[MUD-Dev] RP thesis...

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Tue May 20 00:08:53 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

> From: Matt Chatterley <root at mpc.dyn.ml.org>
> On Sun, 18 May 1997, Adam Wiggins wrote:
> > [Matt C:]
> > > 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%.
> > 
Why 100% fluency in their native tongue? *grin*  If a character
wishes to start as an uneducated street urchin, they might find
themselves with a 75% fluency in their native tongue.  I also allow
a "royal" version of most of these languages.
I have a reading skill also.  I assume a literacy rate of not more 
than 10%.  Player characters may or may not have reading initially
depending on social/cultural background options.

I also prefer cultural distinctions to race types.
As such I have 5 distinct human cultures. 
My language tree for humans is something along the following:

	Ancient Thesian            Jebhoise  Subanite   
            /|\                      / |      |
          /  |  \                  /   |      |
        /    |    \              /     |      |   
      /      |      \          /       |      |
  Nortwalt Modern     Felician         Baklunish                   

Ancient Thesian and Subanite are dead languages although
much literature is written in Old Thesian thus its very
popular with the magic-using crowd.  Subanite remains
popular among the clergy of "those other gods"
Implementation is done through a partial garbling of text with
a heavy weight placed on garbling longer words based on literacy.

> > 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.

Jebhoise is the standard language for traders. Any character with a 
merchant background or other traveling culture (gypsy, circus, etc.)
will have a smattering of literacy in this.

> > > 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. ;)
I guess my adventurers are only as special as they want to be.  Baklunish
would be the language of most nomadic (barbarian) tribes who are
descendants of Subanite native peoples and conquering (civilizing)
Jebhoise warlords.
> 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.

Death by starvation is an interesting topic.  Consider a party of 
adventurers too far from the nearest food source.  Wouldn't it be
interesting to model some sort of delusional behavior?  I would think
that useless out-of-breath magic-user might begin to resemble a porkchop
after a week or so without food.  *cackle*


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