[MUD-Dev] DGN: Chemistry based magic systems

Sellers Sellers
Thu Dec 6 17:58:25 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Bryan "Cyngon" Helmkamp wrote:

> If in the game would you have the equivalent of H2O, the easy
> thing to do with properties is just take 66% of what H's
> properties, and 33% of O's properties.  Upon further examination
> though, one element could be much larger than another and maybe
> that should make it have more influence on the properties.  Maybe
> elements also need a weight property.  Is this a good idea? bad
> idea?

Two properties of such a system that leap right out at me are:

  - Not all 'atoms' combine in the same way, and not all
  combinations are stable or useful.  (Even better, some
  combinations are *too* stable to be useful as a spell.)

  - Properties of 'molecules' do not correlate directly with
  properties of 'atoms.'  Consider that none of water's macroscopic
  properties remotely resembles hydrogen or oxygen's macroscopic
  properties, or even a blend of these two.

Turning the first one into a viable game system is probably in the
interesting, doable, and fun region.  Turning the second one into
gameplay would, I suspect, require a lot more work.  What are the
rules for spell-molecules?  In other words, what is the grammar (not
the syntax) that allows you form meaningful molecule-spells out of
magic-atoms?  Resolve that question and you may have a nifty,
agglutinative, and player-researchable system on your hands.

Mike Sellers
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