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

Shawn Halpenny malachai at iname.com
Mon Jun 23 13:34:31 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

Alex Oren wrote:

> Apart from rumors and "wanted" lists there are other possibilities:
> * Bards singing the praise of Boffo the dragonslayer of Biffy the newbie
>   protector.
> * Guild quests centered on reputation.  "Go forth an bring me the
>   left ear of the most evil person in Ankh-Morpork" (which may be a
>   mobile or a player at the time).
> * Deliberately spreading false rumors.  "I saw Humperdink kill two
>   dragons and an elderly lady!" (which may mark you as a liar if you
>   are caught, depending on the trustworthiness attribute of the
>   challenger).

Did the discussions about rumor-spreading touch on this?  (The parts of them
that I saw did not).  It's easy enough to create a rumor based on the
occurrence of an event (e.g.  witnessing someone slaying a dragon), but in
this case, spreading a false rumor implies there was no event that caused
it, so how does the rumor get created?

It could be created and carried solely by players who choose to pass
it on to other players.  That's only a partial solution, since a
rumor will only travel if someone tells it to a player.  The other
part of the solution requires NPCs to be able to carry false rumors
(though not start them--I think it would be fantastically difficult
to automatically create sensible, at least somewhat believable false
rumors).  So how does an NPC overhearing or being told a false rumor
pass that rumor on?  And let's say that it must be done without using
something silly like a "rumor" command.  I think natural language
processing is buried in there somewhere...

    # l
    You see Bubba and Boffo on the side of the street.
    A shopkeeper is sweeping his front steps.
    # 'I saw Humperdink kill two dragons and an elderly lady!
    You say it.
    Bubba says 'No kidding!?'
    Boffo says 'The murderous rogue!  I knew she was no good...'
    The shopkeeper looks aghast in your direction and scurries inside.
    # snicker
    You snicker to yourself.
    # 'Oh, did I mention that my new china and flatware finally arrived?

Now the shopkeeper heard the Humperdink and elderly lady bit and
chalks that up as a rumor which he can pass on to as many people as
he wants to (a rumor juiciness factor comes to mind).  However, the
bit about the china and flatware would make a pretty shoddy rumor,
IMO, and the intent is to have NPC passers-by disregard things like
that.  I cannot, however, think of how an NPC would distinguish the


Shawn Halpenny

"Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum"
                            - Latin for All Occasions

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