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1  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / commands on: 29 August 2002, 18:35:00
Many MUDs have a 'commands' command, that shows all commands available to the user.  I'm not sure how they handle this, but it doesn't seem like it'd be that difficult to make an object-oriented system display a list of its potential keywords.  Just search the code for cin statements, really...

2  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / Life? on: 31 August 2002, 23:40:00
Er... the song's line is "...to the gravity of love"... (re: user signature)

3  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / fixed? on: 29 August 2002, 18:07:00
A few games I've played had fixed HP totals; essentially, your physical stats (strength & constitution, primarily) and your will stat determined your durability.  The numbers weren't everything; certain races had different hp totals for the same (numerically) stats, representing things like size or more efficient arterial systems (self-rerouting blood, fast scabbing, etc).  
Weapon damage was also based primarily on physical characteristics (size, weight, balance, edge), meaning there weren't logical fallacies like a nonmagical dagger doing far more damage than a bastard sword, simply because of its 'level'- a primary component for this sort of system to work.  Of course, magic could still boost a dagger above a bastard sword...
Basically, more powerful characters did better in combat because their stats improved (thus raising their hp and other combat abilities) as they played.  Skill improvement also distinguished a novice from a veteran; even with nothing but a rapier, a swordmaster should always beat out a broadsword wielding neophyte barbarian.  Realistic?  Probably not.  But I'm not here because I want *full* reality.

4  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / Arcanum on: 29 August 2002, 17:51:00
Actually, it's already been done.  Check out Arcanum and the Fallout series (1 and 2) for an example of statistically modified path-based dialogue.  Far, far better than the D&D clones.

5  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / pi.com on: 29 August 2002, 18:47:00
You realize, of course, we're on a worldwide network of computers, which are mathematical proccessing machines... Despite all the porn sites, it is quite possible to find useful information out here.  Or pi to 10000 places.

6  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / errors on: 29 August 2002, 18:30:00
Actually, a lot of MUDs have embraced highly variable error messages.  The best system I've seen thus far for directional error messages checks the terrain of the room you're in, and chooses from a set appropriate to that kind of area- unlikely you'd see a patch of poison ivy in the middle of the ocean, after all.  Command-error messages can get irritating if they're obscure... Entering a command you're unsure about, and getting an echo that sounds like you've actually accomplished something makes it difficult.  While creative messages are wonderful, incomprehensible or misleading ones really suck.

7  Santharian Game Projects / General Game Discussions & Newbie Area / um, yeah... on: 29 August 2002, 18:22:00
On the top end of stat complexity is a system I composed myself; it uses eight primary stats, with three 'factors'- substats- for each.  Basically, the factor value and skill values are added together, along with a multiplier based on skill mastery- as you can see, it gets quite complicated quite quickly.  This is only further compounded by the derived stats (Body, Mind, Spirit, each of which has two seperate ratings- stamina and vitality). I intend on using it if I am ever able to design a codebase myself; unlikely, but hey, I can hope.  
The nice thing about the system is that the players can choose how much they want to know; they can have a simple set of descriptive texts (You're remarkably strong, extremely agile, slow-witted, of impressive presence... etc), all the way up to a complete list of the numerical values of each of their factors.  Something for everyone.
At the extreme opposite end of the spectrum is the Tri-Stat system in use for BESM RPG (Big Eyes, Small Mouth- generic anime with kits for most popular series).  This divides everything up into Physical, Mental, and Spiritual with perks and flaws to represent specific abilities (ie, strong but slow or weak but fast).  Yes, I did borrow heavily from this concept in designing my own...
It's very simple, but gets the job done just as well as a more complicated system.  It's all about what you feel comfortable with.

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