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

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Sat Jun 21 11:17:55 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Fri, 20 Jun 1997, Jon A. Lambert wrote:

> > > >There are lots of problems, the most
> > > >signifigant being that the building blocks of the universe are all constant.
> > > >Atomic bonds have a set strength (for our purposes, anyways) and gravity
> > > 
> > > Huh? What the hell does an atomic bond strength have to do with the
> > > possability of very large lizards?
> > 
> > Flesh, bone, etc etc are all constant density, material, makeup and so
> > forth.
> > Here's some more questions on these same topics (I'm not a scientist,
> > nor do I have any formal education beyond high school) -
> > Why are the largest sea creatures so much larger than the largest land
> > creatures?
> In the case of dragons, if I desired to look at this from a layman's 
> scientific point of view, is it not conceivable that these creatures 
> somehow convert food/water/air into hydrogen which is stored internally.
> This would account for their ability to attain a large size, fly and 
> breath fire.

Hmm, perhaps if their stomach acids were a little different to ours, and
they ingested some sort of 'flame fuel', it'd be believable - I don't
recally the process for manufacture of hydrogen, but a fantasy creature
could be explained by having a slightly different set of organs to carry
out that process - even in our own nonmagical worlds, nature is pretty
damned incredible.
> I am quite willing, however, to attribute this strange creature's abilities
> to divine and/or magical natures.

Or one can simply "believe". :)
> > Why are there no 50-ft insects?  It would seem that since insects really
> > can live much longer except for their size (ie, you drop them from a height
> > of 50 times their body length and they happily scurry off) that if you
> > just made a version of them that was several times larger they could
> > pretty much rule the earth.  So why is this not the case?
> >
> Good point with the insects.  I see no reason why they shouldn't rule the
> world.  *sigh* We can only hope.

I believe Jeff pointed out the RL scientific problems (if they were too
big, they wouldn't be able to "breathe", and so forth), but given the
above about dragons.. there is no reason why not. Infact, one of the
popular (AD&D?) fantasy races is "Artrell" (various spellings), a roughly
man-sized insectosoid creature.
> > > >> On top of this, they are meat-eaters.
> > > >The T-Rex is probably the best direct comparsion on this, and it had problems
> > > >at a mere 6 tons or so with keeping itself fed.  The massive amount of energy
> > > >(== prey) which it takes to keep that sort of a body in motion is damn
> > > >near impossible to maintain...
> > > 
> Oh no, dragon's are not carnivores.  This observed behavior is only an 
> amusement for them and a side-effect of necessity.  They are actually 
> aurumvores.  The mere proximity of certain metals and stones sustains them.  
> Younger members of this species are forced to acquire enough to sustain
> them.  Ancient members of this species rarely have need to venture forth 
> since they have acquired enough of a hoard to sustain them.  This is why
> they guard this hoard so fiercely.  This species is also highly intelligent.

<g> Dragons would almost certainly not be carnivores, IMHO - given the age
they are attributed, very few of the species they would be used to eating
would still exist.. more likely they're omnivorous, or the above is a very
amusing (and pretty darn original?) way to tackle it. It also makes it
easier to go through the 'hydrogen manufacturing stomach' route. 

> > T'was just conjecture.  The point is that every RPG which has followed
> > after uses this same sort of setup.  Thus you end up with an ogre
> > with a giant growth and 10 strength spells being able to armwrestle
> > a dragon and win.  The system wasn't set up to handle this sort of thing
> > correctly, so it's not any big surprise that it...doesn't.
> > 
> Not all.  Rolemaster does not implement linear strength.  It does 
> however make compromises in the effects of mass.  Without some 
> mitigation in this area "heroic fantasy" systems would provide little
> player enjoyment.  AD&D allows player's on  power vs creature power is based on
> levels  

Yeah. You have to provide power to the people somehow.
> > > AD&D is balanced aroudn the cocnept of the myth of St. George and the
> > > Dragon. ie one fulyl decked out high levle fighter with war horse, alnce
> > > and luck can take a dragoin down.
> > 
> > Yeah, and that's fine.  I'm just bored as hell of this, and I never
> > liked it much to begin with.  The whole point of my post was stating
> > that what you've said above is the case, and why I find it both ridiculous
> > and bad for overall gameplay.
> > 
> Me too.  

This is where we differ from many mud coders who use dragons as an excuse
to make big exp monsters that good PCs can smash. :)

IMHO, St George was not only very lucky, but was fighting a rather young
(maybe 700-800 year old) dragon, which wasn't near fully grown. Where I
write, these things are *big*, think TRex++.

> > Yeah.  Keep in mind, however, I'm not targeting D&D...that's just a nice
> > big bullseye for me, and a good place to draw examples from that I'm
> > pretty sure everyone can relate to somehow.  My main complaint lies with
> > everything *since* then which has ripped off the D&D system without
> > addressing fundamental problems in the changeover from a small, customizable,
> > human-run game with handmade campaigns and small parties of adventures, to
> > a computer-run system containing hundreds of players with ongoing adventures.
> > 
> While its true that most games have descended from D&D, they are not at all
> the same.  I would encourage you to check out Rolemaster, Rifts, or Cyberpunk.
> Player power vs creature power is much more realistic.  I do agree with
> your last point that most RPGs were designed to handle a cooperative small party 
> of adventurers, muds introduce a scale that requires new systems of gameplay.  

Definitely on both points - muds cannot be drawn straight from RPG sets
meant for a few players who are destined for 'something special' (tm,
gakgakgak). It should be possible to be noone special on a mud! A darned
good fisherman, or an excellent blacksmith.

> > I *still* don't like D&D, and I wish that muds had chosen a better
> > model (RuneQuest, for example) at the start.  Unfortunately it didn't
> > work out that way...as a result I frequently find myself doing things
> > a certain way just because it's the exact *opposite* of the way D&D (and
> > subsequently, a large number of muds) did it.
> The D&D abstractions of hit points and levels are implemented directly into
> many servers.  The equipment-centered game play is also prevalent.  Much
> of what I have seen in servers (Diku-derived) resembles the "Monty Hall"
> style campaigns of D&D at its worst.  

Yeah. I use hitpoints and such (but as part of internal mechanics - the
players get statements about how they feel, and so forth). Hitpoints are
not the sole mechanic used in 'surviving damage' though - it's possible to
die nastily while still having lots left.

	-Matt Chatterley
"He can't stop us, we're on a mission from Glod!" - Soul Music (Pratchett)

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