Wild West facedowns
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:44 am    Post subject: Wild West facedowns Reply with quote

On another forum, someone discussed the idea of a wild-west themed mud with gunslingers. It was pointed out that the drawback of such a theme as that the first person to perform an attack would probably win. To which I came up with a suggestion for simulating a facedown (I also touched on this subject in the Social combat thread). I thought I'd post my reply here as well, in case anyone is interested in such a theme.

One player initiates the fight via a 'facedown' command. At this point, both players would have access to various social combat commands such as 'stare', 'sneer', 'twitch', and so on. Each of these commands would have variable affects depending on what the opponent was doing - sort of like a two-player puzzle, with each player having several seconds to come up with an appropriate response.

If a player loses the facedown, they immediately draw their weapon and attempt to fire. Alternatively, any player can choose to give up the facedown and draw whenever they like, or attempt to back down (losing reputation as a result). Once one player attempts to draw their gun, both characters do, but the one who attempted to draw first would have a penalty. The penalty would be based on two factors - duration of facedown (higher penalty the shorter the facedown) and how well or badly they'd done in the social combat. A character would rarely survive a bullet wound, so getting the first shot would be very important.

Thus when you initiated the facedown, your opponent could simply draw their gun and fire - but they'd suffer a hefty penalty for doing so and (assuming roughly equal characters) you'd probably win, so most players would probably choose to respond to the facedown. However once they realised they were going to lose the facedown, they'd probably want to cut their loses and shoot before the penalty got too high.

Thus you'd have the two gunslingers standing in the street, facing each other down. One of them would start to get nervous, a bead of sweat trickling down his face...then suddenly he goes for his gun - but his shaking hands fumble the draw, and the other guy plants a bullet in his head.

You'd probably also want other combat options, for shoot-outs, brawls, and so on, not to mention the associated secondary skills that lawmen and bounty hunters would use for hunting down outlaws. Include Indians and you'd probably want some decent melee support as well. You could also include non-combat options - search for gold, start a mining business, become a trader or gunsmith, run a brothel, etc - each with their own systems.
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Molly O'Hara



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh - in the real old west even the best gunslingers usually missed their target, unless they were extremely close, almost chest to chest. The expert marksman who could shoot the gun out of his opponent's hand is a myth, the guns back then were really inaccurate. Some of the more infamous rogues used shotguns for this very reason, those would usually kill the target if they aimed approximately in the right direction, but they would of course also demolish everything else within a radius of 6 feet, which made them very unpopular among bar owners.

In a Mud I think ranged weapons in a Wildwest zone could be handled by making the chance to miss or just wound the adversary more than 60%.

There is also the way to forbid people to carry guns withing the city limits. That was quite common and enforced by some sheriffs, who had their deputies collect the guns of all visitors at the city entrance. Firing a gun at an unarmed man counted as murder and usually ended you in the nearest tree.

I used to be a big wildwest movie fan, and have always thought that a Mud based on this period could be very cool. The options are countless; Indian wars, joining a gang of outlaws - or becoming a sheriff, raiding trains, banks and stagecoaches, trapping, bounty hunting, or driving a herd of cattle from one end of the mud to another through deserts and Indian land without losing too many heads.

But fact remains that among our 4 Dimensions, the OldWest one is by far the least popular. With one exception; goldpanning. People seem to like that, but only because the in-game reward for it is pretty big - and because people obviously set up bots for it, since there is a random element incorporated in the code.

I think Wildwest is just out of fashion.
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Grem



Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 36
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:29 pm    Post subject: RE Reply with quote

Oh boy, lemme guess, Godwars 2 is going to suddenly undertake a Wild West twist.
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Luhar



Joined: 03 Aug 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. I've been looking for info on wild west themed multi-user games. I've wanted to play (or create) this type of game for a long time and I believe it could find it's own niche in the video game world.

