[MUD-Dev] RP thesis...

Adam Wiggins nightfall at user1.inficad.com
Mon May 12 07:00:22 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


> > (1) Rp is by definitio nsocial. if yo uwant to encoruage Rp first yo uhave
> > to encourage social behavior.
> 
> Of course. If one has noone to RP with, one cannot RP. Ack! I'm using the
> royal 'we' type form :P But yes, this is true. If you have people who will
> not interact socially on any level, they will not be able to successfully
> RP together.

Agreed, but this is an age old RPG issue.  The more specific problem, to
my mind, is that players just aren't immersed in an RP-way into the world.
That is, the world looks the same regardless of whether you're playing a
9-foot, orange-furred Kzin with razor-sharp claws or a 3-foot, cross-eyed,
club-footed midget with a horrible nervous twitch.

> > Some ways to caue this to happen:
> > (1) Design your game with interlocking dependancies, players must need each
> > other.
> 
> Well noted. Players should be able to play alone to some extent, but
> should require other players to progress in any way, shape, or form.

I think this fact is obvious; exactly *how* to do it, and how to do it well,
is where things get tricky.

> > (2) Design so that groups are mroe efective then individuals.
> 
> Perhaps, but it should still be possible to be an individual, and relate
> to other individuals and groups. :)

Of course.  This is something I've never liked about LPs - there seems to
be little to no point to grouping.  Something that makes dikus pretty cool
is that grouping is a necessity.  You simply *can't* do a lot of things in
the game without a group.  And some of the funnest times I've had mudding have
involved groups of 30 or 35 people going to take out a particularly tough
dragon (usually resulting in mass death of the group).

> > (4) Do NOt design your game so any single player can., on their own,
> > acquire everything they need to be succesful. if yo udo, they wil lstop
> > socializing and focus on solo accomplishment.
> 
> Right. While it should still be possible to be an individual, and succeed
> to some extent in individual projects, one man trying to build a bridge
> will take longer than four men working together to build a bridge. One man
> cannot open a bar and instantly have a profit - he'll probably need staff,
> or at least customers. The concept of a 'group' can be abstract, since
> they don't have to share a common goal or aim.

Absolutely!  I can be a great thief, but without a fence to turn my goods
into hard cash or gullible players to pick-pocket, I'm going to have a
tough (or at the very least, boring) time of it.

> > (5) Design out "dominance games", (Im higher level and can beat you up,
> > etc...)
> > Tehre is a snmall, EVRY destructive component that wil lotherwise domiante
> > your game and ruin almos tal lsocial interraction.

Well, 'power' levels are only natural.  I'm a 300 lb sumo wrestler, so I
can grab you and beat the living hell out of you.  I'm an awesome thief,
so I can rob you blind and slip out the door before you notice.  I'm
loved and respected in the community, so if you beat the hell out of me
and rob me blind, my friends will have me re-equiped and healed up and
be after your ass in no time.
My complaint is only that the power levels are too extreme.  On a serious
power-play mud the difference between a newbie and a high-level character
is stunning.  1,000,000 newbies versus one tough high-level player would
probably result in a few scratches on said high-level player and 1m newbie
corpses.  This is a fundamental problem.

> > (6) Make sure that posuitive social behavior is a "winning" strategy and
> > that negativ social behavior is a losign one.

I'm not sure I agree with this.  A working society takes all types - good
guys *and* bad guys.  If there are no successful scumbags, who will the
righteous defenders of good hunt down?  It's just a matter of balance, like
anything else.  Pick-pocketing from other players may be a great way to
make money, but sooner or later it's gonna catch up with you.
A secondary issue, related to this one, is to make sure the players understand
it's all in the context of the game.  People tend to take thing personally;
they think you're stealing from them because you're an asshole and you have
it out for them, instead of because you're a thief and they are dumb enough
to walk around with tons of cash on hand.  Their *character* has every
right to be pissed off, and my hunt you down and slap you around.  That's
still in the context of the game.

> While the first is mostly right.. someone has the power (be it someone in
> the government, or somesuch). The concept of 'levels' and other such
> mechanics should really not feature in RPGs at all, IMHO, since they cloud
> everything over. Negative behaviour can be fun, but usually destructive.
> It might be fun to RP a bank robber, at least, fun until the cops shoot
> you down infront of the bank.

Yup.  I don't see any reason for it to be any different in structure from the
real world.  Cops wouldn't be neccessary if there were no criminals.

> > (8) DONt expect your players to dveelop a society, most americans dont even
> > have basic people skills.  CREATE asociety that they are integrated into in
> > the structure of your game.

Right.  Especially since you're trying to immerse them in a fantasy world.
If I make a race that I am told is hated by most other races (ie, drow elf
or something), I should expect to walk through town and be spit on or
even attacked.  Now I feel like a member of an oppressed, underground race,
who can find solace with my companions hidden deep within the Underdark.
Now we're having fun!




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