[MUD-Dev] Another Approach (was: Integrating PK)

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Sat Jun 28 22:17:59 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

> From: Brandon Gillespie <brandon at roguetrader.com>
> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Another Approach (was: Integrating PK)
> Just some thoughts and opinions on this matter.  My plans for an RPG mud
> include PK, but not in any incarnation I've seen so far.  Basically, I'm
> going to make it as 'real' as possible within the world's context.  With
> this in mind a player should be able to attack and/or kill ANYTHING, be it
> a tree or person.  There is no distinction between NPCs and players, other
> than the fact that NPCs can cheat.

Exactly.  NPCs can cheat. And there is no way to discover or prove this. ;)
I think this goes a long way in bridging the AI gap that exists between
players and NPCs.  If I killed a shopkeeper, I should be hoping and
praying none saw it.  I am attempting similar deterrents, including the
effects of the "invisible" mud population in any large city.  How likely
is it that the city square is completely empty in broad daylight?  There
is a random chance that someone will be viewing the scene through a window
or notice a character leaving the scene.  Time of day, lighting conditions,
area and cover should figure into this random chance.  Characters need to
get more devious in their doings.  A whole string of serial killings and
the chances of detection should go up as the "invisible" population gets
more suspicious and observant.

> If the person took no
> means to disguise their identity it should be pretty easy to find out who
> they were (especially on a MUD with magic, where you can just throw off a
> quick post-cognition spell).  

I recall reading a novel that had magicians on the city guard payroll.
Perhaps it was one of the Thieves' World stories.  Not sure.

> All of these factors would be taken into
> account, and the investigation would be run by the system for a few days
> RPG time.  The result of the investigation would be determined ahead of
> time, but could be changed by either an admin or possibly an informant who
> gould give more information in the case.
Not too mention friends on the city payroll or a couple well-placed bribes
to high officials.

> With this sort of system in mind I think PKing will essentially take care
> of itself (for the most part), just like it does in Real society.  Sure,
> you will still have the muders far out in the woods which may go
> unsolved--but at that point the player should be more aware of running
> through less lawful areas alone.

I agree. Players need SOME help from the game world NPCs. An "invisible"
society could be abstractly implemented to handle this.  The rules/laws and
mechanisms of enforcement could vary from city to city or culture to culture.

> The appropriatness for this solution is rather world based--its great for
> my world, which is future/sci-fi/fantasy based (so both technology and
> magic can be brought into an investigation--magic helps make trials much
> shorter, or at least immediately incriminates the majority of stupid
> criminals). 

Yep it is strictly a thematic decision.  Methinks it would be interesting
to develop systems of injustice and random arrests on trumped up charges.
Might add an element of paranoia/oppression to your game if that's where
you want to go.


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