[MUD-Dev] Re: Random plotlines

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Fri May 9 15:39:11 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

Ling <K.L.Lo-94 at student.lut.ac.uk> wrote:

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

I remember some discussion on a newsgroup about this topic, but that
fairly soon devolved into a technical discussion that got me lost.
What the people started pointing out was that you would need a 'goal'
for a non-player, which can be selected from a fairly large list. And
some prerequisites to achieve that goal. Those prerequisites then become
new goals for that, and other, (non)players in the game. Things can be
broken down into manageable parts, though by then the whole thing probably
becomes rather big. The advantage is that result of the one plot/quest
can then spark off new quests.
In fantasy settings, that I'm more familiar with, you could have a mayor
of a city deciding it is time to put an end to the goblin raids, and start
to assemble/hire/bribe an army to attack the goblin villages. Players can
get involved as mercenaries and so on. At some point the goblins get the
idea that they're under relentless attack and might, in turn, begin to
collect allies and armies to defend themselves. Or the attack my initially
be successfull but goblin hordes farther away may now be out for the blood
of the citizens who exterminated several of their villages.
The first plotline was triggered by a random goblin raid, and resulted in
a village or two being torched. Then after some time the city comes under
siege from a huge goblin army and so on.
There's nothing much complicated in this, just a matter of deciding how
some key figures in your plotlines are going to react to certain kinds of
events, and creating list of how each can be achieved, and what sub goal
it is going to cause that must be met before the general plot-line can go
on. It may be though that actually coding is rather more complicated?

> 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.

This would not make it very random would it, though it would mean a quest
that is not restricted to a certain area and that not necesarily looses its
appeal once solved. I suppose in your scenario you would decide which black-
mail or bribes would work against which members of that commitee (and add
in a couple that react badly to being blackmailed, like in sending hitmen
after the ones making the attempt). You wouldn't need to create a quest as
much as decide how each non-player reacts when facing different situations.
It requires a lot of work and you will need to carefully decide which general
situations your non-players will face for this whole thing to work.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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