[MUD-Dev] [RP v. Power Gaming v. Pkilling]

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Sun Jun 1 23:22:11 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sun, 1 Jun 1997 13:23:27 PST8PDT, Jeff Kesselman
<jeffk at tenetwork.com> wrote:

>(1) MANy people can NOT get a game together regualrly, they don't know
>enough people locally with thsi same wierd hobby.  Onlien provides them a
>communtiy thats nmore or less always there and ready.

I know six other gamers in my local area who I consider worth playing
with, and about thirty I avoid like the plague. The problem is that
those six players I would like to game with, while we all know each
other and defer to each other's respective expertise, cannot put
together a coherent schedule to get together at all. Between our work
schedules and our families, we just can't make the time to get together
on a regular basis. However, on the net, we can get together with other
people and get our RP fix without regressing back to those horrid game
sessions full of 15 year olds.

>(2) Anonymity.  Thsi has two advanatges:
>	(a) For the beginnign roleplayer it p[roivide s aless threatening
>           environment to experiment with roleplay (preoviding you lose
>           the Pkilling morons Caliban described so nicely.)

It also makes it a lot easier for you to screw up and then come back as
a different character. If you do something heinously stupid in a game,
and then learn better, in a tabletop setting everyone still knows who
you are -- but online, most people don't. It's hard to live down some of
the stupid mistakes we've ALL made once or twice in our gaming careers.

>	(b) Stronger immersion.  The problem with around a table is that it
>           is VERY hard to break the knwoeledge that the 16 yaer a
>	    old blonde half-elf yoru flirting with is played by a 45 year old
>	    pot bellied male computer scientist.  The afct that you
>	    CANNOT see the player FORCES you to think in terms of character.
>	    This BTW is why most serious roleplayers onlien take such
>	    offense at OOC questions...

I've found that OOC questions are not generally disliked as much when
they're clearly noted as being OOC questions. 

>(3) (er I forgot point 3... maybe it'll come abck to me...)      

Some people have trouble creating the feel of a character in public.
Accents, mannerisms, etc. take a lot of practice to get right; while
those of us who have been DMing for close to 20 years (and no longer
feel the slightest bit self conscious about slipping into the demeanor
and mannerisms of a harlot in front of five guys while shamelessly
flirting with one of them) can create a good semblance of a character at
a tabletop, this takes a LOT of effort and is more akin to acting than
roleplaying. Most people, while they know what they ought to do, are a
little weirded out at the idea of flirting with another guy at the table
because... well, what if he thinks you're SERIOUS and like, calls you up
or something? It's a lot easier to type "Naisha smiles, and strokes one
hand along her half-exposed thigh." than it is to sit at a table and DO
it. Especially if you're a 300 pound linebacker-built guy with a beard.
You're not likely to entice the other player, you're more likely to just
crack everyone at the table up and degenerate the evening into bad jokes
and horrid puns.

Obviously, you should modify the fears and problems related to this
according to your own sexual preferences and levels of acceptance.

>Thsi is why RPers tend to be a "better" community froma systems standpoint.
>they have nothing to gain from breaking your system.

Not entirely true... I've located some bugs in RP environments that
could have given me some very hefty advantages. Things like locating a
player wherever he is (Hmmm, what exactly *is* the head of my security
team doing in my competitor's main business office with their CEO?),
being able to listen to a conversation unobserved (Hmm, I don't even
suspect eh? We'll see about that.), etc. 

Each time I find a bug like this, I report it and try to do everything I
can to fix it. My reasoning is that I *shouldn't* be able to do this,
and I don't particularly want other people doing it. Of course, some
things *can't* be fixed, so I end up being sworn to secrecy on certain
matters. Particularly where softcoded systems are involved. Yes, both of
the problems I mentioned above have been fixed on the game in question,
which I will not name.

>Also IMo he will not get much societal development... setting people
>against each other gives you at best the msot primitive of societies...
>basicly street gangs banded togetehr only for survival and to be able to do
>mroe damage to the "enemy".

Depends. I've seen some real potential in his game structure for
building some truly awesome things with defensive purposes; given a
rather impregnable stronghold, you can develop a small society. I'd be
tempted to look into that possibility just to prove it could be done; it
sounds, for example, like if you had a few skills, you could go out in
some remote area of the forest and build a log cabin. Given some
additional materials, you could fortify it, and turn it into a good
little stronghold. A small team of relatively low-level people could
start their own little guild, and proceed to take on some interesting
tasks that could enhance their political grip on the surrounding area.
Given a well-developed understructure, which it sounds like he's putting
together, you *could* end up creating a purely noncombatant group which
could take on nearly anything. This might even be worth attempting once
he gets things up and open to the public.

-+[caliban at darklock.com]+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
 I am here to grind your eyes harder into the miasmic bile of life; to 
 show you the truth and the beauty in the whisper of steel on silk and 
 the crimson scent of blood as it rises to meet the caress of a blade. 

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