RPGs in IF.

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pblock

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Dec 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/5/00
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The previous thread got me thinking about which table top role-playing games
would work in IF.

The answer is obvious: FUDGE

What's that? You've never heard of FUDGE? Well, learn about it here:
http://www.fudgerpg.com/fudge/

Basically it's a simple, universal role playing game. But it's well-suited
to IF use for a number of reasons.

The first reason is the system. It uses a seven-step rating system for
everything. Stats, tasks etc are rated from 3 to -3 which uses words to
make them easy to remember and understand.

+3 Excellent
+2 Great
+1 Good
+0 Fair
-1 Mediocre
-2 Poor
-3 Terrible

To perform an action, four dice are rolled with a result of "+", "-" or "_"
(blank) possibile, the pluses and minuses shift the character's stat up or
down on the scale from the character's stat.

e.g. a character with a stat of "Good" attempts an action and gets "+,+,_,-"
which adds up to "+1" which gives a "great" result from the good stat.

conversely, had the dice added up to "-1" the result would be "Fair"

What does this do for IF?

I noticed that most IF ppl disliked the randomness in table-top RPGs.
Imagine, then the effect FUDGE could have on that.

The character is on a rooftop and must attempt to jump to the next roof. A
Good result means you make it easily, a fair means you nearly miss, but
managed to grab the roof edge but are dangling by you fingernails, a poor
means you fall, land on the fire escape on the way down. Terrible means you
hit the street and probably die.

Now imagine the possibilities that can be done with this. If the stat is
lower than what is necessary for minimal success, the game can warn you.

"It looks pretty far. You sure you want to jump?"

This concept can be used w/o the randomness, with the straight stat as the
result.

And so on, use your imagination. The set seven steps for results allows for
various results that can be anticipated, or not (such as, good or better is
a success, below is failure, etc)

The other reason FUDGE is perfect for IF is that it's free! That's right,
unlike D&D, which could nail you for copyright infingment, FUDGE is freely
usable (with certain restrictions, see the link for details)

Anyone have any comments, questions?

Jasper McChesney

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Dec 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/5/00
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pblock wrote:
>
> The previous thread got me thinking about which table top role-playing games
> would work in IF.
>
> The answer is obvious: FUDGE

Hmm, that really doesn't make any sense to me. THe entire point of IF
is
to tell a story. Fudge, by default is storiless. It's a system, not an
adventure in itself. If you're just advocating making adventures using
that system on the computer, I have to ask "why?" Computers are capable
of much more complicated simulations than a couple of people could ever
stand to go through (or have the time for). Why limit the game using
such abstract mechanics?

pblock

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Dec 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/5/00
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"Jasper McChesney" <jas...@student.umass.edu> wrote in message
news:3A2DB999...@student.umass.edu...

>
> Hmm, that really doesn't make any sense to me. THe entire point of IF
> is
> to tell a story. Fudge, by default is storiless. It's a system, not an
> adventure in itself.

....?

I can best answer that by saying that the purpose of *any* RPG is to tell a
story. The difference is that for the RPG, the GM must either purchase a
separate adventure or write his/her own whereas the IF author is the one who
writes the adventure.

>If you're just advocating making adventures using
> that system on the computer, I have to ask "why?" Computers are capable
> of much more complicated simulations than a couple of people could ever
> stand to go through (or have the time for). Why limit the game using
> such abstract mechanics?

This can be best answered with a question:

Why use a more complicated model? For what purpose?

I've been dabbling in world models for the purpose of RPGs and have come to
the conclusion that the only thing a more complex model gives you is more
math to do to make it work. A more complex system is not a more realistic
system. Realism, I've discovered, is in the eye of the beholder.

Anyway, I am partially testing the water to see how receptive IF players are
to the idea.

So far I'm met with resistence. I can't help but feel this is just initial
prejudice. I mean, they told The Beatles that guitar groups were on their
way out and were wrong. But then, they told Marcus Wahl Weissman that the
calibrated pickney flange was completely useless-- they were right!

Part of the reason why I'm considering adding RPG mechanics to IF is because
I remember player IF as a kid and remember that in many cases it was mostly
a game of guess-the-word or even read-the-author's-mind.

One game in particular has a dragon blocking my way. I remeber trying like
mad trying to figure out how to get past the damned thing. I found various
objects that could perceivably kill a dragon, but none of them worked.
Whenever I typed KILL DRAGON the game responded WITH WHAT? MY BARE HANDS?
Finally beyond frustrated, I typed Y. It responded CONGRATULATIONS! YOU"VE
JUST KILLED A DRAGON WITH YOUR BARE HANDS!

The humor in this situation was completely lost on me. I was upset that
this puzzled, as it were was merely an exercise to see how frustrated the
player can get before they try the suggested and wholely illogical,
unrealistic and just plain stupid action.

RPG mechanics lend a structured "reality" that the author can utilize, and
perhaps make a more sound set of actions for a piece of IF. Or, at least,
will force the author to consider possibilities that might've gotten
overlooked since with stats, a player is likely to use them in situations
and they are possibilities that will probably have to be taken into account.

Not that an IF author can't do this w/o a set of mechanics like FUDGE, but
it will only work as well as the author's ability to remember to think ahead
on such things is.

Besides, using mechanics with a random element can enhance the game a bit.
Take the roof jumping example in my first post. Say that the author decided
that, since he decided to have a possibility to land on the fire escape, he
added an open window which leads to a room with a special object or secret
or something else that's helpful, although unessential to finishing the
game.

I firmly believe there's possibility to this. Perhaps someone should write
one and see.

What? Me?

Now you're talking crazy ;-)

Paul E. Bell

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Dec 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/5/00
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I can see where this could come in handy, in a limited number of IF
games. I have seen something similar, even in Infocom games, but,
usually it had something to do with having forgotten a spell, not being
able to remember any more than a certain number of spells, or somesuch.

Where the levels could be useful would be in supporting the ability to
learn things, based on current abilities and experience, possibly
possessions, as well.

I agree, though, so far, there have been few uses of random events, in
relation to the player being able to do something. I would like to see
a successful implementation that remains in the IF form, but, perhaps
allows different paths to be taken, based on a bit of randomness. (I am
reminded of the spinning room in one of the Zork games.)

PKodon/Helios

Andrew MacKinnon wrote:

> pblock wrote:
>
>> The answer is obvious: FUDGE
>
>

> Is not. The answer is based on what's already happened in the game and
> the situation. Role plaing games are completely different from
> interactive fiction.


>
>
>> The first reason is the system. It uses a seven-step rating system for
>> everything. Stats, tasks etc are rated from 3 to -3 which uses words to
>> make them easy to remember and understand.
>>
>> +3 Excellent
>> +2 Great
>> +1 Good
>> +0 Fair
>> -1 Mediocre
>> -2 Poor
>> -3 Terrible
>>
>> To perform an action, four dice are rolled with a result of "+", "-" or "_"
>> (blank) possibile, the pluses and minuses shift the character's stat up or
>> down on the scale from the character's stat.
>>
>> e.g. a character with a stat of "Good" attempts an action and gets "+,+,_,-"
>> which adds up to "+1" which gives a "great" result from the good stat.
>>
>> conversely, had the dice added up to "-1" the result would be "Fair"
>
>

> Dice? This is interactive fiction, not a board game. I don't think that
> this would be very good to change the player's abilities mid-game for no
> reason. Mind, it would be even worse if you *knew* about the dice...
> Luck versus Bad Luck makes a bad game. Just deal with situation.


>
>
>> What does this do for IF?
>>
>> I noticed that most IF ppl disliked the randomness in table-top RPGs.
>> Imagine, then the effect FUDGE could have on that.
>
>

> What? Most interactive fiction rarely or never uses randomness.


