Wound system

 
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 12:22 pm    Post subject: Wound system Reply with quote

I've recently been working on 'critical hits' - particularly nasty blows intended to put the opponent at a disadvantage in some way other than just pure damage, and an incentive for people to use well-planned accurate blows rather than relying on brute force or overwhelming their opponents with a flurry of weak attacks. I started having a think about how I should store the injury information, and exactly what factors it should take into account, and the more I thought about it the more complex I realised it was. So I thought I'd post here and see what feedback and suggestions anyone else might have.

The basic concept is this: A player can receive special types of injuries, which I'll refer to capitalised as 'Wounds'. A Wound is any injury which the code keeps track of - standard injuries are handled normally through hit points, to prevent players racking up a ridiculously large number of Wounds (PCs are supernaturally tough and are therefore able to sustain a lot of physical damage).

Factors I've been thinking about:

Some Wounds should be dependent upon the lack of other Wounds (for example you can't have a mangled hand if you've got a severed hand or arm). This would work both ways - hack off someone's arm and it would automatically strip off their 'mangled hand' Wound (although if body parts can later be reattached, this information might need to be stored on the body part).

Each Wounds can be sustained a specific number of times depending on your shape (humans can have two severed ears) while others can be upgraded (strike a mangled hand and it can be upgraded to a crippled hand).

Some Wounds vanish over time (eg, a broken bone), while others transform into something else if left unattended (a misaligned broken bone could heal crookedly, while a deep cut might turn into a festering wound or an aching scar).

Some Wounds could be converted into less severe Wounds via medical skills (splinting a broken bone, stitching up a sword-cut, amputating a gangrenous foot, cutting out an arrowhead, applying a hot brand to a heavily bleeding injury, etc).

Some Wounds will bleed. Some of these will continue bleeding until the character dies, while others will 'clot', transforming into a non-bleeding version of the same Wound. Blood loss could come directly from hit points, although it would probably work better as a separate stat (and affect the character based on their creature type).

Most Wounds will give a pain penalty. Pain comes in two flavours - active, and passive. Passive pain penalties apply all the time, while active pain penalties only apply when performing activities associated with that wound (eg walking with an injured leg, or swinging a sword with an injured arm). These penalties should apply primarily to activities which require concentration, and can be partially or fully ignored by certain individuals in certain circumstances (high willpower or self-discipline, high levels of adrenaline, being in a berserk rage, etc).

Many Wounds will give a damage penalty (in the tissue/bone/nerve sense). This works exactly like active pain, but cannot be overcome or ignored, as it's due to real damage to the body rather than just pain. A skeleton could ignore pain, but damage to its arm would still cause it to swing its sword less powerfully.

Some Wounds will have a weakness level, indicating that it has the potential to become much worse if you continue to exert it. Most medically-treated Wounds have a Weakness level which can result in them reverting back to their untreated state (stitches popping out, etc). Certain other Wounds can also become much worse if ignored (it doesn't matter if you can ignore pain, continue walking around on your broken leg and sooner or later the bone is going to rip through the flesh).

Some Wounds don't apply to certain creature types. A skeleton can ignore wounds that damage flesh or cause bleeding. A humanoid can ignore wounds that affect tails. A vampire doesn't convert Wounds into other Wound types over time (no infections, no scarring, no natural healing). A zombie ignores mortal and instant-death Wounds (forcing people to literally hack them apart).

Some Wounds would disable certain commands or options, and enable others. You cannot run (or even jog) with a badly injured leg. You cannot wield a sword with a hand which has just been cut off, although you could hit someone with the stump.

Some Wounds are automatically converted into something else for certain creature types. A wolf would convert a mangled hand to a mangled forepaw, while a drake would convert the same injury into a mangled wing. These would be separate Wound types, as they would have a different impact on different things (a mangled wing doesn't slow down your movement, but a mangled forepaw does).

Any other factors anyone can think up?
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cron0s



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 34
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't think of much else to add to that to be honest, although I am not sure how practical it would be to have such a realistic system. There's nothing really too complicated to code, but from a design point of view there are a lot of factors to keep track of and balance.

