[MUD-Dev] (no subject)

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Mon Jul 9 12:03:32 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Thu, 5 Jul 2001 22:16:54 -0400 
Travis Casey <efindel at earthlink.net> wrote:

> Of course, to answer these, you have to answer a more fundamental
> question first: What constitutes a combat system?  

<<Deliberately misinterpreting your question>>

I've been looking in this area again trying to resolve a few areas
I'm still stuck on:

  1) How to build a round based combat system into an otherwise
  free-paced MUD

  2) The reduction of combat into a resource management problem
  (something I want) which means that most combat is now
  manipulation of second and third order effects which aren't really
  combat actions (and so are difficult to fold into rounds given
  that they are normally unpaced).

Which lead me to the general question: 

  What is combat and how can it be determined that an arbitrary
  action is or is not combat related?

and came right back to the old question of second and third order
effects and their use by players as combat mechanics in manners
similar to innocent/accidental use.  <sigh>

Need to cut the loop.

The standard scenario for the list on this has been UggUgg's fight:


There, yes, they are fighting but actually whacking each other with
lumps of metal is the minor interest.  Annotating the fight:

  # Fight starts with something physical.  It really doesn't matter
  # as the sword will not due any physical damage as your
  # self-defence spells will prevent that.

       UggUgg slashes at you with his Sword of Instant Beheading 
       and minor discomfort!

  # You react with magic.  Magic is more powerful, more invasive,
  # and more readily available.  First thing you do is weaken his
  # defences.

       > cast soakhole on uggugg

  # The soakhole spell consumes mana on or near what it is cast on,
  # not terribly quickly, but # enough to give you the advantage.
  # You cast it here as its a low # risk high-rate-of-success spell
  # that may give you an easy upper # hand.

       You cast the dreaded mana eater soakhole on UggUgg!

  # UggUgg returns the favour with a spell that eats your mana
  # faster than your soakhole is eating his.  This is a fast way of
  # putting you at the disadvantage.

       UggUgg sneezes and buries you in green snot!

  # As a result you have no mana left resulting in all your
  # self-defence spells failing.

       Your armour suddenly dissappears!  
       Your spell of magical summon protection fails!
       Your spell of magical sight fails!

  # UggUgg's mana reserves are also gone so his magic objects
  # start disappearing as they don't have enough mana left to
  # sustain their existence.  This is the first sign of your
  # soakhole spell working.  Remember: Magical objects and spells
  # consume mana in their creation and then need constant low-rate
  # feeding of mana to continue existing.  No mana.  Poof!  No
  # magical object or spell.

       UggUgg's Nose Ring of Killer Snot dissappears!
       UggUgg's Belt of Gas Containment dissappears!  Phew!
       UggUgg's dagger of wart removal dissappears!

  # You have a little mana left, enough to create more.  This
  # creates a puddle of mana near you, benefitting both you and
  # UggUgg as it spreads out to him.

       > cast create mana
       You create 5,000 units of mana!

  # Casting that spell exhausted your mana reserves.

       Your mana stores are now empty.

  # But there's a puddle of mana about you, so you restore your
  # self-defence spells.  

       You are now magically potected from summons.
       You can now see all magically hidden objects.

  # UggUgg, thinking your self-defences are fully down, tries a
  # physical attack.  Rather than reveal that your spells are back
  # (he may not have noticed your the new mana) you just dodge the
  # hit.

       UggUgg thows a blade of painful castration at you!
       > jump!
       You leap mightily.
       The blade misses!  You are still a baritone.

  # Return the favour with a physical attack which when successful
  # casts a spell on the target which infects/disorients them.  You
  # are still trying to gain a position of solid advantage so you
  # can safely finish the fight.

       > attack uggugg with spear
       You ram UggUgg through with the spear of Icy Death!
       UggUgg now has the flu and looks a bit watery about the eyes.

  # UggUgg tries another physical attack, seemingly not having
  # gained a clue.

       UggUgg picks up a rock.
       UggUgg bashs you with a rock!  Ouch!  That hurt!

