[MUD-Dev] Classless systems

David Bennett ddt at discworld.atuin.net
Fri Jul 21 23:34:30 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

On Fri, 21 Jul 2000, Ryan P. wrote:

> The major point I think needs to be decay and dampeners. By decay I mean
> that stats/skills/whatever needs to decay quickly when not in use. If
> skills can be trained, why can't stats? If you start working out big time, why

Depends on how you look at it.  I think making stats changable adds too many
variables inthe the equation and makes characters significantly harder
to balance and deal with.  It is much easier to control only one variable
than two...

You could use the rolemaster system of 'potential' stats and 'current' stats
if you wanted.  This controls the variation alittle.  Since you can easily
make sure that stats don't get out of control (especially since stats often
have a much greator effect on skill bonus than the skills themsevles do).

Personally...   I prefer making the stats fixed and the skills variable, this
fits more in with my world view :)  Since you can assume that the people
you are dealing with are in tip top condition and will contiue to be
so, since they adventurers, the stand out members of the society.

Classless system are definately a workable idea though, you will find
that if the stats are limited then people will tend to force themselves
into certain areas just based on the stats they choose.  Discworld's
system is mostly classless (up to a point, it was initially anyway :).
People find they have a lot of trouble using out of guild skills
and abilities if they don't adjust their stats correctly.  We also
do it this way, the guild will teach you skills at a lower cost in
the guilds specialy areas.  So that also makes out of guild skills
expensive, the cheapest way to get non-primary skills advanced is from
other players...  Some of the older players make quite a bit of xp
just from teaching the younger players.

Of course if your doing all your skill advancement by practice, you
will have some trouble adding these sorts of restrictions.  You could
still add practice in guild grounds or something.  I kind of like guilds
because they tend to give players identity and an instant group of

> be "dampeners" in place. One easy example is that spellcasting is
> greatly hindered while wearing heavy armor. Even if you were a straight
> wizard, you'd still be allowed to wear platemail, but your skill in armor-use
> (or something similar?) would be way down and you would not have the
> freedom of movement of wearing robes, thus spellcasting abilities are
> much worse. What kind of ideas does everyone have for a classless
> system? Has anyone implemented a successful version of it?

This is how rolemaster does it as well, it has 'manouvering in armour'
and all sorts of different elemtns play into how many negatives you
have on your spell casting/doing anything while wearing armour.

If you have not looked at rolemaster...  It has a lot of interesting ideas
for sort of non-classed based systems.  You are in a class and every level
you go up you get a certsain number of development points.  You can
learn anything you want...   But certain things cost more development
points than others depending on your class.  So you can have a wizar that
is good at fighting, but they will most likely be not as good at spell
casting as someone that specialised in casting spells.  The skill system
was my favourite bit of rolemaster...  It was a really nice way of
handling things, what I used as an inspiration for the skill system
I used on dw...

On stats...   We control these on dw by giving everyone a fixed number
of points, at some stage in their life they can 'rearrange' and
adjust their stats as they like.

Basking in glow of Marc's note,

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