I am using a similar idea, but much simplified. I have attacks which do fixed damage or damage over time (bleeding) to hit, mana and move points. I then have separate skills which cause wound/affliction affects, but do no damage. I am also not planning to have natural healing, instead characters will have to use different skills/items to heal themselves of their wounds.

This is not very realistic, but I hope it will make combat more fun and tactical by forcing players to choose between techniques which give afflictions and those which cause pure damage.

Here's some example output for a hamstring skill which disables one leg and then the other. Obviously this could equally be a martial arts kick to the knee or bone smash with a mace etc. Yeah I know the messages suck, but I really hate writing that stuff, lol.

Code:

<120hp 120m 120mv>
Cronos turns his back and drops to a crouch, blade held high.

<120hp 120m 120mv>
jump
You leap high into the air.

<120hp 120m 100mv>
You watch Cronos's attack pass harmlessly beneath your feet.

<120hp 120m 100mv>
You land back down with a bump.

<120hp 120m 100mv>
spring
You spring to your feet.

<120hp 120m 80mv>
Cronos turns his back and drops to a crouch, blade held high.

<120hp 120m 80mv>
Cronos spins around and flashes his blade, slicing you viciously across the back of the leg!

<120hp 120m 80mv>
south
You limp slowly south.

<120hp 120m 80mv>
Mariners' Row
  Large warehouses line both sides of this narrow street. The cobble stones
look to have been well worn by the many travellers that have embarked here
over the years. You can smell the fresh scent of the ocean. The row
continues uphill to the north. The dockyard lies before you to the south.

<120hp 120m 72mv>
Cronos has arrived.

<120hp 120m 72mv>
The night has begun.

<120hp 120m 72mv>
Cronos turns his back and drops to a crouch, blade held high.

<120hp 120m 72mv>
Cronos spins around and flashes his blade, slicing you viciously across the back of your other leg!
Both your legs are useless, you collapse to the ground.

<120hp 120m 72mv>
Cronos springs to his feet.

<120hp 120m 72mv>
south
Better stand up first.

<120hp 120m 72mv>
stand
You struggle to rise but both your legs are crippled!


I would probably like to use a system similar to the one you outlined eventually, but for now I think it would be too complicated.

Edit:
Thinking about it, I could make some simple modifications to what I have now to make it a little more realistic. For example you could have some sort of wound counter based on the number of successful attacks to a particular body part. Or alternatively give a chance of causing a major wound with every attack.
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Kyuss



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Southern Hellinois

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the Georgia code on Soulmud involved this aspect.

Bleeding wounds which had to be bandaged. Limb loss, from disease
or weapon chops. It also contained forgeable prostetic limbs with
alterable stats. It also had breathing, heart rate, blood supply number
by char height and weight, as well as heart explosions and comas for
both the body and soul. Adrenaline was an important aspect of combat.
Body rates were alterable by spells and skills, limbs could also be force
grown by higher level missionaries.

Frankly the mortals bitched endlessly until I deleted the code.

I know your mortals pretty well, and you have to keep them in mind before
you would add something like this. I hope you think it through better then
I did, and good luck.

~Kell
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Ashon



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you missed the most imporatnt factor at hand: Is this fun? Or, How do I make this fun?

The wound system definitely has a coolness/immersion factor to it. But when you start accumulating wounds that are irrepairable, does that character become less fun to play?

Is not being able to hear says fun? (Assuming both ears lopped off?) Is not being able to wield a weapon going to be fun? Is having to move around on some sort of wheelchair going to be fun?

From a developer/designer point of view, I do see the fun part. From a player point of view though, I don't think it would be fun. Unless of course it was some sort of Cyberpunk game, where after parts have been lopped off, I can add cybernetics.