I've been thinking about how duels would work in a game. Here's how I see it. Basically the players choose between quickness and accuracy. The faster they choose to draw, the less accurate their aim will be and vice versa. The players could choose to improve their QuickDraw skill or their Accuracy skill. Higher levels would decrease the range between these two skills. This, along with the emotive "pre-shootout" described above, would make for a pretty interesting conflict in the game. What'cha think?
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Luhar



Joined: 03 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 3:02 pm    Post subject: On "magic" in a wild west themed mug Reply with quote

Arguably, one of the most attractive aspects of most mugs (generic term for any multi-user game), is magic. Some sort of spellcasting system is included in almost all of these games.

How would one incorporate something similar in a wild west themed game? Arthur C. Clark said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

I believe this could be put to use in this theme. A magic system based on the beliefs and superstitions of that period could be implemented. "Potions" could be bought and sold by the Snake Oil salesman. Indian (Native Americans or Natives, to be politically correct) shamen, mysterious men and women who performed ritualistic actions for curing ailments, growing crops, etc... Even the doctors of the day would've been viewed as "magical" by the more superstitious people.

Anybody know any good sources for superstition and beliefs of the old west?
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Tyche



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 176
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've been running a "wierd west" campaign for about three years now using Deadlands. It also seems pretty popular at local gaming shops and at conventions. That is much moreso than the unsuccessful straight "wild west" of TSR's Boot Hill that was released waaayyy back in the early days. Just my own biased intuition, I sense it might be more popular than one would guess. Cowboy Bebop or Steampunk which I know little but I suspect similar might well be successful too.

I don't believe that introduction of firearms introduces any sorts of problems. The caveats being that one's mud design doesn't suck at presenting ranged combat ond that one does not view attrition-based combat as "normal" or "fun". This gets back to the commentary on the death spirals in another thread.
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Aioros



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Lisboa, Portugal

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds a bit like the Iaijutsu duel sytem used in Legend of the 5 Rings role play game. Basicly the same thing but with swords. Don't ask me how exactly it works, i just know it from watching other people playing it. still if you want me to check the pdf ... i mean ... the book *COUGH COUGH* i can try to find it when i get home.
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm an Iaijutsu duel sounds like it would be pretty fun as well - and unlike guns, it has the advantage that it's possible to parry an incoming attack. So how about something like this:

Each duellist may specify a weapon as their fastdraw weapon. As long as the weapon is sheathed and their hands are free, then whenever someone attacks them (and they're aware of the attack) they will instantly draw their weapon and set it into a counterattack position. A counterattack position is a strong defence which, if successful, follows up with an extremely powerful attack.

The duellists would then have access to a range of taunt options, which would work much as I described previously. Beating someone with the taunt 'social combat' system would force them to draw their weapon and attack you.

Because of the way the counterattacks are set up, this would discourage players from attacking someone outright - instead, you'd want to taunt your opponent into attacking you first...or else sneak up on them and attack them from behind, so that they're not able to get their weapon out in time.

If you wanted to be more 'correct' you could replace the counterattack with an instant draw and follow-up attack. For more 'realistic' muds where characters are unlikely to survive a single sword blow, that would probably be the way to go - but IMO the fastdraw counterattack approach would probably fit better balance-wise with most muds.
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Molly O'Hara



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:23 am    Post subject: Re: Wild West facedowns Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
One player initiates the fight via a 'facedown' command. At this point, both players would have access to various social combat commands such as 'stare', 'sneer', 'twitch', and so on. Each of these commands would have variable affects depending on what the opponent was doing - sort of like a two-player puzzle, with each player having several seconds to come up with an appropriate response.


I am intrigued by your facedown concept, since I am looking for ideas to stea... I mean get inspired from... Razz for the planned revamp of our own Oldwest dimension.

I am not quite sure how you aim to get the social fights to work in praxis however.
Here's how I'd do it myself:

- You start out with a list of perhaps 20 commands to use.
- Each command would yield a menu of 2-5 counter-commands that has to be chosen and executed in a window frame of a few seconds.
- If you wait too long, the initiative goes back to the opponent.
- Each command could only be used once in the same face-down, thus lowering the available choices for each round.
- When you run out of choices you’d have to either back out or draw the gun. Both these choices will of course have a Fame point penalty.

This is probably a very simplicistic approach. Perhaps you had something a bit more sophisticated in mind?

