[MUD-Dev] Rumours

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Wed Jun 25 18:59:58 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Tue 24 Jun, Adam Wiggins wrote:

> Well, in particular 'taboo' or 'perverse' (as defined by a given society)
> things tend to be quite rumor-worthy. What this may be varies by society,
> and that's where things could get interesting.

But I guess that's also where it gets difficult. It's easy to pick up
words like kill, attack, kiss from a message you hear. But knowing if
that is normal or peculiar is quite something else I suppose. And if
things are different from town to town, and depending on races and
profession that's going to make things even more difficult.

> Inter-racial relationships
> on a mud with diverse races, and the more diverse the races, the more
> interesting.
> Members of political factions falling in love - Romeo and Juliette.
> People of two vastly different ages, or poligamy are always of interest
> as well.

> This brings up the topic of unspoken rumors - 'I saw John the Mayor talking
> to Jane the Mafia Boss!'  This is pretty easy to implement, since you
> don't have to parse speach.

I didn't think you needed to parse speach at all. Just prefix it with a
'I heard that: ' and repeat the message verbatim. Or with a little care-
full replacement of a word or two.

> > To make the whole thing work  you probably need to have  rumours fade
> > with time, or if they go round they won't get passed on again, unless
> > they are really, really, juicy. Further should each inhabitant of the
> > city have a choice of not further passing on the rumour (i.e. not be-
> > lieving the rumour)  but this should be in relation to  the juiciness
> > of the rumour and it's believability.  If you want to do it right you

> Well, I'd think that it would tend to dead-end once everyone had heard it.
> Rumors are only interesting the first time, in most cases.  Thus:

If you do replacments of word to make the rumour more impressive it may
gain enough juiciness that it will be passed around more. Only if it is
sufficiently different of course.

> A: "Did you hear about the Mayor?  He was seen talking with the Mafia!"
> B: "Really?  Wait till C hears about that!"
> vs
> B: "Did you hear about the Mayor?  He was seen--"
> C: "Yeah yeah, heard about that from D."

This would be the normal thing to happen yes.

> > might have gossips who more or less believe and pass on anything they
> > are told and sceptics who do not readily believe gossips.  And people
> > have less chance of believing a gossip if they know of something even
> > more interesting.

> I guess your chances of beliving something are going to be based on your
> conception of someone's reputation before you hear it.  If you heard
> the rumor about John and Jane, above, and you've always known John to
> be an incredibly honest and straightforward person, you'll probably dismiss
> it (although John's reputation has probably lowered ever so slightly in
> your mind).

I don't think so.  At least not entirely.  If you know that John is honest
you will most likely dismiss the rumour about him.  But if the person that
told you the rumour is really believable then you will and you will adjust
your opinion about him to become very negative. People like to believe bad
things about respected people.
On the other hand if you dismiss the rumour you may for a short time doubt
that John is entirely respectable. But this trust will be restored after a
short period of time (the next day, or even in an hour).  If you do it any
other way it would be even easier to launch a slurr campaign against some-

> If you already knew him to be somewhat of a shady guy,
> then you'll end up just thinking "Oh, well that confirms it" and your
> opinion of him drops quite a bit.  Plus, as you said, your own scepticism
> and your belief about the reliability of the gossip.

Since you already have a poor impression of him then you are not particu-
larly surprised about the rumour so it actually will affect your attitude
towards him only very slightly.

The big question now of course is: does somebody on the list belief this
is feasible and will attempt to adopt it in his game?

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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