>
>
>> The character is on a rooftop and must attempt to jump to the next roof. A
>> Good result means you make it easily, a fair means you nearly miss, but
>> managed to grab the roof edge but are dangling by you fingernails, a poor
>> means you fall, land on the fire escape on the way down. Terrible means you
>> hit the street and probably die.
>>
>> Now imagine the possibilities that can be done with this. If the stat is
>> lower than what is necessary for minimal success, the game can warn you.
>>
>> "It looks pretty far. You sure you want to jump?"
>
>

> This idea seems stupid to me. In normal IF, you have one character that
> has certain abilities. This is Interactive Fiction, not a board game.
> Interactive Fiction isn't random like this either. Realize this is
> interactive fiction, not roleplaying games.


--
Paul E. Bell | Email and AIM: wd0...@millcomm.com | ifMUD: Helios
IRC: PKodon, DrWho4, and Helios | webpage: members.nbci.com/wd0gcp/
Member: W.A.R.N., Skywarn, ARES, Phoenix Developer Consortium, ...
_____ Pen Name/Arts & Crafts signature:
| | _ \ _ _ |/ _ _(
| | (_X (_/`/\ (_) (_` |\(_) (_) (_|_) (/`
)


Gabe McKean

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Dec 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/5/00
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The more I think about this idea, the more interesting it sounds. There's
long been a debate on this group about the merits of IF as 'simulation,' and
I think you may have hit upon a new angle to it. Most IF games have some
degree of simulation to them; the most commonly cited example is the
get/drop interface which allows you to take any movable object and put it
pretty much anywhere you want, even if the author never intended you to put
it there. Adding FUDGE-style stats could be a way to add a new dimension of
simulation to a game. Of course, there are potential drawbacks to look out
for:

1. FUDGE, and RPG systems in general, presupposes the existence of multiple
objects or characters within a class. Thus, the distinction between, say, a
'great' sword and 'mediocre' one. However, the scope of most IF games is
limited enough so that there is usually one, or at most a very few, objects
within a class. ie. if you only have one elven sword in the whole game, it
doesn't make much sense to have a system describing the quality of different
kinds of swords.

2. Randomness as a means of altering the course of a story is interesting,
and deserves to be looked into, but it needs to be handled well or else it
will just annoy the player. If you haven't already done so, read Graham
Nelson's "The Craft of Adventure." One of his 'Player's Rights' is "not to
depend too much on luck." He gives an example from Adventure in which a
player has to carry a jar of bees for several turns that have a small chance
of dying each turn.

3. As with all simulationist ideas, you have to be careful that you do not
ruin the story-telling aspects of IF. A stat-system with a random component
can allow the player to interact with your world in a more free-form,
realistic way, but how do you tell a coherent story in such a world? Of
course it's possible, but it can be tricky.

Andrew MacKinnon

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Dec 5, 2000, 7:47:49 PM12/5/00
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--
Andrew MacKinnon
http://www.geocities.com/andrew_mackinnon_2000/
(Please remove NOSPAM from e-mail address above)

Justin Case

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Dec 5, 2000, 10:02:38 PM12/5/00
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On Wed, 06 Dec 2000 00:47:49 GMT, Andrew MacKinnon
<andre...@hotmailNOSPAM.com> wrote:

...snip...

=>Is not. The answer is based on what's already happened in the game
and
=>the situation. Role plaing games are completely different from
=>interactive fiction.

...snip...

=>Dice? This is interactive fiction, not a board game. I don't think
that
=>this would be very good to change the player's abilities mid-game
for no
=>reason. Mind, it would be even worse if you *knew* about the dice...
=>Luck versus Bad Luck makes a bad game. Just deal with situation.

...snip...

=>What? Most interactive fiction rarely or never uses randomness.

...snip...

=>This idea seems stupid to me. In normal IF, you have one character
that
=>has certain abilities. This is Interactive Fiction, not a board
game.
=>Interactive Fiction isn't random like this either. Realize this is
=>interactive fiction, not roleplaying games.

WOW!

Talk about being closed-minded. And, IMHO, basically incorrect in
several respects. Besides which, so many cries of "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!"
in what is *supposed* to be a creative community seems
counter-productive and contradictory.

Personally, I would very much enjoy a peice of IF which integrated a
few traditional boardgame elements, e.g., dice, or cards.

If IF has reached the stage where it is not permitted to incorporate
new elements, then maybe it's time to look for a new hobby. <g>


Peace,
Justin Case
"To the least among you, give the greatest gift." -- ancient proverb

pblock

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Dec 6, 2000, 12:14:10 AM12/6/00
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"Justin Case" <bor...@tedious.net> wrote in message
news:3a2dd10...@news.ptd.net...

> WOW!
>
> Talk about being closed-minded. And, IMHO, basically incorrect in
> several respects. Besides which, so many cries of "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!"
> in what is *supposed* to be a creative community seems
> counter-productive and contradictory.

Yeah, but don't worry about it. New ideas (no matter how old) tend to meet
with a bit of resistence from the establishment.

The funny thing is, the greatest opposers can sometimes wind up the greatest
champions.

Look at Paul.

He didn't think rock music would go anywhere, but now he's a legend and
still playing it, baby! ;-)

> Personally, I would very much enjoy a peice of IF which integrated a
> few traditional boardgame elements, e.g., dice, or cards.

Actually, the mention of dice would be a randomizer for task resolution, as
dice are used in table top RPGs

But that's a neat idea, too. Run with it.

> Peace,
> Justin Case

War
pblock


pblock

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Dec 6, 2000, 12:25:16 AM12/6/00
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"Paul E. Bell" <wd0...@millcomm.com> wrote...

> I can see where this could come in handy, in a limited number of IF
> games. I have seen something similar, even in Infocom games, but,
> usually it had something to do with having forgotten a spell, not being
> able to remember any more than a certain number of spells, or somesuch.
>
> Where the levels could be useful would be in supporting the ability to
> learn things, based on current abilities and experience, possibly
> possessions, as well.

Hmmm...
All of what you've mentioned here is *very* *strongly* based on Dungeons &
Dragons, with the spell remembering and the levels for character
improvement.

I personally think that, although D&D isn't a bad game per se, there are a
lot of better games out there and a few that are better suited to
implimentation in IF, FUDGE being my best example so far. (see link in
original post)

Experience/level and such is something I've been trying to get away from in
table-top RPGs, personally. IF can easily impliment RPG mechanics while
doing away with the need for level raising or gaining new skills or
whatever. Moreso than table top RPGs, anyway.

> I agree, though, so far, there have been few uses of random events, in
> relation to the player being able to do something. I would like to see
> a successful implementation that remains in the IF form, but, perhaps
> allows different paths to be taken, based on a bit of randomness. (I am
> reminded of the spinning room in one of the Zork games.)

Yes. I'm sure there are more uses for such a thing (besides combat, of
course)


Martin Julian DeMello

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Dec 6, 2000, 12:34:42 AM12/6/00
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pblock <eev...@dreamscape.com> wrote:

> One game in particular has a dragon blocking my way. I remeber trying
> like mad trying to figure out how to get past the damned thing. I found
> various objects that could perceivably kill a dragon, but none of them
> worked. Whenever I typed KILL DRAGON the game responded WITH WHAT? MY
> BARE HANDS? Finally beyond frustrated, I typed Y. It responded
> CONGRATULATIONS! YOU"VE JUST KILLED A DRAGON WITH YOUR BARE HANDS!

Oooh - I remember this one! 'Twas one of the old BBC games - don't think it
was Sphinx Adventure, though it has the right 'feel'. Do you recall the
name?

> The humor in this situation was completely lost on me. I was upset that
> this puzzled, as it were was merely an exercise to see how frustrated the
> player can get before they try the suggested and wholely illogical,
> unrealistic and just plain stupid action.

I got a laugh out of it - it was silly, but not wholly illogical, due to the
whole 'I slew him with my bare hands' cliche.

--
Martin DeMello

Richard Bos

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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"pblock" <eev...@dreamscape.com> wrote:

> Look at Paul.

Which of the two?

> He didn't think rock music would go anywhere, but now he's a legend and
> still playing it, baby! ;-)

I can think of two Pauls that are legends and still play. I don't think
either thought rock would go nowhere.

