[MUD-Dev] Re: Administrative notes

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sun May 25 22:51:51 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sun 18 May, Adam Wiggins wrote:
> [Nathan Y:]

> > I like to think that, even for a fighter, most of the effort should go
> > into _avoiding_ fights... unless you think you can win, or, say, you are
> > providing a diversion for someone else or defending a position that needs
> > defending, or have been paid/ordered/offended into killing that _specific_
> > person.

> Right.  You pick the fights you can win.  Also, not all (in fact, I'd
> like to think most) fights don't end in the death of one of the oponents.

One of my history teachers told that the traditional (hollywood) image of
medieval sieges was completely silly. The reality, he said, was more like
having 8 men sit in front of the only exit to the castle and do the
occasional round to see if nobody attempted to get away at the other
side. Insid the castle were six or so armed men basically staring at
them and waited till either group got too bored to bother anymore.
Combat was more aimed at taking prisoners (at least with the nobility)
than with killing them. A live prisoner could be traded for a handsome
amount of ransom. A dead knight was only worth some badly dented armour.
Most dead were those who got trampled by horses, and those commoners who
ran out of luck and got in the way of a swing in the thick of melee.
If risks were any greater than that it would be impossible to find anybody
to do the fighting. Not until the invention of reliable canons (napeleon,
american civil war) were soldiers killed by the thousands.

> > :Why?  Why, why, why, why?  I don't get it.
> > :If you want to be good at something, you do it a lot.  What is the problem
> > :with becoming a good healer by healing, becoming a good fighter by fighting,
> > :and becoming a good juggler by juggling?  You just don't like for thinks
> > :to make any sort of sense?

My problem is that it doesn't work that way. I can throw balls in the air
until my arm falls off without getting in the least better at juggling. Skills
are part learning, part practice. (and then you have to excersice to keep
your skill level up). So you need a teacher (a player preferably) to teach
you a skill (and how well this teaching goes depends on the abilities of
both teacher and student, i.e. the teacher can't teach better than she her-
self does and depending on the intelligence of the student she won't do
even that well). Once you have learned a skill as well as the teacher is
able to teach you, you must practice to realise that potential.

> Yeah, I wasn't making any judgement on whether it was dull or not. I wouldn't
> want to just stand around and heal, but who am I to decide what's fun for
> someone else?  I exchanged some email with Marian on this a while back; she
> was saying that she'd probably actually do this, if she could, since for
> her socialization and helping people out is the most rewarding part of the
> game.  So what's the matter with that?

> Also, it depends what sort of a healer you're talking about.  An herbalist
> has to worry about travelling the lands to find the herbs he needs.  A
> doctor has to learn different kinds of anatomies, try to keep her tools
> clean (or even FIND any descent tools), etc.

Which are much more interesting IC goals that are not combat oriented
and provide an opening for roleplaying if somebody is so inclined.

[a good explanation about goals and rewards snipped]

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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