Language

Adam Wiggins nightfall at inficad.com
Mon May 19 21:43:06 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


> [Adam W:]
> > 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:
[Matt C:]
> 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).

This is a choice the player makes.  It's sort of like picking the tourist
class in nethack - sure you suck, but you get to start with lots of
food and cash.  By the same token, you could choose to have spent some
time travelling the lands in your youth, or perhaps hitting the books,
in order to be able to better communicate.  If you just want to be a
roving ogre who spent his whole childhood wrestling bears and lifting heavy
rocks, you'll not be able to communicate as well - but that's your choice.
It also brings in some more of that automatical roleplaying I keep harping
on - the dwarf who spent his whole life in the dwarven keep seems both
unworldly and unfriendly to other races.

> > > 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. ;)

Well, no one should ever *not* be able to speak their native language very
well, if that's what you mean.  If you're talking about just not being
very familiar with the 'common' language, or any other language other than
their own, then yes, of course.  It wouldn't do for a tribal barbarian to
show up and begin speaking in fluent high-elven, now would it?
We do have just such a race...modeled largely after american indians, in
fact.  They have to deal with being uneducated about *lots* of things
related to civilization, not the least of which is language.  They have to
deal with not being able to get a descent piece of clothing, armor, or weapons
crafted to their size (8' tall)...meaning they will spend most of the
time running around in the loincloth and furs availible in their home village.
On the other hand, they *are* incredibly tough, very strong and wise, skilled
with all sorts of woodcraft, and usually in good standing with the god of
nature.  This is, however, considered an 'advanced' race - new accounts can't
even create them.  You have to pick one of the more mainstream (and therefore
easier to get started with) races.

> <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.

Well, if anything it should be like:

> eat mutton
You take a bite from your leg of mutton.
>
You take a bite from your leg of mutton.
You're starting to feel full.
>
You take a bite from your leg of mutton.
Though the mutton is not finished, you stop, full satiated.
> eat mutton
You're really quite full.
> eat mutton!
You take a bite of your mutton.
You're feeling really bloated.

> 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.

Yeah.  It also doesn't bother me to make it more forgiving than real life.
This is one of those things that is easy to make annoying, right along
with armor-repair and movement points.  It should *add* to the game, not
limit the player or make them feel like they are spending all their time
mucking around with busywork.

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

Yeah.  The ranger-style characer has always appealed to me (both because
of characters in fantasy literature (ie Strider, Beren, or Arduwyn) and because
I enjoy camping so much in real life)...unfortunately they are usually next
to useless on powermuds and difficult to play on an RP mud.  (Since all
there is to do is interact with other characters, playing a loner is pretty
pointless.)




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