> > Personally, I would very much enjoy a peice of IF which integrated a
> > few traditional boardgame elements, e.g., dice, or cards.
>
> Actually, the mention of dice would be a randomizer for task resolution, as
> dice are used in table top RPGs

This could be used, but you would have to be _very_ careful. It is
really easy to make the outcome of a game depend, in toto, more on the
throw of the dice than on the player's stats. Idealiter, it should
always be possible for the player to overcome any throw of the dice, by
solving an additional puzzle, perhaps; the most famous example, I think,
being that of a rock falling on your head depending on a die cast and
the PC's luck score - which should _always_ be circumventable by wearing
a hard hat or similar.
Killing or really seriously hampering an otherwise successful PC because
he happens to throw three ones may be acceptable in Rogue, but it isn't
in IF. Neither is having a bungler win just because he happens to throw
18. Adding a bit of semi-realistic variation to your PC's actions may
seem like a good idea, but it's very hard to make fair.

Richard

Richard Bos

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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"pblock" <eev...@dreamscape.com> wrote:

> One game in particular has a dragon blocking my way. I remeber trying like
> mad trying to figure out how to get past the damned thing. I found various
> objects that could perceivably kill a dragon, but none of them worked.
> Whenever I typed KILL DRAGON the game responded WITH WHAT? MY BARE HANDS?
> Finally beyond frustrated, I typed Y. It responded CONGRATULATIONS! YOU"VE
> JUST KILLED A DRAGON WITH YOUR BARE HANDS!

Oh, come on. You can't be serious. That's ADVENT. (It's "vanquished",
not "killed", btw; and they're "your" bare hands. There's a joke on
this, btw, if you try to kill the bear.)

> The humor in this situation was completely lost on me. I was upset that
> this puzzled, as it were was merely an exercise to see how frustrated the
> player can get before they try the suggested and wholely illogical,
> unrealistic and just plain stupid action.

Well, apart from the fact that ADVENT wasn't a rather early adventure,
but _the_ first adventure (and thus indeed somewhat primitive by today's
standards - and still more entertaining than many modern attempts!), I
think this is quite in line with he tone of the rest of the game; IIRC,
"yes" was the first thing I answered, out of whimsy. Sometimes you need
no better reason.

> RPG mechanics lend a structured "reality" that the author can utilize, and
> perhaps make a more sound set of actions for a piece of IF.

Hm... IME, the games that utilise stats require _less_ interesting
actions than others. Bash, Zap, and Run tend to be the most used ones.
"Plant the pot plant in the plant pot with the trowel" tends to be
rather too complicated to compute.
And then, of course, there is the fact that most IF plays out over a
short time period, with a fixed PC. After all, who would send a tourist
into a dragon-infested dungeon? Or a knight in full armour looking for a
map of Paris? _That_ would be unrealistic. This combination means that
there is usually no reason for the stats to vary during the game; and
that, again, means that the aspect of accident can be managed in a more
general, flexible and, in fact, more realistic way than through the
simple-minded application of dice and stats.

> Or, at least,
> will force the author to consider possibilities that might've gotten
> overlooked since with stats, a player is likely to use them in situations
> and they are possibilities that will probably have to be taken into account.

Oh, I dunno. No matter how strong, in a normal situation one human is
going to be able to carry one computer, but not one safe. There should
be no luck involved.

Your other idea - that of using luck to give the PC additional, but not
important, help or hinderment - does have some merit. It has to be done
_very_ well, though, if it is not to look like deus ex machina.

> I firmly believe there's possibility to this. Perhaps someone should write
> one and see.
>
> What? Me?

Yes; YKIYEI.

Richard

Martin Julian DeMello

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote:

> Oh, come on. You can't be serious. That's ADVENT. (It's "vanquished",
> not "killed", btw; and they're "your" bare hands. There's a joke on
> this, btw, if you try to kill the bear.)

Was that Advent? Doh - now I *really* feel stupid for not recognising it
right away

> KICK SELF

You have kicked yourself with your bare feet!

--
Martin DeMello

Matthew T. Russotto

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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In article <3a2e1371....@news.worldonline.nl>,

Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote:
}
}And then, of course, there is the fact that most IF plays out over a
}short time period, with a fixed PC. After all, who would send a tourist
}into a dragon-infested dungeon?

Me. And I'd charge admission.


--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

Kaia Vintr

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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Richard Bos wrote in message <3a2df613....@news.worldonline.nl>...

>This could be used, but you would have to be _very_ careful. It is
>really easy to make the outcome of a game depend, in toto, more on the
>throw of the dice than on the player's stats. Idealiter, it should
>always be possible for the player to overcome any throw of the dice, by
>solving an additional puzzle, perhaps; the most famous example, I think,
>being that of a rock falling on your head depending on a die cast and
>the PC's luck score - which should _always_ be circumventable by wearing
>a hard hat or similar.
>Killing or really seriously hampering an otherwise successful PC because
>he happens to throw three ones may be acceptable in Rogue, but it isn't
>in IF. Neither is having a bungler win just because he happens to throw
>18. Adding a bit of semi-realistic variation to your PC's actions may
>seem like a good idea, but it's very hard to make fair.

I somehow doubt that any actual game will result from this discussion but...

I think the only relevant question is this: how can I implement or replace a
human game master? Adding the principles and techniques of interactive
fiction to RPGs could result in greater coherrence and emphasis on story.
Other than that, I think it's a waste of time: no one really wants to play a
CRPG in which the only difference (from existing games) is that the
graphical interface has been replaced by a text-only one and I doubt whether
anyone has time for (excessively) randomized IF. The latter will just make
saving the game more of a necessity and make it harder to go back and
explore alternate plot-lines because the "dice" will inevitably keep serving
you the ones you've already played.


-K


Richard Bos

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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russ...@wanda.vf.pond.com (Matthew T. Russotto) wrote:

> In article <3a2e1371....@news.worldonline.nl>,
> Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote:
> }
> }And then, of course, there is the fact that most IF plays out over a
> }short time period, with a fixed PC. After all, who would send a tourist
> }into a dragon-infested dungeon?
>
> Me. And I'd charge admission.

Well, so would NetHack, but it's free. And addictive <g>.

But I've yet to play a tourist. I will, though. I want to be able to
pray to the Lady.

Richard

Paul E. Bell

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
to

pblock wrote:

> "Paul E. Bell" <wd0...@millcomm.com> wrote...
>
>> I can see where this could come in handy, in a limited number of IF
>> games. I have seen something similar, even in Infocom games, but,
>> usually it had something to do with having forgotten a spell, not being
>> able to remember any more than a certain number of spells, or somesuch.
>>
>> Where the levels could be useful would be in supporting the ability to
>> learn things, based on current abilities and experience, possibly
>> possessions, as well.
>
>
> Hmmm...
> All of what you've mentioned here is *very* *strongly* based on Dungeons &
> Dragons, with the spell remembering and the levels for character
> improvement.

I don't play d&d, don't know how they do things. I do play Zork games,
I doubt d&d invented using experience levels and learning things.


> I personally think that, although D&D isn't a bad game per se, there are a
> lot of better games out there and a few that are better suited to
> implimentation in IF, FUDGE being my best example so far. (see link in
> original post)

I'm not sure I like the randomness of your example, though. If I can
jump a 5' gap in the morning, it would be *bad* for me to come back in
the afternoon and plunge into the street, based upon the whims of a dice
roll (whether I knew about the dice, or not). It would be just as bad
to arbitrarily tell me that I could no longer jump that distance.

> Experience/level and such is something I've been trying to get away from in
> table-top RPGs, personally. IF can easily impliment RPG mechanics while
> doing away with the need for level raising or gaining new skills or
> whatever. Moreso than table top RPGs, anyway.

Here, I am looking at the simple expedience that, if you haven't read
the instruction book for running this machine, you will very likely not
push the right buttons, and, if it's been a while since you last looked
at the book, and you have only used the machine once, or not at all, you
probably will still mess it up, though perhaps not as bad. In such a
case, how badly you mess it up could be determined by some random
function, picking results from different lists, based on how long it's
been, or whether you have read the book. These things fit well with IF,
are not wholly random, and make some kind of sense to the player.

