Re: throwing classes out the window

From: Skylar (
Date: 04/13/96

On Fri, 12 Apr 1996, Mark Devlin wrote:

> Before I get into something I might not be able to get out of, what's
> involved in junking all the classes and levels and making a skill-based
> system?

I'll tell ya how we did it on my mud, it may not be the best or most
efficient way, but it works for us...

Without levels, you need some way for people to get skills and improve
them... practices are difficult, how do you award them without levels
or experience to go by?  We decided to ditch practices as well, and
let people learn skills in 3 ways;
1) learn by use
2) learn by being taught
3) learn by study (books/tomes)

Except for some basic skills like riding or swimming, we only let
people learn by use or be taught if they already have some knowledge
in that skill... this keep everyone from being a super-man.  The idea
is, you pick 4 skills when you create your character out of a bunch of
possible "beginning" skills.  You can mix up casting and fighting type
skills, but in game-play, you're probably going to be better off by
specializing in a certain field by choosing related skills.  This way
people can customize/make their own classes and call themselves whatever
they want.  

The main way people learn is by using their the end of skills
people can learn, if they fail, I make a random roll (1 in 1000 or 10000 
usually, depending on the skill) then do some checks to see if they have
over 0% and under 95% in the skill, if they have any slots opened for
learning (we keep a linked list of the char's recently learned skills,
they can learn up to X skills based on int and wis, each one is time-stamped.
They can't learn the same skills again for 15 minutes, or different skills
over their alloted amount until the 15 minutes on one of the slotted 
skills is up), then if they pass this whole rigmarole, I up that skill by
number(0,2) and give them some bonuses for high int/wis.  I make a check
each time a skill is learned, to see if it is within a certain range,
(around 85% for most stuff) if it is, and another skill, or several skills
branch from it (a hugely inefficient switch statement involved there) then
the char gets +1% in the new skill(s) as well, this is how you get skills
other than the one's you pick when you create your character. Subsequently,
some of these newly aquired skills will lead to yet other skills.  Not all
skills lead to others, some are top level skills requiring you to master
4 or 5 others before you even get started in it, and we try to keep them
all fairly related... re: burning hands->fireshield->fireball.

Its a little messy, but I like the system myself.  We're still working
on extracting classes from the mud, but thats basically just going to
be fiddling the menus, because if you just setskill someone in some
low branch skill, they'll be able to go on from there and learn the
skills that follow.

Hope this wasnt too confusing :) If ya wanna come by and chat sometime
about skill systems, or see it in action, we're in perpetually
not-opened/always-revising/beta mode at; 4000


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