[MUD-Dev] Re: Levels versus Skills

quzah quzah
Fri Jan 15 22:03:12 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

From: J C Lawrence <claw at under.engr.sgi.com>
Date: Friday, January 15, 1999 8:06 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: Levels versus Skills 

>On Fri, 15 Jan 1999 22:15:28 +0000 (GMT) 
>Marian Griffith<gryphon at iaehv.nl> wrote:
>> The problem of course is getting the players to go along with it,
>> especially if there is a ready way for them to prove their worth
>> through combat.
>I'm going to go out on a limb here:
>  I suspect that the main problem with the combat model of most MUDs
>is that it is survivable.  What seems the real solution: Make combat
>deadly and make combatants very short lived.  Yup, there are people
>who try and live/play by killing things.  They don't live long (say
>a few days RL time), but they make a lot of noise.  There are also
>more moderate players, active in a wide range of areas -- they tend
>to live far longer due to the lower risk levels.

While I have yet to put this into a mud, it worked great for the
pen and paper game I made a long long time ago that my friends and I
used to play. I am trying to put this into a MERC to see how well it
works, but I'm having troubles designing the limb structure for all
the creatures (I get too picky, stuck on going into detail, that sort
of thing). Regardless, this is how my p&p rpg did combat, specificly

The body was split into 6 groups:
   1: head
   2: torso
   3: left arm
   4: right arm
   5: left leg
   6: right leg

Each body group was split into parts. Each part has a multiplier. It
is used to deal damage. Take the head for example:

   1: forehead 8x
   2: left eye 10x
   3: right eye 10x
   4: nose 8x
   5: left cheek 7x
   6: right cheek 7x
   7: mouth 8x
   8: jaw 7x
   9: throat 10x

Hmmm anyway, it went something like that. The actual chart is in a
box, currently under my computer on the floor, so I can't dig it out.
The head had 10 locations, and I can't remember it exactally, it has
been a long while since I dug it out and rolled the dice...

In addition, hitpoints were assigned per group. When you created a
character you had 75hp per body part.

A rifle may do 1d8 with normal amunition. Say a location hit was
rolled and you scored a hit to the head. If you were far away, so that
you couldn't see the exact location, you used the "average damage"
for that group, wich for the head was a 8x multiplier. This lead to
the fact that since you couldn't actually SEE where you specificly
hit, you guessed at how much damaged you did. So, you'd roll your
1d8, multiply by 8 and that's how much damage you did. This gave you
a sort of good guess/realistic hit check. If your damage was over say
1/3 of the max, then they'd probabaly drop to the ground from the hit
to the head, yet you couldn't be sure that you killed them.

Were you in actual close range, you'd roll a 1d10 for the head to see
where specificly you hit, and use that multiplier. An example was that
a shot to the eye was a pretty sure kill. (While you started with 75
hitpoints, the average citizen had 60 per body group. -- This gave you
the seemingly "hero" or "bad ass" effect...) This worked well, because
a punch to the right place in the head had the possible chance to in
fact kill someone.

Perhaps a bit gory, but it was effective. Since the whole point of the
game was to wander around and blow stuff up (that's how it always ended
up anyway -- they always ended up shooting and destroying everything,
but who am I to complain, it was a hell of a lot of fun to DM) the
hit charts were a great asset.

If the limb/group took over 50% damage from a single hit, there was
a chance it was rendered useless. In the case of the head, you got
knocked out. The torso was also a knockout, or imobility. (Broken ribs
or whatever make it really really hard to run, especially if you are
leeking like a siev.)

This is what I plan on dropping into a MERC. First off I'll remove
all creatures and only load "humaniods", because that is what the first
chart was designed for. My problem is that I'm having trouble making
it easily adaptable to odd shaped creatures.

Anyway, combat was very leathal, very final, damn fast, and loads of
fun. I hope to bring this aspect to MERC, because combat takes far
too long. There is no way I should be hacking some one with a sword
for 50 hits. One good hit is all it takes.

In addition, and I'll try and wrap this up, I do ramble so when I
get to talking on a topic I like... In addition, armor reduced the
inital dice roll. A bullet proof vest may have a factor of 6. This
reduces your dice roll by 6. Therefore only a 7 or 8 could puncture
the vest, but once it got through the number would be 1 or 2, so the
damage would be 1 or 2 x multiplier. The vest could be destroyed,
every hit [by a "real" threat] reduced its factor by 1. Thus, shooting
someone in the same spot on the vest over and over would eventually
get through it. The advantage of a pen and paper is you can easlily
use your judgement to fudge what hit was a "real threat". A punch
still did some damage, but not to the vest, this was bruise damage,
and off hand I don't recall what I did with bruise damage. Shrug.

Anyway, the whole point was that combat was very leathal, very final,
damn fast, and loads of fun. I hope to bring this aspect to MERC,
because combat takes far too long. There is no way I should be hacking
some one with a sword for 50 hits. One good hit is all it takes.


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