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Skill: Freerunning
Where are all the chases?

Like every genre, Cyberpunk is versatile, but action tends to be defining. As many hundred pages of intrigue there might be in a narrative, nothing punctuates it so sweetly as action. And besides the grand battle, one of the most defining moments in action is *the chase*.

We see it time and time again and it can be as exhilarating as a good fight. So, where are they? Currently, movement appears mostly tied to stats and latency. Following and shadowing. This is okay, for the most part, for your mundane movement around the world, but not for tense chases.

I propose a new skill: freerunning. Now, there's a clear issue with increasing the speed of movement, even at the high cost of stamina. Some people cannot react as quickly and that can ruin their enjoyment, it can aggravate people with higher latency, it can make the world feel smaller when you sprint across the sector at Olympic speeds.

Instead, a command (such as 'run' or 'sprint') wouldn't increase your speed but work as a sister to hide. When a person runs (perhaps it'd autotrigger on a flee attempt) they break into a sprint. They attempt to worm their way through crowds of people, hop over objects, maybe even knock some stuff down. The point is, however: they'd, at most, move a *bit* faster mechanically than normal movement.

The benefit: it'd hide you. Similar to hiding, higher freerunning and associated stats makes noticing 'their trail' easier as you're keeping pace, with a massive penalty placed on someone that isn't running. As you move with the run command on, your stamina drains heavily. Furthermore, perhaps if your freerunning rolls are lower but not horribly so, you might not be able to see the person in that room, but might get a hint at their 'trail of destruction' in a direction. At this point, you've realistically lost them, but might at least have some data on the direction they fled in. Like with 'go' run should be able to queue movement and idling for too long should kick you out of 'run' and inflict a massive penalty. ICly, this could be fluffed as you knocking into someone, crashing into boxes, etcetera, a similar something could occur on a bad roll when moving rooms while freerunning.

As this should obviously assist with your ability to flee, I also think it'd allow non-combat characters to still flourish in that they'll better be able to escape. Your assailant might be foregoing freerunning, so despite you being weaker, escape is a better option.

It's not really spelled out anywhere, but the distances characters cover when moving from outdoor room to outdoor room are consistent with them hauling ass. Which is not to say that characters are literally running all the time, but rather that the coded rates appear to translate loosely to the upper bounds of human performance.

The implicit sub-idea of pedestrian obstructions is kind of interesting. There is a traffic system for vehicles which can be avoided or mitigated in certain ways. Pedestrian crowds slowing down or stopping movement on busy streets, with an option for skills/stat avoidance would be pretty appropriate to the congested reality... though I suspect players would hate it like they do traffic now.

The idea is less congested traffic that actually impairs movement and more. Let me put it this way: Withmore is, supposedly, a lot larger than the actual map. There's probably other sectors we don't see, and the areas we do see are, in a way, abbreviated. We have certain 'points of interest' but the actual spaces we're moving are probably a lot larger with a lot more stores, buildings, etcetera.

While it could be cool to have some foot traffic, the idea behind freerunning isn't to actually speed you up or slow you down but I guess have an 'active defense'. Essentially, the ways you can defend yourself currently are fairly passive, at least skillwise, from my understanding.

Disguise lets you hide your identity, which makes aggressors looking for you specifically to have a clear difficulty, for random aggressors it adds the threat of the person they're attacking being a lot stronger than they anticipated, which could scare them off.

Sneak makes you difficult to spot. If someone can't spot you, it's sort of difficult to do much.

And, of course, having good combat stats. But these are all passive. It's mostly a: 'these are on, that's all I do'. If someone stronger than you catches you, you're however screwed.

I like to think that variety when it comes to how people approach combat is good. A sort of 'active stealth' is. I don't want 'running' in the idea that you actually move faster, but more that you are 'vaguely traversing an area, attempting to either use difficult to pass routes or attempting to keep up with someone doing the same'. Making chasing and running away more of a skill than mostly stats.

If someone runs into a room with someone previously there, they'll probably have an easy time spotting them, even with really crappy 'freerunning'. The idea there is, of course, that person is cruising through an area person B was already in, so it's not hard to notice them pushing people aside and running like a maniac. But if someone runs into a room with another person freerunning, it'd likely make a check similar to noticing someone in stealth. As this person is attempting to *chase* and thus the idea behind the check is they're trying to keep up. 'Freerunning' is more of an IC fluff for what is really just active, emergency sneak.

Of course, it would be neat if it also affected your chance to flee and maybe things like how much damage you take when falling off of buildings, or even the chance of successfully leaping. Instead of being good at combat somehow implicitly making you good at keeping people from escaping you (and making you better at escaping), it should be a skill you need to invest in. Someone that's spending all that time lifting weights and crushing skulls with a bat should maybe have difficult catching that urchin pickpocket that's spent months learning the routes of Withmore.

As said, something like this should really hurt your stamina. It's meant as an emergency sneak button. Just because you're faster, shouldn't mean you win. Your pursuer might manage to outlast you, or not run at all (because, as said, run shouldn't actually make you faster. Your pursuer might just guess your route to keep stamina. Maybe your only option to escape is initially obvious, so they move after you and then start running) and just outlasts you. If you get caught, it should suck.

Mechanically:

You 'run' east. If a person is in that room, they will almost definitely spot you. If someone moves into that room and you 'ran' into it, they will have a very hard time spotting you. If someone 'runs' into that room and you 'ran' into it, they'll have a better chance at spotting you, depending on their 'freerunning skill' (similar to spotting sneaks). When you 'run' out of a room, anyone that hadn't spotted you has a chance of noticing you moving out of that room. If you idle for too long and don't stop running, you slam into something, taking stamina damage. Every room you 'run' through depletes stamina. 'Run' has a chance of failing, if it fails poorly enough, you slam into something and take stamina damage. An obvious benefit to people within vehicles spotting 'freerunners'.