[MUD-Dev] RP thesis...

Nathan Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Wed May 14 12:33:15 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Tue, 13 May 1997, Jeff Kesselman wrote:

:At 07:23 PM 5/13/97 PST8PDT, you wrote:
:>In <Pine.LNX.3.96.970511220459.930W-100000 at mpc.dyn.ml.org>, on
:>   at 02:16 PM, Matt Chatterley <root at mpc.dyn.ml.org> said:
:>>On Sun, 11 May 1997, Jeff Kesselman wrote:
:>>> (2) Social behavior is foistered primarily when 2 things happen between
:>>> people;
:>>> 	(a) Communciation
:>>> 	(b) mutual respect
:>>I particularly like that you highlight the second, it's often
:>To me this also highlights the core isde of the other main difference
:>between RP-centric MUDs and roll-playing MUDs: roll-playing MUDs are
:>goal-oriented.  Specifically there is a goal or goals which are
:>internally defined to the game system and which are attainable
:>entirely within the game system.  

That would make my game a roll playing mud, I guess. I don't tend to think
of it that way.... I have always been more of a role player, to the point
that I _will_ allow a character to die appropriately, and to behave in
manners not conductive to survival, if it fits the character. But...
Singularity, the centerpiece for my Physmud++ efforts, is very goal
centered. Not that all goals are the same, but that there is the motive of
a very real and pressing war, a war which threatens to kill anyone who
does not fight back in one manner or another. Yes, this makes the killers
happy. No, that is not a coincidence. I wanted to make it possible for
those wonderfully simplistic people to be totally in character, whether
they intended it or not. They are still in character when their lack of
caution and failure to band together gets them splattered across the
landscape, without sufficient credits invested in the cloning facilities
to come back. Evolution in action, I say. So... the motive is to survive
this attack, to pull this raid off sucessfully, to make it through this
battle, to rescue this person, destroy this base, infiltrate this army,
disarm this bomb... or make a profit off the black market, take control of
the local organized crime syndicate, or negotiate a treaty with the enemy.
(Good luck, they are all terrified of their supervisors.) Seems that there
is plenty of room for role playing... just that the universe isn't going
to cooperate much with your fantasies if your role differs from the
"reality" of your body and circumstances. Playing a superhuman will just
get you killed.

:>RP MUDs don't seem to define their goals
:>within the system, or if the goal does happen to lie within the
:>system, is not obtainable entirely within the system.  Inside this
:>difference lies the subjective value-add given to good role-playing
:>players, implied in which is the example of the player who allows his
:>character to die to forward the "story".
:Yep, very good.  Death is an interesting issue in a roleplay envrionment.
:In RP it is important to understand that you don't have one story, you have
:N stories for N players.  In each players' story, theya re the main
:character and al lthe other characters are supporting characters. Good
:roleplayers cooperate to help each other build their individual stories.
:Thus RP is cooperative, not competitive.  Directly competitive behavior is
:more suited to the zero (or negative) -sum thinking of roll-players (or
:rule-players as I like to call em).  RPers are positive sum in their
:thinking, everyone wins.
:Now, given that, what palce does deat hhave in an RPers world?  Death, when
:and if it comes, shoudl be dramatic and, most of all, have some rgeater
:meaning.  remember that PCs are heros... what differentiates heros from
:schmucks liek us is that we dies in senseless, stupid ways-- heros die
:nobly and for the greater good.  Most RPers wil laccept death IF it is an
:appropriate heroic ending to their story...

Playing out of the role that a player has negotiated with the creation
computer (yeah, that's what its called) gets a player killed ignomiously.
Playing in character gets an appropriate death, if any. A hero usually
dies in a blaze of glory. A hero's compatriots clean the guts from the
floor with a toothbrush. *grin*

:Quick true story bvy way of example:  I had a character ina Superhero (pen
:and paper) game that bercame one of the odlest and highest respected heros
:in that world, he even survivied a system change (V&V to Champions) and
:time slip into the future and became the fatehr of the next generation hero
:and somewhat of a leader... he also alogn the way became crippled...
:basicly the prof X of the game.  He finally died by taking one the great
:villians of the world, who had also been one of his oldest freinds (basicly
:Magneto) out an airlock into vaccum with him.

:Thsi was a fitting end for one of the greatest men that world had seen as
:well as being "tight" in the film-plot sense.  
:Had he died by being hit by a car in a random accident it would have been a
:very inappropriate and ugly anti-climax.

I still like the final episode of "Space: Above and Beyond". Not really,
but I do like the way that Wang died. Still bitter over his forced
betrayal of his friends, he makes a final stand behind a gun, screaming
his heart out at the enemy as he destroys an oncoming ship in a dead hulk,
until it crashes directly into him.

:How do you bring thsi into a computer judged game? Dman good question I
:haven't answered yet.

A role player will fight that which he or she percieves to be their
character's ultimate foe, in keeping with their character's behavior. This
certainly creates a much greater potential for a death in some heroic
manner. I also took the liberty of creating hundreds of these ultimate bad
guy scenarios... makes for a nice bit of options. The band of pirates
preying on the south arm of the galaxy has a fierce and melodramatic
scumball of a captain... the andromedan emporer is huge and dangerous, and
pure evil. The slavers guild, the nebulan mob, and countless others. I
like melodramatic evils.... they may be overdone, but they are hardly

   __    _   __  _   _   ,  ,  , ,  
  /_  / / ) /_  /_) / ) /| /| / /\            First Light of a Nova Dawn
 /   / / \ /_  /_) / \ /-|/ |/ /_/            Final Night of a World Gone
Nathan F. Yospe - University of Hawaii Dept of Physics - yospe at hawaii.edu

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