I just used magic spell learning as an example, since that was used in
the Zork and Enchanter games (as was some random combat, and the random
appearance of NPCs). The point with these games is, the whole game
isn't based on this kind of game mechanics, just a few items in the game.

>> I agree, though, so far, there have been few uses of random events, in
>> relation to the player being able to do something. I would like to see
>> a successful implementation that remains in the IF form, but, perhaps
>> allows different paths to be taken, based on a bit of randomness. (I am
>> reminded of the spinning room in one of the Zork games.)
>
>
> Yes. I'm sure there are more uses for such a thing (besides combat, of
> course)

Jasper McChesney

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
to
pblock wrote:
>
> I can best answer that by saying that the purpose of *any* RPG is to
> tell a story.

Yes, that's what I say: IF (and RPGs) are stories: FUDGE is not a story,
it is a system. What does FUDGE have to do with IF-RPGs?

> The difference is that for the RPG, the GM must either purchase a
> separate adventure or write his/her own whereas the IF author is the
> one who writes the adventure.

Um, how is a GM writing an adventure different from an IF author writing
one?

> > If you're just advocating making adventures using
> > that system on the computer, I have to ask "why?" Computers are capable
> > of much more complicated simulations than a couple of people could ever
> > stand to go through (or have the time for). Why limit the game using
> > such abstract mechanics?
>
> This can be best answered with a question:
>
> Why use a more complicated model? For what purpose?
>
> I've been dabbling in world models for the purpose of RPGs and have come to
> the conclusion that the only thing a more complex model gives you is more
> math to do to make it work.

What's wrong with more math? For a table-top RPG, I grant you that it is
problematic. But with a computer game, who cares?

> A more complex system is not a more realistic
> system. Realism, I've discovered, is in the eye of the beholder.

It depends. It's true that you can't take complexity too far, modelling
every little facet of the world. However, a lot of TT RPGs have *very*
simple rules that could easily be improved upon.


> Anyway, I am partially testing the water to see how receptive IF players are
> to the idea.
>
> So far I'm met with resistence. I can't help but feel this is just initial
> prejudice.

I've always been a supporter of the idea right from the start,
personally. My
only objection was your calling for the use of FUDGE.

> RPG mechanics lend a structured "reality" that the author can utilize, and

> perhaps make a more sound set of actions for a piece of IF. Or, at least,


> will force the author to consider possibilities that might've gotten
> overlooked since with stats, a player is likely to use them in situations
> and they are possibilities that will probably have to be taken into account.

This is true - IF puzzles are often not consistant.

Sean T Barrett

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
to
Kaia Vintr <ka...@xoe.com> wrote:
>I think the only relevant question is this: how can I implement or replace a
>human game master?

I'd argue that somebody asked that many years ago, and one result
was the modern text adventure--the other result was the roguelikes
and Temple of Apshai and such.

The latter allow for greater variation of player experience
by giving the player lots of choices (weapons, spells, armor)
within a very limited game mechanic (combat) based around
randomness (to make the best player choices less obvious).

The former uses a broader simulation--there are more kinds
of interactions--but trades away a lot of player freedom
within that simulation--there tends to be a planned path.
If a player misses a jump, a real life game master can
improvise a result and steer things back to a pre-planned
path. This allows coping with both randomness and player
improvisation. In a computer implementation, there would
simply become too many paths, or it would be necessary to
implement an incredibly deep simulation plus a game-master
AI that knows how to cheat behind the scenes to bring things
back on course.

I'm assuming here that you want to do it "right"--that
the author wants the player to be able to try the jump
and still win regardless of whether the player succeeds
at the jump or not.

But I'm serious. The computer in IF already *is* an attempt
at making a gamemaster. As I posted some time ago, look
no further than the form of the dialogue between player and
gamemaster--for example the use of 2nd person present tense.

SeanB

Trevor Barrie

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
to
In article <3A2E7FA5...@millcomm.com>,

Paul E. Bell <wd0...@millcomm.com> wrote:
>> All of what you've mentioned here is *very* *strongly* based on Dungeons &
>> Dragons, with the spell remembering and the levels for character
>> improvement.
>
>I don't play d&d, don't know how they do things. I do play Zork games,
>I doubt d&d invented using experience levels and learning things.

Well, D&D's rules about "memorizing" spells came from Jack Vance's
Dying Earth series; and while I don't know for sure, I'd say it's a
pretty safe guess that D&D got "experience levels" from tabletop
miniatures games. But D&D was a big factor in popularizing both,
particularly the former.

>I'm not sure I like the randomness of your example, though. If I can
>jump a 5' gap in the morning, it would be *bad* for me to come back in
>the afternoon and plunge into the street, based upon the whims of a dice
>roll (whether I knew about the dice, or not).

Yes and no. If the game tells you that casually hop over the gap, but
you plunge to your death next time, that's a problem. On the other hand,
if the game tells you that you push yourself to your absolute limit and
even then just barely manage to get a secure grip on the other side with
the tips of your fingers, you have no real reason to believe that you'll
be able to repeat that feat on a whim.

Of course, there's another problem - if the player knows that jumping
successfully is a matter of random chance, and really wants to jump that
gap, they'll just use undo or save-and-restore until they succeed. In
this case, all you've done is create an annoying inconvenience for the
player. But I expect it's possible to miminimize this effect: never
require a random result to win the game, and never allow a random result
to cause the game to immediately end unsuccessfully either.


Trevor Barrie

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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In article <90klcr$9b8$1...@leopard.it.wsu.edu>,

Gabe McKean <gmc...@wsu.edu> wrote:
>1. FUDGE, and RPG systems in general, presupposes the existence of multiple
>objects or characters within a class. Thus, the distinction between, say, a
>'great' sword and 'mediocre' one.

I'm not terribly familiar with the FUDGE rules, but I certainly don't see
how this is true of RPG systems in general.

Adam J. Thornton

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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In article <t2rit44...@corp.supernews.com>,

pblock <eev...@dreamscape.com> wrote:
>Experience/level and such is something I've been trying to get away from in
>table-top RPGs, personally. IF can easily impliment RPG mechanics while
>doing away with the need for level raising or gaining new skills or
>whatever. Moreso than table top RPGs, anyway.

If you are writing a game (story, piece of entertainment, play,
doohickey, dekunkelificator, whatever) that is going to have a random
component, and if that random component is something that is more
complicated than calling rand() in a couple of places in the game, then
it probably behooves you to use a consistent system of randomness
resolution.

Whether it is proper to have such randomness in a work of IF is an
entirely separate debate, and one I don't intend to address. However, I
assume that you have made the choice to have a game with several places
where some sort of resolution in which chance plays a part occurs.

In that case, FUDGE, since it is generic and free, is probably as good
as anything. In fact, if I ever get back to my Big Seekrit Project
(currently shelved because of lack of a market and lack of time on my
part), I intend to use FUDGE or a variant thereupon as my resolution
system.

My only problem with FUDGE is that it's overly generic--I find it a
great meta-rule framework, but basically it's an engine that lets me
write a game system, rather than a game system. That's not a problem
per se, but it does man more work. OTOH, the mechanics are simple and
consistent, so it's less work than, say, Rolemaster or AD&Dv1 would have
been.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell." -- Tom Waits

Adam J. Thornton

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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In article <90kj5i$50i$1...@joe.rice.edu>,

Martin Julian DeMello <mdem...@kennel.ruf.rice.edu> wrote:
>pblock <eev...@dreamscape.com> wrote:
>> One game in particular has a dragon blocking my way. I remeber trying
>> like mad trying to figure out how to get past the damned thing. I found
>> various objects that could perceivably kill a dragon, but none of them
>> worked. Whenever I typed KILL DRAGON the game responded WITH WHAT? MY
>> BARE HANDS? Finally beyond frustrated, I typed Y. It responded
>> CONGRATULATIONS! YOU"VE JUST KILLED A DRAGON WITH YOUR BARE HANDS!
>
>Oooh - I remember this one! 'Twas one of the old BBC games - don't think it
>was Sphinx Adventure, though it has the right 'feel'. Do you recall the
>name?
>

Actually, it's Crowther and Woods ADVENT.

