[MUD-Dev] Re: let's call it a spellcraft

James Wilson jwilson at rochester.rr.com
Sat Sep 26 00:07:28 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Fri, 25 Sep 1998, Andy Cink wrote:
>From: "Peck, Matthew x96724c1" <x96724 at exmail.usma.army.mil>
>>> I have a question for you, did you get rid of hit points as well?  Is
>>> there some method for your players to gain them as they proceed down
>>> the course of the game?  If not, how do you explain that a person who
>>> has just started has x number of hitpoints, where a player who has
>>> been there a week has 3x hitpoints?  When I think about hitpoints, the
>>> concept seems absurd.  The ability for certain people to take more
>>> damage than others simply doesn't exist (for the most part) in the
>>> world.  Granted, some people (boxers and the like) can take large
>>> amounts of physical abuse.  However, there are limits to that.  And a
>>> gunshot to the head will kill the boxer just as much as a "normal"
>>> person.  This gunshot does the same amount of damage to both, so where
>>> do hit points come in?

>We're straying dangerously close to a holy war here, and I know that
>is not what we need on a list of this caliber, so I will be brief.
>I find the level concept to be a bit weird, because it draws so
>heavily from the AD&D model. That is, you start a typical mud with
>25-35 hp or thereabouts. At level 10, how many do you have? Probably
>80-100? And at 20th? 200? 250? How does a level 1 have 25hp when a
>level 20 has 250hp? You made an extremely valid point, a body cannot
>take more than a certain amount of damage before dying. If it was
>a sheer matter of skills people learn to take damage, then I would
>think you would still have 25hp, but you would be missed a lot more,
>or a blow would be reduced in factor of damage, or some such.

the Champions system (and likely the Hero system too, which I understand 
is closely related) approached this by dividing 'resistance to damage' into

1. the amount of damage (in absolute terms) one can absorb
2. one's capacity to avoid or deflect damage

#1 was split into 'body' and 'stun'; 'body' represented physical integrity,
and was an absolute measure (to the extent that damage to inanimate
objects was also measured in body pips). Also, attacks could be all-stun,
all-body, mostly-stun (the usual), and so on - the deadler the attack, the
more expensive to obtain.

#2 includes skills, special defenses, luck, etc. The rationale for a 
traditional hit points system usually involves #2, i.e. "a 200-hp warrior is
very, very skilled, so a 20hp stab which would kill a normal human merely
grazes him". It makes more sense to me to do it like Champions does it,
moving those defenses out of the 'hit points' column and into a more
finely-grained domain (perhaps including skills, special powers, divine
assistance, etc.). However, this is the purist in me; players probably
wouldn't notice or care about the difference (unless game balance was
sufficiently  altered).

>I resent being told "Stop! Don't you dare get rid of levels!"
>That was my point :) I don't want a holy war, I was just trying
>to point out it was a somewhat shortsighted point of view, and
>was trying to point out levels aren't the end all be all of the
>mudding universe.

The "Stop!" comment bothered me as well - this list should _welcome_ 
healthy disagreements.  


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