[MUD-Dev] Skill defaulting

Ryan Ryan
Tue Aug 1 14:39:43 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mordengaard" <mordengaard at redhotant.com>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Monday, July 31, 2000 3:31 PM

> From: Ryan "BC|Uller" Myers <rmyers at inetarena.com>
> > Has anyone ever considered the "defaulting" feature of skills in FASA's
> > Shadowrun universe?  Although Shadowrun skills are mostly those that
> improve
> > chances of success on normal actions, the idea could be adapted.
> >
> > The general idea is that if you attempt to perform an action which is
> based
> > on a specific skill, but don't have it, you can have it default to a
> related
> > skill at a penalty instead of rolling with no skill at all.  For example
> (RP
> > and clerical considerations aside), an unarmed cleric could pick up a
> sword
> > from the ground and attempt to slash an oncoming basilisk.  Mr. Cleric
> > no skill whatsoever in Edged Weapons, but he has considerable training
> > Blunt Weapons.  Thus, when a skill roll is made to see how much damage
> > did, instead of using Edged Weapons it uses Blunt Weapons with a -2
> penalty.
> > In SR 3rd Edition, some skills can also default to a character attribute
> at
> > a higher penalty.
> Ah yes, my all-time favorite RP game has heavily influenced Yhared's
> development, often subconciously.  Our linked attribute system is based on
> shadowrun's "defaulting", as is (more loosely) our combat system.  The
> system is incredibly good when dealing with classless and skill-based
> systems, as we are.  We've got simple checks in place that make sure you
> don't get penalised for having a high attribute and a low skill - you
> use the best option.

My only worry about this is the level of specialization that's appropriate.
Also, I think it could be possible for MUDs/MOOs with class systems - you
could have a set of basic skills (athletics, swimming, the etiquette skills,
and some of the lower-specialization skills like general
handguns/rifles/etc), and only allow certain classes to advance it to higher
levels or thinner specializations.  i.e. street samurai would either be the
only ones who could learn Assault Rifles, or they'd learn it at a lesser
cost / lower level than the rest of the classes.  Speaking of easier costs,
this could fit to the base skills also - for example, a decker could learn
Matrix Etiquette faster than a mage.

> Oddly enough, I've only come across one SR-based mud out there... I
> personally think the system could easily be adapted to a mud environment
> without too much fiddling.

My plans are (if FASA has no objections) to build a SR MUD with the JMUD
engine once it gets to a more complete state.  (Right now I'm trying to keep
it easy to write the Merc/Envy importers, so the code base has some
shortcuts and construction styles I'm not fond of.  Once I can get the
engine to a playable state, that'll all go back to the original plan and
start in on SR code.)

-Ryan "BC|Uller" Myers <borisian at planetquake.com>

An infinite number of monkeys, given an infinite amount of time, will
produce a better game design than John Romero's Daikatana.

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