[MUD-Dev] "short" Introductory Message (fwd)

Martin Keegan martin at cam.sri.com
Fri Jun 27 14:38:50 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Wed, 25 Jun 1997, Jon A. Lambert wrote:

> This is very very very interesting.  It seems to be a nearly
> fixed/finite pie of RPs.  Not quite fixed because it will
> fluctuate with the number of players in the game.  Perhaps
> it needs a bit of mathematical work to make it sound.

My line on this was a thought experiment of a world where magical energy
was made available to the world at a fixed rate, and was a shared
resource. Whether the society adopts a dog-eat-dog or democratic system of
managing the resource is just left to the players.

> This reminds me of Diplomacy (one of my favorites).  Essentially 
> players with the best leadership, cunning and persuasive powers 
> will elevate themselves into leadership roles.  

This happens on muds anyway. I've always wondered what would happen if you
put all the most devious scoundrels together on a mud.
> This would seem to be a very easy way of engendering conflict,
> drama, interest and produce player-run political/alliance 
> systems.  

Whenever I hear the phrase "player-run" I reach for my pistol. An alarming
proportion of the people who use it (I'm thinking of rec.games.mud.diku,
rather than present company!) consists of people who have lost some
political conflict on a mud they played, started their own mud and want to
avoid a repetition. Their mud PR becomes dominated by players' Bills of
Rights and other such poppycock. It's often an attempt to introduce real
world political ideas (like decentralisation) into inapplicable contexts
liek virtual worlds (muds). One mud I visited mentioned the word
"grassroots" twice in its main help section. As far as I'm concerned, the
word is a synonym for decision making by the most vocal local yokel.

A distinction must be made between a player-run WORLD and a player-run
SYSTEM. Having an in-world political system is great. Letting the players
play politics with the immortals is something else entirely.
> > A simple model:
> > 
> >   Player characters can award each other "rank points" (RP).
> > 
> >   Each player character is given (free) 1RP per day.
> Surely this must be at least 2RP per day.  One for Boffo and
> one for Bubba.  Player characters might not want to keep all their
> eggs in one basket.  

Hmm ... if I had this system, the houses would gain the RPs, rather than
individual PCs.
> Perhaps multiple players might contend and bid up the cost of
> of entering position.
> Q. Should the numbers of positions be fixed?  Can there only be
> one city mayor?  Are we talking about a general or specific
> status/position?  

If you need multiple positions, just have a Town Council with many seats.
A mud would be a good environment to simulate class warfare.


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