[MUD-Dev] Scripting Languages and Magic

Kwon J. Ekstrom justice at softhome.net
Fri Oct 10 10:01:39 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


I've been reading this thread, and finally found the time to post.

I was a guest on Rogue Winds when Scion was working on a system
that'd be good (imho) if it ever got completed.  Basically the
concept was that by chaining socials together, you could create
spells.  While Scion never completed the system, he did create some
rather interesting effects.  Such as farting, then pointing at
someone would send a cloud of green gas their way.

Anyhow, I'd like to expand on this by saying it'd be rather
interesting to use somatic, verbal, and material components.
Basically, you have a spell-state, and a variety of factors were
required to be in balance. Adding an effect that caused an imbalance
would negate the spell and potentially cause a backfire.

You can extend the system by adding new effects and updating the
various tables (I imagine you'd need to store component data on some
items, socials, and you'd want a word table that matches individual
words and phrases to specific effects)

You can add a waitstate, and/or mana for each component in the stack
(perhaps have some components that allocate mana, and if the
"required" mana was less than what you allocated, the spell fails)

Now, Balance has been a major issue in this thread, and I think that
using an internal spell-state and adding to it gives you a handle
for balance.  If any component in the spell goes higher than the
character is able to perform, then the spell fails (spell state is
inconsistent with character).  Additionally, poorly structured
spells are likely to be wasteful.  Finally, while the system could
get exceedingly complex, it would have a low learning curve.  I'd
suggest that 2 ways of casting spells be allowed.  Freeform, and
aliased.  You could use freeform to experiment with a spell, and
then alias it once you have it working.

Just a basic system outline, but it seems to fit the requirements.
It's (relatively) simple to implement and learn, is extendable, and
has handles in place for balance.

Personally, I don't think I'd implement player crafted spells/skills
for a variety of reasons.  What I use is javascript (Mozilla Rhino
actually) to handle the scripting actions.  I'm a big fan of using
standards so that my staff/players learn something they can use
later in life.

-- Kwon J. Ekstrom
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