[MUD-Dev] RP thesis...

Adam Wiggins nightfall at inficad.com
Sun May 18 20:14:13 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

[Matt C:]
> It could conceivably be thought of as dialects - for instance, in Germany,
> they all speak a basically similar language, but there are several quite
> different dialects. To a non-native-speaker, some dialects may be very
> different to the generalised form of the language (s)he learnt. Hmm, no,
> on second thoughts it's a tad more extreme than that.. but thats the
> general gist.

Oh, no kidding!  How about the difference between Mandarin and other
dialects of Chinese?  Or how about the difference between Amercian english
and British english after a pithy 221 years - I can barely understand
those British freaks sometimes! *duck*
If that's not complicated enough, then you get stuff like the Swiss -
they speak in a combination of their own dialect and german (called,
not suprisingly, Swiss-German).  In addition, they have no written language,
so write exclusively in German.  Makes the simple little list of languages
most muds have seem pretty pitiful. :)  Of course, that's what's
nice about skill trees (and better yet, skill webs) - you can do:

                     /      \
                 Sindarin   Dunedain
                 /    \
           Grey Elven  Wild Elven

Etc...makes a bit more sense.  (Apologies to Tolkien, I'm sure this is
nowhere near correct.)  At any rate, in this little tree, Sindarin is a common
language for all elves, but Quenya is a common language for everyone.

> Everyone speaks one language with a degree of natural fluency, but also
> has a native tongue in which they really communicate.. hmm, still feels a
> bit artificial, but it's a workable situation. Perhaps one can take the

I don't like just starting every player with 100% in their native and 100%
in some common language...it's almost pointless then, right up there with
diku-style food and drink.  I'm thinking more like the following:

Elf starts with elven = 100%, human = 80%, dwarven = 50%.
Dwarf starts with elven = 10%, human = 50%, dwarven = 100%.
Human starts with elven = 5%, human = 100%, dwarven = 20%.

Now, this has some nice effects - it makes elves seem more scholarly than
the other races, perhaps even generating a sort of condescending, since they
can speak to everyone in their native language.

Obviously this is highly simplified, but this is a great candidate for
the lifepath stuff.  Ie, "Your father was a travelling merchant, trading
mainly along the route between the dwarven kingdom and the human cities."
would give you a nice knowledge of dwarven.

> standpoint that adventurers are especial, and were all educated to the
> point of speaking a common language (although, if you have such things as
> barbarians, it gets a touch far-fetched too). Interesting hurdle.

Barbarians?  What about them?

> It would be truly trivial to put in a 'satiation counter' in the living
> object, and have it tick away slowly, giving different states on it
> different influences, and different consumption rates for different
> physiologies (A buff troll will use food faster than a human because of
> his naturally fast metabolism, for instance).

Yeah, this is the standard diku thing (hunger, thirst, drunkeness).
The trick is to do something *interesting* with it. :)

> It would by this route, also be trivial to put in such things as
> 'bloating' (You've eaten too much, if you run about now, you'll barf!),

Well...you wanna be careful with this.  The biggest downfall of nethack
(IMO, anyways) is the constant need for food and the ability to die
by bloating.  The high-scores for nethack at UCSD were 28th level characters
dieing from eating too much.  Gimmie a break.

> and other effects of alchohol (drink too much.. and ditto, eating with a
> hangover nasty too). Starvation, and hunger influences on your

Nod.  We've made alcohol quite handy as an easy to aquire painkiller.
Thus you get the wimpy little dude who can't take pain that gets shot
in the leg with an arrow...his buddies try to pull it out, but he thrashes
around so much as soon as they touch it that they can't do it.  So they
give him a few belts of firebreather to make their task easier.  (Makes
me think of that scene in Braveheart all of a sudden.)

> performances are also fairly trivial to work in. Not so easy to do it
> well, and it's not easy to tell if it's a truly desirable thing, which is
> where I'm rather stumped. :)

Yeah, well - for one thing you don't want it to be a thing of "you must
eat X amount of food every X time units, or else you collapse and die."
It should be more like, "A hearty meal at the local inn sure would hit the
spot about now!"  Also, this allows for the ranger-y camping skills I
mentioned before (a good woodsman can style in the outback for weeks at
a time, living off the land), as well as the regeneration thingy you mention.
(Trolls get a reputation for eating huge amounts of food - another tibit
of game flavor.)

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list