I am looking for a way to leading the opponent into some trap by the commands you use, but I cannot figure out how to do it. Anything that is pre-set the players would figure out in no time, and if it is random skill ceases to be a factor.
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Aioros



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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Location: Lisboa, Portugal

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't anyone remember Monkey Island dueling system? The insult system? Razz

the attacker would say something like:

Quote:
People fall at my feet when they see me coming.


and the defender had a list of options to reply/insult. The reply to this one was:

Quote:
Even BEFORE they smell your breath?


You can check the insult list here.

Man, was that game funny!
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Ashon



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am not quite sure how you aim to get the social fights to work in praxis however.
Here's how I'd do it myself:

- You start out with a list of perhaps 20 commands to use.
- Each command would yield a menu of 2-5 counter-commands that has to be chosen and executed in a window frame of a few seconds.
- If you wait too long, the initiative goes back to the opponent.
- Each command could only be used once in the same face-down, thus lowering the available choices for each round.
- When you run out of choices you’d have to either back out or draw the gun. Both these choices will of course have a Fame point penalty.


To paraphrase, and perhaps extend upon what was talked about in the Social Combat Thread:

To be blunt think of Social Combat simply as combat. Only the weapons, armor and skills required are abstract.

You could have a Sneer skill which does your intimidation strength +d6 points of Social Damage.

Your Reputation is now your armor, and soaks some damage from Social Combat.

Each round you'd get an update on how badly hurt the other character is, and then have the option of whatever skills you know to use in the facedown.

When one player is out of Social Hitpoints, they draw their gun first. Or can draw their gun at anytime.

So it becomes less a puzzle and more a PvP Component.
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Molly O'Hara



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashon wrote:
To paraphrase, and perhaps extend upon what was talked about in the Social Combat Thread:

To be blunt think of Social Combat simply as combat. Only the weapons, armor and skills required are abstract.

You could have a Sneer skill which does your intimidation strength +d6 points of Social Damage.

Your Reputation is now your armor, and soaks some damage from Social Combat.Component.


I don’t think I’d like the face-downs to work like combat, for one reason because I want to use the fame-points for other stuff too, so I cannot let one face-down drain a player of all fame-points. I’d prefer having it work like some sort of round based strategy game.

How would the following concept work?

The facedown is based on something like a deck of cards, where each card is a command to use. To make it simple, let’s use a normal 52 card deck with 4 colours. (That would perhaps make it possible to use existing code for card-games).

Each command gets a value from 2 –14, Ace high as usual. Since there are 4 colours, there will also be 4 aces, 4 deuces, etc. Dependant on how creative you want to be, these 4 same-value cards can either be the same command, or 4 different, but with the same ‘value’. Low value cards could be commands like ‘frown’, ‘twitch’, ‘sweat’ etc. The top 2 cards (King and Ace equivalent) would be ‘insult’ and mortal insult’.

(The messages for all the commands would have to be pre-written of course.This would probably be an amusing task).

When a face-down is initiated, each combatant gets dealt 13 ‘cards’. The cards are chosen somewhat randomly, but the higher your fame-points are, the higher your chances are to be dealt a card from the upper half of the scale.

You now have to play the cards you are dealt, as strategically as possible. The ‘game’ in itself is very simple. Each card you play has to be met by one of a similar or higher value by your opponent. The colour of the card doesn’t matter. For each card you play, you get a small amount of fame-points, based on the value of the card.

Apart from the 13 cards you also have two other options, ‘pass’ and ‘trump’. PASS allows you to ignore a round, throwing the initiative back on your opponent, if you are unable or don’t want to top his card for some reason. TRUMP allows you to override your opponent’s card with any card in any other colour. You will only be allowed to use each of these options a limited amount of times, let’s say twice each.

When you run out of cards, or cannot top the opponent’s card any longer, and also have run out of PASS and TRUMP options, you get two choices; fold or draw. Fold will of course lose you a lot of fame-points and emit some embarrassing room messages. Draw will have the usual penalty for whoever initiates a gunfight.

If a player fails to play a card within the given time limit, for instance because of lag, this is treated as a PASS. If you have run out of pass options, it will be regarded as a FOLD.

