Re: rules

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 01/30/03

> Has anyone tried converting to the DND 3e rules?  If
> so, do they work well for a mud?
        I have a sketchy idea of what the 3'rd edition Advanced Dungeons
and Dragons rules are, but I was quite the avid player of the pre-Basic,
Basic, and first and second edition Advanced games.

        In my experience, you can provide an AD&D ~feel~ to your circlemud
game, but you cannot simply drop the whole body of rules and tables into
your mud and expect it to be fun to your average mud player.

        It's hard to make people understand by just looking at the
numbers, so lets look at the statistics involved in playing through an
area in a MUD vs. an off-the-shelf Module for AD&D.

MUD area 'Eastern Desert' vs AD&D 'Needle' (free download from wotc site):

                        MUD                     AD&D
Unique Creatures        17                       31 (not including random
                                                     encounters and NPCs
                                                     or 'standard'

Number of creatures     30                      50-80 (depends on DM)
one would expect to
encounter in 'beating'
the area

In-game days of play    .7                       54

Real-Life play time    20 minutes               base 96 hours + 20 minutes
play time                                       per battle

Number of players that  20+                      6-8
can play at one time

Chance of dying if      1-2%                     50-70% (depends on DM &
character is correct                                      players)
level for area

Number of 'Full' heals  5x                       20-25x
used (rest/other)

        Okay, we're already starting to see a discrepancy.  Most
important, I think, is the time table.

        Currently, the mud provides an average of 1 monster (aka, battle)
every 70 (real-life) seconds.  The total time to heal from near-death to
full health averages around 3 minutes.  This means that our mud hero is
actually going to be spending around 20 seconds per battle, with most
battles back-to-back until healing is required.  Incidentally, the only
time mud characters tend to die is if they continue when they should rest.
Battles in a mud game are made to be won.

        Contrast this with our AD&D hero, who fights (on average) 1
monster every hour and forty minutes or so.  In actuality, you'll probably
encounter monsters in clumps, and have longer 'dry' spells.  Of course, a
standard battle probably runs between 20-30 minutes.  The total real life
time to heal a character depends entirely on the game & DM, but averages
around 2 hours, between spells and sleep.  Unlike the mud game though,
healing doesn't really affect your battle readiness - unless the fight was
just a throw-away (Gasp! 10 kobolds challenge your level 10 group!), your
characters will almost always need to rest after perhaps 2 back to back
moderate battles.  In fact, it's not uncommon to have characters die
(permenantly) in your game, and have them replaced with others.

        Your reward structure is similiarly castrated;  items & treasures
occur at the same frequency as monster encounters (since they carry them).
Levels and skill upgrades probably occur around 30-40 times less
frequently in D&D.

        In the real world, this is mitigated by a physically present DM
who can tailor the game to keep it's edge of excitement.  They can make
every battle a fight for life, every minor bonus or +1 worth dying for,
and even with the relatively infrequent number of encounters, they can
stress the interaction/peacetime activities of their campaign to make up
for it.

        Your average MUD normally lacks the level of interaction between
game and player (as opposed to player and player) that stand-alone
computer RPGs achieved in the middle 80's.

        I could keep going on the differences, but there's no point.

        The upshoot of all this is that you will need to modify the D&D
gaming system to work with the concept that the game relies on frequent
combat, and ONLY frequent combat.  Sorry folks, that's what a MUD is, even
your 'roleplay' MUDs (unless you run it like a MUSH).

        Take a look at the differences between Baldur's Gate 1 (very hard,
not so well integrated with that concept) and Baldur's Gate 2 (still hard,
but well intergrated with the concept of frequent combat).  Surviving to a
decent level is quite difficult in the first game - and both games are
very biased towards a strong fighter-based class; at least, if you want
your main character (aka, you) to be a useful team member throughout the
game.  In the second game, not only do you start at an advanced level,
your character hit points run WAY off the high end of the scale, your
equipment borders on artifact level (just how many +2 regenrating swords
are there, anyway?!!?), and I don't think I had one encounter while
sleeping through the entirity of the game.

        If you play anything like I did, you'll also notice that your
characters are addicted to healing potions - which is okay, every empty
house you walk into usually has 3-4 of them just lying around.

        The point is, the systems were adjusted, yet still managed to
maintain their D&D feel.  If you're going to run a MUD based on D&D,
you're going to have to adjust the systems even more - after all, D&D
doesn't really 'do' respawnning, or limitless items/wealth/other

        It'll be hard to manage a good balance between 'as "fun" as other
muds' and 'like D&D', but it should be possible.

        Of course, if you want to just eschew popularity and number of
players, you can use the strict AD&D rules, but you're probably not going
to have many characters make it past level 1 due to the difficulty.

        Granted, I'll play the crap out of it.  I love a challenge.


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