[MUD-Dev] The reality of constant combat??

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Thu Jun 5 23:08:41 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

> From: Jeff Kesselman <jeffk at tenetwork.com>
> > JL Wrote:
> >> From: Jeff Kesselman <jeffk at tenetwork.com>
> >> 
> >> Okay, my point was just that societies wherin the ONLY solution to conflict
> >> amogn the members is serious violence don't tend to survive long as
> >> societies. I was asking for an exampel wehre this wasn't true.  So far it
> >> seems like Im safe in my supposition ;)
> >
> >Now that you rephrase it this way, the probability of such a society existing
> >is zero.  The probability of it existing on a mud where any RP exists is 
> >also zero. 
> Really? then your MUD community is SERIOUSLY different then my commercial
> world. Maybe I shouldn't be suprised, but I still am. 

Commercial muds must be far different than home grown muds then.  I have
no experience with commercial muds except for Kesmai many moons ago.

> >> 
> >> When such government is based totally on force, they tend to destabilize as
> >> soonas someone else gets close to the same amount of physical power.  In a
> >> game designed to be "fair" there will always be many such groups warring
> >> for control, yes?
> >> 
> >You are using extremes to support your theory.  Total anarchy and Total 
> >force have never existed within the real world nor are they fairly 
> >representative of muds.  Muds can represent the full gamut from 
> >primitive tribal societies to aristocracies.
> Can or do?  

Do, most certainly do.  How many muds have player run clans or tribes?
Most every Diku does.  How many muds have player run shops, justice systems
and political structures?  Some. I have seen this on quite a few LPs.
How many muds are strictly survival of the fittest? Quite a few. Chris L.'s
example of Tron was one such mud and was representative of the extreme
you pointed out.
Mud players form groups with alarming frequency.  This is so natural
and so human.  It does work.  Maybe commercial mud systems just made 
mistakes in the area of player control.  

> My issue was this, in a nutshell...
> (1) Most of my players in teh comemrical world do NOT know any other form
> of conflict resolution beisdes (A) physical violence (the bully) or (B)
> intimidation through appeal to a higher power (the mamma's boy).  When you
> thin kabotu it, these are the only two dynamics directly supported by
> American society, so maybe its no small wonder.  (Either you take what you
> want/defend it physicly OR you get a more pwerful force like the polcie to
> intimdate the other guy.)

First you argue that only (A) physical violence is the only way players
resolve conflicts.  Now you add (B) appeal to a higher power.  Should we
add (C) mutual agreement.  I see all these on just about every mud I
have played.  What other ways are there to resolve conflict?
What is your definition of conflict?

B encompasses the skills of arbitration by a third party.  This ain't 
necessarily a whining mama's boy.  An can always be done in-game.  

> As I say, maybe your hand pciked or otherwise limited MUD groups all have a
> more sophisticated user population.  If so, well, I envy you your users.

Hang on.  I will have heavy role-playing on my mud.  Players who want
another game will NOT like mine and will play another mud.  My role-players
are no more "sophisticated" than those who prefer Quake.  The just like
a different game.  Are fans of tennis more sophisticated than fans of
football.  Is your judgment of sophistication strictly based on level of

I am considering a character approval process similar to many mushes.
I haven't decided whether this is really necessary or not.

> >
> >I am talking about the underlying structures of the mud theme.  It is not
> >a player-only world.  There is a significant NPC mud population that 
> >that forms the basis of the initial world.  Players will play both privately
> >held characters (PCs) and game held characters (NPCs) from time to time.  
> Hmm?  Are these hand pciked players playign NPCs or can anyone play one?
> If anyone can play one how do you keep them from being misused?
Players who achieve awards based on role-play will be awarded greater 
trust levels.  These allow them access to more significant NPCs and
levels of scenario creation.  

It is my experience that we will deal with the occasional asshole.
Even without a character approval process this person will find it
quite hard to advance.  Throw out you AD&D/DIKU models of advancement and
relative player power.  These do not apply.

You are right when you suggest that the anonymous nature of the internet
leads to the an increase in the occasional asshole.  So instead of the
1 in 100 you may encounter within FTF play, you instead encounter 
10 in 100.  I see no reason why this can't be handled through a character
creation process that is geared towards the heavy RPer.   
> >I do not distinguish any 
> >differences between player killing and NPC killing.  There will be
> >in-game consequences to both situations.
> In-game how? Are you saying that you are building into the game system
> negative consequences of negative behavior?  Personally, I think this is
> 100% reasonable but i thought that was something you didn't want to do--
> enforce a morality from the implementors.
NO the GAME WORLD NOT the system.  It enforces the morality of the NPCs not
the implementers.  NPCs have their own morality which is in character.
e.g. The NPC Queen Elanora rules the city of Kides.  Assuming she is an 
absolute monarch, the government and laws will chiefly reflect her views
and morals but only within that city.  PCs will be able to attain such
positions also.  Also I have an increased level of admin involvement
with players, an in-game involvement in that they always appear as NPCs.  

And a final note:
Ultimately your style of role-play reflects what ICE calls heroic
fantasy.  Chance of death in such campaigns is non-existent or very
limited.  Player cooperation is vital to heroic fantasy.  The heroic
fantasy game is geared toward pleasing the player with the idea that
the system may be fudged or overridden at some point in the interest
of character glorification.  Heroic fantasy strongly discourages
player-killing while other styles do not.  It has nothing to do with
coping skills or any current social/cultural issues.  Its a GAME 
issue just as golf does not allow you to "check" another player
while hockey does.

Heroic fantasy is a SUBSET of role-playing and is not the DEFINITIVE 
style of role-playing.  

There is in fact competitive role-play with the competition entirely 
IN CHARACTER and it may include PK and is not limited to PK.  I know
many role-players who feel these restrictions inhibit IC choices and
feel them to be artificial, a relic of the limitations imposed by
single GMed FTF play.

The strong reactions you receive IMO are the result of your strong
opinions that your style is DEFINITIVE and other styles are somehow
not.  My experiences at GenCon and local group play contradict this.
Of course, I haven't entered a TSR AD&D event since GenCon X.  
My interest just isn't in heroic fantasy anymore.

That's all I have to say on the matter of role-play.


"If I'd known it was harmless, I would have killed it myself"
*- Through a Scanner Darkly - PKD -*


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