[MUD-Dev] Alright... IF your gonan do DESIESE...

Shawn Halpenny malachai at iname.com
Tue May 27 15:35:12 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
> On Sat, 24 May 1997 13:35:27 PST8PDT, coder at ibm.net wrote:
> >
> >On 23/05/97 at 10:20 PM, caliban at darklock.com (Caliban Tiresias
> >Darklock) said:
> >
> >>Actually, if properly *ahem* abstracted, this could be useful. I
> >>don't think V.D. is terribly appropriate... but the birth/death cycle
> >>is sort of a cool idea.
> >
> >There was a fairly extensive posts on r.g.m.* a while ago (month or
> >two) for a proposal centreed on this very concept.  As I recall his
> >key concept was awarding each new player a fixed number of "chronous"
> >(cf chronon?) which they could then spend on character development.
> There was a game by the name of Man, Myth, and Magic which was very very
> nice... had a cool reincarnation concept and 'distant memory'.
> Something I've discussed with some people is the idea that when a player
> dies in a game with permanent death, it's terribly demoralising to start
> over at ground zero. One thing I have considered doing is allowing them
> to take some credit for previous accomplishments in the form of benefits
> and artificial advancement for the next character. For example, in an
> AD&D game, I'd give them some form of starting experience and equipment
> that allows them to hold their own in the party; in a White Wolf game,
> I'd give them some portion of the experience their previous character
> had earned to buy skills and whatnot; in a Cyberpunk game, I'd probably
> let them start with a greater budget for cybernetic enhancements.
> What are people's thoughts on this? Anyone out there doing something
> similar?

I dislike the idea of permanent death, but I abhor the Diku-style of
death where you lose some xp and merrily continue on your way once
you've retrieved your corpse that no one else can pick up while you're
en route anyway (the latter is too simple while the former is too
strict--I like to fight things and don't want to risk everything I've
got if my opponent gets in a lucky shot against my superior fighting

My middle ground is something like this:

Immediately after death, the player has control over a spectre that
comes into existance within the area surrounding the room in which he
died.  These spectres are weak compared to live-body players, but have
the same abilities and skills (and be as adept at them) that the dead
player had before death.  However, over time these abilities decrease
(i.e. the longer you're not in a live body, the faster your abilities
drop until suddenly you're back to where you started, skillwise).

Given that, as a spectre your motivation is to get resurrected into your
corpse (though the corpse of anything will suffice).  This requires
divine intervention, some high-technology machinations, incantations of
the local healers, or some such thing (all with varying degrees of
success--you could come out of it very badly, say, if you went to
Bubba's Discount Resurrection.  After that, you're probably better off
to kill yourself and go it again).  As a spectre your ability to
manipulate the physical world is limited, although you gain a few things
that may be beneficial--you can move very, very quickly at no cost, your
vision is enhanced such that you can see into things, can move through
things, etc.  Essentially the sort of stuff you can't do while in
physical form.  It is also quite reasonable (I almost expect it) that
there will be portions of the world where it is necessary to die in
order to accomplish a particular feat.

Note that it is still possible to die again as a spectre (though you
continue coming back as a spectre and could conceivably play for the
rest of your life as a spectre) and the net result is that the decay of
your abilities increases with each subsequent death.

Once back in a live body, your abilities stop decaying and you can play
on, only now you have whatever traits the new body came with.

To me, this makes death sufficiently nasty to be avoided (no one will
want their abilities to decay, since those are the determining factors
in what one can do and how well one can do it in the world), but also
gives the recently dead a few perks--it can actually be advantageous to
be dead for short periods of time.  And a simple wrong move or misguided
action that has fatal consequences doesn't dump me back to absolute
square one.

Well, that's how I'm thinking of doing it...

Shawn Halpenny

"If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure."
                                            - Dan Quayle

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