Moria is Developed for the PLATO system
Moria is a dungeon crawl style computer role-playing game first developed for the PLATO system around 1975, with copyright dates listed as 1978 and 1984.
It was a pioneering game, allowing parties of up to ten players to travel as a group and message each other, dynamically generating dungeons (instead of pre-computing them), and featuring a wireframe first-person perspective display. One of its authors, Kevet Duncombe, claims not to have read the works of J. R. R. Tolkien or heard of Dungeons & Dragons at the time development started, but he was aware of the PLATO game, dnd.
Players create characters who possess skills that describe abilities on a 100-point scale. Cunning affects a character's life expectancy and the odds of evading an attack, tricking or surprising monsters, and opening boxes and chests. Piety affects the success of prayers and some non-battle spells. Wizardry determines which spells can be used and their odds of success. Valor affects what weapons can be used, as well as reducing damage received in combat and affecting success in attacking monsters.
In Moria, character generation is automatic. A player chooses from among four possible skill combinations, each totaling to the same amount. The game does not enforce a rigid notion of character class; characters may use any weapon or spell as their individual skill levels permit.
A character's Vitality level combines the concepts of character level, hit points, and endurance. A character's vitality level determines chances of success or cost of actions such as fighting or fleeing a monster and spell-casting. Performing actions, sustaining damage, or depleting food and water supplies consumes Vitality. Each turn a character rests while stocked with food and water restores Vitality. Should Vitality drop to zero, the character dies.
Score points are given for defeating monsters.
Believe it or not we hadn't even heard of D&D until after we started the project. I hadn't read Tolkien at the time. The guys doing dnd seemed to be having a good deal of trouble getting the bugs out and I was curious what made it so tough. When I thought up the notion of generating the dungeon on the fly as you walk around I couldn't resist and prototyped a 2d, top down version. That was the impetus. Before you know it Jim and I had turned it into a playable game, and we just kept adding features.”— Kevet Duncombe