From: Danhiel Baker (
Date: 04/03/94

Jeff "Teker" Fink explains:
| Ok, here's my solution: (we have this imped):  Mobs do keep track of mana
| when casting, 

Nice to see that used somewhere :)  How do you handle mobs for which the
spell is only the special effect of a "natural ability", ie, one that
shouldn't be limited by mana, as they tap 'other' sources?

| bash requires that you have a shield held in your secondary
| hand, and you can still cast spells on yourself and whoever you're fighting
| when blinded.  I believe all of these make sense.  Plus, mobs don't wait

Actually, I personally have problems with a person who cannot see anything
successfully targeting what are mostly ranged spells, even if they are 'in 
combat' with the target.  In RL, I probably couldn't throw a rock and hit
someone I am swordfighting with 'twere I blindfolded, even when they were
often touching their sword to mine.

| two or three seconds to stand when bashed, and we take into account levels
| when you make your bash roll.

Hmmm...I think we just don't see some things the same way :)  Being knocked
down is being knocked down - unless you are a decent gymnast you don't just
spring back onto your feet, especially if you are attempting this while one
or more ppl are trying to do you harm; ideally, the person that was knocked
on their rear shouldn't even attack the round that they are standing - a
coded 'stand message' would be shown instead for their action that round.

| We've also made it impossible to steal from mobs that are much higher level
| than you(I don't remember the exact numbers, but it's some piecewise function)

Again, we see things differently - rather than broadly saying that you cannot
steal from mobs over 'x' levels higher than yourself, I'd prefer the 
flexibility to deal with mobs on a case-by-case basis.  I don't see any
"real" reason why a 4th level thief that is fully skilled in STEAL couldn't
physically attempt to steal the blue potions from the Queen Spider, or Ki-Rin.
I *do* see a problem with allowing _anyone_ to steal the meat out of fidos,
however; this applies to any case in which the 'treasure' object would not
really be "available" until the mob was dead - ie, you can't just take a
rabbit's foot from a rabbit with a certain amount of blood being spilt.  In
cases like this, I think a flag is the answer;  I don't remember if I've
proposed this here or not, but an 'ITEM_CONCEALED' flag would cover this
(trivial?) point, as well as provide other objects with protection from
just being lifted from a mob.
| We require mana for almost all thief and fighter skills.  No machine guns
| allowed, we're a medieval setting!  ;-)

This is an ok solution, though I think if you were to call mana something
else for these classes it'd "feel" better - endurance sounds good for
fighters, to cover such things as kicks and bashes, though nothing springs
to mind that covers backstabing and picking locks.  I'll grant that 'mana'
seems fairly all-encompassing, but to me at least it has a magick "flavor"
to it, and certainly doesn't seem to fit when talking about kicking and
bashing someone.  Soemthing that could be considered a measure of 
concentration would seem to best cover the thieves 'X-points' (
a local live roleplaying game we had 'luck points' for rogues...perhaps
'luck' could be what runs out for thieves...).

| > I believe (no, I don't KNOW :) what I'm trying to get across here is that
| > certain flags have more of a technical bearing on game play than others;
| I think what we have here is two different styles of fixing what we both see
| to be a problem.  Things that you see as flags, I see more as coded fixes.
| (I think this goes for the MOB_MAGE and MOB_CLERIC flags as well... I see
| a much nicer (IMHO) coded fix rather than putting flags on mobs...)

Please, expand on this!  I personally think a system of individual flags
for spells a la Soumit Basu's (Cauchy on Shine and Generic) system is
about the best idea (short of remaking the mob format, which I've been
having ideas about...) I've seen.  On Shine I could have a mob that would
Backstab you as you entered the room, and then cast 'poison' and 'chill
touch' throughout the combat...or I could have a mob JUST cast teleport
at random intervals against those it was fighting.  This was a well
developed and efficient process (though it did not take mana into account,
in many cases the one spell that the mob had was to represent a 'natural
talent' or such) which allowed MUCH more flexibility for a builder than
simply having either mob classes or ACT_<class> flags.  

It's my opinion that as more mob talents are allowed that more flags will 
be necessary;  flags are a simple way of 'profiling' a mob to transform
a generic critter that beats on you to a cunning opponent worthy of thought
and strategy that still behaves within the bounds of a players expectations
based upon reality and other experience.  Giving every mob the ability to
do some new thing - whether it is casting spells, or picking up and using
items from the ground - requires a way to differentiate the abilities and
limitations of each mob from other mobs.  While a cityguard should pick up
and wear a breast plate that is on the floor, a cow should not; MOB_!HUMANOID
or MOB_USEITEM would have to be available to make even this distinction.
While I admit that having an immunity for every specific skill or spell is
going overboard in a MAJOR way, the simplicity of adding these flags - as
they would only require a check to see if the flag was set or not before
allowing the skill/spell to take effect, and nothing more - and the fact
that those added DO solve possible problems that won't be 'coded out' of 
this version of Circle, justifies their addition...

If you'll read over my latest 'idea' file rgding BULKY objects I think that
you'll see a bit better how I think;  I'd rather work with primitives and
rules than the obvious and more direct methods of simply ruling something
out.  I dislike the ANTI_<class> flags, really, and won't be adding these
to the files  -  not only to save myself time, but also because some other
imp might think that my ideas were FAR off base.  It would be easier for
them to just change the 'rules' that deal with the flags I set than to
try to track down every instance of ANTI_<whatever> and delete it.  I
*know* I can judge what is bulky and what isn't...I can't really say what
wearing platemail will do to a mage or thief.  So you see, I'm not
trashing code vs flags at all - I'd rather see coded solutions that are
easily tailorable by the use of flags, and more basic approaches to dealing
with the solutions themselves (ie, a mage _can't_cast_spells_ if s/he were
to wear platemail - assuming the mage even had the strength to wear it - 
either because it is iron-based metal or due to the fact that it restricts
the somatic components of their spells; platemail unto itself is not "evil",
nor is it impossible for one schooled in the arts or magick to put on such
armor - it WILL hamper a mages casting and mobility beyond a 'tolerable'
level, however. Giving a generic 'You have NO IDEA how to use that!' msg
to clerics considering bladed weapons or thieves trying on heavy armor
simply doesn't cut it, IMO)

| -Jeff
| PS - One other note for the "keeper of the list" - Is there any way to get 
| people removed from the list who's email constantly bounces? I know I'm going 
| to have two or three copies of this message sitting in my mailbox in a
| couple days...

Here here!!  At least we agree on this!!  Let's lose those 2-3 ppl whose site
is rejecting mail (and has been for the last 2 weeks+), or maybe set up a
filter so as not to remail items that were returned...


| Danhiel Baker // Derkhil CatSpawn         /) /)     Fade away
|                       ( o o )    into the
|                    = x =     ethereal grey...
| Work: 542-0123  Pager: 369-2781          m     m    
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