Skill Checks in FutureMUD

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Skill Checks in FutureMUD

Post by Japheth » Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:04 am

Skill Checks work a little differently so here's one area where you may need to learn some new concepts. The three core things to keep in mind are Difficulty, Bonus and Outcome.

Firstly, each and every check is made against a dynamically assigned difficulty. These have "wordy" names and the complete list (from easiest to hardest) is Automatic, Trivial, Extremely Easy, Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard, Insane, Impossible. This difficulty usually comes from some decision a builder has made - for example, when you are attacked in combat by a particular weapon attack, it comes with its own difficulty for attack/defense - it may be "Easy" to parry with a sword but "Very Hard" to parry with a polearm for instance.

Each check can have its own modifiers for each difficulty level; I generally have three "models" in use in LabMUD, the easiest/most forgiving one for language, the next easiest one for perception, and then the "general" one used for most other things.

Bonus/Penalty is related to difficulty but can sort of be thought of as a finer level of detail. Numerous things in the engine assign a bonus or penalty, for example being wounded, hungry/thirsty, merits and flaws, some item effects, etc. Every x net points of bonus or penalty scales down / up the difficulty by one level.

The reason I implemented this was that I found the penalties a little too brutal when difficulty alone was used - as you can see for example, it only takes 4 "stage up" to get from Normal (no penalty) to Impossible (generally -100 penalty). In LabMUD, I have it set so that every 3 net points of Bonus translates to 1 difficulty.

Once you have a final difficulty (after bonus), the skillcheck is a simple 1d100 vs (some value - penalty). The value is usually a skill value, though can be a mixture, include stats, include static modifiers on a per check basis. For example, making a weapon attack uses the weapon's skill, but binding a wound uses (20 + Medicine + Surgery/2).

However, your skill roll is actually made multiple times. If you pass the first roll but fail the second, you get a Minor Success. If you pass the first two but fail the last, you get a Success. If you pass three in a row, you get a Major Success. The same is true in reverse for Minor Failure, Failure and Major Failure.

This means that in addition to passing or failing, there is usually a degree of success/failure. This comes into play with opposed checks (for example attacker's sword skill vs defender's parry skill). Opposed checks have a direction (proponent, opponent or stalemate) and a degree (marginal, minor, moderate, major, total).

An attacker rolling Major Success vs a defender rolling Major Failure would be a Total victory to the attacker. An attacker rolling Minor Failure vs a defender rolling Failure would be a Marginal victory to the attacker.

Opposed skillchecks depend on the opposed outcome rather than absolute success or failure, so even a Failure can still "beat" a Major Failure. Some other checks that are not directly opposed might still depend on the absolute outcome (casting a spell might have both an unopposed component - casting the spell itself - and an opposed component - hitting your target).

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