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Is there enough audience for a comprehensive system?


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I've been contemplating adapting a generalized system for some time. I'd like to build a simple, consistent set of tools that could be adapted to the RP audience in general. 

Yes, I know it sounds vague. Let me give examples.

Every character using the system could customize their "stats" like strength and agility, store and improve specific skills and add new ones to the library, and use them in combat, social scenes or other situations. They would compare against appropriate skills (or default to relevant stats) if applied to another character.

The heart of the system would be a "rolling" engine to determine successes when not guaranteed. Armor and weapons would alter damage done, as would skill and strategy. Using a skill would improve it over time, and there would be customization pools.

At it's simplest, players could set up a situation and let the engine report the success/failure; at it's most complex foreseeable (though we know someone will surpass that), HUDs would allow pseudo-real-time meelee complete with animations of blocking and ripostes and feints, dynamically determined to show success or failure, and damage wouldn't just be "you die". Successful attacks would make a character weaker, slower, even less perceptive from pain distraction.

Yes, that's a hell of a lot of development in terms of scripting, of animations, of applicable equipment and zones, and external database maintenance and counter-hacking methods, but I really believe all this is do-able.

It's just not something most people would bother with. If it's really going to work, there will need to be real investment, and not just one guy working on it. I'd like to set up a project on Kickstarter.com to fund it, so we can get a starter sim and people to do the work professionally, but I still don't have a good feel for the scope of interest. 

Are there enough people who might actually contribute? Who might use it in their own sims? 

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Are you talking about actual combat or just roleplay combat through text? If it's the first, it's already been done by several in the game I believe. but if it's the second, it could be interesting but not sure enough people do the RP only aspect without actual combat to make it worth it.

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I mean a system that could be used for either. 

Let me abstract it for you. I set up a thief character with low strength stats, high agility/dexterity stats, good intellectual stats. I give her skills in picking locks and pockets, in hiding and getting lost in a crowd, and in running.

You set up a big barbarian with great strength and health, decent agility/dex, and tolerable presence. You give him great skills in brawling with some concentration in a few weapons like spear and axe, some intimidation, and some observation. You buy him leathers and an axe. We each set ourselves interactive, which means vulnerable to others' skills; this can be turned off for purer role-playing, but loses the faster route to increase scores through use.

You walk him into a bar and buy a drink. I walk by and try to pick your pocket.

This triggers several evaluations. Do I succeed? (My skill, modified by your armor.) Do you notice? (Your observation skill vs my pocket picking.)

Possible outcomes:

1) I get something (only stuff you mark as ok, or fabricated from a pool of "karma" used for this sort of thing), and you don't notice - I walk away richer. 

2) I get something, but you notice. Now I can run for it and have subsequent rolls to see if you can lay hands on me, or if I can get lost in the crowd. Complex, would require some HUDs and/or creative interfaces, but those time delays become part of the game. 

3) I fail to get anything, but you don't notice. I can try again or wander off.

4) I fail to getanything, but you DO notice. see #2.

In every case, both players have had at least one opportunity each to roll using a skill. Every roll includes a chance to increase that skill. Any increase pays "karma" to both players, which can be used to improve rolls, spent to increase skills, or tapped to provide results, such as creating the beads I stole from your pocket. 

Yes, the options would need to be considered in advance. Entire encounters could be prewritten as standard events, and players could list their preferred behaviors in standard situations. Long way to go? yes, but that's the point.

In cases of actual combat, two guys duking it out, then each has a chance to hit the other, but can shift points to defense to make it harder to be hit, at the cost of making it harder to make a hit. Get your skill high enough, you dosdge like Spider Man and swing like Captain America (and yes, it would work just fine for superhero sims). Soft armor increases your dodge, hard armor also counts against damage delivered, though reduces your mobility. Weapons can increase your effective skill and certainly change the way damage is applied.

Damage is mostly fatigue, wearing you down, but depending on the attributes of the wepon would also include a loss of real health, of strength, of agility... Stuff a computer can randomly apply according to rules. "Death" is character inactivity, but depending on local implementation could be a simple teleport home, or a more elaborate collapse until priests or medics can revive the avatar. 

What I'm talking about is a system and the tools to implement it. A standard, and some examples. I'd like to build a Roman style arena, and start with bare fisticuffs until we can get more elaborate armor and weapons implemented.

Wow. Long, rambling response. Thanks for the question, though. :)

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I don't know much about meters since I never use them and don't play in sims taht use them ... but from what I do know is, that such stats seem to be already in at least some of them. I guess it is needed for metered combat as it would give a numerical value the fight system can use to determine the outcome.

Now of course I prefer text RP and determing everything in RP through the RP itself and the things people write as a cooperative story of sorts. Some text RP sims have however also used simple stat systems. One that is still around (however changing to a new setting and with new owners so the system might change) is 'Perdition'. However for a text RP sim some HUD based stat system would not add any value as the stat would not be tied to any system that needs a numerical value to determine any outcme and it would hang over peoples heads cvering the world up in text. The usual way to do this is to put the stats into a pic in the profile that people playing in a RP sim have anyway. People can just look there when they need but such stats are more important for the one who plays the character as a guildeline then for others to see I would say.

Adding a hud to a text RP would jsut add useless scripts, lag and bring back what was already a problem in some RP sims I have seen ... people with book like texts floating above them .. or multicolored and blinking titlers that somtiems had info in them that had absolutely nothing in it that could be reacted to or that other people would simply not know ....


The less huds the better :matte-motes-wink-tongue:

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