[MUD-Dev] Acting casual about casual gamers

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 6 14:08:31 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


Thursday, July 06, 2000, 3:51:04 AM, Malcolm Valentine <spin at fastlink.com.au> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 30, 2000, Travis Casey wrote:

>> A mud doesn't have a DM to "correct" the rules, but it's not too hard
>> to create a set of rules under which such things work out.  For
>> example, many paper RPGs are set up so that the chance to hit someone
>> depends primarily not on their armor, but on how well they can dodge.
>> In such an RPG, a sleeping orc is going to be an easy or automatic
>> hit, since it can't dodge at all.
>> 
>> Some paper RPGs base damage not on a random roll, but on how much the
>> minimum roll needed to hit was exceeded.  Thus, you're likely to do
>> more damage to an easy target -- like a sleeping orc.  Third, some
>> paper RPGs allow you to take extra time for an action -- in combat,
>> this is sometimes done with a "prepare" maneuver.  Sometimes this can
>> be repeated, up to some maximum beyond which no further benefit is
>> given.  This makes the character more likely to hit... which in turn
>> implies still more damage on a successful hit.
>> 
>> Many paper RPGs also have such concepts as "called shots", where you
>> can aim for a specific hit location on a foe.  Certain locations may
>> do more damage or have special effects -- e.g., a head hit might do
>> more damage and have a chance to stun, an arm hit might do less
>> damage, but have a chance of making a foe drop anything carried with
>> that arm.
>> 
>> Thus, the sequence might become:
>> 
>>  > prepare
>>  > prepare
>>  > attack throat orc 1
>>  You strike the orc's throat with your dagger.  The orc is dead.
>> 
>> (In many ways, such a system is actually superior to having the DM
>> "step in".  For one thing, it's not dependent on the DM, so you don't
>> have to worry about the DM being overly-literal in interpreting the
>> rules.  For another, while it might be clear that someone with a
>> dagger can easily cut the throat of a sleeping orc, can you cut the
>> throat of a unconscious knight in full plate before he comes to?  Or
>> cut the throat of a sleeping dragon deeply enough to kill it through
>> its scales before it wakes up?  These questions aren't quite so
>> cut-and-dried.)

>  Sorry about the long quote. IMHO, most of these systems seem good in
> paper RPGs because the DM can always "step in". I never like being a
> "dice-slave", and with all these systems it is still possible for
> the character to not achieve what the player assumes is as "easy as pie".

Looking at what I wrote and your reply, I can only come to the
conclusion that you didn't actually read my message, but just glanced
over it and fired off a response.  I specifically said that it's
possible to design rules in such a way that they can handle such
things *without* the GM having to step in constantly, then gave some
examples from paper RPGs of features that can help handle the
situation in question *without* GM intervention.  Indeed, I clearly
stated twice that I was talking about systems that don't require GM
intervention!

>  'Woah, you rolled a 1. You miss the sleeping orc and stab yourself in 
>   the foot.'
 
>  'But I spent half an hour lining that shot up, and I said I was 
>   kneeling...'

>  'So, you rolled a 1, and according to table 234a cross-referenced with
>   table 432d, you miss and hit your own foot.'

>  *grumbles*

This would be a bad system coupled with a bad GM.  As I said above:

 ... such a system is actually superior to having the DM
 "step in".  For one thing, it's not dependent on the DM, so you don't
 have to worry about the DM being overly-literal in interpreting the
 rules.

This would be a case of a GM taking the rules too literally, in a
system that *doesn't* allow for cases where attacks should be able to
succeed automatically.
 
--
       |\      _,,,---,,_    Travis S. Casey  <efindel at earthlink.net>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'
     '---''(_/--'  `-'\_)   





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