Or taking the Supernautilus aspect, if you chop a limb or body part off of another creature, or Supernautilus, you can graft it on to your body. That would add fun into it. But, otherwise...
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not talking about irrepairable wounds - in my particular implementation you'll always be able to rebuild your body by taking a quick visit to your personal plane (which will usually happen if you get killed anyway), while powerful PCs will be able to regrow lost limbs through spells or powers. The wounds are really more of a short-term inconvenience - crippling your opponent for the duration of a fight, or having to lose your progress through a monster lair because you've been too badly injuried to carry on. Even if you can regrow a lost hand within a minute or so, that's still a long time to have to survive one-handed.
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cron0s



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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't planning on having any natural healing, but of course in a land of magic and fantasy a hastily mumbled spell or a quick swig of a mystical healing elixir and those crippled legs should be good as new.

I am not planning on a system as realistic as the one KaVir outlined, although I think it could extremely well, the whole point is to make combat more fun, not necessarily more realistic.
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Baeran



Joined: 16 May 2005
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Location: On your lawn.

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree on the fun factor aspect, I would be pissed if I lost a leg or something then ended up crawling to town. Somehow I could see that happening to me alot lol Very Happy .

I had thought of the idea before (while playing a Btech Mux, suffering critical hits there, and pondering normal squishy human type MU*) but never really fleshed the idea out.
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Ashon



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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, since the wounds are repairable, it adds depth to the combat system, but how much does it add to the learning curve of the combat system? All of a sudden you lose a limb and a whole new set of skills are opened up, unless you continually fight with some missing limb, you aren't going to know those skills very well. And while that may be by design, it detracts from my fun as an explorer to try out all the nifty abilities that are in a game.
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashon wrote:
Well, since the wounds are repairable, it adds depth to the combat system, but how much does it add to the learning curve of the combat system?


Probably not too much, particularly as not all fighting techniques will be able to perform special critical hits. Besides which, I've already accepted the fact that there's going to be a steep learning curve, so a little more doesn't really matter (particularly considering the extra flavour it provides by helping differentiate between combat moves). I will try and prevent the 'newbie monsters' from performing too many critical hits though.

Quote:
All of a sudden you lose a limb and a whole new set of skills are opened up, unless you continually fight with some missing limb, you aren't going to know those skills very well.


Well in all fairness the same is true of picking up a different weapon, or changing fighting style. Losing a hand is actually a lot easier in many respects, in fact, as it's basically just a cut-down (no pun intended) version of unarmed combat.
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Sandi



Joined: 13 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems to me, player killers are generally willing to risk a loss if it means they can also inflict a loss. Wink
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Tyche



Joined: 13 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashon wrote:
I think you missed the most imporatnt factor at hand: Is this fun? Or, How do I make this fun?


I proposed a wound system similar to this on a mud I worked on, and that was the main objection, "Auntie it sounds like E.R. I don't think our players would want the annoyance of being crippled." Oh they liked the critical hit part of system, but only as applied to critters not to players. Mine was more abstract, closer to Rolemaster, which was more appropriate for this particular game as they liked numbers. That is they liked seeing: "Wound -30 to hitroll" in preference to more realistic descriptions.

Nevertheless I think the above detailed wound system is swell and something I'd do in a game. As a player I'd think it was fun. It also by side effect gives cleric/medic classes a great many more options and specialties for development. "Damn it Jim I'm a neuro-surgeon, you need a protologist for that wound!" Wink
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Scandum



Joined: 13 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main problem would be providing logical and useful options to deal with severed limbs. For example using a spear as a walking stick to move at jogging speed with an injured leg.

With one leg cut off the obvious thing would be to engage in a ground fight, if you want realism one might want to add those first.
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scandum wrote:
With one leg cut off the obvious thing would be to engage in a ground fight, if you want realism one might want to add those first.


Well if you want realism, then the obvious thing would be to have the player go into shock and then die from blood loss Razz
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Scandum



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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
Well if you want realism, then the obvious thing would be to have the player go into shock and then die from blood loss Razz

I'm curious, why do you start a thread asking for feedback if you are going to respond like that?
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like what? Humourous disagreement? The fact that I'm interested in other peoples opinions doesn't preclude me from expressing my own.

If you want realism, then players shouldn't just carry on fighting on the ground after losing a leg; they should go into a shock, then bleed to death. Your suggestions are good ones, but only because they avoid realism at the expense of playability.
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