[MUD-Dev] Supporting RP+PG

Matt Chatterley root at mpc.dyn.ml.org
Sun Jun 22 21:29:23 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On Sun, 22 Jun 1997, Jeff Kesselman wrote:
> At 11:05 AM 6/22/97 PST8PDT, John G wrote:

> >I want to hear from some more strictly RP-oriented people to
> >know if that would be feasible.  If I'm running around just killing
> >goblins to work on my sword-swinging skill, would it bother you
> >if I didn't follow a storyline for myself? If I act like a person who
> >belongs in Goodhaven town while I'm there to heal, would that
> >be sufficiently respecting the roleplayers' goals in the game?

To note on the original post: I would only get kranky if the sword-swinger
interfered with storylines I was involved in (or rather became involved in
them), then didn't act out a suitable part. If, while he's interacting
with me, he plays a part, I don't really mind what else he does.
 
> No it wouldn't. In fact, ther is a precedent for a character in any grou
> pwe call "The General", someone whose roleplay skills are minimal but whose
> tactical skills are execellnt.

I'd agree with this, for literally any group. Good (read: functional)
groups contain different kinds of people, one of whom is typically fitted
to the above.

> IMUHO  (In my UnHumble Opinion) The stress and tension between these camps
> come from 2 elements.

At least two.. perhaps two main ones.

> (1) Roileplayers are cooperative gamers. As long as The general also plays
> ina  cooperative fashion, rather then a competitive one, with the others it
> works fine. if he doesn't, it falls apart almost instantly.

You can be competitive within the scope of Roleplay, but it does fall into
'cooperative competition', if that makes sense. Real tension arises if one
group does something to spoil the "fun" of the other group (assuming we
have a reasonable, mature, group of players.. no "idiots" who just want to
wreck things.. they're another case altogether, and not even gamers). An
example would be our "powergamer" buzzing through a few encounters with
some "roleplayers", having become entwined in a plot they are playing out,
and refusing to take part in it - thus spoiling it for them.
 
> (2) When yo usay "Powergamer" do you mean min/maxer ? If you are the kind
> who is min/maxing the system to make your character much mroe pwoerful then
> the Roleplayers, they wil lfidn you frustrating because they want THEIR
> characters to be heros too, but do NOT want to have to "abuse" (pardon,
> from our POV) the system just to be around the same raw level of pwoer as you.

Yeah. Definitions of terms really do make quite a difference. As long as
we are "powergaming" within the scope of the game (not just doing so for
it's own sake, and ignoring everyone else in the process), it's not going
to cause *too* much trouble, IMHO.
 
> So in short, a tactician is welcome. A power gamer who makes all decisions
> PURELY on teh basis of how much power they bring him might well not be.

There has to be some degree of integration into the game.
 
> >but I still am missing what I need to [not] be doing so that I don't
> >favor one style of play over the other.  I plan on thorough introduction
> 
> Well, couple of things.  If all your game has in it is monster bashing and
> bashign eacdh other, you might well get reduced doiwn to a PK environment
> because thats the only "game" to play.  The mroe work you put into
> non-combat oriented challenges the mreo likely you are to see things other
> then combat-tanks being played.

Quite right.
 
> We have had an extensive discussion on "Pkilling" here already. I
> personally believe uncontrolled Pkillign with no seriosu repercussiosn to
> teh Pkillers tends to encourage Pkilling and too much Pkillign is very
> detrimental to RP.

This depends. In "purist" RP environments (read: some of the MUSHes, ie
the WoD games which are in a vomit-inducing proliferation at the moment),
it's open season on PC killing. However, you cannot just run up and pop
them - some kind of arrangement is required before hand, so that it can be
played out properly. This is fully controlled PK - the tools for it are
not truly available without basic approval.

How would you define uncontrolled? I posted a fairly brief note about
fitting PK into a game - which is what interests me more than the nature
of PK itself.
 
> Basicly, yo uhacve to make sure tyhe game reasonably rewards both types of
> play, and punishes either type doign things that diserupt the other.

Yes.
 
> Very difficult nut to crack.  Usually thsi is done by routing the differnt
> kinds of players to different areas of the world, soudns liek you are more
> ambitious. Good luck (I personally have my doubts it can be done.)

Extremely hard to crack. Best of luck.
 
> >
> >: So, in a sense you would have a system, complex enough to support
> >: role playing and such, like a mush, but structured enough, to allow for
> >: hack and slash, power gaming or a hybrid of both.... 
> 
> A side note. It doesnt have to do with 'support', it has to do with human
> social dynamics.  The problem typicly is not the system per se, its the
> actiosn the system does or doesnt lead the players into doing.

I'd agree here. The question is: Are RPers and PGers socially
incompatible? My survey says "No". So why do we have so much trouble?
 
> >
> >I can probably satisfy the latter, but I have only played one RP-based
> >mud (which happened to be a MUSH of course:).  What are a couple
> >things that role players are going to look for to support them in their
> >goals?  I've already been struck by lots of good ideas from this list,
> 
> Number One:
> An environemnt where an asshoel can't come along and scew up all I've been
> building with my character for weeks just because he's an asshole.

Right. The effect of assholes can be disastrous.
 
> This is the Pkilling dilemma in a nutshell.

A very succinct nutshell. Reasonable (realistic to the environment)
punishments mean nothing to an asshole who may well not return after
screwing a bunch of people up.
 
> Beyond this-- RPers tend to like customizability.  Personal physical
> descriptions, personal items that cna be seen when worn, etc. Inidivudality
> is key to the RPer.  Individual abilities are even better, so skill based
> system are good for those advanced enough in their Rp gaming to understand
> them. (Alot of your RPers have never seen anything but AD&D, something to
> consider...)

Yeah. How do you feel the "text over numbers" approach affects this? Ie:
You are fairly unskilled with blades. Rather than Blade: 5/100.

Regards,
	-Matt Chatterley
	http://user.itl.net/~neddy/index.html
"He can't stop us, we're on a mission from Glod!" - Soul Music (Pratchett)




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