[MUD-Dev] A simple political/social system?

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sun Jul 6 00:34:45 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Mon 30 Jun, Jon A. Lambert wrote:

> > From: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
> > Subject: [MUD-Dev] "short" Introductory Message (fwd)

> > In <199706260350.WAA23128 at dfw-ix6.ix.netcom.com>, on 06/25/97 
> >    at 09:46 PM, "Jon A. Lambert" <jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com> said:

> > >> A simple model:
> > >>   Player characters can award each other "rank points" (RP).
> > >>   Each player character is given (free) 1RP per day.

I don't think this should be the way it works entirely.
Consider the current political system, bypassing for the moment the voting
which is overrated anyway.

1) There's jobs that need to be done that affect 'the people'.
2) There's people who's job is to make sure those jobs get done (and this
   too is one of those jobs).
3) If the jobs get done properly 'the people' are happy and continue to
   want the same person in office. Otherwise they will want a change.
   This may be peacefully (elections) or violent (revolution).

How to implement this?
1) Players in power have this as a tangible quantity, much like money, and
   in many settings money could actually replace this power.
2) Power is ultimately needed to ensure non-players do what needs to be
   done. E.g. streetsweepers need to collect garbage. Guards must patrol
   the streets and so on.
3) Players can use the power they have in several ways. They may hand it to
   other players to do a certain job, or they may 'pay' some town inhabitant
   to actually do their work.
4) Power naturally flows to the player in power. But only for a job that is
   done well. Players need to oversee the work to make sure it gets done
   well. Otherwise the chance of botch up jobs increases dramatically.
5) Too many failed jobs and the flow of power to the leader will decrease
   and the entire system becomes unstable. At this point power will start
   to flow to those who hold considerable quantities of power but are not
   the one in control.
6) To seize control a player must first make the current leader less succes-
   full and then claim more power than her opponents until she becomes the
   clear leader. This can only be done through performing (or forming) the
   tasks well (as this ensures the powerflow).

> While some of these have other applications.  I can see some of these
> having influence on single NPCs and masses of NPCs (simpeeps?, see below)

> Influence skill category.
>    Bribery...a single NPC
>    Duping...both single and masses of NPCs
>    Interrogation.. hmm maybe not - just thought I list them all
>    Leadership...the masses 
>    Propaganda...the masses 
>    Public Speaking...the masses
>    Seduction...a single NPC 
>    Trading...both single and the masses

> Yes, but doesn't this "bad" sort of cronyism come from higher up the food
> chain, the wizs/imps?  Keeping the backstabbing and politics at the player 
> level would divert their attention from our invisible tyrannical rule. :)
> The character power question becomes less a 'combat' one here.  The
> greatest warrior on the mud, might have feeble skills in this area.  It would
> be nice to have them around to thwart an assassination attempt.  Or..

The good thing about this is that it gives that warrior a real reason
to exist in the first place.
Warriors exist to defend. They may be bodyguards, or borderguards. Or
perhaps the leader is using conquest as a way to keep the populace happy.
(nothing like handing out gold and jewelry to become popular ;)

And of course there is a need for those assassins too. They get hired to
take out rival politicians, or to weaken the defense of the enemy. Or for
any other reason when a direct confrontation isn't a good idea.

And those politicians have a game-reason to fight it out too. To advance
they need to remove the opposition and his may require devious methods as
well as plain old hard work.

> Sidenote: I don't like the idea of voting booths..Alien to my game world.
> How might one spend these RPs?  Through just allocating them? hrrmm...

By using them. The flow to the current leader is automatical and she
should ensure that the town (country) people have reasons to continue
to generate those points. Unhappy people don't.

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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