[MUD-Dev] re: RP thesis...

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sun May 25 21:46:58 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sun 18 May, Matt Chatterley wrote:

> On Sat, 17 May 1997, Nathan Yospe wrote:

> 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.

It really gets interesting if  you somehow manage to get the normal way
in which somebody acquires a general language (or trade tongue as it is
often dubbed): As a second language. This means that for each race speaking
in that language means translating it from their native tongue. Quite likely
the words may mean slightly different things to different races. E.g. a
dwarf talking about caverns may mean an entirely different concept than
an elf using the same word. And even more fun if one race uses concepts
that are totally alien to others; a wonderful source for confusion.

Now I don't expect this ever to be added to a game. translating is quite
difficult enough in reality that it is much too hard to put in a game.
But as a set of guidelines for RP it would add so much.

> Perhaps one can take the
> 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.

Not to mention the fact that adventurers usually are the misfits who were
forced to taking to adventuring for fear of meeting the gallow at home.

[things about food snipped]
Food as it is handled now is pretty pointless. A matter of annoyance
more than anything else. If there is food than at least you should
be able to die from lack of it, consume more of it when doint heavy
labour (or magick), make it sufficiently varied that acquiring a
healthy mix of foodstuffs (and preparing it so as to avoid the
poisonous or diseased things) is difficult. In fact even acquiring
food should be somewhat difficult in its own right. And races likely
have considerably different requirements in this department. E.g.
orcs and trolls and their ilk would be restricted to eating meat;
preferably not long dead (if at all) and so on. 

> 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. :)

If you're working towards a game that is basically in the line of diku-
muds then I'd say it's probably not worth it. In fact I would suggest
you take out the entire concept of food and water.
If on the other hand you're aiming at a game that's highly focussed on
roleplaying then you should seriously consider on adding a realistic
system of food and drinks, and have racial and climatical affects and
make acquiring and maintaining foodsupplies while travelling a serious
consideration for adventurers. (If only to give them topics for RP that
range beyond 'shall we kill Bubba the big bad Troll?').

> <g> Masking the numbers would be a pretty obvious step (just didn't occur
> to demonstrate it), but the rest is just style, really, and very
> desirable. It's much nicer. ;)

Anything that distracts players from the numbers (stats and experience) game
is definitely desirable in a mud (in my opinion of course).

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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