[MUD-Dev] Spell components, chemistry, and the like...

quzah quzah
Mon Nov 9 21:42:19 CET 1998

Greetings all. I'm working on a spell component system
for MERC, which is quickly becoming a physics engine.
Or perhaps I should say, chemistry engine. Now then,
since I didn't take chemistry in high school I have a
few questions relating to my spell component system.

I first decided to make a list of some typical elements
that would or could be found in the wilderness. I was
just going for elements at the start, to get them out
of the way. So, I jumped over to the periodic table and
selected a few, omiting the obscure ones that no one
in a medieval setting. Now if I remember correctly from
physics and other science classes, there are only ever
three forms of an element: solid, liquid or gas. I put
a small measurement list together (for the sake of
measuring the components) for the two forms: solid and
fluid (gasses are fluid).

Then, I made a little struct for my components, and was
making the component_table[] (similar to the spell table
and so forth) but I ran into a bit of a snag:

COTEMP_HOT_HD, COSIZE_MODERATE, (volume), (weight/volume),
(heat_to), (cool_to), (found where), ...

"gold dust" ...

"gold nugget" ...

Ah. Problem. Do I really want to list every form of gold?
For that matter, is gold ever a gas? If so, would anyone
ever be able to use it? Is this just a pain in the butt?

So, I have decided to redo it, (not sure exactally how) and
just have something like:

"%sgold%s", (solid info)(liquid info)(gas info)

What I'm not sure how to do is set up the (s)(l)(g) info.
Before I decided to redo it (again. That's all I do, redo
things to death.) I was toying with the idea of a hard coded
list, or a runtime-loaded-list (ala area file). Now, I'm not
sure what to use still, but I have yet to finalize the solid/
liquid/gas forms.

I guess what this all boils down to is: does anyone have any
ideas on handling the three forms of an element (compound/item/
whatever) that won't fill an encyclopedia volume? I already
have COFORM_ to handle things like "powered"/"liquid"/"shavings"
and so on, as well as COTEMP_ (temperature), COSIZE_ (measurement)
but I'm not sure what to do with elements, since I'm also allowing
for plants, blood, mud, swords, whatever to be a spell component.
(Room->vnum, obj->vnum, and mob->vnum are also allowed for spell
components: "You need to be in the temple, with a silver staff,
and a priest to cast resurection.")

I really don't feel like making every form of every element/item,
and so I'm looking for a different view on the subject. 


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