[MUD-Dev] Life

Jeff Kesselman jeffk at tenetwork.com
Tue Jun 3 12:49:16 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

At 08:33 AM 6/3/97 PST8PDT, you wrote:

>Being upset at an end to a character is fine, but there's upset as in

>you aren't really happy with the way it turned out, and then there's

>upset as in you're in severe emotional shock, you complain to the

>etc etc.  This is not fun for anyone involved.

And now its MY turn ironicly to call 'system'.

If this happens once in awhile, from the smal lsegment of then populatio
nwho always compalin anyway, you are reasonably safe to ignroe it.

If it happens alot then the problem is nto with the users, its with the
game that its making them feel so unsatisfied.

> I don't want to feel completely helpless,

>like I'm being swept away in a tide - but neither do I want to feel

>my actions direct 100% of what happens to my character.  I like the

Neitehr does the roleplayer. The difference is that to a roleplayer,
character death is the most SERIOUS negitive consequnce possible. As I
outlined befoer it goes much deepr then just "oh shit,I lost some items
and exp".  For this reason, they SHOULD feel a fair amount of cotnrol
over this eventuallity.

My watchword has always been that death should be seldom and devistating.
That best matches the perceived risk/real risk goals I set up earlier. 
In order to do that, the designer needs to exert soem control. If one
maxxed asshole can run around and kill 20 people in an hour, you've just
lost the seldom part.

>This is great - but I don't see how that precludes the character ever

>reaching their demise.  All things must end, even good things.  (This

>makes the time you have with them that much sweeter, to my mind.)

You're missing the point.  Death itself isn't a "choice", but to put
oneself IN a potentially mortal situation should be. In this way the
player has control over the <bold>circumstances of the death</bold>, not
the death itself.


>I guess I still don't see where the 'problem' is, exactly.  If you 

>to play a game where you know your character can live forever, do so.

Hmm.  Yes I DO want to pal ya game where  my charcter CAN live forever. I
do not want to play a game wher my character is GAURANTEED to live
forever.  but I DO wnat to be reasonably assured that my death will mean
more then just feeding some assholes ego.  Follow?

>If not, why is it a 'problem' when they die?  I'm not saying that you

I hope I've explained this.  You are not beign asked to agree. Yo uneed
however to accept that this IS the game roleplayers play, and its
different from the one you do.

>will necessarily be happy about their demise, or that you won't miss

>playing them, etc etc.  I don't consider any of this stuff 'problems'.


>> Now, I think this is all basically a matter of game contract. If the


>Agreed 100%.  I've posted many times to r.g.m.a on exactly this topic.

And me too. Thsi is the key. The players need to know what kind of game
you have built so they can decide if they wish to play it.

>It's unfair to expect players to play a game when they don't even

>know the basic premise, rules, etc from the outset.

Just becareful to realize that, as someone else suggested, just
describing your world settign is NOT enough.  You need to describe the
expected player behavior within that setting.


>> > You don't cry when you get to the end of a good book, or a good

>> > movie, because it doesn't go on any longer

Bad example.  I DO walk out of the theatre pissed off when the plot was
badly conceived and poorly executed and thus gave me no significant
enjoyment. THAT is the analogy to a random character death.  What if you
went to see "The Saint" and the mvoie ended half way through by some
idiot jumping out of a russian alley and knifing Val Kilmer to death
'cause it was "cool", "fun", or they wanted his jacket?  Would you have
found that satisfying movie experience?

>My original point was that people get very upset over something good

>being finished, instead of being glad for the experience while it

Perhapse, but thsi isn't the issue.  Stories arent linear and dont go on
until something happens to end them.  They build towards a satisfying
climax and then have a small amount of fall-off action, then end.  In the
random jumper you have a thoroughly unclimactic and inappropriate ending.
 And Il lask YOU... havent you ever had a book or movie that started out
great destroyed for you by a totally inappropriate and incompetant end? I
know I sure have.


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