  #  Throw a TC (Trash Collector) at UggUgg.  It eats things,
  #  especially mana and objects, very quickly.  The main intent of
  #  this is to eat the mana from the puddle around you which has
  #  spread out as far as UggUgg thus keeping him at the
  #  disadvantage and making your domination of the fight more
  #  secure.

       > throw TC at uggugg
       You throw the charmed trash collector at UggUgg.
       The TC englobes UggUgg!

  # UggUgg gets clever.  He now knows that you have mana from
  # somewhere while he has none (and thus can't cast any spells on
  # you), so he gives you all his magical objects which he knows
  # will start eating your mana, possibly giving the advantage back
  # to him.

       UggUgg gives you the Sword of Instant Beheading and minor
       UggUgg gives you the Boots of Mighty Chilblains,
       UggUgg gives you the Goggles of Big Farts.
       UggUgg gives you Super Nose Hair Puller.
       The TC has eaten everything UggUgg was carrying!  Yech!
       UggUgg is naked!

  # Yup, they've pretty exhausted your pool of mana, enough that
  # your self-defences have failed again.

       Your spell of magical summon protection fails!
       Your spell of magical sight fails!
       Your spell of magical tummy tuck fails!
       Your spell of power voice fails!
       Your spell of land control fails!
       Your spell of bowel control fails!  
       Your spell of toe cheese protection fails!

  # Any spells left that haven't died yet?  You could manually tear
  # them down before they die from lack of mana, grab the little #
  # burst of mana from their # destruction to do something...

       > stat spells
       You have no spells.

  # No mana left anywhere.

       > stat mana
       There is no mana here.

  # You're pissed.  You're able to strangle him because his
  # self-defence spells have failed.

       > strangle uggugg
       You wrap your hands about UggUgg's neck and begin to squeeze!

  # UggUgg has a trick left up his sleeve.

       UggUgg prays to the Great God GooGoo!
       GooGoo mana blesses the area!  

  # Odds are UggUgg is hoping to take better/faster advantage of the
  # mana than you, especially as the puddle is centered on him so he
  # has more resources than you.

       There is a LOT of mana here!  Your skin prickles!

  # You are have a trick left to get rid of the mana putting you
  # back at a 1:1 physical fight where you already have the
  # advantage (he was weakened by the flu you cast on him with the
  # Spear Of Icy Death (spell now failed due to lack of mana since),
  # and you've been strangling him for a while now.

       > i
       You have a mana shielding sack
       > l in sack
       There are 5,000,000 TC spores in the sack.
       >empty sack on UggUgg
       The spores eat all the mana!

  # If you're lucky he's on a slower connection than you and the
  # update messages from the 5 million spores you so painstakingly
  # collected will flood his link giving you the SuperLowPingPastard
  # advantage, solidifying your position.

       There are 5,000,000 TC's here!  Wow.
       All the mana is gone!  

  # Your next act will probably be to attack him with the Super Nose
  # Hair Puller or UggUgg gives you the Sword of Instant Beheading
  # and minor discomfort he gave you earlier.  The spells they cast
  # won't work as there's no mana and they're about to self-destruct
  # anyway as they're not being fed, so you might as well use them
  # now while you've still got them.  Your TC's have and will ensure
  # that the fight from here out stays physical, confirming the
  # advantage you established earlier (at considerable expense to
  # yourself -- once you win you are utterly defenceless against the
  # rest of the world)

Its all resource mechanics, originally partially expired by reading
the regimental chess web site (now sadly defunct).  I like this
style of combat, especially in group/melee scenarios ("brutal" comes
to mind).  I'd like it better (I think) if it were round based
allowing for greater flexibility and planning at each step while
maintaining a reasonable pace (10 second rounds?).


> Is, for example, the old Tiny system where you paid one 'coin' to
> be able to kill someone a combat system?


J C Lawrence                                             claw at kanga.nu
---------(*)                                http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/
I never claimed to be human.

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