Roll-playing

Khanone at aol.com Khanone at aol.com
Mon May 12 14:58:19 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


After giving serious thought to how to introduce roleplaying to a game that
makes use of mechanics, and based on the experience I had when playing on a
certain MUD, I thought I'd put forward these ideas to you all, and let you
comment upon practicality and feasability.

XP from fighting is small - awarded on a hit-by-hit basis.  XP is shared
between group members, relative to their "level"  (I was actually thinking of
using the term "fame" instead of level - very similar to the way Avalon does
it, I believe).  However, fighting is just one of many ways to gain
experience.

An XP bonus is applicable when using special abilities - like, a character
picking a lock (it's not limited to just thieves - any character may attempt
it, whether they have the skill or not), gets a small bit of XP when
successful. (very small - may only be a few points), or casting spells.

XP awards from successful completion of quests.  These awards are fixed, and
the amount varies dependant upon difficulty.  It may be possible that a
character may gain several levels from completing the quest.  Some quests can
be completed several times, but the majority of them will be once only.  If
"monsters" are aggressive, or some sort of behavioral system is constructed
to govern their behaviour, then "risk" is always going to be a factor here.
 It's quite likely that players may die several times in attempting the
quests, at least at first.  Each new level, they'd have another crack at it.
 Also, there are the more cryptic quests ... A loose flagstone in a back
alley in a town requires the application of a crowbar - revealing an item,
which is used for another quests (quite lengthy chains can be built up).
 Players explore, they notice the world around them (in Diku-MUD's, how many
players actually look at the descriptions first, and then the mobs?)   It may
be possible to attach alignments to quests - so that modifiers to the XP
could be awarded.  (Evil characters who aid a good character, get a less XP
(perhaps even none!) than those who do good.)

Towns are generally lawful areas, where any who break the rules get an
"offender" status.  Repeat offences may result in becoming an outlaw, and
being attacked on sight by city officials.  So, mugging that merchant may not
be such a good idea.  If you become an outlaw, you can't enter the cities by
the usual means (the gates), and alternative entrances may need to be sought.

It may well be possible that an Immortal who has been watching on affairs in
the realms can set up quests on the spot.  (An evil character killed a high
city official - he was resurrected, but now wants the varmit who killed him.
And is willing to pay a substantial reward, as well as give a small skill
bonus in barter, or a special item, or something).

Heavy usage of quests get players involved.  The game I play most often,
called Terris, has hundreds of quests.  Now, while the way that game
implements them is far from ideal, it gaves players a sense of adventure.
 Players often run out of room in their backpack for carrying "possible"
quest items ("Hey, I found this purple flower. It's probably needed somewhere
for a quest, but WHERE???".  And "Dang, I've tried giving 6 different types
of flower to this healer, but none of them are the right herb she requires.")

Further possibilities for consideration (in association with quests, perhaps,
or perhaps not) is player-run shops.  Players may purchase deeds to open up a
shop of some kind, and they will need to stock it with various items, and
price competitively.  Stock is limited, etc.  When items are purchased, a
small percentage of the price goes to the city treasury, and the rest goes to
the player.  (Perhaps even give one or two points of experience to the owneer
when purchases are made?)  It opens up the possibility of an alchemist
creating potions for sale, who is always seeking empty vials (the vials
themselves are fairly expensive)  And they need to go out and seek
ingredients, or purchase them themselves.  It may well be possible to gain
levels from just doing this, but it's sure going to be slow, even with a high
demand, and that's even considering that the person doesn't run out of cash,
in paying rent for the shop.

As an idea of repeat quests, characters can become travelling merchants,
supplying cities and shops with necessary materials, and so on (have a
pseudo-economy - players can assist, but there is an "assumed" idea that the
minimal needs of a city are already being met, whether a player does the
quest, or not.)

Anyway, while most of the above should be possible to code, would it be
desirable in that format?  Thoughts, anyone?

Orlando.





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