[MUD-Dev] Acting casual about casual gamers

Malcolm Valentine spin at fastlink.com.au
Thu Jul 6 17:51:04 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

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".

 '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 

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


 This is not to say that implementing these systems into a mud is a bad
thing, it is a definite improvement for those who like a more strategic
combat. Perhaps this gets back to the discussion on when a character is
and isn't in combat (sorry, don't have a reference from the archives).

  Malcolm V.

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