The dragon has been there since Don Woods added the fantasy parts of the
cave in, what, 1977?

Gadget

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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On Tue, 5 Dec 2000 19:17:52 -0500, "pblock" <eev...@dreamscape.com>
made the world a better place by saying:

<snip FUDGE>

The rules in a tabletop RPG are there to make concrete situations
abstract enough to be handled in a fair and satisfying, fun way. They
are there both to make a player love his +8 mace because of it's
formalised perks *and* to deal with the use of that mace in a
concistent way, hereby avoiding the "You're dead!" "No I'm not!"
argument we all know from playing cowboys and indians.

Stats are a means to play a game, not an end in itself, just like the
parser is a tool and not a game.

If you insist on stats in a game, I would want them to be invisble
because they beak the flow of the game.

"I want to kill the dragon."
"Ok... Throw your twenty sided dice"
"I wanna throw my dagger.."
"Ok, but then you have to throw another dice."
"can't I just run away?"
"Sure but You'll Have To Roll The Dice!"

What I love about IF is that all this is done in the background in a
way that I don't want to know:

>Take the big rock.
The rock is too heavy to lift.
>Wear Glove Of Power, then take the big rock.
With the Glove of Power you feel a great strength surge through your
body.
You lift the rock and cary it around.

For all I know I have a 'strength' stat that increases in the
background. I don't care. All that counts is: Now I can carry the rock
and before I could not, and there is a consitent reason for it.

Stats are code.
Code is not play.

And what about combat?

I've been ranting long enough to cover that too:
I *don't* want to fight random battles in IF, nor do I want deal with
randomised, stats driven battle scenes. They cause random deaths. And
random deaths are nobody's fault but the author's. I don't mind dying
in a game if there is a *very* good reason for it. (and even then I
rather prefer LucasArts take on the whole death thing: they don't have
it).

Death affects the *player* not the Player Character. He or she will
not realy die, since there is always a restore or resurection
possible. They give the *player* something to lose: a lot of turns he
has to do over again and if I have to do that, I want a better reason
then "You're save throw failed and you lost your last healthpoint",
which is meaningless to *both* Player and Player Character.

If you want a realistic world with realistic interaction, I believe
stats can help you on the code side of things... It makes it possible
to code several solutions for a single problem. For example: the
player could use a potion of strength to increase his strength or wear
the glove of power. If you code it so that both increase the strength
stat and the strenghtstat must be at a certain level to do something:
it works well and the player now has two solutions to a problem,
giving him a deeper, more worked out world.

Stats for stats sake are boring and ruin both gameplay and story in a
text driven world.

At least for me.


--
"So... you've compiled your own Kernel... Your skills are now complete..."
-----------------
It's a bird
It's a plane
No it's... Gadget?

Village Magazine: http://www.villagemagazine.nl
To send E-mail: remove SPAMBLOCK from adress.

pblock

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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"Martin Julian DeMello" <mdem...@kennel.ruf.rice.edu> wrote in message
news:90kj5i$50i$1...@joe.rice.edu...


> Oooh - I remember this one! 'Twas one of the old BBC games - don't think
it
> was Sphinx Adventure, though it has the right 'feel'. Do you recall the
> name?

I don't recall. It was a CP/M machine. I think it was Zork, or maybe a
varient of Adventure still called Adventure, although different.

pblock

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
to

"Richard Bos" <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote in message
news:3a2df613....@news.worldonline.nl...

> "pblock" <eev...@dreamscape.com> wrote:
>
> > Look at Paul.
>
> Which of the two?
>
> > He didn't think rock music would go anywhere, but now he's a legend and
> > still playing it, baby! ;-)
>
> I can think of two Pauls that are legends and still play. I don't think
> either thought rock would go nowhere.

Sorry, lame joke.

The only person I could think of who had switched like that was the aposile
Paul. I for some idiotic reason switched it to a different Paul altogether.

Sorry, it was lame.

>
> This could be used, but you would have to be _very_ careful. It is
> really easy to make the outcome of a game depend, in toto, more on the
> throw of the dice than on the player's stats. Idealiter, it should
> always be possible for the player to overcome any throw of the dice, by
> solving an additional puzzle, perhaps; the most famous example, I think,
> being that of a rock falling on your head depending on a die cast and
> the PC's luck score - which should _always_ be circumventable by wearing
> a hard hat or similar.
> Killing or really seriously hampering an otherwise successful PC because
> he happens to throw three ones may be acceptable in Rogue, but it isn't
> in IF. Neither is having a bungler win just because he happens to throw
> 18. Adding a bit of semi-realistic variation to your PC's actions may
> seem like a good idea, but it's very hard to make fair.
>

The more I think of it, the more I think that using FUDGE or any other
system it should probably be diceless, with actions requiring a stat of a
certain amount, and lower stats must take a different path.

John Elliott

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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"pblock" <eev...@dreamscape.com> wrote:
>
>I don't recall. It was a CP/M machine. I think it was Zork, or maybe a
>varient of Adventure still called Adventure, although different.

I've been able to trace 350-, 550- and 580- point versions of CP/M
Adventure (they're now at GMD, in /if-archive/games/cpm). The message is
the same in all of them:

Congratulations! You have just vanquished a dragon with
your bare hands! (Unbelievable, isn't it?)

The 350- and 550- point versions are the same as those elsewhere on GMD;
the 580-point version is AFAIK unique to CP/M.

--
------------- http://www.seasip.demon.co.uk/index.html --------------------
John Elliott |BLOODNOK: "But why have you got such a long face?"
|SEAGOON: "Heavy dentures, Sir!" - The Goon Show
:-------------------------------------------------------------------------)

Adam J. Thornton

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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In article <3a2fb63c...@news.demon.nl>,

Gadget <gad...@SPAMBLOCKhaha.demon.nl> wrote:
>in a game if there is a *very* good reason for it. (and even then I
>rather prefer LucasArts take on the whole death thing: they don't have
>it).

Except, of course, for _Grim Fandango_.

pblock

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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"Kaia Vintr" <ka...@xoe.com> wrote in message news:ZpsX5.46322$i%> Other than

that, I think it's a waste of time: no one really wants to play a
> CRPG in which the only difference (from existing games) is that the
> graphical interface has been replaced by a text-only one ...

Except that I'm not writing a graphic CRPG anytime soon. And it'd be
tougher to find a CRPG creation tool that works the way I want, either.
Besdies, there is a certain amount of power in the written word denied by
graphic games.

It'd just be interesting to see what the medium can do.

pblock

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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"Paul E. Bell" <wd0...@millcomm.com> wrote in message
news:3A2E7FA5...@millcomm.com...

>
>
>
> I don't play d&d, don't know how they do things. I do play Zork games,
> I doubt d&d invented using experience levels and learning things.
>

D&D was first published in 1974. How old is Zork? 1977?

I'm pretty sure the authors of D&D got the idea of experience levels from
somewhere else, wargames perhaps, but it predates IF.


Andrew MacKinnon

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
to
pblock wrote:
>
> >
> > This could be used, but you would have to be _very_ careful. It is
> > really easy to make the outcome of a game depend, in toto, more on the
> > throw of the dice than on the player's stats. Idealiter, it should
> > always be possible for the player to overcome any throw of the dice, by
> > solving an additional puzzle, perhaps; the most famous example, I think,
> > being that of a rock falling on your head depending on a die cast and
> > the PC's luck score - which should _always_ be circumventable by wearing
> > a hard hat or similar.
> > Killing or really seriously hampering an otherwise successful PC because
> > he happens to throw three ones may be acceptable in Rogue, but it isn't
> > in IF. Neither is having a bungler win just because he happens to throw
> > 18. Adding a bit of semi-realistic variation to your PC's actions may
> > seem like a good idea, but it's very hard to make fair.
> >
>
> The more I think of it, the more I think that using FUDGE or any other
> system it should probably be diceless, with actions requiring a stat of a
> certain amount, and lower stats must take a different path.

