Re: An uncommon problem...

From: Edward Glamkowski (EGlamkowski@MATHEMATICA-MPR.COM)
Date: 10/03/97

I've always been partial to one of the solutions I've heard
to the thief's read language ability in AD&D:

If they make a successful roll, they understand a percentage
of the language equal to their score in the ability.

So if a player has 25% in a language, if heard the language
being spoken, he could understand ~25% of what is said.
In code terms, I would probably do this by making a check
in the language scramble function, and before scrambling
a word, make a check on it - if he succeeds, don't scramble
it, otherwise scramble.
So something like:

Joe says to Jane: 'Fjkfd sq z sword fdlp z mfklsa jkdfsic
giant fjsdlkwjc jkk ta pec west."

If you are worried about the player using a script or
his own [i.e. the player's] intelligence to decipher it,
do something instead like:

You hear Joe talking to Jane, and you can make out some
of what they are saying: '... sword .... giant ... west'.

That way, they get to hear part of what is said, but don't
have a way to mechanically decipher those parts they can't
understand.  In this case, in the scramble function, each
word they don't successfully understand, put in a dot or
two (..) instead of a word.  If they do understand the word,
fill in the word proper, unscrambled.

Edward Glamkowski, Programmer           Mathematica Policy Research
EGlamkowski@mathematic-MPR.COM          Princeton, NJ

        In the chapel at Biggin Hill there is a golden book in a glass case.
Every day for the past twenty-five years a page has been turned.  On
each page one can read the names and ranks of those who took off on
that day  and never returned.  Sometimes the page is filled to the last
        They are all Dowding's boys.

        The Battle of Britain  by Marcel Jullian

>From:  Whitey[SMTP:zacker@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU]
>Sent:  Friday, October 03, 1997 10:02 AM
>Subject:       Re:  An uncommon problem...
>On Thu, 2 Oct 1997, Daniel Koepke wrote:
>> Argh, no.  We're assuming that the *player* should have no bearing
>> on the game's mechanics.  The game should determine whether the
>> *player character* is able to determine the language.  Allowing a
>> *player* to decipher the language thanks to software or mental
>> abilities (even if they're playing a 5 intelligence, skull-bashing,
>> drooling warrior) is *not* right.  The ability of a character to
>> decipher a language by hearing it should be based on the character's
>> intelligence and abilities, not the *player's*.
>Ok, then how about this.  Everytime a player hears a language they don't
>know, then the MUD makes a check vs. the characters intelligence.  If the
>check succeeds, then the character will gain a very small amount of skill
>in that language.  If the check fails, then they get no gain on that
>language and they get a message like "You don't understand what Daniel
>just said."
>If they hear a language with which they have some skill, the MUD makes a
>check vs. that language skill percentage.  If the check succeeds, then
>they understand what was said.  If that check fails, then the MUD makes a
>check vs that character's intelligence, so that they may have a chance to
>increase their skill in that language, even though they might not have
>understood what was said.
>THIS way, the characters have the opportunity of learning a language as
>they hear it (like in real life), but it is all character based instead of
>player based.
>Now that I think about it, this would be very easy to implement.  Pop in a
>language skill, do a couple of fancy checks in do_gen_comm (I think), and
>pretty soon, people will be chattering in all sorts of languages in order
>to learn them.
>I hope this satifies everyone.

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