[MUD-Dev] RP thesis...

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Mon May 19 17:14:17 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Sun, 18 May 1997, Adam Wiggins wrote:

> [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*

Cheeky. :)

> 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:
> 
> 
>                       Quenya
>                      /      \
>                  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.

This is the sort of thing I have in mind, and a good example. :)
 
> > 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:

Yeah. I'm really not sure how to go about it.. a common language is almost
certain, and total fluency in it probable too (if you enforce say to use
this language, which your character is only 10% fluent in, it becomes a
pain to stop the use of poses to transmit a message, and so forth).
 
> 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.

This is the sort of thing that's desirable with languages if implemented
in this style, yes.
 
> 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.

Absolutely. :)
 
> > 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?

Well, I highlighted education above, typical 'tribal barbarians' might not
have such education, even if they were PCs and thus exceptional. ;)
 
> > 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. :)

Yup.
 
> > 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.

<g> You won't die from eating too much (you might get a bit ill, though),
but drinking too much (absurd amounts of alchohol) could lead to
poisoning.
 
> > 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.)

Yeah, this is an excellent case example. Alchohol will largely increase
healing rate (metabolism for all intents/purposes) as well as providing
another 'morale' booster for the troops (it's a good thing for friends to
have a pint together in the ideal warm and homey inn type environment).
 
> > 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.)

Quite true. Death from starvation will be rather subtle. About 3 hours and
you get hungry (should eat a meal), or rather a message to that effect
appears. Hunger status is constantly tracked on your score sheet or
similar. Miss more than one meal and you begin starving, and building up
penalties (as well as a much slowed metabolic/healing rate). If the rate
reaches 0, coma will ensue (and probably death shortly after), and the
penalties you amass will make life hard going. You won't suddenly drop
dead of starvation.. but you will slowly fade, grow weaker, and then give
up the ghost, so to speak.

Rangers in this sort of sense are a mucho desirable thing for wilderness
travel and the like, too.


Regards,
	-Matt Chatterley
	http://user.itl.net/~neddy/index.html
"Fishing is complete and utter madness."  -Spike Milligan




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