If you use this in interactive fiction, you should hide the dice and
just create random data. Then you should just use the standard two-die
2-12 model which makes 7 the most likely outcome. Also, you should use
these luck scores for minor varations only, e.g. being required to solve
an additional puzzle or skip it.

Don't show the internal dice model to the players. They won't like it
being visible.

pblock

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
to
> Um, how is a GM writing an adventure different from an IF author writing
> one?

The difference is like the difference between a puppeteer making a puppet
and a toy making making a wind-up toy.

The puppeteer will be physically present to make sure the puppet does what
he wants whereas the toymaker will have to hope that his skill in building
the wind-up toy assure it behaves in the manner she desired.

That makes sense to me.


> I've always been a supporter of the idea right from the start,
> personally. My
> only objection was your calling for the use of FUDGE.

Ah, I see. You object to FUDGE since it has no world, per se to lend to a
IF story, unlike, say, Champions or D&D.

I'm considering FUDGE because A) it's free to use, try using D&D w/o
permission, and B) the seven-step scale is easy to plan results ahead and
you can get more than the traditional fail/succeed most other RPGs use. You
can get a range of results with different stats, rolls and task. And
finally C) you can alter the rules as you see fit still call it FUDGE.
Nice. Get some of the FUDGE fans to try IF.

Gabe McKean

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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Trevor Barrie wrote in message
<2000Dec6.1...@jarvis.cs.toronto.edu>...

I'm referring specifically to the stat-systems used in RPG's; my comment
doesn't apply to RPG's that don't use stats at all. Stats in these kinds of
game are used to quantitatively distinguish between objects or characters
that are qualitatively different but still belong in the same 'class' of
objects or characters, aren't they?

pblock

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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"Kaia Vintr" <ka...@xoe.com> wrote in message
news:U5BX5.52946$2A2.2...@news20.bellglobal.com...

>
> Of course, the "game master" role existed long before anything resembling
> "Dungeons and Dragons". As long as parents have been telling stories to
> their children and the children have been asking questions and making
> suggestions (or objections) and wanting the stories to be about *them*.
>
> That's what IF is really trying to emulate, isn't it?

Some peoples, maybe. But the first couple instances of IF, namely ADVENT,
Zork and Wumpus (was it Wumpus?) were probably inspired by D&D which was
fairly new and gaining popularity especially in colleges, where these games
were written.

That's a more likely origin of IF.

Anyone have a more official history or interview w/ the original authors?


pblock

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
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"Fillmore" <Nos...@Hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:%hBX5.2706$uC6....@news6-win.server.ntlworld.com...
>
> As a potential player, I would like to say I do not like you speaking for
> me. I think what you mean here is that *you* won't like it being visible,
> and possibly that you *think* players won't want to see such things.
>
> If you have, in fact, done extensive research into this subject I will of
> course apologize at once and retract my statement.
>

OK, so are you saying that you DO want to see the numbers for stats and
randomizers, situations based on luck which could end the game via character
death?

Yes?.... OK

No?.... Then why are you arguing?!?

Personally, I think the numbers and system should be in the background. In
table top RPGs the players sort of have to use the numbers. In CRPGs the
numbers *could* be in the background, but tend to not lately. Seeing the
numbers sort of takes some of the illusion of reality away.

I also don't believe in the possibility of character death...at least not
w/o reason, anyway. I've played a few solo adventures for a TT RPG and it
killed me in the first paragraph. Perhaps character death should remain a
possibility- or else there's no suspense-- no life & death tension. But
failure in tasks should probably lead to different choices, not dead-ends.

Arcum Dagsson

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
to
In article <90mglc$bdk$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU>, ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J.
Thornton) wrote:

> In article <3a2fb63c...@news.demon.nl>,
> Gadget <gad...@SPAMBLOCKhaha.demon.nl> wrote:
> >in a game if there is a *very* good reason for it. (and even then I
> >rather prefer LucasArts take on the whole death thing: they don't have
> >it).
>
> Except, of course, for _Grim Fandango_.
>
> Adam

And Monkey Island 3.

And if you work at it, Monkey Island 1. (You can hold your breath for up to 10
minutes. In the scene where you are underwater, if you stay underwater more then
10 minutes, you die. Not that anyone ever takes more then 5 minutes to get out
of that area...)

--
--Arcum Dagsson
"You say there's a horse in your bathroom, and all you can do is stand
there naming Beatles songs?"

Gabe McKean

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Dec 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/6/00
to
My favorite way to die in a LucasArts, er, I mean LucasFilms game, is to
punch in the wrong in the wrong code on the nuclear-rigged security door in
Maniac Mansion. Or better yet, let Bernard play with it. Bye-bye, mansion,
and everything in a 5-mile radius. :)

Joe Mason

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Dec 6, 2000, 7:27:23 PM12/6/00
to
In article <90m68f$7dg$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU>, Adam J. Thornton wrote:
>My only problem with FUDGE is that it's overly generic--I find it a
>great meta-rule framework, but basically it's an engine that lets me
>write a game system, rather than a game system. That's not a problem
>per se, but it does man more work. OTOH, the mechanics are simple and
>consistent, so it's less work than, say, Rolemaster or AD&Dv1 would have
>been.

I was just about to mention that Rolemaster would be a good set of rules to
use in a CRPG, because it's so very detailed and (unlike using real dice) it's
not cumbersome for the player to have to roll on 5 or 6 tables in a row for
every action.

Joe

Kaia Vintr

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Dec 6, 2000, 7:46:44 PM12/6/00
to
Sean T Barrett wrote in message ...

>>I think the only relevant question is this: how can I implement or replace
a
>>human game master?
>I'd argue that somebody asked that many years ago, and one result
>was the modern text adventure--the other result was the roguelikes
>and Temple of Apshai and such.

Yes, people have been attempting to answer that question as long as computer
games (or even certain board games) were being written with anything
resembling a story.

>simply become too many paths, or it would be necessary to
>implement an incredibly deep simulation plus a game-master
>AI that knows how to cheat behind the scenes to bring things
>back on course.

Ah, yes AI. Good old HAL :-)

>But I'm serious. The computer in IF already *is* an attempt
>at making a gamemaster. As I posted some time ago, look
>no further than the form of the dialogue between player and
>gamemaster--for example the use of 2nd person present tense.

Of course, the "game master" role existed long before anything resembling


"Dungeons and Dragons". As long as parents have been telling stories to
their children and the children have been asking questions and making
suggestions (or objections) and wanting the stories to be about *them*.

That's what IF is really trying to emulate, isn't it?

Or a group of friends get together by the fire: "Anyone know a good story?"
"Not me." "You've heard all mine." "Let's make one up then!"

And that's probably the origin of RPGs.


(sorry for the triteness of the above, but it's relevant and shouldn't be
forgotten)


There are two roles that I see for the "game master":
Storyteller---either inventing or relating (from previously read/heard
source material) a portion of the story
Facilitator---allowing all players, including the GM, to work together to
create the rest

The computer becomes a storyteller by spitting out bits of text written by
the human author and perhaps by applying some very specific decision-making
rules that the author has defined.

But how does it perform the second, far more social, role? Obviously it has
been managed to some degree, but can a computer ever be a *good*
facilitator? Yes, some kind of "artificial intelligence" is obviously
required. How much? Is it possible with today's technology? Will it ever
be enough? Will the computer ever be able to "understand" the author's
intentions and such vague concepts as theme, setting, and mood enough to
preserve and enhance them no matter what the players do or how the dice
fall?


