[MUD-Dev] Death

Jeff Kesselman jeffk at tenetwork.com
Wed Jun 4 22:03:58 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

At 08:15 PM 6/4/97 PST8PDT, Adam Wiggins wrote:
>> What hurts is not especially the fact that the character died, but the
>> fact that somebody else decided she should die.  Without any regard or
>> respect for my feelings.
>Ah - okay, what I'm getting out of this is that the *computer* can decide
>that you are going to die, without respect for your feelings (of course),
>and you don't take it too hard, but if a *human being* decides this, by
>virtue of the fact that they are a human being and can consider such things,
>then you take it personally?

Oh, this is an absolute factor of truth with the man on the street. It even
extends to sysop actions-- they HATE direct sysop invovlement but they
don't compalin about anything the game does to them on a system level.

But as true as that is, its not entirely germain to my point. My point was
that si\nce the computer has no agenda, I feel control. I chose the
situation in which I put myself, and that situation (in a well designed
game) is gauranteed to justify the risk invovled.  As some mentioedn it is
a well controlled factor by the game designers.

In contrast, with open PvP, I can be put in danger MORE extreme then just
abotu abnything the computer can do to me (humans are just too damn clever)
for no reason other then some idiot decide it would be "cool" to ice me.

>I guess I don't understand where one draws the line about 'intrusion'.
>Where do you decide that somewhat is just interacting with your story,
>and that someone is actually intruding?  I certainly can't be practical
>to ask the other player(s) involved whether anything you do is going to
>be considered acceptable, but I can't think of any other way to know.

Among roleplayers I play with, its an art.  And yes, there ARE times when
you ask...  A character of mine had developed a very strong freindship with
another character in a big sibling-little siblign kind of way (I was the
little one).  The player approached it VERY slowly and carefully and then
specificly said "if you don't like this, we can just forget it" BEFORE
dropping the idea that my character WAS the other characters little siblign
that they ahd been searchign for a long time for.

Best thing i can tell you is its like dating.  You take a little step, test
the waters, take another little step...   thsi is on anything "dangerous".
We all knwo what the "dnagerous" thinsg are, they are the things that have
a lasting impact on the other character.  Killing the other character, ina
real-death world, would be an obvious BIGGIE.  So big that we basicly don't
do it.  We may coem to blows, but the killing blow is never landed.

>are discussing, I think others are speaking from more personal bad
>experiences and thus some less-than-pristine emotion has bubbled up in

Guilty as charged. Ive had a frustrating year dealign with DSO. Sorry it
bubbles over once in awhile.

>Hmmm, true. <ponders>  I actually really deeply enjoy that terrible moment
>of decision - you know your character is a gonner either way, so you might
>as well make their death worthwhile.

Um... if you're not concerend about story, then I have to ask "why"?
I know why I want it to be woirthwhile, but I wonder how it fits in to how
you play?

>I guess the only kind of death I find meaningless is one I don't learn

Ah, I see. NM my last question. I'ld say though it seems to me you are not
immersing as far as I am.  To me each hcaracter is an individual with a
life, hisotry and death.  That I leanr something for my next character to
know is irellevent to me because it is irellevent to the character.

My turn to say "this seems very OOC..."  ;)

>> decide for themselves. If the master swordman decides he doesn't like your
>> face when you enter the bar and in a single swift stroke beheads your lit-
>> tle thief there is no RP involved.
>How so?  It seems to me that the general consensus is that if you are
>playing a 'powerful' character, it is impossible to role-play.  

Nope, quite the opposite. With power comes responsability. Yo ucan tell
someone with TRUE power by what they DON'T do.

I'ld suggest you consider your own behavior as a MUD wizard.  How
capricious are you with those power?

>If you're
>role-playing a quick-tempered swordsman who has an inherent distrust
>of greasey little goblins, and you walked into the bar, it would be
>breaking the role for him to NOT react in some way.  

Sure, but there is a world of reactions between wrinling your nose and
killign them all on site. To expound on the above a bit, true power brings
a alck of fear.  A lack of fear brings a lack of hate. (We can get into
THAT side discussion if you want.)  A truely powerful character has little
to no "hates"..  but he ofetn WIll have a big fear of hismelf and what he
can do.

Now a psychotic maniac is another story, but few systems want you playing
that abberant a personality.  Ina ddition, very few people REALLy can play
them. What they play instead are ineffectual people witha  sudden dose of
pwoer who have to go around proving it.  (A TRUE psychotic maniac might be
interesting because he woudl operate under he strict restriction of his own
set of complex internal rules amd delusions.)

>As I said, I've found it very enlightening, even if my views are mostly
>unchanged.  Possibly we've beat it into the ground, however - it can

Good. me too. Te big thing I've learned is that the MUD community and the
commerical game community are currently radicly different in their
sophistication and levels of eprsonal responsability.


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