[MUD-Dev] Chances of success (was d20 system)

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 15 23:31:20 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Wednesday 15 August 2001 05:42 pm, Bobby Martin wrote:
>> From: "Brian 'Psychochild' Green" <brian at psychochild.org>

>> Why cripple yourself with that sort of low granularity?  Why not
>> increase the granularity to something that people rolling dice
>> would find unwieldy?  For example, use percentages.  Come up with
>> reasonalbe rules for automatic misses and critical hits.
>> Something that isn't limited to steps of 5% granularity.

>> For example, in Meridian 50 we used a "d1000".  We had several
>> factors that weren't quite so easy to calculate, but that were
>> still intuitive to the player (IE, having higher weapon skill
>> allowed you to hit more often.)  Using a d20 based system would
>> have made the combat system worse, IMNSHO.

> In fact, why go with a dX system at all?  If you have some
> familiarity with math, you can use a system that gives you the
> behavior you want, and drop worrying about how it maps to an
> N-sided polyhedron.

> For example, in Cosm we decided we want the chance of success on a
> skill to be proportional to the ratio (skill level)/(skill level +
> difficulty).  This way an increasing skill increases the chance of
> success, but there is never either a certainty of success or
> certainty of failure.

Yep.  I suggested exactly that on this list a few years ago.  See:


Shawn Halpenny replied back then that he was already using a similar

There's no need to limit yourself to systems that can be easily
handled in a paper RPG for a computer RPG.  A couple of other
examples of such things that can be painful in a paper RPG, but
useful in a computer one are:

 - Systems where "dice rolls" are based on a fixed seed, in order to
 create reproducible results.  (Raph mentioned that UO was moved to
 such a system in order to make sitting and doing a skill over and
 over in a safe place less effective.)

 - Complex systems of skill defaults.  See, for example, TubMUD's
 skill system.

       |\      _,,,---,,_     Travis S. Casey  <efindel at earthlink.net>
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