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Old 06-02-2003, 03:27 PM   #1
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I've been thinking for a while what it would take to make things a bit more realistic for the generic physical stats. I came up with this half-done system that could let you actually have different "physiques" for differently played characters.

Strength: The strength stat would be split into two parts, the first being total muscle mass, the second being the ratio between slow-twitch (weightlifter) muscle, and fast-twitch (sprinter) muscle. Of course, there'd have to be a maximum of muscle-mass possible on a body. As you do certain tasks, your total muscle mass will increase, and either slow-twitch (STM from now on) or fast-twitch (FTM) will go up. When you stop doing physical activity for a while, your muscle mass will slowly decrease, possibly replaced by fat. This could all be shown when you look at someone as several different body types, set by immortals, making a person's appearance much more fluid and realistic. Maybe you could even have different limbs keep their own stats, so as to have even more realism?

Speed: Reaction and movement speed would be determined by the extra mass (fat, taller stature, equipment, other people...) you carry, and the amount and type of muscle on your body. FTM would contribute to your speed in general, and STM to the ability to carry more without effects on your speed.

I'm not sure exactly how to do constitution/endurance, except by splitting it up into other things. Pain tolerance could be a skill or a stat, depending on how you look at it. Poison/disease resistance would be a stat. Physical endurance, ie, hitpoints... I have to say I'd rather not have that improve much beyond what you're born with. A slit throat will kill a professional wrestler just as well as a middle-aged office worker. However, muscle, skin, and fat does protect a little, so there has to be something in there. Of course, you may just leave your hitpoints alone...

All of the numbers I'd leave out of players hands. I hate numbers, and I like the way some MUDs are abandoning showing your stats. It'd also be much more easily exploited, and ruin the point of having such a complex system, that is to make things look reasonably realistic to the end audience, if people were able to exploit it by crunching numbers.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 06-03-2003, 10:36 AM   #2
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DM has done a bit of what you're talking about, or at least we don't just have the typical D&D stats and leave it at that.

We don't really have the split-up of str that you're talking about, however, your max carry weight is determined by not just str, but also size, and (I think) your con. Instead of just having dex, we have dex and agility. (Dex determines the ease of doing fine movements/manipulations such as those needed for some crafts or juggling, and agil factors in when trying to avoid damage in combat, as well as for stuff like climbing and acrobatics.) Con determines to some extent how much hp you have (although we have no visible measure of hp) as well as how much damage you take when a blow hits you, and resillience determines how fast you heal from your damage. (Con also determines how fast you get drunk/high, and resil determines how fast you sober up afterwards.) We also have a lot of stats for senses (detail vision, distance vision, night vision, hearing, smell) which determine everything from how far you can see in the wilderness to how well you can learn a language. (Depending on the sense, of course.) Stats in general determine your aptitudes for various skills, which basically just means if you have a low apt, a skill is hard to learn at first but you can theoretically get it higher than someone with a more normal apt, even though you'll still not be more effective than someone with a higher apt and less skill. Oh, and the only way your stats can change is if you cast a (temporary) spell to do so, or as you age your physical stats will go down while your mental/magical stats will go up.

Of course the system could be a lot more complicated even than that though. (Side note: If you're going to have exercise increase muscles, there's gotta be SOME limit on it or everyone will constantly be bodybuilding to the point you'll have gnomes able to lift a horse.) For instance, in your scenario, if you have fat then in addition to lack of exercise, eating certain foods consistently would also produce fat. And you'd hafta have a sort of background stat called "metabolism" or somesuch, to explain why some people get fat with no effort and some can eat chocolate cake every day and never gain a pound.

I think with your hp example, you'd probably want excessive amounts of muscle/fat to slightly protect from damage, but not to decrease the amount of damage if someone's bound and determined to slit their throat. For instance if a guy has 3 chins, it might be a bit harder to *find* his throat, but once you do he's still gonna bleed to death. (Perhaps there could be some kind of "anatomy" skill that assassins would want to learn to make sure they don't botch up trying to assassinate some overfed noble.)

As for exercise, exactly what would constitute it? Would just walking around help a little, or would you need to actively go out and climb over cliffs or swim the ocean or beat up tons of monsters? In a medieval society anyway, there probably wouldn't be gyms with workout equipment. So how do you keep the mages from all ending up fat because they tend to sit around on their asses more?

(Another side note: If you have various types of food increase or decrease fat production, why not go all out and give it other nutrients? So then for instance if you never eat fruit you'd eventually get scurvy, etc etc.) (Another side note: Can you imagine the weirdness if some people decided to play anorexic chars? It'd be entirely possible with all this other stuff going on.)