-K

Fillmore

unread,
Dec 6, 2000, 7:58:49 PM12/6/00
to
Andrew MacKinnon wrote

> If you use this in interactive fiction, you should hide the dice and
> just create random data. Then you should just use the standard two-die
> 2-12 model which makes 7 the most likely outcome. Also, you should use
> these luck scores for minor varations only, e.g. being required to solve
> an additional puzzle or skip it.
>

> Don't show the internal dice model to the players. They won't like it
> being visible.

As a potential player, I would like to say I do not like you speaking for
me. I think what you mean here is that *you* won't like it being visible,
and possibly that you *think* players won't want to see such things.

If you have, in fact, done extensive research into this subject I will of
course apologize at once and retract my statement.

--
Fillmore

Field Marshall Stack

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 1:21:27 AM12/7/00
to
In article <3a2e1371....@news.worldonline.nl>, Richard Bos wrote:
>"pblock" <eev...@dreamscape.com> wrote:

[snip]


>short time period, with a fixed PC. After all, who would send a tourist

>into a dragon-infested dungeon? Or a knight in full armour looking for a
>map of Paris? _That_ would be unrealistic.
[snip]

Never played Nethack, have we? :)

--
Field Marshall Stack

Gadget

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
to
On Wed, 6 Dec 2000 22:19:34 -0800, "Gabe McKean" <gmc...@wsu.edu>
wrote:

It never fails to amaze me. You write a two page post with several
arguments and people respond to the most unimportant side note in the
text.

You gotta love Usenet :->

-
It's a bird...
It's a plane...
No, its.. Gadget?
-----------------
number one Dutch gaming site:
Http://www.villagemagazine.nl/games.php3

Richard Bos

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
to
hi...@news.speakeasy.org (Field Marshall Stack) wrote:

> In article <3a2e1371....@news.worldonline.nl>, Richard Bos wrote:
>
> > After all, who would send a tourist into a dragon-infested dungeon?
>

> Never played Nethack, have we? :)

Yes, we have. :-) But face it, Nethack _is_ irrealistic.

Richard

Fillmore

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
to

pblock <eev...@dreamscape.com> wrote in message
news:t2u5j53...@corp.supernews.com...

>
> "Fillmore" <Nos...@Hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:%hBX5.2706$uC6....@news6-win.server.ntlworld.com...
> >
> > As a potential player, I would like to say I do not like you speaking
for
> > me. I think what you mean here is that *you* won't like it being
visible,
> > and possibly that you *think* players won't want to see such things.
> >
> > If you have, in fact, done extensive research into this subject I will
of
> > course apologize at once and retract my statement.
> >
>
> OK, so are you saying that you DO want to see the numbers for stats and
> randomizers, situations based on luck which could end the game via
character
> death?
>
> Yes?.... OK

Good.

Paul E. Bell

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
to
Gabe McKean wrote:

Actually, looking at the original message that started this thread, it
would appear that FUDGE would be closer to the battle with the troll in
Zork I. Rather than a great sword or a mediocre sword, the FUDGE would
be more like:

7. You hit the troll squarely on the neck, neatly slicing his head off.
6. Your sword hits the troll in the head with a glancing blow and knocks
him unconscious. [Note: if you don't kill him with the next blow, he
wakes up, and we do the dance again.]
5. You cut a gash across the troll's chest, which only serves to make
him more determined not to let you pass.
4. You knock a button off his shirt, but the troll is otherwise unharmed.
3. You swing with all your might, but the troll ducks --- a good clean miss.
2. The troll blocks your thrust with his axe, producing a resounding
vibration in your sword, which you can feel with every bone of your body.
1. Your shoelaces have become untied, and, you trip, almost dropping
your sword.

In such a case, a 7-point system might be good, but, we already do that
with random() and whatever messages we want to use. Since we already do
that, to some extent, FUDGE adds nothing to our game coding, either in
this instance, or in the instance of the jump. [BTW, I just realised
this as I wrote it, so, well, all I can say is, "Awe, fudge!"]

PKodon/Helios
--
Paul E. Bell | Email and AIM: wd0...@millcomm.com | ifMUD: Helios
IRC: PKodon, DrWho4, and Helios | webpage: members.nbci.com/wd0gcp/
Member: W.A.R.N., Skywarn, ARES, Phoenix Developer Consortium, ...
_____ Pen Name/Arts & Crafts signature:
| | _ \ _ _ |/ _ _(
| | (_X (_/`/\ (_) (_` |\(_) (_) (_|_) (/`
)


J.D. Berry

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Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
to
In article <3a2f4df...@news.scarlet.nl>,

gad...@SPAMBLOCKhaha.demon.nl (Gadget) wrote:
>
> It never fails to amaze me. You write a two page post with several
> arguments and people respond to the most unimportant side note in the
> text.
>

What do you think about the word "and"? Is it the best conjunction?
It's at least in the top three. YMMV.

> You gotta love Usenet :->

Indeed. ;-)

Jim


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Adam Biltcliffe

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Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
to
Arcum Dagsson <Arcum_...@hushmail.c.o.m> wrote:

> And if you work at it, Monkey Island 1. (You can hold your breath
> for up to 10 minutes. In the scene where you are underwater, if
> you stay underwater more then 10 minutes, you die. Not that anyone
> ever takes more then 5 minutes to get out of that area...)

ISTR, in Monkey Island 2 in the scene where you and Wally are trapped in
LeChuck's fortress, if you wait long enough, the trap goes off and you
fall into the acid pit, at which point the game returns to the scene
with Guybrush and Elaine hanging in the pit, and Elaine calling Guybrush
a liar because he obviously didn't really die or he wouldn't be there
...


jw

Vincent Lynch

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
to
Arcum Dagsson <Arcum_...@hushmail.c.o.m> wrote:
> In article <90mglc$bdk$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU>, ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J.
> Thornton) wrote:
>> In article <3a2fb63c...@news.demon.nl>,
>> Gadget <gad...@SPAMBLOCKhaha.demon.nl> wrote:
>> >in a game if there is a *very* good reason for it. (and even then I
>> >rather prefer LucasArts take on the whole death thing: they don't have
>> >it).
>> Except, of course, for _Grim Fandango_.
> And Monkey Island 3.

>
> And if you work at it, Monkey Island 1. (You can hold your breath for up to 10
> minutes. In the scene where you are underwater, if you stay underwater more then
> 10 minutes, you die. Not that anyone ever takes more then 5 minutes to get out
> of that area...)

And Zak McKraken, Maniac Mansion and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

-Vincent

pblock

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
to

"Field Marshall Stack" <hi...@news.speakeasy.org> wrote in message

> Never played Nethack, have we? :)
>

No :-(

I tried to once, but couldn't get it to run.

No worries. We're not talking about that, right ;-)

pblock

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
to

"Paul E. Bell" <wd0...@millcomm.com> wrote in message
news:3A2F4CCB...@millcomm.com...

> Actually, looking at the original message that started this thread, it
> would appear that FUDGE would be closer to the battle with the troll in
> Zork I. Rather than a great sword or a mediocre sword, the FUDGE would
> be more like:
>
> 7. You hit the troll squarely on the neck, neatly slicing his head off.
> 6. Your sword hits the troll in the head with a glancing blow and knocks
> him unconscious. [Note: if you don't kill him with the next blow, he
> wakes up, and we do the dance again.]
> 5. You cut a gash across the troll's chest, which only serves to make
> him more determined not to let you pass.
> 4. You knock a button off his shirt, but the troll is otherwise unharmed.
> 3. You swing with all your might, but the troll ducks --- a good clean
miss.
> 2. The troll blocks your thrust with his axe, producing a resounding
> vibration in your sword, which you can feel with every bone of your body.
> 1. Your shoelaces have become untied, and, you trip, almost dropping
> your sword.

Well, FUDGE stands for

Free-form
Universal
Do-it-yourself
Gaming
Engine

So you could do it this way, or a completely different way altogether.

That's the beauty of it.


> In such a case, a 7-point system might be good, but, we already do that
> with random() and whatever messages we want to use. Since we already do
> that, to some extent, FUDGE adds nothing to our game coding, either in
> this instance, or in the instance of the jump. [BTW, I just realised
> this as I wrote it, so, well, all I can say is, "Awe, fudge!"]

