[MUD-Dev] Re: Issues from the digests and Wout's list

Adam Wiggins nightfall at inficad.com
Wed Apr 23 19:49:20 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

> :Another random thought:  How would you think players would respond if they
> :were by default, oriental?  With a very low chance of not being so (if
> :they chose human).  I've got a theme reason for this...
> Most folks likely wouldn't mind. A few probably would. 
> They could go elsewhere!

First of all, I doubt that many people would mind, since from what I've
seen a pretty large percentage of mud players are Asian.  (If you care,
'Asian' is the correct adjective for people, 'oriental' applies to objects.
No I'm not Asian, but I know/have been around a lot of 'em.)

Secondly, I think this sort of thing is implicit - assuming that a given
mud's gravity, magic, races, classes, or anything is exactly equivilent
to those of another is pretty silly.  AD&D's Druids are nothing like
the conventional idea of the Celtic druid...ditto with their barbarians.

Our humans are pretty different from real world humans.  Partially in
appearance - for one thing, they are far less varried, to be more consistant
with the other races.  For another their temperment and place in world
politics is pretty different from how we view ourselves.
Ditto for our dwarves, elves, drow, goblins, and minotaurs.  Even though
they draw on similar elements as you'd expect, they are all somewhat different
from the 'norm' (==D&D, fantasy literature, popular myth and legend).
The reason we didn't just ditch all these stock-type races and just make
up our own completely from scratch is that there's a big advantage to
already having a rough idea of what a given race is like.  For starters,
when you see 'a bearded dwarf is standing here' you have a pretty good
idea of what that looks like.  When you see 'a tall, bald jhaa'rdk is standing
here' (the Jhaa'rdk being one of our original races) you're a little more
confused.  Plus, I hate logging onto muds and seeing:

Choose a race:
1) Elekin
2) Twin'dar
3) Gredon
4) Mithalyk-dor
12) Krepan

I just get confused and pick one at random, because I want to see
the mud, not sit there and try to educate myself about twelve brand new
races.  Of course, this is only slightly better than choosing a class:

1) Conjurer
2) Illusionist
3) Mage
4) Wizard
5) Sorcerer
6) Alchemist
7) Arch-magi
8) Elementalist
9) Runecaster

Uh...yeah.  Great.  *pokes a number at random*

I guess my point is that although I find most fantasy settings pretty
trite and tired, there is something to be said for recognition factor.
The trick is to mix in enough new stuff so that you get a fresh and
interesting world while retaining an element of familiarity.
(For that matter, cyberpunk and deep-space settings are often plagued
by the same problem...)

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