Woah, that was close!  I think I'm going to stay home for the
>rest of today, I've just about used all the good luck I'm entitled to for
>one day."
>This is a nice was to help encourage players to explore.  If they walk in
>on the mighty dragon once, they will get a good scare.  If they walk in
>again, they get roasted.

Sometime you borrow good ideas, sometime you steal great ones. This one
falls into the later category. A vague concern was what happens if four
obnoxious newbies start harassing a more senior player. The jerks would
actually have a good chance of whomping the senior player (who is in my
model, a valued customer). The newbies would know (there are no secrets in
online worlds with a player base of any size) that if he initiates combat,
they will have an excellent chance of taking him on. So instead of
complaining to the Admins, the senior player tells the newbies..."Do you
feel lucky, punks." "If I fail to killl to you think your luck will hold
out with my guildmates over there?" Packs of jackels can kill lions, but
don't try it very often because of the risk. Still, it must keep the big
cats from feeling too cool (except that they are cats and, therefore,
immune from all behavior which can vaguely be considered positive).

Thanks, Adam

John Bertoglio
>MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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