[MUD-Dev] Random plotlines

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Thu May 8 11:21:38 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


In <Pine.SOL.3.95.970507222009.27044A-100000 at sun-cc203>, on 05/07/97 
   at 08:22 PM, Ling <K.L.Lo-94 at student.lut.ac.uk> said:

>Anyone considering implementing pseudo-random plotlines in their mud?

Yup, tho not exactly as random plots, but by implementing systems
which generate plots as side-effects of their normal operation.

>They would probably be classed as variable/random quests in the
>usenet.  I was thinking that if I could get an engine to make things
>up, like a company would want its new drug to be approved so they
>employ some players to 'convince' a few people on the approval
>committee, etc.  I remember seeing a web page stating the '23 basic
>scenarios' or something similar but I can't find it right now.  Bit
>of a bugger.

What I like to try and do is to come up with a system which is self
animating, and inherently non-deterministic, but which also allows
players to interject themselves into to attempt to modify the
operation.  The classic case which I've posted on here before is that
of the Orc breeders/fighters/nobles/king etc.  Unfortunately I don't
seem to have a good copy of it to cut'n'paste in here, so here goes
from rough memory:

Orcs live in caverns and cave systems.  

They extend those cave systems via digging new tunnels.

Orcs come in several varieties: breeders, drones, fighters, nobles,
and kings.

There can only ever be one King Orc per warrren.

Breeders periodically produce new orcs which are one of breeders,
drones, or fighters.

Breeders produce new orcs.  Drones dig tunnels and explore.  Fighters
fight.  Nobles guide and manage groups of Orcs.  The King Orc is the
supreme noble orc for an entire warren.

The ratio of breeders:drones:fighters produced breeders varies
dependant on the current state of the Orc warren.  Should the warren
be attacked, then more fighters will be produced.  Should the warren
successfully repell an attack, then more breeders are produced. 
Should the death rate of Orcs climb, the rate of fighter production
similarly climbs.  During peace times more drones are produced. 
Should the warren begin to become overcrowded, then the fighter rate
climbs steeply (leading to orc bands wandering about the land).  Etc.

To ensure that the Orcs as a species are never made extinct, some
breeders are made immobile and placed in protected rooms in certain
cavern systems.  Those rooms have no entrances, only exits.  They are
also guarded against player teleports etc.

Dependant on the codition of the Orc warren as a whole, an individual
Orc may mutate across castes.  Thus a breeder may become a drone, a
drone a fighter, etc, or in reverse.  

My humours sake I've made it so that should things become dire a
breeder can mutate into a drone, but a drone can never become a
breeder.  Thus if a warren is sufficiently attack to render all their
breeders fighters, then that warren will be dependant on their
"hidden" breeders (see above) to rebuild their population.  If it
happens to be a warren without any hidden breeders (hidden breeders
never mutate), then that warren is thereby doomed to gradual
extinction.

Fighter orcs natually group.  One orc of that group will become a
"noble".  Once a noble, always a noble.  A noble cannot become a
fighter.  Nobles tend to wander as part of their nature.  As they
wander their drone and fighter entourages follow them (drones tend to
get lost a lot tho).  

Drone orcs naturally ungroup except when they have been coopted by a
noble.  Then they group, but not extremely well.

In every warren there is one noble orc who is King Orc.  Should the
King be killed, then all nobles will cease fighting and begin to
converge at the centre of their warren.  

During the convergance, should a noble with attached group meet
another another with a group the nobles will fight to the death, with
the survivor taking command of both groups.  Should a noble with no
group meet another such lonely noble, they ignore each other.  Should
an unattached noble meet an attached noble, the fighters of the
attached noble attempt to kill the bare noble.  Should the bare noble
kill a fighter, then that fighters sub-group immediately alligns with
the killer noble.  Those fighters will then fight to defend the
once-bare noble.

Once at the centre all fighting stops.

As the orcs arrive at the central meeting spot, the noble with the
largest entourage becomes King.  As soon a significant majority of the
Orcs have arrived at the centre, the King is ratified, and the nobles
and their parties disperse.  

Nobles with large parties tend to leave the caverns and go wandering.

Nobles with small parties tend to hang about trying to grow their
parties.

Nobles who wander and lose their parties to attacks go back to the
warren to recruit new parties.

Fighters who lose their nobles in attacks while wandering tend to
wander aimlessly.  If they stick tegether long enough however a
fighter may mutate into a noble and the group operate as per normal
from there.

Should a drone encounter a cavern which it determines is disjoint from
its home warren, it will attempt to go home and lead one or more
breeders there.  This new carvern then becomes a new warren and the
drone immediately mutates into a noble.  As soon as one of the
breeders produces another fighter the noble groups with it, becomes
King Orc for the new Warren, and a new race is off.

Should any orc encountner another orc from a foreign warren they fight
to the death.

Should any orc fighter or noble encounter another orc fighting someone
not from their warren, they group to fight the outsider, and then
resolve their internal differences.

******************************

What this means is that there is a built in system which creates
seandom periodic Orc invasions of the general land, gives a generic
replacement for the titular head as King, allows players to engage in
more or less successful "exterminate the orcs!" campaigns, allows
players to attempt to become King Orc (get a BIG following, kill the
King, run to the centre), allows players to set up their own Orc
warrens (grab some breeders and find a cavern) etc.

> "I'm 21, I can go to dodgy cinemas!  Hurrah!"

I'm sure Debbie is thrilled.  Dallas will never seem the same.

--
J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...




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