[MUD-Dev] Re: Combat Was Re: Leaving characters in play

Travis S. Casey efindel at io.com
Wed May 27 15:32:26 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Wed, 27 May 1998, Adam Wiggins wrote:
> On Wed, 27 May 1998, Travis S. Casey wrote:

> > For example, a rapier is much heavier than a dagger, but the character
> > wielding the rapier has a much greater reach.  The dagger-wielder
> > would have to be much faster than the rapier-wielder to attack first,
> > because he/she has to be able to move around the rapier and into
> > striking range.
> Range is handled seperately in our system.  Moving forward and backwards
> are character states just the same way as an attack.  The character can
> either manually move forward or back (via the "press" and "retreat"
> commands), or set an ideal range (via the "range" command).

[details of range system cut]

Sounds very good -- in some ways similar to an abstract melee range system
I used for a paper RPG.  In most cases I didn't bother with it, but it
added a good bit of extra flavor to duels, etc.

> > > -- All blows land unless something is done about it (duck, parry).  Most
> > > blows that land will be fatal or near fatal unless they landed on, say,
> > > your helmet instead of your head.
> > 
> > This is a very interesting aspect, IMHO -- it completely breaks with
> > RPG conventions.  However, I can't say that I'd feel comfortable with
> > it.  I've done a great deal of sparring, fencing, etc., and it simply
> > doesn't fit with my experience.  There are several reasons why attacks
> > miss in combat, even when no attempt to block or dodge is made:
> The above statement is in light of attacking someone who is unconscious or
> otherwise immobile.  If someone is conscious, they will always "do
> something about it".  You can't help it - it's a flinch reaction.  Even
> someone that has never seen a sword before will try to either get out of
> the way, or at the least throw up their arms in order to take the blow on
> a less vital part of their body.

Ah -- I understood it to mean a defender who is not actively trying to get
out of the way.  With that misunderstanding cleared up, I have no
objections.  Indeed, practically every paper RPG includes such a rule.

> > As one gains experience in combat, one becomes less likely to make
> > these mistakes, and thus, more likely to hit the defender.
> Naturally.  But the last thing we wanted was for newbies to be total
> klutzes - fighting someone of an equivilent skill level shouldn't be a
> three-stooges routine.

Yep... and it would be nice if newbies can take on decent foes, instead of
fighting rabbits and squirrels like they do on so many muds...

> A clumsy attack is met by clumsy defences.  If the target is conscious,
> they will almost always make some sort of attempt at defence, except for a
> few extreme cases.  Even if they are not moving or conscious, there is a
> second role for how glancing the attack was.  Thus given a newbie
> attacking a training dummy, their attacks will always land but wil usually
> be glancing or to non-critical locations.  An oldbie would make the same
> number of hits, but they would all be to critical locations with maximum
> force.

Yes... I like systems where increasing skill increases the effectiveness
of one's attacks.  Oddly enough, there seem to be a fiar number of people
out there who don't like that idea.

> > The first edition of the paper RPG Top Secret had an interesting
> > variant on luck points -- each character started with a random number
> > of fortune points.  Spending a fortune point could make any action
> > succeed, or could save a character's life, but fortune points never
> > came back, and the players didn't know how many fortune points their
> > characters had.  Thus, eventually, one's luck would run out -- and you
> > never knew just when that would be.
> Cute - what kind of range was there on starting luck points?

A ten-sided die was used, for an evenly distributed one through ten.
Thus, luck was the kind of thing that one might use once per adventure or
less often.

TS also had another optional rule -- "fame points".  They worked the same
way as fortune points except that they were earned through experience.
Thus, players knew how many fame points their characters had.  I didn't
find them to be as interesting a concept, since many games have similar
things.  An average character might gain one fame point every three to
four adventures, so they weren't something one could effectively build up
to high levels.

       |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
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