[MUD-Dev] Character skill distribution and trade-offs

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Fri Jun 7 15:48:36 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

Thursday, June 06, 2002, 8:05:17 PM, Ron Gabbard wrote:
> From: "Sean Kelly" <sean at hoth.ffwd.cx>

> I've heard the 'saving throw' suggestion from a number of people
> on this topic and it is a viable option.  With a skill like
> 'mesmerization', how high do you need to make the resist rate in
> order for that skill not to dominate other player skills or the
> content? 5%? 20%?  50%?  If you have to have the resist rate so
> high that the chance of it working is a coin toss, is it worth
> even implementing?

The only real answer is, "it depends."  How often can someone
mesmerize?  How long does it last?  What size groups of foes are
normally encountered?  How easy is it for an enemy to break others
out of being mesmerized?

> Personally, I like a little randomness in things as it shakes up
> certainty.  However, there comes a point where the impact of
> randomness can be too high so as to become to influencer in
> determining outcomes... and battles being determined by the gods
> of the RNG just doesn't seem fun.

In D&D, using things like hold person or charm person is a gamble --
there's the chance that foes will save and you'll have wasted a
spell, weighed against the chance that you'll take those foes out of
the fight instantly.  Even though those spells fail against even
low-level foes something like 20+% of the time, taking someone out
instantly can be valuable enough that people are willing to risk it.

Something else to consider is that saving throws don't necessarily
have to be all-or-nothing.  How well an opponent rolls against an
effect could determine the duration.  There's also the possibility
of lesser effects -- e.g., the character is confused for a moment
instead of completely mesmerized, or is slowed instead of being

Travis Casey
efindel at earthlink.net

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