[MUD-Dev] RP thesis...

Adam Wiggins nightfall at user1.inficad.com
Sun May 18 17:15:24 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

[Matt C:]
> It doesn't have to be like this though! The first step is to complicate
> things internally, and actually require a vaguely balanced meal. On the
> complicated end, you use a set of vitamins, and juggle them. On the simple
> and more practical end, a ratio of 'nourishment' for every food (any
> number, with negative being something that is 'bad' for you but filling,
> ie chips/fries/whatever-else-you-call-deep-fried-potato-chunks, and a
> positive number being something nourishing, like a nice fresh piece of
> lemon sole, or a pineapple. God, this is making me hungry. :P)
> Now, if the player junks out on 30 breads every day for a week, he's going
> to be somewhat malnourished. He might get filled up (his 'satiation
> counter' will rise, and he won't starve), but he will suffer health
> problems (nutrition counter will not have risen much, and will soon sink
> negative, indicating malnutrition. He will suffer various detrimental
> effects.. stat penalties, penalties in combat, reduced stamina, and so
> forth). Now he is in a situation where he has to buy, or find, decent food
> to eat in some variety, and going adventuring has another real risk,
> malnutrition and starvation.
> What about thirst? Well, first of all, we make alchohol a little less
> central to the game - it really does screw you up if you drink too much (I
> heard somewhere that a little alchohol is actually good for you.. on the
> news, or somesuch). Drinking a little will increase confidence and
> willpower, make you a little less controlled, increase healing rate.. but
> if you drink too much, you'll get a hangover later (dehydration too),
> maybe be sick.. and all sorts of other nasty things.

Oh yeah, absolutely.  As we started to get more intense in the various
systems in our mud, we realized a lot of research was necessary...we just
didn't have enough raw knowledge to throw around between the two of us.
In particular, as we read anatomy and nutrition books, we had a lot of
unanswered questions.  So I got in touch with two nurses I know - the
first with over a dozen years experience in the ER and then later the OR,
plus an extensive knowledge of gardening and midwifery.  The second has
about ten years of experience in the OR and then later the recovery room,
and also some knowledge of herbalism etc.  Let me tell you this was a great
resource...over the last year or so I've wrung them dry with long interviews
both over email and in person.  Our original point was to find out more
'hands-on' knowledge about how various types of wounds heal, how long it takes,
what factors influence various effects (knockout, swelling, blood clotting,
and so on)...but eventually we couldn't help but to bring in the effects
of nutrition - vitamins, proteins, electrolytes...which of course also
turned to the topic of various drug effects, including alcohol, painkillers,
poisons (mainly nerve inhibitors/paralytic agents), bacteria, viruses,
and so on.  Alcohol does have some benefits...but it also screws up
your liver pretty bad (it actually leaves scar tissue)...which can result
in some nasty things later in life; for one thing, sinc your liver isn't
producing clotting agents, lifetime alcoholics who get cut tend to just
bleed more or less forever, or until you bind it up.  Nutrition is a large
factor in how quickly you heal; if your body has the proper building blocks
at hand, it can do some pretty amazing things.  (Youth is the other
big factor.)  We fully intend to have various diseases as well as malnutrition
(scurvy, anyone?) although hopefully we can balance it in such a way that it's
a factor but not an all-encompassing concern.  Ie..."I sure could use
a good, hot meal about now!  Let's head over to Hobbiton!" vs. breaking
your back to make sure you eat three square meals a day.

> A troll might like to chow down on a goat's carcass after he biffs it over
> the head, but a human would almost certainly cut it up and cook it first.
> This is an important distinction. Different races will have to eat
> slightly different things.

Yeah.  Our 'organic' objects (which includes everything from severed limbs
to leaves from a tree to chicken soup) are rated for a lot of things including
temperature, consistancy, sweet/sourness, biter/saltiness.  Various races
have tastes for different things.  This is no big deal for gameplay, really,
just one of those game-flavor (heh) things.  When the ogre and the elf
group together and the ogre asks the elf if he has some food...the elf
gives him some lembas and the ogre thinks it tastes horrible.  One of
those things about making the world seem different, depending upon who you're

> tracking approximate metabolic speed.. how fast you use up food, recover
> from drunkeness, heal, and such), the sooner you need to eat, and the
> sooner you heal. It's a decent picture, if you have items which boost
> metabolism (for instance, a character with a ring of regeneration,
> necklace of fasthealing, regeneration spell, Troll's natural regeneration,
> and an artefact anklet "Rumbletummy" which quadrouples your healing rate
> will need to eat about every 3.5 seconds or starve :P Point taken that
> it's easy to get ridiculous here).

Yeah, Angband (a nethack/moria/rogue derivative, and the game the mud 3M is
based on) has a thing like this.  You usually want a slow-digestion
item to go along with your regen item to make things reasonable.  (Once
a friend of mine tried making an item that was regen by 500...a single step
killed his character, since he starved to death...)

> > eating root and grubs and sleeping out in the forest.  But a night in the
> > town inn, a bath and a shave, a good hot meal, and a tankard of ale will
> > do wonders for your ability to do just about anything succesfully. :)
> > Oh, we also track hair growth (including facial hair) and cleanliness,
> > so someone who has been in the outback for a while really looks it.
> Heh. Hair growth eh? I'll probably track morale more simplistically..

Another thing that has nothing to do with gameplay, just adds flavor.
People who spend a lot of time in the outback start to look it.  (Cleanliness
also affects infections and diseases..)  Except, of course, for our race
of 8 ft plainsmen who have no body hair to speak of.

> We have both normal rooms, and our own mappable virtual room areas, you
> can create a map such as:
> XXXXXXXXXX	X = impassable terrain
> **########	* = swamp
> *######@##	# = grassland
> XXXXXXXXXX	@ = a lake
> and set a scale for each room - this map would be converted into normal
> rooms with randomly set sizes, descriptions, weather suited to the area,
> and so forth.

How is this displayed?

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