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The Future of Limbs

Currently, limbs have one value associated with them: hit points. When a limb's hit points reach 0, the limb falls off, the player starts bleeding, and needs to get the limb reattached otherwise they bleed out and died.

Going forward, we are looking at limb states: OK, bleeding, broken, missing, bandaged, regenerating. While these states (and others) are fantastic, I have to remember that we have threefour different weapon attack types, and need to deal with them differently.

Hence, the following change: limbs will have multiple hit point tallies - one for slashing damage, one for bludgeoning damage, and hit point tallies for any other damage types that wizards in the future decide to code.

While the actual number will be invisible to the user, the command that displays limb health will tell you how well along your limb is in each of the appropriate categories.

The existing damage types will affect limbs as follows:

  • Slashing damage would be heavily mitigated by armour, but a limb would have lower slashing hit points than bludgeoning hit points. When a limb reaches 0 slashing hit points, the limb is severed, like the current system.
  • Bludgeoning damage would not be mitigated by armour (or, not as much, so that armour is worthwhile in both cases). When a limb reaches 0 bludgeoning hit points, the limb is rendered useless (broken/limp), making it unusable.
  • Piercing damage causes both slashing and bludgeoning damage, though in much smaller quantities. It is only lightly reduced by armour, like bludgeoning damage, and causes limbs to bleed, losing small quantities of limb hit points until patched up or the limb clots.
  • Lasers tend to, in science-fiction, sever limbs, it makes sense to have lasers do slashing damage that is less mitigated by armour, but that stop existing bleeding, due to instant cauterization. I think this makes lasers a bit more balanced than I was worried about initially, but that's still yet-to-be-written.

Healing a limb through existing means will heal all types of hit points. Going forward, I'm thinking that the First Aid skill, in conjunction with new types of items, will be used for healing specific types of damage, or better limb healing, without affecting HP. Furthermore, limb healing while idling makes a lot of sense, though along that train of thought, slashing damage would heal more slowly than bludgeoning damage, and, in order to prevent things from being too complicated, we likely won't be trying to make things more realistic than that. Which means that you can walk around and heal limb damage, instead of being hurt more for walking around on a nearly-severed left leg.

I think that such a system will make limbs viable targets in combat, and will encourage players to go out and find armour and use different weapons. Furthermore, because all of the work is done behind the scenes, with the exception of bandaging (which I have been advocating for years now), I don't think the immediate impact on the players would be too great, particularly if there is sufficient documentation to get the players started on the path to figuring all of this nonsense out.

Mreh 2010/09/11 20:38

discussion/limbs.txt · Last modified: 2010/09/11 20:49 by mreh