This should hopefully leave room for some strategy. You can choose between playing as low a card as possible, or a very high one, hoping your opponent will not be able to top it.
You don’t know what cards your opponent has of course, but you can make some deductions about probabilities based on your own cards and your opponent’s fame-points. For instance if you hold 2 of the ‘mortal insult’ cards yourself, chances are that your opponent doesn’t have any. You can also keep count of the cards that get played. The order you play the cards in will of course play a role. But I guess the outcome basically would be decided by the cards you have been dealt, which in turn depends on luck and fame-points. A really shitty hand will never beat a really good one, so maybe the best strategy with a bad hand is to fold as quickly as possible to stop your opponent from collecting too many points at your expense. But on the other hand, for all you know your opponent’s hand might be even worse than yours...

I would like strategy skill to play a larger role, but I am not sure how to manage it. Perhaps a third option, ‘BLUFF’, could be used. It would allow you to use a card that you don’t have, but only once. The opponent wouldn’t know if and when you are bluffing, but it still could backlash. Let’s say you use a high card when bluffing, and the opponent passes. This will throw the initiative back on yourself, and you’ll have to top your own card. Potentially this might be disastrous in the extension.

Are there ways to improve this concept? Comments anyone?
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Vopisk



Joined: 22 Aug 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Golden Valley, Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Molly:

From your description of a "Poker" type duelling system, I can't help of think of minigames and therefore, drawing the action away from the actual task at hand, killing the other guy!

When I get ready to shoot Kelson (first name in my head) out in the middle of the street, I don't want to have too much strategy involved, although some would not be so bad.

Also I don't think it should be a matter of "social combat" either. The idea in my mind would be a stat something like "preparation" or "readiness". This is a measure of your character's cat-like reflexes, and the other player, by throwing insults and whatnot in your direction can attempt to throw off your "balance" and get the quickdraw on you. However, he does this at a loss to his own preparation as well, though perhaps not as much so as the player if the "attack" "hits".

However, we give the defender a chance to reply/respond with not only an "ignore" command to try and keep the stoic, strong, silent type image. But also with various "counter" and "defensive" responses. Perhaps you could "spit in anger" or just "spit" and the difference would be spitting AT the other guy or just spitting as though you didn't even hear a word out of his mouth.

Just as his attacks can throw off your preparation, your response to his taunting can equally throw him off-balance because he just doesn't know where to go from there.

Modifiers for this can be "focus"(a character's ability to focus on the task at hand and not become easily distracted), "fame" (Doc Holiday staring you down in the street is intimidating after all) and perhaps a few others.

Anyway, at any time during this engagement Players A or B should have the option to "draw and fire" or perhaps "draw aim and fire". Therefore, if you get a particularly nasty insult, and he really took it the wrong way and appears to have lost his head entirely, you try and shoot him then and there. However, there's no evidence that he wasn't bluffing to get you to draw so that he could get the quick draw on YOU in return.

Oh, the complexities and strategies are endless. Also of course, he who draws and aims, while taking perhaps a second/milisecond longer to fire, will stand a higher chance of actually hitting his opponent, which can be JUST as important as drawing before the other guy does!

So player tactics can emerge, player reputations and fame will grow as they become "The fastest gun in the West" and so on and so forth until we're ready for the apocolyptic "Shootout at the OK Corral", featuring the game's best and brightest stars in a no-holds barred, all or nothing deathmatch!

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter. Of course, take into consideration that I was born and raised in the southwest United States. I have been to Tombstone and <b>SEEN</b> the OK Corral. Not to mention spent countless time at "Old Tucson", the soundstage for many, many, many, many countless western-themed movies in the past.

My two cents, something to chew on.

Vopisk
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arrowhen



Joined: 19 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to dig up an old thread like this, but I'm new to the boards and the topic piqued my interest.

I think the card idea is interesting, but too complicated for a simple gunslinger facedown. It seems more suited as a full-fledged "non-combat combat system" for a mystically themed Old West setting. Instead of merely mapping the cards to emotes, they could have actual magical properties. If a character began the game with only a few cards, the gaining of new cards (or "card-lore", as I see the cards as being metaphors for magical knowledge, rather than actual physical cards) could be the basis of numerous quests. Characters could gain special abilities for assembling entire suits and even more power for obtaining a full deck. In a more traditional fantasy setting, you could use tarot cards instead of playing cards.