Ok, I think I've babbled enough now.
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Old 06-03-2003, 11:12 PM   #3
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I like your idea for metabolism. As for excercise, everything you do will count towards a little. While you may not become the strongest person possible by working as a tailor, or a sheepherder, you wouldn't become a blob the way a merchant that's carried around on carts all day would. I think any magic use could be considered physically stressful, and while you're not lifting much, some tomes are pretty heavy, and you do have to walk around _some_. You'd also be spending all your money on all this magical equipment, and not have much for very luxuriant foods, and maybe you have a bit of extra knowledge about nutrition to cut off a bit of fat from anything you're eating? Would be interesting to add spells to make magicians who are lazy enough to use their magic for ordinary tasks pay for their actions. Remember the floating guy in Dune?

I think the only people who would get really fat in a good simulation of a medieval society would be merchants, bishops/lazy priests, shopkeepers (maybe), and nobles. If you make the IC day long enough, you could keep a player busy enough to be able to keep in shape. You'd have to balance the gains in muscle really well in order to not make those tailors look like master swordsmen, or morbidly obese pigs, though. Weigh all the activities against inactivity, and make it average out for a generally but not extremely active person. Tough, but not impossible, I think.
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Old 06-04-2003, 12:31 AM   #4
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My personal favorite stat system is off of Warhammer. If I were to build my own mud, I'd start from there.

It allows for strength, movement, weapon and bow skills, initiatives, int and wis .... I've not found a better system yet. If I could convince our IMP to change the stat system, that is where I would aim him.
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Old 06-05-2003, 07:14 PM   #5
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I think the key thing to notes about stat systems (and you guys bring up some great points) is to develop them for the target environment.

There is no "best" stat system. If your developing a political intrigue mud, you may only want 1 or 2 physical stats, and instead focus the microscope on mental/personality stats. Or, on the other hand, you may decide that mental/personality aspects should come through roleplay (still working on the same imaginary mud), and thus avoid them all together.

Also, on the subject of stat displays... I imagine a nice system might be to utilize the now common alphabetical displays ("You have godlike strength" etc...), except to only display them for the top few stats... After all, if I'm a weight lifter, I'm more likely to have a good idea of how big and buff I am then my IQ. However, if my craft focused on intellectual prowess, it'd be a good idea to keep my IQ numbers handy. Thus, you can still give the player a good feel without messing things up and allowing min/maxers.
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Old 06-28-2003, 06:26 PM   #6
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For a Combat related MUD my flatmate and I tried to implement a system that also used *umm* think it was called players option from AD&D, this wasn't quite enough for us so we started adding extras we wanted, like stun, works like HPS, 'cept starts at 0, different weapons (and actions - falling) do different proportions of damage, a sword may do 10 real, and 1 stun damage (NOTE: this is simplified for the example) so a char with 100HP/0stun initially would end up 90/1, when the amt of stun goes above the current HP they pass out, there were buffers that depended on willpower and con that tried to represent the ability to hold off unconciousness.
 Since that seemed to work OK, (not without some complaints from people who stupidly went into a fight with 10 less stun than they had HPs) we looked at others, fatigue for example, same deal as stun but applied to MVs, as a player got more and more fatigued they started to get tired more quickly, stun increased by greater amounts, combat actions started to get delayed, the ability to hold of KO was lessend, and if you could use magic, it got more costly, and easier to make mistakes, when it exceeded cuurent MVs then it required willpower to force yourself to keep moving and the stun started to go up. It was possible to run yourself into the ground, and losing unconsiousnees is a bad thing when being hunted (Well DUH - obviuosly)
[code] For those interested;
The stun, and fatigue (and fear which I will get to) were all stored as floats, so they could increase by 0.001 each room. But were cast as ints for comparisons.[/quote]
finally we had fear, this was more complex as it didn't really have a stat to match against, and we decided that fatigue would have a negative impact on fear as well, "Yes, that guy is really scarey, but I am too bloody tired to care *shrug*", also events/encoiunters that increased fear also had a check, if your fear suddenly jumped up by 50% of your max then you had a chance of passing out in shock (again usually fatal, if you are alone, if it is that scarey then chances are it is dangerous too)

Admittedly the machine we were running on was a research machine at uni, with 1Gb of ram, so we went a little crazy as far as char record size goes, storing how often a character has defeated a given mob "familiarity breeds contempt.....and so on", unfortuanately we didn't manage to get a working backup *SCREAM*, I have 2 useless CD's and he has one, before the sys admin nazi deleted it after graduation.  

Just a few ideas for the curious.
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