I suppose that not everyone uses random() in their games and having a nice
system to borrow from (FUDGE or anything else) might encourage them to doso

Character stats can be used in a "diceless" way to resolve actions.
-example-
let's give the player these options for their character:

Strong, but slow. ST Great DX Poor
Quick, but weak ST Poor DX Weak
Average stat ST & DX Fair

Now, in the roof jumping example, let's say it requires a Great DX to make
the jump, a Fair DX to land on the fire escape and a poor DX falls (or knows
better than to jump and must find another option)

Randomness can add a little english to this. The great will likely make it,
but as a small possibilty of missing, Poor will probably fall, but has a
small possibility of making it, etc.

In this same game, there can be a iron gate blocking the path. A great
Strength can bend the bars easily, fair will have a hard time doing it, etc.
So in this way, a certain level of strategy can be added when choosing
character abilities.

It's all in the author's imagination on how to apply it. Naturally, neither
FUDGE or any other RPG needs to be used to make this work, but why not use a
tool that's available?

But then, I'm sure there are authors who don't use TADS, Inform or any other
such tool either.

It takes all kinds.

pblock

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM12/7/00
to

"Knight37" <knig...@gamespotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xns90036636Dknig...@209.155.56.82...

> "Fillmore" <Nos...@Hotmail.com> wrote in message
>

> I think it should be an option the player can turn on or off.

A compromise????

Lock him up, boys! He's gone plum loco.


Assuming a handle like "Knight37" is held by a male ;-)

Knight37

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 10:47:28 AM12/7/00
to
"Fillmore" <Nos...@Hotmail.com> wrote in message

>> As a potential player, I would like to say I do not like you speaking


>> for me. I think what you mean here is that *you* won't like it being
>> visible, and possibly that you *think* players won't want to see such
>> things.

I think it should be an option the player can turn on or off.

--

Knight37

"Can I play with madness?
The prophet stared at his crystal ball.
Can I play with madness?
There's no vision there at all!"
-- Iron Maiden

Mark Musante - Sun Microsystems

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 11:56:11 AM12/7/00
to
Richard Bos (in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl) wrote:
> hi...@news.speakeasy.org (Field Marshall Stack) wrote:
>
> > In article <3a2e1371....@news.worldonline.nl>, Richard Bos wrote:
> >
> > > After all, who would send a tourist into a dragon-infested dungeon?
> >
> > Never played Nethack, have we? :)
>
> Yes, we have. :-) But face it, Nethack _is_ irrealistic.

So is that word. :-)


-=- Mark -=-

Joe Mason

unread,
Dec 7, 2000, 1:19:05 PM12/7/00
to
In article <3a2f4e84...@news.worldonline.nl>, Richard Bos wrote:
>hi...@news.speakeasy.org (Field Marshall Stack) wrote:
>
>> In article <3a2e1371....@news.worldonline.nl>, Richard Bos wrote:
>>
>> > After all, who would send a tourist into a dragon-infested dungeon?
>>
>> Never played Nethack, have we? :)
>
>Yes, we have. :-) But face it, Nethack _is_ irrealistic.

Me fail English? That's unpossible!

Joe

Gunther Schmidl

unread,
Dec 8, 2000, 3:14:44 AM12/8/00
to
> And Zak McKraken, Maniac Mansion and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
>
> -Vincent

And Indiana Jones 4.

-- g.


Richard Bos

unread,
Dec 8, 2000, 11:13:26 AM12/8/00
to
jcm...@uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:

<g> I dunno, I think there should be two words: unrealistic is, well,
plainly not realistic - any random soap show should suffice as an
example - whereas irrealistic should be, well, the counter-side to
realistic: intentionally not realistic, perhaps; unrealistic with
panache. Nethack certainly is that.

Anyway, WWWebster's claims that irreal is already an English word,
identical to unreal; so irrealistic should exist, shouldn't it?

Richard

Kaia Vintr

unread,
Dec 8, 2000, 11:31:08 AM12/8/00
to
Richard Bos wrote in message <3a30eb23....@news.worldonline.nl>...

><g> I dunno, I think there should be two words: unrealistic is, well,
>plainly not realistic - any random soap show should suffice as an
>example - whereas irrealistic should be, well, the counter-side to
>realistic: intentionally not realistic, perhaps; unrealistic with
>panache. Nethack certainly is that.

We also need arealistic (arrealistic?) -- making no attempt at realism, but
not deliberately irrealistic or negligently unrealistic either. That would
describe most of my favourite science fiction.

Spelling and grammar flames suck.


-K

David Given

unread,
Dec 8, 2000, 6:20:03 AM12/8/00
to
In article <Arcum_Dagsson-D7D...@news.randori.com>,
Arcum Dagsson <Arcum_...@hushmail.c.o.m> writes:
[...]

> And if you work at it, Monkey Island 1. (You can hold your breath for up to 10
> minutes. In the scene where you are underwater, if you stay underwater more then
> 10 minutes, you die. Not that anyone ever takes more then 5 minutes to get out
> of that area...)

(waves hand madly in the air) Me! Me!

The first time I played that game (and if you haven't, you should; not
only is it the grandfather of graphical adventure games, it's still one
the best, chunky graphics notwithstanding) I got suckered by that puzzle
completely. It was only the second time around that I finally realized
what was going on.

SPOILERS


SPOILERS

You get tied to an anvil and chucked off the pier. You arrive at the
bottom of the sea to find yourself surrounded by various sharp
implements... but the rope's not long enough to let your reach them. I
spent *ages* on this before finally realising that you can just pick up
the anvil and walk out. (At which point Guybrush Threepwood --- yes,
Threepwood --- makes a comment on how it's lucky he can hold his breath
for so long.)

--
+- David Given ---------------McQ-+ "Working with Unix is like wrestling a
| Work: d...@tao-group.com | worthy opponent. Working with Windows is
| Play: dgi...@iname.com | like attacking a small whining child who is
+- http://wired.st-and.ac.uk/~dg -+ carrying a .38." --- Nancy Lebovitz

Arcum Dagsson

unread,
Dec 9, 2000, 1:04:19 AM12/9/00
to
In article <90p7i8$fcb$2...@wisteria.csv.warwick.ac.uk>, Vincent Lynch
<ma...@mimosa.csv.warwick.ac.uk> wrote:

> Arcum Dagsson <Arcum_...@hushmail.c.o.m> wrote:
> > In article <90mglc$bdk$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU>, ad...@princeton.edu (Adam J.
> > Thornton) wrote:
> >> In article <3a2fb63c...@news.demon.nl>,
> >> Gadget <gad...@SPAMBLOCKhaha.demon.nl> wrote:
> >> >in a game if there is a *very* good reason for it. (and even then I
> >> >rather prefer LucasArts take on the whole death thing: they don't have
> >> >it).
> >> Except, of course, for _Grim Fandango_.
> > And Monkey Island 3.
> >

> > And if you work at it, Monkey Island 1. (You can hold your breath for up
> > to 10
> > minutes. In the scene where you are underwater, if you stay underwater
> > more then
> > 10 minutes, you die. Not that anyone ever takes more then 5 minutes to
> > get out
> > of that area...)
>

> And Zak McKraken, Maniac Mansion and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
>

And Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, come to think of it...

Gabe McKean

unread,
Dec 9, 2000, 3:18:51 AM12/9/00
to
I'm pretty sure that LucasArts didn't start using the 'no death' standard
until Day of the Tentacle.


Gunther Schmidl

unread,
Dec 9, 2000, 8:58:07 AM12/9/00
to
"Gabe McKean" <gmc...@wsu.edu> wrote:
> I'm pretty sure that LucasArts didn't start using the 'no death' standard
> until Day of the Tentacle.

Well, there was LOOM. And Monkey Island 1, except for the underwater scene,
though I like to believe it was included as a gag since it takes a
ridiculous amount of time for Guybrush to drown.

-- Gunther