For a basic gun duel, however, such a system seems like overkill. All you really want to do is find out who shoots first and how well, inject a little tension into the normally automated system of determining initiative, and give the players a chance to make some strategic decisions.

I came up with the following on the bus ride home last night:



DETERMINING INITIATIVE IN AN OLD-WEST GUNSLINGING DUEL THROUGH A SERIES OF "ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS"-STYLE CONTESTS


-- Tension mounts over a series of rounds, as indicated by a Tension Counter.

-- This counter begins at 0 and increases by a set amount each round, modified by the gunslingers' actions. When the Counter reaches 15, both gunslingers draw their weapons and fire.

-- Two considerations affect the outcome, Accuracy and Speed

-- These factors oppose each other - the faster shot is less accurate, while a careful aim takes longer to achieve.

-- Each round the opponents attempt to gain Accuracy or Speed by adopting one of three stances: Steady, Balanced, or Fast.

Steady - Accuracy +3, Tension -1
Balanced - Accuracy and Speed +1 each, Tension +0
Fast - Speed +3, Tension +1

-- After each gunslinger chooses his or her stance, the stances are compared to each other, "rock, paper, scissors" style:

Steady beats Fast,
Fast beats Balanced,
Balaced beats Steady.

-- The winner of each round gains the appropriate Speed and/or Accuracy, the Tension Counter increases by 3, and the Tension modifiers of both stances are applied.

-- The results of each round generate messages such as "Black Bart's hand swiftly darts toward the handle of his revovler, but he falters under the weight of Heinous Hank's steely gaze."

-- Once the counter reaches 15, the gunslingers draw their weapons and fire, with the success of their attacks adjusted according to their Accuracy and Speed ratings.



How Accuracy and Speed apply, exactly, would of course depend upon the combat system a given mud uses and upon just how much emphasis you wanted to place on "quickdrawing" vs. a character's actual firearm or other combat skills. I could see using anything from a simple "Highest Speed goes first and has an (Accuracy) in 12 chance of killing his opponent outright" to any number of complicated formulas involving a combatant's Speed and Accuracy, his opponent's Speed and Accuracy, other character stats, etc., etc., etc.

You could introduce more uncertainty by randomly varying the number to which the Tension Timer counts (a range of, say 13 - 17, instead of always 15); a player might begin the contest trying to build up Speed and hoping to have the chance to build some Accuracy as well before the timer ran out.

You could incorporate character ability as well, by implementing a Gunslinger skill separate from the normal firearms skills. At the beginning of the contest each player would pick a stance, but instead of those stances being compared, the one chosen by the character with the highest Gunslinging skill automatically takes effect. This wouldn't be revealed to the players until the end of the contest, to lend a bit more uncertainty.

Of course, you couldn't learn Gunslinging at just any old guildmaster; tracking down the retired Fastest Gun in the West and convincing him to pass on his secrets would be an adventure in itself...
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sorry to dig up an old thread like this, but I'm new to the boards and the topic piqued my interest.


No problem - feel free to go through any of the old posts and respond. The issues discussed here are not really things with 'right' or 'wrong' solutions, and it's often good to come back to them later and apply a new perspective.

Quote:
DETERMINING INITIATIVE IN AN OLD-WEST GUNSLINGING DUEL THROUGH A SERIES OF "ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS"-STYLE CONTESTS


My major concern with your suggestion is that rock/paper/scissors is based primarily on luck. Sure, it's only providing a modifier - but what I'm really interested in is a system that rewards player skill.

I must admit I wasn't particularly keen on Molly's idea when I first read it. However I've recently been putting together a card game snippet for the MudMagic Code Challenge, and in retrospect I think her suggestion could work really well. I think I'd probably be tempted to make it a bit more poker-like though, giving each player a hand of five cards, then allowing them to discard one (and automatically redraw another) each turn. Pass three turns in a row and you'd initiate the fight, with the highest scorer going first.
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